26 Mar 15
The competitors and organizers of the 2017 America's Cup are planning to implement a series of rule changes to dramatically reduce team operational costs, primarily by racing in a smaller boat.
For the first time at an ISAF event, the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games saw the provision of funding and coaching expertise to support sailors from developing sailing nations, be means of the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme.
This programme was extended in 2003 for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship with a budget of £10000.
ISAF's focus was to provide the programme to those countries who had never before participated at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship or those countries in subscription category 1 who had not previously received funding from the Athlete Participation Programme.
The programme provided support in 2 main areas.
Entry Fee Subsidy
Coaching support was also available courtesy of the World Youth Sailing Trust employing the services of a top coach to attend the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. Coaching was available for all the countries participating and not just those on the Athlete Participation Programme.
In total, the programme supported 11 sailors from 9 different countries, representing four continents, with 8 male and 3 female sailors, ranging in age from 15 to 18.
Europe - 4 sailors
North, Central America and the Caribbean - 3 sailors
Africa - 1 sailor
Oceania - 3 sailors
ISAF received an overwhelming 70 applications from 25 countries. In order to allocate the funding as fairly as possible, and provide a worthwhile contribution, a strict selection criteria was applied. For those countries who had not previously participated at an ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, the equivalent of one sailor would receive the full amount of subsidy requested. For other countries in subscription category 1 who had previously participated at an ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, the equivalent of one sailor would receive 50% of the amount of subsidy requested. Countries not fulfilling the above criteria were not offered any funding on this occasion.
Apart from the one entry in the windsurfing boys event, all the other entries from the Athlete Participation Programme were in the single handed dinghy boy or girl events.
The skill level of the sailors was extremely varied, with one of the girls finishing 4th overall her results included 2 bullets and she was only 4 points away from the bronze medal. Whereas in the boys single handed event, 2 of the 7 boys on the programme had individual race results in the top 10, but in an event where results for all the competitors were not very consistent, the highest overall sailor on the programme finished 20th out of 33. The one entry in the windsurfing boys event finished a creditable 13th with 3 results in the 10 ten.
The feedback from the Member National Authorities and sailors was extremely positive, with many of the sailors having been unlikely to attend without the funding. Many sailors had never participated at an event, where many of the world's top youth sailors were present. The coaching support, together with the opportunity to learn from elite level sailors, meant that many learnt and improved more during the Youth Sailing World Championship than they could ever have expected.
ISAF was extremely pleased with the success and benefits of the programme and the very positive impact it had on sailors and the opportunity it provided for participation.