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15 November 2004, 09:23 am
Final Report
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Neil Pryde RS:X© ISAF

2004 ISAF Annual Conference

After nine days of meetings, involving debate and decisions on almost 400 submissions and numerous other recommendations from Committees, the ISAF Annual Conference came to a close on Saturday 13 November, after the first meeting of the new ISAF Council.
For the newly elected ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE), it was his first opportunity to speak to the ISAF Council who, in his words, he will be "serving" over the coming four years.

More than 500 delegates representing more than 70 nations were in Copenhagen, Denmark, with representatives present from ISAF Member National Authorities and ISAF Classes and the ISAF Committee Members. Add to these the many observers - representing the sailors, coaches and media - and the debates in the meeting rooms and the halls have been intense.

Amongst the sailors joining ISAF in Copenhagen were Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Jesper BANK (DEN), Sofia BEKATOROU (GRE), Ed BAIRD (USA), Kevin BURNHAM (USA), Adrienne CAHALAN (AUS), Paul CAYARD (USA), Russell COUTTS (NZL), Dorte JENSEN (DEN), Helle JESPERSEN (DEN), Roman HAGARA (AUT), Nikos KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE), Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL), Signe LIVJBERG (DEN), Rodion LUKA (UKR), Lotte Melgaard (DEN), Christina Otzen (DEN), Philippe ROGGE (BEL), Robert SCHEIDT (BRA), Siren SUNDBY (NOR), Ruslana TARAN (UKR), Emilia TSOULFA (GRE) and Marta WEORES (HUN).

Olympic Gold medallist Kevin BURNHAM (USA) was attending his first ISAF Conference, and when asked what he thought, commented "I had no idea there were so many volunteers at this high level doing such fantastic work for sailing. I am really impressed." Sentiments also echoed by Paul CAYARD.

Of these sailors, ISAF is looking forward to welcome several into the ISAF Committee structure for the next term, having received proposals for Sofia BEKATOROU (GRE) to join the Equipment Committee, Dorte JENSEN (DEN) the Youth and Development Committee and Nikos KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE) and Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) the Windsurfing Committee, and Marta WEORES (HUN) onto a number of Committees. Also joining an ISAF Committee, is active sailor His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who in future will sit on the ISAF Events Committee.

Looking back over the nine days of meetings, there have been some crucial steps taken for the sport of sailing.

Of course the biggest debate was the selection of equipment to fill the eleven Olympic event slots, with the Windsurfer Women and Windsurfer Men, and Single-handed Dinghy Women the key events in contention from new classes. The process of recommendation and decision making saw the Women's Sailing Committee consider the proposals and make recommendations to the Events Committee, who in turn made the final recommendation to Council. Whilst five classes had put themselves forward for consideration, there were really only two classes with any likelihood of selection for the slot - the Europe or the Laser Radial. The debate was batted around the meeting table, with the benefits of the "out of the box" Laser Radial which would spread and increase women's participation being extolled, whilst the supporters for the Europe Class favoured the technical specification of the boat, ability for the sailors to have a rig ideal to their weight and the investment many nations had already made in the boat. However, when it came to the vote, it was conclusive, with 24 votes in favour of the Laser Radial, and 12 supporting the Europe.

For the Windsurfer Women and Windsurfer Men's events, Council had previously made a decision in June 2004, that the equipment for these two events had to change for the 2008 Olympics. Prior to that, the windsurfing industry had been on notice for several years to put forward new equipment, the result of which was the Olympic Windsurfing Equipment Evaluation Events. The working party responsible had made a clear recommendation to Council for the new Neil Pryde RS:X, and after reassurances on equipment availability and distribution, price controls and other technical issues, Council voted 26:12 in favour of the Neil Pryde RS:X. The complete slate of equipment for the eleven events at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition was therefore confirmed as:

Event Equipment (Class)
Windsurfer Men Neil Pryde RS:X
Windsurfer Women Neil Pryde RS:X
Multihull Open Tornado
Keelboat Women Yngling
Keelboat Men Star
Double-handed Dinghy Open 49er
Double-handed Dinghy Women 470
Double-handed Dinghy Men 470
Single-handed Dinghy Women Laser Radial
Single-handed Dinghy Open Finn
Single-handed Dinghy Men Laser

With the success of the 2003 ISAF Sailing World Championship, ISAF took the decision to focus Olympic qualification for the 2008 Olympic Games on two major Championships. The 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship will host 75% of the Olympic qualification, and the remaining 25% will take place at the respective 2008 World Championship for each of the classes, which shall be held before 1 June 2008.

