Considering the offshore Olympic event

Published on November 11th, 2018

Mike Golding gave a barn-burner of a presentation at the World Sailing Annual Conference. Heck, when they give you a microphone and 10 minutes in front of an international crowd… damn the torpedoes!

But Golding has the CV to back it up. Now 58 years, the Brit has gone around the world more times than he knows, set distance records, holds world championships and even finished the
2004 Vendée Globe despite losing his keel. Yea, he’s earned the stage.

This report included some of his points regarding shorthanded sailing, while his interview below with the Tip & Shaft newsletter delves into the issues of the new Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

What was your feeling about your first World Sailing conference?
The whole World Sailing set up seemed inordinately complicated with so many meetings and mixed agendas. I would say the offshore and oceanic forum was well attended with people like Dee (Caffari) there helped.

I took some risks. I stood in a room full of Olympians and told them the Olympics was the equivalent of go karting compared to Formula 1. That was a bit of a gamble.

But to some extent it was water off a duck’s back. Five seconds later they were arguing the toss about Olympic event minutiae. But in the context of offshore inclusion in the Olympics, it was part of a general impetus for a representation of offshore sailing in the Olympics.

So you are happy with the outcome?
Of course there are so many people complaining we have lost the Finn. But in the end that is one of ten medals. If it goes that far that there is offshore racing in the Olympics, it is one of ten medals. And at least it has been given a try.

And the other thing is because it will happen 24 hours a day, for the first time in Olympic history when all the sports stop at the end of the local daytime, then this will still be Olympic sport going on. You can have 24 hours of a day coverage going on outside of the arena.

My point is it is going on 24/7 all around the world. Sailing in the Olympics is definitely niche and definitely not the most popular and is a terrible sport for TV. Now it can occupy a different space which no other event can. And I think that will increase the profile tremendously.

Complete interview… click here.

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