On Friday 12 November, the world of sailing honoured retiring ISAF President Paul HENDERSON at an evening reception in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Attended by 300 representatives from the world of sailing and the world of sport, the outstanding contribution Paul has given to sailing was recognized.
Paul first came onto the then IYRU scene back in 1970, aged 36, and was soon making his mark on the Class Policy and Organization Committee (CPOC). Reflecting on his first ISAF Committee role, on the CPOC, Paul reflects, "I was put on the CPOC because nobody knew what Class Policy and Organization was!"
Image: Paul HENDERSON (CAN) and Paul ELVSTROM (DEN)
He soon became close to the then IYRU President, Beppe CROCE (ITA) who was a mentor and a friend. Paul became an ISAF Vice-President in 1978, before being elected President in 1994. Internationally, and alongside his ISAF work, Paul has been a member of the International Olympic Committee, ASOIF and GAISF.
The evening opened with ISAF President of Honour, HM King Constantine, paying tribute to Paul and reading a statement from IOC President, Dr Jacques ROGGE. "Paul Henderson has devoted his life to sport, as an athlete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo (in 1964) and Mexico City (in 1968); as President of the International Sailing Federation; and as a member of the ASOIF and GAISF Councils.
I had the privilege to participate with him in the Finn class at the 1968 Olympic Games. We became friends there and have remained very good friends ever since.
I want to pay tribute to Paul HENDERSON's strong personality: he is a real sportsman and friend who has always acted with courage and realism, enabling sailing and the Olympic Movement to move forward.
Paul is leaving to his successor a great legacy, a modern, well run, very respected Federation."
The evening then proceeded with representatives from the different constituent groups of ISAF paying tribute to Paul:
Image: Paul HENDERSON (CAN) receives Rolex timepiece from Nucci NOVI CEPPELLINI (ITA)
Nucci NOVI CEPPELLINI (ITA) - spoke on behalf of the ISAF Executive Committee and presented Paul with a Rolex timepiece to celebrate his 70th Birthday on 17 November 2004.
Zvi ZIBLAT (ISR) - on behalf of the ISAF Council
Luissa SMITH - on behalf of the ISAF Secretariat
Tamara GUTTMAN - on behalf of the Canadian Government
Robert FASULO (SUI) - on behalf of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)
Jeff MARTIN (GBR) - on behalf of the ISAF Classes
Janet BAXTER (USA) - on behalf of ISAF Member National Authorities
Paul CAYARD (USA) - on behalf of Sailors
L-R: Paul ELVSTROM (DEN) and Paul CAYARD (USA)
The main speaker for the night and renowned yachting journalist, Bob FISHER (GBR), proceeded to recount the "life and times" of Paul and his initiation into sailing, through his Olympic campaigns and then onto ISAF.
ISAF Presidents of Honour, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and His Majesty King Constantine present Paul HENDERSON (CAN) with the ISAF painting.
The evening concluded with the ISAF Presidents of Honour, HM King Harald V of Norway and His Majesty King Constantine presenting Paul with a painting ISAF had commissioned depicting a montage of the "key moments" throughout Paul's sailing and administrative career.
Paul HENDERSON (CAN) with the ISAF painting