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Olympic Classes take the spotlight on Day 3 of Annual Conference

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Olympic Classes take the spotlight on Day 3 of Annual Conference
Olympic Classes take the spotlight on Day 3 of Annual Conference

The Olympic Classes Sub-committee took centre stage on the third day of World Sailing's 2020 Annual Conference.
Starting at 17:00 UTC, the virtual meeting took place on videoconferencing programme BlueJeans and was streamed live to World Sailing's YouTube channel, with Corinne McKenzie Chairing the Sub-committee, and Alastair Fox, Director of Events at World Sailing, taking on the role of Committee Manager.

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All 10 current Olympic classes were represented, as well as well as a representative from the IKA Formula Kite Class, which will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time at Paris 2024.

Updates were provided on Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and The Hague Sailing World Championships.

Plans for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are very much on track for 2021. COVID-19 countermeasures are being developed by the organisers, and although these have not yet been confirmed, it is likely that aspects like the spectator experience, guest hospitality and venue branding will be different to what was initially planned. However, operations on the Field of Play and the athlete experience remain unchanged.

Most athlete places for sailors at Tokyo 2020 are already allocated, with further qualification events this year and next year planned to determine the rest. It was reiterated that these events must be fair with regards to travel restrictions and accessibility for all nations.

The Committee also received a brief update on Paris 2024 and noted that the organisation is running smoothly. Reports were also received from Gary Bodie, Chair of the Events Committee Quotas & Qualification Working Party and from Stefan Rahm, Chair of the Events Committee Format Working Party.

It was announced recently that the next Sailing World Championships, set to take place in The Hague, in the Netherlands, have been rearranged from 2022 to 2023, to allow athletes more time to prepare for the next Games following the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

With that rescheduling confirmed, further meetings are planned with the Organising Committee for December this year to discuss a number of topics, including the competition schedule, formats and quotas. It will also be decided when sailors can head to The Hague to train and familiarise themselves with the venue.

Rankings, equipment, class rules and race officials were also discussed.

Sofia Tedin, Chair of the Events Committee Rankings Working Party, confirmed that unfortunately there have been no new updated rankings since the COVID-19 pandemic, but the system is being updated to make the process more efficient.

The OCSC talked about remote judging which was utilised at the recent 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 European Championships. There, a senior International Judge was on call overseas and supported local judges on the ground. The Sub-committee discussed the benefits of remote judging and how it can be best applied moving forward.

Elsewhere, Markus Schwendtner (IKA Formula Kite) was nominated as the Olympic Classes representative on the Events Committee, taking over from Ben Remocker (49er & 49erFX) for the 2021-2024 quadrennial.

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