The ISAF Council meeting begins in Madrid, Spain today following a week of intense debate and discussion at the ISAF Annual Conference, focussing on the key issues in the sailing world.
The meeting of the ISAF Council is the final act in the decision-making process at this year's Conference. Over the past seven days, the Committees, Sub-Committees and Commissions of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) have discussed and voted on the items in their respective areas of expertise. The recommendations from these specialist Committees have been now collated and passed on to the members of the ISAF Council, to inform their judgements as they pass the final decision on the issues debated at this year's Conference.
The Council is chaired by the ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) and also includes the seven Vice-Presidents, 28 representatives of ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) and one representative each from the ISAF Classes, Offshore sailing and Women's sailing. Like all ISAF members, Council members are all volunteers who give up their own time in
service of the sport. The Council meeting is open to anyone to attend (although observers must pre-register for security reasons) and the Agenda, Supporting Papers, Submissions and Minutes from all Council meetings are freely available to download from the ISAF website www.sailing.org.
ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) says the Council provides the final, worldwide perspective on issues, "We must remember it is the Council who are the true democratic voice of ISAF. They represent the Member Nations who combined form the International Sailing Federation, and who individually represent the sailors, clubs, classes and sailing organizations within nations,"
said the President.
The President also paid tribute to the work of all the Committees who have contributed to the debate in Madrid this week.
"It would be impossible for one group to incorporate all the expertise that would be needed to review the range of issues within the sailing world. The Committees are crucial to the work of ISAF as they provide an expert forum for issues to be discussed and voted on, with their recommendations bringing a vast range of knowledge to the Council table. I thank them for all their work, both during this Conference and over the past four years,"
The Council meeting gets underway in Madrid at 14:30 local time today. The meeting will last over three days and will be followed by the ISAF General Assembly, where the President and Vice-Presidents for 2009-12 will be elected and the members of the new ISAF Council ratified.
The highlight of the first day of Council meetings is the President's Report, where the ISAF President outlines his views on the current sport and key issues of strategy looking ahead. Tomorrow the Council will look at the Submissions made to this year's Conference, which encompass the key issues discussed in Madrid. Amongst the hot topics the Council will address is the equipment for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, future ISAF Strategy concerning the Olympic Games, a new Advertising Code governing the positioning of advertising on boats and a proposed additional event at the ISAF Youth World Championship.
The results of the past week's discussions and decisions over these issues and many more are collated together in a book of recommendations that is distributed to the Council members at their meeting. In this way, the process of ISAF's decision making reaches it climax at the Council meeting, where the Council members exercise there vote based on the recommendations provided the expert Committees, the views of the Member Nations they represent and the requirement to have regard to the interests of the sport worldwide.
Visit the ISAF Meeting microsite at www.sailing.org/meetings
for all the latest news from the Council meetings, reports on the key issues discussed so far in Madrid, meeting papers and more.
Details on all the current Council members can be found at www.sailing.org/committees