At the same time the ISAF Council brought sailing into the Twenty First Century by voting on a proposed amendment to the ISAF Regulations to make it an eligibility requirement for competitors to register on ISAF Sailor to compete in major events.
Kusznierewicz, speaking on the Council (final decision making body of ISAF) as an alternate representative for Tomasz Holc (POL), voiced his support for the ISAF Sailor system which he said was destined to be a great source of sailor and media information, but also needed global support from sailors. He even offered to put a decal on his Finn promoting www.sailing.org/isafsailor
ISAF is ahead of the game compared to most international federations in respect of the information and services offered by ISAF Sailor, and is keen to utilise the force of internet communicate to inform the world. Registration to ISAF Sailor will now be required for sailors entering the Olympic Games, Regional Games and ISAF Events. John Doerr (GBR), speaking on behalf of the Match Racing Committee requested that registration to ISAF Sailor be extended to Graded Match Racing Events, which was endorsed.
With every committee having produced recommendations put forward to council for decisions, 38 Council members, including His Majesty King Constantine have started the final part of the annual decision making process of the ISAF. Taking place over two days, Council will vote on recommendations varying from constitutional and procedural issues, to the racing rules of sailing, safety regulations, classes, and events, with over 200 items due to be debated.
Focus concentrated this morning on constitutional issues mostly surrounding wording and universal clarification of the Federation Constitution. Although some may not consider these issues important, administrative rules must constantly evolve in order to keep up with the growth in our sport worldwide, and ISAF has to diligently consider this evolution on a yearly basis. One key decision was that ISAF will consider how to recognise "Continental Sailing Organisations", and the ISAF Executive Committee will further look into at their February meeting for a proposal to Council in May 2003.
Further supporting some of the developing sailing nations was agreement that ISAF will extend its level of "Associate Membership" beyond the current three-year limit. Associate Membership offers countries many of the benefits of ISAF Membership, but at a nominal annual subscription of £50 (pounds sterling).
This afternoon, a report from Ian Harrison, chairman of the International Foundation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS), started the session. Ian, after thanking ISAF for the financial and administrative support provided to IFDS, went on to bring to the attention of Council the activities of IFDS over the past 12 months, including the efforts being made to ensure sailors of all disabilities can participate in disabled sailing events. He expressed his support for the inclusion of the Paralympic Events in many of the Olympic Class Regattas, such as Miami OCR, SPA, Hyeres and Kiel in 2002 and hope for continued inclusion.
To apply for ISAF Events only, a submission was received from the Yacht Club of Monaco regarding countries where there are a relatively small number of Nationals, but a large number of residents, it was suggested that an option should exist for permanent residents who are non-nationals to compete for that country. Following concerns voiced that it could open the floodgates for "buying" your way into an international event, it was highlighted that such relaxation of nationality requirements would only apply for ISAF Events.
The Race Officials Committee put forward a recommendation that initially came from the chairman of the committee that at certain major events, where an International Jury is appointed, an International Race Officer (IRO) must also be appointed to run the racing. This is a move, supported by sailors, to improve the quality of racing worldwide. ISAF intends not to impose IRO's upon the classes or MNA's, but to work with and support organisers, and to give them ISAF backing in raising the level of race management globally. ISAF President Paul Henderson noted that this was a move that brings ISAF "right up to date"
with the top level of sporting competition worldwide. Council voted with a majority of 94% in favour of the recommendation applying to the Olympic regatta, World and Continental Championships, and ISAF events.
Another proposal which followed a similar theme was the use of Standard Sailing Instructions at certain high-level events, specifically being the World and Continental Championships of the Olympic Classes and ISAF Events. Top sailor, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, seconded the proposal and the motion was carried with a clear majority. Therefore, with effect from 1 January 2003 the above events shall use the Standard Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions as in RRS, Appendix J (Section 1, reference Appendix J, J1, Appendix K - Sailing Instructions Guide and the current version of Appendix KE. Go to www.sailing.org/rrs for further information.
Today's meeting concluded at 1800 hours (local time) and will resume tomorrow at 0900. A further report will be posted tomorrow afternoon.