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ISAF Review Complaints About 34th America’s Cup Jury

Posted on 14 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] ISAF has received complaints about the 34th America’s Cup Jury from Paul Henderson. The complaints concern alleged gross misconduct of the judges in how they conducted themselves. ISAF procedures require complaints to be reviewed to establish if there is a case to answer.

ISAF has reviewed these together with external legal counsel and has considered representations from the judges in question. In conclusion, ISAF considers there is no case to answer having reviewed all the complaints.

There is a right of appeal against this decision and ISAF will not comment further.

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IPC drops sailing from Tokyo 2020 prgramme

Posted on 01 February 2015 by Reporter

[Souce: ISAF] The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced the 22 sports that will be on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games programme, the list does not include sailing.

ISAF is extremely disappointed to receive this news from the International Paralympic Committee. Sailing adds a unique element to Paralympic sport through open events that include athletes with a broad range of disabilities. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, 23 nations from four continents were represented across the three Paralympic events. Every effort will be made to reinstate sailing to the Paralympic Games.

The IPC Governing Board approved a six sports for inclusion in the Games on Saturday 31 January, adding to the 16 sports that were ratified and announced after its meeting in October 2014. A maximum of 23 sports could have been included for 2020.

The 22 sports that will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are: athletics, archery, badminton, boccia, canoe, cycling, equestrian, football 5-a-side, goalball, judo, powerlifting, rowing, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

The two sports not included in Tokyo 2020 are football 7-a-side and sailing.

Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said, “I would like to thank all 24 sports for applying for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and pass on my congratulations to the 22 sports that have been approved by the IPC Governing Board. In particular, I’d like to pay testament to the sports of badminton and taekwondo for the work they have undertaken in securing their place at a Paralympic Games for the first time.

“To reach this decision, the IPC undertook the most extensive and rigorous review process ever of all the sports which started in November 2013.

“All were assessed against the same criteria and our aim all along has been to ensure that the final Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports programme is fresh and features the best para-sports possible.

“The Board’s final decision was not an easy one and, after much debate, we decided not to include two sports – football 7-a-side and sailing – from the Tokyo 2020 programme for the same reason. Both did not fulfil the IPC Handbook’s minimum criteria for worldwide reach.”

The IPC Handbook states only team sports widely and regularly practised in a minimum of 24 countries and three IPC regions will be considered for inclusion in the Paralympic Games and for individual sports a minimum of 32 countries in three IPC regions.

Sir Philip Craven added, “Although the IPC Governing Board approved the inclusion of cycling, it did express serious reservations regarding the sustainability of the track cycling discipline.

“While a decision on the Tokyo 2020 medal events programme will not be made until 2017, the Board encourages the UCI to work towards increasing both the number of high-performance track cyclists and the number of opportunities for them to compete at an international level.”

Twenty four sports were eligible to apply for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Following the submission of applications from the eligible sports, the IPC management team undertook a rigorous assessment of all applications. Sports were assessed for worldwide participation in terms of countries and continents, where the sport is regularly practiced, quadrennial competition programme, athlete classification, anti-doping programme, rules and regulations, and initiatives undertaken to make their sport more attractive.

On completion of the review process, the IPC management team made recommendations to the IPC Governing Board ahead of their October 2014 meeting in Berlin, Germany, where 16 sports were approved for inclusion.

The eight sports that were not approved at October’s meeting were asked to provide additional information to the IPC addressing issues identified in their applications. This information was reviewed and a further analysis provided to the IPC Governing Board ahead of this week’s meeting.

The IPC Governing Board then decided which of the eight remaining sports should be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games which will be held from 25 August – 6 September 2020.

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The Proving Ground

Posted on 01 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] It was a week of superlatives. Think 678 sailors, 599 boats, 150 races for ten Olympic classes and three Paralympic classes. At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, we talked of “a racecourse built out of shifts.” We spoke of competitive performances that exceeded any comparison to walking a tightrope. Dancing on a tightrope would be more to the point. This truly is the road to the Olympics.

