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Forum Index: DISCUSSION: Dock Talk:
QUESTIONING THE AMERICAN SUPPORT OF KITESURFING
Team McLube

 



The Publisher
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May 16, 2012, 2:49 PM

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QUESTIONING THE AMERICAN SUPPORT OF KITESURFING
By Nevin Sayre, U.S. Sailing member

Every event chosen for the Olympics has a pathway from young kid to Olympic champion. Every event, that is, except kitesurfing, which has now been selected as the board event for the 2016 Olympics.

Kitesurf racing has no such pipeline. As an avid kitesurfer, windsurfer, sailor, US Sailing member, and also someone who has been very involved in youth sailing development, I am eager to hear US Sailing explain their decision to support kitesurfing for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The ISAF General Council voted 19-17 to overrule the recommendation of their own their advisory group and include kitesurf course racing in the Games. This decision comes at the expense of windsurfing, which is easily one of the two most popular classes at the Games, and has a huge junior pipeline.

ISAF’s own Events Committee and Windsurfing/Kitesurfing Committee, which held an ISAF sponsored equipment evaluation, did not recommend kiteboarding over windsurfing for the 2016 Olympic Games. If the experts didn't support kitesurf racing, why did US Sailing place their three votes (more than any other country) in favor of kitesurfing?

So now that the U.S. is in support of kitesurfing, how do they intend to build the pipeline? What is US Sailing’s plan to safely include kitesurfing into Junior Sailing Programs, the Olympic Youth Development Team, Youth Worlds Team, the Junior Olympic events, and all the pathways that leads to the Olympics?

There are over 110 reported kitesurfing deaths in the last 10 years. That should be compared with an excellent safety record in windsurfing’s 40 year history. I am personally very lucky not to be on the fatality list, and suffered a head wound with 150 stitches from kitesurfing. And I consider myself a decent kiter, and knowledgeable about the wind. There is no way I would allow my kids to kitesurf. (see photos below)

During a time when US Sailing has expressed deep concern over the sudden uptick in tragic sailing deaths from coast to coast, what is US Sailing’s safety plan here? Is US Sailing aware that insurance companies, citing grave safety concerns, have refused to cover sailing programs which include kitesurfing? Can you see kitesurfing at your junior program and/or sailing club?

Kitesurfing is evolving, and the very small percentage of kitesurfers who race, are clearly on the cutting edge. I welcome inclusion in the Olympics when the safety, equipment, logistics, and formats are ready. When instructional and competitive programs are developing young kitesurf racers, and safely channeling them toward their Olympic dreams, let's go. We are clearly not there yet for 2016 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, even the validity of the ISAF vote is being questioned. The President of the Royal Spanish Federation (RFEV) has issued a formal apology that their ISAF vote was wrongly placed for kitesurfing over windsurfing, and the RFEV supports the process to overturn the vote. The President of the Venezuelan Federation has informed ISAF their Venezuelan countryman (who voted for kitesurfing) did not represent the judgment of their Federation. The Chairman of the Israeli Federation is quoted in Reuters: "The delegates were probably confused or didn't understand the motion fully because of language difficulties, or some may have been napping at the presentations and then cast their votes without realizing the implications." Whatever conditions enabled kitesurfing to prevail in the first round of balloting, there are compelling reasons for the issue to be put to a proper vote.

I’m concerned the USA doesn’t understand the implications of their decision. Perhaps US Sailing can publicly explain why they cast their three votes against ISAF’s own Events Committee recommendation, and in favor of choosing kitesurfing over windsurfing for 2016?

PS- The photos are of myself two days after a kitesurfing accident. Does US Sailing really want to endorse kitesurfing for the Olympics and youth development before the sport is ready?











The Publisher
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May 16, 2012, 6:18 PM

Post #2 of 36 (37229 views)
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From Kathleen Tocke:
Few sailors have any idea how difficult Olympic Windsurfing is. I have raced internationally in the Radial, the Europe, the 470 as both skipper and crew, the 29erXX, the RS:X, and have a medal from the 2011 Pan Am Games in the Snipe. By far, the RS:X is the most physically demanding discipline I have experienced.

The skill level is unimaginably high. It is extremely technical - an outhaul, downhaul, nine mast rake positions, a daggerboard, changes in mast and boom length and boom height. Even batten tension is adjusted between races. While kiteboard racing may be popular in San Francisco, compared to other sailing disciplines around the world, there is little competition and few participants.

Kiteboard racers are mostly an elite group of sponsored boarders who will be unhappy once ISAF limits kites (favoring heavier boarders) and regulates equipment. ISAF's decision to get rid windsurfing is like telling ex-Olympic baseball players they should switch to cricket. One sport cannot be substituted for another. Kiteboarding won't help save the sport of sailing. Uneducated audiences won't equate it with sailing - since it lacks a sail.




EasyWind
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May 17, 2012, 8:02 AM

Post #3 of 36 (36516 views)
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Where on Long Island Sound would juniors develop? What was US Sailing thinking? It's not a sail, it's a Kite. I suggest US Sailing fly one. I see a future decline in memebership.


melges419
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May 17, 2012, 9:53 AM

Post #4 of 36 (36434 views)
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I have never seen kiteboard lessons at a yacht club. Wait, I think I have never seen windsurfing lessons at a YC either. But it went on for a while in the Olympics. I can tell you in our area we have about 5 avid windsurfers that tear it up on Charleston Harbor. But we now have many kitesurfers. Why. Because it is more popular everywhere. I am pretty sure you will find that is the case in many areas. Windsurfing has passed its prime. Sorry. As far as injuries go, those sailing accidents were primarily big boat, non-olympic so let's not use that argument. Sorry for the losses but come on. Kite surfing is surging. I don't do it but many of my crew have made it their second hobby. Not windsurfing. And little kids are learning it. Windsurfing is being replaced by many past times as is sailing so when we have a hot item like kitesurfing, embrace it. I won't do it because i will surely injure myself. Glad you made it from your injury. Hope you get back on the horse and embrace the sport and heck if no kids are in the pipeline it may be a chance to have you actually make the Olympics. Good luck with that.
Sail Often and have fun


scott harris
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May 17, 2012, 10:07 AM

Post #5 of 36 (36420 views)
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It does not look like Nevin was wearing a helmet?


DanW
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May 17, 2012, 2:47 PM

Post #6 of 36 (36307 views)
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In Reply To
I have never seen kiteboard lessons at a yacht club. Wait, I think I have never seen windsurfing lessons at a YC either. SNIP


Ryan, I think you need to get out to see what's going on with junior windsurfing on at YC's and sailing clubs all over the country.

Here is a "short" list of YC's that have purchased fleets of Techno 293 One Designs and integrate windsurfing into their respective JSP's:

Abilene Sailing Club, TX
American Yacht Club, NY
Annapolis Yacht Club, MD
Austin Yacht Club, TX
Belle Haven Yacht Club, TX
Boston Community Boating, MA
Bourne Community Sailing, MA
Cal Berkeley, CA
Camp Burgess, MA
Camp Fuller Windsurfing, RI
Camp Hazen, CT
Camp Seafarer, NC
Camp Nashoba, ME
Centerport Yacht Club, NY
Chatham Yacht Club, MA
Chop Point Camp, ME
City of Naples Recreation, FL
Columbia River Association, OR
Crystal Lake Yacht Club, MI
Devon Yacht Club, NY
Duxbury Bay Maritime School, MA
Edison Sailing Center, FL
Hyannis Yacht Club, MA
Grosse Pointe Community Sailing, MI
Lake Forest Community Sailing, MI
Lake Geneva Yacht Club, WI
Lakewood Yacht Club, TX
Lewes Yacht Club, DE
M.I.T. Sailing Pavilion, MA
Miami Yacht Club, FL
Nantucket Community Sailing, MA
New Bedford Yacht Club, MA
Northwestern University, IL
Orienta Beach Club, NY
Pettipaug Sailing Academy, CT
Port Washington Yacht Club, NY
Portsmouth Youth Sailing, RI
Rudder Club, FL
Sail Corpus Christi, TX
Sail Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Sail Newport, RI
Sea Cliff Yacht Club, NY
SeaCamp, FL
Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, NY
Sheboygan Youth Sailing, WI
Shelter Island, NY
Shoreline Aquatic Center, CA
St. Francis Yacht Club, CA
St. Mary’s College, MD
Stonington Harbor Sailing, CT
Toronto Windsurfing Club, OT
Treasure Island Sailing, CA
University of South Florida, FL
University of Washington, WA
U.S. Sailing Center Martin County, FL
Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, MA
Washington Sailing Marina, VA
Watch Hill Yacht Club, RI
2BSailing, CT
YMCA, VT
Newell Sailing Club
Kelowna YC,
University of Washington

