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The Water Shed - 4

ISAF Annual Conference concludes in Muscat

by ISAF on 17 Nov 2013
ISAF Annual Conference concludes in Muscat ISAF ©
More than 500 delegates from 60+ nations gathered in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman for the 2013 ISAF Annual Conference.

Held from 9-16 November, ISAF Council drew the conference to a close as they made the final decisions that will affect the sport moving forward.

At the May 2013 ISAF Mid-Year in meeting Copenhagen, Denmark, ISAF President Carlo Croce announced that one of the major goals of the ISAF Executive Committee was to revitalise the ISAF events.

After a series of Presidential Forums a new mission was established and that was: To build a clearly understood and professionally organised Olympic sailing annual calendar that each year crowns one undisputed World Champion in each Olympic Event and enables athletes, national teams, the Olympic Classes and ISAF to generate significant sporting and commercial value beyond the Olympic Games.

The desired outcome of the new ISAF event structure is: To provide all nations, all sailors and all events with a clearer structure to operate within, clearer goals and a better way of measuring progress resulting in increased alignment and value at all levels from beginner to elite.

Following a lengthy discussion at ISAF Council the members voted in favour of the new concept and can now begin to implement it.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition format and qualification was approved by ISAF Council with final details to be confirmed in 2014.

Two full reserve days will be scheduled for each event before their Medal Race to ensure the competition schedule will be completed in its entirety.

The Men's and Women's 470, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn will each sail a 10 race qualification series with two races per day with one final race encompassing the top ten.

The 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 will have a qualification series of 12 races with three races per day and one final race with the top ten boats competing. The Men's and Women's RS:X will in principle race a similar format but the number of races per day may be reviewed by the ISAF Technical Delegates, the Olympic Management team and the RS:X Class following the 2014 and 2015 Olympic test events.

ISAF will make further decisions on target times, race management and final schedule in May 2014.

The Qualification System will go to the International Olympic Committee for their approval with publication in February 2014.

Nations will begin to qualify at the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds where 50% of places will be decided. The remaining places will be contested at Continental Qualification regattas in 2015 and 2016.

ISAF Council voted that all ten Rio 2016 Olympic Events and Equipment shall be included in the 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition. Additional medals shall be sought from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for Tokyo 2020 and if additional medals are allocated, kiteboarding events will be selected first.

The Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Events and Equipment are:

Men's Board – RS:X
Women's Board – RS:X
Men's One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Heavyweight Men's One Person Dinghy – Finn
Men's Skiff – 49er
Women's Skiff – 49erFX
Men's Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 17

It was unanimously agreed that the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) will merge with ISAF.

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

The necessary structural work and regulation changes will commence with completion expected in November 2014.


At the ISAF Athletes' Commission meeting on Tuesday 12 November Malcolm Page was elected as Chairman of the ISAF Athletes' Commission with Sarah Gosling (GBR) subsequently voted in as Vice-Chair.

Kiteboarding will be included in the ISAF Worlds and ISAF Sailing World Cup where practical and within the constraints of current contracts, resources and venues.

The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship will head to Acre, Israel in 2017 after ISAF Council voted in favour of the venue, subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements.

A separate boys' and separate girls' skiff will be present at the ISAF Youth Worlds from 2015 onwards.

Middelfart, Denmark was approved to host the 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements.

ISAF Class status was awarded to the 49erFX, Nacra 17, Formula Kiteboard, Twin Tip Kiteboard and J70 subject to them signing the ISAF Class agreement and satisfactory building specification.

The GP14 and Shark move from Classic Class status to ISAF Class status subject to signing the ISAF Class agreement and moving to the Standard Class Rules format within two years.

The 2014 ISAF Annual Conference will head to Palma de Mallorca, Spain from 1-8 November.

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 in the coming weeks.

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