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Which Class will replace the offshore double hander in Olympics


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1 hour ago, Couta said:

WS doesn't represents sailors at all...(the exception may be for a very small group of elites in olympic pathway classes) it manages the sport for the benefit of administrators and sponsors (in this case the IOC).

WS made a blatant "grab" for kites & boards that resulted in court action as the representative authorities for these sports rightly claimed that the only reason WS was interested was because of IOC....and as far as offshore racing is concerned, WS is a complete irrelevancy.

Sailing IS a broad activity....but the Lympics is not. The dumping of the Finn saw the last option for powerful athleticism to be represented in our sport. The selection criteria now provides opportunities for athletes under 80kg....who have significant funding (equipment & coaching don't come cheap!). Skinny, rich kids? So much for "Fair, Responsible & Non-discriminatory"! 

I agree with most of the sentiments made, but Finn - the last option for powerful athleticism? Have you seen a 49er, or 470, or nacra, or laser race ever?

I don't understand this obsession with the Finn itt. Is this board populated exclusively by former Star crews who made an oath to never lose weight? Olympic sailing is, currently, the most athletic its been ever.

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Get sailing out of the olympics and nobody will notice.

Get sailing out of the Olympics and sailing will improve.

Diversification is the key. I recommend a 3 person Keel boat with a crew that reflects the ethnic religious and sexual diversity of our modern society. Each of the three crew must be from a different

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I have always been attracted and intrigued by the historic personalities of the Olympic Yachting rather than the classes themselves.The charismatic skippers of the past such as Gold Medalist Bill Northam or the first Australian of the Year Jock Sturrock  make for me fascinating reading with their lives inside and outside of the Olympic arena.The cost of campaigning Keelboats have never been cheap and then normally required the leader or skipper of the team to be a well heeled businessman,patron or entrepreneur.Government money,grant or meaningful support from relevant  western governments are a relatively recent trend.Probably the most interesting Olympian ever for mine is Thailand’s Prince Bira who sailed in 4 Olympics his first in 1956 in Melbourne.He won the New Zealand Grand Prix in 1955.His fascinating life encompassed racism,real wealth,private planes and the highs and lows of the Grand Prix circuit.He is often rated in the top 100 Grand Prix Drivers of All Time.It should be about the people and personalities not just the boats.

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42 minutes ago, crashtack said:

I agree with most of the sentiments made, but Finn - the last option for powerful athleticism? Have you seen a 49er, or 470, or nacra, or laser race ever?

I don't understand this obsession with the Finn itt. Is this board populated exclusively by former Star crews who made an oath to never lose weight? Olympic sailing is, currently, the most athletic its been ever.

80kgs is the upper competitive weight limit for every one of these classes...and now every other lympic class. And yes...I've sailed all of these classes (not a nacra) competitively....and your statement about the Finn shows incredible ignorance. My statement highlighted that the only olympic class that accommodates 80+kg athletes and which embodies power, strength, endurance, tactics and skill is the Finn....which is why it has been the longest serving sailing event in the Lympix. And for the record I've chased lympic glory myself..in 470, Soling and FD...and I now own a Finn.

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39 minutes ago, Couta said:

80kgs is the upper competitive weight limit for every one of these classes...and now every other lympic class.

Even if 80kg is the "upper competitive weight", which is a brash overstatement, that weight is perfectly achievable unless you're taller than 6'4" or something.

BA won gold in both lasers and finns - sounds like you just need to go on a diet.

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3 hours ago, Couta said:

80kgs is the upper competitive weight limit for every one of these classes...and now every other lympic class. And yes...I've sailed all of these classes (not a nacra) competitively....and your statement about the Finn shows incredible ignorance. My statement highlighted that the only olympic class that accommodates 80+kg athletes and which embodies power, strength, endurance, tactics and skill is the Finn....which is why it has been the longest serving sailing event in the Lympix. And for the record I've chased lympic glory myself..in 470, Soling and FD...and I now own a Finn.

I'm not sure the exact figures could even be calculated, but males 80kg+ probably represent 75% of the purchasing power of sailing. There should be a class for big fit guys, the keelboat was the only option left.

 

just out of interest, looking at 20 years ago Sydney:

11 medals, let's say you had a full team

females - mistral,europe,470 - 4 sailors

males - mistral, finn, 470 - 4 sailors

"mixed"

laser,tornado,49er,star,soling - 10 sailors.

Calling them "mixed" is clearly a joke, they would all be male. so a full squad of sailors is 18, and less than a 1/4 are female. The mix was 307/95 men:women

 

going to Rio '16

10 medals, 

females -RSx,radial,470,49erFx - 6 sailors

males - RSX, finn,laser 470, 49er - 7 sailors

mixed

nacra - 2 sailors.

so you're squad is now 15, and it's a 8/7 split male/female , and the mix was 217/163 male/female

This is the same format for 2020, and in my mind world sailing has done more than enough to make it gender reflective, females are vastly overly represented at the olympics vs the sailing public. I don't see how boards = 2 medals and keelboats = 0, is a ever going to be a good thing.

 

 

 

 

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Because of the nature of small boat sailing, when you elimate or replace one class with another, it is much more analogous to eliminating a whole event or even a sport, in other olympic categories. "Sumo? Get rid of it." Thats badlsically all they did.

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5 hours ago, crashtack said:

Even if 80kg is the "upper competitive weight", which is a brash overstatement, that weight is perfectly achievable unless you're taller than 6'4" or something.

BA won gold in both lasers and finns - sounds like you just need to go on a diet.

Why the hangup on weight in Finns?  Many Gold Cup & national champs are in the 185-195 range.   You know how to trim the mast/sail, do Xfit - you win .   
 

Charlie Buckingham (USA Laser Olympic rep) won US Finn West Coast champs quite handily last Fall.  The conditiions were typical Dago - light to moderate.  Big brahs were off the pace.

I’m going in at 195-200 this year.  Old boat, dacron sails.   Plenty of fun.   Gain weight?   Pfft…

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34 minutes ago, blunderfull said:

Why the hangup on weight in Finns?  Many Gold Cup & national champs are in the 185-195 range.   You know how to trim the mast/sail, do Xfit - you win .   
 

Charlie Buckingham (USA Laser Olympic rep) won US Finn West Coast champs quite handily last Fall.  The conditiions were typical Dago - light to moderate.  Big brahs were off the pace.

I’m going in at 195-200 this year.  Old boat, dacron sails.   Plenty of fun.   Gain weight?   Pfft…

Two things I didnt realize in myv20s:

1. That I woulf end up growing to perfect Star/finn wht of 109kag

2. That both would be removed from the Olympics by the time I would be ready!

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8 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Two things I didnt realize in myv20s:

1. That I woulf end up growing to perfect Star/finn wht of 109kag

2. That both would be removed from the Olympics by the time I would be ready!

Keep your Laser chops & weight up , wait for a big breezy day and pound the fleet all day long.  Back at the club - you da Man.   Till next time….

Stars are quite the class.   Stick with it.   Learn lots, travel to big regattas.  Cool stuff, smart people - best of both worlds.

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What about the RS 21? Easy to sail with 3, good all round boat. Goes well up wind and planes earlier than a 70 or 80. Half the price of a J-70 and trailer sails just like it.

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16 hours ago, shebeen said:

This is the same format for 2020, and in my mind world sailing has done more than enough to make it gender reflective, females are vastly overly represented at the olympics vs the sailing public. I don't see how boards = 2 medals and keelboats = 0, is a ever going to be a good thing.

 

 

 

 

There is little point in debating the right balance between men and women at the sailing Olympics because the reality for the purpose of this discussion is that train has already left the station. The IOC has decided unequivocally that the Olympic Games will stand for gender equality.      They decided that they would reach gender equality by 2024 many years ago. It is so woven into the fabric of the Olympics, that it has become part of the Olympic charter . Gender equality is a goal that the IOC have determined that the Olympics stands for : https://olympics.com/ioc/gender-equality . Gender Equality is as important to the IOC as democracy is to the rest of us. It is pointless for sailing to try and change people's mind about this . 

So, you can argue for a heavyweight mens discipline but only at the expense of a mens discipline not at the expense of a womens discipline. It is just a waste of effort.  The IOC stands for gender equality in the same way as they stand for accessibility to athletes from all nations.

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7 hours ago, Treads said:

What about the RS 21? Easy to sail with 3, good all round boat. Goes well up wind and planes earlier than a 70 or 80. Half the price of a J-70 and trailer sails just like it.

Yes earlier in the thread we talked a lot about including a modern mixed gender keelboat. I loved the idea. Gender neutral. Can include heavy guy to compensate for a light woman. Keel boats are such a big part of the sport and there is so many talented athletes . Various people proposed the RS21, the VX One and the Viper 640.   The Bermuda MNA submitted a proposal to the WS board. It was rejected , for fairly reasonable grounds.

The choice now is down to three alternatives.

m/W kites

M/W 470

Team Racing in Lasers.

