Displaying items by tag: World Sailing
World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, has received confirmation of financial support from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following constructive dialogue.
The IOC is supporting World Sailing in addressing the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequence on postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In the challenging times experienced as a consequence of COVID-19, World Sailing has engaged with the IOC on how best to address the impact experienced within the sport with detailed and transparent discussions.
“Receiving the support and the encouragement from IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach means a lot for World Sailing,” commented World Sailing President, Kim Andersen. “I am looking forward to continuing the great partnership between the IOC and World Sailing with a focus on our great sport and our sailors.”
The financial support will enable World Sailing to continue plans for developing and promoting sailing worldwide and delivering the highest standards for the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
World Sailing has cancelled the 2020 edition of the Youth Sailing World Championships that was scheduled to be held in Salvador, Brazil from 12 – 19 December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its 50-year history, the Youth Worlds regularly attracts the best youth sailors from upwards of 60 nations. World Sailing’s Board of Directors and the Confederação Brasileira de Vela (CBVela) agreed to cancel the event in anticipation of global travel restrictions and to ensure the health and well-being of athletes, coaches, parents, officials and suppliers.
World Sailing and CBVela are now discussing the possibility of hosting the Youth Worlds in Brazil at the earliest opportunity.
The 2021 edition of the Youth Worlds will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands in July 2021.
World Sailing has appointed David Graham, a 20-year veteran in the sailing industry, as its new Chief Executive Officer starting 13 July 2020.
Graham’s extensive and impressive career includes functions in sales, events, coaching and sponsorship, including CEO and Managing Director roles.
Graham’s most recent role was at Oman Sail, a national initiative that uses the power of sport to contribute to the development of the Omani people, where he served as CEO from 2009 through to April 2020.
During his tenure, Graham was instrumental in establishing the sport in Oman, growing the national sailing team to one of the leading teams in Asia and developing the nation as a top destination for Class World Championships, America’s Cup World Series and Extreme Sailing Series events. Prior to his tenure at Oman Sail, Graham managed a sailing school before spending over a decade in senior positions in the world’s leading dinghy manufacturers.
His experience as an active sailor is equally as strong. An active sailor his whole life, he grew up as a dinghy sailor and was involved in major big boat series and races onboard both monohulls and multihulls. In addition, he has recently taken up kiteboarding to add to his repertoire of sailing skillsets.
Kim Andersen, President of World Sailing, commented, “As World Sailing looks to the future and the next phase of growth, we are confident that with David’s combined background in management and sailing that he is the right leader to help restructure and provide a strong direction for the operations of our organisation. On behalf of the entire World Sailing family it gives me great pleasure to welcome David to the team.”
World Sailing’s Board of Directors worked with Odgers Berndtson in search of the ideal candidate and reviewed a strong list of international candidates.
Scott Perry, World Sailing Vice President, added, “The board received several high calibre applicants and having reviewed each one carefully we unanimously approved the selection of David Graham. With better clarity over our finances through to 2021, now is the time to build up our future and this includes bringing in a CEO to guide the day to day operations and future negotiations of our organisation.”
On his appointment, Graham commented, “I am really looking forward to my new role with World Sailing. I would like to thank President Kim Andersen and the board for their confidence; I look forward to working with them to develop World Sailing and building a strong organisation together.”
World Sailing president Kim Andersen has announced the immediate furloughing of almost all World Sailing staff for at least three weeks “to ensure the long-term financial viability” of the organisation.
In addition, higher paid staff are being requested to take a 20% pay cut until the end of the year.
In a statement released yesterday evening (Tuesday 14 April), Andersen confirmed that the board of World Sailing — whose staff are employed through a UK-based company — is taking advantage of financial supports made available by the UK Government to support salary costs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
From today, Wednesday 15 April, until Wednesday 6 May, almost all staff are on “furlough leave” and will not be permitted to engage in any work for World Sailing. Up to 80% of their salaries will be funded by the UK Government, with the difference covered by World Sailing.
