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ISAF Conference- Kites and Windsurfer deal brokered?

by Sail-World on 5 Nov 2012
Kiteboard Course Racing Worlds 2012 Alberto Foresti/Canon

The second day of the 2012 ISAF Annual Conference in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland was marked by a compromise on the vexed issue of Kiteboarding versus Windsurfing for the 2016 Olympics.

But like all compromises – how long will it last? This one’s lifespan could be measured in hours or days. .

The day started with the Development and Youth Committee, Match Racing Committee and Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Committee.

Key points were the discussion over Windsurfing and Kiteboarding, a 2014 Women’s Match Racing Worlds venue recommendation and the possible introduction of an ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. And that was just the morning!

Moving into the afternoon session, the Sail Rankings Sub-committee met and talked of the new fleet racing rankings which we released not so long ago.

Keynote speaker at the Training and Development Seminar was Kristin Boese who talked about women in sailing and how to retain them in the sport. Rounding off the day was be the Women’s forum.

The Match Racing Committee recommended Cork, Ireland to host the 2014 Women's Match Racing Worlds. The venue, Royal Cork Yacht Club, hosted the 2006 ISAF Nations Cup so they have ample experienced hosting these events. They came out on top ahead of Saint-Quay-Portrieux, France, Long Beach, USA and Sheboygan, USA. We await final approval from ISAF Council.


An update was given on the 2013 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds which heads to Busan, Korea. Only recently the venue hosted the Busan Cup International Women's Match Race which saw Claire Leroy (FRA) come out on top so they have the expertise when it comes to match racing events.

The Committee approved Submission 100-12 to add an ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship to the family of ISAF Events. If approved by Council this will be a great to foster the development of match racing among youth sailors.

And finally Chairman Henry Menin stepped down after eight years and everyone at ISAF thanks him for the work he's put in over the years.


The Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Committee approved http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/051122016OlympicEventsandEquipmentRegulation23.1.4-%5B13502%5D.pdf!Submission_051-12 which would see 'Mixed (Two Person) Kiteboarding' and 'Mixed (Two Person) Windsurfing - RS:X' replace Men's and Women's Kiteboarding.

Essentially the compromise event, suggested by several Eastern Eurpoean countries and Spain would create a Mixed event out of a Singlehanded event - holding the medal count at ten, and without increasing sailor numbers despite effectively creating two extra events. In other words sailor numbers would stay the same at 64 - (There were 38 Mens and 26 Women Windsurfers in 2012 Olympics), however the countries would be limited to 16 in each event. In 2012 43 countries competed in the two Windsurfing events.

Given that the ISAF has set itself a target of 75 counties at the Olympics, it is difficult to see how cutting the numbers would work to achieve this objective, or how the it could work with the proposed Regionalised Qualification system. But those are all discussions for another day.

This submission will go to the Events Committee on Wednesday for further discussion.

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