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Windsurfing, kiteboarding and offshore racing become Olympic disciplines

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The men's and women's windsurfing competition, the kiteboarding mixto competition, the mixed crew dinghy twin race and the mixed offshore keelboat twin race have been finally included in the 2024 Olympics programme. This decision was taken at the General Assembly of the International Sailing Federation in Sarasota(USA).

The proposal to add these disciplines to the Olympic programme was discussed during the interim meeting of the Assembly members in London inMay of this year. It was then that they first discussed the choice between two potential new disciplines: a mixed crewed dinghy single boat race and an offshore mixed crewed keelboat twin race. The discussion continued at the current meeting.

The popularity of Offshore racing is testament to its popularity around the world, and thus the opportunity to attract spectators and media to the Olympics. Equal opportunities for men and women in the mixed event would also allow the Olympic Committee's recommendation on this matter to be respected.

Opponents of the decision recalled that in the past expensive keelboats such as «Ingling», «Elliot» and«Star» have already been excluded from the games program. It has been feared that because they are elitist only rich nations will compete. In addition, participation in offshore races requires experience, which means that it will be difficult for young athletes to gain the right to try their hand. Finally, the principle of selection of future competitors is not yet fully understood.

Nevertheless, the final decision has been made.

» Twenty-nine of the 40 Federation Council members spoke in favor of replacing the dinghy single mixt discipline«with «keel twin mixt offshore».

Thus, the sailing program in Marseille, France, during the games now looks like:

  • Skiff Men (49th).
  • Skiff women (49th FX)
  • Catamaran twin mixt (Nakra 17th)
  • Dinghy single man
  • Single Dinghy Woman
  • Dinghy Dinghy Mixed
  • Keel double mixt offshore
  • Dinghy diving men
  • Women windsurfing
  • Kiteboard mixt

Offshore racing will be conducted on displacement single-hull sloops with spinnaker and no foils. The yachts will be limited to 6-10m hull sizes and their speeds will be limited to 4-40 knots. The decks of the participating yachts will be specially optimized for small crew handling.

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