|27th June 2008, 02:29 AM||#31|
Join Date: Aug 2006
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.
|27th June 2008, 11:39 PM||#32|
Join Date: Aug 2006
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!!
|28th June 2008, 02:12 AM||#34|
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.
|28th June 2008, 05:28 AM||#35|
Join Date: Sep 2007
> 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.
|28th June 2008, 08:09 PM||#37|
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
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+
|4th July 2008, 12:57 AM||#38|
Windsurfing in the Olympics is a universal benefit
... 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...
|4th July 2008, 12:14 PM||#39|
FORMULA FOR THE OLYMPICS ( no more bla,bla )
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.
|8th July 2008, 06:23 AM||#40|
Join Date: Dec 2007
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.