Laser Radial
The Laser Radials were the class where anything could happen at the top. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) took the gold, but going in, only three points separated Marit Bouwmeester (NED), Rindom and Evi Van Acker (BEL), in that order. And only Paige Railey (USA) was close enough to play the spoiler, if one of those three had a really bad, horrible, awful day.

And it almost happened to Van Acker. “I put a move on her that forced her to the wrong gate,” Railey said. “For a while she was looking dead last.”

Which would have been enough to put Railey, who is recovering from a horrific bicycle crash, on the podium for the first time in a long time. “Then,” said Railey, “a lefty came in, and that gave her a lane to the finish.” So Railey settled, instead, for a win in the Medal Race and a smile on her face as she packed for the airport and a redeye to Rio.

Big smiles also for Rindom as she and her mother packed away a sail that had done its job. “We were here two weeks ahead of the regatta,” Rindom said, “and we’ve been here the last three years, so we know Biscayne Bay pretty well. And then, the regatta was totally different. Much windier, much shiftier than we would call normal.”

As for going into a Medal Race second by one point, she said, “It’s very hard when you have two opponents. You can’t control both, so you have to sail to win the race, and that’s what I did.” A sixth was good enough for a 47-point total. Van Acker was second at 53 points, Bouwmeester third at 54. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Paige Railey (USA) and Andrea Aldana (GUA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Nick Thompson (GBR) woke up this morning with a one-point lead over Philipp Buhl (GER) with neither of them at risk of falling below second. It was all to play for, and for openers, it was playing into Thompson’s hands. And then, at the first leeward mark, what he had on his hands was a broken vang. Speaking a plain truth, he said, “You can’t sail a Laser in 15 knots of wind with a broken vang.” Thompson finished 7th and still had 12 points in the bank to hold onto silver. “The most disappointing thing,” he said, is that “I went into the race with a plan for how I was going to control Philipp, and I was executing, and it was working.”

And then. Thompson comes away with silver, not gold, to show for a hard-sailed week on Biscayne Bay. But, he said, “O a positive note, I’m delighted with how I sailed this week, and things are certainly moving in the right direction for Rio. A lot of guys had finishes that were up and down. I was pretty consistent.” On a racecourse not characterized by consistency, extracting consistent results was a bigger than average challenge for everyone.

The Medal Race went to Argentina’s Julio Alsogaray, and the bronze to Australian Matthew Wearn. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Charlie Buckingham (USA) and Julio Alsogaray (ARG).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Austria’s Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch came out victorious in a top of the table duel between Joel Turner and Iain Jensen (AUS). A point separated the pair coming into the Medal Race meaning it was all to play for. However the Austrians were comfortable on the race course and kept their in spite of an early close call against their rivals, “We had a decent start and went to the left. Fortunately the Australians dropped to our stern and they had to tack away so that gave us a leading position. “There was a left shift and from there we managed to covere the Australians. We didn’t really feel the pressure because we are really happy with the way we’ve sailed this week. We wanted to continue the nice flow we had and it worked our perfectly fine.

The Austrians sealed the deal with a third place with Turner and Jensen holding on to silver with a seventh. Delle-Karth and Resch’s victory gives them a spot on the World Cup Final start line in November, ensuring a stress free season, “We are happy about qualifying because it takes a lot of pressure off. We won’t always need to be at the top of the fleet so we can test a few things ahead of Rio and Abu Dhabi. It will make things a bit easier for us. “We went to Abu Dhabi last year and it’s a huge event already. I expect it to be even bigger this year. Everybody will be there and we’re looking forward to a nice final.”

Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen (DEN) claimed the Medal Race bullet, promoting them up into bronze medal position. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Brad Funk and Trevor Burd (USA) and Marco Grael and Gabriel Borges (BRA).

