ISAF World Sailing continues its confusing stance on Olympic classes and events. For a while, the world was operating under WS’s stated goal of keeping everything the same until 2020; then, it was all about adding kiteboards and foilers and maybe even a 4-boat winner-take-all medal race for all classes. Now, World Sailing’s Board seems to have backtracked on everything…or have they? Here’s the statement forwarded by a helpful MNA sitting next to me in the WS Conference…
The President, Carlo Croce, with the support of all Board members, has decided, following his most recent communications with the IOC, that he, as President, shall not propose an alternative Olympic slate to Council in February 2017. This means that World Sailing would propose the existing 10 Events and Equipment for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.
In addition, World Sailing will continue to pursue the possibility of an 11th Medal in 2020 with the IOC on the basis that the total number of athletes remains at 380. Furthermore, World Sailing is also exploring the possibility of a showcase sailing event in Tokyo which if agreed would be over and above the existing athlete quota. The Board believes this strategy best protects existing investments and programmes, whilst enabling World Sailing to demonstrate innovation to the IOC.
The Board will continue to support changes in format and fleet sizes to best meet the objectives of the IOC’s Agenda 2020. These decisions will be made in accordance with normal World Sailing processes.
Regarding gender equity, the IOC has confirmed that gender equity in 2020 may be assessed at a “sport level” (i.e. on the basis of total number of athletes in each sport). Hence World Sailing can meet IOC’s gender equity requirements in 2020 with appropriate fleet quota changes, within sailing’s current 10 Events and can seek to achieve gender equity at an event level by 2024.