Sailing could be 1st gender-neutral Olympic sport, being tested in Oyster Bay

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OYSTER BAY -

Sailing could be added as the first gender-neutral Olympic sport, and it's being tested in Oyster Bay.

Catherine Chimney and her co-skipper Ethan Johnson are testing if offshore sailing can be used in the Olympic sailing competition, which will be the first gender-neutral sport in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Currently, Olympic sailing is more of a short sprint, close to shore. But the International Olympic Committee will look at the test run done by Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay to see if offshore, long-distance sailing is a viable option.

Dawn Riley, Oakcliff Sailing executive director, says they've modified 24-foot boats with new equipment like infrared lights so they can sail overnight. Six teams, each consisting of one male and one female, will be sailing together on the test run.

The sailing teams are preparing for a 26-hour test run around the Long Island Sound, which will be livestreamed from the boats to the International Olympic Committee in England.

Ethan Johnson, Oakcliff Sailing's training program director, says both genders will share equal responsibilities on the boat as they sail for 120 miles around the Sound.

Oakcliff Sailing will submit a report to the International Olympic Committee, which will make a final decision on what the sailing event will look like.

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