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Russell
19th June 2008, 04:37 PM
Windsurfing is a sport like sailing it has many different disciplines.

In the olympics sailing has a range of boats to represent the sport.

So why can't windsurfing have the same.

For sure Starboard have the range of boards. eg.. Serenity( Americas Cup style ), Phantom Race for triangle style racing and formula for pure speed.

Why not.......


Russell

RobSwift
19th June 2008, 06:16 PM
We're lucky that it is included as a sailing event.

Unregistered
23rd June 2008, 01:51 PM
Because there is just a limited number of medals for all sailing sports in Olympics.

Windsurfing i guess have 2 medalls asigend, and they are given to RSX men (one) and RSX women (the other).

Supposing we want to include Serenity sailing or Freestyling or Slalom, we need to have more medals to give...and that will mean to find 2 medals of ISAF for this. Asumming the number of medals for "sailing sports" is limited, we need to find the way to take medals from other sailing spots to add them to windsurfing. I see that difficult because Olympics try to have most represantive sports in Olympics.

Yes, its possible, but also its difficult and other sailing sports can consider also to have those medals asigned to other sailing sports waiting for medals to be considered Olympic sports.

Best regards,
Ricardo Guglielmino

Unregistered
23rd June 2008, 08:54 PM
Why worry about windsurfing at the Olympics at all, it does nothing for the sport. Why should such a minority sport be in it? I hate to say it but when there were longboards i.e IMCO there were big fleets numbers world wide and therefore a justified Olympic class. I loved my IMCO once, now I'm into slalom on those windy days.

If your idea worked Russell then there might be some hope for WS at the Olympics, however I fear the ISAF is nearly null & void or IS-A-Farse.

sergio k
23rd June 2008, 11:07 PM
having multi medal windsurfing events at the olimpics is out of the dream world, we're
we are a small sport, what would be ideal for couse racing is to actually use a real class,
that's established and works, to participate in olimpics, and not one design, one manufacturer, instead of FOD , have just FW,
just like in other sports like skii, biking, etc... where compatitors free to choose any
brand

Ken
24th June 2008, 12:12 AM
I like what Sergio says, but we are dealing with "sailing" and the Olympics. While I don't know about all of the Olympic sailing classes, I am guessing that they are ALL one design. If this is true, there is no way they will allow windsurfing to go to a class like Formula with multiple manufacturers. It's just not consistant with the other sailing classes.

While the value of Olympic windsurfing for the rest of the windsurfing world may not be great, it doesn't hurt. If it wasn't there, then what? Would we be better off? We are lucky to be involved at all, so why not take advantage where we can.

I think we do what we are doing, try to come up with something that the ISAF will buy into and also makes sense for the rest of the world wide windsurfing community. A difficult challenge at best.

Unregistered
24th June 2008, 02:20 AM
Only Laser/Radial and RSX are really ONE DESIGN . The others are BOX RULE classes, more than one brand produces the boats.
Star have Lilia, Mader etc etc etc.
470, Yingling, Tornado, Finn all have more than one boat builder too. The same with sails, you can use whatever sail brand you want to, except those classes.
I agree when Sergio says that Olympics do nothing for the sport and I don't think windsurfing needs to be at Olympics at all.

Ken
24th June 2008, 02:49 AM
Thanks for the info. on the Olympic sailing classes.

It's hard to imagine Starboard, Mistral, etc. all building an Olympic class board to the same specs. However, I guess if they all used the Cobra factory, it could be done, All they have to do is agree on the board design.

Sails would be another issue. I think they would have to use one company.

I agree that the Olympics don't need windsurfing, but for the windsurfers that want to chase the "Olympic dream", why not? If Formula became the Olympic class, I do think you would see a lot more formula windsurfing around the world. The Mistral One Design certainly had an impact world wide when it was the Olympic class board, it just became too old and outdated.

sergio k
24th June 2008, 02:55 AM
Only Laser/Radial and RSX are really ONE DESIGN . The others are BOX RULE classes, more than one brand produces the boats.
Star have Lilia, Mader etc etc etc.
470, Yingling, Tornado, Finn all have more than one boat builder too. The same with sails, you can use whatever sail brand you want to, except those classes.
I agree when Sergio says that Olympics do nothing for the sport and I don't think windsurfing needs to be at Olympics at all.

I never wrote 'that Olympics do nothing for the sport ', I think we get some visibility
and respect from general public, and I'll take it over 'nothing', we need to grow our sport;
But we would get so much more bang for the buck if we have real class like FW,
FOD is a step in the right direction-but still a big compromise...

