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Old 24th June 2008, 05:40 AM   #11
C249
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"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?
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Old 24th June 2008, 08:42 AM   #12
sergio k
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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..
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Old 24th June 2008, 09:30 AM   #13
C249
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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?
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Old 24th June 2008, 10:35 AM   #14
sergio k
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now, how hard was that? comments below...
Quote:
Originally Posted by C249 View Post
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...'
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Old 24th June 2008, 11:18 AM   #15
steveC
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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.
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Old 24th June 2008, 12:05 PM   #16
C249
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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.
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Old 24th June 2008, 12:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveC View Post
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.
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Old 24th June 2008, 01:36 PM   #18
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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
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Old 24th June 2008, 02:19 PM   #19
Russell
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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
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Old 24th June 2008, 03:59 PM   #20
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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.
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