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Displaying items by tag: Mixed offshore keelboat

With World Sailing having apparently lost the proposed mixed offshore keelboat discipline for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, one of three of the declared Irish skippers has spoken of his 'disappointment' over the last-minute change of direction.

As Afloat reported previously, speculation is mounting that sailing's highly anticipated mixed offshore keelboat may not be approved by the International Olympic Council (IOC) at its meeting in May and the world body has now been asked to supply alternative plans for its tenth medal, leading many to conclude the keelboat plans for Paris are effectively scrapped.

"Disappointed" might be one word', Howth Yacht Club's Conor Fogerty told Afloat. "I know sailing is meant to be an all-inclusive sport, but to be pushing it [the mixed offshore keelboat class] out till 2028 or further is getting beyond my physical capabilities age-wise".

Fogerty is part of one of three budding campaigns from Ireland.

The former Irish Sailor of the Year is scheduled to sail with Susan Glenny in a campaign for Paris. The pair competed in the first-ever European Mixed Keelboat championships last September.

Despite the hiatus, Fogerty says, "I will still work with, and develop female offshore sailors in Ireland, and hopefully, compete within a mixed keel class where possible".

This season has already seen other Irish campaigns back on the water.

The Dun Laoghaire-Greystones partnership of Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee competed in last week's Sardinha Cup and County Meath's Tom Dolan has also been back on the water and is now preparing for a Transatlantic Race in May.

As Afloat reported earlier, World Sailing has received an update from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the proposed Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.

In December 2020, World Sailing were informed by the IOC that a further review into the Mixed Offshore event would be undertaken to properly assess key considerations. World Sailing, the IOC and Paris 2024 Organising Committee have worked in close collaboration to ensure all queries were answered in detail.

World Sailing has now been informed by the IOC that the proposal has continued to be reviewed, consistent with the approach taken for other sports, and challenges for the Mixed Offshore Event exist in the areas of: Field of Play security, scope and complexity, broadcast cost and complexity and World Sailing not having the opportunity to deliver an Offshore World Championship.

The IOC will continue their assessment of the Mixed Offshore Event to address these points, however, they have requested that World Sailing propose alternative event(s) for sailing’s 10th medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

World Sailing CEO, David Graham commented, “This is not an official decision from the IOC, but rather a direction of travel and assistance to help World Sailing secure our 10th medal at Paris 2024, should the Offshore event not be endorsed by the IOC Executive Board in early June.

Disappointing

“This is very disappointing news and we are aware this upset will be widespread across our community if the decision doesn’t go our way. The Mixed Offshore Event was democratically selected by our members and remains our first-choice event for Paris 2024; we have made this clear to the IOC and will continue to do so. However, the contents of the letter from the IOC are consistent with decisions they have made in other sports.

“Now is the time for the World Sailing community to unite and work collaboratively. World Sailing is in an unprecedented position. We have clear guidelines from the IOC, and a hard deadline, within which we must agree upon proposed alternatives.”

World Sailing Processes

In accordance with Article 55 of the World Sailing Constitution, a Council meeting will be called for 23 April 2021 to review a Board Submission to temporarily amend the World Sailing regulations to permit the decision regarding alternatives to be made. The Board Submission outlines the process for proposing an alternative Event to the IOC and will allow decisions to be made at the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting, if approved by Council members.

World Sailing’s Mid-Year Meeting will be held virtually from 10 – 14 May 2021. The normal Submissions process has concluded but a late submission process for proposing alternative events will begin on 17 April 2021 and conclude on 23 April 2021.

MNAs, Class Associations, Committee Chairs and the Board are invited to put forward submissions

Any late submission must be in the respect of the replacement event only (and not any associated Regulatory changes) and the alternative event proposal must adhere to criteria framework provided by the IOC which is outlined below:

  • Align with Olympic Agenda 2020+5, including relevance to the youth, innovation, universality and participation of the best athletes
  • Keep full gender equality on both number of events and athlete quotas (e.g. alternative mixed-gender events or split of currently approved mixed events into men’s and women’s events)
  • Prioritise universality and maximise the accessibility of the sport
  • Should have been previously tested at the respective World Championships organised by World Sailing
  • Should not cause an increase of the overall cost and complexity for the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, National Olympic Committees and/or National
  • Federations, specifically in the direct comparison with the sailing programme, as a whole, in Tokyo 2020
  • Use of existing venues/Fields of Play

Late Submissions will be published on the World Sailing website on 30 April 2021.

