Thursday, August 23, 2012

Update about "ISAF: Keep Windsurfing as Olympic Discipline"

Subject: Update about "ISAF: Keep Windsurfing as Olympic Discipline"
(email from Change.Org - republished here)

As you may may know the RS:X Class lodged a claim for judicial review
in the High Court in London on August 1st 2012.
It basically seeks to establish whether ISAF have followed all the
necessary protocol and procedures in reaching their decision. This
is what the judge in the court is going to be asked to determine. it’s
not to say that it’s a good decision or a bad decision, it’s whether
the decision was taken correctly.
The law says that claims for judicial review have to be made within
3 months of the date of the decision prompting the action. The ISAF
made the decision to select kite on May 5th. The time limit therefore
ran out on August 5th.
Questions seeking clarification of the minutes of the ISAF Mid Year
meeting were asked at the beginning of June. ISAF's official response
came on July 17th. Further correspondence then took place to which we
received the last response on July 31st. It was therefore not out our choice to
make such a claim during the Olympic Games nor do we relish making it.
The legal advice which we have received after close study of the ISAF
constitution, regulations and minutes is that there is a sound basis on which
to proceed and that is therefore what we have done. We emphasise that we
are not questioning whether ISAF have made a good decision or a bad decision,
we simply seek to establish whether the decision was taken correctly.
That being said, we are working to find a solution by making personal contact
with ISAF at the highest level. We have no wish other than to ensure that
Olympic windsurfing be given a fair and equal chance
The costs involved could be substantial so we have set up a fighting fund
to help cover existing or future legal costs but the future of windsurfing
in the Olympics is at stake together with the hopes and dreams of 1000s of
young athletes all over the world. Those are priceless.
Note: This is supervised by our accountants Prince Croft Willis of Poole.
To help you help us we have set up two ways in which you can take action
to support Olympic Windsurfing. 
1. If you just want to make a donation of 5, 10 or even 20 dollars,
we have created a Paypal Donation Page which is linked directly to the
RS:X Bank account. Go to now
2. OR if you prefer, you can show your support by buying T-Shirts,
sweats, water bottles and much, much more in the Vote Windsurfing
online shop at
Rest assured that your donation will be focused solely on covering
existing or future legal costs and please note that offer
a full money back guarantee if you are not entirely satisfied with your
Finally, a big thank you to all 29,915 of you who have signed the petition.
It is an overwhelming demonstration of the strength of support for Olympic
windsurfing out there in the world.
And thank you for doing your utmost to ensure windsurfing will be in Rio 2016

Monday, August 13, 2012

No medals for US Sailing Team at 2012 Games

Here is a lively series of posts on the recent lack of success of the current Olympic team.

My take is that we finally got to see the results of Dean Brenner's policy of only funding the winners. It is no mystery that he has barely funded the windsurfer representatives and that US Sailing has put little effort into developing the youth windsurfing or Olympic windsurfing programs. Even if you could argue there was some de-minimus support it does not nearly come up to the support of windsurfing given by China, Israel or  Holland.

If I had to propose a policy it would be to evenly spread around 50% of the funding amongst all of the athletes on a per capita basis and then award the balance of the funding on results. If you wanted something more complicated you could use this for example.

  • 1st year after the Olympiad 70% of funding spread per capita 30% to top performers.
  • 2nd year after the Olympiad 60% of funding spread per capita 40% to top performers.
  • 3rd year after the Olympiad 50% of funding spread per capita 50% to top performers.
  • The year of the Olympiad 40% of funding spread per capita 60% to top performers.
I am sure you could tweak this a but and make it more complicated but clearly the idea of only supporting the winners has been a failure. Why not try something with more of a long term focus - something more long term.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Asia wants windsurfing reinstated

Asia wants windsurfing reinstated
SINGAPORE - Windsurfing's shock omission from the 2016 Olympic Games may not be cast in stone yet.

At an Asian Sailing Federation (ASAF) meeting here last Saturday, member nations reached a unanimous decision to call for a re-vote by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) at its next meeting in Ireland this November to re-instate windsurfing as a medal event for the Rio Games.

"We're now finding out the process to present a strong case for windsurfing to ISAF," said SingaporeSailing CEO Tan Wearn Haw.

"There has been talk the International Olympic Committee may drop sailing from the Olympics because it is not the most spectator-friendly sport, so for ISAF to drop one of sailing's more popular disciplines is surprising."

Thirty-four delegates representing 17 member nations attended Saturday's meeting at ONE15 Marina.

In a shock decision at the ISAF mid-year meeting in Italy, windsurfing was axed from the 2016 Olympics and replaced with kiteboarding.

However, Israel sailing chief Yehuda Maayan claimed the shock result came after a Spanish delegate made a wrong vote during the meeting, possibly due to confusion and the language barrier.

Singaporean Audrey Yong's bronze at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games helped promote interest in the sport here.

Timothy Khoo, president of Windsurfing Association Singapore - an affiliate of SingaporeSailing - said: "The decision to drop windsurfing was a devastating blow and there are concerns interest could dwindle as it is no longer an Olympic sport.

"It is a wake-up call for windsurfing to keep re-inventing ourselves to stay relevant." TAN YO-HINN

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A kiteboarder talks about ISAF report

A Kiteboarder’s Look at the Technical Report

We picked this up while preparing a report for US Sailing.It is a brilliant disection of the many problems in the ISAF report regarding the safety of kiting.The fact that it is from an experienced kiter is important.

By Ian Collenette
Founder, DVNT Kiteboarding, Orewa Beach, New Zealand
(source: Kiteforum)

Experience has taught me and my kiteboarding friends not to underplay the safety side of kiteboarding when representing it to kiteboarders, non-kiting public and potential new kiteboarders. We have found that honesty and transparency in learning from our experiences (close calls/accidents etc.) has kept us safer. These are quotes from the reports given to non-kiting voters, and for those thinking of getting into kiteboarding to read and learn from.

Kiteboarding Evaluation report – IKA/ISAF
“Safety issues are slightly different for kiteboarding” They are not slightly different, they are vastly different because you are dealing with a kitesport. Kites are unique in that they can generate relative huge apparent wind power compared to sailing (this means kite movement through air/wind window that translates to FAR higher apparent wind speed) to jump 100kg 60ft in the air! An accidental 15cm movement of a kitebar due to rider or equipment error (deathloop, bridle tangle, wing tip tangle/pulley jam/line half hitch on bar) can result in rider being thrown 40ft+. Kite lines have nearly drowned me and my friends (for sure less likely in racing than waves) and have caught up a kiter under a rescue boat that drowned recently (not wave riding). There are many more examples of why kitesport safety is so vastly different from sailing safety but I realize that long posts put people off reading whatsoever…

Kiteboarding Technical report – IKA/ISAF
“There have been safety issues in the past which have been overcome since approx eight years.” This statement generalizes about all safety issues and therefore simply is not true. eg Deathloops (uncontrolled spinning kites pulling you due to bridle tangle, wing tip tangle, 1/2 inside out kite, line half hitch on bar, depower system tangle) which may result in collisions with buildings / other riders/spectators / objects at sea or at the launch area. Nothing can overcome the danger of 2 tangled kites in some situations – this area is not known well (I am aware of the kite racing clubs that do have some experience) – kiting will bring kiteboard racers closer together than they ever have been in history (traditionally that have learned to stay as far apart from each other as possible). Fortunately in racing in higher winds the riders tend to get spread out more – but to say there is no safety factor in limiting entrants of kiterace compared to a sailing race is ridiculous!
“There is no difference to standard sailing regattas in respect of numbers of boats, marks etc, no additional resources or facilities are needed.” Yes there is – Launching and landing safety buffer zone from all things that are not flat beach – people, buildings, objects – anything you could have a collision with if pulled forward for example 60ft in 1 second due to possible user, equipment malfunction, or change in weather conditions. Most kiteracers around the world do not have access to boats and quite frankly couldn’t be bothered to go to the trouble of boat launching. Sure Olympic rsx sailors have their support boats but how is that making kiteboarding accessible. Sailing boats can launch in unsteady (gusty wind launch areas are dangerous for kiteboard launching), offshore (usually too much wind shadow) and very light winds (kite falls out of sky – approx 10 knots required for water relaunch) – Kiteboarders cannot safely or reliably do this. Can you imagine sailing clubs needing one boat per kiter! Traditional sailing clubs and kiteboarding usually do not mix well from a safety point of view simply due to safe launching and landing buffer zone, due to having inexperienced kiters (sailors) around kites (eg trying to help a kiteboarder and instead getting them hurt grabbing wrong side of kite / kite lines / wrong safety line / trying to grab kite detached from rider).
“kiteboards are always planing.” No they are not – I have been in lulls on raceboard not planing! Instead of pumping – we sine wave the kite to generate apparent wind and get planing again – for sure they plane more than windsurfers though – difference is that most kites cannot relaunch from the water in under approx 10 knots if wind lulls and kite falls from sky. This point was not mentioned in report, an ambiguous statement that said kites can be lauched in 4 knots I think it was, little did anyone know this referred to launching from a boat or land with human assistance, and not an unassisted water relaunch. Report makes no mention of rider having face split in 2 during freestyle competition (Vincent Tiger) as it was not considered serious (3 months recovery) – The report does not refer specifically to kiteboard racing safety records, of which incidentally there has been very little relative activity in racing worldwide to be able to analyze it properly – simply because kiteboard racing has been very niche with very few participants worldwide.
Report says kites flag out when releasing safety system (“kite will have no more power whatsoever”) That is simply not the case for many riders riding various kite brands in current IKA/ISAF kiteboard racing. They are not safely flagged out onto one line, some use a suicide leash and rely on the high depower of the kite design! This makes the statement “kite will have no more power whatsoever” untrue.
“Although kiteboarding accidents still happen, they are rare.” No they are not, they are far more common than sailing accidents and far more likely to result in severe injuries or death. Sure people get hit hard by gybing masts in sailing but nothing of the scale of kite accidents. Analogies to other sports are ridiculous (cars motorcross skiing..?!?!), kiteboarding is unique in that it deals with both the erratic nature of the weather AND the fact that a kite can throw a 100kg human 60ft through the air from an accidental or deliberate mechanical movement of just 15cm on the bar/due to tip wrap/bridle tangle/bar line half hitch/ kites tangled together. Saw someone launch kite recently and due to bridle tip wrap tangle flew 30ft onto their head as kite deathlooped at launch – a bit late for a safety system. They were out cold for 10 mins and injured.
“It is no more dangerous than any other sport.” That is just the most utterly stupid statement and totally untrue. Kiteboarding while safer than is used to be due to advancement in equipment design will always have the inherent additional risks of the huge relative power kites can generate both at ground level and more importantly upwards! Particularly at launch and landing. These dangers are increased by the erratic nature of the weather.
I love kiteboarding including racing and high winds (25 knots+ even lol), but when I read reports representing my sport to others, that may bring it into disrepute, clearly written by inexperienced kiteboarders, I have to put my time into getting the facts straight. (I don’t consider myself anything special but have been kiting 12 years, was in my country’s Olympic youth sailing squad, NZ national kiteboarding title holder and various other achievements in kiteboarding). Reports like these do not benefit kiteboarders (exception maybe kiteboarders in the business of course – Olympics = sell more kit), potential kiteboarders or voters by painting a fairytale picture of kiteboarding that is designed to spin, not tell the real truth. The truth educates and therefore benefits kiteboarders, voters and potential new kiteboarders. It also enables people to make informed decisions.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kiteboarding is wrong choice for Olympics says expert

