FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland opened the Congress ©FISA

The World Rowing Federation (FISA) has held its 2018 Ordinary Congress in Bulgarian city Plovdiv with four Commission chairs re-elected to their positions.

Hong Kong’s Kim Fai Ho has resumed the role of Para Rowing Commission chair and Great Britain’s Rosie Mayglothling will remain as Competitive Commission chair

Belgium’s Patricia Lambert and Patrick Rombaut will continue as the heads of the Event Promotion Commission and Umpire Commission respectively.

New chairs were elected to the Events and Masters Rowing Commissions as the incumbents, Mike Tanner and Tone Pahle, not standing for re-election.

Tanner reached the age limit of 70-years-old under the FISA Statutes and Pahle chose to pass the baton to a new chair.

In a vote contested by four candidates, Hungary’s Eva Szanto was elected the chair of the Events Commission, while the United States’ Ronald Chen was chosen unopposed as chair of the Masters Rowing Commission.

After 25 years in the role of FISA treasurer, Britain’s Mike Williams has stepped down and been replaced by Dutch Olympian Gerritjan Eggenkamp with unanimous support by the Congress.

Tributes were paid to Pahle, Williams and Tanner for their respective and "considerable" contributions to FISA.

Williams and Tanner were appointed Honorary Council members by the Congress.

Great Britain's Rosie Mayglothling has been elected to continue as chair of the FISA Competitive Commission ©British Rowing
Great Britain's Rosie Mayglothling has been elected to continue as chair of the FISA Competitive Commission ©British Rowing

The FISA Council then convened to vote on their nominee for the Commissions chair to serve on the Executive Committee to replace Tanner.

The Congress delegates approved through vote the Council’s nominee, Mayglothling.

The Council announced the re-appointment of co-opted member Masakuni Hosobuchi of Japan.

It also confirmed the continental representatives for a two-year term with Egypt’s Khaled Zain El Din chosen for Africa, China’s Liu Aijie for Asia, Poland’s Ryszard Stadniuk for Europe and New Zealand’s Lee Spear for Oceania.

The Americas position will remain vacant and FISA invited suggestions from Member Federations in the region for suitable candidates.

The Congress took place following the conclusion of the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv.

FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland opened the Congress and presented his report to the delegates, referencing the visit of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach to the Championships and the important process ahead for the world governing body regarding decisions to be taken on the 2024 Olympic programme.

This was followed by reports from the Executive Committee members, chairs of the specialist Commissions and continental representatives. 

The FISA Ordinary Congress took place following the conclusion of the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv ©FISA
The FISA Ordinary Congress took place following the conclusion of the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv ©FISA

FISA executive director Matt Smith updated the Congress on the status of the recently-launched strategic events attribution process that is due to see all World Rowing events for the 2021 to 2024 period, as well as the 2025 and 2026 World Rowing Championships, attributed at the 2019 Congress.

Smith praised the hard work National Federations have put in during the initial phase of confidential expressions of interest, consulting with their Government and local partners to secure support for a long-term events strategy.

The response from National Federations is said to have been very positive and FISA says it now finds itself in the fortunate position of having to distribute event staging opportunities between a large number of willing hosts.

With two years to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and less than a year to the first Olympic and Paralympic qualification at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria, the Council also announced the attribution of three qualification regattas.

Tunisia’s capital Tunis is due host Africa’s event from October 3 to 6 next year.

The Asia and Oceania event will be held in Chungju in South Korea in April 2020, while the Americas regatta is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro from April 2 to 5 that year. 

The European Olympic and Paralympic qualification had already been attributed to Varese in Italy from April 27 to 29 in 2020.

The final Olympic qualification regatta is set to take place in Lucerne in Switzerland from May 17 to 20 in 2020.

The final Paralympic qualification regatta is due to held in Gavirate in Italy from May 8 to 10 in 2020.

FISA also announced that the 2019 World Rowing Indoor Championships will take place in Long Beach, California on February 24.  

Additionally, Kiribati and Lesotho were welcomed into FISA, taking the total number of member National Federations to 155.

The 2019 FISA Ordinary Congress is scheduled to be held in Linz-Ottensheim on September 2.