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World Sailing in the Red. Where has all the money gone?


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sport organizing bodies are going to be amongst the least of the world's concerns this summer.

Sailing is a participatory thing. It is not a form of entertainment for others.  Sailing has been around for centuries. The game wasn’t built because people love to watch. The game won’t die if no o

You mean the WSTV show didn't change the world, and bring untold millions of new eyeballs into the sport?  Shocked, I am!

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49 minutes ago, VWAP said:

Try to keep up. Tiller posted this already.  An interesting tidbit is Mr. Jobson's plan to lodge an ethics complaint.  Maybe WS should ask PSA to pay their way?! :P

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1 hour ago, Tcatman said:

interesting observation.... got an example or two?   Usually you have these core competencies that are essential that you want to preserve.... (if they don't exist.... you could disappear the whole thing and not miss it)  Is this a case of... I like my representative... but all the other ones are absolute slime balls and so you really can't toss the problems and keep the valued ones.

there are lots of examples of organizations disappearing right after a big reorg.

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Without wishing to flame the fires, people should work out who was on the board and who was the president when Andy Hunt was appointed and also who was the board was and who was the president when they sign Paddington ?

Really don't want to get into spilt milk situation, because it's pretty pointless, but get your facts right before pointing the finger of blame.

Then work out how far back things started to go off the rails, and who inherited the poison chalice!

Yes I have known Kim for 25+ years, as I have also know Gerardo similarly.      I consider both of them friends, staying in both of their houses multiple times before they reach lofty heights.     (Not sure Kim had any idea what he was taking on, and if Gerardo ends up there, I feel for both of them.)

Also Andy Hunt, Arve was a very hard act to follow, and there where intervening years, Jerome, and then there was this guy called Peter Savell (think that's the right name) , really cool ideas, had a great conversation with him,  but the exc and then pres, too hot to handle, it was left field, then Andy walked in on scorched earth.

I think Goran was a very steady pair of hands (always was) but Sailings position in the IOC was status-quo.

Crochie (I have spelt that wrong) had all of Europe behind him, not sure else where and not sure what was happening behind the scenes.

The thing Kim has done, more than anything else is re-position sailing in the IOC framework.     That alone we need to be very grateful for.      And Kim's board have ratified every decision and there are some very impressive heads there.      Senior partner in very big accountancy firms, real real smart German, only one world for it "rocket scientists".    She leaves me totally for dead (but that ain't saying much).  

You talk about grass-roots, we had this conversation 2-3 years back about the importance of hi-end sport and the trickle down to weekend warriors.  May not be all that important in some of your countries but access to the water, access to launch ramp, council funding to build launch ramps, tolerance of sail boats on beaches that people want to swim off, all trickles back up the line.    Governments form National , through regional, through to local take their lead from people like, in my country, the AST, AIS and AOC. 

Without heroes you have nothing.     Very probably without WS you don't have World Championship and you don't have OC funding of the elite and you will shortly end up with nothing.      Most clubs in Australia are on maritime leases.     If the Gov see no benefit in sailing because it's a) not Olympic and therefore b) no support behind it then leases will quickly end up at commercial rates and there will be no grass roots sailing.    I used to be a director of my club (14 years) and I know 1st had of these negotiations.

In some of the first meetings I went to and it was then the IYRU, it was know that some of the very big hitter where being hit up to bail IYRU out of a "spot of bother".      If anyone is in a position to do that its Kim.    But he is Danish and a extremely successful business man (after start life as a chippy & sanding hulls of AC boats in Perth in 82-83, but go look into what his day job is) but again he is Danish and he will have a plan.

So can I suggest you do some research.     From what I know, they had to leave  Southampton, it no longer exists (I don't know, have not been back there for years), there where few options and on paper those who made the decision back then, thought it made sense.     Andy and Huge (Chambers) played a big part in that sure.

The then Pres (as he still is) and the whole board (as it still is) are volunteers.   They are doing it because they want to progress sailing.  For the love of it.   None of them are paid! 