Sailing-Kiteboarding wrong choice for Olympics, says expert

Related News

Related Topics

BEIT YANNAY, Israel, June 18 | Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:59am EDT
(Reuters) - Kiteboarding is "10 times more dangerous" that windsurfing and the decision to include the sport in the 2016 Olympics is a big mistake, a leading kitesurfing expert has told Reuters.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced the decision to include men's and women's kiteboarding at the expense of windsurfing last month, describing it as a "fantastic addition" for the 2016 Games.
However, Israel's Amit Inbar, who runs a kitesurfing school, said the ISAF did not appreciate how dangerous the sport was.
"I think they have made a very big mistake because I think the people at ISAF don't really understand the implications of the decision ... and the dangers of the sport," said Inbar.
Inbar, who represented Israel in windsurfering at the Barcelona and Sydney Games, said there was a real possibility of competitors being seriously injured or killed, particularly at race starts, and when battling for position around marker buoys.
"People have died in kitesurfing ... I'm really scared that we are going to see some very bad accidents ... it is 10 times more dangerous than windsurfing," he added.
Inbar said around 130 people had been killed in the sport worldwide and told how he recovered a kitesurfer's finger from the beach after it was severed by a kite cord.
"A kite has a lot of energy and there are many things that can go wrong ... if you put 100 kites on a course, the lines in strong winds can be like knives and at the start there are many chances for lines tangle."
While the decision to raise the profile of kiteboarding was the best thing he could have hoped for in a commercial sense, it would not benefit sailing.
"For me, business wise, it was a magical decision, because for the last 12 years I have been working in and teaching kite surfing, but as a guy who has raced in windsurfing in the Olympics, this was a very poor decision and I really hope it will be changed soon," he said.
Windsurfing supporters have not given up hope of the decision being reversed at the ISAF annual conference in Ireland in November where a final vote will be taken.
Inbar said the decision to include kiteboarding was based on sailing chiefs' hopes of making the Olympics more sexy, but he said it would not be the case.
"Kitesurfing at the Olympics will be the same as windsurfing: sailing around markers, no jumping, nothing sexy, or all the crazy stuff kite surfers do ... at the end of the day it will be exactly the same," he added.
Proponents of kiteboarding said the sport's visual appeal, portability and accessibility were ideal to get athletes from emerging economies involved.
ISAF Vice President Low Teo Ping told Reuters last month he believed there would be a tremendous boost particularly from the non-traditional sailing countries in Asia.
Israel's sailing chief Yehuda Maayan, however, said ISAF's decision to dump windsurfing in favour of kiteboarding came about as a result of an error by the Spanish delegate to the Melbourne meeting where the vote was held last month.
Maayan had told Reuters delegates were probably confused or didn't understand the motion because of language difficulties.
The Spanish Sailing Federation has since admitted its mistake saying its representative voted in favour of kiteboarding in error. (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Further retributions follow 2016 Olympic Events vote - Gladwell

From SailWorld
Gladwell's Line: Further retributions follow 2016 Olympic Events vote

'Two of the great Womens Windsurfers Blanca Manchon (ESP) to windward of ITA’s Alessandra Sensini in the 2008 RS:X Worlds, Womens Medal Race'    Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

Protests and revelations continue to roll on the back of the controversial decision by a 19-17 vote by the ISAF Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in early May, to select Kiteboarding as a 2016 Olympic event

At its November Meeting the ISAF bracketed the Kiteboard with the Windsurfer, for selection as an Event for the 2016 Olympic Games. A final decision was to be made in May 2012, pending evaluation trials conducted in March. The Mid-Year meeting was staged at Stresa a resort on picturesque Lake Maggiore, near Milan, Italy.

Despite a recommendation of 17-2 for the retention of Windsurfing by its expert committee, the ISAF Events Committee, who considered a report from an Evaluation Team it established to trial Kiteboarding in March 2012, and advise on its suitability, the Council of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the world governing body for the sport, swung the other way and in a close vote decided to promote Kiteboarding ahead of Windsurfing for the 2016 Olympics.

Immediately after the Stresa meeting the Spanish Sailing Federation President, and Council member Gerardo Pombo took responsibility and apologised for the actions of their substitute Council representative for Area E comprising Andorra, Portugal and Spain.

It was claimed that the Spanish Federation RFEV only decided, after publication of the voting lists, to issue an apology for the actions of the very experienced and highly intelligent, Gerardo Seeliger, who it was claimed by RFEV was confused by the voting system.

Gerardo Pombo (right) one of the foundation members of the Club Náutico Español de Vela -  Event Media  
Prior to the publication of the voting lists, the Spanish had maintained they had supported the Windsurfer according to a letter sent by five times Womens World Windsurfing Champion, Blanca Manchón to the Spanish Olympic Committee:

I have personally requested an explanation from the President of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, Gerardo Pombo, who hours before the publication of the list of countries of the aforementioned voting was defending tooth and nail that Spain had voted in favour of windsurf. Once the list was made public he rectified and issued a statement on RFEV’s website, recognizing the mistake: 'It was just a mistake, a simple voting mistake.' As if to tick a box was so difficult so that one would err in something so transcendental, in this case for the Olympic discipline of windsurfing and all the infrastructure that was put in place throughout all those years.