Plus over 20 fleets in Canada and Mexico

Compare that list to those which integrate kiting instruction and racing as part of their respective JSPs: . . . NONE, as far as I know. Of course that could change, but very little.
-Dan Weiss
Director, US Windsurfing
Northeast Region
www.uswindsurfing.org

Member, U.S. Sailing Windsurfing Task Force
http://homepage.mac.com/sailing/wtf/wtf2.html





Tinho Dornellas
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May 18, 2012, 6:03 AM

Post #7 of 36 (36162 views)
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Melges 419, I know many fine sailors in Charleston, and know that they still windsurf, and in larger numbers than kiters. It just so happens that they are not congregating in one specific spot as kiters do. But this is not the point.
The point is that a while ago, everyone was into bungee jumping. But just because a few decide that is their new sport does not mean everything else is a past sport. Where is bungee jumping now? Remember how bad ass it was? Is it in the Olympics? All the media hype is gone. The same will hold true for kiting.

As you state all that doom about windsurfing, across the USA there is a big wave of junior growth in windsurfing. NEVER in its 40 year history has windsurfing had such a numerous constituency of junior racers. This growth comes because finally yacht clubs are getting comfortable with safety records and some new blood is thinking progressively about their sailing programs. I certify Instructors all over the USA, and can tell you without hesitation there is NO WAY Kiting will last as a program at yacht clubs. The accidents happening daily are horrific, and the liability is huge. I run a windsurfing/sailing/kayaking/sup center, and of course could have jumped into kiting like many of my windsurfing colleages have. But the safety issues and concerns are so grave there is no way I would ever include that in my center. I tried kiting and in 20 minutes time I and my kids came into 3 instances that could have been life threatening, and we where very lucky with the outcome. For those who do not know Nevin, he is an ultra accomplished sailor(All American), kiter and World Champion pro windsurfer. For him to get injured and so badly, speaks volumes about what we are talking about here. Another colleage , Alex Caviglia, pro sailor, pro windsurfer, and pro kiter, was not as lucky and died after a year in a coma leaving his wife and two kids behind. And there are stories like these all over, in a very short period of time of this sport. US Sailing and those voting for kiting are naive and ignorant of the true safety issues, which have been obviously downplayed by the kiting community.
Go to the beach or spot where kites launch. Measure the space ONE kiter takes between him and his kite. Count how many boats you can store in that space. How many windsurfers...
Unfortunately many windsurfing companies have been diversifying into other sports. They invested in kiting. But now a new kid on the block is looming. Or better, exploding. Stand UP paddling is the new hot deal. Kiting will fade from the short attention span of media and hype followers. I am sure you are seeing a lot of paddlers in Charleston. You can recognize the "pioneers" in kiting at the forefront of paddling, Heavily advertising and promoting o the next buck making venture. This is capitalism at its best. But does that take away from the validity of Windsurfing, and more especially Windsurfing as an Olympic Sport? Windsurfing has the biggest number of participants of all the sailing sports. Windsurfing, as always will continue. With or without Sailing or Olympic support.


melges419
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May 18, 2012, 6:25 AM

Post #8 of 36 (36156 views)
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Good info. Thanks, I am on the water in Charleston more than anyone except maybe a few harbor pilots. I coach High school sailing, i race big boats, i race small boats, I do race committee, and rarely but whenever not sailing I join the stinkpot crowd. The good young sailors I know are kite surfing. They are the folks that will shape the future of something. Will it be kitesurfing. I don't know. They don't windsurf nor do they show any desire to. We have some great windsurfers here and they still go for it and fun to watch. I hope people continue to sail, windsurf, and any other sailing activity. Available places are getting tougher to find. I try no to knock any of the sports. Just observe and support any activity on the water which you obviously do to. Good on ya! Sail fast, often, and have fun!
Sail Often and have fun


DanW
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May 18, 2012, 10:42 AM

Post #9 of 36 (36088 views)
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Ryan, adults can try to inspire kids to get out on the water in just about anything because there seems to be some normative value for a human when he or she gets wet. I don't enjoy the stink-pots, but their owners do, and I mention that only to illustrate my point.

However, when actually selecting a class or type of sailing craft for a JSP, one would be foolhardy to simply suggest that anything they want to purchase represents a good investment in the program.

I've kited once or twice, nearly all my windsurfing friends also kite; it's great. But it is clear that most JSP's are not geographically suited for kite instruction -even if other safety concerns can be overcome. For example, as Tinho mentioned, kites require 50 ft of clear beach downwind just to lay out the lines and prepare to launch. Instructional areas must be totally free of even small obstructions, like docks, moored boats and swimmers. The training area must have clean wind and a nearby leeward shore. Kiting students must be spread very far apart to avoid tangling lines and crashing kites and that makes group instruction nearly impossible.

In short, one physically can race kites at some YC's but very few if any are suitable locations for kite instruction.

These reasons, plus the massive liability issues combine to create a new Olympic class that is more dead on arrival than the RS:X.
-Dan Weiss
Director, US Windsurfing
Northeast Region
www.uswindsurfing.org

Member, U.S. Sailing Windsurfing Task Force
http://homepage.mac.com/sailing/wtf/wtf2.html


The Publisher
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May 21, 2012, 6:30 AM

Post #10 of 36 (35642 views)
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From Artie Means:
Nevin Sayre's article was a bit misleading about kite racing.

As he references, the guys who kite race really are on the cutting edge. I would seriously doubt that anyone who had the sailing or boarding skills to ride a course race board would end up with 150 stitches. Additionally, I doubt that any of the referenced 110 deaths came from course racers. Course racing is what goes to Rio, not the freestyle kiters. I've been kiting for 6 years and find it much safer than my other hobbies; snowboarding, wakeboarding, and sailing big boats.

Being a new sport, there are too many people taking the freestyle route; that don't take lessons, don't understand the wind, ride dangerous gear, and try to do the 'magazine cover' tricks that they aren't qualified for. This unfortunately leads to Nevin's very general statistics. We shouldn't confuse these statistics with the course racing (now Olympic) crowd. But, as in any sport (try riding an ice covered half pipe half pipe or downhill skiing at 80+ mph), if you try to go beyond your ability there are consequences. While riding within your means, kite racing is incredibly safe.

As for the pipeline, learning to sail is the kitesurf pipeline. Kites are waaaay too similar to the skiffs; just cheaper, faster and more fun. The current top crop, of Johnny Heineken, Brian Lake, Adam and Andrew Koch, Cameron Biehl, Ty Reed, etc, were all epic junior program and college sailors. Thus the pipeline is already up and running. Considering that the US dominated the last few Worlds, it seems like while this very loose 'pipeline' could obviously be better, for now it does get results.

To top it off the gear is affordable (1/10th the cost of a 49er), easy to transport on an airplane, the speeds are epic and the sport is just way too much fun.