“After 6 May, the board will review the position with the senior management team and decide whether furlough leave is extended or whether staff will return to work,” Andersen said.
“I must emphasise to all World Sailing Members, volunteers and stakeholders that it is a legal condition that staff cannot work for World Sailing whilst on furlough leave.
“Therefore, no emails, calls or correspondence will be responded to from the staff and nor should you expect any reply.
“I understand this will be difficult for a number of areas of World Sailing, but we must respect the conditions of this scheme.”
Andersen confirmed that a small number of senior managers will not be on furlough and will be on hand to respond to genuinely urgent matters.
In addition, Andersen said, the World Sailing board “has requested that World Sailing staff earning more than a certain amount take a 20% pay reduction until the end of the year (or earlier if possible)”.
“This requires the individual agreement of the staff and we have been consulting with the staff on the viability of this proposal,” he said.
Anderson added: “Overall, the board continues to have frequent discussions with our partners concerning the impact of the postponement of the Olympic Games in order to ensure our financial health is as stable as possible.”
Over the weekend, Andersen responded to media criticism over reports of financial difficulties within World Sailing arising from the 12-month postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Below is an interview by Mikkel Thommessen of Seilmagasinet.no, where Andersen outlines the steps being taken at the Federation.
As Afloat reported previously, and referenced in the interview below (starting at 3 minutes on the timeline) three issues are affected: the renegotiation of the lease in London, reduction in wage costs, and the possibility of a partial payment of the income from the IOC which, after the Olympic postponement, is only due in September 2021.
The news that World Sailing is facing financial difficulties comes as no shock to member National Authorities (MNAs) who watched in horror as an office move from Southampton to London created a financial and human resources nightmare in one fell swoop.
Cash and people haemorrhaged from the organisation leaving World Sailing depending on a bailout from the IOC, as the MNAs are unlikely to be in a position to assist in these COVID-ravaged times, they themselves desperately trying to stave off financial ruin.
While publicly they will hesitate from saying “I told you so”, privately the influential MNAs will be asking serious questions of the World Sailing Board and looking for immediate effective action to start the road to recovery.
The first step will be to move the office out of London to the lowest cost location with reasonable access to a hub airport. Office parks within easy reach of Heathrow currently rent at about one fifth that of central London.
"World Sailing’s current office is a personal vanity project that needs to be ended asap"
A modern International Federation’s offices do not need to be a showcase. World Sailing’s current office is a personal vanity project that needs to be ended asap.
Staff costs, excluding CEO, at World sailing increased from £1.19m in 2014 to £1.9m in 2018. World Sailing must cut back to the minimum necessary to maintain Olympic status, a job that is made easier by the lack of activity due to the current crisis.
World Sailing has suffered from a lack of quality leadership since 2015, with obvious impacts on staff morale and financial probity. A Chief Executive who has organisational ambitions rather than personal aggrandisement is now vital to restore World Sailing to a viable functioning federation, focussed on serving its members. In addition to the actions above, his/her first steps should be to establish a relationship with the MNAs and Class Associations, something that did not happen under previous CEOs.
World Sailing must act now and act decisively if a total collapse is to be avoided.
A vice-president of World Sailing has appealed for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to advance its share of revenue from Tokyo 2020 as the governing body faces dire financial straits.
Scott Perry told insidethegames that the postponement of the next Olympic Games from this summer to next year, amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has seen events cancelled the world over, has worsened an already precarious funding situation.
World Sailing had been expecting a payout in the region of €12 million from the Tokyo games dividend, which would have filled a predicted hole in its accounts this year.
“The state of World Sailing’s finances were challenged before the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent postponement of the Olympics,” Perry said.
“The postponement of the Olympics has made our financial challenges much more acute.
“Along with most International Federations we would dearly like an advance from the IOC but at this stage we don’t have any indication that an advance will be forthcoming.”
Insidethegames has more on the story HERE.
