Israel says delegates were napping while voting for Olympic kiteboarding

May 14, 2012 | Windsurfing
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Yehuda Maayan, chairman of the Israel Sailing Association, believes that national delegates didn't realize what they were voting for, at the ISAF meeting that decided that kiteboarding would be in the 2016 Olympic Games, instead of windsurfing.

"The delegates were probably confused or didn't understand the motion fully because of language difficulties, or some may have been napping at the presentations and then cast their votes without realizing the implications," Yehuda Maayan said.

"The expert committee vote to retain the RS:X sailboard passed 17-2, but ISAF's broader forum, where many delegates do not necessarily have an interest in windsurfing, rejected it 19-17," he added.

"There is no comparison between sailboard and kiteboard, it's a completely different discipline and requires very different skills, it's like telling judokas: no more judo for you, now you must be wrestlers".

The words of the chairman of the Israel Sailing Association come after Spain and its national sailing association admitted an error while voting for kiteboarding in Rio de Janeiro.

Israel has always had a strong team of windsurfers in the Olympic Games and has clinched several medals in the past events. Maayan believes the cost of replacing the equipment would be of $1 million.

"Its hard to spend money when there is so little to go around but add to the price of buying new equipment the cost of training new coaches, it's a tough proposition," he said.