Unlike all previous World Sailing Annual Conferences, the 2020 event will be held electronically due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
It will take place via on-line video from 15 October to 1 November, with the focus on the ballot results for the election of a new President and seven Vice-Presidents.
The election results will be announced at the end of the Annual Conference at the General Assembly (AGM) on Sunday 1 November 2020.
In the lead up to this election much dirty laundry was been washed in the media, with President Kim Andersen and former CEO Andy Hunt taken to task for the perilous state of the finances of the International Sailing organisation.
Together with several internal rows that have spilled out . . . Including the move of the HQ from Southampton to London, the case of the ‘forged’ signatures, and the regular row on the make-up of the Olympic Games sailing classes, they have formed a perfect storm ahead of the World Sailing Presidential ballot .
All of this has apparently taken place with the knowledge of the existing officers, board, and committee structure of the organisation. And as most of that set-up will continue, whatever the result of the elections, it does not bode well for any root and branch improvement.
At the upcoming General Assembly the 120 recognised MNA delegates will vote for the new President and VPs – note that the voting process actually starts on Friday 9 October.
So where does the British Member National Authority – the Royal Yachting Association – stand in all this?
To find out just what the RYA position was regarding the nomination and election of the new WS President and VPs, I contacted Ian Walker, Director of Racing at the RYA.
Sailweb . . . Who makes the decision on who the RYA will nominate / vote for?
Ian Walker . . . This responsibility falls to the RYA International Group* (RYA IG) which is a policy forming subcommittee of Racing Committee.
This Group is chaired by our Council rep, Dick Batt, and includes the RYA CEO (Sarah Treseder), Director of Racing (me), the Chair of Racing Committee (Carla Stanley). And British Representatives on senior WS committees (currently John Derbyshire / Events, Stacey Clark Oceanic and Offshore, Charles Glover (Development and regions and Youth).
As far as this year’s nominations go we have not proposed any candidates for the Board (President or VPs). We have nominated several individuals for WS committees and have several who will no doubt continue in post.
Overall we are looking to reduce the size of the GBR delegation from 14 to 10 but much will depend on the result of the elections.
Sailweb . . . What is the RYA IG position on voting at the WS election for the President and the seven VPs?
Ian Walker . . . You also need people willing to stand who have the appropriate influence so this is not just done on a whim. It can take years to prepare a successful candidate.
We have supported seven VP candidates’ nominations** (they each need 5 x MNAs in order to be eligible).
We will be meeting to decide the RYA position on voting and submissions in October. We also actively manage the situation as it unfolds as a GB delegation.
Sailweb . . . Each World Sailing Member National Authority is entitled to be represented at the General Assembly by one delegate. That delegate will then vote for the President and VPs . . . Who is the RYA delegate to the General Council?
Ian Walker . . . Normally it is the CEO, Sarah Treseder – but it can theoretically be anybody empowered to do so by their MNA (as long as they are from that nation).
For anything more on the RYA position on voting and submissions at the WS Annual Conference and AGM we will have to wait for the RYA IG meeting in early October.
Presidential Voting Process
The election of the President and seven Vice-Presidents will be conducted via an electronic ballot.
The first round of voting will be held from 9-16 October. This will be the main voting period for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential election.
In the event that no Presidential candidate 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 of the election will be announced during the General Assembly by the Election Committee on 1 November.
* RYA International Group purposes:
** RYA VP candidate nominations:
Marcus Spillane IRL
Malav Shroff IND
Cory Sertl USA
Yann Rocherieux FRA
Sarah Kenny AUS
Jan Dawson NZL
Philip Baum RSA