All eyes are on the Italian port of Genoa as it prepares to host the important Olympic classes qualifier at the World Cup of Sailing event next month while Italy goes into a period of lockdown over Coronavirus.
This is a problem for top-level competitors from 59 nations either trying to qualify for their national team (like Ireland) or to maintain their competitive edge before the 2020 Games.
As Afloat reported yesterday, the Italian Sailing Federation has suspended all events and competitions on a national basis until April 3rd, just a week before the 1,000-competitor Genoa World Cup event gets underway.
Other international sailing fixtures scheduled for Italy in April have already been scrubbed such as the J24 Europeans Championships.
Irish Sailing’s performance squad has cancelled its planned training base in the northern Italian city and switched to Mallorca in the Balearic Islands instead but even now that might not be enough to stem the virus threat.
"If cancelled, how will the remaining European places for Tokyo 2020 be decided?"
The scheduled Genoa regatta is the final European qualification opportunity for the men’s single-handed and skiff events ahead of Tokyo 2020 and Ireland is desperately seeking those final places in both classes.
The Asian Olympic qualifier has already been switched to Genoa due to Covid-19 concerns but with that potentially affected too the question on everyone's lips is: if cancelled, how will the remaining European places for Tokyo be decided?
And with the latest spread of the virus, it now looks like other early Summer Olympic sailing regattas will be affected too, the most affected being International championships leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the end of July.
These potentially include:
- 470 World Championships, Palma, Mallorca, 13 March
- Olympic Classes Princess Sofia Regatta, Palma, Mallorca, 27 March
- Olympic Classes Hempel World Cup Series, Genoa, Italy, 12 April
- America's Cup – ACWS Round 1, Cagliari, Italy, 18 April
- 470 European Championships, Hyeres, France, 5 May
- Finn Gold Cup, Palma, Mallorca, 8 May
- RS:X European Championship, Athens, Greece, 10 May
- Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX European Championships, Malcesine, Italy, 11 May.
World Sailing says it is keeping the situation under constant review while a group of sailors have launched an online petition in the hopes of persuading World Sailing to cancel the upcoming World Cup Series event in Genoa.
The petition states: "It is irresponsible and possibly dangerous to host the Hempel Sailing World Cup in Genoa due to the risks of COVID-19. Having hundreds of sailors, coaches and staff from all over the world stay in Northern Italy and return to their home countries would undue global efforts to contain the virus. It is the responsibility of World Sailing to provide safe events for their competitors".
One of the Irish sailors seeking the last 49er berth is Ryan Seaton from Belfast. He told BBC NI news this week about travelling to Genoa: "The experts have been keeping us up-to-date and if they say it's safe to go we will trust their opinion. If they say it's a no-go they'll have to to look at an alternative location to get the qualifier in."
A group of sailors have launched an online petition in the hopes of persuading World Sailing to cancel the upcoming World Cup Series event in Genoa due to the risks of COVID-19, particularly in Northern Italy.
Calling themselves Sailors Against Coronavirus, the group — apparently based in Spain — argues that it is “irresponsible and possibly dangerous to host the Hempel Sailing World Cup in Genoa due to the risks of COVID-19”.
They add: “Having hundreds of sailors, coaches and staff from all over the world stay in Northern Italy and return to their home countries would undue global efforts to contain the virus.
“It is the responsibility of World Sailing to provide safe events for their competitors. Many sailing federations are required compete in Genoa to qualify for the Olympics, which forces them to decide between their safety and a chance to compete at the Olympic Games.
“World Sailing should make the responsible decision to cancel the event and chose a safer location for final Olympic qualifications.”
The Hempel Sailing World Cup Series event in Genoa is scheduled to start on Saturday 11 April and is the last chance for Irish sailors to claim a spot at Tokyo 2020.
Italy’s Marco Gradoni was crowned the 2019 male Rolex World Sailor of the Year on Tuesday 29 October in Bermuda, becoming the youngest ever recipient, at the World Sailing Awards. Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark received the female accolade to follow in the footsteps of the all-time great sailors.
