July; 21 th 2011
The three boats in contention to be selected for Rio 2016 are at Weymouth and Portland this week as part of the IFDS 2016 equipment evaluation process.
London 2012 may still be a year away but thoughts are already turning to Rio 2016 with the three boats under review to be the two-person keelboat equipment in Brazil being demonstrated at the IFDS Worlds at Weymouth and Portland. The three boats are available in the boat park throughout the week for sailors, coaches, instructors and IFDS officials to go out and ‘test drive’ after racing finishes. The IFDS ( International Federation Disabled Sailing) Equipment Evaluation Committee will also be using the opportunity to evaluate the kit in order to select the one that will be used during the 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Neo 495 is 4.95m long with sailors sitting next to one another, like in some of the Access class boats, allowing able-bodied and disabled people to sail side by side. It is a good learning boat for sailors wanting to move from one person to two-person sailing but also for high-level competition. The freeboard is higher meaning that the cockpit remains largely dry regardless of wave size. It also has an 8 m2 spinnaker and the hull is designed to perform well both upwind and downwind. Representatives from each class are at WPNSA this week to enable anyone and everyone to experience what each class has to offer ahead of the IFDS’ decision on which will be put forward to be the next Paralympic two-person boat.