Unregistered
24th June 2008, 06:05 AM
Ken,
With the Formula Windsurfing concept they already do this. Box Rule means that you have some limits in lenght, width, weight, etc, and you have to produce a boat (or a board) inside this limits.
Star boats and all the other box rule Olympic classes don't have the same specs, acttualy some guys are developing boats specificaally for the very light wind conditions they expect in China. You have also sails for light, medium and strong winds in all those box rule classes, those sails must be inside the rule limit.
Basically is almost the same with FW, you have F2, Exocet, Starboard, Mike's Lab, etc producing boards inside the FW limits, and have 3 rigs from any brand you want inside the rule.
Sergio,
Sorry for the misunderstanding. Unregistered said that the Olympics do nothing for the sport.

C249
24th June 2008, 06:40 AM
"Only Laser/Radial and RSX are really ONE DESIGN . The others are BOX RULE classes, more than one brand produces the boats.
Star have Lilia, Mader etc etc etc."

Sorry, that's wrong.

The 470 class rules say (second line) that "the 470 is a One-Design racing dinghy....". The Tornado class rules say (first line) "This is a one-design class". The Yngling can only be built from moulds that were taken off the master plug; it's a one design according to the class itself. The 49er and Finn are OD classes, according to the class associations, the designers, ISAF and the terms of the competitions from which they were selected. The Star is a one design class.

You can go back as far as the 1950s book by George Elder (who started the Star class association way back in 1922) for an explanation of how a boat can be a one design and still allow some latitude. Basically, with the one designs someone actually designed a physical boat (Cornu for the 470, March for the Tornado, etc) and the class association then allows SOME latitude, historically because no two things produced by mankind are 100% identical. Even the Laser and RSX allow some latitude (a few grammes in weight, etc).

Some OD classes have bigger variation than others, but that doesn't make them development or box rule classes. The "box rule" classes are ones like A Class cats, where they basically say that a boat has to fit within certain dimensions (sail area, length etc).

So why are the Olympic classes now all ODs? They started off with no ODs, but the fact is that Olympic classes that are not OD become extremely expensive. It's almost impossible to write class rules that allow manufacturers to compete to build boats without allowing them to try to find a tiny advantage to give them a competitive edge.

The classic example is the mast the British built to incredibly high tolerances for the slow 11' Europe dinghy; they milled down a one-tonne block of solid alloy to make a mandrel, then made the mast in carbon to designs tested in a wind tunnel, then sanded it down from the inside.....do you think that was cheap? Rich countries can easily out-spend small countries and get a big advantage. Is that fair?

And sometimes you end up with one builder dominant (like Marstrom in the Tornado) so you end up with effectively only one supplier anyway. But basically, why not make it a sailor versus sailor race; why make it a sailor+builder+designer+pit crew+manufacter race?

"not one design, one manufacturer, instead of FOD , have just FW,
just like in other sports like skii, biking, etc... where compatitors free to choose any
brand"

Bike racing's way could be the wrong way. A huge number of people ride bikes. Compared to sailing, only a tiny proportion of those who ride bikes (even performance bikes) compete on their bikes. If it comes to encouraging people to compete, then sailing's way is much, much better.

Windsurfing tends to follow the multi-manufacturer model, and the number of people who race is just minute compared to the one-design (or rating) model followed by boat sailors - despite the fact that there are far fewer classes for it to compete against, FW sells less than a third as many each year as the Laser does.

It seems a bit weird to say "our way is the best" when the facts are so harshly against it. And where in the world is the fun and challenge of beating someone simply because you have purchased better gear?

sergio k
24th June 2008, 09:42 AM
C249, it sounds like you posses a lot of info on sailing/racing and willing to dump it all on us in one shot... The conclusion, I'm assuming( I was lost somewhere on the middle), that OD Olympic class somehow is the best way to benefit windsurfing and represent our sport?

If yes, I still don't get it, pls don't be too wordy if you respond, we're just simple folk here..

C249
24th June 2008, 10:30 AM
Yes, I think an OD class IS the best way to represent windsurfing.

1- Windsurfing is in the Games largely because it is seen as cheap. If we brought in a development windsurfer class it could increase costs in the same way that it did in the development dinghy classes, where the British spent (IIRC) 20,000 pounds on a single mast for a slow 11 foot dinghy. If they can spend 20,000 pounds on a mast, what could they spend on a whole FW board development programme?

That dinghy has now been dumped because smaller nations felt that they couldn't afford to be competitive - that is NOT a recipe for success.

2- When it comes to racing, windsurfing's current obsession with "open" classes doesn't seem to be doing much for the numbers. Our championship regattas are tiny compared to some of the popular dinghy classes. Lasers outsell FW by 350% each year.....our way is not working!

