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3 October 2007, 04:37 pm
Fernando BOLIN (ESP)
Fernando BOLIN
Fernando BOLIN

Obituary

It is with great sadness ISAF reports that Fernando BOLIN (ESP), ISAF Vice-President from 1998-2004, passed away on 2 October, aged 77.
Fernando dedicated much of his live to sailing, gathering numerous offshore and dinghy titles before becoming involved in sailing administration, and going on to play vital roles at the Real Federacion Espanola de Vela and the International Sailing Federation.

Fernando was the Spanish Olympic Team Manager at the Montreal, Moscow and Los Angeles Olympic Games, and would continue his involvement with the Games through the remainder of his life in sailing. In 1991 he became an ISAF International Judge and served on the Jury at the Barcelona and Sydney Games, alongside numerous other high profile events from dinghy to offshore. Fernando's understanding of the importance of protocol and hospitality gave him the additional role as head of protocol across many ISAF events.

In his native Spain, Fernando served a total of 12 years as a Vice-President and President of the Real Federacion Espanola de Vela. Fernando was also a past President of the European Union Sailing Association - the predecessor to EUROSAF. Fernando was also instrumental in the development of disabled sailing in Spain. He initiated, organized and developed the framework to enable disabled sailing to become a reality and ensure sailing could be offered to all.

Within ISAF, Fernando was a member of the Constitution and the Class Policy and Organization Committees (the predecessor to the Events Committee). From 1994-1998 Fernando was appointed chairman of the Events Committee (then called the Special Events Committee) and led the Committee through a period of considerable change. During this time, Fernando served as a member of the high performance dinghy evaluation panel which reviewed potential equipment for the new Olympic event at the 1996 Trials in Torbole, Italy. Under Fernando's chairmanship, the Events Committee recommended the introduction of the new high performance dinghy event and subsequently the selection of the 49er as the equipment for the 2000 Olympic Games. Fernando was also deeply involved in the first 1998 ISAF World Sailing Championship in Dubai.

There are many successes in the sport for which credit goes to Fernando. One of the most public achievements was the introduction of national flags on sails at the Olympic Games, first introduced in Sydney. Fernando was the driving force in this project and his professional background in printing and technology certainly served the sport very well. Embracing the early days of the internet, when President of the Real Federacion Espanola de Vela, Fernando ensured the Palamos Christmas Race became one of the first online sailing events. Fernando's passion for the development side of the sport saw ISAF increasing our commitment and focus to supporting sailing in Regional Games. Fernando also wanted to embrace the different sailing organizations within the ISAF family and his lead saw the establishment of ISAF Continental Members. Fernando always encouraged ISAF to listen to the sailors and understand their needs - and this relationship proved valuable time and time again. Fernando was hugely respected by the sailors.

In 1998 Fernando was elected to the ISAF Executive Committee and was re-elected again for a second term in 2000. During his six years in the Executive Committee his portfolio included working with the Events Committee, and so he continued to be deeply involved in the Olympic Sailing Competition as well as all other aspects of ISAF events.

Upon retiring as an ISAF Vice-President, Fernando was awarded an ISAF Gold Medal in 2004 in recognition of his outstanding voluntary contribution to sailing.

Paying tribute to Fernando Bolin, the ISAF President Göran Petersson expressed, "I have been very privileged to know Fernando over many years and work with him as a friend and a colleague. Fernando will be remembered as a great friend of sailing and a man who truly understood the diverse needs of the different organizations and individuals in our broad sport. An achiever and an inspiration to those he met."

ISAF extends our sincere sympathy and condolences to Fernando's wife, Mercedes, their family and friends.
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