As the world governing body for sailing, ISAF, sits down to its annual powwow this week in China it is in the knowledge that it intends sticking to plans to hold races in next year’s Summer Olympics inside highly polluted Guanabara Bay.
But polluted Olympic waters is by no means the only embarrassment on the table for the blazers attending in Sanya.
The fundamental governance structure of ISAF is in question, with a proposal from Portugal to disband Council to be considered at the AGM. The remote and costly nature of this year’s meeting in Sanya has resulted in a smaller than usual turnout of smaller nations who might support this move.
The woes of the Sailing World Cup will also be discussed, with rescue proposals being placed on the agenda by ISAF, who acknowledged that 'the Final is a long way from being a compelling event that attracts top sailors'. In this year’s final two classes were cancelled for lack of entries, one class had only six boats and only two classes attracted the full complement of 20 boats.
Also, the decision by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC to drop sailing from the Paralympic Games programme in 2020 has galvanised ISAF into a rearguard action to prove to the powers that be that sailing merits its place. Afloat.ie will have more on this.