Nov 7, 2012, 9:35 AM
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San Francisco, CA
Re: [The Publisher] Global MBA Trophy 2012
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November 4, 2012
The Global MBA Trophy kicked off their first annual event in San Francisco with an impressive international attendance, thanks to years of well run events held in Greece, under the auspices of London Business School. The group of top tier MBA graduates came together from four continents to race in this regatta. By nature top performers, these sea loving alumni pride themselves as much on winning the regatta as winning the party, and also use this prime opportunity to network.
The teams raced eight Sunsail F40s for the event. "I asked them how many they had, they said eight, I said, we'll take them all, " said Michalia Negri. Ms. Negri recently relocated for work to San Francisco and rallied over the last two months to establish the new event thanks to a cascade of emails encouraging her, following the last regatta in Athens . In arranging the crew, her organizing committee set up some boats with full crew from one school, others were mixed boats.
It was a boat crewed with London Business School graduates and one alumnus from Harvard Business School who ultimately took home the top title, but it wasn't easy.
On the first day of racing, the teams saw wind ranging from 5-12 knots with a slight current. The racers over the course of the day seemed to sort out the wheat from the chaff. There was a moment according to INSEAD team member Anoop N-i, where the London Business School boat got so far ahead in the light and shifty breeze, that no one could catch them. N-i also mentioned their team, comprised of crew from Algiers to Singapore, had a moment of “international confusion” around the finish line, resulting in the need to re-cross the line to be scored a proper finish. “We tried to win every start and then have fun,” N-i said.
The Italian MIP (Politecnico Di Milano) team finished the day in first with a 3,1,2, London Business School in second with a 1,5,1 and the mixed boat of Kellogg / Berkeley / LBS / Columbia, skippered by Kellogg’s Richard Collins lay in third with a 2, 2, 3.
Thus the top three teams after three races were within two points of each other. "It's virtually a three-way tie," said London Business School skipper and San Francisco local, David James.
Sunday morning dawned calm, clear and hot.
Light air in a heavy boat is particularly challenging, as each tack can be costly, each maneuver a risk. As the time to start racing waned, the breakfast chatter at Spinnaker in Sausalito veered from the rousing party the night before and networking, to the task at hand. With the wind lifting nary a flag, the question was what course they could sail in order to get two races in. At 4-6 knots the first race commenced at 1100 on the oft challenging Olympic Circle, just West of Berkeley. Team INSEAD came into the day in fourth and upset the applecart by winning Sunday’s first race.
Race two saw the wind come up to 10 knots, making the sailing a bit more palatable, then thanks to an 80 degree wind shift, PRO Jeff Zarwell had to get creative and singlehandedly adjust the course. Richard Collins, skippering a boat comprised of alumni from Kellogg, Berkeley, London Business School and Columbia, had a late start, but saw the shift and managed to move up the rungs, winning the last race of the day.
Collins' team win in the last race tied them for first with David James' London School of Business boat, but on the count back, the LBS team took top honors thanks to their earlier wins on Saturday. “Losing first place in a tie break was painful of course, but all our crew were hugely pleased at a "podium" finish,” Collins said. He went on to say, “the boats were awesome, well equipped versus other charter boats I have skippered and the teams quite experienced.”
The Golden Gate Yacht Club on the shores of San Francisco Bay was the scene for the awards dinner on Sunday night, and as the guests arrived, the stories started to flow. Milan-based Marco Palminiello, an MIP alumnus, told the group that due to Hurricane related cancellations on his travel itinerary, he ended up flying via Korea and Japan, then driving from LA in what amounted to 27 hours the wrong way around the globe to get to San Francisco But in that uncanny Italian style Palminiello said he got to "wake up for sunrise in Sausalito and trust me it is great!"
GGYC Vice Commodore Tom Ehman, who is also director of External Affairs for the America's Cup, entertained the standing-room-only crowd, recounting the storied history of the America's Cup and wowing those assembled with photos and videos of the latest Cup news. The next edition of the Cup will be held in San Francisco July-September of 2013.
"In closing, Ehman said, "This is an impressively well-informed and enthusiastic global group of sailors. Congratulations to everyone involved in what by all accounts has been a hugely successful regatta, and we hope to see you in San Francisco next summer."
“I have raced in many regattas around the world and this ranks among the best,” said 2nd place skipper Richard Collins. “Congratulations on running a fabulous event!” Ms. Negri passed out the trophies to the winning teams with much applause, the dancing once again commenced, and plans to attend next year were hatched. Negri annouced, “We may need to find more boats, as the racers have enthusiastically promised to participate in the next one with a full team representing their business school.”
Top three teams for the 2012 SF Global MBA Trophy:
David James / London Business School/ HBS 11 points
Richard Collins / Kellog / Berkeley / LBS / Columbia 11 points
Ugo Alvazzi Del Frate / MIP
Results are posted here: http://www.globalmbatrophy.com/...a_trophy_results.jpg Photos from Tim Williamson will be posted here: http://www.tdwmedia.com/Events
About the Global MBA Trophy
The Global MBA Trophy is a global sailing and networking event for alumni of the world’s top Business Schools who gather to compete in the name of their School. After seven years of success in Europe, hosted by London Business School, the Global MBA Trophy came to San Francisco in November of 2012, making it the first annual sailing event of its kind to take place in the USA.
The Global MBA Trophy, held the last weekend in April in Athens, GR and the first weekend in November in San Francisco,CA, is a stimulating and exciting sailing experience, and a unique opportunity for networking, business exchanges and interesting debates amongst alumni of top MBA Schools in the presence of dignitaries from the business, sailing and Academic world.
Attracting over 200 participants from around the world every year, the Global MBA Trophy becomes an annual mark on the calendar, drawing racers back year after year. Participants include graduates representing Athens University of Economics & Business, Berkeley Haas School of Business, Chicago Booth, Columbia Business School, Cornell University the Johnson School, Harvard Business School, INSEAD, IE Business School, Kellogg School of Management / WHU, London Business School, Michigan Ross School of Business, MIP Politecnico di Milano, New York Stern, SDA Bocconi, Rotterdam Erasmus School of Management, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Warwick Business School, and Wharton.