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26 May 2005, 04:43 pm
Olympic Windsurfing Launched For 2008
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Neil Pryde RS:X

The new Neil Pryde RS:X to be used in the Olympic 2008 windsurfing events, will be racing soon.
A handshake between ISAF President Göran PETERSSON and Neil PRYDE marked the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the production and supply of the Neil Pryde RS:X at the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. The final details on the key issues of price control, production, distribution and availability for the new board were earlier in the day approved by the ISAF Council, ISAF's final decision making body.

Developing the RS:X

The RS:X is a new 'hybrid' concept combining ISAF's requirements for a board capable of providing reasonable performance upwind in light conditions with the early planning characteristics of a wide Formula-style board.

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Neil PRYDE (left) with ISAF
President Göran PETERSSON
Among the team developing and testing the board has been Mike GEBHARDT (USA), Pieter BIJL (NED) and Australia's Allison SHREEVE, a Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship silver medallist who has gone on to top three finishes in some of the biggest European Regattas such as the ISAF Grade 1 Spa Regatta and Kieler Woche as well as the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne, not to mention numerous victories on the PWA World Tour of which she is the current Tour World Champion.

SHREEVE is impressed with the range of sailing styles the new board caters for, 'there will still be the tactical component in light winds which the Mistral sailors love, and the speed/tornado style tactics in stronger winds.' For SHREEVE sailing the RS:X Board is 'a unique experience, with some elements of Formula and Race-board skills required.'

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© Neil Pryde

Distribution and Production

The first 500 boards have been allocated to an ISAF Approved Distribution so that there is equitable worldwide distribution based on representation at the 2004 Olympic windsurfing event. The 14 Neil Pryde Worldwide distributors will handle the distribution of the boards, with a target production of 1,535 boards by the end of the year.


As part of their commitment to the accessibility of the new Olympic board, ISAF and Neil Pryde have agreed upon on a price control on the new equipment. As a result Neil Pryde will guarantee the listed price of the board through to 31 December 2005. From that date through until November 2008, there will be no price increase in the Olympic equipment above 2.5% per annum, except with ISAF approval.

The prices below are maximum distributor prices and will only be subject to any local taxes and/or local delivery charges.


Price Euro (€)

RS:X Board

1530.00 €

RS:X Fin 60cm - Women

85.00 €

RS:X Fin 66cm - Men

95.00 €

RS:X Sail 8.5 - Women

510.00 €

RS:X Sail 9.5 - Men

560.00 €

RS:X Mast 490 - Women

250.00 €

RS:X Mast 520 - Men

270.00 €

RS:X Boom 225-265

480.00 €

RS:X Extension 48 cm

25.00 €

RS:X Power U-Base

35.00 €

Total Men's Package

2995.00 €

Total Women's Package

2915.00 €

For The Athletes

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© Neil Pryde
At the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition in China, the Neil Pryde RS:X will be supplied equipment. With it's wide hull and centreboard the RS:X offers competitors a combination of sailing, with the Formula style alongside an excellent upwind performance, providing stimulating windsurfing for the competitor and spectator. Neil Pryde Team Rider, BIJL has been testing the board with SHREEVE and has been equally impressed, 'sailing the RS:X is an intense ride, the board is definitely fast,' he enthused. 'The sail feels stable, light and easy to handle.'

The RS:X provides sailors with the flexibility that changing conditions often demand, and this in turn will provide spectators with fascinating battles out on the water. As BIJL explains, 'The mast track and dagger board are easily and quickly changed from sub-planing to Formula-style sailing and vice-versa. I can see that this will make racing very interesting because of the speed difference between the two styles of racing that are possible on this board.'

'The decision by ISAF to bring a change to the Olympic board is progressive and can only be good for the sport,' says SHREEVE.

The RS:X In Competition

ISAF has appointed Rich JEFFRIES (USA) to co-ordinate the class association as it becomes established.

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© Neil Pryde
An inaugural RS:X event is planned for 1-2 October 2005 at Cadiz, Spain. Competitors from across the world are invited to race the new board and also to give their input and feedback on the issues surrounding the development and promotion of the new Olympic equipment.

The Neil Pryde RS:X will be included on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings from the end of 2005.

The Neil Pryde RS:X will be the equipment used at the 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games on Lake Neusiedl, Austria and at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal.

Consideration is being given to the development of a rig appropriate for use at future ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships.

ISAF. Image:© Neil Pryde
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