2016 Olympics: Councillor denies receipt of instruction on Kiteboard

Kiteboarding in San Francisco
ISAF ©

The International Sailing Federation Council member for Area K, Ajay Balram, has denied that he received an instruction on voting for Windsurfing or Kiteboarding for the 2016 Olympics from the Yachting Association of India (YAI) or any other nation within Area K (India, Indonesia, Malayasia, Myanmar, Pakistan,Singapore, Sri lanka and Thailand)

Ajay Balram (IND) Councillor for Area K
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'I would state categorically that no instructions were given to me by YAI ( or by any other Group K member national Association) on voting on this item of the agenda', he told Sail-World.com.

'At the ISAF Council meetings in May in Stresa a Council Member of YAI who was present asked me (on behalf of YAI ) to vote in favour of the 29erXX skiff as the double hander for 2016 which I duly did.'

'Nothing was said with regard to the Winsurfer/Kitesurfer vote either by the YAI Council member, nor by two members of the Singapore Sailing Association Council who were present during the meetings. I received NO(sic) brief from any of them at or before the meetings.

'In the absence of any views passed to me by the Group K for placing before the Council I acted in accordance with the ISAF Constitution.

'No communication has been received by me to date since the meeting from YAI or from any of the member MNAs of Group K,' he added.

The original allegation came from two letters sent by the President of the Board Sailing Association of India addressed to the International Windsurfing Association, and the Yachting Association of India. The BSAI is affiliated to both bodies.

A special meeting of the Asian Sailing Federation is understood to have been called for June 30, 2012 in Singapore, where the Kiteboard and Windsurfing issue will be discussed.

Minutes of the ISAF Mid Year Meetings and Agendas have been published and are available by http://www.sailing.org/2012-Mid-Year-Meetings.php!clicking_here


Second retraction
Comments made by Tim Khoo, President of the Windsurfing Association Singapore (WAS), on the ISAF Athletes Commission (AC) Facebook page regarding an ISAF Vice President TP Low have also been retracted according to a https://www.facebook.com/groups/7041592283/permalink/10151051483432284/!Facebook_posting

The posting on part reads:

Today I spoke on the phone with Mr. Low Teo Ping, who is ISAF VP. He explained to me his reasons for voting for Kitesurfing as well as the current situation facing ISAF. I won’t go through the lengthy process of reciting what was discussed, but some points to note is that kitesurfing is newer, more exciting, more colorful and would capture more media attention. Of course, it goes without saying that windsurfing shares the same description. However, one point he drove across was that sailing, as a whole, is in danger of being thrown out of the Olympics completely. This is a known fact because sailing is difficult to film and broadcast given the nature of the sport. Teo Ping stressed that he would have liked to have both windsurfing and kitesurfing in the Olympics but unfortunately there could have only been one and he did what he thought was best in the interest of the whole sailing community. It may have well been better to have something new which generates media buzz and coverage than to stick to status quo and eventually lose the whole sport itself. Though I do not fully agree that kitesurfing is ready for competition at such a level, I think it is a wake up call to the windsurfing community that we have to unite and organize ourselves better and find ways and means of developing our sport to make it more appealing, especially to the media.

At this point, I would like to offer my unreserved apology to Teo Ping over the comments that I have made on Facebook about him, and for whatever distress my comments might have caused him and his family.