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2016 Olympics: Skiffs, Multihulls, and Boards
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The Publisher
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May 1, 2012, 11:31 AM

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DRAMA IN DECISION LAND
What will the ten sailing events for the 2016 Olympic Games look like? While the event types have been confirmed, the equipment to be used in three of the events - Women’s Skiff event, the Mixed Multihull event, and the Board event - has not yet been decided.

To review the options, ISAF hosted an evaluation event March 17-25 in Santander, Spain. It was there that six skiff entries, seven multihull entries, and elite kiteboard sailors were on hand to impress the review panel.

ISAF has since released the Evaluation Panel Reports and Recommendations, which will be used to provide guidance for the ISAF Council to make the equipment decisions at the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Stresa, Italy on May 3-6.

The process has not gone smoothly, at least not for the skiff and multihull. There have been questions concerning the methods used to evaluate the equipment, and the bias held by committee members. One variable, cost of equipment, is not included in the reports.

Evaluation report:
Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull: http://www.sailing.org/news/38219.php
Kiteboarding: http://www.sailing.org/news/38220.php

Meeting details: http://www.sailing.org/2012-Mid-Year-Meetings.php

With the meeting to begin this week, here are recent comments that question the process:

Kristen Lane (USA), 29erXX class
As a skiff sailor, I would like to ask ISAF to:

Be realistic about the optimal racing weight for the FX and RS.

Be precise about what the ideal team weight is that you are aiming for.

Understand that any discussion of a weight limit is proof of a heavier ideal racing weight and will exclude normal sized women’s teams.

Be accurate about what skills the selected skiff will reward: Finesse? Strength & Weight?

Acknowledge that an equipment cost of $30,000 will have a chilling effect on the entry of sailors from emerging nations.

Realize that FX used-boat prices will reflect team’s interest in newer hulls with “new style” wings, which are lighter and stiffer.

Respect women skiff sailors by selecting a boat that has a finished design. We don’t want to sail a boat that does not "work", or that we will have to continue to buy new parts for as problems are fixed. Not only is this expensive, it will contribute to the failure of the women's skiff event.

Here’s my opinion: Whatever boat ISAF picks will be exciting to sail and race on the international circuit. I have a XX so I know that until I take ownership of whatever skiff ISAF selects, I will practice in a boat which requires refined skiff sailing skills and crew work synchronization in the stronger winds and chop. I love sailing skiffs and enjoy challenging myself with good competition, so no matter what boat is selected, I will continue. Thanks for your effort towards women's skiff sailing.


Darren Bundock (AUS), Viper class
I understand from a number of people you have your minds made up about the Nacra 17 and I can respect that, but I cannot accept incorrect comments in the report. I hope you have not been sold just on a flash paint job and curved boards.

1. Curved boards cater for a wider crew weight range? Can you explain how this works? I have run this by a number of designers in Oracle Racing and they are a bit bewildered by this comment as the righting moment, sail plan (power) of the boat is not changed by the curved boards. In fact the comment was if anything it will reduce the weight range as the wetted surface area of the boat downwind will be reduced and removing the advantage for lighter teams downwind. So it will be an advantage to be heavier upwind for increased righting moment with no penalty downwind. As you wrote it in the report, can you please provide me with a clarification?

2. The curved boards seem to be hype within ISAF. In the AC, curved boards have already been and gone. The advantage of C boards is in classes that are restricted by a width rule such as A-Class. A-Class also is limited to C boards as they have a rule that the board must be removable through the deck and a restriction on distance between the foil tips. C boards are not efficient, one of the major breakdowns with C boards is the high and low pressure areas, as the boards are not segregated, his results in a pressure diffusion along the length of a curved board and decrease the efficiency of the board. Hence The Nacra was not outstanding in the evaluation races and why you do not see curved boards in the AC45. Plus you will not see any in the AC72s. Except if any of the low budget teams buy the shared design offered as this has it. You will see ?L? boards or extreme tight ?J? boards (basically L boards). In the Viper presentation we showed L boards that had been tested for the future which are easily fitted in straight 'standard' cases, this was not mentioned in your report. If you pick a boat with straight boards, you still have the option to go in different directions with the evolution of your equipment.