The awards were attended by a delegation from Irish Sailing.
Gradoni, at 15 years old, was crowned Rolex World Sailor of the Year for his success in the Optimist class, having won three consecutive World Championship titles, the first sailor to ever achieve this result.
Rindom has dominated the Laser Radial over the last 12 months and found rhythm that was unrivalled as she secured her second world title, which has highlighted her as a favourite for Tokyo 2020 gold.
The World Sailing Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and exceptional contributions to the sport of sailing. It is the social highlight of World Sailing’s Annual Conference and recognises success throughout the sport.
Alongside the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, the F50 used in SailGP received the Goslings Boat of the Year Award, while Wizard won the Hempel Team of the Year Award following their success in offshore racing.
For setting a benchmark in sustainability, the RYA / The Green Blue received the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award.
The Beppe Croce Trophy was awarded posthumously to Jeff Martin, who dedicated his life to sailing through his involvement in the Laser class, and the President’s Development Award went to Oman Sail, for growing the sport in their nation and region.
Gradoni becomes the youngest recipient of the Rolex World Sailor of the Year
Italy’s Marco Gradoni is the most accomplished sailor of his age group and from September 2018 he won every single Optimist event he participated in, securing 14 gold medals.
He won the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Optimist World Championship and made history in 2019, winning the largest Optimist World Championship in Antigua. Facing 250 sailors from 65 nations, he excelled and also spearheaded the Italian team to the Optimist Team Racing Championship title.
Speaking at the Awards ceremony he commented, “It’s a dream come true to be sat here in Bermuda with the best sailors of the world. It is something really amazing for me. The list of previous winners are the most famous people of sailing and to be with them is unbelievable but I know that I have to stay focused on my goals because this is important. I’m speechless because this is a dream come true. It is such an honour for me.
“Since 2017 I have worked a lot and tried to stay focused. Every day I thought about where I had to improve and study and do things at my best level and it worked. From 2017 I won a lot and in the last 12 months I have won everything. I’d like to thank my mum for supporting me.”
Rindom’s dominance recognised with Rolex World Sailor of the Year honour
The road to an Olympic Games has its ups and downs and regular success is often hard to come by. Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom has found form at the right time ahead of Tokyo 2020 and has been the leading Laser Radial sailor in 2019.
She secured her second world title in 2019 and that success has not been isolated; throughout 2019 she has secured gold medals at four high-profile events.
Before she headed to Japan for the 2019 World Championship, Rindom secured gold at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. She then topped the standings at her second consecutive event after she won in light and challenging wind conditions at the Hempel World Cup Series event in Genoa, Italy. Just weeks later she made it three in a row by securing the European Championship title in Porto, Portugal, moving to World #1 as a result.
On her achievements, Rindom commented, “To become Rolex World Sailor of the Year and joining a list of legends is truly amazing. I’m so delighted to be on that list and it’s a great honour for me. It meant a lot to be nominated and I was very happy and excited to just be here but to win it is amazing. I have got my sister here with me. She’s come all this way and we’re only here for 50 hours so tonight we will celebrate and fly home tomorrow morning.
“This year has been the best year of my career so far so I’m very pleased with how it’s going. We are training for next year, the Olympic year, so it’s going to be an important year.”
RYA / The Green Blue set benchmark to win the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award
Throughout 2018 and 2019, the RYA / The Green Blue, a joint environmental programme, upped their sustainability efforts and reached significant numbers of individual sailors. For this, they secured the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award.
The Green Blue’s main objective is to empower boaters to take action on sustainability through providing clear training and guidance on key issues. They provide extensive advice to the British boating community in print and online, train instructors and deliver workshops with clubs and centres throughout the year.
Through industry events, club conferences and delivery through the RYA’s and British Marine’s training programmes, they continue to engage sailors within the nation.
Kate Fortnam, RYA Campaigns Manager at the RYA, received the Award from World Sailing Vice-President Jan Dawson and Jill Savery, Sustainability Director, 11th Hour Racing.
