At an Extraordinary General Assembly held virtually on July 18, 2022, Member National Authority (MNA) representatives voted unanimously that the Board should draft the detailed amendments to give effect to the proposed changes to the Constitution tabled by the Board. .
A second proposal (annex 1) on conflicts of interest was adopted by a majority of 97%. Other proposals on nominated directors and staggered elections failed to meet the “50% + one vote” threshold.
The detailed wording will be submitted to the Annual General Meeting at the Annual Conference in October for final approval. To be effective, this will require a 75% majority before any change to the Constitution. Relevant regulatory changes will also be required.
Philip Baum, Vice Chairman of World Sailing and Chairman of the Board’s Governance Sub-Committee, said: “This is an opportunity to secure the future of sailing by modernizing our governance processes. Adopting these changes will make our Federation more attractive for business investment and a more reliable partner for our stakeholders.
“The current model was developed at a time when the reach of the Federation was much smaller. As World Sailing developed it became clear that this structure would need to be updated to better meet the challenges of a modern sport. Change is both inevitable and necessary.
“In consultation with our members, the current proposals have been designed to promote collaboration in sailing to better serve everyone involved in the sport. These include sailors, whether high performance or recreational, from our volunteers, from all of our MPs, from the classes that make up our sport and, most importantly, from our business partners, governments and the International Olympic Committee as well as other key decision makers in sport.”
Key elements of the proposal
The General Assembly will meet once a year. This is the annual general meeting of the company. As such, he will continue to have the powers set out in the Constitution and under Isle of Man law, as amended by the new proposals.
The Board will be responsible for relevant decisions arising from the new submission process and World Sailing policy. It is planned to meet up to four times a year, at least once in person. The focus will be on Council debate and political decision to give effect to the World Sailing strategy.
The Board of Directors will continue in a non-executive capacity to supervise and monitor the activities of World Sailing, in particular those of the management. It will continue to consist of nine directors including the president, seven elected directors and the chairman of the Athletes’ Commission. There will be gender equality among elected directors. The chair will be elected first (of either gender) and then the seven elected directors will be elected in a way that ensures gender equality.
The Managing Director leads the staff and management team of World Sailing. The relationship between the CEO and the Board is governed by board charter. The Board may delegate its authority to make certain operational/management decisions to the CEO and, through the CEO, to staff.
- Growth and Development Committee
It is expected that a strengthened regional development committee, with appropriate resources, will focus on the growth of the sport across the world, but especially in emerging countries.
- Sailing Specialized Committee
A new Specialized Sailing Committee will foster greater cooperation between major sporting events (including World Sailing Special Events) such as the America’s Cup, SailGP, SSL Gold Cup and other forms of top-level sailing. level. The group will provide expertise in the development of World Sailing’s strategy, in particular with regard to the promotion of sport, and advise the Council on non-Olympic high-level events.
- Committees and working groups
All existing committees, sub-committees and commissions will be transferred to the new structure, but with a change of name and an enlargement of the remit in some cases.
- Integrity and discipline
A new independent Disciplinary Tribunal replaces the existing Judicial Council and Ethics Commission. The Tribunal panels will hear, decide and impose sanctions for all violations of the revised Code of Conduct, or violations of any rules or regulations. All the different rules of conduct will be brought together in a single code of ethics to define the standards of conduct required of all participants, officials and other representatives of World Sailing. The Independent Investigation Committee will receive complaints directly (including those from whistleblowers), facilitate any resolution by agreement, investigate whether or not there is a violation of the new code of ethics or any other rules and decide whether to charge and prosecute a person before the Disciplinary Tribunal.
For more background information of the governance reform of World Sailing, please visit World Sailing website