US Sailing Drops Multihulls From Olympics

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by tspeer, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. tspeer
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    tspeer Senior Member

    The US SAILING Board of Directors has approved and forwarded to the International Sailing Federation a submission titled “2012 Olympic Events”. This submission proposes 6 dinghy events and 2 keelboat events, but omits any proposal of a multihull event.

    Multihull sailing belongs in the Olympics just as much as dinghy and keelboat sailing. It requires unique skills, just as dinghy and keelboat sailing differ from each other. It's every bit as athletic an endeavor as dinghy sailing and moreso than keelboats. I haven't researched the numbers, but I would be willing to bet there are more sailors in the US sailing small multihulls than there are sailing small keelboats, so it's not a matter of a lack of popularity of multihulls. There's no rational justification for including six dinghy classes and not one mulithull class.

    I urge all multihull supporters to go to the site and use their online tool to send an objection to this move.
  2. tspeer
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: Port Gamble, Washington, USA

    tspeer Senior Member

    Here is a recent re-post from the catsailor website from the
    International Tornado Association President, Mike Grandfield:


    FYI below from Mike Grandfield. Please visit the site.


    Hi All,

    The issues are quite stark.

    US SAILING has put forward a slate of 6 dinghy events, 2 keelboat
    events, and no multihull events
    * 1 of the dinghy events does not yet exist
    * 1 of the dinghy events has yet to produce an Olympic medal for the USA.
    * 1 of the keelboat events has yet to produce an Olympic medal for the USA.
    * The multihull event has produced Olympic medals for the USA in 4 of the 7 Olympic Regattas attended by the US Team.
    How could anyone feel that US SAILING has been fair, or rational, or impartial?

    The submission also states: "This slate of Events is representative of the sport as it is practiced around the World. As a result, it is likely that this slate will increase the number of countries competing in the Olympic Regatta."
    These statements are not true:
    * Approximately 25% of the racing in the world is done in multihulls. A slate that reduces multihulls to zero is not `representative'.
    * The slate will do nothing to increase the number of countries at the Olympic Regatta. The data has been clear for years:
    Increases in the number of countries at the Olympic Regatta result only when there are increases in the size of the single-handed fleets

    At Athens, sailing failed to meet the IOC country target so the size single handed events will be increased at the expense of the multi-handed events - which will get fewer entries. For comparison, here is what happens if more countries are allowed into the double or triple handed events:
    1. Say that the 5 current double-handed boats each had 35 entries,
    2. That would take 350 of the 380 athletes for only 5 medals... and fall more than 20 countries short of the IOC target of 67 countries.
    3. The other 5 events could then have 6 sailors each...

    The US SAILING submission fails to give multihull sailors any representation; it fails to tell the truth; it fails to demonstrate that US SAILING understands how fleet sizes and competitive opportunity in the various Olympic events will be managed. However, despite its failings it will succeed at hurting multihull sailing. And, it will be joined by no-multihull submissions form other countries (Canada, Denmark, and perhaps others).

    If you are fouled in a race, you should be able to expect the other guy to acknowledge the foul and take a penalty or withdraw, If not, you can and should protest. If you are not willing to defend your rights, and keep the sport clean, then don't be surprised when your rights are abused - or when you discover that you don't have them anymore.

    The US SAILING Board did not have the right to discard the multihull event from the slate of Olympic Events. Many of us asked the Board to acknowledge the foul, but instead they have suggested that we support them for having discarded us. If you won't defend the right to have a multihull event at the Olympic regatta, then what would you defend?

    It is not `going too far' to protest the actions of the Board; in fact it looks like multihull sailors have already lost some very basic rights. And unless we enjoy being abused, we should perhaps be more concerned that a protest could be too little, too late.

    Here is a link to the website where you can read the submission, read the complaint, and defend what rights you have left by calling on US SAILING to be accountable.


    Mike Grandfield
  3. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    As I understand it, only one sailing discipline has to be dropped for 2012. The US has suggested that their priority has been to see parity and symmetry between men's and women's events.

