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2 October 2005, 09:11 am
Behind The Scenes In Cadiz
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RS:X Cadiz Race 2005
Cadiz, Spain

As well as the racing in Cadiz, the regatta in Spain has been about the development of the new RS:X class, with members from ISAF, Neil Pryde, the coaches and the sailors all taking part in feedback sessions during the regatta with aim of finding the most successful way to take the class forward.
On Friday morning Rich JEFFRIES (USA), former Chair of the ISAF Windsurfing Committee and now RS:X Management team director, was joined by Aaron BOTZER (ISR), International Judge and member of the ISAF Windsurfing Committee and responsible for rules on the RS:X team, Ailsa ANGUS, RS:X International Manager, Mike GEBHARDT (USA) men's representative on the RS:X team and ISAF Vice-President Fiona BARRON (GBR). They formed a panel at a Q&A session with coaches and representatives from 22 different nations.

JEFFRIES explained, 'We talked to the coaches about what the organization of the class is, where we see the organization as it moves forward.'

He was keen to stress the importance of partnership to the development of the class, 'I see the class as having three entities. I see it as having the group of sailors, the MNAs and the coaches and then we as the administrators do what's best for the class. We're the political and administrative side of things for ISAF and IOC, but the coaches, the sailors and the MNAs are of course critical and we cannot forget any one of those.'

RS:X International Manager, ANGUS also announced the relaunch of the RS:X website, next week, which will become more class orientated, featuring more information on upcoming regattas and events, as well as providing forums for sailors and coaches and allowing event orgainzers to publish information on their events.

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Neil PRYDE joined the
competitors, coaches and
officials in Cadiz
© ISAF
On Friday evening the same panel held a similar feedback session, this time with the sailors. For JEFFRIES this was a very interesting meeting, 'That was really exciting for me. The room started off slow, but then filled up and we had a lot of feedback from sailors on formats, what's important to them.'

The RS:X team used to session to introduce themselves and establish a relationship to the sailors they are representing. According to JEFFRIES, 'This is the first time we've had a large group of sailors together. We've had two other formal regattas, one in China, one in San Francisco in the USA and now this one, and with over 120 sailors here at this event, to give them the opportunity to say to us as a class to say, okay - this is how we are moving forward, this is what we're doing, here are the people, let me introduce you to the people that are your representatives on the class administration. Work with us, talk to us, we're open to you, we're not hiding, we're not saying we won't talk to you, we're stepping up and introducing ourselves to you and saying we're here for you.'

Neil PRYDE himself was also in Cadiz on Friday, and delighted to see so many of the new boards lining up for competition, ''It's really outstanding getting this level of interest,' he said. 'We started in November last year, when the decision was made to go with RS:X, all we had was one prototype and now we've delivered more the 500 boards. Sailors have come from all around the world and we're getting 120 sailors here competing in that short time is pretty amazing and I think it shows the level of interest we've created in a high performance one-design class… It's a partnership between Neil Pryde Limited and ISAF and what we've seen so far is that it's a partnership which really is working.'

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Mike GEBHARDT gives some
tips on setting the rig up
© ISAF
Before racing got underway on Saturday, GEBHARDT conducted an hour long clinic, where he gave the competitors tips on setting up the rig.

The second day of racing gets underway in Cadiz today with the French duo of Nicolas HUGUET and Faustine MERRET leading the overall standings. The first warning signal is due at 1300 hours local time, with www.sailing.org bringing you all the latest news from the water.

ISAF, Image, Rich JEFFRIES explaining a point at the sailor meeting on Friday:© ISAF
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