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3 November 2006, 05:00 pm
Sailing Stars Meet In Helsinki
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ISAF Annual Conference 2006
Helsinki, Finland

Day two of the ISAF Annual Conference brought some of this season's top sailing stars to Helsinki, Finland, for the inaugural Conference meeting of the ISAF Athletes Commission. In the afternoon, ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) led the second day of meetings for the ISAF Executive Committee.
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The ISAF Coaches Commission also met for the first time this morning, along with the International Regulations Commission and Medical Commission.

World Champs Around The Meeting Table

Some of this season's top achievers in the Olympic Classes gathered in the Conference centre this morning in the Athletes Commission meeting, including 2006 World Champions in the 49er, Women's 470 and Yngling respectively, Chris DRAPER (GBR), Marcelien DE KONING (NED) and Monica AZON (ESP).

The Athletes Commission was formed last year to act as a link between Olympic sailors and ISAF, and next year at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, sailors will have the opportunity to elect their representative to the Commission.

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Although the Commission is still in a formative stage, each of the eleven Olympic events was represented by one their leading stars including double Olympic gold medallist in the Star Mark REYNOLDS (USA) and recently crowned Finn European Champion Ed WRIGHT (GBR). WRIGHT explained the key aim of the Commission was to give sailors a direct line to their representatives in ISAF, "We're the voice of the sailors. We'll try and get as much of the sailors' wants and needs out there and show the Committees what we actually want."

Their meeting in Helsinki focused on setting their terms of reference for the Commission and electing a chair to see them through to next year's Worlds. Back to back 470 World Champion DE KONING got the vote to lead the Commission. Amongst their key terms of reference, the Athletes' Commission shall to be a non-political body which can offer advice and assistance to ISAF and ensure the voice of the sailors is always heard in ISAF.

First Meeting For Coaches Commission

Along with the sailors, the coaches also got the chance to air their views in Helsinki today, with George FUNDAK (AUT) chairing the first ever meeting of the Coaches Commission. Like the Athletes' Commission, they will add their own unique point of view to ISAF.

All through today well-known sailing figures have been arriving in Helsinki ready for the Conference to start in earnest this weekend. Around 600 delegates are expected to attend the Conference in Helsinki, representing 50-60 nations from right across the sailing world. Tomorrow the ISAF Classes Committee will take centre stage and there are also meetings for five Sub-Committees. The ISAF Women's Forum, made up of all the women representatives across the ISAF Committees, will meet tomorrow evening.

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, Marcelien DE KONING was elected as chair of the Athletes Commission:© Mark Col/www.eyeforlife.com
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