Last year’s introduction of the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat for Paris 2024 provoked much discussion as to how it might transform the landscape for Olympic sailing — with a number of Irish sailors who has previously never envisaged an Olympic campaign showing interest.
Now that more details have begun to emerge on the new event, Seahorse’s Matt Sheahan writes: “It is becoming clearer that there are important new opportunities with significant benefits to both the sport and the Olympic Games.
“Indeed, some now believe this new discipline could provide unexpected opportunities for new sailing nations, while paradoxically also having the potential to be more affordable than some existing Olympic classes.
“The move is also being seen as having potential to open Olympic sailing up to a broader range of competitors.”
Sheahan points out that the idea has been floated to hold qualifications in chartered boats already available on a regional basis.
World Sailing’s decision on equipment meeting the class’ key criteria may not be made until 31 December next year, or even as late as the end of 2023 — in which case “qualifying nations should have finalised their qualifications before the Olympic equipment is chosen,” says World Sailing president Kim Andersen.
“That way you’re keeping a level playing field for competitors who will focus their efforts on actually getting a medal at the Olympics rather than gaining an advantage through having spent a lot of money and time procuring boats for which there is no demand back home.”
Seahorse Magazine has much more on the story HERE.