Due to COVID-19, the World Sailing Annual Conference will be held electronically in 2020 from October 15 to November 1 and will include 11 committees, 11 sub-committees and three commission meetings. The World Sailing’s Council, the world governing body’s main decision-making body, will meet in four sessions on 30 and 31 October.
The General Assembly will be held on November 1 and will include the announcement of the results of the ballot for the election of the President and Vice-Presidents.
It’s now the second week of meetings… here’s the update so far on the 2020 schedule:
The World Sailing Board met on October 30-31 at the conclusion of the 2020 World Sailing Annual Conference via the BlueJeans video conferencing program.
World Sailing Chairman Kim Andersen, World Sailing CEO David Graham and several World Sailing staff joined the meeting from World Sailing Headquarters in Paddington, London, UK.
A secure electronic voting system was used to allow all delegates to vote on submissions online during the meeting. The votes were reviewed by members of the Constitution Committee and the results were posted as soon as the voting process was complete, to allow for an efficient and transparent process.
The Green Paper, a collection of recommendations from the Expert Committees (click here), was published on October 29 and formed the basis of the submission process.
The Board meeting began with a report from the President. He outlined the challenges posed to the federation by the COVID-19 pandemic and commended the work of the board and management team to keep things running smoothly throughout. The new events strategy was reviewed, with the chairman also highlighting the good work in areas such as esports and sustainability.
David Graham then presented his first CEO report since his appointment in July 2020 and took the opportunity to formally introduce himself to the delegates present and share his first impressions of his first months in the role. Graham outlined his priorities for World Sailing and discussed the importance of each department in the federation.
Two major announcements were also made during the CEO’s report – firstly, that the World Sailing Trust will launch resources for sailing clubs, and also that World Sailing has extended its partnership with sponsors Rolex for another five years.
Graham also remembered those in the sailing community who have sadly passed away since the Council last met in 2019.
Alastair Fox, World Sailing Events Director, then delivered comprehensive reports from the Events Department. He updated delegates on the progress of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the latest developments for Paris 2024 – in particular how World Sailing will meet Agenda 2020 with regards to gender equity and other recommendations.
Fox also provided an update on the 2023 Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, which have been postponed from 2022, and the latest information on the Youth Sailing World Championships, with the cancellation of the 2020 event, the 2021 event in search of a host city and the 2022 event in The Hague postponed from 2021.
The Board then began voting on the submissions. Throughout the Annual Conference, various committees reviewed these submissions, providing the Board with their own recommendations as to whether to approve, reject, or defer each one. Approved submissions to the constitution or bylaws will be ratified at the World Sailing Annual General Meeting, at which time all decisions will take effect.
To read all submissions in detail, click here.
Submissions 028-20 and 029-20 were approved by the Board, which added the iQFoil and IKA Formula Kite respectively as possible equipment for Regional Games. Additionally, the approval of Submission 033-20 allows kitesurfing to be included in the World Youth Sailing Championships from 2021.
Submission 030-20 was the subject of much discussion during the week. It defines the equipment criteria and specifies the equipment selection process for the Mixed Tandem Keelboat Offshore Event of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Three committees had recommended its approval and the Council also voted in favor of its approval.
Bid 037-29 was rejected. The submission sought to change the list of events proposed for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to those selected for Tokyo 2020.
There were also several unsubstantiated recommendations from submissions from the board and various committees, and these were also voted on by the board. These included the approval or rejection of several classes’ applications to become World Sailing Classes, and had been discussed earlier in the week by the Equipment Committee.
The IKA Arrows Youth Foil class was approved as a world association sailing class, while the RS21 class was carried over and the Laser class and L30 class were rejected. Applications for the iQFoil class will be reviewed by the Constitution Committee before being presented to the Board electronically.
A large discussion took place when determining the result of the IKA Snowkite Class application. Key points were made from both sides around Snow Kiting, with World Sailing being the governing body for sailing on snow, ice and dirt. The request has been postponed and further discussions will take place next year.
Elsewhere, the Council has shown its support for the funding of Para World Sailing and Training & Development.
The two days of the Council were broadcast as four separate live streams on World Sailing’s YouTube channel. You can watch each broadcast below:
For more information, click here.