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Displaying items by tag: World Sailing

In just one week (7 November), some of the biggest names in sailing will be celebrated in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the inaugural World Sailing Awards evening.

The World Sailing Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of the world's leading sailors and recognises the exceptional contributions made by those who have devoted their time and effort to further the sport.

Hosted by sailing broadcaster, Alec Wilkinson, and two-time Olympic medallist and two-time Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sofia Bekatorou, the highlight of the evening will be presentation of the ultimate recognition of excellence – the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

The 2017 World Sailing Awards will also feature the presentation of the Beppe Croce Trophy and President's Development Trophy.

Nominees for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year feature sailors drawn from the America's Cup, Vendee Globe, Windsurfing, Offshore and Olympic Class racing, highlighting the breadth and depth of the sport.

The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards is the most prestigious award of recognition in the dynamic sport of sailing. Since the awards' inception in 1994, the trophy has proudly accumulated the names of those who have demonstrated unparalleled, performance, endurance and accomplishment in sailing.

The winners will be decided by World Sailing's Member National Authorities, attendees on the night and the voting public.

On Saturday 4 November at 18:00 CST, the public will be invited to cast their vote on sailing.org for who they believe is the worthiest recipient of the coveted male and female Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

Voting will be open for a period of 72 hours and will close just hours before the announcement is made – 18:00 CST on Tuesday 7 November.

The names vying for the coveted Rolex World Sailor of the Year are:

Female
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) - 2017 Laser Radial World Champion
Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) - 49erFX World Cup Series Champions
Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU) - Pro Windsurfers Association World Tour Freestyle and Slalom World Champion
Tara Pacheco (helmed by Fernando Echavarri) (ESP) - Nacra 17 World Cup Series Champions

Male
Glenn Ashby (AUS) - America's Cup winning Skipper
Peter Burling (NZL) - America's Cup winning Helmsman
Thomas Coville (FRA) - Singlehanded Round the World Record holder
Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA) - 2016-2017 Vendée Globe winner

Published in World Sailing
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Ireland has always played a role in the affairs of World Sailing, formerly ISAF, formerly IYRU. The peak of Irish representation was in the years from 1998 to 2004, when Dubliner Ken Ryan served as Vice President.

Today, the representation isn’t at such a high level, but Irish Sailing is involved in key World Sailing Committees and maintains its place on the World Sailing Council. While Irish Sailing has nominated most of those listed below, Commissions are appointed by the Board and some have been appointed by the International Class they are affiliated with. Currently listed as IRL on World Sailing Commissions and committees are:

Council Marcus Spillane
Sailor Classification Commission David Meagher, Donal McClement, Jamie Wilkinson
Equipment Committee Cathy MacAleavy
Equipment Rules sub-Committee Curly Morris
Events Committee
Match Racing sub-Committee Michael O’Connor
Oceanic and Offshore Committee Paddy Boyd
Race Officials Committee Bill O’Hara
International Umpires sub-Committee Bill O’Hara
Race Management sub-Committee Con Murphy
Racing Rules Committee Bill O’Hara
World Sailing Classes Committee Curly Morris (Equipment Rules rep)

The World Sailing Annual Conference takes place later this week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Attending World Sailing's Mexico Conference from Ireland is Bill O'Hara, Marcus Spillane, Paddy Boyd, Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey. 

Much of the focus at World Sailing Conferences is on the equipment that is chosen for Olympic Games. While the 2020 Games will use the classes that were used in Rio, the battle is on for selection for Paris 2024.

Bill O haraBill O'Hara of Belfast Lough

The final decision on this will not be taken until the 2018 Conference, but the debate is well under way, with the ”at risk” classes already lobbying to avoid the chop. World Sailing is seeking to align its Games strategy with the IOC’s Agenda 2020, so this November the discussion will be of a strategic nature considering the questions of gender equity (required by 2024), mixed classes, multi-medals (without increasing the quota) and evaluating new disciplines such as team racing, match racing and offshore events.

Four of the ten events will be reviewed in 2018, which four to be determined at the May 2018 meeting. The final decision on the events and the equipment used in those events will be made by the end of 2018, most likely at the 2018 November Conference. Currently, the men’s heavyweight event (Finn), is the only event not populated by both genders and as such will be under pressure.

