- World Sailing has announced the long overdue replacement of its website
- The 2021-2024 Finance Report prioritises investment in Participation and Development, Technical services, IT and Website development
At the recent 2021 Annual Conference World Sailing presented a Finance Report which prioritised the allocation of resources and cash over the three years (2022-2024) for investment in Participation and Development, Technical services, IT and Website development, and the staff resources to deliver these services.
A key element of this sweeping digital upgrade is the long overdue replacement of its woefully inadequate website which has struggled to cope with expectations of a modern on-line membership audience.
As the main communication channel for ‘sailings world governing body‘ it had dissolved into a jumbled collection of poorly linked content, updated to no apparent schedule, which during the Covid pandemic just about ground to a halt.
While any sort of upgrade might be considered an improvement, the developer will need to produce a significant technical and graphical upgrade to justify World Sailings faith in it being the answer to its communication and organisational problems!
The basic remit of World Sailing is to keep sailing in the Olympics – by far their major paymaster – and a subset to that is which classes get to go to the Games . . . This one task consumes a huge amount of time and effort, and the Events Committee should really be renamed the Olympic Events Committee to more realistically reflect their Remit.
The upgraded website is expected to go live imminently with the final payment of £65,887 for the current development due in January 2022.
In addition there is provision of £110,000 in 2022 for Capital expenditure to integrate key processes with the website, which will cover services being delivered by the Technical & Offshore team and the Race Officials management team.
It is also proposed to develop the ‘portal’ for Sailors, although this seems to be something of an unknown quantity with no explanation of what services this ‘portal’ would provide.
Websites that are intended to provide a structured, reliable source of data, news and information require continual update and maintenance, and a very focussed content programme if they are to run smoothly and really fulfil their purpose.
Organisations such as World Sailing which claim the grand tagline of ‘world governing body’ tend to feel they must justify this with a website that attempts to cover a bit of everything.
Rather than concentrating on clearly defined areas of their remit where they are the major information source.
It remains to be seen if World Sailing can resist the urge to be all things to all people . . . the classic jack of all things and master of none syndrome.
But after years of neglect, while internal power struggles brought the organisation to its knees, they are obviously hoping that the improved website will present a brave, new, on-trend view of this still creaking edifice.
Although with new World Sailing President, Quanhai Li and perhaps more importantly CEO David Graham now at the controls the internal wrangling may be thing of the past . . . but don’t count on it.
Finance has indicated an additional planned spend of £488,576 for Website maintenance between 2021 to 2024. In addition, over the same period a total of £4,762,451 is allocated for Commercial: Digital Comms, Marketing, and Broadcasts for Events.
To cope with these increased requirements and adequately deliver the as yet unknown services in some areas, the headcount is to also to increase from 28 to 36 by 2023, with employment costs increasing from £1,924,379 to £3,003,114 over the same period.
We await the reveal with bated breath.