Please select your home edition
Edition
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Leaderboard 3

Paris2024: Sir Ben Ainslie calls for Olympic regatta revamp

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 13 Jul 03:22 PDT 13 July 2019
Ben Ainslie just after winning his fifth Olympic medal and fourth Gold medal at the 2012 Olympics © Richard Gladwell

Sir Ben Ainslie, winner of five Olympic medals, four of them Gold, believes the Olympic Sailing Regatta needs a radical overhaul.

Best known for his exploits in the Finn singlehander, Ainslie is disappointed to see the class which has epitomised the classical values of Olympic sailing, dropped from the proposed Events slate for Paris 2024.

It is proposed to replace the Men's Heavyweight One Person Dinghy event, with a new Mixed[Gender] Two-Person Offshore Keelboat - an event which will hold its first world championship in 2020.

"I think it is a great shame. I'm obviously biased and a huge fan of the Finn. But to me, the bigger issue is "What do guys over 85kg sail?"

"Right now, I can't see too many opportunities for them."

"There are a lot of boats out there for guys weighing 65, 75 and 80kgs," he says. "The Giles Scott's of this world - what are they supposed to do?" he asked referring to the 2016 Gold Medalist in the Finn, who was his tactician in the 2017 America's Cup and will fill the same role in 2021 for INEOS Team UK.

The average crew weight for the 2021 America's Cup has been set at 90kg - well outside the optimum body weight for the proposed classes for the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta.

"That is my biggest concern. I haven't been involved in any of the decisions or discussions. I'm just observing from the outside," he adds.

As to whether World Sailing should reconsider its proposed Events slate for Paris2024, Ainslie wouldn't comment.

However, he does have some strong views on the shape of the Sailing Olympics.

"Ultimately World Sailing and Olympic sailing have got some tough decisions to make", he said at the conclusion of an interview on INEOS Team UK's America's Cup campaign.

"There are probably too many competitors for the profile of the sport, along with the cost of running those competitors," he said.

"In reality, you have to reduce the numbers. That's looking at it from the perspective of an outsider, but with experience of being to the Olympics for Sailing."

"There has to be a reduction in the number of classes and a focus on really top quality classes that offer the most challenge for the sailors."

In the Ainslie-style Olympic Sailing Olympic Regatta, he would put the focus on having a more balanced event slate.

"There has to be a range of sailors in terms of the weight scale, which is important. So you are creating a proper test across the board."

That view would run counter to the International Olympic Committee's stricture to remove weight divisions where possible, but Ainslie's solution would make for a more balanced Olympics.

Related Articles

Paris 2024: (Un)Intended consequences in Marseille
Events Committee member and CEO of Yachting New Zealand on the Mixed Offshore Event in Marseille "I think the argument that the Offshore Committee have around not having an Arms Race is going to have the opposite effect completely and will create a fast track for one nation, probably France to get an advantage over everyone else." Posted on 28 Sep
Paris 2024: Laser Performance hits out at ILCA
The testy relationship between ILCA and Laser Performance has just 10.5 weeks to be remedied Laser Performance the predominant builder of the Laser dinghy, until they had their building licence revoked last March, have hit out at the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), after the class was provisionally confirmed for the 2024 Olympics Posted on 20 May
Laser voted in for 2024 Paris Olympic Sailing
Laser/ILCA was voted as the One Person Dinghy for the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta Laser/ILCA was voted as the One Person Dinghy for the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta, by a landslide in the Council Meeting. The RS:X was rejected and the Windsurfers will have an Evaluation Trial - which will include Windfoilers Posted on 19 May
Equipment Committee votes for RS Aero
The Equipment Committee of World Sailing has voted to recommend the RS Aero to the Council. The Equipment Committee of World Sailing has voted to recommend the RS Aero to the body's Council for confirmation at its meeting tomorrow (Sunday). The Committee decided not to support a Board recommendation that the RS:X be retained for 2024 Olympics. Posted on 19 May
Olympic champion unhappy with RS:X recommendation
Current World and Olympic Champion not happy with decision to retain RS:X windsurfer With the Olympic Equipment fires burning on several fronts, the current World and Olympic Champion has hit out over the World Sailing's recommendation to retain the RS:X Windsurfer, provided a new deal is struck with the licence holder. Posted on 15 May
Finn Champ resigned to Olympic exit after 2020
The defending Olympic Champion in Finn class says Tokyo 2020 is likely to be his last Olympics The defending Olympic Champion in the one man Finn class says Tokyo 2020 is likely to be his last Olympics. There will be no place for heavier men in Paris 2024, due to the rigid application of a gender equality policy by World Sailing. Posted on 12 May
Controversy dogs World Sailing Mid Year Meeting
World Sailing Mid Year will take place against a backdrop of controversy The Mid-Year Meeting of World Sailing is set to take place at the end of next week in the Chelsea Football Club, London. The Meeting will take place against a backdrop of controversy over the Olympic classes and events for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Posted on 10 May
World Sailing wants to stop 'Arms Race'
World Sailing tries to stem "Arms Race" in new Olympic Offshore Keelboat event World Sailing's Board has made another "Urgent" submission to be considered at the Mid-Year Council meeting to facilitate the inclusion of the new Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat - Updated Posted on 28 Apr
Big reductions in the 2024 Olympic fleets ahead?
The 2024 Olympic decisions taken by World Sailing over the past five months have been very divisive. The 2024 Olympic decisions taken by World Sailing over the past six months have been greeted with a mix of angst, derision and elation. Apologies for the length of this story which includes sailing specific comment from the International Olympic Committee Posted on 21 Nov 2018
Laura Baldwin's view on the scuttling of the Finn
WTF* should never be a question after a decision is made for any change at the Olympic Games WTF* should never be a question after a decision is made for any change at the Olympic Games. Changes should be made long enough in advance not to immediately impact people's lives in such a devastating way. There should be no shock surprises. Posted on 10 Nov 2018
Melges IC37 2019 FooterRS Sailing 2019 - FooterFestival of Sails 2020 - FOOTER