The President of the governing body of International Sailing has spoken about the possibility of a foiling boat in the OIympic Sailing line–up for Tokyo 2020. In a far reaching interview with Scuttlebutt's Craig Lewick, World Sailing's Carlo Croce also says that sailing is one of six sports under review for the 2020 Games. It looks certain therefore that there will be changes in the sailing classes, something World Sailing, according to Croce, is hoping to keep to a minimum as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) looks for 'spectacular' events.
'I think in November we will be able to announce good news to the Council, but at the moment we’re still confidential because the IOC has not yet formally decided. Maybe kiteboard, maybe foiling boat… I don’t know. Perhaps an old hobby of mine – a long distance race with very simple and basic one design boats with no extreme equipment', Croce said.
The choice of a foiling boat, such as the Moth class, might be looked on favourably by Ireland as Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy, in the Laser Radial class, is also a keen foiling dinghy sailor. Annalise has already finished second in the Women's world Moth championships, a pioneering international foiling class with 15 boats sailing in Ireland.
'We decided to ask our members to vote for what we call the unlock vote, which meant we had to unlock the decision taken four years ago to keep the same Olympic events from the 2016 Games to the 2020 Games. We were pushed hard by the IOC to move forward to a more spectacular program, and they just give you – very quickly – two figures: 10,500 athletes in Rio and in London. This is the number they don’t want to change. There will be five new sports in Tokyo and six current sports under review, not for pushing them out, but to look what they can do for improving, and sailing is amongst the six' said Croce.
Croce also told Scuttlebutt 'We could pick up one man and a girl and put them in an offshore boat… just a personal thought. I am completely convinced we’d find someone who can find provide the boats to the Olympics free of charge. It could also be a way for people competing in a dinghy class to also participate in the offshore race and compete for two medals, which our sport never had. That could be interesting'.
But nothing is decided. It’s not me who will decide; it will be the Council. Certainly there will be changes, but what I want to really say is we will do absolutely the minimum changes we can not to have people throwing away all of their boats and our member nations being in trouble. So the changes yes, but just the minimum we need to. Our member nations have to design a program of four years, so we need to be quick.
Read the full interview on Scuttlebutt here.
Annalise Murphy will be given a civic reception tomorrow in Dun Laoghaire. Details here.