JP Tobin withdraws from Rio 2016 Olympics

March 17, 2016 | Windsurfing
JP Tobin: no funds, no Olympic Games | Photo:

Windsurfer JP Tobin has announced his decision not to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, despite having qualified for the world's most important sports event.

The Kiwi athlete says that he didn't have the long-term support needed from Yachting New Zealand. Windsurfing is the country's most successful Olympic sailing class. RS:X windsurfers have already won seven medals in the Games.

"Windsurfing has traditionally been very strong, but the support network has just really never existed; it's had starts, but never any follow through, so where we're at now is that they haven't looked at it strongly and supported it when they should have," Tobin told media.

"As we currently sit, it is looking like New Zealand won't be represented in windsurfing and that pisses me off. We've seen some young males in particular that have just given up because they just can't see a pathway."

JP Tobin also notes that Natalia Kosinska is selling her RS:X equipment to keep competing in international regattas. If she doesn't qualify, it will the first time New Zealand won't have any windsurfer representing the country in Rio de Janeiro since windsurfing hit the Olympics in 1984.

"Yachting NZ has had no problem exploiting the success of windsurfing at the Olympics while returning nothing to the grass roots of the sport," adds Windsurfing New Zealand, an organization that has had a "rocky and vitriolic" relationship with Yachting New Zealand.

"There are - or were - large images of Barbara Kendall on the 'Learn to Sail' trailers that travel around NZ introducing the kids to sailing, but there have never been any windsurfers in that trailer."

JP Tobin was born on 22 March 1977, inWhakatane. In the past decade, he has been diversifying his interests to paddleboarding and windsurf coaching. uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.