3. In your report you state 'Innovative new NACRA 17'. What is innovative about this boat? Curved boards? 12 years ago in the trimarans curved boards were innovative, today they are out dated. 4. In the evaluation report there is no mention of damage or broken equipment. I believe the Nacra 17 had one capsize and resulted in one broken mast. Why is this not mentioned? I know on facebook that Nacra tried to cover this by saying it capsized on a sand bank and broke the mast but after speaking to the sailors involved this weekend we all know this was not the case. It should be have been highlighted that the Nacra 17 is not proven equipment and no one knows what we are getting. Will the sailors be expected to replace the mast after every capsize?

5. Why was the Viper carbon mast option not mentioned in the Sailor feedback table when it was clearly stated in the Viper proposal and we had two boats in Santander, one with an alloy mast and one with a carbon mast? Actually the Viper was the only boat that was labeled 1 and 2 on the bows. 1 was Alloy and 2 was carbon. This was not the case for either of the Nacras. In the case of the Nacra 16 it had two boats in Santander, both with an aluminum sections, but in the report it has both carbon and alloy options. How is this possible? It was not present at the trials, but it is an option. If the above is possible the solid wing sail that was presented should also have been an option for the Viper as it was in our presentation.

6. Has anyone checked the information provided by the manufactures? I read that CMI have produced 500 Nacras of different types in the past 2 years after speaking with John Higham from CMI they have produced 500 multihulls which also include 120 Vipers and other classes. Nacra sailing schools? Where do we find these? I believe we presented the Viper strike, youth pathways and training schemes in our presentation but these fail to get a mention in the Evaluation report.

6. I notice the Viper is always listed as the Viper F16. The Viper is not a Formula 16. It is a one design class. It is true the Viper fits into the F16 rules and therefore it can compete at their regattas but the class has chosen not to be involved as a development class, hence why the class applied to be a ISAF One Design class. I feel your following statement is aimed at the Viper ?the Nacra 17 is therefore not subject to development pressures to remain competitive within a box rule.? What pressures does the Viper have if it's a one design class?

7. Can you please justify why the Viper got the statement? Platform not as stiff as some other boats tested? And other boats such as the Nacra failed to get this. The Viper is known to be extremely stiff compared to the Nacra F18, Nacra F16 which use the same beams as the Nacra 17.

8. In the report about the Viper there was the statement "The MNA sailor feedback was that some felt that they were at the upper limit of the competitive combined crew weight." This would be expected as many of the MNA sailors were out of the desired weight range but this was not mentioned in the report. Also in the report there is a statement some teams "felt that the optimal crew weights will drop as more teams get familiar with the boat." The Viper has had proven results over the past 2 years with extremely well trained teams and sailors with Olympic backgrounds and world standard and the results are undisputed that Viper fits the desired weight range.

9. Finally, the report highlighted that the Viper would be better off with a telescopic tiller. This is purely a personal preference and is totally irrelevant information. Actually I would be extremely surprised if a sailor of Olympic calibre will use a adjustable tiller at the Olympic games. In the Tornado class we all changed to fixed tillers or used the Marstom adjustable tiller as it was light but the adjustable parts were epoxied together. A telescopic tiller is mostly sold to the less experienced sailors. Top experienced multihull sailors mainly use non adjustable tillers. Adjustable tillers are fragile and dangerous when ducking another boat and the adjuster is not locked correctly.





Solent Sailor
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May 2, 2012, 2:15 AM

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The problem with ISAF is that they always try to second guess the real world. The market has decided already. All ISAF has to do is nod in the right direction. I don't know the multihull market well enough to comment (I am sure the answer is but three clicks away on Google!) but the 49er . 29er and 29erXX are the skiffs of choice, done deal (for now.) Until the market decides otherwise why try to second guess?