Many proposals were considered regarding the Olympic format and scoring systems, and it was agreed that experimentation should take place during 2005. The Events Committee Format Working party, chaired by Kim ANDERSEN (DEN) will identify the experimentation permitted. ISAF will encourage experimentation by all event organisers with feedback to ISAF, and will be permitted at ISAF Grade 1 events.

The submissions to re-introduce match racing back onto the Olympic Programme could not be considered in respect of 2008, as the events had already been determined in November 2003, but will no doubt return for debate over the coming years.

The new Equipment Committee of ISAF has been charged to work with the Olympic Classes to reduce the costs of development of equipment, to make the playing field fairer for all, and reduce the investment necessary to compete.

Race Officials
The Race Officials Sub-committees considered the many Race Officials appointments, full details of which will be published on the ISAF Website:

International Umpires
ISAF received 10 renewal applications, and 11 first applications of which 10 and 9 respectively were approved, including two women. The total number of International Umpires is now 101.

International Judges
97 applications for renewal were received of which 89 were approved.

From the 26 applications for first appointment, ISAF approved 17 new appointments. Credibility to the increasing number of women involved in judging, three applications were from women, including the youngest ever ISAF Race Official appointment, Zofia TRUCHANOWICZ (POL) aged 22.

The total number of International Judges is now 384.

International Race Officers
31 International Race Officers applied for a renewal of their status, of which 29 were approved.

First time applications totalled 24, of which 15 were approved, including one woman, to bring the total number of International Race Officers around the world to 174.

International Measurers
All nine applications for International Measurer status were approved, bringing the total number of International Measurer's to 85.

As part of its efforts to minimise those events which do not pay fees to ISAF, a new regulation was agreed which will give ISAF much clearer authority to withdraw ISAF Race Officials from events.

The review of the ISAF Technical Committee structure was completed, when the decision was made to keep the Windsurfing Committee as a separate Committee, not a sub-Committee of the Equipment Committee. The new Technical Committee structure of an Equipment Committee, Equipment Control Sub-Committee and Class Rules Sub-Committee, replaces the Sailing Committee and individual Boat Committees. The objective is to provide a much more streamlined and efficient technical service for the sport.

Committee Nominations were considered for appointments to ISAF Committees, and will be finalised within the coming two months.

The Classification Panel was formalised as an ISAF Sailor Classification Commission, reporting direct to the ISAF Executive Committee.

A new Coaches Commission was created which will look after the interests of ISAF and Coaches, and carry on the work already approved by Council in June 2004, including the:

Online registration of coaches, will be further supported with coaching forums at ISAF Events, and the introduction of a "code of conduct" for coaches/team support members.

ISAF Events
It was confirmed that the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship will be held in San Diego, USA, and the 2007 ISAF Team Racing World Championship was confirmed as being held in Mumbai, India. The holding of the Team Racing Worlds, marks the first time an ISAF event has been held in India.

Reporting on plans for the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship, it was noted that arrangements are now in place, and the Organizing Committee have made arrangements to expand the dock area at the venue, proving more area for keelboats, and a much-needed space to the marina. It was confirmed that the qualification system for the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship will be finalised at the 2005 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting.

Preparations for the 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games are well underway, with more than 60 nations anticipated to compete in this event at which all the equipment will be supplied.

The reintroduction of the ISAF Nations Cup, a regional match racing event, with the winners from each regional event competing at the ISAF Nations Cup final, continued to receive much support, with the event scheduled to be running from 2006 onwards.

In respect of the ISAF Open and Women's Match Racing World Championships, it was approved that in future only a single-round robin will be sailed.

Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008
Council approved a change to the Fundamental Rule 3 of the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008, to clearly set out the route of appeal and utilise the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Subject to ratification by the ISAF Racing Rules Committee, this change will apply immediately when the new edition of the Racing Rules of Sailing (2005 - 2008) become effective on 1 January 2005.

By participating in a race conducted under these racing rules, each competitor and boat owner agrees

(a) to be governed by the rules;
(b) to accept the penalties imposed and other action taken under the rules, subject to the appeal and review procedures provided in them, as the final determination of any matter arising under the rules; and
(c) with respect to such determination, not to resort to any court or other tribunal not provided by the rules. where the matter is not one to be determined under the Rules, not to resort to any court of law or any tribunal until all internal remedies provided by ISAF or by the Court of Arbitration for Sport have been exhausted.

