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Taipan

Olympic selection issues

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Not sure that's how it worked in practice. The spare places don't seem to get picked up by emerging nations. They get picked up be established sailing nations where there is no win or bust attitudeand, with out funding. Which is everywhere except gbr, Aus and nzl.

 

For a while there's been a problem in gb sport around lottery funding. Some sports realised that getting just good enough results to get the money was the most effective way to guarantee coaches jobs. Its a problem that goes back at least a decade. So on that basis the new focus on 'excellence' is understandable. Shame that athletes capable of funding them selves are taking the punishment beating.

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Spain, Aus, gbr, Greece it's not hard to point to a medal bounce for the host that continues 1-3 cycles beyond hosting. Very difficult to draw any conclusion about the contribution of a 'be a winner or you don't go' attitude because of that.

 

 

I can't talk about AUS , Spain or Greece, but you are wrong about GB. The success has little to do with hosting the Olympics. It goes back to the poor performance in 1996 when they only got 1 gold. The then Prime Minister, John Major, took personal interest in turning this around and proper funding was sorted. Then there was a central effort by the BOC to learn from the sports that were being successful (Sailing, Rowing, Cycling) and instill certain standards across all sports. By the time GB won the Olympics, this was all in place.

 

I saw an interview with David Brailsford (credited with cycling success) who observed that there is now a common approach across all sports. Another interview with the GB chef de mission Mark England highlighted attitude as a key factor, with senior athletes across a wide range of sports supporting others including those not in their own sport, creating a winning mentality. Brailsford discussed the level of detail needed to create that winning attitude in the team, with one minor story highlighting how you leave no stone unturned - they researched the best pillows and took their own, because of the issues of uncomfortable beds hindering performance.

 

The "formula" is very easy to articulate but harder to execute. You put in place a properly planned junior pathway, with the juniors being trained from the start to have the right mental attitude. You integrate them with the main Olympic squad as soon as is practical, so the juniors get exposure to how the whole olympic team system works. You instill an attitude that selection for the games is a small part of the journey (it is never a main goal) and you focus on one thing only - winning. If you focus on anything less, you will never reach your goals. Almost all olympic sports in the UK set a higher qualifying standard than required by the IOC. Support to go for younger athletes in order to "gain experience" is only given if that athlete has a long history of winning at every junior level and is at the top for their age group.

 

All of this is a pretty rigid system, but it works. What makes it hard to stay at the top is that other countries can see what you are doing and emulate your programs. This happened to the Australians, with their AIS system. It worked, but they sat back and didn't continue to improve it and didn't succession plan, so when some of their best coaches were poached, there was nobody to replace them with the right level of knowledge.

 

Hosting an Olympics helps, but in the case of Team GB, the work had already been done. The biggest single factor has been the power to use funding to force sports to implement the right sort of programs. in most countries, the sports are too independent for this to happen.

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Lottery money started to go to British sport at the beginning of 1997. That really was the start of it all and coincided with the UK government establishing the UK Sports Council with a new brief to concentrate on less sports (30 rather than the old organisations 100+), leaving mass participation in sport to local authorities. (=focus!)

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The "formula" is very easy to articulate but harder to execute. You put in place a properly planned junior pathway, with the juniors being trained from the start to have the right mental attitude. You integrate them with the main Olympic squad as soon as is practical, so the juniors get exposure to how the whole olympic team system works. You instill an attitude that selection for the games is a small part of the journey (it is never a main goal) and you focus on one thing only - winning. If you focus on anything less, you will never reach your goals. Almost all olympic sports in the UK set a higher qualifying standard than required by the IOC. Support to go for younger athletes in order to "gain experience" is only given if that athlete has a long history of winning at every junior level and is at the top for their age group.

 

All of this is a pretty rigid system, but it works. What makes it hard to stay at the top is that other countries can see what you are doing and emulate your programs. This happened to the Australians, with their AIS system. It worked, but they sat back and didn't continue to improve it and didn't succession plan, so when some of their best coaches were poached, there was nobody to replace them with the right level of knowledge.

In NZ, the selection process is a big deal, because of non selection of NZ qualified sailors for most Olympics in recent years.

 

Maybe at the Olympic level there could be a rule for countries to fill all of the qualified slots, or none.

 

That would mean the field is of a higher quality something that the IOC would like.

 

In the mean-time, there is a corruption of the Olympic Sailing qualifying standards, with qualified sailors not being sent by their countries. This issue does not seem plague athletics. The only reason that I can figure out for the qualified competitors not being sent (at least for NZ), is because the selectors are protecting their funding.

 

PS: With sailing as close and as exciting as the 49erFX final race - sailing was the clear winner.

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Each sport has to make its own decisions - this thread is about sailing and I seriously question the value lympix delivers for our sport. My view is that we would do better to focus on classes that attract support because they are well managed and provide what sailors are looking for in terms of competition, social connection and fun rather than a "pathway".

 

"Each sport has to make its own decisions" - well no. As far as GBR is concerned the lottery and government money that goes into Olympic sailing is to support medal-winning. The RYA can't just take the money and spend it on whatever it likes. Furthermore, no medals in 2016 means no money in 2020. Betcha it works the same in AUS.

My reference is with respect to lympix participation - not fundraising models. My point is that lympix is bad for sailing participation in Oz.

And yep more medals = more $. Oz sailing team had $20m for London - and $29m for Rio. But delivers no legacy- doesn't contribute to the sport and sucks up Govt funding.....epic fail.

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Spain, Aus, gbr, Greece it's not hard to point to a medal bounce for the host that continues 1-3 cycles beyond hosting. Very difficult to draw any conclusion about the contribution of a 'be a winner or you don't go' attitude because of that.

 

I can't talk about AUS , Spain or Greece, but you are wrong about GB. The success has little to do with hosting the Olympics. It goes back to the poor performance in 1996 when they only got 1 gold. The then Prime Minister, John Major, took personal interest in turning this around and proper funding was sorted. Then there was a central effort by the BOC to learn from the sports that were being successful (Sailing, Rowing, Cycling) and instill certain standards across all sports. By the time GB won the Olympics, this was all in place.

 

I saw an interview with David Brailsford (credited with cycling success) who observed that there is now a common approach across all sports. Another interview with the GB chef de mission Mark England highlighted attitude as a key factor, with senior athletes across a wide range of sports supporting others including those not in their own sport, creating a winning mentality. Brailsford discussed the level of detail needed to create that winning attitude in the team, with one minor story highlighting how you leave no stone unturned - they researched the best pillows and took their own, because of the issues of uncomfortable beds hindering performance.

 

The "formula" is very easy to articulate but harder to execute. You put in place a properly planned junior pathway, with the juniors being trained from the start to have the right mental attitude. You integrate them with the main Olympic squad as soon as is practical, so the juniors get exposure to how the whole olympic team system works. You instill an attitude that selection for the games is a small part of the journey (it is never a main goal) and you focus on one thing only - winning. If you focus on anything less, you will never reach your goals. Almost all olympic sports in the UK set a higher qualifying standard than required by the IOC. Support to go for younger athletes in order to "gain experience" is only given if that athlete has a long history of winning at every junior level and is at the top for their age group.

 

All of this is a pretty rigid system, but it works. What makes it hard to stay at the top is that other countries can see what you are doing and emulate your programs. This happened to the Australians, with their AIS system. It worked, but they sat back and didn't continue to improve it and didn't succession plan, so when some of their best coaches were poached, there was nobody to replace them with the right level of knowledge.

 

Hosting an Olympics helps, but in the case of Team GB, the work had already been done. The biggest single factor has been the power to use funding to force sports to implement the right sort of programs. in most countries, the sports are too independent for this to happen.

Well described and Totally agree - the formula absolutely delivers medals. But you'd have to question if it's good for the sport - taking juniors and youth athletes out of club & association involvement and putting them in silo programs weakens the grass roots...

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Well described and Totally agree - the formula absolutely delivers medals. But you'd have to question if it's good for the sport - taking juniors and youth athletes out of club & association involvement and putting them in silo programs weakens the grass roots...

 

I don't believe it has to weaken grass roots because I don't think this is what we see in the UK. I also don't think the "olympics doesn't help grass roots" argument is correct either, but the problem is that the only way we would ever know is if sailing wasn't in the olympics. My fear is that if sailing wasn't in the olympics, you would see a fairly steep decline in those taking up the sport.

