ISAF committee meeting – kiteboardings future still hangs in the balance
One thing I know to be true.. Kiteboarding requires someone with vision, with imagination to try it, to become a rider, or support it's development. If your the kind of person that gets hung up on details then your in the wrong place, because its difficult to understand, it rewrites the rules of speed and maneuverability, and employs new methodologies, it's something you have to feel rather than understand... Much like Foiling Moths or AC72, they require a leap of faith.
Olympic dreams are still alive for kiteboarders around the globe but as we wait for ISAF to cast the final dice on Saturday.
In Dublin, this is where we are.....
Box rule most likely in, one design out - excellent as it allows a greater weight range in the class.
Trainers & coaches don't have to come from existing pool of MNA sail staff - good decision to aid quick development of fleets.
An excellent introduction to kiting book released by ISAF - nice job
Now the big news -
Events committee voted that ISAF council reconsider they're decision to allowing kiting in the Olympics and reinstate windsurfing by passing submission 55-12
Why did it happen? Some elected ISAF members simply do not get kiting, it scares the hell out of them. Others are absolutely pro windsurfing and you can't blame them for that, they each have a national programme in place, money invested, local parents and sailors who have their email and even home addresses. It's easier to continue on the windsuring path, as change requires them to stand out on a limb, stick they're heads up and suffer the likely backlash. In this debate tempers are running hot and RYA's legal salvo across ISAF's bow illustrates that all too well.
But what does this mean? All is not lost, far from it... Last time we where here the council ignored the events committee, just as the events committee ignored the Kite & Wind Evaluation Coommittee earlier today, Its realistic to think it could happen again. So till Saturday we wait.
I certainly hope the council have the courage to call this once and for all when its discussed at Assembly. Then all us sailors in each of our camps can plan lives, campaigns and get back to the business of racing and training and training and racing. My fear (and that of many at the conference) is that the council defer for yet more evaluation.
I'll be the first to admit that kiting is the harder option for ISAF, and if they wait 4 years it might be easier, but the same is true of waiting 8 or 12 years. It all comes down to how progressive ISAF are willing to be :
- If they recognize that windsurfing's RS:X course racing discipline is waining and outside of the Olympic pathway it does not appeal to windsurfers. While kiting has all that passion (and stress (and media attention)) associated with bleeding edge growing pains and youthful vitality. Then vote for kites.
- On the other hand, if your afraid of the windsurf Mom's, the heat and wrath of your established community and change in general then windsurfing is your obvious choice!
ISAF... I urge you cease the day!
News Update: Friday 9th November
Today, couldn't have gone better. The ISAF council required a 75% majority to re-open the discussion on kbr vs rs:x. With votes falling 26 to 12... kbr is in the clear. Things are looking up... Its tantalizingly close... bring on General Assembly tomorrow afternoon for final votes.