Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Can Sailing Remain in the Olympics without the Laser - ILCA

Eric Faust, ILCA Executive Secretary, on behalf of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), has stated that it is surprised and disappointed by the announcement 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.

This follows the announcement by World Sailing on 4 October 2018,  that their Board’s Re-evaluation Working Party has recommended to World Sailing’s Board of Directors that World Sailing should proceed to select new equipment.  As a concession to the the ILCA, they include the Laser to be  included in an evaluation process.

The next step is equipment trials (sea trials) and evaluation. The boats to be evaluated are:

• D-Zero, presented by Devotti Sailing s.r.o.
• Laser Standard and Laser Radial sailboat, presented by ILCA
• Melges 14, presented by Melges Boat Works Inc., NELO and Mackay Boats Ltd.
• RS Aero, presented by RS Sailing.

Following the trials and evaluation, a report will be made to World Sailing’s Equipment Committee who will then make a recommendation to Council on the final selection of the equipment.

Eric Faust goes on to makes an extraordinary and self-important claim. 

‘It is critical to our sport that the Laser and Laser Radial Classes are retained as the foundation of the Olympic sailing program.'

Considering the other pending changes in Olympic equipment on the World Sailing agenda, if the Laser and Laser Radial Classes are replaced, the obvious question is: Can our sport survive this level of upheaval and remain in the Olympics?

In advance of the upcoming World Sailing meeting, ILCA will be reaching out to our members, our district associations, and all the national sailing federations to help ensure that the correct decisions are made in the best interest of our sport.'


  1. Such arrogance! I met Eric a few years ago and he seemed like a nice enough fellow, but all this "can our sport survive this level of upheaval?" nonsense shows that after too many years in the Laser class he has lost all sense of reality.

    Reminds me of what one leading Sunfish sailor said a few years ago when some friends and I showed up with our RS Aeros at a local multi-class regatta for the first time - "This will be the end of sailing in New England!" What nonsense. 3 years later the RS Aero fleet AND the Sunfish fleet at the same regatta were even bigger.

    The introduction and growth of new classes may be threatening to the old guard but they are healthy for the sport - not some kind of Armageddon.

    1. Yes, this is a call to arms in plain sight by the ILCA, to block any decision to change irrespective of the results of the sea trials. Hopefully national sailing organisations will look to the future of sailing not the parochial interests of one group.

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