Tornado Sport voted in as new Olympic catamaran

49er in danger of being dropped in favour of extra keelboat class

Tuesday November 7th 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
The Tornado Sport replaces the Tornado as the new Olympic catamaran following a vote by the Events Committee at the ISAF annual general meeting in Edinburgh.
The Sport is a souped-up version of the conventional Tornado with the addition of a gennaker and an extra trapeze for the helm. Double Olympic medallist Mitch Booth has been the driving force behind the new class, although he has said he is keen to work with the Tornado class in helping existing owners convert their boats to the Sport version.

The Events Committee’s decision must still be rubber-stamped by ISAF Council at the end of the week, but the view is that the decision will stand. The same may not be true of the vote held to select the Olympic sailboard. The existing Mistral board won the vote 10-9 from the Formula Windsurfing alternative, but the word on the street is that there is a strong chance that this could be overturned by ISAF Council.

Meanwhile, the 49er is in danger of being turfed out if three keelboat classes are accepted into the Athens 2004 line-up. According to one opinion voiced in Edinburgh, such a decision would be 'inconceivable', and that an option for two keelboat classes would be more likely. Should that happen, then the Soling looks likeliest to make way for the new category of women’s match racing.

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