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Too large or just right? The bias on weight in Olympic Sailing

by Roland Gaebler on 28 Apr 2012
Team Gaebler during the 2016 Equipment Evaluation Martina Barnetova
Is there bias in Olympic Sailing? Perhaps discrimination of athletes that are above average weights? It seems as though lightweights will dominate future Olympic Sailing!

ISAF evaluation used a submission from the 470 class to set the target for the Mixed Multihull and Skiff women evaluations.


With this we end in a target weight for the evaluation at 130 kg for Mixed Multihull and 120kg for the Skiff women.

In the same way we lost the Star Class and the Elliots (Match race women). This means that seven of ten Olympic Classes have an optimal team-weight below average (see links below).

If we count all men together worldwide, we have an average weight around 79 kg. For a woman it is 65 kg. In the graphic in the attachment you can see, how much bias we have in future men and women Olympic Sailing.

Also the fact that Rio de Janeiro is a light wind venue will even give the ultra-lightweights an advantage again. The majority of Athletes have no chance to reach the lower weight limits with their body structure, and this makes it impossible to have the optimal weight for an Olympic campaign in Sailing.

It’s not too late to change this. Still 2-4 Olympic boat/surf classes have to be selected (Mixed Multihull + Skiff Women). Also Kiteboarding is open in weights to get Olympic Sailing in balance and get away the discrimination of athletes above average weight.

Body weight analytics on Wikipedia

Olympic Swimming 2008:

Olympic Swimming Male Athlete: The average weight for males swimmers is 80.4 ± 7.0 KG. Freestyle sprinters have the highest weight – 84.3 ± 5.8 KG, when freestyle distance swimmers have the lowest weight -–76.4 ± 6.6. KG. This difference is statistically significant. Male freestyle sprinters are about 20 KG heavier than female freestyle sprinters. The average of weight in male swimmers is about 15 KG higher than in female swimmers. The difference between male and female swimmers is statistically significant.

Olympic Swimming Female Athlete: The average height and weight for females is 173.0 ± 5.5 cm and 65.6 ± 6.6 KG, respectively. Freestyle sprinters are the tallest (174.7 ± 4.5 cm) and lightest (64.4 ± 6.4 KG) between events.

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