2022 World Sailing Conference Notes

Every year World Sailing meets for a week called it annual conference. Here are some notes for 202.

Governance The main topic for the conference was the passage
of governance reform for how world sailing operates. This narrowly failed at the conference last year, so they spent the year improving the proposal and answering questions and that was passed by council and the AGM. The main difference we will notice is a decision-making process where it is clearer who is responsible
for what decisions. Time will tell whether the organization will become better at making decisions. The next step is redrafting of the minutia of how each clause is written, which will probably take the whole year so that will continue to be a focus.

Equipment There was almost no discussion of any specific Olympic equipment and almost no politicking on what class is better than
another class. There was a significant paper that was passed about how to check the quality and consistency of Olympic Equipment. I have attached the full report. It was noted that quality and consistency of equipment is at the heart of many key Olympic matters from cost to fairness to sustainability. With the passage of an ambitious plan to improve Quality Control of Olympic equipment we should see improvements over time. The topic is very large, and World Sailing has limited resources so it remains to be seen how quickly the items can be tackled, but there will be some movement for sure.

Olympic Vision The board initiated an Olympic Vision working party and had McKinzie consulting donate their services in support. McKinzie would call themselves the worlds’ premier consulting company so their support on this adds weight to their findings. The report, is just preliminary and a first draft, but will be used to form a World Sailing Olympic strategy. That work will start now with a full report due in February.

The most noteworthy aspect of the report is that the outside
consultants reiterated much of what we already know about the Olympics and Sailing. The Olympics is a TV business and sailing has not done a great job of packaging our sport to be shown in an Olympic environment. As such we remain in the bottom tier of supported sports with only modern pentathlon below us. Each
year since 2008 the IOC has reduced our participant numbers and we’ve lost one medal. Personally, I expect the Olympic Vision report to include a much more direct effort towards ensuring our formats exciting. Any format where it is unlikely for the dramatic moments to be captured on film would be eliminated in favor of formats where the action and drama will show up.