Paris 2024: What’s it all mean?

Published on May 2nd, 2021

World Sailing had the daunting task to create a sailing program for Paris 2024 Olympics that met new criteria from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the volunteer committees had to make changes to the current events. There was no choice, and it was going to hurt.

When a Mixed One Person Dinghy event was advanced as one of the ten events, this was conceived as a means to keep the Finn in the Olympics. However, it was that perfect solution nobody could describe.

Yes, it fulfilled gender balance, but that was about it. Two people, one boat? With this issue percolating, an alternative was confirmed… the Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore event.

While this idea had holes to fill, people could see it, but with loads of logistics to sort out, there was a lot of work to do. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, eliminating opportunity to test and showcase the concept of an overnight distance race in the Olympics.

With the IOC having approved nine of the ten events, but now teetering on the offshore idea, World Sailing has navigated their book of rules to propose three alternatives to preserve the tenth medal at the 2024 Olympics. They are:
• Individual Men’s and Women’s Kiteboard Events
Currently approved is a Mixed Kiteboard event, a new idea which had a team format with one man and one women. The concept has been proven, but this new proposal will remove the mixed event and in its place will be a separate men’s and women’s competition. Details.

• Individual Men’s and Women’s Two Person Dinghy Events
Currently approved is a Mixed Two Person Dinghy event which would have a man and woman sailing together in the 470 class boat. In previous Olympics there was a separate men’s and women’s competition in the 470, and this proposal would nix the mixed event in favor of the two separate events. Details.

• Mixed Team Racing Event
Team racing is well established in many forms, and this proposal has a 2-person nation team of one man and one women competing in a 2 on 2 team racing event using Laser Radials (aka ILCA 6). Details.
World Sailing will review these three options at their 2021 Mid-Year Meeting in May and select their two favorites, rank them in order, and have them ready if the IOC nukes the offshore event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program.

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