Their father, Modesto FERNANDEZ, also attended the IU seminar at the Circolo Velico Lago di Lugano (CVLL), the first to be held in Switzerland. Delegates from Switzerland, Great Britain, Netherlands and Sweden also attended.
Still only 16 years old, Antonio is a national IMS measurer in Spain and has also already completed an International Judge (IJ) Seminar and took part in an International Race Officer (IRO) seminar at just 14 years old. Like her brother, Elena has now completed IU, IJ and IRO seminars, with the pair well on the road to becoming ISAF's youngest-ever Race Officials.
Jan STAGE (DEN), Chairman of the ISAF International Umpires Sub-Committee, said, 'It is great to see young sailors like Antonio and Elena getting involved in the ISAF Race Officials programme. Umpiring is certainly a big challenge, but it's also great fun and we'd like to see more young people getting involved in this side of the sport. I wish Antonio and Elena all the best and hope to see more young faces at seminars throughout the year!'
With the advent of on-the-water umpiring for the Medal Races at next year's Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao, China, ISAF Race Officers, and particularly IJs, have never been more in the spotlight. Through the ISAF Race Officials programme of seminars and clinics around the globe, there is now a growing spread of top-level officials across the sailing world. With new, young faces like Antonio and Elena working towards International status, ISAF is delighted to see this reach also spread across age ranges. Finding and training top-quality race officials is one of the biggest challenges the sport faces, and it is great news for the sailing world to see youngsters like the Antonio and Elena showing their enthusiasm and skill for such a crucial area of our sport.
The new CVLL clubhouse at Lago di Lugano, rebuilt after a fire and completed last September, provided first class facilities for the delegates at the seminar. The seminar took place at the same time as the ISAF Grade 3 Act II of the UBS Lugano Match Cup. These gave some of the competitors an opportunity to contribute to the seminar as well, with debriefs after racing, and the option to ask questions and listen to the delegates explain their calls.
The seminar was lead by IJ, IU and member of the IU Sub-Committee Marianne MIDDELTHON (NOR), supported by IU Philippe GOMEZ (FRA) for the on-the-water part of the seminar. Chief Umpire at the Lugano Match Cup, Miguel ALLEN (POR), gave valuable assistance during the seminar. ISAF would like to thank the club, instructors, delegates and Juerg KAUFMANN (SUI), co-ordinator, for their contribution to a very successful seminar.
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