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11 May 2007, 09:00 am
World Cup And Olympics Up For Debate In Paris
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ISAF Mid-Year Meeting 2007
Paris, France

The launch of the ISAF Sailing World Cup and the Olympic Sailing Competition were amongst the key discussions at the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting, held in Paris, France, the birthplace of the International Yacht Racing Union 100 years ago.
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The ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, met over the weekend of 5-6 May 2007, preceded by meetings of the ISAF Executive Committee and ISAF Events Committee. The discussion in Paris ranged from ISAF finances to membership to Olympic and event issues.

The minutes from all meetings will be published on www.sailing.org in the coming weeks. There follows an overview of the key discussions:

Women's High Performance Dinghy Evaluation Event

Concluding a few days before the 2007 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting, the evaluation of a possible 'Women's High Performance Dinghy' took place in Hyères, France. The mission of the evaluation was to determine whether there is suitable equipment for a Women's High Performance Dinghy event at the Olympic Games.

A positive yes was the answer transmitted to the ISAF Council by Dick BATT, Chairman of the ISAF Equipment Committee, when he made his presentation on the Evaluation Event.

The evaluation was to identify equipment which would meet the criteria of being a two-person dinghy for women with a combined crew weight of 120-140 kg, able to sail faster off the wind than the wind, and with a target price of EUR14,500 ready to sail.

ISAF evaluated other criteria on the six boats which presented themselves, including performance, design and build issues, class association and cost, and all six boats met the criteria.

This conclusion enabled the Events Committee and Council to include a Women's High Performance Dinghy in their deliberations on the events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

As the evaluation held in France was predominantly in light winds, a second evaluation event will be held later in the year, most probably in September 2007 in Great Britain. Full details will be made available on www.sailing.org.

2012 Olympic Sailing Competition - Events

Expected to create much debate, the determining of the list of possible events for the 2012 Olympics, was in fact a very straightforward and practical discussion.

For the 2012 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has endeavoured to contain the number of events and the total number of athletes. To achieve this, several sports have had to reduce their events and/or their athlete quotas. For sailing, this has meant one less medal, a reduction to ten medals from the current 11.

ISAF will decide the final ten events for the 2012 Olympic Games at the 2007 ISAF Annual Conference in November. The aim at the 2007 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting was to establish a list of possible events for the 2012 Olympic Games, in order to provide guidance and a basis for initial discussion prior to November 2007.

Council identified the following possible events for either men, women or open categories:

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The Events Committee met on Friday 4 May
© ISAF

List of Possible Events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition

Men Women
Windsurfer Windsurfer
One person dinghy One person dinghy
One person dinghy - heavy Two person dinghy
Two person dinghy Two person dinghy high performance
Two person dinghy high performance Keelboat
Keelboat Multihull
Multihull - open or men

This list of possible events does not preclude any other events from being added to the list being considered in November 2007 and any additional event proposals may be made through the usual submission process.

All events proposed by International Federations are required to meet criteria set by the IOC. Supporting the Olympic standards, ISAF's seeks to select events, and subsequently the equipment (which will be selected in November 2008), which support objectives, including:

  • Must allow athletes around the world, male, female and of different size and weight, to participate
  • Must achieve the current IOC objective of the minimum level of participation for women
  • Must give the best sailors in each country the opportunity to participate in readily accessible equipment
  • Must combine both traditional and modern events and classes, to reflect, display and promote competitive sailing

Within the ten events, ISAF will need to decide the ratio between men's, women's and open events. Meeting before the ISAF Council, the Events Committee considered a proposal to introduce an equal ratio of five men's and five women's events. Whilst this initiative was in principle supported as a goal to be achieved in the future, Council agreed that the direction for the 2012 Olympics will be four women's events and either six men's events or five men's events and one open event.

The question of a 'fleet' or 'match' racing competition format for the keelboat event was discussed and will be finalized in November 2007. However, for the purposes of event descriptions, the event if selected would be known as 'keelboat'.

ISAF Sailing World Cup

The ISAF Sailing World Cup has been in the planning for several years, and in November 2006, ISAF approved the initial six events and the overview event concept, with the ISAF Executive Committee charged to finalize details.

The objective of the ISAF Sailing World Cup is to provide a clear competition structure for Olympic sailing and enhance Olympic sailing for the competitors, provide a media and marketing tool to benefit sponsors, event organizers, the sailors and the sport, and to promote and educate people about sailing.

In November 2006, ISAF approved that a series of events will combine under the umbrella of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, with the subject to contract the initial events being:

  • Sail Melbourne
  • Rolex Miami OCR
  • Princess Sofia Trophy
  • Semaine Olympique Française
  • Holland Regatta
  • Kiel Week

The ISAF Sailing World Cup will kick off in 2008 and ISAF has been working in partnership with the event organizers to finalize details of the concept and calendar scheduling.

A consistent approach will be taken not only on the competition format across the World Cup events, but also on media activities, marketing and the event brand. As part of their commitment to the World Cup, each event organizer will be required to contribute towards TV production, to an amount which will be matched by ISAF and put in entirety towards the television production and distribution.

From 2009 onwards, the scheduling of Sail Melbourne and Rolex Miami OCR will be moved to enable competitors to compete in both events, with Sail Melbourne during the second week of January and Rolex Miami OCR during the second week of February.

A sailor's finishing place at each individual event in the World Cup series will count towards his ISAF Sailing World Cup score, using a high point scoring system and no discard. The intention is to also count results from the individual Olympic Class World Championships within the World Cup scoring. However, as at the moment Kiel Week is the last event in the World Cup series, World Championships will need to have concluded prior to Kiel in order to be included.

