World Sailing Olympic Classes Debate

We can foil -  But do we want to?

We can foil – But do we want to?

We normally avoid commenting on sailing politics however you may be interested to hear that the Executive Committee of World Sailing are considering bringing in major changes to the classes for the Paris Olympics of 2024 (and presumably to Los Angeles 2028 and beyond).

There is a view opposing the move and an online petition which outlines the issue HERE. The petition to date has 22,000 signatures including that of Victor Kovalenko (Head Coach AUS Olympic Team) and multiple AUS 470 Olympic medalist Mathew Belcher. The petition summarises the World Sailing proposal in the following words;

“World Sailing’s far-reaching proposal moves the focus from accessible classes like the Laser Radial to a technology-driven format demanding wholesale replacement of expensively acquired boats and equipment. It is now possible that up to eight of the 10 current Olympic sailing disciplines will be dropped for Paris 2024….the Olympic format under consideration by World Sailing sees the Finn, 470 Men and Women, Windsurfer Men and Women, Laser and Laser Radial all possibly dropped for the 2024 Olympic Regatta. Only the 49er and 49erFX will remain…..Instead World Sailing propose a wholesale switch of emphasis to foiling and foiling equipment……”

In the interest of balance, in a rather rambling letter, World Sailing’s President Dane Kim Anderson provides a response to the criticism HERE.

Perhaps the International Olympic Committee can follow WS’s lead and change some other sports to spark them up. Perhaps we could have flippers in the swimming events or Oscar Pistorius type appendages on the runners or hang glider assisted long jump – the mind boggles.

There is a good opinion piece on the Sailing World web site on the subject HERE.

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