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20 hours ago, Couta said:

80kgs is the upper competitive weight limit for every one of these classes...and now every other lympic class. And yes...I've sailed all of these classes (not a nacra) competitively....and your statement about the Finn shows incredible ignorance. My statement highlighted that the only olympic class that accommodates 80+kg athletes and which embodies power, strength, endurance, tactics and skill is the Finn....which is why it has been the longest serving sailing event in the Lympix. And for the record I've chased lympic glory myself..in 470, Soling and FD...and I now own a Finn.

The Finn had a glorious run. Its over!  Celebrate rather than mourn.

Paul Elvström sailing his Finn

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23 hours ago, Couta said:

And yes...I've sailed all of these classes (not a nacra) competitively......And for the record I've chased lympic glory myself..in 470, Soling and FD...and I now own a Finn.

I reckon that's impressive!  Sounds like a (sailing) life well spent.

 

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3 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

The IOC stands for gender equality in the same way as they stand for accessibility to athletes from all nations.

That's hilarious....! 

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Sorry if I missed some posts here, but apparently one reason (the biggest?) for bringing in mixed offshore in, was the huge success of the virtual Vendee and VOR. ESports is becomming more important and will be a demonstration event already in Tokyo and I suppose there could be media benefits by also having the real thing in the games

But if offshore is not an option, I think it would make sense to have separate events for women and men in kiting. The relay was always a compromise. Not a huge fan of kite racing, freestyle is more popular globally, but too late to change now

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7 hours ago, Couta said:

That's hilarious....! 

Hilarious but true.  Its all over their website. Gender equality by 2024.  The IOC sees its mission as encourage women to participate in the highest levels of sport. 

In Atlanta Olympics only 30% of competitors were women. In Tokyo it will be 48%. In Paris it will be 50%.    This is an IOC goal and Sailing has to go along with this.   The merits of the IOC policy can be debated elsewhere.

The offshore keel boat was mixed, crewed by 1 man and 1 woman. It would have been fun.....but IOC has rejected that.

 

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8 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

Hilarious but true.  Its all over their website. Gender equality by 2024.  The IOC sees its mission as encourage women to participate in the highest levels of sport. 

In Atlanta Olympics only 30% of competitors were women. In Tokyo it will be 48%. In Paris it will be 50%.    This is an IOC goal and Sailing has to go along with this.   The merits of the IOC policy can be debated elsewhere.

The offshore keel boat was mixed, crewed by 1 man and 1 woman. It would have been fun.....but IOC has rejected that.

The next meeting is to assess two options put forward AND a revised plan for the mixed keel boat.
 

"World Sailing have now been informed by the IOC that the proposal has continued to be reviewed, consistent with the approach taken for other sports, and challenges for the Mixed Offshore Event exist in the areas of:

  • Field of Play security, scope and complexity, broadcast cost and complexity and World Sailing not having the opportunity to deliver an Offshore World Championship

The IOC will continue their assessment of the Mixed Offshore Event to address these points, however they have requested that World Sailing propose alternative event(s) for sailing's 10th medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games."


https://www.sail-world.com/news/237247/2024-Olympic-Mixed-Keelboat-update

That being said, I think the most likely outcome will be the mens/womens Kite option.

---

There needs to be a rethink of how our sport organises the Olympics. Again, the Finn easily checks the boxes. What the response should be is a heavyweight women's category, but there is no time, no class established, and no way that this is an option.

Women's sailing in dire need to improvement - sailing is still a sport where participation is dominated by men.

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19 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

Women's sailing in dire need to improvement - sailing is still a sport where participation is dominated by men.

It always has been.The first ever Woman’s only Sailing Medal event was only introduced in 1988 so playing catch up from there.Major  inroads and progress have been made since then.Sailing Olympic Medals and events are now heavily in favour of Woman’s sailors as a percentage of overall gender participation.Not saying that is a bad thing.Longterm female retention rates are quite obviously influenced by external factors such as motherhood,decision to be a stay at home mom and career directions.

Lets not forget the great Paul Elvstrom and his daughter successfully campaigning their Tornado in a male dominated fleet.For me that was a defining moment.

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3 hours ago, Rotnest Express said:

It always has been.The first ever Woman’s only Sailing Medal event was only introduced in 1988 so playing catch up from there.Major  inroads and progress have been made since then.Sailing Olympic Medals and events are now heavily in favour of Woman’s sailors as a percentage of overall gender participation.Not saying that is a bad thing.Longterm female retention rates are quite obviously influenced by external factors such as motherhood,decision to be a stay at home mom and career directions.

Lets not forget the great Paul Elvstrom and his daughter successfully campaigning their Tornado in a male dominated fleet.For me that was a defining moment.

Hmmmm Male retention rates in the sport are also influenced by fatherhood (taking Giles to soccer on Saturdays), decision to accept the promotion and career directions

Men and women who like to sail will find a way.

Paul Elvstrom and Trine were pathfinders

The Finn is not coming back.

Gender equality is mandated.

4 hours ago, Bruce Hudson said:

The next meeting is to assess two options put forward AND a revised plan for the mixed keel boat.

There are 3 options being considered:

1. M/W 470

2. Team racing in Laser Radials

3. M/W kiteboarding.

The offshore feel boat can be discussed again, but IOC has sent a very strong message that it is unlikely to be chosen

We agree that kites is most likely for all the arguments advanced earlier in the thread. But WS is unpredictable.

For those who recall. In 2011, ISAF proposed introducing Kite sailing at 2016 Olympics. At first it looked like the Star was going but the Stars organized a vigorous opposition. At the May 2012 ISAF meeting the kite was selected and the windsurfer eliminated. The decision was taken and voted on.   The windsurfers mounted a counterattack and had a revote at council in November 2012. The kite was reaffirmedd but a few days later the general assembly overturned that vote. Its was ISAF politics and disorganization at its worst. A decade later it finally looks like kites are going to be in the Olympics.

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21 hours ago, Couta said:
On 5/6/2021 at 11:10 AM, EYESAILOR said:

The IOC stands for gender equality in the same way as they stand for accessibility to athletes from all nations.

That's hilarious....! 

You conveniently missed the comparison....to suggest that the IOC stands for accessibility from all nations....Nobody believes that propaganda. The Lympix was never about accessibility and competition on a level playing field...and to suggest that it's the case in Sailing (of all sports!!)...well, that is just ludicrous. 

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5 hours ago, Rotnest Express said:

Lets not forget the great Paul Elvstrom and his daughter successfully campaigning their Tornado in a male dominated fleet.For me that was a defining moment.

Me too, 4th in the 1984 Olympics, 3rd in the 1985 worlds (Tornado). Not just because Trine was female in her early 20s, but also because Paul was in his late 50s.

This fascination with youth the IOC is pushing is ageist, and would seem to collide with the older average age the sport of sailing has.

While sailing is in the Olympics, and despite some people saying that the Finn will "never" return to the Olympics, there will be those who continue to view the Finn as the most suitable classes for the Olympics, and therefore push for its return. Kind of like what happened with the Star, though I expect the push will be a lot harder.

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What I would like to know is how 2-handed offshore got approved as an event only for 2 years later, the committee to say "oh actually, that's going to be a problem." How does that happen?

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1 hour ago, crashtack said:

What I would like to know is how 2-handed offshore got approved as an event only for 2 years later, the committee to say "oh actually, that's going to be a problem." How does that happen?

A failure to plan properly to prevent piss poor performance.

It was complicated, Covid in my view was a minor factor, the failure to plan and many people's different visions was a factor.

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8 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

There are 3 options being considered:

1. M/W 470

2. Team racing in Laser Radials

3. M/W kiteboarding.

Of all these options, I think that the M/W 470 is the best as unlike many other sports truly mixed team make sense (try to mix men and women on a rugby field!) and having a man and a woman on the same boat projects a positive image of sailing as a sport truly open to everybody. Plus the 470 was designed for mixed crew and responsibilities onboard will be shared evenly (woman driving, man doing tactics).

A relay or a team race with boats/kite helmed by different genders is completely missing the point IMHO plus the already hard to understand rules become even more obscure when you do team racing!

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3 hours ago, crashtack said:

What I would like to know is how 2-handed offshore got approved as an event only for 2 years later, the committee to say "oh actually, that's going to be a problem." How does that happen?

It's because the rarefied World Sailing grand Pubars thought that the omnipotent ability to make decision over their subjects transfered to the IOC as well...

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On 5/6/2021 at 3:10 AM, EYESAILOR said:

There is little point in debating the right balance between men and women at the sailing Olympics because the reality for the purpose of this discussion is that train has already left the station. The IOC has decided unequivocally that the Olympic Games will stand for gender equality.      They decided that they would reach gender equality by 2024 many years ago. It is so woven into the fabric of the Olympics, that it has become part of the Olympic charter . Gender equality is a goal that the IOC have determined that the Olympics stands for : https://olympics.com/ioc/gender-equality . Gender Equality is as important to the IOC as democracy is to the rest of us. It is pointless for sailing to try and change people's mind about this . 

