ISAF president focuses on World Cup, para sailing development

International Sailing Federation (ISAF) president Carlo Croce has stated the organisation is focused on the further development of its Sailing World Cup series and para sailing, adding that is close to securing new sponsor deals.

Croce made the remarks as he delivered his president’s report to the ISAF Council at a meeting in Sanya, China. Outlining five main goals, Croce maintained that a lot of work still needs to be done to enhance the Sailing World Cup, which he described as the ISAF’s “pinnacle event.”

Outlining that improvements are still on course for full delivery in 2017, Croce said: “Looking ahead we need to protect our pinnacle event. How? By keeping a bubble around each event and preventing important regattas overlapping. Priority number one is to look at a three to five year calendar, working with the classes from tomorrow to ensure the MNAs (Member National Associations), sailors and coaches can plan.

“Logistical organisation needs to be vastly improved by securing a deal with a world logistic organisation as a top priority. A lot can be achieved there, just look at Formula One. Finally, we need to enhance the final and concentrate on focused communications.”

Regarding sponsorship, Croce added: “Peter (Sowrey, ISAF chief executive) will tell you we are working on deals with new sponsors. We hope we will have good news soon. Some will be of service rather than financial, like television, logistics and timing and each one will save us a lot of money.”

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Sunday approved the ISAF as a member federation. The announcement came after the IPC in January elected to drop sailing from the sports programme for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Sailing will feature at Rio 2016 and Croce revealed steps are being undertaken to bolster the sport’s status in the Paralympic Movement.

He said: “I would like to welcome Betsy Alison to Council as the Paralympic Sailing representative. This is a new era for Para World Sailing following the merger last year. ISAF's resources, professionalism and focus are already having a significant impact on Para World Sailing's growth and exposure.

“A record number of nations are attending the Para World Sailing Championships in Melbourne. We should reach the magic number of 32 the IPC asked for. Para World Sailing is currently reviewing the best possible proposal for the Paralympic Games moving forward; this will include the events and continental/regional qualification systems.”

In other news, three new members have been welcomed into the ISAF. The Nicaragua Federation of Sailing and St Vincent and the Grenadines Sailing Association have been approved as full members of ISAF with the Anguilla Sailing Association becoming an associate member. The Montserrat Yachting Association has resigned as an ISAF associate member.