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World Sailing Presidential Update – March 2017

Published on March 13th, 2017


Kim Andersen

World Sailing President Kim Andersen shares some of the progress that has been made and what is to come in the future. Notably, this includes the upcoming World Sailing survey which has already been distributed to each Member National Authority (MNA), as well as preparations made towards the mid-year meeting.

World Sailing Priorities
Part of my vision for World Sailing is focused on creating clear priorities for World Sailing going forward. In order to do this, it is vital that we consider the position of our organisation and our vision for its future.

To make this vision a reality, we will be creating core guidelines, called World Sailing Priorities. These Priorities will serve as a road map towards our future and our shared success. It is vital that these Priorities reflect the opinions of all of our MNAs as accurately as possible. In order to get these opinions, World Sailing released a questionnaire to all 145 MNAs last week.

The survey process will be managed by an external specialist in this area – TSE Consulting – and this independent management should give you all complete faith that the answers will be analysed with complete anonymity and objectivity.

The entire survey process will be rolled out over the coming month, after which the summarised inputs gathered from each MNA will form the foundation upon which the World Sailing Priorities will be built. I look forward to sharing the results and subsequent Priorities with all of you in the coming months.

Status report for the Olympic programme
unnamed11I am pleased to report that we had a very positive and constructive meeting with the IOC at the beginning of February. During this meeting, we discussed our suggested programme and showcase events for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

These discussions formed the basis for the formal events proposal by World Sailing which was made to the IOC at the end of February. Following the Council vote regarding the Olympic venue, further discussions will be had regarding formats – especially concerning Rule 42 and the use of propulsion at qualifying events and the Olympics.

Furthermore, we will continually work to develop our qualification system in order to grow participating nations. Going forward, it is also clear that reducing the gap between genders in our sport must be one of our major focuses.

Committee Appointments – Process & Procedure
I am pleased to announce that all of the Committee appointments have now been approved by Council.

Currently, for those not familiar with the process, references for nominations are made by MNAs, MNA groups and regional representatives, leaving the final selection and decision to the Board. The process of approval is then brought to the Council for ratification.

In order to ensure the most effective committees, the Board agreed on the Chair and Vice-Chair of each committee and gave these individuals the leading hand in selecting the committee members with whom they would work in the coming term.

The nomination and appointment process as well as the eventual ratification by Council (involving e-mail discussions and an online vote) took some time, and moving forward we should look at strengthening the coordination of nominees from MNA, MNA groups and regions to ensure a more efficient process.

It is important to note that, this time around, the process was somewhat pressurised due to the changed committee structure approved at the annual meeting in Barcelona, which reduced the numbers of committees.

Mid-Year Meeting in May
unnamed22Looking ahead to the mid-year meeting in Singapore, it is vital that we set the direction and priorities for the coming term. As mentioned, the current online survey should shed light on many good ideas and result in the creation of our World Sailing Priorities – which will be reviewed and approved in May. This will enable us to move our organisation and our sport forward in an effective manner.

Furthermore, with the new committee leaders in place, they will be tasked with making key decisions in the lead up to the Mid-Year Meeting. These decisions will help to clarify our path going forward.

Some examples of items being addressed include:

• Methodology for selections of disciplines and events: The regulations regarding the selection of disciplines and events for 2024 is clear, but the process needs to be clarified.
• Equipment agreements with suppliers: Competition laws and other changes are influencing the equipment contracts for Olympic classes. The focus must now be on establishing agreements with the equipment suppliers before starting the selection process for 2024.
• Emerging nations programme: We must focus on establishing a programme for new nations entering the Olympic qualification in Laser and Windsurfing.

Relocation of the World Sailing Headquarters
We have taken on a great commitment in relocating the World Sailing Headquarters to London.

Whilst this decision was made in the best interests of World Sailing, the move will put an initial strain on the organisation in the coming months, with colleagues choosing to leave and new recruits joining the family. Of course, this is not an ideal situation and will somewhat limit our capacity in the short-term. However, I trust that we will have patience and understanding of sailing leaders around the world during this transition.

In the meantime, we will naturally continue with our daily business and focus on the future of our organisation. It is my hope and my expectation that this move will allow us to become a truly modern, international and multilingual federation – and I look forward to welcoming you all to the new World Sailing office in London soon!

Cape Town
unnamed33During our recent board meeting in Cape Town, my colleagues and I were very pleased to have the opportunity to meet the South African Sailing Federation, the Royal Cape Yacht Club and the participants of the Mykonos Offshore Regatta. This was a fantastic reminder of what a wonderful sport we have, with a crowd of highly-competitive sailors competing in the waters and then enjoying the after-race festivities with family and friends. This provided the perfect evening after many hours in a meeting room, and I would like to thank all of those involved for the invitation and the wonderful company.
I look forward to providing more updates on the growth of our federation and our sport in a month’s time. As always, I am very interested in hearing your views about the direction of sailing in the future, so please feel free to get in contact with me via email, facebook, or twitter.

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