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21.01.17

IFA News and updates - February 2017


Dear Finn class secretaries and sailors,

We are at the start of a new Olympic quadrennial and as always we are working on the diverse areas of our sport for the short and long term. While we look into improving the way we are organised and what we can deliver for the sailors, we need to keep an eye on the political side and what World Sailing expects from us.

The IFA stickers, which had been unnumbered for the past two years as a transition, are now stopped. The initial purpose to prove membership with a sticker on a boat has been dysfunctional for some years now. Sailors have more than one boat, change boat throughout the year, charter boats…

We are looking into a database system where all the national secretaries will be able to enter their paid members. We want this database to be of real use for the national secretaries as well as the sailors with facility to upload all documents required for an event. Let’s be paper free and make registration at events hassle free with no problem of forgetting a certificate or other paperwork.

I hope you will welcome this change that should make our lives easier!

On the events programme, the Europeans in Marseille from the 5th to the 13th of May should be interesting as the first main event of the quadrennial. The NOR and entry form should be ready this week. It has taken longer than expected as we are discussing with World Sailing about testing format for 2020. There is a big chance we will use the Europeans to trial a new format (more details further down). The reason to use the Europeans is to give us a chance to test at our event where we are free to organise the way we want and where World Sailing and IOC representatives may be present. The Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik could be another option but I am not sure there will be many Finn entries there.  The purpose to test a new format with the winner across the line is to know once and for all if this is an option we want to consider or totally abandon and move ahead.

Format proposed: the top 5 sailors overall after the second last race move to the final stage with the top two qualified for the final, 3rd, 4th and 5th to the semi. On the final day, a last race will select the top 5 from overall results to the semi-final. The semi-final with 8 boats = top three across the line selected to the final. Final = 3 from the semi plus 2 from the day before. 5 boats race with the winner across the line.

The U23 Worlds and FGC are planned on lake Balaton with the U23 from the 20th to the 27th of August on the north side of the lake at Balatonfüred and the FGC hosted by Balatonfoldvar from the 1st to 10th September. We have added half a day of racing at the Silver Cup and a day at the Finn Gold Cup in case the wind is not optimal.

The novelty for the U23 is that this year they will share their Worlds with the Byte CII U23 women. As much as there is a need for a boat for bigger sailors, there is also a need for a boat for lighter women sailors in the Olympic programme. This is a great way to show that such a boat could bring gender equity and a real balance based on sailors physique whether it is on the upper or lower end of the scale! We will make this event as fun as possible for the U23 sailors.  I would like to hear as soon as possible from the U23 sailors that will attend the event to create a Facebook event to make communication easier.

NOR and entry form for both events should be available by end of February.

The Finn class has secured an increased quota of 90 places for the 2018 combined Olympic classes World Championship in Aarhus, Denmark (30th July –to 12th August 2018) . The 2017 Finn Gold Cup in Hungary will be a major part of the qualification system for this event. The qualification system can be found here.

The Worlds in Aarhus will allocate 40% of the Olympic quota places.

The AGM is scheduled for the 2nd of September. The intention is to look at our event strategy until 2020 and if possible decide on all events there. We are looking at windy venues and will go outside of Europe for the Finn Gold Cup in 2019 or 2020. Initially we had thought to do so in 2019, however, this will be the second Olympic qualifier event and a central location may be wiser. In this case we would need to find a venue outside of Europe in 2020, preferably earlier in the year. Once the Executive has decided on the strategy, we will go for bids.

I usually do not interfere with the Masters business, however I note the situation of the two major Masters events being organised simultaneously. This situation is not showing good practice within our class. It will surely not encourage further organisers  to bid for a Masters Worlds outside of Europe if they can run the risk of another major event to be run at the same time. I hope this will be the last time this is happening or we will need to change our rules to prevent this.

On the political side, the events and equipment for Tokyo have been confirmed by World Sailing last November, however there is a last hurdle in July when the IOC will meet to confirm events and quota for 2020. On the quota the bad news is that we will most probably go down to 20 (same as for the Nacra, 49er, FX and 470). This is mainly due to the fact that World Sailing has promised the IOC to reach gender equity if not by event, by quota. All the men’s events quota are therefore reduced and the women’s events quota are increased. On another end we are trying to argue for less continental places. Ideally classes with a quota of 20 should allocate a continental place to North and South America combined, and two places for Asia/Africa/Oceania. This system would free up two places for our Worlds in 2019.

On the media side; we are looking at ways to deliver more and better coverage at our events. For the Europeans in Marseille, we are looking at providing Facebook Live coverage including aerial drone filming. For the Finn Gold Cup the media plan from the organisers in comprehensive and should showcase the event professionally. Live broadcasting on all our racing has a cost that is totally out of our reach for now, but we are continuing with daily highlights and VNR (rough footage) available to all national broadcasters. Robert is reporting as always from the main events. The work done in Rio and throughout the year by Robert has been highly appreciated at all levels. He is since last year employed by IFA on a part time basis and his fee is partly covered by the increase in entry fee (+25EUR) at major events.

On the campaign costs, World Sailing is looking at ways to limit campaigning costs. One area we will be collectively looking at is the pertinence of the circuit. Both World Sailing and classes should look at a common event strategy that should not require more than two boats to do the circuit for Olympic campaigners. Other area we are also investigating is a rule on sails limitations at events per year.

I hope this email clarifies situations on many points even if it raises lots of questions! I am available to answer your questions if any.

Finally, would all National secretaries please update me on your association's prinipal contacts and Finnfare delivery options.

We thank you in advance to keep distribution of this letter to the Finn community only and avoid posting on public areas and social media.

Kind regards and great sailing!
Corinne Mckenzie
IFA Executive Director