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EUROSAF supports major change in Elite sailing

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 13 Nov 2013
Tom Burton leads in Garda - Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup 2013 Roberto Vuilleumier
A very significant restructure proposal designed to change the nature of Olympic class sailing competitions at all levels is being presented to the ISAF Council this week in Muscat, Oman.

This proposal, if accepted will have a major impact on the current Olympic Class World Championships which would be completely reorganised. The largest group of sailing nations affected by these changes will be the countries in Europe.

EUROSAF President Marco Predieri is a strong supporter of the ISAF proposal as he explained to Sail-World.com.

‘During his campaign last year Mr Carlo Croce promised that one of the big points of his program, should he become ISAF President would be to change the Sailing World Cup, which he felt was not succeeding in terms of television coverage, in terms of attracting sponsors and spectators.

‘In Oman, ISAF will present a new concept for the Sailing World Cup, and we are supporting this proposal. EUROSAF would like to work closely with ISAF on this area; we would like to be involved in any working party, along with other Continental associations.

‘I think that this could be a very good opportunity for EUROSAF events to be part of the new qualification circuit and we will have to work together with ISAF to find the best way for all the Continental associations, to develop elite sailing in a more efficient way than in the past.

‘We believe the new proposal will be for Asia and Oceania, South America and later on Africa, as an important opportunity, to strengthen existing events and develop new ones, which will be qualifiers for the World Cup final rounds.

‘Our EUROSAF circuit (EUROSAF Champion Sailing Cup) will grow more and will be, my ideal number would be between four and five regattas - big events. We believe that after those regattas, sailors will be ranked to qualify for the final ISAF event.

‘Whether sailors can only qualify in their own regions or in other regions will be an important discussion for an ISAF working party to have.

‘We have to define the qualification system and the qualification ranking because I think that our circuit will attract sailors from outside European because of the strength of the competition here in Europe.



‘I think that the sailors should have to get the qualification in their own region. Of course the top sailors will sail in their own region and around the world, looking for the strongest possible competition.

Asked if he envisaged a situation with the World Cup events would move around he said ‘For the final event I think they will be sort of a tour but we have to listen to this from the President in Oman during the council this week.

‘From my point of view I think that for the sponsor it could be better if it was in a different location for the final event just to promote sailing around the world.

‘With this final event, with good television coverage and lot of opportunities for sponsors (VIP area, hospitality area for the sponsor clients etc.) we have just to take a professional approach.



‘Perth 2011 was a very good spectator event. Weymouth was a fantastic venue for the spectators, for the television. We have just to learn from those events just to try to build on them.

‘As the largest of the Continental Associations EUROSAF has grown a lot in recent years. Our aim is to ensure that we can assist and support the European MNA’s

‘We are growing step by step and think that we have just to work in the future more in the educational area, especially to help the smaller European MNAs.

‘Not only an exchange program, which we have had for many years but an academy. We have to create an academy where the countries can send young judges, young coaches, to get information and to share experiences and this could be of benefit for the entire European sailing community.

‘Much of our focus is for the youth sailors because these sailors are the future of our sport. We would like to create more events, more opportunities for these to share expertise and knowledge.



‘Not only an exchange program, which we have had for many years but an academy. We have to create an academy where the countries can send young judges, young coaches, to get information and to share experiences and this could be of benefit for the entire European sailing community.

‘We would also like to address the university sector. Last year we had the first European University Championship and we would like to work more with the University associations, to create strong university regattas.

‘Politics is not a matter of our organisation. We are a family, friends, all together. We are all volunteers. Of course on some occasions we raise our hands because as we are one of the stronger continental associations we would like to work and deliver exciting initiatives for the benefit of our MNAs and sailors.

‘At ISAF level, I support Mr Croce, I think what he has promised he is doing. Bringing the workings of ISAF to the sailors is important. We have seen immediately the change of approach and mentality; i.e. in Copenhagen for the first time we had a simultaneous translation and live internet streaming Council Meeting and we will see other initiatives in Muscat.

'I believe there needs to be more stability in equipment. This would also help the emerging countries, the small MNAs because they are having to invest in one class they can save money not only for four years but for 12 years. Also in this I feel that we will see some changes in the new ISAF approach.

‘Also it is important that organisations, like ISAF and EUROSAF in the future need to be more closely in contact with the sailors. Sailors must have more voice in this organisation because they are the base of our sport and we would like to involve more in the future the active sailors.

‘Of course this is not easy but I am confident that the new President and the executive of ISAF, with the support of the Continental Associations, can take this in the right direction. ‘

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