At least these days they are no longer flying 1st class as they where 15 years ago.    Scandinavian austerity!    (Goran was Swedish)

                  jB

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3 hours ago, JulianB said:

Without wishing to flame the fires, people should work out who was on the board and who was the president when Andy Hunt was appointed and also who was the board was and who was the president when they sign Paddington ?

Really don't want to get into spilt milk situation, because it's pretty pointless, but get your facts right before pointing the finger of blame.

Then work out how far back things started to go off the rails, and who inherited the poison chalice!

Yes I have known Kim for 25+ years, as I have also know Gerardo similarly.      I consider both of them friends, staying in both of their houses multiple times before they reach lofty heights.     (Not sure Kim had any idea what he was taking on, and if Gerardo ends up there, I feel for both of them.)

Also Andy Hunt, Arve was a very hard act to follow, and there where intervening years, Jerome, and then there was this guy called Peter Savell (think that's the right name) , really cool ideas, had a great conversation with him,  but the exc and then pres, too hot to handle, it was left field, then Andy walked in on scorched earth.

I think Goran was a very steady pair of hands (always was) but Sailings position in the IOC was status-quo.

Crochie (I have spelt that wrong) had all of Europe behind him, not sure else where and not sure what was happening behind the scenes.

The thing Kim has done, more than anything else is re-position sailing in the IOC framework.     That alone we need to be very grateful for.      And Kim's board have ratified every decision and there are some very impressive heads there.      Senior partner in very big accountancy firms, real real smart German, only one world for it "rocket scientists".    She leaves me totally for dead (but that ain't saying much).  

You talk about grass-roots, we had this conversation 2-3 years back about the importance of hi-end sport and the trickle down to weekend warriors.  May not be all that important in some of your countries but access to the water, access to launch ramp, council funding to build launch ramps, tolerance of sail boats on beaches that people want to swim off, all trickles back up the line.    Governments form National , through regional, through to local take their lead from people like, in my country, the AST, AIS and AOC. 

Without heroes you have nothing.     Very probably without WS you don't have World Championship and you don't have OC funding of the elite and you will shortly end up with nothing.      Most clubs in Australia are on maritime leases.     If the Gov see no benefit in sailing because it's a) not Olympic and therefore b) no support behind it then leases will quickly end up at commercial rates and there will be no grass roots sailing.    I used to be a director of my club (14 years) and I know 1st had of these negotiations.

In some of the first meetings I went to and it was then the IYRU, it was know that some of the very big hitter where being hit up to bail IYRU out of a "spot of bother".      If anyone is in a position to do that its Kim.    But he is Danish and a extremely successful business man (after start life as a chippy & sanding hulls of AC boats in Perth in 82-83, but go look into what his day job is) but again he is Danish and he will have a plan.

So can I suggest you do some research.     From what I know, they had to leave  Southampton, it no longer exists (I don't know, have not been back there for years), there where few options and on paper those who made the decision back then, thought it made sense.     Andy and Huge (Chambers) played a big part in that sure.

The then Pres (as he still is) and the whole board (as it still is) are volunteers.   They are doing it because they want to progress sailing.  For the love of it.   None of them are paid! 

At least these days they are no longer flying 1st class as they where 15 years ago.    Scandinavian austerity!    (Goran was Swedish)

                  jB

good post

 

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Mr Clean, I meet Andy face to face on probably 10+ occasions.

He had a vision and I think he (and Chambers) may have been appointed on a false premise.    But I simply don't know!~    How often is a person(s) with huge aspirations and supposed credits only to fall short of expectations and often though no fault of their own.

Kim, was elected "off the floor" so to speak!    He previously was chair of Events, but he was never a VP, so he was not there and he was not the Pres when a) Paddington was signed and I think Andy was signed before Paddington.

Some of those on the present board (at least 4 that I can think of) where there during the Peter Saviell flurry, then the appointment of Hunt (& Chambers, they came as a package from what I am led to believe), and then the signing of Paddington.

