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Laser Class surprised and disappointed

Laser Class surprised and disappointed by announcement that World Sailing Board has recommended to select new equipment to replace the Laser and Radial for the 2024 Olympic Games

The International Laser Class Association has responded to the World Sailing announcement that the Board had approved the Working Party recommendation to proceed to evaluation and trials for four of the shortlisted boats.

The World Sailing Council has to now accept or reject the Board's recommendation at the upcoming World Sailing Conference later this month in Sarasota, Florida.

If accepted the sea trials would take place among the Laser Classes and the three other shortlisted candidate classes (D-Zero, Melges 14 and RS Aero).

So the possibility remains that the Laser and Laser Radial will ultimately be confirmed as the equipment for the 2024 Olympic one-person dinghy events.

ILCA states in their Press Release, that it is committed to supporting World Sailing to ensure that sailing remains an Olympic sport, and we will continue to comply with all the requirements of the reevaluation process in order to assure that the Laser and Laser Radial Classes remain part of that Olympic program.

ILCA makes the point that because the two Laser Classes represent the majority of all countries participating in Olympic sailing, that replacing them would create a devastating and unnecessary disruption for the sport and could very well jeopardize sailing remaining in the Olympic games.

Universality, or the number of countries participating in an Olympic sport, is one of the key metrics used by the International Olympic Committee to evaluate each Olympic sport.

This is the key card in the Laser class hand, as the other three shortlisted classes are new and have little world-wide spread yet.

Only the RS Aero appears to be on track to becoming a "global" class and the ILCA stresses that:

It has taken over 40 years to grow the reach of the Laser Classes. It is unclear how another class could duplicate in four years what ILCA and the Laser builders worldwide have built over 40.

At this time ILCA believes it is critical to our sport that the Laser and Laser Radial Classes are retained as the foundation of the Olympic sailing program.

The full ILCA press release here

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