World Sailing: Seeking to be President
Published on September 21st, 2020
World Sailing, as the governing body for the sport of sailing, is that connection for national authorities (US Sailing, Sail Canada, etc.) and class associations around the world. World Sailing is responsible for:
• The promotion of the sport internationally;
• Managing sailing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games;
• Developing the Racing Rules of Sailing and regulations for all sailing competitions;
• The training of judges, umpires, and other administrators;
• The development of the sport around the world; and
• Representing the sailors in all matters concerning the sport.
Beyond the employees of the World Sailing Secretariat which execute the mission is a volunteer effort that leads the decisions, and the President is the highest position within the organization. With an election every four years, and a two-term limit, World Sailing’s 2020 Annual Conference will decide whether current president Kim Andersen gets his second term.
Three candidates oppose Andersen, with Scott Perry (URU) looking to advance from his current position as Vice President of World Sailing. Here is his platform:
Back to Basics
I strongly believe that in the last few years World Sailing (WS) has lost its way. We seem to have forgotten what our federation should be doing and for whom. Even if I didn’t always agree with some decisions as a member of the last two Boards, I fully accept my share of responsibility for this failure.
In a few short words, World Sailing exists to serve all of our stakeholders but most particularly our sailors. The key words being TO SERVE.
To deliver that service, World Sailing benefits from a huge pool of very talented and dedicated volunteers (race officials, committee members, regatta organizers, yacht club volunteers, class representatives, etc) and staff who deserve our respect, recognition, encouragement, and engagement.
For many reasons, not least being the present COVID-19 crisis, our financial challenge and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, the next 4 years will be very difficult. In order to tackle all the challenges before us and return our federation to the correct path, we must first go back to basics. Such as:
• Finance – Unless we get our finances in order, nothing else will matter. At present we are living on borrowed funds from the IOC. That is never a healthy situation to be in. If elected this would be my first priority.
• Costs – We need to address all costs, not only those of WS. For example, the cost for our stakeholders to attend meetings, the cost for our sailors to compete, the cost of equipment, the cost of broadcasting events, etc.
• Governance – Although our present governance has served us well for the last 113 years, it is time to see if an effective governance structure can serve us better in the future. A great deal of work has already been done and I suspect some work still needs to be done to satisfy the greatest number of people possible. I think we should also accept that we will never satisfy everybody.
• Events – WS should limit the events which it organizes to: a Championship every 4 years to qualify MNAs for the Olympics, a Parasailing championship, and an offshore event every 4 years and a yearly Youth Worlds. To host less than an annual Youth Wolds would preclude many young people from competing due to the age restriction. By attempting to run a Sailing World Cup program with many events, we inevitably compete with some of the traditional regattas for time slots, sailors, officials, and sponsors.
• Olympics – The decision of the IOC Program Commission in December will surely bring changes to some or much of our Olympic program. Most of us have educated guesses as to what changes will be required but, in fairness, nobody knows what those changes will be. Whatever changes are required, we should agree to work towards a democratic consensus.
If elected President, I can’t promise that the next Board and I will deliver what is expected of us but I can promise that I will dedicate all my efforts, experience, and knowledge gathered over the last 20 years as a volunteer of our federation to achieving those goals.
I will be sending a brief paper (never more than one page) to the MNAs setting out my ideas concerning the 5 areas summarized above. I am always available to answer any questions regarding this paper and any future papers I will send to the MNAs.
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