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Olympic Windsurfing- my 2 cents
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pe4387



Joined: 22 Jul 2002
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Olympic Windsurfing- my 2 cents Reply with quote

Windsurfing Voted Out Of The Olympics!
2 June 2012
by Ned Crossley

The ISAF Council recently voted Men's and Women's Kiting (19) into 2016 Olympics in Rio by dropping Men's and Women's Windsurfing (17). US Sailing had 3 votes and all 3 voted for kiting. USA Windsurfers need to organize and voice their opinions. Can windsurfers pressure the US Sailing and ISAF to reverse the vote in November ISAF meeting? This affects every windsurfer directly and indirectly on all fronts nationally now and in the future.

First, get educated on what happened in the kiting vs. windsurfing ISAF process:
http://www.sail-world.com/USA/Response-to-US-Sailing-statement-on-inclusion-of-kiteboarding-in-2016/97650 (Nevin's email to US Sailing)
http://media.ussailing.org/Latest_News/2012/Brenner_052312.htm (US Sailing response)
http://www.surfertoday.com/windsurfing/7439-bruce-kendall-strongly-defends-olympic-windsurfing Bruce Kendall's letter to US Sailing statement post Nevin's letter)
http://www.sailinganarchy.com/index_page1.php (Platt Johnson letter to US Sailing: scroll way down to "battle of the boards continued")
https://www.facebook.com/groups/207173142734427/
http://danewsblog.blogspot.com/ (Best summary)

Second, please vote that windsurfing should be in 2016 Rio Olympics with complete ISAF redress on the decision. Sign the petition as 25,698 have as of 5/30/2012. Also form a simple statement. Forward your statement to other important emails as shown at this website.
http://www.change.org/petitions/isaf-keep-windsurfing-as-olympic-discipline

Third: Let US Sailing know how you feel about voting out windsurfing by the simple statement! Here are 4 emails readily available on US Sailing website:

jakefish@ussailing.org Marketing Director
jackgierhart@ussailing.org Executive Director
garyjobson1@verizon.net President
davejohnson@ussailing.org Olympic Program Manager (deliver to Dean Brenner)

Be mindful of the following:
Between 2008-2012, little or no money has been extended to developing windsurfers for the RS:X out of a $4 million dollar US Sailing Olympic Sailing Committee budget.
Our two windsurfing qualifiers (Willis & Hall) in the 2012 London Olympics will not have a coach with on site credentials at Weymouth this summer.
No US Sailing delegates who voted on the ISAF decision contacted anyone in the USA windsurfing efforts to gain insight prior to their votes being cast.
No US Sailing budget for windsurfing exists except maybe a snippet in the US Sailing Training Department.
US Sailing is the congressionally recognized USA governing body that represents us in the international governing body (ISAF). The USA invented windsurfing. Has US Sailing done due diligence without prejudice in fostering windsurfing in the USA over the past 28 years in getting the windsurfing effort organized and funded?

Kiters, Sailors, and Windsurfers are all powered by the wind! This is about windsurfing's future in the USA and internationally on a fair playing surface vs. prejudiced sailing politics. This is not about kiting vs. windsurfing, Olympic medals.

Written 5/31/12 by Ned Crossley - Windsurfer, US Sailing Windsurfing Instructor Trainer and Member. This is my story and I'm sticking to it!
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2292

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeD's one cent worth of thought......
Why bother? Who cares? Olympics is based on their schedules. Who follows a time schedule in windsurfing. You base your windsurfing off your area's wind patterns.
Another reason surfing is not in the Olympics.
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usa4



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US Sailing's role in selecting classes for the Olympics is based on 1 thing- winning medals. We have a better chance with kiting than with windsurfing.
That's the bottom line.
It's a shame windsurfing got dropped in lieu of kiting but the Olympics is limited in size. The Olympic games are required to produce ad revenue. Kiting is viewed as more capable of doing that and that's the reason many countries voted the way they did. What most people forget is that sailing came with in 1 vote of being dropped from the Olympic in 2016- not just windsurfing but all 10 sailing classes. A major change was necessary to justify sailing staying in.

The reason the US Olympic windsurfers don't get funding is because they don't produce results.
(Alternatively- the reason they don't get results is because they don't get funding.)

Never has the role of the USOC or US Olympic Team been to develop fleets.
That is left up to the classes.
Ive sailed the Olympic class board for 4 quads- 94- 07, competing in 3 Olympic trials and feel that windsurfing may be better off with out the Olympics. I disagree with the concept of one design windsurfing as windsurfers come in all sizes. Why limit them to one board and one rig!
Progress and evolution of our sport never stops.
When it does, it gets left behind.


Steve Bodner
USA-4
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kellygeygan



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent comments ,good to hear some logic and inside info,thank you....

