ISAF Annual Meeting 2012 - Sailing News from Europe and Beyond

David Kellett speaking at the Opening Media Conference for the 2008 Olympics where he was the ISAF Technical Delegate, a role he also filled at the 2012 Olympics at Weymouth
While most of world news attention is riveted to t0day's American Presidential election, the international sailing community has a presidential election of our own on November 10th, namely that of the office of ISAF President.

Current ISAF President Goran Petersson is set to step down from his eight-year stint in November, and a field of three candidates -Australia’s David Kellet, Italy’s Carlo Croce and Puerto Rico’s Eric Tulla and are running for the top job.

Today, Kellet talks about his vision for the position, his style of leadership and 'nails his colours to the mast', directly addressing perceived criticisms of his candidacy.

'In earlier correspondence with you, I have given you a background of myself and my passion for the sport of sailing,' wrote Kellet in an open letter to all national sailing authorities. 'I am a practical, hands-on leader who is very approachable [and] with no hidden agenda. As you can probably gather from my emails and letters, I prepare everything myself and openly express how I feel about matters, no professional presentation, just an honest straightforward approach.'

Kellet, it should be noted, is a veteran racing sailor with 38 Sydney-Hobarts (and counting), as well as Fastnet and Newport-Bermuda experience, to his credit and has served two four-year stints as ISAF VP, as well as a four-year term as ISAF Treasurer.

Regrettably the other two candidates have it seems not recognised the need for transparency and we think this speaks volumes.

Check out the multi-media reports, inside this issue, to learn more about the ISAF Assembly and election, which will be held this coming weekend in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.

It’s make or break time for the windsurfers trying to get the ISAF kiteboarding for Brazil 2016 overturned. Be sure to check out Richard Gladwell’s interesting piece on past Olympic medallists’ thoughts on kiteboarding versus windsurfing for the 2016 Games.

Given that the crucial vote for 2016 Olympic Equipment is about to happen, proponents of both sailing disciplines have been making strong arguments as to why their side should prevail, but Gladwell’s piece, which is essentially a collection of quotes from Olympic greats, offers a far deeper look into the realities of changing from 'planks' to kites.

The Rolex Sailor of the Year award, to be announced in Dublin has special interest for Europeans with Frenchman Loïck Peyron, who is amongst the most decorated offshore sailors of all time with his success spanning single handed, two person and crewed ocean racing right through to the America's Cup – as a nominee.

Other male nominees for ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012 are Ben Ainslie (GBR), Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS), Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) and Tom Slingsby (AUS).

Also nominated are Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofia Toro (ESP). Other female sailors nominated are Helena Lucas (GBR), Saskia Sills (GBR) and Lijia Xu (CHN).

And in America’s Cup news, Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 34th AC, has officially launched their first AC72 class wing sail-powered catamaran, despite some initial 'birthing pains'.

Artemis Racing’s newly splashed AC72

Also AC related, Luna Rossa launched their AC72 last week in Auckland, and have already started their sailing program, no doubt in an effort to log precious training time and to try to close the massive experience gap between themselves and Emirates Team New Zealand.

Auckland, New Zealand, 02-11-2012 Luna Rossa AC72 First sailing day in the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland-NZ, for AC72 Luna Rossa: the italian challenger for the 34th Americ's Cup In september 2013 in San Francisco. © LUNA ROSSA / Carlo Borlenghi