Hosted by Swiss Sailing, the Executive Committee of the International Sailing Federation held their first meeting of 2004 in Bern, Switzerland, the home of the headquarters of Swiss Sailing.
The Executive Committee met over a three day period, 5-7 February, and were joined on Sunday 8 February by the Olympic Class and multi-Olympic Class Grade 1 Event Organisers.
The three days saw a wide variety of issues discussed, and whilst there was emphasis on the upcoming 2004 Olympic Regatta, equally were matters considered effecting the longer term future of the sport.
A proposal from the working party charged to recommend a roadmap for the integration and recognition of coaches within the sailing world was debated. The proposal which was in principal supported by the Executive Committee addressed key issues, including Coach Registration, Control and Management at Events, Recognition of Coach Qualifications and a Coaches Code of Conduct. With guidance provided by the Executive Committee, the working party will present a final proposal to the 2004 Mid-Year Meeting.
Recognising the ongoing conflicts between events taking place around the world, ISAF has appointed a working group to develop a criteria to enable improved event co-ordination and scheduling.
Whilst, the Major Event Organisers Forum (MEO) has made excellent progress on co-ordinating the international calendar of big boat and offshore events, the MEO had requested ISAF's further involvement to co-ordinate the calendar across all major events worldwide, including ISAF Events, Olympic Class events, match racing events and many other key events.
2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship
Interest in bidding for the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship is high, with formal bids to be received by 1 March 2004.
The 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship will follow a similar format to the 2003 event, with some refinements made, including a reduction the overall number of competitors. From an orgnizational perspective, ISAF will invest in a television and media strategy, and directly contract the production, broadcast and distribution of the television and related media activities.
After receipt of the formal bids on 1 March 2004, ISAF will receive presentations from the Candidate Venues during April 2004, which will be considered by the ISAF Evaluation Commission of:
Executive Committee (2 representatives)
Events Committee Chairman
Race Officials Committee Chairman
Representative from International Classes Committee
ISAF Staff - Secretary General and Director of Sailing
ISAF will publish details of the Candidate Venues on 2 March 2004.
Venues will be required to meet specific sailing, technical and event management requirements, and those venues which offer a single shore-based regatta site or where the shore-based sites are in close proximity to each other will be preferred.
The Evaluation Commission will make their recommendation to the ISAF Executive Committee, and the final decision on the venue for the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship will be made by the ISAF Council at the 2004 Mid-Year Meeting on 5-6 June.
2004 Olympic Regatta
With the 2004 Olympic Regatta fast approaching, various key issues were confirmed, including:
Coach Boats - will be required to remain in a designated area behind the start line, which continues the precedent set in Sydney at the 2000 Olympic Regatta.
Electronic Equipment - further clarifying the Coach Boat Regulations, coach boats will be prohibited from carrying electronic equipment from the day of the Opening Ceremony on Friday 13 August.
On Course Side (OCS) - much discussion took place on the desire to inform sailors immediately they are OCS, both to give them the opportunity to re-start and continue to sail the race and also to remove them from the race course, so as not to effect the rest of the fleet.
It was confirmed that all OCS sailors will be informed and removed from the race course. If a sailor challenges the OCS call, he can continue to sail and will be subject to protest by the Race Committee.
ISAF will continue to investigate the introduction of a digital tracking system, operating via the placement of a GPS/GSM position sensor on the boat which communicates with a data processing unit and GPS reference station. In addition to other functions, the system will be able to identify boats that are OCS and transmit the OCS data both to the Race Committee and the individual boat, so that the boat can restart immediately.
Racing Rules of Sailing
The Executive Committee has challenged the Racing Rules Committee to review RRS 30.3, which prohibits a boat who breaks the Black Flag rule, and the race is subsequently postponed or abandoned from starting in the postponed or abandoned race.
Another challenge to the Racing Rules Committee is to review the scoring system for boats which finish outside of the time limit, and receive a score which it is felt is inequitable, especially when the boat may only be a minute or so outside of the limit.
The Executive Committee will ensure there is increased effort in training Race Officials from South America, East Europe and Asia. Focus will be on the training of judges via clinics and seminars, and as a result it is anticipated to increase the number of individuals certified as ISAF International Judges from these regions.
ISAF Member National Authorities - Subscriptions
At the ISAF Annual Conference 2003, it was agreed to reduce by approximately 50% the annual subscription of those ISAF Full Members (Member National Authorities) countries in subscription categories 1, 2 and 3 - which represent many of the developing sailing nations.
This first level reduction was to be followed by a review of the subscription fees of those countries in the higher subscription categories - 4, 5 and 6. However, a clear direction was given by Council that the subscription categories for 4, 5 and 6 should not be reduced, a position which the Executive Committee has endorsed.
Further supporting the developing sailing nations, ISAF will reduce the annual subscription of Associate Members. Associate Membership was introduced four years ago for countries who may otherwise not be able to afford the category 1 subscription.
Election of Officers
As part of the process for the election of ISAF Officers - the ISAF President and ISAF Vice-Presidents - it is practice for an Election Committee to be appointed to oversee the process. Continuing his role from previous years, ISAF President of Honour, HM King Constantine will chair the Election Committee, with the remaining members to be appointed.
The Election of Officers will take place on Saturday 13 November 2004 during the ISAF Annual Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Unified "World Series"
Immediately following the conclusion of the Executive Committee meeting, on Sunday 8 February ISAF met with the Olympic Classes and the Organisers of the multi-Olympic Class Grade 1 Olympic Class Events to discuss the introduction of an Olympic Classes "World Series" tour.
As yet to have a final title, the "World Series" will be created to introduce a more consistent and professional circuit for Olympic sailors, and provide the mechanism to achieve greater exposure and visibility for sailing.
Representatives from the Olympic Classes and multi-Olympic Class Grade 1 Events, including Sail Melbourne, Semaine Olympique Francaise (Hyeres), SPA in Holland and Kiel Week in Germany, urged ISAF to take the lead and provide the vision by which the "World Series" could be formulated, and all present affirmed their desire as stakeholders in the sport to move forwards in the best interests of the future of sailing to create a more dynamic event programme, which would maximise the sport and create a global circuit. For a full report on this meeting Click Here