470 IN 2024 - MIXED SAILING
MIXED 470 IS A COMPROMISE ...
- Compromise - Two-person, single-trapeze dinghy “mixed” sailing is a compromise, unproven at Olympic level and the risks of forced inclusion may generate long term negative consequences for the sport
- Inequality - mixed two-person dinghy sailing is not an established event around the world for a number of reasons, and is discriminatory on cultural, social and religious grounds in some nations
- Inflexible - male/female physiques/weight will lead to a predominance of fixed helm/crew roles and reduce even further the number of participating nations
- Expense – more complicated campaign logistics and increased costs: need for separate accommodation etc.
- Impact - negative influence on “pathway” classes with very high risk of youth participation fall-out.
- Fact - at the moment there are more men participating in sailing, and for that reason changing a current “gender separate” event to “mixed” is most likely to mean fewer nations participating
- Consequence - the 470 is currently the two-person dinghy classes’ leader in nations spread around the world by a big margin. This will drop dramatically, when certain nations realize that they cannot create mixed teams for social, religious and cultural reasons or simply because they cannot find crews with the new optimal body physiques.
- There are many countries with men teams, but not enough women to make equal numbers of mixed teams, or no women at all. These nations will have to stop two-person dinghy sailing with Olympic aspirations. Ultimately their NOC funding will also drop, further limiting the nation’s sailing development activities
- Mixed Sailing - works better in new events with less legacy and Olympic participation. It is easier to introduce a mixed concept, such as with the Nacra17 in Rio 2016, as new events do not have the heritage or established worldwide fleets of the legacy events or developed Class and MNA programmes
- Balance - boats where the helm/crew are all trapezing or hiking, so providing about the same amount of righting moment, are better suited to mixed events as shown with the Nacra17 or Lightning
- Representation - selecting the majority of events to the Olympic Sailing programme as “one-person” events is not necessarily the optimum solution, as one-person sailing is not the world’s predominant sailing style
- Choices - if the 470 is changed into mixed or removed altogether, an ongoing Olympic campaign will be terminated in some countries
- Gender - people like sailing together in the same gender. What will the impact be on the sport, not just for 2024, but more critically for the long term future and crucially for the pathway classes?
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