New World Sailing president predicted

Published on October 27th, 2020

With election madness at full volume in the USA, and social media only for the strong-willed and thick-skinned, there is also more than usual interest in the ballot results for President and Vice-Presidents at World Sailing.

With the count final but announcement as to who holds the seats for the next four years not coming until November 1, the delay is too much for those seeking to share the news. This is particular so as to whether incumbent president Kim Andersen (DEN) survives the roar for his removal.

“Most MNAs (member nations) didn’t want Kim Andersen but due to some odd (unexplainable!) voting choices in the first round, they were left with a very awkward decision,” assessed a Facebooker. “They knew what they would get with the incumbent, and didn’t like it, but probably weren’t enthusiastic about Li (opponent Quanhai Li).

“When Kim Andersen was elected many took the view that it couldn’t possibly be worse than Carlo Croce. I suspect that many decided that Li couldn’t be worse than Andersen. The only positive in this is the bar has been set very low so it really should not be any worse. Maybe!”

Predicting a Li victory is the South China Morning Post … here’s an excerpt:

Chinese official Li Quanhai looks set to become the new president of World Sailing after raising a hefty bankroll for his election campaign. It is believed Li, who has been the vice-president of World Sailing since 2013, received the required number of ballots (over 50 per cent of votes) from the organization’s 128 member nation authorities.

It is reported that Li has had the financial backing of Chinese mega property developer Evergrande, which promised to offer US$10 million as a sponsorship fee if the mainlander wins election.

World Sailing is facing acute financial challenges. A report in April claimed the world body would have a deficit of £1.3 million in a “worst case scenario” mainly as a result of non-recurring expenses during the period from 2017 to 2020, which included a headquarters relocation from Southampton to Paddington in London.

At that point, the world body had a major four-year sponsorship deal with Gazprom from Russia but unfortunately, the multinational energy corporation headquartered in St Petersburg pulled the sponsorship after one year.

The sponsorship money from China could help solve the body’s financial problems.

Should Li win the election, he would be the first mainlander at the helm of a major sport, which is included in the Olympic program, since the modern Games were established in 1896.

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