Windsurfing Back in the Olympics!

Earlier today the ISAF council met to make the final decision regarding the Olympic classes for 2016. Whilst kitesurfing has been voted in and many thought it unlikely windsurfing would manage to make it back, a U turn from many saw the RS:X back in as a class for men and women and kitesurfing out completely.

RS:X Youth Racing

There had been discussion and ideas put forwards for a change or even inclusion of both classes in someway, but the decision that has been voted through is for windsurfing only in 2016.

With windsurfing back as an Olympic sport we can now look forward to our young British hopefuls: Izzy Hamilton, Saskia Sills, Claudia Carney, El Carney, Tom Squires, Connor Bainbridge, Sam Sills etc stepping up and still having the opportunity to windsurf at the Olympics.

From the looks of social media both the up and coming racers and previous Olympians Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw are VERY happy about the situation too!

Of course kitesurfing will be looking to rebid in the future, but for now this is a fantastic result for windsurfing; lets hope in the future windsurfing will continue to progress and that kitesurfing will join as a class alongside windsurfing.

Confirmed classes for the 2016 Olympics:

Men’s Board -RS:X
Women’s Board – RS:X
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s 2nd One Person Dinghy – Finn
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 17

For further information on the vote head to

RYA Racing Manager and 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.”

Derbyshire also offered the RYA’s congratulations to the new ISAF President Carlo Croce (ITA), who was voted to serve an initial four year term.  Great Britain’s Chris Atkins was voted as one of seven new ISAF Vice Presidents and will also serve an initial four year term as part of the organisation’s Executive Board.


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