So, you can argue for a heavyweight mens discipline but only at the expense of a mens discipline not at the expense of a womens discipline. It is just a waste of effort.  The IOC stands for gender equality in the same way as they stand for accessibility to athletes from all nations.

The IOC link doesn't really say much, does gender equality mean equal opportunity or strict 50:50 athlete quotas?

If it's the latter then rythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming will surely be in hot water with the IOC. Obviously it's not, and I don't think it's cast in stone that it needs to be 5/5 male/female or 4/4/2 male female/mixed, that's a WS decision.

 

just out of interest, I go to something that seems so unolympic to me.

Shooting. 

15 medals.

looks like they have split their entries 50:50 at 180:180

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_at_the_2020_Summer_Olympics#Medal_summary

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, shebeen said:

The IOC doesn't really say much, does gender equality mean equal opportunity or strict 50:50 athlete quotas?

If it's the latter then rythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming will surely be in hot water with the IOC. Obviously it's not, and I don't think it's cast in stone that it needs to be 5/5 male/female or 4/4/2 male female/mixed, that's a WS decision.

In this case, gender equality for Olympic classes is driven by the IOC, and enthusiastically promoted by WS.

"Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the Olympic Movement, commits everyone in the Olympic family to gender balance; and the IOC Gender Equality Review Project is a tangible outcome of this commitment."

Thomas Bach (IOC President, Olympic Champion, HeForShe Champion)

https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document Library/OlympicOrg/News/2018/03/IOC-Gender-Equality-Report-March-2018.pdf

 

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Genuine question. All the people going on about no class for bigger sailors. Why couldn't they do the Offshore Keelboat? 

Bigger sailors have always been useful in two handed sailing, or is it just that they want a dinghy? 

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20 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

Gender equality is mandated. There are 3 options being considered:

1. M/W 470

2. Team racing in Laser Radials

3. M/W kite

I actually wouldn't mind the idea of teams racing in say Elliott 6s. Make the rule "at least one of each gender per boat" and let the physics sort it out.

Teams racing is quite appealing to watch, and could be presented well on TV, and has a built in audience of participants from school kids to match racers, opti sailors, I think even BICs have embraced it.

And the provision of hardware is not too onerous 

 

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5 hours ago, Potter said:

Genuine question. All the people going on about no class for bigger sailors. Why couldn't they do the Offshore Keelboat? 

The perception by those into international one-design dinghy racing is that offshore keelboat sailing is a similar but a separate branch of the sport of sailing. There are some that do both, but the crossover is surprisingly small in my view.

Because Finn sailing is in the tradition of Elvstrom, Ainslie etc.

Because Finn sailing is more physically challenging.

5 hours ago, Potter said:

Bigger sailors have always been useful in two handed sailing, or is it just that they want a dinghy? 

Neither. There are a number who simply want the Finn - because of the tradition, because of the physical challenges, because the racing is close, because it is established... 

...and because there are a growing number who do not want to use the Olympics to test (or create) new classes, but be a test of classes which already exist.

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8 hours ago, Bruce Hudson said:

In this case, gender equality for Olympic classes is driven by the IOC, and enthusiastically promoted by WS.

"Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the Olympic Movement, commits everyone in the Olympic family to gender balance; and the IOC Gender Equality Review Project is a tangible outcome of this commitment."

Thomas Bach (IOC President, Olympic Champion, HeForShe Champion)

https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document Library/OlympicOrg/News/2018/03/IOC-Gender-Equality-Report-March-2018.pdf

 

Yes. Spot on Bruce.

The IOC determined that the Olympics will be gender balanced (equal or neutral whatever language you want to choose). They have stated in various places that this is part of the principles of the Olympic Movement.   To quote the IOC President:

"The IOC has an important responsibility to take action when it comes to gender equality – a basic human right of profound importance and a Fundamental Principle of the Olympic Charter"

If WS wants to maintain the sport of sailing as a premier Olympic sport then we (sailors) need to understand what matters to the Olympic movement.  Gender equality really matters to them....a lot.  So presenting a line up that is not gender equal will simply mean an event will be kicked out to make it gender equal.

Another thing that matters to them is diversity of participation. The more countries, especially developing countries that participate in a sport, the more they like it. It is after all meant to be a gathering of sports people from around the world and the number of countries participating has grown significantly in the last 2 decades. Some sports do poorly at this and see their events reduced.  The kite proposal is strongest in this regard, not only because it has medal prospects from countries that do not do well in other Olympic disciplines  but also because it frees up a lot more slots (as many as 35) for the Laser class which means a lot more countries.    

Remember I come from a starting point that I really liked the mixed keelboat offshore race.  I see that as sailing's equivalent of the Marathon to Athletics.   But if the keelboat is dropped, I think kites are the more likely option.....but WS has made strange decisions before.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bruce Hudson said:

The perception by those into international one-design dinghy racing is that offshore keelboat sailing is a similar but a separate branch of the sport of sailing. There are some that do both, but the crossover is surprisingly small in my view.

Because Finn sailing is in the tradition of Elvstrom, Ainslie etc.

Because Finn sailing is more physically challenging.

Neither. There are a number who simply want the Finn - because of the tradition, because of the physical challenges, because the racing is close, because it is established... 

...and because there are a growing number who do not want to use the Olympics to test (or create) new classes, but be a test of classes which already exist.

I believe Elvstrom favored replacing the Finn with the Contender as an Olympic Class.  The Finn is technical but he thought something faster and more modern (in the 1970s) should be considered.

Crossover between offshore and Olympians:

Ian Walker 2 x silver medalist and winner of the Volvo RTW

Peter Burling Gold medalist and RTW 3rd place

Torben Grael ....5 Olympic medals!!!! and 2 RTW races , including skipper of winning boat.

I agree its a separate category of the sport.  I think there should be at least one keelboat class in the Olympics.....but I truly think it is toast and IOC doesnt want to go for it. No harm in one last presentation. I see they are reducing the course area as part of the new proposal.

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2 hours ago, LCS Carbon said:

I actually wouldn't mind the idea of teams racing in say Elliott 6s. Make the rule "at least one of each gender per boat" and let the physics sort it out.

Teams racing is quite appealing to watch, and could be presented well on TV, and has a built in audience of participants from school kids to match racers, opti sailors, I think even BICs have embraced it.

And the provision of hardware is not too onerous 

 

They only have 30-40 athlete slots for the 10th event.  The Elliot is sailed by three . Each team with 2 boats = 6 per team.  This would result in 6 teams at most. It will never fly with IOC.  Nor should it.

Team sailing is hampered by the number of athlete slots it absorbs. 

Team racing is the best!

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Diversification is the key. I recommend a 3 person Keel boat with a crew that reflects the ethnic religious and sexual diversity of our modern society. Each of the three crew must be from a different ethnic background with one being from the countries first nations people. One must be male, one female and one fluid - but the gender fluid crew can not choose to be male two competition days in a row. At least one must be a of the Islamic faith, one must be either vision or hearing impaired, one must be recovering from PTDS and two of the three must be vegan. Note a crew can choose to 'identify' as any of these groups except for middle aged Caucasian males who are stickily excluded.

 

The Olympic dream should be accessible to anyone. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, LB 15 said:

Diversification is the key. I recommend a 3 person Keel boat with a crew that reflects the ethnic religious and sexual diversity of our modern society. Each of the three crew must be from a different ethnic background with one being from the countries first nations people. One must be male, one female and one fluid - but the gender fluid crew can not choose to be male two competition days in a row. At least one must be a of the Islamic faith, one must be either vision or hearing impaired, one must be recovering from PTDS and two of the three must be vegan. Note a crew can choose to 'identify' as any of these groups except for middle aged Caucasian males who are stickily excluded.

 

The Olympic dream should be accessible to anyone. 

 

 

Hey LB you certainly are an ideas man.I think you could certainly take the whole Yachting and broader Communities with you on this.Unfortunately being a middle aged white Caucasian male my personal Olympic dream is now shattered but happy to sacrifice that for the greater good.

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54 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

If WS wants to maintain the sport of sailing as a premier Olympic sport then we (sailors) need to understand what matters to the Olympic movement.  Gender equality really matters to them....a lot.  So presenting a line up that is not gender equal will simply mean an event will be kicked out to make it gender equal.

Cancelling the Finn was the solution that WS pursued, and was not the only solution available.

The solutions that WS must apply are in my view 'sticking plaster' solutions. When you look at the International Classes - particularly those that have had a World Championship - there is a considerable gender bias. There are not many classes to draw a women's event from to make into an Olympic class.

The bottom line is that our sport of sailing has done a poor job of developing women's sailing.

It is not a contrary position to support gender equality at the Olympics AND the inclusion of the Finn.

I for one would support greater initiatives to develop greater participation of women.

