Rebel Yell!

Match Racers get organised to fight back after the discipline was heaved out of the Olympics

Monday November 27th 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
The world’s top female match racers are planning to contest the decision that saw ISAF select the Yngling for women’s fleet racing at the Olympics.

Big names like America’s Cup sailor Dawn Riley want to discuss the prospect of getting match racing back into the Olympics at an evening meeting on Monday, after racing at the ISAF Rolex Women’s World Match Racing Championship has finished for the day.

The general feeling in the boat park in St Petersburg, Florida, seems to be that match racing lost out through political manoeuvring, rather than over whether or not it was appropriate for the Olympics.

One member of the Women’s World Match Racing Association has drafted a letter which requests that ISAF hold an 'Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting', which would involve bringing 30 committee members together on a conference call.

The letter requests that fleet racing be replaced with match racing, and claims that ISAF was in breach of its own regulations by voting to change from match to fleet racing without any submission.

Supporters of match racing also argue that it is a cheaper form of racing for competitors, because they do not have to own and transport their own boat around the world, but can fly to venues with existing fleets of one-design keelboats. But defenders of fleet racing point out the large logistical costs of bringing in umpires and officials to match racing events all over the globe.

In fact, some top-seeded skippers in St Petersburg have told madforsailing that they are quite happy with the decision to have fleet racing in the Olympics. But that is not a sentiment that you voice too loudly or publicly during a match racing world championship.

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