What has the ISAF got up its sleeve for YOU?

Sailweb's Gerald New looks at ISAF's plans for global domination
The ISAF 2002 Annual Conference is due to take place on 8-17 November in Limassol, Cyprus. This meeting will face over 200 submissions from National Authorities, ISAF Committees and the ISAF President, plus technical submissions from ISAF affiliated classes. Now wading through the minutae of all these sometimes obscure technical rule amendments and association working rule changes, is definite Anorak territory, but a dip into some of the more obvious confrontational proposals can be enlightening – and it could effect the way YOU sail. Sailing seems to be approaching the crossover point with regard to professional status and while the cheque book and big ego rule in the keelboat world, in the dinghy area the Olympics are the only real game-in-town for the budding professionals of tomorrow. The Olympics are the jewel in the ISAF crown and it is busy widening this fiefdom by building a circuit based around qualifying events and related world championships. In order to make sailing (racing) more attractive to sponsors and the media a recognised circuit of events is needed along the lines of the golf and tennis circuits. To this end the ISAF seems to be getting its house in order and a number of the submissions this year focus on tightening the amount of control the ISAF has over individual classes, particularly the Olympic 'equipment' classes. ISAF President, Paul Henderson has been a very 'up-front' holder of the office and has frequently used the ISAF website as a vehicle for publishing his point of view on matters close to his heart. In the latest round of proposals several areas have received his personal touch and will no doubt raise the level of unease between the ISAF and classes worried that the federation is spreading its control to every aspect of sailing under an Olympics-or-die refrain. Among the dozens of