The ISAF Classes and Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship were key issues under debate in the meeting rooms on the third day of the ISAF Annual Conference in Busan, Korea.
The ISAF Classes Committee held their meeting in Busan today. The Committee, which also has representatives on the Equipment, Equipment Control, Class Rules, Events and Windsurfing Committees, provides a chair for a representative appointed by each ISAF Class, giving an opportunity for all ISAF International and Recognised Classes to have a direct input into ISAF's decision-making.
The Committee covers a wide range of topics, with discussion today ranging from the Advertising Code to Class/Championship Rules and The Racing Rules of Sailing. One of the talking points in today's meeting was the Equipment and Events Committee Working Party on Regulation 18 and 26
, which aims to simplify the Regulations surrounding ISAF Classes and promote their growth worldwide.
Whilst the main points of the working paper were supported, including the proposal to replace the current designations of International, Recognized, Classic etc with an all-encompassing 'ISAF Class' label, although the Committee did raise some issues, and in particular were keen to maintain the current attendance requirements classes must meet at their World Championship events.
The presentation on the work towards separating out Class Rules and Championship Rules, a subject which had provoked much debate last year, this time around received much less comment, a clear indication of the progress made in this area by the Working Party. David Brookes presented the topic, noting that, "We've got to ensure our classes top competitions, our World Championships and Continental Championships, are protected."
The ISAF Youth World Championship Sub-committee is responsible for strategy, planning, approval and other matters relating to the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. During the start of today's meeting the Sub-committee reflected on the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship held in Buzios, Brazil earlier this year. Chairman Fiona Kidd (CAN) summed up her review by saying, "I would like to congratulate Buzios and the event organizers for a fantastic championship. Without doubt this year was one of the best Youth Worlds we've ever seen."
Before reviewing the arrangements for the upcoming Youth Worlds in Istanbul, Turkey (2010), Zadar, Croatia (2011) and Dun Laoghaire, Ireland (2012), the Sub-committee focussed on the Development and Strategy of the championship. Chairman Fiona Kidd introduced this Agenda item as a consideration of two main areas: the size and the format of the championship.
"We are a victim of our own success. We have a very successful event but we have to ask how big do we want this championship to be?" Kidd asked. Amongst the key issues raised in this debate were the cost implication of the championship as it continues to grow, particularly with the addition of the new Open High Performance Dinghy - 29er event starting from 2010 and the change to the Laser Radial equipment in the Boy's One Person Dinghy event starting from this year, which resulted in a surge of entries in Buzios. Another major topic was the introduction of a Training Day at the start of the championship
The Sub-committee also received the bids for the 2013 Youth Worlds from Cyprus, Sweden and Portugal. After much deliberation, the Sub-committee decided to endorse the bid from Limmasol, Cyprus and will pass this recommendation on to the Events Committee.
Also meeting today were the International Umpires Sub-committee, Race Management Sub-committee and International Measurers Sub-committee, ahead of the Race Officials Committee meeting on Monday.
Tomorrow in Busan the Development and Youth, Match Racing and Windsurfing Committees holds their meetings, with the Connect to Sailing Seminar taking place in the afternoon.
On the ISAF Meetings microsite at www.sailing.org/meetings you can find more details on the 2009 Annual Conference. There's also a simple guide to ISAF's decision-making process and a full database of past meeting papers.