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6 November 2008, 05:00 pm
Sailing Issues Debated At 2008 ISAF Annual Conference
Meetings at the ISAF Annual Conference
The ISAF Annual Conference is underway in Madrid, Spain

ISAF Annual Conference 2008
Madrid, Spain

The ISAF Annual Conference is underway in Madrid, Spain with the 2012 Olympic sailing equipment and the vote for the next President and Vice-Presidents amongst the key issues set to be decided.
The ISAF Annual Conference is the principal decision-making process of the International Sailing Federation. This year's Conference spans 11 days from 6-16 November, culminating in three days of meetings for the ISAF Council, the final decision-making body of ISAF. The ISAF General Assembly, which takes place every four years, will also be held in Madrid on 15 November. At the General Assembly, the ISAF President and Vice-Presidents for the next four years are elected and the new members of the ISAF Council, nominated by the different national Groupings within ISAF, are ratified.

ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) said: "The 2008 ISAF Annual Conference promises to be an interesting time, with the selection of equipment for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, election of the President and Vice-President for the next four years and the many other issues on the table for debate. It also marks the time when the Committee memberships come up for re-appointment and ISAF thanks the volunteers from around the world who have contributed to the work of ISAF through the various specialist ISAF Committees. The Conference will most importantly be a key opportunity to bring together representatives from the ISAF Member National Authorities and ISAF Classes, and we are looking forward to hosting several hundred delegates from more than 80 nations in Madrid, Spain."

The Annual Conference brings together the 200-plus volunteers who form the ISAF Committees, along with representatives from ISAF's Member National Authorities, ISAF International and Recognized Boat Classes, and all other areas of the sailing world. Along with the meetings, debates and decision-making, the Annual Conference is also the stage for the announcement of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, which this year will take place on 11 November at the stunning Quinta de Jarama in Madrid.

ISAF will be reporting live from Madrid for the rest of the Conference. To stay up to date with all the latest debates and decisions just visit

Key Topics In 2008

All of the meeting papers for the ISAF Annual Conference, including Agendas, Submissions and Supporting Papers are available to everyone to download online.

Click here to view the papers for the 2008 Conference.

Once again the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition will be a key focus of this year's Conference. In November 2007, the ISAF Council decided on the 10 sailing events for London 2012. This year, in accordance with the ISAF Regulations (, the Council will decide upon the equipment (or class of boat) to be used in each of these events. At the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in May, the ISAF Council drew up a short list from which the equipment will be selected (scroll down for the events list and equipment short list). The Match Racing, Windsurfing, Women's Sailing, Equipment and Events Committees will all debate the 2012 Olympic equipment, passing their recommendations onto to the ISAF Council.

Along with the selection of Olympic equipment, there are number of Submissions (086-08 through to 094-08) which focus on the Olympic events beyond 2012 and future ISAF strategy in this area.

The General Assembly means another key focus this year will be the elections of the ISAF President and seven Vice-Presidents. Current President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) is the only eligible candidate nominated for President, whilst there are 13 candidates for Vice-President. Find out more at

Another issue sure to provoke much discussion is Submission 038-08 from the ISAF Executive Committee proposing the current ISAF Regulation 20 be deleted and replaced by a new Advertising Code. The proposal follows a report from the Advertising Code Working Party and aims to ensure the Code meets the needs of the sport in the coming years.

There are also a number of Submissions relating to the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship (Submissions 099-08 to 107-08), regarding the additional of one extra event.

How The Conference Works

The cornerstone of the ISAF decision-making process is the Submission, essentially a proposal to change an existing policy or regulation, or to introduce a new one. The Submissions are assigned to one or more Committee depending upon their subject matter.

During the first week of the Conference, the Committees - in total there are 14 ranging from Events to Youth and Development (you can see all the ISAF Committees at - consider Submissions on their agenda and pass any recommendations they have on to the ISAF Council. Along with considering Submissions, each Committee has a number of other items to consider, which could include venue selection for future ISAF events and reports on recent events through to Race Official appointments and In-House Certification reviews.

At the end of the Conference, the ISAF Council hold their meeting over three days, where they make the final decision on all the Submissions at the Conference. The Council take all recommendations made by ISAF Committees into consideration, but ultimately it is the Council who decide whether a Submission is accepted or rejected.

Find out more on the ISAF decision-making process, view all meeting papers, meeting schedules and more at

2012 Olympic Events

One person dinghy - Men
One person dinghy heavy - Men
Two person dinghy - Men
Two person dinghy high performance - Men
Windsurfer - Men
Keelboat - Men
One person dinghy - Women
Two person dinghy - Women
Keelboat match racing - Women
Windsurfer - Women

2012 Olympic Equipment Short List

29er XX
Byte CII
Formula One Design
Hobie Tiger*
International Moth
Laser Radial
Laser SB3 (M)
Musto Performance Skiff
Nacra F18*
Ultimate 20

In addition submissions have been received for 'Sport boat', new ISAF Match Racing Design and Match Racing Equipment proposed by the 2012 Olympic Games organizer.

*Note: Council added a proviso that 'the selection of equipment for dinghy events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition will not be open to multihulls'.

ISAF Meetings microsite -

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