Israeli sailing refuses to cast fate to wind

Published on January 20th, 2016

by Allon Sinai, Jerusalem Post

The sport’s governing body said that it “deeply regrets” that Israel’s representatives were unable to compete “due to the conditions imposed by the Malaysian authorities.”

Israel Sailing Association chairman Gili Amir has little faith in World Sailing, with recent experiences having left him disillusioned regarding the true intentions of the sport’s governing body.

With Israel’s sailors paying the price for the unsporting conduct of Muslim countries time and again in the past few months, Amir is no longer willing to accept empty words.

The ISA said on Monday that it has sent a letter to World Sailing President Carlo Croce asking that he guarantees that Israel’s sailors will be able to take part in all future events.

The ISA is concerned that its representatives will be unable to compete at the 2016 Youth World Championships to be held in Oman in December and the World Cup final to take place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in October.

Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Oman or the United Arab Emirates.

The ISA’s letter came on the back of last week’s announcement by World Sailing, which blamed Malaysian authorities of forcing Israel’s windsurfers to withdraw from the 2015 Youth World Championships.

World Sailing added that sanctions would be imposed in the future event of a breach of the “no discrimination” regulations at a regatta.

Possible sanctions include: non-selection as a future venue, denial of appointment of World Sailing race officials to future regattas in the country, and/or cancellation of membership of World Sailing.

However, Amir doesn’t believe World Sailing actually plans to follow through with its decisions.

“We are very concerned that their decisions have no teeth,” Amir told The Jerusalem Post. “If we don’t remain on guard, we will find ourselves in the same situation ahead of the championships in Oman as we did in Malaysia.

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