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Organisation/WS Windsurfing Trials/Executive Summary

The present study is aimed at bringing a complement of information to the previous study carried out by Aristeia Sport Communication and whose results have been presented at the BOOT event in Dusseldorf, mid-January 2003. 

  1. The aim of the previous study was to assess the "White Board Concept" market potential.
  2. The aim of the present study is to assess the industry's opinion about the "White Board Concept" and to a certain extent about the Olympic board.



 The board manufacturers and marketers were asked to answer a short questionnaire investigating their interest in getting involved in the "White Board Concept" when it will be launched. This should not be confused with the industry’s opinion about the White Board Project’s feasibility.

Nine brands replied to the questionnaire, which represent 76% of the board market in terms of sales according to the market data provided by the IWA.

Key lessons:

  1. The manufacturers and brands are willing to participate in the development of the new Olympic board.
  2. The manufacturers are willing to build the board under licence from ISAF (subject to financial feasibility)  (if they have to do so).
  3. Most of the brands that responded wishes to take a distribution licence (subject to financial feasibility) that allows it to have their logo on the boards they are distributing (if they have to do so).



 All the industry representatives were asked to write an open letter in which they were given total freedom to express their opinion regarding the White Board Project or any windsurfing-related issues. As a complement to the questionnaire, this open letter thus made sure everyone had an opportunity to question the white board concept and give his or her real opinion concerning the development of Olympic windsurfing.

 Sixteen industry representatives sent us an open letter about the Olympic windsurfing, which represents 60% of the board market in terms of sales. It does also include the major sail brands of the market.

 Key industry opinions :

  1. The industry considers windsurfing’s presence in the Olympic regatta as one of the sport’s assets
  2. ISAF should select new windsurfing equipment for the 2008 Olympic regatta. This new equipment should have wider appeal, and mirror more closely the practice of the general windsurfing public (B&M do not think it is necessary to change the present Olympic equipment).
  3. The new equipment must be different from the existing one, by being either:
    1. An evolution of the current Olympic equipment that keeps the centre board principle, or
    2. Something like the existing Formula format

No respondents except B&M support a one-design equipment concept. The majority want tight measurement tolerances to be established.

The industry unanimously ask for a free builder class (except B&M) so that any brand can be involved in the Olympic process.

Many brands (even those do not necessarily agree with every word in the white paper) think that by engaging in the consultative process engendered by these studies, the IWA has provided a useful forum that gives hope for the future.

 Some brands expressed criticism of the amount of politics involved in the Olympic process and are looking for further confidence building initiatives from the IWA.

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