#irishsailing – The new broom of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) board is expected to sweep clean in the coming weeks when it publishes a blueprint for an association struggling to show relevancy in a sport it claims to govern. At the heart of the matter is why approximately €1m in state and club funding is being absorbed annually to sustain ISA bureacracy. In 1998, the ISA had 16,000 members and 3.5 staff, today membership is somewhere between 16 and 18,000 with 14 staff.
A discredited 2012 strategic plan is now under the mircroscope as pointed questions are being asked about how the ISA got so far off course. Hints at what the future holds for the organisation are beginning to appear with, for example, the sale of state funded ISA assets such as Jet skis.
The five big Irish yacht clubs that each pay annual subs of up to €30,000 per annum into the national body have sought change and while some insiders are unhappy with the pace of reform (three former presidents confronted then president Niamh McCutcheon with concerns a year ago) it looks certain new president David Lovegrove will map out the essential changes envisaged at tonight's ISA board meeting in Galway.
Some of the country's leading sailing administrators are now board members drafted in especially to address the massive issue of dwindling participation including former president Roger Bannon, Royal St. George's Brian Craig and 2012 Olympic race officer Jack Roy.
The imminent report into the ISA is discussed in today's Irish Times Sailing column by David Branigan and how Irish Sailing needs to confront new realities was discussed last week in W M Nixon's Sailing blog. Who is to blame for the crisis in Irish Sailing was also featured by Tom MacSweeney in his Island Nation blog.