The 470 is also coming under scrutiny as a dated class with one-design control issues, while the RS:X is also under threat as the equipment doesn’t enjoy popular appeal.

Removal of current events paves the way for consideration of an offshore two-handed mixed discipline, but the debate will also look at a more innovative approach, such as creating a team or match racing event amongst the athletes already selected, improving the medal count without increasing the total attendance.

Elsewhere on the agenda, amongst the usual governance issues, there are a couple of interesting proposals. One is to create a “Champion of Champions” event for World Champions in keelboat classes, similar in concept to Ireland's own 'All Irelands' competition.

In another initiative, the World Sailing Board is proposing to host an Offshore World Championships, two-handed, mixed gender in one-design boats. This is seen as a move to have IOC consider this discipline for future Olympic Games. it is most likely to be under review next year.

The World Sailing Annual Conference runs from November 4 to November 12, 2017.

Published in World Sailing

The Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Group and Volvo Car Group will today become the Official Automotive Partner of World Sailing, the International Governing Body for the sport.

As part of an ambitious plan, World Sailing will partner with the Volvo Ocean Race, owned by Volvo Group and Volvo Car Group, to develop the next generation of offshore sailors.

"World Sailing is delighted to partner with Volvo as they have been fully committed to developing sailing worldwide for many years,” commented World Sailing President Kim Andersen.

"They are an ambitious, forward thinking partner who match World Sailing's vision and mission for the entire sport. They will be a crucial partner for World Sailing, working with us across all of our titled events, sustainability programmes and will have exclusivity in the automotive sector.

"It is vital that World Sailing continue to aid growth across all aspects of the sport and our partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race allows us to be closely aligned with one of sports major events.”

The partnership is a signal of the Volvo Ocean Race's commitment to the sport and future of offshore sailing.

The next stage of that process will be to set-out a clear pathway for offshore sailors from across the globe. This will include the creation of Volvo Ocean Race Academies, designed to provide a stepping stone for young offshore sailors.

World Sailing has also proposed an offshore showcase event to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Volvo Ocean Race have pledged their full support for the bid.

"We see the Volvo Ocean Race at the apex of the offshore sailing pyramid,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner.

"The partnership with World Sailing is important for us to show a long-term commitment to the sport and, equally, World Sailing's support and understanding of the Volvo Ocean Race does,” Turner said.

"But we need to create some steps underneath it like the Volvo Ocean Race Academies and ultimately a closer link to any Olympic offshore showcase event if approved by the IOC. If and when that goes through, the Volvo Ocean Race will be uniquely positioned to provide a path towards the Olympic Games, with a qualification or test event potentially taking place at one of our stopovers.”

Volvo have a long running commitment to sailing and previously worked with the world governing body of the sport, acting as title sponsor of the Youth Sailing World Championships from 1999 to 2010.

Published in World Sailing
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A lifetime of enthusiastic and effective dedication to voluntary work in international sailing administration has very deservedly resulted in the award of World Sailing’s Gold Medal to Ireland’s Helen Mary Wilkes writes W M Nixon.

She is originally from Scotland while her husband Robert is from England. But when they settled in Ireland in 1969, Howth became their home, sailing became their family sport, and both their sons Tom and Rupert sailed – and still sail - for Ireland.

However, the fact that Helen Mary and Robert together provided a brilliant administrative and creative team was quickly recognized locally and nationally, and it was recognition which became international when Howth Yacht Club took on the staging of the Optimist Worlds in 1981.

helen mary wilkes5 1Wall-to-wall Optimist dinghies from dozens of countries at the Worlds in Howth in 1981 – this is how it looks in a double-page spread in the HYC Centenary History, published 1995

That would be a relatively straightforward business with today’s modernized facilities. But Howth in 1981 was in the throes of harbour re-development, yet bits of it still functioned as both a sailing and fishing port.

Thus the staging of the worlds was based on the beachside Claremont Hotel immediately west of the Harbour (it has long since disappeared into a large complex of up-market apartments), and much of the running of this huge event had to be developed from scratch.

