the russians (aren’t) coming

Following their March 1 decision to suspend the participation of all Russian and Belarussian athletes and officials from World Sailing events, the sport’s international governing body has now notified its intention to extend those bans.

All Russian or Belarussian members of “committees, commissions, working parties, the Council and any other relevant body of World Sailing” are to be temporarily suspended.

Today’s official announcement from the Board also clarifies their position in relation to “participation” as it relates to boats. World Sailing now states that their proposed ban “excludes the participation of any boat owned or effectively controlled or managed by a Russian or Belarussian individual or entity.”  

No doubt there are legal hurdles to overcome before these extended bans can be endorsed at the next full meeting of the World Sailing Board in Abu Dhabi in late May. It could involve agreeing to changes in the WS regulations and constitution.

Meanwhile, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing Comanche (or any boat with a Gazprom logo) on the supermaxi circuit for quite a while…