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World Sailing Council supports next steps in Governance Reform and approves Olympic Vision document

by World Sailing 20 Nov 2023 08:52 PST
World Sailing President Quanhai Li addresses World Sailing's 2023 Annual Conference in Málaga © World Sailing

World Sailing Council met on the final day of the 2023 World Sailing Annual Conference in Málaga to receive a series of reports from each of the committees and address members regarding the direction of the sport and its priorities in the coming year.

Following the approval at last year's Annual Conference of a new Constitution to be implemented at the beginning of 2025, a number of preparatory Regulatory changes were submitted for Council approval. The General Assembly Rules of Procedure, Council Rules of Procedure, 23 Terms of Reference for Committees and Sub-Committees, amendments to the Disciplinary and Ethics Regulations, Anti-Doping Rules and the Betting and Anti-Corruption Code were all voted on, unanimously approved and greeted with applause. Vice President Philip Baum, chair of the Governance Working Party, set out a plan for further consultation and development of governance documents ahead of the 2024 Annual Conference.

World Sailing President Quanhai Li told the meeting: "Governance reform is a priority for the World Sailing Board and Executive Office. After passing the motion to reform our structure at last year's Annual Conference we have made excellent progress towards developing the proposal.

"I would like to thank everyone involved in the process and we will continue the hard work ahead of implementation next year."

High on the agenda was a motion to approve the Olympic Vision document which outlines the roadmap for sailing in Olympic classes through to 2032. The document, which had been discussed in the various committee meetings throughout Annual Conference, was passed with 97% approval.

World Sailing CEO David Graham said: "This week you will have heard about our progress on the Olympic Vision. This important document will help us come together as a sport and further strengthen our contribution to the Olympic Movement.

"It has been fantastic to have over 300 of our members from the around the world with us in Málaga this week. We are blessed to have such a dedicated stakeholder group, the achievements spanned from safeguarding policies approved to celebrating the great champions of our sport, and pioneers making a difference in sustainability."

In line with the International Olympic Committee's recommendations to streamline events, it was agreed that the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar would feature four events - Men's Windsurfing, Women's Windsurfing, Men's Board and Women's Board - and a quota of 96 athletes. Equipment will be finalised by a Working Party appointed by the Events Committee. This proposal passed with 100% acceptance.

Amendments to the World Sailing Safeguarding Policy to establish a more robust framework throughout the sport were also approved with 100% of the vote.

Council also voted on the proposal to allow a split World Sailing Championships, which would provide greater flexibility in hosting the events in multiple venues and to also include additional events where appropriate. The motion was approved with unanimous support. The new policy will begin at the next World Sailing Championships, scheduled to be held before 2028.

All submissions and reports are available to view and download on the World Sailing website.

Annual General Meeting

The World Sailing Annual General Meeting was also held on the final day of Annual Conference in Málaga with 52 Member National Authorities represented.

The meeting approved Singapore as the venue for the 2024 World Sailing Annual Conference, subject to agreement of terms, the appointment of an Elections Committee to oversee the 2024 World Sailing elections, the movement of the Philippine Sailing Association from Group J into Group K, and the granting of an additional Council seat to Group K.

The World Sailing Annual Conference was supported by the Málaga Tourism Board.

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