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Windsurfing back in the Olympic Games

After a six-month-long battle, windsurfing has made it back as an Olympic event for the 2016 Olympics.

The ISAF Annual General Meeting, in a simple majority vote, decided to delete Kiteboarding and re-instate Windsurfing, which has been in the Olympics since 1984 as a men's event, and since 1992 for women.

The ISAF AGM also voted to re-instate the RS:X as the class to be used in the 2016 Olympics.

In May the ISAF Mid Year Meeting of the ISAF Council, in Stresa Italy, took many by surprise when it installed Kiteboarding as an Olympic Event, doing so against the recommendation (17 votes to 2) of the Events Committee.

The same recommendation was again put forward to the ISAF Council Meeting at its Annual Conference, in Dun Laoghire, Ireland, but that would have required a 75% majority to Re-open the Decision of the Council from the May Meeting in respect of the events for the 2016 Olympics.

The move to re-open failed by just two votes to reach the required threshold, but got support from 26 of the 38 voting delegates, at the Council Meeting on Thursday.

From there it was likely that if the Council vote was repeated at the Annual General Meeting (held only once every four years), it was obvious that the Windsurfers had done their homework and would carry the day - provided politics did not come into play and delegates at the AGM (where each country physically present is allowed a single vote, instead of just the the regions in the Council Meeting) had stayed true to the voting direction from the Council meeting - which was that although 75% were not in favour of re-visiting, there clear majority were for a re-instatement of Windsurfing.

Given that scenario, the fate of Kiteboarding in a simple vote was inevitable, and the rogue decision of the ISAF Council at its Mid-Year Meeting was finally overturned by a vote of 51 to 40 in favour of the Windsurfer. There were 104 countries represented at the AGM (with a big fly-in representation for nearby Europe) with a large number of abstentions (believed to be 13) on the 2016 Olympics vote.

The technical process in the voting was that ISAF Regulation 23.1.4 (which covers the Olympic classes for the next Olympics) was amended and approved to include windsurfing

The equipment approved for the 2016 Olympics Sailing Competition is as follows:

Men's Board - RS:X
Women's Board - RS:X
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's second One Person Dinghy - Finn
Men's Skiff - 49er
Women's Skiff – 49erFX
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 17

Men's Board - RS:X
Women's Board

Further detail can be read on ISAF Conference blog.

Photo credit: Boards Magazine / Adam Duckworth
Story credit: Sail-World

 

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