Following the 470 class 2021 European Championships, they have their first Mixed Crew champions, Nitai Hasson and Saar Tami of Israel.
Congratulations to them and to the first 470 Mixed Crew World Champions, Gil Cohen and Noam Homri of Israel, who won that title back in March.
These new mixed 470 Titles were a desperate move by the Association to remain in the Olympics after 33 years of single gender Olympic fleets, and were not a normal part of their Championship format.
The result of that has been a major move of new mixed crew combinations in the 470 preparing for an attempt on the 2024 Games.
And as we have seen at the Europeans, the biggest fleet is the Mixed fleet and the two single gender fleets are really only of interest to the crews already selected for Tokyo, and those still trying to qualify for the final places.
But it has all come back to bite them . . . The problem for the 470 Association and more importantly the 470 sailors is the present chaotic state of World Sailing’s Olympic classes policy.
With the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event all but rejected by the IOC for Paris 2024, World Sailing is scrabbling to find an acceptable replacement or possibly lose the tenth sailing event.
This opened the door for the 470 Association to submit an application to return to seperate men and women’s events (as Tokyo Games) and dump the mixed gender 470 event that they had just agreed for Paris 2024.
The 470 proposel is up against a similar submission from Formula Kite who see the chance to turn their Mixed Kite event (new for 2024) into separte men and women’s fleet racing events . . . which would be a massive gain for them without having to battle the full World Sailing selection process again.
If the 470 does gain the World Sailing vote and then IOC acceptance, will they then drop the ‘quick-fix’ mixed world title as the newly formed mixed crews split back to single gender sailing again to chase their Olympic dreams?
Of course there is also the Laser Radial submission for a mixed team racing event, another untried format which would require some quick slight of hand to qualify . . . but we know that is no problem for World Sailing.
World Sailing’s Council will meet on 14 May 2021 and discuss and vote on the 15 submissions, and if history is any indicator, could even come up with another late submission they found down the back of the presidential sofa.
Whatever happens, the outcome of the process will be to select two alternative events, ranked in order of preference, ahead of the IOC deadline, which is 26 May 2021.
Then it is up to the IOC . . . who seem to take their lead these days from whatever is trending on Twitter!