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28 December 2001, 02:45 pm
The President ISAF On The Reaction To The |Ten Commandments|
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Happy New Year From Paul Henderson

The reaction to the concept of giving "Ten Commandments" which cover most confrontations on the Race Course so as to help entry level and local sailors be less intimidated by the ISAF Racing Rules has had the predictable result.

First we have the response from those areas who have a historical sailing structure with their resident "Sea Lawyers" and "Racing Rule Gurus". They see no reason for any simplified explanation of the complexity of the Racing Rules saying that all sailors should read the rules and go to lectures to explain them usually with their "ISAF Appeals Book" firmly tucked under their arm. It should be pointed out that before an entry level sailor can do so they must go to a linguistic expert to translate them from any normal language into "Sailing Speak".

The second group are those who are so thankful that the International Sailing Federation would address the challenges they face to promote the sport to those who dream of sailing and wish to participate. Clearly stating, in 10 simple points, the basic rules for racing sailboats greatly supports these enthusiasts.

The complimentary letters from China and India more than offset the negatives. I gave a talk at a "Community Dinghy Sailing Club" in Toronto two weeks ago and during the question period an entry level sailor stood up and openly thanked the initiative and succinctly said: "This proves that ISAF does care about the local sailor not just the Olympics and the America's Gup ."

As I look forward (since sailing has no reverse gear) it is important that ISAF must continue to face the challenges to ensure that our beautiful sport becomes "inclusive" not "exclusive" and that the sailors who did not have the opportunity we had will be welcomed as equal members of the multi-faceted "Sailing Fraternity" hopefully as competitors.

Happy New Year!
Paul Henderson
Old Finn Sailor

Paul Henderson/News Editor
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