In my view, countries like New Zealand (my own country) who for the last few Olympics have had Radial sailors qualify, then not send them to the Olympics, which in my view hurts local development of women's sailing. There might be a case of sanctioning New Zealand if they (we) choose to continue such a practice.

World Sailing and class associations in my view needs to develop women's sailing. So far, ILCA and the Laser Radial is the only class I can see that has full representation in sailing - representation in grass roots, provincial, national, regional, world and Olympic racing. There may be other classes - the 470 for example - but overall women's sailing is in a poor condition.

There could be the development of a Finn FX, or a Finn Radial as others have suggested previously. In my view would be an excellent way to have a class for 80 kg plus women sailors - and perhaps balance the testosterone with estrogen at events like the Finn Gold Cup. (...and the more I think about a Women's Finn Gold Cup, the more I like it).

The gender issue remains serious at many levels of our sport.

None of this will be in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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1 hour ago, EYESAILOR said:

Crossover between offshore and Olympians:

Ian Walker 2 x silver medalist and winner of the Volvo RTW

Peter Burling Gold medalist and RTW 3rd place

Torben Grael ....5 Olympic medals!!!! and 2 RTW races , including skipper of winning boat.

I agree its a separate category of the sport.  I think there should be at least one keelboat class in the Olympics.....but I truly think it is toast and IOC doesnt want to go for it. No harm in one last presentation. I see they are reducing the course area as part of the new proposal.

Yes, there is some crossover, though in my view it is surprisingly small. It is sometimes driven by cash offers to Olympians, who view it as a job that helps fund their small boat racing.

The attitude exists, and is summed up by multi Olympic Medal winning Jo Aleh, in my view one of the best sailors to have ever come from New Zealand (male or female). Here's what Aleh said as a teenager, having just won the Tanner Cup in the P-Class, one of the most prestigious junior sailing events in NZ:

Quote

And with the Tanner Cup already in her possession, Aleh said she was aiming for higher honours in the sport.

"I hope to race in the Olympics in the Europe class," she said.

But at this stage she has no desire to compete in the round-the-world race or the America's Cup.

"I like the little boats. Those other ones are a bit too big," she said.

Jo Aleh took over the Chair of World Sailing's Athletes' Commission in November 2020.

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8 hours ago, LB 15 said:

Diversification is the key. I recommend a 3 person Keel boat with a crew that reflects the ethnic religious and sexual diversity of our modern society. Each of the three crew must be from a different ethnic background with one being from the countries first nations people. One must be male, one female and one fluid - but the gender fluid crew can not choose to be male two competition days in a row. At least one must be a of the Islamic faith, one must be either vision or hearing impaired, one must be recovering from PTDS and two of the three must be vegan. Note a crew can choose to 'identify' as any of these groups except for middle aged Caucasian males who are stickily excluded.

 

The Olympic dream should be accessible to anyone. 

 

 

That is SOOOO speciest! We cannot have true equality until we acknowledge the contribution of those that we have relied upon in our relentless march to hegemony! Yes...we have indeed evolved from the ancient oceanic primordial soup...and on that basis alone, swimming...and its natural progression...sailing.... has established its antecedent priority as a lypmix contest...but until we have at least representation from the invertebrates, we can hardly begin to consider the lympix an 'accessible' event.....this oversight is extraordinary, particularly given the demonstrative lack of spine evident within the administrative body!

 

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11 hours ago, LB 15 said:

Diversification is the key. I recommend a 3 person Keel boat with a crew that reflects the ethnic religious and sexual diversity of our modern society. Each of the three crew must be from a different ethnic background with one being from the countries first nations people. One must be male, one female and one fluid - but the gender fluid crew can not choose to be male two competition days in a row. At least one must be a of the Islamic faith, one must be either vision or hearing impaired, one must be recovering from PTDS and two of the three must be vegan. Note a crew can choose to 'identify' as any of these groups except for middle aged Caucasian males who are stickily excluded.

 

The Olympic dream should be accessible to anyone. 

 

 

LB would be a shoe in for the IOC, he should submit his resume immediately.

The essential quality is to be able to state these objectives publicly and then in a dark smoky back room sit down with the world's largest media companies and find out what sells.

I jest because although any political body will have a degree of hypocrisy, I do believe the IOC is genuine in their passion for promoting sport to women.

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11 hours ago, Bruce Hudson said:

Cancelling the Finn was the solution that WS pursued, and was not the only solution available.

The solutions that WS must apply are in my view 'sticking plaster' solutions. When you look at the International Classes - particularly those that have had a World Championship - there is a considerable gender bias. There are not many classes to draw a women's event from to make into an Olympic class.

The bottom line is that our sport of sailing has done a poor job of developing women's sailing.

It is not a contrary position to support gender equality at the Olympics AND the inclusion of the Finn.

I for one would support greater initiatives to develop greater participation of women.

In my view, countries like New Zealand (my own country) who for the last few Olympics have had Radial sailors qualify, then not send them to the Olympics, which in my view hurts local development of women's sailing. There might be a case of sanctioning New Zealand if they (we) choose to continue such a practice.

World Sailing and class associations in my view needs to develop women's sailing. So far, ILCA and the Laser Radial is the only class I can see that has full representation in sailing - representation in grass roots, provincial, national, regional, world and Olympic racing. There may be other classes - the 470 for example - but overall women's sailing is in a poor condition.

There could be the development of a Finn FX, or a Finn Radial as others have suggested previously. In my view would be an excellent way to have a class for 80 kg plus women sailors - and perhaps balance the testosterone with estrogen at events like the Finn Gold Cup. (...and the more I think about a Women's Finn Gold Cup, the more I like it).

The gender issue remains serious at many levels of our sport.

None of this will be in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Thanks for thoughtful response.

I take 2 things away from your comments

1. You support women's sailing and would like to see more done at the grass roots to promote women's sailing 

2. You love the Finn and simultaneously regret the absence of a class for large athletes.

 

Regarding #1.   Of course I agree.  As y'all know I am a woman sailor.  In the US , I sense a welcome increased level of opportunity for women sailors at the local level.   I believe it helps to promote women sailing at both the top and the bottom.   While I am not hung up about exact equality of participation at the Olympics, I do sense that the inclusion of women events and the growth of women events at the Olympics had had a positive impact on women sailing at the grass roots level.  Not least because we have women olympians who can come and speak at clubs and sail at women events.   I was racing Sonars a couple of years ago pre-pandemic and it was a thrill to have women ex olympians on the course and to have a tactics de-brief led by women vs men. 

Do I acknowledge that there are many more men sailors still than women? Yes.  Do I think that the mix needs to be exactly 50:50? Not a strong opinion either way. By tipping the scales, it has certainly promoted women sailing.  What is the right mix to tip those scales?  The advantage of 50:50 is that it is unambiguous.....60:40 is a blur. It probably better reflects participation but it compromises the message.   I truly dont know what the right mix is. But the IOC have made it simple for us.....they have told WS that the gender mix must be exactly equal by 2024.   

Regarding #2 . Do I think that there should be a slot for large athletes ?  Yes I do. The Star sailors and the Finn sailors were and are incredible athletes.      But if there is going to be a role for larger athletes then you have to look away from the Finn.

Your admiration for the Finn does you credit. It has a wonderful history.  I dont think it comes back to the Olympics .  

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11 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

But if there is going to be a role for larger athletes then you have to look away from the Finn.

Thanks for the invitation. Actually, I don't 'have to'. I choose to continue to support having the Finn in the Olympics.

Perhaps one day there will be a class that looks like it provide a similar Olympian test of sailing. If such a class comes to be, let me know.

In the mean-time, again, I choose to support the Finn being in the Olympics.

And I'm not alone.

In my view, it would be great to have a class similar to the Finn for larger athletic women too.

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2 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

Thanks for the invitation. Actually, I don't 'have to'. I choose to continue to support having the Finn in the Olympics.

Perhaps one day there will be a class that looks like it provide a similar Olympian test of sailing. If such a class comes to be, let me know.

In the mean-time, again, I choose to support the Finn being in the Olympics.

And I'm not alone.

In my view, it would be great to have a class similar to the Finn for larger athletic women too.

Bruce...I hope my phrasing was not misinterpreted. I didnt mean to suggest you stop supporting the Finn being in the Olympics.  I should have said that "In my opinion, if we want a role for larger athletes in the olympics then we (the collective we) need to look for something other than the Finn."

This is not because I dislike the Finn. I posted that magnificent image earlier in the thread of Paul Elvstrom going flat out in a Finn.  I love the history and the great sailors that have emerged from he Finn Class.

But to have a heavy weight and light weight single handed mens dinghy would need more classes.  Sailing is up against its limit with 10 classes. In addition the Finn is going to seem somewhat dated to the IOC.

I think the best way to provide a role for large men is a double handed class where the ideal weight requires a big guy. I dont have a good suggestion.  I have thought that a small fast planing 2 person modern keelboat might work.  It would have the advantage of maintaining a keelboat category which was excluded for the first time in over 100 years at Rio.  It would be mixed gender.  A large guy would be essential. They are tactical and there is a lot of good sailing in these kinds of boats.  Classes like Viper 640, VX One, SB3, RS20 etc.    The SB3 and Viper are qualified WS classes with world championships. However there were lots of equally good reasons against and WS rejected a match racing mixed gender keel boat proposal from Bermuda.

