Windsurfing to stay in Rio 2016 Olympics after kiteboarding decision overturned
Sunday, 11 November 2012
November 11 - Windsurfing will remain in the Olympic Games at Rio 2016 after the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) reversed a controversial decision to replace it with kiteboarding.
Both men's and women's windsurfing will be retained after a vote at the governing body's annual meeting in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
The reversal comes after a surprise decision at the Mid Year Meeting of the ISAF Council in Stresa, Italy, in May to drop windsurfing for kite boarding following London 2012.
Delegates later blamed the move on confusion due to language difficulties and had been lobbying to get the decision overturned.
Spain was among the countries that admitted that their delegate had voted incorrectly because they were confused by the translation at the time.
The ISAF at the time described the move as a "fantastic addition," but windsurfing federations vowed to pressurise sailing chiefs to reinstate their sport.
A majority vote of 51 to 40 decided to delete kiteboarding and re-instate windsurfing, which has been in the Olympics since Los Angeles in 1984 for the men and 1992 in Barcelona in 1992.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in Britain has been among those campaigning for windsurfing and its performance director, John Derbyshire, said: "This is what the membership of the RYA asked for.
"We have a very strong youth pathway and some 10,000 windsurfing members of the RYA, so on their behalf we are delighted with the decision.
"We obviously have great compassion towards the kiteboarding community, with whom we have been working very closely, and I am sure that they will continue to work very closely with both the RYA and ISAF families with a view to gaining inclusion for the discipline in future Olympic Games.
"We can now look forward to preparing for Rio 2016 with the clarity that this decision brings."
August 2012: Van Rijsselberge and Dempsey claim last ever Olympic RS:X windsurfing medals at London 2012
May 2012: Kiteboarding decision criticised but Sir Richard Branson backs it
May 2012: Kiteboarding to replace windsurfing at Rio 2016 Olympics