Focus shifts to World Sailing Council

Published on October 31st, 2020

Due to COVID-19, World Sailing’s Annual Conference is being held electronically in 2020 from October 15 to November 1 and will include 11 Committee, 11 Sub-committee, and three Commission meetings. World Sailing’s Council, the main decision-making body of the world governing body, will meet across four sessions on October 30 and 31.

The General Assembly will be held on November 1 and will include the announcement of the ballot results for the election of President and Vice-Presidents.

This is now the second week of meetings… here’s the update thus far from the 2020 schedule:


World Sailing’s Council met on October 30 and 31 during the conclusion of World Sailing’s 2020 Annual Conference via videoconferencing programme BlueJeans.

Kim Andersen, World Sailing’s President, David Graham, World Sailing’s CEO, and several World Sailing staff members dialed in to the meeting from World Sailing’s headquarters in Paddington, London, UK.

An electronic and secure voting system was used to allow all delegates to vote on submissions online within the meeting. Votes were scrutinised by members of the Constitution Committee and results were displayed as soon as the voting process ended, to allow for an efficient and transparent process.

The Green Book, a book of recommendations from the expert Committees (click here), was published on October 29 and formed the basis of the submission process.

The meeting of Council began with a report from the President. He outlined the challenges posed to the federation by the COVID-19 pandemic and praised the work of the Board and the Senior Management Team in keeping things running smoothly throughout. The new Events Strategy was reviewed, with the President also highlighting the good work in areas such as eSports and Sustainability.

David Graham then presented his first CEO Report since his appointment in July 2020, and took the opportunity to officially introduce himself to the attending delegates and share his early impressions from his opening months in the role. Graham outlined his priorities for World Sailing and discussed the importance of each department at the federation.

Two major announcements were also made during the CEO Report – firstly, that the World Sailing Trust will be launching resources for sailing clubs, and also that World Sailing has extended its partnership with sponsors Rolex by another five years.

Graham also remembered those in the sailing community who have sadly passed since the last meeting of Council in 2019.

Alastair Fox, World Sailing’s Director of Events, then delivered comprehensive reports from the Events department. He informed delegates on the progress of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the latest developments for Paris 2024 – specifically how World Sailing will meet Agenda 2020 with regards to gender equity and other recommendations.

Fox also provided an update on the 2023 Sailing World Championships in The Hague, The Netherlands, which were postponed from 2022, and the latest on the Youth Sailing World Championships, with the 2020 event cancelled, the 2021 event seeking a Host City, and the 2022 event in The Hague rescheduled from 2021.

Council then began to vote on the Submissions. Throughout the Annual Conference, various Committees have been reviewing these Submissions, providing Council with their own recommendations as to whether to approve, reject or defer each one. Approved Submissions regarding the constitution or regulations will be ratified at World Sailing’s Annual General Meeting, and all decisions will then take effect.

To read all of the Submissions in detail, click here.

Submissions 028-20 and 029-20 were approved by Council, which add the iQFoil and the IKA Formula Kite respectively as possible equipment for the Regional Games. Additionally, the approval of Submission 033-20 allows Kiteboarding to be included in the Youth Sailing World Championships from 2021 onwards.

Submission 030-20 has been the subject of much discussion over the course of the week. It defines the equipment criteria and sets out the process for selecting the equipment for the Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore Event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Three Committees had recommended its approval, and Council also voted to approve it.

Submission 037-29 was rejected. The submission aimed to change the Slate of Events proposed for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to the ones selected for Tokyo 2020.

There were also several Recommendations not based on Submissions from the Board and various Committees, and these were also voted on by Council. These included the approval or rejection of the applications of several classes to become World Sailing Classes, and had been discussed earlier in the week by the Equipment Committee.

The IKA Arrows Youth Foil Class was approved as a World Sailing Class Association, while the RS21 Class was deferred and both The Laser Class and the L30 Class were rejected. The applications from the iQFoil Class will be reviewed by the Constitution Committee before being presented to the Council electronically.

A broad discussion took place when determining the outcome of the IKA Snowkite Class application. Key points were raised from both sides around Snow Kiting, and World Sailing being the governing body for Sailing on snow, ice and land. The application was deferred, and further discussions will be held next year.

Elsewhere, the Council showed its support for funding Para World Sailing and Training & Development.

The two days of Council were broadcast in four separate livestreams on World Sailing’s YouTube channel – you can watch each broadcast below:




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For further information, click here.

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