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Paul Henderson- Why are we trialling new events in the Youth Olympics?

by Sail-World.com on 16 Oct 2016
Laser Radial Boys event at the 2015 Youth World in Langkawi, Malaysia Christophe Launay
One of the issues facing World Sailing, or rather the the world of sailing, is the expansion of the sport into developing sailing countries and increasing the participation in the regions where sailing is not a popular - when local conditions should be ideal for sailing as a recreational sport and for racing.

Part of the issue is the classes sailed at an Olympic level and more importantly at a Youth Worlds and now Youth Olympic Games (YOG) level.

The latter will take place in Argentina in 2018.

World Sailing in its wisdom is proposing to introduce Kiteboarding (Mixed) and the Mixed Nacra 15 class as the multihull, along with Boys and Girls Windsurfer using the Techno 293.

Kiteboarding's future in the Olympic sailing events slate is yet to be determined, many would argue that it doesn't fit with Sailing as an event and is part of the new Olympic discipline of Surfing. The Nacra 15 will be sailed for the first time at the 2016 Youth Worlds in Auckland.

One of the nominees for the Presidency of World Sailing, which falls vacant this November, Paul Henderson (CAN) has some definite views on the shape and function of the Youth Olympic Games which don't tally with the moves made to date by World Sailing. He believes more universally sailed and coached classes should be used.


He writes:

World Sailing must do everything possible to make the YOG in Buenos Aires a success which means that it must be accessible to as many of the 140 MNA's, no matter how large or small, to have their talented Youth compete.

I will do everything possible to convince the IOC and our colleagues in the Argentine to ADD Laser and Laser Radial and if possible 420 Open which means any combination of Youth. World Sailing should give whatever support needed.

The Argentine has one of the most developed Sailing programs and facilities anywhere in our sport so can handle any additions with World Sailing contributing in all ways to make the 2018 YOG Games a success.

To The MNA's and their Youth:


Youth Olympic Games (YOG) 2018 Buenos Aires - Bringing together talented young athletes aged 15 to 18 from over 200 countries around the world. '

The above is the motto of the YOG which was the excellent initiative of Jacques Rogge, IOC President, and first run in Singapore by IOC VP Ng Ser Miang both well known sailors.

The decision made by the ISAF Council with regard to the events to be competed in by our Sailing youth in Buenos Aires 2018 YOG should be reassessed ensuring all 140 MNA's can compete.

There are now to be five events to be competed in by our 15 to 18 year old talented youth sailors.

The two that are known events are the Men and Women Windsurfers.

Three of the five classes to be used are innovative commercial concepts not broadly competed in by World Sailing MNA's.

Kite-Surfing and the NACRA 15 are unknown equipment in most countries.

It is essential that if Sailing is to be an inclusive sport in the 2018 YOG, especially to respect the needs of the less affluent MNA's and their youth, the newly elected World Sailing Executive, must have additional events for the Laser, Laser Radial and 420 Open (or M+W if desired. Personally I like for Youth the Open idea.)

It is essential that World Sailing must be inclusive 'bringing together' as many talented young sailors as possible at the 2018 YOG.

Paul Henderson
A Sailor, Nominee World Sailing Presidency

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