Junior Classes Squad Selection Changes

Thursday 22 February, 2018

Dear ITCA(GBR) Members,

Many of you will be aware that World Sailing (WS) are currently reviewing and agreeing the disciplines, classes and formats for future Olympic Games. One key element of this is to achieve gender balance in the sport. The RYA are working to ensure that their performance pathway develops the same number of boys and girls to support this and to ensure that we achieve a gender balanced sport for the future.

We do not expect significant changes in the Junior Classes or RYA Junior pathway, but with significantly less than half of participants currently being girls there will be renewed focus on achieving gender balance. This provides a great opportunity for ITCA (GBR), building on initiatives such as the Topper All Girl training, and to develop new ideas moving forwards. More details of our 2018 All Girls programme will be provided during NS2.

One key change resulting from the WS initiatives will be to have equal numbers of Girls and Boys in the RYA Oppie and Topper Junior squads. Current plans are to start this from the Autumn 2018 selection. We will be working closely with the RYA to achieve this.

Whilst the precise structure of the new squads is still to be agreed, there is a clear intent to select female sailors against other female sailors and male sailors against male sailors based on separate Girls and Boys rankings. The objective is still to have sailors race and train together in mixed gender groups, with squads likely to deliver a mixture of single and mixed gender training from next squad year. This will bring the Topper Class in line with the principles that the RYA already have within their youth and senior classes.

In parallel with the changes to the RYA squads, we also plan a review of structure for the ITCA National Squads which will need to be rebalanced. Full details will be provided in the Topper Squads Notice of Selection which will be published in due course.

All proposed changes will apply starting with the 2018/19 squad year. We do not see any changes being required to the current National Series races or existing squads

The purpose of communicating with you at this early stage, without exact details, is to assure you that the ITCA (GBR) committee is working with the RYA to identify an approach that meets the needs of the Topper class.

If you have any questions or require further clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

ITCA(GBR) Committee

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