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Stop Victimisation of Female Sailor at ISAF Sailing World Cup

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My name is Stephanie Coady I competed in the 49er Olympic class at the Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne 2014 and was unfairly disqualified without hearing. I entered into the 49er class because I was unable to enter the female women's 49erFX class because my crew is male. The 49er class had always been open to mixed crews and ISAF made no announcement that the gender rules had been changed.

On the second day of sailing in the regatta I was disqualified. At no time prior to being disqualified had I been given protest papers or had a protest meeting organised. After we complained about being disqualified in violation of the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) and the Racing Rules of Sailing, ISAF organised a protest meeting. I was not allowed to attend the meeting because the action was being taken against "my boat and my crew" not me??!! They threw the book at "my boat and my crew" and "my boat and my crew" were disqualified for the whole regatta for gross misconduct by deliberately sailing in violation of the gender rules. This was unprecedented heavy handed bullying by ISAF. In comparison at the World Championships in Perth, Ben Ainslie boarded a rescue boat and assaulted an innocent cameraman. He showed no remorse for the victim and openly complained about his punishment. His punishment was disqualification from a mere two races.

The ISAF International Jury refused to respect International law (the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)) and federal law (SDA) stating that they do not have to respect Australian or International human rights law. The ISAF jury also claim they are not discriminating against me because "all of the action is against the crew and the boat" not me. I can't sail very well without a boat or crew. Notwithstanding this, I am still banned from the Sail Melbourne 2015 49er Olympic class.

Despite receiving the maximum punishment the ISAF International Jury could dish out, the Jury then referred my crew to the National body (Yachting Australia) for further disciplinary action for making legal threats and complaining about the harsh sentence. We never made any legal threats, we simply informed ISAF of our legal rights. The National body decided to take no further action.

I then lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) for direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and unlawful victimisation of my crew and I after asserting our rights under the SDA.

In response to the finding from the National body and the complaint lodged with the AHRC, the ISAF Jury then complained to the Chief Executive of ISAF for further action to be taken against my crew. ISAF then organised an International disciplinary panel to take further action against my crew.

ISAF have refused to state they will participate in and respect the findings of the AHRC. They simply respond "we have have jurisdiction over you".

The bullying of my crew and I by ISAF is in violation of local and International human rights law. It is also in violation of the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing and the ISAF Code of Ethics as I have never had a hearing or had my case heard. It is also clearly at odds with the Olympic charter:

"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

Please join my petition and send a message to ISAF to stop the victimisation of me and "my boat and my crew", allow us to sail the 49er Olympic class at Sail Melbourne 2015 and respect the fundamental human rights of all sailors no matter what our gender is.



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