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World Sailing Presidential update – August 2017

by World Sailing on 1 Sep
World Sailing Council World Sailing
Upcoming Board Meeting

In just a few days' time, the World Sailing Board will convene in Madrid, Spain. The meeting comes at a timely point, with many important items on the agenda. Notably, this includes reviewing the Submissions we have received. Having had a first glance, many of the discussions for the meeting will be around adopting IOC agenda 2020, focusing on growing women's participation, antitrust policy issues and the governance our sport.

The events structure for the 2024 Olympics will also be discussed, focusing on gender equity, mixed events and accommodating different physiques. I was hoping to see submissions on youth development and the continued development of World Sailing's Emerging Nations Program, but with many programmes still ongoing, this is perhaps understandable.

World Sailing Event Structure

A World Sailing working group has been working on the development of a World Sailing Event Strategy document, acknowledging that the present structure requires improvement.

The main goal of this Strategy should be to facilitate a sailor's progression to the international and Olympic level sailing by creating a structure that creates a clear pathway of progression to the World Sailing Ranking list in international classes. To achieve this, the structure should create a long term, stable World Sailing Events global calendar that recognises the importance of the venues in attracting fans, driving commercial value for sailors and event's organisers, and showcasing the sport to a wider audience, including the IOC and IPC.

Practically-speaking, the main goal of the events structure is to build on strong existing major Olympic Class International Events, named World Sailing Classic Regattas. This should be done by strengthening the cooperation with the Olympic classes World Championships and Regional Championships and to have a World Cup Series, hosted in a venue close to identical to that of the Olympics.

The IOC's decision to jointly award the host cities for 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games at the IOC Session in Lima in the next two weeks gives World Sailing a great opportunity to work alongside Classes and Events organisers in putting a strong programme together for the coming Olympics.

Rolex World Sailor of the Year

Earlier this month, nominations opened for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. It is always an enviable challenge to select one or two sailors to nominate, as we always see so many amazing performances across disciplines, and this year is no different. We would like to thank all of those who contributed their suggestions so far, and urge anyone else wanting to make theirs to do so now by using this link – the deadline is 19:00 UTC tomorrow! The winners will be announced on 7th November at the World Sailing Awards Ceremony in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and we look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Best wishes to Bora Gulari

Yesterday, we received news of an unfortunate training accident to Bora Gulari, a U.S. sailor, former Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and Olympian, having competed in Rio 2016 in the Nacra 17 mixed event. I am very happy to see that Bora intends to be back sailing as soon as possible, and wish him all the best in his recovery. I would also like to express gratitude to Gabriele Bruni, the Italian Sailing Team coach, who I understand was first on hand to help. Accidents such as these not only remind us of the bravery that so many of our sailors show on a daily basis, but also the wonderful sailing community which I am so proud to be a part of and represent.

World Sailing Headquarters

Following on from last month's relocation update, I am delighted to say that World Sailing has successfully relocated and is in operation om Paddington, London. The location is very practical - with the Heathrow Express, one can be at the office within 60 minutes of landing at Heathrow Airport! To celebrate this relocation, we are planning a virtual opening, with an online presentation being made, allowing all of you to get to know our Headquarters better, no matter how far away you are. More details on this will be provided soon, and we look forward to welcoming you to our great new location soon, both virtually and, in the future, in person too.
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