Diversity of sport at World Sailing Conference

Published on October 27th, 2019

Hamilton, Bermuda (October 27, 2019) – The meetings program at World Sailing’s 2019 Annual Conference kicked off today and featured the bringing together of 25 International Class Association representatives meeting at the Classes Committee.

The diversity of the sport was represented at the Classes Committee today with the future of youth sailing discussed at the Youth Events Sub-committee. Officials of the sport also came together for the International Judges, Measurers and Race Management Sub-committee meetings.

Following the meetings, the official opening was held and World Sailing President, Kim Andersen, and CEO of Bermuda Tourism Authority, Kevin Dallas, welcomed the delegates.

Addressing delegates, Andersen said, “Tonight marks the formal start of our Annual Conference, with seven further days ahead of meetings, discussion, debate and decision making.

“A lot has happened since I last addressed you at the Mid-Year meeting and yet again, we are meeting at a crucial time for World Sailing where the discussions we will have and the decisions that we will make later this week will affect us all.

“And this makes your participation, your support and your dedication to World Sailing and to our great sport incredibly important. I am looking forward to a constructive week of productive meetings and to having open conversations with all of you here.”

An overview of the meeting program follows:

Classes Committee
There are 117 International Class Associations that have received World Sailing status. Each class is entitled to a seat in the Classes Committee and the session is an opportunity for each of them to receive updates and voice opinions on various items. In total, there were 25 classes represented.

During the session, the Committee invited the International Measurers Sub-committee to discuss common areas of interest around Equipment Control at their events. The members agreed that it was important to develop measurement protocols, inspection policies and to transfer lessons learned at events between classes.

Safety is a continuous topic of discussion each year and a report from World Sailing’s Safety Panel was received. An Incident Reporting Portal is available on World Sailing’s website here and these are reviewed by the panel on a regular basis. More insight on reported incidents is available here.

The Committee also discussed the regulations around the requirements for the classes to continue their recognition. On Submission 046-19, to modernize the information reporting in annual reports, and Submission 047-19, on the number of entries required for large keelboat World Championships, they made the recommendation to Council to approve them both.

Youth Events Sub-committee
Chaired by Cory Sertl (USA), the Youth Events Sub-committee is responsible for recommending the policies and subsequently implementing actions to the Events Committee for major international youth sailing events.

The Sub-committee’s primary remit is centred around the Youth Sailing World Championships. At today’s meeting, the Committee, that also includes Mark Turnbull (AUS) – Sydney 2000 gold medallist, reviewed the most recent edition of the Hempel Youth Worlds and received feedback on the event delivery.

They approved a strategic and comprehensive review of the current model and working processes of the Championships and agreed to work with past hosts, bidders and venues who opted against bidding to understand the challenges of hosting the event to ensure long-term success.

The Sub-committee also touched upon the Youth Olympic Games. The next edition will be held in 2022 in Dakar, Senegal – the first Olympiad in Africa. They received a progress report and discussed potential opportunities for the inclusion of dinghies, kiteboarding and windsurfing.

With regards to submissions, the Sub-committee supported the following:
084-19 – as the inclusion of the Techno293 Plus, alongside the RS:X, would provide more options for supplied equipment
085-19 – to include the Mixed One Person Kiteboard from 2021
086-19 – to replace the Laser Radial with the RS Aero for the One Person Dinghy
087-19 / 088-19 – To expand the Boy’s Two Person Dinghy to mixed crews, allowing more female sailors to participate

These will now go to the Events Committee who will discuss further before they make a recommendation to Council, the main decision making body.

International Judges, Measurers and Race Management Sub-committees
Alongside the International Umpires Sub-committee, who will meet on October 28, the Sub-committees report directly to the Race Officials Committee.

Each Sub-committee administers their respective recognized areas of World Sailing officiating and bring together some of the finest International Race Officials.

Today, they reviewed their relevant strategies, tasks and responsibilities and looked at how they can improve the work they deliver on the water and at global sailing events.

Alongside their core business, one of their deliverables is to consider applications for International Race Official status. In advance of the Conference, several potential officials put forward their applications and the Sub-committees reviewed each application. They will make their recommendations on appointments to the Race Officials Committee who will make the final decision on Tuesday, October 29.

The Annual Conference continues tomorrow where the Sub-committees for Match Racing, Equipment Rules, International Umpires, Olympic Classes, Special Regulations and Regional Games will be held. The Women’s Forum and Coaches Commission will run alongside these meeting.


World Sailing Annual Conference details… click here.

How to Follow
Daily news reports will be available on World Sailing’s website, World Sailing’s Twitter and Facebook account will cover the event with regular news and updates and daily videos, providing insight into the discussions, will also be available: click here.

And Scuttlebutt will be there
As I did in 2018, I will be attending the World Sailing’s 2019 Annual Conference to watch the sausage get made. Within the brick and mortar of World Sailing is a volunteer army seeking to navigate an amazingly diverse sport through cultures and requirements, and I again look forward to seeing how it is done. – Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

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