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15 March 2002, 10:44 am
Response to Paul Henderson|s Proposals on Future Olympic Equipment - Part 1
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Olympic Equipment - What You Think

Yesterday ISAF published Paul Henderson's proposals for the equipment to be used at future Olympic Regattas. What do you think? We publish your feedback so far.
Paul Henderson's proposal on the future Olympic equipment has stimulated quite some discussion. There follows (unedited) some of the feedback ISAF has received:

David Brookes, Australia
I fully support the idea of one design racing. As a one design sailor for over 25 years there is nothing better than competing against all the sailors on an equal basis. When you cross the finishing line first you know that you have won the race, not the person with the most money or the equipment that suited the conditions on the day.

But why single out the Hobie 16 as being too old? The Laser is the same age and nobody says anything against them?

Yair Suari, Israel
Some remarks to Paul Henderson's proposals (as a person coming from - a poor nation getting poorer these days).

In Israel a large and successful fleet of one design boards has evolved mainly because they are the cheapest olympic sailing class. Formula windsurfing is not purely "talent" equipment which is not "one design" in an olympic class necessarily leads huge investments in development of equipment that gives the technological advantage to reacher nations. Even if equipment is "one design" in the olympic event, competitors from poorer nations will have a huge disadvantage because their equipment will be "unqualified" for hi level racing in other events.

That is why i think even if ISAF thinks Mistral One-Design is outdated a new one design windsurfing olympic class should be established.

David Buckley, Australia
Fantastic, I totally agree with your [Paul Henderson's] views and applaud your efforts. The only things that have ever made the grade are the laser and the Windsurfer One Design. Sailing is suffering here [Australia], 49ers, Mistrals, Finns, Stars,Tornados, Solings, 470's - who sails this stuff! Coach boats carrying drinks for a few elites, elite funding, selection based on going to expensive regattas all over the world. Its all killing club racing and kids coming in.

One design is the best option but not OD 40's, Sydney 38, J22, how about something people can afford! Elitism is crucifying the sport. Good luck and you carry the hopes of our sport on your shoulders.

I am not sure about the Formula for learning, really big rigs (menace for women), heaps of gear, narrow wind range, poor on small lakes, there is no single class.

The ideal class is the one design windsurfer. It ruled until IMCO was selected, this destroyed windsurfing world wide. It just keeps on going, is as cheap as chips (In pounds a new one is 490!), people have great fun racing it, heavy weights and light weight race successfully in weight divisions. You don't need to be superman. The rig is easy for women to handle. They are tough, great for learning, like the Laser they do it all, that's why there is more of them around the world than any other boat in history. Come and have a look at one of the regattas down under, ask most of the top sailors in mistrals about them. They used to race them e.g Lars Kleppich, Chris Seiber, Amit Imbar, Jessica Crisp, Lanee Butler, Brendon Todd the list goes on. Around here they still do because its fun and the
competition is fierce!

Mike Madge, Canada
I think Paul is right on with his suggestions on the Olympic classes, with one objection. I think the Hobie 16 would be a great choice for the off the beach cat. The fact that it is sailed worldwide, and can be sailed as a mixed or open fleet. Yes it is not as modern as some of the new cats, but the same argument can be made about the Laser. In my opinion it is the simplicity of these two designs (Laser, Hobie) that makes the racing both equal and affordable. So yes I do agree with Paul in that the Olympic racing should be more talent orientated than tecnological, but I think Paul contradicted himself by inferring the Hobie 16 is too dated. I think the ISAF made a great decision by including the Laser to the Olympics, but I also think they made a big mistake by not voting in the Hobie 16 at the same time.

Dermot Mangan, Ireland
I am involved with beach cats and would welcome the introduction of a one design cat to the Olympics. I think that the Formula 18 is a bit too similar to the Tornado and that a cat like the Spitfire would be suitable for light and mixed crews.

To view the original article Paul Henderson Speaks on Olympic Equipment click on the link below.

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