Optimism from Annual Conference
Published on October 29th, 2022
The 2022 World Sailing Annual Conference on October 22-29 came to a close with the World Sailing Council presenting a series of reports from each of the committees to update members on the current direction of the sport and future priorities.
Opening the Council meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, World Sailing President Quanhai Li praised the resilience of the sport and its members after bouncing back from a challenging two-year period.
“I am delighted to find that the World Sailing family is responding to COVID-19 with a positive attitude,” noted Li. “Our sailors never give up on this great sport. We have seen all kinds of sailing events returning across the world, our sailors shine in world and regional competitions, with unbelievable performances.”
Li reiterated the Board’s commitment to gender equality, strengthening relations between World Sailing and the International Olympic Committee in the build up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and with the International Paralympic Committee regarding the #BacktheBid campaign to see sailing reinstated as a Paralympic event for LA28. He also stressed that World Sailing is far more financially secure than this time last year.
David Graham, World Sailing CEO, confirmed how the financial situation of the federation was back on track, and how the relationships with the federation’s members and special events was better than it has ever been.
“We have moved into our new office which delivers a significant cost saving, a staff restructure and the senior management team is now complete,” noted Graham, thanking the Board and his team for their excellent work in facing the challenges of the last two years.
Both Li and Graham took their roles as World Sailing was in financial disarray from the actions of their predecessors, with the situation exacerbated by the pandemic.
Council also voted to resolve issues raised by members related to changes to the rules of sailing and the future administration of the sport.
In total, 18 recommendations were voted on, including the unanimous approvals of motions to amend the Skiff event in the Youth Sailing World Championships to a male/mixed competition and adjust the point scoring for Youth Match Racing to mirror the Women’s Match Racing events.
Also receiving universal approval was a motion to extend the grace period for first-time International Measurers to gain the required qualifications considering the reduced number of events since 2020.
A proposal to consolidate the Equipment Rules of Sailing and Racing Rules of Sailing into a single rules book was also approved. Council then received an update on Olympic Equipment and from each Committee that will then be formulated into recommendations for approval.