From our unbelievably awesome forums…
The recent World Sailing Questionnaire on the FP concluded with the question:
If you could speak in front of the WS board, what would you like to say?
Here is one answer:
World Sailing should define categories of events that should be represented in the Olympics before defining the event or class itself. For example, build consensus that the sport of sailing at the Olympics must include : (1) one person and two person craft (2) dinghies/skiffs, multihulls, boards and keelboats, (3) men and women . Get everyone to agree that a line up that does not include a representation of these fundamental elements of our sport is incomplete.
Keep politics and self represented bias out of this fundamental definition of categories of the sport. DO NOT ALLOW CLASSES to define this discussion (they will always be biased), do not allow the discussion to be about classes or specific events. The Finn Dinghy sailors will always argue for their event. The Star sailors will always argue for the reintroduction of the Star etc etc. Stay clear of arguments about kiteboards vs Windsurfers etc…..or 2 day offshore boats vs sportboats vs Stars… This is about defining the fundamental categories of our sport.
The process that eliminated any form of multihull from the Olympics, only to reinstate it later is CLEARLY BROKEN. Multihull sailing is a fundamental category of amateur and professional athletes. The process that eliminated any form of keelboat sailing from the Olympics , only to reinstate it later is CLEARLY BROKEN. It is patently absurd that the outstanding athletes, professional and amateur who race in keelboats would not be part of the Olympics as they have been since Sailing was first introduced into the Olympics. The chaos surrounding the introduction of kite board is a clear sign of a BROKEN PROCESS. This process has resulted in such poor strategic decision before that it is arguable that no category is safe. Unless it is fixed, we could see an Olympics with no single handed dinghy , or no boards at all (neither kite boards nor windsurfer boards). The process is too political with class fighting class and event fighting event. This should be happening at the end of the process, not the beginning. Start by building a incontrovertible definition of categories that MUST be represented at the Olympics.
Hopefully we can agree that women should be represented at the Olympics. Hopefully that is a basic premise and that it would be absurd to design a line up of events that excluded women athletes. Build consensus around what level of representation that should be , before even beginning to discuss how you achieve it .
Can we agree that keelboats and dinghies should be represented at the Olympics. – It should be equally absurd to suggest that either is entirely absent. Do not allow the discussion to degenerate into whether skiffs or dinghies are better or should both be represented or whether the keelboats should be offshore or open day boats. Just agree that the categories should be represented.
This process would avoid the absurd cross-category political warfare that goes on during Olympic event selection. Keelboats should not have been allowed to campaign to have multihulls excluded. Its a category. Fight for your class representation within the category not by trying to get an entire category excluded.
The process will be better and the outcomes more rational, both for athletes and fans.