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World Sailing receive IOC update on Mixed Offshore Event and outline the next steps

by World Sailing 16 Apr 16:16 BST 16 April 2021
World Sailing Annual Meeting 2020 © World Sailing

World Sailing have received an update from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the proposed Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.

In December 2020, World Sailing were informed by the IOC that a further review into the Mixed Offshore event would be undertaken to properly assess key considerations. World Sailing, the IOC and Paris 2024 Organising Committee have worked in close collaboration to ensure all queries were answered in detail.

World Sailing have now been informed by the IOC that the proposal has continued to be reviewed, consistent with the approach taken for other sports, and challenges for the Mixed Offshore Event exist in the areas of:

  • Field of Play security, scope and complexity, broadcast cost and complexity and World Sailing not having the opportunity to deliver an Offshore World Championship
The IOC will continue their assessment of the Mixed Offshore Event to address these points, however they have requested that World Sailing propose alternative event(s) for sailing's 10th medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

World Sailing CEO, David Graham commented, "This is not an official decision from the IOC, but rather a direction of travel and assistance to help World Sailing secure our 10th medal at Paris 2024, should the Offshore event not be endorsed by the IOC Executive Board in early June.

"This is very disappointing news and we are aware this upset will be widespread across our community if the decision doesn't go our way. The Mixed Offshore Event was democratically selected by our members and remains our first-choice event for Paris 2024; we have made this clear to the IOC and will continue to do so. However, the contents of the letter from the IOC are consistent with decisions they have made in other sports.

"Now is the time for the World Sailing community to unite and work collaboratively. World Sailing is in an unprecedented position. We have clear guidelines from the IOC, and a hard deadline, within which we must agree upon proposed alternatives."

World Sailing Processes

In accordance with Article 55 of the World Sailing Constitution, a Council meeting will be called for 23 April 2021 to review a Board Submission to temporarily amend the World Sailing regulations to permit the decision regarding alternatives to be made. The Board Submission outlines the process for proposing an alternative Event to the IOC and will allow decisions to be made at the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting, if approved by Council members.

World Sailing's Mid-Year Meeting will be held virtually from 10 - 14 May 2021. The normal Submissions process has concluded but a late submission process for proposing alternative events will begin on 17 April 2021 and conclude on 23 April 2021.

MNAs, Class Associations, Committee Chairs and the Board are invited to put forward submissions.

Any late submission must be in the respect of the replacement event only (and not any associated Regulatory changes) and the alternative event proposal must adhere to criteria framework provided by the IOC which is outlined below:

  1. Align with Olympic Agenda 2020+5, including relevance to the youth, innovation, universality and participation of the best athletes
  2. Keep full gender equality on both number of events and athlete quotas (e.g. alternative mixed-gender events or split of currently approved mixed events into men's and women's events)
  3. Prioritise universality and maximise the accessibility of the sport
  4. Should have been previously tested at the respective World Championships organised by World Sailing
  5. Should not cause an increase of the overall cost and complexity for the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, National Olympic Committees and/or National Federations, specifically in the direct comparison with the sailing programme, as a whole, in Tokyo 2020
  6. Use of existing venues/Fields of Play
Late Submissions will be published on the World Sailing website on 30 April 2021.

At the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting, the Constitution, Events and Equipment Committee will meet on 10-11 May 2021. They will discuss the submissions ahead of making their recommendations to Council.

World Sailing's Council will meet on 14 May 2021 across two sessions and will discuss and vote on the submissions. This will ensure the process concludes ahead of the IOC deadline for new proposals, which is 26 May 2021.

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