But with Helen Mary Wilkes in the key position as Secretary to the Organising Committee and Robert in several other roles, the racing for hundreds of Optimists - in what was then the most international sailing event ever seen in Ireland - was successfully completed. The overall winner was Guido Tavelli of Argentina, while the top girl (and best Irish at 17th overall) was 13-year-old Denise Lyttle of the National YC.

helen mary wilkes5 1Helen Mary Wilkes (centre) with Viggo and Edith Jacobsen, the founders in 1962 of the International Optimist Dinghy Association, at a major regatta in 1990

For most folk in Howth, that was enough involvement in international sailing administration until the new HYC marina and clubhouse were fully functional by 1987. But Helen Mary and Robert Wilkes had been spotted by the powers-that-be as talents that could usefully be deployed on the world stage, and Helen Mary’s subsequent rise through the global and national ranks of sailing administration has been so all-encompassing that it’s best summarized in a basic list:

International Sailing Federation (now World Sailing)

1982 - 1998 International Classes Committee
1990 - 1994 CPOC
1994 - 1998 Events Committee
1994 - 1998 Vice-chair, International Classes Committee (elected)
1998 - 2000 Match Racing Committee
2006 & 2008 Nominated for IOC Women & Sport Award
2008 ISAF President’s Development Award (jointly)
2008-2016 Vice-chair, ISAF Classes Committee

International Optimist Class
1978 - 1982 Secretary, IODA of Ireland
1982 - 1987 President, IODA of Ireland
1982 - 1985 Regatta Committee, IODA
1985- 1989 Vice-President
1989 - 1998 President
During that presidency the Class became the largest in the world:
- national membership rose by 78% to 87 countries
- participation at international events rose by 50% to 57 countries
1998 - 2005 Member of Honour
2005 - President of Honour

Match Racing
In 1996 Helen Mary was asked by Paul Henderson (ISAF President) to promote women’s match-racing towards Olympic status and became the first president of the Women’s International Match-Racing Association. The number of active teams and countries increased by nearly 50%.

Irish Sailing Association
1990 - 1998 Council
1992 - 2000 Olympic Committee/Group

World Sailing
March 2017 Gold Medal awarded to Helen Mary Wilkes by newly-elected World Sailing President Kim Andersen

While Helen Mary Wilkes’ many significant roles have made her the more prominent of this remarkable couple, Robert has been busy behind the scenes, and among other things - in addition to being Secretary for 35 years to the International Optimist Class Association - in 2007 he produced a profusely-illustrated history of the first sixty years of this incredibly successful little boat, with additional input from Clifford McKay Jr, who was the first Opty sailor in Florida way back in 1947.

helen mary wilkes5 1Helen Mary and Robert Wilkes on being inducted into the Irish Sailing Association’s Hall of fame in 2009

Being the sons of such busy and interesting parents made for a special up-bringing for Tom and Rupert. It’s all of a piece that Tom should be involved on the technical side of sailing – he runs a carbon spar-making business in the Netherlands which, in honour of home, he calls Ceilidh Composites. As a result he is a veteran of several Fastnets and Sydney-Hobarts. Rupert has elected to work ashore, but it’s something equally interesting – he restores classic and antique buildings.

However, this week it’s their parents and their enormous contribution to national and international sailing which is deservedly top of the agenda. Our heartiest congratulations to Helen Mary Wilkes on her newly-awarded World Sailing Gold Medal.

helen mary wilkes5 1Gold Medallist. Helen Mary Wilkes today

Published in News Update

Six Irish Sailors, including two from Northern Ireland, will sit on seven World Sailing Committees from 2017 to 2020.

Olympians Cathy MacAleavey from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay and Bill O'Hara from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough will sit on the Equipment and Racing Rules committees respectively. O'Hara, Ireland's Finn rep from the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics and Korea '88, also sits on the International Umpires group.

Curly Morris, a GP14 Helmsman, from East Antrim is a Classes Representative on the Equipment Rules Sub–Committee. Former Irish Sailing and Canada Sailing Chief Paddy Boyd sits on the Offshore and Oceanic Committtee. Rio 2016 Race Officer Con Murphy, sits on the Race Management Committee.

