In a recent meeting of ISAF Windsurfing class chairmen and elected representatives at the London Boat Show, Peter Krimbacher (AUT) was elected to fulfil the rotating role of President of the International Windsurfing Association for 2004. Peter is also chairman of Windsurfing Austria and has therefore much experience of windsurfing in all its forms. After the meeting he said:

‘First off, I would like to thank my predecessor, Ceri Williams, for his hard work in 2003. Under his leadership, great strides were made towards establishing a strong administration capable of supporting all the classes. I am happy to say that his drive and determination will still be available to me in his new role as the leader of the board’s management sub-committee. This group will deal with day-to-day business as it comes across our desks and make regular reports on progress to the class chairmen.

2004 will be an important year for the future of windsurfing in the Olympic Regatta. In May, the ISAF will conduct their second evaluation event in Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy. This is an ideal site as, in one day, one can experience a complete range of wind conditions making it possible to trial equipment thoroughly. The ISAF classes have every confidence that the right equipment will be chosen in November.

Those who choose the Olympic pathway are making a radical commitment to remain focused almost to the exclusion of all else. Those who commit to the radical action found in Formula racing, slalom, freestyle, wave or speed are, in some ways, similarly focused. One thing is for sure windsurfing is a lifestyle that will not be reduced to just one or the other of these choices. Together we can break the mould and create an integrated structure, which delivers one all encompassing, action packed, adrenalin pumping and media friendly egalitarian sport to anyone wishing to be an active windsurfer.

The ISAF windsurfing classes are working together using the IWA as the vehicle to fulfil this ambition.

2004 will see a marked increase in activity. In support of the PWA World Tour, four new lesser tours are scheduled, which include slalom and freestyle for the first time. There will be no less than 3 European tours (FW Racing, Slalom & Freestyle) and two Grand Prix tours (FW Racing & Slalom) covering other continents. The purpose of these last two is to act as a catalyst and focus for up and coming talent to gain experience as close to home as possible. At the same time, the classes wish to stimulate event organisers to put together tours in their own continents and regions.

Regional racing series are the lifeblood of the development effort being put into junior racing. Through them, new young racers gain experience and make friends for life; national authorities can co-operate to support each other’s programmes and coaches can set targets for their groups to achieve. To support these efforts, it is vital that the industry gets together and pays serious attention to producing one design equipment that is inexpensive, durable and versatile as well as universally available on a long-term basis so that parents and clubs can invest with confidence.

We have a lot of work to do in 2004 to build on the base that has already been established. I am honoured to have been elected to lead this continued effort.’

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