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Organisation/Reports to ISAF/2005

International Raceboard Class

Report to ISAF Windsurfing Committee.

2005 class membership fees were received from 28 countries, representing 6 continents.

Despite the slow availability of new 'hybrid' raceboards over 30 competitors, from 10 countries, entered the European Championships in August alongside the Masters World Championship.

The Masters formed part of the hugely successful Junior, Youth and Masters (raceboard) annual festival of racing 2005 held in Sopot, Poland. This year's event eclipsed recent years - with over 250 competitors - including 24 Masters from 8 countries.

The 2005 World Championship was held in Cadiz, Spain during early October.  It provided the first real opportunity for the RSX sailors to compete in a major international event; and furthermore to be put through their paces in a wide variety of conditions, against established 'longboards'. A full 12 race regatta was completed for 128 racers (93 men and 35 women) from 24 countries, representing 5 continents.

By the closing date for registration of new 'production' raceboards with ISAF 7 new boards were registered, 6 hybrids and 1 new design longboard. With boards to be added next year from Bic and Fanatic all the major brands will once again be represented, with new equipment, in the class.

The Class AGM was held during the Championships. The Chairman's Report is reprinted below,  alongside a summary of the main proposals approved.

"Paul Leone outlined the recent history of the class, the challenges to be met, and the relevance of the ‘'hybrid' development to the class.

Attracting the Olympic Class competitors and working closely with ISAF on the Production Board Scheme had reaped dividends: numbers had doubled at recent world championships   2003 = 40; 2004 =70 ; 2005 = 120 + .

It had been important to clearly define a difference between Formula and Raceboard, set the new parameters for class rules, and encourage the development of new 'raceboards'. It is still the early days of hybrid development - 'an exciting future for the class, but we are unsure about the final outcome'.

Success will depend upon support from the brands/manufacturers - development and innovation, but perhaps with more control than with formula. The major challenges facing this development being -'competitive wind limits', and making the class 'attractive' to potential competitors .

Manufacturers and 'brands' must encourage participation - send pro riders to events and support grass roots development. The class will consider offering prize money at events.

Raceboard Class is now a vital element in the development of future Olympic windsurfing equipment".

The Committee were charged with responsibility for updating the Championship Rules after reviewing this year's Worlds. It was agreed to add 'divisions' for hybrid and IMCO at future events; and to include a Youth World title in the 2006 programme (Youths restricted to 8.5 max sail on any ISAF registered hybrid board).

The committee was increased to 9 to ensure each continent actively racing is represented.

Paul Leone.

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