During the last few seasons and particularly at the Owner's meeting at the Gold Cup in Ostende, it has become apparent there is some criticism of the Race Management of a number of IDA Championships. The IDA Officers had become aware of this and invited a representative group of interested sailors to meet with the Officers in order to clarify specific concerns and work together to try to improve the situation going forward without affecting the cost to competitors at these top events.
The issue was further discussed at the AGM in November and the following paper is the Officer's response, but to continue to understand the problems and support improvement where it can be made, they would be pleased to receive through the IDA Secretary, any further comments and suggestions regarding Race Management at Championships in the future.
Race Management at IDA Championship Regattas
The IDA Officers continuously strive to improve the quality of race management at our Championship regattas and actively engages with the organising committees once the venue has been approved by the National Associations at the AGM. Specific consideration has been given since the issue was raised at the owners’ Meeting at this year’s Gold Cup, including discussions with senior ISAF (Olympic) Race Officers. Your Officers are very mindful that our procedures must benefit the whole Class and have concluded that our current procedures can achieve our objectives of high quality racing with due regard for budgets.
Award, Approval and Event Management Process
There is a formal structure for awarding the Gold Cup, World and European Championships and prior approval from the IDA is required in respect of key aspects of the regatta and race management arrangements.
1. The Venue
The venue is approved at the AGM by the National Associations. National Associations make bids for a venue 4 years in advance and these bids are supported by a detailed presentation. Annual updates are made to the AGM in advance of the regatta.
2. IDA Approvals
The regatta cannot proceed without the approval of the IDA for the following key aspects of the regatta:
The Notice of Race
The Sailing Instructions
The Event Measurer
The Principal Race Officer (who must be internationally qualified)
The Jury Chairman (who must be an International Judge)
Each member of the International Jury (which must be International)
The purpose of this approval process is to ensure, as far as is practically possible, that the race management follows the IDA Regatta Regulations and that suitably qualified personnel are in the key positions on the Race Committee. Additional approvals are required from the Clyde Yacht Clubs’ Association in respect of the Gold Cup.
3. IDA Oversight
The IDA requires a simple contract to be entered into by both the National Association and the organising Yacht Club. This requires the Organiser to comply in all respects with the Dragon Class Regulations. The Class Regulations cover almost all the various aspects of Regatta Management, as well as other aspects of the Class. The Regulations are regularly updated to reflect current best practice and bring uniformity to our events.
The IDA appoints one of the Officers, together with the Secretary, to oversee the organisation of each Championship event. The Officer and Secretary work closely with the organisers to ensure that Class Regulations are complied with and that all aspects of the event are to our required standards.
4. Local Management
An event is delegated to a National Dragon Association and then (usually) to a Yacht Club. This Club organises the event in its totality, with full profit and loss responsibilities. This matches responsibility with management and covers finance / sponsorship, boat measurement, registration, weighing of crews, the jury, entry fees, sponsorship, social activities, food and drink, race management, boat craning, onshore facilities etc. In our experience, a Club organising a Championship wants and needs full responsibility to ensure proper financial management as well as the operational management of the event. It is also our experience that this will most likely lead to best value for the competitors.
Strategy for Awarding Championship Regattas
The IDA follows a declared policy that Worlds and Gold Cups should only be in good waters which can accommodate very large fleets and with suitable onshore and Race Management infrastructure and experience to handle such fleets.
The National Associations have agreed, at the AGM, that the Europeans can be awarded to smaller Dragon countries and venues to help encourage fleets. This may lead to some compromises in relation to sailing conditions (such as a smaller sailing area, lake conditions etc.) however it recognises that the dragon is sailed in a variety of venues. In addition the awarding of a European Championship can be a significant incentive to growing local fleets and this is a key development objective of the IDA. All background information on our championship regattas is available well in advance through the IDA website and it is up to individual competitors to choose whether a specific location meets their requirements.
The IDA are aware of the concerns expressed at the Gold Cup Owners meeting in 2011 and have thoroughly reviewed possible alternatives, such as appointing professional race teams for our specific Championships. These alternatives have been rejected mainly on grounds of cost and lack of local knowledge, or knowledge of the characteristics of the Dragon racing in large Fleets.
The IDA take a close interest in every aspect of the organisation of a championship, but have no authority or wish to micro-manage the details of an event.
The IDA check the competence and reputation of the Race Officials before they are appointed by the Organising Authority.
Having been selected and chosen by the Organising Authority, and approved by the IDA, competitors must accept that the Race team are the best people available for that specific event during those specific dates.
Secondly competitors must also accept that the Organising Authority, the IDA and the Race team are all driven by the desire to give competitors the best possible racing within the constraints of the location and budget, and strive to do this whatever the weather and other circumstances beyond their control, may throw at them.
Finally, rest assured that the Officers will continue to monitor the issue as it is clearly of concern to some of those who attend these premier events.
22nd January 2011
News and Information posted by the IDA only.
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