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Sail-World.com : Yachting Australia seeks reconsideration for 2012

Yachting Australia seeks reconsideration for 2012

'Will the Yachting Australia and other submissions to ISAF be eoungh to get the Tornado over the 2012 Olympic startline?'    © Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

Yachting Australia have released the submission sent to the International sailing Federation (ISAF) supporting the re-opening of the November 2007 decision on the Events chosen for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The announcement by Yachting Australia follows a similar course to that adopted by the Royal Yachting Association.

There is now the situation were the two most successful nations at the 2007 Olympics in Qingdao are now urging ISAF to reconsider the Event selection for the 2012 Olympic Regatta. Between them Australia and Great Britain won Gold medals in seven of the 11 events contested in Qingdao in the Olympic format regatta (only one entry per nation permitted).

To date, ISAF has been batting away criticism of its handling of the Events affair, however with the closing date of 15 March looming for submissions. other major yachting nations are believed to be joining the fray for a re-opening either at the May Mid-Year Meeting or the November Annual meeting.

In a covering letter to ISAF Secretary General Jerome Pels, Yachting Australia CEO, Phil Jones said:

Dear Jerome,

2012 OLYMPIC EVENTS – SUBMISSION FROM YACHTING AUSTRALIA

Please find attached our submission regarding the 2012 Olympic Events. We request
that this submission be considered urgent under ISAF Regulation 1.6(b) and placed
on the agenda for the Council Meeting at the Mid Year Meetings in Qingdao in May.
Yachting Australia acknowledges that it is for the Executive Committee to determine
whether this and similar submissions are urgent. We note from the minutes of the
Executive Committee held on 15 February 2008 that this has been considered. We
further note that no submissions had been received at that time. We trust that now this
and other submissions have been received, and some of the substantive issues have
been highlighted, the Executive Committee will reconsider its position.

We understand that the Mid Year Meetings are intended mainly to deal with
administrative matters and an item of this nature would normally be dealt with at the
Annual Meetings. We support this general approach. Most decisions made can wait
until the following year to be reconsidered. It is for this reason that ISAF is not flooded
with submissions to the Mid Year Meeting to reopen decisions made at the previous
Annual Meetings.

However we strongly believe this matter to be an exception that should be dealt with
as urgent.

There are a number items that flow from the decision on Events that can only be
addressed once this matter is resolved. These include the selection of Equipment for
the various Events. For this reason alone, we consider the matter urgent.

If the Executive Committee prevents the matter being addressed by Council in May,
MNAs will have no alternative but to make submissions on the matter to the Annual
Meetings in November. Our concern is that to delay consideration of this and other
similar submissions until November will mean that, if Council agrees to reopen the
matter of the Events, the Events and Equipment will have to be decided at one
meeting. This will create uncertainty and confusion and will make the management of
the Annual Meetings very difficult.

There seems to be a view that for the Executive Committee to put this matter to
Council and to allow them to address it is in some way disrespectful of the decision
that Council made in November. We take the opposite view. The ISAF Council made
the original decision. ISAF Regulations make provision for decisions made under
16.1.1(b) to be reconsidered. ISAF has in place a democratic process that allows the
Council to address exactly this matter.

Yachting Australia has the greatest respect for the ISAF Council and its members. We
are aware that this is a very difficult matter. We are also aware however of the
significant concern within the sailing community, and amongst some Council
members, over both the voting process adopted by Council last November when
making the decision and the impact of this decision for the future of sailing in the
Olympic Games. For Council to consider reopening the matter is entirely appropriate.
The Council is scheduled to meet May. This provides the perfect opportunity for this
and other similar submissions to be discussed. We urge that the matter be on the
agenda. If there is not sufficient support around the Council table for reopening, it fails
at that point.

I look forward to hearing from you.


The full submission released by Yachting Australia is as follows:


Selection of Events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition

A submission from Yachting Australia

Proposal


That the decision recorded at item 13(d), Selection of Events for the 2012 Olympic
Sailing Competition, of the Minutes of the ISAF Council Meeting held on 8/9 November
2008 in Estoril, Portugal, based on a motion from the floor by Charley Cook (USA), be
reconsidered by a meeting of the ISAF Council at the earliest available opportunity.

If, in reconsidering this motion, the ISAF Council decides that a revote is appropriate,
there should be either a run off vote between:
a) Multihull (Open) and the Keelboat (Men)
b) Two Person Dinghy High Performance (Women) and Keelboat Match (Women)
or the list of Events for the 2012 Olympic Regatta, as decided in Estoril in November
2007, should be set aside and a new vote taken, using the voting process as
recommended by the Events Committee without the change that resulted from the
motion made by Charley Cook.

Reasons

1. In May 2007 the Events Committee considered recommendations from its Event
Strategy Working Party regarding the most suitable voting process for determining the
2012 Events. The recommendations were further refined by Working Party before being
adopted by the Events Committee in November. The document outlining the voting
process was widely discussed and available during the Annual Meetings.

2. The recommended voting process was based on a number of fundamental principles,
the key one being that no Event should be eliminated until it had failed to receive
50% of the valid vote cast in the first 'slate' ballot or any subsequent run-off
ballot. The process ensured that when no events had received fewer than 50% of the
votes in the first round, the two Events with the lowest number of votes were subject to
run-off vote, and the one with fewer than 50% of the vote was then eliminated. This
process was used when the votes were taken at both the Women's Committee and the
Events Committee during the Annual Meetings.

3. Council considered a number of submissions from the floor to amend the voting process
recommended by the Events Committee. Most had no impact on the final outcome.
However Charley Cook (USA) proposed the removal of the run-off ballot. The minutes
record that his argument was based solely on the fact that 'the voting process could be
simplified and be clearer for the sailing public to understand'. It was on this basis that he
moved his motion. This was seconded and was accepted by the Council.

4. During the discussion on the motion, it was noted that the change being proposed would
have made no difference to the outcome of the vote taken at the Events Committee.
Indeed, it would not have done. However, this appears to have led some Council
members to wrongly believe that the change proposed could not have an effect on the
outcome of the Council vote. In fact, it may well have had an effect.

5. There was no suggestion at the time from the proposer that the motion would change the
fundamental principles outlined above. Clearly it did. Despite receiving more than 50%
of the votes of Council, both the Multihull (Open) and the 2 Person Dinghy High
Performance (Women), have been removed from the Events for the 2012 Olympic
Regatta.

6. Had the original process been adopted without amendment, there woul




by Phil Jones, Yachting Australia

  

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