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IWSF Racing Council – What’s Happening?

The IWSF Racing Council hosts a “Competitors’ Meeting” at each World Championship event. This gives teams a rare chance to discuss their sport with the committee that is charged to take the sport forward throughout the world. To date, there seems to have been no public communication on the time, date and venue of this meeting in Belgium.

The IWSF Racing Council is expected to confirm the time, date & venue of the 2009 Competitors’ Meeting. The sooner this is communicated, the less competitors will be inconvenienced at the Worlds. N.B. The Racing Council’s own meeting has already been confirmed.

The IWSF World Racing Council met at Long Beach, USA in July 2008 and held an extraordinary meeting. At that meeting, numerous items were discussed and there were a number of positive action-plans which were agreed. Those action-plans would benefit competitors and the sport at large. Below is a list which includes some of those items and others that are relevant to competitors. It would be a good idea for competitors to seek answers and clarification on the following items at the Competitors’ Meeting in Belgium. At the same time, IWSF Racing Council members reading this have sufficient time to establish valid answers to the questions and ensure that business is conducted properly.

Download the minutes from the 2008 IWSF Racing Council Meeting here

1) World Racing Council Development Fund
In July 2008, the IWSF Racing Council agreed that this fund was to be set up and built by IWSF Racing Council members who agreed to sell a minimum of 15 raffle tickets each which would raise US$ 16,500. It was agreed that the raffle draw would take place at the 2009 Southern 80. The proceeds were to be split between competitors and the Racing Council (read this IWSF minuted item here) – What has happened with this raffle and fund?

2) Chairman Election
The IWSF bylaws state; “The Chairman shall be elected from among and by the members of the Council every two years to coincide with the meeting at the Divisional World Championships”. This means that the IWSF Racing Council must elect a Chairman in Belgium.

It is expected that a new Chairman will finally be elected in Belgium and this is well overdue. I proposed last year that Glen Coles stands down and Dusty Schulz stands for Chairman. It’s quite likely that Dusty will become Chairman in Belgium (although others could be elected). In my view, Dusty will make a good Chairman and I personally asked him to take on the role in 2008. The only shame is that a year has been wasted, little has been achieved, and this all could have happened last year with perhaps a lot more being done for the sport, other that re-writing some rules.

3) Athelete’s Representative Election
The election in 2007 was a complete shambles. In 2007 Jim Grew (IWSF Vice President) wrote; “…elections are conducted at your respective events to select replacements for or reelection of your current members of the IWSF Athletes Commission. This is an election by the athletes, not by the council, and is for a period of two years, until your next World Championships“.

This means that the IWSF Racing Council (usually the Chairman or Secretary) is obliged to arrange for competitors to elect or re-elect an Athlete’s Representative in Belgium. To date, there seems to have been no public communication on this matter. What is being done to request candidates to stand for election or re-election? Who are the candidates that athletes will vote for in Belgium? Remember – this is NOT the racing Council’s vote, but the racing Council must facilitate this election professionally and transaparently in Belgium – not after the event.

4) Racing’s 2008 Male & Female Athlete of the Year
In January 2008, Clementine Lucine and Jaret Llewellyn were announced by the IWSF as being 2008 IWSF Athletes of the Year. The IWSF promoted the accolade that these two fine skiers had been awarded. Every year, the IWSF asks the Council of each discipline (Tournament, Barefoot, Racing, etc) to elect its Athletes of the Year.

I have not seen any promotion of Racing’s elected 2008 Athletes of the Year. The skiers who work so hard to become the best deserve to be recognised amongst its sport and the IWSF Racing Council has a duty to promote the achievements of these skiers. I can’t see that this has been done. Why not? If it was done, why were these skiers not applauded by the Racing Council and announced to the sport at large? Were any Racing skiers even selected in the way that all other disciplines selected skiers?

5) Wild Card Skiers at World Championships
At the 2008 IWSF Racing Council meeting, the concept of Wild Cards was discussed (see page 18 of the minutes). Nothing was done about it after everone walked out of that meeting, but it should be discussed at the IWSF meeting in Belgium (see here). It is not necessary that such items have to wait a whole year to be finalised. This is poor management of a committee and the sport.

6) More Needs to be Done and Communicated
I hope for the sake of ski racing’s competitors, that things get better. Too many actions are discussed and agreed at IWSF Racing Committee meetings that are never followed up on. It’s very easy to have great ideas around a table but it’s another thing to go home, take action and put in the effort that’s needed to make those ideas reality. Where is the funding that the Racing Council committed to raising? Where is the communication on what is being achieved? Who did the Racing Council elect this years as Male and Female water ski racers of the year? Etc.

The questions above are all very legitimate, but the answers to these and other questions remain unheard by the vast majority of competitors who part-fund the IWSF Racing Council. It’s about time the Racing Council as one body, starts answering to the people it is supposed to be serving, starts proactively communicating to the world, being more transparent, promoting the sport and its champions, raising funds and doing more than it does at the moment. I hope there are enough strong, bright and dynamic individuals elected on the Racing Council this year to ensure that positive change and progress occurs over the next two years.

If you care about what happens to your sport, I recommend that you consider all of the above and other things that matter to you, attend the Competitors’ Meeting in Belgium, and speak up. You can also discuss the matters with your Regional IWSF Committee Rep beforehand, especially if you are unable to be in Belgium.

A list of Racing Council members is posted here on the IWSF site and a screenshot is shown below. (John Newton formally stepped down in 2007 but is still named as a Council member)

racing council

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