At the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting, the Constitution, Events and Equipment Committee will meet on 10-11 May 2021. They will discuss the submissions ahead of making their recommendations to Council.

World Sailing’s Council will meet on 14 May 2021 across two sessions and will discuss and vote on the submissions. This will ensure the process concludes ahead of the IOC deadline for new proposals, which is 26 May 2021.

Irish mixed offshore keelboat duo Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee finished 17th in the gruelling second leg of the 775 miles Sardinha Cup last night.

The sole Irish duo in the offshore race were racing a Figaro 3 foiling keelboat, a class dominated by French sailing stars.

The Rumball and Lee partnership is campaigning to be the first team to represent Ireland in the new double-handed mixed offshore sailing category in the Paris Olympics 2024 but as they sailed back to port last night, news broke that the new class might now be on hold for 2024.

After finishing first last Friday, Xavier Macaire and Morgan Lagravière repeated the feat yesterday in a remarkable double in the second leg of the Saint Hilaire-Sardinha Cup.

The two skippers of Team SNEF crossed the finish line in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie at 18:48 after 4 days 1 hour 36 minutes by sea, 2 minutes ahead of Brittany CMB Océane (Elodie Bonafous/Corentin Horeau) and 12 minutes ahead of Let's keep the Stargardt Foundation View (Martin Le Pape/Yann Eliès), who finish in the same order in the final general classification.

Tracker here

At an online meeting of Member National Authorities (MNAs), World Sailing (WS) today (April 16th) will convey the news that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had requested WS to provide details of an alternative event should the IOC not endorse the mixed two-person offshore event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the IOC meeting at the end of May.

The International Olympic Committee has given World Sailing six weeks to come up with alternative events to the controversial Mixed Offshore keelboat proposed for the 2024 Olympic Sailing regatta in Marseille, France.

While this is not a final decision, it is a clear indication that the offshore event is unlikely to be approved.

In November 2018, following a lengthy debate, the WS Council voted to replace the Mixed One -person dinghy event with the Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore event. The vote at that stage was 31 to 8 in favour with two abstentions. In the subsequent ratification by the MNAs, 43 were in favour and 17 against with 4 abstentions (note- many MNAs did not have representatives at the meeting and so were unable to cast a vote)

IOC has suggested that WS were unable to answer satisfactorily their questions regarding:

  • Field of Play security, scope and complexity and
  • Broadcast cost and complexity

Furthermore, IOC noted that (due to Covid), there hasn’t been an opportunity for WS to deliver an Offshore World Championships, which may have addressed these questions.

World Sailing has accepted that the Offshore project will have to put on hold and in the meantime, in order to maintain 10 medals at the Olympics, they will have to submit an event that satisfies IOC in these areas.

A new organisation established to promote 'offshore doubles' sailing attracted 1700 Members from 70 countries in a matter of months when news of the new class broke in November 2018

Speculation is mounting that sailing's highly anticipated mixed offshore keelboat for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games may not be approved by the International Olympic Council (IOC) at its meeting next month.

When World Sailing received feedback from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the event programme for Paris, the IOC approved only nine of the ten events in December 2020.

The 2024 programme had incurred a significant overhaul to meet new requirements by the IOC, with the introduction of the new Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event expanding the sailing competition beyond dinghies and boards and beyond closed-course racing.

While this event has helped to increase interest in shorthanded sailing, the IOC wanted to further review the event in order to properly assess the key considerations around safety and security of the athletes, with a decision to be no later than May 31, 2021, as Afloat previously reported here

It's not the first time that the decision over the offshore keelboat has been questioned either. A leading offshore sailor and former Admiral of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in London says because of the 'possible loss' of the new offshore keelboat back in December he questioned whether it is worth sustaining the connection of the offshore world with the World Sailing body. 

Campaigns (including three Irish parings and one currently racing off France) planning for 2024 are coming to terms with the fact Paris may now be a '50/50' chance?

The doubts come as the Finn class seeks to regain its Olympic place for 2024 through an innovative collaboration with a former women's Olympic class, the Europe dinghy.

It seems the fight for the tenth medal at Paris 2024 is well and truly underway.