The Publisher
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May 21, 2012, 1:51 PM

Post #11 of 36 (35571 views)
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From Andy Kostanecki:
Allow me a bit of perspective and a bit of speculation. More years ago than I care to remember, Heinz Staudt, a German co- member of the Centerboard Boat Committee of the IYRU (now ISAF) and I were charged with investigating this phenomena called Windsurfing and were asked to report back to the IYRU Permanent Committee (Governing Council) and make a proposal.

Our report was that Windsurfing was for real and that we should form a Windsurfing Committee, thus opening the way to incorporate Windsurfing into the Olympics. The Windsurfing Community was furious, of course, simply because they (it) had no idea of IOC policies and politics and the manner in which sport disciplines are admitted into the Olympics. They didn't want to be part of what they saw as a blue blazered, stuffed shirt organization corrupting their sport and culture. That's not the point of my comments.

I have a hunch about what is behind the ISAF decision to embrace Kite Sailing under the umbrella of ISAF and as a discipline in the Olympic Games under Sailing.

Long ago I argued that sailing could become a Winter Olympic event - not as iceboating, because of the complexities and vagaries of promising good ice, but by using kites to power boards over snow across a varied cross country course. Let's not argue about the details, but consider this. Each sport in the Summer Olympic program receives a set amount of funds from the IOC simply by being part of the Games. The same applies to the Winter Games. There is no sport that has an event in both the Summer and Winter Games! The amount is not trivial.

If I were still on the ISAF Council, it would be this prospect that would motivate me to consider embracing Kite Sailing into the ISAF family. And I would speculate that there would be several events that would be hanging out there: Course racing, Cross Country, Speed Trials in match format, etc.

Consider that from the sixteenth century until the end of the nineteenth century, the fastest form of transportation in the world was under sail and on the ice! (If you don't believe me, just look at the Flemish paintings of the period). The reality is that sailing has always been at the cutting edge of technology.

I think that one can make a good case for Kite Sailing. I'm just not sure for which Games, Winter or Summer.


The Publisher
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May 23, 2012, 9:25 AM

Post #12 of 36 (34851 views)
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From William Tuthill:
Regarding Andy Kostenecki's comments about kites being viable for Winter Olympics:

1] Ice sailing held the record for human speed throughout history up until the 1900's when railroad trains were finally able to beat iceboats.
2] DN and other ice craft using blades make inclusion into the Winter Olympics tricky due to their specific needs, although the newly developed Short Track Slalom [STS] could change all of that.
3] Sailing on snow was radically changed by the introduction of the windsurfing rig. Prior to that sailing on anything less than hard ice was foiled by the down pressure of the rig. It is the lift from a windsurf rig that made snow sailing possible.
4] Since windsurfing, wings and kites have taken over as the best choices for sailing in snow because of the upward lifting component of their sail area. All three technologies have their plusses and minuses but all three are WAY fun! Some would even say that it is the ultimate form of sailing.

Soft water sailors who have never gone hard are hereby invited to give low friction sailing a try: http://www.wissa.org/


The Publisher
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May 23, 2012, 10:26 AM

Post #13 of 36 (34834 views)
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Contact: Jake Fish
US Sailing Communications Manager
jakefish@ussailing.org
401.683.0800 x614

US Sailing Statement on Kiteboarding vs. Windsurfing
Prepared by Dean Brenner, US Sailing Board Member and Chairman, Olympic Sailing Committee

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (May 23, 2012) - Every four years, difficult decisions are made about Olympic sailing events. The choices made always leave some part of the sailing community frustrated and feeling, at least on some level, disenfranchised. I say this as a former Soling sailor who was quite upset with decisions made in November 2000, and a long-time keelboat sailor who did not agree with the recent decisions to exclude keelboats from the Games entirely. I know, first hand, how it feels to have the part of the sport I care most about excluded.

There is no right and wrong here, or good and bad. On behalf of US Sailing, I would like to raise my hand and explain the reasoning behind the votes.

While the Board of US Sailing makes final decisions on all recommendations to our ISAF delegation, much of the thinking on Olympic events and equipment originates in the Olympic Sailing Committee, which I lead. The OSC believes, and I continue to support this 100%, that kites will be good for the sport of sailing, worldwide. The reasons are simple:

1. Kiteboarding is an exciting and rapidly growing area of the sport.
2. The infrastructure required will be minimal.
3. The potential exists to bring in new countries to the sport of Olympic Sailing, and at Council, there was support from every continent and region: Europe, Caribbean, South America, North America, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Mid-East.
4. Kites can be sailed close to shore, increasing spectator possibilities.
5. There have been major advancements in safety, and the evaluation and technical reports said exactly that. Those interested in this debate, really should read that report,
linked here.

Is there work to be done? Every time events or equipment are changed, work is required. There will ALWAYS be more work to get a new event established vs. the continuation of an existing one.

Does US Sailing have work to do in supporting the industry’s pipeline development? Of course. For kiteboarding to flourish, the kiteboarding community will need to commit to increased support in this area. US Sailing will work on developing pathways for kite sailors to make the Olympics, just as it has done in other classes.

The decisions on Olympic events and equipment are never easy. But I stand behind ISAF’s decision 100%. Kiteboarding will be good for the sport of sailing, in the USA and worldwide.


John Bertrand
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May 24, 2012, 12:11 PM

Post #14 of 36 (34675 views)
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Here is what some sailors in the rest of the world think about the US Sailing statement.



Dave Fletcher Mr Fish,

I'm a windsurfer and volounteer photographer for one of the French Atlanticwindsurfing leagues.

I've seen first-hand the commitments made by the Fédération Française de Voile to promote the sport of windsurfing starting at 8 years old in the D2 class. We have a significant support structure with paid coaches and many volounteers who organise regattas every fortnight along the coast. This structure simply doesn't exist for kiteboarding, there are no regattas of any kind and I regret to say that the sort of person who becomes a kite sailor has never demonstrated any serious commitment to the sailing. Without the olympics as an end goal funding will be withdrawn, jobs lost and dreams shattered.

I'm amazed at the short-sightedness of your decision and will do all in my power to stop you. RS-X windsurfing must be reinstated for 2016.

FLETCHER


Michael Parramore I think very few American Sailors understand the level of support other countries around the world throw towards building strong teams of windsurfers to compete at world level. starting with the Techno293 class for youth (the opti in traditional sailing) and leading into the RS-X. Countries where keelboats and phrf are the minority, not the norm. The US has voted against windsurfing for years, but has always, (till now) been out voted by countries that have strong teams and value the sport. and that windsurfing is a part of the active racing scene in their country. Please consider it, If, for nothing more than for the sake of the US team members, Farrah Hall, Solvig Sayre, and Ian Stokes, a few Americans that have active RS-X campaigns..Perhaps at the very least, the team needs a voting member who understands the sport and it's worldwide appeal who might actually have tried the sport or is at least a dinghy sailor..








John Bertrand
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May 24, 2012, 12:16 PM

Post #15 of 36 (34672 views)
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A most logical and responsible approach that I've heard so far...


Bara Winds In my view, best solution would have been: kite racing on the ISAF World Cup starting now, then evaluation in 2014 for possible inclusion at the 2020 Olympics. This would have allowed kiters to iron out equipment/format/logistics/safety/youth development/etc. without displacing their windsurfing 'brothers' in the short term (and their fully established, real world-tested and totally successful equipment/format/logistics/safety/youth development/etc). This would have been a major breakthrough already. Perhaps we can steer the November decision in that direction!








