World Sailing, the sport’s world governing body, is to relocate its headquarters from Southampton on England’s south coast to London late this summer, following what it called “an extensive evaluation process of possible locations undertaken since the election of a new President and Board of Directors in November 2016.”
Denmark’s Kim Andersen narrowly defeated previous incumbent Carlo Croce to be elected president.
Southampton, Geneva, Lausanne, London, Winchester, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia were all evaluated as possible locations before a shortlist of London, Barcelona, Southampton and Valencia was chosen by World Sailing’s board of directors in December last year ahead of today’s announcement of London.
The federation said that the criteria for the evaluation included:
• International city
• Connectivity / ease of access for World Sailing members and stakeholders
• Ability to retain existing staff
• International diversity with a high quality, multilingual employment base.
An office location in central London is to be identified ahead of the planned move.
World Sailing pointed out that, while it has been based in Southampton for the past 20 years, its roots and its predecessors, the IYRU and ISAF, were based in London since its formation in 1907.
Andersen said: “As with all good leadership, the board and myself have looked into what is best for the World Sailing organization and for our sport.
“We have taken into consideration the DNA of World Sailing as a whole, the technical skills we need to run the organisation, the aspect of being international and having options of multi-lingual competencies and accessibility.
“This has been weighed and reviewed, and we are pleased to announce that in the best interest of the organization and the sport we have decided to move the headquarters to London.”
Andy Hunt, World Sailing’s chief executive, added: “World Sailing received strong interest from cities wanting to host the International Federation headquarters. Each city put forward a strong proposal and I thank them for their proposals and Southampton for hosting the governing body for the last two decades.”
World Sailing is one of three Olympic sports international federations headquartered in the UK, the others being the International Tennis Federation and the World Curling Federation.