Getting bullets for the gun


 
A top panel including ISAF's Jerome Pels, discussed 'governing the sport of yacht racing' at the World Yacht Racing Forum
One of the most interesting topics to be discussed at last week’s World Yacht Racing Forum was ‘Governing the Sport of Yacht Racing’. On this panel was Scott MacLeod, former President of the World Match Racing Tour and recently with the Women’s Tennis Association; Nick Fry, Chief Executive of the Brawn F1 team; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston of Clipper Ventures; and, after the hammering President Goran Peterssen took at last year’s WYRF, a rather nervous looking ISAF Secretary General, Jerome Pels. As was the case in the America’s Cup debate, there was considerably less mud-slinging in this session, compared to last year's WYRF, and Pels in fact came out of it smelling of roses. He may have managed this by expressing personal opinion rather than what is actually going to happen at ISAF, but at least it was reassuring that there was someone within ISAF with an understanding of what professional event organisers within our sport require of them as a governing body. A classic example of the short comings of ISAF in its ability to operate as a commercial entity has come in the last months over the introduction of the Louis Vuitton Trophy, coming at a particularly critical time as the sale of the F10 Holding’s stake in the World Match Racing Tour was going through (see yesterday's article here). Aside from the infrastructure and good will in place, the prize asset of this deal was the selling of the Tour’s ISAF ‘Special Event’ status, granting the Tour the exclusive rights to hold a match racing series culminating in a world champion being decided. In September when it was launched, the Louis Vuitton Trophy was known as the ‘Louis Vuitton World Series’ organised by the ‘World Sailing Team Association’. That it was using the words ‘world’ and ‘series’ seeming

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