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15 November 2008, 01:09 pm
ISAF Council Meeting Concludes In Madrid
Gerardo POMBO, the President of the Real Federación Española de Vela is presented with an engraved decanter by ISAF President Göran PETERSSON
Gerardo POMBO, the President of the Real Federación Española de Vela is presented with an engraved decanter by ISAF President Göran PETERSSON

ISAF Annual Conference 2008
Madrid, Spain

Olympic strategy and qualification, Youth Worlds expansion, new ISAF Classes and Kiteboarding were all on the Agenda for the ISAF Council on day ten of the ISAF Annual Conference in Madrid, Spain.
Following yesterday's decision on the equipment for the sailing events at London 2012, the Olympic theme continued on Saturday morning as the ISAF Council started the day by considering the Submissions relating to future strategy towards the Olympic Sailing Competition. Events Committee chairman Bjorn UNGER (SWE) introduced Submission 082-08, proposing an overhaul of ISAF's future Olympic strategy. "This is perhaps the most important issue we have. We heard in our discussions yesterday that strategy was mentioned many, many times," he said.

The Submission received a significant amount of support around the table. Class representative Jeff MARTIN (GBR) commented, "One of reasons for supporting this is to create a longer term process in the build up to the selection of equipment, so the classes that aren't Olympic have the chance to display what they can possibly offer the Olympics."

Eric TULLA (PUR) added, "It's important we make plans with sufficient lead time to prepare ourselves for future Games."

Following these recommendations, Submission 082-08 was passed by Council.

Youth Worlds

The Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship was the next issue on the table. The Youth World Championship Sub-Committee and Events Committee recommended the expansion of the championship to include an additional Open High Performance Dinghy event sailed in the 29er. "Our philosophy with the championship has been to evolve over time," explained Youth Worlds Sub-Committee chairman Fiona KIDD (CAN). "This is the way forward. The youth sailors of the world want a high performance dinghy and we should give it to them."

Council agreed with this recommendation and approved Submissions 101-08 and 105-08 to add an Open High Performance Dinghy - 29er event to the Youth Worlds.

Returning to the Olympic Sailing Competition, the ISAF Council approved the Qualification System for 2012. The system follows the same format used for the 2004 and 2008 Games. Qualification will take place over two events, with 75% of national places decided at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and the remaining 25% at the 2012 Class World Championships (or Continental Championships if approved by ISAF). Full details will be published on the ISAF Olympic microsite www.sailing.org/olympics shortly.

Looking at equipment issues, the Council supported the recommendations of the Equipment Committee to approved applications from the Kiteboarding Association and O'pen Bic Association for ISAF International Class Status. The application from the Maxi Class for International status was deferred, whilst applications from both the X-41 Class Association and Melges 32 Class Association for ISAF Recognized Status were approved.

ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) ended the Council meeting by paying tribute to the hosts of this year's ISAF Annual Conference, the Real Federación Española de Vela and presented an engraved glass decanter to Gerardo POMBO (ESP), the President of the Spanish Federation.

Following the conclusion on the Council meeting, the ISAF General Assembly will be held in Madrid this afternoon. This will include the election of the ISAF President and the seven Vice-Presidents for 2009-2012. Full details at www.sailing.org/generalassembly.

ISAF Meeting microsite - www.sailing.org/meetings

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