You can’t win a regatta on the opening day, but you can certainly damage your chances. That was seemingly the case in the 49erFX as Alex Maloney and Molly Meech’s nearest rivals all used up their drop with a DNC or a DNF in the single race in Monday’s big breeze.

“Winning the first race on the opening day, whilst many others failed to finish, definitely helped,” said Maloney. “It gave us a bit of a point’s buffer but anything could have still happened. It definitely wasn’t over until it was over.” With a handsome buffer the odds were heavily stacked in their favour yet across the week, consistency was an unheard of commodity in the 49erFX. It turned out to be the highest scoring ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta ever as Maloney added, “The whole fleet had its moments. It was all about being consistent this week but no one quite found that consistency. “But it’s good to start the year with a win and it’s great to secure our spot for the Abu Dhabi Finals. We won it last year. It’s an exciting place to sail with really great weather and it’s good for the future of sailing.” The pair had wrapped up gold ahead of the Medal Race and a ninth proved irrelevant at the end of the day as they ended up 34 points clear of Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA).

The real battle of the day was for the silver and bronze medals. It was fight between the Italians and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) who were separated by a single point. Conti and Clapcich remained in front of the Brazilians throughout the race and took out the bullet and with it, silver.

Defending champions Grael and Kunze settled for bronze. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Erin Rafuse and Danielle Boyd (CAN) and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Women’s 470
The 2012 Olympic gold medalists from New Zealand, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, wrapped up first place here on Friday. That made the Medal Day “enjoyable,” Powrie said. “The pressure was off, so we just went racing and enjoyed the day.” For the 2012 Olympic silver medalists from the UK, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, there was more to do. “The gold was gone,” Clark said, “and we had a nice gap over third [19 points] but the conditions were such that this was never going to be a simple race, and it was going to be hard to defend. At one point the Japanese team was way ahead, and that was a problem.”

Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka won the Medal Race and finished third, for a bronze, by five points. It’s not their first time on the podium. As obvious medal prospects for Rio in 2016, the duo look forward to “some local racing around Auckland,” Powrie said, “enjoying the rest of the summer, and then getting ready for Hyères.” As in, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères. And always, always, Rio.

Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Anne Haeger & Briana Provancha (USA) and Fernanda Oliveira & Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Men’s 470
Luke Patience and Elliot Willis of Great Britain went into the Medal Race leading their Australian opponents and wrapped it up the same way. Even among the regulars on this scene, Patience was unusual for finding the extremely shifty sailing conditions also, “Not unusual. We had lots of northwesterlies, and what was unusual was having that for a week. We go all over the world, and wherever you are, you have to adapt.” Patience and Willis arrived in Miami two weeks ahead of the regatta, “to focus, to treat this the same way we would treat a world championship.” It worked.

To overtake the British team, a good race by Aussies Mat Belcher and Will Ryan was never going to be enough. For them to move into first, it was going to take that and a bad race on the part of Patience and Willis. Not a likely bet. Belcher and Ryan in their turn had a cushion over third that made the strategic outlook, Belcher said, “Simple. Try to be in front; try to get as many points back as we could. When you get to this level of competition, it’s about minimizing the risks. But it was a tricky day. There was more wind than we expected, 12 to 18 knots, and the water was chopped up by a lot of commercial boats. “The fact is, this has been a difficult week for everybody.”

Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera of Spain entered the Medal Race third with only the New Zealanders, Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Wilcox, close at two points behind. A disappointing day for Snow-Hansen and Wilcox handed the Kiwi pair 20 points for a 10th-place finish, dropping them to fifth.

The Medal Race went to Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion, the defending champions from France. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Stuart Mcnay & David Hughes (USA) and Geison Mendes Dzioubanov & Gustavo Thiesen (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Nacra 17
Although gold was confirmed, Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) stylishly concluded ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, with a bullet in the Medal Race. The Italians put together several key top ten results throughout the testing 15 race series and that ultimately proved enough for a successful title defence. Bissaro and Sicouri enjoy Miami, reasons behind it? “Well first of all, because we win,” smiled Sicouri. “It’s really nice, the sea is warm so it is very good sailing and it is very challenging because you never have the same conditions. “You really have to use your mind to be at the top. The race area was so challenging and until the fourth day the top of the fleet was really close on points. It was just that yesterday, we managed to do what we did to win early.”

