With World Sailing moving to the next stage of their Dinghy Selection Trials for the single-hander for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games it’s time to look at the one that got away!
World Sailing have been forced to dig their way out of another hole of their own construction, and run Sea-trials to legitimise a single-hander for Paris 2024, but how did they miss the simple solution . . . the International 12 ?
Used as an Olympic class in the 1920 and 1928 Games, the class continues to be built and to race. The International 12 website claims active boats in 18 countries – more than some of the classes in the World Sailing trials can claim.
The use of the International 12 would also free-up an event, as it can be raced by men or women and two-up if required.
If only World Sailing had spotted this earlier they could have saved all that fandango to get the Offshore event voted in to replace the notorious ‘Mixed One-Person Dinghy’ event!
Ergo, remove the Laser/Radial and replace with the International 12, to be sailed by men or women, either single or two handed as they decide, thus solving the gender conundrum at a stroke, and adding a sense of drama.
The introduction of the International 12 would also fulfill the wish of the French organisers for as many events as possible to take place in Paris, they would be perfect for racing on the River Seine.
This might be dangerously close to an “It’s a Knockout” (Jeux Sans Frontières) moment, but would make great TV . . . which is the overiding reason given for the other new events being introduced.
This would also allow the Finn to re-join the event list, and Olympic sailing gains not just Kiteboarding and Offshore sailing, but a representative of one of the biggest movements in sailing – a Classic class event.
All it requires is a “Late and Urgent Submission” slipped into a World Sailing committee meeting (take your pick of which meeting), where it can be approved by suitably distracted parties.
This choice would of course raise many other problems, not least the disenfranchisement of a lot of Laser sailors, but as we saw at the World Sailing’s Annual Conference in Sarasota . . . first win the vote, then solve the problem.
World Sailing heading for a bleak winter