John Bertrand
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May 24, 2012, 12:25 PM

Post #16 of 36 (34671 views)
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From a Danish Olympic Board sailor '92 & '96



Morten Christoffersen Ben, I have to admit that after reading the reasoning behind the US Sailing decision, I am still scratching my head. As stated above, all those reasons listed are the same fore windsurfing. Windsurfing requires little logistics. (probably less that kite as I don't see Kite Boarding being feasible in places where you have to navigate narrow passages to get to open water, which in my experience is common at regattas.) Second, Windsurfing can also be raced close to land. I would argue closer than kite boarding, since Kite boarding demands more clear and consistent air than windsurfing. Yes, it is faster, but since when has speed resulted in greater public interest? What attracts the public to an Olympic event like sailing has nothing to do with speed. It has everything to do with a good story, traditions, personal stories that the viewer finds fascinating and close competition. Just because the board/kite goes faster does not mean it is more interesting. A kite race with the racers going 20 knots can be just as boring as a windsurfing race where the racers are doing 15 knots. The question is how close is the competition, and how close are the racers to each other. That's what matter. Take for instance the Extreme Sailing Series in 40' catamarans. That is exiting because all the boats are identical, racing is tight on short courses close to land. So again, I don't really understand the rationale for replacing Windsurfing with Kite boarding. Take for instance the 1992 Olympics. The race course for the windsurfers was placed right next to the break wall to get closer to the spectators. (That only Olympic athletes were allowed to view the races from the seawall made no sense, but that is another story.) In some starts, the wind was shifty, light and inconsistent. It would never had been possible to start a kite board race that close to land in those conditions. This really makes no sense. And now I see that the development in kite boarding is going so fast they are using Kitefoils, something very different from what was in the proposal. So again, exactly what equipment will be used in Rio and has it been tested and used in racing conditions at venues all over the world?





John Bertrand
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May 24, 2012, 12:29 PM

Post #17 of 36 (34669 views)
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More from Morten



Morten Christoffersen LOL. In all seriousness, sailing is in danger of becoming irrelevant, because of the constant changes in boat classes. Let me explain. Sailing is not a big spectator sport, never will be. So for the Olympics what is important is consistency. Take for instance the Star Boat. 1920s design but in every Olympics. Great stories there. Many America's Cup sailors have started or returned to the Star Boat. You have people doing 3-4 or 5 Olympics in the Star Boat. Close racing etc. Same for the Finn. But some of the other classes? by constantly changing classes, there are no stories, no traditions, nothing to compare with. Every Olympics its a new class with new people that the few journalists who cover sailing has to get familiar with. That is what is killing the sport as an Olympic event.





John Bertrand
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May 24, 2012, 12:33 PM

Post #18 of 36 (34668 views)
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This statement accurately reflects what the rest of the world thinks



Raul Pasqualin I just read the U.S. Sailing statment. It only refers to an unconditional support for the ISAF policy, where all five points are questionable when compared to Olympic windsurfing as it is today. It makes no reference to Olympic windsurfing and all the work done so far outside USA. Only recently and many years after Michael Gebhardt’s medals USA has some RSX good sailors and even some projects for the Olympic access class (Techno) as promoted by Nevin Sayre.
I wonder, why in all these years USA did not develop a good work for the Olympic windsurfing as the vast majority of other countries did? The whole world was wrong and the USA right? No sorry, it was for a lack of commitment and dedication in promoting the Olympic windsurfing.





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May 24, 2012, 3:10 PM

Post #19 of 36 (34644 views)
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From Nevin Sayre:
It seems US Sailing didn’t have all the information before casting three votes for kitesurf course racing at the expense of windsurf racing for the 2016 Olympics. A more careful evaluation questions Dean Brenner’s explanation for the U.S. votes at the ISAF Council.

1/ No argument kiteboarding is an exciting and rapidly growing area of the sport. However, US Sailing and ISAF voted for what is currently practiced by a very small percentage of kiteboarders - kiteboard course racing. That’s like noticing all these skiers at the mountain and then choosing telemark racing as the Olympic discipline. Kite board racing uses very different equipment and skills than what you see at the beach. No doubt kiteboard racing is cutting edge and could one day evolve into an Olympic sport, but we’re just not there yet. That’s the point. There are estimates that at most 200-300 persons world-wide have been on a kite course board. This includes but a handful of juniors.

But let’s look at the facts: 80 women from 37 countries competed in the RS:X World Championships. 12 women from 10 countries competed in the Kite Course Racing World Championships. Only two women were able to complete all the races at the Kite Course Worlds. Does this qualify as Olympic-ready for 2016?

There is currently no known active Youth Kite Course Racing. Compare that to 400 kids (age 16 and younger) who are expected at the Techno Windsurfing World Championships this summer.

2/ According to Dean/US Sailing’s justification., “The infrastructure required will be minimal.” Agreed, infrastructure required for staging events is an important consideration. I wonder if US Sailing is aware that kitesurfing, due to safety concerns, is prohibited from many premier ISAF sailing venues:

In Sydney Harbour, site of the 2000 Olympics, kitesurfing is banned.
In Singapore, site of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, kitesurfing in banned.
In Cyprus, site of the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds, kitesurfing is banned.
In Lake Garda, Italy, site of the EUROSAF Olympic Regatta, kitesurfing is banned.

But even if kitesurfing is allowed at a specific venue, other significant logistics are involved. While race management on the water may be similar to other classes, to safely launch a kite you need very specific conditions. A minimum of 100 ft of open space is required, free of any obstacles that could impale the kiteboarder, or put bystanders at risk. There is no way you can launch and tack out of many yacht harbors (Kiel?). On top of that, kitesurfers require the ability to change kite sizes if wind conditions change between races. The ISAF Kite Equipment Report glosses over basic logistics and says huge floating platforms could be built to launch from, or competitors can launch from support boats, or be shuttled to launch from outside beaches. That’s minimal infrastructure????? There are very few venues without surrounding hazards where you can safely launch 140 kites to make a 9:00 AM start time in gusty, stormy conditions.

3/ Dean’s third reason, “The potential exists to bring new countries to the sport of Olympic Sailing” is valid. And windsurfing has done exactly that with 54 countries competing in the Olympic Qualifying events, and more MNAs competing in Men’s RS:X at the ISAF World Championships than any other class, including Laser. Does US Sailing/ISAF want to trade this success for a class that is not yet developed?

4/ “Kites can be sailed close to shore, increasing spectator possibilities.” Yes, just as easily as windsurfing. The only difference is, if the wind is on shore, all those ISAF spectators would have to be pushed back from the shoreline to avoid decapitation.

5/ Dean goes on to rely on the ISAF Equipment Evaluation Report which barely addresses the critical concerns of safety. While it’s true that kites have improved in safety, and expert kiters will take their own risks, what about the safety of juniors pursing the Olympic dream? You can’t just hook a hot shot Opti sailor up to a kite and push him/her off the dock. There is zero pathway for kiting currently within US Sailing.

In his position as Olympic Sailing Chairman, Dean Brenner may not be concerned with further down the pyramid, but safety in the Olympic pipeline should be of paramount importance to US Sailing. Again I ask, what is US Sailing’s plan to safely incorporate kitesurfing into Junior Sailing Programs, the Olympic Youth Development Team, Youth Worlds Team, the Junior Olympic events, and all the pathways that leads to the Olympics? What is US Sailing’s plan to bring kitesurfing under its umbrella when insurance companies have deemed kitesurfing unsafe?

ISAF’s own specialists in the Events Committee voted 17-2 in favor of trialing kitesurfing at ISAF events until it is proven Olympic-ready, and keeping RS:X as the Olympic Class for Men’s and Women’s in 2016. We call on U.S. Sailing and ISAF to evaluate the readiness of kitesurf racing for 2016 and the Olympic pipeline, question dubious claims in the ISAF Kite Evaluation Report, balance judgement against the world-wide success of windsurfing as an Olympic discipline, and perform a complete fair analysis before their vote in the November ISAF meeting.

Sincerely,
Nevin Sayre
US Sailing Member




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May 24, 2012, 3:43 PM

Post #20 of 36 (34606 views)
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From Dan Knox:
I would like to thank Dean Brenner, Chairman, US Olympic Sailing Committee on his views posted on Scuttlebutt 3598. I look as thing a bit differently but would like to think him for all his efforts. I’m sure it is not easy to make a decision regarding which boats to kick out of the Olympics.

