Will Sailing’s Olympic divide get ever wider?

Published on March 30th, 2024

by WM Nixon, Afloat Magazine
Olympians are different from you and me. In the final analysis, that’s what being Olympian is all about. For whether we like it or not, the vivid clarity of an Olympic medal is one of the few ways that sailing can gain a place center stage in any national attention. Even then, it’s a place in the spotlight that’s held only briefly. Yet while some nations’ need for having sailing in the public eye is even more dependent on the Olympics than that of many others, the fact is that, in their shared search for universal publicity and worldwide acceptance, sailing generally is much more dependent on the Olympics than the Olympics are on sailing.

Thus in creating “Olympic-friendly” classes, we find ourselves on a course that leads to facing the reality that – except for the outstanding exception of the ILCA/Lasers – being involved with the Olympics is not good for a boat class. Since being ejected from the Olympic lineup, both the International Dragon and more recently the Olympic Finn have been thriving, each in their own merry way. By contrast, the Olympics-aimed Nacra 17 catamaran – while a very commendable ideal – falls somewhat short of being a sailing household name, and is not a feature of the average or even elite sailing club dinghy park. – Full report

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program*:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7 (41)
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6 (41)
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470 (19)
Men’s Skiff – 49er (20)
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX (20)
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17 (19)
* Quota per event in parenthesis but does not include Universality Places (2 men, 2 women)

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 28-August 9

• Paris website: https://www.paris2024.org/en/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/
• World Sailing microsite: https://paris2024.sailing.org/

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