RS:X: NeilPryde transferred intellectual property to the class | Photo: RS:X

NeilPryde announced the transfer of the RS:X intellectual property (IP) rights to the RS:X Class Association.

During the worldwide Covid-19 lockdown, the RS:X Class Association continued to work in the background in supporting its sailors and member national authorities (MNA) with a range of issues and concerns.

The primary concern raised has been about the supply of equipment for those sailors looking to Tokyo 2020 - to be held on 2021 - who will need to train on fresh equipment as well as continuing their equipment selection processes.

Meanwhile, NeilPryde, who has overseen the production of the RS:X for four Olympic cycles, has been looking to move away from the single manufacturer option to a more open market for manufacturers.

This reflects the anti-trust concerns that have dominated discussions at World Sailing over the past two years.

"NeilPryde feels that now is the right time to transfer the IP of the RS:X to the Class Association and allow a process for multiple manufacturers to exist, appointed by the class, provided that the consistency, quality, and supply is maintained," the RS:X tells in a statement.

"This transfer of IP gives the class and its sailors control over who is building their equipment. Whatever the future holds for the class, this set up will be able to adapt to changing circumstances."

Manufacturing Continues

Under the arrangement, manufacturing will continue at the existing suppliers of boards, masts, sails, and booms.

The appointed manufacturers will now supply products directly to distributors, at the same time as becoming directly accountable for product quality.

NeilPryde will remain a part of this manufacturing group, responsible for the production of the sails in its China factory, where it specializes in the high-quality, tightly consistent production of sails for other Olympic and Youth One Design Classes.

Athletes will be able to continue to buy equipment from their local distributor and will benefit from an eight percent average drop in retail prices.

The RS:X Class has also been looking at the next 12 months and beyond as the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics also offers up some different opportunities.

The Class is keeping a close eye on its events in line with the whole sailing calendar to ensure that when events start to happen again, the overlap is reduced to ensure that conflicts are minimized.

As more RS:X sailors start to receive their iQFoil equipment, making sure that RS:X events represent value for money is important to the class.

The RS:X Class have also been invited to put forward an equipment bid by World Sailing for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games, due to be held in Senegal.

The class is considering this alongside the wider windsurfing community to ensure the best equipment for the sport as a whole is put forward.

Finally, the RS:X Class Association hopes that its sailors, coaches, and supporters - wherever they are in the world - are safe and well and that we will see you on the water as soon as possible.

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