Seeliger is believed to have given a lengthy and passionate address in favour of the Kiteboard, so clearly alarms should have been sounding amongst the Spanish and Portuguese support team, if indeed he was genuinely confused.

Further Spain is a world force in the Olympic windsurfing discipline, so a vote against the current Olympic event would probably have had a very significant impact on his country's Olympic medal chances in 2016.

Additionally, like many other established and developing sailing countries, the Spanish Federation had invested heavily in windsurfer development. For the RFEV with the the financial support of their Olympic Committee, this investment, had resulted in several world championship wins.

That confusion was again attacked in a tirade on Spanish TV news , by Blanca Manchón, who is also a former ISAF Sailor of the Year, when she verbally launched at the Spanish Federation. The same RFEV who was last in the international headlines for their endorsement of the Club Nautico de Vela – a paper yacht club they helped establish, and whose doubtful challenge for the America’s Cup triggered a three year in the New York Supreme Court.

The statement issued by RFEV read in part:

Blanca Manchon (ESP) RS:X Women - Semaine Olympique Francais 2011 -  Jean Marie Liot ©   Click Here to view large photo
'In fact, during the recent years RFEV has heavily invested in the development of future windsurfing promises, through the National Plan for Modernization. Moreover, the current Spanish Olympic sailing team has some of the best windsurfers in the world that have been and are all serious contenders at a medal both at the previous Olympics and the next ones this summer.

'Furthermore, in other committees of the ISAF, where Spain is represented, such as the Event Committee, the Spanish representatives had voted in favour of windsurfing. These committees had almost unanimously supported the maintenance of the RS: X, although they were only advisory to the Council.

'Despite this, at the last moment the Spanish representative in the ISAF Council gave his vote for the kite, an error caused by the confusion of the voting system. The Federation President, Gerardo Pombo, takes responsibility for this error and wants to apologize to all Spanish windsurfers.'

The other two countries in Area E, Portugal and Andorra have not come out with official comment on the vote of their representative; however it is believed that Portugal supported the status quo – the retention of Windsurfing.

Venezuela outs its Vice-President

Next up was the letter from the Venezuelan Federation of Sail, disassociating itself from the vote of one of its nationals, ISAF Vice President Teresa Lara. She was one of seven ISAF Vice-Presidents allowed a vote. Five of these voted in favour of the Kiteboard and only two in favour of the retention of the Windsurfer. While Vice-Presidents, and indeed all Councillors are allowed a free vote, in terms of doing what is best for the sport, this notion must be sheeted to reality in terms of the impact on the sport, in the region they represent.

Venezuela is bundled into Area O in the ISAF Council and has two representatives, one from the Cayman Islands and the other from the Dominican Republic. Of the 22 countries in the Group, only two, Cuba (1948) and Bahamas (1956) have won Olympic sailing medals.

It is not known if Venezuela thought their interests were covered by Lara, their Vice President. However their reaction was fairly clear when Venezuelan Federation of Sail issued a statement advising their 'total and absolute disagreement with the decision made by the representative of Venezuela within ISAF (V.P Teresa Lara Anzola).'

Neighbouring Brazil an Olympic powerhouse, in Group N along with Paraguay, voted for the Windsurfer. As did Group M comprising Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay.

Asian and Indian reaction
Since May, the flurried reaction has not diminished.

ISAF Council Vote Sheet - Windsurfer vs Kiteboard 2016 Olympics -    
An email from the Windsurfing Association of Singapore says that a meeting will be held on June 30, 2012 of the Asian Sailing Federation to consider their situation. The ASF has 26 member countries and spans three of the 17 ISAF Council Regions. Some are minnows in terms of their international sailing footprint, but others such as China and Japan have hosted Olympic Games.

The Councillor for Area K, which contains India and Singapore and six other nations, voted for the Kiteboard. The Board Sailing Association of India claims that the Yachting Association of India instructed the Councillor, Ajay Balram, that they wished to maintain the status quo, in other words – Vote for the Windsurfer.

The letter dated June 14, 2012 claims that 'Mr Balram by his own admission did not bother to consult us or any of the Group K Countries and voted for Kitesurfing (sic), in spite of knowing full well that Kitesurfing (sic) does not exist in India.'

'His vote was crucial in Windsurfing being removed from the 2016 Olympic Games' the letter adds – a reference to the 19-17 vote on the ISAF Council. One vote the other way would have tied the ballot, and forced the ISAF President to exercise casting votes which by tradition and rules of meeting conduct, is for the retention of the status quo.

Then came the turn of Singapore’s TP Low, another ISAF Vice President. Low has been attacked by the President of the Windsurfing Association Singapore (WAS), claiming in an email in mid-June that Low did not consult the Singapore Sailing Federation and WAS before making his decision.

Tim Khoo, President of WAS writes ‘it is necessary that I clear up that Singapore does NOT (sic) support Kitesurfing (sic). It is actually banned on our beaches because of the close proximity to the airport.

WAS and SSF stand firmly behind Windsurfing as we have put a lot of time, effort and money into training our windsurfers, in the hope that they will peak for the 2016 Olympics. Audrey Young is a product of this program and she won a Bronze medal in the Inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010.

Kiting on the other hand has no program in place, nor will there be plans to train 'sailors' (sic) for this event. There is not even a Kitesurfing (sic) Association in Singapore.'

Khoo’s email cites the meeting to be held on June 30, 2012 as an Extraordinary General Meeting to 'question the voting Asian representative who comes from India' along with TP Low.

ISAF Council under the spotlight

ISAF Council - ISAF Annual Conference 2010 -  ISAF ©  
If proven to be correct, the allegations made, call into serious question the process of the ISAF decision making process at Council level. One error is perhaps understandable but the extent of this level of disconnection at the top echelon of the ISAF decision making process is not.

