LONDON (#1012) – Under Romanian Sailing Federation submission M22-18 adopted by the World Sailing Council a few minutes ago, and assuming this doesn't get changed down the road (it's happened before after World Sailing makes a "final" decision) this means that for the 2024 Olympic Sailing regatta:
+ Windurfer Men and Women are maintained as distinct events, but in New Equipment – apparently the RS:X boards are out;
+ incredibly, and virtually unknown as an event to our sport, a new "Mixed One-Person Dinghy event" is created, with Men racing in the Finn and Women racing separately in New Equipment; scores to be combined for the medals;
+ the 470 class is retained only as one mixed event, a la the Nacra 17, with a crew of one male and one female; and
+ the sport of Kiting comes in under Sailing as the tenth medal; in another "mixed" event and in New Equipment.
Having said all that, World Sailing's media department has just emailed to say, "All the equipment proposals have been deferred to the 2018 Annual Conference. So in effect, please ignore the right hand column of that submission" (below)!
So maybe the RS:X is not out after all? The Finn has not (at least not yet) been retained? The new Mixed Two Person Dinghy might be in a class other than the 470? And the kites used might be existing rather than New Equipment?
The explanatory table from RSF Submission M22....
The Submission's written explanation, and justification, for the Mixed Kite event:
The “Mixed Kite Event Format” would require a nation to select a team of one man and one woman to represent the nation who shall be the “team”. Each athlete’s score from each race shall be combined with the other athlete’s to create a “combined” score. The options for the men and women to race could be:
Men and Women racing in the same fleet for each race and combining scores. This would create huge race strategy, as teams seek to put together the optimal combined score whilst covering their opponents, guaranteeing intrigue and excitement, and the virtual scoring will reflect both individual scores and the team’s combined score and lead board standing.
Men and Women racing in separate “gender” fleets with separate starts – this option would mean each fleet would likely experience different racing conditions, but the principle of combined scores would be the same. There would be greater media appeal and value to option 1.
WTF, the options could be? I thought the Council was to decide events, not say what they could be. LOL, and what about the mixed relay race contemplated by the Events Committee? Good riddance. Regardless, either of the above would create a new competition format in the Olympics that is virtually untried and untested across the sport of Sailing, and as far as your Ed. is aware, new also to the sport of Kiting.
Read the entire Submission M22-18 here. More later.
Apparently this is not the new "Mixed Kite Event Format" adopted by the WS Council. Having said that, an event featuring moguls like Mr Branson with a naked woman, or man, on his back would no doubt draw heaps of TV coverage. Can you imagine such a match race between Mr Branson and Mr Ellison? Perhaps a few of our Dear Readers, especially women, will object to the photo above (which was taken by Mr Branson's people in 2014, and has been featured in papers around the world) and ask why Mr Branson is not naked, too, or at least in a speedo. No doubt a good idea if World Sailing were to adopt that! If it is TV ratings World Sailing are after, this makes more sense to your Ed. than the new-style "mixed events" adopted by the Council today.