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21 December 2002, 11:08 am
Issue One
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2002 - A Year in Review
The World

What a Year! The ISAF '2002-A Year in Review' aims to relive and remember some of those moments.
ISAF would like to point out that if certain events or significant achievements have been omitted, this is not intentional, but purely that it is impossible to mention everything that has taken place throughout the year.

2002 opened in the Southern Hemisphere, as an America's Cup year with Auckland ready and waiting, no less than two southern hemisphere World Champions, as well as a some hi-tech racing yachts blasting across the southern ocean in the Volvo Ocean Race. Whilst the North was experiencing one of the wettest winters on record, the South was hosting some of the best sailors in the world in classic events.

No ALT tag specifiedTwo great sailors and adventurers were acclaimed in the US Rolex Yachtsmen of the year Awards, Steve Fossett for breaking not one, by five world Speed Sailing Records aboard his Giant Catamaran, Playstation, since he learnt to sail in 1993 (and perhaps for spending a stupid amount of time in a balloon with Richard Branson) and renowned sailor and ISAF Committee Member, Cory Sertl who seemed to be able to beat anyone they threw at her, be it one on one, or an entire fleet!

Greg Wilcox (NZL) took the first World Championship title of the year in the OK Dinghy Class in the local waters of Napier New Zealand, but he was closely followed across the water in Port Phillip, Melbourne, by another Southern Hemisphere sailor Arthur Brett (AUS), who won the Contender Worlds, sailed as part of
Sail Melbourne

Aiding the promotion of sailing and providing accessible and up to date sailing news to its members, was the provision of ISAF `Latest News', `Regattas Online' and `News Ticker' information from the ISAF website, for inclusion on other sites. Full Details

Amongst the first MNA's utilising the opportunity were:
Australian Yachting Federation
South African Sailing
Ukraine Sailing Federation

An early America's Cup Race Officials appointment, was the confirmation of Bryan Willis (GBR), one of ISAF's top officials, as Chairman of the Jury and Chief Umpire for the Louis Vuitton Cup and 31st America's Cup Match.

No ALT tag specifiedThe 2002 ISAF Graded Event season kicked off on 2 January in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with the South American Star Championships. Olympic Champion, Torben Grael (BRA) took the title in a fleet dominated by Brazilians including no less than 5 times Laser World Champion, Olympic Gold Medallist and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2001 Robert Scheidt (BRA) who finished a very respectable third.

It was then back up to the Northern Hemisphere to Miami, USA for the first ISAF Grade 1 event for all Olympic Classes, the Rolex Miami OCR. For the first time, in 2002 the event also included Paralympic Classes, the 2.4mR and the Sonar. And it was in the 2.4mR fleet that ISAF President, Paul Henderson, was found trying his luck against IFDS World Disabled Sailing Champions and Paralympian medallists. No ALT tag specifiedHenderson's luck did not however appear to be with him and he finished in fourteenth place overall in a fleet of 15 boats. The event saw some tight racing with several fleet winners not decided until the very last race. The Women's Mistral fleet was the exception with Sigrid Rondelez (BEL) finishing a whopping 22 points ahead of Dominique Vallee (CAN) in 2nd.
(Photo left © John Kruger)

The inclusion of the Paralympic Classes in ISAF Graded Olympic Class events continued throughout the year, and 2003 will again see Rolex Miami OCR, Hyeres and Kiel hosting the sailors.

As an America's Cup Year, and with the global billionaire community throwing more and more Dollars, Euro's and Pounds at the oldest sporting event in history, anticipation was rife. There was the first British Challenge in 15 years, ninety percent of the world's richest computer geeks wanted to get wet, and it wouldn't be over till the fat man steered. The controversy wasn't going to wait until October.

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Assa Abloy
, the unpainted Volvo 60 won leg three, one of the first "sprint" legs of the Volvo Ocean Race including the enforced pit stop as part of the Sydney to Hobart Race. Richard Mason, resident Kiwi aboard Assa, was heard to remark as they left Hobart bound for the legendary City of Sails, "Let's see if we can win into Auckland as well, I would be the happiest man in the World." As it turns out, he was.

