World sailing

World Sailing approves historic changes to governance structure

World Sailing voted by an overwhelming majority of 93.85% to approve changes to its governance structure, which will allow the federation to be more efficient and increase transparency in line with the demands of a modern global sports body.

The vote at the annual general meeting at the World Sailing 2022 annual conference in Abu Dhabi last week to adopt new constitution and governance proposals exceeded the required 75%.

The World Sailing Board, Council and Committees will now begin the process of modifying the structure and processes, and establishing the additional elements stipulated in the new constitution. The changes will be fully implemented from the 2024 AGM.

World Sailing President Quanhai Li said: “This is a decision that has united the World Sailing family and marks an important milestone on our journey. I am very happy that we have taken this opportunity to modernize the decision-making process of the sport.As we have grown and will continue to grow, we need a structure that is designed with the future in mind.

“I am grateful to the tireless efforts of the Board, Executive Board and Board Governance Sub-Committee, chaired by World Sailing Vice Chairman Philip Baum, and the Member National Authorities for making us confidence to lead the sport into a new era.”

Baum, who also serves as chair of the board’s governance subcommittee, added, “The new structure fosters collaboration and supports rich discussions by bringing more voices into the process at an early stage.

“We now have two years to prepare the integration and deliver the new structure. During this time, we will continue to listen and adapt to the needs of our members and ensure there is the flexibility to succeed. This decision is a vote of confidence in our growing way of working together and our growing ability to collaborate for the benefit of sport.

David Graham, Managing Director of World Sailing, said: “These changes will enable us to provide a better service to our members, building on the excellent work of the past two years to build trust between World Sailing and our parties. stakeholders inside and outside sport. The result of 93.8% speaks volumes.

Here are the changes, approved by the 2022 World Sailing Annual General Meeting, which will be fully implemented from the 2024 AGM:

  • 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 the law of the Isle of Man, as amended by the new proposals.
  • The advice 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 plank will continue in a non-executive capacity by supervising and monitoring the activities of World Sailing, in particular that of 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 chief executive officer leads the staff and management team of World Sailing. The relationship between the CEO and the board is governed by the 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.
  • A new specialized sailing committee encourage 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. The group will provide expert input into the development of World Sailing’s strategy, particularly in relation to the promotion of sport, and advise the Board on non-Olympic high-level events.
  • Committees and working groups: All existing committees, sub-committees and commissions will be carried over into the new structure, but with a change of name and an enlargement of the attributions in certain cases.
  • A new independent disciplinary tribunal replaces the existing Judicial Council and Ethics Commission. The tribunal panels will hear, decide and impose penalties for all violations of the revised code of ethics, or violations of any rules or regulations. All the different rules of conduct will be consolidated into a single code of ethics to define the standards of conduct required of all participants, officials and other representatives of World Sailing. The Independent Investigative Committee will directly receive complaints (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 information on the background to World Sailing’s governance reform, see the World Sailing website HERE.