ISAF conference Dublin – my First Two Days

Posted on 11/03/12 in Sailing, No Comments

Not knowing the ISAF meeting scene, this first trip has been an eye opener.  I’ve come here with a limited agenda and to watch how things work.  As it’s a 10 day trip, patience is the name of the game.

The meetings started off brilliantly with a Olympic Classes meeting.  While it was a long morning, the group moved professionally and to consensus on a broad range of issues in a proactive and positive way.  Maybe all the dysfunctional talk was just talk…

Then came the afternoon, with 3 straight hours dedicated to political plotting resulting in no way forward and no progress for sailing…

On to day 2… the Classes meeting was simply amazing… over 45 people from all over the world sat discussing unfocused details often totally in opposite areas from the core of ISAF classes… by 1 pm when we broke almost nothing of consequence had even been discussed, let alone acted on… All I could imagine was all the money spent to send the group to discuss these things as wasted funds.

The afternoon got off to a better start as I jumped ship to the Youth Worlds meeting.  It was a much smaller group, with more direct and action oriented discussion on larger and mostly important issues.  The delegates were informed on almost all the topics making for a lively discussion… but no progress… this group continually hedged to inaction for reasons ranging from:

  • Fear of making decisions to be overturned later
  • Lack of a broader plan to execute toward
  • Political ambitions
  • Limited range of control/influence and regulations that precluded creating holistic solutions

We broke for team and I left this meeting even more discouraged than I went into it… until I went back in after tea and heard one of the delegates make a sexist remark in the middle of a session to the wider audience… dinosaur city.

The reason for my disappointment here is for the lack of overall ISAF vision and mission is stopping a largely well informed and talented group from executing toward the goals… and given that this is a yearly meeting, the rate of progress seems not to be moving at the pace of the world.

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