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Musto 2017 728x90 Surefooted

Please save our sport petition gaining momentum

by Ben Nicholls 4 May 14:40 BST
Luke Patience & Chris Grube during the Men's 470 Medal Race at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition © Richard Langdon / Ocean Images

There has been a lot of noise around the selection of Classes for Paris 2024, but perhaps only those really dialled into the activities of World Sailing seemed to be following the process in any detail. That was until a group of Olympic Medallists wrote an article that opened "Sailing Clubs, time is short".

As a grassroots sailor who has had a passion for the sport all of my life, I was moved by their comments and shared their link on a Sailing FB Group. All of a sudden several others were moved by their comments, but asking what to do about it...

How can the voices of grassroots sailors be heard etc etc. A fellow commuter on my train to work suggested a petition. It took a few minutes to set-up, a copy and paste of the Seahorse Magazine article and a simple post on social media.

As you can see by the thousands of sailors around the world who have signed and shared the petition, the article strikes an accord. Feedback being posted show strong feelings that deeper thought needs to be given to the subject before any sweeping changes are made. There are strong feelings that kitesurfing should not be under the banner of "sailing". The participants in the sport love the Laser, the Finn, the 470, the skiff boats. They urge the Youth pathway to be considered as well as our Clubs, the very backbone of the sport. Many aired concerns the grassroots of the sport needs the attention of World Sailing.

Hopefully at next week's World Sailing Conference in London, the voices of the grassroots of our sport will be embraced.

www.change.org/p/world-sailing-executive-world-sailing-executive-please-save-our-sport

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