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World Sailing Presidential Newsletter: May 2020

by Kim Andersen, President World Sailing 4 Jun 2020 23:24 PDT
World Sailing President Kim Andersen © Laura Carrau / World Sailing

We are reaching a new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic with the reopening of sailing in some parts of the world. Countries are returning to a new normal, step by step. We have seen some nations work in coordination with their regional neighbors to make a safe re-opening whilst other nations remain in a lockdown.

Sailing is considered a low risk sport by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and with World Sailing's recommendations on how to manage events in this COVID-19 situation available, we are equipped to start up our sport as soon as it is allowed by the local legislation.

It's important to get started and rebuild the momentum of our great sport. Given the restrictions for the reopening let's use the opportunity to strengthen relationships with local racing and competition with neighboring countries.

On May 20th we had a Townhall meeting for Member National Authorities and Council members with the main topics focused on the resolution for allowing electronic voting as a plan B incase we cannot have our Annual Conference in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year as planned and setting the agenda and framework for the Mid-Year meeting. Both items are covered in more detail in this newsletter.

This week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also announced the IOC Commission appointments. It is an honor to be appointed to continue as a member to the IOC Olympic Channel Commission, but even more so by having two sailors represented as Marcus Baur has also extended his appointment to this Commission.

2020 General Assembly

The written Resolution for the 2020 General Assembly that allows electronic voting at the meeting in case the COVID-19 pandemic does not make it possible to host the Annual Conference, as planned in Abu Dhabi later this year.

The AGM Review Committee received feedback and amendment suggestions on the draft Resolution from 19 countries. After reviewing the proposed amendments, a number of changes were made to improve the text and the final resolution has now been approved by the Board and has been forwarded to all MNAs.

The vote is now open for MNAs and will close at 1200hrs UTC on Friday 18 June. A report has been published on the World Sailing website explaining the feedback received by the deadline and the various changes that have been made.

The Executive Office will acknowledge receipt of votes and the counting of the votes will be supervised by the Chairmen of the Audit Committee and Constitution Committee.

Mid-Year Meeting 2020

Following the discussions and input received from the 20 May Townhall meeting, a Mid-Year Townhall Meeting will be held after receiving the resolution vote. The proposed dates for the Mid-Year Meeting is the 24th of June 2020 at 12:00 British Summer Time.

The aim of the Mid-Year Meeting is to stay connected under this unprecedented COVID-19 crises. General updates on World Sailing will be shared and Committee Chairs will be on hand to share information on their ongoing work and answer questions that arise due to the global situation.

We have asked Committee & Commission Chairs / Vice-Chairs to give a short report on subjects dealt with under the heading "business as usual" and new issues that they are dealing with caused by the pandemic situation. The report will be shared before the Council meeting.

Following the Townhall meeting and direct communication with MNAs, we have received different recommendations on the forum for the meeting in question. The Board has discussed it and has found that given the situation and the aim of the meeting, the Mid-Year Meeting will follow the existing structure of having a Council meeting and for the Presidents the possibility to be present on the Mid-Year meeting conference call. The following week we will organize a Townhall for MNA Presidents to be able to raise questions following the Council meeting and feedback from Commissions and Committees. It's a way for the Council and AGM forum to stay connected, but keeping our "normal" meeting structure under the given conditions.

Doublehanded Offshore Sailing

Although we have had to cancel the 2020 Offshore World Championship due to the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, double handed offshore sailing is thriving globally.

We have seen many sailors return to the water in recent weeks and of those, many are participating in double handed offshore sailing.

A double handed offshore race is generally defined as being over 50 miles in length with no gender restrictions with racing held in one-design boats or under any rating system. The number of events worldwide has increased significantly following the selection of a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event for Paris 2024. New events have been created and sit alongside established offshore races with years of history and prestige. A list, that is regularly updated, is available on the World Sailing website here to showcase the global variety.

With an increase in number of events, sailors are embracing different types of equipment that are available locally and regionally. With Equipment for Paris 2024 to be decided in 2023, this enables sailors to focus on the discipline off doublehanded offshore sailing rather than the equipment itself.

This has also ensured continued growth of the discipline and we are expecting this rise to continue in the coming weeks, months and years as sailors focus on their skills sailing offshore.

Sustainability Agenda 2030 receives Awards nomination

I'm pleased to say that our Sustainability Agenda 2030 has been shortlisted as a Best Sports Governing Body Initiative and Sustainability in Sports Award for the 2020 Sports Business Awards 2020.

Following the launch of Sustainability Agenda 2030, available here, in 2018, we have been hard at work delivering against the 56 different targets. As sailors, it is our duty to protect our field of play and it is an honor to be recognized for our work alongside other high-profile sports properties.

The most recent initiative from Sustainability Agenda 2030 saw us launch a Sustainability Education Programme in partnership with the World Sailing Trust, 11th Hour Racing and The Ocean Race. Many of our MNAs and Class Associations are also using these resources but it is important we continue with the momentum.


Following the outbreak of COVID-19, we launched #SailingAllTogether, a digital media video campaign to bring sailors around the world together across World Sailing's social media channels.

The feedback was outstanding with the team inundated with videos supplied by hundreds of sailors from over 70 nations. The mixture of footage has been incredible with homemade yachts, stunning sailing conditions in Cape Town and a few fun capsizes thrown in!

It's been fantastic to see such a blend of sailing across World Sailing's channels and we have seen great rewards with more than 5 million views.

If you would like to get involved, please email your videos to .

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

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