Yesterday, a delegation of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) visited the Agios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Centre as it prepares for the Athens 2002 Regatta, the first pre-Olympic Test Event, and the first test event in any sport.
Members of the delegation expressed their satisfaction with the venue and event organisation. ISAF Sailing Director, Jerome Pels, commented, "ISAF is favourably impressed by the venue and the preparations for the Test Event."
He was also particularly pleased with the permanent structures including mooring arrangements, jetties, and slipways of which he said: "We should point out that they are good enough for the Olympics, as there are double the number of athletes and boats taking part in this competition from what there will be in the Olympic Regatta".
He also stressed that the athletes themselves were very satisfied, "something that is also vitally important for the success of any event".
Speaking about the actual racing, Jerome Pels expressed the hope that they would not proceed exactly according to plan. "This is a test event, two years in advance of the Games",
he explained. "It is meant to help the competitors and the Organising Committee to get useful experience. I hope something will go wrong and that various situations will arise to really test all the people involved, the way they react, and their reaction times".
Also taking place yesterday was the first informal meeting between ATHENS 2004 Competition Venue officials and the team leaders and coaches from the nations participating. A similar meeting will be held every day so that the participants' feedback may help organisers improve competition conditions and deal with any problems which may occur.