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Weighty Matters in the Olympic Classes Debate

by Andy Rice 2 Nov 2007 10:46 GMT 1 Novermber 2007
Andy Rice analyses the weights of olympic sailors © Andy Rice

I can feel it in my bones. The topic of crew weight is really going to get you going. I know this because of the huge amount of feedback that has flooded into The Survey on this very subject. Some say there is nothing for the little people to sail, others say there’s nothing for the big people. All depends on your point of view, I suppose.

So I decided to take a look at the competitive weights currently operating within the 11 fleets. Now, before you remind me that Qingdao is just around the corner and that every Olympic aspirant is on an emaciation diet for the anticipated light – or complete lack of – wind in China, here’s what I did.

Firstly I asked a few sailors, people like Darren Bundock in the Tornado and Carol Cronin (former top American Yngling sailor) their views. But beyond that I took a look at the official website for the ISAF World Championships in Cascais earlier this summer. If you go to, you’ll see that under the Entry List for each class, the sailors have provided their crew weights in kilograms.

Now, the good thing about Cascais was that it was predicted to be windy. Do you remember the slogan for the event? "The wind is calling."

Well, as it turned out, the wind wasn’t just calling, it was howling! So I have made the assumption that sailors would have wanted to perform well in the anticipated strong winds and their crew weights would be representative of a normal Olympic cycle building up to an Olympic Regatta where any type of wind could be expected. It’s certainly the case that many sailors went on a crash diet immediately after Cascais in a bid to lose as much weight as possible before the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao a month later.

So I took the weights of the top 10 finishers in each class World Championship at Cascais, and did a few sums...

Read the full article on Andy Rice's SailJuice blog

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