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1 October 2008, 04:51 pm
ISAF Athletes' Commission Meet At ISAF Secretariat
The members of the ISAF Athletes' Commission at the ISAF Secretariat
The members of the ISAF Athletes' Commission at the ISAF Secretariat

ISAF Athletes' Commission

The ISAF Athletes' Commission held their annual meeting at the ISAF Secretariat on 24-25 September, chaired by 2008 Olympic silver medallist Marcelien DE KONING.
The Athletes' Commission reports directly to the ISAF Executive Committee, with its members representing the athletes in each of the Olympic events.

Members present were:

Marcelien DE KONING (NED) - Chairman - Two Person Dinghy Women
Ben BARGER (USA) - Vice-Chairman - Men's Windsurfer
Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) - Women's Windsurfer
Mark REYNOLDS (USA) - Men's Keelboat
Dan SLATER (NZL) - Heavyweight Dinghy
Peter KRUGER ANDERSEN (DEN) - Skiff
Will HOWDEN (GBR) - Multihull
Laura BALDWIN (GBR) - Women's One Person Dinghy

Roope SUOMALAINEN (FIN) representing the Men's One Person Dinghy and Andreas KOSMATOPOULOS (GRE) representing the Men's Two Person Dinghy joined the meeting by conference call. Monica AZON (ESP) representing the Women's Keelboat was unable to attend and has advised she will be standing down from the Athletes' Commission.

Meeting at the ISAF Secretariat gave a valuable opportunity to meet the ISAF staff and receive presentations on key areas.

Considerable discussion took place on the ISAF Sailing World Cup; the plans for 2008-2009 and the longer term vision. In respect of 2008-2009, feedback from the Athletes' Commission will be considered by the World Cup Management Group who are overseeing the first year. Looking to the future, the members expressed their desire to see consistency across all ISAF World Cup events - from registration to measurement to race management and competition format - and for events to be held in each Continent. Whilst the Athletes' Commission did not support the current policy for 2008-2009 that all events in the ISAF Sailing World Cup should count towards a sailor's World Cup ranking, they supported that as the World Cup develops and becomes more professional all events should count. Discussion also took place on fleet sizes (smaller), the number of races for each event (more rather than less) and target times (shorter), with a desire to standardise these for all fleets. KRUGER ANDERSEN holds the responsibility within the Athletes' Commission to co-ordinate feedback to ISAF.

The Athletes' Commission received a presentation on the plans for the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships being held in Perth, Australia in December 2011. Looking towards future Olympic Sailing Competitions, discussion took place on the qualification system, use of unused quota places and entry quotas per event. A report giving the Athletes' Commission view on these will be prepared for consideration by the ISAF Events Committee and ISAF Secretariat.

The Commission also received presentations from the Race Officials Department and Technical and Offshore Department on previous recommendations put forward by the Athletes' Commission which are being discussed by ISAF Committees and the ISAF Secretariat. Appreciating the need to expand the Race Officials pool, the aim to attract current sailors into the areas of judging, umpiring, measuring and race management was also discussed. A presentation was also given to highlight the changes to the World Anti-Doping Code which will be effective from 1 January 2009.

The Athletes' Commission also reviewed the submissions affecting the Olympic Sailing Competition which are on the table for discussion at the 2008 ISAF Annual Conference. Wishing to remain impartial, there was no discussion on the equipment for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. However, there was much debate on the various proposals that ISAF implement a longer term strategy for the selection of future Olympic events and equipment.

The Athletes' Commission discussed the voice of athletes within the ISAF decision making structure and supported Submission 019-08 in this respect.

Soon to launch, the online Athletes' Commission Forum will host online debate on key topics. Whilst the forum will be open to all for viewing, posts will only be possible by athletes on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. The Athletes' Commission members will be moderators for the Forum, with the initial topics planned to be:

- ISAF Sailing World Cup series
- ISAF World Sailing Rankings
- Racing Rules of Sailing and Regulations
- Communications and Marketing
- Olympic Games

The current Athletes' Commission members were elected by their fellow sailors in each of the Olympic events during the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship, for an initial two year period until 2009. Elections will take place in 2009 for the period 2009-2013. Further information on the nomination process and online election will be published next year.

Following on from this Athletes' Commission meeting, the Chairman, Marcelien DE KONING, will attend the ISAF November Conference and make a verbal report to the Executive Committee on Friday 7 November, prior to all the Committee meetings taking place. This will enable the view of the Athletes' Commission to then be carried through to the various ISAF Committees.

Athletes in the Olympic Events are welcome to contact the members of the Athletes' Commission who represent a specific event to provide input or ask questions.

ISAF Athletes' Commission - www.sailing.org/athletes

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