Kitesurfing looks to blow windsurfing out of the Olympic water

 

The future of the ubiquitous windsurfer in the Olympic games sailing competitions will be decided at a vote in Italy on Saturday.

The bizarre threat to its Olympic existence comes from an even stranger consideration that it should be replaced by kitesurfing.

The sport’s world governing body, the International Sailing Federation, is holding a mid-term meeting at Strena, Lake Maggiore one of whose main purposes is to select the boats which will be used at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Among other things it will restore a multihull class, which was voted out for 2012 in Weymouth when a lot of international sailing focus was turning to multihulls.

Earlier this year it held trials for the multihull to be used – the British-designed Tornado is likely to be replaced by a 17-footer – and observation trials were also held for kitesurfing.

This involves a sailor on a small board using a large kite high in the air to scud across the water, often a great speed. Most kitesurfers take up the game for a recreational thrill. There is only a small, fully developed, worldwide racing programme.

Consideration was also given to trying to run both disciplines, but sailing is allowed only 10 medal events. That would mean aggregating the results of both the men’s and women’s divisions in both events and declaring a first second and third national team in both. That approach had little traction going into discussion on Thursday and Friday and then a vote by the ISAF council on Saturday.

More likely is that kitesurfing is assimilated into Olympic classes regattas over the next four years and considered again in 2016 for the 2020 games, assuming sailing is still included in the 2020 games.

The equipment used in windsurfing, which has been an Olympic discipline since 1984, is the RSX board and its international class secretary, Rory Ramsden, said: “This is beyond belief. I’m amazed they are even talking about it.”

At the front of the sixth leg of the Volvo round the world race there is a battle royal as Kenny Read hangs on to a slender lead from one Spanish rival, the Team New Zealand-managed Camper, and sees another, Telefonica, in hot pursuit.

Behind them, the Ian Walker-skippered Abu Dhabi and France’s Groupama are in close combat for fourth and fifth.

News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat