Hey guys and girls,
Some of you know me, some of you don't, but i think that what everyone is saying here could be incorporated into an olympic class. Although there are optimal boats, weights, sail configurations, and foils for varying conditions, kiting can be simple enough to include some box rules, but it would be unfair to competitors to limit them to kite size. The sailing rules were created to make it as fair as possible for all competitors, so this could work. At the last Games in China, the US Toronado team built a specific 4-7 knot sail that was within class rules, but the racing conditions were out of the range. The same happened with crew weight, sailors became unhealthy light for the light wind conditions, and at least in the 49er it came down to a medal race in 25+ knots. Specialization is not always the best intention.
I think kite-racing could and should be included in the olympics, we are the most visible sport in the world and we have objective rules (no ice dancing dramas!), but we need to get more than just 50 people at the World Championships. This seems to be an issue for the International Moth Class as well. Though I am not on any committee, it seems that the laser and radial are still in it because of how simple a craft they are, they are slow and painful and a waste of energy in my opinion, but there are intense qualifiers to go to the Laser/Radial Worlds. We just don't have those kind of numbers yet. If we did, think of how many more people would be on this forum.
The North Americans in PV and the Worlds in Texas were my first real two kiting events with real race equipment. After growing up on 10 years of sailing regattas and surf contests. I love the vibe on the beach because even if there is no wind, you (and all the spectators) are still on the beach! (no more boat parks for me) As much as I wish we could sail in under 7 knots, our kites need to improve in the flying and relaunching areas for the average racer to compete in under 10 knots.
I felt both of these events were run as best they could have been, the race committee at each event did as best they could with the conditions, and that for future reference yes there should be more rescue boats for large numbers of competitors. Especially if there are hazards in the water like currents, dams, or sharks.
A few other changes I would have liked to see with these races would be to drop the starting line further to leeward to extend the first beat allowing more opportunities and equal spacing, having a full beat rather than a 1/2. Also a leeward gate rather than a single leeward mark allows for more opportunities as well as challenges to stay ahead. I also really liked the double lap courses because it also allowed for the full windward beat where everyone has some room to breath and rip. At least in my opinion, by initiating these changes on the race course, it is more even compared to it being motorcycle hole shot that determines the race. Just my thoughts.
Hopefully we can get more kiters involved in racing, whether it be on twintips, surfboards, race boards, or boats. I had a great time at these events and can't wait to get up to SF for the next Cab race, i think any kiter with an open mind who participates in the races would be stoked on it, so go out there and give a non-racer a board and invite them out for an afternoon or weekend of racing. 50 kites for an event is nothing, we need to triple it!
A fellow skiff sailor and kiter friend of mine from Canada was talking to me about having kite racing involved with the Canadian Olympic Regatta Kingston also known as the CORK OCR. I have sailed there a bunch and know it can produce some awesome sailing conditions, so maybe we should keep that in mind as a fleet for potential large regattas. Maybe even this summer??
What's the plan here fleet? Count me in, ill bring a few more friends too.