#IFDS - The International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) has agreed to a merger with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) that will secure the future of competitive sailing for athletes with disabilities.
The ISAF's official website explains that the merger, to be completed in 12 months' time, will create a single governing body for member national authorities and sailors alike "to better serve the needs and interests of sailors with disabilities".
IFDS president and former Irish Paralympian John Twomey said he was "delighted" at the agreement and said he and his team "look forward to implementing" the new alliance, which would provide for consistent regulations across all sailing classes, both able bodied and differently abled.
The functions of the current IFDS leadership will be replaced by a new IFDS Committee within the ISAF Annual Conference schedule, and the IFDS chair will hold a full voting seat on the ISAF Council.
In addition, the IFDS will retain responsibility for the Paralympic Sailing Competition, including event and equipment selection as well as the IFDS World Championships - staged this summer in Kinsale.
The merger news comes just four months after Twomey warned of the potential bankruptcy of the IFDS, arising from the substantial legal costs incurred in an action over the results of the Sonar class at the 2012 Paralympics.