Will the new Olympic Commission have teeth?

We speak to its newly appointed chairman, Yachting Australia's Phil Jones
Yachting Australia’s Rod Carr-equivalent, CEO Phil Jones, a Brit who has been living down under for 12 years, a few months back made the mistake of sticking his head above the parapet and since an ISAF Committee meet in February now finds himself chairing the ISAF’s new Olympic Commission, tasked with defining what their policy on the Olympic Games should be. The role of the Olympic Commission is possibly valuable and certainly well intentioned but the question is - will it make a difference to the outcome of current or future Olympic debates? On the one hand there is clearly a problem with the decision making process within ISAF, as demonstrated by the equipment decisions for the Olympic Games that regularly bites them - of somehow all the advice the Council receives from its numerous sub-committees being ignored come voting time, it even going against previous strategy it has decided upon. On the other hand while choice of equipment is of profound interest to those involved, it detracts from many other aspects of ‘how to make sailing a better Olympic sport’ that should be receiving more attention. Jones has been asked to take up new role following his strong submission to ISAF prior to their last General Meeting in November 2008. “Our submission was really driven by the decision on the multihull and generally the way the Olympic decisions were made in 2007,” he says. “Really I suppose it was due to the lack of any clear policy, obviously in this case in relation to equipment and events, but just generally about where the Olympics were moving - very much subject to the latest view at the time as opposed to having any strategic, longer term view of things. So that is really what drove the submission. Interestingly it got