“The prospects for alternatives”

The website of the WFTU published the report of Oleg Ilyin “the results of the annual conference of World Sailing, and also about the relationship with WS and prospects of their development”, prepared for the meeting of the Presidium of all-Russian sailing Federation in Sochi. The document we have decided to reprint.

Today, even the most critical of sailors, are the best experts in rules and regulations, the most dear Sergei and Boris admitted the main fact of our sailing life: we have entered a new era of Olympic sailing sport!

The Olympic sailing regatta in no way covers the entire world sail, this is a very special competition. But it is, and it develops according to its own laws, imposes special requirements. Do not want – do not participate. And my dream is to go to the Olympics, strive for Olympic medals, is ready to prove their skills on the water Enoshima and Marseille have to play “their” rules. That’s why it’s so important to understand what is happening in the world of sailing, the Olympic movement, what we try to do in these notes.

What is the current Olympic

Those who were lucky enough to visit the Swiss city of Lausanne, certainly looked in the Museum of the Olympic movement. Here is the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee. Here are formed and implemented the Olympic games.

Accordingly, the Olympic Committee (IOC) is equally a sports organization and the largest commercial company. She is still concerned about the development of the Olympic movement worldwide and maintaining their financial well-being. Budgets IOC – billions of dollars. But it is significant that the (maintenance of premises, payment apparatus, conferences, etc.), the IOC spends only 8% of the budget. The main cost is to support talented athletes in the form of grants under the program “Olympic solidarity”, the provision of financial assistance cities-organizers of the next Olympic games, all kinds of programs to support activities in developing countries.

But where the IOC attracts huge funds? Half of the revenue is the money received from television. About forty percent provided by the sponsors. And the rest (almost 10%) is the sale of tickets for competitions of the Olympic games, licensing, sports equipment, selling equipment, etc.

The reason we bring all of these enough known information? The relationship of the IOC with the TV is not as simple as it may seem. Television is a tough customer! Give him a picture attractive to viewers, provide the dynamics, the drama of sporting battles. Show close along with the happy eyes of the winners and suffering, and frustration and… blood. Yes. This is exactly what you need the audience that with chips and beer watching the Olympic battles. “Take out so positive”!

In this stream, a process strictly regulated in time. For example, included in the broadcast stream the medal race in this class with 12 to 14 hours. And television do not care how you organize it, how to provide the desired weather conditions. Make, get even out of the ground, if you want to deal with the TV!

           Who dines…

It is pointless to deny the pressure of the IOC at Federation by sport. So, for the convenience of television, sports action is becoming more and more artificial, a prisoner under the roof of the stadiums. Take these “natural” sports, generated by the nature, like mountain bike, kayak, beach volleyball, climbing – all of them either migrated to the roofs of sports halls, or moved on an artificial track.

That’s a normal question normal sailing gear: why do we so cling to the Olympic games? Maybe send this Olympism to hell? Lived without it when racing in such celebrated traditional classrooms as Dragon, Star, flying Dutchman, collected up to two hundred participants in its Championships.

No, it will not work. The Olympic games were and still are the Supreme event in world of sports and beyond sports-technical actions! It is the phenomenon of the world importance in the social and cultural life of the peoples of the world. This is a significant sector in the global economy. Finally, an important part of politics – Yes, politics! And no one, no country, no sports organization is not going to refuse Olympic games. For many national Olympic committees belonging to the Games allow you to make ends meet, subsisting on the contributions of the IOC and subsidies in public budgets.

Descend to the level below and look at the International sailing Federation (World Sailing/WS). Respectively, the Olympic sailing regatta, the main strategic direction in the activities of the Federation. This is not only political, social, sporting and technical reasons, but the realities of the current phase: the policies of most national Olympic committees, the interest of the national sailing federations and leading associations of the Olympic classes of yachts. Not the last role is played by considerations of a material order. For example, contributions of the IOC in favor of the WS make up 65% of the budget of the international Federation. Therefore, the preservation of the Olympic status of the WS considers as a matter of survival.

