sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : London Olympics 2012 - Windsurfing's last hurrah
London Olympics 2012 - Windsurfing's last hurrah

'Tuuli Petaja (FIN) who won SIlver Medal today, 07.08.12, in the Medal Race Women’s Windsurfer (RSX) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.'    onEdition ©    Click Here to view large photo


The world's leading international sailing journalist, Bob Fisher, writes for Sail-World from Weymouth - venue for the 102 Olympic Sailing Regatta.


As the medal race of the Women's RS:X windsurfer was played out, the thoughts of many must have been with the competing women for whom this was a last hurrah in the five-ring circus. Those five competitors were probably cursing the idiocy of the ISAF Council that robbed them of the highest level participation for their sport. For those still in the dark, the Council of the International Sailing Federation at its mid-year meeting, voted to replace Windsurfing for Men and Women with Kiteboarding for both genders, by a single vote majority.

The back-tracking has been amusing, or would have been if it had not been such a blatant tissue of untruths. Who on earth would believe that a Councillor of ISAF could be confused about the voting to the extent that he gave his vote to the Kiteboards when he really wanted to vote for the retention of the Windsurfers? These are meant to be the custodians of our sport, but their record would disqualify them from running a charity shop.

As administrators they need to review their own record - getting rid of the Tornado catamaran at a time when the rest of the world was encouraging multihulls was a prime example of the extent the Councillors were out of touch, while introducing match racing for women for a single Olympiad is another. Now, it is to dispose of the only keel-boat class, the Star, where the most talented sailors were to be, and would have been, found. There is a grave danger of turning the Olympics into a junior regatta. Soccer-Moms, you could well find a place for yourselves in this sport (Council elections are in November}.

As the Women's RS:X race drew to its conclusion, it became increasingly obvious that Marina Alabau Neira of Spain would consolidate her leading position, take the gold medal and this situation was going to be embarrassing for the Spanish representative on the ISAF Council, Gerardo Pombo. For it was he who declared that he had been confused by the voting procedure and had voted for the Kiteboards when he had meant to support the Windsurfers. Or was this simply an attempt to save face when he returned home? Had he voted the way he said that he had meant to, there would definitely be windsurfing in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and there would be smiles on the faces of all the windsurfers, men and women.

Marina Alabau (ESP) leads the Womens Windsurfing (RS:X) -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

The paucity of Kiteboard events must (or should) cause concern to ISAF. It would appear that it is believed that the run-up to the 2016 Olympics is going to provide ISAF with all it needs to run two events in the pinnacle festival. That will be the sum of experience available - hardly enough, one suspects, to be satisfied that this discipline is fully understood. This might be enough for the kitesurfing to be considered for 2020, but the lack of experience for the next Games might result in a less-than-perfect event.

When interviewed after winning the gold medal, Marina Alabau said: 'I love windsurfing and I think kitesurfing is a big mistake and that windsurfing is the most exciting sailing sport. I think you could see that this week.' She added: 'Kitesurfing is a fantastic sport but not [for] racing, Freestyle is the newer sport but it is still not developed and they don't even have a one-design. I think windsurfing is best for sailing. There are a lot of countries that don't want the kite. If they put the kite in, it is going to be a big mistake and windsurfing will be back for 2020.'

Her fellow medallists agreed. Zofia Nocti-Klepacka of Poland, who won bronze, said: 'They [ISAF] think there are a million people doing kite racing - that is not true, there are more like 20. I hope that when they meet in November, they will change their minds.' Silver medallist Tuuli Petaja of Finland concurred: 'Windsurfing should stay. Course racing with kites is not a big sport yet.' They all pointed out that there are no provisions for younger people in kiteboarding.

Zofia Noctei-Klepacka (POL) competing in the Women’s Windsurfer (RSX) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. -  onEdition ©   Click Here to view large photo

Nick Dempsey, the British silver medallist was adamant that it would be a 'massive shame that we have been dropped. The RS:X sailors have shown this week how fair and close the racing has been.' Gold medallist Dorian van Russelberge agreed: 'We have the infrastructure for young people in Windsurfing, but nothing for kiteboarding. I hope windsurfing stays.'

With the pressure applied to ISAF from the sailors, a re-think should be on the cards, but the hidebound bureaucracy that surrounds the Federation may prevent the wish of the majority. Shame.

Nick Dempsey (GBR) took Silver in the RS:X class at the London Olympics 2012. -  onEdition ©   Click Here to view large photo


by Bob Fisher

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100743

7:40 PM Tue 7 Aug 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on


Related News Stories:

08 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Windsurfing silver for Dempsey
08 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Final day for the Irish Sailing Team
08 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Australian sailing preview for day 11
08 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Aussies and Brits will go head-to-head
08 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 - Final day for the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team
08 Aug 2012  London Olympic 2012 Sailing Competition - Results after day 10
08 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012 – GBR’s Dempsey wins RS:X silver
08 Aug 2012  London Olympics: NZers dominate Womens 470 with massive wins
07 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012— Marina Alabau Neira wins Gold in the Woman’s RSX
07 Aug 2012  London Olympics 2012—Van Rijsselberge (NED) wins Gold in the Men’s RSX
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World















The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI


















Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,




















2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup final qualification system published
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac - Karma Sailing Group wins
Red Bull 49erFX: Easing into the Olympic scene at Rio
Kempe thrilled to invite himself to Gold Cup party
2014 420 World Championships - Singapore wins Day 2 race
Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals
Etchells Invitational Cup - Girls on top in Cowes
National Sailing Hall of Fame reveals inductees
J/111 North American Championship - Wind Czar victorious
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge   
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named   
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4   
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014   
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston   
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet   
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Polishing the silverware   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT