Sailing World Cup Melbourne, Vale Ian Souter and Oman ISAF Conference

IFDS SKUD Fleet - Sail Melbourne 2012
David Staley - copyright
ISAF Sailing World Cup, Vale Ian Souter and Australian concerns about ISAF revolutionary proposal.

Melbourne Paralympic hotspot ahead of Rio 2016 - Australia is one of the top nations on the Paralympic sailing scene and as past International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) Vice President and current President of Sailability Victoria, David Staley, explains, a strong focus of Paralympic sailors leading to Rio will be on the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne (Sail Melbourne) over the next three years.

Whilst the inclusion of Paralympic Classes in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Events was only formalised last year, Sail Melbourne has led by example, with open events conducted for the single person International 2.4mR since 2002 and the two-person SKUD 18 since 2007, as part of the Olympic and Invited Classes program.

Open events such as the Sail Melbourne Invited Classes allows for all these classes to be sailed by able-bodied athletes with and against sailors with a disability, providing aspiring Paralympians with the increased fleet sizes and keen competition that open competition provides, rather than solely focusing on classified sailing events.

For the 2016 Rio Paralympics aspirants, the IFDS Worlds 2014 in Halifax Canada will be the first qualifying event, while the IFDS Worlds 2015 being held at Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, in conjunction with Sail Melbourne just prior to the ISAF Sailing World Cup event, will be the final nation’s qualifiers for Rio in each of the Paralympic classes.

Yachting Victoria is committed to the growth of the IFDS classes and as such, Paralympic Classification will be available at Sail Melbourne this year. International Classifications are valid for one Paralympic quadrennial, so all athlete classifications must be renewed starting in 2013.

Skud18 Staley-Lewenhagen 217 - ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne 2012

Staley says the opportunity to be classified at this event is a major draw card for the Asia Pacific region’s IFDS athletes and the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne and Sail Melbourne Invited classes in 2013 and 2014 will be the perfect opportunities for aspiring Rio campaigners to road test Port Phillip, prior to the 2015 Worlds.

This year’s event from Dec 1-8th 2013 is shaping as one of the best for a long time. The Notice of Race is available and entries are open in both the Olympic and Invited Classes. See full story below.

Finn fleet - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition

Sail-World broke the news world-wide two weeks ago that a revolutionary proposal designed to change the nature of Olympic class sailing competitions at all levels is to be presented to the ISAF Council in mid-November 2013 in Oman.

We said at the time this proposal will have a major impact on the current Olympic Class World Championships which will if this proposal if accepted, be completely restructured.

Today we have a critique of the proposed ISAF Sailing World Championships structure from a senior Australian Laser class representative, Rob Lowndes, who was the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2008 Laser World Championships at Terrigal in Australia and former Chairman of the NSW & ACT District.

He writes … ‘Thanks to Sail-World we have been alerted to a proposal to radically alter the structure of World Championships for Olympic classes. (The preview can be viewed in the story below).

‘I cannot speak for other classes but I do believe the arguments put forward in the proposal are flawed and could have serious consequences for the future of the Laser class, arguably the most successful international class in the history of sailing. I assume the paper will be presented to the Events Committee at the ISAF annual Conference in mid-November although I notice it is not easy to find on the ISAF website.

(This commentary from Rob Lowndes is a must read for everyone involved in any of the Olympic classes at any level.)

Sail-World will be publishing the European perspective on the same subject later this week and we will be following this subject very closely from the ISAF meeting in Oman.

Iain Murray and crew of Ian Souter and Shane Corbett - all powered up with the #1 rig in Color 7
.. .

Now sadly - Vale Ian Souter: 25th November 1951 – 23rd October 2013

Scotland Island Ian Souter (61) champion sailor and much loved family man passed away on 23 October 2013 after a long battle with cancer.

Ian was a champion sailor, a forward hand in many winning skiffs, he won two World 18’ Skiff Championships, with Iain Murray, numerous Australian Titles; and major title wins in the 12’ skiffs. In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contributions to sailing.

Ian made an extensive contribution to child and youth development sailing programs in the Manly Juniors and Flying 11 classes. He worked on various programs with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal Motor Yacht Club, Lane Cove 12’ Skiff Sailing Club and Manly Skiff Club.

Funeral Arrangements: 12.15pm Tuesday 29th Oct. Northern Suburbs Crematorium – North Chapel
Wake: 2.00pm Tuesday 28th Oct. Lane Cove 12’Skiff Sailing Club

Oracle Team USA: Tom Slingsby Race 17

America's Cup 34 & 35 - late last week we interviewed Tom Slingsby and tomorrow we will be talking to Jimmy Spithill, we will be running both interviews this week. Interesting times ....

There is much more Australian sailing news that we can even mention today. …so we will just get out of the pit and let you get up on deck to read it.