The position of WS in the Olympic movement not unconditional. Currently, the program of the summer Games included 28 sports, and their number will not be increased. Moreover, the IOC President constantly reminds us that from cycle to cycle will be rotated sports. Some of them will be removed from the Olympic program, and the vacated space will include additional sports – influencing the strategic direction of the IOC. Each sport is certified according to specially developed criteria. The findings of the assessment Commission, submitted for discussion for decision the IOC Session. Every sport needs in the vote to not less than 51% of the vote. The IOC develops and publishes criteria that are selected Olympic sports. It is based on the principles of the new strategy of the IOC, such as:

– the athlete is the Central figure in the Olympic games;

– versatility: Olympism is not only the Olympic games, this worldwide system of qualifying events, the top of which are Games. The Olympics begins with club competition;

– the main focus is the younger generation;

– global communication: Olympism in the conditions of information revolution.

Among the criteria for the selection of sporting disciplines at the Games occupy the first places visibility, high-drama sports action, accessibility and clarity for the average viewer. And as a consequence, the attractiveness to the media.

With this in mind, sailing has repeatedly been subjected to serious criticism.

Too much of the duration of the Olympic sailing regatta (14 days); flexible hours of the race matters only for the sailors but not for the audience.

– The rules are too complex, incomprehensible to the ordinary spectator and the majority of journalists.

– Too long distance, remote from the shore (the viewer).

– The lack of dynamism and drama of sports action, especially in conditions of weak winds.

– The inability to observe the struggle from the inside out – in most sports the camera as close to the athlete.

– The availability of opportunities to win more medals before the end of all planned races, “secondary” ways to win (emissions worst races, protests, restoration of result), while journalists, TV audience require to drama persisted until the last moment – in other words, to the Olympic champion was identified at the finish of the last race.

Conservatism of the majority of the “classic” Olympic classes, who do not want any changes and professes the principle of “sailing for us, for boaters!”.

– Given the tremendous number of sporting activities, these days sailing is not attractive enough for young people number of young Olympians falls from year to year.

    Our response to the IOC

Answering the queries of today, the international sailing Federation, since 2006, consistently and constantly introduced innovations in the conducting of sailing regattas.

The face of the Olympic sailing regatta has changed dramatically:

– introduced the medal race, in which participation is mandatory, with the main objective of determining the winner of the “here and now”;

– reduced the race distance, but increased the number of scoring races. Short race distance as close to the shore, to the audience. The medal race duration shortened to 30 minutes (on average).

– The change is especially noticeable in the means and methods of demonstration races. Completely revised the philosophy and practice of broadcasting the races. Cameras mounted on Board a racing ships, special boats, helicopters, drones – all of these “pictures” are transmitted on huge screens in the audience area. Reports are carried out together by professional journalists and experts and sailing – as a rule, the former Olympic Champions. Introduced a tracking system that allows you to follow the race online, supplying the viewer full information on weather conditions and, most important, at the current position of every member of the race.

– Changed the face of Olympic sailing in terms of the use of the material. So, for the period from 2004 (the Game in Athens) excluded classes Soling, Yngling, Star, Elliott 6m. Please note, all keel yachts. In their place came light sailing speed projectiles such as the 49th, the 49th FX, catamaran Nakra 17. They added two women’s rooms at a sailing Board and the Laser class-radial.

In November 2016, for reporting election to the General Assembly, WS, held in Barcelona, was elected the new President, Kim WS Andersen (Denmark), the Executive Committee and chief Executive officer (CEO), Andy hunt (UK).

The new team has set for the further conversion of sailing. All this led to reaction, far from the applause. Serious controversies arose between the Executive Committee and the masses (national federations, associations of classes).

If the 2020 Olympics will be held in the same format as the regatta in 2016 (Rio de Janeiro), the Olympics 2024, in the opinion of the Executive Committee must fully demonstrate the further development of the sailing of the Olympic movement. Accordingly, the strategy guide WS is based on the following basic principles:

– appeal to youth and young adults.

