Wrong Criteria

We further argue that the wrong set of criteria was used to perform that evaluation.

The set of criteria that was used is as follows:

In the Technical Report: In the Evaluation Report:
Race Management Feasibility Race Management Feasibility
Equipment Cost and Availability Event Management Feasibility
Boat Speed Competition Format Feasibility
Upwind Angles
Media and Spectator Appeal
Universality and Sponsorship
Athlete Body Characteristics
Calendar of Planned Competitions
Competition Format Feasibility
Possibility of Nationality Branding

The set of criteria prescribed by ISAF in Regulation 23.1.2 is summarized below. Next to each criterion, we show whether it was used at the Trials in Santander, based on our analysis of the Technical and Evaluation Reports. Please note that we’re not analyzing how well Kiteboarding performed at the trials against those criteria (that analysis can be found here), but rather whether those criteria were used at all.

Per ISAF Regulation 23.1.2: Was Criteria Used at Trials?
Ensure that each Event at the Olympic Sailing Competition is, and will be likely to remain, the pinnacle Event for that discipline or area of sailing; NO
a) demonstrate the diversity of skills required to race various types of small boats, and minimise the overlap between Events; NO
b) place an emphasis on athlete skill rather than equipment development, and limit the impact of equipment on performance; NO
c) demand a high level of athletic ability as well as excellent sailing skills; NO
d) be attractive and accessible to young athletes from all continents, and of different size and weight, with a clear pathway from ISAF Youth to Olympic Events and Equipment; NO
e) maximise the participation of the world’s best sailors and  showcase the diversity of the sport; NO
f) provide an effective platform for promotion of the sport, and elite sailors, between Olympics; YES
g) progress towards an equal number of Events for men and women to participate in; NO
h) avoid unnecessary or excessive equipment costs, development costs, measurement costs, coaching costs, race organisation and race official costs, and television and other media costs; YES
i) offer continuity of Events and evolution of Equipment to give MNAs and sailors a dependable pathway into Olympic competition with continuity of investment; NO
j) provide suitable Events and Equipment for Regional Games and other regattas; YES
k) minimise environmental impact. NO

ISAF Regulations – Article 23.1.2

It is worth noting that the criteria above are designed to apply to the sport of Sailing as a whole, all Olympic Events and Equipment taken together, not to each individual event. It is thus conceivable that this set of criteria is not in fact the “specified criteria” described in Regulation 23.1.3(c).

A second possibility is that the “specified criteria” may be found at the end of Submission 097-10:

Per Submission 097-10: Was Criteria Used at Trials?
– low cost (purchase, running and transportation costs, development costs, measurement costs) YES
– consistency of manufacture delivering fair and reliable equipment NO
– out-of-the-box one design NO
– challenging to sail fast – likely to reward high sailing skills, athleticism and fitness NO
– good global spread, or for new equipment, expectation of fast global spread covering all continents YES
– visually appealing, and incorporating country flags on sails YES
– representative of equipment used for that event outside the Olympics today YES
– supported by lower cost “sailor development” alternatives for building grass roots sailing NO
– low level of difficulty enforcing rule 42 NO

Submission 097-10 from the Executive Committee

In either case, the evaluation failed to measure Kiteboarding fully against the “specified criteria.”


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