Let me start by saying that I have a lot of admiration for anyone that even tries to become an Olympic Sailor. The dedication and skill required is beyond anything I could ever do in sailing.

I started sailing when I was 50 and now 9 year later I love sailing. I go sailing two times a week, every week, all year round. If there is an YRA race on San Francisco Bay, we’ll be there sailing our 33 year old One Design keelboat. If the AC World Series is on the internet, I’m watching it. I check the Volvo Ocean Race standings every day. But frankly, I don’t care at all about the Olympics or Olympic Sailing. It has nothing to do with the type of sailing that I do or anybody I know does.

I view the Olympics as a Made-For-TV event. It costs billions of dollars to put on, and the funds are so large that everything associated with the Olympics is just overrun by the money. Whenever anyone associated with the Olympics talks about the “popularity” of sailing, I think they are really talking about the amount of money that will trickle down from the number of viewers watching Olympic sailing on TV.

Right now, the Olympics just take up way too much of the time of our Senior Members of US Sailing. I’m sure these people are busy and spend a good deal of time and effort on Olympics sailing, so much that other things must be pushed aside. I think we would be better off if sailing was not part of the Olympics and members of US Sailing and ISAF centered their efforts on what was best for sailing instead of what is best of the Olympics.

Why should anyone be forced to choose the type of sailing they like? These choices only make sense when viewed from a “TV Ratings” point of view. They really have nothing to do with sailing. I truly believe as a sport sailing would be better off without the Olympics.


Keith Taylor
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May 24, 2012, 9:06 PM

Post #21 of 36 (34456 views)
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The vote for immediate change was expedient, hasty and ill-considered. Bara Winds sums it up nicely. An orderly transition over the next eight years would -- make that WILL -- serve all parties well. Sailors in any discipline are hurt when changes are made. Was any consideration given to the hundreds of windsurfers who for the past two or three years, or longer, been aiming an Olympic berth in 2016. Clearly, not! Gary Jobson and US Sailing have it in their power to reconsider. Switching USSA's three votes would be a strong signal to other national authorities to take the long view.


wetabix
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May 25, 2012, 1:51 AM

Post #22 of 36 (34364 views)
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C'mon - nobody HAS to choose the type of sailing they like. Arguably the Olympics should be confined to athletics and Greco-Roman wrestling but the cat escaped from the bag when they included archery, skeet shooting, horse riding and white water canoeing. Where I live (UK) we are paying billions for this brief show and I want some sailing on the TV - not least because we don't get many medals in other sports but might get some in sailing. I would like twenty events including a class for 33 year old cruisers but I realize that might pose problems. As for kites - well I was against snowboarding in the Olympics originally but look at it now! Give them a chance and hang your 'youth pathways' etc. In this country kites are sailed (flown?) by rather older people who don't join clubs and the scene is reminiscent of surfing in the seventies. I would be most surprised if our kiting community manages to organise a race let alone an Olympic trial by 2016 but if they do they won't stop there - they'll want freestyle events as well. They really ought not to be classed as 'sailing'. They should have their own division and could easily use the rowing lake, perhaps supplanting the 'coxed pairs' if the IOC want to limit the cost. And then sailing could have another event - match racing in 12 meters perhaps?

In Reply To


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May 25, 2012, 1:51 AM

Post #23 of 36 (34365 views)
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Nevin is winning this debate hands down. One thing though, it shouldn't be about Kites vs windsurfers. IF Kites are going to come in (which they are in due course) then why on earth would all the dinghy classes survive when windsurfing (along with the ubiquitous Laser) is the most raced class globally?

Almost any small nation can get and learn to race windsurfer boards, "let’s look at the facts: 80 women from 37 countries competed in the RS:X World Championships" to quote Nevin.

Keep windsurfers and add Kites and drop a dinghy class. Merge the two 470 classes into a mixed men and women class and you have a solution. The boards vs kites arguement is all wrong. Windsurfers HAVE To stay in the Olympics but not all dinghy classes do.


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May 25, 2012, 5:35 AM

Post #24 of 36 (34313 views)
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The switch from windsurfing to kitesurfing is clearly a leap of faith. Few dispute that kitesurfing is an appropriate Olympic event, yet most agree the event is currently not ready.

ISAF is funded by IOC, and countless volunteers support ISAF. A lot of those volunteers support the Olympic classes and the sailors who strive to compete in the Olympics. And these sudden changes, in some respects, toss away much of the good work that has been done. Not the best way for ISAF to treat its constituents.

But Olympic events are chosen by a council within ISAF for one regatta that occurs every four years, with voters making choices that will insure their country's success at that regatta.
Big picture thinking, like what is good for the overall growth of the sport, is not necessarily part of the equation.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




DanW
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May 25, 2012, 9:33 AM

Post #25 of 36 (34239 views)
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Yes, Craig, it is true that the Olympic Games for sailing exist as a single regatta every four years but, as you and everyone else will readily acknowledge, the class selected for an upcoming Games virtually dictates the success or death of a specific class. Soling's serve as a great example. They were expensive, technical and brutal to sail. Tons of fun. Yet Soling fleet racing hit the skids when ISAF dropped the class.

One member of the US Sailing Board of Directors (I've now forgotten who, several years later) declared that US Sailing's job was to avoid class-building, yet now comes US Sailing's Dean Brenner who admits US Sailing has much work to do in order to build the class!

I do not stand against kiting, but I strongly believe that US Sailing has, to this point, chosen to abandon one of the most popular aspects of junior sailing programs and the kids who love to sail windsurfers just as much as Optis and 420s. US Sailing should do everything it can to redeem itself at the November ISAF meeting.
-Dan Weiss
Director, US Windsurfing
Northeast Region
www.uswindsurfing.org

Member, U.S. Sailing Windsurfing Task Force
http://homepage.mac.com/sailing/wtf/wtf2.html


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May 25, 2012, 11:56 AM

Post #26 of 36 (34251 views)
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In Reply To
From Nevin Sayre:
In Sydney Harbour, site of the 2000 Olympics, kitesurfing is banned.
In Singapore, site of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, kitesurfing in banned.
In Cyprus, site of the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds, kitesurfing is banned.
In Lake Garda, Italy, site of the EUROSAF Olympic Regatta, kitesurfing is banned.

From Nevin Sayre:
To clarify, kitesurfing is allowed on Lake Garda but banned in Riva and Torbole, which is where the major international sailing events are held on Lake Garda. That's the information I have. Also, I understand there's a major kitesurfing spot south of Sydney, and one north of Sydney too. Just not in Sydney Harbor.

To include kitesurfing in existing sailing events at these venues, a second location will have to be utilized for launching (if there is one). That sounds like more infrastructure/logistics than windsurfing to me, not less.


Keith Taylor
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May 25, 2012, 4:45 PM

Post #27 of 36 (34192 views)
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Bruce Kendall, who won windsurfing Bronze and Gold for New Zealand, has weighed in on this issue. Not surprisingly he is now a kiteboarder too but in a long post on sail-world.com he throws cold water on the thinking that led to US Sailing supporting the vote.

One small sample: "Why drop the second strongest Olympic sailing class in the world for a sport not fully proven? This makes no sense."

Read the full report here. http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Nid=97624&refre=y&ntid=118&rid=6


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May 28, 2012, 9:30 AM

Post #28 of 36 (33871 views)
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In Reply To
From Dan Knox:
...I don’t care at all about the Olympics or Olympic Sailing. It has nothing to do with the type of sailing that I do or anybody I know does. ...



From Paul Warren, Redington Beach, FL:
In response to Dan Knox's perspective about Olympic sailing which seems to diminish Olympic sailing competition and its television broadcasts, my thoughts are:

- I've just come off a six-month effort to raise supporting funds for Zach & Paige Railey for their current Olympic campaigns (Finn and Laser Radial classes, respectively.) During that time, I came to understand much better the grueling path that it takes to be an Olympic athlete/sailor.

