Everytime there is an America's Cup I reflect on how the advertising on boats happened and I think it is time to explain the history as the Cup goes to Europe for the first time.
Up to the '80's advertising was not allowed on boats as it was considered by the traditionalists as below the dignity of the sport of Sailing. ISAF (IYRU) was petitioned to change this rule and get into the modern Professional World led by the Aussies, New Zealanders and Europeans so as they could get funding for their America's Cup Challenges.
The foundation of their request was that without advertising these countries could not compete against the wealth of the USA. One of their major positions was that if ISAF allowed advertising a sensible fee (10%) should be paid to ISAF and to the the relevant National Authorities so as to pay for the services required and so that those at the elite level could contributed funds back to the broadbase from which all the top sailors had come. This initiative was opposed by the traditionalists especially in the
In 1984 ISAF as usual responded to this America's Cup request and took on this very controversial issue. Led by Peter Siemsen, Brazil and with Tom Ehman representing the USA the Advertising Code was put forward with the famous Cat "A", and "C" designations with "A" as clean boats and "C" advertising with a fee to ISAF and the National Authorities. This was as the elite American Cup sailors requested.
The America's Cup syndicates asked that some of these funds be invested in developing a International Jury system which allowed for No-Appeal Protests which ISAF has done and then as an added requirement of Match Racing that there be Umpires so as to provide instantaneous decisions mainly for media reasons. AC Match Racing also requires special rules and a "Call Book" all developed and administered by ISAF plus the Ranking List.
ISAF has delivered these services, which over the last fifteen years has eaten up most of the money received from the America's Cup, as ISAF now has almost 400 certified ISAF Judges and over 100 ISAF Umpires.
Not only has ISAF certified the 26 ISAF Umpires who adjudicate the America's Cup this year but each syndicate employs 2 more ISAF Officials which means that about 50 of the best ISAF Officials have been serving in Auckland for many months.
It is interesting to see that all those who asked for an ISAF advertising Code, Aussies, Kiwis and now the Europeans, have won the America's Cup. The initiative directed, adjusted and administered by ISAF has produced what was intended. It is also rewarding to note that over the last two Cups that there has been almost no controversy over the actions of the ISAF Umpires.
ISAF asked that the PRO be appointed by ISAF, but that subject is for another time. The advertising code has been a success and ISAF has delivered its obligations.
Paul Henderson, ISAF President