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Postponement of World Sailing's General Assembly to be discussed by Board

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 5 Apr 07:42 PDT 6 April 2020
The Board of World Sailing - World Sailing's Annual Conference is in Bermuda from 29 October to 3 November, 2019 © Tom Roberts

The well connected online Olympic news website InsideTheGames.biz reports that The Board of World Sailing are to meet on Monday April 6, to discuss the postponement of the 2020 Annual Conference and General Assembly, where the election for President is undertaken.

InsideTheGames.biz quotes an unnamed spokesperson for World Sailing saying the meeting due to be held in Abu Dhabi in November cannot have video or electronic voting, as the Constitution and Regulations of the world body do not provide for any form of electronic voting from outside the meeting venue.

However Article 30 of the Constitution requires the Annual General Meeting to be held in 2012 and every fourth year thereafter which constitutes the General Assembly. The function of that meeting is to elect the President and seven Vice Presidents. Earlier this year an Extraordinary General Meeting was called off. It was to have been held in London to reconsider Governance proposals which fallen well short of the required 75% majority at the 2019 Annual Conference. The reason given for the cancellation of the EGM was because of the effects of the CONVID-19 virus, however over 40 member national authorities had requested that the meeting not be held before the full impact of the pandemic became known.

Members of the World Sailing Board of Directors are set to discuss whether the organisation's elections later this year can go ahead during its latest meeting tomorrow.

The elections, including for the President, are due to be held during the World Sailing Annual Conference in Abu Dhabi, scheduled for October 24 to November 1.

But concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced Governments to impose travel restrictions and bans on events involving a certain number of participants, have led to suggestions the meeting may be postponed or cancelled.

A postponement would effectively extend the reign of under-fire World Sailing President Kim Andersen, who is up for re-election at the Annual General Assembly on November 1.

Spaniard Gerardo Seeliger has also declared his intention to run for the top job at the worldwide body.

The full report can be read by clicking here.

More serious is the financial state of the World body which had over-spent its income and advised at the 2019 Annual Conference announced that an overdraft facility had been arranged to tide World Sailing's finances over until the payout from the International Olympic Committee from the revenues from the 2020 Olympics had been received.

Although the IOC does have a $900million war chest to cover unexpected contingencies there has been no public comment of an interim payout now that Tokyo2020 has been shifted by a year.

Last week, the 2020 Olympic Games were postponed for a year, with the possibility of a reduced four yearly payout after the IOC and Japanese organisers had shared the additional costs of the Tokyo 2020 postponement.

There has been no public statement of the state of the World Sailing finances and the matter was not believed to have been discussed at a teleconference of the Member National Authorities held in the last few days.

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