Nice compromise

Double Olympic medallist Ian Walker examines ISAF's revised Olympic racing format
After a year of quite extreme experimentation ISAF finally settled on a relatively conservative change to the Olympic racing format. It is to Goren Petersson’s credit that the President’s submission was accepted with relatively minor amendments. With only two nations opposing the submission, ISAF have hopefully done enough to show that sailing is prepared to modernise and adapt to the demands of the media while fundamentally not changing the game too much. The key elements of the submission are: Format - An 11 race series (a 16 race series for the 49er). - Last day medal race for the top 10. - All boats advancing will be required to compete in the Medal Race. - On the water umpiring will be used in the Medal Race. Scoring System - Competitors will carry their series score through to the Medal Race. - Medal Race points will be doubled and added to the series score. - If the Medal Race is not completed, medals will be awarded based on the series score for all the prior races (in the normal way). This is the same format that the RYA have used for their 49er RYA Gold Series for the last 4 years. The key advantages are: - It forces the medal winners to sail the last race (theoretically you could have secured Gold by being 20 points ahead but this was not the case in any class in Athens). - Because they cannot discard the last race themselves it makes it less likely that someone will sail another boat out of the last race (a la Ainslie in Sydney). Note that this could well happen in race 10 now! - The last race will have more of an effect on the medals-maintaining interest, but not so much that a very sketchy race will skew the results. - The