3- If we are looking for a model to copy, why look at bike racing (which attracts only a tiny% of bike riders, even those of performance bikes) and not sailboat racing which attracts a very large % of sailors, and is a closer sport in Olympic terms?

4- Why make a contest between athletes into a contest between manufacturers?

sergio k
24th June 2008, 11:35 AM
now, how hard was that? comments below...
Yes, I think an OD class IS the best way to represent windsurfing.

1- Windsurfing is in the Games largely because it is seen as cheap. If we brought in a development windsurfer class it could increase costs in the same way that it did in the development dinghy classes, where the British spent (IIRC) 20,000 pounds on a single mast for a slow 11 foot dinghy. If they can spend 20,000 pounds on a mast, what could they spend on a whole FW board development programme?

That dinghy has now been dumped because smaller nations felt that they couldn't afford to be competitive - that is NOT a recipe for success.

'FW already has rules to control the costs, including that board/sails have to be production,
with a small addition of including fins/mast/booms to be production + freezing the dev. for
couple of years before the Olympic you would control the cost, plus with diff. brands in the play, I bet, most of the stuff would be given to racers by manufacturers for free with a big 'thank you' for exposure at the Olympics. When did you see last time a top pro that actually paid for his/hers board? Big expense in windsurfing competitions is travel
expense, equipment barely a side note in that budget!'

2- When it comes to racing, windsurfing's current obsession with "open" classes doesn't seem to be doing much for the numbers. Our championship regattas are tiny compared to some of the popular dinghy classes. Lasers outsell FW by 350% each year.....our way is not working!

'Fist, most windsurfers don't race, just bunch of weekend warriors at the local lake.
Second, manufacturers not too excited in promoting 'one' board that works from 5-30 knots, and can be sailed by a beginner and a pro, they prefer selling 2-4 boards instead
that almost accomplish the same thing...'

3- If we are looking for a model to copy, why look at bike racing (which attracts only a tiny% of bike riders, even those of performance bikes) and not sailboat racing which attracts a very large % of sailors, and is a closer sport in Olympic terms?

'Still don't get what you're trying to say, I gave example of biking as a reference that it's
a Olympic sport and not OD'

4- Why make a contest between athletes into a contest between manufacturers?

'This one is a really goofy comment, if you follow any of the main FW events, it's the talent that wins every time, Antoine won few years back on a 2 year old board design, as an example...'

steveC
24th June 2008, 12:18 PM
Hi C249,

As always, you have this esoteric view of sailing that encompasses a bunch of sailing stuff that means little to me. Lasers, dinghys or whatever, doesn't add up to anything in the world of windsurfing. All the stats you liberally offer about other sailing interests outside of windsurfing truly sounds like nonsense.

Don't get me wrong, you could be absolutely right in what you're saying, but you might as well be speaking Chinese. Let's keep the focus on windsurfing, and forget the yacht club foolishness. Who cares about a bunch of dinghy nonsense, I know that I have no interest whatsoever. I'm sure that other dinghy focused websites wax endlessly about it, and I think that stuff would be better discussed there.

C249
24th June 2008, 01:05 PM
1- Lots of classes have rules to control the cost. When you let in organisations like Olympic teams, they can often find a way around those rules. The 20,000 pound mast I mentioned earlier is a case in point, but I won't tire you with the details.

2- So what's stopping the well-funded UK team from starting up Windsurfers Limited and making a limited run of super-expensive boards and rigs, each board meticulously hand made in carbon over Nomex honeycomb in a high-temp autoclave, and available only to certain sailors? After all, the Australian Institute of Sport set up a special company (Bike Technologies) for its gold medal winning superbike. I think the UK has done the same. These rich countries give their athletes an advantage. Fair?

3- Since, as you say, equipment is only a minor part of the cost of a sailor's Olympic effort, in the real world the sailors ignore the mass-produced gear from the big builders and buy the expensive stuff from small companies that specialise in high-end gear. It's been happening for decades in boats and it happened in boards when D2 was the new Olympic gear.

4- About "First, most windsurfers don't race, just bunch of weekend warriors at the local lake."

Well, WHY don't they race? Maybe it's because the racing gear is not suitable for weekend warriors. Maybe we should change that, not just accept it!

5- "Second, manufacturers not too excited in promoting 'one' board that works from 5-30 knots, and can be sailed by a beginner and a pro, they prefer selling 2-4 boards instead
that almost accomplish the same thing..."

Sure - but why should sailors and Olympic teams have to pay for the manufacturers to make more profit by selling more boards?

6- 'Still don't get what you're trying to say, I gave example of biking as a reference that it's
a Olympic sport and not OD'

I'm trying to say that only a very small percentage of keen cyclists race and Olympic cycling doesn't rate all that well on TV, so why assume that it is a better model than sailing's OD model?

