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Olympic withdrawal by JP Tobin highlights a troubled relationship between windsurfing and Yachting NZ

J P Tobin announced his decision to not compete at the Olympics in Rio despite qualifying. The reasons behind this, and the relationship between JP Tobin may be complex, but the resulting publicity has surfaced considerable dissatisfaction with the way Yachting NZ has treated windsurfing, it's most successful sailing class.

The story was initially broken in the popular press

but very quickly escalated to other channels

and then more critical scrutiny from the sailing community

- this last analysis is definitely worth reading. The relationship between Windsurfing NZ and Yachting NZ has been rocky, verging on vitriolic, for years because of this. Yachting NZ has had no problem exploiting the success of windsurfing at the Olympics while returning nothing to the grass roots of the sport. There are (or were) large images of Barabara Kendall on the Learn to sail trailers that travel around NZ introducing the kids of NZ to sailing, but there have never been any windsurfers in that trailer.

Ricard Gladwells analysis (do read it)

"At one of many difficult meetings in the following nine months, the question was asked why Yachting should continue to receive funding for other than Windsurfing when the sport had not won a medal in any of the mono hull or multihull classes for three Olympic regattas and had not won a Gold medal since 1992? "

7 medals out of 18 - windsurfing, and windsurfers deserve better.

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