2023 February 8
On 29 January, the IPC announced that sailing would not be reinstated in the Paralympic Games program for Los Angeles 2028.
While World Sailing fought very hard for the return of sailing to the Paralympics with an excellent and dedicated campaign, others did as well. The entire sailing world supported the #backthebid campaign with great passion. It was not only active Para sailors, but also professional teams, Olympic sailors and sailing celebrities who got involved.
In the summer of 2021, World Sailing had launched its campaign to make a sailing comeback at the Paralympic Games and give a new generation of Para sailors the chance to sail at the highest level. There are now 41 nations active in parasailing on five continents. More than 630 active Para sailors are registered with World Sailing.
Over the last few years, World Sailing and Para World Sailing have run workshops to educate coaches and sailors in many countries with great success, motivating federations and clubs to develop sailing for people with disabilities.
“Despite this setback, our commitment to our Para sailors, to the continued growth of Para sailing and to the wider Para sport movement will only grow stronger.”
With this clear statement, David Graham (CEO World Sailing) comments on the decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
According to World Sailing’s statement, it is clear that Para sailing will be continued and further developed at a high level worldwide. The current decision of the IPC does not change this!
Due to the discontinuation of the Paralympic status, the promotion of sailing programs for people with disabilities will be reduced or completely cancelled in many countries.
It therefore remains a challenge to further develop sailing for people with disabilities worldwide.
Para sport is an important part of the inclusive sporting world. Without the knowledge, experience and support of Para Sport, inclusion in sport is unthinkable.
The Int. 2.4mR class has always been inclusive – long before the term inclusion entered the sports world. We are known worldwide as the pioneer of inclusion in sailing and will continue to be so. Hardly any inclusive class has such a large international spread with as many regattas as we do.
Para sailing has been part of our class for over 25 years and it is therefore a matter of course that we as a class stand united behind Para sailing worldwide.
This is the declared aim of all our NCAs (National Class Associations) and is consistently implemented accordingly by the EC (Board of the Int. Class).
For example, by revising the Norlin One Design Rule (NOD Rule) in December (AGM), we have re-established the prerequisite for future close cooperation with World Sailing in the field of Para Sport. The joint organization of the Open 2.4mR Worlds and European Championships with the Para Worlds and European Championships is another important step towards an inclusive future.
At this point, I would like to emphasize that the Para sport is not the central and only focus of our class, and that we as a board care about all areas that are important for the future of our class. However, due to the current decisions, it was important and right to temporarily give special attention to this area.
President of the International 2.4mR Class Association