by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
It’s an election year in the United States, so the volume of craziness is increasing. This we tolerate, we almost accept as part of our democracy, even though there will be times when it will not be good for the country. Sigh…
It is also an election year at World Sailing, but there I am less tolerant. In fact, I wish the chaos would stop because it looks bad for the sport’s world governing body, especially when most people don’t know what they’re doing, and care less about doing it.
In all honesty, the organization brought a lot of it, because that’s what happens when you bleed your bank account, failing to watch and take action to stop a spark from becoming a wildfire. But then there are the flamethrowers on the outside, eager to take advantage of the moment for their own benefit.
What should be sailing, where the competitive sector is not doing very well, has gone off the rails.
The latest episode is so deep in the weeds, so full of infighting and so relevant for so little that I’d rather focus elsewhere on the positive but then the secret regime seeking to overthrow the establishment and increase its own personal relevance , will accuse me of being a tool for World Sailing. To those of you with that thought…fuck you.
When World Sailing President Kim Andersen sent me a statement in response to multiple media reports (not Scuttlebutt), regarding allegations that the President violated World Sailing’s Code of Ethics, I wanted more details.
So Kim sent me the goldmine of information, which was to either bury me, or plead his case, or maybe be transparent, which is what he told me at the start of his presidential term in 2017. I don’t know…
I started with the document entitled “From the World Sailing Ethics Officer on the Complaint to the World Sailing Ethics Commission of 04/22/2020 submitted by Mr. Gary Jobson and Mr. Scott Perry against Mr. Kim Anderson”. This 15-page document was a mass of facts, emails and conversations, and in the end everyone was scolded, ending with this remark:
“The previous distressing report should not overshadow that all the parties mentioned contribute voluntarily to achieve a laudable common goal: to promote the sport of sailing, to make it more relevant and attractive, and to help sailors around the world realize their dreams. “
It all started when an online article from another publication caused confusion within World Sailing, the source being part of an activist group seeking to impeach Kim as he vied for re-election to the World Sailing 2020 General Assembly. Notably, this same source recently published classified information about the America’s Cup which also disrupted this event. Hey!
I learned long ago that Scuttlebutt succeeds when it acts responsibly and without bias, focusing more on what’s good for sailing and its participants, and less on what’s good for us. The sport deserves a bright future and we hope to contribute positively, especially now. Forward!
Additional information regarding the ethical investigation:
Annex 1 – Complaint
Annex 2 – Response
Appendix 3 – Emails
Annex 4 – Online media
January 28, 2020: Letter to EUROSAF President Joseph Pla from Group G
March 17, 2020: Letter to World Sailing President Kim Andersen from EUROSAF President Joseph Pla
14 April 2020: Letter to World Sailing President Kim Andersen from EUROSAF President Joseph Pla
4 May 2020: Letter to EUROSAF President Joseph Pla from World Sailing President Kim Andersen