Friday, November 09, 2007

ISAF Council Decide on 10 Olympic Events for 2012

The ten events selected by the ISAF Council for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition are:

One person dinghy - Men
One person dinghy heavy - Men
Two person dinghy - Men
Two person dinghy high performance - Men
Windsurfer - Men
Keelboat - Men
One person dinghy - Women
Two person dinghy - Women
Keelboat match racing - Women
Windsurfer - Women

6 for men and only 4 for women.

The International Olympic Committee instructed ISAF to reduce its events from 11 to 10. Yesterday, it looked like the Mens' keelboat would be on the chopping block. The ISAF Events Committee recommended to the ISAF Council that it be dropped. However, in today's voting for which events would remain, the Men's keelboat scraped by, edging out multihulls by two votes. So, having been an Olympic event since 1976, multihulls are out.

The other big decision is that Women's events will now include match racing in keelboats and no keelboat fleet racing. Womens' match racing has been growing rapidly in some areas, though not locally as far as Montreal Sailing knows. Indeed, the only Olympic one design class actively raced locally is that of the Men's keelboat event: the Star, which is predominantly at CNDM. Since the Tanzer 22 is one of the more actively raced classes locally, it would be preferable for us if it would be chosen. Anyway, the competition is too stiff already.

Questions remain. The ISAF Council will decide on the equipment used in each of these events in November, 2008. Does anyone know to what extent existing Olympic equipment in an event has been supplanted by another? Could the Star be replaced by the Laser SB3, or the Laser replaced by a Moth? It appears to me the current womens' events are better balanced than the mens'. Maybe Oliver Bone and Stephane Locas could better explain why the men's events include both two person dinghy and two person dinghy high performance. Finally, and most importantly, why do men get 6 events and women only 4. Has the idea of parity lost its attractiveness in sailing?