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You could compair now with the 80s, when the Olympic fixation and youth squad didn't exist and look at open and national participation at adult level.

 

Or, since sailing has long been one of the top 3 Olympic sports in the UK, you could point to a large upswing in adult sailing. Of course excuses could be made about people being times poor etc but that would just be to say there are wider issues at play and Olympic success isn't the be all and end all.

 

In terms of what's been done with cycling and UK sport take a bow Peter Keen.

 

Separate body for participation, Sport England, that's also lottery funded... Which is convenient for UK sport as it frees them of any responsibility for their impact on sort as a whole and allowing in turn a winner takes all agenda where the wider sport is thought of as best providing a suckling cow for for retired athletes.

 

Ah, the stupidity of the cow.

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At my club in the UK, we have a large youth section. The club itself owns 10 Toppers, 6 Teras, 6 Oppies and 3 Fevas, all for the kids to use for free or a nominal fee. This is on top of all the privately owned ones (Toppers, Teras, Fevas, Radials, 29ers etc). There is endless training and coaching provided to them by both the club membership and external specialists. The RYA are delighted with this and doubtless several have big dreams. But how many under 18s take part in club racing? One boat.

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So the cow is paying for the pyramid from whose lofty heights you cam look down on the entire pasture. Then the cow pays to be taught how to eat silage and practice at playing sport rather than actually playing sport. And all the while no one does anything about the cow getting thinner because, while the pyramid is worth paying for because it'll encourage people to eat more burgers and become cows, some how it's all the fault if the cows who don't have time to run around the field any more (lazy cows)

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But sailing is hardly the only cow that is getting thinner. The same is true of many sports. Many leisure activities in fact.

 

You can't get more mainstream in the UK than cricket and soccer. When I moved into the village where I live in the early 1990s there was cricket in the summer and soccer in the winter played bi-weekly on the village recreation ground, which had been going on since the 1920s when a local landowner purchased it for the community. Both clubs have gone now. We can't even rent the pitch to other local clubs, nobody is interested in using it. OK this is anecdote but the same is happening all over. The one sport that is positively thriving locally is cycling. And possibly indoors climbing, another wall has recently opened. What neither of those requires is a time commitment to a team or club,

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Yeh the cow is getting flogged harder alright. Lazy lazy cow.

 

Which begs the question. If the cow doesn't have the time to run round the pasture anyway, what's the point in the cow paying to be inspired into action by the achievements of the prize bullock?

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Not sure how many club races they will be doing but I can see names of at least 10 sailors from the Rio games who I expect to be racing against at the Moth Worlds in Garda July 2017. Our class is still growing, attracting both the rock stars and the club punters because its so much fun.

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In oz last year the 470 combined(men's & womens) nationals attracted 15 entries - in 2014 it had 11 and in 2013 it had 14.....seriously gotta question its contribution to building the sport......tell me again how sailors are inspired to try sailing by this lympix class

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Cycling, running, indoor climbing.

 

Never mind the time required, a large commitment is being made.

 

I'd suggest that what they have more I'm common is that they are sports for the individual where the only competition is with your self.

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Not sure how many club races they will be doing but I can see names of at least 10 sailors from the Rio games who I expect to be racing against at the Moth Worlds in Garda July 2017. Our class is still growing, attracting both the rock stars and the club punters because its so much fun.

or wannabe pros see it as a way to get/demonstrate skills in what is now the top of the game.

 

+

 

The moth class is one with a considerable personal challenge and the competition doesn't matter so much.

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Cycling, running, indoor climbing.

Never mind the time required, a large commitment is being made.

I'd suggest that what they have more I'm common is that they are sports for the individual where the only competition is with your self.

Plus being very time flexible.

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Yep and you don't have to put up with that self agrandiaing wanker whose been doing the sport for 40 years telling you what to do. Fucking usless volunteers. You can just do what's right for yourself.

 

...

 

By the way some success in ireland with adventure sailing as part of the training program amd a renewed focus on cruising, short handed and even gin and tonic

... Sorry... White sail sailing as part of the ISA getting a kick up the arse. Cruising, white sail amd short handed sailing being more or less equivalent to the sports that are growing.

 

..

 

Parents climbing club is doing OK by the way. Thursday night pub session still on the go. They do get into all sorts of stuff tho (mini van camping being among the latest fads) and not sure how with use the club Hut gets but for being rented out to commercial 'trybthe outdoors' operations. Will have to ask

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Cycling, running, indoor climbing.

 

Never mind the time required, a large commitment is being made.

 

I'd suggest that what they have more I'm common is that they are sports for the individual where the only competition is with your self.

In that the other competitor(s) can't directly, physically affect your performance. But it's still a competition, just becomes more psychological.

Having Bolt beside you for a 100m race might inspire you to push that little extra, or completely give up because you think he'll just walk away. Same for any other side-by-side event, and in a different way, the same could be applied to one-after-the-other sports like diving, where you've seen some competitors go before you and set a benchmark, but you have other athletes after you to worry about, you can't affect their performance but it can psych you out.

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In the UK it's kind of happened by accident. It's near impossible to run race with out Road closures and paying for overtime for the local police to sit around watching that children don't run into the road.in behalf of their parents.

 

So there was a boom.in promoters running charity rides where they just happened to give everyone a time. BOOM.

 

Same with running. It's all about challenging your self.

 

For all but the top 5 in a fleet that's true also. Getting better is the reward and the social afterwards. It's not actually about competition it's self for the majority.

 

The way it's going olympianism.os a very poor example to set amd vehicle to follow if a big sport is what you want

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Cycling, running, indoor climbing.

 

Never mind the time required, a large commitment is being made.

 

I'd suggest that what they have more I'm common is that they are sports for the individual where the only competition is with your self.

In that the other competitor(s) can't directly, physically affect your performance. But it's still a competition, just becomes more psychological.

Having Bolt beside you for a 100m race might inspire you to push that little extra, or completely give up because you think he'll just walk away. Same for any other side-by-side event, and in a different way, the same could be applied to one-after-the-other sports like diving, where you've seen some competitors go before you and set a benchmark, but you have other athletes after you to worry about, you can't affect their performance but it can psych you out.

nowadays everyone is taught they have to be a winner or they are a looser.

 

The only way everyone can be a winner with that mentality is if everyone runs their own race. Or you become a victim (who are also winners in modern society)

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Cycling, running, indoor climbing.

 

Never mind the time required, a large commitment is being made.

 

I'd suggest that what they have more I'm common is that they are sports for the individual where the only competition is with your self.

 

 

A big hmmmmm to that. For cycling, check out Strava and "King (and Queen) of the Mountain". Climbing can be hugely competitive too and has its own issues with professionalism.

 

If anything is going to finally drive me away from sailing it's the screamers. Why do some middle-aged men think it's OK to scream abuse just because they are on the water. Maybe I'm over-sensitive to let it get to me but it does. The most recent one was in a "family fun week". No contact, nobody hurt, sailing in two different handicap classes. Fuck's sake.

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Just as an aside, on a quick count, the number of Senior 1 eights at the Head of the River (rowing) race - so serious and experienced club oarsmen, training most nights a week and weekends, has gone from 56 in 1991 to 23 this year.

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Biggest issue with professionalism in climbing is that they are pushed to go more extreme to maintain exposure all the time. A lot of deaths from BASE as a result. The whole Redbull thing is a poisoned chalice in that regard as they are competing on a global scale.

 

Guiding has always been an issue. Have lost half this (sailing) season to the skip getting injured when doing a training climb in Scotland (no surprise a loose bolder fell on his hand and leg). Climbing with in his limits for sure but up to the guide to do the risk management.

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Just as an aside, on a quick count, the number of Senior 1 eights at the Head of the River (rowing) race - so serious and experienced club oarsmen, training most nights a week and weekends, has gone from 56 in 1991 to 23 this year.

another of the UKs top 3 Olympic sports. How many single skulls in the same period?

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Just as an aside, on a quick count, the number of Senior 1 eights at the Head of the River (rowing) race - so serious and experienced club oarsmen, training most nights a week and weekends, has gone from 56 in 1991 to 23 this year.

another of the UKs top 3 Olympic sports. How many single skulls in the same period?

