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IOC Decision on Olympic Mixed Offshore Keelboat for Paris 2024 to be Made in December

26th October 2020
Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny competing in the EUROSAF Mixed Offshore keelboat European Championships in an L30. one of the proposed boat types for Paris 2024 Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny competing in the EUROSAF Mixed Offshore keelboat European Championships in an L30. one of the proposed boat types for Paris 2024

Confirmation that the mixed double-handed Olympic keelboat will be on the slate for Paris 2024 will be decided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board (EB) when it sits to confirm the event programme and athlete quotas in December. 

There is Irish interest in the mixed offshore keelboat class nominated by World Sailing for Paris. Three teams have declared an Interest with Ireland competing in the EUROSAF Mixed Offshore keelboat European Championships.

A confident World Sailing insider told Afloat the hope is that the debut keelboat class will be granted an 18-boat fleet, aided by the fact that the 2024 Olympics is in France, where the sport of sailing is a big draw.

Of course, it will be a busy agenda for December's meeting with the new Olympic sailing class just one item on an agenda that sees decisions made on requests from 20 of the 27 Olympic International Federations for changes to the Paris 2024 event programme.

Four additional sports are also proposed by the Organising Committee.

The IOC says decisions will be based on the recommendation of the Olympic Programme Commission (OPC) after receiving feedback from the athletes, International Sports Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and Paris 2024.

 The IOC EB underlined that the decisions should be based on the following previously established key principles:

  • Reducing the overall athlete quota (including for all new sports) to 10,500;
  • Achieving gender-equal participation across the Olympic Games at the event and discipline level where possible;
  • Prioritising new events that accommodate athletes within the sport’s existing quota allocation; and
  • New events only if there are existing venues.

“The exceptional situation caused by COVID-19 requires exceptional measures. Therefore, any decision concerning the event programme for Paris 2024 should reflect the Olympic Agenda 2020, including a new phase of the ‘New Norm’. The IOC EB has reiterated the vital importance of reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Olympic Games, particularly concerning venue requirements,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “For the event programme, we have maintained the December 2020 deadline, even though new sports can now not be tested on the Olympic stage, but we need to give certainty to the concerned athletes, their NOCs and Federations and the Organising Committee.

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Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat

For the first time in sailing's Olympic history, a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event will be on the slate at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.

The Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat will join kiteboarding, windsurfing, multihulls, singlehanded and doublehanded dinghies and skiffs, promoting the diversity of the sport. This, in turn, will support World Sailing's desire to promote and grow universality in all disciplines and increase female participation with gender-equal medals and athletes.

Offshore sailing is the ultimate test of endurance, skill, discipline, navigation and critical decision making.

Embracing a major part of sailing in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will enable new stars of the sport to come to the forefront.

Qualification

Offshore sailing is a universal discipline that every World Sailing Member National Authority (MNA) can participate in.

Up to 20 nations will be on the start line at Paris 2024 and sailors from every continent will be represented. To qualify for the Olympic Games, continental qualification events will be held and competition for a spot will be hotly contested.

Equipment

For qualification events, World Sailing will approve a list of one-design boats that are already regionally available and can be accessed as a charter boat. Boats will be equalised to ensure fair competition.

For Paris 2024, World Sailing's Council will select a list of different Equipment it considers to meet the key criteria by 31 December 2020 and then make a decision on the Equipment, selecting from the list, no later than 31 December 2023.

MNAs, Class Associations and Manufacturers have all been invited to propose Equipment for the list and a World Sailing Working Party will evaluate each proposal. A recommended list will be presented to Council for approval in November 2020.

This recommended Equipment list will ensure that event organisers, MNAs and the sailors have opportunities to train and compete in Equipment that is readily available and affordable within their continent and country. It will also ensure each MNA has a fair opportunity to prepare for qualification events and eventually, Paris 2024.

Format

Starting and finishing in Marseille, the Mixed Offshore event is expected to last for either three days and two nights or four days and three nights off the French coastline and whoever crosses the finish line first will be declared Olympic champion.

The race course and length will be announced in the lead up to the start so the competition can take advantage of the latest weather forecast. Current options proposed include long and short courses heading towards the West and East of France.

Safety and Security

The French Navy and Mediterranean forces have extensive experience of supporting major oceanic sailing races. They will provide safety and security at Paris 2024.

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