An Olympic sailing campaign includes multiple local, national and international regattas each year for four years (I'm guessing the total is probably 20+ regattas a year.) There's substantial training involving conditioning/endurance, strength-training, sailing techniques and mental/psych/motivational training. Add to that, there are hundreds/thousands of hours on the water in a wide variety of wind & sea conditions.

Then, there's the "administrative/business" side of an Olympic campaign, replete with fundraising, sponsorship development/commitments, travel & logistical arrangements, equipment development.

I can certainly tell Mr. Knox that the sailors are NOT the beneficiaries of any 'big money' that may accrue to Olympic sailing. They scratch and beg for just enough funds to support their Olympic dreams. If 'big money' was available, there wouldn't be a need for grass-roots efforts like the one I've just completed.

- I would also challenge Mr. Knox's apparent contention that Olympic sailing draws huge amounts of money. I expect that if he talked to Gary Jobson about the experience of broadcasting segments of Olympic sailing, he would find that out of the hundred-plus of hours total Olympic coverage on TV, sailing probably gets about 60 minutes, total. (This is my guess, based on my viewing experiences in the past.) That hardly equates to "big money" in the context of profiting from the Olympic broadcasts.

- Keep in mind, too, that for every successful sailor who qualifies for the Olympic sailing team, there are frequently dozens of other sailors who "missed the cut" but are pursuing their Olympic dreams, regardless.

- Like Mr. Knox, my racing has mostly been in "big boats" as a Wednesday night and weekend warrior. I am not a professional sailor and have, only once, even toyed with the idea of participating in an Olympic campaign. Kudos to Mr. Knox for his devotion to his newly-found sport - we need more people like him. But, please, do not underestimate the commitment, talent or impact of our Olympic sailors - they are a substantial and important part of our sailing community.


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May 28, 2012, 9:49 AM

Post #29 of 36 (33868 views)
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From Platt Johnson:
(Sent to US Sailing and cc'd Scuttlebutt)

Dear US Sailing:

I find your recent statement on Kitesurfing incredibly disappointing.

I cannot believe that US Sailing can in good conscience support "100%" an obviously flawed vote. Just the fact that the expert committee voted to retain the RS-X sailboard 17-2, but ISAF's broader forum rejected it 19-17 should raise a large red flag. Spain's recent admission of error is just icing on the cake.

As a matter of principle US Sailing should petition ISAF to re-vote the issue. As the leading democratic country in the world we should not condone or support votes that are flawed. It might be hard to set aside US Sailing's self interest in medal count and stand for principle but that is the American way and would restore my faith and pride in your organization. That is the main reason to reverse course, Now for the five reasons.

Mr. Brenner's five reason are, I suspect, not the real reasons for voting against Windsurfing. The pros and cons of either sport can be debated ad nausea. The obvious reason is that he thinks we will have a better chance of winning a medal in kiteboarding than windsurfing. Why wasn't that said? Was it to self-interested? Given the stated policy of Mr. Brenner to only spend money on medals that he thinks we can win this seems self evident however it is certainly NOT in the Olympic spirit and is likely to NOT come to pass. The other countries will rapidly start up with money and coaching and quickly eclipse us and our current technical advantages (thank you Greg Aguera). Gone are the days when our US Olympic contenders could win on their own. Sailors today need full time funding and coaching to succeed.

I remember about ten years ago when I asked Mr. Brenner to spend some money, any money, on our windsurfing team, He said no, not until they start winning. This despite our several medals previously won in the class and the low cost of providing support to a windsurfer versus a keelboat. There has therefore been an unavoidable decline in our windsurfing medals once the other countries started bringing in coaches and funding which we have not answered. With Israel currently leading the RSX regatta at the ISAF world cup it just goes to show that US Sailing's decisions not to support or fund windsurfing showed a singular lack of vision. Don't you think we should be able to compete head to head with the smallest countries in the world?

US Sailing has never supported windsurfing to any significant degree. Why, for example, is it not required to include windsurfing in the US youth champ regattas? Such an easy change would really have helped windsurfing but there was no will to do so. Meanwhile windsurfing at the youth level is flourishing everywhere else around the globe providing a strong pipeline of future Olympians.

While Kendall and Sayre have already covered Brenner's five reasons I thought I would give you my point by point rebuttal. Note that we three are all windsurfers AND kitesurfers.

1. Kiteboarding is an exciting and rapidly growing area of the sport.
>> Of course but where are your statistics? In Newport kitesurfing leveled off four years ago with no additional growth since then. My local beach in Florida has the same 20 or so kiters as ever. The current Kitesurfing World Cup in Holland had 14 entries for men. After four years as an ISAF class this is pitiful. Claims of huge production numbers are not relevant as they are only recreational gear and mostly for replacement. I find I need to replace mine each year.

2. The infrastructure required will be minimal.
>> Not in my experience - Kiting needs more infrastructure as kites take up more space. Kites will want multiple kites ashore rigged and ready to go. Boats for each kite will be required for safety and launching. I calculate you can put 17 windsurfers into the line area of one kiter. More support boats will be required.

3. The potential exists to bring in new countries to the sport of Olympic Sailing, and at Council, there was support from every continent and region: Europe, Caribbean, South America, North America, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Mid-East.
>> No more so than windsurfing while windsurfing already has established programs which will be hurt by your decision. In addition many areas have banned kiting so there is no growth possible there. New York just banned kitesurfing at ALL of it's public beaches.
Additionally the RSX is a One Design. Kiting is an open class. The cost will be astronomical and the equipment disposable. This is not emerging country friendly.

4. Kites can be sailed close to shore, increasing spectator possibilities.
>> Onshore Winds: the spectators will need to be backed up out of harms way. Offshore Winds: the breeze will be fluky and unfair to the competitors. They certainly are no closer to shore than windsurfing. When kites are racing they will still have tons of gear on shore that the spectators will need to be kept well clear of. Where will all of these support boats go?

5. There have been major advancements in safety, and the evaluation and technical reports said exactly that. Those interested in this debate, really should read that report, linked here.
>> Sure there have been advancements but just try and convince the insurance companies (or New York) that kiting is safe. All my friends who are long time kiters seem to wear knee braces. There has been no change in the danger that the four or so razor sharp kite lines pose which is the most significant safety issue for kiting. The release on the kite is better but you still need to pull it in a heck of a hurry in order to have it work and then the kite is out of control on 25m - actually make that 40m kite lines. Kiters can still get into serious trouble. In a squall a windsurfer can lay flat. What do you do with a kite besides let it go. Don't be to leeward when a kite flailing lines and a bar comes at you.
I have read enough of the ISAF Technical Report to know a sales job when I see one. There are safety claims that are untrue and claims for the sport overall when only a tiny fraction of 1% of all kites and "hulls" made are for racing. Just one example of many: The report claims a weight band of 55 to 90 kg but this is impossible on a planing hull and will be completely disproved once the sport has enough participants to be fully competitive.
You have of course read Nevin's letter by now: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/...forum.cgi?post=13810

I have collected some recent posts online for you to read from Kendall, Maslivets, Manchon and Sayre. I thought you might appreciate having them all in one place.

They are here at http://windsurf-now.blogspot.com/

Particular attention should be paid to the Olga Maslivets letter to Fiona Kidd which really lays out in detail what a flawed decision ISAF reached.

I hope that US Sailing will get onto the right side of this issue.


yours sincerely,Platt Johnson

ps: Just as a disclaimer:I have windsurfed since 1973 and kite surfed regularly since 2006 and have no particular axe to grind as I am no longer an owner of a windsurfing shop or involved in either industry. I just can't stand to see such a wrong headed decision stood behind by our national sailing association. And just because I figure you will want to know I have been a member of US Sailing and US Windsurfing for many years but currently am not.


