A superb look at the choices for the 2024 Olympic Single-Handed Dinghy by Jean-Pierre Kiekens
With the World Sailing sea trials having just started in Valencia to help determine which single-handed dinghy will be used at the 2024 Marseille Olympics, here are a few thoughts.
For sure, there is lots of emotions, and many people are pretty upset that the Laser may be replaced, but reason may dictate that one of the three contenders – D-Zero, M-14 or RS-Aero – may be a more suitable choice for the long term development of single-handed sailing.
Here are some thoughts at the beginning of these trials. In a nutshell, it is argued in this article that:
The targeted optimal sailor weight for female athletes should be brought down from the current 68 kg (150 lbs) to about 60 kg (132 lbs), to allow access to single-handed racing to many more female athletes world-wide, and keep women into sailing.
The targeted optimal sailor weight for male athletes should be increased from the current 82 kg (180 lbs) to 86 kg (190 lbs) or even a bit more, to increase access to single-handed racing for male athletes.
There should be strict requirements in terms of boat quality, affordability and availability globally, with exacting standards and third party certification ensuring that all boats are effectively the same, wherever they are built,
In case the Laser is replaced by one of the three new designs, it should still remain, for the foreseeable future, the preferred youth single-handed dinghy, in the 4.7 and the Radial.