Annual message from World Sailing

Published on December 22nd, 2023

by Quanhai Li, World Sailing President
There is no doubt that 2023 has been a very successful year for sailing and for World Sailing, and as we approach the end of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our achievements and extend my very best wishes to all of our friends, partners and sailors around the world.

Across all areas of the sport we have seen progress on and off the water. Our first combined Sailing World Championship in The Hague was a huge success; Para Sailing remains a high priority for World Sailing and we will continue to campaign for reinstatement to the Paralympic Games and we do this by working together to show the positive impact the sport makes on people’s lives and by establishing Para Sailing events as integral aspects of our major regattas.

The growth of World Sailing initiatives such as Steering the Course, the Inclusive Development Program, the Training Scholarship program, and our work in sustainability, coaching development, 3D equipment scanning and equipment self-certification are also huge advances for sailing and have empowered so many sailors around the world.

It was a great privilege to interact with so many people within the sailing world at this year’s Annual Conference, in Malaga, and to come together to celebrate the achievements of the sport at the World Sailing Awards. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and shows the strength we hold as a federation when we work together.

After such a positive year, I feel we have made great progress towards achieving our objectives and I must thank you all for your contributions.

We have all been working hard at World Sailing this year to deliver on our promises to grow the sport, to prioritize diversity, accessibility, and increase participation. The approval of our new Olympic Vision Strategy document and updates on the implementation of our new governance model heard at the Annual Conference are sure signs that we are on the right track and I must thank you all again for your support in both of these areas. The Board and Executive Office remain committed to improving delivery throughout the sport for the benefit of sailors everywhere.

The coming year holds great excitement for the future of our sport. We have already seen sailing at its very best in the Sailing World Championships, Youth Sailing World Championships, Asian Games, Pan Am Games, and several world and European championships, as well as Olympic qualifiers. In 2024 we have the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the America’s Cup to look forward to and with the eyes of the world on sailing we know the sport will deliver.

Our Special Events have also been highly impressive endorsements for sailing, and with the conclusion of the Star Sailors League, SailGP, the World Match Racing Tour, Wingfoil and Kite Tours over the next couple of months we can all be reminded of the talent and diversity that exists within the sport.

As ever, even after accomplishing so much in 2023, there is always more to do, and this is a challenge we will embrace in 2024.

I am very proud to be President of World Sailing and to serve the sport and our Members. We will all start the new year with renewed focus and enthusiasm for the tasks that lie ahead.

Wishing you all health, happiness and prosperity in 2024. Safe travels and fair winds.

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