World Sailing has announced that the global governing body’s headquarters will move from Southampton to London later this year.
The relocation from England’s south coast to the capital city will take place in late summer.
World Sailing said that the selection of London as its new home was made after an extensive evaluation process of potential locations was carried out following the election of Denmark’s Kim Andersen as the body’s new president in November.
World Sailing sought to relocate to an international city with good connectivity and ease of access for its members and stakeholders. The ability to retain existing staff was considered, while somewhere of international diversity with a high-quality, multi-lingual employment base was also preferred.
As well as Southampton and London, World Sailing evaluated Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland, the English city of Winchester, and Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia in Spain.
Southampton, London, Barcelona and Valencia were shortlisted by World Sailing’s board of directors in December before London was announced as the preferred host. An office location in the centre of the city is to be identified before the move takes place later in the year.
“As with all good leadership, the board and myself have looked into what is best for the World Sailing organisation and for our sport,” Andersen said. "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 organisation and the sport we have decided to move the headquarters to London."
Andersen was elected as World Sailing’s new president in November after Italian Carlo Croce failed to gain a second term in office. Andersen, who had served as the head of World Sailing’s Equipment Committee, also defeated a rival candidacy from Canada’s Paul Henderson, who served as the body’s president between 1994 and 2004, when it was known as the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
World Sailing has been based in Southampton for the past 20 years, although the organisation’s roots had been based in London since its formation in 1907.