That concern is mirrored by the decision of the ISAF Events Committee who recommended by a vote of 17-2 in favour of the retention of the Windsurfer for the 2016 Olympics, but supported bringing kiteboarding into the ISAF World Cup circuit from 2013.

While it is all very fine to say that Councillors have a free vote and act in the best interests of the sport, in a democracy, those decisions must be held accountable to the sailors and regions they represent. The ISAF Constitution requires that Council members 'shall have regard to the interest of the sport of yachting throughout the world as a whole.'

That requirement notwithstanding, surely it is not acceptable for Councillors to vote without being in touch with their member regions and national federations, given the significant investment that is made in training programs and equipment for an event such as windsurfing. Where is their compass?

The reactions of the affected Associations is expected to made known in a number of ways – by direct repudiation of their representatives as RFEV has done. There may be some sanction imposed on what some might consider rogue Councillors by their regions and/or national bodies as Venezuela have done. Or there may be some names missing, when the ISAF Council and Vice Presidents are nominated in November, for the coming four years.

Of the three notional ISAF Presidential candidates only one Carlo Croce (ITA), a substitute for Councillor Sergio Gaibisso (ITA) Group D, voted the Windsurfer.

Of the other two, Puerto Rican, Eric Tulla, one of seven ISAF Vice Presidents voted for the Kiteboard. David Kellett (AUS) is ISAF Treasurer and does not have a vote.

In a further twist, two weeks after the Mid-year Meeting, Surfing New Zealand claimed jurisdiction over Kiteboarding from Yachting New Zealand, highlighting the fact that the ISAF Council had promoted an event into the Olympics for which very few of its members had affiliated associations within their ranks.

The next meeting of the ISAF will be in Ireland in November.

But this is an issue that will not go away.
by Richard Gladwell


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This is a fantastic letter from a Mom regarding the ISAF decision.

ISAF vote to axe windsurfing from 2016 Olympics - A parent's view

'Noelle Finch - RS:X Youth World Championships in Cagliari, Sardinia'    Rory Ramsden    Click Here to view large photo

I am writing this as the parent of a young windsurfer who, in the debate about the decision by ISAF to axe windsurfing from the 2016 Olympics, seems largely unrepresented.

Our daughter, Noelle, is 17 and the current female U17 RS:X European and World Champion. She was the youngest in the fleet and fifth U21 in the recent RSX Senior Europeans in Madeira in March of this year. She was first selected for a national windsurfing squad within the RYA in the UK in 2006 and was U15 European Champion (on the Bic Techno) in 2009. She has been part of a fantastic RYA youth training programme which has given her the support and guidance to develop. She absolutely loves windsurfing and now, six years on, doing her sport has become a way of life, a commitment which has meant juggling school and exams while training and competing.

This decision has taken this from her.

Noelle Finch. Photo: Ricardo Pinto RSX European Windsurfing Championships 2012, Madeira -  Rory Ramsden  
She has many young friends in the UK and globally in the same situation. Who is representing them here? They are surely the foundation and future of most sports – young people with talent and passion and the drive and determination to work hard towards a goal. The journey is just as important and it is wrong for all sport for this to be destroyed in this case so needlessly for so many.

We feel that the RS:X class has met all the requirements placed on it by ISAF and ticks all the criteria for being an Olympic discipline. Noelle has just competed at 'Sail for Gold' in Weymouth where many people were saying: 'We never thought windsurfing would be voted out'.

Why? As I understand it, because the expectation was that the system would not allow for the Council to disregard the recommendation of their own experts who voted 17-2 in favour of windsurfing.

Kind regards,

Fran Finch
by Fran Finch


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7:47 PM Wed 20 Jun 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Response to Dean Brenner's latest post which I quote here is made just below his post.

"I had some great conversations and dialogue on this with lots of people over the last couple of weeks. Not everyone is going to agree on issues like this.

But the part that I think people forget is that there are only ten events in the Games, for men and women combined. That means that based on simple math, something is going to left out. singlehanded, doublehanded dinghies, skiffs, multihulls, boards, kites, and oh yes... keel boats! The math doesn't add up. No one segment of our sport has the absolute right to be an Olympic class, yet when something gets removed from the Games, the tone from many is that heir fundamental right has been trampled.

I've also heard from lots of people that Boards has a great pipeline program that is now going to be useless. There has been some great strides made in the board community to begin a pipeline program, but let's remember that boards have been in the Olympics since 1984. There were a lot of years with no development efforts, and only now has some momentum been established.

This whole discussion may be moot. We'll see how the efforts go to get a revote in the fall. This may be much ado about nothing.

Sail fast,

Dean Brenner"

 Dear Dean,

It's not that the rights of windsurfers are being trampled. It is that the WRONG decisions are being made for the WRONG reasons. That offends everyone's sense of right and wrong. Ben Barger's analysis of this issue which you can find on Facebook (see below) shows how badly the process went from the beginning. Yes there are only ten classes but you don't

A) Swap out the second most popular class to admit kiteboarding.
B) Pretend that kiteboarding has an established path to the Olympics (required by evaluation prescriptions) and enough safety to be even considered for youth sailing.

As to saying it took 38 years to establish a strong youth program for windsurfing
C) As a point in fact Robby Naish won his first World Championship at 13 years of age in 1976! Pretty youthful and just 7 years after the sport was invented.

D) And as a counterpoint if it takes 38 years to develop a strong youth program (the largest youth event ever will probably happen this summer in with 400+ Techno 293 windsurfers at Medemblik Holland) then why change to another event before it has had a chance to properly mature and solve the issue mentioned in B above.

