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2012 Olympic class sparks RYA criticism

  • Story Highlights
  • The ISAF has decided its classes for the 2012 Olympic sailing event
  • A modified boat in the women's keelboat class is the major change
  • The decision to retain the women's 470 class has been criticized by the RYA
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A decision not to change a sailing class for the 2012 Olympic Games has drawn criticism from Britain's Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

Retained: The women's 470 class has been kept on for the 2012 Olympics, but not everyone is happy about it.

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has announced the ten classes for the sailing event in 2012 -- to be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in the south of England.

The major change for the coming Games appears in the women's keelboat, where a modified version of the Elliott six meter boat will be raced, using a match racing format.

However, in the women's double-hander a new 29erXX high performance dinghy was overlooked in favor of retaining the existing 470 class

RYA racing manager and performance director John Derbyshire said he was disappointed that the 29erXX had been left out.

"I am disappointed, however, that the sport has missed an opportunity to showcase a new women's class to the world in 2012 with the 29erXX, which I think would have seen many young British girls continuing to compete after their youth days were over."

Derbyshire felt the class would have benefits the existing 470 class lacked.

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However, he vowed to support the decision and felt the Games competition would still be strong.

"British interest will remain high as we have some great talent in the 470 class, both men's and women's, and look forward to our women adapting to the challenges of match racing in the Elliott 6m. We will now consider how best to take this forward."

The RYA said it was now calling for prompt clarification from ISAF about to the 2012 Olympic qualification process for the women's keelboat event.

The classes selected for each of the ten events are as follows:


Windsurfer -- RS:X
One person dinghy -- Laser
One person dinghy heavy - Finn
Two person dinghy -- 470
Two person high performance dinghy -- 49er
Keelboat -- Star


Windsurfer -- RS:X
One person dinghy -- Laser Radial
Two person dinghy -- 470
Keelboat (Match Racing) -- Elliott 6m (Modified)

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