With two regattas of the 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup completed and two more to follow, the journey to the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition is underway.
As the heroes of London 2012 and the rising starts of Olympic sailing's future explore the new classes on the Olympic agenda and test new partnerships, the Class Associations have been assessing the competition and trialling new racing formats.
As a result of recommendations made by the Olympic Classes Sub-Committee at the 2012 ISAF Annual Conference new formats were trialled at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Following a review of those trials, the intended format for ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and Hyeres has been released and is available here
The exact format will be defined in the Sailing Instructionsand will depend on entry numbers which determine whether a fleet sails as a single fleet or as two fleets in the Qualifying Series and Final Series.
The Final Series scoring is designed to test the proposed Rio 2016 scoring for the proposed fleet size, and therefore some fleets might sail as one fleet in the Qualifying Series and then split into Gold and Silver fleets for the Final Series.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma will be the first regatta to trial the new formats with modifications made as appropriate to the Hyeres programme to reflect lessons and sailor feedback from Palma.
The Class Associations and event organizers will carry out a full analysis of the merits of the trialled formats and continue testing over the coming months and work closely with an ISAF working party who will submit an interim report to the 2013 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting. ISAF will make final format decisions for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the 2013 ISAF Annual Conferece. Feedback from athletes, regatta organizers, race officials and coaches is welcomed.