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Displaying items by tag: World Sailing

For a second year, World Sailing will hold its 2020 Annual General Meeting and General Assembly online only due to the global challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Abu Dhabi in the UAE had been scheduled to host World Sailing’s annual conference in 2020 and then it was postponed to October 2021. Now delegates have been informed this month that these plans too have been scrubbed. 

World Sailing’s board of directors will again hold the AGM and General Assembly electronically, in accordance with a written special resolution approved by its member national authorities.

In addition, all commission, sub-committee, committee and council meetings that would normally take place during the conference will also be hosted electronically.

Cork's Marcus Spillane is serving as a World Sailing Vice President.

Published in World Sailing
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The Northern Hemisphere edition of Steering the Course, World Sailing’s global women’s sailing festival, will run from today [Friday 21 May] to Sunday 30 May.

Countries, classes and sailing clubs across the world will be holding special events throughout the next 10 days, aimed at introducing more women and girls to sailing and providing information on different pathways available in the sport.

Antigua, Barbados, Croatia, Denmark, Great Britain, Hungary, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Malta, Slovakia and the USA are amongst the Member National Authorities which have actively planned and promoted a variety of activities.

From dinghies to keelboats and windsurfing to kiteboarding, all disciplines are welcome to be part of the festival.

Published in Women in Sailing
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After the IOC informed World Sailing that they are continuing their assessment of the Mixed Offshore Event to address challenges raised but formally requested that World Sailing propose alternative event(s).

Following a request from the IOC for such proposals, MNAs, Class Associations, Committee Chairs and the Board were invited to propose alternative event suggestions in the form of submissions.

World Sailing received 26 submissions, and these were considered by the President and the Board with respect to their adherence to Regulation 23.1.11 which includes the IOC criteria framework.

The World Sailing Board and President approved three alternative event proposals in the 30 April 2021 Board Meeting. These are: - Individual Men's and Women's Kiteboard Events - Formula Kite - Individual Men's and Women's Two Person Dinghy Events - 470 - Mixed Team Racing - ILCA 6

The Board discussed and agreed there wasn't strong enough alignment to the IOC criteria for all other submissions and one submission did not comply with the requirements of Regulation 23.1.11.

The Board's considerations regarding all submissions received is available (as a PDF) to download below. Where submissions were identical, these were consolidated to one joint submission in the name of all submitters.

At the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting the Constitution, Events and Equipment Committees will each meet on 10-11 May 2021. They will consider the submissions on alternative event(s) and make their respective recommendations to Council.

World Sailing's Council will meet on 14 May 2021. They will discuss and vote on the three approved submissions. The outcome of the process will be a decision of two alternative event proposals, ranked in order of preference, ahead of the IOC deadline, which is 26 May 2021. -- Daniel Smith, Director of Communications and Digital

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As well as Ireland’s role at the top of World Sailing with Cork's Marcus Spillane elected as Vice President and Baltimore Sailing Club's Fiona Bolger on its council, six Irish sailors have been appointed to World Sailing Committees today and will serve until 2024.

Belfast Lough’s Chris Lindsay from Carrickfergus is the new chair of International Umpires Sub-Committee. The Ulsterman, who has been selected as an International Technical Official (ITO) for the Tokyo Olympics this July, has also been appointed to Race Officials Committee.

The National Yacht Club’s Con Murphy will continue on World Sailing's Race Management Sub-Committee.

Royal Cork’s Michael O’Connor will continue to serve on the Match Racing Sub-Committee. The Cork Harbour race official will also chair World Sailing’s Team Racing Sub - Committee.

The Royal Irish Yacht Club’s Paddy Boyd continues on World Sailing's Oceanic & Offshore Committee.

World Sailing's Council, the ultimate decision-making body of World Sailing, approved the appointments to the Committees and Commissions for 2021 - 2024. The Board of Directors carried out an in-depth review of their CV's bearing in mind a new set of new key principles they devised such as: relevant experience and expertise, good female representation, strong geographical split, focus on emerging nations and new members to introduce fresh thinking.

Download the full list of World Sailing Committee members below

Published in World Sailing
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Ahead of the 2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing which come into effect on 1 January, the RYA has released an update to the World Sailing Rules App — giving sailors access to a ‘one-stop shop’ for the 2021-2024 rules and associated documents.