– gender equality of participants (men and women in equal proportion);

– jump to light speed devices (shells) such as the kite and catamaran Nakra 17, and with the translation of both classes on the wing;

– further improvement of media coverage of the Olympic events on the water in order to attract the maximum number of viewers.

The Board has offered to resolve the issue the programme of the Olympic games in 2024 in two stages.

1. Annual meeting (may 2018, London) determine the program offer sailing Olympic regatta. Until August 1, national federations and class associations have the opportunity to Express the hardware requirements or simply to classes of yachts competing for Olympic status. The main task of the annual meeting of the WS (November 2018, Sarasota, USA) is the definition of criteria for the selection of equipment.

2. For 2019 classes are candidates for inclusion in the Olympic program must take an assessment of the competition and the qualification Commission to propose to the General Assembly-2019 to make the final choice of equipment (boats and shells) for the Olympics-2024. Offers WS transferred to the IOC, which at its session in August 2020 must approve the program.

Decisions that shook the sailing world

Before continuing our conversation, it is necessary to clarify in the Olympic terminology. Many boaters find it difficult to understand the realities of today as they can not really imagine what concepts operates IOC, and behind them the international sailing Federation. So:

– “Discipline” is actually an athletic skill. WS approved six disciplines for sail: such as fleet races, match racing, racing cruising, etc. by the Way, the medal race is also a discipline, and it is very different from the regular racing fleet.

– “Rooms” – the types of exercises, settings, action sports, tournaments to win medals. For example, “Dinghy single men”, “Board sailing (Windsurfing) single – male category”, “multi shell-deuce, a mixed discharge”, etc.

– “Hardware” – the material part, or simply classes/shells, which held the race.

Now we can talk about the decisions taken in the current year at the annual meeting, and the Council/ General Assembly.

Annual meeting (may, London), as we remember, was determined by numbers the Olympic program. Half of the rooms had been approved initially, as if bypassing the competition. This:

The official name of the program Translation

Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser* Men’s single-handed Dinghy – Laser

Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial* Women’s single-handed Dinghy – Laser radial

Women’s Skiff – 49erFX Women’s skiff – 49th FX

Men’s Skiff – 49er Men’s skiff – 49th

Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull category of deuce – Nakra 17

The remaining five rooms turned long discussion. First invited each of the 42 members of the Council. The Council then listened to the recommendations of the Committee of the sports programs, and finally began to discuss proposals made by the national sailing federations (the so-called submission wrestling) Such proposals-submission wrestling received 56. Through multi-voting, the Council came to the following.

The official name of the program Translation

Men’s Windsurfing Men Windsurfing

Women’s Windsurfing Women’s Windsurfing

New Event, Mixed One-Person Dinghy New room – mixed level – Dinghy-single

New Event, Mixed Two Person Dinghy New room – mixed level – Dinghy-deuce

New Event, New Kite Mixed number – a mixed category of kite

It was the turn of the Annual Conference and General Assembly of the International Federation. November 2 in Sarasota (USA), great conference hall of the Hyatt Regency hotel hosted a meeting of the Council of the WS. The Council is like the presidency of the International Federation, its decisions are final, overcome only by the General Assembly.

The biggest debate was the urgent suggestion of the Executive Committee for inclusion in the program “Cruising keel boat two, mixed discharge”. This proposal was already rejected at the annual meeting. In addition, in violation of all regulations, the proposal came just before the conference WS in Sarasota. Despite the heated debate during the Council, the proposal of the Executive Committee took place: first it achieved the necessary number of votes (75% of those voting) in favour of the reconsideration of the may decision, and then the Council voted by a majority in favor of the new program number, namely: “mixed category-keel deuce-cruiser”.

Several reputable national federations did not agree with this decision and brought the issue to the General Assembly, which was held there on 4 November. Delegates agreed to revisit the question regarding the pitching of two. However, the vote (39 votes in favor, 24 against and 1 abstained) of the General Assembly of the International sailing Federation did not support the proposal to review the decisions of the Council. Thus, the program of the sailing competitions of the Olympic games in 2024 have been identified as voted by the Council, including the keel piece.

