#OLYMPICS - Windsurfing has been reinstated in the Olympic Games programme at the expense of new class kitesurfing after a vote by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) yesterday, as Eurosport reports.
It had been expected that sailing's world governing body would reach a compromise of sorts at its annual general meeting in Dun Laoghaire by keeping both classes in the Rio Games in 2016.
The original decision to replace windsurfing with the new sport of kitesurfing back in May was considered a surprise move, but the ISAF has surprised again with its reversal of that decision.
Windsurfing's supporters were said to be "shell-shocked" by the original vote, and vowed to lobby the ISAF to overturn the decision in Dublin, for which they needed a two-thirds majority.
Israel's sailing head Yehuda Maayan told Reuters that delegates had likely been confused about the original vote because of language difficulties, noting that the Spanish delegate had voted for kiteboarding by mistake.
Among those expressing their disappointment at the about face was Virgin founder Richard Branson, who wrote on his blog that the ISAF had "have misled everybody and been very short-sighted in making this knee-jerk decision".
He added: "Their original decision was the right one and a brave one, although my own feeling is that there is room for both sports in the Olympics. If they had to drop anything it should have been one of the less exciting sailing races, which really don't capture the public's imagination."
The move is also a bitter blow for Irish kitesurfer Claudine Murphy, sister of Olympic star Annalise Murphy, who had been campaigning in the new class to make it a sister act at the Rio Games.
In other news from yesterday's ISAF AGM, new members of the ISAF Council have been announced.
Italy's Carlo Croce was elected president and chair of the council that also includes seven vice presidents: George Andreadis (Greece), Chris Atkins (UK), Adrienne Greenwood (New Zealand), Nazli Imre (Turkey), Gary Jobson (USA), Quanhai Li (China) and W Scott Perry (Uruguay).
Also on the council are a non-voting treasurer (yet to be confirmed), 28 representatives from member national authorities (MNAs) and individual representatives from the athletes' commission, the ISAF classes, offshore sailing and women's sailing. Sailing.org has full details on the new council HERE.
Kiteboards Out / Windsurfing Back In
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland: After three days of meetings, the ISAF Annual Conference drew to a close Saturday as the final decisions affecting the sport moving forward were made.
23 submissions relating to the events and equipment for Rio 2016 were received by ISAF in advance of the Conference. In accordance with the ISAF Regulations, before the detail of any of these particular submissions could be discussed, Council were required to vote on a motion to re-open the debate on the subject. The Regulations specify that 75% of members must agree to the motion.
The submissions were presented as six proposals and Council asked to vote on them in terms of the specific changes they proposed. The first proposal grouped. 26 Council members voted in favour and 12 were against.
Proposal 2, which featured Submission 063-12, related to Men's Kiteboarding, Women's Kiteboarding and 2nd One Person Dinghy - Finn. 14 Council members voted in favour and 23 were against and 1 abstained.
With 38 possible votes, the 75% requirement was not achieved on either proposal so the events and equipment as approved in May 2012 remain for Rio 2016.
However, at the ISAF General Assembly part of the business for the 106 Member National Authorities (MNAs) who were present was to review any regulations made or amended in any substantive way by Council since the last Ordinary Meeting which was in November 2011.
ISAF had been notified of three amendments proposed by MNAs which concerned the first two lines of Regulation 23.1.4 (Men's and Women's Kiteboarding).
As defined in the Articles of ISAF, decisions at the General Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority of votes of those present and entitled to vote. There were 114 possible voters, including the ISAF President and Vice-Presidents.
After a lengthy debate the MNAs approved the first proposal which reinstated Men's and Women's Boards - RS:X.
ISAF Regulation 23.1.4 now reads:
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 2nd 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