World Sailing is searching for a new venue for its 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships after the Oman Sailing Committee withdrew its hosting rights for the annual event.
The 2016 Championships were due to take place in December, but the Oman Sailing Committee was able to exercise the right to withdraw as a final contract for the hosting of the event had not been concluded. World Sailing said it will now immediately start to work with its member national authorities to rapidly identify an alternative venue at the same time of year as the event originally planned for Oman.
Reasons for Oman’s withdrawal were not explicitly confirmed, but in its statement on the matter the sport’s global governing body noted the publication of the World Sailing statement on Discrimination on January 13. The organisation added: “World Sailing can now confirm that it has received written confirmation from all venues that have already been selected and confirmed for forthcoming World Sailing championships that they are able to guarantee full and equal participation by all, in accordance with World Sailing's regulations.
“World Sailing's action follows the clarification of the non-discrimination elements of the Olympic Charter from the International Olympic Committee Summit on 17 October 2015, that, ‘the Summit agreed that for all competitions taking place under the auspices of an International Federation or National Olympic Committee or their continental or regional associations, it has to be ensured that all athletes from all their members can enter a country to compete and are treated equally. It was agreed that should this rule not be respected, the event in question cannot serve as a qualification event for the Olympic Games or any other championship.’
“World Sailing confirms it will continue to apply this guidance strictly to all of its future World Sailing championships and explicit acceptance of these conditions will form part of the bid criteria for future events.”
Oman has been building a reputation as a destination for major sailing events. The capital of Muscat hosted an America’s Cup World Series round at the weekend, marking the first America’s Cup event to ever be staged in the Middle East.
Muscat will also serve as the host city for the first stop of the year on the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series calendar. The event will run from March 16-19.