Aug 9, 2018

Kite SurfingThe Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That means that any sailor in the world can enter. 

Aarhus is in Europe where all Olympic hopefuls are training so the number of countries competing is very large.

The IOC Sports Department is quoted by World Sailing leaders as demanding major changes to Olympic Sailing's events, format and equipment which is destroying our sport and the dreams of the Youth who hope to be Olympians.

IOC has decreed that KiteSurfing, which is really "Parachute Water Skimming", be inserted into Olympic Sailing with no concern whatsoever with the damage it will cause. KiteSurfing has absolutely nothing to do with Sailing as they even call their competitors "riders" not "sailors". KiteSurfing should be their own Sport Federation and stand on their own merits which I am sure will be what their commercial interests will do after negatively impacting Olympic Sailing, Let them do it now!!

  

 

Those leading World Sailing have orchestrated that from Rio 2016 to Paris 2024 that eight of the ten events must be changed, which legislates against the less affluent nations which also negates universality.

It also puts technology, not talent as the driving force ignoring the Youth of today who have no idea if they can compete in Paris 2024 since nobody has any idea what the equipment or format will be. This is disconcerting considering that Olympic Sailing is and has been designated as an Olympic Core Sport.

World Sailing President and CEO are also stating that Olympic Sailing must have Mixed Events and Gender Equality no matter whether these decrees outlaws many sailors from competing especially those over 80 kilos. This goes against the IOC's own mandate of universality.

World Sailing, to shovel KiteSurfing into the 2024 Olympics to pacify the decrees from the IOC Sports Department, have only given one event which means that it is to be some contrived Mixed Men and Women "Riders" in un-specified equipment in a format never ever raced before proposed to be some sort of "Mixed Jumping Relay Race" possibly a judged points event.

Please look at the statistics of the entries in Aarhus this week and note that only 9 countries in the World could compete in "KiteSurfing" off-the-beach in Marseilles 2024 as there are only nine countries represented in the Women's event. IOC and World Sailing just outlawed the other 21 countries who have no women competing of Olympic calibre.
Olympic designation should not be used to achieve broad acceptance of a sport discipline.

It must prove it deserves Olympic status before becoming Olympic. (This position has been stated to me by IOC Executive Members.)

Then with eight of ten events’ equipment to be changed and the fixation on the ridiculous concept of inserting four mixed events, more than any other Olympic sport, it impacts wrongly the Single Trapeze 470 which does not suit being mixed as the small person skippers and the long heavier person the crew. In trapeze boats mixed only works in no trapeze or double trapeze if you want Gender Equality.

The most ludicrous new concept is to insert a mixed single event with the Finn which has served us so well for our sailors over 80 kilos. How can the IOC allow this to happen?
When did Olympics Games become a testing ground for some contrived commercial TV event forgetting the needs of the athletes? Even more important why does World Sailing capitulate to this IOC destruction and dashing of the dreams of our Youth?

regards,
Paul Henderson OLY
Member of the IOC (ret)

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