Bissaro and Sicouri sailed cleanly in the Medal Race, taking a comfortable 16 second race victory. With ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold around their necks they have qualified for the World Cup Final and Sicouri was pleased to confirm their spot just two regattas into the 2015 series, “The World Cup Final is very important. Abu Dhabi is the goal for everyone. We are happy that we’ve started our season this way and hope to continue.”

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) confirmed their silver medal with a fifth in the Medal Race. A second in the Medal Race promoted Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) into bronze. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Enrique Figueroa and Franchesca Valdes (PUR) and Samuel Albrecht and Georgia da Silva (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Men’s RS:X
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) booked himself a spot at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi by taking a narrow victory in Miami. The Dutchman held a ten point lead over Thomas Goyard (FRA) going into the Medal Race but a late surge from the Frenchman saw van Rijsselberge edge it by two points. “I had a poor performance in the Medal Race,” said van Rijsselberge. “I’m not super happy with how it went but I did just enough to win. I was lucky because I had enough places already for me to keep in the lead.”

A sixth for van Rijsselberge and a second from Goyard was enough for victory and a spot on the World Cup Final start line, “We’re going to the final,” smiled van Rijsselberge, “We’ve tried to make qualifying as easy as possible so now the big thing ahead is the World Championship and Olympic test event before the final.

Looking at the points score, a winning score of 77 can be seen in two ways. Work to be done ahead of Rio or as the Dutchman put it, “The top guys are so good and anybody in the top ten can win a race. It was amazing as I don’t think I have ever seen such a high scoring event. The fact that it’s a high score event shows that everybody is so close together. “There were a lot of ups and downs. Everybody seemed to get like a first and then a tenth or a 15th.”

Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) won the Medal Race to put himself with a chance of pushing up the leaderboard but Goyard’s second solidified his silver. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Zac Plavsic (CAN) and Ricardo Santos (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Women’s RS:X
Bryony Shaw (GBR) had gold in the bag in advance of the Medal Race and concluded her regatta with a fifth. The race was on for the remaining medals and it was heartbreak for Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) who was on the course side and dropped out of the medals. Lilian de Geus (NED) claimed a silver whilst Olga Maslivets (RUS) was a major benefactor of Tartaglini’s OCS and a seventh pushed her up into bronze medal position. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Marion Lepert (USA) and Patricia Freitas (BRA).

In a class that has so often produced a dominant player, Giles Scott of Great Britain is that dominant player of the moment. His 18-month winning streak continues without a crack. Scott wrapped up the gold position on Friday and went into the Medal Race with his position assured. Nonetheless, the Medal Race was extraordinary. Following one postponement, the race went off in 15 knots and went to completion in 25 minutes. All ten boats finished within a 40-second window, with Scott taking second to Australia’s rising star Jake Lilley, by six seconds.

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Lilley won the start, boldly crossed the fleet and led all the way – by only one second, at the final weather mark. Yes, it was a heart-pounding contest. Scott, winner of 5 of 11 races, won gold by a margin of 25 points and carried on with his usual, it’s all about Rio, diffidence toward the result. He said, “I just had a good week, and we’ve been lucky to get some good racing in, especially after a bit of disappointing weather last year. Now, on to the next one.”

Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia captured silver, digging deep to do it. At 23 points behind he was never a threat to Scott, and a sputtering start to the week included a DSQ in race four. Over the second half of the week however, he matched Scott’s points over the final six races. He served notice.

Meanwhile, the Medal Race win lifted Lilley into bronze. He served notice too. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Caleb Paine (USA) and Jorge João Zarif (BRA).

