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Organizing the Events and Presentation

Published on October 22nd, 2018

The World Sailing Annual Conference, the biggest gathering of the world governing body for the sport of sailing, comes to the USA in 2018 to hold its meetings on October 27 to November 4 in Sarasota, Florida.

In advance of the 2018 meeting, Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck spoke with World Sailing President Kim Andersen on a number of topics to be discussed in Sarasota. Here’s Part 2 of this five part series:

World Sailing has increasingly involved itself in event management, with the World Cup Series as a prime example. This involvement comes at a cost… why is it important that World Sailing takes a hands-on role in the events that are part of the Olympic class pathway?

It is important for World Sailing, event organizers, classes, and our member nations to get their arms around it. From the beginning of the World Cup, it was sort of, you can say, imposed on an existing event schedule and that has created a lot of struggling to get in. That was linked to conflicting commercial interests from some sponsors against other sponsors and things like that.

So it’s pretty well shown that World Sailing should have a structure around World Cup events, but I don’t think it’s necessary that World Sailing should be doing all the World Cup events.

We have been looking very, very carefully on how we could change the World Cup structure because right now it is not adding the value as it should. But we think the concept is getting better because we are having a better media presentation. And at the same time, if we can get the structure where we can get it embedded in all the existing graded events that are quite successful and have a long track record, then we can actually make a good structure.

(Editor’s note: US Sailing has developed a submission for the meeting on this topic… click here.)

You mention how the media presentation is getting better. Please elaborate.

When it comes to the presentation of our sport at the Olympics, the responsibility for the broadcast is with the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), and we have not done a very good job of impacting how the broadcast needs to be done. Sailing has never, ever set their foot down and developed a standard. So when the Games come along and they ask what is needed, we find ourselves more or less asking them what to do.

As a result, we tend to get what they want to deliver and not what’s benefiting our sport. So what we have been doing now, since I became president in 2016 is invested in creating a standard. We have a very, very direct line to OBS telling them about our standards, and we have actually managed to have the SAP graphic standards integrate with Swiss Timing which provide the technical scorekeeping services for the Olympics

So I’m not saying we have everything solved, but I think World Sailing has been sleeping for years, not making a standard on how we broadcast, how we present our sport. And by not doing so, it’s difficult to complain when once every four years we say we could do better without having done better in between. And that’s now what we are doing and I think we are in a good situation now.

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