Savery commented, "Congratulations to the Royal Yachting Association / The Green Blue for rising to the top of a great pool of candidates for the 2019 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award.
“I applaud their commitment to developing practical tools and resources to help the sailing community adopt sustainable solutions and operations. This work directly supports the World Sailing Agenda 2030 goals, and our mission at 11th Hour Racing to protect and restore the health of our ocean."
Wizard claim Hempel Team of the Year
David and Peter Askew’s team on Wizard received the Hempel Team of the Year Award after a highly successful 2019 where they dominated the offshore circuit.
Wizard took the Award ahead of Alinghi, the Australian SailGP Team and Wild Oats XI.
Skippered by Charlie Enright, the team featured offshore veterans such as Will Oxley, Richard Clarke and Mark Towill and won the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, the West to East Transat Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2019.
Stan Honey, leading oceanic sailor, received the award from World Sailing Vice-President Yann Rocherieux on behalf of the Askew brothers.
Supercharged F50 secures Goslings Boat of the Year Award
For its cutting-edge technology that has been carefully developed over the past ten years, the F50 beat the Sunfast 3300 and Ichi Ban to the Goslings Boat of the Year Award.
Launched for SailGP, the fan-centric grand prix racing circuit, the F50 is a high-tech, one design class and is powered by a 24-metre wingsail and flies above the water on hydrofoils which has produced a 15% performance gain in comparison to its predecessor, the AC50.
SailGP features a fleet of six F50s, three of which are complete new builds. Compared to the AC50, they have been extensively modified with new foils and board cases, new rudders and elevators, new hydraulics and electronics, a new cockpit layout for five crew, a new steering system, and a new flight control system operated by a joystick.
Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of SailGP, attended to receive the Award from World Sailing Vice-President Torben Grael on behalf of the F50.
Jeff Martin posthumously awarded the Beppe Croce Trophy
Jeff Martin was posthumously awarded the Beppe Croce Trophy after he sadly passed away in January this year. Angie Martin, Jeff’s wife, received the trophy from World Sailing President Kim Andersen and Vice-President, Gary Jobson.
Martin dedicated his life to sailing and more specifically, the Laser class. His engagement with sailors and members worldwide undoubtedly enabled more countries to compete internationally. This subsequently enabled more nations to participate in the Olympic Games and established a legacy for these nations from elite sailing to the grassroots.
In 1981, Jeff became an International Judge and an International Race Officer and Measurer in November 1998. His involvement in World Sailing started in 1991 and he served as Vice Chairman of the Classes Committee from 1991 to 1994 and again from 1999 to 2000. In 2001 he became Chairman of the Classes Committee and a Council representative and held the post through to 2016.
His work worldwide through the Laser saw friendships form with sailors, race officials and global sports administrators. He has left a true legacy to sailing and to all those who were lucky enough to cross his path.
Oman Sail’s development recognised
The President’s Development Award is awarded to those who strive to develop and grow the sport on a national or international basis.
World Sailing President Kim Andersen handed the award to Oman Sail in 2019 with CEO, David Graham, receiving the accolade on behalf of the organisation.
Commenting at the ceremony on Oman Sail, Andersen expressed, “Over the last ten year’s Oman Sail has taken a huge step forward in growing the sport. They have grown from nothing to 200 people tirelessly working across multiple pillars of our sport including coaching, officiating, media, governance and event management.
“Their youth program has enabled youth sailors to move through the ranks and their sailors now have realistic goals of reaching Tokyo 2020. Furthermore, barriers to participation have been shattered and mixed sailing has become the norm in a previously passive nation.”
Graham thanked His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for creating the vision for Oman Sail and enabling citizens to make a greater contribution as well as the staff delivering the programme of work.
Velista71 receives 2019 eSailing World Championship Trophy
Having won the eSailing World Championship Final earlier on in the day, Italy’s Velista71 received the 2019 eSailing World Championship Trophy from World Sailing President Kim Andersen.