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IYRU, ISAF, WS Rejects ...

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 19 at 5:16pm
Originally posted by mozzy

]Then you have the fact that Olympics only comes around every 4 years.

Think that's the biggest factor. Few people get a shot at the Olympics at all, most of them only one. Worlds (in the Olympic classes) come round every year and there's always another one next year and everyone who wants to can go. Blow your chance at an Olympic medal and that might be it. And then there's the sheer scale of the event, the mainstream press, TV, security and everything. I'm told its utterly different.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 19 at 7:26am
Originally posted by davidyacht

“Back” ... Sailing has been an Olympic sport since 1896, so throughout the heydays of our sport.  It remains the pinnacle and is an important factor in why young people might take it up ... a recent talk by Hannah Mills at our club resulted in lots of young attendees, some of which appear to be pursuing a path to the highest levels.

And yet there's a huge shortfall of people below the age of 50?/60? That old chestnut about 'Inspiration' doesn't seem to count for very much in the long term...

The (very positive) article on women's sailing on the front page seems much closer to the truth  - accessibility & camaraderie is what drives participation. 

The present Olympics debacle is a complete storm in a teacup. Should we replace one wind driven floaty thing that 99.9% of humanity don't care about with another one that 99.9% of humanity will continue not to care about...  LOL

The Olympic tail has been wagging the dog for far too long.

 

 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 19 at 8:38am
Originally posted by DiscoBall

 

The Olympic tail has been wagging the dog for far too long.


Clap spot on.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 19 at 9:23am
I've always had mixed feelings about the Olympics, but I do have to agree with DavidYacht that it is providing the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for younger elements in the two sports I'm probably closer to at the commercial part of my existence. They seem to have cobbled together a bunch of foiling girl kiters and that's not the easiest thing to achieve and there are a fair number of young windsurfing aspirants.

We never see them at club level which is a shame and a waste since their example could easily be spread further afield, then again maybe their social media activities spread wider than mine, I'm not that into instagram/twitter etc and the confines of Facebook seem to be mainly political these days in all my feeds save the odd world sailing spam that I report as fake news and harassment.


Edited by iGRF - 30 May 19 at 9:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 19 at 9:30am
Being part of the Olympic “circus” does confer a status on the sport, without which sailboat racing would be on a par with tiddlywinks, so in my opinion it is important to be retained in the games.

To the purist a World Championship probably represents the zenith of the sport, and the World Champion in an Olympic Class has probably achieved more than in achieving an Olympic gold in the eyes of an enthusiast, but to Joe Public “gold” confers the status and no doubt opens up avenues to monetize their achievements that a Corinthian champion cannot do.

Whilst some might denigrate youth squad systems, Olympic gold is well and truly at the top of the pyramid, and the Olympic Sailors and Facilties are no doubt used to inspire and enable youngsters to progress through the system.  Whilst I have a sentimental attachment to a club based Cadet and Mirror approach, leading to a lifetime of Corinthian sailors no I do wonder if this time has actually passed due to changes in behaviour.

I think that the root of the problems that we are faced with today have much to do with the power play by World Sailing to have a finger in all windsports, had they not pursued this route Windsurfing and Kite Surfing would have to have negotiated their own “slots”.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CT249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 19 at 1:17am
Where I live, when windsurfing was put into the Olympics it was as closely related to the dinghies as the Soling and Star were. Many windsurfer racers also sailed boats and vice versa. As I understand it, the situation was similar in many other places; I know that many of the top Americans, for example, were boat sailors before they moved into windsurfing. It wasn't that WS dragged a totally disparate sport into its grasp in a power play.

If there's a perception that there are not enough spots for the dinghies then arguably that ignores the fact that the Games were mainly a keelboat affair for many years, and the big boat guys have been thrown out to allow more dinghies in. At the first sailing Games there were half a dozen boats over 100 tons and there were offshore racer/cruisers in the Games until the 8s were dropped after 1936.



Edited by CT249 - 31 May 19 at 1:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 19 at 8:35am
I was a dinghy racer before I raced Windsurfers in the NE England but I was one of very few. I can't name another in my region (though I'm sure there were some) and none of the top regional guys had raced dinghies before. Windsurf racers back then (early '80s) were the complete antithesis of dinghy bods, many with little interest in and even less knowledge of the rules which made for some interesting times club racing. Events tended to be run by dinghy clubs so were 'done properly' as were the National series but the governing body* was separate from the RYA who administered most sail sports in the UK.

* There were two bodies governing Windsurfing, the British Funboard Association who organised events along the lines of the Windsurfing World Tour and the U. K. Board Sailing Association who were responsible for One Design, Div1 & Div2 then later Raceboards on Olympic or club style courses.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote CT249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 19 at 3:45am
That's quite different from the way it was here, Sam. Most of the top windsurfers here when the sport went Olympic were also boat sailors, who have gone on to events like the Olympics (Soling, 470), winning the 12 Metre worlds during the America's Cup defence, winning a bunch of Sydney to Hobarts, finishing runner-up in the Tornado worlds, etc. Further back in the early fleet were a two-time Olympian (FD, Tornado), AC sailor Iain Murray, Andrew Buckland who invented the modern assymetric spinnaker, etc.  

Among the top Americans in the early days, Robby Naish came from a sailing family; his dad was a US Hobie 16 champion and started out in Hobies; Olympian Scott Steele and World Cup sailor Nevin Sayre were top dinghy racers; Ken Winner was a dinghy racer. Top industry figures like sailmakers Monty Spindler (Maui Sails, 5th in the Laser worlds, Finn Olympic campaigner) and Barry Spanier (dinghies, cruising) were also boaties, as were the heads of the big sailmakers. I can't find out much about the Euros.

At windsurfing's first Olympics, the course racing silver went to Scott Steele; the bronze to Bruce Kendall, another former dinghy sailor. In the exhibition event, plenty of the medals went for former dinghy sailors and some of that generation went on to win pro World Cup titles. Gold medallist windsurfers Sieber and Kendall went on to Olympic campaigns on boats, while Carlos Espinola got two Olympic medals in windsurfers and two in boats.

Just amongst the older guys I have raced with this season there are windsurfer/boaties who have won the 18 Foot Skiff Grand Prix, three Moth worlds, Tornado silver medal, etc.  The two streams have grown apart recently, but there are still top windsurfers who came from Optis etc and top sailors like Tom Slingsby and Glen Ashby who are keen windsurfers, while older windsurfing champs like Michel Quintin are doing well in yachts.

The significant amount of mixing means that tou can make a pretty good case that World Sailing's adoption of windsurfing was due to the fact that it is a part of sailing rather than being a power grab.

Moving closer to the OT, the WS record in choosing windsurfers is pretty terrible, whether they have tried to go with the current style or create a new one, but all of the rejects have collapsed too.





Edited by CT249 - 01 Jun 19 at 3:53am
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