ISAF points system cops a spray from Sailing Super coach

Belcher and Ryan 470’s on Day 1 - Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre 2013
Australia´s 470 Super coach Victor Kovalenko angrily criticizes ISAF Sailing World Cup scoring system.

Today at the first World Sailing Cup in Europe, the 44th Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapre in Palma, Mallorca, Spain, Australia 470 Gold Medalist Mat Belcher and his new crew Will Ryan won both races.


Victor Kovalenko, Australia´s head coach is guiding the Australia´s 470 squad once again. His charges have won five gold medals over four Olympics and Australia is keen to make that seven over five Olympics.

Victor was plain-speaking today.

Matthew Belcher, Victor Kovalenko, and Malcolm Page
Associated Press/Francois Mori
‘Mat and Will are sailing quite well and this is their first racing day in Europe so to get two bullets this is quite good. It is good for confidence and partnership but not rewarding at all. That is a shame.

‘The new ISAF World Sailing Cup scoring format is flawed. The events must respect effort, this new scoring format does not do that.

‘What is the point in the top sailors, across all the classes, pushing hard, exhausting themselves wearing out sails and risking overall equipment? One team could have six wins and the next team could have six fifth places and after the qualifying series, there would be just one point between them carrying forward. (And you can discard that result - so its meaningless.)

‘What is the point of sailing hard? It is senseless, it’s better to preserve body, sails and equipment for the second part of the regatta. Another team or sailor that does not try in the first part of the regatta can easily snatch victory in the medal races, because they are rested.

‘Is that good for the event? The media will soon tell everyone, oh ignore the first part of the event, it hardly matters.

‘ISAF should think a little bit more, because they think their only customers are spectators on the shore. Their customers include the sailors and if the sailors are not happy and tell the Worlds sports community, not the just the sailing community, that ISAF scoring system is unfair - that is a very bad message.

‘New rules and new scoring methods should be tested at a lower level, where the overall results matter to a lesser degree.

‘This new experimental format must be thrown out immediately. It devalues the first days of the regatta,' he concluded.

If Kovalenko´s assessment is correct, then all the top crews have to do, is just make the Gold fleet cut.

So potentially three days of a Sailing World Cup have effectively been turned into a training regatta, for for the top teams.

Was that ISAF's intention?