World Sailing have received an update from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the proposed Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.
This latest IOC communication confirmed their earlier concerns over the Mixed Offshore Event and requested that World Sailing propose alternative event(s) for sailing’s 10th medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
This is despite World Sailing meeting with the IOC and Paris 2024 Organising Committee in an attempt to ensure all the IOC queries were answered in detail . . . And ominously the IOC request for an alternative event would seem to be the end of the road for the proposed Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event at Paris 2024.
In an unusual move for World Sailing, the CEO David Graham and Vice President Tomasz Chamera gave an on-line media briefing and answered questions on the IOC document and World Sailing’s intentions.
The submitted alternate event(s) will be considered by the Constitution, Events and Equipment Committee on 10-11 May. Their recommendations will be discussed and voted on by the World Sailing Council on 24 May. The IOC deadline for new proposals is 26 May 2021.
The IOC will confirm the sailing programme for Paris 2024 during its Executive Board meeting on 8 June 2021.
In answer to a question on the recent Finn/Europe proposal of a combined team format event in the two different gender boats, David Graham said that, if correctly submitted, it would be considered against the criteria framework provided by the IOC.
Note that all submissions must be made between 17 April and 23 April 2021, so no rush then!
In answer to a question on the possibility of Sailing losing the tenth event if the IOC also rejected the alternate event(s) presented to them . . . David Graham thought it unlikely, but it was a distinct possibility.
World Sailing have now managed to back themselves into a corner, with very little room to manoeuvre.
By slicing and dicing the existing 2020 Olympic classes with little thought for unintended consequences, they are now in real danger of ending up with nine events at the 2024 Games.
And in the present IOC climate of cuts and savings, combined with a drive for more media and Internet friendly events, the expensive dedicated infrastructure required for a relatively small event puts Sailing right in their sights.
Following on their inept handling of the Paralympic classes, which resulted in their removal from the Games, the future does not look bright for Olympic sailing, and as their major paymaster not good for World Sailing or the sport in general.
It is all very well for the leadership to claim that they were following the wishes of the members (MNAs), but this latest mess – which was there for all to see – highlights years of poor leadership and underlines how much there is still to do.
While skiing and cycling, have successfully added board and bike events to their range of Olympic events without damage to their traditional core events, World Sailing has managed to do just the opposite . . .
Perhaps worth re-reading this article from October 2018 – World Sailing heading for a bleak winter – to get an idea of just how World Sailing has squandered sailing’s great Olympic legacy over recent years.
Any class that fancies putting themselves forward as an Olympic class should give World Sailing a call . . . they are waiting!