Decision to Drop Paralympic Sailing from 2016 Tokyo Olympics

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Written by Roger Vaughan and published by Scuttlebutt tonight:

    They should not get away with it(emphasis by DL)
    I'm not sure why every sailor in the world isn't showing outrage about the decision to drop sailing from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

    There's not one disabled sport that makes as much sense as sailing. From a strategic and tactical standpoint, the disabled guys and girls are on a level with the able. The fact they can't zip around the deck has been ingeniously compensated for by choice of boats, and by innovative seating arrangements and gear. If you have ever watched a Paralympic sailing race, you know how competitive and hard fought it is.

    And while these disabled sailors might have a rotten, wicked time getting around the city, or up and down stairs, or driving, they can kick *** on the water. What a wonderful release that must be. And how cool for them to be able to have the Olympic dream.

    Now some thoughtless, heartless, physically able people have decided to take that away. Shame on them. They should not get away with it.

    It's time for us able bodied sailors to kick ***. Let's get this decision reversed. There's time. I hear there's even a slot open. Sign petitions. Let Paul Callahan (CEO of Sail to Prevail) know you're ready to help.

    - Roger Vaughan

    ========================================
    Another viewpoint: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2...aralympic Games Another viewpoint to consider
     
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  2. rcnesneg
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    rcnesneg Senior Member

    Do we have some petitions to sign somewhere or officials to write to?

    Edit: Petition signed and shared to my yacht club.
     
  3. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  5. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

  6. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Doug.

    I don't think I have ever agreed with you as much as I do here. I signed the petition.

    Thanks for cluing us in.
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This isn't a surprise and though I don't like it, I certainly do understand the logic. Lets face it folks, sailing has always been a blue blood sport and not much for spectators. It's never been cheap, never been exciting from a layman's point of view and most importantly of all, an ever decreasing level of interest over the last several decades. Yeah, this sucks, but not very hard to understand advertisers and sponsors dropping out. Even though some sailing events have been heavily altered to make them more palatable for a crowd, it's mostly yawning stuff to the average onlooker.

    I turned a buddy of mine onto sailing with the last America's Cup, but he being a pilot and understanding theory, was just amazed at the speeds, remembering the 7 knots he thought was just the reality of sailing. Spectators want to see boats blasting along at powerboat speeds, maybe with a roll over or pitch pole tossed in, for added excitement. Yeah, you might auger a Laser in or stuff a bow on a cat, but it's just not the same, without a boat breaking up in mid air or hoping the pilot's capsule manages to surface again. You don't have to wait for wind strengths, the races are quick, there's a high probability of a crash and they make a great sound, blasting along. As recent as 40 years ago, the sail portion of the pleasure boat market was 3 - 4 times what it is today. In this time, it has been reduced to a very small segment of the market and schools, clubs and fleets have been shrinking continuously.

    This is the reality of sailing, so don't be so surprised.
     
  8. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Well done, Doug. I have signed it and spread the word among my friends.
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Paralympic Sailing

    Thanks guys-thanks to Joseph's link I signed the petition as well.
    Paul, I don't think this is a question of being "so surprised" as it is a case of being sad for the dedicated people already having a tougher time dealing with life than most of us now faced with the loss of a tremendous motivation in their lives. It just isn't right.
     
  10. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Here, here.
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed Doug. If mental capacity was also at play in this decision making process, I'd qualify for the group too.

    The Olympics is a pretty lofty goal, for anyone. I've known a few that tried out and a few that made it, but these where the extreme exception to the rule. For the rest of us 99.9%er's, we'll just have to muddle along the best we can, knowing we'll never make it.
     
  12. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    That fits with everything else I've read that you've written.
     
  13. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Paralympic Sailing

    Perhaps some good news from Scuttlebutt tonight: ( PS- I've already sent my e-mail guys-please send yours-see below)
    Scuttlebutt article: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2...ge IPC Decision on Paralympic Games Programme

    ISAF to challenge IPC Decision on Paralympic Games Programme


    When the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced on January 31 that sailing would not be included as a sport for the 2020 Paralympic Games, by all accounts the news was not anticipated.

    The International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) was solely and independently responsible for coordinating the Paralympic sailing competition with the IPC, but in November 2014, the IFDS merged with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), and now operates within the ISAF committee structure as the Disabled Sailing Committee.

    However, the bulk of work in submitting sailing as a sport for the 2020 Games occurred before the merger, and it appears now that the IFDS failed to mention to ISAF that their submission for the 2020 Games was not going so well.

    The Paralympic Games is the ultimate pinnacle for disabled sailors with many varied disabilities competing on equal terms. However, the IPC has requirements for sports to be included, and it is these requirements that either weren’t met, or weren’t being adequately presented.

    Caught flat footed, ISAF is now actively making every effort to understand the decision of the IPC and work towards reinstating sailing as a sport in the Paralympic Games.

    To assist in this effort, ISAF is asking sailors across the world to unite on behalf of all disabled sailors and submit letters of support. These letters will be sent to the IPC along with a complete package of information about Paralympic sailing. Send letters to disabled@isaf.com

    On hearing the decision of the IPC, three time Paralympian (2.4mR) and gold medallist at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Bjornar Erikstad commented, “For the Paralympic Games, sailing should be there. In sailing you can be young, old, female, male and be on an equal playing field. It’s about understanding the environment and what’s around you that makes it unique. It has physical challenges and you have to be physically and mentally prepared.”

    In 2008, American sailor Nick Scandone was battling ALS (commonly known as Lou Gerig’s Disease). Before being diagnosed, Scandone was a top 470 sailor and made the switch to Paralympic sailing. In the lead up to the 2008 Paralympic Games his condition deteriorated but his quest to sail kept him pushing hard. With crew Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, Scandone went on to win the Gold Medal, an extraordinary accomplishment. Sadly Scandone passed away a few months later. His heroic feat drew huge attention to people with the disease.

    On the recently launched Facebook page Reinstate Paralympic Sailing into 2020 Games, a preliminary scorecard IPC used to evaluate the sport of sailing was posted, which notes the shortcomings of the submission by the IFDS. This apparently was not, however, the final scorecard used to eliminate sailing from the 2020 Paralympic Games.

    -
     
  14. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Sorry, PAR, but in fact there is abundant evidence that people DON'T have a major tendency to watch faster sports. The IOC have published detailed viewership figures for Olympic games which show that slow, unspectacular sports like swimming (2nd highest rating sport), flatwater rowing, road cycling, flatwater canoeing etc outrate many or all of the "crash and burn" sports. The same applies in the Winter Olympics.

    Similarly, the major spectator days at the world's #1 annual sporting event (the Tour de France) are the mountaintop finishes, which are the ones with the slowest top speeds and little crashing.
     

  15. WhiteDwarf
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    WhiteDwarf White Dwarf

    Should any form of sailing be in the Olympics?

    At risk of being contentious...

    In Australia, we did very well in the 2012 Olympics and predictably, our club's sailing school was in overdrive for one year, but only one year. The parents who enrolled their offspring expected their children to achieve mastery in a few paltry weeks and were off to their next sport the following year. I have heard similar reports from other clubs. Extra effort to accommodate the rush and disappointment when it fell away.

    One year ago, I retired from the role of financial controller of the "Sporting Shooters Association of Australia" after almost 15 years. In that time, our membership grew from 90,000 to 165,000 in a legislatively hostile environment. At the same time, the membership of Yachting Australia plodded along at about 60,000. The strategy at YA appears to be the promotion of Olympic and elite sailing, to the near exclusion of all other aspects of the sport. At SSAA we reached out to the urban communities, we provided value for money only a tiny proportion of members subs went into elite competition. Finally, we presented shooting as an identity which participants inhabit lifelong.

    Neither shooting, nor sailing can compete for the interest of those who want to play big dollar TV sports (a lie for most of course, but peddled as expertly as heroin). But an identity build around the broad knowledge and competence expected of a sailor or shooter is very achievable and profoundly rewarding.

    Where, in the TV sports, kids are being cut from elite squads and; in their disappointment told, as in one case I know, to "do the sausages for the juniors," we as sailors can offer a lifetime of fulfilment. It is from that perspective that I suggest that the Olympics may be a toxic distraction from growing our sport.
     
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