2003 ISAF World Sailing Championships
Thursday December 26th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selectedDuring the ISAF’s 2002 Annual Conference in Limassol (Cyprus), a wide variety of aspects were finalised regarding the ISAF 2003 World Sailing Championships to be held in the Bay of Cadiz next September.
During the Spanish delegation’s presentation to the International class secretaries, many organisational and technical aspects were finalised, which had already been dealt with in previous meetings, but it was felt that the organisers’ needed to make yet another more detailed presentation, based on each class’s more specific requirements.
As the Championships have been designed as a single, shared event that will be held simultaneously for all the Olympic Classes in the Bay of Cadiz, the competition criteria will be identical for all the classes as far as the number of days’ racing is concerned. The three first days of the seven days’ racing will be used to classify for the final, which will be held over the last three days, after a rest day on the fourth day of competition.
In order for all the races envisaged for each class to be completed, the courses will be set according to the duration of each of the races and not the distance to be covered.
The races for the Mistral and 49er classes will therefore last 30 minutes. The races for the Europe, 470, Yngling and Tornado classes will last 60 minutes, while the longest races lasting between 70 and 90 minutes will be for the Laser, Finn and Star classes.
The first time in the history of the Star class
The Bay of Cadiz will also be the setting for one of the greatest changes in recent years in the Star class, which is the Olympic class that attracts some of the most outstanding sailors in the world.
The crews in the Star class will compete using the Group system for the very first time, as the boats have always raced in a fleet in all the previous Worlds.
The group system, with each group consisting of 60 dinghies in the Star class, means that it is easier for the class’s top sailors to recover their position after a bad start than if they were sailing in a fleet.
The same group system and with the same number of participants, sixty, will be used for the Europe class.
The Mistral, 470, 49er and Yngling classes will also compete in groups, but these will be limited to 40 participants in each group.
The Finns will be the only class to sail in a fleet and a total of 11 races has therefore been scheduled.
Safety at Sea, a priority for the Organisation
Among the work being carried out by the Organising Committee to ensure the success of the ISAF 2003 World Sailing Championships, and together with the numerous courses for judges, measurers and course setters, as well as the courses and practical training for the different teams of volunteers who will help in the Protocol, Press and Committee departments, special mention should be made of the importance and emphasis being placed on the safety of the nearly two thousand sailors who will be racing.
The agreement entered into between the Organising Committee of the ISAF 2003 World Sailing Championships and the Spanish Red Cross is therefore aimed at ensuring that the nine race areas which will be in use between the 11 th and 25 th September will be covered by the 35 rescue RIBs, together with 120 highly-trained rescue personnel, who will guarantee that immediate action be taken, should this be necessary.
The safety plan for the competition includes a helicopter for emergency transfers, two ambulances and a doctor stationed at each base, as well as an Intensive Care ambulance that will be permanently based at Puerto Sherry.
Each race area will also have a specialised team that will be in charge of underwater rescues for emergencies that involve a sailor being trapped under water after the boat has capsized.
Deporte Andaluz, the Mundo Vela Consortium and the Spanish Red Cross are already working hard at setting up this exhaustive rescue plan.