Solent Sailor
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May 7, 2012, 12:30 AM

Post #3 of 13 (20612 views)
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I love it that once again we are all distracted by the debate about skiff and multihull choice while ISAF side steps everyone and disenfranchises another whole group of sailors by dropping windsurfing from the Olympics for a sport which I don't think has even had a world championship yet....NUTS!!!!


The Publisher
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May 28, 2012, 9:24 AM

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In Reply To
I love it that once again we are all distracted by the debate about skiff and multihull choice while ISAF side steps everyone and disenfranchises another whole group of sailors by dropping windsurfing from the Olympics for a sport which I don't think has even had a world championship yet....NUTS!!!!



Kite course racing does have a world championship. I believe they started in 2009: http://www.internationalkiteboarding.org/...d=1368&Itemid=27

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


gebi
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Jun 1, 2012, 6:40 AM

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Kiteracing has been done on the PKRA Professional Kiteboarding Tour since 1999, and also on the KPWT Tour, another professional Kiteboarding Tour. Kiteboard racing came under the umbrella of ISAF in 2009 as IKA- (International Kiteboarding Association) became recognized by ISAf as the International governing body uniting all the Professional and amateur kite events under one umbrella, including: Speed Kiting, Slalom kiting, freestyle kiting and course racing kiting. I have not seen a foiling moth regatta myself, but this does not mean it does not exist. There have been youth and Master Kiteracing Worlds, and also a foilboard kiteracing worlds as well. It is alive, well and growing...... http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0530/





The Publisher
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Jun 4, 2012, 7:02 AM

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From Mark Chew
Is it just me or are kite boarding shots REALLY BORING? Having the power source separated from the athlete by a few hundred meters of string is going to be a hard one for the (Olympic) media machines to glamorise.


The Publisher
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Jun 4, 2012, 7:02 AM

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In Reply To
From Mark Chew
Is it just me or are kite boarding shots REALLY BORING? Having the power source separated from the athlete by a few hundred meters of string is going to be a hard one for the (Olympic) media machines to glamorise.


While dinghy photography tends to require tight framing on the subject, kiting mandates it. I have yet to see a distant photo of kite course racing that captures the intensity of the moment.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


The Publisher
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Jun 6, 2012, 9:10 AM

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In Reply To
From Mark Chew
Is it just me or are kite boarding shots REALLY BORING? Having the power source separated from the athlete by a few hundred meters of string is going to be a hard one for the (Olympic) media machines to glamorise.


From Johnny Heineken, Kite Course World Champion:
I'm not sure the "Olympic" media does a good job of glamorizing any sailing, but let's pretend for a moment they do. I have a hard time believing anyone is getting excited over another white sailed slow-boat shot and not at all intrigued by kite racing photos.

Yes, framing the shots is important, and since the Olympics is all about being media friendly, there will have to be some learning on the photographer's side about how to best capture the action.

As for distant shots capturing the intensity of the moment...hard to do, since they're a lot more intense than any other starts I've ever been in :)

PS: Lines are generally ~ 25m long, not a few hundred meters. I can understand how that would seem impossible to frame.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Johnny has shared some examples of kiting photos for the white sail shooters to study: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/0605/





The Publisher
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Jun 6, 2012, 2:09 PM

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In Reply To
From Johnny Heineken, Kite Course World Champion:
I'm not sure the "Olympic" media does a good job of glamorizing any sailing, but let's pretend for a moment they do. I have a hard time believing anyone is getting excited over another white sailed slow-boat shot and not at all intrigued by kite racing photos.

Yes, framing the shots is important, and since the Olympics is all about being media friendly, there will have to be some learning on the photographer's side about how to best capture the action.

As for distant shots capturing the intensity of the moment...hard to do, since they're a lot more intense than any other starts I've ever been in :)

PS: Lines are generally ~ 25m long, not a few hundred meters. I can understand how that would seem impossible to frame.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Johnny has shared some examples of kiting photos for the white sail shooters to study:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/0605/



From Mike Moore:
In response to the letter and photos submitted by Johnny Heineken:

I realize that we all have our bias in what we like in sailing. I've always been a sit down sailor, and while I've largely "retired", my most recent sailing was in Finns and Stars. Needless to say I was very sorry to see the Star eliminated (again) and would hate to see the Finn removed as well. By the same token, I understand everyone else's commitment to seeing their favorite classes either remain, or become, Olympic Classes.

As far as being photogenic though, I really don't see the Kites being any more so than a Star. Even when comparing the photos Johnny submitted to the photo of the relatively light air Laser start also shown, I still don't see the Kiting pictures being any more compelling. Sure, the freestyle pictures are dramatic. There is something very cool about seeing a kiteboarder jumping a car on a barge. But really? Is that an example of what we'll be seeing in the Olympics? I would think no more so than the pictures of Olympic windsurfing show the action and drama of freestyle windsurfing in big surf.

And the photos of course racing honestly looked a little strange. There was one picture of a lineup of sailors on a leg of the course. All the kites were colorful in the sky. But as someone else stated a couple days ago, there is no connection between the kites and the sailors in the photo. It looks, especially to an untrained eye, like the sailors are "surfing" small waves with their arms held up.

To my eye, a photo of kiting in light air isn't much more compelling than a photo of a Star in light air. And a photo of a Star blast reaching with spray everywhere, or going to weather in heavy air, the keel almost visible as the boat gets to the top of a wave and the crew mini-hiking, is every bit as compelling as a picture of a kite boarder skipping across the wave tops in heavy air. But then, I am (or was) a Star sailor, and Johnny is a Kiteboarder.


KiteRacer
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Jun 6, 2012, 8:27 PM

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there's no accounting for taste....

that being said...I think it's been proven that current sailing classes aren't getting the views desired for televised Olympic sports. That's not to say that the goal of every sailing class is to be media friendly, and we've already seen this attitude having negative implications for kite racing. But maybe kiting can satisfy the layman's need for high speed action. The olympics aren't viewed via still photos, and watching a Star drift in 7 kts of breeze isn't that exciting to the untrained eye. At least kites are going 15kts upwind and 20 downwind in these conditions.

But like I said...there's no accounting for taste...





Mark Chew
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Jun 7, 2012, 12:07 AM

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Actually.... I must take it all back.....I have seen some great kiteboarding pics ... thanks to Richard Branson and Denni Parkinson..


The Publisher
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Jun 7, 2012, 7:02 AM

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In Reply To
Actually.... I must take it all back.....I have seen some great kiteboarding pics ... thanks to Richard Branson and Denni Parkinson..




Attachments: slide_1430_20402_large.jpg (55.9 KB)


The Publisher
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Aug 27, 2012, 3:53 PM

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From: "International Kiteboarding Class Association" <info@internationalkiteboarding.org>
To: "International Kiteboarding Class Association" <info@internationalkiteboarding.org>
Subject: Selection of equipment for the Olympic Kiteboarding Events 2016
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 13:04:20 +0200



Ladies and Gentlemen,

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has made a submission to the ISAF annual conference regarding the selection of equipment for the kiteboarding events of the next Olympic Games.

We acknowledge that the equipment selection is subject to evaluation, but we thought that it is a good idea to give you an update on the development that has been done in the meantime to address the valid concerns regarding costs and availability.

After the decision to include men's and women's Kiteboarding as events in the Olympic regatta it became clear that further restrictions were required to ensure cheapest entry to the Olympics for MNAs while retaining the philosophy of the discipline of kiteboarding and enabling a fair game to all competitors.

We believe that our proposal is effectively addressing all these issues, and rather makes equipment even more available especially to emerging nations, as local builders can satisfy the demands of regional sailors and their associations. This is already happening – e.g. in Thailand and Brazil.

Formula Kite is the International Kiteboarding Associations proposal for the equipment to be used in the Olympic Sailing Regatta, the ISAF Sailing World Cups, and in any other ISAF graded events.

Formula Kite is based on the successful IKA box rule, which allows multiple brands to provide equipment to be used in competition. The main parameters - maximum length and width, minimum weight, and the number of boards and kite to be used during a regatta are already regulated in the current IKA class rules.

The main advantages of the proposed "Formula Kite" box rule are:

· Currently all kiteboard racing competition is sailed on box rule equipment, with a global spread
· Sailors of a very wide weight range can compete against each other with equal opportunities, avoiding preference for any part of the world or certain body shape. For a sample chart including weight and size of the worlds top kite racers, click here.
· The "Formula Kite" box rule concept allows brands to sponsor sailors and invest in them, further reducing equipment purchase costs to MNAs
· "Formula Kite" equipment allows slow but constant evolution of equipment in line with normal "wear and tear" equipment replacement cycles. Sailors are always able to sail on up-to-date equipment which is challenging to sail and attractive to spectators and media
· Most media friendly equipment sports in the Olympics are based on box rule concepts:
· Skiing/Snowboarding etc
· Cycling
· Bobsledge
· Rowing/Canoeing
· Archery/Shooting
· Tennis/Badminton
· Etc

A "One Design" approach would result in losing the top sailors. The Olympics have to be the pinnacle of every sport, with the best athletes taking part. In windsurfing, the PWA (Professional Windsurfers Association, an ISAF special event) events are considered to be the pinnacle of the discipline, and a similar situation must be avoided. In windsurfing, not all the best sailors are participating in the Olympic Games. Only the box rule concept of "Formula Kite" will achieve this.

PWA and Formula Windsurfing have successfully used a system very similar to "Formula Kite" for many years, and they have produced top sailors including many from emerging nations on such equipment concept.

Sailors would travel to events with their own equipment - there is no need for event organizers to provide equipment, further reducing their costs.

The proposed changes, as an appendix to the current IKA class rules called "Formula Kite" can be found here with explanations.
For a full version of the IKA class rules with "Formula Kite" appendix applied, click here. (coming soon)

The proposed registration system, which ensures world wide availability to all interested MNAs and NCAs at reduced prices can be found here with explanations.
For a full version of the proposed registration system click here (coming soon)

For a breakdown of sample prices of a major brand click here

The kiteboarding industry, representing manufacturers with a market share in kiteracing of app. 90% supports the proposed "Formula Kite" concept. The proposed concept will keep the industry fully involved.
A “box rule concept” avoids a monopoly – monopolies are avoided in world economy as they usually provide poor products on high prices. Competition between manufacturers encourages production of quality equipment for sale at affordable prices.

Click here for some background information on provided One-Design Equipment, and why we believe that it does not work for kiteboarding.

Finally: listen to the sailors !

All top sailors strongly favour the “box rule concept” as it allows participants of a wide weight and size range to compete with equal chances. Furthermore it is much more rewarding for sailors to sail on up-to-date equipment.

Only the “box rule concept” ensures participation of the world’s top athletes.
ISAF has shown with its recent decisions on the women’s skiff and the mixed multihull that decisions are taken in the interest of the sailors. Let’s keep it this way !

Statements from top sailors from all parts of the world can be found here.

Kind regards,

Markus Schwendtner
IKA Executive Secretary





-------------------------
The International Kiteboarding Association is an international class of the International Sailing Federation.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.internationalkiteboarding.org
For more information about the International Kiteboarding Association, please do not hesitate to contact us at:
The International Kiteboarding Association
Rohrbecker Weg 43
14612 Falkensee
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Fon: +49 1713819139

http://www.internationalkiteboarding.org
info@internationalkiteboarding.org


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