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ISA Dinghy Sailing Workshop Hits Choppy Waters

8th March 2013
ISA Dinghy Sailing Workshop Hits Choppy Waters

#dinghydecline –Arrangements for a promised workshop to address dinghy sailing decline in Ireland is in choppy waters following a complaint the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is 'restricting attendance' at the meeting.

The workshop follows a motion raised at the associaton's agm last week and highlighted on by dinghy sailors Norman Lee and Bryan Armstrong. At the agm the ISA promised to hold a further meeting within one month. The date of this workshop was announced yesterday but Lee says its proposed format is not what was agreed.

The alleged disproportionate focus of the ISA on its Olympic sailing programmes at the expense of other aspects of the sport  is to be aired again on Saturday the 23rd of March at 10.30am in the National Yacht Club (NYC).

The meeting, says the ISA, is only open to ISA members. Attendees must pre – register and indicate the organisation they represent.

'To claim to represent a class or club, one would have to be nominated and this would reduce the eligible numbers greatly and run counter to the open invitation to all members and could lead to disputes' says Lee.

'As the proposer I will be there as an ISA member and as a committed sailing enthusiast concerned about the continuing lack of new young members joining sailing clubs and participating in club races subsequent to completing the ISA Junior Syllabus . This is something that affects dinghies and keelboats/cruisers' says Lee.

'I will not be 'Representing' the 3 clubs I am a member of [DMYC, GSS, LDYC] or the class I currently sail most often in [GP14]', Lee adds.

In a comment on this article (scroll down to see all comments below) ISA Chief Executive Harry Hermon says he 'would like to encourage as many members as possible to attend - there are no restrictions (other than we feel it is a matter for the membership to discuss) and we have received no ‘complaints’ . We asked for people to declare their organisation so we can get a feel for the representation at the meeting both regionally and in terms of their interests'.

Lee has sought a copy of the resolution referring to this meeting from the minutes of the AGM and to know how the Chairman is to be chosen. 'Obviously that cannot be an ISA employee as the meeting will be discussing matters prejudicial to them', Lee says.

Other areas of the sport such as the cruiser racing fraternity and ICRA have asked to be kept informed of the forum as the matters raised affect club memberships too, says Lee.

 This morning Lee and Armstrong issued an appeal to all sailors to get involved in the debate:

"We see that the Forum decided on at its AGM has been arranged for Saturday the 23rd March at the National Yacht Club.

"We appeal to all clubs and classes to hold meetings to consider the issues raised in our motion and in the course of the on-line discussions which have taken place both before and after the meeting and to select delegates to attend. This Forum represents an opportunity to deal with the problems in Irish sailing and to influence its future direction which cannot be missed'.

For more dinghy sailing articles:

Aggregate link to coverage of Dinghy decline debate here

David Branigan's Sailing Column in the Irish Times on this subject here

Casting a fly over sailing club memberships

Is 'Adventure Sailing' a New Tack for Dinghy Sailors?

Irish Sailing Needs this Favourable Wind

Is Irish sailing too focused on the Olympics?

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Irish Sailing

The Irish Sailing Association, also known as Irish Sailing, is the national governing body for sailing, powerboating and windsurfing in Ireland.

Founded in 1945 as the Irish Dinghy Racing Association, it became the Irish Yachting Association in 1964 and the Irish Sailing Association in 1992.

Irish Sailing is a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing and a member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

The Association is governed by a volunteer board, elected by the member clubs. Policy Groups provide the link with members and stakeholders while advising the Board on specialist areas. There is a professional administration and performance staff, based at the headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Core functions include the regulation of sailing education, administering racing and selection of Irish sailors for international competition. It is the body recognised by the Olympic Federation of Ireland for nominating Irish qualified sailors to be considered for selection to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games. Irish sailors have medalled twice at the Olympics – David Wilkins and Jamie Wikinson at the 1980 games, and Annalise Murphy at the 2016 games.

The Association, through its network of clubs and centres, offers curriculum-based training in the various sailing, windsurfing and powerboating disciplines. Irish Sailing qualifications are recognised by Irish and European Authorities. Most prominent of these are the Yachtmaster and the International Certificate of Competency.

It runs the annual All-Ireland Championships (formerly the Helmsman’s Championship) for senior and junior sailors.

The Association has been led by leading lights in the sailing and business communities. These include Douglas Heard, Clayton Love Junior, John Burke and Robert Dix.

Close to 100 sailors have represented Ireland at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Membership of Irish Sailing is either by direct application or through membership of an affiliated organisation. The annual membership fee ranges from €75 for families, down to €20 for Seniors and Juniors.