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Displaying items by tag: World Sailing

With less than 75 days to go until the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, World Sailing Chief Executive Officer Andy Hunt and Head of Competitions Alastair Fox this week participated in a final on-site review of preparations for the Olympic Sailing Competition.

Briefings were provided over two days on key operational and service areas for the Olympic Games, including venue construction, competition schedules, broadcasting, media operations, accommodation, transportation and ticketing. A detailed briefing was also provided on the continuing efforts to improve water quality in and around Guanabara Bay, the venue for Olympic Sailing.

The briefings were led by Rio 2016 Sport Sailing Manager, Walter Boddener, and his operations team. Hunt and Fox were joined by Darryl Seibel, who will serve as Chief Press Officer for World Sailing during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The World Sailing delegation also met with Rio 2016 security officials to learn more about steps that can be taken to increase safety for athletes and coaches, particularly during pre-Games training periods. This advice will be shared directly with World Sailing Member National Authorities, according to Hunt.

"We appreciate the work being done by Rio 2016 and its partners to welcome the best sailors from around the world for the 2016 Olympic Games,” said Hunt. "Since our last visit in March, considerable progress has been made in preparing for the Olympic Sailing Competition. Construction at the Marina da Gloria is almost complete and the water quality is noticeably better, particularly in the launch areas around the marina.

"During our review, we had an opportunity to meet with officials from the Mayor's Office and leading environmental authorities to review their latest water-quality data,” added Hunt. "The trend lines are encouraging, but it will be important that not a single day is lost in implementing the remaining measures that are planned, including the installation of a series of new eco barriers.”

"Our primary focus is to make certain the field of play on Guanabara Bay is safe and suitable for all Olympic competitors,” said Fox. "Working with Rio 2016 and various governmental authorities, I'm confident we have the right plan in place to deliver a field of play that is safe and fair. Equally, as with every major sailing regatta, we have detailed plans in place to respond and adapt should conditions change.”

The natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro will provide a spectacular backdrop for sailing, which will enjoy a particularly bright spotlight during the upcoming Olympic Games.

"Brazil has enjoyed tremendous success in Olympic sailing and athletes such as Robert Scheidt, Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira hold a special place in Brazil's sporting culture,” said Hunt. "Given this history of success and the profile sailing enjoys in Brazil, it is our hope that the beaches surrounding Guanabara Bay will become one of the truly special places for fans during the Rio Games.”

Published in Olympic
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World Sailing has laid out a draft two-year roadmap for continued 'good governance' based upon a consultation with member national associations and stakeholders at its Mid-Year Meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland.

World Sailing members approved this weekend a number of changes to its constitution and regulations, which mark the start of the implementation of the modernisation plan.

World Sailing's Constitution concerning non-discrimination is now in line with the Olympic Charter. World Sailing will promote the sport of sailing in all of its branches regardless of colour, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth of other status;
The Executive Committee will now be referred to as the Board of Directors of the Federation;
The Secretariat will now be called the Executive Office;
The Chairman of the Athletes' Commission is now a permanent voting member of the Board of Directors;
Future venues of the Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting will be determined via a bidding process and vote by members at the AGM;
Strengthened procedures for identifying and managing conflicts of interest.

The governance of International Federation's (IFs) has recently received widespread media coverage and as a result, remains in the public eye. Following an Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) governance review, a Governance Task Force (GTF) was established in November 2015. The GTF recommended five key governance principles to each IF in February 2016 to be embraced in their activities, decisions, processes and regulations.

These key principles are:
Transparency
Integrity
Democracy
Sports Development & Solidarity
Control Mechanisms

These are further broken down under 50 simple and measurable indicators which can be applied as appropriate to the particular circumstances of each IF taking account of the size, development and history of each.

World Sailing's two-year road map will focus on meeting ASOIF's standards and will be broken down into three stages. In consultation with the Constitution Committee and Board of Directors, straightforward changes to the Constitution and Regulations will be proposed at the 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Further consultation with World Sailing's Members will follow, resulting in a detailed study. Based on the study moderate changes will be proposed at the 2017 Annual Conference before the wider, complex, submissions in 2018.

Addressing World Sailing's Council in Lausanne, Carlo Croce said, "I can't remember a time when the international media and public spotlight has been so concentrated on world sport and the way it is run and governed. At the same time, the IOC and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations are both clear that change and progress are needed in this area. And they are right.

"Our goal is to become a benchmark for International Federations. These measures will enable World Sailing to become more professional, efficient, effective and better able to drive the global growth of Sailing in all its forms.

"As I look ahead I am encouraged and optimistic as we aim to protect and grow our sport and enter a new era with confidence and a willingness to be creative and develop.”

World Sailing's Chief Executive Officer, Andy Hunt, added, "World Sailing has a real opportunity to be a leading and progressive International Federation and as a consequence become more professional, efficient and effective in its approach.

"World Sailing already meets many of ASOIF's key principles but the two-year road map will ensure we continue to meet and exceed the governance standards to become best in class.”

