Dear Owners:

In recent weeks documents have been issued by some NCAs and by the potential future president of the RSD. In all these communications it is concluded that all the owners who have been called in the next election must vote NO to the affiliation of IOM to ISAF. But before discussing this issue there are some statements, common in almost all documents, which deserve discussing. (Leer versión en español)

The first idea is that the IOMICA Exec has taken a hasty decision raising the vote to the membership on whether IOM should affiliate ISAF. In this regard it should be noted that when the Exec took the decision the RSD had not managed to decide where it was going in relation to ISAF and was about to be dissolved for lack of members holding its board.

But even if we ignore those precedents we must consider that the proposal approved at the last AGM in BAR provided:

“Task incoming IOMICA Exec with investigating affiliating with ISAF as an international class. The Exec will bring these data to the WC for discussion and vote prior to a final commitment regarding ISAF affiliation”.

We think that all the steps have been done, and will be done, in that order. It is true that there are not very much time between the vote and the affiliation but that is not a problem. The facts are that the research has been done, that we have discussed the question not only with the WC but directly with every owner that has shown an interest and everybody has the relevant information (even the draft of the affiliation Agreement, which has been published for your review) to take the decision. So if now owners decide to go on with the affiliation process we will be an International Class in November, and if owners say no, we will stop the process.

So the only thing that has been done by the Exec is to act quickly to execute the instructions received from the owners. Something that may surprise to some of us given the prudence with which the previous Exec moved.

The second common idea is that none of these recent statements explain why, when individually considered, the IOM class should not join the ISAF despite the undoubted benefits that this action entails. Instead, all arguments that are used to recommend NOT to go through seem to be trying to scare IOM owners into taking responsibility for the disappearance of the radio sailing discipline or other class’s death. They also try to scare us with the threat of other “possible” effects that have not been sufficiently explored yet, with some unbearable running costs and so on.

So after this set of assertions, let us just call them not very well founded, we reach a clear conclusion and that is that IOM owners of those countries where only IOMs race, or where IOM is the only class really organized, they should clearly vote YES to the proposal of affiliating directly with ISAF, since in this case the only drawback may be the costs involved is membership, those costs HAVE BEEN determined and in most cases quantified, as has been shown in previous documents published by the Exec.

In those countries where other classes are raced or even where there are IOM owners that can also be owners of other classes, such as Ms, 10Rs or As, we can understand that they can have any doubt about whether the IOM should join ISAF directly, but we would say the following to those owners:

  1. The continuity of these other classes do not depend on the IOM, they depend on themselves. It doesn’t make any sense; also no authority has been given to us, that the IOMICA be responsible for rules or the organization of the championships of other classes. Those same owners must decide what they want to do with these classes, but the solution of this equation doesn’t need to incorporate the variable of the IOM. It occurs to us that they can continue as before, in the RSD, ask the RSD to act as their ICA and join ISAF, leave RSD and ISAF …
  2. The best way that IOM can help the radio sailing world is not standing all together under an old umbrella that has no utility. It is an undoubted fact that RSD has no particular standing in ISAF. It does not have inalienable rights to organize world championships and can not even propose changes in Appendix E of the RRS. However, if IOM is affiliated to ISAF and while complying with the requirements nobody can take away its right to have a World Championship. That, in turn, means that the rest of the classes that remain in or join RSD in the future will have fewer problems if they all decide to organize a World Championship in the same year. But we can also make sure that ISAF will continue to publish the Appendix E, which clearly benefits the other classes, and even we can propose changes to this Appendix, which the ISAF RSD can not do at this time.
  3. It is also common among all these statements to try to imply to the owners in those countries that affiliating with ISAF will mean unbearable costs, duplication of structures, need to join some expensive clubs[1], and so on. The fact is that none of these is true and what is really worrying is that if the groups offering these assertions occupy or will occupy positions of prominence in the world of radio sailing maybe we should wonder if you really want to be under their guidance.
  4. Another argument to scare us, which has no basis, is that decisions taken in the world of radio sailing can only be understood, examined and approved by people in this world. Against such statements we would like to simply say that they are saying these things based on no factual information. So what we will do is ask them to take a look at the ISAF website and point out that the whole of ISAF is made up of diverse classes. The kite board, the funboard, the A catamaran, the Musto skiff, the Open 60 feet, or the Optimist really only have one thing in common and that is that there is always at least one person onboard. However, despite the obvious differences between them, the truth is that all those classes are recognized by the ISAF, which should make us think that the people working on the various Committees are very professional and have a great experience to understand and assume the changes and suggestions made from very different classes.Personally we think one of the most positive aspects of the mental block we have about the affiliation of IOM to ISAF is that we must leave the mindset, which we ourselves have created, that our boats are toys. ISAF does not see us like parent’s playing with their children’s toys and people with extensive experience within the ISAF, such as Jan Dejmo, have repeatedly confirmed to us this idea and we can also confirm it in our usual relationship with our MNAs (Sailing Federations).
  5. Finally there is the argument that all radio sailing classes need to join together to be stronger because we are not strong enough, and we wonder why we need to be that strong, against whom or what do we need to fight? We think nobody has any doubt that the IOM class itself, is much stronger than many other manned ISAF International Classes, and that there are many other radio sailing classes that could achieve this same status if the owners take the initiative to organize. So the force is not acquired simply by being together. Those classes which wish to move toward international recognition could be well served by operating under some umbrella group, in the same way we have to date and then move to direct recognition when they are ready.

It continues to be curious to see that a large effort is going into discrediting ISAF recognition while there is not much offered about what the path will be that the RSD will follow in the coming years. Apart from some empty words like enthusiastic or experienced, nothing has been said about the future, but they ask us to stay with them. The obvious questions are: why?, what for? or where will we go? It has been a pity that the incoming RSD chairman has not clarified these ideas in his letter.

We do not know what direction the next RSD will head, but from our point of view they should focus on its mission as an ICA of those classes that do not want to, or cannot go it alone and act on behalf of a lot of new classes that are emerging such as Victoria, MM or RG65 until these classes reach maturity and can join directly to the ISAF. It should be RSD’s mission to nurture as many classes to get to where they are eligible to directly join ISAF. That would be a proud heritage for that organization.

There is also the argument that nothing is lost if we wait to see how the new RSD proceeds. Nothing? What about the 1,000 pounds of application fee that has been waived! The affiliation process produces a range of costs for the ISAF, not to mention the cost for the members of IOMICA Exec, and we have our serious doubts that they will waive this fee again if a second submission is requested.

Finally, we would like to clarify that this is not a situation of IOMICA against RSD or anything similar. The future of the radio sailing class that enjoys the greater recognition and international presence is in our hands. In this sense we think IOMICA must be very grateful to RSD, for all the help supplied to us in the past, but the time when we can sail alone has come.

IOMICA   Executive Committee


[1] This paper was made with the intention of non being very technical as the documents which is trying to answer but this question is really causing some confusion to many people and there is no other way to add some light to this question than making reference to some rules:

According to the RRS anybody interested in taking part in a race must fulfil the requirements of rule 75 RRS:


75.1 To enter a race, a boat shall comply with the requirements of the organizing authority of the race. She shall be entered by

(a) a member of a club or other organization affiliated to an ISAF member national authority,

Also we should take into account that according to ISAF RSD Constitution

5.1 Membership may be granted to an ISAF Member National Authority or to a national body delegated by the Member National Authority. The Member National Authority has the right to terminate such delegation.

Obligations of Membership

5.5 It shall be the obligation of Division Members:

iv) It shall be a continuing obligation of membership that any delegated national body shall maintain its affiliation with the Member National Authority.

If the DM (MYA, ARYA, etc) is a national body delegated by and affiliated to the MNA (RYA, Yachting Australia, etc) then any owner affiliated to that DM can enter a race.

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