Andy Maloney, Mark Howard, Andrew Murdoch - Semaine Olympique Francaise 2012 Caroline Brisbois
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 29 April 2012
The debate has begun ahead of the Mid Year meeting of the International Sailing Federation over the choice of classes for the , plus the future place of Kiteboarding.
In our last edition we ran the report from the Evaluation Committee, and have since published a response from the RS900, and last night the comments from the FX by Mackay Boats. We publish both in this editon.
The FX includes some spectacular footage, shot yesterday on the Waitemata harbour when the winds were officially recorded as gusting to 31 knots in that vicinity at the time the FX was sailing, crewed by Alex Maloney and Molly Meech. The video was shot partially in response to critics of the FX, who claimed the boat was not up to the mark in a breeze. The reality is that her rig works perfectly and the boat is forgiving and fast.
FX sailing off Takapuna, Auckland with Alex Maloney and Molly Meech Richard Gladwell
The final blast down the harbour is shown unedited, and is a spectacular piece of sailing. This boat will lift the bar on womens sailing and is set to become the glamour event of the sailing Olympics. The FX also looks destined to become a boat of choice for the Weekend Warriors, keen to have a one design skiff, but with a rig that is more manageable for than the 49er.
The Mixed Multihull choice looks to be set pretty much in favour of the Nacra 17, a new class, with a strong heritage in the current America's Cup multihull thinking. However a world champion in the Tornado class, Roland Gaebler (yes, he won with the Mixed Crew) expresses his concern that increasingly the Olympic classes are becoming the domain of the lightweights. That trend is compounded by the fact that the world population is getting bigger and heavier. We present that case in this edition of Sail-World.
Another area which has not received a lot of publicity, is the report from the Evaluation Committee on the Kiteboarding Trials. It doesn't need a lot of amplification from us and can be read by clicking here. It is highly laudatory of the sport and formats. The dilemma for the ISAF will be how to work Kiteboarding into the Olympic program.
The soft option is to include it as a Demonstration Sport in Brazil. That won't really test the TV pull that Kiteboarding is expected to produce. And the only real way is for it to replace Windsurfing, or introduce a 12 Medal sailing regatta - and add the new event without increasing overall competitor numbers. Even on the current basis, a three person Match Racing crew is being replaced with a two person Skiff, meaning that on the womens side there are an extra 14 places, at least and pulling the other 14 or 15 places off the other nine events should not be too difficult.
But dicking around for another eight years (which is what a Demonstration Event implies) is not an option. Kiteboarding is here NOW, not eight years into the future.
ISAF Kiteboarding Format Trials Roberto Foresti
The decisions being taken next week in Italy by the ISAF Council are vital for the future of the sport. You only need half an ear around the dinghy parks to hear the sailors express the hope that the ISAF get it right for once, and don't get sucked down with the lobbying and politics that so often surround these decisions. The sport has suffered for long enough.
The fourth round of the ISAF World Cup has completed. New Zealand was represented by a reduced team in the event, an approach adopted by many countries. We have the daily reports and images from Hyeres, France.
North Sail's Paul Murray and crew sneak along the wharves out of the tide - 2012 NZ Marine Industry Sailing Challenge Tom Macky
The big news of the week is the possibility of a three day regatta in New Zealand involving five of the AC72 catamarans, that will be sailing here between February and April 2013. ACRM Regatta Director, Iain Murray, says the offer has been made - but who, if anyone will take it up? New Zealand needs the international focus that such an event would create, hopefully the players involved can put aside their agendas and do what is best for the sport to create this occasion.
Finally a pause to remember the passing, yesterday, of All Black great, Sir Fred Allen. While he is foremost in the minds of many for his exploits on the rugby field. Those who have read his autobiography will be aware of his efforts to turn around the Manly Sailing Club when it was facing closure. It's a great chapter, and reflects an attitude that is so often lacking amongst sailing and sports administrators generally. Thanks Fred, you're an example to us all in so many ways.
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