From 2010 onwards, ISAF plans to introduce a Grand Final which will take place in the months after Kiel Week and see the top sailors from the series in a 'head to head' Grand Final at a venue which will be moved around the world each year.

ISAF also intends to add additional non-European events to the World Cup series in the coming years, with an initial focus on an event in Asia.

ISAF will publish a separate update on the launch of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

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ISAF thanks the FFV who were
outstanding hosts and
SanPellegrino ISAF's Official
Water Supplier for their
continued support
© ISAF

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Advertising Code

The ISAF Advertising Code in its current form has been in place for almost ten years with only very minor revisions during that time. With the increasing need to deliver an improved 'sponsorship platform' that is sailing equipment, ISAF is undertaking a review of the Advertising Code.

The review will seek to offer innovative and fair options to ensure that the varying sponsors who have branding on sailing equipment - athlete sponsors, MNA sponsors, class sponsors and event organizer sponsors - are provided with appropriate opportunities to promote their brand.

2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship - Bid Process

Whilst all focus this summer is on the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, ISAF is already looking ahead to the selection of the host venue for the Championship to be held in four years' time.

The 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships will mark the third holding of this event and the host venue will be decided by ISAF in November 2007.

The 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships will be ISAF's biggest-ever event and has attracted 75 nations and over 1,600 competitors, many of whom will be aiming to qualify their nation for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition.

For those venues interested in hosting the 2011 Worlds, registration of potential bids must be received by 1 June 2007. ISAF will then send venues details on the Championships and they will be invited to attend the 2007 Worlds to observe the event. Final bids should be submitted to ISAF by 1 September 2007. ISAF will then undertake an evaluation of the bids through October 2007, with a final decision on the venue in November 2007.

ISAF Members

The Speed Windsurfing Class Association was approved as an ISAF International Class.

The Techno 293 windsurfer was upgraded from ISAF Recognized to ISAF International Class status, reflecting the strong support given by some MNAs to use the Techno in their youth windsurfing programmes.

The SL16 catamaran designed by Yves LODAY was approved as an ISAF Recognized Class. The SL16 youth catamaran with a spinnaker, popular in France and with fleets developing in USA and Great Britain, is an equipment option for the multihull event at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.

The Palestine Sailing Association was welcomed on board as a new ISAF Member National Authority.

ISAF Strategic Plan

Work on implementing the ISAF Strategic Plan, which was approved by ISAF in November 2005, continues ahead. Whilst much of the Strategic Plan is embraced within the day-to-day work of ISAF Committees, many new initiatives have been undertaken.

Safety of sailors on the water and ashore is paramount and ISAF will introduce Medical Guidelines to ensure a minimum level of medical care for sailing events. The Medical Guidelines will apply to events sanctioned by ISAF, with the framework available for use by other event organizers and clubs. The guidelines will provide information on first aid, on site medical expertise, medical equipment provision and medical planning.

Supporting the environment, ISAF recently launched a new Environment microsite at www.sailing.org/environment and introduced the ISAF Code of Environmentally Friendly Behaviour. Work will continue to develop guidelines and best practice on the sustainability of sailing venues.

In the next few months, ISAF will be introducing special Entry Level Racing Rules to provide clear and easily understood rules for beginners. The main focus of the rules will be to simplify the complexities of 'when boats meet'.

Looking ahead to 2008, when ISAF Committees will be appointed for the next four-year term, ISAF will review Committee terms of reference and establish skills sets for each committee. Supporting the objectives of the Strategic Plan, each Committee will also have strategic objectives to achieve during their four-year term of appointment. Membership of ISAF Committees is open to all persons nominated by an ISAF Member National Authority.

Other issues discussed included the 2007 ISAF Budget, which was approved, and competition formats at Regional Games.

The 2007 ISAF Annual Conference will take place in Estoril, Portugal from 1-11 November.

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Jacques ROGGE receives the Trophy
from ISAF President Göran PETERSSON
and SPellegrino's Fausto TAZZI
© Getty Images/ISAF

ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy

Jacques ROGGE (BEL), the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was honoured by the International Sailing Federation when he received the Federation's highest award for outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing and ISAF on Friday 5 May. ROGGE, who has competed in three Olympic Sailing Competitions, is an outstanding recipient for the 2007 award presented in the Centenary year of ISAF.

The presentation of the ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy was attending by leading figures from the sailing world, including IOC Members, past Presidents and Vice-Presidents of ISAF and six previous winners of the award at a dinner hosted by S.pellegrino.

About The ISAF Council

The ISAF Council is the final decision making body of ISAF. It is chaired by the ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE), who was elected along with the seven Vice-Presidents for a four-year term in 2004. Along with the President and Vice-Presidents, the Council also includes the other members of the Executive Committee, Presidents of Honour HM King Harald V of Norway and HM King Constantine (both non-voting). There are also 28 appointed members (representing each of the regional groups of sailing nations), and representatives of the Offshore Committee, ISAF Classes Committee and a Women's Representative.

Meetings Microsite

The ISAF Meetings microsite - www.sailing.org - contains the Agendas, Supporting Papers and Submission from past meetings, 1997 to date. Via the online Minutes Archive you can access all past minutes of ISAF Committee Meetings from 1993 to date.

For all the news on the ISAF Annual Conference CLICK HERE.

ISAF, Image: the ISAF Centenary flag adorns the Council meeting in Paris © ISAF
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