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World Sailing 2018 Annual Conference – 28 October Recap

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing 28 Oct 18:57 PDT 29 October 2018
World Sailing Annual Conference - Sarasota, Florida, USA © Daniel Smith

World Sailing's 2018 Annual Conference is underway in Sarasota, Florida, USA and Sunday saw the meeting of the Classes Committee as well as the Youth Events, International Measurers, International Judges and Race Management Sub-Committees.

Classes Committee

World Sailing has 117 affiliated class associations and the World Sailing Classes Committee is an opportunity for the representatives to have their voice head and discuss decisions that impact their specific class.

Twenty-five individuals attended representing upwards of 35 class associations with delegates representing classes such as the Optimist, 12 metre, the Olympic classes and numerous keelboats, dinghies and boards.

Alongside a review of the submissions the classes discussed the concept of day zero which means that the moment sailors go through equipment inspection, they are accountable for their actions.

By taking this approach, if equipment inspectors find a modification of equipment or an attempt to breach the rules, a protest can be lodged and the jury can take appropriate action.

The Committee recommended the International Measurers Sub-committee and Equipment Rules Sub-committee to work with World Sailing's Executive Office to establish options and policies that can implement either a day zero or other equipment regulations.

Safety in the sport was also discussed, notably the importance of ensuring personal safety measures and categorising of the classes based on risk.

Youth Events Sub-committee

The past 12-months has been a busy one for Youth sailing events with the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Youth Sailing World Championships taking place in Sanya, China and Corpus Christi, USA.

The Youth Worlds continues to grow and the Sub-committee received reports on both events. Both were viewed as a success but Corpus Christi raised the bar for delivering an outstanding sustainability initiative as well as delivering outstanding sailing conditions.

Elizabeth Kratzig, Co-Chairman of the Green Team at the 2018 Youth Worlds, was on hand to deliver a report on the sustainability initiatives. The event was supported by 11th Hour Racing and was a first for World Sailing and focused on ocean conservation and sustainability.

The event avoided using 65,000 plastic water bottles (12 oz), saved 22 tonnes of CO2 emissions by recycling and composting and exposed 400,000 people to the event with a plastic bottle chandelier at Corpus Christi airport.

A full report will be posted on the 11th Hour Racing on Monday 29 October but headline information can be - found here.

Looking further ahead, Tomasz Chamera of the Polish Yachting Association presented an update on the 2019 edition. Gdynia, Poland will host the event next July and Chamera presented key information such as accommodation for the athletes, location of boat parks and other logistical information.

The Sub-committee enjoyed a good debate on the future strategy of the event as well as safety at youth events.

The Youth Events Sub-committee also focused on the Youth Olympic Games. Buenos Aires, Argentina hosted the most recent event which concluded on 18 October. Girl's and Boy's Kiteboarding, Girl's and Boy's Windsurfing and the Mixed Nacra 15 provided a spectacle on the waters off of San Isidro. Dakar, Senegal will host the next edition in 2022 and the sub-committee discussed possible events and formats.

International Judges, Race Management and International Measurers Sub-committees

The Sub-committees are comprised of leading international officials that govern the sport at worldwide events. Throughout the day the Sub-committees discussed a variety of topics, focusing on education and training of officials and the work completed over the last 12-months. They also looked ahead to 2019 and the continuous delivery of clinics to deliver fair competition worldwide.

In a closed session, the Sub-committees discussed race official applications, reviewing renewals and new applicants. A final decision will be made by the Race Officials Committee on Tuesday with appointments announced as soon as possible on Wednesday.

Watch and follow - The eSailing World Championship Final, two Forums, two days of Council and the Annual General Meeting will all be streamed on World Sailing's YouTube. Click here for the live playlist.

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