Published in World Sailing
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World Sailing announced today that the 2016 World Sailing Annual Conference and General Assembly will be held in Barcelona, Spain.

The conference will take place at the Hotel Renaissance Barcelona Fira from 4 November to 13 November 2016.

The conference provides the opportunity for World Sailing Member National Authorities, Committees, Sub-committees, Commissions, Class Associations, Sailors, Event Organizers, Boat Manufacturers and Observers to discuss the future of sailing.

Over 500 delegates were in attendance at the 2015 Annual Conference, which took place in Sanya, China and up to 700 delegates are expected in Barcelona this year.

World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt said "We are delighted to be holding the conference in the city of Barcelona and we look forward to working with the Spanish Sailing Federation (Real Federación Española de Vela), the Catalan Tourist Board and the Hotel Renaissance in making the 2016 conference a great success for the future development of our sport".

Published in World Sailing
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Kiteboarding wars continue with the  world body for sailing blackballing two competitions run by the International Federation of Kitesports Organisations (IFKO). World Sailing has listed two International Federation of Kitesports Organisations (IFKO) events as Prohibited Events under the World Sailing Eligibility Code.

The 1st Junior Kitesports Freestyle World Cup (7-10 April) and the Kitefoil Silver Cup GP World Series (12-16 May) have been included on the Prohibited Events list following improper designation as a world event [Regulation 19.15(c)] and using an improper organizing authority [Regulation 19.15(d)].

World Sailing received no assurances that the 1st Junior Kitesports Freestyle World Cup and the Kitefoil Silver Cup GP World Sailing will be run under the appropriate rules or standards for kiteboarding and therefore have listed the events as prohibited.

World Sailing is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and SportAccord as the world governing body of sailing, which includes kiteboarding (on water). The IFKO's recent establishment and governance claims to kiteboarding does not alter World Sailing's responsibilities.

To date World Sailing have developed the racing rules for freestyle, wave and speed kiteboarding, secured the introduction of kiteboarding to the Youth Olympic Games, supported the creation of the World Kite Tour and promoted recognised world championships through the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and separate World Cup events in the freestyle, wave and slalom disciplines.

Part of World Sailing's responsibilities is to ensure ensure that events take place within the structure of the rules and are run to appropriate standards for the event and protection of competitors.

World Sailing says it is committed to developing relationships with the IFKO to ensure the long term growth of the discipline.

The war to control kiteboarding continues, as three organisations dispute the right to crown world champions across several disciplines: IKA (recognised by World Sailing), IFKO and the World Kite Tour.

Published in Kitesurfing

World Sailing has announced that the Oman Sailing Committee have withdrawn from hosting the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships which were due to take place in December 2016.

In a statement World Sailing says the Oman Sailing Committee was able to exercise the right to withdraw, as a final contract for the hosting of the event had not been concluded. World Sailing will now immediately start to work with its Member National Authorities to rapidly identify an alternative venue for the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships at the same time of year as the event originally planned for Oman.

Following the publication of the World Sailing statement on Discrimination on the 13 January 2016, World Sailing can now confirm that it has received written confirmation from all venues that have already been selected and confirmed for forthcoming World Sailing championships that they are able to guarantee full and equal participation by all, in accordance with World Sailing's Regulations.

World Sailing's action follows the clarification of the non-discrimination elements of the Olympic Charter from the International Olympic Committee Summit on 17 October 2015.

Published in World Sailing
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The first episode of The World Sailing Show, a brand new monthly view of the racing world is available above.

From non-stop around the world racers, to the intensity of Olympic campaigns, from seasoned professionals, to grass roots weekend warriors, The World Sailing Show will get into the latest action afloat.

In this first show we find out how the world's biggest trimaran, Spindrift 2, took three world records but narrowly missed out on the record they really wanted.

We also visit the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne to report on five sibling teams and catch up with the latest in the Paralympic classes.

We head to Malaysia to find out how Olympic aspirations are a family affair, while also taking a glimpse into the future from a different angle as we visit the Youth World Championships.

And we meet the new head of World Sailing, Andy Hunt, to find out what makes him tick.

Published in World Sailing
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The former CEO of World Sailing says he was fired for pushing to get rid of polluted Guanabara Bay as the sailing venue of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to an Associated Press report this morning.

Peter Sowrey tried to change the venue, or at least have a "B plan" but says "I was told to gag myself on the subject."

Sowrey proposed moving the event to Buzios, a coastal resort about 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Rio that has been host to large sailing events. Of course, it's too late now for that change.

"The board felt I was way too aggressive," Sowrey said. "They basically voted me out. I didn't resign. The board finally told me to leave."

Sowrey said looking at Guanabara Bay on "fact-based, data-driven models we would never consider sailing in that quality of water."