7 - "If you follow any of the main FW events, it's the talent that wins every time, Antoine won few years back on a 2 year old board design, as an example..."

Two things; one, there's plenty of other examples that show that becoming Olympic changes lots of things in a class, and it's sailed by more full-time sailors in more countries, with more coaches, more sports scientists, etc. Secondly, if old gear is competitive that's great, but it must mean that there's not a huge advance in speed and therefore OD gear will not become obsolete quickly.

Unregistered
24th June 2008, 01:15 PM
Hi C249,

As always, you have this esoteric view of sailing that encompasses a bunch of sailing stuff that means little to me. Lasers, dinghys or whatever, doesn't add up to anything in the world of windsurfing. All the stats you liberally offer about other sailing interests outside of windsurfing truly sounds like nonsense.

Don't get me wrong, you could be absolutely right in what you're saying, but you might as well be speaking Chinese. Let's keep the focus on windsurfing, and forget the yacht club foolishness. Who cares about a bunch of dinghy nonsense, I know that I have no interest whatsoever. I'm sure that other dinghy focused websites wax endlessly about it, and I think that stuff would be better discussed there.

Steve, windsurfing is in the Games as part of sailing, therefore what happens in sailing at the Games is directly relevant to Olympic windsurfing. And I brought into the discussion in direct response to comments made by others.

Unregistered
24th June 2008, 02:36 PM
Hi guys,
maybe Olympic windsurfing represents a small group of the sport. Also, Formula Windsurfing boards (a best choice now) represents maybe 1% of the boards out there...but having any windsurfing class representing our sport benefits our sport.

Governments and sponsors have a good idea of the importance of Olympics and support not only top sailors but schools, local events, ect.

I think is important to have windsurfing as a Olympic sport because it generates more exposure, more minutes on TV, media, etc and that means money getting into the sport in general terms.

I think that for sure, a planning class as FW is a better choice than the actual or than any type of non-planning class as windsurfing now is more related to a planning sport than maybe 30 years ago that maybe was more a non-planning sport.

FW now is maybe the best choice for Olympics and for me its clear than windsurfing can have more and more money on it with Olympics than without them

Best regards,

Ricardo Guglielmino

Russell
24th June 2008, 03:19 PM
Wow.........

I think my question has been answered.

Windsurfing is under the umbrella of sailing and they only have 2 medals for windsurfing, so we can only use one board.

OK I understand to get windsurfing into the Olympics in the first place it had to come under sailing.

But surely windsurfing has been in the Olympics long enough and has proved it can provide changes in boards to keep up to date with developments. For 2012 the FOD for example. A lot of energy has gone into this but why not into getting windsurfing in on its own right. With a range of boards to represent our sport.

There are many people in the sport competing and it is not just on FW.

I have raced all of the olympic boards apart from the RSX but I also raced or sailed quite a few of the Olympic sailing classes when I was young.

I do not know the figures but I would not be surprised to find that there are more people racing or sailing long boards than FW. Or the trend is moving over to slalom as opposed to FW.

So is it not time that windsurfing comes of age and is represented in it's own right.

Russell

Unregistered
24th June 2008, 04:59 PM
Check what the IOC's Olympic Programme Commission has created as criteria for inclusion as an Olympic sport. On our own, we'd miss by miles. For example, if a sport has its own national federations in less than 110 countries it scores "low"; there are just 51 nations that are part of the International Windsurfing Association, across all classes.

On ticket sales at world titles, or the number of countries that paid for TV rights to the last 2 worlds and the amount they paid, broadcast hours at recent Games, our environmental programme, we'd score low.

Same, probably, with our anti-doping programme, our four year plan with its "well-identified strategies for governance, finance, development and marketing", the share and amount of our Federation's income from broadcasting rights (you get only a medium score is $1 to 10 million US per year!), development by the sport,etc etc etc.

When it comes to gender equity and transparency and fairness on the field, we'd score high. But in the vast majority of criteria we are probably at the very bottom ranking.

Unregistered
24th June 2008, 07:48 PM
C249,
Star is a one design class, ok. Robert Scheidt developed a boat designed by Juan K and Lilia Boats from Italy for the next Olympics. I don't think you can do that in a real one design class.
470 is a one design class, ok. I saw in a manufactor site that they developed a new mold, with a new deck and some small stuffs to improve the performance of the boat.
Only Laser/Radial and RSX boats and boards are manufactured by ONLY ONE MANUFACTOR, they supllies the boats and boards for the Olympics, the rest of the classes you can buy the boat from any brand you want to, buy a mast (or masts) from any brand you want to, buy sails from any brand you want to.
One design here is just an idea, but there are some differences from boat to boat, within the limits of the rules. That's what I meant to say.

