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International Sailing Federation

International Sailing Federation
Sport Sailing
Official website
Year of formation 14 October 1907
Former names International Yacht Racing Union
Membership size 120+
Other affiliation(s)
Patron King Harald V of Norway
Constantine II of Greece
President Carlo Croce
Vice presidents
  • Nazli Imre
  • Georg Andreadis
  • Chris Atkins
  • Adrienne Greenwood
  • Gary Jobson
  • Qunhai Li
  • Scot Perry
Secretary General Jerome Pels
Head of technical and offshore Jason Smithwick
Events manager Alastair Fox
Competitions manager Antonio de la Madrid
Training Manager Dan Jaspers
Number of staff Approx. 20
Sponsors Rolex
Continental Association

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing body for the sport of sailing yacht racing.

Sailing is a very diverse sport. Competitive sailing takes place in or with many different types of boats including dinghies, windsurfers, multihulls, keelboats (see also sailing yachts), kitesurfing and radio controlled sailing boats. Furthermore, there are different disciplines such as fleet racing, match racing and team racing together with speed records managed by World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) an independent body recognised by ISAF.


The International Yacht racing union, IYRU, was formed in 1904, when Major Brooke Heckstall-Smith AINA, then Secretary of the Yacht Racing Association (now the Royal Yachting Association) wrote to the Yacht Club de France, pointing out the desirability of holding a conference for the purpose of devising an International Rule of Measurement for Racing Yachts acceptable to all European Countries. As a result, an International Conference of Yacht Measurement was held in London in January and June 1906, at which the Metre Rule was developed. This group went on to adopt a formal Constitution after a meeting at the Yacht Club de France in Paris on 14 October 1907 so this is seen as the formation date of the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU). A more detailed history is available on the ISAF website.[1] On 5 August 1996, the IYRU changed its name to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).[2]

Rules and Regulations

ISAF is now most familiar to sailors for defining the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) which is the international standard used to control the rules of competition and the framework within which racing is conducted.

The key documents under control of ISAF are the


National Members

Like all sports federations ISAF is composed of "Member National Authorities" (MNA's) from over 120 countries all of who have the rights to make submission to determine ISAF's policies.[3]

Class Associations

The federation recognizes over 80 classes which are each entitled to hold world championships See

Affiliated Members


Sailing and the Olympics

ISAF is responsible for administration of the Olympic Sailing Regatta. Sailing (called yachting in the early years) has been a mainstay of the modern summer Olympic games since 1896, omitted only from the 1904 summer games in St. Louis.[8][9]

To help encourage high level international competition in the Classes used for the Olympic Games, ISAF arrange the following events:

ISAF Classes World championships

Each ISAF classes is entitled to hold a world championship

ISAF Initiated World Championships and events

The following World Championships are held:[10]

ISAF Recognised World championships

ISAF Special Events



From 1906 to 1946 a chairman was elected from time to time to orchestrate the annual meetings.

Vice President

Vice presidents have been elected since 1955.

  • 1998 - 2008 David Kellett
  • 2004 - 2012 David Irish
  • 2004 - 2012 Teresa Lara
  • 2004 - 2012 Teo Ping Low
  • 2008 - 2012 Alberto Predieri
  • 2008 - 2012 Eric Tulla
  • 2008 - 2012 Tomasz Holc
  • 2008 - Present Nazli Imre
  • 2012 - Present Georg Andreadis
  • 2012 - Present Chris Atkins
  • 2012 - Present Adrienne Greenwood
  • 2008 - Present Gary Jobson
  • 2008 - Present Qunhai Li
  • 2008 - Present Scot Perry

Presidents of Honour

Race officials

There are four types of race officials used to conduct sailing events recognised by ISAF as follows:

Official Awards

The International Sailing Federation hold the following awards together with service medals.

ISAF World Sailor of the Year

The main annual award the "ISAF World Sailor of the Year" that is sponsored by ROLEX in the following categories:

  • Male World Sailor of the Year
  • Female World Sailor of the Year

When a crew of 1, 2 or 3 people is nominated, the awarded is presented to the entire crew. When larger crews win the award, normally only the skipper is recognised.

ISAF Hall of Fame

On Monday 5 November 2007 in Estoril, Portugal, the International Sailing Federation announced the first six inductees for the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame it is unclear at present when the next awards will be but the original intent was every 4 years. Present inductees are:

ISAF Beppe Croce

The Beppe Croce Trophy is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing. The roll of honour is an impressive one, including multiple Olympic medallists, rules gurus and designers, and all have dedicated an outstanding amount of time to the sport of sailing. Recipients are presented with a replica trophy.

See also


External links