The ISAF Council of 38 voted overwhelmingly in favour (by 29 votes to eight, with one abstention) of the Executive Committee's Recommendation that the decision stands and, as of November 2000, the Soling is no longer an Olympic class.
International Soling Association president Tony Clare yesterday received an e-mail from Paul Henderson, president of the International Sailing Federation. It makes abundantly clear the fact that there is no intention, on behalf of ISAF and therefore the IOC, to reverse Regulation 6.1.1, which represented the last chance for the Soling class.
The regulation in question stated that the ‘final decision’ concerning equipment for the 2004 Olympics ‘will’ be made in Edinburgh last November 2000. The IOC sought confirmation of the decision on 15 November 2000 and ISAF rubber-stamped the Council’s vote.
Since that summit, where the Soling class was officially scuttled, 14 separate submissions have been received urging ISAF to reconsider. Most of those submissions bemoaned the loss of the open fleet/match race event, other the loss of the men’s keelboat.
The ISAF Council of 38 voted overwhelmingly in favour (by 29 votes to eight, with one abstention) of the Executive Committee’s Recommendation that the decision stands and, as of November 2000, the Soling is no longer an Olympic class.
Henderson also mentioned that by supporting 6.1.1, several other decisions are brought back into play:
Having the same classes as in Sydney 2000, thus delaying the fourth event for women
Reaching 30 per cent women participation with three classes: Mistral, 470 and Europe
Dropping one of the centreboard events (Finn, 49er, 470 Men)
Reassessing the Mistral class replacing it with the new Formula windsurfing
Replacing men’s fleet racing with fleet/match racing thus replacing the Star with Soling
Replacing women’s fleet racing with women’s match racing
Replacing the Yngling with the J22
The ISAF president expressed a degree of dissatisfaction with the manner in which the matter had been handled. “I feel it would be unfair to not let you all know of this unprecedented and personally disturbing situation,” said Henderson.
“It is essential that all Olympic Classes prepare for Italy in May so as to protect yourself from whatever Council decision which might evolve and I would also recommend that you put whatever pressure on any Council members and MNAs (Member National Authorities) you feel appropriate. I cannot tell you how disturbed I am on this situation. In fact it is the most negative situation I have encountered in 30 years of service to ISAF.”