Focus will now turn to the ISAF World Sailing Rankings release on 2 February 2015 where the top 30 competitors will receive an invitation to ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères. For the ones out of the top 30, their chance will come. The next ten invitations will come from the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Hyères will host the world’s top 40 Olympic class athletes from 20-26 April with Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain the next destination from 8-14 June.

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ISAF announces Gazprom International as an Official Partner

Posted on 23 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] In a five year deal, Gazprom becomes an ISAF Official Partner with worldwide exclusivity in the energy sector. Gazprom is a long term supporter of sailing, sponsoring the Gazprom Swan 60 class, supporting youth projects in Russia, and this development with ISAF represents a new chapter for Gazprom’s support of sailing.

“This is a very important partnership for ISAF, it will give us the opportunity to do something great for our sport,” commented ISAF President Carlo Croce. “With the help of Gazprom International we are aiming to reach new heights with sailing, helping young people engage with the sport through to the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Developing emerging sailing nations and getting new people into our sport is very important to both organizations and we now have a great opportunity to change the future.”

Gazprom International’s Managing Director Valery Gulev underlined that Russia sees a noticeable growth of interest in sailing. “We hope this agreement will allow athletes to better fulfil their potential on a competitive international level”, commented Valery Gulev.

The ceremony of signing the partnership agreement took place at the ISAF headquarters in Southampton, Great Britain.

About Gazprom International
Gazprom International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom, and the sole operator of Gazprom’s overseas projects in the field of prospecting, exploration and development of hydrocarbon deposits.

Gazprom International’s main types of activity are: prospecting and the acquisition of new assets; the creation of or involvement in new oil-and-gas projects in various regions of the world on behalf of Gazprom; the management of Gazprom’s foreign upstream projects, both on land and offshore; the design and construction of main and supporting industrial infrastructure (capacity for transporting, processing hydrocarbon raw materials, etc.); representing Gazprom’s interests outside the Russian Federation.

Gazprom International’s headquarters are located in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Its branches in Russia are located in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

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Qingdao To Continue As Asian ISAF Sailing World Cup Venue

Posted on 22 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] Qingdao, venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, will host some of the world’s finest sailors for the third consecutive year from 14-20 September 2015 with the 2016 dates to be confirmed.

Spots for the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, which will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 27 October to 1 November 2015, will be at stake as well as World Cup bragging rights.

All ten Olympic events will race in China’s sailing capital with up to 40 boats within each fleet, ensuring the crème de la crème of the Olympic sailing world will be in attendance.

Head of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, John Craig, said, “Qingdao delivered two exceptional ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas in 2013 and 2014 and we expect more of the same for the next two years. Qingdao’s infrastructure for hosting large scale international regattas makes it the perfect venue for hosting the Asian leg of the 2015 and 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

“We look forward to continuing working with the Chinese Yachting Association and the Qingdao Yachting Association over the next two years to deliver memorable events for the sailors, local community and an international audience.”

The Mayor of Qingdao, Mr. Zhang Xinqi, said, “We are pleased that Qingdao is honoured to be the Asian venue for the ISAF Sailing World Cup in 2015 and 2016. We will provide more professional, more considerate and more meticulous service and deliver two events with high standards, making our due contribution to the development of sailing sport in Asia and in the world.”

The announcement of Qingdao completes the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series venues. Melbourne, Australia will host the opening bout in December 2014 before the show heads to Miami, USA in January 2015. Two European regattas in Hyères, France and Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain

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ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Declared Open

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] The inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final has been declared open by ISAF President Carlo Croce in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and participating sailors in attendance, the ISAF President welcomed some of the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be competing on Abu Dhabi waters.

“It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,” explained Croce, “We’ve been following a dream and a vision. The vision is to make the sailors part of the professional life and help them in this path.

“When we came here three or four months ago I never thought we might be able to put all of what you see in place. It’s been a miracle by the people working here who I thank very much. I am also thankful to all of you here today – we have 197 boats, 40 nations, 270 athletes and more than 20 Olympic medallists.