 

The Head of the River Race is an eights-only event. It was busy enough with like 360 boats this year. So is the difference in numbers because of how boats are ranked? Is it less participation? (I doubt that, there were boats that didn't get into HoRR, and it's a pretty brutal race).

 

I know that British Rowing is changing how they categorize rowers at events to make it more enjoyable (closer racing) for everyone. Rowing is an interesting sport compared to sailing, both are water sports, both are considered "late bloomer sports", and both are popular in the UK. Yet rowing seems to run many more regular events, to the point that you can race almost every weekend all summer without having to travel more than 2-3 hours (and generally more like 1-1.5), at least in the south of the UK. Sailing is split among so many classes that unless you race handicap there's not much racing or there's a lot of travelling to do.

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The Head of the River Race is an eights-only event. It was busy enough with like 360 boats this year. So is the difference in numbers because of how boats are ranked? Is it less participation? (I doubt that, there were boats that didn't get into HoRR, and it's a pretty brutal race).

 

I know that British Rowing is changing how they categorize rowers at events to make it more enjoyable (closer racing) for everyone. Rowing is an interesting sport compared to sailing, both are water sports, both are considered "late bloomer sports", and both are popular in the UK. Yet rowing seems to run many more regular events, to the point that you can race almost every weekend all summer without having to travel more than 2-3 hours (and generally more like 1-1.5), at least in the south of the UK. Sailing is split among so many classes that unless you race handicap there's not much racing or there's a lot of travelling to do.

 

 

The entry has been fixed at 420 boats for as long as I can remember. Haven't got the time now, but my guess would be that the numbers of less experienced & university crews rowing at Novice/Int4/Int3 is probably doing OK, but the fall of is at the more experienced club level.

 

Travelling in rowing nowadays seems to be mostly beating a path to Dorney. Wallingford, Metropolitan and Marlow regattas are now all there.

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The Head of the River Race is an eights-only event. It was busy enough with like 360 boats this year. So is the difference in numbers because of how boats are ranked? Is it less participation? (I doubt that, there were boats that didn't get into HoRR, and it's a pretty brutal race).

 

I know that British Rowing is changing how they categorize rowers at events to make it more enjoyable (closer racing) for everyone. Rowing is an interesting sport compared to sailing, both are water sports, both are considered "late bloomer sports", and both are popular in the UK. Yet rowing seems to run many more regular events, to the point that you can race almost every weekend all summer without having to travel more than 2-3 hours (and generally more like 1-1.5), at least in the south of the UK. Sailing is split among so many classes that unless you race handicap there's not much racing or there's a lot of travelling to do.

 

 

The entry has been fixed at 420 boats for as long as I can remember. Haven't got the time now, but my guess would be that the numbers of less experienced & university crews rowing at Novice/Int4/Int3 is probably doing OK, but the fall of is at the more experienced club level.

 

Travelling in rowing nowadays seems to be mostly beating a path to Dorney. Wallingford, Metropolitan and Marlow regattas are now all there.

 

I don't know why the number 360 popped up in my head, but I know that when I did it this year a large number of crews dropped out. It wasn't a completely miserable weather weekend, but it wasn't warm or sunny (basically typical UK in March), and I think a few crews at the bottom of the list bailed from the conditions or being unprepared.

 

Sounds like when a fleet gets fixated on Lake Garda

A bit. The facilities at Dorney are fantastic (well, it's owned by Eton College and was the site for London 2012's rowing and paddling), but the amount they charge makes sailing start to look cheap even in major venues for events. On the order of £35 per seat entry, which could be as little as one race, so about 8 minutes. At best you got about 3 rounds, so 24 minutes of racing for your £35 per person.

 

Rowing has a lot of small river-based venues near the town centers in a number of cities, it means that you can have miniature almost festival-like events around the rowing and it attracts a lot of attention not only from the athletes and their support groups, but also from locals who see it as a fantastic day in the park with a lot of people and entertainment around. I think this attitude drives a lot of interest in the sport, something that can't be replicated in basically any sailing venue that sailors enjoy racing at.

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In oz last year the 470 combined(men's & womens) nationals attracted 15 entries - in 2014 it had 11 and in 2013 it had 14.....seriously gotta question its contribution to building the sport......tell me again how sailors are inspired to try sailing by this lympix class

You really aren't making any effort to understand the situation, are you. The number of 470's being sailed is no indicator as to its contribution to building teh sport. It's like saying that because only 22 cars race F1, it does nothing to raise the profile of motor sport. Or it's like suggesting that somebody motivated to try diving after watching the 10m board events starts by diving off the top board.

 

Here is a simple question. I assume that Tom Burton, Nathan Outeridge and Ian Jenson, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan and Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin got TV air time after their medals. Do you think that increases or decreases the profile of sailing? You may not believe that it makes a difference to participation, but it does. The issue is how your governing body uses that exposure. I certainly cannot believe that the exposure that British medal winning in sailing overv the last 16 years has made no difference to the sport.

 

The other really ignorant thing being repeated by some is saying that because our sport is contracting in most countries, the olympics is clearly not helping. Almost all sports are contracting. In many countries, participation is down across the board. Read some of the anecdotal evidence above. I believe than in Oz, which is sports mad, the shift has been to team games and that this is driven by the professional ball sports. When i was last there a few years ago, i was told the big success story was AFL which was the fastest growing sport, even outside of its traditional base.

 

My hope is that i never have the opportunity to be proven correct, because it can only happen if sailing is kicked out of the olympics. I cannot talk for other countries, but in the UK, it would be very negative for the sport, as the lottery money has been used for facilities (such as HISC) that wouldn't be handed out otherwise. Instead of sitting back and saying the olympics doesn't help teh sport, start asking your national body what they are doing to leverage the olympics to help grass roots sailing.

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In oz last year the 470 combined(men's & womens) nationals attracted 15 entries - in 2014 it had 11 and in 2013 it had 14.....seriously gotta question its contribution to building the sport......tell me again how sailors are inspired to try sailing by this lympix class

 

You really aren't making any effort to understand the situation, are you. The number of 470's being sailed is no indicator as to its contribution to building teh sport. It's like saying that because only 22 cars race F1, it does nothing to raise the profile of motor sport. Or it's like suggesting that somebody motivated to try diving after watching the 10m board events starts by diving off the top board.

 

Here is a simple question. I assume that Tom Burton, Nathan Outeridge and Ian Jenson, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan and Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin got TV air time after their medals. Do you think that increases or decreases the profile of sailing? You may not believe that it makes a difference to participation, but it does. The issue is how your governing body uses that exposure. I certainly cannot believe that the exposure that British medal winning in sailing overv the last 16 years has made no difference to the sport.

 

The other really ignorant thing being repeated by some is saying that because our sport is contracting in most countries, the olympics is clearly not helping. Almost all sports are contracting. In many countries, participation is down across the board. Read some of the anecdotal evidence above. I believe than in Oz, which is sports mad, the shift has been to team games and that this is driven by the professional ball sports. When i was last there a few years ago, i was told the big success story was AFL which was the fastest growing sport, even outside of its traditional base.

 

My hope is that i never have the opportunity to be proven correct, because it can only happen if sailing is kicked out of the olympics. I cannot talk for other countries, but in the UK, it would be very negative for the sport, as the lottery money has been used for facilities (such as HISC) that wouldn't be handed out otherwise. Instead of sitting back and saying the olympics doesn't help teh sport, start asking your national body what they are doing to leverage the olympics to help grass roots sailing.

So you're saying having 11 boats at a nationals is like F1? That this was a quality filled fleet that inspired new participation?

And as for tv coverage - most sailors can't figure out what Tom did in the pre- start - it's hard to aspire to what you don't understand

Lympix sailing is increasingly like AC sailing- hardly relevant to the sport....

And to be clear - I don't want sailing "kicked out" of the games - I want it to decide not to be part of them! Self determination will grow the sport because it will ensure that sailing delivers for its own interests not the lords of the rings and politicians.

Some classes have grown massively - but growth is coming from "masters" events - even the Finn had 300+ masters at the recent worlds. Lasers similar....growth is attributed to focussing on the sailors needs & wants....

