"No Australian 49er Fx Team Selected For Olympics". For those that do not read Facebook the article is as follows:
No Australian 49er Fx Team Selected For Olympics
Early this morning, Australian time, the Yachting Australia Appeals Board rejected the Appeals by two Australian 49er FX crews about their non-selection to the Rio Olympics. Having qualified a spot for the Games the Australians were eligible to send a team but the Yachting Australia selection panel chose not to send a team. Two of the three teams appealed the decision, but overnight both Appeals were denied.
The last avenue of appeal open to both teams is to CAS, although there is a ticking clock in that the Australian Olympic Committee must notify World Sailing by June 1st if they are to send a representative. If not, the position will go to the next country on the WS list of qualified countries. It is not know if either team will appeal to CAS.
* Editor: There are a lot of people close to this situation who believe this to be an exceedingly unwise decision. Olivia Price had been the clear favourite as hers was the only team to have achieved a top ten finish in a nominated list of events... however, that was some time ago and since then, Tess Lloyd has beaten her in every race for the past 15 months.
Tess was the young woman who suffered a significant head injury (fractured skull), and was in a coma for three weeks after being struck by a boardsailor during a skiff regatta in Queensland in 2012.
Tess had to LEARN TO WALK AND TALK AGAIN and endured months of rehabilitation. And now she is one of the best skiff sailors in the world.
This spring she finished 5th at Palma, 16th at Hyeres, 14th at the European Championship. Beating Price at Hyeres and the Europeans.
But Yachting Australia has looked only at their statistical charts and decided to save a bit of money by not sending any representative for the 49er FX class.
Tess's is an heroic story... one can only imagine the PR bonanza that this would bring to Australia and to Olympic dinghy sailing.
Think about all the (comparatively) bland puff pieces on "athletes overcoming adversity" that you've seen on television during previous Olympics. Now think about how this story would play out in global television markets. This one's as real as it gets.
Tess and her crew Caitlin Elks have a decent shot at a medal and are a marketer's dream team in promoting sailing to a wider audience. Doesn't anyone at the YA Appeals Board watch sports on television?
Yachting Australia have responded today with this statement. Click here