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May 28, 2012, 2:00 PM

Post #30 of 36 (33832 views)
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From Paul Heineken:
I love windsurfing and kitesurfing. My personal opinion is that both should be in the Olympics. However, with all the discussion about kitesurfing safety, I think it’s important to report on fact, not opinion.

Thursday, 5/24/2012 was set up for epic SF City Front conditions. High pressure at sea, low pressure to the east, and a thermal to develop--an enormous gradient that led the iWindsurf forecaster to warn folks to hang onto their cars in the parking lot. Plus there was a NW ocean swell coming into the Gate and a 2 knot ebb tide pushing against it.

It was the night of the every-other-week Cabrinha StFYC evening kitesurfing races. The fleet is heterogeneous in experience and talent, varying from world class to those sailing their first ever race, both men and women.

Kitesurfers, of all levels, eagerly anticipated this evening’s competition, especially because the top 3 racers were away at the Gold Games in France. However, the race committee looked out with trepidation…it looked like the Columbia Gorge, just as windy and with the same 8-10 foot steep waves, but the Bay is much bigger than the Gorge. Windsurfers were flying by on tiny boards with 3.5 to 4.0 sq m sails.

Here’s the iWindsurf windchart for Anita Rock, right off the launch beach.
Check out 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Plus, the sensor doesn’t move with the ebb into the wind.



The RC had one anchored committee boat and two RIBs on the two mile course. The only “injury” was seasickness on the RC boat.

Bottom line:
32 kitesurfers reported to the start line
28 finished one race
23 finished two
16 finished all three
Many DNFs were due to the 15 minute time limit, not failure to sail the course.
Two kitesurfers were assisted by RC RIBs, and returned to the beach, unscathed.

A number of kitesurfers said they would have finished more races if only they had “blown up a smaller kite and had it ready on the beach.”

Comments:
San Francisco is fortunate to have a side-shore launch site adjacent to the race course, allowing kitesurfers safe access and egress.

Could any other dinghy fleet safety handle those conditions? I doubt if any would leave the dock or beach. Skiffs and catamarans would not have survived, and rescues would have been far more treacherous. Lasers would have broken top sections, etc. In any other class, the cost of broken equipment for that evening’s race would have been substantial. Two RC support RIBs would not have been adequate.

However, windsurfers are quite safe under such conditions—but only if they can rig down to an appropriately sized sail.

Kitesurf course racing has proven its safety, if sailors are allowed to rig down. Plus there are far fewer parts to break.

Conclusions:
Kitesurf course racing is safe for relatively inexperienced riders, even under extreme conditions.

In the interest of safety, kitesurf racing organizers, ISAF, and PKRA must not limit the number of kites that a sailor can register at an event.


Editor's note: This was post was originally and incorrectly attributed to Robbie Dean, Director of Race Operations - St Francis YC




John Bertrand
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May 29, 2012, 4:01 AM

Post #31 of 36 (33205 views)
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Reply from Bruce Kendall Double Olympic windsurfing medalist, Bruce Kendall (NZL) in the ISAF Athletes Commission - The Sailors Voice FAcebook page.




Bruce Kendall Kite racing in San Fran with St Francis YC is probably one of the best natural set ups in the world. Pretty consistant clean wind normally from the same direction, pretty open safe rigging & launching area, normally lots of people around to help launch & retrieve kites. It is a shame every where is not like that. How often have ISAF run windsurfing events put in unsuitable places regardless of the windsurfers requests. Are we sure ISAF will be more accommodating to kites so they can many kites can easily launch as soon as the AP goes down in the place they are given and get to the start on time? How often around the world do Olympic sailors need to train & launch alone? Interesting times.


sloan
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May 29, 2012, 9:35 AM

Post #32 of 36 (32840 views)
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Paul (originally accredited to Robbie Dean, since corrected) your letter is almost the perfect example of anecdotal evidence: (Based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis)
You make a better point in that even three kites may not be enough for safe kite racing. I would be on a 6 or 8 in those conditions (at 210lbs / 95 kilos). Real racers (ie not me) will always rig BIG and that will mean more people struggling as they go out overpowered in 20 knots. If it goes to 30 knots you will have some problems IMHO. At least a windsurfer sail can be laid flat in a squall. For a kite your only solution is to land before the squall or pop the leash and let it go.
You have a great venue and kitesurfing is a great sport (we sailed together one day off South Beach on MV) but don't represent that it is as safe as it needs to be. BTW has anyone ever dropped their kite across a group of kiters starting a race?


Ned Crossley
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Jun 7, 2012, 8:25 AM

Post #33 of 36 (30689 views)
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Re: [sloan] QUESTIONING THE AMERICAN SUPPORT OF KITESURFING [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

All great posts on the topic. I have taught windsurfing at American YC and have done windsurfing instructor clinics at CBI Boston, New Bedford YC, Chatham YC, Pettipaug YC, Stonington YC, Belle Haven, Larchmont YC, Duxbury Bay MS, and YMCA Camp Fuller so windsurfing at yacht club's is in, just barely, but in. I doubt that Kiting could have been done at these yacht clubs like windsurfsurfing
and dinghy sailing. Thanks Tinho, Dan, and Nevin for the truthful challenge. Sailing on a windsurfer is great and we need to unite and work together or the "precious white boaters" will gang up against progress.

Anyhow, here is part of my action plan:


Windsurfing Voted Out Of The Olympics!
2 June 2012
by Ned Crossley

The ISAF Council recently voted Men's and Women's Kiting (19) into 2016 Olympics in Rio by dropping Men's and Women's Windsurfing (17). US Sailing had 3 votes and all 3 voted for kiting. USA Windsurfers need to organize and voice their opinions. Can windsurfers pressure the US Sailing and ISAF to reverse the vote in November ISAF meeting? This affects every windsurfer directly and indirectly on all fronts nationally now and in the future.

First, get educated on what happened in the kiting vs. windsurfing ISAF process:
http://www.sail-world.com/USA/Response-to-US-Sailing-statement-on-inclusion-of-kiteboarding-in-2016/97650 (Nevin's email to US Sailing)
http://media.ussailing.org/Latest_News/2012/Brenner_052312.htm (US Sailing response)
http://www.surfertoday.com/windsurfing/7439-bruce-kendall-strongly-defends-olympic-windsurfing Bruce Kendall's letter to US Sailing statement post Nevin's letter)
http://www.sailinganarchy.com/index_page1.php (Platt Johnson letter to US Sailing: scroll way down to "battle of the boards continued")
https://www.facebook.com/groups/207173142734427/
http://danewsblog.blogspot.com/ (Best summary)

Second, please vote that windsurfing should be in 2016 Rio Olympics with complete ISAF redress on the decision. Sign the petition as 25,698 have as of 5/30/2012. Also form a simple statement. Forward your statement to other important emails as shown at this website.
http://www.change.org/petitions/isaf-keep-windsurfing-as-olympic-discipline

Third: Let US Sailing know how you feel about voting out windsurfing by the simple statement! Here are 4 emails readily available on US Sailing website:

jakefish@ussailing.org Communications Director
jackgierhart@ussailing.org Executive Director
garyjobson1@verizon.net President
davejohnson@ussailing.org Olympic Program Manager (deliver to Dean Brenner)

Be mindful of the following:
• Between 2008-2012, little or no money has been extended to developing windsurfers for the RS:X out of a $4 million dollar US Sailing Olympic Sailing Committee budget.
• Our two windsurfing qualifiers (Willis & Hall) in the 2012 London Olympics will not have a coach with on site credentials at Weymouth this summer.
• No US Sailing delegates who voted on the ISAF decision contacted anyone in the USA windsurfing efforts to gain insight prior to their votes being cast.
• No US Sailing budget for windsurfing exists except maybe a snippet in the US Sailing Training Department.
• US Sailing is the congressionally recognized USA governing body that represents us in the international governing body (ISAF). The USA invented windsurfing. Has US Sailing done due diligence without prejudice in fostering windsurfing in the USA over the past 28 years in getting the windsurfing effort organized and funded?


