New Pathway to Olympic Podium
Published on April 18th, 2016
In the current landscape, there is no bigger event for a teen sailor than the annual Youth Sailing World Championships, with 425 sailors from 76 nations competing in the 2015 edition. The 45th edition was once again a proving ground for any young sailor with Olympic aspirations.
However, the path toward the Olympic Games may be seeing a shift with sailing again included in third edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), to be held in 2018. With the charisma of an event organized by the International Olympic Committee, we could be seeing a new pathway to the Olympic podium
As the sailing events in the Olympic Games gradually evolve toward high performance, athletic boats, the Youth Olympic Games are already there, with the 2018 Buenos Aires YOG to be sailed in the Boys and Girls Windsurfer (Techno 293+), Boys and Girls Kiteboarding (IKA Twin Tip Racing), and Mixed Multihull (Nacra 15).
All five YOG events are expected to see new formats of racing introduced and these are to be finalised by World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee by July 2016.
Buenos Aires, the Argentinean capital, will host the third edition of YOG from October 1-12 2018 and exactly 100 sailors aged 15-18 will sail across the five events on Rio de la Plata. Additional details here.
To get to YOG is an achievement in itself as sailors have to earn the right and qualify their country at key international regattas. The qualification system for Buenos Aires 2018 will be confirmed by July 2016 but the window for securing a spot will be between April 2017 and July 2018.
Singapore and Nanjing were the YOG hosts in 2010 and 2014.
The Youth Olympic Games brings 28 sports together in a unique multi-sport event for young athletes who are given a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in high-level sporting competitions while also engaging in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on the Olympic spirit and Olympic values, skill development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
At the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, Singapore 2010, Ian Barrows (ISV) and Lara Vadlau (AUT) won gold on the Boys and Girls One Person Dinghy, Byte CII, whilst Mayan Rafic (ISR) and Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) took the honours in the Boys and Girls Windsurfer, Techno 293.
Nanjing, China hosted the second edition of the Youth Olympic Games in 2014. Singaporean sailors Bernie Chin and Samantha Yom made it double gold for their nation in the Byte CII. Argentina’s Francisco Saubidet Birkner and China’s Linli Wu took the honours in the Techno 293.
Buenos Aires will welcome sailors across five events in 2018. The Boys and Girls Techno293+ fleets will feature 24 athletes each, the Kiteboarding events will welcome 12 in each fleet and the Nacra 15 will see 14 boats and 28 athletes on the startline.