Olympic Worldcup 2012 - final results and a comment

Friday, June 22, 2012   
 Olympic Worldcup 2012  final results and a comment
The ISAF Olympic Classes Worldcup 2012 ended with the Kiel Week, the seventh and last event. Only the Starboats are still sailing, where Polgar/Koy GER could jump on rank 4 overall with a Kiel victory. Overall winners in the Starboats are Rohart/Ponsot FRA. The other class winners are: Matthew Belcher/Malcom Page AUS 470-men, Amanda Clark/Sarah Lihan USA 470-women, Nathan Outteridge/Iain Jensen AUS 49ers, Caleb Paine USA Finns, Sebastian Wang-Hansen NOR RS:X-men, Flavia Tartaglini ITA RS:X-women and Anna Tunnicliffe USA Women-Match Race. The ISAF report.

The format, developped in many 'intensive working party meetings by the ivory-tower ISAF Events Committee' and approved by Council, does not work ! Neither does it attract media, nor the best sailors. Except some European events, the participation was small and class events had even to be cancelled due to lack of entrants ! The ranking lists speak for themselves.
The idea on the table 10 years ago was to make Olympic Sailing the Pinnacle of the Sailing Sport with a potent Title Sponsor, a free-of-charge transport for qualified athletes and their equipment around-the-world, a professional TV and GPS tracking coverage (as the actual America's Cup package: thank you Stan Honey), to have 'heroes' for the general public, the big names of sailing to compete, including the very best of them, the keelboat cracks. A continental feeder event concept would have supported this top circuit, to make it accessible for the best. And of course the necessary world-wide promotion to support this approach to draw the attention of a wider public on the real top-level sailing with a clear annual structure.
With the proliferation of Olympic Sailing due to the re-invention of the sport every four years, adding non proven new start-up-venture events eliminating world-wide organised classes and events and distroying investments of MNAs and Clubs, excluding the very best Pro's, not to speak about format changes such as the unpopular medal race concept, Olympic Sailing will never take off as a competitive package versus spectacular professional and show events like the America's Cup, X-treme Series, World MR Tour, RC44 tour, the Oceanic Races, to name but a few, all commercialised and promoted by independent organisations, attracting sponsor money. Cripple Olympic Sailing to pretended requirements of the IOC, just to be in the show-case every four years, cannot be an objective, not for ISAF, and not for potential Olympians sacrifying time and money ... and perhaps miss the selection.
As 'major improvement' ISAF plans to reduce the Worldcup to five events, and in addition to Hyères FRA, Palma ESP, Miami USA and Melbourne AUS, a regatta in Asia shall be added .... hardly a solution to the problem, it seems ..... Be present on 4 continents is fine, but see the poor Olympic campaigner travel around the World on his own. Or shall Olympic Sailing be reduced to some well-funded national teams ?

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