Ken
24th June 2008, 09:35 PM
Bottom line -

Yes, C249 is a bit wordy, but it's good information and very relevant to the discussion. ISAF rules and Olympic politics are difficult to overcome, but that doesn't mean that we give up.

We are lucky that windsurfing is an Olympic sailing class. We put our collective heads together and come up with what we think will work best within the class (defining what "works best" is a bit of a challenge), but selling it to the ISAF is the biggest challenge.

It's not likely that future Olympic windsurfing will have a significant impact on the windsurfing world, but it just might.

steveC
25th June 2008, 02:45 AM
My apologies to C249 and others here about my testiness concerning sailboat concerns. I guess my dedication and focus on windsurfing sometimes makes me a bit touchy when the conversation turns to unrelated sailing interests.

Unregistered
25th June 2008, 04:53 AM
c249-
I think you are adding a wealth of information to the dialog here regarding sailing ISAF, Olympics, windsurfing and sailing. It is rather a pity that the windsurfers on this forum are too narrow minded to properly understand the relationship between Olympic windsurfing and other Olympic sailing classes.

sergio k
25th June 2008, 08:43 AM
c249-
I think you are adding a wealth of information to the dialog here regarding sailing ISAF, Olympics, windsurfing and sailing. It is rather a pity that the windsurfers on this forum are too narrow minded to properly understand the relationship between Olympic windsurfing and other Olympic sailing classes.

We understand, it's just that 50% of what he wrote has nothing to do with windsurfing,
and I got a feeling he's not too familiar with FW format to criticize it,
providing bulk data and then trying to somehow connect the dots based on surfacey relevance is just weird

Sail Quick
26th June 2008, 06:32 AM
The problem with windsurfing at the Olympic's seems to be that it is a sailing class and so it is tied up in all that sailing stuff that those yacht club tosser's carry on about. How about they just call it the 'Stand Up Mini-Laser' yachting class and use a 1981 design board for the next 40 years so. The yacht club tosser's will be happy and windsurfers will no longer be embarrassed by the Olympic's.

C249
26th June 2008, 11:06 AM
Yes, the only way a small sport can be in the Games (an event that big sports like baseball, rugby, racquetball/squash and golf cannot get into or stay in) is as a part of sailing. But if we are right and they are tossers, why do they attract so many more sailors, racers, and kids?

The 2-time national FW champ in SQ's country (top 12 in the world) and the #1 slalom sailor in his area (if I have him identified correctly) have both publicly said that they have reservations about the FOD concept. Are they "yacht club tossers" or ignorant?

Yes, Sergio, I haven't raced FW or RSX but I have raced most of the recent Olympic classes (from yachts and cats to boards). From that perspective - and from being at the worlds last time there was (briefly) an open olympic windsurfing class- it's hard to see why windsurfers are so different, and so special that they will not have similar issues. Olympians in boards, like Olympians in boats, chose to buy gear from small specialist builders, rather than gear built to the same rules by big builders for the wider market.

No one is saying FW is not a fantastic class. It is. That's part of the point - why not have a reasoned discussion about whether a fantastic class could get hurt by becoming Olympic, just like other classes?

rgugli
26th June 2008, 11:32 AM
For sure, I would like to have Slalom or Freestyle or wavesailing in Olympics, but say, its more complicated to find good conditions to have this kind of choices than FW or RSX boards. I think its worse to say that windsurfing had no results because of lack of wind.

Also, I think there is no slalom in all countries, no freestyle and no wavesailing in all countries. I think FW or FE (Formula type racing) maybe have more countries racing and maybe the tendency goes that way in this years.

best luck!
Ricardo Guglielmino

Unregistered
26th June 2008, 01:17 PM
this olympics are a humiliation to windsurfing, Lets be inclusive here; the sport consists of wave, slalom, FW(FE), BAFing(Gorge or pond), Freestyle and Open class (mainly old longboards that rail), and going windsurfing, yep, plain old windsurfing noncompetitively, none of which is represented at "The Games". How much farther out in left field do things need to get. Truely useless crap. To do the noble and proper thing would be to give the medals to the kiters, or a paralympic event. At least they would support and get amped about a close representtion of their best. Failing that if windsurfing stays in the olympics don't invent a solution, use the current pinnacle class, Formula, or the most popular OPEN, or the next competitive contraption and treat it as just another counter race. I'll be tuning into the race walking (for a laugh), or syncronized swimming (for the flexability) before I'd watch RSX. The olympics is money begging participants, wooed by empire building bureaucrats on the take of a corporation (or the next* corporation) and solicitors. Better bring something more than gutsy competition to the table once those are the main parameters of the the event.
No wind + weeds, welcome to windsurfing in China. Love the food and the people but no one can really take this event serious. It's a joke at so many levels.