    So they haven't suggested 6 dinghy and 2 keel boats, they have suggested, one single handed boat, one dinghy, one skiff and a keel boat each for both men and women.

    They said this would be their priority to make the system fair and equitable in the majority of the classes, but accept there is going to have to be a 'bun fight' between the windsurfers and multihulls for the last few places. The men's events will also have to decide between Star and Soling, etc.

    But at least it establishes a degree of principle and fairness for the majority of the classes, but the reality of the limit in number of classes imposed by the IOC is that the same fairness cannot mathematically extend to every sailing discipline. But at least their suggestion is logical and transparent, and they have raised their suggestion above the petty self interest that has characterised these class debates since year zero. The reality is that few other countries will show this degree of open mindedness and the end result of all the horse trading will be 6 men's single handed events, and 4 keel boat classes that no one sails or has even heard of.
  4. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    "I would be willing to bet there are more sailors in the US sailing small multihulls than there are sailing small keelboats"

    Sorry Tom, but not at national level according to a survey of OD nationals on SA. Only two of the 28 most popular nationals were cats, and they totalled 100 boats out of the 1400 boats in total. This list ignores the massive Junior fleets like Optis. Add the national-level offshore racers and the cat fleets look even smaller than the 7% they make up at adult's national titles.

    The J/24 is a small keelboat, and its national association has 1500 members compared tot he 1010 of the Hobies (all Hobies put together, I think). Optis, Lightnings and Lasers are 2.5 to 3 times more popular than the Hobie class, in terms of association membership.

    Same in the UK. Only about 8% (about 400) of the 5,200 boats that did national titles were multis (according to Yachts and Yachting). Add in the many hundreds of offshore-style boats (1700 did the Round the Island race, about 600-700 did Cowes Week) and the windsurfers (about 560 boards did their national titles) and it's obvious that multi racing, while fabulous, is a minority interest - maybe 5% at national level????

    In Australia the H16 is about 5th most popular class (in terms of nationals attendance) but cats are a small minority. Out of about 1820 small boats that did class nationals in '01-02 (as far as I could find out from mag and net reports) only 188 were cats. I have missed some classes but that figure of cats making up 10% of national fleets would drop dramatically if we included the numbers of big boats doing national events like the Sydney-Hobart. The number of crew on the Hobart maxis alone is about equal to the number of sailors in half of the cat nationals! All the cats at nationals put together could amass only 70% of the nationals Laser fleet.

    This is assuming that national title attendance is an indication of total fleets, but it's probably reasonably reliable and if anything, favours easily-transportable small boats. This is, of course, ignoring the huge twilight and club racing fleets of yachts, and the fact that most yachts probably have 6 crew to the 1 or 2 of cats.

    I'm certainly not anti-Tornado (I'm leaning on my cat-sailing partner to move from F16 to Tornado) or anti-cat and I don;t want them out of the Games, but the cats do seem to be a minority interest.

    By the way, if US Sailing is fighting for gender equity why don't they support the boards, which have a high % of women at elite level?
  5. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Multihulls /Olympics

    What a disgrace! I agree 100% with Tom Speer; this is shortsighted to say the least and just shows how out of touch US SAILING is with the boats people actually sail.
    Is the intent to also drop windsurfing? I guess with brilliant ********* like this running things the chance of a new foiler class is pretty much out of the question...
    In my area of Florida the boats actually out sailing every weekend are windsurfers ,cats an kiteboards-in multiple locations....
    I urge everyone that loves sailing multihulls, windsurfers or foilers to go to the site in Toms post and submit a complaint to US SAILING; it only takes a few seconds...To disenfranchise a major area of sailing in the US is outrageous-there are HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BEACHCATS SAILING IN THE US and association membership or numbers at nationals is not reflective of the tremendous participation in sailing these boats. For those sailors who make the transition from blasting around on weekends to competition there should be an Olympic Class-it is UNTHINKABLE to deny such a large group of sailors this opportunity!

  6. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    yipster designer

    shame and has my complaint
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