“It’s the best of the best of the world and I really thank you on behalf of ISAF for accepting our invitation.”

London 2012 Olympic Laser Radial bronze medallist Evi Van Acker (BEL) gave the athletes’ oath whilst Chief Equipment Inspector Barry Johnson (AUS) swore in the officials.

Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, host of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final are utilising the star names competing at the regatta to highlight the sport of sailing within the Emirati capital. With Olympic heroes and World Champions in their numbers at the event local children are being inspired to take up the sport as Croce concluded, “It is a good legacy for the local people and the youngsters. I know some of you went around the schools showing the young people how our sport is developing. No better ambassadors could be found outside this group.

“I really think we have the first step for a future World Cup system that will really help all of you making a living out of sailing. As an old sailor it’s always been a problem so thank you very much for coming.”

Once the flag was hoisted by three time Olympian Nikola Girke, Croce declared the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final open.

Sailors’ attentions now turn to preparing their equipment for the battles on the race track.

Practice racing will allow the sailors the first opportunity to test themselves against each other on 26 November. Racing commences at 12:00 local time on 27 November and concludes on 30 November.

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ISAF Annual Conference Concludes In Palma de Mallorca

Posted on 08 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] From 1-8 November 2014 more than 500 delegates from over 70 nations gathered in Palma to discuss, debate and decide on the decisions that will take the sport forward into 2015 and beyond.

ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, met on 7 and 8 November to vote on the recommendations for the expert committees. The 2014 Annual General Meeting brought the Conference to a close.

Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition

The final day format for the 49er and the 49erFX was a hotly discussed topic with a lengthy debate. ISAF Council voted for one double points Medal Race without boundaries and a target time of 20 minutes.

It was also decided that all supplied equipment at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition should be distributed after a public draw, ensuring transparency.

As part of the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition Qualification System, ISAF included Continental Qualification Events in the pathway to help develop sailing around the world. Reflecting the IOC Qualification System Principles the key requirements are to ensure participation of the best athletes and ensure universality through continental representation.

ISAF Council agreed on the recommendation from the Events Committee on the regattas that will be held in 2015 and 2016.

African qualification events will be held at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Mallorca, Spain as well as events in Cape Town, South Africa and Algeria. The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Asia and 2015 ASAF Cup in UAE will see the Asian qualification spots picked up. European spots will be available at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta with 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne providing the Oceanic qualifiers. The 2015 Pan-American Games will decide one quota place each in the Laser and Laser Radial for North and South America. The additional places will be up for grabs at the 2016 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.

International Association for Disabled Sailing Merger with ISAF

The International Association for Disabled Sailing’s (IFDS) merger with ISAF was completed with the creation of an ISAF Disabled Sailing Committee.

The Disabled Sailing Committee will be responsible for the Paralympic Sailing Competition including events and equipment selection, the IFDS World Championships and administration.

Disabled Sailing Committee representatives will liaise with other committees to offer their specialist expertise.

The merger creates a single governing body for MNAs and sailors to better serve the needs and interests of sailors with disabilities.

Classification Code

Submission 025-14 was withdrawn in advance of the ISAF Council meeting but with an agreement that the implementation of a revision to the system would be discussed between the Executive and the ISAF Sailor Classification Commission.

ISAF Youth Worlds

Corpus Christi, Texas, USA will host the 2018 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual agreements.

The following events and equipment for the 2017 ISAF Youth Worlds were also agreed by Council:

Boy’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Girl’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Boy’s Two Person Dinghy – 420
Girl’s Two Person Dinghy – 420
Boy’s Windsurfer – RS:X with 8.5 sail
Girl’s Windsurfer – RS:X with 8.5 sail
Open multihull – Sirena SL16
Boy’s Skiff – 29er
Girl’s Skiff – 29er

The Equipment Committee recommended the new Nacra15 for the Open Multihull event and this will be discussed at the 2015 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in the Netherlands with the earliest possible introduction of the new equipment being 2018.

