We have rarely seen eye to eye with US SAILING, and we’ve been extremely vocal about what we’ve seen as an old-blood, nepotistic bureaucracy that spends more time protecting its own interests than it does promoting the sport that we all love. Our chief complaint has always been that US SAILING seems out of touch with what sailing is really about – a belief that was borne out during last year’s ‘mandatory membership’ debacle, when the members almost universally rejected the organization’s push to require all sailors to be members of US SAILING. We criticize because we want to see this change, and hopefully this Innerview with US SAILING President Jim Capron is the first step.
You’ve followed the latest mess with our NGB – a decision by the US Olympic Committee that ISAF protest and redress procedures, as applied in the US, do not comply with existing US law, and a mandate that US SAILING come up with a plan by this summer to come into compliance. The ruling requires more fairness and openness in protest/redress hearings, as well as more representation on Protest Committees from active sailors. We believe these will be good developments for racing – and we strongly urge US SAILING to look at this challenge as an opportunity to change some of the fundamental problems with the entire protest/redress process, as well as to build a new level of openness between the NGB and its constituents. Let’s see what the President had to say about the decision and its ramifications, about openness, and about the sport’s future.
SA: The USOC panel was frankly pretty brutal in its dismissal of US SAILING’s attorney Charley Cook’s arguments, even using one of your own cited cases against you in their decision. Do you accept the decision, or will you appeal? To whom does an appeal run?