ISAF Classes Committee Meeting in Dublin
A series of ISAF and IFDS meetings were held in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, recently as part of the ISAF Annual Conference.
Gene Hinkel (USA), John Figgures (GBR) and David Staley (AUS) attended the International Measurement Seminar on Nov 1 & 2 that included presentations from a wide variety of one-design, manufacturer controlled and measurement classes, outlining their measurement procedures and ways they have addressed the various challenges for their class.
ISAF Classes Committee
David Staley attended the ISAF Classes Committee meeting on Nov 3 representing the Access 2.3, 303 & Liberty Classes. Also the Class Rules Sub-Committee meeting on Nov 4 to answer questions regarding their review of the SKUD 18 Class Rules as part of evaluating the Submission for ISAF Class status.
This meeting on November 6 was the crucial meeting for the SKUD 18 ISAF Class submission. David was invited to provide some background information to the meeting before being asked a series of questions by various members. As the IFDS AGM was in progress at the same time, and was to decide if the SKUD 18 would be the selected Paralympic equipment through to 2020, the Equipment Committee deferred its decision until after that information was available. Later in the day, the SKUD was back on the agenda at the Equipment Committee and a series of additional questions were posed about the mixed use of the boat and the MkI / MkII equipment and measurement issues highlighted at the 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition.
After protracted discussion, the committee resolved to “Recommend rejection of the submission but recognise the need of the class for ISAF assistance in the technical aspects of the class and recommend that the ISAF, IFDS and the SKUD 18 Class enter into an appropriate Paralympic Class Agreement with ISAF control of the Class Rules and Building Specification”. While not providing the ISAF imprimatur to the SKUD 18 class, and not enabling an open World Championship to be held, it does provide an enhanced level of technical support.
The submissions regarding inclusion of the Breeze 303, Breeze 2.3 and Access 2.3 Single models within their respective Access 303 and 2.3 Classes were then considered by the Committee. After another lengthy question and answer session, the Equipment Committee resolved to approve the submissions and noted that these did not require ISAF Council approval and the Class Rule revisions could be sent directly to the Class Rules Sub Committee for review and approval.
All the ISAF Conference Papers are available from http://www.sailing.org/meetings/2012-conference.php
IFDS Annual General Meeting - SKUD 18 selection and seating recommendations
This meeting was also held on November 6 and included 15 IFDS Recognised National Authorities. Following the resignation of IFDS President Linda Merkle (USA) and the conclusion of term for two Vide-Presidents, three Vice-Presidents were elected – Wilfried Klein (GER) and Brian Todd (CAN) were elected for four year terms and Betsy Allison (USA) was elected for a two year term. John Twomey (IRL) was subsequently elected President by the Executive Board.
Prior to the AGM, the IFDS Equipment Evaluation Commission recommended to the IFDS Executive Committee that the Equipment to be used for 2016 /2020 be the SKUD18. The Commission further recommended “that the IFDS Executive Committee review the current seating rules on the SKUD18 so that the crew may sit out to the edge of the gunnels. The new rules regarding crew seating to be framed in consultation with the IFDS Technical Committee and the IFDS Medical Committee”. These were taken as separate items for voting at the AGM. USA moved that the SKUD be adopted through 2020, this was seconded by Finland and supported unanimously. Germany moved that the seating rules be reviewed, this was seconded by Greece and was passed with dissent only from Italy.
So the SKUD 18 is now confirmed as Paralympic Equipment through the 2016 and 2020 Games, however the seating situation for Paralympic configuration is to be reviewed. This will need to be done and finalised within the next 12 months to remain in accordance with IFDS’ wishes that there be no equipment changes after the end of 2013, so input from owners, sailors and coaches will need to be sought fairly quickly and IFDS will need to outline how they wish to proceed with the review. This will be an important agenda item at the SKUD Committee Teleconference being held next week.
All the IFDS AGM Papers are available from http://www.sailing.org/sailors/disabled/meetings/2012-ifds-agm.php
ISAF MNA Forum
For the first time in 2012, ISAF provided an opportunity for classes to promote their boats to Member National Authorities. This was held on the same day as the Equipment Committee and IFDS AGM - Nov 6, so I am grateful for the support of Akko van der Veen (NED) who set up a small display, handed out flyers and spoke to a large number of MNA representatives. Some interesting connections were made with a number of countries and the Access Classes were visible alongside many of the long-established classes such as 470, 420, Optimist, Topper etc. Hopefully this will be repeated in the future.
With three submissions being considered by ISAF Committees and the Two-Person Paralympic Sailing Equipment Selection being announced by IFDS, it was a very busy and important conference for the Access Classes. Overall it was very successful, with the only disappointment being the failure to achieve full ISAF Class status for the SKUD.