Other Business

The 2016 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship will head to Sheboygan, USA whilst Noumea, New Caledonia, France will host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. Both venues are subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual agreements.

The 2015 Nations Cup Grand Final will head to Vladivostock, Russia with Regional Finals to be held in Buenos Aires (ARG), Zallaq (BRN), Howth (IRL), San Diego (USA), Tunis (TUN) and Brisbane (AUS).

ISAF welcomes Macau and Montserrat to the ISAF family. Both were awarded associate member status.

Submission 127-14 as amended by the Racing Rules Committee was approved effective 1 January 2015. Other amendments to the Racing Rules and Equipment Rules of Sailing were approved following recommendations from the expert committees. The changes will be incorporated into the next edition of the rule books published for 2017-2020.

The Equipment Committee, Events Committee and Executive Committee will meet at the 2015 Mid-Year Meeting in Muiden, Netherlands from 7-9 May 2015 with the 2015 ISAF Annual Conference to be held in Sanya, China from 7-14 November 2015.

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2014 ISAF Annual Conference, ISAF President’s Report

Posted on 07 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] Your Majesty, Members Of Council.

I apologise for reading my speech but it is necessary for the simultaneous translation service that we provide. I hate reading. I prefer talking ‘live’ but had to accept. Also I had to follow this by order from GENERALISSIMO Helen Fry and to her we send a big kiss from us all.

I am very pleased to see you here in Palma, the Annual Conference that marks the Mid-Term of the current Executive’s tenure. We shall be making a full report to you later in the meeting but I would again like to compliment my fellow Executive Members on their extraordinary commitment to ISAF. How lucky I am to have them.

We have asked the Committee Chair to review and update their Goals and Priorities for the Executive to study at our meeting in February 2015. I know we will see that much has been achieved in their areas and I am pleased with the progress the Executive has made so far but we have more to do!

After more than 17 years with ISAF our CEO, Jerome Pels, has decided to pursue other professional challenges. Jerome has had the foresight and leadership to steer ISAF through many challenges and will be missed by the President, Members of the Executive Committee, his colleagues in the ISAF Secretariat and greater worldwide sailing community. I am sure you will join me in wishing Jerome much success with his new professional challenges. He is a very nice person.

Also I want to thank all our staff. It has been a demanding period for the ISAF Office. I have appreciated your support.

As you know one of my main aims was to secure sponsorship for ISAF and I am happy to say we have made good progress with potentially two organisations very interested in becoming an ISAF sponsor. Hopefully very soon we will be able to formally announce at least one of them.

These negotiations take time and patience but I hope you agree it has been worthwhile. Our new partners are both highly reputable organizations and their valuable sponsorship will enable ISAF to add another dimension in raising the profile of our sport. Sailing has a wonderful arena and we have been able to show integrity and credibility now we must ensure we can demonstrate to our new partners a positive return on their investment. We will need to create an internal commitment to this organization, and to our existing sponsors, and show we can offer them a great platform to showcase their brands. We now need to build up this team.

To me communication is a priority one now and clear communication needs to be relevant, timely, accurate and easy to understand and this will be essential for our sponsors, our members and our sailors. Communication is also an important tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at all levels of our organization. We have started to address this problem with the monthly ‘Update from the ISAF Secretariat’ and Gary has prepared an extensive paper on our future communications plans. We need to have a communication system in place that is constantly evolving by using new technology and information delivery systems. At the mid-point of this term of office the Executive has a responsibility to improve our communication methods and infrastructure. As you know and as we have seen after Weymouth the IOC is most conscious of this issue.

Most of the concerns I have been hearing about whilst I have been here in Palma come down to poor communication or misinformation.

I repeat – improvement in internal and external communications is now my first goal and close connected to everything I have just said.

