sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Sailing could be next for Olympic axe, says Neil Pryde
Sailing could be next for Olympic axe, says Neil Pryde

'NeilPryde Racing Series - Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012 - Neil Pryde, himself'    Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf    Click Here to view large photo
Former Olympian and millionaire businessman Neil Pryde has warned sailing is in danger of being kicked out of the Olympics as the fallout continues from the controversial decision to dump windsurfing in favour of kiteboarding for the 2016 Games.

Pryde says the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has made a terrible and unfathomable decision and accused it of 'selfishness'. 'The Isaf is represented by all member countries and most come from the yacht brigade. What they have done is to safeguard their narrow interests and sacrificed windsurfing. What they don't realise is the whole sport of sailing is in danger of being kicked out of the Olympics,' said the 71-year-old Pryde, whose name is attached to the RSX windsurfing discipline which will be seen for the last time at the London Olympics.

'From a business perspective it doesn't impact me as I will continue to provide the sailing equipment. But from a personal point of view, I think it is a terrible decision for the sport of sailing as a whole. It's an absolute disgrace.'

Pressure from the International Olympic Committee is seen as the reason why ISAF has jumped the gun. Having placed a cap on the number of sports at the summer Olympics - 28 - the IOC has also made it clear all sports have to be commercially viable. And for this, television is the key.

'The main source of revenue for the IOC is from television and as far as sailing is concerned, it scores poorly in TV ratings,' Pryde said. 'On top of this, the IOC is also against sports which are regarded as elitist. They want sports for the people. Unfortunately sailing is regarded as elitist, the 'yacht class'.'

Windsurfing is virtually the poor man's discipline in sailing. All the equipment, which is provided free of charge for the Olympics by Pryde, is one-design and is far cheaper than a dinghy or a laser boat, other classes at the Olympics.

Pryde is adamant windsurfing has helped raise the profile of sailing, and more importantly changed a long-held perception the sport was only for the upper-crust gentry, those from the 'yacht class'. 'Windsurfing has been in the Olympics for more than 25 years and it has helped introduce sailing to a wider audience,' he said. 'Just look at China, who came into sailing through windsurfing and today is challenging for the America's Cup.

'This discipline has helped countries from Thailand to India come into the sport and it is sad the Isaf has totally ignored this fact. It is a selfish decision made purely to protect certain sailing classes already in the Games,' he said.

The Hong Kong-based sailing enthusiast, whose company Pryde Group employs more than 2,500 people in 40 different countries, is a world leader in the marine and adventure sports markets with an annual turnover of HK$1 billion. He sailed for Hong Kong in the Flying Dutchman class - with Peter Gamble - at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico and, until Lee Lai-shan won a gold medal in windsurfing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, held the best result in sailing, a 13th-place finish.

His business interests allow him free access to the corridors of power in the sailing world, and Pryde was present two years ago at an ISAF council meeting in Athens when the move began to get kiteboarding into the Olympics as a separate discipline. Pryde said: 'Originally the idea was for sailing to ask for another medal at the Olympics by introducing kiteboarding. 'There was no talk of replacing windsurfing, but somehow, over the years, things have evolved and with the number of athletes at the Olympics being restricted, this has unfortunately occurred.

'While kiteboarding is a great sport, it is quite immature. There is no structure, no organisation and no youth development. The plan was to introduce kiteboarding by the 2020 Games, not in 2016. Fast-forwarding a still developing sport is totally ridiculous.' The switch must still be approved by the IOC, but with the technical aspects of sports generally left to the discretion of the federations, it is highly unlikely they will intervene on behalf of windsurfing.

www.scmp.com


by Alvin Sallay, South China Morning Post

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=97225

3:32 AM Tue 15 May 2012GMT


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







News - USA and the World





















A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,


























2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco
















ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial   
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video   
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light   
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead   
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4   
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2   
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing   


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