Kiteboarding will likely generate more ad revenue than did the chosen windsurfing types since they were pretty poor comparisons to modern wiindsurfing. But sailing in ultra light wind may also make kiting look like a boring circus also. In all fairness it is probably time to give something new a try. Windsurfing failed...Lets see how the kites do.
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andrewc



Joined: 30 Jun 1997
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you ever seen the boards that kiters use to course race? They have less in common with a typical kite setup than the RS-X does to a typical formula board. If US Sailing thinks kiting is going to save them.. good luck with that.

The problem lies in the lack of any broad level of engagement in sailing in this country ( it's seen as a elitest sport), versus Australia, England, Europe where small community sailing clubs abound.

I think the RS-X was a mistake vs a production board - but from memory it was designed to at least be sailable in ultra-light winds often found in olympic venues. Lets all watch the kites drop from the sky in 5 knots.
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pe4387



Joined: 22 Jul 2002
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points by all. Steve, I also think the RS:X one design is bogus and the formats used. I feel slalom, distance, and light wind freestyle needs to be added. Dropping Windsurfing is bad for windsurfing funding in each country as many governing bodies fund it as it is Olympic driven. We need windsurfing at all levels. Sad day but may make us stronger in the long run.
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usa4



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The RSX is built exactly how the ISAF requirement's demanded it.
A 8kg board will not hold up to the rigors that olympic class windsurfers put on their boards with 300+ days of training a year!

If you're going to race in light wind venues- like most of the world has- you need a board that works in non planing conditions. Like it or not- this is still windsurfing- maybe more so board-sailing but at least you're not sitting on the beach waiting for planing conditions!
The RSX sailors have developed an incredible light wind technique that brings athleticism to the top of table-a very worthy skill set that no other form of windsurfing even comes close to. And after all the Olympics is about athleticism- so more power to them!

Another way around the problem- is to lower your planing threshold.
The formula class does this with 12m rigs and 7k wind minimum.
Furthermore- it allows 3 rigs as wind conditions change and allows sailors with different body weights to be competitive in different wind conditions
If you look at regatta reports from around the world- there's still alot of sitting around and waiting for that 7k to arrive. RSX racers will have already had a complete series.
With that said- the rsx class is probably the best board for the Olympics.
Can it be better? probably.
Can an open development class like the formula work in the Olympics?
Hopefully if the kites with their open class format pave the way in 2016- the formula class might have a viable option for 2020.

Damed if you do/Damed if you dont.
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my 2c.

Although I've never been a fan of Olympic ws, because non-planing racing isn't really what ws is about for most of us, and the (heavy, not wide, limited to 11.0) RSX one design class was in fact crap, this was a lousy decision for a number of reasons, not least because promoting kiting by the very young is a bad idea, who will get injured or killed (kiting is not the same as sailing a pram, sorry guys) , and because of the vast damage this will cause to windsurfing and sailing generally in the third world, where the Olympics is more important to sailing associations than it is in Europe or the US.

They've put a lot of scarce resources into RSX and now they're going to get into kite course racing? Which is an arms race, just like ws Slalom is.

For myself, I've always preferred racing, but because the wind at Olympic sites is often so low (and that's never going to change) if windsurfing were ever to come back, I'd like to see it come back as a freestyle event; not a racing class.

I mean think about it-almost no wind minimum or maximum (no RSX in either 4 or 30 knots-much less than whatever the kites require to much more) , no special gear requirements, no expenses, and it would connect with X Gamers. Actually those old RSX tanks would prolly make pretty good light wind freestyle platforms.

People will watch someone doing either old school or hopefully new school freestyle near the beach, who would never stop and watch air rowing an RSX in light air or kite course racers getting jerked around by 25 meter kites.
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boracayboardhead



Joined: 29 Jul 2000
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:37 am    Post subject: crap Reply with quote

No matter which side of the fence you're on in this argument, ISAF is crap for the way it was handled (And not just in this country!!) If there had been the least little bit of discussion before the vote, this might have been a little bit easier to swallow. Just goes to show that ISAF could care less about the Olympic dream and all the people who invested so much time and hard work. Doesn't really matter the reasons that they voted the way they did, they could have let people know what their intentions were in advance. Make me suspicious of their true motivation!
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ronm41



Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: crap Reply with quote

boracayboardhead wrote:
No matter which side of the fence you're on in this argument, ISAF is crap for the way it was handled (And not just in this country!!) If there had been the least little bit of discussion before the vote, this might have been a little bit easier to swallow. Just goes to show that ISAF could care less about the Olympic dream and all the people who invested so much time and hard work. Doesn't really matter the reasons that they voted the way they did, they could have let people know what their intentions were in advance. Make me suspicious of their true motivation!


Seems to me like there is plenty of time till the 16 Oly's for the transition but the method is surely suspect like most of their other decisions. Interesting that they voted to dump windsurf racing for kite racing instead of kite freestyle which is the nature of the sport. This will surely dump kite racing at some point due to lack of wind venues. Just a thought.
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