Again....Bruce I enjoy the discussion.   I think we both agree that in the short term M/W kites is probably the way to go.     For the longer term, I wonder if we need windsurfers but lets not rock the boat.

 

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3 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

Bruce...I hope my phrasing was not misinterpreted. I didnt mean to suggest you stop supporting the Finn being in the Olympics.  I should have said that "In my opinion, if we want a role for larger athletes in the olympics then we (the collective we) need to look for something other than the Finn."

This is not because I dislike the Finn. I posted that magnificent image earlier in the thread of Paul Elvstrom going flat out in a Finn.  I love the history and the great sailors that have emerged from he Finn Class.

But to have a heavy weight and light weight single handed mens dinghy would need more classes.  Sailing is up against its limit with 10 classes. In addition the Finn is going to seem somewhat dated to the IOC.

I think the best way to provide a role for large men is a double handed class where the ideal weight requires a big guy. I dont have a good suggestion.  I have thought that a small fast planing 2 person modern keelboat might work.  It would have the advantage of maintaining a keelboat category which was excluded for the first time in over 100 years at Rio.  It would be mixed gender.  A large guy would be essential. They are tactical and there is a lot of good sailing in these kinds of boats.  Classes like Viper 640, VX One, SB3, RS20 etc.    The SB3 and Viper are qualified WS classes with world championships. However there were lots of equally good reasons against and WS rejected a match racing mixed gender keel boat proposal from Bermuda.

Again....Bruce I enjoy the discussion.   I think we both agree that in the short term M/W kites is probably the way to go.     For the longer term, I wonder if we need windsurfers but lets not rock the boat.

The limit of 10 classes seems so arbitrary.

I'd like to understand how the limit came to be.

Having said that, the 1952 Olympics had 5 classes, the Finn and 4 keelboats.

There is a tradition for keelboats. Keelboats are a huge part of our sport, and it makes no sense to not have at least two.

When sailboarding came along (in 1984), the number of classes stayed at 7. In 1984 there were no women medalists (though Trine Elvstrom was very close with her dad Paul in 4th).

We are trying to squeeze more events into 10. It isn't working.

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13 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

The limit of 10 classes seems so arbitrary.

I'd like to understand how the limit came to be.

Having said that, the 1952 Olympics had 5 classes, the Finn and 4 keelboats.

There is a tradition for keelboats. Keelboats are a huge part of our sport, and it makes no sense to not have at least two.

When sailboarding came along (in 1984), the number of classes stayed at 7. In 1984 there were no women medalists (though Trine Elvstrom was very close with her dad Paul in 4th).

We are trying to squeeze more events into 10. It isn't working.

 

There were 6 classes in 1980.

Then from 1984 to 1996 the classes grew to 10 due to adding windsurfing and adding womens events. Finally grew to 11 events in 2000 when the 49er was added for the Sydney Olympics 

 Sailing got complacent and hung on to 11 events (including 2 keel boat classes) until 2007 when ISAF was told by IOC to reduce the number of events and number of athletes for 2012.  They axed the Tornado.  Its been at 10 ever since.  sailing also got axed in its entirety from the Paralympics .

WS is a troubled organization in many ways including financially but the equipment cttee did reintroduce a multihull (thank god) and has been trying to work out better how to allocate the 10 slots. 

Compared to 2020, the WS faced 2 challenges

1. They needed to move to complete gender equality.   So they dropped the Finn 

2. They needed to include the kites (having failed to include them in 2016 and 2020 and rightly received a lot of criticism).

They dropped the Finn and shfted 470 to a mixed platform which gave them 2 new events to play with. One they allocated to the kite . The other to the mixed offshore event. 

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5 hours ago, Bruce Hudson said:

In my view, it would be great to have a class similar to the Finn for larger athletic women too.

 Larger?   The priority is smaller: female Radial sailors are giants in the majority of the world!

  I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice... but a future where Olympic sailing has weight classes like boxing or judo seems unlikely :-)

Cheers,

              W.

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As WGWarburton mentioned, getting to Radial weight is already a stretch for most athletic women, a heavy weight women's class isn't necessary. Regarding number of events, sailing (WS) is in a fight to keep itself as an Olympic sport. The IOC also feels the need to try and keep itself relevant in the modern sporting climate. Being only once every four years, it's hard to gain that much attention when sports fans can watch the NBA, Premier League etc yearly and get just as much drama. With that said, the IOC feel the need to 'modernise' to attract younger viewers and continue to offer a competitive product - hence the inclusion of skateboarding, surfing, rock climbing etc. The fact is for sailing, that despite our sport having a long history in the games, that history is lost on most modern sports fans, and as such, our sport needs to evolve it Olympic 'offering' to cater to this new audience. Despite all of us knowing the difference, this 'audience' that the IOC is targetting can't tell the difference between a Laser and Finn. Even if, in some twisted turn of events, the Finn is held on to for 2024, it's not going to last very long given the popularity of the Laser. Ultimately, WS are in an awkward position where they want to try and offer a slate of events which will appeal to sailors, but that is very rarely the same as a slate which will appeal to a non-sailing audience, even if sailing has a lot of work to do to even present itself adequately to a non-sailing audience. 

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2 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

 

 

There were 6 classes in 1980.

Then from 1984 to 1996 the classes grew to 10 due to adding windsurfing and adding womens events. Finally grew to 11 events in 2000 when the 49er was added for the Sydney Olympics 

 Sailing got complacent and hung on to 11 events (including 2 keel boat classes) until 2007 when ISAF was told by IOC to reduce the number of events and number of athletes for 2012.  They axed the Tornado.  Its been at 10 ever since.  sailing also got axed in its entirety from the Paralympics .

WS is a troubled organization in many ways including financially but the equipment cttee did reintroduce a multihull (thank god) and has been trying to work out better how to allocate the 10 slots. 

Compared to 2020, the WS faced 2 challenges

1. They needed to move to complete gender equality.   So they dropped the Finn 

2. They needed to include the kites (having failed to include them in 2016 and 2020 and rightly received a lot of criticism).

They dropped the Finn and shfted 470 to a mixed platform which gave them 2 new events to play with. One they allocated to the kite . The other to the mixed offshore event. 

You describe what happened, rather than what the rationale for the limit is. Sailing is a significant sport, and has deep pockets. The IOC number is arbitrary.

Based on 7 male events in 1984, the equivalent should be 14 events - or you are literally asking male athletes to make a sacrifice for female athletes.

In my view, that is not rational. 

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2 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

 Larger?   The priority is smaller: female Radial sailors are giants in the majority of the world!

  I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice... but a future where Olympic sailing has weight classes like boxing or judo seems unlikely :-)

Cheers,

              W.

Then there should be a priority for a class for smaller men too.

Note that I could make a list of athletes who are in my view too large for the Radial. One sailor who springs to mind is Marit Soderstrom, who was champion when the women's official IYRU class was the Laser Standard.

I'm wondering if there was such a class as the Finn FX or Finn Radial, how popular it would be?

---

I'm not sure that I'd call Laser Radial women giants. Here's 6' 4" Valerie Adams, a household name in NZ, an Olympic shot put champion. Perfect Finn size!
Valerie Adams mistakenly left off start list | Stuff.co.nz

The main thing is that sailing isn't organized for women very well.

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2 hours ago, greenwhiteblack said:

As WGWarburton mentioned, getting to Radial weight is already a stretch for most athletic women, a heavy weight women's class isn't necessary.

That's very dismissive.

There are definitely women who are naturally too big for the Radial. (Valerie Adams is an example.)

For the men's Laser Standard, there are men who also struggle to get up to competitive weight, and men who struggle to get down to competitive weight.

It is my view that the Laser Radial are a little larger than average - but giants? I think not.

The Finn is for large, athletic men, and makes no apology for it. There is no parallel for women, and the Laser Radial certainly is not. If sailing attracted large athletic women into our sport, then they would likely get snapped up in a heartbeat in the professional circuits in the same way that Finn sailors (men) currently are.

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History is littered with examples of the best Laser sailors becoming the best Finn sailors, who then become the best Star, Moth, Tornado, Contender, 505 and AC75 sailors.  This would indicate that the Finn does not require a unique skill set or physical attributes.  
 

It may be a nice boat but the campaign to reinstate it is doomed to fail because it is not sufficiently different from the Laser to warrant a space.

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Interesting discussion.

Wasn’t the Europe (replaced by the Laser Radial) able to be sailed by a wider weight range by choice of mast and sail just like the Finn? Of course not as popular as the Radial.

The pressing question is how to get more women involved in sailing around the world. Maybe a different thread?

