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SBD Global/November 12, 2012/Olympics

Windsurfing To Make Olympics Return For 2016 Rio Games

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Windsurfing has "reclaimed its place in the Olympic program" after the Int'l Sailing Federation (ISAF) voted to reinstate it at the expense of kiteboarding, according to Stephen Wood of REUTERS. The ISAF decided to "retain men's and women's windsurfing" at the governing body's annual general meeting in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. The vote reversed the organization's "surprise move" in May to drop windsurfing in favor of kiteboarding at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Israel's sailing chief Yehuda Maayan said that, in voting for kiteboarding, delegates had "probably been confused or did not understand the motion because of language difficulties" (REUTERS, 11/10).

STRONG LOBBYING: In London, Simon Greaves wrote that the windsurfing industry had "lobbied hard to retain" its established discipline and was victorious when delegates decided to reintroduce RS:X windsurfing for the 2016 Games instead of allowing kiteboard racing to make its Games debut. Britain’s Royal Yachting Association Racing Manager and Performance Dir John Derbyshire said, "This is what the membership of the RYA asked for -- we have a very strong youth pathway and some 10,000 windsurfing members of the RYA, so on their behalf we are delighted with the decision" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/11). The PA opined it is "good news for British athletes," including the London 2012 Silver Medalist Nick Dempsey, Beijing 2008 Bronze Medalist Bryony Shaw and "highly rated teenager" Saskia Sills. All three are considered medal contenders for the Rio Games (PA, 11/10).
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