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In oz last year the 470 combined(men's & womens) nationals attracted 15 entries - in 2014 it had 11 and in 2013 it had 14.....seriously gotta question its contribution to building the sport......tell me again how sailors are inspired to try sailing by this lympix class

You really aren't making any effort to understand the situation, are you. The number of 470's being sailed is no indicator as to its contribution to building teh sport. It's like saying that because only 22 cars race F1, it does nothing to raise the profile of motor sport. Or it's like suggesting that somebody motivated to try diving after watching the 10m board events starts by diving off the top board.

 

Here is a simple question. I assume that Tom Burton, Nathan Outeridge and Ian Jenson, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan and Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin got TV air time after their medals. Do you think that increases or decreases the profile of sailing? You may not believe that it makes a difference to participation, but it does. The issue is how your governing body uses that exposure. I certainly cannot believe that the exposure that British medal winning in sailing overv the last 16 years has made no difference to the sport.

 

The other really ignorant thing being repeated by some is saying that because our sport is contracting in most countries, the olympics is clearly not helping. Almost all sports are contracting. In many countries, participation is down across the board. Read some of the anecdotal evidence above. I believe than in Oz, which is sports mad, the shift has been to team games and that this is driven by the professional ball sports. When i was last there a few years ago, i was told the big success story was AFL which was the fastest growing sport, even outside of its traditional base.

 

My hope is that i never have the opportunity to be proven correct, because it can only happen if sailing is kicked out of the olympics. I cannot talk for other countries, but in the UK, it would be very negative for the sport, as the lottery money has been used for facilities (such as HISC) that wouldn't be handed out otherwise. Instead of sitting back and saying the olympics doesn't help teh sport, start asking your national body what they are doing to leverage the olympics to help grass roots sailing.

 

So you're saying having 11 boats at a nationals is like F1? That this was a quality filled fleet that inspired new participation?

And as for tv coverage - most sailors can't figure out what Tom did in the pre- start - it's hard to aspire to what you don't understand

Lympix sailing is increasingly like AC sailing- hardly relevant to the sport....

And to be clear - I don't want sailing "kicked out" of the games - I want it to decide not to be part of them! Self determination will grow the sport because it will ensure that sailing delivers for its own interests not the lords of the rings and politicians.

Some classes have grown massively - but growth is coming from "masters" events - even the Finn had 300+ masters at the recent worlds. Lasers similar....growth is attributed to focussing on the sailors needs & wants....

 

 

The problem is Internationally they want more women competing in Sailing without understanding the sport.

 

I wonder if they put men and women head to head in the 100m sprint how many would go for it?

Or in a combined M/F team for the 100M sprint where times were combined, how many teams would there be?

 

 

My options for WS to consider are:

  1. Dump all existing classes
  2. Classes should be designed so they are on the edge in all conditions.
  3. Go Radical, 3 Classes.
  • , Foiling Cat.
    • Male / Female Team
    • 3 Rigs for Light, Medium and Heavy Air. The choice is the teams.
  • Foiling Moth
    • Weight Classes, Light, Medium and Heavy Weights.
    • 3 Rigs for Light, Medium and Heavy Air. The choice is the teams.
    • All weight classes race together Male and Female are equals in the weight classes, no differentiation.
  • Aussie 18 OD Hull
    • The team is open, 3 or 4 with a Max Weight. Must include at least 1 female and 1 male 5'6" or less (no emaciated crew allowed). The shorties become utility team members or drivers.
    • 3 Rigs for Light, Medium and Heavy Air. Rigs are tailored to the team, not OD.
    • Corporate advertising allowed, Lots of Colors and MONEY

All classes have a few W/l races to show short course proficiency and starting ability.

Then they have long races that tour the bay or coastal area of the host with inshore bouy for spectating and land based cameras.

 

Some sort of Show Case Event where all the classes are on the same course but start at intervals. The course should be designed to allow for maximum spectating.

 

None of this double points BS

 

I'm not sure how to deal with the Country qualifying with a different sailor than the one who qualifies as the Rep. I think the sailors should qualify no matter what country they are from. This would eliminate all the back marker countries that probably should have not been their. Host countries do not automatically qualify.

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So you're saying having 11 boats at a nationals is like F1? That this was a quality filled fleet that inspired new participation?

And as for tv coverage - most sailors can't figure out what Tom did in the pre- start - it's hard to aspire to what you don't understand

Lympix sailing is increasingly like AC sailing- hardly relevant to the sport....

And to be clear - I don't want sailing "kicked out" of the games - I want it to decide not to be part of them! Self determination will grow the sport because it will ensure that sailing delivers for its own interests not the lords of the rings and politicians.

Some classes have grown massively - but growth is coming from "masters" events - even the Finn had 300+ masters at the recent worlds. Lasers similar....growth is attributed to focussing on the sailors needs & wants....

Did you watch any of the medal races?... They were great fun to watch!!! did you not recognize the essence of your particular flavor of class at the club sailing level out on the course in one of the Olympic classes?

I can't imagine how the current mix of disciplines (given 10 classes allowed by the IOC) could better represent the kinds of racing we do for fun.

 

Feel free to resent the organization and power needed to make olympic sailing happen...but don't pretend that in your alternative world.... You would get to spend the $$$ on grass roots sailing.

 

I have to tell you.... Santiago Lang is fucking inspiring to me. Lung cancer survivor with one lung a year out.... Wow... Torben Grael is up there with Paul Elvestorm now... getting a 4th in lasers after an incredible past run Coaches his daughter to a gold ... really?

 

The point of the Olympics for sailing is to create the stage for these guys to perform. Well done on the staging.... truly inspiring performances by great sailors! This is why we care!

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So you're saying having 11 boats at a nationals is like F1? That this was a quality filled fleet that inspired new participation?

And as for tv coverage - most sailors can't figure out what Tom did in the pre- start - it's hard to aspire to what you don't understand

Lympix sailing is increasingly like AC sailing- hardly relevant to the sport....

And to be clear - I don't want sailing "kicked out" of the games - I want it to decide not to be part of them! Self determination will grow the sport because it will ensure that sailing delivers for its own interests not the lords of the rings and politicians.

Some classes have grown massively - but growth is coming from "masters" events - even the Finn had 300+ masters at the recent worlds. Lasers similar....growth is attributed to focussing on the sailors needs & wants....

Did you watch any of the medal races?... They were great fun to watch!!!

 

 

Yea, if you knew anything about sailing.

All I saw were tons of mistakes.

Pretty boring from a Sailors POV, except the womens 49er.

 

And what the F is wrong with women sailing the 49er with the correct sail area.

Are they a bunch of pussies?

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The problem is Internationally they want more women competing in Sailing without understanding the sport.

I can read your words but you have lost me. The hands down most exciting race in my judgment was the final race of the 49erFX. While overall, it has one of the weakest international participation, the top four battle for the three medals was to me a highlight of sailing.

 

It summed up the very best of what one design racing is.

 

Seems to me, the biggest problem with women's sailing is out of date misogynistic attitudes.

 

I have to tell you.... Santiago Lang is fucking inspiring to me. Lung cancer survivor with one lung a year out.... Wow... Torben Grael is up there with Paul Elvestorm now... getting a 4th in lasers after an incredible past run Coaches his daughter to a gold ... really?

 

The point of the Olympics for sailing is to create the stage for these guys to perform. Well done on the staging.... truly inspiring performances by great sailors! This is why we care!

Well said - I agree!

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One thing that strikes me about the 2016 Olympics is that no country was dominant with medals. GBR, top of the table, only won 3 medals from the 10 events.

 

Only NZL and AUS won four medals - and they weren't all gold!

It's illogical to say that the attendance of qualified athletes who were prevented from attending by their national administrators would have hurt their medal chances. However, it is logical to say the calibre of the Olympic fleet was diminished.

As said before, maybe there should be a rule imposed on national selectors is that they either fill all qualified spots, or none.

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Seems to me, the biggest problem with women's sailing is out of date misogynistic attitudes.

 

I have to tell you.... Santiago Lang is fucking inspiring to me. Lung cancer survivor with one lung a year out.... Wow... Torben Grael is up there with Paul Elvestorm now... getting a 4th in lasers after an incredible past run Coaches his daughter to a gold ... really?

 

The point of the Olympics for sailing is to create the stage for these guys to perform. Well done on the staging.... truly inspiring performances by great sailors! This is why we care!

Well said - I agree!

 

a Dyansty from Brazil?? Give me a break.

Too bad they did nothing to help clean the bay??

I watched the Graels when the thought about getting into Disabled Sailing because of a leg injury.

Give me a break. Fracking privileged family while others in Rio suffer.

Maybe Torbin and Jobson give each other BJ's.

 

Sorry for being brutally honest.

 

 

The problem is Internationally they want more women competing in Sailing without understanding the sport.

I can read your words but you have lost me. The hands down most exciting race in my judgment was the final race of the 49erFX. While overall, it has one of the weakest international participation, the top four battle for the three medals was to me a highlight of sailing.

 

It summed up the very best of what one design racing is.

 

Seems to me, the biggest problem with women's sailing is out of date misogynistic attitudes.

 

Exciting for sailors, not for anyone else.

You totally miss the point.

The Olympics is not about OD, It is about the best in the sport.

if the sport appears to be boring to the masses, it is BORING.

 

 

I'm beginning to think no one else understands sailing.

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So you respect Paul Elvstrom....but you can't spell his name?

Yep, I'll be valuing your opinion.......you're clearly well informed.

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So you're saying having 11 boats at a nationals is like F1? That this was a quality filled fleet that inspired new participation?

And as for tv coverage - most sailors can't figure out what Tom did in the pre- start - it's hard to aspire to what you don't understandLympix sailing is increasingly like AC sailing- hardly relevant to the sport....

And to be clear - I don't want sailing "kicked out" of the games - I want it to decide not to be part of them! Self determination will grow the sport because it will ensure that sailing delivers for its own interests not the lords of the rings and politicians.

Some classes have grown massively - but growth is coming from "masters" events - even the Finn had 300+ masters at the recent worlds. Lasers similar....growth is attributed to focussing on the sailors needs & wants....

 

Did you watch any of the medal races?... They were great fun to watch!!!

Yea, if you knew anything about sailing.

All I saw were tons of mistakes.

Pretty boring from a Sailors POV, except the womens 49er.

And what the F is wrong with women sailing the 49er with the correct sail area.

Are they a bunch of pussies?

Most of the medal races were irrelevant because the medals had been won before hand. Hardly exciting. Even the women's 49er, which should have been exciting, somehow lacked drama. Perhaps because, at least from the comfort of my armchair, the mistakes were so obvious.

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Torben Grael is up there with Paul Elvestorm now... getting a 4th in lasers after an incredible past run Coaches his daughter to a gold ... really?

Sorry, but I am confused. When did Torben ever get a 4th in Lasers? Sure, he is a legend, although I can't agree that he is in the same class as Elvstrom. I don't think 2 golds,1 silver and 2 bronze and 6 world championships in 4 classes beats 4 golds and 13 worlds across 8 classes and an olympic career that spanned 5 decades.

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Torben Grael is up there with Paul Elvestorm now... getting a 4th in lasers after an incredible past run Coaches his daughter to a gold ... really?

Sorry, but I am confused. When did Torben ever get a 4th in Lasers?

 

Confused with Robert Scheidt I expect.

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Given HP funding is ring fenced if the Olympics dropped sailing tomorrow how much of an impact would there really be? Money that can't be spent on the wider sport would not be made available? A small number of chosen venues wouldn't have got an upgrade? The big youf classes might collapse but given the lack off cross over everyone points too, from the perspective of adult recreational sailing, so what?

 

Sports participation in the UK is up by 2 million in the last decade, so hardly an across the board decline. The thing is that doesn't seem to be driven by 2 of the top 3 Olympic sports over the same period.

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Top 10 countries for sailing - top 10 points (10 for first, 9 for second...)

1) GBR - 55 pts

2) FRA - 52 pts

3) NZL - 48 pts

4) AUS - 42 pts

5) NED - 41 pts

6) BRA - 35 pts

7) CRO - 25 pts

8) USA - 24 pts

9) DEN - 23 pts

10) ITA - 18 pts

This list in my view, looks very representative of the strength in Olympic sailing by country - more so than a medal count. FRA and CRO are a surprise.

Perhaps awarding an Olympic medal to the top three countries will be an incentive for countries to send qualified sailors?

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Sports participation in the UK is up by 2 million in the last decade, so hardly an across the board decline.

 

That's a highly contentious conclusion by a body whose continued funding is based on delivery of good news. Other views.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2015/jul/05/olympic-legacy-failure-sports-participation-figures

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36540017

 

Outside organised competition the only sources of statistics are 1. self-reporting participation rates 2. sports body membership 3. equipment sales 4. visit figures

 

Self-reporting is shit because people tend to report what they think the survey wants to hear or what makes them feel good about themselves e.g. yes I do exercise, watching box sets is not my major leisure activity.

 

Sports body membership only means much if you have to belong to a body to participate. That only applies to a few sports.

 

Equipment sales only shows trends not absolutes.

 

Visit figures works for sports like skiing that are facility-based but not a lot else.

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In the NSW state of AUS we have whats called the Licensed Club industry. What were once small sporting clubs grew into huge casino like monsters due to generous poker machine laws in the 1960-70s. A lot still exist, some are huge, some are struggling, some are sailing clubs. You can join them for as little as $5 a year, in fact you can not get into one within 2km of your home unless you join. So a lot of people join several, I am a member of 4. When the Govt wanted to change the pokey laws the people running these businesses joined forces and lobbied against the changes, based on the votes of their huge membership and won, even though some members like me were pro the changes.

 

Several years back Aus Sailing when it was just Yachting Australia tried to get the licensed sailing clubs to affiliate all of their members to YA. They lost badly, overwhelmed by a more powerful behemoth. Now the Licensed Sailing clubs keep two classifications of members, one for YA includes boat owners, and a bigger one for drinkers, gamblers and crew, the Govt. All legit apparently.

 

Olympic/sport fundings from governments is a bit the same. If you can give the impression that you are bigger, more politically powerful and more numerous than you really are you can get what you want, be it slack gambling laws or funding for elite athletes aiming for Olympic Gold.

 

At least a lot more of the pokey money the big Clubs milk from the miserable gambling addicts goes back to sports, football, bowls, golf and some even to sailors. Not much of the Government supplied Olympic funds in this country ever goes close to anyone other than the Olympic Squad and the coaches, certainly not to any permanent infrastructure.

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So you're saying having 11 boats at a nationals is like F1? That this was a quality filled fleet that inspired new participation?

And as for tv coverage - most sailors can't figure out what Tom did in the pre- start - it's hard to aspire to what you don't understand

Lympix sailing is increasingly like AC sailing- hardly relevant to the sport....

And to be clear - I don't want sailing "kicked out" of the games - I want it to decide not to be part of them! Self determination will grow the sport because it will ensure that sailing delivers for its own interests not the lords of the rings and politicians.

Some classes have grown massively - but growth is coming from "masters" events - even the Finn had 300+ masters at the recent worlds. Lasers similar....growth is attributed to focussing on the sailors needs & wants....

Did you watch any of the medal races?... They were great fun to watch!!!

 

 

Yea, if you knew anything about sailing.

All I saw were tons of mistakes.

Pretty boring from a Sailors POV, except the womens 49er.

 

And what the F is wrong with women sailing the 49er with the correct sail area.

Are they a bunch of pussies?

 

Have you ever tried sailing a 49er? If not, then you should before beating down the girls and their rigs. The hull is the same, the change is in the rig, and in fact it could be argued that the FX rig is better in many ways than the full-size rig. I'm speaking from having sailed both rigs.

 

The 49er in full-rig is a bit of a beast, and that's in 10 knts. In 20+ the boat becomes a big challenge to even control, normal sized girls would struggle with the loads by virtue of just not being as strong as a normal sized guy. That's not to say the girls can't sail them, but in big breeze the girls would be putting more effort into surviving and keeping the boats going in control than racing. The FX rig fixes a lot of this, it's not a lot slower (and sometimes it's faster) but the loads are a lot lower, it makes it much easier for somebody who doesn't have the grunt strength of a grown male athlete to control the boat and be able to race without spending too much effort on just surviving. For girls, youth, etc it's a great addition to the 49er full sized rig, it allows them to experience the 49er and the joys of racing such a powerful boat without having to put themselves at exceptional risk with the big rig.

