A two day meeting of the ISAF Council followed by the Annual General Meeting drew the 2015 Annual Conference to a close in Sanya, China.
More than 500 delegates met on the Chinese island of Hainan from 7-14 November to make the decisions that will shape the future of sailing into the new year. The meeting of ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, voted on the recommendations made by the ISAF committees throughout the week.
ISAF Vice Presidents' Reports
Nazli Imre gave an overview of the activity within training and development at ISAF. The 2015 Emerging Nations Program was reviewed and was viewed as success with five continental clinics bringing in 105 sailors and 48 coaches from 38 nations. As a result of spreading the sport, the 2015 Youth Worlds is set to be a record breaker. Sailors from 80 nations will head to Langkawi this December, smashing the previous record of 67 nations.
ISAF Vice President Gary Jobson gave an update on the Marketing and Media activities. Jobson also spoke about the Live TV at the World Cup events throughout 2015 and outlined the plans to push ahead for further live coverage in 2016 building up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Chris Atkins has been working closely with ISAF's Race Officials, most notably those who were at the Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta where he was able to see first-hand the expectations and pressures the Race Officials were on. Atkins praised them for their decisions and their continued diligence and excellence. Atkins also touched upon the upcoming African qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Algeria will hold the first qualifier in the Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X and will feature sailors from 10 nations gunning for a single spot.
New Committee Structure
A new structure of the ISAF Committees commencing in 2017 was approved.
The Match Racing Committee was reformed into a Sub-committee that will report into the Events Committee. The Youth Worlds Sub-committee were changed to the Youth Events Sub-committee.
The Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Committee and the Empirical Handicap Sub-committee were discontinued.
Equipment and Racing Rules of Sailing
The 2015 Annual Conference was the final opportunity for the Equipment Committee and the Racing Rules Committee to review submissions relating to the 2017-2020 versions of the Equipment and Racing Rules of Sailing.
A large number of submissions were received in advance of the Annual Conference and the expert committees made their recommendations to ISAF Council. Several of the recommendations were approved and now the hard work begins for the changes to be implemented in time for the publication of the rules books in 2016.
ISAF Technical Delegate Alastair Fox and Rio 2016 Sailing Manager Walter Boddener presented on the Olympic Sailing Competition.
Fox spoke about the competition schedule, race officials, pollution concerns and lessons learnt from the test event in August. Boddener gave an update on the Marina da Gloria that is recently undergoing renovations. The handover is expected in April 2016 and ready for competition. Flamengo Park, adjacent to Marina da Gloria will also make up part of the venue.
The Nacra 15 was selected as the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships multihull for the 2016 event and onwards. It was also confirmed that the five events for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be the Boy's and Girl's Windsurfing, Boy's and Girl's Kiteboarding and a Mixed Multihull event. The Techno 293+ was confirmed as the windsurfing equipment and the Nacra 15 for the Mixed Multihull. The Kiteboarding equipment is to be confirmed.
The next ISAF meeting will be the Mid-Year Meeting in Milan, Italy next May with the 2016 Annual Conference taking place in a European destination to be confirmed from 5-13 November 2016.