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Information about the 2021 Worlds in Arco, Italy - 02. June 2021

Letter to the secretaries concerning the cancellation of the world Championship 2021

Dear Secretaries

I feel it is important to provide a statement detailing the 'vote' that was taken to cancel the 2021 World Championships in Lake Garda Italy.

Firstly, the OKDIA Committee waited until the very last practical time to make a final decision on whether to proceed as planned or not.

Secondly, the decision is a decision of the OKDIA Committee under my leadership. The Committee obtained the latest and best possible information available at the time of the decision, including;

  • an assessment as to whether sailors could freely travel to and from Italy at that point in time and
  • the views of National Associations and their members as to whether in their opinion the event should proceed.

Based on the available information, it was decided the event should not proceed and secretaries and members were advised accordingly.

Can I tell you I take no pleasure in having to make this decision for the second year in a row. I personally know we gave it every shot to succeed, however the decision to cancel was self-evident based on the information we had at hand.

I understand that there will be many who are very unhappy with the decision and some who are bitterly opposed. That I can understand.

Let me make it clear, as President I completely own and accept responsibility for the decision to cancel the event. What I do not accept is some sort of blame game or recriminations as to how people 'voted'. Member associations were asked to provide feedback to enable the Committee to make an informed decision.

It is not healthy or useful to do anything other than support each other through difficult times when we are prevented from doing what we love, sailing OK Dinghies whenever and wherever we choose.

I am always open to feedback and a discussion about anything OK. I am also okay for you to tell me I have made the wrong decision. A decision was required to be made and the Committee made a decision, whether you are supportive of that decision or opposed.

I have attached a Statement which will be posted and circulated to members.

Yours in sailing

OKDIA statement on voting to cancel the World Championship 2021

2 June 2021

National Secretaries OKDIA by email

Dear all

OKDIA has received several requests to publish the recent voting results for cancelling the World Championship.

However a decision was taken not to publish the voting responses at this time, as we believe this would not serve any useful purpose. Secretaries were asked to indicate a clear yes or no in order to guide the Committee’s decision-making process. The Committee then considered the feedback, including where it was conditional, and made a decision.

To avoid prolonged discussion between members and to reduce the potential for influencing other nations, the voting process was carried out individually through National Secretaries, rather than to the membership as a group.

Members should trust that the Committee handled the voting and decision process accurately and with integrity. We do not want to start a blame game, or see some national associations pressured to change their mind or explain their reasoning.

However, there was not, as has been insinuated by some, a regional or continental divide in terms of votes placed. We looked at the figures in various ways, but, for example, of the current AGM approved National Class Associations only six voted in favour while five voted against, or 13 votes for holding the worlds with 10 against.

The Committee decided that to have a fair world championship we needed not only that travel would be largely unrestricted but also that at least two-thirds of countries, using national voting numbers, were of the opinion that it should be held, despite with restrictions. This was not the case.

Initially it was stated a decision would be made by May 1, but this was delayed until as late as possible while considering the need for sailors to plan ahead, not lose accommodation deposits, and for the OA to have enough time to organize the event.

Likewise, the option for organizing the International Regatta had a tight deadline for the same reasons, though negotiations continue with the club.

OKDIA also started discussions to organise a European Championship elsewhere before the decision was taken to cancel the World Championship. We hope this can be announced shortly.

Mark Jackson
President OKDIA