I ski (Nordic and backcountry but not racing) and the number of women in the mountains is growing and growing by my observations. Costs are lower than purchasing a good Finn but similar to a good used Laser. If there’s strong women participation in skiing (at least in snowy parts of the world), why not for sailing?

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2 hours ago, Alan Crawford said:

Interesting discussion.

Wasn’t the Europe (replaced by the Laser Radial) able to be sailed by a wider weight range by choice of mast and sail just like the Finn? Of course not as popular as the Radial.

The pressing question is how to get more women involved in sailing around the world. Maybe a different thread?

I ski (Nordic and backcountry but not racing) and the number of women in the mountains is growing and growing by my observations. Costs are lower than purchasing a good Finn but similar to a good used Laser. If there’s strong women participation in skiing (at least in snowy parts of the world), why not for sailing?

Because so much of sailing is dominated by toxic macho male types.  Sure, there's a few good guys like us two, but walk into one design party and feel the testosterone pulsing from the flat bill hat bros.  Until we tone down the machismo, it will continue to be boys 

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6 hours ago, Timur said:

Because so much of sailing is dominated by toxic macho male types.  Sure, there's a few good guys like us two, but walk into one design party and feel the testosterone pulsing from the flat bill hat bros.  Until we tone down the machismo, it will continue to be boys 

I'm not into the macho BS. 

---

Met an outstanding individual the in 2018. Into brewing beer, played regional rugby, had three large dogs. I was surprised to meet her boyfriend, who was smaller, and not so into the beer drinking rugby scene as she was.

I felt her existence had broken a few glass ceilings.

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8 hours ago, Bruce Hudson said:

I'm not into the macho BS. 

---

Met an outstanding individual the in 2018. Into brewing beer, played regional rugby, had three large dogs. I was surprised to meet her boyfriend, who was smaller, and not so into the beer drinking rugby scene as she was.

I felt her existence had broken a few glass ceilings.

That is a feel-good story, but it's the exception, not the norm. We need women to feel welcome and capable to compete.  Until then, we're missing 50% of the possibilities.

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48 minutes ago, Timur said:

That is a feel-good story, but it's the exception, not the norm. We need women to feel welcome and capable to compete.  Until then, we're missing 50% of the possibilities.

Yep.

So whaddya think about a Finn FX?

Or will the Finn Gold Cup only celebrate men in Finns in perpetuity.

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nd

20 hours ago, Bruce Hudson said:

You describe what happened, rather than what the rationale for the limit is. Sailing is a significant sport, and has deep pockets. The IOC number is arbitrary.

Based on 7 male events in 1984, the equivalent should be 14 events - or you are literally asking male athletes to make a sacrifice for female athletes.

In my view, that is not rational. 

Sorry, Bruce, I was just trying to summarize history and the rationale at the time.

Sailing went from 6 events in 1980 to 11 events until 2008. This was partly due to the introduction of women events in existing disciplines but it was also about additional categories (notably boards). 

We could probably justify 16 events if we sliced and diced competitive sailing by category, gender and weight.

Ultimately you are correct, the IOC has to hand out an arbitrary number. It is driven by athlete numbers and resources.  The IOC and the host city can only house and feed a certain number of athletes. The IOC has the same negotiation with every sport. Each sport wants more slots and the IOC looks at the overall balance, appraises the "pitch" that each sport makes and comes to a series of arbitrary allotments. The IOC saw a decided to cut the allotment of events and athletes to sailing for 2012 onwards. 

WS has to pitch the sport of sailing as relevant and deserving of its allotment of athletes and events.  That will partly depend on choosing the right events to represent our sport

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It is perhaps worth looking back at the original line up. We did not look at weight categories in 1980.

There was:

  1.  1 single handed dinghy
  2. 1 two person dinghy
  3. 1 High Performance two person dinghy
  4. 1 Multihull
  5. 2x keelboats (2 person keel boat and 3 person keelboat)

When the Laser came in as the replacement single handed dinghy in 1996, the Finn survived by defining for the first time a weight category. 

The big category addition since 1980 is boards initially windsurfers and now foiling windsurfers and foiling kites. If they occupy 4 of the ten slots then it is hard to also have too many weight categories.  You have to choose one of the categories and pick a class that suits a heavier combination. The single handed category is not the right place to look. 

In 2024, there will still be 6 or 7 events for male sailors.

 

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22 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

Ultimately you are correct, the IOC has to hand out an arbitrary number. It is driven by athlete numbers and resources. 

I struggle with his statement. Sailing more often than not is held at a different location to track and field, often at a different location. Sailing (with perhaps an exception in 2012 in Weymouth) does not attract big audiences. 

In my view, the increase from 10 to 14 events would have a marginal impact.

4 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

In 2024, there will still be 6 or 7 events for male sailors.

...which is net loss of events for men in sailing.

I'm all for equity and gender equivalence.

Reducing the number of events for men has been and continues to be a choice.

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41 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

I struggle with his statement. Sailing more often than not is held at a different location to track and field, often at a different location. Sailing (with perhaps an exception in 2012 in Weymouth) does not attract big audiences. 

In my view, the increase from 10 to 14 events would have a marginal impact.

...which is net loss of events for men in sailing.

I'm all for equity and gender equivalence.

Reducing the number of events for men has been and continues to be a choice.

It costs billions to build a large enough stadium for opening and closing events and to build athlete villages at various locations and to feed athletes, provide security for athletes (the security costs increased from $250 million to $1.5 billion -$2 billion post 9-11 ) etc.   The IOC and the host city sets a hard number for the total number of athletes. Every sport would like to add events at the margin. The probability of sailing getting a 40% increase is close to zero.  It is particularly so when as you point out, there would be no corresponding increase in revenues and an increase in resource costs (facilities at the sailing center, additional patrol boats etc to host 40% more classes in a timely manner would certainly require additional race circle , probably 2 additional circles etc)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bruce Hudson said:

Reducing the number of events for men has been and continues to be a choice.

What really happened to sailing is a dramatic rise in the total number of sailing athletes as both additional events (boards etc) were added and women classes were added . From 1980 to 2000 the number of sailors in the Olympics increased by 2.6x from 150 to 400. Sailing made no choices, it just added athletes.  Then the athlete allocation declined very significantly (400 to 330) and the equipment shift does not reverse.

I pick 1980 as the base year because this was the last year before boards were introduced, and it is also the penultimate year when there were  zero women sailors in the Olympics ( seems hard to believe now)so its a good benchmark to distinguish increase in women participation vs equipment additions.

In 1980, men had 6 events to choose from . There were 156 male sailing athletes and 0 women.

By 2016, the men still had 6 events to choose from and the number of athletes had increased to 217 male athletes and 163 female athletes.  

For Tokyo, based on current entries there are 175 male athletes competing across 6 disciplines and 174 women competing across 5 disciplines.  Seemingly women participation in Laser Radial olympic sailing has really picked up alongside growth in 49FX.

From Beijing to Tokyo the nymber of athletes was reduced from 400 to 350. For Paris , sailing got the number of athletes reduced from 350 to 330.  Assuming that WS follows gender equality then there will be 165 male athletes and 165 female athletes. Male participation will be back to 1980s levels (which some think of as the golden age of sailing)

In conclusion.  Boards and women sailors were introduced in 1984 and 1988.  Since 1980, the number of male events has remained the same at 6.  The number of athletes has increased  from 160 to 260 (at peak) and then  reduced back to 165. The big shift in mens sailing has not been so much about the addition of women, but the shift in equipment and the athlete allocation from IOC.

The number of male athletes will be significantly down from Rio and beijing, not because there are more women athletes but because the overall number of athletes is down and men had to bear the brunt of that.

 

Try making sense of all that. Bottom line is that there are less opportunities for male dinghy sailors to get to the olympics than there ever have been.

 

 

 

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So another way of looking at this.

In 1980 there were 103 men sailing dinghies and multihulls  and 53 sailing in keelboats

In 2024 (if the kite proposal is accepted ) there will be 125 men sailing dinghies and multihulls  and 40 sailing boards.

 

Thus the 40 year shift has not been as much about women taking mens sailing slots, as about boards replacing keelboats.

The more recent shift has been about the overall allocation of Olympic slots to sailing being reduced by approx 20%.

 

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My question is: why does everyone itt seem to treat weight as A. the predominant factor in competitiveness and B. fixed and unchangeable?. Tunnicliffe went from winning radials to being a CrossFit world champion (or something like that), went to keelboats, and now sails 49erFXs (maybe)? Mark Mendelblatt competed in the Olympics in the laser, Star, and very nearly the Nacra. There are plenty of examples of cross-pollination between sailing "weight" classes at the top levels of the sport.

There doesn't need to be a Finn class in the Olympics to cater to the maybe 5% of males who are too physically large (i.e. tall) to sail a laser full just like there doesn't need to be a men's 4.7 class to cater to the 5% of males who are too small. Besides, sailing is all about flexibility across boats. That respective 10% can team up and sail 49ers, Nacras, or 470s.