Kiters, Sailors, and Windsurfers are all powered by the wind! This is about windsurfing's future in the USA and internationally on a fair playing surface vs. prejudiced sailing politics. This is not about kiting vs. windsurfing, Olympic medals.

Written 6/2/12 by Ned Crossley - Windsurfer, US Sailing Windsurfing Instructor Trainer and Member. This is my story and I'm sticking to it!
Smile


Ned Crossley
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Jun 7, 2012, 8:56 AM

Post #34 of 36 (30685 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] QUESTIONING THE AMERICAN SUPPORT OF KITESURFING [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Thank you Platt! You really hit the nail on the head!


ms
*****

Jun 12, 2012, 5:29 PM

Post #35 of 36 (29877 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] QUESTIONING THE AMERICAN SUPPORT OF KITESURFING [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

From: Lanee Butler Beashel

I would like to respond to your KNOCK KNOCK comments, "So how can ISAF decide in May to replace windsurfing with kiteboarding as an event at the 2016 Olympics, and then decide in June that windsurfing will be an event at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games?"

Because junior kitesurf racing currently doesn't exist and yes I agree with you "Maybe ISAF still thinks that windsurfing and kiteboarding are the same event. Knock, knock...they are not." --Craig Leweck
  • Over 400 kids aged 16 and under will be representing multiple nations at the windsurfing Techno 293 Worlds this summer
  • Girls and Boys Windsurfing are two of the eight sailing events participating at the ISAF Youth Worlds in July and will continue to be included in their future events
  • The Techno 293 windsurfer was the chosen equipment for two of the four sailing events at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore in 2010 and again for the 2014 Games in China

To say that I've been completely shocked and heartbroken since I heard the news that windsurfing was kicked out of the 2016 Olympic Games, would be an understatement. I sail, windsurf and kitesurf, but since I have been 15 years old, my passion has been windsurfing. Even now, when I take my two young boys out on my board with me, I love every minute of it.

Over 20 years of my life, I proudly represented the USA at two Youth Worlds, two Women's Worlds, one Goodwill Games, four Pan-American Games and four Olympic Games all in the sport of windsurfing.

I applaud Bruce, Nevin and Platt (and many others) coming forward to voice their opinions openly and encourage others to do so.

As far as I know, windsurfing, as one of the Olympic Sailing Classes, always has and always will tick all the boxes that the IOC, ISAF and all National Governing Bodies of Sailing want, an inexpensive class for both men and women, youth involvement, lots of countries participating, accessible to the general public and exciting for the media.

Can someone tell me then, why has windsurfing been voted out?

Wouldn't it be fair to say that:
  • Windsurfing is one of, if not the least expensive Olympic Class
  • Windsurfing has 38 men and 28 women country spots at this year's Olympic Games, only the Laser and Laser Radial have more
  • Windsurfing has one of the largest organised Youth fleets competing worldwide compared to all the other Olympic Classes
  • Windsurfing is dynamic, colorful, fast and exciting for the media and spectators to enjoy
  • Windsurfers can launch from any sailing venue in any wind direction and wind speed unassisted and race closer to the shore that any other Olympic Class
  • Windsurfing is supported by US Sailing and ISAF at the Youth level having spots at both the ISAF Youth Worlds and Youth Olympics not only in the past, but now and will continue into the future

I feel so lucky to have been involved in such a great sport not only as a young girl, but as a women striving to represent my country at the Olympic Games and now I'm just sad to see so many young windsurfing girls and boys have their Olympic Dreams crushed.

Maybe that's why I feel compelled to post this letter openly on the internet.

Thanks for listening,
Sincerely,

Lanee Butler Beashel


Ned Crossley
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Jul 10, 2012, 3:37 PM

Post #36 of 36 (27193 views)
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Re: [DanW] QUESTIONING THE AMERICAN SUPPORT OF KITESURFING [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

 
Vote for Windsurfing in Rio 2016 Olympics
Written 7/5/12 by Ned Crossley

Did you vote for world-wide Olympic windsurfing? Please do, windsurfers need to get the petition over 30,000! Do not let US Sailing and their 3 votes for kiting off the hook!

http://www.change.org/petitions/isaf-keep-windsurfing-as-olympic-discipline

Why? Here, it is now easy to study the developing events:
http://windsurf-now.blogspot.com/
http://www.change.org/petitions/isaf-keep-windsurfing-as-olympic-discipline
https://www.facebook.com/groups/207173142734427/
This is what is being presented to US Sailing by a very informed windsurfer group within the USA:
http://saveolympicwindsurfing.wordpress.com/

Do something to support windsurfing, please even if regatta windsurfing is not for you.



Windsurfing Voted Out Of The Olympics!
2 June 2012
by Ned Crossley

The ISAF Council recently voted Men's and Women's Kiting (19) into 2016 Olympics in Rio by dropping Men's and Women's Windsurfing (17). US Sailing had 3 votes and all 3 voted for kiting. USA Windsurfers need to organize and voice their opinions. Can windsurfers pressure the US Sailing and ISAF to reverse the vote in November ISAF meeting? This affects every windsurfer directly and indirectly on all fronts nationally now and in the future.

First, get educated on what happened in the kiting vs. windsurfing ISAF process:
http://www.sail-world.com/USA/Response-to-US-Sailing-statement-on-inclusion-of-kiteboarding-in-2016/97650 (Nevin's email to US Sailing)
http://media.ussailing.org/Latest_News/2012/Brenner_052312.htm (US Sailing response)
http://www.surfertoday.com/windsurfing/7439-bruce-kendall-strongly-defends-olympic-windsurfing Bruce Kendall's letter to US Sailing statement post Nevin's letter)
http://www.sailinganarchy.com/index_page1.php (Platt Johnson letter to US Sailing: scroll way down to "battle of the boards continued")
https://www.facebook.com/groups/207173142734427/
http://danewsblog.blogspot.com/ (Best summary)

Second, please vote that windsurfing should be in 2016 Rio Olympics with complete ISAF redress on the decision. Sign the petition as 25,698 have as of 5/30/2012. Also form a simple statement. Forward your statement to other important emails as shown at this website.
http://www.change.org/petitions/isaf-keep-windsurfing-as-olympic-discipline

Third: Let US Sailing know how you feel about voting out windsurfing by the simple statement! Here are 4 emails readily available on US Sailing website:

jakefish@ussailing.org Communications Director
jackgierhart@ussailing.org Executive Director
garyjobson1@verizon.net President
davejohnson@ussailing.org Olympic Program Manager (deliver to Dean Brenner)

Be mindful of the following:
• Between 2008-2012, little or no money has been extended to developing windsurfers for the RS:X out of a $4 million dollar US Sailing Olympic Sailing Committee budget.
• Our two windsurfing qualifiers (Willis & Hall) in the 2012 London Olympics will not have a coach with on site credentials at Weymouth this summer.
• No US Sailing delegates who voted on the ISAF decision contacted anyone in the USA windsurfing efforts to gain insight prior to their votes being cast.
• No US Sailing budget for windsurfing exists except maybe a snippet in the US Sailing Training Department.
• US Sailing is the congressionally recognized USA governing body that represents us in the international governing body (ISAF). The USA invented windsurfing. Has US Sailing done due diligence without prejudice in fostering windsurfing in the USA over the past 28 years in getting the windsurfing effort organized and funded?


Kiters, Sailors, and Windsurfers are all powered by the wind! This is about windsurfing's future in the USA and internationally on a fair playing surface vs. prejudiced sailing politics. This is about Olympic medals unfortunately.

Written 6/2/12 by Ned Crossley - Windsurfer, US Sailing Windsurfing Instructor Trainer and Member. This is my story and I'm sticking to it!


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