ISAF selects kiteboarding for Rio 2016
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has confirmed the final event and equipment selections for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.
The ISAF Council voted that Kiteboarding will replace windsurfing for the men's and women's board events and confirmed the equipment that will be used for the Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull Events.
The Mackay FX, referred to as the 49er FX, was selected yesterday as the two person women's skiff and today the Nacra 17 joins the Olympic equipment family after being selected for the two person mixed multihull event.
The 49er FX received the majority of votes from the ISAF Council in the first round after the six evaluation trial entries were narrowed down to just three; the 29erXX, the RS900 and the 49er FX.
There was an equally animated debate on the final morning of the Council meeting at this year's ISAF Mid-Year Meeting to decide the equipment to be selected for the mixed multihull event. After discussing the recommendations from the Evaluation Panel, the Equipment Committee and the Events Committee, Council voted between the Nacra 17 and the Viper with the Nacra 17 securing the majority.
The final discussion on the events and equipment for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition was about the men's and women's board events with Council voting in favour or kiteboarding.
In November 2011 an evaluation group was appointed to examine kiteboarding formats with the board events for Rio 2016 defined as 'windsurfing and/or kiteboarding'. The Evaluation Group recommended that kiteboarding be included in the ISAF Event family including the ISAF Sailing World Cup and the ISAF Sailing World Championships but Council went one step further and selected Kiteboarding for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition as well.
The ISAF Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Committee will consider and make further recommendations to Council on the implementation of the inclusion of kiteboarding at their meeting in November 2012 at the ISAF Annual Conference.
ISAF President Göran Petersson said, "These announcements mark a new era for sailing and we welcome the new classes into the ISAF family. The equipment selections have fulfilled the criteria set out by the Evaluation Panel and we look forward to seeing the boats not only at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but the ISAF Sailing World Cup and ISAF Sailing World Championships.
"Kiteboarding has proven to us that it is ready to be included into the list of prestigious ISAF Events and it is a fantastic addition to the sailing programme for the 2016 Olympic Games."
The events to be contested at the 2016 Olympic Games are confirmed as:
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's One Person Dinghy (heavy) - Finn
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Men's Skiff - 49er
Women's skiff - 49er FX
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Nacra 17
These ten events will be featured in the 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup which kicks off in Melbourne in December and will come together in Santander, Spain in 2014 for the ISAF Sailing World Championships.
ISAF Council also approved applications from Kosovo (Group C) and Vietnam (Group K) for full member status.
Source: ISAF (http://www.sailing.org/38281.php)
Olympic Kite Evaluation Trials - Santander, March 2012
North team riders – Blazej Ozog, Steph Bridge, Narayna & Alice were amongst the 15 riders from around the world chosen to represent their country & the rest of the world of kiteboarders for the format evaluation carried out by ISAF. 5 days of testing different course formats including Slalom, Boarder Cross, Course racing, short track, Enduro & more. The trials were run from the High Performance sailing Centre in Santander (CEAR) & took place alongside other test trials to decide the womans skiff for 2016 & also the Mixed gender mulithull. The team had a huge chance to showcase the sport to its best – given any opportunity to race with the fastest boats, showing the huge strengths : Colour, high speeds, crashes, close cut moves, close to beach media exposure, tactics,beach life, ease of transport of equipment & affordability.
Within the next couple of weeks the evaluation report will be a positive one – many have just been blown away by the possibilities. In conclusion it was decided that a box style (quatro) course was most suited for big fleets & added the exciting start line -up then coming altogether for the reaches round the course. It was concluded that the upwind does make it more difficult for spectators to follow however the leg length’s would be short to keep the high visual impact.
The ‘short track’style course in line with the Americas’ cup Catamarans would be introduced during the knock out & would end in a 4 person final for the gold medal. This course involves a reach start, upwind & downwind gate with a further reach finish. Again – really easy to follow, can be run very close to the beach & involves skill & tactics also.
These 2 courses will be short 10-12 mins & the size of the course will depend on the wind strength & size of the fleet. They will be introduced now going into the season. Perhaps some of the highlights of the Olympic evaluation included blasting across the bay in 6 knots of wind but travelling at 4 x the speed, Meeting the president of ISAF, introducing the committee members to our sport from a very basic level, out performing all other craft on the water with speed, upwind ability & VMG.
The next big decision will be in May if ISAF decide to include kitesurfing within the ISAF World Cup events. We hope that they will postpone the decision until November for whether kiteboarding and/Or windsurfing can make it into 2016 Rio Olympics. This will allow more time to prove our sport further to the national member bodies around the world.
(words & pics – Steph Bridge – Edgewatersports – UK)