World Sailing chief executive David Graham said the IPC's decision not to select sailing for Los Angeles 2028 was an "extremely disappointing day for our sport" ©World Sailing

World Sailing has pledged its commitment to continue supporting a return to the Paralympic Games after failing to secure the sport’s place at Los Angeles 2028. 

Sailing was among 33 sports in the running to feature on the programme for the Games in five years’ time.

But its hopes were dashed when it did not make the initial list of 22 sports confirmed by the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Governing Board last week.

The decision has been met with disappointment as World Sailing faces a third successive Paralympic Games without sailing on the programme.

World Sailing chief executive David Graham insisted that the organisation would continue to strengthen the sport to launch a fresh bid for Brisbane 2032.

"We fully respect the verdict of the IPC and recognise the difficulty the IPC Board faced throughout this process," said Graham.

"However, we must also acknowledge that this is an extremely disappointing day for our whole sport and, in particular, for Para Sailors around the world.

"Despite this setback, our commitment to our Para Sailors, to the continued growth of Para Sailing, and to the wider Para Sport movement will only grow stronger.

"We know a life on water unlocks so many opportunities for disabled people, we know how inclusive Para Sailing is, and we are determined that Para sailing will continue to go from strength to strength."

Sailing featured at five successive Paralympic Games from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016, only to lose its place for Tokyo 2020.

World Sailing officially began the reinstatement campaign in October 2021 which also sought to increase worldwide participation in the sport having been told by the IPC that lack of inclusivity was among the reasons for the sport being axed.

The world governing body said there were now 41 nations on five continents active in Para sailing, and more than 630 participants.

"On behalf of World Sailing, I would like to thank the IPC for the time and consideration given to our application," added Graham.

"There were 33 sports seeking inclusion for the LA28 Paralympic Games and we appreciate the challenge this poses to the IPC Board.

"No sport has successfully been reinstated and we knew this was going to be a difficult task.

"I also want to thank everyone in sailing for their efforts throughout this campaign, particularly our Para Sailing Committee and the World Sailing Board.

"From the highest level to the local boat club, we have seen overwhelming support for the #BacktheBid campaign, and it shows how important it us for us to work together on the big issues that benefit the entire sport."

Para sailing last featured on the Paralympic programme at Rio 2016 ©World Sailing
Para sailing last featured on the Paralympic programme at Rio 2016 ©World Sailing

Britain’s Royal Yachting Association also expressed its "profound disappointment" at the IPC’s decision but stressed its commitment to working with World Sailing to develop a "long-term sustainable structure" for the sport.

"We welcome World Sailing’s commitment to inspire generations of Para sailing athletes to discover sailing, as it is one of the few sports where men and women can compete alongside and against each other on a level playing field," said RYA chief executive Sara Sutcliffe.

"World Sailing’s bid for LA28 reflected this with proposed mixed male and female crews, or fleets, across all three of the suggested classes."

Paul Cayard, executive director at US Sailing insisted support for sailing was "not subsiding or weakening" as he looks forward to seeing Para sailors compared at this year’s Sailing World Championships, due to take place in the Hague in The Netherlands between August 10 and 20, for the first time.

"US Sailing will continue to advocate for and support disabled sailors through many different agendas, including inclusion in the Paralympics for 2032 in Brisbane," added Cayard.