Sailing is fighting to stay afloat in the Olympics Games

The International Laser Class Association released a statement on the World Sailing Board’s recommendation to cut some sailing events in the 2024 Olympics.

WORLDWIDE — Competitive sailing has long been enjoyed by sailors the world over, but in discouraging news the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) reported surprising findings about the state of sailing as a sport.

In a press release issued on Oct. 3, ILCA stated: “The International Laser Class Association is surprised and disappointed by the announcement today that the World Sailing Board has recommended to select new equipment to replace the Laser and Laser Radial Classes for the one-person dinghy events in the 2024 Olympic Games.”

The hearing to determine whether the recommendation will be approved or rejected will take place at the Annual World Sailing Conference in Sarasota, Florida from Oct. 27 through Nov. 4.

The World Sailing Association, since 2017, has been re-evaluating the equipment used for the Olympics. Universality is a key component for how the International Olympic Committee appraises each competing event.

ILCA argued that the affects of passing the replacement of the Laser and Laser Radial classes could be dire to the future of sailing in the Olympics as a whole. The association, accordingly, presented data showing a healthy percentage of the world still competes in the Laser Class race. ILCA appeared confident in confirming Laser equipment for the upcoming Olympics since it is still used by a majority of sailors.

Data pulled by ILCA showed 85 of 94 countries still participate in the Laser Class during the Olympics. Only 29 countries participate in the 49er FX and women’s sailing also appears to be down with the RS:X Women’s category having only 37 countries and 470 Women’s with 33.

As further support for the state of competitive sailing, ILCA stated: “ILCA is committed to supporting World Sailing to ensure that sailing remains an Olympic sport, and we will continue to comply with all the requirements of the reevaluation process in order to assure that the Laser and Laser Radial Classes remain part of the Olympic program.”

Photo:  ILCA Facebook

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