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World Sailing Presidential Newsletter: November 2019

by Kim Andersen, President World Sailing 6 Dec 2019 08:43 PST
World Sailing © World Sailing

Interim management of World Sailing

With the departure of our CEO Andy Hunt, whose last day of work will be December 9th, we began to plan the interim period. Numerous scenarios were discussed, and the Senior Management Team (SMT) decided on an interim management structure where they will be directly responsible to the Board for the delivery of their departments' objectives.

The SMT will continue to meet regularly to manage the operations of the Executive Office, and the Board has agreed on regular reporting arrangements for the Executive Office to ensure direct communication. Given this structure is in place, the Board has decided not to appoint an interim CEO until a permanent appointment is made.

I would like to thank the employees of World Sailing for their hard work in delivering a successful Annual Conference and for stepping up during this interim period. The Board is in the process of initiating a search for the CEO position, and this process will be finalised in the coming weeks.

Chinese AGM Conference

It is interesting to follow the impressive growth of the Chinese Yachting Association which, in sailing terms, is still a relatively young federation. They have demonstrated a broad, strong development across all the many disciplines of our sport, - from family programmes to windsurf, skiff and other high-performance programmes.

The Chinese Yachting Association are promoting engagement, participation and technical high performance programmes, while at the same time building the infrastructure, implementing the facilities and planning the future of our great sport, which is certainly impressive.

Their Awards night showed their development across many disciplines through a great depth of candidates. Not many countries have an Ocean Race winner, a podium team in the SailGP and top-ten finishers in Olympic classes! I had the opportunity to talk with the Minister of Sport; his enthusiasm for our sport was genuine and he is pleased with its progression.

German AGM Conference

The roots of the German Sailing Federation go back to 1888 - today it has approximately 1,300 member clubs and is rated as one of the top 20 elite sports federations in Germany. During the last 12 months, they have been working on a new structure to mirror the development in society and to address the challenges, with a special focus on youth attraction, development and reducing dropout, as well as revitalising the participation part of our sport.

Yacht Racing Forum

The opening keynote speaker was Stan Honey, who discussed "The Present and Future of Yacht Racing."

With changes in sailing moving quicker than ever, this could be difficult, but Stan had some clear trends in mind. These included the adaptation of foiling technology and how we will see new records and new ways of "traveling" within our sport as well as the power of technology continuing to make our sport understandable and engaging with weather predictions to electronic umpiring and broadcasting techniques. The delegates at the Forum conducted a poll on the new Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event with 89% welcoming its introduction and noted that there will continue to be an increase in opportunities via the new Olympic event.

Interestingly, years ago, the technical forum discussed and predicted the future of foiling in sailing, but they were highly uncertain regarding stability. Once again the real-life scenario has gone beyond our imaginations!

Other major topics at the Yacht Racing Forum centered around participation, how to welcome more women into our sport and actively improve gender balance, engage youth sailors and how to promote our sport and sailors in a better way.

New era of live sailing coverage at 2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra17 World Championships

When you read this newsletter, the World Championships will already be under way in New Zealand. It's great to see that new ways/platforms are making top sailing events available for sailors and showcasing the sport to a new audience.

The combined class organisation for the three classes will have live streaming available using the SidelineApp and will provide a worldwide audience with access to live and on-demand coverage from the Hauraki Gulf race course. Advances in technology has made broadcasting in sailing more affordable than ever. Using 4G has made it possible to provide reliable streams across the globe, showcasing the sport in the best possible way. The World Championships will be of huge importance for the sailors and nations competing, preparing for the Olympics with some nations still aiming for qualification. The Royal Akarana Yacht Club is hosting the 206 teams competing from 41 nations comprising 412 athletes.

Here's how you can follow the 2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra17 World Championships:

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