World Sailing, the international federation of the sport, today (8 May 2017) outlined its long-term priority areas as the meeting of the World Sailing Council concluded at the 2017 Mid-Year Meeting in Singapore.
The meeting of the World Sailing Council brings together the President, Vice-Presidents, Officers of Honour (non-voting), 28 appointed members (representing each of the regional groups of sailing nations), and representatives of the Offshore Committee, Classes Committee, Athletes’ Commission and a Women’s Representative.
Two days of meetings allowed members to discuss, debate and make key decisions that shape the sport moving forward.
In advance of the Mid-Year meeting, an extensive survey of World Sailing’s Member National Authorities was conducted, giving World Sailing insight into where the long-term priority areas should focus on.
Three areas were proposed for World Sailing to prioritise:
- Establish a more efficient, trustworthy and attractive organisation by increasing the level of transparency and accountability in World Sailing’s governance
- Grow the sport globally by offering more opportunities for participation and creating a compelling offering for youth
- Enhance sailing’s standing in the Olympic Games by increasing participation and growing the global audience
Addressing the World Sailing Council, President Kim Andersen said, “We have now a survey that the regions and MNA groups can use as a compass that shows us where they want to develop and where World Sailing is heading. We will start working to define the priorities and direction set out by the survey.
“I believe in building an organisation which is truly transparent both in decision making and dialogue. But to do this we need a synchronised operating structure. We should all have immense respect for the World Sailing organisation and we should all have respect for our roles within this international organisation.
“We each play an important part in its operations, and we must ensure that it operates smoothly. This means ensuring that we take the time to ensure that our regulations and processes are working and the dedicated people managing World Sailing are working with us.
“This is the goal, this is the way we are trying to organise and operate. We need more than ever to unite around our sport, to unite around our organization and to unite around each other.
“We need synchronization on all levels if we are to grow our sport and ensure that we continue to have success in the future.”
Three submissions were received in advance of the 2017 Mid-Year Meetings and each one was approved by the World Sailing Council.
The voice of the athletes on World Sailing committees has been strengthened. The Athletes’ Commission may now appoint a full voting member from within the Commission to the Coaches Commission, Development and Regions Committee, Events Committee, Equipment Committee, Olympic Classes Sub-committee, Race Officials Committee and the Racing Rules Committee.
Furthermore, if a member of the Commission resigns, the replacement member will be elected from the previous Olympic Sailing Competition. If a resignation occurs in the 12 months before an Olympic Games then the replacement member will be elected from the participating sailors.
Amendments to the terms of reference for the Para World Sailing Committee were also approved. The PWS Committee terms of reference will now mirror those of the Events Committee and will strengthen their voice within the World Sailing governance structure in line with International Paralympic Committee best practice.
World Sailing Council received reports from President Kim Andersen, each Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Hunt on the work done following the General Assembly in Barcelona, Spain in November 2016. Furthermore, updates were given on World Sailing’s commercial progress, finances, governance and major upcoming events.
A Committee Chair / Vice Chair meeting will conclude the Mid-Year Meeting on 9 May.
World Sailing Council will meet next at the end of the 2017 Annual Conference set to be held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from 3-11 November.
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing