A tweet by Bill Tai made me aware of the good news:
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has confirmed that kiteboarding will replace windsurfing in the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.
This is great news for the sailing community in general. There are few things higher that you can aspire to as a sailor than competing in an Olympic event representing your country. Unlike most other olympic sports, sailing offers a lot more flexibility in terms of age and general physical condition - there are very few people with the genetics of Ussain Bolt, but becoming a good sailor is something you can do through training. Unfortunately, sailing is an expensive sport, so in order to compete you need a huge budget, for boats that and logistics to get your boat where the races are happening.
These logistics were partly why I gave up on windsurfing and why I don’t practice sailing as much as I’d like. With the advent of kitesurfing I saw a new light in water sports: kites are a lot more inexpensive than windsurfing - you can get geared up to start with for less than $1,000, and top notch gear can be acquired for less than $3,000. Plus, it dispenses with the big boom, mast and board. You can pack your kite and board in a suitcase, hop on a plane or car with minimum hassle.
So it’s easy to see why this is great news. Making a fun sport more accessible is the right way to go. Ok, time to get in the water and start training!