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Paris 2024 decisions made at World Sailing's 2019 Mid-Year Meeting

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing 19 May 11:32 PDT 19 May 2019
The Equipment Committee Meeting at the Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Saturday 18 May © Daniel Smith

World Sailing's Council made key decisions on the Equipment to be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition on Sunday 19 May as the Mid-Year Meeting concluded in London, Great Britain.

The Laser was selected as the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy, the IKA Formula Kite as the Mixed Kiteboard and the 470 as the Mixed Two Person Dinghy.

A Board of Directors recommendation to select the RS:X as the Men's and Women's Windsurf Equipment was rejected meaning a new proposal will be required and the process on selecting the Equipment for the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat was also confirmed.

Paris 2024 Equipment

Before Council made its decisions on the Paris 2024 Equipment, the Board of Directors updated Council on its current plans for the Olympic Classes Contract. This included the position on implementing World Sailing's Olympic Equipment Strategy (FRAND) agreed by Council in November 2018. In order to provide certainty for MNAs, sailors and teams, the Board will engage in contractual discussions only until 1 August 2019. If by that time no agreement is reached, the Board will report to Council that no agreement has been concluded and Council will then have to select new Equipment for the relevant Event.

Ahead of the debate, 21 Council members voted in favour of all votes on the Olympic Equipment being held in secret with 20 against. As a result, every vote cast was secret.

Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy

The Laser was selected as the Paris 2024 Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy Equipment, subject to agreement of the Olympic Classes Contract for 2024, following a ballot vote.

Under Regulation 21.1.3 (e), the decision on selecting the Equipment has to be made before 31 December 2019. Council members voted on deferring the selection of the Equipment to the 2019 Annual Conference but this was rejected meaning a decision had to be made in London.

The next step was to vote on the Equipment Committee recommendation to select the RS Aero. Their recommendation was rejected.

The process moved to a ballot and Council members were able to vote on the four boats that were part of the process the D-Zero, Laser, Melges 14 and RS Aero.

The Laser won in the first round of votes.

For the Men's One Person Dinghy, 36 voted for the Laser and five voted for the RS Aero. The D-Zero and Melges 14 received zero votes and there was one abstention.

For the Women's One Person Dinghy, 37 voted for the Laser and four voted for the RS Aero. The D-Zero and Melges 14 received zero votes and there was one abstention.

Men's and Women's Windsurfer

As the Men's and Women's Windsurfer Equipment is under a re-evaluation procedure, World Sailing's Board of Directors have authority on making recommendations to World Sailing's Council.

The Board of Directors recommendation was to select the RS:X as the Equipment. 19 Council members voted to accept the recommendation, 23 voted to reject and there were zero abstentions.

As a result, the recommendation was rejected.

The Board of Directors will now have to propose a new recommendation to the Council.

Mixed Kiteboard

The Equipment Committee recommended to Council that they should approve the IKA Formula Kite Class as the Equipment for the Mixed Kiteboard Event. Forty Council members voted to approve the recommendation subject to agreement of the Olympic Classes Contract for 2024. One member rejected and one abstained.

Mixed Two Person Dinghy

World Sailing's Council approved the 470, subject to agreement of the Olympic Classes Contract for 2024, as the Equipment for the Mixed Two Person Dinghy following the recommendation from the Equipment Committee. 41 members voted in favour of the 470. One member was against the 470 and there were zero abstentions.

Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat

Submission M01-19, which proposed a way forward with the procedure for selecting the Equipment, was put forward by the Board of Directors in advance of the Mid-Year Meeting and was approved by Council. 39 members were in favour with two rejecting and zero abstentions.

The Submission proposed that World Sailing's Council shall select a list of different Equipment which it considers to meet the key criteria of the event by 31 December 2019 and then make a decision on the Equipment, selecting from the list no later than 31 December 2023.

The Board agreed to amend the date to meet the key criteria of the event from 31 December 2019 to 31 December 2020 which Council approved.

MNAs, Classes and Manufacturers will now be invited to propose Equipment for the list. A Working Party with members from the Equipment Committee, Offshore Committee and Events Committee will evaluate the Equipment against the key criteria and present the recommended list for Council approval in November 2020.

The list will provide event organisers, MNAs and sailors with diverse opportunities to train and compete in Equipment that is tested, readily available and affordable in their continent. Postponing the decision of the Equipment that will be supplied at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition will also promote fair opportunities for all MNAs.

Any changes to the Regulations that Council makes must also be ratified by our Annual General Meeting in November.

Governance Reform Presentation

The Independent Chair of the Governance Commission, Maria Clarke, a sports lawyer and sports governance expert, presented the Board of Directors Proposal for wholesale governance reform of World Sailing.

The Proposal was prepared by World Sailing's Governance Commission after more than a year of consultation, feedback and research with Member National Authorities (MNAs), Class Associations, Council, committee and commission members and the wider sailing community.

View the Proposal here.

Clarke took Council delegates through the proposed reforms and highlighted the need for Council members and World Sailing's stakeholders to provide further feedback as part of the consultation process.

Following a review of that feedback, the Commission will adjust the Proposal as necessary and make its final recommendations to the World Sailing Board, which, if approved, will then prepare and finalise a whole new Constitution for voting on. This is expected to occur at the Annual General Meeting in November 2019.

Events Strategy

Alastair Fox, Director of Events, and Sarah Kenny, Chair of the Events Committee, presented an Events Strategy Working Party report on World Sailing's opportunity to develop a new strategy for 2021 - 2028.

The strategy focused on the requirements for sailors and that it must add value for all of World Sailing's stakeholders with the Olympic Games at its heart.

Three key goals were established to promote sailors progression with a clear regatta structure, ensure a stable regatta calendar with a credible ranking system and to see that Olympic level sailing is promoted to a greater audience to drive participation.

On Thursday 17 May, the Events Committee endorsed the principles of the paper providing similar levels of World Sailing support were provided to class events, that a definition of, and how to become, a top-ranked regatta is established and how to make the events sustainable and cost efficient.

World Sailing's Council approved the Strategy and work will now commence to implement.

The next meeting of World Sailing will be the 2019 Annual Conference. Bermuda will play host to delegates from 26 October to 3 November 2019.

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