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11 November 2005, 02:44 am
The Big Decisions Begin
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ISAF Annual Conference 2005

On Thursday in Singapore ISAF's final decision making body, the ISAF Council met for the first time at this year's ISAF Annual Conference. After being elected at the General Assembly last year ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) gave his first President's Report to the Council to open three day's of meetings where the hot topics from this year's Conference will be decided upon.

After opening the meeting with the traditional bang of the gavel, Göran PETERSSON set out an assessment of the current state of sailing and of ISAF in his Report to the Council. In an all encompassing speech he drew on all areas of the sport to set challenges for the future, challenges he felt had to be met to ensure a healthy future for the sport. In particular the President was keen to stress ISAF's role in providing an arena for Olympic sailing,

'The Olympics presents a global arena for our sport. All sports have received clear guidance that they need to adapt for televsion. Sailing has a great opportunity to deliver - let's make the right choices.'

The President then gave a short report from the ISAF Executive Committee, before taking a back seat whilst ISAF Secretary General went through the finances of ISAF, and the 2006 budget was approved.

The ISAF Strategic Plan was then presented to the Council by the President, laying out ISAF's vision and nine key areas of development which will be assigned a small expert project group. The ISAF Strategic Plan was passed with a massive majority vote and is available online CLICK HERE.

There then followed thirteen verbal reports from the ISAF Committees, a new agenda item designed to keep the Council right up to date with the various aspects of the sport with analysis from the top minds in every area. Amongst the points raised Dick BATT from the Equipment Committee confirmed their recommendation to recognize the Neil Pryde RS:X as an ISAF Recognized Class, Events Committee chairman Bjorn UNGER reported on his Committee's recommendation to carry up performance trials on a women's high performance sailing event, whilst the Match Racing Committee's chair Henry MENIN put forward the case for match racing to re-enter the Olympics in 2012.

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The Equipment Committee
confirmed their support to make
the RS:X a Recognized Class

Philip TOLHURST from the Offshore Committee spoke about the proposed development of tracking systems for inshore/offshore events like the Farr 40 Worlds with aim to have them in place for the 2006 ISAF Offshore Team World Championship. Meanwhile John DOERR from the Race Officials Committee pointed to the increase in seminars and clinic, which this year have taken place in over 20 nations. He also stress that the Committee was fully prepared for the challenge any format change that requires direct on the water judging would set.

The reports finished with the affiliate members of the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC) and International Foundation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS), before the meeting closed for the day.

Tomorrow the more than 100 submissions at this year's Conference will be discussed as and the debates which have dominated this year's Conference go under the microscope.

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

ISAF. Image, ISAF President Göran PETERSSON gets the Council meeting underway:© ISAF
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