Denmark's Kim Andersen has emerged as a surprise runner in the race for the Presidency of World Sailing after he joined incumbent Carlo Croce and Paul Henderson in submitting his candidacy before the deadline.
World Sailing confirmed today that the trio would stand for the role after each received the minimum backing of five Member National Associations (MNAs).
The winner is due to elected at the General Assembly in Barcelona on November 13, which is held at the end of the body’s Annual Conference at the Hotel Renaissance Barcelona Fira, and will serve a four-year term.
Croce, President of the world governing body since 2012, confirmed he would seek re-election in May.
Henderson of Canada, the President between 1994 and 2004, announced he would challenge the Spaniard on September 6, mainly on an anti-kiteboarding platform, despite being 81.
Andersen’s candidacy went under the radar, with a representative of World Sailing telling insidethegames he had submitted his application before the deadline of September 17.
The head of World Sailing’s Equipment Committee seemingly wanted to keep his decision low-profile, in contrast to Croce and Henderson, who both publicly announced they would enter the race.
Croce’s campaign is being orchestrated by British communications agency Vero, who are also working on Paris’ bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and helped Gianni Infantino secure the FIFA Presidency in February.
The fact that the 71-year-old Italian hired Vero to help with his efforts suggests he was expecting challengers and he was the first to declare out of the three candidates.
Croce, whose manifesto is entitled A New Era for World Sailing, has received nominations from 45 Member Associations.
It is not yet known how many back Henderson and Andersen.
"I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those MNAs who have nominated me to serve a second and final term as World Sailing President," Croce said.
"This is a great base for my campaign and I am aware many other MNAs have pledged their vote for my re-election.
"I am confident that, working closely with the World Sailing Board, the ideas I have set out are not only deliverable, they would also herald an exciting era of growth for sailing.
"I look forward to speaking to the global Sailing family over the coming weeks to listen and exchange views on ensuring our great sport continues to prosper and flourish.
"There is much at stake when we gather in Barcelona for our General Assembly in November and I am confident of tremendous support to build on the great work of World Sailing going forward."
World Sailing also confirmed 15 candidates were standing for seven vice-president roles - two of which must be from each gender.
Alain Alcindor from the Seychelles, Britain’s Chris Atkins, Tomasz Chamera of Poland, Jean-Pierre Champion of France, New Zealand’s Jan Dawson, Torben Grael of Brazil, Gary Jobson of the United States and Stanislav Kassarov of Bulgaria are all seeking to become vice-presidents.
They are joined by China’s Quanhai Li, W Scott Perry of Uruguay, Fijian Tony Philip, Ana Sanchez of Spain, Malav Shroff of India, Nadine Stegenwalner of Germany and Australia’s David Tillett.
insidethegames has contacted World Sailing for further information.