The deadline for the submissions to be made for the 10 Olympic Sailing Events is approaching fast - it will be March 10, 2011.
One of the most debated issues behind closed doors is surely the question on what 'Board OR Kite-Board' exactly means, as it was decided by the ISAF council during the 2011 ISAF annual conference in Athens.
During this conference - in the Events Committee as well as in Council - there was quite some discussion about the meaning of the 'OR' in the two boards medals - with some people convincingly saying that 'or' could mean as well 'and' or 'both'. This brings us back to the question - why not having both in the Games ?
The 10 available slots are heavily fought for - with the mens keelboat on the bubble it is anything else than sure that the provisionally agreed slate will stand - but with kiteboarding coming into the mix as a completely new sailing discipline it is not really getting easier.
The International Olympic Committee recognises kiteboarding as a separate discipline from windsurfing and from any other discipline, and as such kiteboarding should be included in the Games just as single handed dinghies, double handed dinghies, windsurfers, multihulls and keelboats.
Getting all of the above disciplines into the Games with two medals, for men and women separately, that would require 12 medals. And 12 is obviously two to many.
The first idea everybody should come across would be to go back to the IOC and ask for two more medals - the athletes quota doesnt necessarily have to change - but this is most likely not going to happen before 2013, after the London Olympic Games.
As decision has to be made in May 2011 in St. Petersburg, our focus thus has to be to ensure that everybody is in, and the magic word here seems to be 'mixed events'. Both Multihull and 470 are currently already slated as such.
Well, in theory mixed events could be held in every crewed event, giving room for more single handed classes which would also allow more nations participating. And with kiteboarding and windsurfing being the two most accessible and affordable events especially for emerging nations, this would first and foremost benefit all the small and emerging nations around the globe which cannot afford keelboats, multihulls or even skiffs.
Let's not set the two sailing disciplines against each other that comply with the greatest number of demands as set out by the ISAF Olympic Commission and the International Olympic Committee.
Lets get both in instead of the one or the other.