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World Sailing Presidential Newsletter: May 2019

by Kim Andersen, President World Sailing 2 Jun 2019 22:45 PDT
World Sailing President: Kim Andersen © World Sailing

May has been a busy month indeed with the season under way and with all the preparations for the Mid-Year meeting taking place. I would like to thank all the sailors, Committee, Commission and staff for their strong engagement and contribution in making the best possible preparations for the meeting I know a lot of hard work and collaboration went into making it happen, and I've had good feedback from delegates, so well done and thank you!

We as an organisation and as a sailing community have come a long way and based on the agreed World Sailing Strategy 2018 - 2022 we are gaining momentum. In my speech to Council at the Mid-Year meeting I referenced the four strategic goals in the World Sailing Strategy plan, and you can see my follow-up and Council speech here and the World Sailing Strategy 2018- 2022 here.

With a little more than one year to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the preparation amongst sailors, organisers and all the stakeholders is keeping everyone very busy I wish everyone the very best of luck as we move towards the final year of planning and preparing.

Mid Year Meeting 2019

At the Mid-Year, several important decisions were on the agenda, one being the Paris 2024 Olympic Event and Equipment Selection Processes.

Men and Women One Person Dinghy trials showed four short-listed candidates being evaluated, and the Laser was selected by Council.

For the Men and women's windsurfer, the Board recommended retaining the current equipment. The Council decided to reject this recommendation and now the Board will decide shortly whether to re-evaluate the equipment on a fair and objective basis. A full trial would take place before the November meeting where the final selection has to be made for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Council accepted the recommendation to select the 470 as equipment for the Mixed Two Person Dinghy event and the IKA-Formula Kite as equipment for the Mixed Kiteboard event.

The status for equipment selected for the Paris 2024 Olympics is as follows, and subject to the approval or the FRAND agreements for the following classes:

Men's One Person Dinghy Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's Skiff - 49erFX
Men's Skiff - 49er
Mixed Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Nacra 17
Mixed Kiteboard the IKA-Formula Kite equipment.
Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat no later than 31 December 2020 Council shall select a list of suitable equipment approved for qualification and no later than 31 December 2023 Council will select the Equipment for the event.

Equipment Cheating Review Working Party

At its meeting in February 2019, the Board requested that the Executive Office appoint a review group to examine:

  • Historic review of equipment cheating cases
  • Improvements in the investigation and prosecution of equipment cheating (both at event and WS level)
  • The use of discretionary penalties for equipment infringements, and in particular whether the increased use of DPs has encouraged sailors/teams to take the risk of cheating.
  • The consequences for sailors who present boats at inspection which do not comply (and whether these consequences are appropriate or need to be changed).
The Board received and discussed the report from the Equipment Cheating Review Group and approved the report in principle and its proposals are to be published for consultation. After this time, the Group is to make any amendments it considers appropriate and submit their final proposal to the Board for final approval.

We have a fair sport: let's keep it that way. Where we are challenged is in the area of "equipment doping" and this needs to stop. Securing a fair field of play and the recommendations in the report proposal are addressing the issue.


As you know, sustainability and protecting our oceans and beaches is of paramount importance. We as sailors and the wider sailing community need to lead the way in encouraging others to change their behavior and think of the environment more. At World Sailing we are very proud of our achievements so far, which I talked about in more detail in my February newsletter here, but there is always more to be done.

We are encouraging regattas worldwide to carry out a beach clean as well as at all our World Sailing events. This is a really great way to educate sailors and make sure that we leave the event location in a better state than when we arrive.

At the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami in January, there was a mangrove clean organised by US Sailing for World Sailing. One hundred people helped out, and a huge 850 lbs (385 kilos) of trash was removed that's shocking to think that so much rubbish was there and that's just from one area.

At the 50th anniversary edition of the Princess Sofia regatta in March, as well as a beach clean, details of a sustainability program were unveiled. In the Balearics, 1.5 million single-use disposable plastic bottles are used every day something has to be done! The campaign is based on three lines of action: elimination of the use of plastic for single use in hotels, promotion of sustainable fishing, and improvement of coastal health. Sailors carried out a beach clean as part of the Wave of Change project. You can read more here.

There was also a beach clean at the Nacra & 49erFX and 49er Europeans in Weymouth recently. It was great to see so many familiar faces participating, and congratulations to the organisers. You can see more of this fantastic initiative here:

We will soon be launching an Ocean Heroes Boot Camp: educating and inspiring young sailors to become ambassadors and help instigate change in their own clubs around the world relating to single use plastic watch this space for more news!

Collectively we can have a huge positive impact inspiring and educating society: if we each collected 2 or 3 bits of plastic every time we go sailing, then we can make a change. Let's work together on this!

Safety in Sailing

Within World Sailing we are taking positive steps to protect the sailors and reduce the risks when they're out on the water. In May 2018, we released the World Sailing Incident Reporting Portal. We have received reports of significant incidents and equipment failures and our Safety Panel have reviewed all of these to ensure lessons are learned and made available to the sailing community. You can view the Safety Panel reports and findings here.

We encourage our Member National Authorities, Class Associations and Rating Systems to continue to use the system (available here) and report incidents at World Sailing organised and recognised events, as well as training and racing incidents prior to World Sailing events and events run by a World Sailing member.

Our sport has been through huge developments and seen incredible performances. It is vital that we continue to report these incidents and to grow the awareness and ensure the long-term safety of all sailors out on the water.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council forms new partnership to develop Olympic Sailing

Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) has reached an agreement with the Asian Sailing Federation and the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation to host multiple global sailing events for Olympic Sailing and Youth Development in the Emirate.

Through a partnership with ADSC and Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, key events will be hosted over the next four years to further progress the development of sailing in the UAE.

With this agreement, all parties hope to bring the best sailors in the world together in Abu Dhabi for competition in high-standard events as well as conferences, development symposiums, clinics and training opportunities.

As the President of the Asian Sailing Federation, Malav Schroff, emphasized, "This long-term agreement will allow us to bring high profile sailing events to Abu Dhabi, organise technical courses for coaches and instructors, and host development symposiums.

"Hosting these programs in Abu Dhabi will open up a hub for a large group of sailors allowing for participation from Asia, Africa, Europe and the wider world."

This new initiative coincides with the announcement that Abu Dhabi will host the 2020 annual conference of World Sailing, which will welcome representatives of over 100 countries to the city to exchange knowledge and determine the global direction of the sport. The full press release is here.

Please feel free to reach out to me either via ,, or As always, I am happy to hear from you.

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