The Executive has withdrawn submission 025-14. The practice and procedures of Sailor Classification have been thoroughly debated in recent weeks. We are grateful for the very helpful feedback ISAF has received from many race organizers, classes and yacht clubs. The Sailor Classification Commission has proposed several very important improvements to the system that will be implemented over the next year. We will review these upgrades frequently. The main points that were worrying us have been overcome therefore it has been very useful for ISAF to have caused so much interest. We find the final solutions proposed most satisfying. We have always said that ISAF does not want to be seen as the Police or the tax office – goal achieved.

I have travelled extensively representing ISAF this year receiving a warm welcome everywhere. One area I am determined to improve is our branding at events. I attended a regatta which only had one small ISAF flag – another with virtually no ISAF branding at all. This has to change. ISAF needs to have a strong presence at our events – even at high profile events. Work is underway to create a ‘House of ISAF’ which will be located in a prominent area in each of our venues and the Executive are currently reviewing an ISAF Protocol for Branding – I will report back on developments next year.

As I have previously mentioned, the success of the World Cup is essential for the sport. Much work has been done in this area and after your approval of the new concept we will have our inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup final in Abu Dhabi. This also marks the first time ISAF has been directly involved in the implementation of an event and this must be the template for the major ISAF events in the future. This particular aspect is a major change for us for now we really own and build an event first hand; this is the product we can sell to sponsors and the media. You might remember this was our first goal.

The Final will bring the best sailors to Abu Dhabi and we will have more than 260 athletes which is quite an achievement for an event that didn’t exist five months ago. This regatta will introduce new concepts to our game – the 3 minute countdown, communications via radio to the athletes and Kiteboarding. I would like to thank our group which has been working on this but also the Adu Dabi Tourism Office and all their staff. A big thank you also to Aboullah and his excellency Sheik Khaled

After a bid process for the two European Sailing World Cup events Weymouth and Hyères were selected. Work has already begun on securing an Asian venue and I am confident the new vision for the Sailing World Cup will be fulfilled.

To me 2017 is the year when, if everything works well the Sailing World Cup will be up to what we expect.

We will have reports from Walter Boddener regarding the test event in Rio and from Nazli and Quanhai about the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games but I hear that both venues were very impressive and the events a success.
The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships delivered fleet racing across all Olympic Classes against the spectacular back drop of the City of Santander. The final numbers of broadcasters that took live coverage from this event showed a staggering increase from the previous ISAF World Championships in Perth. We are talking of 23 broadcasters which according to Gary is a respectable number. On the water competitors enjoyed a variety of weather conditions that tested both light and heavy weather and I am certain that this event has left Santander with a legacy that will be appreciated by sailors long into the future. We all know there have been a few problems but we have seen how complex this event has become because of the huge numbers of teams and boats.

The recent sad events involving the yacht ‘Cheeki Rafiki’ highlight the need for good offshore safety and training and ISAF has been involved in the investigation and recommendations arising from that incident. We are all very much aware that a dynamic environment like the sea can make things go from bad to worse and it is essential to be comprehensively trained and prepared. In March this year, ISAF Offshore Personal Safety Course Providers from 14 MNAs came together in the UK for a three day training workshop to exchange ideas and develop the training and safety courses. The Guide to Offshore Personal Safety book has also been translated into Chinese and French.

The reorganization of our structure is slowly evolving and you will see a Submission from the Executive Committee on a proposal for the role of Affiliate Continental Members within our organization. A number of other submissions were also received from multiple MNAs concerning the issue, and we have had constructive discussions with representatives of the Associations themselves here in Palma. We have agreed a way forward so a full consultation process can begin with the aim of making a detailed submission for you to consider at the 2015 Annual Conference – just as we did for the merger of IFDS and ISAF.

Also and most importantly I would like to thank His Majesty for his contribution to all our discussions. We have managed to stop him falling asleep which is a great result. I do not know if this is due to His Majesty being worried about our ideas or because he simply got really involved. Thank you very much from all of us on the Executive Committee.

I would now like to invite my fellow Executive Members to give you all a brief update on developments and the work they have been doing in their areas.

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