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Olympic Event to Test New Race Format

Published on February 6th, 2017

The RS:X Class, introduced as the board event at the 2008 Olympic Games, will be testing a new regatta format in 2017. In this report, the class explains why and what they will be doing.

Following the 2016 World Sailing Annual Conference in Barcelona, where all ten Olympic events were confirmed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it was requested to all Olympic classes to review with proposals their racing format in order to have the regattas easier to understand for media and for spectators at the venue.

All Olympic classes started to work with their race formats and it was agreed that the 2017 year would be the best time to test and eventually to implement a new race format to be used at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

After extensive review and discussion of the different suggestions and in line with the directions of World Sailing and International Olympic Committee, the RS:X Class Executive Committee approved on January 24, 2017 the proposal for new race format. Here’s the plan:

• The Opening Series format will be used as currently, with no change. (Racing from Monday to Friday with maximum of 3 races per day irrespective of planing conditions)

• Where possible, the finishing line at least of the last race of each day should be as close to the shore as possible, to attract the spectators.

• On the Final racing day (Saturday), the top 12 sailors from the Opening Series from each discipline will be promoted to the Finals.

• Three Final elimination races will be sailed for each discipline with no carried over points (i.e. there will be no point scoring at the Final races – the first board across the finishing line is the winner, the second finisher will be 2nd, etc.)

• In the first Final race, the Quarter Final, the top 12 sailors will sail together, where first 6 finishers will be promoted to the second Final race (Semi Final) and last 6 finishers will get their final ranking based on their finishing order in the Quarter Final. The target time for the race is approximately 15-18 minutes.

• In the second Final race, the Semi Final, the top 6 competitors from the Quarter Final, will sail together and top 3 finishers will be promoted to the third Final race (Grand Final). The last 3 finishers will have their final ranking in order to how they finished the race. The target time for that race is approximately 10-12 minutes.

• The third Final race, the Grand Final, will be sailed with top 3 competitors from the Semi Final and the finishing order in Grand Final will determine their event rank. The first crossing the finishing line is the winner of the regatta. The target time for the race is approximately 8-10 minutes.

• Competitors not sailing in the Finals on the last day, will sail one Last Race, which is part of their Opening Series. The same principles the Class is using currently.


The new format will be tested at the 2017 RS:X European and Youth European Windsurfing Championships & Open Trophy to be held in Marseille (FR) on May 6-13, 2017. After the event, the corrections to the format may be applied.

As decided by the Class Executive Committee, the 2017 RS:X Europeans and Youth Europeans will be the test event to see how the PROPOSAL can work in practice. Further analysis and discussions will be held during that above event and the conclusion and changes, if needed, will be made after that event.

The RS:X Class Executive Committee formally thanks and appreciate the contribution and help from all involved in such important improvement process. Special thanks to Bruce Kendall and Aaron Mcintosh for their invaluable contribution and long hours they spent to improve our format.

The Class is looking forward to see all RS:X sailors competing at the 2017 Europeans and Youth Europeans (which is open entry to every sailor from any country or continent) in Marseille, France.

The Notice of Race and Online Entry are available on the event website:

Furthermore, the 48 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia regatta (24th March – 1st April) will probably use the new RS:X race format as well. It would be an excellent opportunity to test the new race format in Palma. Additional changes to the race format may also be used.

Event Website:

RS:X Class Website:

Source: RS:X class

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