The ISAF Eligibility Code was one of many items discussed at the ISAF mid year meetings.
ISAF Mid-Year Meetings 5-6 May 2001, Santa Margharita, Italy Yesterday, 5 May 2001, saw the first meeting of the ISAF Council appointed in November 2000.
The meeting commenced with those present introducing themselves and sailing backgrounds, highlighting the vast depth of experience the Council Members, who represent all Member National Authorities around the world, bring to the table. Represented on Council are many past Olympians, World and Continental champions.
A vast range of subjects has been discussed, some of which will require further consideration and input and will be brought back onto the Council table in November 2001, others which were able to be put to bed over the two-day meeting.
ISAF Eligibility Code - The ISAF Council approved revisions to the Eligibility Code to be effective 6 May 2001. The purpose of the revisions is to require that membership in a competitor's MNA or an organisation affiliated to his/her MNA will only be required at significant events, such as a world or continental championship, and those events at which ISAF Race Officials officiate. In addition, an MNA may require such membership for events within its jurisdiction.
ISAF Meetings - the commission charged with making proposals on the current ISAF committee and meeting structure to ensure effective and transparent processes, and ensure ISAF is able to react to the ever evolving needs of the sport, reported on their progress.
It was agreed that in order to ensure the Member National Authorities of ISAF have the opportunity to fully consider all issues effecting policy, that whilst all such issues would be addressed and discussed at the November Meeting, the final decision would be deferred until the following Mid-Year Meeting. However, 'technical' matters would be decided at that November Meeting. Further proposals will be made regarding the future committee structure.
ISAF Associate Membership - Noting the many smaller countries who have not paid past years' subscriptions, members were reminded of the new level of ISAF Associate Membership, which is aimed at countries who wish to take advantage of developing the sport further, but do not yet wish to participate at the Olympics or ISAF World Championships. Available at a reduced annual subscription, countries are encouraged to take advantage of the Associate Member services available.
2004 Olympic Regatta - Qualification System - Council approved the 2004 Olympic Regatta qualification system presented by the Events Committee, which will be subject to final approval in November 2001. It very much follows the system used for Sydney, with the same total number of athletes, but a slight change to the total number of entries per event. The system will continue to allow entries not taken, to be transferred to other events, with the first priority being given to those events in which the smaller nations are more likely to participate, ie the Dinghy Open - Laser, and Boards Men and Boards Women - Mistral.
Approximately 30% of each event's entry quota shall be qualified from that event's 2002 World Championship, 40% from each event's entry quote from that events 2003 ISAF World Championship (scheduled in Cadiz), 20% from each event's entry quota from that event's 2004 World or Continental Championship scheduled to finish by 31 May 2004 at the latest. The remaining 10%, plus any unclaimed qualification from the previous years, will form a pool of available entry positions, which will be filled taking various considerations into account.
The proposed system will be available shortly on the website.
2004 Olympic Regatta - Event Format -the proposed Event Format was discussed and agreed, with the main changes for 2004 compared to 2000 as follows: - that each class will be allocated a specific course for the duration of the regatta. This was not possible in Sydney, where classes sailed on different courses, due to the available sailing area. However, postponed races may be sailed on any available course. - The number of discards has been changed, with no discards after 1-4 races have been completed, 1 discard after 5-11 races have been completed, and 2 discards after 12 races have been completed. The 2 discards will only apply to the 49er which are scheduled to sail 16 races, with all other classes scheduled to sail 11 races.
The pairing of classes on each course was considered, and the following confirmed: Mistral Men and Women Laser and Europe 470 Men and Women 49er
However, in respect of the Finn, Yngling, Tornado and Star no decision was made, as it was agreed to invite Organising Committees to test various pairings over the coming months, with a final proposal to be made in November 2001.
2004 Olympic Regatta - Supplied Equipment - it was agreed that the only equipment to be supplied will be the Laser.
Sailors' and National Identification - to enhance exposure, television coverage and overall promotion, the Events Committee's recommendation to require that wherever possible crew names be on the bottom of mainsails, and national flags be on, as appropriate, mainsails and spinnakers for the Olympic Regatta and ISAF Events, was supported by Council.
Outside Assistance - Deferred from the November 2000 Conference, the matter of 'outside assistance' during the Olympic Regatta was discussed. The aim of restricting 'outside assistance' is to ensure that the Olympic Regatta is a test of talent, not technology and that no sailor is provided with any unfair advantage. The recommendation that no 'outside assistance', including any forms of electronic equipment could be used either by their competitor or their support staff from the time of leaving the venue until after racing is completed and the athletes have returned to the venue, was supported in principle, with the specific wording to be prepared.
Yngling - the matter of a weight limit was raised, but the conclusion at this stage is that there is no intention to introduce a weight limit. However, the matter will continue to be considered by the International Class and further analysis undertaken at the forthcoming Yngling World Championships in June 2001.
Overall Strategy of Events - the Events Committee presented their recommendations on the future structure of ISAF Events, highlighting that sailing should streamline the number of events which are 'World Championships', to better promote the sport. The current situation, where over 200 World Championship titles are awarded each year dilutes their worth and is confusing. The final proposal will be put forward for November 2001.
ISAF Offshore World Championship - Hans Zuiderbaan, Chairman of the ISAF Offshore Committee, reported that RORC had expressed their interest in incorporating the concept of the Admiral's Cup into an ISAF Event, to be held in 2002. It is hoped that the ISAF Offshore World Championship will be the vehicle to develop a strong and successful offshore team event, and further discussions will now take place in order that a proposal can be made for November 2001.
2002 ISAF World Sailing Games - Council approved that the event now be held in Marseille, France during the first two weeks in July 2002. The events and equipment will be confirmed in November 2001.
2003 ISAF Team Racing World Championships - Council confirmed that the venue for the 2003 event will be confirmed prior to the start of the 2001 ISAF Team Racing World Championships being held in August, in Brno, Czech Republic. Whilst two nations had been bidding for the event, Australia and New Zealand, they have agreed to present only one nation's bid, rather than competing against each other.
America's Cup - a policy was approved which states that ISAF will not appoint an ISAF Race Official to officiate at the America's Cup, challenger and defender series who has a conflict of interest due to any involvement with an America's Cup syndicate. The wording of this policy will shortly be available on the ISAF website.
Challenges - Always wanting to keep the sport on its toes, the President closed the meeting by challenging the Events Committee to consider identifying, as soon as possible, the events and therefore equipment (classes) which will be in the 2008 Olympic Regatta, and therefore not be in contention for selection in November 2004. This would provide continuity for the sport and enable nations and sailors to plan ahead, rather than not knowing whether an event and class will remain in the Olympics after this four-year cycle. This was followed up with a challenge to consider providing the women with a one-design boat, following the concept of the equipment (class) used for the Dinghy Open event. The Chairman of the Events Committee agreed that the Committee would consider these proposals.