Ken
27th June 2008, 12:51 AM
Poster 29,

There are several sports in the Olympics that many would consider "a joke". On the other hand, the athletes that will be competing in those "joke" events have been busting their butts for years to have the opportunity to match their skills against the best in the world in their event. You may not want to watch the RSX, but I see no reason why windsurfing in any format or class should be eliminated from the Olympics because of your or anyone's lack of interest.

It's a real deal for those competing - Let 'em race!

steveC
27th June 2008, 02:29 AM
I would be greatly surprised if windsurfing at the Olympics is even televised and scheduled for the public to see. Then again, it might be a requirement that all the sports in the Olympics be captured on video or motion pictures, just for the record. Maybe someone knows more about the requirements on this, and they can comment further.

In any case, I really hope there's viable wind for the event, as it would be very sad to have all the competitors slowly pump their way around the course. If there is no wind, I would almost prefer that the racing be cancelled without an outcome. I know many folks would find difficulty with this, but sometimes no result can be better than pretending to have a competition where the abolutely crucial ingredient, wind, is missing.

Dan
27th June 2008, 11:39 PM
Windsurfing is a sport like sailing it has many different disciplines.

In the olympics sailing has a range of boats to represent the sport.

So why can't windsurfing have the same.

For sure Starboard have the range of boards. eg.. Serenity( Americas Cup style ), Phantom Race for triangle style racing and formula for pure speed.

Why not.......


Russell

Hi Russell: Many sailboat sailors do not always think of windsurfing as being different elements of the same sport. In other words, some people refuse to acknowledge that windsurfing is sailing. What I find ironic is how many windsurfers seem to have bought into this idea, too. Windsurfing is not like sailing, windsurfing IS sailing.

In the United States, windsurfing was not supported by the overal sailing community for a long time. This is changing rapidly as I write this.

US Sailing recently created a Windsurfing Task Force to address the issue of better integtrating windsurfing into the larger sailing culture as well as to make Olympic windsurfing a USA strength! I'm priviledged to serve on this Task Force as its representative to US Windsurfing along with Bryan McDonald (Chair), Nevin Sayre, Susan Epstein (member of and reprentative to the U.S. Sailing Board of Directors), Britt Viehman (head of Team USA junior windsurfing) and Jerelyn Biehl (member of U.S. Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee and mother of Cameron Biehl who is on the US Olympic Team).

U.S. Sailing has confirmed that the United States believes that windsurfing is one of many ways to enjoy the sport of sailing. While there might be debate about the limits of sailing's definition, windsurfing is not anywhere near the edge. We are an important part of Olympic and international sailing. Windsurfing is comparatively inexpensive and represents the most diverse group of participants (culturally, economically, racially, etc.) of any aspect of sailing. Windsurfing pretty much is the perfect fit for the Olympics and that's why the RS:X (and the IMCO before it) is the only Olympic sailing class with TWO events : one for women and another for men! No other sailing craft is represented twice in the Olympic regatta, only windsurfers!!

-Dan

Dan
28th June 2008, 12:41 AM
A quick follow-up: http://www.ussailing.org/video/

Wait until the end of the video. This grant is just the beginning of the renewal of U.S. Sailing's active support of windsurfing! Much more to come!!

-Dan

sergio k
28th June 2008, 02:12 AM
Dan, this sounds really great that US Sailing is throwing it's support behind windsurfing,
we need all the help we can get grow the sport, special youth segment,
my hope though, that they realize that we, as a sport, evolved over 20+ years and
non-planning part of windsurfing doesn't not represent what's exciting and at the top level,
and also that any OD would always be a compromise. It's the cheapest sailing sport,
and the reasons that non-OD in some other sailing classes would inflate cost of equipment doesn't not apply to windsurfing based on it's current racing history.

pierrec45
28th June 2008, 05:28 AM
> non-planning part of windsurfing doesn't not represent what's exciting
> and at the top level

The top-level of racing is the top level.

What may be exciting to the viewers and the gentiles, what may bring people to the sport (which personally is what I would like the modern Olympics to promote as there are too many passive people in our society), that's a different question.

Unregistered
28th June 2008, 05:43 AM
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/beijing_olympics/story/0,27313,23934506-5014197,00.html

C249
28th June 2008, 08:09 PM
WARNING - LONG POST.

Dan, good posts. It's great that US Sailing is getting behind windsurfing. Maybe they can introduce to our sport the same thinking that makes other forms of sailing so appealing to kids. It would be wonderful if the success of classes like the Optimist (1900 paid-up US kids in the class) was replicated in boards. It would be great if windsurfing could recover the strength it had before it became so fixated on just planing.... the fleets are so much smaller these days so obviously that doesn't work because.

