Reshaping the International Sailing Federation

Published on July 6th, 2015

Newly appointed ISAF CEO Peter Sowrey shares some information on what lies ahead for the sports international governing body…

It’s no secret we’re going to drop the ISAF name pretty soon, and reposition as World Sailing. And I think that it suits very much a modern governing body for the sport of sailing. In the same way that World Rugby’s done for rugby and World Archery for archery.

Thinking ahead – on launching the brand, enhancing the brand – and improving the brand, my emphasis will be largely on participation.
I’m very interested in the whole journey from youth sailing and emerging nations to guys racing in the Vendée Globe, in the America’s Cups.

We have a nine year old daughter, she’s also like me – started off in Lasers, because I did the same thing my father did and so she is starting early too.

I really want to drive this transformation journey from kids learning – around end to end, from juniors to great grand masters.

And that’s what really interests me, and during my interview process, the ISAF executive members asked me, ‘What would be the key drivers I would look at and the key performance indicators I would consider?’

And I thought I would talk about partnerships, sponsorship or something like that, but actually what I said was around participation, around growing the sport.

And making it a fun, challenging, environmental, family oriented – we had about 100 Optimist racing on the water in Italy, it’s great just to see the whole family environment, getting people out on the water.

That is as interesting to me as the Olympics or the America’s Cup or the Vendee Globe or the Volvo…

So it’s getting that balance, how you make decisions that make sure the participation is increasing and sailors can explore different areas of our sport?

Actually that is the challenge, it’s what I want to help make happen and it’s why I am here.

Complete interview on Sail-World, click here

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