Dun Laoghaire and Greystones Mixed Offshore Keelboat campaigners Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee lie 18th after the first night at sea of the Saint Hilaire-Sardinha Cup, the second stage of the Sardinha Cup in France.

The fleet of 21 Figaro Beneteau 3 left for 775 miles and about five days at sea, with a one-way trip to the Scilly's that promises to be strategic with a return leg that should mainly boil down to a speed race.

Saint Hilaire-Sardinha Cup, the second stage of the Sardinha Cup began on Sunday evening in 15 to 20 knotsSaint Hilaire-Sardinha Cup, the second stage of the Sardinha Cup began on Sunday evening in 15 to 20 knots Photo: Jean Baptiste

Offshore or coastal was the big question of the day.  Damien Cloarec, co-skipper of Englishman David Paul on G-Alok said: "There is an anticyclone that will block us on Monday on the Breton tip, we must choose from the first buoy between bypassing it from the west or staying ashore to take thermal breezes. Marc Mallaret (sailing with Sébastien Marsset on Mercyships.org) adds: "There are those who will cut straight to make less road, at the risk of having less wind, and those who will go around this bubble by doing more miles but certainly going faster. We scratch our heads”.

Tracker here

The doublehanded offshore Racing team of Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee embark on the second leg of the Sardinha Cup this evening.

It's a gruelling 775 miler that immediately follows yesterday's conclusion of a 300-mile first leg in which the Dun Laoghaire Harbour debutantes finished 20th from 21.  

The Rumball and Lee partnership is campaigning to be the first team to represent Ireland in the new double-handed mixed offshore sailing category in the Paris Olympics 2024.

After 1 day 13 hours and 52 minutes at sea, Team SNEF won Friday morning at 6 a.m. the Naomis Trophy (subject to Protest), the first stage of the Sardinha Cup (300 miles).

Xavier Macaire and Morgan Lagravière,  led the race almost from start to finish, resisting pressure from Normandy's (Alexis Loison/Guillaume Pirouelle) and Brittany CMB Performance (Tom Laperche/Loïs Berrehar), who complete the podium.

More here

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has launched its search to find sailors to represent Great Britain at the 2021 Offshore Mixed Doubles European and World Championships.

Interest has been growing in mixed doublehanded offshore racing since 2019 when the discipline was put forward for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Since then, the RYA has aimed to encourage participation in doublehanded keelboat racing and wishes to select and develop a mixed team with the potential to win international events.

Details of the European and World Championships have not yet been released due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the RYA wants to publish its intentions in order to help prospective teams plan their seasons ahead.

With the support of RORC, selection will be based on an extended version of the RORC Channel Race, scheduled to start from Cowes, Isle of Wight, on July 24, 2021.

The RYA’s selection committee will comprise of Ian Walker (RYA director of racing), Stacey Clark (World Sailing council member), a representative of the RYA’s Olympic steering group and a representative from RORC.

“This is a great opportunity for any mixed crews to come forward and show us they have what it takes to represent Britain,” says Walker.

“While we still don’t know where, when or even if these championships will go ahead and if offshore mixed doubles will be in the Olympics for Paris 2024, we know that a lot of teams are setting their sights on these events, so it is important that they know now how we will select teams when the events are hopefully announced.

“2020 was a difficult season for most sailors but we actually saw a growth in double-handed offshore racing as it is, by its very nature, more socially distanced. Many new partnerships have been formed and we hope to see more new pairs coming together in 2021, especially with the largest ever entry of boats in the Rolex Fastnet Race on the horizon.”

RORC racing is IRC rated and not one design, so in order to best reflect the criteria of the new Olympic equipment, the RYA selection for the Offshore World Championship will only be open to fixed keel monohulls within an endorsed IRC rating band between 0.990 and 1.055, aligned with the new UK Double Handed Offshore Series.

Crews wishing to express interest in selection for either the 2021 Offshore Mixed Doubles European or World Championships must do so by emailing full names of each sailor and details of the boat to [email protected] The cut-off is 1700 on June 30, 2021.

The much-publicised Mixed Two-Person Offshore Keelboat Event for Paris 2024 did not get the green light from the IOC this week and remains under review.

It’s understood that one of the key factors under consideration is cost, both of staging the event and of the figures involved in mounting a successful campaign for a coveted Olympic spot.

