Phil Jones Talks About The ISAF Olympic Commission

The ISAF Olympic Commission has been formed and Phil Jones has been elected Chairman.

The new Olympic Commission will report directly to the ISAF Executive Committee and is tasked with assisting them in ‘developing, agreeing and promoting a comprehensive vision and strategy of the sport of sailing in the Olympic Games’.

JONES has been the CEO of Yachting Australia since 1997, which he joined after acting as ISAF’s Olympic Manager and one of two ISAF Technical Delegate for sailing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Prior to this he had run his own sports management and marketing company after seven years spent at the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). During his time at Yachting Australia, the Australian Sailing Team has enjoyed contrasting fortunes, winning two golds, one silver and a bronze at Sydney in 2000, returning medal-less from Athens four years later, then picking up another two golds and a silver in Beijing last year.

In a long interview with, Phil outlines what he sees as the purpose of the new commission. Here are some key extracts… you can read the whole article here.

In short, the Commission does two things. The first is to encourage the development of a strategy for sailing in the Olympic Games. Secondly the submission seeks to ensure that, once a strategy is agreed, any the decisions relating to the Olympic Games are made consistent with that strategy.

…with issues like media and on-line opportunities, we’re going to need to do some forward-thinking. We need to look both at what the sport is doing now, and also at the sort of changes that will impact on us in the medium to long term.

The opportunities for small boat sailing are really starting to open up. We see, for example, new tracking systems being developed. It’s this kind of technology that is going to allow us to portray the sport in a more meaningful way as a competition. We can produce nice pictures, but if we’re not telling the story, then we’re not going to maintain people’s interest.

Some things obviously can be influenced. Event presentation and television production are two obvious examples.

From the point of view of the pathway for our young athletes, the Olympic Games remains the ultimate sporting challenge, as it is in many other sports. In small boat sailing the Olympics represent the pinnacle, just as the America’s Cup does in match racing.

In trying to serve the media, the athletes and the other stakeholders, there is a temptation to compromise. The ‘show’ is important but does this need to compromise the integrity and fairness of the competition?

Read the full article here :