Only bearded dragons like crickets

Published on June 28th, 2020

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, is that entity at the top of the organizational structure that is so far removed from recreational sailing that it’s hard to see what they do, let alone understand it.

I can attest there is a reason for its being, as big decisions always need a place to be pondered, and given the world remains a very big place, taking on issues at that level are complex and confusing.

But some of the issues facing World Sailing have also been very understandable, such as spending more money than you have, and failing to have funds to protect against unplanned occurrences. Nothing like a pandemic to pull back the curtains.

When World Sailing President Kim Andersen was elected to begin his first term at the November 2016 General Assembly, he preached how his administration would have enhanced transparency, which is easier to do during good times.

Notably, World Sailing has two major meetings each year, the Mid-Year and the Annual Conference, yet it is nothing but crickets as the Mid-Year came and went on June 24. Click on the link and all you see are details from a year ago.

Of course, with the current COVID-19 climate, the 2020 gathering was an online event, but it was also a closed session so its Council could speak and debate without outside observers. This is not the norm…so much for transparency.

Now, World Sailing did take the time to mention before the meeting how the International Olympic Committee, which is far and away World Sailing’s greatest source of income, will be providing financial support during the pandemic.

This was critical as World Sailing gets its funding after the Summer Olympics, and with Tokyo 2020 postponed a year, and with other income on hold along with most of the sport, a bridge needed to be built. Yea… good news!

Maybe World Sailing will offer an update soon as it has agreed to host a slightly more open Townhall Meeting on June 30 for its Member National Authorities, with an invitation also to Class Association representative along with representation from Committees and Commissions.

My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

What we do know is how the 2020 World Sailing Annual Conference, planned of October 24 to November 1 in Abu Dhabi, UAE is likely to be cancelled and held virtually.

A critical component of that conference is whether Kim Andersen gets elected for a second term, and if the meeting was to be held online, it would require a constitutional amendment as votes are only to be done in-person.

With 86% of the nations approving this amendment for an online ballot, the election will occur, so in case the global health crisis fails to resolve itself in the next few months, Kim Andersen’s reign at World Sailing will be challenged by at least two opponents. Standing by for that vote…

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