Olympic Travesty: Tornado Eliminated

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Doug Lord, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    In what is surely one of the more asinine decisions ever made regarding Olympic sailing the Tornado has been eliminated for 2012. I'm not positive but I'd bet that there are more people sailing beachcats in the US and all over the world than all the other "Olympic" classes combined(except the windsurfer ,of course). This is the kind of decision making that alienates the people from those that claim to represent them and makes a laughing stock of so-called "representatives". The politics of sailing just like that other politics-absurd!
  2. Alan M.
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    Alan M. Senior Member

    Well, we couldn't lose a monohull class could we? Or something vital like "rhythmic gymnastics" which always seems to me to be more like a circus act than a sport.
  3. balsaboatmodels
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    balsaboatmodels Junior Member

    If you can't get killed by it, it's not a sport.
  4. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I am not very familiar with the competitive multihull world (although I have sailed a Tornado) - I would be interested in why you feel it was unfair, and the case for keeping the class.
  5. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Yeah Doug Lord, Tornadoes are pretty old designs, they regularly update yacht classes.
  6. Bruce Woods
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    Bruce Woods Senior Member

    Yeah Landlubber, They regularly update yacht classes!!! What , like the finn??
  7. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    The T gets updated as new ideas appear. It has twin trapzes, square top main, carbon/nomex hulls and assymetric spinnaker, none of which were original. This is a lot more updating than has happened to the 470, laser, star or finn.

    The case for keeping it as a clas is that it is (relative to the others, and to many olympic sports) exciting to watch, sailed in a large(ish) number of countries and is state of the art, with extremely close racing. It is also suitable for a variety of crew weights and can be sailed just as well by girls as guys, compared to the star, finn and 49 er.


  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I think they should replace it with Proa's - what do you reckon Rob ? :)
  9. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Thanks ,Rob! The Tornado is the ONLY representative of a type of racing that is probably second only to windsurfing in partcipation by the people.
  10. doug kay
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    doug kay Junior Member

    Although the Tornado is old it's still unique and exciting to watch. I used to sail round Brightlingsea in Essex England where Reg. White and Osbourne practiced and to be sitting on a Mono watching those two fly by is truly a spectacular sight. I was the first crew on a Proa built by Sailcraft for one of the Colemans of mustard fame and designed by McAlpine Downie. It was a very narrow hull about 70 feet long with a sidecar attached via an aluminium frame and broke the world speed record off Portland Bill, about 28 knots I think.
  11. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    I'm as sorry to see the only multi-hull class dropped from the Olympic Games as anyone, but ...

    The Olympics has become big business. It needs to sell media coverage rights to exist at all. The fact is that the cost of covering synchronized swimming is negligible compared to what is needed to cover sailing. Sailing is not an exciting spectator sport for non-sailors. Also, the games are not about high tech machines, it is (should be) about top athletes. Running shoe technology has little or no effect on the outcome of track events, the discus and shot have not changed into high tech projectile designed to fly further. Advances in bicycles has had only limited effect, those events are not contested in recumbents for example. In the majority of Olympic sports the equipment is secondary. Why should sailing be different? Yes the Finn and Star are old designs, so what? Winning the Star Worlds is recognized as one of the hardest things to add to your sailing resume. The Laser is old but the class is continues to be very strong and with the Radial Rig it provides a woman's single-handed class.

    The only logic that defies explanation is dropping the Tornado and keeping the Finn. I cannot think of a reason to have two single-handed men's dinghies. The number of recreational sailors of beach cats and the once popular windsurfer should not be a consideration for selection.

    To be honest, I'm surprised that any sport that is as equipment dependant as sailing is included in the Olympics at all.
  12. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    It's sad to say, but RHough's point about the Olympics being dependent on the swings of popular media coverage is all too true.

    When I watched the athletes enter the stadium at the opening ceremonies of the last Summer Olympics, I noticed something interesting about the ages of the participants. Virtually the entire Canadian delegation was in their 20s and 30s, except for the sailing crews- many of which were over 50. Sailing is the only sport in the Olympics that rewards decades of hard-won experience as the main determining factor in a win.

    The trouble is, small-craft sailing just doesn't televise that well. Especially when you have nine (now eight) classes of boats, people just get confused.

    Why ditch the Tornado, though? It's the only multihull and, with a 15-20kt cruise and top speeds of up to 30 knots, was arguably the fastest and most exciting to watch on television. Age certainly has nothing to do with decisions to replace any of the Olympic classes; the Star dates to 1910.

    For those not familiar with the Olympic sailboats - http://www.ussailing.org/olympics/classes.htm .
  13. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    Anything you can tell us on or off list, about sailing Crossbow would be very much appreciated.

  14. PI Design
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    PI Design Senior Member

    Hi Randy,
    my thoughts in bold.


  15. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Good points.

    Yes the athletes are basically free actors in the show. I won't go so far as to say they are not paid, just not paid by the IOC. The big money is to run the games, venues, security et al. 100's of millions USD cost to the host.

    The cost of coverage for sailing, boats, waterproof gear, and multiple crews to cover a fairly large area is disproportionate to the viewer interest. Making the coverage more interesting for non-sailors might mean on-board cameras etc ala the AC (further increasing costs).

    How many grass roots pole vaulters, discus and hammer throwers do you know? When was the last time you saw a diving board at a public pool? The IOC decisions seem to be random, is baseball still a part of the games? How about the biathlon, seen anyone with a rifle on the ski slopes lately? :D

    No matter what choices the IOC makes, they will upset someone. Since they seem to use a whimsical dart board to to make decisions, they might as well continue, adding logic at this stage would only serve to confuse us. :)

    It would be nice if there was enough interest in sailing as a spectator sport to make a World Cup regatta viable to replace Olympic Sailing.
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