Remember the true objective of having a rest/reserve day
is as 'insurance' in case the wind doesn't cooperate.
Traditionally it's the day when the best breeze blows so
everyone is out having a good time. Windsurfers love to sail.
We did a survey before publishing the 2011 RS:X standard sailing instructions and race management policy asking what the athletes who took part in the 2011 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships thought about a whole range of questions. One was about the rest day. 60.8% were in favor of keeping it.
And yet the Olympic Sailing Regatta in Quingdao, China had no less than 3 rest days. Whilst one understands that the conditions there may have been a bit 'special' I understand that Rio 2016 may just be more of the same... light wind, that is.
Dragging such an important event out over such a long period does nothing to promote the sport. The media get bored waiting around. The spectators never know whether it'll be 'on or off' when they get there. The wider audience dipping in through the web just forget to keep reminding themselves to take a look and see if there is any sailing going on.
So don't blame the number of rest days on the athletes. For them, extending a regatta in such a way just makes the whole thing a marathon to be endured. Remaining in the 'zone' for extended periods is tough. It's easy to get distracted.
The answer is to cut out the rest days - Or at least just retain the bare minimum - Then reduce the number of competition days too.
We know that the IOC don't count the number of countries taking part in the Olympic Sailing Regatta itself. They look at the Q events. For them, these are just as much a part of the Games. That means Rio 2016 will be the finals.
Our format should reflect this. It should have a beginning, a middle and end. Three days. Quarter final, semi-final and final. Double elimination knock out. No discards. No protests ashore. Race in a stable 4 knots. Target time 10 minutes.