Rules and regulations were to the fore on day five of the ISAF Annual Conference in Estoril.
They may not be the most glamorous side of the sport, but the various rules and regulations governing sailing are one the fundamental aspects of ISAF's role in the sport. Today in Estoril, it was the turn of these areas of the sport to go under the microscope.
There are almost 1,000 ISAF International Race Officials around the world, representing the top level of officials in their various fields. All are volunteers and many also attend and instruct at clinics, seminars and conferences to help expand the base of race officials worldwide and continue to improve standards. The Race Officials Committee meeting in Estoril focussed on a wide-range of issues including the Race Officials projects contained in the ISAF Strategic Plan. Several of these projects are due to come alive within the next couple of weeks, including the ISAF Mentor Scheme. More details will be published on the ISAF Race Officials microsite - www.sailing.org/raceofficials
- in the coming weeks.
The new Medal Race format was also a topic of discussion, with on-the-water umpiring in the final race resulting in an increased exposure and importance for officials at next year's Olympic Sailing Competition. The Committee also agreed on a policy to draw up a code of conduct for officials and set in motion plans to prepare a document on fair play, to help establish a worldwide standard on fair play and appropriate actions and penalties for when it is breached.
One of the key roles of the Committee is to consider the applications for ISAF International Race Official status. The Committee recommended over 200 applications be granted status. The Committee's recommendations will be passed on to the ISAF Council.
Whilst the Race Officials Committee are focussed on enforcing rules on the water, the Constitution Committee ensure that's ISAF's administration and procedures are in good working order. A key topic in today's meeting of the Committee was women's representation in ISAF and how to go about achieving a sound gender balance in key areas of the administration.
Much of the focus yesterday in Estoril was on developing grassroots sailing and boosting participation in the sport. The Regional Games Committee have a key role in this area, with events like the South Pacific Games and Games of the Small States of Europe, giving great impetus to the sport in developing sailing nations. During today's meeting the Committee received reports on recent Regional Games, as well as an update on the South East Asian Games, schedule for 8-14 December in Pattaya, Thailand. During the meeting, Mohamed AZZOUG, President of the Fédération Algérienne de Voile, was also presented with the ISAF President Development Award Presented (click here to read more
Also meeting today were the Special Regulations, Equipment Control and Oceanic Sub-Committees, in advance of the meetings of the Equipment and Offshore Committees on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
World Sailor & Conference Links
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