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32 minutes ago, crashtack said:

My question is: why does everyone itt seem to treat weight as A. the predominant factor in competitiveness and B. fixed and unchangeable?. Tunnicliffe went from winning radials to being a CrossFit world champion (or something like that), went to keelboats, and now sails 49erFXs (maybe)? Mark Mendelblatt competed in the Olympics in the laser, Star, and very nearly the Nacra. There are plenty of examples of cross-pollination between sailing "weight" classes at the top levels of the sport.

There doesn't need to be a Finn class in the Olympics to cater to the maybe 5% of males who are too physically large (i.e. tall) to sail a laser full just like there doesn't need to be a men's 4.7 class to cater to the 5% of males who are too small. Besides, sailing is all about flexibility across boats. That respective 10% can team up and sail 49ers, Nacras, or 470s.

Fair point.

I guess some would say that it would be good to have a mixed class where an average male and average female work or a heavy male and a light female.

The problem with the 470 is the ideal all up weight is 110kg to 145 kg.  If there was a class where the optimum weight was 145 kg - 175 kg then a 55-60 kg woman would be looking for a 90 -, 120 kg crew which would bring in some large athletes. Remember the Flying Dutchman? Outdated now.  But a powered up 2 person dinghy .

The problem with trying to create a event for large athletes is that sailing has increasingly gone light displacement, foiling and weight doesnt help as much as it used to.

 

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The above shows one of the issues when discussing Olympic sailing. We are talking about the number of events, not the number of participants. Of course the number of participants is important - but so is the number of events.

I'd prefer more events with fewer participants, then more participants with fewer events.

Also important is the number of participating countries.

3 hours ago, EYESAILOR said:

I pick 1980 as the base year because this was the last year before boards were introduced, and it is also the penultimate year when there were  zero women sailors in the Olympics ( seems hard to believe now)so its a good benchmark to distinguish increase in women participation vs equipment additions.

The last year that there were no women events was 1984. There were just two woman competitors, Trine Elvstrom (Denmark), who placed fourth in the Tornados, and Cathy Foster (UK), who placed seventh in the 470. Though all events were open, it was dominated by men. It would be accurate to say there were seven men's events.

The first year that women competed at Olympic sailing was 1900, including Hélène de Pourtalès who won a gold and a silver for Switzerland. (In 1900 there were 7 events, all keelboats - 5 inshore and 2 offshore).

When a woman's event was first added in 1988, it was just one event, the 470. There were three men's events and four open events. In the four open events was just one female competitor (Trine Elvstrom, in the Tornado).

1992, 1996, 2000 saw three women's events, three men's events, and four open events - making a total of ten events. There was only one women participating in the open events, (Helene Hansen, Tornado).

2004, 2008 saw four women's events, four men's events, and three open events - making a total of ten events. There were no women participating in the open events. 

2012 saw four women's events, six men's events - making a total of ten events.

2016 saw four women's events, five men's events and one mixed event - making a total of ten events. 2020 was intended to be the same as 2016.

(I'd be keen to hear if I have made any errors above.)

Which brings us to Paris 2024. The intention is to three women's events, three men's events and four mixed events - making a total of ten events.

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Since 1984 there has been the emergence of women's events, and since 2016 mixed events.

It would be fair to say that the number of men's events has dropped from seven to three. 

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Additionally, there has been a tendency to try to label events as a descriptor, rather than the class. In my view, that is trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Our sport of sailing is divided into one-design and a design rule.

Modern Olympic sailing is one-design, and one of World Sailing's primary functions is to award classes International status, so they can have world championships. 

I have an issue that sailing classes are now thought of as "equipment" by the IOC. This may mislead some into thinking that classes are interchangeable, and in my view may be part of the reason we seem to change Olympic classes so regularly in recent years, and why the invention of new events (sometimes new classes, new disciplines) is OK.

Actually, the consequence of changing classes is immense, and the invention of new classes even more disruptive. For emerging MNAs, new classes make developing sailing even more complex and expensive.

Stability in the classes is in my view good, and allows for growth in developing MNAs - where investment in boats can be made in the long term.

To me, the Olympics is supposed to represent the best in sailing. It never ever was intended to test new events - in any sport. Sailing has always had to cope with technological developments - though at its core - the basics are still the same. As a test of sailing, the Finn is still seen as one of the most prestigious classes to win in. To take the Finn out of the Olympics is nuts.

Fleet racing one-design sailboats is a very specific, and well established sport. The Olympics has a tremendous influence - take the introduction of the mixed 470 event - at the last 470 worlds, there were more mixed crews than in either gender. Similar changes have occurred at 470 nationals.

While I see the introduction of mixed classes as mostly positive, the implementation could see much improvement.  

Deciding what to do for Paris in 2024 just three years out is grossly unfair to MNAs, competitors and class associations. It is a mistake that we need to learn from. Perhaps we should be deciding events three Olympics in advance - or even four!

Stability is wanted for the Olympics, and is helpful to the establishment of our sport in developing nations.

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couple of minor asides re weight sensitive Olympic racing:

-wife refused to consider switching to helm on our 470. Same for the other fixed crews in our small fleet  (a decade of trying). The only female helm had a heavy husband, but she was the sailor in that family. No crew wanted to helm, even though the weight distribution would have been much better.

-last clip of Olympic sailing I saw was all about kinetics. Had heard that the pumping/ooching rule was relaxed since the 1980s, but this was startling and apparently legal. Hiking on Finn-Star-Laser held no appeal in the past; same for kinetic racing in the present. 

So, was intrigued by the potential of the keelboat class to focus on tactics and strategy, rather than the athleticism of kinetics: the larger the boat, the less crew weight matters. Sorry to see that is not likely to happen.

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4 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

The above shows one of the issues when discussing Olympic sailing. We are talking about the number of events, not the number of participants. Of course the number of participants is important - but so is the number of events.

I'd prefer more events with fewer participants, then more participants with fewer events.

Also important is the number of participating countries.

 

Yes I tried to go back in time and look at both the number of events and the number of participants to get the overall picture.

For example the number of events open to men has remained approximately the same at 6. Whether you call them mixed gender or open events, men can sail in them.   But when a previously men only 2 person boat changes to a mixed gender 2 person boat, the number of events open to men has not changed but the number of men athlete participants has declined

I think both the number of participants and the number of events matters.

In a hypothetical example if the Olympics provided 200 male athlete slots across 6 classes,

If 12 years ago this was 200 athletes across 6 all male classes and today it is 200 male athletes across 3 all male classes and 3 mixed classes , is this a better thing or a worse thing?

I was basically trying to study whether male participation in sailing had been cannibalized by the introduction of women sailors or the introduction of different equipment.   I kind of conclude that what has happened is that the IOC allowed a sufficient increase in athletes and classes to accomodate women by adding 4 classes and doubling the number of athletes but the bigger change was that boards have replaced keel boats.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

When a woman's event was first added in 1988, it was just one event, the 470. There were three men's events and four open events. In the four open events was just one female competitor (Trine Elvstrom, in the Tornado).

1992, 1996, 2000 saw three women's events, three men's events, and four open events - making a total of ten events. There was only one women participating in the open events, (Helene Hansen, Tornado).

2004, 2008 saw four women's events, four men's events, and three open events - making a total of ten events. There were no women participating in the open events. 

2012 saw four women's events, six men's events - making a total of ten events.

2016 saw four women's events, five men's events and one mixed event - making a total of ten events. 2020 was intended to be the same as 2016.

(I'd be keen to hear if I have made any errors above.)

 

Yes you've made an error somewhere because the number of events went up to 11 for a in 2000 when the 49er was added

Let me look.

2000 saw

3 womens events (windsurfer, Single handed dinghy-Europe, 470)

2 mens events (Wind surfer and 470)

6 Open events ( Finn, 49er. Laser. Star, Soling and tornado....but effectively these were all male events)

It stayed at 11 events until 2012 when the Tornado was dropped (although there is a longer story because windsurfer was also dropped but fought back in)

 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

.

While I see the introduction of mixed classes as mostly positive, the implementation could see much improvement.  

Deciding what to do for Paris in 2024 just three years out is grossly unfair to MNAs, competitors and class associations. It is a mistake that we need to learn from. Perhaps we should be deciding events three Olympics in advance - or even four!

Stability is wanted for the Olympics, and is helpful to the establishment of our sport in developing nations.

Well Paris is partly the fault of sailing because we put together the offshore keel boat idea without even identifying the equipment. 

The time it has taken to incorporate the kite discipline is scandalous. WS voted in and around 2007 to include kites and it has taken 17 years to translate that decision into reality due to the very worst kind of politics. In the meantime at least one of the greatest sailing athletes in the world who dominated kite sailing for so long never got his chance at his olympic medals (Johnny Heineken ). Surely he would have won at least 2 golds .

It was the same with the introduction of the Laser which was so obviously a great idea but got pushed back well over a decade before it finally got into the Olympics.

 

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27 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

I think both the number of participants and the number of events matters.

