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Ahhh, like what the? Australia Newsletter

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 24 Feb 2019 13:00 PST
(l-r) Greg O'Shea, Ivan Wheen, Tom King, David Edwards, RQYS Commodore Mark Gallagher, and Tom's children during the 2018 Etchells Queensland State Championship prize giving in Brisbane © Kylie Wilson /

Australian Sailing's CEO, John Lee, is about to depart. In a little under a fortnight, actually. Former Etchells World Champion, and current General Manager, David Edwards will sit in the role once again, until a new permanent occupant for the seat is found. Reports continue, however, that these are not the only changes going on at Australia's peak body for our sport.

Internally, at least, it is felt that further changes to the Constitution will not get up. Yet the main question outside continues persistently to be that the President, Matt Allen, is seeking to extend his tenure past what is currently allowed. In other words, an indefinite term.

Presently, the Constitution of Australian Sailing Limited states by way of imposing a maximum term of office for Directors:

(a) 'A Director may not serve than four consecutive terms as a Director...' (where a term is a two-year tenure)
(c) 'A Director who has served a maximum term... shall not be eligible to be a director for six years following completion of their maximum term'
(d) 'A Director shall not be eligible to serve more than four terms in any fifteen-year period
Article 16.7 states that "A President shall not serve longer than his directorship'

So rather than getting involved in a bunch of hearsay, I went to Matt Allen himself for a response. "I have no intention of looking to make these changes. I have discussed it with a few people, relative to a situation where we might have a Vice-President who is set to take over, and needs one more term." The emphasis there is that it is all tied into the one term extension, only.

Allen continued, "Six years is enough, with the one before that as Vice-President. It is time to move on." The Australian Olympic Committee Executive Board member, and Vice-Chair of World Sailing's Oceanic & Offshore Committee added, "the Olympics are looming once more, so that will get busier and I will have plenty on there. Then there is the bid for 2032 in Queensland, and that too will also get some of my attention. Apart from all of that, I am also looking forward to the Winter season with the boat."

On the other board now, literally and metaphorically, and with thanks to Mitch Pearson for raising my attention to it, the Windsurfers (International Windsurfer Class Association) have put their best forward for Paris 2024, a full 40 years after it appeared in LA as a demonstration class. Now lighter than back then (no longer polyethylene either), the Windsurfer LT can be utilised in racing, slalom, freestyle and marathon formats, and of course, it can all be held close to shore where the spectators are. It still has its colourful 5.7m2 sail, too, so everything old is new again. Argh. Argh. Argh...

Whilst the discipline is in for 2024 and beyond, the equipment used was part of the full re-evaluation of equipment going on in several Olympic classes, such as the single person dinghy, and this was to account for many things, not the least of which were Anti-Trust issues. Whilst way back then there was plenty of brouhaha about the initial selection of an opposing board, the key element today is that Windsurfer are proposing a 'white board' that can be sold under any branding, and I would imagine manufactured in various locales, so as to completely circumvent any one supplier type issues. A nice plan... Hopefully it works for them. We shall see. In the meantime, you can see Mitch's video from the recent Windsurfer Australian Championship

Right oh here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the Youth Match Racing, RORC Caribbean 600, Brisbane to Galdstone, intel from North Sails, The Ocean Race (going to take a little while to stop calling it the Volvo, just as it did when changing from Whitbread), Lincoln Week in South Australia, the 18-footers, AC36, Dart 18 Worlds, Sailfest in Newcastle, the Golden Globe Race, Helly Hansen Women's Challenge, J/24s, OKs, Finns, looking back on Sail GP, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

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John Curnow
Editor Sail-World AUS

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