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Day 10, Discussions on Events Strategy and Race Officials appointments

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Discussions on Events Strategy and Race Officials appointments take centre stage on Day 10
Discussions on Events Strategy and Race Officials appointments take centre stage on Day 10

A well-attended and widely-viewed Events Committee meeting took place between 20:00-23:00 UTC. Sarah Kenny chaired the meeting, and Alastair Fox, World Sailing's Director of Events, held the role of Committee Manager.

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The Committee reviewed the 2021-2028 Event Strategy and acknowledged the challenges in the calendar due to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the COVID-19 pandemic along with the associated travel restrictions. One immediate result of this is that there will not be a World Cup Series Final in Marseille in 2021 due to the postponed Games. The Committee acknowledged that the key to organising the calendar is flexibility. Work is ongoing with the World Cup Series partnerships, as well as the Rankings process.

A report from a joint Events Committee & Equipment Committee Working Party addressed Regulation 23, the process which selects Olympic Events and Equipment, which has also been looked at by other Committees. Broad discussions took place amongst the Events Committee on how to improve the process and create core events in the future. A Submission will be developed for the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting.

Alastair Fox presented his report on progress towards the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to the Committee, as the IOC, International Federations and Tokyo 2020 all finalise their planning. There is an expectation that social distancing and other COVID-19 counter-measures will be in place, although it has not yet been confirmed what exactly this will involve. The Notice of Race is due to be published next month, but the racing schedule will remain the same.

Finally, the Committee received an update from the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, The Netherlands, which has been postponed from 2022 to 2023. They were assured that a fantastic Organising Committee is in place to arrange proceedings, and that there will be a review on the quotas and qualifying system for the Championships.

This meeting was streamed live on YouTube - you can watch again below: https://youtu.be/ZDsW01bByu4

Opening up the day's proceedings was the Race Officials Committee meeting, which began at 05:30 UTC. This was chaired by Jan Stage, with Madeleine Dunn, World Sailing's Race Officials Manager, as Committee Manager.

The main topic of discussion focused on Submission 009-20, which was put forward by two Class Associations as well as the Chair of the Classes Committee.

This Submission is made up of two parts; Proposal 1 puts forward that any official appointed to the Events Appointments Working Party (EAWP) would be excluded from appointment themselves to any event where World Sailing has the right to appoint (under Regulation 25.8).

Proposal 2 requests that a new World Sailing Policy be published which references items termed in the Olympic Classes contract, with regards to preferred race officials and costs incurred.

This Submission generated interesting debate between delegates participating in the meeting.

The EAWP's remit cover a range of events including the Olympic Games, Regional Games, Olympic Class World Championships and World Sailing Youth Championships, amongst others.

Discussion proceeded outlining the current and lengthy process of consultation with each interested party, and the EAWP receiving the names that they all individually propose, how this is managed as well as how these names are considered, who is considered; and how they are concluded upon to meet a number of objectives transparently.

Perceived Conflicts of Interest were discussed in length around the recommendations made by each group involved in the recommending process, as well as reference to current aids to help the selection process, including grouping systems of officials. The Committee debated Regulation 25.8, excerpts of the Olympic Classes contract, and EAWP Guidelines and those dealing with the process of decision-making when conflicts arise.

The view from the Board was that, though they acknowledge the need to improve the procedure, they felt that this Submission was not the solution. They recommended the Committee reject the Submission, outlining that having current officials with experience of the regulated events on the Working Party is essential for the overall aims for athletes and the development of officiating to continue.

The ROC voted on both proposals separately. Both proposals were rejected. The ROC welcomed the EAWP's own recommendation of a full review to take place on the procedure which was also supported by the other groups involved and present in the meeting. A combined recommendation is likely to be taken forward to Council.

A range of other topics were discussed, such as seminars for educational and training purposes, and digital officiating, building on previous discussions within Sub-committee meetings.

Following the open Committee meeting, a closed session (to observers) took place where race official appointments were considered, with discussions held regarding the guidelines for reviewing these applications while taking into account the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This meeting was streamed live on YouTube - you can watch again below: https://youtu.be/jjOuInMT5u0

The Racing Rules Committee meeting ran from 19:00-22:00 UTC and was chaired by John Doerr, with Jon Napier, World Sailing's Governance & Rules Consultant, as Committee Manager.

The Committee approved an urgent amendment to the Racing Rules of Sailing concerning the weight of trapeze harnesses. If this is approved by the Board, it will take effect on January 1 2021.

They also approved several new Team Racing Calls, as well as amendments to Case 132 concerning the technical definition of when a boat is on a beat to windward.

The meeting was recorded in BlueJeans and is now available on World Sailing's YouTube channel. You can watch it back below: https://youtu.be/NQaspblM_Ec

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