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1 November 2005, 11:01 am
Conference Preview - Part Two
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ISAF Annual Conference 2005

In two days the ISAF Annual Conference will get underway in Singapore with ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) chairing his first Conference since his election last November. In the second part of our preview takes a look at the last few days of meetings in Singapore and highlights some of the submission set to provoke debate.
Following the celebrations at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards on Tuesday 8 November, the final five days of the ISAF Annual Conference see some crucial meetings taking place and the all important decisions made.

On Wednesday the ISAF Constitution Committee have their second day of meetings and will continue their vital behind the scenes work which is so important to a large organization like ISAF. The ISAF Offshore Committee also spend all day in meetings and will be discussing, amongst other things, submissions 038 and 039 for ISAF Status for the X-35 Class and the Swan 45 Class. The Committee will also be discussing the proposal of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in submission 102 to host the 2006 ISAF Offshore Team World Championship. Submissions 104 through to 111 relate to the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, whilst submission 042 looks at small boat safety recommendations.

All Eyes On Events

However for the vast majority of sailing fans the focus on Wednesday will be firmly on the ISAF Events Committee. They will be the reporting Committee to the ISAF Council on submissions 025 and 047 through to 055 relating to the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition Format and submissions 057 through to 073 on equipment pre-selection for 2012. Submissions relating to the Olympic Sailing Competition Format vary from no discards in the final race, to no discards, to knock out stages to a final race. All the submissions can be viewed online on the ISAF Annual Conference microsite in the Papers area.

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The Olympic Format debate
is set to take centre stage in
© Ben Radford/Getty Images
Away from the Olympics there are a number of other interesting submissions for the Events Committee to get their teeth into. Submissions 078 through to 080 deal with qualification for the 2008 Olympics, which currently will be decided mainly at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship and then at the respective 2008 Olympic Class World Championships. Meanwhile submission 085 looks at the qualification system for the 2007 ISAF Worlds in Cascais, Portugal.

Submission 091 also looks set to provoke some fascinating debate as it proposes an ISAF World Cup for the Olympic Classes, aimed to emulate the success and foster the environment for top level competition in other sports like golf and tennis.

The Council

By the end of Wednesday all the ISAF Committees will have concluded their meetings and prepared their recommendations to the ISAF Council. On Thursday the newly formed ISAF Council meet for the first time at an ISAF Annual Conference. Their first meeting after appointment in November 2004 was the 2005 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. They will receive a report from the ISAF President Göran PETERSSON and an update on the work of the ISAF Executive Committee before also hearing reports from the Chairmen of the ISAF Committees and ISAF affliate members such as IFDS and the WSSRC. Thursday will be spent reviewing administrative and financial issues, as well as looking at the applications of three nations, Georgia, Oman and Senegal, to expand the ISAF family of MNAs. The RS:X will also come under the spotlight as the ISAF Council reviews the progress of the new equipment for the Olympic windsurfing events, and particularly focuses on the largest RS:X regatta to date, the RS:X Cadiz Race in Spain back at the start of October.

Of the eleven days of meetings, the two Council meetings on Friday and Saturday 11-12 November are when all the issues debated in Singapore will come to a fore. The ISAF Council is ISAF's final decision making body, and it is here that ultimately the choices that shape the future of our sport will take place.

The Council will debate and discuss the issues that have been in turn been discussed and debated throughout the previous eight days, listening to recommendations from the respective Reporting Committees before making their final decisions.

The Council will also be taking a progress check on the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition set for Qingdao, China. Representatives from the Qingdao Sailing Committee will be arriving in Singapore to give the Council the latest on the development of the venue and progress being made towards success in 2008. Looking a little less further into the future the Council will also be receiving a report from the ISAF World Sailing Games Organizing Committee about preparations for the Championship in Austria next May. The meetings will then finish with a look forward to the forthcoming ISAF Meetings, with the next Annual Conference set for Helsinki, Finland from 2-12 November 2006.

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Kite Surfing is sure to provoke
plenty of debate in the
Committee meetings
© Ian Britton/

Up For Debate In Singapore

Across all the ISAF Committees key issues will be debated which are bound to impact on the future of our sport. Having looked at some of the big issues for the different Committees, there is now the opportunity to look at some of the other interesting submissions which will be up for debate in Singapore.

Submission 012 deals with Anti-Doping tests for Transoceanic Yacht Races, whilst submission 014 on ISAF becoming involved in Kite Surfing is bound to provoke some lively debate. ISAF has a focus on safety issues within the sport and submission 042 relating to a new set of small boat safety regulations is evidence of this commitment.

Amongst a host of other submissions, the ISAF Equipment Committee will debate submission 043, which proposes to set up an international system for in-house certification, whilst submission 077 proposes observation trials to determine the best equipment for a possible women's high performance multi-crewed dinghy event at the 2012 Olympics.

ISAF Events

Looking towards the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship in Cascais, submission 085 proposes that all nations will be guaranteed at least one place on the starting line, with additional places to be awarded under a qualification process based on the 2005 and 2006 Class Worlds. Submission 091 aims to reinvigorate Olympic sailing around the World, by providing a clear competition structure for the Olympic Classes in the form of an ISAF World Cup. The current ISAF Grade 1 Olympic Classes Regattas will form the backbone of the tour with new events to be introduced in South America and Asia to make it a truly worldwide tour.

The Ins And Outs

With such variety in the sailing world and the technical aspect of the sport always developing at a rapid place, there are plenty of submissions relating to the technical side of the sport. Laser Radial sailors are sure to be interested by submission 028 which proposes a composite glass/carbon fibre top mast, which it is proposed will increase the competitive weight limits of the competitors. Submission 103 proposes a change to the Rating Rules, whilst submission 105 contains some detailed proposals for the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations. Meanwhile submissions 130 through to 146 propose changes to the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012, including submission 135 relating to permanent forestays. Submission 147 and 148 relate to previous recommendations on quick release harnesses, whilst submissions 149 through to 154 detail proposed changes to the ISAF Case Book. There is certainly plenty for the technically minded to chew over in Singapore.

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The ISAF Executive Committee will
conclude the meetings in Singapore

Role On 2006

Following all of the talking, the presenting, the debating and the deciding, the ISAF Annual Conference comes to an end with a final meeting of the ISAF Executive Committee on the morning of Sunday 13 November. Without doubt the debates will continue after that, but for the 2005 Annual Conference the ISAF decision making progress will be over and all eyes can be set towards an exciting future for sailing.

ISAF will be bringing you daily reports on from the meetings in Singapore.

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

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