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Offshore event should be in Paris 2024

Published on April 21st, 2021

As the International Olympic Committee ponders the inclusion of the new Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore event for the Paris 2024 Olympics, and World Sailing scrambles to assemble a solid Plan B to submit by May 26, sailors are becalmed amid uncertainty.

Among the stranded is British double gold medalist Shirley Robertson who has been pursuing this event, and shares her view in this excerpt from Yachting World:

“The Vendée Globe, the Route du Rhum – I’ve been to many French offshore race starts, and they are without a doubt the most supported sports events I have ever been to,” Robertson explains.

“It’s no coincidence that the offshore discipline was proposed for the Paris Games, the sport is massive in France, and the interest it would create within the public and the media would be huge. So as far as Paris 2024 goes, it’s a complete no brainer – it would be amazing.

“Moving forward, I can’t think of a recent Games where an offshore coastal race would not have been an exciting addition, and looking at 2028, I’m sure the same could be achieved in LA.

“But more than that, double-handed offshore at the Olympics would represent a vast sector of the sport of sailing, and would pique the curiosity of a significant sector of participant that has no interest in dinghy racing.

“Most importantly, to me, it would create a different pathway into long-term inclusion and commitment in the sport.

“I’m very keen to hear any opinion explaining why its inclusion would be detrimental to the holistic health of sailing, but I’m afraid, so far, no one has stepped forward with a viable argument.” – Full report

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