As part of the process of finalising the equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, World Sailing is introducing new quality control processes for all Olympic Classes to ensure the technical integrity of the sport can be assured.
Based upon feedback from sailors, coaches and Member National Authorities (MNAs) it has become clear that one-design equipment is not always being delivered to an absolutely consistent standard, when one-design is meant to ensure that the equipment is identical.
Sailors are having to purchase and test multiple components to ensure that they are sailing what they believe to be the best performing boat. This leads to increased Olympic campaign costs for Olympic sailors.
MNAs first raised this at the 2016 Annual Conference and at subsequent meetings. As a result, World Sailing is committed to addressing this issue to reduce costs and to protect the integrity of the sport for all stakeholders.
The new Olympic equipment fee will fund an independent quality control process that will promote technological improvements and ensure the technical integrity of each class.
The new independent quality control processes will be funded through a fee of up to 1percent, levied on the manufacturers. The manufacturer’s fee for each class will only fund quality control processes for that particular class.
At the end of each year, the actual costs will be transparently reported back to the manufacturer and any surplus fee for that class will be refunded to the manufacturers.
The fee will then be reviewed on a class by class basis for subsequent years (again, up to a maximum level of 1 percent) to ensure that the right fee level is set going forward. The quality control checks for each Olympic class is different and it is expected that ultimately the fee will vary by class once the first year of inspections is complete.
New independent quality control process will include all main equipment items on the boat that need to be controlled – and not just hulls. The manufacturer’s fee is entirely different to the World Sailing plaque fees, which relate to all World Sailing classes and is approximately 0.2 percent of the retail price of the boat.
World Sailing’s plaque fees provide a plaque that is applied to the hull and does not serve to control quality. It is for this reason that this Olympic specific policy is within the Olympic Classes contract.
All Olympic classes have already signed a version of the Olympic Classes contract that includes the provision of the manufacturer’s fee. Contracts are being updated to include the Olympic equipment FRAND principles that have now become World Sailing policy.
The independent quality control is to ensure that sailors and MNA`s are getting what they are paying for. World Sailing is confident that these steps will further protect the integrity of the sport.