Whilst the final preparations for the gala evening that is the presentation of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were taking place in the Cirkusbyginen; at the Marriott Hotel, further important committee meetings were hosted.
Yesterday was a busy day for the decision makers of our sport, a full 13 meetings and seminars took place over the course of the day, involving committee members, observers and presenters alike. Today was a little quieter in preparation for the Awards this evening, nevertheless the Racing Rules Committee, the Women's Sailing Committee, and the Sailing Committee meetings were held.
Recommendations proposed by each committee are debated during the meetings of the ISAF Council on Friday and Saturday, when they are either implemented, rejected, or deferred to a later date.
Every four years the Racing Rules of Sailing are updated and re-published. It is an on-going process and the 2005-2008 Racing Rules Of Sailing were finalized at last year's Annual Conference in Barcelona, consequently this year's agenda was somewhat reduced in volume.
That said, there were some important recommendations put forward to Council, including a proposed experimental appendix to the Racing Rules of Sailing (Submission 096-04). To be known as Appendix Q and if approved by council to be distributed as a downloadable document from the ISAF website, www.sailing.org from 1 January 2004, the recommendation deals providing a set of rules for umpired fleet races.
As a result of a working party set up by the Race Officials Committee and the Racing Rules Committee, submission 096-04, following some amendments was put forward after 12 months of research and evaluation and subtly amends some of the existing Part 2 rules, protests by boats, signals by umpires, and requests for redress in umpired fleet races.
It has been proposed that, along with the wording of the appendix, a questionnaire for competitors, umpires, and chief umpires be placed on the ISAF website in order to provide feedback for future development to ISAF.
Along with experimental Appendix Q, the Racing Rules Committee also recommended to Council a number of submissions put forward regarding RRS 42 - PROPULSION. It was accepted by the Committee and proposed to Council that standard wording be developed for use by class associations within Class rules. This is something that came out of the wording used in the Olympic Games, and will be developed over the next 12 months.
As well as recommending the general principle, the Committee also approved an amended submission from the International 420 Class to change their class rules, allowing this switch on/switch off procedure for RRS 42 (Submission 105-04).
A number of calls from the ISAF Match Racing Call Book and Team Racing Call Book were also updated and added. These calls will be published in the latest update of the Call Books and be available on the ISAF website.
The Women's Sailing Committee, who have the unenviable task of polling sailors thoughts into the best way to develop women's sailing, had an extensive agenda for 2004 that included putting their position to the Council regarding the selection of equipment for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The decision of which equipment the Women's committee support took an extensive period of discussion within the Women's Sailing Committee, and by the end of an in-depth debate, the Committee put forward a proposal to support the Laser Radial. The final submission for the equipment to be used in Beijing will be made by a vote of the Events Committee tomorrow morning before it is debated in Council on Friday.
The Women's Sailing Committee also received reports from the geographical regions of its members about the development of women's sailing. A recently publicized submission from the Bermuda Sailing Association regarding the inclusion of Match Racing was discussed and although supported by the committee, it would notbe abletobe considered forimplementation until after 2008.
The Sailing Committee had an agenda which included discussions on the World Speed Sailing Record Council, who are developing speed records which are to be classified by nationality, John REED, secretary of the WSSRC highlighted that it was possible that kite propelled vessels could in the future, set World Sailing Speed records. Already such vessels are within striking distance of the current outright record.
The status of four applications for class status was approved for recommendation to Council. It was recommended that the Hobie Dragoon become a recognized class and the TopCat K1 Catamaran be awarded a provisional World Championship for 2005. The Nacra F18 Catamaran's status remains provisional and the class will be holding a provisional World Championship in 2005. The Formula Experience was recommended for recognized status.
The equipment for use at future ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship was discussed. Currently it is the Hobie 16 with spinnaker and this is envisaged to be the equipment for the next three years, whilst the Youth Multihull Equipment Evaluation Working Party have reduced their recommended shortlist to Council for a new boat to the SL 16 and the Hobie Max.
Safety issues are always brought to the fore within ISAF and attention was drawn to the new RRS 40.2 and its interpretation in terms of sailors being able to quickly release themselves from a boat at any time whilst in use. This rule comes into effect on 1 January 2006 and is in the already published 2005-2008 Racing Rules of Sailing
The full program for tomorrow includes the Offshore Committee, the Events Committee and the second sitting of the Constitution Committee. Following the ISAF Rolex World Sailor Of The Year Awards Presentation this evening, Rolex are hosting a Sailing Event on the Copenhagen waters immediately in-front of the Marriott Hotel here in Copenhagen.