I would like to see US Sailing join Venezuela, Spain and Israel in officially criticizing the ISAF decision and asking for a simple majority vote on either windsurfing or kitesurfing.

Will US Sailing do that?

Platt Johnson
(Kitesurfer and Windsurfer and Sailor)

Robby's Resume

General info - 19,000 plus members
 Appeal against kite surfing in the Olympics put windsurfing back in

Ben Barger's analysis
ISAF Athletes Commission - The Sailors Voice!

Another country joins Israel and Spain in officially criticizing ISAF decision

Techno 293 Worlds

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nevin Sayre's letter to US Sailing

Dear U.S. Sailing,

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.

In the hospital after kitesurfing - Calling out U.S. Sailing to explain their Olympic vote -  Nevin Sayre  
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.

Nevin Sayre - US Sailing Member

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Olga Maslivets explains the truth behind the vote

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A letter from the RS:X women's class leader, Olga Maslivets, explains the statistics behind the decision of ISAF. Olga is the RSX Women's class leader and apparently a fairly organized person.

This was copied from Farah Hall's Blog here

Dear Fiona

Thank you for forwarding your report.

Nevertheless there are serious issues to address as important decisions like this impact the lives of thousands of athletes, coaches, MNAs, their sponsors and companies involved in the whole sport

From my calculations over 30% of the votes cast ~ 6 ~ in favour of kite by council members were either made in error, confusion about the voting process, against the guidance given by their constituencies or after no consultation with those constituencies.

In addition a further 21% of votes cast - this time by ISAF Vice Presidents - were either against the interest of the geographical constituency that was instrumental in first nominating them and then voting for them and/or their MNAs have since distanced themselves from their actions either publicly or privately.

Some may argue that the ISAF VPs do not vote for any particular geographical grouping. To them I would ask whether the fact that there is one VP each from Asia, South America and North America with the Oceania being represented through the treasurer is just a coincidence or whether they are there to represent the geographical area from which they come ?

51% of the voting decisions for Kite were therefore based on the spur-of-the-moment or on personal preference without proper consideration of the impact of the outcomes either for kitesurfing or windsurfing.

Despite the large number of people claimed by the IKA to be engaged in kitesurfing worldwide, this only produced 12 women entries to the 2011 Kitesurfing course racing world championships from 10 nations of which only ONE voted for kite and the rest voted for windsurfing. There must be a message for ISAF in that statistic.

Additionally only 2 - one in the production division - of those women managed to complete all the races without letters in their scoreline

This compares to 80 women registered for the 2012 RS:X World Championships from 37 nations  and 5 continents with 16 of them competing for the last 7 qualification spots for London 2012.

In the meantime, please enjoy this video showing 1111 windsurfers taking part in the 2011 Defi-Wind at Le Gruissan in France.

This is just a small illustration of the shear size of the sport of windsurfing and the numbers taking part in racing in one form or another

Whilst kite obviously has potential, it is as yet unproven against the obvious success of the RS:X Women's Class who are second only to the Laser Radial in terms of numbers of athletes and country participation - 39 nations in the Olympic Q Series  -

It seems odd that you did not take this into account

ISAF liability
Whilst you seem happy to accept the bland assurances of the sport of kitesurfing becoming safer and dismiss any misgivings in one line of your report. National, Regional, City and local governments around the world have seen fit to either ban kitesurfing altogether or severely limit the geographical locations where it can be enjoyed

In Sydney Harbour, the venue for the 2000 Olympic Regatta kitesurfing is banned

In Singapore, the venue for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, kitesurfing in banned

In Cyprus, the venue for the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds, kitesurfing is banned

On Lake Garda, Italy, the venue for the Italian leg of the EUROSAF Olympic Classes Regatta Circuit kitesurfing is banned

There are a lot more examples but these serve to illustrate my point

These restrictions are to protect other users of these waters from the risk of injury. In fact 122 kite surfers have been killed in the last 10 years. Other casualties are hard to verify but here are a few examples

Dangerous situations can occur despite proper training and safety precautions due to unpredictable conditions and difficulties with equipment.

Whilst I appreciate that you thought that you were acting in everyone's best interest, I would urge you and all our friends on the ISAF Women's Forum to do their own due diligence. The three points I have made should be enough to give you all proper reasons to reflect.

Meanwhile, here's what Paul Henderson has to say " Just an observation from a has-been ISAF President and IOC Member who first went to then IYRU in 1970 as a smart-ass Canuck. Never in all that time has a Council changed 40% of the classes in an Olympiad. This totally disrupts the sailors, which is the reason for the Games, not some unobtainable TV exposure. No other sport has ever done this. One event maybe, but 40%? I trust that the IOC Program Commission will ask ISAF to review all its decisions... including the keelboat exclusion"

Has ISAF made a balanced well thought through decision?

Warm Regards

PS. ISAF selected women's match racing then booted it out before its first Olympic Regatta. ISAF booted the multi-hull out and was subject to major criticism. Now it has done the same for windsurfing with a spur of the moment decision. Do you feel that the decision making process is producing consistently good decisions?

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Spanish Windsurfing Star Blanca tells it straight

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As it was expected, it didn’t take long for Spain’s top windsurfers to express their anger, frustration and bitterness with their country’s vote against their discipline and in favor of kiteboarding in the recent ISAF Mid-Year Meeting. The first one to publicly express her feelings was Blanca Manchón in a letter to the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee where she asks for his intervention in order to rectify what was, according to the official line, an “error”.