Agreed. As do the number of number of participating nations. 

When you look at the discussion papers, it is about the participants in MNAs as well as the Olympics that matter.

Though when making a decision on which events, which one-design class becomes the exact pragmatic decision which need to be made.

So we come full circle, because participation in the MNAs is mostly about establishing classes.

The continued use of the term 'equipment' implies a fluidity of class selection that impedes development.

30 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

I kind of conclude that what has happened is that the IOC allowed a sufficient increase in athletes and classes to accomodate women by adding 4 classes and doubling the number of athletes but the bigger change was that boards have replaced keel boats.

Agreed - and if you look back further, dinghies have replaced keelboats.

In athletics and racquet sports, there were no parallel moves, women's and mixed events were simply (and in my view rightfully) added.

35 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

equipment

I sometimes draw comparison to racquet sports. Imagine if there was a governing racquet sport body, and that badminton, table tennis, squash etc was considered 'equipment'. There would be howls of protest if this imaginary racquet sport body proposed to pull table tennis in favor of paddle-ball - or worse - made up a new event with new equipment.

To me, switching from table tennis to tennis to squash (I have played all three, one at championship level), is similar to switching from a RS:X to a Laser to a Soling.

I think where everyone agrees is that there needs to be a better approach to the selection of Olympic classes. 

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23 minutes ago, Bruce Hudson said:

I think where everyone agrees is that there needs to be a better approach to the selection of Olympic classes. 

Really agree with you there Bruce.  From about 2004 until now ISAF/WS struggled to have a logical process. My personal view from a role on US sailing that watched this happen is that there was too much politics in the process. Often the politics was either unintended or well intention ed but the process lacked a clarity of purpose.

There were 2 flaws.

1. The selection was based on classes rather than thinking about overall categories of the sport. The discussions of Star vs windsurfer or  Kite vs Tornado were absurd. It also meant that powerful classes with powerful supporters would campaign for and against changes to the line up in a completely unrelated category of the sport because they saw how it would affect them.

2. No matter how hard MNA representatives tried to think long term, medal prospects would influence their thinking.  The USA was actually the most independent when the USA Olympic team sucked.  It was impossible for GBR to think objectively about the Star when Ian Percy was at the top of his game.

IMHO....one way around these hurdles is to think about the 10 (or 11) slots in terms of categories first. Identify what categories should be in the Olympics and then let the battle be within the categories to determine which class/equipment best represented the category.

So....for example......If you and I were on council and we agreed that there should be 1 slot allocated to a keel boat, 1 slot allocated to a multihull, 2 slots allocated to single handed dinghies, 3 slots allocated to double handed dinghies and 2 slots allocated to boards with 2 reserve slots to fill in gaps that become apparent. Then the debate would be between whether the womens board event should be windsurfing or kite boarding and any dicussion of Star vs windsurfer would be disallowed. The keel boat discussion would be about what is the best keel boat to suit a mixed gender keel boat etc etc and not a debate about whether the Star should be thrown out or the Finn.   

WS never ever decided which categories of the sport needed to be represented , it was always one class vs another across completely unrelated disciplines.

This has recently got a lot better and I think the selection process is improving.

Until we get this again. Team racing vs Kite racing vs 470.   Three completely unrelated sports.  

I think kites get this because the kite relay is a complete artifact. 

But at some stage WS has to ask itself the tough question. Should 40% of the slots be boards? 

The windsurfer community argued that the athletes had invested years and years training . Yet they chnaged to foiling windsurfers which is equipment so different as to make the prior years of training irrelevant.   Do not trust what the classes say. Through no bad intent, every class believes there is a reason that they are absolutely essential to the Olympics .  Your beloved Finn never thought of itself as a heavyweight class. Paul Elvstrom was not a big guy. It came to the Olympics as a replacement for the Firefly. It was the only singlehanded dinghy and eventually a double handed dinghy showed up .

I think that single handed sailing is the peak of the Olympic sport because it is one athlete .  I would love to see a foiling single handed dinghy. We probably dont have enough slots.

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19 minutes ago, EYESAILOR said:

...there was too much politics in the process...

In my view, there wasn't enough politics... ...hear me out.

The 'politics' of pitching one class against another is because of the way the sport of sailing is - we are a bunch of classes pretty much doing our own thing.

Effective politics is about setting the playing field, rather than playing the game. When the field is not set properly, the unintended consequence is rabid lobbying.

The first step might be to set disciplines then allocate the number of events per discipline.

  • Boards
  • Centreboards
  • Multihull
  • Keel boats

Frankly, I can't see a way of properly representing the sport of sailing without increasing the number of events, especially if we are to deal to gender bias.

Note that if there is a cap on the number of participants, then that is a separate question. For comparison in 2016 that for the 100 m there were 56 men, 56 women competitors, and for the marathon 155 men, 157 women.

I'd like to think that globally, sailing is a bigger sport than rowing and canoeing, yet in 2016 rowing had fourteen medal events were being contested by 547 athletes, 334 men and 213 women; with canoeing there sixteen medal events with 334 athletes.

I'm really questioning the reasoning behind there being just ten medal events in sailing - and as a separate question, the cap on the number of competitors, especially since the venue is usually some distance from the track and field, swimming stadiums.

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1 hour ago, Bruce Hudson said:

 

 

The first step might be to set disciplines then allocate the number of events per discipline.

  • Boards
  • Centreboards
  • Multihull
  • Keel boats

 

Yes.  100% agree.

I call the categories. You call them disciplines. I think the correct way to construct a long term framework is to discuss how to allocate among the disciplines first , (with some flexibility to fine tune later) . Then and only then can we have a constructive discussion about which classes/equiment best fulfills those disciplines.

It should not be about should the star be dropped vs the Finn.  It should start by agreing if we need a keel boat or not. Then is the Star the appropriate keel boat event for the Olympics.

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1 hour ago, Bruce Hudson said:

I

 

Note that if there is a cap on the number of participants, then that is a separate question. For comparison in 2016 that for the 100 m there were 56 men, 56 women competitors, and for the marathon 155 men, 157 women.

I'd like to think that globally, sailing is a bigger sport than rowing and canoeing, yet in 2016 rowing had fourteen medal events were being contested by 547 athletes, 334 men and 213 women; with canoeing there sixteen medal events with 334 athletes.

I'm really questioning the reasoning behind there being just ten medal events in sailing - and as a separate question, the cap on the number of competitors, especially since the venue is usually some distance from the track and field, swimming stadiums.

Track and Field is considered the very heart of the Olympics,     Athletics....there is the Olympics.  It will always be represented above all other sports.  Within track.....the ultimate event that launched the modern Olympiad with a legend of ancient Greece is the Marathon. 26.2  miles from Marathon to Athens (well actually that was 40km but it was 26.2 miles from Windsor Castle to the London Olympic stadium in 1908). The Marathon was created for the first Olympiad and became the defining event It is the last event before the games close. It has been the stuff of dreams with the Ethiopians and then the Kenyans inspiring a continent. The Marathon will always have as many slots as they need. We are significantly down the totem pole.

 

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Some of your other comparisons are fair. Canoeing?   Surely sailing can get a better represntation than canoing.

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It seems like the underlying assumption in this thread is that the IOC has an interest in representing sailing accurately as a sport. This may come as a surprise, but that simply isn't the case. At the end of the day, the IOC (and professional sports in general) are in the media/entertainment business. Sailing has so few medals compared to the other 'boat sports' because the ROI% for media coverage is significantly worse, and probably even negative. The IOC and host cities have to spend significant amounts of money fitting out sailing venues (which they can't sell tickets to), supplying boats for athletes, boats for officials etc etc to basically get no media coverage out of it. That's the reason why mixed offshore doesn't sit well with them - the cost of the event. Everyone can understand which rowing scull or canoe crosses the finish line first, and subsequently wins the medal. The races are short and you need far less media equipment to cover them. 

This also ties in to the discussion about classes and whether we should be catering for weight ranges. As I mentioned earlier, when the IOC or a casual Olympic viewer see the Finn and the Laser, they see the exact same thing with the Finn only being sailed by men, and subsequently alienating close to 1/2 of the potential viewership. You might ask, but why do other sports get different medals to cater to different weight ranges? Simple, you don't need a whole heap of new equipment or media outlay to cover those additional weight categories, and viewers can actually understand how the weight differences affect performance. Casual viewers have no idea how weight affects the outcome in sailboat races. If we wanted to cater to numerous weight ranges, and genders, the simple solution is to include more multihanded boats (including boats with more than 2 people on them). The issue is, this adds costs, and it also puts off the MNA's (the people who ultimately endorse the classes), because they've spent all the money developing expertise in the pre exisitng classes. I don't see a way going forward, how sailing can accurately represent itself as a sport in the Olympics without dissapointing large parts of the sailing community. Ever since the Olympics went 'professional', it's been in a fight to maintain it's standing, and sailing as a 'professional' sport, has lagged behind significantly in terms of coverage. 

 

 



 

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