Ian Walker: The changing slate of Olympic events
The proposed Sailing program for the Paris 2024 Olympics reflects significant change for the sport. But with change comes heartache, as with a limit of ten medal competitions, new events must replace old. Whereas the inclusion of Kiteboarding was seen as an eventuality, the Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore has stirred the seas.
The decision to include the keelboat event followed an effort to seek gender balance among the athletes while retaining the Finn Class, which is seen as the last event that connects the past with the present. The creation of the Mixed One Person Dinghy event in May 2018 was the solution, which envisioned a team of two people sailing a single-handed dinghy.
However, what failed to gain traction was a vision of how to execute the event. As a result, when World Sailing met in November at their 2018 Annual Conference, the mixed dinghy event was replaced with the mixed keelboat event.
In an interview with Justin Chisholm on yachtracing.life, Ian Walker, a two-time Olympic medallist and now the Director of Racing at Britain’s Royal Yachting Association, shares his views on the potential introduction of a mixed gender offshore class for Paris 2024.
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