 

Following the 49erFX development (as well as some other factors) the 49er is changing its sails, in particular a big design change is allegedly coming down the pipes for the spinnaker (which is the "gruntiest" sail of the lot).

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Fx suffers from being defined as a girls only class. - how about changing it to an open class attracting youth and consolidating classes like 470, fireball and 505s - with a women's division. It'd provide the step up to 49er but would be a significant class in its own right.

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It'd provide the step up to 49er but would be a significant class in its own right.

 

Why? 2 trap skiffs are a niche market (at least here). The high perf (/expensive) end served by the I14, the lower perf market by the RS800. Why would an open FX get any more traction?

 

Class 2015 2016

International 14 26 29

RS800 36 0

Cherub 17 0

49er 10 0

49erFX 7 0

 

UK nats attendance.

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Sports participation in the UK is up by 2 million in the last decade, so hardly an across the board decline.

That's a highly contentious conclusion by a body whose continued funding is based on delivery of good news. Other views.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2015/jul/05/olympic-legacy-failure-sports-participation-figures

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36540017

 

Outside organised competition the only sources of statistics are 1. self-reporting participation rates 2. sports body membership 3. equipment sales 4. visit figures

 

Self-reporting is shit because people tend to report what they think the survey wants to hear or what makes them feel good about themselves e.g. yes I do exercise, watching box sets is not my major leisure activity.

 

Sports body membership only means much if you have to belong to a body to participate. That only applies to a few sports.

 

Equipment sales only shows trends not absolutes.

 

Visit figures works for sports like skiing that are facility-based but not a lot else.

haven't looked back in detail but if the same body is using the same methodology then as now then it's more of a direct comparison.

 

Have we had the other excuse yet? It's not that high performance doesn't inspire it's the sports fault for not using the undoubted inspiration properly.

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the undoubted inspiration properly.

 

Not sure about "undoubted inspiration".

 

Yes, twitter is full of people who've gone for a run and tweeted something under #GetInspired, but I'm unconvinced that much of it is a true change of behaviour, rather that it's more a bit of a flash in the pan. Like tennis courts being booked solid for the fortnight after Wimbledon. Yes, I'm sure that at the 2024/28 games there will be stories about people who decided that they wanted to be Olympians after watching Rio, but a) if they're good enough to get to the games they're hardly normal, and b_) the plural of anecdote is not data.

 

Taking up a sport, particularly any skill based sport, beyond adolescence is very difficult. It's one of the big advantages cycling has - the vast majority can ride a bike well enough to graduate to spending too much time and money on wiggle. Doesn't mean they could handle an alpine descent.

 

tweet-767424729259073537-2.jpg

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Why? 2 trap skiffs are a niche market (at least here).

 

Its one thing that really surprised me. I remember when the 29er first showed signs of its popularity predicting that we were going to have a major boom in high performance sailing as a generation came through that had learned the high performance techniques. But that first generation are now around their 30s, and in the UK at least high performance boats are at something like a 60 year low in popularity. They do their time in 29ers, and then move to RS200s or something... So I was utterly wrong. Still can't figure out why: seemed so logical.

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Why? 2 trap skiffs are a niche market (at least here).

 

Its one thing that really surprised me. I remember when the 29er first showed signs of its popularity predicting that we were going to have a major boom in high performance sailing as a generation came through that had learned the high performance techniques. But that first generation are now around their 30s, and in the UK at least high performance boats are at something like a 60 year low in popularity. They do their time in 29ers, and then move to RS200s or something... So I was utterly wrong. Still can't figure out why: seemed so logical.

I think it may underscore the disconnect that club sailing has with Olympic sailing everywhere. Seven 49erFX for the UK nats is a low number, and really there were only two in the hunt. NZ only had two for the last nationals, AUS had seven (and controversially, they did not send their sailors). Everywhere seems low participation numbers.

 

So maybe a stronger local fleet does translate into Olympic performance after all? While GBR made it into the top 10 at the Olympics - it really was a four boat race in the 49erFX. It was surprising that there wasn't an easy victory for one crew.

 

What larger fleets do, is raise the bar. Laser sailing has evolved over the last 40 years - and most tellingly, in my view, is the way we sail downwind. I think this evolved because of incremental gains - sometimes first done by lesser sailors - and were copied and permeated throughout the world fleet. The body kinetics and sail settings are class specific. There is a lot more of that kind of development yet to occur for the 49erFX. (To see some of those development, see the 49er.

 

In my view the 49erFX has the weakest fleets (worldwide) out of all of the Olympics. And in my view, outside of the top four, it showed. (That did not detract from my viewing enjoyment at all!)

 

For the 49erFX, it's game on for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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Tend to agree Presuming Ed. Certainly there is enough doubt to suggest that the advocates prove their case.

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Fx suffers from being defined as a girls only class. - how about changing it to an open class attracting youth and consolidating classes like 470, fireball and 505s - with a women's division. It'd provide the step up to 49er but would be a significant class in its own right.

Away from the Olympic circuit, I've met as many guys, generally teens who are progressing out of the 29er but are too light to handle a fill 49er rig for a season or two, people trying double-wire skiff sailing for the first time, people who are just not big enough to sail 49er (it does happen). I've seen opti kids hop straight onto an FX with an experienced crew and be able to do alright, while there's no way I'd expect them to deal with the loads of a full rig.

 

It's anything but a girls only class.

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o, no, no! It never has and it never will. That is not how the game is played. OK, there may be the odd case in countries without a proper olympic squad, but in general, there is zero link, and there doesn't need to be. Look at how Team GBR got 2 gold and 2 silver medals between 1988 and 2012 (winning a medal in over half of the olympiads) in the Star class when there are none sailing in the UK. I the Finn, which Team GBR has dominated for the last 5 olympiads, there is nobody outside of the squad who can come anywhere close to squad members. I could go on, but it proves a point.

 

The gap between Team GBR squads and the rest is so huge that squad members only do UK events when it is mandated that they do. There really is little to no training benefit. Eve those struggling at international level are so far ahead of the local fleet. It's things you wouldn't realise if you hadn't experienced it - gaps on the start line are twice as big locally and it is so easy to hold your spot on the line when most cannot and even if you stuff up, there is always another gap somewhere, the competition for lanes is less intense You need to get over the idea that in a country with a proper squad system, local fleets are anything other than irrelevant.

 

Fx suffers from being defined as a girls only class. - how about changing it to an open class attracting youth and consolidating classes like 470, fireball and 505s - with a women's division. It'd provide the step up to 49er but would be a significant class in its own right.

 

 

I am not sure how you think it suffers, but there is no way it can be made an open class, for a multitude of reasons. Sailing is under enough pressure to ensure that there is gender equality in the number of competitors - the Nacra 17 really should be a female only class but was allowed to me mixed as a compromise. If you make the FX open, it will become a totally male dominated class, just like every other open class has been, simply because of strength issues.

 

The aimed for ideal would be to have 5 classes for each gender. There is a belief that having similar but gender specific equipment is easier for the public to understand, which is why we have the Laser and Laser Radial, 49er and 49er FX, RS:X male and female. The 470 is an odd one, but it is felt that both men and women can race the same boat. So we have 4 "pairs" out of 10 classes. This is just like we see in other sports where the events look the same but the equipment has subtle differences - for example shot put and javelin, the hurdles races and more.

 

There was a suggestion that we should have a pair of cats, but it left too many problems - the Finn is the only class somebody bigger than 85kgs can sail and without that, a great chunk of white, european ancestry males would be disenfranchised from the games. I addition, most current sailors uderstand that while to some the Finn might seem old fashioned, it is actually one of the best classes in the whole games, being the most technical while needing the most fitness. So, for now, the last 2 classes are bit out of sync with the end goal.

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"The gap between Team GBR squads and the rest is so huge that squad members only do UK events when it is mandated that they do"

 

I'm not sure Ben Saxton was mandated to sail in the 2015 Merlin Rocket Nationals, which he won. But generally I agree with your points.

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It seems to me that things would be improved by focusing on 5 events, rather than 5 classes. The distinction may be subtle, but it is important.

 

 

In effect, we only have one event fleet racing. Whether that is in cats, Lasers, skiffs or whatever, is largely irrelevant. Ainslie, Percy, Scheidt, Grael, Elvstrom etc have proven that it is possible to be successful in various Olympic classes, if the format is the same. Heck, Sir Ben now races a foiling catamaran to great effect, which is about as far removed from a Laser as you can get.

 

 

What would be better is 5 different events they could all be sailed in the same boat for all I care, though different designs may suit some events better than others. My 5 would be: fleet racing, match racing, team racing, elimination race (like in the cycling omnium where the last place rider/sailor drops out at the end of each lap until only the winner is left, and time trial (boat is timed for one lap and is free to choose when they will start within a 1000-1600 window, like F1 qualifying).

 

 

Each event would take no more than 2-3 days to complete and would be held consecutively, so a sailor could enter multiple events if picked by their country.

 

 

We need to get away from the belief that a Laser champion and a Finn champion are somehow different, or that racing a cat well is totally different to racing a heavy dinghy. The best sailors will win whatever the boat, and Olympic sailing need not be about giving a range of body shapes a crack at gold. There is no lightweight shotput event.

 

 

Peter Burling and Giles Scott should be racing each other at the Olympics, not being separated by a self-interested class system.

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Fx suffers from being defined as a girls only class. - how about changing it to an open class attracting youth and consolidating classes like 470, fireball and 505s - with a women's division. It'd provide the step up to 49er but would be a significant class in its own right.

Away from the Olympic circuit, I've met as many guys, generally teens who are progressing out of the 29er but are too light to handle a fill 49er rig for a season or two, people trying double-wire skiff sailing for the first time, people who are just not big enough to sail 49er (it does happen). I've seen opti kids hop straight onto an FX with an experienced crew and be able to do alright, while there's no way I'd expect them to deal with the loads of a full rig.

 

It's anything but a girls only class.

 

To follow on from this point, take a look at the CORK results, from an event that is happening right now. The 49er and 49erFX results can be found at:

http://cork.org/past-results/results2016/OCR/49ERS.html

Take a glance over the names, or find the photos (only the first 2 days at the moment) at http://sailingshot.com/2016/cork-ocr/skiffs

It should be reasonably clear that while there's a lot of women competing the FX class, there's plenty of young guys (and some not as young) who are racing the FX because it better suits them size-wise.

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"The gap between Team GBR squads and the rest is so huge that squad members only do UK events when it is mandated that they do"

 

I'm not sure Ben Saxton was mandated to sail in the 2015 Merlin Rocket Nationals, which he won. But generally I agree with your points.

Unless I missed the announcement about the 2020 olymic classes, the Merlin isn't a strong local olympic class! Back in the day, I remember Stevie Morrison (twice GBR 49er rep) getting a lot o stick from Sparky (olympic team manager) for doing the Fireball worlds, saying it was an irrelevant distraction. Even though Stevie won, Sparky still believed it was a distraction with no benefit. Times have changed a bit since then, I also remember hearing Ian Barker (2000 silver medalist 49er) saying the difference between an olympic class worlds and a 505 worlds (he was an ex 505 world champ) was that in the 505, at the beginning of the regatta, there were usually only 4-5 people who could be on the podium. In the 49ers, all the top 20 were capable of wining races and many of them were capable of getting a podium finish.

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^

 

You may have intended to originally write "UK events in Olympic classes" but you did not. My point stands.

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^

 

You may have intended to originally write "UK events in Olympic classes" but you did not. My point stands.

Fair cop. As I was talking in the context of strong local olympic class fleets, I thought it would be obvious. Lesson learned! :)

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Taking up a sport, particularly any skill based sport, beyond adolescence is very difficult.

 

 

Ed, powerful observation. Suggests the focus should be on retention of pre-adolescent sailors.

 

US High School sailing reports 6,400 members, yet (anecdotally) we have 10x as many pre-adolescents.

Surely the 90% that quits contains potential champions. The US used to be tops in sailing.

Something has changed over the past 20-30 years.

Success is a combination of factors, talent, family support, local competition, training and drive, ie passion.

 

With junior sailing's narrow focus on win/lose competition vs passion inspiring variety, could it be a disproportionate number of the those who quit are the one's who seek "fun" and at the same time are assertive enough that after a bad day on the water, they are able to convince their parents to let them change to a mainstream sport, or cheer-leading?

 

Double whammy, weed out youth with high passion and high assertiveness.

Sound like a formula for success?

 

 

With all due respect for today's US Olympic Sailors, they deserve admiration.

But getting there is a numbers game, having someone hot on your tail, having sufficient "cannon fodder" to fill the coffers is a huge concern.

 

Finally, why are so many US junior programs hyper focused on competition?

Remember we are talking about age 10-13, Opti and Sabot sailors.

 

 

Safety, variety and cost.

 

Safety

In today's litigious society, you rarely see kids sailing without a safety boat, unless the boats are inherently easy to self-rescue.

Opti's are slightly better than Sabots which generally require skilled outside help to right after capsize.

Kids seek freedom, empowerment, independence. Non-self-draining boats are too restrictive.

Variety

Using 70 year old designs restricts variety in every way: who, when, where, why and how.

No way your parents will be happy if you scratch your $4k "Winner" or "Corsair" on a beach.

No way you can go out if it's windy but you don't have a coach or parent in a motor boat.

For the Sabot aficionados, yes adults do sail and race them, a huge plus.

 

Cost

The ability to start with a cheap boat and move up has advantages, but enormous difference in performance of "segmented" one-designs such as the Sabot and Opti create an "Arms Race" mentality. This places a high emphasis on the winners who have the family expertise and financial resources to buy and maintain the best equipment, and does little to support the passionate kid who quit because her boat sucks, or is merely perceived to suck.

 

 

Solution, replace 70 year old designs with self-bailing, more versatile, simple one-designs.

For the "loudest voices in the room," this is blasphemy no doubt.

 

Just as in the early days of transition from wood to fiberglass, the old timers will complain these new boats have no personality.

Innovation is tough, but it is coming, and it is polyethylene, fun, more affordable and inclusive.

 

Like this:

post-35406-0-84202400-1471980816_thumb.jpg

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To follow on from this point, take a look at the CORK results, from an event that is happening right now. The 49er and 49erFX results can be found at:

 

 

 

 

http://cork.org/past-results/results2016/OCR/49ERS.html

Take a glance over the names, or find the photos (only the first 2 days at the moment) at http://sailingshot.com/2016/cork-ocr/skiffs

It should be reasonably clear that while there's a lot of women competing the FX class, there's plenty of young guys (and some not as young) who are racing the FX because it better suits them size-wise.

 

 

Wow, participation alone tells a story there. I went to CORK almost 20 years ago and there were in excess of 100 Lasers and Laser II with almost as many Radials and Bytes. They're getting nowhere near those numbers these days.

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To test this claim of Team_GBR, if the 49erFX crew from Australia was selected, then it follows that Australia would have had less chance of winning medals?

 

I missed this but as it came up in conversation at work today.....

 

It would not have had any effect on the chances of winning a medal this time around. That is not why you enforce your qualifying standards. The issue comes up next time around. Once you start to allow in those who don't make the standard, others believe they can get in without reaching the standard. All you need to ensure is that you are the top team in your country, which is very different from top team and a minimum standard. It is not a coincidence that the improvement in the Team GBR medals came about when certain standards were enforced, rather than a sudden death trials which had gone on for years.

 

It all came about from a proper study carried out to see "attributes" of a medal winner. While doing a statistical analysis and basing your selection on the answers provided does cut out those once in a while unexpected result, it has been shown to dramatically increase the medal count. It could be critisised as being too clinical, but the results speak for themselves.

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So you (Team_GBR) agree it has no impact for the current Olympics.

 

New Zealand (population 4.7 million) won more medals in 2016 than it ever has at a previous summer Olympics. The vast majority of the 18 medals were won in sports that did not have high selection standards as seen in sailing. Some of the medals were won by competitors who, if the sailing selection criteria were applied, would have not been sent.

 

Two of the three sailors that qualified, and who were not selected, coached sailors from other nations.

 

Those classes which qualified, and were not selected, may have suffered damage to their future chances of winning a medal. (In particular RSX. The RSX 'fleet', what's left of it, feel very negative about the Olympics.

 

All of those sailors trying to make the standard (except perhaps Burling and Tuke) had to display their best performances to the world - as they were required to be a peak performance prior to the Olympics. It is possible that as a result, some may have peaked too early and / or their mental preparedness suffered.

