This was one of the most interesting gatherings for some years. A total of 99 Delegates and colleagues representing 25 IWWF Federations met in Lausanne, Switzerland over the weekend for this annual Europe Africa Confederation Congress. The Minutes will give details later of the many routine topics discussed. However, the 24 point Agenda raised some real “headline catchers” and some of these may well make a far ranging impact of our sport worldwide.

Firstly, following the resignation of Alain Amade FRA as President of this EA Confederation last year, Depy Papadimitriou GRE took over as Acting President till this Congress convened. She was now elected as full President to complete the remaining three years of the four-year term. Many congratulations to Depy.

The highlight for many in Lausanne, home of the International Olympic Committee, was a presentation by Donal Connolly IRL introducing an impressive new Waterski Trick scoring system. Having worked with Tournament Council President Candido Moz on the details, the response from all present was so positive that some wanted to adopt this eyeTRICK system immediately ! A system which can deliver accurate results in less than 90 seconds brought applause from those present. Clearly, approval processes take some time. However, recent serious scoring issues have highlighted the urgent need for change and improvement. Patrice Martin FRA and Clementine Lucine FRA, with a total of eleven World Trick Records between them, were enthusiastic in their support. This is now a matter for the IWWF.

The topical subject of concussion in our sport was covered by Dr Lorenzo Benassa ITA. For any who might not be aware of this serious topic, make sure you see the Movie “Concussion”. A check-list guide to help us all assess the athlete following a fall either in competition or even on recreational home sites will be published shortly. Some suggested that this might even be laminated and stored in our boats or at sites for all to use.

The use of Drones was also covered by Louis Palome RSA. The general conclusion was that the output which they deliver is great for our sport but responsibility for their management and control rests with event organisers. An AdminCom Guideline document was presented on the safe use of these.

As this was the last EA Congress to be attended by IWWF President Kuno Ritschard, he was given a very moving and emotional standing ovation by all 25 Federations present for his enormous contribution to our sport.

Finally, the two candidates for the position of IWWF World President, following Kuno Ritchard’s retirement in September, who will go forward at our World Congress in Paris, each made a presentation on their backgrounds, experience and what their hopes and ambitions are for the future of our sport. Alain Amade FRA and David Skillen AUS also answered detailed questions from the floor. This gave all present an interesting and useful opportunity to consider their votes at the forthcoming World Congress.

The next EA Congress will be held in Halle in Germany on February 3rd 2018