The Argentinians dominated the Cadet World Championship , the Australians the 29ers , and Italian Flavio Favini won the Melges 24 World Championship in Style with a scoreline that included five bullets.

No ALT tag specifiedISAF President, Paul Henderson, opened the year with a debate on the future Olympic equipment emphasising that talent and not technology should reign, and that the equipment should enable a level playing field. Feedback was fast and the debate hot. Needless to say, one of the outcomes could be drawn to be the windsurfing trials which will take place in 2003 for a possible new windsurfing class in the future Olympics.

Feedback 1

Feedback 2

Feedback 3

Feedback 4

The ice skating scandals at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City then prompted Paul to publish his thoughts on Conflict of Interest for Officials

With the 2003 event now almost upon us, it was in January 2002 that ISAF supported the holding of the inaugural Commonwealth Sailing Championship as a first step to sailing's inclusion in the Commonwealth Games programme, to take place from 18-23 January, just after Sail Melbourne in Australia.

From on the water, to on ice, with the Ice Sailing World Championships taking place in Estonia at which Karol Jablonski (POL) more often to be found on the match racing circuit, was ready to defend his title, but this was not to be and he took second overall at both the Worlds and the preceding Europeans. However, now at the end of 2002, he leads the Ice Sailing Rankings

A number of ISAF Publications were produced early in the year, including the Special Regulations a new and updated version of the Umpires and Match Racing Manual (Edition 5/02) and Supplements to the Case Book for 2001-2004 and Call Book for Match Racing for 2001-2004.

Over in the world of Disabled Sailing, a new catamaran specifically designed for disabled sailing, costing in excess of 1 million (british pounds) and named "The Impossible Dream" was being built in Plymouth for 2000 Paralympian Mike Browne (GBR). The cat is currently scheduled to be launched in April 2003.

Moving to slightly smaller boats, Heiko Kroeger (GER) lost the 2.4mR World Championship to Stellan Berlin (SWE), but fate was on him later in the year at the IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships.

February started with the International Olympic Committee announcing the launching of their new website whilst for windsurfing, February saw solidarity in the windsurfing community with the formation of the International Windsurfing Association - - which united the various windsurfing organisations.

The first ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 2002 were released on 6 February, with all classes except the Europe and the 49er seeing no change at the top. Sari Multala (FIN) lost her top spot to Lenka Smidova (CZE) and Santiago Lopez Vazquez/Javier de la Plaza (ESP) were replaced by Luka Rodion/George Leonchuk (UKR). The rankings included results from Sail Melbourne, Rolex Miami OCR, Sydney International Regatta, 26th Christmas Race and the South American Star Championship.

Over in America, the Women's Sports Foundation found a dynamic new chair, as renowned sailor Dawn Riley was announced President elect, ready to take up her term of office in January 2003.

No ALT tag specifiedIn an America's Cup year all eyes were on the top Match Racing skippers but there was no change to the top 10 at the first Open Rankings release on 15 February. The next release on 27 March saw Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker sliding 10 places down to 18 and Oracle helmsman Peter Holmberg (ISV) taking over pole position from Sweden's Magnus Holmberg.

Over in the women's match racing circuit, the only Grade 1 event of this period was cancelled due to lack of sponsorship and Marie Bjorling (SWE) continued her dominance by retaining the top spot she has held since August 2001.

Meanwhile for the 2002 season only, ISAF decided that the Skipper Points required by Women's Grade 1 and Grade 2 match racing events should be lowered, allowing event organisers to invite a wider group of skippers to women's Grade 1 and 2 events.

No ALT tag specifiedNot one, but two boats set off on the round the World Speed Record, the Jules Verne Trophy, one with two, and one with three hulls. Orange, skippered by Bruno Peyron (FRA), a veteran of The Race, and Geronimo, a hi-tech giant triamaran skippered by Olivier de Kersauson. Orange lasted all of half an hour into their first attempt when the tip of the mast broke whilst doing 28 knots in the Bay of Biscay, whilst Geronimo faired slightly better retiring later in the attempt with terminal steering problems. Orange, with a repaired rig, set off again, and succeeded in smashing the record. An early nominee for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.

No ALT tag specifiedMeanwhile, the first person to skipper an all female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, Tracy Edwards, announced that she'd purchased Club Med with the purpose of carrying on from where she left off with Royal & Sun Alliance in trying to capture the very same, Jules Verne Trophy.

Fossett kept to form by breaking yet another world speed record, taking 5 hours off the Fastnet Course.

No ALT tag specifiedAs D-day, and the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger trials for the XXXI America's Cup, counted down, Team New Zealand not only gained
government backing,
but also won the four boat America's Cup Regatta on the Hauraki Gulf off the legendary host city, Auckland, proving that, although having lost their genius skipper Russell Coutts, they could not be written off.

No ALT tag specifiedThe Illbruck team had a mixed couple of months, whilst winning leg four of the Volvo Ocean Race around Cape Horn almost suggested a certain kind of invincibility in preparation, less than a month later the syndicate withdrew it's intention to compete in the Challenger Trials for the America's Cup. Their Volvo Ocean Race pride also took a dent, literally, when they were dropped to last place after a collision with SEB and lost a Gennaker halyard.

March opened with a scorching launch of the interactive online ISAF Sailor and within the first week sailors from more than 60 countries had registered. ISAF Sailor provides a variety of web and email based services, including news subscription service, online biographies, Sailors' Forum, including the ability to link results to a sailor's biography. See the example from Sail Melbourne.

Amongst the first to register on launch day were renowned navigatorIan Moore (GBR), Paralympic Champion Heiko Kroeger (GER) and top multihull sailor Mitch Booth And of course our own ISAF President

Just one World Championship in March, the Fireball Worlds were held in Tampa Bay, Florida and dominated by British Crews, with multiple World Champion Ian Pinnell and Dave Scott eventually coming out on top. However, National Championships were taking place apace, including the Optimist and Europe Nationals in Paraguay, South America.

Enforcing the global campaign against doping in sport, ISAF imposed a two-year penalty on a Brazilian sailor who had broken RRS Fundamental Rule 5, testing positive for prohibited substances.

Mid-March saw the publication of the results of the annual ISAF Classes questionnaire - interesting reading for those wanting to find out the number of boats around the world, how much they cost, how many have been built and more - and the holding of an ISAF Race Management Seminar in Spain, from 15-17 March, with 11 participants, five of whom passed the seminar test.

No ALT tag specifiedThe first quarter of the year drew to a close at the end of March with the XXXIII Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Palma de Mallorca where the 420, Dragon, Men's Europe and Snipe joined the Olympic Classes. Iain Percy (GBR) continued to make his mark on the Star fleet after switching from the Finn just months earlier by finishing one place better than at the Rolex Miami OCR, by taking a 4th, whilst in the Women's 470 fleet, Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE) continued their outstanding winning streak with another 1st. Not surprisingly, all these sailors were to feature on the shortlist for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards announced in September.

It was with great sadness that ISAF closed reports from the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta with tragedy. Austrian Tornado sailor, Johannes Haeupl passed away after his Tornado capsized whilst racing and he became caught up in his trapeze harness. The tragedy did however spark detailed discussions of safety issues at the ISAF Sailing Committee Mid-Year Meeting and the further development of trapeze harnesses with a view to preventing similar tragedies in the future. The Sailing Committee recommended to Council that a working party be established to consider safety issues, particularly in trapeze and trampoline classes.

The next issues of "2002 - A Year In Review" will be published as follows:

Issue 2 - Published 23 December - News from April, May
Issue 3 - Published 26 December - News from June, July
Issue 4 - Published 28 December - News from August, September
Issue 5 - Published 31 December - News from October, November, December

If you did not receive Issue 1 of "2002 - A Year In Review", it's not too late to subscribe to the future issues, which will only be distributed via ISAF Sailor.

Simply go to ISAF Sailor and if not already registered, complete the simple registration before proceeding to email services (in the left hand menu) and subscribing to 2002 - A Year in Review.

2002 - A Year in Review will be sent directly to any email address of your choice.

ISAF Secretariat/ISAF News Editor
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