|International Mistral Class Organisation
an ISAF "International" windsurfing class & founder member of the INTERNATIONAL WINDSURFING ASSOCIATION
IMCO has enjoyed another spectacular year of success crowned by one of our most successful racers, Nikos Kaklamanakis, lighting the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. It is a unique event in the history of our sport and one with which we are proud to be associated.
RRS APPENDIX B
The class would like to thank ISAF for publishing a new and comprehensive Appendix B that covers all disciplines in our sport. This will ensure that National Authorities everywhere will, for the first time, have a complete set of windsurfing competition rules which will go a long way to assisting in the development of windsurfing at a competitive level.
This was staged in Sopot, Poland and was a great success. The windsurfing club in Sopot is one of the largest in the world and does a great deal to support the development of our sport on the Baltic Coast. The class would like to thank Piotr Hlawaty for his dedication and the boundless amount of energy he provided to his club. We are always happy to be in Poland.
The event had a smaller entry than usual attendance although this is expected just before the Olympic games. However, the quality of the fleets was second to one. The local hero, Pont, won the men’s championship and Lise Vidal (FRA) won the women's just in front of Blanca Manchon and Faustine Merret who, as we know, went on to a stunning Gold medal win in Athens.
The Worlds were staged in Cesme, Turkey and, thanks to the Turkish Sailing Federation, were definitely the best worlds that we have ever had. Good winds blew almost everyday. The local organization worked like a Swiss watch thanks to Ylker Bayinder and the racing was superb.
It was impressive to see Alessandra Sensini leading the women’s fleet downwind in a near gale. She looked as solid as a rock, holding a 7.4 sail as if there was a gentle force 4 blowing! No one could touch her in the breeze and she won with a great deal to spare.
The men revelled in the conditions and this time, Pont, the 2003 World Champion, was taken by Julien Bontemps (FRA) with Nicolas Huguet 3rd.
THE OLYMPIC REGATTA
By all reports, this was also a great event made more so for us, by Gal Fridman (ISR) winning the first ever gold medal for Israel in any discipline and by Faustine Merret (FRA) taking home her gold medal for France, the first French woman ever to achieve such success in sailing. Congratulations to both of them.
However, their success is just the tip of a very large and well organised worldwide class which enjoys the support of the majority of racers with Olympic ambitions and is arguably the most successful in windsurfing's 20 years in the Olympics. The class stands ready to manage the Olympic process through to Beijing in 2008 with Cobra and B&M committed to continue the production of One Design equipment.
Whilst we all know that at some time the Olympic equipment will change, our questions are - do we know enough about the new hybrid boards in general and do we know enough about the board recommended by the ISAF Evaluation Committee in particular?
We believe the answers to both of these questions is NO. In fact, we are in danger of selecting equipment which will probably not be available worldwide in any quantity for 8-9 months. We are in danger of selecting equipment which is not a known light wind performer (the Neil Pryde RS-X probably came fourth in terms of performance in very light conditions) and we are in danger of selecting equipment which has not demonstrated in comparative testing in displacement conditions that it is able to carry the weight necessary to broaden the appeal of the Olympic windsurfing discipline.
We therefore urge everyone involved in making his or her choice for the 2008 windsurfing equipment to be mindful of these facts.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The AGM agreed that the class should be ready for re-selection for 2008; agreed to change its name in support of the 'white board' submission; agreed to stage its world championship in 2005 in Mondello, Sicily; gave first refusal on the 2006 Worlds to Argentina and confirmed its wish to remain a member of the IWA.
President - IMCO