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Chaos must stop for World Sailing

Published on August 23rd, 2020

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
It’s an election year in the USA so the madness volume is rising. This we tolerate, almost accept as part of our democracy, though there will be times it won’t be good for the country. Sigh…

It’s also an election year at World Sailing, but for this I am less tolerant. If fact, I do wish the chaos would stop as it looks bad for the world governing body of the sport, particularly when most people don’t know what they do, and fewer care that they do it.

In fairness, the organization brought much of it on, as that’s what happens when you bleed your bank account, failing in oversight and action to keep a spark from becoming a wildfire. But then there are the flamethrowers on the outside, eager to leverage the moment for their own benefit.

What should be about sailing, in which the competitive sector isn’t doing all that great, has gone off the rails.

The latest episode is so deep in the weeds, so full of infighting, and so relevant to so few that I’d prefer to focus elsewhere on the positive, but then the covert regime seeking to overthrow the establishment, and heighten their own personal relevance, will accuse me of being a tool for World Sailing. To those of you with that thought…piss off.

When World Sailing president Kim Andersen sent me a statement to address reports in several media sources (and not in Scuttlebutt), regarding allegations of a breach of the World Sailing Code of Ethics by the President, I wanted more background.

So Kim sent me the motherlode of information, which was either to bury me or make his case, or maybe to be transparent, which is what he had told me at the beginning of his presidential term in 2017. I don’t know…

I began with the document labeled, “From the World Sailing Ethics Officer on the Complaint to the World Sailing Ethics Commission of 22/04/2020 submitted by Mr Gary Jobson and Mr Scott Perry against Mr Kim Andersen.” This 15-page paper was a mass of facts, emails, and conversations, and in the end everyone was scolded, closing with this remark:

“The preceding saddening report must not make forget that all parties mentioned contribute voluntary work to reach a worthy common goal: to promote the sport of sailing, to make it more relevant and attractive, and to help sailors around the world fulfill their dreams.”

It all began when an online story from another publication created confusion amid World Sailing, with the source among a group of activists seeking to remove Kim from office as he vies for reelection at the 2020 World Sailing General Assembly. Notably, this same source recently published classified America’s Cup information which caused disruption for that event too. Oy vey!

I learned long ago that Scuttlebutt succeeds when it acts responsibly and without bias, focusing more on what’s good for sailing and its participants, and less on what’s good for us. The sport deserves a good future and we hope to positively contribute, particularly now. Onward!

Additional information regarding ethics investigation:
Annex 1 – Complaint
Annex 2 – Response
Annex 3 – Emails
Annex 4 – Online Media
Jan. 28, 2020: Letter to EUROSAF President Joseph Pla from Group G
Mar. 17, 2020: Letter to World Sailing President Kim Andersen from EUROSAF President Joseph Pla
Apr. 14, 2020: Letter to World Sailing President Kim Andersen from EUROSAF President Joseph Pla
May 4, 2020: Letter to EUROSAF President Joseph Pla from World Sailing President Kim Andersen

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