From my POV, it's water under the bridge, we need to look forward.

But if you want to go back into the past, then work out who was on the board then and ask the question.    I would make for some interesting reading.

               jB

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On 4/10/2020 at 9:19 PM, JulianB said:

Mr Clean, I meet Andy face to face on probably 10+ occasions.

He had a vision and I think he (and Chambers) may have been appointed on a false premise.    But I simply don't know!~    How often is a person(s) with huge aspirations and supposed credits only to fall short of expectations and often though no fault of their own.

Kim, was elected "off the floor" so to speak!    He previously was chair of Events, but he was never a VP, so he was not there and he was not the Pres when a) Paddington was signed and I think Andy was signed before Paddington.

Some of those on the present board (at least 4 that I can think of) where there during the Peter Saviell flurry, then the appointment of Hunt (& Chambers, they came as a package from what I am led to believe), and then the signing of Paddington.

From my POV, it's water under the bridge, we need to look forward.

But if you want to go back into the past, then work out who was on the board then and ask the question.    I would make for some interesting reading.

               jB

How well were references checked to see if this was a pre-existing pattern...I think not well...

At the end of the day this is a failure of governance, a very common problem in general, more common in not for profit organizations and particularly pronounced in sporting organizations. These may be volunteer roles but they are not command roles

Interesting to note that Paul Henderson was the one that created the trust fund (rainy day fund) that has kept world sailing afloat so far. It’s not the first time Paul has been prescient about the future needs of sports organizations. He has many of the attributes you’d want in governance...he may have some rough edges but he’s all about the sailors and prudent solutions ...can’t see how he would have thought real estate in downtown London was a good move.

These may be volunteer roles but they are not command roles. This is not like being in the national guard and getting called up to serve...you can say no. In fact if not able and willing to perform a governance role you are morally bankrupt if you let your ego get in the way of making the right decision, which would be to decline. No one in a governance role at world sailing was there against their will.

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On behalf of World Sailing's Board of Directors, a statement from President Kim Andersen is available below:

World Sailing's Board of Directors continues to keep the finances and operations of World Sailing under very close review during the COVID-19 virus pandemic and the effect it is having on all international sports federations.

The United Kingdom Government has made available a generous financial support scheme which can be accessed by World Sailing (UK) Limited (the company which employs the World Sailing staff) to support salary costs during the crisis. Like many organisations within the UK, the Board has decided to take advantage of this scheme in order to ensure the long-term financial viability of World Sailing.

From 15 April 2020 until 6 May 2020, almost all World Sailing staff are being placed on 'furlough leave'. World Sailing will fund any difference in pay. After 6 May, the Board will review the position with the Senior Management Team and decide whether furlough leave is extended or whether staff will return to work. A small number of senior managers will not be on furlough leave and remain at work.

In addition to this measure, the Board has requested that World Sailing staff earning more than a certain amount take a 20% pay reduction until the end of the year (or earlier if possible). This requires the individual agreement of the staff and we have been consulting with the staff on the viability of this proposal. Overall, the Board continues to have frequent discussions with our partners concerning the impact of the postponement of the Olympic Games in order to ensure our financial health is as stable as possible.

Kim Andersen on behalf of the Board of Directors.

From 15 April 2020, World Sailing stakeholders are requested to email urgent@sailing.org with genuinely urgent matters only.

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It didn't look too bright at the time either to those of us who have watched both RYA and ISAF migrate south down the A3/M3 corridor in search of lower rents and lower wages. Sometimes organisation memory is very short. 

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38 minutes ago, JimC said:

It didn't look too bright at the time either to those of us who have watched both RYA and ISAF migrate south down the A3/M3 corridor in search of lower rents and lower wages. Sometimes organisation memory is very short. 

To be really cheap they should have gone a long way up the A11, A1  or A6. While there is a lot of sailing up there,  there aren't so many expensive yachts , and you'd not get the southerners to move north. 