Dear Mr. President,
I am Blanca Manchón, a 25-year old sportswoman from Seville, member of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation in the Olympic windsurf discipline (currently the RS: X Class), where I won two golds, one silver and one bronze at the World Championships, three absolute titles in the World Cup, an Olympic diploma at the 2004 Athens Olympics, four medals at the European Championships. I was named best female sailor of the world in 2010 by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), in addition to being ADO [Spain's Olympic preparation program] athlete at its top level in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011.
The reason I’m sending you this letter is to inform you about the events that took place in relation to windsurf’s Olympic status and the serious consequences its exclusion from the Olympic program could have to our country’s sports. In fact, it is a discipline where large amounts of money have been invested by the state and in which we are strong contenders for medals at the Olympic Games, not just in London 2012, but in 2016 and 2020, given the potential of Spain’s windsurfers.
In May of this year, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) submitted to vote a proposal to all national federations to change three of the existing Olympic disciplines for the 2016 Olympics. Inexplicably, and for pure profit and economic interests of the ISAF, windsurfing was eliminated from the Olympic disciplines in favor of kiteboarding.
The behind-the-scenes politics and lobbying by the ISAF managers in favor of kiteboarding on countries that usually cast a blank vote, not having representatives in any of the two disciplines, and the absence in that vote of the Asian countries, a driving force behind windsurf’s Olympic presence, produced an unexpected result in that vote with 19 ballots against 17 in favor of kiteboarding, to the detriment of windsurfing.

When the result of the vote was published, and not believing what had happened, I asked for the list of countries that had voted. That is when I got shocked and confused to see that my own country, Spain, had voted for the kite, which in turn influenced the Latin American vote to switch from windsurfing to kiteboarding.
Spain also votes on behalf of Portugal and Andorra, in the so-called Group E. Its vote was for windsurfing, according to a previous agreement between the three countries, although Spain, at the very last moment and with a close vote, changed its decision …
What should we call that? What interests drove Spain to change its vote, a vote that was previously agreed, at least in theory, with the athletes, the technical directors and the regional sailing federations?
This decision has destroyed all the work accomplished over the past 12 years by the main regional federations of Spain and put an end to the realistic possibility that Marina Alabau, Blanca Manchón or Pastor Ivan, those that will represent the country because of their sports qualification, become strong contenders for medals in the Olympic Games of 2016 and 2020.
SPAIN IS A WORLD POWER in Olympic windsurfing, thanks to the support we had from the Sports Council and the ADO Plan. However, the RFEV voted for the unknown discipline of kiteboarding… So much effort, sacrifice and money invested in us for what? I do not understand anything at all.
The entire sailing world is at war through the social networks, mainly through Facebook and Twitter, trying to change ISAF’s controversial decision at its next meeting to be held in November. However, they also ask Spain to explain its vote for TREASON.
I have personally requested an explanation from the president of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, Gerardo Pombo, who hours before the publication of the list of countries of the aforementioned voting was defending tooth and nail that Spain had voted in favor of windsurf. Once the list was made public he rectified and issued a statement on RFEV’s website, recognizing the mistake: “It was just a mistake, a simple voting mistake.” As if to tick a box was so difficult so that one would err in something so transcendental, in this case for the Olympic discipline of windsurfing and all the infrastructure that was put in place throughout all those years.
However, this rectification was only sent to the presidents of Spain’s regional sailing federations and was published solely on RFEV’s website. It wasn’t sent to all the media that usually received the sailing federation’s press releases. In addition, this rectification is useless if it’s not accompanied by the intention to cancel Spain’s vote in ISAF. The vote was against Spain’s sporting interests, it was disloyal to Portugal and Andorra, to all windsurfers and completely ignored the recommendations of all technical directors.
With this letter I kindly ask you, in accordance with your responsibility as the leader of the country’s sport, to ask for the pertinent explanations from the president of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation in relation to what took place and give him the necessary orders so that Spain invalidates its vote in ISAF, in order for us, the athletes, technicians and technical directors of the sport of sailing, not to feel embarrassed by this situation.
Gerardo Pombo, president of the RFEV, knows exactly what buttons he has to press in order for the ISAF to rectify this unjust decision at its next meeting, scheduled for November.
Thanking you in advance for all the support I received during my career to date,
Blanca Manchon Dominguez (ESP-1) 
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Bruce Kendall calls FOUL on Dean Brenner

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From Sailing Anarchy
calling bs

US Sailing sent out a lengthy article in support of the decision to replace Windsurfing with Kiteboards in the Olympics. 
Kiwi Bruce Kendall (won the Olympic windsurfing Gold medal in 1988, Bronze medal in 1984) is calling BS on it, and Bruce's comments are inserted normally in the italicized US Sailing piece below. Here is a link to the original US Sailing piece.

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

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.

Most will agree that fleet to match racing in keel boats being dropped from the Olympics after 2000 was a backwards step, especially considering the retention of the Star for a further 12 years. A keel boat should be in the Olympics. It is well represented placed in the para Olympics & able bodied sailors should have more opportunity to race against those handicapped sailors.
Possibly a mixed keel boat class would have been more sensible than mixed multi hull? No disrespect intended. Now that the America's Cup is on multi hull, possibly this should be the Olympic Fleet to Match racing class? All food for thought. Previous dubious decisions do not make following dubious discussions OK.
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.

History has proven there are always right & wrong decisions & some times both sides weigh equally. Wrong decisions are more likely to be made when the subject has not been thoroughly been researched or there is a vested interest. Weighing up all the facts of this decision, at this time it appears the May 5th decision to replace windsurfing with Kite racing is a wrong decision.
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.

Kite racing is currently a small & undeveloped sport compared to windsurfing was back to the mid 1970's. It is still too early to judge if kite racing is a narrow niche sport with a low ceiling of participants & if the numbers would naturally continue to increase without the Olympic ticket.
Currently the majority of Kite retailers have not stocked kite racing boards as the evolution of design has been too fast & superseded designs have to be sold at below cost.

