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ISAF Working Party support NZ design for Olympics

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World on 6 Oct 2008
Fleet of Elliott 6s flying their spinnakers - Kellett Shield Regatta Tony Watterson

A Working Party from the International Sailing Federation has made a submission to the International Sailing Federation supporting the previous submission from Yachting New Zealand that the Elliott 6m be chosen as the equipment for the 2012 Olympics in the new Womens Match Racing Event.

The proposal, if accepted by the ISAF Events Committee and eventually endorsed by the ISAF Council would see the Elliott 6M renamed as the 'ISAF 6M' and used for the Olympic event.

The proposal also means that the women's match racing event would be conducted in a sportsboat rather than an international keelboat class like the Yngling currently used for the Womens Fleetracing event

The full submission from the Working Party is as follows:

2012 Olympic Sailing Competition - Equipment Women’s Keelboat Match

A submission from the Chairmen of the Match Racing Committee, Equipment Committee and Events Committee

Proposal:
(a) The equipment for the Women’s Keelboat Match event will be a 3 person boat.
(b) The selected equipment will be supplied at the 2012 Olympic Sailing
Competition. The ISAF designated Olympic Qualification Events will be held in
the equipment selected for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition and will be
supplied.
(c) The ISAF designated Olympic Qualification Events for Women’s Match Racing
will be aligned as closely as possible to other qualification events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
(d) The proposed ‘Sport boat’ Submission EQ50-08 from Yachting New Zealand
should be supported and the ‘Sport boat’ should be the Elliott 6m modified for
transportation purposes with a lifting keel and optimised for the approved crew
weight.
(e) ISAF will work closely with the builder and designer of the Elliott 6m.

Current Position:
There is no current position.

Reason:
In May 2008 the Executive Committee formed a Working Party, made up with 2
members each from the Match Racing Committee, the Equipment Committee and the
Events Committee, to address questions of format, equipment and qualification for this event. The unanimous recommendations of the Working Party were:
(a) A 3 person boat will increase the numbers of nations able to compete,
increase the athleticism required and reduce campaigning costs.
(b) Supplied equipment will level the playing field, put the emphasis on match
racing skills and reduce costs for the MNAs.
(c) Olympic Qualification for every event of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition should be aligned as much as possible.
(d) Optimising an existing design will strike the right balance between an existing design and a new design and will allow MNAs and sailors the ability to prepare and train immediately in the selected boat. The Elliott 6m is a proven match racing design. Making modifications for transportation purposes with a lifting keel and optimising the boat for the approved crew weight will ensure the best available equipment is used. All proposed modifications will be confirmed by 31 May 2009. In addition to EQ50-08 submissions for a keelboat suitable for Women’s Match Racing were received from Denmark EQ37-08, Japan EQ38-08, Argentina EQ39-08 and Sweden EQ40-08; the Elliott 6m is the most
suitable commercially available keelboat for the Women’s Keelboat Match event. There could also be the unique possibility to re-brand the Elliott 6m as
an ISAF 6m.
(e) ISAF will work with: the class to ensure they meet the requirements expected
of an ISAF Class, with the builder to control cost and availability and with the
designer to ensure safety and suitability.
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