As of November 4, 2018 program of the Olympic games in 2024 (Paris/ Marseille) looks like this:

Program number Proposed class yachts/ shells notes

Men’s Windsurfing RS:X class Exclusive – possible replacement

The women’s Windsurfing RS:X

Men’s singles – Dinghy (dingy) Laser-standard –“”–

Female alone – the Dinghy (the Dinghy) and Laser radial Equipment is approved in 2019

Kite – mixed discharge a Kite –“”–

Dinghy-deuce, a mixed discharge 470 –“”–

Women’s skiff-deuce 49th FX Exclusive class – a possible replacement

Men’s skiff-deuce 49th Equipment is approved in 2019

Multihull (catamaran) – Nakra 17 Exclusive class – solution is required

mixed category

Cruising keel boat two-piece competition for the yacht class will be held in 2019, the Equipment is approved in 2019

– mixed category

                   Problems, problems…

It would seem that one way or another, decisions have been made, you can exhale. As it is not so! Will touch on the most acute problems that need to be addressed.

“Cherchez la femme” (Seek the woman). The idea of gender equality at the Olympics – almost Central in the strategy of the IOC. This formal approach sometimes leads to undesirable results. For example, the proportion of women in the gym – 65%, and gymnastics Federation is not going to increase the representation of men in their sport. And what about, for example, in such sports like Greco-Roman wrestling? Or, say, in heavy athletics: equal number of athletes – participants of men and women is obvious nonsense.

And what about sailing? For the first time women took to the Olympic competitions with the men in 1988: at the Olympic games in Seoul/Busan (Korea) chased men and women “semidesyati”. Since the proportion of the female crew in the Olympic program grew steadily and reached 45% at the last Games in Rio! It would seem that the optimal proportion. It is enough to examine the lists of participants of world and European Championships, to understand that women (as well as the countries they represent) is significantly less than that of men. Has long been known that the Olympic sailing does not exceed 40% of women. Obviously, this would be the best indicator. But, alas, that will not do for the bosses! Comes to anecdote (see table) – here are some examples:

– Quota-male boards decreased to 30 participants, whereas the female quota increased to 40!

– The same ratio proposed for the single (Laser and Laser radial): respectively 40 and 50 participants.

more than half of the programs mechanically aligned to the quota of 20 participants – without explanation.

All in half. Before we had only one mixed Dorm – catamaran Nakra 17. Now four out of ten, and it generates a whole set of problems. So, many countries of Asia and Africa refuse to take part in such competitions for religious and cultural reasons. In the end, it may happen that the number of countries participating in the sailing of the Olympic games significantly reduced. And this is a very serious drawback from the standpoint of the IOC. Add to this the issues of training methods to increase the number of coaches and specialists for the training of women. You may be able to overcome these difficulties… we’ll See.

In the sea – for a walk. The idea that the Olympic cruising yacht sounds appealing to many federations and honored the sailors-racers. The positive side is obvious. But as they had not blocked a serious problem. Here are some of them:

– Became a tragic tradition of introducing classes to the Olympic family, we have chosen literally a “pig in a poke”, not even the names of the class, respectively, neither the Association nor the rules of the class, no rules championship in this class.

– Now it is only known that the length of the yacht should be in the range of 6 to 10 meters, and the price of 100,000 U.S. dollars! In addition to normal training will have to buy at least two yachts.

– Pre-planned race keel twos must be held within three days (two nights). But most importantly, boats shall finish at the appointed time! For example, in the range from 12 to 14 hours a day. But chances are, due to weather conditions this task will be impossible.

About the poor hussar say a word. Sailing world was shocked by the decision to eliminate the Finn class of the Olympic program. The oldest Olympian, Finn started his career with the Games in 1952 in Helsinki. Through this class and passed out in the big sailing world dozens of the most famous racers! For Russia, the names Mankin, Potapova, Balashov is a story that is our glory!

Finn, like most of the other classes, not just passing a test of strength, but each time remained in the ranks due to its unique qualities and merits before sailing.

