Mark Reynolds talked about the presentation of Olympic Sailing.
Paul Henderson said that we should not prostitute the sport but
focus on the heroes. Paul also advocates the use of the internet
and should be given credit as the first ISAF President to understand
the importance of that medium.
There are those that are fighting to save the 'Star' and there are those that would do away with Finn, 470 or Laser. The list of opinions is diverse...
And that is the word we should be focusing on.
Sailing as a lifestyle sport has a breadth and depth unlike any other. As Phil Jones, the chair of the ISAF Olympic Commission, has said. "The IOC recognize this diversity as a strength. We should play to our strenghts not try and make up for our weaknesses."
Do the formats that each event uses in the Olympic regatta reflect this diversity?
No... every event has the same homogeneous set of sailing instructions. Every sailor goes out and does the same thing... almost.
if we are to go back to the future and bring some variety into the formats, then windsurfing should consider re-introducing the courses that were in common use before its first appearance in the Los Angeles Games of 1984... Long distance with a mass start off the beach, course racing and man-on-man short course racing close to the beach... even team racing.
These courses were hugely popular both with the sailors and the spectators. They could be again.
The discussion about which events are selected to appear in the Olympic Regatta should focus on the diversity represented by the slate of 10 and show further diversity in the types of format and courses they sail too.
That does not mean that everyone has to develop new ideas.
They just have to be true to their own ideals as sailors and let the available technology show the world how well they do it.
Celebrate the diversity of sailing. Present each event as well as possible and ask ISAF to pro-actively promote the Olympic sailing events it chooses so that rather than having to pay to compete, more athletes can be paid to compete.