World of World Sailing in Abu Dhabi

Published on October 24th, 2022

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The 2022 World Sailing Annual Conference is holding eight days of meetings on October 22-29 for delegates to review and discuss the federation strategy and make key decisions that influence the future of the sport and its participants.

Delegates include sailors, event organizers, Member National Authorities (MNAs), committee members, Class Associations, boat manufacturers and representatives from World Sailing partners.

I attended the 2018 and 2019 conferences that were located in Florida and Bermuda, respectively, and found them to be highly enlightening. What I gained from the topics and attendees was well worth the effort, but I also sensed a nervousness about the future (and wrote about it).

Attending can be expensive, and with the 2020 conference to be held in Abu Dhabi, fear was heightened. But then the pandemic hit, moving the 2020 and 2021 events to a virtual platform. However, this year returned to an in-person conference and returned to its postponed venue in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Decisions made at the meetings impact every level of the sport, from elite competition to grassroots. In advance of the Conference, World Sailing received 61 submissions proposing changes to World Sailing’s regulations, policies and rules. Committees, MNAs, Class Associations and the Board of Directors were all eligible to propose the submissions in advance.

Not surprisingly, I understand attendance is poor with many committee and council members missing. The recognized value of bringing together the international community is diminished by pricing out attendees. How the 2022 participation impacts governance remains to be seen, but if only wealthy delegates can attend, it probably isn’t good for the entire sport.

The decision structure has World Sailing’s Council meeting on October 28-29 to approve, reject or defer the recommendations and proposals from the Committees with proposals ratified at the Annual General Meeting on October 29.

“The World Sailing Annual Conference is always a great opportunity for our community to get together, share ideas, debate and make decisions on the opportunities and challenges facing our sport.,” notes World Sailing CEO David Graham. But if the opportunity to participate has hurdles, what then?

For information on the conference, click here.

The Annual Conference open sessions will be streamed live on the World Sailing YouTube channel.

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