I have read your perspective on ISAF and I must say that I do not agree that this organization is as bad as you project. Certainly there are some “fat cats” with self interest but for the few of those there are many, many more people involved in the ISAF that primarily have the interest of helping sailing throughout the World as their objective, to make it fair and fun for all. There are so many ISAF committee people that have a deep passion for the sport and work to manage it so that it does not fly off in all directions at the whim of a few with a self interest. Two great examples of this type of person are right here in North America, Gerry Giffin, President of the Canadian Yachting Association and Gary Jobson, President of US Sailing. Here are 2 guys who really have a vision of sailing and work for the sport as a whole and not just the speedy fringe at the top.
When you think about it, the largest percentage of sailboats in the world , spend their lives travelling between 4 and 8 kts, on a day with good wind. A small percentage will go maybe 10-20 kts if the conditions are right and even smaller number will exceed those speeds. So what is an organization like ISAF supposed to do, drop everything and service the very few elite at the top? Certainly a more global perspective is required.
On the Olympics: sure it could be fun to have the latest and greatest boats for every Olympics but this would cost sailors and countries vast sums of money. The existing classes promote strength, balance and endurance (Olympic type values). The properties of the boats create great fundamental skills that allow the sailors to go on to lives in sailing, actually they are the ones sailing the few remarkable boats at the top of the game.
Boats like Optimist, Club and I 420 are some of the classes which develop the basic skills. Olympic Classes and programs provide the platform for developing feel for a boat, for developing and testing skills with the best sailors in the World, for laying a foundation of skills that will last a lifetime. These boats do not have to be the latest and fastest boats available to provide good boat on boat competition, they simply have to be alike enough, athletic enough, demanding enough and have enough numbers internationally to provide the level of competition to show that the winner is the best sailor!
Would the foiling Moths be a good Olympic boat , sure but are there reasonable numbers in all the yachting countries to provide Olympic style competition, not so sure about that. At the moment the boats that are utilized in the Olympics do the job as mentioned above – well – and are available in most countries, plus they cover a range of sizes of people so that most sailing athletes can find a boat and can be involved if they have the determination. Why would the Olympics want to change the 100 meters or the marathon – they are what they are.
If you want the Olympics to be more exciting and made for TV how about using the course racing for the first half of the regatta to bring out the best in that discipline then, choose the top 16 and do a double round robin Slalom competition, (like years ago in lasers or Windsurfers) head to head, till you get the winner – the venue would be small, contained and ideal for TV (if that is where we want to go).
I appreciate the effort Sailing Anarchy puts in to create interest in sailing and keep people involved, all the cool boats that your cover and generally fun perspective, keep up the good work.
Canadian Sailing Team coach