Windsurfing: Why was it voted out?

Racing in the Womens Windsurfer (RS:X) on the penultimate day in the SOF 2012
© Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV

Top US Womens Windsurfer, Lanee Beashel writes:

To say that I've been completely shocked and heartbroken since I heard the news that windsurfing was kicked out of the 2016 Olympic Games, would be an understatement. I sail, windsurf and kitesurf, but since I have been 15 years old, my passion has been windsurfing. Even now, when I take my two young boys out on my board with me, I love every minute of it.

To US Windsurfer Lanee Butler Beashel in foreground
Media Pro
20 years of my life, I proudly represented the USA at two Youth Worlds, two Women's Worlds, one Goodwill Games, four Pan-American Games and four Olympic Games all in the sport of windsurfing.

I applaud Bruce, Nevin and Platt (and many others) coming forward to voice their opinions openly and encourage others to do so.

As far as I know, windsurfing, as one of the Olympic Sailing Classes, always has and always will tick all the boxes that the IOC, ISAF and all National Governing Bodies of Sailing want, an inexpensive class for both men and women, youth involvement, lots of countries participating, accessible to the general public and exciting for the media.

Can someone tell me then, why has windsurfing been voted out?

Wouldn't it be fair to say that:

- Windsurfing is one of, if not the least expensive Olympic Class
- Windsurfing has 38 men and 28 women country spots at this year's Olympic Games, only the Laser and Laser Radial have more
- Windsurfing has one of the largest organised Youth fleets competing worldwide compared to all the other Olympic Classes
- Windsurfing is dynamic, colorful, fast and exciting for the media and spectators to enjoy
- Windsurfers can launch from any sailing venue in any wind direction and wind speed unassisted and race closer to the shore that any other Olympic Class
- Windsurfing is supported by US Sailing and ISAF at the Youth level having spots at both the ISAF Youth Worlds and Youth Olympics not only in the past, but now and will continue into the future


I feel so lucky to have been involved in such a great sport not only as a young girl, but as a women striving to represent my country at the Olympic Games and now I'm just sad to see so many young windsurfing girls and boys have their Olympic Dreams crushed.

Maybe that's why I feel compelled to post this letter openly on the internet.

Thanks for listening,
Sincerely,

Lanee Butler Beashel