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14 November 2008, 10:09 pm
Council Decide On Olympic Equipment And More On Day Nine Of ISAF Annual Conference
The ISAF Council meeting
The ISAF Council selected the 2012 Olympic equipment during their second day of meetings in Madrid

ISAF Annual Conference 2008
Madrid, Spain

The second day of the ISAF Council meetings at the ISAF Annual Conference put the focus on the key issues at this year's Conference.
During the second day of their meeting, the ISAF Council considered the Submissions, proposals to introduce a new ISAF policy or amend an existing policy, made to this year's Conference.

Council Make Up

The Council considered two Submissions which related to additional representatives on Council, one from the Olympic Classes Sub-Committee (Submission 017-08) and one from the Athletes' Commission (Submission 019-08).

David SPRAGUE (CAN) spoke in favour of an Olympic Classes rep, saying, "This federation is made up of sailors,

represented in various ways. The MNAs are very import, the classes are, the athletes are. In different ways, they have to have a voice on this Council."

However several Council members pointed out that the Classes already have a representative on the Council and they are able to represent the views put forward by the Olympic Classes (the Olympic Classes Sub-Committee is a Sub-Committee of the ISAF Classes Committee). Ultimately it was the view encapsulated by Ross ROBSON (RSA) that prevailed, "As an MNA we represent the athletes, we represent the classes," said ROBSON. The Council agreed and the Submission was rejected.

However, the Council considered the issue of an Athletes' Commission representative in a different light. Theresa ZABELL (ESP) said having a voice on the Council focussed solely on the athletes' perspective would be a valuable addition, "Although the MNAs represent the sailors they also come with many other things on their minds," she said.

The main concern amongst the Council was making changes to the make up of Council without first a wider review of ISAF Governance. Therefore the decision of the Council was to defer the Submission. "I really welcome the input we're had from the Athletes' Commission this week. I do support the concept of having an athlete able to speak at this table and therefore support deferring," said Cory SERTL (USA).

New ISAF Codes

Phillip TOLHURST (GBR) presented Submission 038-08, the new Advertising Code . Here explained the principal aim of the new Code was to be easier for sailors to understand . "This is a major step forward," he added. TOLHURST also indicated his recommendation for the Working Party to continue its work for the next year to monitor the implementation of the Code and rapidly respond to any issues. The Council voted to approve the Submission by a large majority.

The Council also approved Submission 039-08, to update the ISAF Anti-Doping Code in line with the new Code published by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Full details on both new ISAF Codes, including dates of implementation and a summary of the major changes, will be available shortly on the ISAF website www.sailing.org and via the ISAF newsletter Making Waves (sign up to receive it here: www.sailing.org/makingwaves).

Olympic Equipment

Looking at the issue of the selection of equipment for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, the Council first addressed Deferred Submissions M03-08 and M04-08. Both Submissions were approved increasing the Council's flexibility in making a decision on the Women's Keelboat Match Racing Event.

The Council first voted on the eight Event-Equipment combinations that had all gained clear majorities in the Women's Sailing, Equipment and Events Committee. This vote was approved giving the following lineup:

The Council has already decided on the following equipment:

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy - Finn
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Men's Two Person Dinghy High Performance - 49er
Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
Men's Keelboat - Star
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Women's Windsurfer - RS:X

A lengthy debate followed on the equipment for the Women's Two Person Dinghy: a choice between the 470, equipment for the event since it was introduced to the Olympics in 1988; and the 29er XX, a high performance skiff from the same design team as the 49er skiff used at the Olympic Games since 2000.

Teo Ping LOW (SIN), ISAF Vice-President spoke about the impact of the decision on sailing at the Asian Games, where the 470 has been included in the line up for 2010. "We're not against change, we're not against the equipment. We love the equipment. It's just a question of timing. But at the moment the status quo is less destructive. Any change in the equipment is a nail in the coffin of women's sailing in Asian," he said

John CREBBIN (IRL), Council member representing Group A, said the Council must consider how the decision would impact on the future appeal of the sport, "We have very clear indications on the way forward. From the media and competitors - they want more excitement, more progress, more modern equipment. Our task is to look at the future," he said.

Fiona KIDD (CAN), representing Women's sailing, highlighted the importance of providing a pathway for youth sailors, "The 29er has become a major component of youth development programmes. The time for the decision is now. If we do delay it, it will be 16 years before the women get the high performance option that is available for the men."

Kamen FILLYOV (BUL), Council member representing Group C, pointed to the global financial crisis, "It will be very difficult for every country to establish a new class."

Following an extremely intense debate, the Council voted in favour of the 470 by a narrow margin.

The discussion surrounding the equipment for the Women's Keelboat Match Racing event was equally intense. Dina KOWALYSHYN (USA) from the Working Party that were behind Submission 095-08, recommending the Elliott 6M in a modified form as equipment, came to the Council table to answer numerous questions. "The equipment will all be supplied and the Olympic qualifies will all take place in the same equipment, the Elliott 6M modified. We're proposing a version of this boat with a removable keel to minimize shipping costs. The only modifications are to minimize the keel and a proposed 11% reduction in the sail area to increase the wind range," KOWALYSHYN explained.

As in the previous Committee meetings, the majority of the debate centred on whether or not the equipment should be selected now or at a later date.

The ISAF President invited Ben BARGER (USA), Vice-President of the Athletes' Commission, to comment. He explained that the Commission abstained on the decision of what piece of equipment should be selected, but did ask that a decision was made at the November Conference.

Helmut JAKOBOWITZ (AUT) said nations needed to have some certainty, "We have to have a clear message as to what equipment we should buy. With no decision today we cannot start preparing for 2012."

The Council took a series of votes, first in favour of selecting a three-person boat.

This vote left the following options for equipment on the ballot paper:

Elliott 6M (modified)
SB3 (M)
Ultimate 20
Yngling

Next the Council confirmed the equipment will be supplied at the Olympic Games and the qualification events. Next the Council voted in favour of a proposal that the qualification events would be aligned as closely as possible to other qualification events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. The next vote was whether or not the Council should defer the decision on match racing equipment. This was defeated so the Council then voted on the match racing equipment. The Elliott 6M was selected by a large majority.

This gave the final list of events and equipment for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition as:

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy - Finn
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Men's Two Person Dinghy High Performance - 49er
Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
Men's Keelboat - Star
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Keelboat Match Racing - Elliott 6M (modified)
Women's Windsurfer - RS:X

The Council meeting continues in Madrid on Saturday and will be followed by the ISAF General Assembly, where the President and seven Vice-Presidents of ISAF will be elected for 2009-2012.

ISAF Meeting microsite - www.sailing.org/meetings

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