David Lovegrove hails first stage in ‘remodelling’ of ISA

Association president promised reform on taking office six months ago

ISA president David Lovegrove has major issues to confront, not least the loss of so many members in recession

ISA president David Lovegrove has major issues to confront, not least the loss of so many members in recession

 

A blueprint for change published this week claims to put the Irish Sailing Association on a new tack, but the reality is the association is merely going back to the way it functioned successfully 20 years ago.

Association president David Lovegrove wrote to yacht club commodores on Monday explaining the decision to axe non-core activities and make two staff redundancies.

The cutbacks follow a period of criticism that the national governing body acted in its own interests rather than those of the sailors that elected it.

On taking office six months ago, Lovegrove promised reform and he says The Way Forward document published this week is the first stage of the “remodelling” process.

How Sports Council funding and ISA club affiliation funds are spent is at the heart of the matter. Critics of former policy pointed to an “over-emphasis of the training of selected juveniles by the creation of elite squads of possible future Olympians”.

In round terms, the association turns over €2 million per annum, and €1 million is ring fenced for the Olympic team. Another €1 million is provided by clubs and other State grants that critics say is largely eaten up by the bureaucracy of the organisation.

Lovegrove’s new board thus has major issues to confront, not least that the sport has lost a quarter of its members in recession and some key yacht clubs are in choppy financial waters.

Critic

Roger BannonBrian Craig

The roll-out of The Way Forward is “focussed on servicing the needs of grassroots sailing enthusiasts”, claims Lovegrove, but also retains its commitment to the Olympic dream. Lovegrove, of Howth Yacht Club, admits the challenge is big but says he is serious about bringing it about.

In essence, the idea is to return to a volunteer committee-based structure to be more responsive to yacht club needs, primarily growing participation in the sport.

As a result, the roles of the Training and Racing Manager have been made redundant. Gone too is the ISA Conference and Ball, the ISA’s international certificates of competency plus a fleet of jet skis purchased by the association in 2007.

In offshore news, Ireland’s fabulous double-handed victory in the Round Britain and Ireland Race this summer will be retold at home next Wednesday (November 12th) when Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive’s achievement is celebrated at the National Yacht Club with plenty of practical tips from Coyne, who will describe his 1,800-mile voyage at a special presentation. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Volvo Ocean Race

Justin SlatteryAbu Dhabi

It is understood Coyne will also touch on last month’s experience in the Middle Sea Race when the fleet got hit by 50-knot winds.

It was a race in which Irish crews played a central role aboard key boats. Josef Schultheis’s Xp44, XpAct, had Dún Laoghaire’s Barry Hurley with Andrew Boyle trimming, and a bow team of Kenny Rumball and Phillip Connor. The crew took first in class on IRC and ORC, and second overall in both IRC and ORC.

The sailor involved in a dramatic air sea rescue last Sunday in the first race of Dublin Bay Sailing Club’s Turkey shoot is badly bruised but otherwise making a good recovery after a dismasting in gusty conditions.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.