Sole Munster rep, Mike O'Connor, the man behind Ireland's staging of the Womens Match Racing World Championship at Royal Cork Yacht Club in 2014 is on the Match Racing Committtee.

Download the appointees below. 

Published in World Sailing
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World Sailing's headquarters will relocate from Southampton to central London, UK in late summer 2017.

The selection of London as the new home for the International Federation comes after an extensive evaluation process of possible locations undertaken since the election of a new President and Board of Directors in November 2016.

The criteria for the evaluation included:
- International city
- Connectivity / ease of access for World Sailing members and stakeholders
- Ability to retain existing staff
- International diversity with a high quality, multilingual employment base

World Sailing evaluated Southampton, Geneva, Lausanne, London, Winchester, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.

Southampton, London, Barcelona and Winchester were shortlisted by World Sailing's Board of Directors in December 2016 before today's announcement of London.

An office location in central London is to be identified with a target move date of late summer 2017.

World Sailing has been based in Southampton for the past 20-years but the organisations roots, and its predecessors, the IYRU and ISAF, had been based in London since its formation in 1907

Published in World Sailing
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The first stop of World Sailing's 2017 World Cup Series, the first on the road to Tokyo 2020, sees just one Irish entry from over 450 competitors across the ten Olympic classes from Regatta Park at Coconut Grove, Miami from 24 – 29 January.

Carlow's Finn Lynch will compete in the mens Laser class, a fleet that looks strong with the close training group of Rio 2016 silver medallist Tonci Stipanovic (CRO), 2016 Sailing World Cup Final winner Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and Ireland's youngest Olympic helmsman Lynch not only taking on each other, but fierce competitors like Germany's Philipp Buhl who has won multiple Sailing World Cup titles and 2015 and 2016 Laser world champion, Nick Thompson (GBR).

Also racing is Saskia Tidey, the Irish 49erfx sailor from Rio 2016 who is now sailing for Team GB for Tokyo 2020. The Dun Laoghaire sailor will make her Tema GB debut with Charlotte Dobson on Biscayne Bay.

Miami welcomes back five of the 2016 edition winners as well as 2016 Sailing World Cup Final champions while sailing 'legend' Robert Scheidt changes the One Person Dinghy for the Two Person Skiff.

Published in Olympic

Kim Andersen has been elected as World Sailing President at World Sailing's General Assembly as the 2016 Annual Conference drew to a close in Barcelona, Spain. Anderson's election resulted in the defeat of incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA).

After a year or more punctuated with issues, widely believed should not have happened, it is no surprise that Croce is gone, unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. 

The President and seven Vice-Presidents, two of which must be female, were voted for by World Sailing's full Member National Authorities, all of whom are entitled to be represented at the General Assembly.

Joining the World Sailing President on the Board of Directors will be:

Jan Dawson (NZL)
Torben Grael (BRA)
Gary Jobson (USA)
Quanhai Li (CHN)
W Scott Perry (URU)
Ana Sanchez (ESP)
Nadine Stegenwalner (GER)

The Chairman of the Athletes' Commission will join the Board of Directors as a permanent voting member. In addition, the World Sailing Presidents of Honour, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and His Majesty King Constantine are entitled to attend and participate in Board of Directors meetings but they do not hold a vote.

The new Board of Directors will serve a four-year term up until the General Assembly in November 2020.

Alongside the Election of Officers, the General Assembly confirmed that the ten events and equipment used at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will be proposed to the International Olympic Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. World Sailing Council will now consider the possibility of requesting an 11th Olympic medal and the type of event.

The venues of the 2017 and 2018 Annual Conference were also decided. Mexico will host delegates in 2017 and Sarasota, Florida, USA in 2018.

The General Assembly marked the end of the 2016 Annual Conference. Across nine days of meetings, more than 1,000 delegates have attended a variety of Forums and Committee meetings to discuss, debate and share best practice to take the sport forward into the new year and beyond.

Published in World Sailing
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In an open letter Rob Kothe, Founder of the Sail-World.com network, sets out his views on World Sailing's progress over the past four years and this week's 'other' Presidential election.

