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World Sailing's 2018 Conference underway in Sarasota

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World Sailing's 2018 Conference underway in Sarasota
World Sailing's 2018 Conference underway in Sarasota

The Annual Conference is the yearly meeting of sailing's influencers and key stakeholders. The delegates spark the conversation, review the strategy of the sport and make decisions that impact both professional and recreational sailors around the world.

The 530+ registered delegates are comprised of event organisers, international class associations, Member National Authorities, sailors, boat manufacturers, committee members and observers.

Alongside World Sailing Commission, Working Party, Committee and Council meetings, the conference will host the inaugural eSailing World Championship Final, the World Sailing Awards and two open Forums.

Committee agendas and decision making process

Three Commissions, ten Sub-Committees and ten Committees will discuss topics and make decisions that directly impact the very top of the sport all the way through to the grassroots.

From event decisions and formats for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, to reviewing the future of Para World Sailing and amendments to the Racing Rules of Sailing, the conversation will be dynamic and will flow throughout the week.

World Sailing received more than 200 submissions that propose change to World Sailing's regulations, policies and rules in advance of the Annual Conference. Committees, Member National Authorities, International Class Associations and the Board of Directors were all eligible to propose the submissions in advance.

At the Annual Conference, the Commissions, Sub-Committees and Committees will discuss the submissions. From there, they will put forward their recommendations and opinions to World Sailing's Council - the final decision making body of World Sailing.
World Sailing's Council will meet on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 November where they will either approve, reject or defer what's been proposed from the Committees.

From there, the decisions will be implemented worldwide, impacting elite sailors to those starting their journey in the sport.

Alongside the decision making processes, World Sailing's events over the past 12-months - including the Hempel Sailing World Championships, the first Tokyo 2020 Olympic test event and the Youth Olympic Game - will be reviewed and a busy calendar leading up to Tokyo 2020 will be discussed.

eSailing World Championship Final

After an intense six months, the inaugural eSailing World Championship season will come to a conclusion on Tuesday 30 October with the live arena final at the Van Wezel Perforing Arts Hall from 13:00 to 14:00 local time (GMT -4).

The world's top eight eSailors will battle it out to be crowned 2018 eSailing World Champion in front of a live crowd and viewers watching across World Sailing's YouTube (https://youtu.be/oNJlJ87RTKA) and Facebook 
Word Sailing Awards

On Tuesday 30 October, outstanding achievement and exceptional contributions to the sport of sailing will be celebrated at the World Sailing Awards - held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

The highlight of the annual Awards night is the presentation of the ultimate recognition of excellence - the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. Click here for more on the nominees.

Three new Awards have been introduced in 2018 including the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, the Team of the Year and the Boat of the Year. The nominees will all be recognised before the crowing of the first recipients.

Alongside Rolex World Sailor of the Year and the new Awards, the Beppe Croce Trophy, President Development Award and eSailing World Championship Trophy will be presented.

Forums

The Safety in Sailing Forum will be held from 14:30 to 18:00 on Monday 29 October and the Future of Offshore & Keelboat Racing Forum will follow on Tuesday 30 October from 09:00 to 12:00 local time with sport and industry leaders sharing their perspectives.

The Safety in Sailing Forum will be split into two parts and topics. To open the Forum a session on how to deal with the new risks associated with foiling in competitive sailing will be held before moving into the importance of being ready when sailing offshore.

Keelboat and offshore are some of the most popular avenues of the sport, with historical events continuing traditions and new ones being introduced or evolved, there is an ever-changing landscape. A leading cast of influencers including Richard Brisius, President of the Volvo Ocean Race and Mike Golding, professional sailor will feature in the three-hour forum.