Offshore Doubles launched to manage momentum

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While shorthanded sailing has a long history, and there are legitimate superstars in this segment, the focus of the sport remains elsewhere in fully crewed keelboats or dinghies. However, that appears to be changing.

When in 2018 World Sailing selected a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event to be on the program at the Paris 2024 Olympics, the following year saw new test events on the calendar. In 2020, with COVID-19 regulations limiting onboard crew, shorthanded sailing got another boost.

It has been a healthy wake-up call for a shrinking sport, prompting the organization of the Offshore Doubles Sailing Association to manage the momentum. Here’s their announcement:

(October 11, 2020) – Today we are launching the Offshore Doubles, a non-profit sailing association on the web at OffshoreDoubles.org and on social media. Created by sailors, for sailors, our mission is to strengthen the community of sailors, events and boat classes who are already making Double-handed (DH) offshore sailing the fastest growing segment of our sport.

Offshore Doubles is a home for everyone interested in double-handing offshore sailing, ranging in interest from amateur couples or teams on weekend races to serious campaigns in every country. To see video, click here.

The Olympic Offshore Mixed Doubles Event is an exciting development for our sport, showcasing the thrill and hardship of day and night sailing offshore with 24/7 media coverage. This pinnacle event has the potential to connect the humanity of a small team working offshore with the daily life of the non-sailing public, as it long has in France and the UK.

We are dedicated to ensuring Offshore Mixed Doubles place in the Games while helping to grow local and regional fleets everywhere through sharing knowledge gained around the world.

The board of advisors already includes Loick Peyron (FRA), Dee Caffari (GBR), Dina Kowalyshyn (USA), Knut Frostad (NOR), Corinne Migraine (FRA), Matt Allen (AUS), Stan Honey (USA), Gilles Chiorri (FRA) and Larry Rosenfeld (USA) and will be adding more shortly.

Larry Rosenfeld, founding President of Offshore Doubles, was asked to start the organization by Stan Honey, Dina Kowalyshyn, and Matt Allen, ranking members of World Sailing’s Oceanic and Offshore and Equipment Committees.

“With 2330 ORC DH certificates issued in more than 25 countries and the inclusion of DH trophies in most major events around the world, it was time to bring the community closer together to accelerate learning and growth and help sailors get into this exciting discipline,” said Rosenfeld, who is an entrepreneur, adventurer and offshore navigator on round-the-world maxi-cat Team Adventure and World Records setting French trimaran, Geronimo.

“Our goal is to sign up 2,000 members in 2 weeks to show the Olympic Committee that this is a fast growing segment of our sport and that it has broad support in many nations,” said Honey. “One of the benefits available early next year will be the SYRF Performance Index (by Sailing Yacht Research Foundation) that will allow sailors anywhere to compete with one another without having to travel. The score gives you a percentage of optimum that you sailed on any course, at any time, on any boat, in any weather.”

Our call to action is that the World Sailing meetings in two weeks will determine if the Offshore Mixed Doubles Event will continue to be on the slate for Paris 2024. NOW is the time to show the Olympic committee that DH sailing has broad global support.

PLEASE JOIN TODAY (at no charge) at www.offshoredoubles.org.

Source: sailingscuttlebutt

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