The debate has begun ahead of the Mid Year meeting of the International Sailing Federation over the choice of classes for the , plus the future place of Kiteboarding.
An area which has not received a lot of publicity, is the report from the Evaluation Committee on the Kiteboarding Trials. It doesn't need a lot of amplification from us and can be read by clicking here. It is highly laudatory of the sport and formats. The dilemma for the ISAF will be how to work Kiteboarding into the Olympic program.
Who said Olympic sailing was boring? Big winds again characterised the final day of the ISAF World Cup, Hyeres © Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV
The soft option is to include it as a Demonstration Sport in Brazil. That won't really test the TV pull that Kiteboarding is expected to produce. And the only real way is for it to replace Windsurfing, or introduce a 12 Medal sailing regatta - and add the new event without increasing overall competitor numbers. Even on the current basis, a three person Match Racing crew is being replaced with a two person Skiff, meaning that on the womens side there are an extra 14 places, at least and pulling the other 14 or 15 places off the other nine events should not be too difficult.
But dicking around for another eight years (which is what a Demonstration Event implies) is not an option. Kiteboarding is here NOW, not eight years into the future.
ISAF Kiteboarding Format Trials Roberto Foresti
The decisions being taken next week in Italy by the ISAF Council are vital for the future of the sport. You only need half an ear around the dinghy parks to hear the sailors express the hope that the ISAF get it right for once, and don't get sucked down with the lobbying and politics that so often surround these decisions. The sport has suffered for long enough.