Bruce Kendall: windsurfing guardian

New Zealand windsurfing legend Bruce Kendall has thrown a torch into the US Sailing regatta field, after the North American officials voted for kiteboarding in the 2016 Olympic Games.


The winner of the gold and bronze medals in RS:X windsurfing, who also enjoys kitesurfing,says US Sailing representatives "have not done very deep research on the costs, risks and benefits of this subject and been part of this poorly made decision to remove windsurfing from the Olympic Games in Rio".

Kendall addresses Jake Fish, Dean Brenner and the board of US Sailing with direct words and questions. "Why would anyone replace the second strongest Olympic Sailing class with a class largely unproven? Would it not be more sensible to replace a class not doing so well?"

The star of Kiwi windsurfing believes kite racing is currently a small and undeveloped sport compared to what windsurfing was back in mid-1970's. At the same time, Kendall undelines that the majority of kite retailers have not stocked kite racing boards, as the evolution of the design has been too fast.

Bruce Kendall keeps saying that "it is still too early to judge if kite racing is a narrow niche sport with a low ceiling of participants and if the numbers would naturally continue to increase without the Olympic ticket".

The windsurfers defends that windsurfing requires less infrastructure than all other sailing classes and that it continues to bring new countries to the sport.

"The only thing that has stopped Olympic windsurfing's continued advance is ISAF changing the class every 8 years. The laser class is larger than the RS:X, but how long has it been intact?", Kendall asks.

Finally, Kendall thinks "little has been said about the limitations of kite racing due to unsuitable weather, launching and landing conditions".