Highlight points on the agenda for this year’s Congress include:

  • Elections for the positions of FISA President, Vice President and Treasurer
  • Election of the Executive Committee
  • Attribution of the host venue for the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships and the 2017 and 2018 World Rowing Championships
  • Admission to membership of new member federations
  • Suggestions for the 2016 Olympic Qualification System

Denis Oswald, FISA president since 1989, announced earlier this year at FISA’s 2013 Extraordinary Congress that he would seek re-election but only for a transitional period of six to eight months. The FISA Council decided to stage the election of Oswald’s successor at the same Congress in order to assist the newly elected "president-elect" in the transfer of knowledge and introductions to the international sports world.

Three nominations were received for the position of FISA President to succeed Denis Oswald: John Boultbee (AUS), Jean-Christophe Rolland (FRA) and Tricia Smith (CAN).


John Boultbee from Australia was a lawyer until 1989 when he became FISA’s General Secretary, a position he held until 1995. For the following six years Boultbee served as Director of the Australian Institute of Sport. Since 2004 he has been the Head of National Teams for Australia’s Football Federation. Boultbee has participated in nine Olympic Games and 39 World Rowing Championships in various positions at team management, NOC and FISA levels. A cox and rowing coach at school, club and university, he has been a member of the FISA Executive Committee since 2004.


Jean-Christophe Rolland from France holds a Master’s Degree in electrical, electronics and communications engineering and has worked for EDF, one of the world’s leading electric utility companies, since 1993. He was first an engineer, then a regional Deputy Director before being appointed as the Human Resources Director of his business unit. Rolland managed EDF’s sponsorship programme with the London 2012 Olympic Games Organising Committee. Rolland participated in three Olympic Games, winning bronze in Atlanta and gold in Sydney. He also holds five World Championship medals including two gold. Appointed to FISA’s Athletes Commission in 1994, Rolland served as Chair of the Commission from 2002 to 2011 and served on FISA’s Executive Committee from 2004 to 2011, at which time the FISA Council appointed him as a co-opted member.


Tricia Smith from Canada practised law for seven years before joining Barnes, Craig and Associates in 1992 where she is now one of four partners and Deputy Managing Director. She is a qualified Sport Arbitrator and a member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport. Smith was a member of the Canadian Rowing Team from 1976 to 1988 and was selected to four Olympic teams, winning silver at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games as well as 7 World Championship medals. Smith has been a member of the FISA Women’s Commission, then Chair of the Commission, and also a member of the FISA Executive Committee since 1999. She is also Member/Chair of a majority of the FISA Doping Appeal Hearing Panels.

Biographies of the candidates are available on the FISA Congress web page, here.

Two other elections will follow – Vice-President and Treasurer – which are also open for election. There are two candidates for the position of Vice-President: FISA’s current vice-president Anita L. De Frantz (USA) and Tricia Smith.  FISA’s current treasurer, Mike Williams (GBR) is standing for re-election and is the only candidate for this position.

The final elections to take place will be for the three commission chairs who complete the Executive Committee. There are six candidates for these three positions. The FISA Council, following the three elections mentioned above, will make a proposal of three persons to fill these places.

The bids submitted to FISA for future World Rowing Regattas include Plovdiv, Bulgaria for the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships and the 2018 World Rowing Championships as well as Sarasota, Florida, USA for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. The FISA Council, in accordance with Rule 6 of the FISA Rule Book, reviewed the final bid documents and met the bid committees on 14 July in Lucerne, Switzerland, before presenting these bid venues to the Congress for final approval.

Five nations have applied for FISA membership: Benin, Botswana, Mali, Saudi Arabia and St. Vincent & Grenadines. Reports will be presented to Congress on their applications before affiliation is confirmed.

The FISA Congress Agenda Papers are available here for download.