Launched in 2016, the multilingual app was developed by the RYA in partnership with World Sailing and has proven popular with racing sailors and officials worldwide, ensuring they have all the relevant rules information at their fingertips.

Steen Ingerslev, RYA publications manager said: “We are delighted to be working with World Sailing once again. We’ve made huge advances with RYA eBooks and digital resources in recent years ensuring popular app features like the ‘Integrated eBook’ are more accessible than ever before.”

The ‘Integrated eBook’ links all the rules documents together, enabling the user to navigate seamlessly between the rules and cases, highlighting a number of cases for each rule in both overview and full case detail formats.

A rules mode in the settings allows the user to select Windsurfing, Team, Match, Radio or Kiteboard Racing amendments for their convenience. They can also select a country, enabling any translated rules and showing the local prescriptions from any participating National Authority.

The World Sailing Rules App can be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and Google Play. If you’ve already downloaded the 2017-2020 version, it will be automatically updated. The ‘Integrated eBook’ will be available shortly as an in-app purchase.

Published in World Sailing

There are some well put together arguments related to the future of sailing, and especially World Sailing's need for involvement in offshore sailing articulated by Knut Frostad in this video interview below with SEILmagasinet, where the Norwegian sailor issues a wake-up call to World Sailing. (English starts at 0:30).

Frostad has to be close to the top of the list of people you would like to emerge as a leader when critical decisions about the sport of sailing being debated. A two time Olympian a four-time Volvo Ocean Race sailor, the CEO of three Volvo Ocean Races and currently the CEO of Navico, one of the largest marine Electronic firms, the Norwegian has very clear views about sailing, World Sailing, the Olympic Games and the future of all three.

The debate has become even more topical with the delay of the decision on whether offshore sailing should be in the Olympics in 2024. Frostad is very clear that the proposed mixed doubles offshore event offers an opportunity for World Sailing to regain a foremost position in the sport beyond the Olympic Games. He unfavourably compares World Sailing with other International Federations, noting that other than the racing rules, WS has no influence, control, investment or payback from an area of the sport that is more popular than Olympic sailing. His arguments are backed by media figures for events such as the Vendee Globe and the Jules Verne.

A fascinating interview, articulating well the issues around sailing and the Olympics.

Published in World Sailing
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Marcus Spillane, Ireland's candidate for one of seven new vice president roles in World Sailing has been successful in his election bid it was announced today at World Sailing’s Virtual General Assembly.

Quanhai Li (CHN) has been elected as World Sailing President.  In a closely contested election Li will lead the organisation for the next four years.

At the same election, Ireland's Spillane was elected to serve as one of seven World Sailing Vice- Presidents.

Li was originally elected a vice- president in 2012 and is a former Secretary-General of the Chinese Yachting Association.  He played a large role in the planning and execution of the sailing event at the 2008 Olympics and has been an International Judge.

Spillane, originally from Cork but now USA-based, becomes the first Irish Vice-President since Dubliner Ken Ryan who held the role from 1998-2004.

Spillane, a chartered accountant, is the Treasurer of the Olympic Steering Group of the Irish Sailing Association.

Spillane sailed Mirrors and Laser 2s as a junior sailor before graduating to the 49er. More recently he has competed offshore in various events.  Administratively he has served as International class president of the Laser 2, 49er and Nacra 17 classes.  He has been Ireland's nominee to the World Sailing Council since 2016.

Spillane was sixth of the seven successful candidates. The new eight-person Board (President and 7 VPs) has a five to three male to female gender balance, with four Europeans and one each from Asia, Australia, South Africa and North America. 

Four Presidential candidates were up for election in the first round and no candidate received more than 50% of votes. A second round of voting was required between the top two candidates. Kim Andersen (DEN) and Li advanced to the second round.

Quanhai Li (CHN) has been elected as World Sailing PresidentQuanhai Li (CHN) has been elected as World Sailing President

In the second round of voting, 128 Member National Authorities, in good standing with World Sailing, sent verified votes to the Independent Scrutineer. Receiving 68 votes, Quanhai Li was elected as World Sailing President. Andersen received 60 votes.

World Sailing Member National Authorities, in good standing with World Sailing, were eligible to vote and when casting their ballot, they were required to vote for at least two male and two female candidates for Vice President.

