The 2016 World Sailing Annual Conference and General Assembly will be held in Barcelona, it has been announced today.
The announcement comes a little over a month after Abu Dhabi withdrew from hosting this year’s Sailing World Cup Final following the World Sailing Executive Committee’s decision to award the conference to Europe rather than the Gulf nation.
Up to 700 delegates are expected to attend the conference, due to take place at the Hotel Renaissance Barcelona Fira from November 4 to November 13.
It will provide the opportunity for World Sailing Member National Authorities, Committees, Sub-committees, Commissions, Class Associations, sailors, event organisers, boat manufacturers and observers to discuss the future of sailing, it is claimed.
"We are delighted to be holding the conference in the city of Barcelona and we look forward to working with the Spanish Sailing Federation, the Catalan Tourist Board and the Hotel Renaissance in making the 2016 conference a great success for the future development of our sport," said World Sailing chief executive Andy Hunt.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority claimed it pulled its financial support for the Sailing World Cup Final in protest at the choice to hand the conference to Europe.
A spokesperson for World Sailing refused to be drawn on suggestions the move was a response to the recent anti-discrimination criteria brought in by the international governing body.
The criteria states that athletes competing in major events should not face discrimination, and a contract must be signed by the hosts in order for the competition to take place as planned.
Oman recently withdrew as hosts of the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships.
It is widely believed that this was because the country could not meet the new regulations.
The new measures were introduced after last year's Youth Sailing World Championships in Malaysia were overshadowed by controversy when Israeli windsurfers Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan were unable to compete in Langkwai.
The country withdrew from the event after being refused visas and a demand that if they were allowed into Malaysia they could not compete under the Israeli flag.
More than 500 delegates were in attendance at the 2015 World Sailing Annual Conference and General Assembly, which took place in Sanya in China.