The Events Committee meeting began with a speech by Göran PETERSSON, which led Committee Chairman Bjorn UNGER (SWE) to move straight into discussions about the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition Format. The President was quick to praise the work the Olympic Format Working Party had undertaken, saying that it had provided a solid platform for the meeting with the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) from which submission 025 emerged. He praised the Party saying, 'The work you had done before, enabled us to talk with background.' He went on to describe the meeting with the OBS explaining, 'It was a very positive meeting. We are on a very good footing with OBS as long as we listen to what they say... Thank you for your diligent and important work that made this possible.'
The debate centred around late submission 025 and in particular the issue of discards and the weighting of race results. Chairman of the ISAF Classes Committee Jeff MARTIN (GBR) joined the debate to give the view of the Olympic classes, whilst Olympic gold medallist and two-time ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Sofia BEKATOROU (GRE) gave a sailor's opinion on the proposals. Olympic Format Working Party chair Kim ANDERSEN (DEN) also gave the benefit of the research undertaken, whilst supporting submission 025.
As expected the debate was in depth and lengthy, with the Committee deciding to support submission 025, but with votes on two provisos. First they approved an amendment to change the range of races for which the discard can be applied from 1-5 to 1-10 (1-15 for the 49er).
|Göran PETERSSON talks to
the Events Committee
Later in the meeting, chair of the ISAF Youth World Championship Sub-Committee Fiona KIDD (CAN) gave a very encouraging report on the state of youth sailing's pinnacle event. The ISAF Youth Worlds has given the sailing world it's first glimpse at a huge number of it's biggest legends, with names such as Russell COUTTS (NZL), Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) and Chris DICKSON (NZL) amongst the previous gold medal winners.
Fiona KIDD gave a glowing report on the 2005 Championship in Busan, Korea, noting in particular the success of the Asian nations, with Conference hosts Singapore winning their first ever gold medal thanks to Wee Chin TEO and Terence KOH in the 420 boys event. The Events Committee also supported the recommendation from the Sub-Committee for the bid from Buzios in Brazil to host the 2009 ISAF Youth Worlds, subject to Council approval and final contract arrangements.
|The 420 medal winners at the
successful Youth Worlds in
© Peter Bentley
The Committee later took a first look at the ISAF World Cup proposal detailed in submission 091. The proposal is to use the existing ISAF Grade 1 events to create a sailing tour for the Olympic classes in the form of the ISAF World Cup. After a short discussion, the submission received unanimous approval from the Committee.
The Committee were also presented with the latest details on the ISAF Centenary in 2007, when the Sail the World Festival on 1-2 September and the Sailor of the Century Awards on Saturday 1 September 2007 will take centre stage.
Also meeting today were the ISAF Offshore Committee, who gave their support to submission 102 on Yacht Club Costa Smeralda hosting the 2006 ISAF Offshore Team World Championship. Submissions 104 through to 111 brought about lively debate on the Offshore Special Regulations, whilst submission 042 on Small Boat Safety Recommendations again received the Committee's support.
The Committee then received a series of reports, first from the Special Regulations Sub-Committee, the Oceanic Sub-Committee and the Empirical Handicap Sub-Committee, followed by the handicap systems, the IMS, IRC and ORC Club and then from the International Regulations Commission.
Finally the ISAF Constitution Committee also met in the morning to conclude their agenda.
Tomorrow, Friday 10 November, sees the opening meeting of the ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF. One of the list items on the Agenda will be the ISAF Strategic Plan - the first step in achieving ISAF's vision, which focuses on nine top level Objectives:
Thursday's meeting will mainly receive reports from various areas of the sport, before heading into the consideration of the more than 150 submissions on Friday, when the Conference looks set to really heat up.
For all the news on the ISAF Annual Conference CLICK HERE.