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Australia has firmed its place as one of the key contributors to the world of sailing overnight, with the election of Sarah Kenny as a Vice President of World Sailing and Daniel Belcher who will represent Oceania on the World Sailing Council.

Kenny (Vice-President) and Belcher (Group L Council) garnered enough votes from the other World Sailing Member National Authorities (MNAs) to take their place on the governing body for the sport of sailing.

Kenny will join the other six elected Vice-Presidents and President on World Sailing’s Board of Directors. She is only the second Australian to serve on the Board after David Kellett AM (World Sailing Vice President 1998-2008).

“I am delighted to have been elected by the members of World Sailing to represent them on the Board of World Sailing “said Kenny at the announcement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the new Board and with the World Sailing CEO David Graham. It is a strong team with the skills and experience to address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities we have in our sport.”

Sarah brings valuable experience to the new role after 4 years on the World Sailing Council and as Chair of the Events Committee and 12 years of volunteer service at World Sailing.

AOC President John Coates AC says this is an outstanding appointment.

“Sarah bring considerable corporate and legal skills to the table, notwithstanding her very long association with Australian Sailing and as Chair of International Sailing’s Events Committee.

The full list of World Sailing Vice-Presidents is:

  • Tomasz Chamera (POL)
  • Sarah Kenny (AUS)
  • Philip Baum (RSA)
  • Yann Rocherieux (FRA)
  • Duriye Özlem Akdurak (TUR)
  • Marcus Spillane (IRL)
  • Cory Sertl (USA)

The Board will be led by Quanhai Li (CHN), who was announced as the new World Sailing President, as announced today at World Sailing's Virtual General Assembly. The new President beat previous President Kim Andersen (DEN) after a second round of voting.

AOC Executive Member Matt Allen AM says Sarah Kenny’s appointment speaks volumes for Australia’s contribution to international sport.

“Sarah is one of only a handful of Australians on the executives of International Federations, so her election to this position is significant."

Sarah competed internationally in windsurfing, including the windsurfing exhibition event at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and remains an active sailor today.  She was a longstanding director and Vice –President of Australian Sailing until 2019 and a member of Australian Sailing's Olympic Selection Panel since 2008.

The vote to replace Kenny as the Oceania Council representative was won by current Australian Sailing President Daniel Belcher.

Belcher becomes just the third Australian to be elected to Council in nearly thirty years following David Tillett AM (Group L Council Member 1998-2016) and Kenny.

“I would like to thank and acknowledge the support shown by Australian Sailing and the other MNAs in Oceania,” said Belcher today.

“I look forward to continuing the legacy set by David and Sarah as we look to advance the sport of sailing in our region.”

Daniel will serve on the 33-member Council as the Oceania representative alongside Fiji’s John Philp. The Council is responsible for managing the sport of sailing including the determination of policy for sailing across the world.

Both Sarah and Daniel will serve in their roles for four-year terms.

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