The International RS:X Class has isssued a strong reaction to the World Sailing Council rejection of the RS:X for the 2024 Olympics.
The class notes ‘with some disappointment the decision’ – in which the Council voted, with 23 votes against and 19 in favour, to open up the men and women windsurfing events to sea trails.
Claiming that this put the sport of windsurfing into limbo for a further six months.
The statement contains examples of its Emerging Nations Program to promote windsurfing to a number of new nations, with a heavy focus on female participation.
And states that . . . the RS:X Class welcome the opportunity to showcase its abilities alongside the rest of the Windsurfing community to present a complete package that can be raced from 4 – 35 knots safely, whilst being one of the most affordable Olympic classes to date.
Finally, the RS:X Class would welcome an open, transparent debate with any nation who have concerns with regards to the equipment or the class in terms of development or participation.
The RS:X Class will continue to work with its existing countries and programs, alongside World Sailing, to showcase the best that windsurfing has to offer to the Olympics in 2020 and beyond.
The RS:X and World Sailing came under strong criticism before the World Sailing Mid Year meeting from Dorian van Rijsselberghe, double Olympic Champion on the RS:X.
In a six page Open Letter to the World Sailing Council members, he voiced his disappointment at the recommendation from the Board to Council to retain the RS:X without holding sea-trials.
And that . . . World Sailing has a great opportunity to re-invigorate the sport of sailing and windsurfing and to inspire the next generation.
Although van Rijsselberghe made some strong (and apparently successful) points, could this be a another case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ as the single hander trials debacle has shown.
World Sailing puts Windsurfer out to tender