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RSX Windsuring Class Launches Petion re ISAF 2016 Selection
Team McLube




May 7, 2012, 4:42 PM

Post #1 of 4 (15203 views)
RSX Windsuring Class Launches Petion re ISAF 2016 Selection Log-In to Post/Reply

Rory Ramsden of the RSX Class has launched a petition to reverse the ISAF decision to replace windsurfing with kitesurfing for the 2016 Olympics. Ramsden writes:

You probably have already heard the bad news that Windsurfing was not selected by ISAF to be part of the 2016 Olympic Regatta in Rio.

Believe me we are working on a plan to reverse this decisionů In the meantime, we will not stand a chance without you taking action too.

Please click the following link and sign the petition

AND ask all your friends to do so
AND ask them to ask their friends
AND ask them to ask their friends

and so on until we have 100,000 signatures or more.

That is our first target and with your help we can do it. There are other plans in the works which we are working on but if you do what I ask then you will have done your partů for now

Rory Ramsden
RSX Class

Solent Sailor

May 7, 2012, 8:07 PM

Post #2 of 4 (15136 views)
Re: [ms] RSX Windsuring Class Launches Petion re ISAF 2016 Selection [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply


The Publisher

May 14, 2012, 10:43 AM

Post #3 of 4 (14988 views)
Re: [ms] RSX Windsuring Class Launches Petion re ISAF 2016 Selection [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

By Alvin Sallay, South China Morning Post
May 13, 2012

Former Olympian and millionaire businessman Neil Pryde has warned sailing is in danger of being kicked out of the Olympics as the fallout continues from the controversial decision to dump windsurfing in favour of kiteboarding for the 2016 Games.

Pryde says the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has made a terrible and unfathomable decision and accused it of "selfishness". "The ISAF is represented by all member countries and most come from the yacht brigade. What they have done is to safeguard their narrow interests and sacrificed windsurfing. What they don't realise is the whole sport of sailing is in danger of being kicked out of the Olympics," said the 71-year-old Pryde, whose name is attached to the RSX windsurfing discipline which will be seen for the last time at the London Olympics.

"From a business perspective it doesn't impact me as I will continue to provide the sailing equipment.

"But from a personal point of view, I think it is a terrible decision for the sport of sailing as a whole. It's an absolute disgrace."

Pressure from the International Olympic Committee is seen as the reason why the ISAF has jumped the gun. Having placed a cap on the number of sports at the summer Olympics - 28 - the IOC has also made it clear all sports have to be commercially viable. And for this, television is the key.

"The main source of revenue for the IOC is from television and as far as sailing is concerned, it scores poorly in TV ratings," Pryde said.

"On top of this, the IOC is also against sports which are regarded as elitist. They want sports for the people. Unfortunately sailing is regarded as elitist, the 'yacht class'."

Windsurfing is virtually the poor man's discipline in sailing.

All the equipment, which is provided free of charge for the Olympics by Pryde, is one-design and is far cheaper than a dinghy or a laser boat, other classes at the Olympics.

Pryde is adamant windsurfing has helped raise the profile of sailing, and more importantly changed a long-held perception the sport was only for the upper-crust gentry, those from the "yacht class".

"Windsurfing has been in the Olympics for more than 25 years and it has helped introduce sailing to a wider audience," Pryde said.

"Just look at China, who came into sailing through windsurfing and today is challenging for the America's Cup.

"This discipline has helped countries from Thailand to India come into the sport and it is sad the ISAF has totally ignored this fact.

"It is a selfish decision made purely to protect certain sailing classes already in the Games," he said.

The Hong Kong-based sailing enthusiast, whose company Pryde Group employs more than 2,500 people in 40 different countries, is a world leader in the marine and adventure sports markets with an annual turnover of HK$1 billion.

He sailed for Hong Kong in the Flying Dutchman class - with Peter Gamble - at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico and, until Lee Lai-shan won a gold medal in windsurfing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, held the best result in sailing, a 13th-place finish.

His business interests allow him free access to the corridors of power in the sailing world and Pryde was present two years ago at an ISAF council meeting in Athens when the move began to get kiteboarding into the Olympics as a separate discipline.

Pryde said: "Originally the idea was for sailing to ask for another medal at the Olympics by introducing kiteboarding.

"There was no talk of replacing windsurfing, but somehow, over the years, things have evolved and with the number of athletes at the Olympics being restricted, this has unfortunately occurred.

"While kiteboarding is a great sport, it is quite immature. There is no structure, no organisation and no youth development.

"And the plan was to introduce kiteboarding by the 2020 Games, not in 2016. Fast-forwarding a still developing sport is totally ridiculous."

The switch must still be approved by the IOC, but with the technical aspects of sports generally left to the discretion of the federations, it is highly unlikely they will intervene on behalf of windsurfing.


The Publisher

May 15, 2012, 9:28 AM

Post #4 of 4 (14728 views)
Re: [The Publisher] RSX Windsuring Class Launches Petion re ISAF 2016 Selection [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

When the ISAF Council voted for kiteboarding to replace windsurfing at the 2016 Olympic Games, the medal prospects for the United States went from zero to hero. Americans Johnny Heineken and Adam Koch are two of the top three sailors in the latest Course Racing World Ranking, and Johnny is the defending Course Racing World Champion.

But despite the prominence now given to kiteboarding, Johnny has his concerns too. Here he comments on the challenges that lie ahead for his sport...
I have to admit I did not see that one coming so soon. The challenge now is for kiteboarding to maintain our equipment regulations about as they are now. If we end up with an RS:X situation (current Olympic windsurfer), it will be over. So, I think we have two main things to address right now:

* Equipment -
Keep the box rule and open (production) kite rule. We cannot go one design. If we go one design, we will have the same situation as now with the Olympic RS:X board and formula class. The top sailors will participate in professional tour stops and race formula boards, and we will have two people from each country racing one design kiteboards to try to earn a medal. Furthermore, we'll lose the industry support that currently supports the top sailors. If a big company like Neil Pryde or North Sails produces the one design equipment, there won't be any incentive for them to be sponsoring the sailors.

* Schedule -
We also have to address how to integrate the ISAF Sailing World Cup events and our current kite racing schedule. This may mean moving our current tour stops around on the calendar a little to make room for the ISAF events. The important thing here is that we keep the momentum these tour stops have created and use them as tools to continue to grow the sport. The PKRA ( currently runs great events, and we need to be careful not to take away from this (by doing anything like limiting participants to only ISAF events), we just want to fill in the gaps with those events that put competitors on the Olympic track.
The weeknight Cabrinha Race Series for kiters has begun at St. Francis Yacht Club, where last week they had 51 entrants racing on San Francisco Bay:

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