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Svein Rasmussen (R)iqFoil evolution
Starboard was founded in 1994 by Svein Rasmussen, windsurfing world champion and Olympic contender. From next summer, after Tokyo2020, their iqFoil equipment will be’ the star of the upcoming Olympic Windsurfing campaigns. About the future of this new Olympic class RIWmag could not interview a visionary more’ appropriate by Svein.
NB: Svein answered us the 15 last November, so his answers must refer to that date. We only publish now because’ there were more questions for the Starboard team but the overwork did not allow any more answers and it would have been a shame to waste such an opportunity'.
RIW: Hello Svein. Thank you for accepting our invitation. In order not to be in conflict with the laws and rules of antitrust the iqFoil class will be’ monotype but not monobrand right? You're already’ aware of other brands that will launch into this new Olympic class?
Svein Rasmussen: Yes, iqFoil is designed to be a multibrand class and multi-producer.
According to antitrust rules, World Sailing has opened the class to all manufacturers to submit their own offers.
Only a few brands were interested in taking time to actually invest in Olympic windsurfing, so it wasn't seen as a priority for the industry. The brands with which we communicated before the sea trials at the Garda were not interested in joining us, so this reflects the industry's interest in iqFoil as an Olympic option.
Starboard is now working with IWA and World Sailing and is also creating a steering committee for the iqFoil class.
So we want to open up to other brands and factories to submit their in-depth presentations for verification.
Factory inspections, Product testing and ensuring that companies have a great customer service experience will be the next steps in this direction.
Development times are not set and now we must first make sure we build all the systems of the class and deliver the products on time.
RIW: If we enter a single-type but multi-brand scenario there will be windsurfing brands ready to sponsor athletes? Sara’ possible from an international/federal regulatory point of view?
S.r.: First of all Starboard is going ahead by sponsoring athletes in various ways and we have assigned a commercial value of 50.000 euro for windsurfing ambassadors. These ambassadors will be selected based on the finances of emerging countries and assessed according to their commitment to growing the sport of windsurfing, their progression factor and their work to improve ocean health. We also have special prices for emerging nations to help develop windsurfing globally.
We prioritise the environmental side of our windsurfing efforts and make sure that every iqFoil board is 100 times positive compared to the climate net (100 x climate net positive).
We have already planted 1/2 million mangrove trees in Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park to absorb 500.000 tonnes of CO2 in the next 20 years.
Our Starboard POP team will also collect 2,4 kg of plastic waste from the beaches around our test center in Thailand for every iqFoil board that enters the water.
And Yes, will support even the best riders selected with equipment, especially in less affluent countries where federations do not buy team equipment.
The basic regulations of sponsorships and the like will be in line with World Sailing and IOC regulations.
Once the licenses have been signed and the equipment approved, we look forward to other brands starting to invest in supporting Olympic windsurfing, emerging nations' programs and ocean health priorities.
Svein Rasmussen and the iqFoil (R)evolution
Starboard was founded in 1994 by Svein Rasmussen, world champion in windsurfing and participant in the Olympics. From next summer, after Tokyo2020, their iqFoil equipment will be the star of the upcoming Olympic Windsurfing campaigns. About the future of this new Olympic class RIWmag could not interview a more appropriate visionary than Svein.
NB: Svein replied on last 15 November so his replies should refer to that date. We publish only now because other questions were foreseen for the Starboard team but the overload of work did not allow other answers and it would have been a shame to waste such an opportunity.
RIW: Hi Svein. Thank you for accepting our invitation. In order not to be in conflict with the antitrust laws and rules, the iqFoil class will be monotype but not single-brand right? Are you already aware of other brands that will launch in this new Olympic class?
Svein Rasmussen: Yes, the iqFoil is set out to be a multibrand , multi manufacturer class.
According to antitrust rules World Sailing opened up for all manufacturers and classes to forward their tenders.
Only a few brands were interested in taking time to actually invest into Olympic windsurfing, so it was not seen as much of a priority for the industry . The brands we reached out to before the Sea trials at Garda were not interested in joining us, so this reflects the industry interest concerning iqFoil as an Olympic option.
Starboard is now working with IWA and World Sailing and also setting up a steering committee for the iqFoil class.
Then we want to open up for other brands and factories to forward their in depth presentations for verification.
Inspections of factories , testing of products and ensuring that the companies have a splendid track record in customer service will be next steps in this regard.
The time frames for the development is not set and we now first of all need to ensure to build all the systems around the class and deliver products on time.
RIW: If we enter a monotype but multi-brand scenario will there be windsurfing brands ready to sponsor athletes? Will it be possible from an international / sailing federal regulatory perspective?
S.R .: First of all Starboard is moving forward sponsoring athletes in various ways and we have earmarked Euro 50,000 in retail value towards windsurfing ambassador . These ambassadors will be selected from emerging nations finance wise , and rated as per their action in growing the sport of windsurfing,
their progression rate and their work to improve Ocean health. We also have emerging nations special pricing to help developing windsurfing globally.
We find the environmental part of our windsurfing engagement as a priority and we will ensure that each iqFoil board is 100 x climate net positive.
We already planted ½ million Mangrove trees in the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park to absorb 500,000 ton CO2 over the next 20 years.
Our Starboard POP team will also pick up 2.4 kg of plastic trash from beaches around our test center in Thailand for each iqFoil board going into the water.
And yes also will support selected top riders with gear, especially in the less wealth countries where the federations are not purchasing gear for the team.
The basic regulations of sponsorships and such will be in line with regulations according to World Sailing and IOC.
Once licenses are signed and gear approved , we much look forward to see other brands start to invest into supporting Olympic windsurfing, emerging nations programs and Ocean health with priority.
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