Steinlager 2 returns home, May 5, 2012 Richard Gladwell
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 6 May 2012
The International Sailing Federation delivered a thunderbolt to the sport, with the announcement in the early hours of this morning (NZT) that Windsurfing which had been in the Olympic games since 1984, would be replace with Kite Boarding.
The matter was decided by the ISAF Council, Meeting in Stresa, Italy and exceed the recommendations of its own Evaluation Team, which proposed that the sport be added to the ISAF World Cup circuit from 2013, before being added to the Olympics, either replacing Windsurfing or as 11th and 12th Medal Events.
Quite what happens from here is unknown, as the class and youth progression is locked into windsurfing.
We have an initial report in this edition of Sail-World.com and will be updating as more information comes to hand. The decision was made by a vote of 19-17, and one vote the other way would have forced a split and the retention of the Windsurfer as the Chairman would have been forced to exercise a casting vote in favour of the status quo - meaning the Windsurfer remained.
An event in the Kendall Cup 2012 being sailed off Takapuna Brian Haybittle
Certainly from a New Zealand perspective to have a sport dropped which has been our most successful Olympic event is going to be testing, to say the least.
The dropping of the Windsurfer has over shadowed the introduction of the FX as the Womens Skiff, which is a major coup for New Zealand builder, Mackay Boats, who had made a significant investment in the development of a new rig for the Mens 49er hull, which is already in production around the World. The new FX is also good news for Southern Spars and North Sails who will manufacture the spars and sails for the new class, along with the 49er.
Molly Meech and Alex Maloney put the 49er FX through her paces off Takapuna. Richard Gladwell
In the Mixed Multihull, the Nacra17 carried the day, for most the choice was not a game breaker either way. And a decision was made in favour of the longer boat. It remains to be seen as to how many Mixed crews are actually prepared to campaign at Olympic level, as no other class holds a Mixed World Championship.
Steinlager 2, certainly one of the four iconic boats of New Zealand sailing (the other three being KZ-7, NZL-32 and Rainbow II) returned to New Zealand yesterday for the first time in 22 years. She is here to stay, beginning a new life under a sailing trust which will run her and Lion New Zealand as youth training boats.
Certainly it was an emotional time for the people who turned out to welcome Big Red back to Auckland after a six month delivery voyage from the Mediterranean. Particularly so for five of her original crew, most of whom could still fit into their original sailing gear, and who turned out along with their children to the boat their fathers had raced to a six leg win. A feat never since achieved in a Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race.
We have full coverage in this edition of Sail-World.com, along with reports in the Volvo Ocean Race, which has been hit by a period of light airs and is expected to take another three days at least until the finish in Miami.
Don't forget, if you would like to see over Steinlager 2 and Lion New Zealand, today is your chance - at the Viaduct Harbour. Don't miss!
1989/90 Crew member Glen Sowry (standing) gives Mark Orgams (wheel) some tactical advice aboard Steinlager 2 - Steinlager 2 May 5, 2012 Richard Gladwell
Many thanks to those who have contributed to this edition, particularly those using our online submission and image loading facility which can be accessed by clicking here
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012 - Soto 30 Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf
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