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2 March 2001, 11:41 am
Making Waves 73 - The Olympic Four-Year Cycle
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President's Message - Paul Henderson

Every four Years ISAF goes through the same 4 year cycle and always we must explain what the facts are:
Olympic Class Selection - There is only one ISAF Regulation that governs this selection which is Regulation 6.1.1:

"The Final Decision on the equipment (classes) for the next Olympic Regatta will be made at the ordinary meeting of the Council following the last Olympic Regatta."

This is also governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) request to do it by 15 November 2000.

The process, which is heavily impacted by MNA's self-interest on what events would best suit their sailors, was completed and the IOC has positively accepted the ISAF Council decision. For the 2000 Olympic Regatta, ISAF was fortunate to be awarded an 11th event which was filled by the Star, after the other 10 events were confirmed. It was intended that it would be used in 2004 for the Women to get over 30%.

Class Rules of Olympic Classes - The Classes of boat selected for the Olympic Regatta become the "Equipment" to be used, and all Classes selected fully understand that ISAF can change the class rules for the Olympic Regatta. In the past ISAF has made necessary changes, but the intention is to keep these to a minimum. An example is that in the Laser Class a sailor can bring their own tiller, but in the Olympics the supplied one must be used.

Olympic Qualifiers - The IOC allocates 400 slots (athletes) to sailing for the Olympic Regatta. ISAF qualifies NATIONS at the qualification regattas, not sailors.

ISAF has NO impact on whether a National Olympic Committee (NOC) then takes up the slot it has qualified for and ISAF has allocate. That is totally between the national sailing federation and their NOC. The reality is that this process is really an elimination of the least qualified sailors.
IF a qualified Nation does not take up its slot, ISAF has the right to reallocate it to any other class it wishes. For example, if a Tornado slot is not taken, ISAF could instead allocate it to two Laser slots, using a criteria determined by ISAF, which could be giving priority to an MNA with no other entry in any class.

The first Olympic Qualification Regatta will be the ISAF Combined World Championships in Cadiz, Spain in 2003 and the second is tentatively scheduled for Europe early in 2004.

For nations that have qualified for the 2004 Olympic Regatta, the MNA must confirm their entry to take the slot no later than 30 April 2004 or lose the allotted slot.

Athens Test Event - There is a very unfortunate misconception about Test Events.

They are to train the organisers, not for the sailors to learn about the courses.

As per the Olympic Regatta, the entries will be limited to 400 and at most there will be one entry per MNA in each class. These events are meant to work out the problems before the Games, so that any changes can be made. ISAF asks that the coaches and team leaders fully understand this as any inappropriate actions by them will be dealt with firmly.

Athens 2002, 2003, 2004 - ISAF met with the Athens Organising Committee (ATHOC) in January 2001 and an agreement was reached to ensure an adequate infrastructure will be in place for the sailing test events in 2002, 2003 and finally the 2004 Games.

As far as Sailing is concerned Athens 2004 should be a great success.
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