sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Rio 2016: It's time to take action
Rio 2016: It's time to take action

'Weymouth Olympics, July 29, 2012 Mens RS:X - Practice'    Richard Gladwell ©    Click Here to view large photo

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Conference is almost upon us so I thought I'd utilize this opportunity just to reiterate the principle reasons why MNAs and Council members should vote for windsurfing and in particular the RS:X Class. Here are five good reasons why you should vote to include windsurfing in the Olympic sailing programme for Rio 2016.

1. Windsurfing is a sport for all

More than 60 countries in six continents have RS:X Fleets. In fact 54 took part in the 2012 Olympic Sailing Qualifications Series making the men's and women's events the second most popular after Laser.

Countries like Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Jamaica, Oman, Peru and the Philippines now have windsurfing development programs. Windsurfing attracts emerging and small nations and was instrumental in drawing Asian sailing in to the Olympic Regatta in force after Lee Lai Shan [HKG] won her gold medal in 1996.

The RS:X is a tightly controlled one design which is the least costly of all sailing disciplines both in terms of initial purchase price and more importantly in terms of campaign costs. Small teams can carry their equipment as excess baggage on flights then load it on top of a hire car to reach the regatta venue… No Containers, No trailers and No complicated logistics.

     
Being a one-design class, MNAs know that everyone is racing on the exact same equipment. They can invest in windsurfing development programmes with confidence starting with the Bic Techno 293 is the chosen equipment for two events in the Youth Olympic Games and then move to the RS:X at Youth and Olympic level.

Talented athletes can win no matter where they come from. Finland does not have a long and illustrious history of Olympic windsurfing medals and yet one determined and well coached athlete, Tuuli Petaya, won silver in Weymouth just a few months ago

Windsurfing is true to Olympic ideals. It is the most athletic tactical sailing event in the Games which is also dynamic, colourful and exciting for spectators and media alike. The RS:X World Championship attracted more than 94,000 unique visitors to its 2012 World Championship website.

On the other hand... kitesurfing proposes a box rule for the Olympics, meaning more cost, more testing and more advantage to the rich nations. Equipment selection will determine competitiveness

The likely kitesurfing equipment setup will cost around double that of RS:X.

Small and emerging nations will be greatly disadvantaged, making the race for gold all about who has the most money to invest in equipment and not about the athlete as required by the ISAF Regulations.

Investment in testing and selecting equipment will be huge both in terms of time and money. [There are 19 kite brands] It may even be prohibitive for some.

2. Consistent Pathway with Youth Appeal

Windsurfing has a well-established and extremely well organised competition structure through the one-design RS:X and Techno 293 for juniors. Youth and junior competitors change equipment only once from starting to race on the Techno to competing in the Olympic fleet on the RS:X. Used equipment is still competitive encouraging new talent to start racing at national level and internationally at junior and youth level.

On the other hand... Kitesurfing has no established youth racing program for junior/youths and is not part of the MNA structure internationally. Only 14 Youth Boys and five Youth Girls took part in the 2012 Kite Course Racing World Championships

3. Women’s participation

The RS:X women’s fleet is strong with participants coming from five continents and 40 countries. 80 women took part in the 2012 RS:X World Championships and 102 U17 Girls raced in the 2012 Techno Worlds in Medemblik, Holland.

RS:X - Day 2 Four Star Pizza ISAF Girls Youth Sailing World Championship - the Youth Worlds form a vital link in the Olympic progression -  ISAF Youth Worlds  

On the other hand.... only 43 women took part in the Open 2012 Kite Racing World Championship with only one coming from Asia, one from South America and none from Africa. There are no junior Kite racing competitions set up at the moment.

4. Performance over a wide wind range

Olympics are not always held in windy places, as witnessed in Qingdao, China. RS:X is proven to perform in three to over 30 knots using only one rig, one board and one fin. It is simple and cost effective.

On the other hand.... for the same wind range, a kitesurfer would need three kites, one board and at least one set of fins. Despite previous assurances kites are unable to race a tactical course in windspeeds below 7-8 knots average. The minimum wind speed for re-launching a kite unaided from the sea is 10knots.

5. Race Management

Windsurf racing can be held close to the shore with minimal infrastructure and can be launched from anywhere. Boards can leave confined spaces unaided. Marina's and crowded harbours do not present a problem. When other Olympic classes go out to race so does the RS:X fleet.

On the other hand.... kitesurfing requires plenty of open space away from natural obstacles that could pose a danger to the participants. Spectators and the media have to be kept well back to avoid the inherent dangers involved in having a large object moving at speed towards the ground.

Leaving the shore in offshore winds is problematic without support boats to ferry participants out to the area of steady breeze.

This then means that kite requires additional infrastructure and logistics at ISAF Sailing World Cup events and the Olympic regatta which may prove expensive. Races cannot safely be held close to the shore making it difficult to make them attractive to live and TV audiences.

SO - It's time to take action. It's time to contact your national sailing authority and their delegates to the ISAF Conference and impress upon them the need to vote to re-open the discussion on the windsurfing /kiteboarding issue so that the full facts can be laid upon the table and an open debate on the merits of both disciplines can take place.

RSX Class website


by Rory Ramsden

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=102973

8:52 PM Wed 17 Oct 2012GMT


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


Related News Stories:

13 Oct 2012  Rio 2016: Olympic Event decisons should not be made in a vacuum




News - USA and the World























America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature
World Youth Sailing Week – Second edition officially presented + Video
Rolex China Sea Race - Sailing classic returns
Les Voiles de St Barth – Fired up for battle
CNN Mainsail Down Under for the 75th JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiffs
Volvo Ocean Race: North Sails on outfitting the Volvo 65
Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete   
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event   
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website   
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!   
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale   
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   


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.
X6XL NEW US