Harken Derm

Considering a fresh start for Paris 2024

Published on March 15th, 2019

When World Sailing approved in November 2017 a new procedures for re-evaluating the equipment used for Olympic Events, it commenced a re-evaluation of the equipment for the Men and Women’ One Person Dinghy events for the 2024 Olympic Games.

The review was to determine if the Laser Standard Rig and Laser Radial Rig, which have been the equipment used for these events since 1996 and 2008 respectively, should continue to be the equipment used for Paris 2024.

Four options had been selected for this review:

• D-Zero, presented by Devotti Sailing s.r.o.
• Laser Standard and Laser Radial sailboat, presented by ILCA.
• Melges 14, presented by Melges Boat Works Inc., NELO and Mackay Boats Ltd.
• RS Aero, presented by RS Sailing.

After Sea Trials were held March 11 to 15 in Valencia, Spain, the team at RS Sailing shared their sentiment regarding the process:


The Evaluation Team asked the manufacturers and Classes taking part not to release reports during the trials in order to avoid biased views influencing the panel. The RS Aero team complied with that request…

We also presented standard boats, as requested, which again sadly cannot be said of another manufacturer who seemed more focused on speed over compliance.

We were happy to put forward the RS Aero both for evaluation on the water and through presentations regarding:

• Universality – world spread and existing infrastructure in place to develop it quickly
• Advanced manufacturing processes and quality control systems – to ISO9001 and aerospace / automotive industry standards
• Equipment costs, competitive longevity and low true competition costs – and ongoing price control proposals

It is absolutely not for us to seek to predict the outcome of the evaluation which, we are sure, will be released through the proper channels in due course after proper analysis.

There is now a rare opportunity to move on from the current 50 year old design and technology and a commercial organization that appears locked in dispute, with sailors and event organizers often the victims.

The RS Aero offers the opportunity to make a positive difference with a cool new boat, evolution not revolution (because that’s what universality requires) and a great brand to support it all going forward.

So, perhaps most significantly, we’d like to believe we offered a Class and manufacturer, working together and dedicated to being great partners for sailors and World Sailing going forward. Dedicated to the goal of building the pathway and building sailing from youth to elite level. A fresh start in safe, enthusiastic hands.

We hope the decision makers will understand and grasp the opportunity, for the good of sailing.

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