Downunder in Australia, ISAF Vice-President David Kellet was honoured on 10 June by HM The Queen, with the awarding of the Order of Australia, for 'Services to the community and the sport of yachting both in Australia and Internationally and as a competitor' - As a competitor, David has competed in the Sydney-Hobart Race no less than 28 times, and will be again be found on the race course this year, but on the Communications vessel, rather than racing. Fellow Aussie and organiser of the 2001 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, Brian Tyquin, was similarly honoured in recognition of his hosting and organisation of the ISAF Championship.
The battle on the Baltic took place in Kiel amidst World Cup fever and the final races took place whilst the rest of Germany ground to a halt to watch the football. For 2002, the Olympic Classes were joined by the Dragon, J/80, Hobie 16, Laser Radial and J22 to make Keiler Woche one of the biggest gatherings of top class sailors in the world.
As the only Grade One Event included in the Ranking release of 3 July, Kieler Woche lead to a change of fortunes in just three classes. A win for Paul Goodison (GBR) in the Laser class after being taken to the final race by Australian Brendan Casey was enough to lift him to the World number One slot in the Laser Rankings, a position he wasn't going to surrender at the next release on 31 July.
12 events were included in the 31 July ranking, 5 of which were Grade 1 or Grade 2 and there was subsequently considerable jostling for position.
Kalle Suneson (SWE) made a magnificent leap from number 12 to sit at number 2 behind Goodison after winning the Laser European Championships and pushing Robert Scheidt down to number 3 - the lowest the Laser legend has been since May 2001.
The first non Olympic regatta to finish in this period was theSSoling Europeans, which also proved to be one of the closest. Carl Autierd and fellow countryman, M Schneeberger were tied after the final race on 17 points, with the eventual title going to Autierd once the tie break was broken.
The 32,000 mile marathon that was the very first Volvo Ocean Race finished with the yachts racing around the the world, plus a little bit more. After a bit of trouble with weed and the small problem of "waves with no backs", it was the bright pink Djuice Dragons, who led the fleet into Keil on the last, epic 24 hour leg from the spiritual home of Volvo Cars, Gothenburg.
Although Djuice, the only boat in the race not designed by Bruce Farr, finally upped their game at the last juncture, it was the almost infallible Illbruck, impeccably prepared and blisteringly efficient who won the race, although pushed early on by Amer Sports One, and then in the latter stages by the newly rejuvenated Assa Abloy. Read the interview with jubilant skipper, John Kostecki, who after his achievement, was later nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. Volvo, impressed at the race were subsequently to announce their support for the second running of the race, starting in the Autumn of 2005.
June saw the final countdown to the ISAF World Sailing Games in Marseille, France, the third holding of this quadrennial championship, open to competitors from every nation and competed in supplied equipment. With several countries participating for the first time, alongside some of the heroes of the sport, the championship provided a diversity of competition for all. Supporting participation from the less developed sailing nations, ISAF ran an " Athlete Participation Programme", - to provide coaching expertise, and financial grants towards travel, accommodation and entry fees, with almost 40 sailors awarded grants.
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Report Day Eight
ISAF took advantage of the opportunities presented at the World Sailing Games, with such a diversity of sailors, nationalities and disciplines, by running a Sailors' Forum. With panel members including Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Alessandra Sensini (ITA), debate was sure to be diverse, and it was, ranging from criticism on the selection of the women's keelboat for the Olympic Regatta to Rule 42 Issues.
Slightly further south, an ISAF Race Management seminar was being held in Cadiz, Spain from 21-23 June 2002.
Training programmes also took place in the Cook Islands - with the holding of an Olympic Solidarity funded technical programme - and in Thailand with the hosting of an ISAF Learn-to-Sail Training Programme from 22-27 July.
It was the turn of the younger generations at the end of July as Lunenberg in Canada played host to the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships. Over 200 rising stars of the future from 30 countries took to the waters in the 29er, (boys and girls), Laser (boys), Byte (girls) and Mistral (boys and girls).
Zofia Klepacka (POL) put in an outstanding performance in the girls Mistral event. Completely untouchable to the rest of the fleet, Klepacka took the bullet in 6 out of the 8 races of the championships and no other sailor came close to touching her. Klepacka took the gold for the second successive year with a comfortable 13 points margin over silver medallist Blanca Machon (ESP). Thomas Ashley (NZL) helped his country to the overall Volvo Trophy by improving on his 5th place in 2001 to take Gold in the boys Mistral event.
Sailing on home waters worked for Jennifer Spalding who took the gold in the girl's single-handed event sailing a Byte. The boy's single-handed title went to Andrew Campbell (USA) who went to Canada fresh from taking the US Sailing Youth Championship gold for the third successive year and by 31 July had climbed to 62 in the World Laser Rankings.
Pippa Wilson and Jenny Marks (GBR) were delighted to take the gold in the girls 29er and over in the boys fleet the prize went to Nathan Outteridge and Ayden Menzies (AUS).
Yet again there was no change at the top of either the Open World Match Racing Rankings or the Women's World Match Racing Rankings. Peter Holmberg (ISV) was still not to be budged from his Number One slot and Marie Bjorling (SWE) strengthened her position further by winning the Santa Maria Cup in Maryland, defeating Carol Cronin (USA) in the finals.
The first five nations to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Regatta in the Yngling were decided at the 2002 Yngling World Championships on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. Ranked number 2 in the World, Monica Azon and her crew, Laia Tutzo and Sandra Azon (ESP) became the 2002 Yngling Women's World Champions and secured a place for Spain at the Olympics in 2004. Spain were to be joined in this first stage by Germany, the USA, Bermuda and Denmark.
The largest ever Ford Cork week took place, the first event using the ISAF Sailor classification system to distinguish professional and amateur sailors, and despite the predominant light winds, was hailed to be the best yet.
Whilst in his series of "The President Speaks" features, Paul had moved onto look at ISAF's role in
sponsorship - feedback continued to be received on the "Disrespect of the Racing Rules of Sailing" controversy - Cook Islands
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