Nov 21, 2008, 3:03 PM
This was sent to Scuttlebutt:
Re: [The Publisher] 2012 Olympic Classes
November 19, 2008
Thank you to everyone who joined the petition to the IOC requesting an 11th Event for Multihulls. The IOC replied to us that the request should be made formally through ISAF and it has now done so – because of the very large numbers of people who care about our sailing discipline. You made that happen, so thank you again. Read on for details of the multihull matters discussed at ISAF’s Annual Conference in Madrid last week.
The multihull community reversed the political tide against our discipline and is now better represented in the ISAF committee structure. We achieved several small wins, kept hopes alive for continued participation at the pinnacle of our sport, but failed to persuade ISAF to adopt a strategic rather than political approach to the future selection of Olympic events, despite the noticeably large number of multihull representatives attending the Conference – many at personal expense.
- Inaugural ISAF Multihull Commission meeting attracts record multihull attendance and decides on One Design Tornado or Hobie Tiger if 11th Event awarded to multihulls
- IMC application for Affiliate membership turned down because ISAF now has its own Multihull Commission
- Goran Petersson confirms to Events Committee that “ISAF would do everything in its power to secure the 11th Medal”, new Olympic Commission proposed, 5:5 Submissions deferred
- Top-level multihull circuit under discussion, possibly alongside new ISAF World Cup, where possible. Sail Melbourne (December 16-21) is already planning to include F18. See www.sailmelbourne.com.au
- Multihull sailors may have to wait months for an IOC decision on any 11th Event, because it is contingent on inter-linked issues with other existing or possibly even new sports.
- If 11th Event, there is no guarantee that it will be multihull. Council’s decision for Women’s 470 rather than 29er XX is tactically good news but fundamentally disappointing.
Friday 7th November - Multihull Commission (Open)
From John Williams, Chairman of US Multihull Council
“The Commission's first meeting went really well and there were about 25 people in the room….. The Multihull Commission is recommending that the 11th medal go to a Multihull Event, and that the equipment be decided upon notification. We heard from Hobie in support of the Tiger, Nacra in support of the Infusion, and from the ITA in support of the new one-design Tornado. The Commission is recommending that if ISAF wants the highest performance, the Tornado be used, and if they are seeking a boat with wider distribution, that the Tiger be used. It was pointed out to us that the Infusion is not an ISAF Recognized Class. While the Nacra F18 was, the Infusion, with a different designer, hasn't completed the process nor affixed plaques and paid per-boat licensing.
Other things that were under discussion; the Commission is recommending that the Executive not support the submission from Yachting Australia to drop the SL16 as an eligible boat for use in the ISAF Youth Worlds. We also got some reassurance that the multihull event will remain in the Youth Worlds for the forseeable future.
The Commission came out in favor of the various Five Discipline submissions, and is urging the Exec to make a decision sooner than later to allow the evaluation of a Women's platform. There is some indication that those submissions will be pushed off until 2011 since they all deal with the 2016 Games.”
Comment: ISAF wound up its Multihull Committee in 2004. The new Commission is chaired by Paul Pascoe (AUS), who is also the President of the International Multihull Council. While the previous Committee represented specific classes, the new members were chosen for their expertise and range of multihull interests. They include Carolijn Brouwer (ITA + BEL), Olivier Bouvyn* (F18 + FRA), David Brookes (Hobie + AUS), Santiago Lange* (ITA + ARG), Brian Phipps (Dart + UK) and Roka Sandor* (F18 + HUN). (* absent). The Minutes should be published before Christmas.
Saturday 8th November – Executive Meeting (Closed)
From Paul Pascoe, President of IMC, Chairman of ISAF Multihull Commission
The Executive considered the application from the International Multihull Council to become an Affiliate Member but decided not to pursue this because it had re-enfranchised our community by setting up the Commission, to handle those matters relevant to ISAF. See www.multihullcouncil.org
Full Members of IMC are the international A Class, Formula 18, Dart 18, Hobie, Nacra and Tornado Associations together with the national multihull organisations of Australia, Netherlands, United States and United Kingdom.
Manufacturers who are Affiliated Members include Performance Catamarans (Nacra), Australian High Performance Catamarans (Capricorn), Hobie Cat Europe, Hobie Cat USA and Hobie Cat Australasia. Other Affiliated Members include Asociacion Deportiva de Catamaranes Espana, Hungarian Catamaran Association, Irish Multihull Association, Agrupación Argentina de Catamaranes F18 Argentina, AM2 Classe (Suisse), Australian Paper Tiger Association, Hurricane Class Association (UK), Formula 16 Association, L’ Association Francaise de Formule 18, New Zealand Paper Tiger Association, Shadow Class Association (UK) and Sprint 15 Association (UK).
Wednesday 12th November – Events Committee (Open)
From Rod Carr, CEO Royal Yachting Association
“Re the future for Cats and the 11th medal. The president addressed everyone. He said that he is working really hard to retain the number of events that sailing had in China [ie 11]. He said that the issue is that several other sports were also campaigning for extra events and that if Jacques Rogge of the IOC, just rolled over and gave sailing what we want, his political opponents would say that because he was a sailor, he is favouring our sport. He strongly advised the Events Committee not to discuss possible equipment for the 11th medal, and they agreed with Carolyn and Olivier withdrawing their submissions. Goran thought that the IOC might make a decision anytime between this December and next August! If there was a favourable decision over the winter he thought the executive should deal with it…and in any case the Council should formally sign off ISAF’s position at next year midyear meeting in May. The cat people here said they trusted his judgement on the matter and everyone agreed not to make life more difficult for Goran and Jacques by overt and noisy campaigning for an 11th slot.”….”I think we should be pragmatic and let them get on with it.”
From Lennie on www.catsailor.com
“So on the 11th medal, the following is how it works: 1) IOC Program Commission make recommendations on number of medals. There are planned deletions of medals for multiple sports, so it is not just an issue for sailing 2) IOC Executive Board meets on Dec 10-12 and everyone is hopeful that they will then make a decision, but it may not be made until a later meeting. 3) ISAF then have to decide what discipline to award the 11th medal - it is not automatically the multihull. This is where multihulls need to be careful and where the women's vote is relevant (see below)
4) ISAF then need to decide what class to choose.
The decisions on points 3) & 4) will not be made until the May meeting at the earliest. Given that this means that it will be only a bit over 3 years till the Olympics, it is unlikely that ISAF would risk a new boat, and the Tornado would be most likely to be selected.
The one area where it could come unstuck is awarding the discipline to the multihull. Whichever of the two Women's double handed boats lose the vote (any minute now), you could reasonably expect that if the 11th medal is back on the table, then they would try to get it allocated to their boat.”
Comment: Decisions about which sports take part in the Games are made by the full International Olympic Committee. This meets annually, next on 3/10/2009. Baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash have applied for two possible slots, but this does not affect 2012 because it only applies to subsequent Games. Baseball and softball were voted off the 2012 programme three years ago, and the other five failed to gather enough support for inclusion. Decisions about Events for 2012 are delegated to the Executive Committee. That meets quarterly, next on 10-12th December, 22-27th March, 15-16th June and 13-14th August. The Executive may commission reports from the Olympic Programme Commission if it needs additional research. Supported with a report on racing sailboat statistics provided by UKCRA, ISAF has provided the Commission with the necessary information in time for the IOC Executive to discuss this issue in December. However an early decision is by no means assured because it may depend on inter-linked issues for other existing sports (e.g. similar requests from other sports, numbers of medals per sportsman), or conceivably even new sports (how many medals for the new sports, if any). There will be an IOC Press Release after the December meeting.
Note: Australia’s submission number 082-08 to set up a new Olympic Commission was approved so the all other submissions recommended by the Multihull Commission were deferred.
Thursday 13th November – World Cup Organisers Meeting (Closed)
From Will Howden, Tornado Representative on ISAF Athlete’s Commission
“The World Cup is a question on many mulithull sailors minds, I have put myself in a position as liaison for the athletes on the working party for the World Cup. In short I had a meeting with all of the events directors (Melbourne, Miami, Palma, Hyeres, Holland, Kiel, Weymouth) to talk through the possibility of the multihull taking part in these events. In short the World Cup is for Olympic Classes only, so there is no way we could be part of this, but that is not to say we can not have a stand alone event run in conjunction with the World Cup. There was agreement that the best class for this would be the F18 as we would be able to attract larger amounts of competitors. It is all very complicated but Melbourne, Kiel and Weymouth have verbally agreed that something could be done. Palma is unlikely due to the location and expense of getting there. Hyeres and Spa are stumbling blocks but ones that I am working on and Miami is going to come back to me.”
Friday 14th November – ISAF Council Meeting (Open)
From Andy Rice, Editor of www.sailjuice.com
“For the second consecutive year ISAF Council has ignored the recommendations of its expert committees and sub-committees and opted - as it invariably does - for the status quo. I suppose any of us that wanted progress should be happy that the 29erXX even made it this far, and the 19:16 vote suggests it is only a matter of time before the women get their high performance doublehander. The trouble is that in the Olympic world, 'a matter of time' is measured out in batches of four years.
The earliest that women will now be able to compete for a medal in a modern high performance skiff is the 2016 Games, which would mean the women got their high performance boat 16 years after the men got theirs, the 49er having first appeared in Sydney 2000. It's a sad indictment of the inherent conservatism and lack of vision of ISAF's top table. Remember that ISAF Council can't even take credit for the 49er's inclusion. That was the then-President of ISAF, the maverick Paul Henderson, who railroaded the 49er past the selection process. Sometimes dictatorship gets better results than democracy.”
From Lennie on www.catsailor.com
“So the decision on which women's boat gets in is very important to multihulls as the multihull / Tornado will eventually end up going head to head with the loser of the current women's vote. So if the 29erXX loses, then the Tornado has a much better chance as the Council would be less likely to introduce a new boat 3 and a bit years from the Games (and especially a boat that isn't widely available yet). If the 470 is the loser, then this would be a much tougher fight as the 470 boats would all be in place around the world, and also the Class Association is well connected with ISAF.”
From Simon Morgan, Chairman Wildwind Holidays
“Reading about Council's decision to award the womens event to the 470 rather than the 29er after 3 separate committees voted in favour of the 29er I was truly saddenned to see commentary from the multihull lobby posted on www.catsailor.com suggesting that this was a positive step for the campaign to get the multihull reinstated should the 11th event be re-instated”
Comment: Any great tragedy starts out from the best of motives - in this case the creation of one design classes to make sailing a popular rather than exclusive sport. However half a century later this has created an entrenched network of vested interests in out-of-date equipment. Now we have seen 29er tread the same path as multihull, it is clear that the issue is not multihulls but ISAF. Sailing uses equipment designed 8 year ago, as well as 12, 34, 52 and 97 years ago, while other sports use state of the art equipment. This will clearly be an issue for the Olympic Commission, which also made it through Council, but what hope is there that a future Council will listen to a mere Commission, when it is not prepared to take the advice of three expert Committees – even after the most public controversy in its history?
Chairman, United Kingdom Catamaran Racing Association