Li upstaged the incumbent, Kim Andersen (DEN) in a run off-vote following the elimination of two of the four candidates.  The transfers proved crucial, as Li gained 29 of the 36 available votes to win by 68 votes to 60.  It is believed that holding the conference virtually, allowing for many more than normal MNAs to vote, favoured Li whose campaign addressed those MNAs who traditionally did not attend AGMs.  The electorate of 128, easily exceeded the previous record of the 106 delegates who attended (in person) the 2012 election in Dun Laoghaire.

The election process for Vice-Presidential candidates concluded on 16 October with no run-off voting process required. MNAs were invited to vote for seven Vice-Presidents, of which at least two votes for male and two votes for female candidates were required.

Joining World Sailing President Quanhai Li on the Board of Directors will be:

  • Tomasz Chamera (POL)
  • Sarah Kenny (AUS)
  • Philip Baum (RSA)
  • Yann Rocherieux (FRA)
  • Duriye Özlem Akdurak (TUR)
  • Marcus Spillane (IRL)
  • Cory Sertl (USA)

There is a serious work programme ahead.  In addition to the problems caused by the pandemic, World Sailing's finances are precarious and new CEO David Graham confirmed a hiring and salary freeze until stability has been achieved.

While the conference was run successfully on-line, it was understood that the combination of time zone differences, the lack of face-to-face meetings on the fringes and the technical lapses in internet connections will result in a hybrid of physically present and virtual meetings in future. 

David Graham, World Sailing CEO, commented, “I warmly welcome Mr Quanhai Li as President of World Sailing; it is a great advantage having already served for eight years on the Board. Our new President is joined by a very strong set of Vice-Presidents who have a wealth of experience as former Council and Committee members. The future of World Sailing is in very capable hands and I look forward to working with our new Board. World Sailing’s elected Board work incredibly hard and I take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members for their huge efforts over their term.”

The Chairman of the Athletes' Commission will join the Board of Directors as a permanent voting member. In addition, the World Sailing Presidents of Honour, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and His Majesty King Constantine are entitled to attend and participate in Board of Directors meetings, but they do not hold a vote.

The newly appointed Board of Directors will serve a four-year term up until the 2024 General Assembly.

World Sailing's 2020 Election of Officers was overseen by an Election Committee, chaired by Philip Cotton and supported by Melanie Willmore and David Kellett. KPMG (UK) LLP were appointed as the Independent Scrutineer and accepted and validated the votes on behalf of World Sailing.

Published in World Sailing

Marcus Spillane, Ireland's candidate for Vice President of World Sailing, will have to wait another couple of weeks to find out if he has been successful in his bid for office in the world governing body of the sport even though the votes are cast and the Election Committee has declared a result has been obtained and no further rounds of voting are necessary.

It is expected the results will be notified to the General Assembly during its meeting on Sunday 1 November.

As Afloat reported previously, US-based Spillane, a chartered accountant, is the Treasurer of the Olympic Steering Group of the Irish Sailing Association. He is also the president of the Nacra class and, in that capacity, announced today that the Olympic skiffs and the Olympic Cats will be hosted by The Sultanate of Oman for its 2021 World Championships. 

World Sailing Presidential Election

127 Member National Authorities submitted a verified vote to the Independent Scrutineer by the deadline on Friday 16 October. The ballot papers were sent to the Election Committee by secure means on Friday evening with all identifying information removed.

The members of the Election Committee have now counted and verified the votes and agree the results.

No discrepancies or irregularities in the votes have been reported by the Independent Scrutineer or by the members of the Committee.

As required by Regulation 4.2, a candidate for President must obtain more than 50% of the votes in order to be elected. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, then a runoff vote must be held between the top two candidates.

No candidate has received more than 50% of the votes. A second round of voting will therefore be required.

The second round will be between:


Voting packs will be sent to MNA Officers on the morning of Tuesday 20 October 2020. Voting will open when the packs are distributed and will close at 1500hrs UTC on Friday 23 October 2020.

The number of votes received by each candidate will be published following the declaration of the results at the General Assembly.

Published in World Sailing

Voting in the 2020 election of World Sailing’s officers begins today, Friday 9 October, with the distribution of voting packs to the governing body’s member national authorities.

The first round of balloting closes a week from now, on Friday 16 October, at 3pm UTC (4pm IST) and the voting procedures can be found HERE.

World Sailing has appointed KPMG as the independent scrutineer to accept and validate votes on its behalf.

Denmark’s Ken Andersen, Quanhai Li of China, Uruguay’s Scott Perry and Gerardo Seeliger of Spain are the four candidates in the running for World Sailing’s top post this year.

