Happy New Year!
2008 just started with some exiting one-off events on the agenda: Olympic Games in China, a board to be chosen for the 2012 London Olympics and a new ISAF rulebook 2009-2012 to be prepared. The IWA and its member classes hope to contribute to all of these.
The first item on the agenda is an evaluation - do we want to continue with the RS:X as the Olympic board? Do we want to see the RS:X replaced with a planing board?
It looks like now or never; Weymouth has promising wind statistics and the new ISAF policy that races should be held between 6 and 25 knots creates an opening for a one-design FW board to try to become Olympic. We can choose the 1992 path and first elect FW as the Olympic Class (with Formula Experience as a feeder class) and then in 2009 choose one board and one rig to become the Olympic one design. Or, we can propose this year a new one design FW class. By mid March the IWA should decide which path we want to follow.
Then we have the Olympic Games in Qingdao, China where we look forward to some exciting racing, hopefully in sufficient wind. Media coverage of this event is big and letís hope that the Medal Race and other changes to the sport will prove its value and make our sport more media-friendly.
Third and not least on the to-do list is to finalise the new rulebook in cooperation with ISAF. Some major changes will happen in rule 18 and 19 for the sailors and we also need some fine tuning there. Let's also use this opportunity to clean up the never-ending mess with the sail numbers. A proposal was tabled and accepted last November in Estoril, Portugal. Let's start communicating and get our act together in all Racing classes from 2009 onwards. A sail number is your personal logo and should be treated as a marketing tool for yourself and our sport.
Finally, we have to look further into the future of our fascinating sport. We have to clean up the structures, professionalize and market better our existing events and try to increase the number of Member National Associations in all our classes. A never ending struggle!
Bruno De Wannemaeker