Away from the drama, real and imagined which is playing out in the USA, some 900 World Sailing conference registrants are assembled in Barcelona on Spain's north east Med. Coast for the all-important four yearly election, with Presidential and Board Elections at this year's Annual Conference

It is interesting to note that for the last 10 months the host country Spain was without an elected Government, with Mariano Rajoy's conservative party acting in caretaker mode. Interestingly the country has thrived without political decisions, it's the fastest recovering economy in the European Union.

It seemed to many observers that ISAF-World Sailing had a caretaker President during 2012-2016, with Carlo Croce, appearing to be very hands-off style. He and his seven-person executive seeming somewhat disconnected and it is difficult to point to serious progress made across those years.

One of the reasons why World Sailing has appeared like a blancmange over some decades now, has been the submission system which has meant the last two days of annual council has been focused on processing some hundreds and hundreds of MNA requests for changes often moving in opposite directions.

Two years ago, in Palma, Mallorca this scribe saw example after example of as much time being spent on trivial and often quite uninformed Council decision making, as was spent on major decisions which had long term ramifications.

The lack of urgency in finding a replacement for Jerome Pels, followed by five months of Peter Sowrey, who resigned after a rocky time at the 2015 Annual Conference was not a high point for the ISAF leadership group, but then the appointment of Andy Hunt has at least provided some leadership at functional level and the changes made in July may have improved the decision-making processes.

For the last four years, we have continued to hear how World Sailing is poised ready to make a commercial success of the Sailing World Cup and Version Five now ahead of us.

Former President Paul Henderson has been vocal on the matter of the looming crisis with Kite Boarding looking for two Olympic places, at other sailing classes expense while at the same time the International Kite Sports Federation warning World Sailing to stay out of the sport.

So, with many stakeholders unimpressed with the lack of progress over the last four years, Denmark's Kim Andersen has presented a strong bid to replace Carl Croce and could provide a weekend upset. We will look at the possible makeup of the Board later this week.

Interesting times ahead!

Rob Kothe
Founder of the Sail-World.com network

Published in World Sailing
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World Sailing has announced a new strategic positioning for the sport, expressed in a 'new, fresh and modern brand identity'.

A stronger and more contemporary visual identity alongside a new vision and mission puts sport, nature and technology at its core and fully completes the transition from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to World Sailing which commenced in November 2015.

The new brand identity has been rolled out across World Sailing's digital properties alongside the release of a short film highlighting sailors, coaches, sailing fans and sports fans reinforcement of the new positioning. Annalise Murphy and other Irish sailors feature in World Sailing's new video to set out the world governing body's new 'strategic position' Click here to view the film.

World Sailing's Vision and Mission:

Vision: A world in which millions more people fall in love with sailing; inspired by the unique relationship between sport, technology and the forces of nature; we all work to protect the waters of the world.

Mission:
To make sailing more exciting and accessible for everyone to participate or watch; and use our reach and influence to create a sustainable future for our sport and the waters of the world:
• To create, and regulate, exciting competition events to showcase the natural power of wind driven water sport;
• To build a strong profile and image for sailing – using our key points of difference to resonate with people and give them a lifetime of sport;
• To create a tangible sustainability programme that maximises the positive effect that the sailing community can have on our environment.

All of this can be encapsulated in a simple message: sport, technology & nature in perfect harmony.

World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt commented, "World Sailing has to adapt and seize opportunities and our new positioning captures both the substance and emotion of why we all have a passion for sailing.

"A more contemporary brand identity for World Sailing represents our new proposition to ensure we stand out in what is a very crowded marketplace and provide us with the flexibility to meet the communication needs of a modern, complex, multi-channel organisation.

"We hope that new brand identity will resonate well with fans, sponsors and the sailing community and captures the collective desire of Sailors to be the guardians of the Ocean.”

At World Sailing's 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain the new brand will come to life, enabling the sailing community to explore how to maximise the impact of the new Vision and Mission.

Sailing will be laying down plans for a healthy sustainable future for the sport, as well as the more specific subject of sustainability in the waters of the world. The dialogue and engagement will be centred on an overarching theme of, 'Our Sustainable Future'.

Published in World Sailing
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