Most of the Kite board brands have not invested in building kite racing board molds & are waiting for the evolution to slow down as it has been too hard to sell racing boards to retailers.
The major Kite board manufacturers have not been making many racing boards for some time due to the above reasons. As a consequence, Kite racing boards are not widely available & kite racing has not been enjoying the same growth the rest of the Kite boarding market has.
2. The infrastructure required will be minimal.

This is a non argument to replace windsurfing, but is an argument to replace some of the other Olympic Sailing Classes. Infrastructure for windsurfing is less than required for kite racing as the boards are the same size & Kite rigging and launching areas require more space than to rig & launch windsurfers. Windsurfing certainly requires less infrastructure than all other sailing classes. The infrastructure in terms of developing kite surfing compared to windsurfing may in fact be more in some locations where a higher ratio of support boats to sailors may 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.

Potential also exists also for windsurfing to continue to bring new countries more than other Olympic sailing classes. This is proven with RSX's track record of the growing number of nations trying to qualify for the OLympic Games in Windsurfing at the last RSX class world champs in Cadiz in 2012.

The only thing that has stopped Olympic windsurfing's continued advance is ISAF changing the class every 8 years. The laser class is larger than the RSX, but how long has it been intact?
Many new countries just as before, will not be able to compete in Kite racing due to a lack of ability to :
1. Keep pace with design evolution
2. lack of ability to competitive equipment
3. Compete against established nations with good programs.,
4. Kites can be sailed close to shore, increasing spectator possibilities.

The length of the size of the fin is almost the same as the RSX so in fact there is no difference about being close to the shore. It is only ISAF that have restricted the RSX class's ability to compete close to the beach. In off shore gusty conditions windsurfing can in fact compete closer to the beach than Kites. Little has been said about the limitations of kite racing due to unsuitable weather, launching & landing conditions.
5. There have been major advancements in safety, and the evaluation report said exactly that.

Those interested in this debate, really should read that report, linked here. The report was widely circulated & before the May 5th meeting. An official letter was sent by Ben Barger the ISAF Athletes rep asking for more detail & solid evidence to back the claims. It has never been replied to. Evidence to refute some of the statements in the report were already common knowledge. The Safety issues have never been fully answered. Kites are banned in many more places than all other windsurfing & sailing often due to actual historical safety reasons in that area.
Kite surfing has possibly had more serious accidents in the last 5 years than the whole of sailing combined. Safety concerns are a factor in any sport & for many parents, safety & liability is a reason some choose not to do a sport.
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.

When something is not broken & already established, there is a lot less work to do than with an unknown quantity.

By 2015 everyone would have seen kite racing naturally evolve without as much "panicked action to get up to speed" and risk as it will be experienced now. Environmental costs and the carbon foot print of Olympic Sailing should be more of a consideration at this time.

It appears that ISAF & US Sailing has thrown a good toy out of the pram on impulse for some thing new that may not be an improvement. What is the environmental cost to this action?
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.
It appears US Sailing has done very little if anything to support the windsurfing industries' "pipe line development." This has been clearly reflected by USA's Olympic windsurfing & sailing results since 1992. US Sailing may not realize that their inadequate approach to developing & promoting all kinds of Olympic Sailing in the US & close developing nations has partially jeopardized sailings position as an Olympic sport .I hope for those in the US, & the rest of the world, US Sailing will be more mind full of all sailing sports & their development & promotion than it has been.
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.
If well researched & considered logical steps are taken in a timely fashion, correct decisions are much more easily & likely to be reached.

Kite racing is good for the sport of sailing.

It is too early to know if it will be good for and compatible with the Olympic Sailing Classes. Another 4 years would have proved this.

Certainly the loss of Windsurfing is a great loss for Olympic Sailing as it is proven to be the most affordable to campaign & largely focuses on the difference between the sailors efforts & ability & not on the check book. The very large numbers and range of nations currently competing on a large range of windsurfers around the globe dwarfs the numbers kite racing. Why drop the 2nd strongest Olympic sailing class in the world for a sport not fully proven? This makes no sense.
I am extremely disappointed that US Sailing has not supported windsurfing in the US or globally.
US sailing have a disproportional influence compared to Asian countries [the main area to develop sailing next] Asian nations are big losers in this decision as they are by far more successful in windsurfing than any other form of sailing

ISAF & US sailing may not have considered that dropping windsurfing from the Olympics may actually further erode Sailing's already current tenuous position as an Olympic sport.
There are already comments in the IOC from those that have influence & a vote regarding which sports remain Olympic and consider dropping windsurfing to be a backwards step for sailing. I hope ISAF & US sailing reconsider their decisions in a timely fashion.
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New York bans kitesurfing

If you are a New York kiter you must be bumming.
This was picked up from KiteForum and is a reply that was sent to an interested kiter

Mr. (his name),

Along with other groups interested in activities in their state parks, we have met twice with people who are interested in engaging in kite boarding. After discussing all the locations we he have available in state parks on bays, the Long Island Sound, and the Ocean, we agreed that there is not a place with proximate parking where there is not usually a heavily populated beach. Our judgment is that the length of beach needed to lay out the gear used by kite boarders and the potential impact on bystanders precluded us from opening beaches with parking nearby to kite boarding. While those we met with were adamant that they wanted to launch from remote, unpopulated beaches we don’t have beaches that fit that description and that have legal parking.

We could meet again with you and others interested in kite boarding. However, nothing has changed since out meetings of two years ago.

If you would like such a meeting, please call me.

Ron Foley
Regional Director
Long Island Region
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation