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World Sailing uniting the sport at 2017 Annual Conference

by World Sailing on 2 Nov 4-12 November 2017
World Sailing Annual Conference 2016 © Laura Carrau / World Sailing

The world of sailing will come together in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from 4-12 November for World Sailing's 2017 Annual Conference.

The overarching theme of the 2017 Annual Conference is 'Uniting Our Sport'. Sailing's stakeholders will be working together to seek ways to grow and develop the sport, and help millions more people fall in love with sailing.

Event organisers, International Class Associations, Member National Authorities, sailors, boat manufacturers and committee members will make up the 500+ registered delegates. Throughout the week delegates will review the strategy of sport, discuss positive change and make decisions that impact professional and recreational sailors.

What's on at the 2017 Annual Conference:

Keynote speakers to present Council Symposium

On Saturday 11 November, the first Council Symposium will be held during the meeting of World Sailing's Council, the final decision making body of World Sailing.

Keynote speakers will present to Council on developments and evolution of the sport to ensure it has an innovative and sustainable future.

Tom Herbert Evans, Community Sailing Manager for the 35th America's Cup (AC35), will give an overview of the America's Cup Endeavour Program, a scheme that enabled hundreds of youngsters to get into sailing before, during and after AC35.

The America's Cup focus will continue with Stan Honey, technical innovator within sport, and Richard Slater, AC35 Chief Umpire, presenting on tracking, telemetry and electronic umpiring of the event in Bermuda.

Matthew Mason, a former America's Cup winner, round the world sailor and talented boat builder and designer, will conclude the Council Symposium by showcasing a design and development that can be implemented on an Optimist boat to evolve the equipment.

The meeting of World Sailing's Council will be streamed live across the World Sailing Network and followers will be able to engage in the conversation and pose questions using #UnitingOurSport.

Forums that will shape the future

Two open forums will be held in Mexico and streamed across the World Sailing Network.

Balancing the Boat: growing female participation and developing pathways in competition sailing, will be held on Monday 6 November. The Forum will welcome leading influencers who will discuss solutions to ensure more women take up sailing and remain within the sport.

More on Balancing the Boat here.

On Tuesday 7 November at the Sustainability Forum, World Sailing will launch Sustainability Agenda 2030 which sets out sailing's contribution to global sustainability.

Priorities and where the sport aims to be in 2030 will be outlined by Mike Golding, World Sailing Sustainability Commission Chairman, and complemented by perspectives from a range of sport and industry experts.

Find out more on the experts and content here.

During the Forums, World Sailing will be running a social media wall and viewers can pose questions to the panellists and offer live comment.

What's on the Committee agendas for 2017 and decision making processes

From amendments to the Racing Rules of Sailing, to decisions made on offshore safety and the formats and qualification events for the Olympic Games, the topics discussed and decisions made at the Annual Conference directly impact professional and recreational sailors.

In advance of the Annual Conference, World Sailing received more than 150 submissions that propose change to World Sailing's regulations, policies and rules.

Across the week, four Commissions, ten Sub-Committees and ten Committees will discuss the submissions. They will then put their recommendation and opinions forward to Council; the final decision making body of World Sailing.

View the submissions and agendas here.

On Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November, Council will either approve, reject or defer what's been put forward and from there, the decisions made will be implemented and will flow down to elite and grassroots levels of the sport.

Watch, Follow and Engage

The two Forums, two days of Council and the Annual General Meeting will all be streamed live across the World Sailing Network.

World Sailing will be running a live blog throughout the duration of the Annual Conference – sailing.org/media/2017-annual-conference-blog.php - and followers can engage across social media using #UnitingOurSport.

Daily videos with insight from delegates will also be available on the World Sailing Network.

2017 World Sailing Awards

On Tuesday 7 November, the inaugural World Sailing Awards evening will be held at Club Regina in Puerto Vallarta.

The 2017 World Sailing Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of the world's leading sailors and recognises the exceptional contributions made by those who have devoted their time and effort to further the sport.

The highlight of the evening will be presentation of the ultimate recognition of excellence – the 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. The evening will also feature the presentation of the Beppe Croce Trophy and President's Development Trophy.

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