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Does Sailing need to be a spectacle?

Published on June 8th, 2023

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
As Sailing evolves as an Olympic sport, it will continue to distance itself from recreational sailing. World Sailing will create Events for the Games, and Equipment will be specifically designed for the Event.

This has already occurred for 6 of the 10 events for Paris 2024, with only the ILCA 6 and 7 actively sailed on a recreational level.

Danish Olympic gold medalist Martin Kirketerp contends the need for sailing to be raced at high speed and be “as spectacular as possible” to ensure it keeps up with the modern sporting world.

“Times are changing for sailing with the modern world, and we have got to adapt to make it as spectacular as possible with high speeds, crashes, high intensity and make sure it is close to the cities.

“You can say what you want about race courses being 10 kilometers (6+ miles) out from the marinas, but money comes from branding, TV, and sponsorship.”

Yea, who needs fair racing at the Olympics for people who have invested their lives when the course can be viewed from land bleachers so a few krones can change hands. When will we accept the only way to spectate is in front of a television if the intent is to know what is occurring in the competition?

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26-August 11


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