 

Since the introduction of high performance sailing, NZ has not won a medal in the Finn. Immediately prior to it's introduction, NZ won three medals.

 

The introduction of higher performance standards is controversial, it is not 'obvious' that performance is better. There are many factors when it comes to winning medals. The trend to only select those likely to win medals means that those 'less likely to win a medal - but do anyway - are becoming rarer.

 

Of concern, the fleets are no longer representative of the world's best - limited to one per country.

 

In the mean-time, world class sailors who meet the Olympic qualification criteria are being asked to sacrifice their Olympic dream for a controversial selection system.

 

Great Britain, although leaders in Olympic sailing, only won three medals. Seven other crews did not. No country is dominant at Olympic sailing.

 

It is possible there is a better way.

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So you (Team_GBR) agree it has no impact for the current Olympics.

 

New Zealand (population 4.7 million) won more medals in 2016 than it ever has at a previous summer Olympics. The vast majority of the 18 medals were won in sports that did not have high selection standards as seen in sailing. Some of the medals were won by competitors who, if the sailing selection criteria were applied, would have not been sent.

 

Two of the three sailors that qualified, and who were not selected, coached sailors from other nations.

 

Those classes which qualified, and were not selected, may have suffered damage to their future chances of winning a medal. (In particular RSX. The RSX 'fleet', what's left of it, feel very negative about the Olympics.

 

All of those sailors trying to make the standard (except perhaps Burling and Tuke) had to display their best performances to the world - as they were required to be a peak performance prior to the Olympics. It is possible that as a result, some may have peaked too early and / or their mental preparedness suffered.

 

Since the introduction of high performance sailing, NZ has not won a medal in the Finn. Immediately prior to it's introduction, NZ won three medals.

 

The introduction of higher performance standards is controversial, it is not 'obvious' that performance is better. There are many factors when it comes to winning medals. The trend to only select those likely to win medals means that those 'less likely to win a medal - but do anyway - are becoming rarer.

 

Of concern, the fleets are no longer representative of the world's best - limited to one per country.

 

In the mean-time, world class sailors who meet the Olympic qualification criteria are being asked to sacrifice their Olympic dream for a controversial selection system.

 

Great Britain, although leaders in Olympic sailing, only won three medals. Seven other crews did not. No country is dominant at Olympic sailing.

 

It is possible there is a better way.

I have thought about tgis a bit more and chatted with a couple of people and I take back what I said. The major impact would be felt going forward to the next olympics, but if it happened in Team GBR, it might have a negative effect on moral of the existing team. they worked their nuts off to reach the qualifying requirements and to let somebody go who didn't meet those requirements might be seen by some as a slap in the face. What the attitude might have been in Team NZ, I have no idea.

 

If moral is low in the RSX fleet, maybe it is because they know they aren't good enough to reach the NZ qualifying standard. I can tell you from personal experience that realising you aren't good enough is a very tough thing to come to terms with. It goes something like "f#%k, I just wasted 4 years of my life when I wasn't good enough in the first place" after which you are pretty demoralised for a while.

 

You are also mistaken in as far as there is no olympic qualifying standard. It is not a standard. It is a way they allocate places. that is very different. In athletics, there is a standard, either a time or a distance, that athletes need to achieve to go to the games. they make exceptions for emerging countries if the full quota of athletes don't qualify, which is why we get a few competitors who are a long way behind the rest. As said, there is no such standard set for sailing and, most importantly, the places are handed out to countries, not individuals. This is explicit, as is the right of a country not to take up that place.

 

I also learned that ISAF actually like places that aren't taken up, because this means they can invite a country lower down the order. This increases the likelihood of having more countries involved, and one of the IOC criteria is the number of countries participating.

 

As for there being a better way, I am not sure what you are on about there. Team GBR sent a full squad, all of who met the criteria set for selection. Since they brought in the current system for 2000, Team GBR have always had sailors in every class meet the selection criteria. In that time, they have been top sailing nation 4 out of 5 times. Even though they topped the table, this has been their worst performance, but that is as much due to others having played catch up as anything else. Even the USA has stepped up its support and it showed with a better overall performance by their squad.

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Both RSX sailors qualified NZ. There were plenty of countries who's sailors weren't as good, who sent their sailors to Rio. Your comments about the quality of the NZ sailors no sent, fails to acknowledge the importance of having a high quality fleet. This new type of selection system is bad for the sport. Morale is lower because qualified sailors were not sent.

 

You are also mistaken in as far as there is no olympic qualifying standard. It is not a standard. It is a way they allocate places. that is very different. In athletics, there is a standard, either a time or a distance, that athletes need to achieve to go to the games. they make exceptions for emerging countries if the full quota of athletes don't qualify, which is why we get a few competitors who are a long way behind the rest. As said, there is no such standard set for sailing and, most importantly, the places are handed out to countries, not individuals. This is explicit, as is the right of a country not to take up that place.

 

You misunderstood me. There is a qualifying standard set to qualify a country a spot. This is based on performances.

 

What I am saying is that other sports don't have the same system as sailing does in NZ. There are medal winning competitors who, if the sailing standard was applied, would not have attended and would have been denied the medal they won.

 

I agree that it is the "right" of the country to not take up that place.

 

My hope is that the rights of the athlete, having won the country the right to compete, is not overlooked. It would appear that under the current system that the sailors concerned have no rights.

 

There were several world class sailors (who qualified their countries) missing at the Rio Olympics because they were denied attendance by their national sailing authorities. This is not because they were not good enough - this was because the standards set by the countries was too high.

 

Here's an article published earlier this year that goes into many of the issues:

http://49er.org/blog/2016/05/31/12th-and-14th-placed-finishers-from-world-championship-denied-olympic-berths/

 

This is not a new issue, and will be repeated for 2020 unless things change.

 

 

As for there being a better way, I am not sure what you are on about there. Team GBR sent a full squad, all of who met the criteria set for selection. Since they brought in the current system for 2000, Team GBR have always had sailors in every class meet the selection criteria. In that time, they have been top sailing nation 4 out of 5 times. Even though they topped the table, this has been their worst performance, but that is as much due to others having played catch up as anything else. Even the USA has stepped up its support and it showed with a better overall performance by their squad.

 

This is not just about GBR.

 

???? If the current system is perfect, there is no better way. Come on Team_GBR, what I mean by a better way is to make improvements to the current system - the national selection systems are not good for the sport. Do you think the current system is perfect???? Are good for the sport??

Previously I've made two suggestions. Firstly, countries are required to take all qualified spots, or none.

Alternately a medal for best country, based on top 10 positions? (Ten pts for first, nine for second etc) where countries will be more inclined to send more complete teams.

 

Finally, I'm not sure that the US was satisfied with it's performance (to win one bronze) though it's nice you recognize their improvement.

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And then there is the Olympic Charter:

"6.1. The Olympics are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries".

This is why the IOC does not have any kind of rating system for the values of the various medals - such as Gold 3, Silver 2 and Bronze 1.

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And then there is the Olympic Charter:

"6.1. The Olympics are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries".

This is why the IOC does not have any kind of rating system for the values of the various medals - such as Gold 3, Silver 2 and Bronze 1.

The problem there with sailing is that you have to limit the number of entries to one per country per class. If you don't, I can guarantee that very quickly you will have team racing happening based on nationalities. Not cool.

Or you could just scrap sailing totally, and swap it to a massive team-racing event, if you reduced the number of medals (probably not popular) you could significantly boost fleet sizes. But nothing that radical is likely to happen any time soon.

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And then there is the Olympic Charter:

"6.1. The Olympics are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries".

This is why the IOC does not have any kind of rating system for the values of the various medals - such as Gold 3, Silver 2 and Bronze 1.

Good one Bill4! Country medal counts are contrary to the lympix charter......can't wait to see the lords of the rings enforce that one....of course they have the power to do it, but they get pretty selective about what they choose act on!

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Reclaiming her mojo - how Annelise Murphy got back from non-medal contender to Silver in Laser Radial in Rio WITH the help of her country MNA who still believed in her;

 

http://afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/item/33435-annalise-murphy-gives-ireland-s-olympics-the-silver-sheen

 

The irony here is her coach was a non-supported New Zealander ...

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