The World Rowing Federation, FISA, 2017 Ordinary Congress was held following the successful conclusion of the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, USA.
President Jean-Christophe Rolland opened the Congress and presented medals of honour to the representatives of Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Randy Benderson for his work to create the venue and Paul Blackketter for his work to create the venue. He also recognized the Executive Director of the World Championship Organising Committee Meredith Scerba. This was followed by reports from the President, Executive Committee Members, Chairs of the specialist Commissions and Continental Representatives.
Following a long process of consultation with all stakeholders, the FISA Congress voted on Rule 36 - the World Rowing Championships Programme for senior, para rowing, under 23 and junior events. Executive Director Matt Smith gave a detailed explanation for the Council's recommendation for each of the open weight, lightweight and para-rowing events.
The Council then moved to a required two-third majority vote to change Rule 36. With 137 votes in favor six votes against, the Congress approved the new World Championship programme by 95.8 percent. The programme brings gender equality across all events and can be seen in detail below.
New World Championships event distribution
The Congress unanimously re-elected the following individuals for another four-year term:
President: Jean-Christophe Rolland (FRA)
Vice-President: Tricia Smith (CAN)
Treasurer: Mike Williams (GBR)
The following individuals were elected for a four-year term as Commissions Chairs to serve on the Executive Committee:
Lenka Dienstbach-Wech (GER), Athletes Commission Chair
Patrick Rombaut (BEL), Umpire Commission Chair
Mike Tanner (HKG), Events Commission Chair
The Congress also attributed the upcoming World Rowing Events.
The 2020 World Rowing Senior, Under 23 and Junior Championships received bids from three Organising Committees: Plovdiv (BUL), Poznan (POL) and Bled (SLO). The bid from Plovdiv (BUL) was withdrawn leaving the congress to vote on the remaining two bids.
The Congress attributed the 2020 event to Bled (SLO) with 94 votes over 57 votes for Poznan (POL).
Shanghai (CHN) was attributed the 2021 World Rowing Championships with a unanimous vote.
The following events were attributed by the Council:
2018 World Rowing Tour - Costa Brava, Spain
2019 World Rowing Junior Championships - Tokyo, Japan
2019 World Rowing Cup I - Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2019 World Rowing Cup II - Poznan, Poland
2019 World Rowing Cup III - Rotterdam, Netherlands
2019 World Rowing Coastal Championships - Hong Kong China
2020 World Rowing Masters Regatta - Linz-Ottensheim, Austria
Two new national members were welcomed into FISA:
The total number of member national rowing federations is now 153.
Immediately at the conclusion of the Congress, FISA staged a National Federations Conference at which the delegates discussed the 2020 Olympic Qualification system, updates on the Lightweight and Para Rowing review projects, FISA's proposal towards a more independent anti-doping function and a new strategic framework for event attribution.
Finally, the delegates attributed the 2017 Ordinary Congress to Plovdiv, Bulgaria to be held on 17 September 2017.