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Old 4th May 2008, 02:07 AM   #14
steveC
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639
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RSX Sailor,

I don't think that Starboard's proposal eliminates pumping, but rather, with a starting windspeed of 6 knots, the need for pumping is less necessary. I think establishing a realistic lower limit windspeed for racing makes real sense because elevating Olympic windsurfing to a planing sport better corresponds to what windsurfing truly is for the majority of windsurfers in the world.

I think that an emphasis on trying to race in no wind, and using pumping as a crutch to make it even possible, literally takes the heart out of the sport. I think that the idea of the steely, tough as nails athlete that can pump their way through the whole race as being the windsurfing ideal is way off the mark. If that model was the paramount focus of Olympic windsurfing, an argument would follow that harnesses should not be permitted.

There are already many disciplines in the Summer Olympics where incredible physical strength, endurance and athletic ability are the cornerstone for success. On the other hand, there are many other disciplines that don't rely on that model in the same terms, because often success depends on a different mix of abilities and strengths. In my opinion, I feel that windsurfing should fall in this latter arena, and I wholeheartedly welcome a focus on planing and tactical sailing performance.
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