The ISAF Racing Rules Committee also considered proposals effecting penalties under the Black Flag Rule (RRRS 30.3) and Propulsion (RRS 42), both of which have been deferred for further consideration.

With discussions and submissions ranging from International Rating Systems, Offshore Special Regulations and updates from the Grand Prix Rule Working Party, the Offshore Committee had a full day of meetings.

One of the many important recommendations that came from the Offshore Committee was the introduction of a new appendix to the Offshore Special Regulations. Researched and developed by a working party jointly funded by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), the Appendix deals with the safety aspects of the developing trend in offshore sailing for the application of variable ballast in the form of canting keels, water ballast and the like.

As well as stating the required safety standards for such boats, including Knockdown and Inversion Recovery Factors, the appendix also defines fixed, moveable and variable ballast. It also states that in order to comply with the appendix, systems must be permanently installed with manual control and actuation systems. In addition, it must be possible to lock canting keels on the centerline.

The Committee approved some amendments to the original wording of the Appendix, allowing boats built prior to November 2004 to apply for dispensation from certain sections of the appendix.

Appendix K "Moveable and Variable Ballast" will be available on the ISAF website and effective from 1 February 2005.

Class Rule Changes and Technical
Of the many detailed class rule changes that were approved, the most notable in the Olympic Classes are in the 49er which sees the removal of the crew weight equalisation system and in the Tornado the adoption of a carbon-fibre mast and limitations on permitted sail materials.

ISAF MNA's and Continental Members
The Kazakhstan Sailing Federation was welcomed as an ISAF Full Member (Member National Authority) allocated to country group H.

The European Sailing Federation (EUROSAF) was recognized as an ISAF Continental Member.

ISAF Classes and Rating Systems
Class Associations receiving ISAF status, were the Topcat K1 approved for ISAF Provisional status, the Hobie Dragoon 15 foot youth catamaran with spinnaker granted Recognized status (up from provisional), and the Zoom 8 up from Recognized to International Status.

The ORC Club was approved as an ISAF International Rating System.
ISAF Council
Reflecting ISAF's desire to achieve at least 20% female representation within the ISAF decision making process, the ISAF Council which consists of 39 voting members now has eight women amongst its ranks, three of whom are ISAF Vice-Presidents. In addition to the voting members, the ISAF Presidents of Honour, His Majesty King Constantine and His Majesty King Harald of Norway are both Council members and in attendance during this week's meetings.

The appointed Council Members for the four-year term, 2004-2008 are:

Name Country Group
Tomasz HOLC (POL) C
Jean-Pierre CHAMPION (FRA) D
Nazli IMRE (TUR) D
Gerardo POMBO (ESP) E
Alexander KOTENKOV (RUS) H
Sareed HAREB (UAE) I
Charley COOK (USA) P
To be confirmed Women's Representative
To be confirmed Offshore Representative
Jeff MARTIN (GBR) ICC Representative

Whilst the membership of ISAF Committees is yet to be finalised, one of the first tasks of business undertaken by the new Council was the approval of the Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen, as follows:

