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29 September 2003, 06:07 pm
Cadiz - A Fantastic Success
Racing in Cadiz
Racing in Cadiz

2003 ISAF World Championship
Cadiz, Spain

Cadiz was a great success!! The ISAF World Championship of Olympic Classes met and exceeded all expectations. The Bay of Cadiz lived up to its reputation and provided excellent sailing conditions, onshore facilities and Andalusian hospitality.
20 different countries won medals
71 Nations
993 Boats
1472 Sailors
6500 people Accredited
450 Journalists Attended

When the sailors arrived they were overwhelmed by the facilities and the Ability to meet and interact with the top sailors in other classes from so many countries.

Many of them came to ISAF and said how happy they were to be there.

The media started by saying that this event had already become the most important International Sailing Event in the Sailing Calendar. They then demanded that it be held every two years and by the end of the Championship were saying it should happen every year. What a great compliment to ISAF!

Many sailors were saying that it would be difficult to go back to isolated,
individual Class World Championships after the exposure they and Sailing received in Cadiz.

The sailors specifically demanded that ISAF appoint top level ISAF Race Officers for all major events as ISAF did in Cadiz.

The Star sailors enjoyed themselves, demanding that on the boat park, the boats
must be lined up alternating Yngling, Star, Yngling, Star. The ageing Finn sailors were inspecting the Stars as they look to move up next year. The Windsurfers were looking to the Tornado for their future. The 49ers enjoyed a great central spot in the boat park and fantastic sailing. The Europe sailors were everywhere and very popular.

The Lasers complained that although their facility was the best that in the future the Europes and Windsurfers must be at the same venue. A similar expression from both the men's and women's 470 fleets over in Rota.

Each class had their own night of at the 'Bodega' hosted by Mundo Vela. Whilst enjoying the evening, again the response was that in future they did not want to be segregated by class but wanted to socially mix with the others. This was the general tone throughout the event. The sailors wanted to meet other sailors from other countries and other classes and other genders. That is what the future of sailing is all about - Sailors meeting Sailors!

It became obvious in Cadiz that the future of International Sailing is in bringing together the top sailors from all Olympic Classes as often as possible at the highest possible level.

The most rewarding e-mail ISAF received came from a well known journalist who said very clearly: 'Thanks to ISAF for thinking Big!'

In Cadiz at least eight different regions were present who would like to bid for the ISAF World Championship of Olympic Classes for 2007. Maybe ISAF should listen to the sailors, journalists and countries and also do it in 2005. The year after the Olympics is a very quiet time in the Sailing calendar and this would certainly kick start the next Olympiad. There is not much time to organize it, but it could be done.

Sailing must realize that the competition for young minds is not one class against another class, but it is the sport of Sailing competing against Mountain Biking, Triathlon, Snowboarding and computer games.

Cadiz showed the way of the future, and with increased media exposure and the continued building of heroes, sailing can capture the dreams of the young to participate in sailing, especially at the grassroots level.

I would like to thank all those who made Cadiz such a great success especially the staff of Mundo Vela led by Rafa Gonzalez and Roger Waggott.

The ISAF staff of Jerome, Luissa, Simon, Dan and Emily did yeoman service and proved again how well served ISAF is. The ISAF Officials including the Race Officials, Measurers and Jury showed to the sailors how important ISAF is to their racing and that the best are governed by the best.

Gracias Cadiz, Gracias Andalusia, Gracias Espana, Gracias Sailors!!!


Paul Henderson
ISAF President
Paul Henderson
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