Sunday, the opening day of the meeting, hosted a series of presentations on Anti-Doping Agency, Competition Format, Youth Multihull Evaluation and a presentation on the use of GPS in tracking and results services.
World Anti Doping Agency -Tom DIELEN, Director European Regional Office and Karen PARR, Testing Manager presented the role of WADA and its objective to promote a doping free culture in sport. WADA's overriding message is that 'Each athlete is responsible for what is in his body'.
Sailing is recognised as not suffering from doping, and ISAF wants it to ensure the sport remains that way. ISAF's programme of dope testing across the eleven Olympic Events will continue, with the possibility to expand the doping programme to include the non-Olympic classes which feed the Olympic classes.
At a meeting between ISAF, America's Cup Management and WADA the Anti-Doping Protocol for the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup Match was discussed, which will consist of both out-of-competition and in-competition testing. The Anti-Doping Protocol will be stated in the America's Cup Notice of Race, to be published in March 2005.
Events Format Working Party - Challenged to review the competition format for the Olympic circuit, the Chairman of the Events Format working party Bjorn UNGER (SWE) received the unanimous blessing of the Executive Committee to 'modernize' the competition format.
The working party is considering a number of format proposals. As always, the overriding objective is to achieve a fair competition, but add to that the delivery of a format that provides excitement and which is clearly understood by both the sailor and non-sailor.
The 2005 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting will see the working party present their proposals to the ISAF Council, giving the opportunity for feedback and discussion, with practical testing of formats to follow.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made it clear it wants short sharp competition across all sports on the Olympic Programme, and note has to be taken of this very clear message.
Youth Multihull Evaluation Working Party - In 1999, ISAF approved the inclusion of a multihull discipline at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship from 2004 onwards.
In 2002, ISAF developed a criteria for builders to submit designs for the youth multihull, which led to a four-day trials in Quiberon, France in 2003, at which nine different designs from five builders were evaluated. The nine designs were eventually short listed to five, two, followed by a further process of assessment and evaluation which reduced the choice to two, including review of the production facilities, availability, distribution and price during 2004 by the Youth Multihull Evaluation working party chaired by Oliver BOVYN (FRA).
Olivier BOVYN (FRA) recommended the unanimous decision of the working party that the Sirena SL16 catamaran designed by Yves LODAY be selected as the youth multihull for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. The ISAF Executive Committee supported the proposal and will make the same recommendation to the ISAF Council at the 2005 ISAF November Conference. The Executive Committee recommendation will detail the Championship at which the class will be first introduced to replace the Hobie 16 and whether there will be alternative equipment for the multihull event, as is the case for the other youth events. Prior to use at the Youth Worlds, the SL16 will need to achieve ISAF Status. The SL16 is a twin-trapeze, three-sail multihull retailing at approximately EUR11,000.
GPS Tracking - ISAF recognizes the potential in utilising track and trace technology to enhance the sport, make it easier to understand, and boost its commercial value, both on television and in its increasing popularity on the internet. In offshore races, tracking has been used for many years, but it has taken time for the technology to develop for accurate application to smaller keelboats and dinghies when in concentration, and with a high level of accuracy.
With an objective to address the OCS (on course side) issues at the start of a race, recent tests undertaken have proven conclusive, monitoring boats to a high level of accuracy, and ISAF is confident a system can be operated to less than a 30cm range.
Software provides real time tracking of boats throughout a race, not just on mark roundings. The transponder, which can be linked to a watch, will transmit data to sailors, including an OCS alarm (both before and after the start of the race), and other race data to be agreed. The software package provides graphics and statistics during the race, and enables the data to be stored for broader analytical work at a later date, such as for commentating, or for coaches to review the race.
ISAF has a commitment to use the latest technology at key ISAF Events, with the forthcoming 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games the first event hosting the software. The 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal will be the next focus, and the Organizing Committee has already pledged its commitment.
ISAF is working with Swiss Timing, the results and timing providers for the 2008 Olympic Games, to ensure the technology is utilized during the Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao, China.
ISAF will be seeking tenders from providers of GPS tracking technology to work with ISAF to develop the hardware and software. ISAF will be issuing a technology specification and inviting companies to make their tender to ISAF by 1 May 2005. To express an initial interest in tendering please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Use of the technology will have ramifications to the Racing Rules of Sailing and the individual Class Rules, and the ISAF Racing Rules Committee and Race Officials Committee will be working to address the consequential changes required.
ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy - Unanimous agreement was given to the awarding of ISAF's most prestigious volunteer trophy, the Beppe Croce Trophy, to Paul HENDERSON (CAN). Paul retired as the ISAF President in November 2004, after 34 years outstanding service to the sport. The ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy is presented in recognition of 'outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing'.