The Associated Press has much more on the story here

Published in World Sailing

The International Sailing Federation now World Sailing has appointed Andy Hunt, former CEO of the British Olympic Association and a non-executive Director of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games as its new Chief Executive Officer. It is the second CEO appointment within a year following the departure of Peter Sowrey after only six months in the job. Hunt joins the world sailing body in the middle of a participation storm over the staging of its youth world championships in Malaysia this month. 

Hunt (52) has most recently been Chairman & Managing Partner of Progressive Media Group, an International Media & Business Information group of companies, as well as serving as a non-executive Director of England Hockey & Gloucester Rugby. Hunt has had a highly successful career across both sport and business over the past 30 years.

World Sailing President Carlo Croce said, "I am delighted that we have found an outstanding candidate to fill the role of CEO. Andy combines exceptional business leadership credentials, with an excellent track record in sports administration, a deep understanding of the Olympic & Paralympic movement, strong relationships with the IOC and ASOIF and enjoys a lifelong passion for Sailing. Andy will work closely with me and the Executive Board to continue to deliver on our vision and strategy for World Sailing."

Published in World Sailing
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#WorldSailing - World Sailing has announced plans to take the sport to a mass audience in 2016 at the London Boat Show.

Live broadcasts from three Sailing World Cup events will be bolstered by a new television series produced in conjunction with Sunset+Vine titled World Sailing.

The 26-minute monthly programme will deliver international news and highlights from medal races at World Cup regattas in Miami, Hyères and Weymouth and Portland, which will also be broadcast online around the world.

Rio 2016 is set to be the biggest Olympic sailing competition ever, and many of the potential medallists will be on show at the World Cup regattas in the build-up.

More than 10 major global broadcasters have pledged to bring live Olympic class sailing to their audience and "generate national heroes", according to the former ISAF.

Fans around the world will also be able to tune into the World Sailing TV YouTube channel.

And over 20 broadcasters worldwide have been confirmed for the highlights programme, which begins this month with an editorial focus on the build-up to the Olympics as well as coverage, personality features, background stories and news from the cutting edge of the sport.

Before that, World Sailing has today (Friday 8 January) relaunched its website at sailing.org providing a cleaner presentation that's intended to be easier to navigate.

"In order to take sailing forward in 2016, a pivotal year for sailing with the Olympic Games on the horizon, a new approach and fresh ideas with the fan experience at the heart was required for the governing body's website,” said World Sailing's chief marketing officer Malcolm Page.

"Social media is key for us to communicate directly with our audience across multiple platforms. With engaging content, increased interaction and regular video content on sailing.org we will be able to keep our worldwide audience continuously up to date in our evolving sport.”

The relaunch of sailing.org comes in the wake of the world governing body's rebranding from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to World Sailing last month, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in World Sailing
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#ISAF - Can sailing's world governing body be trusted to put athletes' safety first?

That's the concern coming from many corners of the sailing community after it emerged that the ISAF, recently rebranded as World Sailing, was aware of Malaysia's exclusion of Israeli sailors from the recent Youth Worlds from the outset, via a damning report from Sail World.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, World Sailing blamed "delays in communication" by both Israeli and Malaysian officials over the situation that saw Israel's youth team – which included two world champion windsurfers, one of them a defending Youth Worlds RS:X Boys champ – withdraw from the competition on 24 December.

Israel says it acted after failing to receive the necessary visas from Malaysian authorities, with whom it has no diplomatic ties, with just days to go before the competition began.

The accusation comes in the wake of "conditions" under which they were allegedly granted entry to Malaysia, with reports that the team's detachment of bodyguards had been refused clearance on security grounds.

Israeli sports teams compete internationally under armed protection since the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972 in which 11 athletes were taken hostage and killed.

The situation took on a different dimension when Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sport was reported as saying that the exclusion of Israeli sailors was in fact a political move.

As Richard Gladwell writes for Sail World, delays in issuing visas appear to be a regular tactic against Israeli athletes on the world stage, just weeks after a Laser Radial sailor missed valuable practice days when his visa for November's ISAF Worlds in Oman arrived late.

What's more, minutes from ISAF meetings in the lead-up to the 2015 Youth Worlds show that concerns over Israel's participation in Malaysia were raised as soon as Langkawi was selected as the venue back in 2011.

World Sailing, which lost its CEO Peter Sowery last month after just half a year in the top job, is now being lambasted for claiming surprise over an issue that was tabled at a point of concern many years ago – and for sitting on the fence in the subsequent dispute between Israeli and Malaysian officials.

Those complaints from the sailing community are reflected in dismay at the erstwhile ISAF's handling of the serious pollution issues in Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

Despite assurances from the sailing body that steps were being taken "to ensure the health and safety of all athletes", there was still a 7% illness rate among competitors at August's test event.

And recent findings by the Associated Press claim that sailors in Rio who ingest just three teaspoons of water from Guanabara Bay's Olympic courses, even some distance offshore, have a 99% chance of contracting a virus.

These issues are leading a growing number to question whether World Sailing is really putting sailors ahead of diplomatic entanglements.

Do you share those concerns? Let us know in the comments below.

Published in World Sailing
Page 5 of 6

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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