In the event that none of the four receives more than 50% of the votes in the first round, two further rounds are scheduled for 20-23 October and 26-29 October to conduct run-off votes.

The results will be announced during World Sailing’s General Assembly scheduled for Sunday 1 November.

Meanwhile, if there is a tie between any vice-presidential candidates, a run-off vote will be held from 1-4 November.

As previously reported on, USA-based Marcus Spillane is Ireland’s candidate for the position of World Sailing vice president.

Life-long sailor Spillane is treasurer of Irish Sailing’s Olympic Steering Group as well as president of the International 49er and Nacra 17 classes.

In other news, World Sailing issued a statement accusing a member of its Ethics Commission of “interfering” in the upcoming presidential election.

The organisation said the actions of Ng Ser Miang, an IOC member from Singapore, “are deemed unacceptable and condemned by World Sailing”.

It added: “For an individual to misuse their position in order to intervene in the election and politics of an autonomous international federation goes against all good governance practices.”

World Sailing’s statement did not specify the alleged infractions, but Inside the Games reports that the former sailor is accused of canvassing against the election of incumbent Andersen and current vice president Perry.

Published in World Sailing
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A joint decision by World Sailing, the Royal Netherlands Watersport Association, the municipality of The Hague and TIG Sports has moved the 2022 Sailing World Championships to the summer of 2023.

The next edition of the Sailing World Championships will be held from Thursday 10 to Sunday 20 August 2023 and will turn Scheveningen into the capital of competitive sailing with The Ocean Race also set to take over the Dutch shores.

In addition to the new dates for the Sailing World Championships, the Youth Sailing World Championships, that was due to be held The Hague in July 2021, has also been rescheduled for 2022.

The move to rearrange the Sailing World Championships and Youth Sailing World Championships comes following the global challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rearrangement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021.

On the announcement, Kim Andersen, World Sailing President, said, “The Youth Sailing World Championships and the Sailing World Championships are two of the most important sailing events an athlete can aspire to participate in.

“World Sailing, the municipality of The Hague, the Royal Netherlands Watersport Association and TIG Sports have an ambitious vision for the events that put the sailors, spectators and world-leading organisation at the heart of the project.

“The postponement of Tokyo 2020 has meant sailors and our MNAs have had to reorganise their priorities for 2021. Moving the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships to a new venue towards the end of the year will ensure maximum effort is put in to delivering a successful event.

“The 2022 Youth Worlds will be the first touch point for the Dutch population and will provide the organisers with key opportunities to test operations ahead of the 2023 World Championships.

“The 2023 Sailing World Championships is the primary qualification event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Allowing our teams and sailors more time to prepare following Tokyo 2020 in 2021, will ensure the best sailing talent is displaying to a global audience.

“We look forward to continuing the strong relationship with The Hague and their established partners in delivering two Championships that raise the bar even higher.”

Yann Rocherieux, Chair of World Sailing’s Athletes’ Commission and World Sailing Board Member, said, “The Sailing World Championships is an Olympic class sailor’s key performance indicator on the road to the Olympic Games. It is a spectacle where the best sailors target World Championship glory and an Olympic qualification place. Tokyo 2020’s postponement has meant sailors have had to reset and adjust their campaigns. By hosting the Sailing World Championships in 2023, the sailors will have a longer period to focus on the event when Tokyo 2020 concludes next summer.

“The Hague is a fantastic sailing venue that test the all-round abilities of every sailor. The competition will be wide open at the Youth Sailing World Championships and the Sailing World Championships and I’m excited to see it unfold in 2022 and 2023.”

Alastair Fox, Director of Events at World Sailing commented, “The Sailing World Championships and Youth World Championships are World Sailing’s flagship events and put the leading youth and senior sailors in the international spotlight. Up to 100 nations are expected to participate in the Championships’ and the move to postpone both events by one year will allow sailors, coaches, officials and organisers to prepare properly and deliver an outstanding competition.”

The Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with a population of 525,000. The authentic yet modern seaport, and the natural environment of The Hague Beach, will offer the perfect base for both events.

Competition for the world's best Olympic class sailors will be held on the North Sea and will provide a stern test for the athletes. Conditions vary within a short period of time ensuring competitors will encounter a true test on the water with varied wind conditions and challenging tidal patterns.

World Sailing is now seeking a venue to host the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships in December 2021.

Published in World Sailing
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