Organisation/IWA AGM/Appendix 1
Executive Summary of the Consultation Exercise with the Industry
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.
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.
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 :
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.
Connect to sailing Proposals sent to the ISAF Task Force
The international windsurfing equipment industry does not have an umbrella association like the BMIF so development over the last 30 years has been haphazard and un-coordinated. With a few notable exceptions, individuals own windsurfing schools and centres. There is no international quality control organisation that is universally recognised.
Windsurfing is a global sport. Whichever sea or lakeside destination you travel to, you are likely to see people out on the water on a sunny day windsurfing and having fun. The age range of participants starts as young as 8 years old and extends through to people as young as 70. You can now learn the basics in 15 minutes on a stable well-padded board. The skill barrier has been lowered considerably by great strides forward in equipment design.
The major sponsors of international windsurfing regattas are national, regional and local tourist boards.
It is important that the equipment industry, holiday companies, educators, schools and the windsurfing media are involved in the "Connect to Sailing" initiative. To date the sport has not been represented at the International Sailing Summit.
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