I remember such a case. In 2007, the meeting of the Federation of (then – ISAF) was held in Paris. It was attended by Jacques Rogge, President IOC. Rogge in the past, superior Finnish, Olympian, winner of many prestigious regattas. That’s why the delegates – fans of the Finn class with the hope of seeing Mr. Rogge. But that, of course, could not afford outright support class. And here, at the end of the meeting when the IOC President was presented with all the required prizes, he suddenly said, “I want to make a memorable photograph and asked to come up on stage all my friends with whom I raced in the Finn class, and all the most eminent finniston present in the hall.” It had to be seen! Almost a third of the audience came on stage. And it became clear that the Finn remains in the Olympic family. Long ago it was…

If we return to the prose of life, the question arises: is there still any chance to return to the Finn in the Olympics? Yes, chances are very few, but they are. For this you will need to cancel all previous decisions and again to vote. But for what? The majority believes that the conflict was between keel yacht and Finn. But it’s not. The keel boat was opposed by “a new room – mixed level-Dinghy-single”. And this is not necessarily the Finn class!

It is known that against Finn, had he remained a candidate to the Olympic program, prepared to speak three classes of individuals, and who knows what would have ended such a confrontation.

And yet, while there is little hope, we must fight for Finn! Just past the Bureau of the WFTU, it was decided: to instruct our representatives in the International Federation to fight for the restoration of the Finn class in the Olympic program to the last. What we intend to do.


Usually when it comes to talking about the Olympics, attention is paid to all classes of yachts. But from the point of view of training of the racer and Olympian no less importance and format, and how it will pass of the race: number, distance, schedule. And most importantly, will the race take place in one step or in several – with the semifinals and finals.

Unfortunately, responsible for the formation of the formats Committee of the sports programs did not come to a specific result – and this is after many years of discussion. What is the result? In 2016 at the end of June, the format of the Olympic games in Rio have not been named – less than a month before the Olympic races!

Most likely the decision on the Olympic formats is as follows: final race (instead of a medal) will be different in different classes/groups of classes. At the same time:

– Classic rooms (470, Laser, Finn) the regatta will consist of three stages: pre (6 races), semifinals (race 3-4), finals (one, but there are three races).

– The Scythians will be used in the finals of the so-called “theatrical” race: three starts in short races on a limited water space of 15 minutes each for two days. With one final race and medal winners at the last day.

Sailing boards and kites insist that they were allowed to use their own, specific exercises, not just the racing fleet /course racing. To those, for example, is the slalom.

Who actually said that the Olympic race should be a pale likeness of races inherent in the Olympic games seventy years ago? For example, the class Laser offers a racing format of slalom. And all who saw the trial race, unanimous in their dynamism, entertainment and drama.

Talking about finishing the format, you will notice that you need to get from WS to the early decision of this important parameter of the sailing regatta of the Olympic games.

Mug of monopoly

Hard question. For the first time acutely he was raised in WS our Federation at the initiative of Sergey Dzhienbaev. Enthusiast racing catamarans, Sergey has developed his Nacra 17, which safely collapsed, unable to withstand even one season of operation! It turned out that the manufacturer Was 17 – Dutch firm is a monopolist and does not intend to let anybody into the cake. During the “successful” activities of firms, the price of the catamaran, including a new carbon mast has doubled, and the quality and reliability of materiel is still far from perfect.

Then the international Federation has rejected our proposals. But was unable to silence the problem. A working group, which is obliged to report on its activities at each annual meeting. And how to get around this problem, if half of the Olympic classes are mutually exclusive. Here is an example: the strongest and most popular class of Laser is designed so that no matter where you bought the boat, in America or in Australia, it is still owned by the same company. And it is not clear what to do: nobody wants to lose, no sailing public nor the producers.

International sailing Federation World Sailing – the organization equally public, democratic, and bureaucratic. Issues are resolved slowly, with caution, and subsequent revisions of the earlier decisions. But the other is not! So don’t turn away and it is fruitless to criticize the Federation. On the contrary, need more to join in the work WS, achieving reasonable solutions in favour of sailing.

Oleg Ilyin, a member of the Board of World Sailing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *