sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Not time to change Olympic windsurfer says Pryde

Not time to change Olympic windsurfer says Pryde

'Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. RS:X Mens.'    Guy Nowell ©    Click Here to view large photo

At this weeks ISAF meeting amongst the agenda items is a proposal to switch windsurfing boards for the 2012 London Olympic Games from the existing Neil Pryde RS:X to a new Starboard built Formula board.

While a lighter planing board would be welcomed by many athletes, it seems there are a lot of factors to consider.

Neil Pryde explains ‘The RS: X board was designed and built to parameters set by the International Sailing Federation. (ISAF). The reality of Olympic windsurfing is it’s in the Olympics as part of yacht racing. It has to operate on a fixed time table with events taking place everyday, the television is organized, the press coverage. The Event organiser don’t have the luxury of saying dayafter day 'oh there’s less than 10 knots of wind today so we won’t race. They have to race.

‘So ISAF required a board that would sail on three knots of wind. Normally windsurfers don’t even go on the water unless it’s more than 10-12 knots, so the Olympic board is not like a windsurfer in the normal sense of the word.

‘To build a board which can be sailed upwind at three knots we had to put a dagger board in it. That added a lot of weight because you have to have the whole structure to support the dagger board.

'Going forward, we all hope that Olympic regattas are not sailed in venues that requires races to be run in very light conditions again, but practical considerations come even before and after racing.'

As one multiple Olympic sailor, who campaigns all around the world commented this week ‘One of the problems from a practical point of view of wind surfing boards with no dagger boards is that steerage, leaving or coming into harbours is very difficult without a support boat. May not be much of an issue for the big teams but it’s a problem that adds costs at all levels.'

Pryde continues ‘Our original prototype was a lot lighter but the International Sailing Federation wanted a board that would have a physical lifespan of at least four years. Lightweight racing boards are much cheaper to bring to market because they contain less carbon, but realistically they are have a racing lifespan of one season.

‘We revisited the subject last year. Going into the annual general meeting of the RS:X class, which was held down in New Zealand at the World in February 2008, we had proposed offering a prototype that was 2.5 to 3 kilos lighter. But the Class wanted to keep the board unchanged at least through to the British Olympics.

Medal Race - 2008 RS:X World Championships, Takapuna -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=50457  



‘The problem with so many countries that have invested so much money into equipment they are afraid of obsolescing a lot of this investment. Olympic sailing in most countries, particular less developed countries; it is all government funded not private individuals. They paid for a huge amount of equipment. If it becomes obsolete they are going to be very unhappy.

'If a decision is made early for a change for 2016 countries and sailors can plan changeover considering the life of the board and there won’t be additional expense.

‘The council represents the national organisations all around the world and these are the people who spent the money buying the equipment. So I think there is a balance of interests that will likely come to the right decision.

'Countries like France, Italy, U.K. Russia and China have already said they support the continuation of the RS: X. ’

'However we support moves for lightening the board, for the 2016 Olympics. We’d put new board before an evaluation committee who could trial different manufacturers board and classes and evaluate the different options and made a decision. That’s the proper way to do it. That’s how they RS: X was selected. We went through a lot of competitive, exhaustive trials.

‘But the most important thing is that it’s far too late to be making any change right now.

‘Put aside any argument about the pros and cons. This weeks ISAF meeting is less than four years to the next Olympics. I think this is where the ISAF needs to be clear in its thinking.

'Hypothetically, lets say at this meeting we have to make the decision between the 420 class, or the 470 class, that’s a relatively easy. These classes exist and have class organisations and rules. So to switch from one class to another is fairly painless exercise because they both exist and are fully structured.

‘What the ISAF is faced with is choosing between a class that exists with over 2000 participants all around the world that’s organized world championships, world youth and has a class organisation with continues supply of products versus a class that only exists on paper. So there really is no choice.

'Not only is the organisational vacuum a problem but rushing a high specificaton product to market is a major manufacturing challenge.

'The reason I’m saying this is not because we have a vested interest in the RS:X because we obviously do, but because we got burned very badly by the late project start changing from the IMCO class to the RS:X in the November post Athens Olympicsc meeting.

'We had a prototype built and the plans ready to go, but by the time we could really deliver boards to the market in quantity to satisfy the requirements of all the national organizations around the world was probably May 2005.

'That’s just over three years to go to the next Olympics. Of course in the rush to do this you inevitably have a lot of quality problems, things don’t go as smoothly as you hoped.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. It’s a tight squeak at every mark in the RS:X class. -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=50457   Click Here to view large photo



'Remember is this not just another windsurfer, this is a very very tightly spec'd.

'So it’s unrealistic to be making a decision to change from an established class to something that’s only a concept so late in the day.

'The fact is the ISAF decided the parameters on which the RS: X came into being. For better or worse, that’s what they’ve got. For the moment that’s the only viable option on the table and we are confident that the ISAF council will accept that reality.'




by Bob Maxwell

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=50457

10:30 AM Mon 3 Nov 2008 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2008 Olympics Qingdao

Related News Stories:

22 Aug 2010  Qingdao might spell the Future of Sailing
27 Nov 2008  Inspirational Meeting of the Medallists at RQYS
15 Nov 2008  Elliott 6 metre selected for 2012 Olympics
13 Nov 2008  ISAF Specialist Committees agree Olympic Equipment
12 Nov 2008  Ainslie and Sensini win ISAF Rolex Sailor Awards
05 Nov 2008  Boost for RS:X sailing down under
21 Oct 2008  Tornado moots one design for 11th Olympic medal
06 Oct 2008  ISAF Working Party support NZ design for Olympics
26 Sep 2008  Day 1 of Nations Cup Qualifier - AUS and NZL
25 Sep 2008  Slingsby stumbled in Qingdao. What Happened?
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World











































International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top
PWA Pozo World Cup - Fantastic finale determines winners
Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2   
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again   
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible   
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters   
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek   
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton   
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3   
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1   
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1   
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals   
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature   
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.   
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   


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