Conflict of the Year: Battle for the main national sailing prize

Conflict of the Year: Battle for the main national sailing prize

How did the VFSF and Yachts Russia not share the «Yachtsman of the Year Award?»
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In 2017 we will have two «Yachtsman of the Year»awards at once. One will be held on November 30 by Yacht Russia magazine. The other one - in another format - will be organized by the All-Russian Sailing Federation. Hardly any of the awards can now be called national - there is too much «dispersion and wobbling» in sailing circles, where some support the Federation leadership headed by Vladimir Silkin, others support the magazine leadership headed by publisher Vasily Senatorov.

The stumbling block is the scheme for selecting winners.

Anyone could nominate their candidate, but the final decision was made by the jury, which consisted of equal number of representatives of the WFTU and Yacht Russia and one person from outside - an independent person with weight in sail, who had a casting vote. This scheme should have kept a certain balance between the interests of the two founders, but it didn't become a panacea in reality: Yacht Russia accuses the WFTU of putting pressure on the Jury to promote its own candidates, considering it inadmissible to reward persons who occupy official positions in the Federation; the WFTU doesn't like that the opinion of the majority of the Federation members is not taken into account in the Jury scheme.

The WFTU and Yacht Russia have been co-founders of the «Yachtsman of the Year award for many years». The agreement between the parties was concluded only in 2013. A few months before the next award, which is held at the end of November, the WFTU unilaterally broke off the contract with Yacht Russia. On its website the Federation has announced that from now on it intends to hold «Yachtman of the Year» independently.

The reason for breaking the relationship was the application for registration of the rights to the logo and the name of the award submitted by the magazine to Rospatent. The VFSFS stated that they accidentally learned about these actions from Yacht Russia. The Federation management considered such actions behind their backs to be a gross violation of business ethics. The magazine claims that they were not going to award themselves a prize, but only to protect their own intellectual property. According to Elena Subbotina, Director of Yacht Russia, the logo «of the Yachtsman of the Year was» drawn by the designers of the magazine when the prize was just beginning to appear.

So, the contract has been broken. But, according to Yacht Russia, it contained a clause about moratorium on Yachtsman of the Year» award «for both parties for 10 years in case of termination. Then why do we have two awards in 2017? There is a legal nuance here: the contract will automatically renew for the next year if it is not terminated by the end of the current year. In other words, in order to cancel the 2017 bonus, you had to be able to terminate the agreement in 2016. The WFTU did it only a couple of weeks ago.

So, «Yachtsman of the Year 2017» should be held as planned. But the conflict between the WFTU and Yacht Russia is already at such a stage that the parties do not want and cannot cooperate with each other. Bottom line? Two awards, and I wouldn't be surprised if both were to be called «Yachtsman of the Year».

Both the WFTU and Yacht Russia have already started accepting applications for their prizes. The magazine collects applications by mail, the WFTU collects applications through a special form on its website. The WFTU has reduced nominations to two - «Yachtsman of the Year» and «Yachtmaker of the Year». Yacht Russia left all existing nominations, but warned that their real number will be announced after all applications are processed: if there are not enough nominations in any of the nominations, it will be removed. The WFTU opened the vote for Yachtman and Yacht of the Year to all members of the Federation. Yacht Russia remained faithful to the format of the jury, which - even despite the global quarrel at the top - will include, as promised, representatives of the WFTU, who do not agree with the decision of the management.

What does «Yachtsman of the Year» 2018 expect? If the parties do not agree, we will probably get two awards again, only under different names. Some «sailor of the year».

After all, under the contract neither VFSF nor Yacht Russia will be able to use the old brand for another 10 years.

I think I should patent the name «Sailman of the Year»just in case. Why? I need more awards, good and different.

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