Estimates gathered by Afloat.ie show that the latter will not be cheap — with even the most tightly budgeted duo looking at more than €125,000 to have a shot at the 2024 Games.

But it’s looking more than likely that costs will be upwards of €200,000 for any serious mixed keelboat contenders.

In the absence of full details of the proposed Olympic mixed keelboat programme, Afloat.ie has based these estimates on the cost of running a Sunfast 3300 in a season of six to seven races around Europe and training in between, with a wage of €24,000 for both skippers.

A source close to Afloat.ie says savings of some €30,000 in vessel rental coats could be made by finding an owner willing to lend their boat — something that happens on a regular basis in offshore sailing.

“In return, I would let the owner keep the sails, the polars and Sailect files that we would make and they would get the boat back absolutely top spec, with the hull faired and new antifouling, and I would offer some coaching afterwards — so the budget could even be as low as €100,000,” our source added.

Another option for those with the available capital, or an investor willing to take a chance on Olympic success, is to buy a boat outright and sell it on after the competition — something else that’s regularly done in offshore racing circles.

Our source highlights that insurance for a two-handed keelboat is one area where things might work out cheaper than alternatives, as double-handed boats qualify as crewed — whereas single-handed insurance on a Figaro can be as much as €8,000 per annum.

See below for our full estimated breakdown of costs associated with a proposed mixed offshore keelboat Olympic campaign:

BoatHigh (€)Low (€)
Rental LOA 30,000 30,000
Insurance 8,000 2,000
Sails 40,000 20,000
Maintenance/Optimisation 12,000 8,000
Branding 5,000 0
SkipperHigh (€)Low (€)
Gross Salary 24,000 24,000
Shore Crew 14,000 N/A
Training & Weather 8,000 2,000
Co-Skipper 24,000 24,000
LogisticsHigh (€)Low (€)
Logistics 10,000 4,000
Vehicle LOA 4,000 N/A
Race Fees 6,000 6,000
OthersHigh (€)Low (€)
Communication 30,000 5,500
Accountancy 3,000 3,000
Total 218,000 128,500

A leading offshore sailor and former Admiral of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in London says because of the 'possible loss' of the new offshore keelboat at the Olympics he questions whether it is worth sustaining the connection of the offshore world with the World Sailing body.

There were shockwaves sent through fledgeling Mixed Offshore Keelboat campaigns working up to the Paris 2024 Olympic regatta this week with the news that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has deferred the decision on the new class until next May, giving a tight window of opportunity. 

Campaigns (including three Irish parings) planning for 2024 are coming to terms with the fact Paris may not now be '50/50' chance.

Andrew McIrvineOffshore sailor Andrew McIrvine

World Sailing has played down its own disappointment with the news handed to it from the IOC but a World Sailing insider told Afloat: "There are some old school WS dudes who are change-averse who may have put some influence in IOC but French enthusiasm will win the day".

Reaction from offshore quarters to the decision has been swift. Former RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine, a respected international offshore figure, took to social media to say World Sailing is "a whole distance from the sailors it should be supporting".

Andrew McIrvine Facebook commentAndrew McIrvine's Facebook comment on world Sailing

McIrvine appears to suggest that the IOC is being influenced by some people within World Sailing who are not pro keelboat. These parties, he says, were never keen on the inclusion of the mixed double-handed offshore and lost the day previously.

Now they appear to be pushing the issue through the IOC, who already have reduced the number of sailing participants recently from 350 to 330 for 2024.

In this scenario, what events will be reduced in numbers to facilitate this? Pro-dinghy people in World Sailing don’t want dinghy numbers reduced. Scrapping the offshore event allows the dinghy classes to retain their numbers with others such as McIrvine suggesting offshore sailing as a sport is not being well represented by WS.

The World Sailing Press statement on the matter this week said the IOC wanted to review 'safety and security' considerations of the new class for Paris 2024 but an IOC statement also issued this week says it wants to assess key considerations around cost, safety and security. Make of it what you will if there is any significance to the omission of the single word 'cost' by World Sailing.

"World Sailing Needs Doublehanded Sailing More than Double-Handed Sailing Needs World Sailing"

Meanwhile, former Olympic and VOR sailor Knut Frostad says World Sailing needs doublehanded sailing more than double-handed sailing needs World Sailing. Frostad tells SEILmagasinet's Mikkel Thommessen in the video below: 

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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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