like he sees ’em

like he sees ’em

Paul Henderson was asked by the ISAF to give his thoughts on their Olympic decisions. We got ’em…

Olympic Events: (On request of the President) CONFIDENTIAL


  • Sailing will continue with 10 Events and 380 athletes for 2016.
  • Olympic Sailing should err on side of “Talent over Technology”.
  • Encourage inclusivity not exclusivity.
  • The vote on the Events takes place in November 2011.
  • The Equipment (Classes) are picked in 2012.
  • Format, Fleet or Match, to be done 3 years before but should be done also in 2012 with exceptions.
  • Experience with 2012 Women’s Match Racing will put this in place. Match is exclusive. Fleet inclusive.
  • (Council made error by deciding Women’s Match Racing in 2007 as that is Format.
  • Women’s’ Keelboat is the Event.)

Solid Classes:

  1. Men’s Singlehanded: Laser Standard
  2. Women’s Singlehanded: Laser Radial
  3. Men’s Keelboat:
  4. Women’s Keelboat:
  5. Open Doublehander: Skiff: 49er (no reason to change)
  6. Men’s Heavyweight Singlehander: Olympics must not become a Junior small peoples event.

The Finn has served sailing well and should be retained until something better comes along.

Comments: There should be Keelboats because of facilities required for the Paralympics.
Also it is where the best names in Sailing show up which is what the media likes.
The media likes personalities more than they like equipment.

Tough Decisions:

It has been done before that an event is held out of the Games for a period and then brought back.
It has usually been done to change equipment as was done with the FD and Tornado.
Windsurfing was originally brought in to show the cutting edge of our sport as distinct from the traditional aspects as shown above. Windsurfing 40 years ago was the new “Extreme Sailing”.
For the next decade every other car going down the highway had one on their roof.
Now it is in strong decline and should be dropped for 2016. 40 years was a good run.
Skiing is a good example as they have replaced events with Snow Boarding disciplines. Speed skating has also met the challenge with Short Track.

Kite Boarding is the new “Extreme Sailing”

Must make the decision to drop the 470 and Windsurfing Men and Women.

Bring Cats Back: (Kinetics are minimized)

It was right to drop the Tornado as it had become very expensive and exclusive succumbing to technology.

  1. Men’s Cat: (model to be a modern Hobie 16 with their same “Laser” mentality)
  2. Women’s Cat:

Kite Boarding: “Extreme Sailing”
Take a leap of faith and put Kite Boarding in for 2016 as we did with the 49er and Windsurfing so many years ago. Format does not need to be decided till 2013. ISAF will have two year to massage the format to have a sensible equipment and competition.

  1. Men’s Kite Boarding
  2. Women’s Kite Boarding

“Fools go in where Angels fear to tread”
Respectfully submitted,
Paul Henderson