Kiteboarding Confirmed for Paris 2024
Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding confirmed for Paris 2024 World Sailing have been informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the IOC Executive Board have approved Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.
The Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding Events will replace the Mixed Kiteboarding and Mixed Offshore Events that were democratically selected by World Sailing’s members and remained World Sailing’s first-choice events for Paris 2024.
Harry Hermon, Irish Sailing Chief Executive, commented “I am very conscious of the time and effort a number of Irish offshore sailors have committed to campaigning for the Paris Olympics, and it is very unfortunate that despite our best efforts, we were unable to convince the IOC to stage the Mixed Offshore event for the Paris Olympics.”
We caught up with Pamela Lee, Offshore Sailor and a skipper, alongside Kennth Rumball in the RLSailing Team, she shared "It is disappointing news, but not a surprise. Having Mixed Offshore Racing in the Olympics would have been a great platform to provide a visual storyline to a broad audience. Short-handed double-handed offshore sailing offers a great opportunity for females to have leading roles within our sport." Pamela is currently in France preparing for a continued campaign of offshore single handed and double handed sailing events, so the competition and drive continues.
In December 2020, the IOC advised World Sailing that a further review into the Mixed Offshore event would be undertaken to properly assess key considerations.
Further updates from the IOC in April 2021 specified that the proposal continued to be reviewed, consistent with the approach taken for other sports, and highlighted challenges for the Mixed Offshore Event existing in the areas of Field of Play security, scope and complexity, broadcast cost and complexity, and World Sailing not having the opportunity to deliver an Offshore World Championship.
Whilst the final IOC assessment of the Mixed Offshore Event continued, World Sailing was requested to put forward alternative event proposals for sailing’s 10th medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
World Sailing's Council approved the Men's and Women's Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) and Men's and Women's Two Person Dinghy (470) as the first and second alternative event proposals following their meeting at the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting. The decision was taken at the meeting of the IOC Executive Board today, Thursday 10 June 2021 in Lausanne, Switzerland following a recommendation from the IOC Programme Commission.
David Graham, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The World Sailing community selected the Mixed Offshore Event and our slate of events gave a true representation of the depth and breadth of our sport.
Throughout this process, the Mixed Offshore Event remained our first choice event, with the entire offshore community putting considerable time and effort into the discipline. Today’s news will be upsetting for the thriving offshore community, but we will continue to ensure the growth and long-term sustainability of offshore sailing.
The IOC provided us with clear guidance and their decision-making is consistent with other sports and events. The World Sailing community acted at pace to propose alternative events and we are delighted the IOC have followed our guidance and selected our first alternative proposal of Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding.
Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding will bring huge opportunities in terms of universality, developing women’s sailing and the media appeal of these exciting events. We now look forward to supporting our athletes on the journey to the Paris 2024 and showcasing the sport on the beautiful Marseillaise waters in the south of France.”
President Quanhai Li said, “The World Sailing community had limited time to decide on the alternative event for the IOC’s consideration. I would like to thank our Council, Member National Authorities, my Board of Directors and management for their big efforts to ensure we had a democratically decided alternative event within a short time frame. I also thank the IOC for their support within the process.”