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4 November 2007, 09:33 pm
Looking To The Future On Day Four In Estoril
Youth sailing was a major focus on day four in Estoril
Youth sailing was a major focus on day four in Estoril

ISAF Annual Conference 2007

Youth sailing, development, match racing and windsurfing were key topics on day four of the ISAF Annual Conference in Estoril.
The Youth and Development Committee has one of the widest remits of any of the ISAF Committees, with an overall objective of increasing sailing participation across all ages, especially youth. During their meeting today they received a report from the Youth and Development Committee Working Party, who have been looking at keys aspects of the Committee's role, and Working Party chair Cathy FOSTER gave her report on the progress made to date.

The Committee received reports on some of the schemes already in place to boost participation; Connect to Sailing; the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme, which assists sailors from developing nations attend the Youth Worlds; and the IOC's Olympic Solidarity scheme. ISAF Vice-President Fiona BARRON also gave the Committee an update on another IOC initiative, the newly launched Youth Olympic Games. Four sailing events and with a total of 100 athletes will feature in the inaugural Youth Games, which are scheduled for 2010 (click here for more details).

The Youth Olympic Games was also a focus point in the Windsurfing Committee meeting, as the four events include two windsurfing events. The committee looked at possible equipment for these events and will pass their recommendation on to the ISAF Executive Committee.

Match Racing

In contrast, the discussions at the Match Racing Committee meeting centred around the 'senior' Games, and the submissions on a women's match racing event at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Amongst a crowded room packed with observers were World Champion match racers Claire LEROY (FRA) and Annie LUSH (GBR). Unsurprisingly the Committee were fully in support on the match racing Olympic cause, but they also focussed on some of the key details surrounding a possible introduction of a match racing event: whether the event would also have specific equipment (in the same way as the present Olympic Classes); if it would be incorporated into the present Olympic Classes circuit; and how the qualification would take place. Their recommendations will now be passed on to the Events Committee, before the ISAF Council makes the final decision on the ten events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Also meeting today were the Racing Rules Committee Working Party in advance of the Race Rules Committee meeting on Tuesday, the Class Rules and Empirical Handicap Sub-Committees, and the Sail Rankings Sub-Committee.

The Connect to Sailing seminar, titled "The Shape of Sailing - Today and the Future", followed the Youth and Development Committee meeting. Click here for more on the seminar.

Tonight, all the red carpets in Estoril are getting a thorough dusting down, with celebrities and royalty from around the world arriving for the launch of the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame. Six inductees will enter the Hall of Fame, launched to celebrate ISAF's Centenary year. They will be announced and awarded on Monday night at a spectacular dinner at the Estoril Casino, Estoril, Portugal. Sponsors for the evening are Portugal Tourism, Estoril Tourism and Cascais Municipality.

Hall of Fame, World Sailor & Conference Links

Following the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame, the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards will be presented on 6 November.

For all the papers (including all 221 submissions), schedule, registration details and the latest news from Estoril just visit the ISAF Meetings microsite www.sailing.org/meetings (or click the Meetings tab at the top of any page on www.sailing.org).

ISAF Meetings - www.sailing.org/meetings
ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame - www.sailing.org/halloffame
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - www.sailing.org/worldsailor

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