The World Sailing Annual Conference, the biggest gathering of the world governing body for the sport of sailing, comes to the USA in 2018 to hold its meetings on October 27 to November 4 in Sarasota, Florida.
Online details reveal several hot topics, one of which is a request from the Sailing Federation of Ukraine for World Sailing to cancel the membership of Russian Yachting Federation as a World Sailing member national authority. Here’s why:
In March 2014, a part of territory of Ukraine – Crimea peninsula – was annexed by Russian Federation. On 27th of March 2014 United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, where it affirms its commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
The UN calls upon all States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on the basis of the above-mentioned referendum and to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognizing any such altered status. IOC follows this decision of UN in its practice.
Since 2015 Russian Yachting Federation have been conducting sailing events on Crimea, including National Championships, National Cups and qualification events. This breaches RRS 89.1 regarding the Organizing authorities.
The Sailing Federation of Ukraine on numerous occasions appealed to the RUSYF to refrain from organizing sailing events on Crimea. WS Board several times reviewed objections of the SFU in this matter and took decision that that organizing authorities on the Crimea must be affiliated to the national authority of the Ukraine in order to be properly affiliated under RRS 89.1 (which is a fundamental requirement of the sport).
Even after official request from WS CEO to RUSYF to respect World Sailing decisions, carry them out, and to refrain from actions that are inconsistent with them, RUSYF has conducted Russian National Championship in Windsurfing in Sevastopol, Crimea in September 2017.
In 2018 RUSYF plans to conduct 19 sailing events in Crimea: two Russian National Championships, three National Cups, nine sailing events of national level and five interregional events. Some of these regattas are included in the national qualification system. These events are included in the Calendar of sport events to be held in Russian Federation and most of them will be sponsored by the federal and regional budgets.
In accordance to the Racing Rules of Sailing, decisions of World Sailing Board and International Olympic Committee sailing events on Crimea can be organized by Sailing Federation of Ukraine or its affiliated bodies only.
WS Constitution prescribes that all members of the Federation are obliged to carry out and have respect for the rules, Regulations and decisions of the Federation; to refrain and to use reasonable endeavours to persuade others within their area of jurisdiction to refrain, from actions that are inconsistent with the objects, rules, Regulations or decisions of the Federation.
One of the grounds on which a member’s status may be challenged is for persistent disregard of or failure to observe the Constitution of the Federation especially as it pertains to the obligations of membership.
Russian Yachting Federation shows persistent disregard of the Constitution of the Federation, Decisions of WS Board and Racing Rules of Sailing.
Sailing Federation of Ukraine, following its membership obligations to carry out the RRS and WS Constitution in its jurisdiction area, requests the WS Council to cancel the membership of RUSYF as WS MNA. This will allow to prevent the violation of WS Constitution and enforce the RRS on Crimea, which is an integral part of Ukraine.