2024 Olympic windsurf equipment selection – equipment trading requirement proposal


According IOC, Olympic values are competition, excellence and fairness.These values have to be applied in both de game, and it’s surroundings.

When dealing with equipment, choices have to be done by integrating these values in

  • technical development
  • Athletes’ equipment supply
  • products lifecycle

In this document, we apply Olympic values to the trading methods, and equipment supply issues. This leads to rules that projects have to comply with.


I would not discuss this point since it’s the one and only one always covered by athletes and entourage (coaches, federations, race committee, clubs).


I suggest that any project selected by WS as a Potential Olympic Equipment Program should conform to FRAND terms (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-discriminatory) that is a fairness attitude applied to the trading business.

3.1 Fair business practices policy

Ferguson Values (https://www.fergusonvalues.com/2016/08/whats-the-point-of-fairness-in-business/
): “In a business setting, the goal is to make good decisions that serve the needs of the business without harming anyone (i.e. customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, partners, and the community at large).”

3.1.1 Loyalty

Treating community members and business partners with the same level of fairness you expect from them = respecting all existing business partner

In traditional model

  • brand not selling outside his retailer network (direct sales, bypassing retailers)
  • retailer not ordering directly trough manufacturer (grouped sourcing, bypassing brands)

In an alternative model

  • dual-chanel with RD (“Referral to Direct”) scheme

Reference : “Channel Conflict and Coordination in the E-Commerce Age” / Andy A. Tsay • Narendra Agrawal / Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California 95053-0382, USA

3.1.2 Non-discriminatory

Treating each individual business partner in a similar manner

3.1.3 Non dominant position

In multiple manufacturer supply, each manufacturer cannot provide more than 50% of the total athletes market.

3.2 Reasonable

Retail price has to be consistent with product quality, and service offering.

Benefits that reward each partner have to be an incentive to keep developing.

A reseller margin does not need to be the same than for traditional products since marketing efforts are not necessary. I suggest that the recommended retail price would be calculated with max 20% margin.

3.3 Non-discriminatory

3.3.1 Non discriminatory pricing policy

The level of pricing has be the same for every customers, even if different countries, different distribution structure, different status (top athlete, youth, beginner, whatever).

There is no reason an athlete, a coach, a federation, etc. pay less than a traditional customer. Nobody is more important or superior to other.

If looking for lower costs, one should better focus on making windsurfing more attractive for media (race format, media etc.) and gain new sponsors.

This way has to replace the permanent quest for having high-end equipment at low price, or the permanent quest of paying less than others.

3.3.2 Non discriminatory performance against manufacturers options

In case the chosen project is not based on monotype equipment, rules have to be established so that proposed options would have similar performance at similar prices. If necessary, free technology transfer has to be encouraged (withou royalties).

One have to avoid rich athletes may afford more performant equipment based on budget available.


When talking about excellence and equipment, one have to notice some important issues

4.1 The cost of excellence

When choosing high-end equipment, we have to be aware and agree that the cost will be high also.

Some folks would like you to think otherwise, but it’s pure intox. For 20 years, the windsurf business tried to change the trading model and find way to decrease prices. That was never successful.

We tried to

  • limit the number of intermediaries by removing one layer (retailer, distributor)
  • decrease margins
  • reduce the payroll impact

None has proven to be efficient. Each attempts lead in reducing service, slower response time, degrading the warranty management quality, increasing delivery time etc. ... but no price descrease in the long term.

4.2 Excellence in service

More than just choosing a sportive project, World sailing has to make sure about the equipment supply chain quality. So stringent rules have to be defined by World Sailing.

  • Maximum delay of client answering (advice, proforma etc.)
  • Maximum warranty management delay
  • Maximum delivery process time
  • Minimal stock of spare parts

A metric system has to be implemented for controlling equipment supply chain efficiency. 

Brands attempting to provide equipment for Olympics have to comply these rules.

Brands are responsible for all their supply chain (from manufacturer to retailer), and have to choose the suitable partners for that objective.

4.3 Excellence in marketing & media

By changing of equipment, one of the key issue is Marketing, Communication & Media. Choosing a new support is a unique chance to attract media interest on the sport, so sponsorship.

Like this has been done in America Cup or Sail GP tour, race formats and rules have to be re-newed with one main interest: each event has be a show. This is in the interested of all, and mainly athletes (sponsorship, attractivity).

A consistent work has to be done on that item

  • Sails branded with country colors
  • Race area as close as possible to viewers
  • Attractive race format for viewers
  • Live tracking system
  • - … to be completed
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