Key decisions “deferred” at ISAF meeting

The Council of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) concluded their meeting in Busan, Korea today, with the final decisions made at this year's ISAF Annual Conference.

The final day of the ISAF Council meeting at this year's ISAF Annual Conference began with the Council, ISAF's final decision-making body, considering Submissions where the Events Committee was the Reporting Committee (see the report on yesterday's Council meeting for more on the decision-making process –

Events Committee chairman Chris Atkins (GBR) presented the Submissions to Council. First up was Submission 081-09 to introduce middle gates in the race courses used at the Olympic Games, which was deferred in line with the Events Committee recommendation in order to encourage experimentation on the issue of course formats.

Tracking and the number of Submissions relating to tracking (namely Submissions 082-09, 088-09 and 089-09) prompted a lot of discussion around the Council table. “There are two dimensions to the tracking issue,” explained Atkins, “One as part of a means of improving sports presentation of our sport. The second of which is to improve race management, particularly in relation to OCS decisions.”

There was clearly a lot of enthusiasm around the Council table for tracking systems and their introduction at ISAF Sailing World Cup events as soon as possible. The ISAF Technology Working Party has been analysing existing systems and the requirements of tracking specifications for both sports presentation and race management. Technology Working Party chairman Patrick Bergmans (BEL) explained that the working party intended to return to Council next November with a Submission on implementing measures to develop tracking systems at the ISAF Sailing World Cup and other ISAF events. Referring to this ongoing work, Atkins explained the Events Committee position, “Our recommendation is to defer this, as we already have existing working parties working on these areas and we'd like them to bring forward their recommendations.”

Council supported this position and the tracking Submissions were deferred.

There was a lengthy discussion over Submission 084-09 to make an early selection of the Laser and Laser Radial classes for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Several Committee members supported the early choice to give ISAF's Member Nations a chance to plan ahead. However, the Events Committee recommended the Submission was rejected as they did not want to make any judgements ahead of the Olympic Commission report due in May 2010. Ben Barger (USA) said the ISAF Athletes' Commission also supported rejection of the Submission as they felt it would be better to select all Olympic equipment together to promote unity amongst the classes.

Submission 085-09 relating to approval of Race Officers at ISAF Sailing World Cup events was approved, with Council members keen to send a strong message that ISAF was working towards greater consistency between the seven ISAF Sailing World Cup events.

Moving away from the event-related Submissions, Submissions 108-09, 109-09 and 110-09 on World Championships for Rating Systems were all deferred. Vice-President David Irish explained there was currently no common position between ISAF, ORC, IRC and Rating System Classes on this issue. Oceanic and Offshore Committee chairman Jacques Lehn (FRA) proposed to work with the relevant parties to find a way forward for next year's Conference in November 2010.

The Council approved all the Race Officials-related Submissions presented by Race Officials Committee chairman Charley Cook (USA) and also followed the Racing Rules Committee's recommendations on the Submissions relating to The Racing Rules of Sailing. This moved the Agenda onto the final item for Council decisions, based on any other recommendations made by the ISAF Committees.

Before the Council considered these recommendations, Vice-President Teo Ping Low (SIN) alerted the Council members of next year's Youth Olympic Games (YOG) taking place in Singapore. The qualification events for the YOG start this month – you can find more details of the YOG, the chosen events and equipments, Singapore's preparations, the qualification system and events and more at ISAF's Youth Olympic Games site at

Starting with the Equipment Committee recommendations, the Council approved the applications of the RS Tera for International Class status and the Laser Vago, RS500, RC44 and Kona for Recognised Class status, subject to them signing the ISAF Class agreement. The Council also support the Committee's recommendation to remove the ISAF Class status of the Nacra F18 and ORMA 60 classes, as they no longer meet ISAF Class requirements.

Moving on to recommendations from the Events Committee, Council approved the principals on entry quotas and nation qualification for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. All ISAF Member Nations will be guaranteed one place in every event, with additional priority places for nations to be based on the results from 2010 Olympic Class World Championships (2010 European Championships for the 49er and Star classes) and also the ISAF World Rankings. Full details on the Perth 2011 qualification system will be published on the ISAF website in December.

Also approved by Council was the choice of Limassol, Cyprus as host venue for the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship and Schull, Ireland as host venue for the 2011 ISAF Team Racing World Championship. (Both of these choices are subject to contractual agreements and a successful site visit.)

ISAF President Göran Petersson (SWE) concluded the Council meeting by paying tribute to the host city Busan and the host Member National Authority, the Korea Sailing Federation (KSAF). The President presented Pil-seong Lee, Executive Director of KSAF, with a crystal decanter as a tribute and reminder of the 2009 ISAF Annual Conference.

Full details of all the decisions made at the ISAF Annual Conference will be published in the minutes of the meetings for the ISAF Council and all ISAF Committees, which will be published on the ISAF Meetings microsite at in the coming weeks.

For more on the 2009 ISAF Annual Conference, including news, interviews with some of the key players, meeting papers and more go to

M.O.S.S Australia