Members of FISA, rowing's governing body, will elect a new president on Monday for the first time in 24 years, with three candidates in line to replace the long-serving Swiss incumbent Denis Oswald.
Australia's John Boultbee, France's Jean-Christophe Rolland and Tricia Smith of Canada are all vying for the presidency, with the vote scheduled for the FISA Congress in Chungju, South Korea, where the World Rowing Championships are presently taking place.
Oswald, aged 66, who has held the post since 1989, is also standing for re-election, but only for a six-to-eight-month transitional period, and his successor will also be chosen at Monday's vote.
Oswald is also standing for the presidency of the International Olympic Committee on September 10, and will head straight from Chungju to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the IOC executive board meeting and session, beginning September 4.
Asked how he would juggle his time if elected to both positions, Oswald told Sportcal earlier this year: "The advantage of this [FISA] solution is that it is flexible. There is no fixed time. It will be less than one year, it could even be just two months. If I run and I’m elected [as IOC president] we would shorten this period [at FISA] to make sure that it is compatible with another position."
Oswald believes that it is his "responsibility" to serve for a transitional period at FISA to ensure "a smooth transition by introducing my successor to my colleagues at other international federations and at the IOC, so he or she does not start from zero."
Of the presidential candidates, Rolland, a three-time Olympian in rowing, who won a gold medal at the Sydney 2000 games, is said to have been long groomed as Oswald's heir apparent. He was appointed to the FISA athletes' commission in 1994 and chaired the commission from 2002 to 2011. He works for EDF, the French energy group, in London, where he was in charge of its sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Boultbee was secretary general of FISA between 1989 and 1995, after which he served as director of the Australian Institute of Sport for six years. He has participated in nine Olympic Games and 39 World Rowing Championships in various positions at team management, national Olympic committee and FISA levels.
Smith competed in four Olympic Games, winning silver at Los Angeles in 1984. She is a member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, and 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.
If she fails in her bid to succeed Oswald, Smith will then stand for the vice-presidency against incumbent Anita DeFrantz of USA.
FISA's treasurer, Mike Williams of the UK, is standing unopposed for re-election.
The FISA Congress will also award hosting rights to the 2017 and 2018 World Rowing Championships.
Sarasota and Manatee, neighbouring counties in Florida, USA look set to stage the 2017 championships, after their only challenger Plovdiv in Bulgaria was recommended by the FISA ruling council to host the 2018 edition, as well as the 2015 Under-23 Championships, instead.
Amsterdam in the Netherlands will stage the 2014 World Rowing Championships, with Lake Aiguebelette in France playing host to the event a year later, which will serve as the main qualifier for the regatta at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
There are presently 131 members of FISA, although that could be set to increase with Benin, Botswana, Mali, Saudi Arabia and St. Vincent & Grenadines having applied for membership. All five will learn their fate on Monday.