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Paris 2024: IOC confirms Mixed Keelboat event is dropped from 2024 Olympic regatta

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World/com/nz 11 Jun 2021 18:32 PDT 12 June 2021
Kiteboard foiling at the Kitefoil Cup Holland 2018 © Gerard de Kok

The International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach has announced that the IOC "has accepted the proposal of World Sailing to split the previously approved Mixed Kite Event into Mens and Womens individual kite events".

That announcement, in a media conference at the end of a three day IOC meeting, brings to an end the two years of indecision by World Sailing over the 2024 Olympic Events, and it has fallen to the International Olympic Committee to shape the sport at Olympic level.

Two other sports had event program changes announced being Athletics where a 50km Race Walk will be turned into a Mixed event, and a new format for Modern Pentathlon.

However the effect of the IOC decision selected from three proposals put forward by World Sailing, is that the Finn singlehander for heavyweight men has been dropped from the Olympic Sailing Regatta, with the implication that there is now no Olympic events in which men weighing more than 85kg can be competitive for reasons of their physique.

The 2024 Olympic Events will no comprise five events involving foiling classes, and four of those will be using boards, not boats.

There will also be only two Mixed events, a reduction on the original proposal by World Sailing where there would have effectively been four. Now, the existing Mixed Two Person Multihull (Nacra17), is joined by the Mixed Two person Dinghy, and the other two effectively a Mixed One Person Kite, and the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat, proposed by World sailing have not been accepted by the IOC.

The change of equipment in the Mens and Womens One Person Windsurfer will remain as proposed (however that is a secondary consideration for the IOC) and will switch to the iQFoil foiling windsurfer class.

The IOC rejected World Sailing's Event proposals where there has been no recognised World Championship - being the Mixed Kite and the Mixed Offshore Keelboat.

Last month World Sailing was sent a letter by the International Olympic Committee requesting that World Sailing submit alternative proposals for the Mixed Offshore Keelboat event, and World Sailing, while persisting with the Mixed Offshore as its preferred event, put forward splitting two Mixed events - the Mixed Kite and the Mixed 470 into separate Men's and Women's events.

Despite Lausanne putting forward three concerns over the Mixed Offshore Keelboat, World Sailing continued with changes to that event which comprised setting a course within a 20nm sided rectangle, claiming their would alleviate IOC concerns over cost of coverage and security. Those recommendations by World Sailing have also been cast aside by the IOC.

The rejection/non-acceptance of the Mixed Keelboat proposal by the IOC is also contrary to assurances given to the World Sailing Council that the IOC was "on-board" with the initial Events slate proposed by World Sailing. That was clearly not the case. The changes rung by the IOC bring the Sailing events more into line with other Summer Sports who needed to adjust their Events to comply with IOC's gender equity requirements, which they mostly achieved by having identical events for Men and Women. Claims made at World Council level that the IOC did not want weight/physique categorised events outside the combat sports, do not stand up to scrutiny, with Rowing having its Summer Olympic events slate approved with Lightweight Mens and Womens Double Sculls events included as two of the 14 events.

The other major announcement by the International Olympic Committee is that Brisbane will host the 2032 Summer Olympics, subject to a final confirming vote by IOC members. Brisbane will be the third Olympics to be hosted by Australia. That vote will take place in July 2021.

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