Sanpellegrino, ISAF's Official Water Supplier and sponsor of the Beppe Croce Trophy presentation, will be hosting the presentation dinner on 13 May 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Neil Pryde RS:X - Intense discussion was held on the new equipment for the windsurfer men and windsurfer women events for the 2008 Olympic Games. ISAF and Neil Pryde will be issuing a press release next week announcing comprehensive details including the Board Specification, and Production and Distribution Programme.
The Neil Pryde RS:X will be available into the market place during May 2005, with an anticipated 1,600 boards to be built by the end of 2005. ISAF will ensure that the first boards available are distributed to countries which are actively involved in Olympic windsurfing, with a priority given to countries who competed at the 2004 Olympic Sailing Competition, and then to countries who competed at the 2004 Olympic qualifying events.
The board for Olympic competition and campaigning will be a high specification board, but alongside this a cheaper board using ASA technology may be available for training and youth development.
It is anticipated the first major events, including Continental Championships, can be scheduled for the latter part of the year. ISAF will organize the first Neil Pryde RS:X World Championship in 2006.
ISAF has set a target time prior to the 2008 Olympic Games, by when ISAF will hand over the management of the class to an independent Class Owners' Association. In the interim period ISAF will manage the class, including the organization of the World Championship, class rule changes, and participation rules. A management team, including ISAF and the Chairman of the ISAF Windsurfing Committee Rich JEFFRIES (USA) will handle the day to day management of the class.
Neil Pryde will be launching the Neil Pryde RS:X website on 15 February 2005 on www.neilpryde.com
Olympic Classes Commission - having previously considered the introduction of an Athletes Commission, the Executive Committee decided that the Olympic Classes Commission should hold this role. To ensure athlete representation, each Olympic Class will be invited to appoint two representatives, one of whom must be a current international sailor of that class.
World Speed Sailing Record Council - in considering recognition of kite surfing within the speed sailing arena, significant safety concerns continued to be expressed. At this stage, ISAF does not give endorsement to recognizing kite powered crafts as holders of the outright World Sailing Speed Record.
2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship - with the contract for the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships signed, the only issue to be finalised was the dates, which are confirmed as 28 June-13 July 2005, scheduled after the 2007 Kiel Week and before the 2007 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship and the 2007 Pan-American Games.
2008 Olympic Games - recently returned from Qingdao, China the ISAF Technical Delegates, David KELLETT (AUS) and Jerome PELS, Director of Sailing presented an exceptionally positive report on their site visit. Building work to transform the shipyard into a 45 hectare sailing venue is intense, with the venue scheduled to be finished by the beginning of 2006. In the lead-up to the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, ISAF will focus on the training programme for the National Technical Officials (NTO's) and developing race officials. In this key planning stage, ISAF has also placed emphasis on the media facilities and the need for the media 'mixed zone' to provide access for all accredited media after competitors come ashore. The 2006 Qingdao Test Event is scheduled for August 2006 (dates to be confirmed) with two entries per nation permitted.
The Executive Committee confirmed that at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, athletes from the host nation will automatically qualify for all events in which they wish to participate. At this stage the Chinese Yachting Association has confirmed that it plans to participate in all events, except the Keelboat Men (Star).
However, the Executive Committee will propose that at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition athletes from the host nation will be required to qualify by sailing. This is a move which reflects that taken by many International Federations, at the initiative of the IOC.
Match Race Rankings Sub-Committee - confirmation of the final Committee membership for the Match Race Rankings Sub-Committee was confirmed with the appointments of Shane BORRELL (NZL), Dobbs DAVIS (USA) and Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN).
ISAF Centenary - 2007 marks 100 years since the inauguration of ISAF, an occasion which will be marked by ISAF and the sailing world. The ISAF Centenary will be used as a platform for the global promotion of the sport and to increase participation. The ISAF Executive Committee endorsed the ISAF Centenary project, the full plans for which will be announced at the 2005 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting.
Connect to Sailing - the ISAF initiative to develop grass roots sailing with a focus on youth continued to receive the support of the ISAF Executive Committee, as they approved application of the 2005 budget. Focus during 2005 will be on targeting 5-6 specific countries in which ISAF can develop Connect to Sailing Taskforces, with mentoring and support provided by the Connect to Sailing Ambassadors led by Tim COVENTRY (GBR).
ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing - utilizing ISAF RRS 86.2, which permits ISAF to make changes to the ISAF RRS for a specific international event, changes approved for the Oryx Quest were noted. Discussions continue amongst the syndicates and America's Cup Management on the RRS they wish to change for the 2007 America's Cup.
Priorities and Strategy - Over the coming months, the ISAF Executive Committee will be working with the ISAF Committees to develop the priorities and strategy for the coming four years, and beyond. During 2005, focus will continue on the training of ISAF Race Officials, and the ongoing development of the sport around the world.