At the recent ISAF World Championship, the Windsurfing Evaluation team, members of the Windsurfing Committee, the Chairman of the Sailing Committee and the Chairman of the Events Committee listened to presentations from members of the Windsurfing Industry
The aim of the whole evaluation process is to move Olympic windsurfing forward, and ultimately select the equipment to be used at the 2008 Olympic Regatta in Qingdao, China.
The criteria for the event were divided into three areas of concern:
The Concept; including sail sizes, the manufacturing processes and safety features of the equipment.
The Class structure; including Youth development, measurement and class rules and their role alongside ISAF.
The Marketing proposal; the licensing agreements, if the class is a one-design or open class and whether it involved a single manufacturer or a multi-manufactured programme.
The event was split into two areas of evaluation. The first area was a series of one on one meetings with manufacturers. Here, each had the opportunity to discuss proposals with the ISAF Evaluation team and to answer any technical questions asked.
The second area was a series of public demonstrations. Manufacturers were given the opportunity to present their equipment to the public for them to try, and to provide thoughts and feedback, both to the manufacturer and the Evaluation team.
Manufacturers were also given the opportunity to present their proposals in the evening with presentations to the public, where again feedback both to the manufacturer and the Evaluation team was given.
A trend that came from each manufacturer was an enthusiasm for the future of the sport, which stemmed from advancements in design and technology. Each manufacturer stated that they were seeing unprecedented interest, excitement and growth in the sport, especially related to the advancement designs and technology.
Unanimous consensus was that Olympic windsurfing is the pinnacle of the sport and every manufacturer has designed their equipment to create a clear path from recreational sailing to the Olympics.
Following presentations and a report to council at the forthcoming ISAF Annual Conference in Barcelona in November, the second phase of the selection process will be the evaluation trials in Torbole from 3-8 May 2004.