The following statement is in response to the numerous queries ISAF Secretariat have received:
Please note that the decision on the equipment for the 2004 Olympic Regatta was made by the ISAF Council, the members of which represent all ISAF Member National Authorities. We would therefore suggest that for further information you contact your Member National Authority or the Council Member representing your country who was present at the meeting. The minutes of the Council meeting at which the decision was made will be published on the ISAF website in mid-January and from those you will see the debate and reasoning which took place and which resulted in the decisions made.
9 November 2000
ISAF 2000 November Conference Press Release
2004 OLYMPIC REGATTA - EVENTS AND EQUIPMENT
Today, Thursday 9 November 2000, Edinburgh, Scotland, the ISAF Council debated the events and equipment to be used at the 2004 Olympic Regatta, Athens, Greece.
The Events Committee was invited to present their recommendations and as a first step asked Council to reconsider the slate of events which had previously been approved in November 1998, as in their opinion three keelboat events and only five dinghy events did not accurately reflect current participation in the sport.
The approach the Events Committee took to get Council's support to change the slate of events, was that if they had to make a decision using the existing slate of five dinghy events they would be compelled to recommend the deletion of the 49er. Their argument, the Finn is the only dinghy for heavyweight males, the Laser is widespread, affordable and easily available, and the 470 is popular for lightweight men and used in emerging nations and should reflect the equipment used in the women's double-handed event, and obviously there was no challenge for the Europe's slot.
The thought of the 49er being removed from the Olympic schedule was enough to convince the Council with a majority consensus to reconsider the slate and change the three keelboat and five dinghy events to two keelboat and six dinghy events. This decision meant the removal of the Keelboat Open to be replaced by the Double-handed Dinghy Open.
With two keelboat events then approved - one for men and one for women - Council then reconsidered whether they should be fleet or match racing. Again, to reflect the participation around the world, it was resolved that both keelboat events be fleet racing.
It was then time to decide the equipment, starting with the windsurfing events. There was a move from some quarters to defer the decision on the windsurfing in order that further investigation could be undertaken into the two types of equipment - Mistral and Formula Windsurfing - in contention, but Council emphatically expressed the need, in the interests of enabling the sailors to know the direction of their sport, to make a decision this November.
For the first time in the history of ISAF, Council then implemented an electronic voting system to decide the equipment.
Whilst in the windsurfing, there was support for Formula Windsurfing, it was the established Mistral Class that won through. Multihull Open saw an almost unanimous support for the modernised version of the Tornado, to include a spinnaker and double trapeze. In the Single-handed Dinghy Men, there was no question, the Finn came through as clear favourite, with the Europe in the Single-handed Women slot. Double-handed Dinghy Women saw the 470 voted in, which was then reflected in the Double-handed Dinghy Men. The Dinghy Open slot was taken by the Laser, with the new Double-Handed Dinghy Open for the 49er.
That left the two Keelboat events, with the keelboat men fleet racing voted first pitching the Star against the Soling. This was going to be tough and disappointing for one of the classes. The vote was close but saw the Star go through with a 3 vote advantage.
The decision on the equipment for the Keelboat Women Fleet Racing event presented a slightly different scenario as all recommendations on equipment had been made based on a match racing event. In this respect Council agreed that representatives from the appropriate Committees reconvene and make a joint recommendation to Council for presentation midday tomorrow, 10 November 2000.
Therefore the events and equipment, with the exception of the Keelboat Women Fleet Racing, have been approved as:
Windsurfer Men Mistral One-Design
Windsurfer Women Mistral One-Design
Multihull Open Tornado with spinnaker and double trapeze
Single-handed dinghy women Europe
Double-handed dinghy women 470
Single-handed dinghy men Finn
Double-handed dinghy men 470
Double-handed dinghy Open 49er
Dinghy Open Laser
Keelboat Men - fleet racing Star
Keelboat Women - fleet racing Yngling