Sailing Reinstated For The Paralympic Games

Some April Fools jokes are funnier than others. The latest offering from Scuttlebutt Sailing News goes into the “not at all funny” pile. The premise of the “joke” is that sailing has been reinstated for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and that new boats will be required for the event.

Credit: paralympic.org

The article takes the tone that the idea of having a sailing event at the Paralympics is in itself ridiculous. This despite the fact that the author says the event will be reinstated. That means other Paralympics have had sailing events. In fact, the upcoming 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro will have sailing events. Tokyo won’t. Either the logistics involved defeated the Japanese, or, more likely, they dropped the event because of safety concerns. Specifically, what if somebody falls in the water and drowns?

The writer also snipes at the people who want the Paralympics to have a sailing event and dismisses them as “whiners.” The disabled sailors who understandably want to compete in the Paralympics are described as “badgering” the International Paralympic Committee, which “caved” to what the writer views as the sailors’ obviously unreasonable demands.

In a similar vein, the writer comes up with “humorous” names for the new boats the sailors will allegedly use. The boat for the 2-person event is said to be the 303 Access Dinghy. The name takes a swipe at the concerns disabled people have had about the difficulty of navigating wheelchairs into buildings, across streets, and so forth. The word “dinghy” applies to a small boat that is usually a rowboat. Sailing dinghies for racing do exist, but most people probably think of rowboats when they hear the word dinghy.

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