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6 hours ago, VWAP said:

Lots of good material in here to take (well-deserved) shots at WS, but it shouldn't come as a surprise that others are in the same boat (so to speak):

"Other Federations on the Summer Games programme, particularly those where their share of Olympic revenue constitutes a high percentage of their income, are likely to be facing a similar situation to World Sailing following the postponement of Tokyo 2020".

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Yeah but few were quite as upside down as WS when this all started thanks to the dearly departed Mike Andy Hunt

I would love to see some comparatives (not with Mike)

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What a load of *******s. Makes complete sense not to hire a new CEO until there's something for her/him to do. 

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What surprises me with the situation at WS is that the only ones getting criticized are Hunt and Andersen, while for instance Jobson and Perry and the other VP are very silent or acting like they had nothing to do with the bad turns that WS took.  I have never heard the WS board resolutely standing up as a group an saying "this is what needs to be done" but I have also not heard anyone of them speaking up against any decisions, or for that matter withdrawing from the board in protest. They seem very quite, cowed?

VF

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The move to London was because that's what MNAs wanted. Paddington is very accessible from Heathrow. I'm not saying I agree with the move, just that it wasn't without rationale or support from WS' "customers", which are the MNAs.

As for the rent being high, no problem, just don't pay it, renegotiate. That's what everyone else is doing.  Eviction, well two snags. There are no other tenants out there and the courts are barely sitting.

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  • 2 weeks later...
World Sailing has appointed David Graham, a 20-year veteran in the sailing industry, as its new Chief Executive Officer starting 13 July 2020.
Graham's extensive and impressive career includes functions in sales, events, coaching and sponsorship, including CEO and Managing Director roles.

Graham's most recent role was at Oman Sail, a national initiative that uses the power of sport to contribute to the development of the Omani people, where he served as CEO from 2009 through to April 2020.

During his tenure, Graham was instrumental in establishing the sport in Oman, growing the national sailing team to one of the leading teams in Asia and developing the nation as a top destination for Class World Championships, America's Cup World Series and Extreme Sailing Series events. Prior to his tenure at Oman Sail, Graham managed a sailing school before spending over a decade in senior positions in the world's leading dinghy manufacturers.

His experience as an active sailor is equally as strong. An active sailor his whole life, he grew up as a dinghy sailor and was involved in major big boat series and races onboard both monohulls and multihulls. In addition he has recently taking up kiteboarding to add to his repertoire of sailing skillsets.

Kim Andersen, President of World Sailing, commented, "As World Sailing looks to the future and the next phase of growth, we are confident that with David's combined background in management and sailing that he is the right leader to help restructure and provide a strong direction for the operations of our organization. On behalf of the entire World Sailing family it gives me great pleasure to welcome David to the team."

World Sailing's Board of Directors worked with Odgers Berndtson in search of the ideal candidate and reviewed a strong list of international candidates.

Scott Perry, World Sailing Vice President, added, "The board received several high calibre applicants and having reviewed each one carefully we unanimously approved the selection of David Graham. With better clarity over our finances through to 2021, now is the time to build up our future and this includes bringing in a CEO to guide the day to day operations and future negotiations of our organisation."

On his appointment, Graham commented, "I am really looking forward to my new role with World Sailing. I would like to thank President Kim Andersen and the board for their confidence; I look forward to working with them to develop World Sailing and building a strong organization together."
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There's an interview floating around the you toobs when I intereviewed him at the Oman Sail base in like 2013.  Very likable and competent guy, not afraid to break orthodoxy.  Lots of rumors about Oman Sail mismanagement but never really got anything solid about it, and I personally met a bunch of arab women his program gave something valuable to that they could have never otherwise gotten. As far as I can tell, he's a good administrator with a decent track record, at least when someone's paying the bills.  Already has a team of people who are pretty good at messaging and organizing, which is a hell of a lot better than the last guy.

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Never since Pete Goss chose not to put forward cross-members on Team Philips has there been such a bad decision in sailing. Ask anyone who worked for Laser when he almost bankrupted them single-handedly.

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