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Radical Sail Change Blows New Life Into Tornado Racing

The International Tornado Association (ITA) has responded to the global downturn and the need to attract sailing's Generation Next to the class by allowing the best, not just the best funded, to race these ultra-fast sailing machines.
Photo by Renzo Domini
And while it's not often in life the cost of anything goes down, this is exactly what will happen in the world of Tornado sailing. One of the biggest changes to the sport since the introduction of spinnakers and the double trapeze in 2001 following the Sydney Olympics, the Tornado class has voted to put a ceiling on costs with the introduction of one-design sails in the interest of creating a fairer playing field.
"We feel that the Tornado has always been one of the leaders in sailing in terms of promotion, sponsorship and of course, excitement, and we believe this decision again shows we are not only capable of moving with the times, but responding to the times.
"We feel sailing needs to be pro-active, not just reactive. "Consulting research gathered at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 we decided cutting the cost of sails was the best way to reduce costs and we believe it is also in the true spirit of the Olympics to create this cheaper but also more level racing fiel." said ITA President and former World Champion and Olympic medalist Roland Gaebler from Germany.
The class is intent on working overtime to regain Olympic acceptance, hopefully by the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, after being left off the program for the London Olympics in 2012.
A complete set of the new one-design sails from Ullman Sails Italy cost €2.950 Euros, including tax.
The cost of sails will be fixed for a period of time. Long-lasting but high-quality sail cloth has been used for the mainsail, jib and gennacker. Designs from this loft, founded by the great sailor Giorgio Zuccoli and now in the hands of the experienced Pablo Soldano, have been used to win world titles, European championships and Olympic medals.

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