Windsurf-kiteboard row overshadows Skandia Sail opening

 

Any lack of wind and racing on the opening of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta, the last chance to tune up before the Olympic rings move in next month, was more than made up by the rumour mill about machinations within the International Sailing Federation to overturn a decision made last month to throw out the windsurfers and replace them with kiteboards in Brazil in 2016.

The decision came as a shock to the windsurfers, to the watching sail racing community, and even to some of those who voted 19-17 to make the switch. Now there is a move to raise the matter at ISAF’s annual general meeting in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, in November, where support by 75 per cent. of the council is needed for a formal review.

None of the leading presidential candidates, who would be left to implement the decision on the departure of outgoing president Göran Petersson, has publicly backed the decision to change. It is believed that considerable progress has already been made in mustering the 75 per cent.

With all the members of the British Olympic sailing team already selected, there is little to lose in the Sail for Gold regatta starting at the Games venue off the Portland end of Weymouth, though bruised pride could be painful if any of them are beaten by their British rivals.

That includes Ben Ainslie, with so much expectation of a fourth consecutive gold medal riding on him, especially after so recently winning the world championship in the Finn singlehander in Falmouth. There is no point in asking Ainslie if he wants to win or if the regatta is important. Ainslie wants to win everything; probably Sir Ben long before then, he will be giving advice to the hearse driver on how to beat everyone else to his own funeral.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is already a much-used facility and, if anything, hoards of sailors descending from all parts of the globe are little more than a nuisance to those regular users of a venue.

Hundreds of school-aged children passing through every week to learn sailing, kayaking, dragon boat racing, and raft-building will lose the facility for the whole of their school holidays to make way for the Olympics and Paralympics. All their kit and containers will have to be removed off site.

As Olympic dress rehearsals go, Sail for Gold it is not very Olympic. Competitors can be sponsored by whomever they like. The boat park is shared amicably by all, and there is no need for heavy handed security or intrusive exclusion zones. The 1061 athletes from 62 countries, it seems, are happy to take part in a sports event without the protection of ground to air missiles.

Come the Games and the security presence will be overpowering and the security budget eye-watering, and that for just 380 competitors.

The long arm of the IOC was not missed on Monday. What was missing, even when a second waive went out late afternoon, was a decent racing breeze.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world