Sailing took a significant step towards reinclusion at the Paralympics when it was given approval to proceed to the next stage of the application process for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.
Sailing featured at the 2016 Rio Paralympics but will be missing from the programme in Tokyo in 2020 after it failed to meet minimum requirements of worldwide reach. World Sailing stepped up their commitment to parasailing and it is paying off.
Sailing's application met core requirements of the IPC handbook, including compliance with the world anti-doping code, IPC athlete classification code, quadrennial competition calendar and worldwide reach.
Sailing will now have until July 9 to complete an application pack that features a series of questions that aim to give the IPC detailed information regarding governance, rules and regulations, associated costs, anti-doping programme compliance and activities, worldwide reach, quadrennial competition programme and procedures to ensure athlete welfare. A final decision on whether sailing will return to the 2024 Paralympics is expected in January 2019.
CP football, golf, powerchair football and sailing all moved through to the next phase.
"Moving to the second phase of the application process demonstrates that the International Paralympic Committee have recognised World Sailing's commitment to increase growth of the sport," World Sailing president Kim Andersen said. "World Sailing has embraced the vision of the IPC to enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellent and inspire and excite the world.
"Our Para World Sailing initiatives and integration are not just about trying to regain inclusion into the Paralympic pports programme, but are deeply rooted beliefs within our sport. We need to have inclusive societies, with fully accessible environments that celebrate the capabilities of people with impairments to start sporting activities and to promote safe and fair participation.
"Everyone at World Sailing will continue to work tirelessly to support Para World Sailing and the work of the IPC and we will put forward an outstanding case for the sports re-inclusion this year."
Sailing was removed from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in January 2015. Following this news, World Sailing accelerated the growth of the sport through initiatives such as the Paralympic development programme that culminated in more than 80 sailors from 37 nations and five continents racing across three events at the 2017 Para World Sailing championships.
Further investment and development in Para World Sailing continues with World Sailing's shipping and logistics partner, GAC Pindar, actively supporting reinstatement initiatives.
Germany's three-time Paralympic medallist, Jens Kroker, was elected to World Sailing's Athletes' Commission earlier this month, becoming the first Para World Sailing representative in the commission.
At the 2017 annual conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, World Sailing's council unanimously approved the full integration of the Para World Sailing Championships into future editions of the sailing world championships, the single largest World Sailing event, from 2022 onwards.
Events and equipment for 2018 were also approved at the 2018 Annual Conference. Contributing factors on the decisions comprised of the need to include athletes with a high-level disability, help grow participating nations as well as ensuring there was both a live spectator and media appeal.
The following events and formats will be seen throughout 2018:
Person keelboat (technical) - open gender - 2.4 Norling OD - fleet racing with a medal race
Single person keelboat (non-technical) - male - Hansa 303 - dhort course fleet racing, supplied boat with a medal race
Single person keelboat (non-technical) - female - Hansa 303 - short course fleet racing, supplied boat with a medal race
Two person keelboat - open gender - RS Venture Connect - short course fleet racing, supplied boat with late stage knockouts. The winner of the final race will win the event.
The Paralympic development programme will continue in 2018 with regional clinics planned to help increase participants' knowledge and understanding of the sport. These clinics will be complemented by a world-class series of events.
Sailing's World Cup series will feature Para world sailing, the European Para Championships will head to Kiel, Germany before Sheboygan, USA welcomes competitors for the 2018 world championships.