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Pan-Pan call from World Sailing

Published on April 14th, 2020

It’s been a perfect storm for the governing body for the sport of sailing – World Sailing.

Already struggling financially, a result of plans gone awry, the coronavirus outbreak began washing waves over the gunwale, and now the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has led to a Pan-Pan call.

As an Olympic sport, funding from the International Olympic Committee in 2020 was to stabilize their status, allowing better management to build back their resources. But in the absence of that lifeline, the skipper is calling for lifeboats to be activated.

On behalf of World Sailing’s Board of Directors, President Kim Andersen shares the following update on April 14, 2020:

World Sailing’s Board of Directors continues to keep the finances and operations of World Sailing under very close review during the COVID-19 virus pandemic and the effect it is having on all international sports federations.

The United Kingdom Government has made available a generous financial support scheme which can be accessed by World Sailing (UK) Limited (the company which employs the World Sailing staff) to support salary costs during the crisis.

Like many organizations within the UK, the Board has decided to take advantage of this scheme in order to ensure the long-term financial viability of World Sailing.

From 15 April 2020 until 6 May 2020, almost all World Sailing staff are being placed on ‘furlough leave’. World Sailing will fund any difference in pay. After 6 May, the Board will review the position with the Senior Management Team and decide whether furlough leave is extended or whether staff will return to work.

A small number of senior managers will not be on furlough leave and remain at work

In addition to this measure, the Board has requested that World Sailing staff earning more than a certain amount take a 20% pay reduction until the end of the year (or earlier if possible). This requires the individual agreement of the staff and we have been consulting with the staff on the viability of this proposal.

Overall, the Board continues to have frequent discussions with our partners concerning the impact of the postponement of the Olympic Games in order to ensure our financial health is as stable as possible.

Editor’s note: An update by US Sailing on April 1 shares how the current crisis is impacting the organization: click here.

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