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World Sailing to again vote on reform

Published on July 15th, 2022

Governance Reform at World Sailing has been under discussion since 2017, and was  part of the 2018-2022 strategy presented at the May 2018 Mid-Year Meeting, with the objectives to establish a governance structure within World Sailing that was simple, clear, and transparent to all stakeholders.

It was among the major talking points at the 2019 World Sailing Annual Conference, following a proposal to reform the governance which had been published in May 2019. But when it was put to World Sailing’s Members for approval, it failed to reach the majority of 75% required, reaching only 64.4% in favor so it was not passed.

Revisiting the topic in 2021, 92% of Member National Authorities (MNAs) voted in favor of the Board continuing its work to modernize the governance structure, and now World Sailing has scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to once again discuss and vote on proposals for Governance Reform. The meeting, which will be virtual and open to representatives of all MNAs, is on July 18, 2022.

The proposed changes to World Sailing’s governance aim to equip the governing body for the sport of sailing globally with accountable, efficient decision-making processes in order to better support sailors, volunteers and MNAs.

The proposals require a simple majority of 50%+1 to pass. The purpose is to express support for the concepts that have been developed in extensive debate, particularly over the past seven months. Should the concepts be approved, detailed drafting will be undertaken for amendments to the World Sailing Constitution. These will then be put to the Annual Conference in October 2022 for approval by the requisite 75% majority.

“As part of World Sailing’s democratic process, it is vital that our Members are encouraged to exercise their right to vote on the future of the sport,” said Philip Baum, World Sailing Vice-President and Chair of the Board Governance Sub-Committee. “World Sailing has undergone a thorough audit of current governance practices and designed a robust structure based on the feedback of all stakeholders during a series of Plenary sessions.

“This vote is extremely important for the sport. It is the next stage in adopting a structure which is fit for purpose and provides the framework for collaboration. This should enable sailing to expand, attract investment and increase participation around the world.”

Should the proposal achieve a simple majority at the July EGM, the required formal amendments to the Constitution and Regulations will then be drafted and submitted for approval at the 2022 Annual General Meeting. Nothing changes unless and until the required 75% approval is achieved in October.

For more information on the background of World Sailing’s Governance Reform and to view or download the proposal:

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