World Sailing: Seeking to be President

Published on September 22nd, 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 Gerardo Seeliger (ESP) looking to utilize his administrative experiences within the sport for the World Sailing position. Here is his platform:


Gerardo Seeliger

My plan of action focuses on three main pillars:

I. Leadership and Values:
• New Board Culture: Cohesive collaboration. Commitment to deliver the promises with full accountability. New era of executive oversight. Diversity of opinions improve Board efficiency and are always encouraged. Annual Board Review. Rebuild trust, listen, and dialogue with MNAs. Inspire and lead the Board in Unity, Diversity, and Integrity.
• Governance Reform: Active listening to all MNAs. A determination to reopening a broad debate of all opinions on outstanding issues with MNAs, with the object of concluding a New Constitution, asap. Streamline the decision making and submission process for Speed, Simplicity, and Efficiency.
• Share and act on the new hard financial realities. Cost control at all levels and for all decisions.
• Real Transparency: Create easy access for all members to documented and verifiable financial reporting. Board must enforce compliance, oversight, and accountability and a new strict look at Conflict of Interest.
• Create modern standards of excellence for WS with new Best Practices
• Sustainability, conservation, and protection of marine environments must be a core value of WS.
• Nominate competent Committees with best qualified Chairperson. Encourage young generations to join WS Committees. Annual Performance Evaluation.

II. Strategies:
• All WS decisions must begin with the questions: “How will this benefit MNAs and sailors?” and “How many young women and men can start sailing with the money we save?” Identify and focus on MNAs with fast growth potential.
• Commit to generate resources dedicated to MNA Youth Programs.
• Explore and expand the Olympic Solidarity partnership to help fund the fast-growing Emerging Nations programs, especially grassroots programs and women programs worldwide.
• Restore sailing as Paralympics sport.
• Integrate and align all forms of sailing. Build pathway from Optimist to AC. Seek new synergies between WS, ORC, International classes, and Continental Federations.
• Actively encourage and achieve a deeper involvement and commitment of all stakeholders involved.
• Rebuild over time the Isle of Man WS Trust Fund to a level of one year’s operating expenses.
• To support the initiative to ensure free manufacturing of Olympic sailing equipment. Measurers monopoly instead of manufacturers monopoly.
• Create an initiative to bring generous corporate and private donors together with MNAs and talented young sailors who have limited resources, to help them with the acquisition of equipment or participation in mayor regattas.

III. Operations:
• The New Board will work closely with David Graham, the New CEO. I’ve already had several long initial conversations with him.
• Insist on internationally accepted standards for accounting. Present Quarterly public, transparent reporting of management financials
• “Take three reefs”. Cut vanity expenses and unnecessary outsourced services in favor of volunteer services for sailors. Reduce Operating expenses, in particular current office costs. Return to Southampton or nearby or one of five other free or low-cost options being offered today. Implement teleworking and digital transformation. Think lean. Set up a competent team to achieve this digital transformation and present the Project at the MYM 21. Make electronic remote voting a part of WS Culture.
• Respect the needs and budgets of MNAs when selecting WS meeting locations in the future to maximize number of MNAs attending.
• The Board will have an analytical look at and evaluate all programs, services offered by WS and WS events. We will need to operate responsibly within the limits of WS revenues.

Sailors First, Rebuild Trust, Re-Imagine Sailing

For additional information, click here.

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