Out of interest, I'm trying to build up a picture of what people are actually racing. It seems that the reality is different from the hype. Here's some results; further info would be very interesting.

British national circuit - Techno 293 (junior hybrid) =145 entries, Formula Windsurfer =84 entries, Raceboard = 80 entries, RSX hybrid =59 entries, Kona One = 11 entries (new class)

British Team 15 (for kids 15 years and under -requires centreboard for zone racing, aims to develop kids to sail Techno hybrid) = about 80 clubs. Each team can put up to 15 kids into a zone-level race. That's something like 800 kids on boards with centreboards.

US Nationals 08 - 17 FW entries, 2 FE entries, Raceboards 25 entries, Hybrid 5 entries, Sports Fleet 12 entries.

US ranking list 07 - FW 85, Open (inc. raceboard, Kona, etc) 80; Kona One Design 48; Hybrid 29; FE 24.

Australian national titles, average fleet last 2 seasons; Windsurfer One Design 32; Raceboard - 31.5; FW - 25; RSX= 6?; Junior One NSW titles (biggest kid's titles as nationals were cancelled due to algal bloom) = 15. Note FW is usually bigger.

French national ranking lists:

Techno 293 - 525 boys, 168 girls
Raceboard - 206 men, 82 women
Funboard - 108 men, 18 women
Formula - 106 men, 11 women.
Kona One - 401 (I think a lot of these people just borrowed a Kona for a regatta)

German windsurfing association rankings

Raceboard (longboard) = 130 sailors
Junior Longboard = 95 sailors
DWC Slalom/Formula/wave/freestyle = 70 sailors including 8 under 20 years.
Kona One = 64
Techno 293 OD = 25 sailors (growing)
RSX = 25 sailors
IMCO = 15 sailors
Mistral Junior = 5 to 10 sailors

JUNIOR WORLDS ENTRIES

2007 Techno 293 OD hybrid worlds (under 17)= 166 entries (I think that the entries were restricted due to demand exceeding the available spots).
2007 FE Junior Worlds = 10 entries.
2007 FW Junior Worlds = 12 entries

YOUTH WORLDS

2007 FE Youth worlds = 5 entries.
2007 FW Youth Worlds = 48 entries.
2007 RSX Youth Worlds = 65 entries
2007 Raceboard Youth Euros = 34 entries. (no Youth worlds as the Worlds were in South America)

Obviously South America, Asia and much of Europe are not included.

It's interesting to see the classes that people are actually racing, rather than the classes that get hyped. Roughly totalling the above, we see;

1029 junior hybrid sailors (Techno 293)
625 junior Longboard sailors (assuming 500 T-15 sailors on longboards)
556 Kona One/Windsurfer One sailors (as noted, many probably borrowed boards).
405 FW sailors (an underestimate, one assumes, although the class does not list more than 100 sailors in any country)
320 adult Raceboard sailors (not counting the French as they may be RSX sailors, but assuming 50% of all US Open sailors are raceboarders)
195 adult hybrid sailors (not counting the French RSX/Raceboard sailors)
100 Youth Hybrid sailors (an underestimate as the national rankings are not broken down)
68 FW Youth/Junior
41 FE Youth/Junior (assuming all US FE sailors are Juniors or Youth)

I don't actually personally like the Techno as it doesn't suit local requirements, but it seems to be doing very well so it certainly does work. The Kona One is being heavily promoted which may distort the figures, but then again so are most of the other classes. This list ignores the Raceboard and FW open, masters and womens championships.

BTW, about "the RS:X (and the IMCO before it) is the only Olympic sailing class with TWO events : one for women and another for men! No other sailing craft is represented twice in the Olympic regatta, only windsurfers!!"

Actually, the 470 class has both women and men's Olympic events. So does the Laser; the men sail the standard version, the women sail the Radial which is identical but for the bottom mast section and the sail.208+60+

Unregistered
4th July 2008, 12:57 AM
... so windsurfing in the Olympics does nothing for the rest of the sport!

Well, that's a pretty short sighted and ill informed comment.

The fact is that windsurfing is practiced in more than 70 countries round the world and maintains its place in the Olympic sailing family due to that in any wind speed where racing takes place, it is dynamic and media friendly.

How many of the comments in this discussion have been made by women? In fact, how many women regularly race FW or PWA? Take a look at the Olympic Class Fleet.... 80 women raced in NZL at the RS:X Worlds.

Do you imagine that if windsurfing in the Olympic Regatta was not considerd a success, that it would now be selected for both boys and girls in the Youth Olympics for 2010?

Do you imagine that having windsurfing in both the Youth Olympics and the Olympic Games, does not bring development funding into the sport?

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG) is one such windsurfer who is now successful in FW who came out of the IMCO Youth Programme.

Windsurfing in the Olympics is of universal benefit to the sport of windsurfing. Mistral thought so. Neil Pryde thinks so and obviously Svein Rasmussen thinks so...

Unregistered
4th July 2008, 12:14 PM
one desing equipment is allways back by the manufacture, as soon the manufacture pull the plug out this class it dies down. open formula format it give chance to all manufacture to jump in the race for evolution and create better equipment.

first IMCO, then RSX, then KONA, and now BIG TECHNO, and tomorrow ONE DESING PADDLE BOARD .

this is just manufacture pushing to sell their products

FORMULA FOR THE OLYMPICS.

Sail Quick
8th July 2008, 06:23 AM
I reckon they should just use a wooden power line pole for a board (paint it white to keep the yacht club tossers happy) and use bed sheet tied to a broom stick for a sail.

This will satisfy all the criteria as the gear will be cheap, require great skill from the competitors to use, stupid and have no resemblence to windsurfing...in other words, exactly what it is now but much simpler so everyone should be happy.

C249
8th July 2008, 08:02 PM
Is that the SailQuick who raced with the "tossers" at a yacht club (GLYC) at Easter? Did you call them "tossers" to their face?

If they are "tossers" why do they achieve so much for their sport in terms of numbers of competitors, sailors and juniors?

Do you feel it's okay to use volunteers to run events you sail in, and then abuse them with a term like "tossers"?

If you are that Sail Quik, how did it feel to be beaten by ancient One Designs in a strong-wind race when you were using your fast gear?

If a board can beat your fast gear around the course in 20-30 knots, how can you say it's not "windsurfing"?

In fact, how can any logical person claim that light-wind sailing, which is the activity that was first called "windsurfing" and that created the sport of windsurfing, is not windsurfing?

C249
8th July 2008, 08:15 PM
Just to make it clear; I love windsurfing, which has been a big part of my life for many years. Formula, slalom, freestyle, waves, racing, they are all incredible.

But the sheer mind-blowing arrogance and sneering superiority complex of some of the posters around here makes me ashamed, in some ways, to be part of this sport.....no, actually I'm annoyed at the "me too" guys who wandered in, after the sport was well and truly created, and then started to apply their own narrow-minded restrictive attitudes, and have the sheer hide to try to rename a whole sport to suit their own limited vision. This sport used to have an Aloha spirit that encompassed everyone..... that's largely gone and its lack is hurting the sport.

In this thread, many people have thrown barbs at the boat and other sailors, accusing them of some cliche'd attitudes. God knows where these people get these ideas from - it seem that their concept of boat sailors comes from Caddyshack, which is probably the most intellectual piece of media they have ever been exposed to.

In fact, these "tossers" are out there making carbon-fibre foilers and other brilliant devices in their backyards. They allow a wide choice, from strict one designs (for those who want true sailor-on-sailor competition without taking the easy way out by buying an advantage) to classes that are much more open to experimentation than any windsurfer class. There are guys out there on boats who are making and designing 7kg carbon hydrofoiling hulls in their backyards. They don't get scared by people who dare to have different tastes and abilities.

If the boat guys were such idiots, they wouldn't attract so many thousands of young kids....it's the boat guys and OD guys who attract fleets of hundreds, it's the other guys who get a derisory 20 or so to a "worlds". Guess what, the kids have voted, you've lost.

But of course, facts like that don't bother the empty heads of those who would rather pop up an empty cliche for them to abuse, because it inflates their own superiority.

Is it too scary for some people to respect those who enjoy sailing on the water in other ways?

For heaven's sake, can't we have some respect for our fellow sailors, no matter what they sail?

pierrec45
8th July 2008, 09:14 PM
Hu oh, we got CT cranked up now...

Regarding SailQuick's post:

> have no resemblence to windsurfing

What do you mean, you want the Olympics to be about guys driving in with the trailer-quiver, one sail size for each knot? That's the modern approach to windsurfing, you're right. Personally, I find it closer to a Tupperware party than Olympics.

> require great skill from the competitors to use

You're absolutely right there too. Any one-design class or restricted class in terms of sails allowed are very, very demanding. None of that "the wind is too strong, I'll come in to get the size-down sail until I can hold it". You fight the rig at hand and the conditions.

If I wanted to be an equipment snob like some posters, I'd say only those who have successfully competed at some level can really appreciate that aspect of the sport, but I won't. ;-)

[Of course, none of that answers the question: should there be windsurfing at Olympics - that's a different question.]