RS:X: the official Olympic windsurfing class | Photo: World Sailing

In 2017, the World Sailing (WS) Council approved new procedures for re-evaluating the equipment used for Olympic events.

The process is separate from the existing review process for the selection of equipment for new events.

According to the regulation, the Board shall carry out re-evaluations of the equipment selected for Olympic events.

The purpose of reassessment under this regulation is to ensure that:

  1. Competing equipment and competing manufacturers of existing equipment can bid to be selected for Olympic events and, therefore, access the market on a fair and objective basis;
  2. Reduce the risk of monopolies;
  3. Manufacturers do not become complacent, remain price-competitive, produce high-quality equipment, and do not abuse their market positions;

In January 2018, the Board put the equipment for the men's and women's windsurfer event for the 2024 Olympic Games under re-evaluation.

Following the decision to retain the event in November 2018, an invitation to tender was published.

RS:X: the equipment developed by NeilPryde is en route to Paris 2024 | Photo: World Sailing

Five Bids

The Board appointed a working party which evaluated five tenders received:

  1. NeilPryde tendering with RS:X equipment;
  2. Technic Devotion Ind. bidding with Glyde equipment;
  3. Windsurfer Class Association;
  4. Starboard tendering with iFoil equipment (Foiling);
  5. BOW-4Z (Foiling);

The first phase of the review focused on the evaluation against the approved equipment criteria, the suitability to the event, and the market criteria.

Following a report from the working party, the Board decided to keep Phase 1 open to further evaluate the information from all tenders regarding access to the market for qualified builders.

Having reviewed all information and tenders received and taking into consideration the working party's assessment of the bids, the Board made the recommendation to retain the RS:X as the equipment for the event.

The Board considers that any significant change, such as a change to foiling, should only be considered if deemed the only acceptable option to fulfill the purposes of the process.

The Board considers that the RS:X - the equipment proposed by NeilPryde - fits the equipment criteria set by the Council and recommends that World Sailing should retain the current equipment - RS:X - subject to the Olympic classes contract.

Windsurfing has been an Olympic class since 1984 and, since then, has never lost its status.

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