Gerardo Seeliger has declared his candidacy for World Sailing President ©World Sailing

Spaniard Gerardo Seeliger has declared his intention to stand for World Sailing President in elections due to be held next year.

Seeliger, who competed in the Finn class at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, confirmed he would run for the top job at sailing's worldwide governing body in an open letter.

He has emerged as the first challenger to Kim Andersen, who unseated incumbent Carlo Croce to become World Sailing President in 2016.

Andersen has not yet confirmed he will stand for re-election, but it is believed the Dane will seek a second four-year term.

Seeliger – a former President of the Finn Class who also chaired World Sailing committees on marketing and television, and classes – claimed in his open letter that he had informed Andersen of his candidacy.

The Spaniard said he was "encouraged" by the responses from the 140 member federations when outlining his vision for the organisation, should he succeed in his Presidency bid.

Kim Andersen was elected World Sailing President in 2016 ©Getty Images
Kim Andersen was elected World Sailing President in 2016 ©Getty Images

"As a passionate and active competitor, I consider this encouragement from you and many sailors from the boat park as a true honour and a sign of sailor's trust to face with success the significant challenges ahead," he wrote.

Seeliger, who has competed in 20 European and World Championships in different classes, said he would base his campaign on three main "pillars" – transparency, improving efficiency and "managing from the boat park".

Good governance, cost reduction, finding new sources of revenue and putting sailors first are among his main election pledges.

Seeliger's declaration comes prior to the 2019 World Sailing annual conference in Bermuda, from October 26 to November 3.

He will likely canvass opinion and support for his candidacy at the meeting, to be attended by the majority of World Sailing's members.

The Presidential election will be held in November 2020.