SAN FRANCISCO (#1135) – The headline pretty much says it all. It's the title used by Richard Gladwell (NZL), esteemed New Zealand editor of the Sail-World.com website, in his lengthy analysis published today of the silly situation that World Sailing now finds themselves in post-Sarasota (the recent AGM in Florida) with respect to the selection of the 2024 Olympic Classes and relations with the International Olympic Committee. Richard's cogent conclusion:
There are two options ahead for World Sailing.
Either the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta can continue with the selected Events slate from the just concluded Annual Conference.
That slate has four Mixed Events; achieves Gender Equality in Participation and Events; trades off the Diversity of new Events against the loss of its oldest class and heritage; excludes male sailors above 85kg; accepts a reduction in fleet sizes and Universality, and introduces a boat costing over €100,000 into the Sailing Olympics.
Or, World Sailing can try and make a case to the IOC for the Events and Equipment to remain as for 2020, with just a single Mixed event and justify continuing to have an Event for Heavyweight Men; achieve Gender Equality in Participation and Events except for the Finn, and protect the current class progressions. Universality [numbers of nations competing] would remain close to the current level, factoring in the overall reduction imposed by the IOC of 380 to 350 athletes.
According to the International Olympic Committee, the Events for the 2024 Olympic Games do not have to be finalised until December 2020.
No doubt there will be some more course changes by World Sailing over the next two years.
Whether they are controlled tacks or further crash gybes remains to be seen.
A long and thoughtful analysis and photo essay, it is a MUST READ for anyone interested in Olympic sailing, present and future. Read the full article on Sail-World.com here.
World Sailing President Kim Andersen (DEN) and the non-sailing CEO Andy Hunt (GBR) who launched a "late and urgent submission" for the "mixed-gender two person keelboat" event the day before the recent AGM in Sarasota, Florida with no advance notice to delegates who had already travelled to the meeting. As Richard Gladwell reported, "That late submission sparked a reaction on social media from International Olympic Committee Executive Board member Ng Ser Miang, formerly a Vice President of World Sailing. 'Now, barely five months later the World Sailing Board decided that one of the events cannot work and is proposing to change that. What sort of process is this? Lack of leadership? Cherry picking? Commercial interests manipulation?' he opined on his Facebook page."