I would like to clear up a misunderstanding about the “Pathway” document that was posted on the SA Sailing Facebook wall on 14 January under the heading “Here is the new SAS class structure. Open for comment.”
This particular document as it appeared did not in fact reflect a “new SAS class structure”, and had not been approved by the SA Sailing Council or any of the Regional EXCOs. It was actually one of a number of “work in progress” documents being used to gather input with the aim of eventually presenting to sailors a clear picture of the various classes in SA, and identifying those in which top level fleet racing is conducted internationally.
Top level international fleet racing events include :
1. Optimist World Championships (annual event, under 16)
2. ISAF Youth World Championships (annual event, under 19)
3. ISAF World Cup circuit (5 events this season)
4. Olympic Classes World Championships (annual event in each of the Olympic Classes),
5. ISAF Sailing World Championships (historically every 4 years, but format to change from 2015 to an annual championship based on World Cup and Olympic Class World Championship results, with a limited-fleet Grand Final),
6. Olympic Games (the pinnacle fleet racing event, every 4 years).
While the posting of the “Pathway” document has prompted a good deal of debate and much valuable feedback, it has also resulted in some understandable concerns. It is particularly regrettable that the version posted on 14 January was a partial edit of a previous version, and as such it contained a number of errors and inconsistencies. For this, we apologise. Careful thought and further consultation will be required before this document is ready to be presented to the SA Sailing Council for approval.
In the meantime I would like to stress that the role of SA Sailing is to support all forms of our sport – cruising, day-sailing, ocean racing, round-the-buoys fleet racing whether on keel boats, dinghies or multi-hulls,, kite-boarding and sail-boarding whether free-style, wave jumping, slalom or course racing. Our primary aims are to help grow the sport in terms of numbers and diversity of active participants, and to help raise standards in terms of both competitive performance and safety .
To achieve this we all need to work together – SA Sailing, our Clubs, Class Associations, Sailing Schools and individual sailors. If we do, the future of sailing in South Africa will be in good hands.
President – SA Sailing