After three days of meetings, the ISAF Annual Conference drew to a close Saturday as the final decisions affecting the sport moving forward were made.
23 submissions relating to the events and equipment for Rio 2016 were received by ISAF in advance of the Conference. In accordance with the ISAF Regulations, before the detail of any of these particular submissions could be discussed, Council were required to vote on a motion to re-open the debate on the subject. The Regulations specify that 75% of members must agree to the motion.
The submissions were presented as six proposals and Council asked to vote on them in terms of the specific changes they proposed. The first proposal grouped. 26 Council members voted in favour and 12 were against.
Proposal 2, which featured Submission 063-12, related to Men's Kiteboarding, Women's Kiteboarding and 2nd One Person Dinghy - Finn. 14 Council members voted in favour and 23 were against and 1 abstained.
With 38 possible votes, the 75% requirement was not achieved on either proposal so the events and equipment as approved in May 2012 remain for Rio 2016.
However, at the ISAF General Assembly part of the business for the 106 Member National Authorities (MNAs) who were present was to review any regulations made or amended in any substantive way by Council since the last Ordinary Meeting which was in November 2011.
ISAF had been notified of three amendments proposed by MNAs which concerned the first two lines of Regulation 23.1.4 (Men's and Women's Kiteboarding).
As defined in the Articles of ISAF, decisions at the General Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority of votes of those present and entitled to vote. There were 114 possible voters, including the ISAF President and Vice-Presidents.
After a lengthy debate the MNAs approved the first proposal which reinstated Men's and Women's Boards - RS:X.
ISAF Regulation 23.1.4 now reads:
Men's Board - RS:X
Women's Board - RS:X
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's 2nd One Person Dinghy - Finn
Men's Skiff - 49er
Women's Skiff - 49erFX
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Nacra 17
* The move to re-open failed by just two votes to reach the required threshold, but got support from 26 of the 38 voting delegates, at the Council Meeting on Thursday.
From there it was likely that if the Council vote was repeated at the Annual General Meeting (held only once every four years), it was obvious that the Windsurfers had done their homework and would carry the day - provided politics did not come into play and delegates at the AGM (where each country physically present is allowed a single vote, instead of just the the regions in the Council Meeting) had stayed true to the voting direction from the Council meeting - which was that although 75% were not in favour of re-visiting, there clear majority were for a re-instatement of Windsurfing.
Given that scenario, the fate of Kiteboarding in a simple vote was inevitable, and the rogue decision of the ISAF Council at its Mid-Year Meeting was finally overturned by a vote of 51 to 40 in favour of the Windsurfer.
* The Kiteboard Association gets top marks for their classy, dignified response:
The General Assembly of the International Sailing Federation yesterday decided with a 51% majority to reinstate windsurfing/RS:X.
We feel with all the kiteboarders out there that hoped to live their Olympic dream already in 2016, but we respect the final decision of the worlds governing body and wish the windsurfers all the best in Rio de Janeiro.
We will continue our journey - promised. -- http://www.internationalkiteboarding.org/