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World Sailing has published its report into discrimination at the 2015 Youth World Sailing Championship in Langkawi, Malaysia.
The international sailing authority says it deeply regrets that two sailors from the Israel Yachting Association (IYA) were unable to compete at the 2015 Youth World Championships due to the conditions imposed by the Malaysian authorities, in order for them to be allowed permission to enter the country and compete at the regatta.

A thorough investigation of this matter has been undertaken on behalf of the Executive Committee of World Sailing with the full co-operation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The findings were reviewed by an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee in London on the 8 January 2016.

The World Sailing report into discrimination at the 2015 Youth World Sailing Championship in Langkawi, Malaysia is available to view here.

Published in World Sailing

#ISAF - Can sailing's world governing body be trusted to put athletes' safety first?

That's the concern coming from many corners of the sailing community after it emerged that the ISAF, recently rebranded as World Sailing, was aware of Malaysia's exclusion of Israeli sailors from the recent Youth Worlds from the outset, via a damning report from Sail World.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, World Sailing blamed "delays in communication" by both Israeli and Malaysian officials over the situation that saw Israel's youth team – which included two world champion windsurfers, one of them a defending Youth Worlds RS:X Boys champ – withdraw from the competition on 24 December.

Israel says it acted after failing to receive the necessary visas from Malaysian authorities, with whom it has no diplomatic ties, with just days to go before the competition began.

The accusation comes in the wake of "conditions" under which they were allegedly granted entry to Malaysia, with reports that the team's detachment of bodyguards had been refused clearance on security grounds.

Israeli sports teams compete internationally under armed protection since the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972 in which 11 athletes were taken hostage and killed.

The situation took on a different dimension when Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sport was reported as saying that the exclusion of Israeli sailors was in fact a political move.

As Richard Gladwell writes for Sail World, delays in issuing visas appear to be a regular tactic against Israeli athletes on the world stage, just weeks after a Laser Radial sailor missed valuable practice days when his visa for November's ISAF Worlds in Oman arrived late.

What's more, minutes from ISAF meetings in the lead-up to the 2015 Youth Worlds show that concerns over Israel's participation in Malaysia were raised as soon as Langkawi was selected as the venue back in 2011.

World Sailing, which lost its CEO Peter Sowery last month after just half a year in the top job, is now being lambasted for claiming surprise over an issue that was tabled at a point of concern many years ago – and for sitting on the fence in the subsequent dispute between Israeli and Malaysian officials.

Those complaints from the sailing community are reflected in dismay at the erstwhile ISAF's handling of the serious pollution issues in Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

Despite assurances from the sailing body that steps were being taken "to ensure the health and safety of all athletes", there was still a 7% illness rate among competitors at August's test event.

And recent findings by the Associated Press claim that sailors in Rio who ingest just three teaspoons of water from Guanabara Bay's Olympic courses, even some distance offshore, have a 99% chance of contracting a virus.

These issues are leading a growing number to question whether World Sailing is really putting sailors ahead of diplomatic entanglements.

Do you share those concerns? Let us know in the comments below.

Published in World Sailing

Representatives of Tanzania, the Maldives, Ghana, Indonesia and Malaysia have benefited from the experience of Ireland's largest and most successful port management company.

Dublin Port Company today announced it has completed a training programme for five developing countries as part of its UN-appointed role under UNCTAD's TrainForTrade programme.

Efficient maritime transport and port services are essential for creating sustainable economies in the developing world. The TrainforTrade programme helps ports in developing countries build better local economies by attracting and generating greater trade volumes using improved commercial handling practices learned from their training partner. In 2007, Dublin Port Company was chosen as the United Nation's partner to deliver training to ports in English-speaking countries in the developing world.

Representatives from the ports of Tanzania, the Maldives, Ghana, Indonesia and Malaysia, who have successfully completed their Train for Trade programme were today presented with their certificates by the Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr. Peter Power TD, at a ceremony in Dáil Éireann.

Speaking at the presentation of certificates to course participants, Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr. Peter Power, TD, said: “I congratulate Dublin Port Company on successful completion of UNCTAD’s TrainforTrade programme. Five ports in developing countries have benefited significantly from the skills and knowledge from Ireland’s largest and most successful port management company. This programme is important for improving trade in the developing world and driving economic growth.”  

Responding to the Minister, Mr. Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: "Dublin Port is proud to have been able to contribute to the UN's English-speaking pilot port training programme.  We became involved in this initiative as part of our wider CSR programme and we hope that we have made a positive contribution and left a lasting legacy to help developing countries build stronger, more efficient ports for the future."

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Located in the heart of Dublin City, at the hub of the national road and rail network Dublin Port is a key strategic access point for Ireland and in particular the Dublin area. Dublin Port handles over two-thirds of containerised trade to and from Ireland and 50% of all Ireland's imports and exports, making it a significant facilitator of Ireland's economy. Dublin Port also handles over 1.5 million tourists through the ferry companies operating at the port and through cruise vessels calling to the port.

Published in Ports & Shipping

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