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World Sailing: Accusations of voting irregularities or worse at the Sarasota AGM – developing

SAN FRANCISCO (#1141) – Is something rotten in World Sailing if not the State of Denmark? On Friday, World Sailing's non-sailing CEO, Andy Hunt (GBR, above right) sent this email to Council Members:

Dear Council Members, The President has now approved the draft minutes of Council’s meeting in November (attached). Under Regulation 3.2.2, Council Members have 2 weeks to propose any amendments to the minutes. After this time, they will be approved for publication by the President. Kind regards, Andy Hunt, Chief Executive Officer

The draft minutes were attached, but so, too, was a matrix listing all the voting members and, supposedly, how they voted on the submissions that were before the Council – including President Kim Andersen's (DEN, above left) controversial last-minute "urgent" submission on the 2024 Olympic program that resulted in the adoption of the "mixed-gender keelboat offshore."

To read or download the draft minutes, click here.

The "mixed-gender keelboat offshore" event had been rejected by the Council at its May meeting. For it to be resurrected in Sarasota, the President's last-minute, urgent submission required approval by a 75% super-majority of the Council. At the time the vote was taken in Sarasota, the staff-run, electronic, secret voting system reported that the 75% had been achieved – by a slim margin.

After each vote, only the tally of "Approve - Reject - Abstain" was reported by staff; only the numbers, no names.

(Until recently all such voting was done the old-fashioned way – hands-in-the-air around the table for all to see who voted and how. We note that even a body as political as the United Nations doesn't countenance secret voting.)

Astonishingly, today several members of the Council sent strongly-worded emails to Mr Hunt saying that their votes, according to the matrices attached to the minutes (reproduced below), were improperly recorded. Your Ed. has seen copies of two such emails, and I am told there are others.

It appears that just those two apparently mis-recorded (or worse) votes would have resulted in the President's submission being rejected for lack of a 75% super-majority.

Sailing Illustrated has reached out to World Sailing for comment. As we said in the headline – developing.

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