Committee Chairman Vice-Chairman
Medical Margriet Pannevis (NED) Benedict Tan (SIN)
International Regulations Alan Green (GBR) Ignacio de Ros Sopranis (ESP)
Classification Anthony Matusch (GBR)
Audit Committee Joe Butterfield (NZL) To be advised
Constitution Committee David Lees (GBR) Charley Cook (USA)
Equipment Committee Dick Batt (GBR) Riccardo Simoneschi (ITA)
Class Rules Sub-Committee George Tallberg (FIN) Bill Abbott (CAN)
Equipment Control Sub-Committee Jan Dejmo (SWE) Dina Kowalyshyn (USA)
Events Committee Bjorn Unger (SWE) Totos Theodossiou (CYP)
Sail Rankings Sub-Committee Dan Ibsen (DEN) Jeff Martin (GBR)
Team Racing Sub-Committee Chris Atkins (GBR) Jan Krejcirik (CZE)
Youth Championship Sub-Committee Fiona Kidd (CAN) To be advised
Match Racing Committee Henry Menin (ISV) Alan Adler (BRA)
Offshore Committee Philip Tolhurst (GBR) Kjell Borking (SWE)
Empirical Hcp. Sub-Committee Nils Nordenstrom (NOR) Miguel Rosa (ESP)
Oceanic Sub-Committee Abraham Rosenberg (BRA) Jacques Lehn (FRA)
Special Regulations Sub Committee Alan Green (GBR) Patrick Lindqvist (FIN)
Race Officials Committee John Doerr (GBR) Henri van der Aat (NED)
Int. Measurers Sub-Committee David Sprague (CAN) Antonio Cardona Espin (ESP)
Int. Judges Sub-Committee Jose Hofland-Dominicus (NED) Bernard Bonneau (FRA)
Int. Umpires Sub-Committee Jan Stage (DEN) Alfredo Ricci (ITA)
Race Management Sub-Committee Henri van der Aat (NED) Rafael Gonzalez (ESP)
Racing Rules Committee David Tillett (AUS) Bryan Willis (GBR)
Regional Games Committee Ajay Balram (IND) Dorith Stierler (ISR)
Windsurfing Committee Rich Jeffries (USA) Jorunn Horgen (NOR)
Women's Sailing Committee Adrienne Greenwood (NZL) Anna Andreadis (GRE)
Youth and Development Committee Ross Robson (RSA) Andrea Grael (BRA)
Review Board Jack Caldwell (USA) Bryan Willis (GBR)

ISAF Gold and Silver Medals
In recognition of their outstanding service to the sport of sailing and ISAF, the following ISAF Medals were awarded:

Silver Medal
Hans-Kurt Andersen (DEN)
David Cook (NZL)
Michael Devonshire (GBR)
Carlos Diehl (ARG)
Ken Ellis (GBR)
Yasuo Hozumi (JPN)
Frank Newton (GBR)
George Panagatiou (GRE)
Gianfranco Tonelli (ITA)
Peter Van Aanholt (NED)
Teresa Whelan (GBR)
Rafael Wolontis (FIN)
Gold Medal
Michel Barbier (FRA)
William Bentsen (USA)
Fernando Bolin (ESP)
Sadi Claeys (BEL)
Arturo Delgado (ESP)
Jean-Pierre Marmier (SUI)
Tony Mooney (AUS)
Cliff Norbury (GBR)
Ken Ryan (IRL)
Brian Southcott (GBR)
Stephen Tupper (CAN)

ISAF General Assembly
The much awaited elections of the President and seven Vice-Presidents was scheduled at the end of the Conference on Saturday 13 November during the ISAF General Assembly.

Speaking at his final General Assembly, the retiring ISAF President Paul HENDERSON (CAN) commented, "I believe that history will record our chapter in ISAF history in a very positive way. Sometimes it has been uncomfortable as the more conservative amongst us, resist entering a new environment or an individual or organisation was unable or unwilling to respond for the good of the whole world of sailing, and of course we have not always been right in our decisions! But these have only been very small diversions on a path of modern thinking.

I feel that together we have tackled the structure of the sport. And ISAF has endeavoured to continue to put in place a total service to the sport.

Finally, I wish to remark on the willing help and support which has been given by you the Member National Authorities, the ISAF Classes and other International Organisations. But my particular thanks go to all the Committee Members and Chairmen, unsung heroes all of them. Again my sincere thanks to the Council and my colleagues on the Executive. You have all combined to support the sport and take it forwards - you can all be very proud of your work.

It only remains for me to congratulate whoever is the new President and to confirm my promise that I am always available to help if needed."

The elections were overseen by an Election Committee, chaired by His Majesty King Constantine, with His Majesty King Harald of Norway, Pease GLASER (USA) and John TINKER (CAN) as members. Making history in the sport, three women were elected Vice-Presidents, with the final slate being:

Name Position
Göran Petersson President
George Andreadis (GRE) Vice-President
Fiona Barron (GBR) Vice-President
Nucci Novi Ceppellini (ITA) Vice-President
David Irish (USA) Vice-President
David Kellett (AUS) Vice-President
Teresa Lara (VEN) Vice-President
Teo Ping Low (SIN) Vice-President

Speaking after his election victory, Göran PETERSSON commented, "This is my finest hour. I am proud and grateful to be here. When I came to the IYRU in 1978, I met the then President Beppe Croce - a fine leader.

Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would be here. I very much look forward to serving you."

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