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World Yacht Racing Forum 2012
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Dec 11, 2012, 1:14 PM

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Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2012 20:15:37 +0100
From: MaxComm Communication
Subject: World Yacht Racing Forum Press Release - WORLD YACHT RACING FORUM SPEAKERS HIGHLIGHT SAILING’S FORMIDABLE POTENTIAL FOR SPONSORS
To: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com


PRESS RELEASE

WORLD YACHT RACING FORUM SPEAKERS HIGHLIGHT SAILING’S FORMIDABLE POTENTIAL FOR SPONSORS


Speakers of the World Yacht Racing Forum highlighted the great potential and assets of the sport of sailing. The industry offers great opportunities to partners, venues, athletes or events. However it needs more creativity. And a special care must be given to the return provided to the sport’s partners.

December 11, 2012– The fifth edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum started this morning, Tuesday December 11, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Over 250 delegates from all over the world attended the presentations, collected precious information and met the industry’s key actors during the networking breaks.

Most of today’s sessions focused on sponsorship, and were aimed at bettering the relationship between sailors, events or teams and their commercial backers.

How can sponsors ensure brand activation? What are the best ways to promote the sport of sailing? How can our sport generate an income? What should a sponsorship proposal contain? Those were some of the questions debated by today’s panellists.

“Sailing sponsorship, and sponsorship in general, should be envisioned in a long term perspective”, said Sven Österberg, General Manager, Volvo Event Management Sweden. “And it is essential to plan a long time ahead; at least 1 – 2 years.”

Leslie Greenhalgh, Marketing Director, Open Sports Management, spoke about her personal experience with Skandia Team GBR, and disclosed some of the key elements of a successful partnership: “It was really important to get immersed alongside the partner in order to understand their needs and objectives. To summarise, it was important to allocate time!”

Greenhalgh, on the other hand, said she has witnessed several projects which don’t provide enough return to their partners. “This is one reason why some brands have left the sport of sailing. In fact, the hard work begins the day when you sign your contract.”

“The market is changing”, insisted Mark Turner, Executive Chairman, OC Sport. “Today’s potential is in the so called emerging countries; India, China, Brasil... In fact we should rather call them fast growing countries; we are the ones stagnating. In order to guarantee the success of projects in those new markets, we must ensure that new talent emerges. Today’s crewmembers will be tomorrow’s stars. It will take time but it is essential to develop tomorrow’s talents.”

Some interesting sessions focused on the revenue streams that can be generated through the sport of sailing. Media visibility, public participation and brand activation are amongst the obvious answers, whilst TV doesn’t seem to be. “All sports struggle to sell TV rights, and sailing is virtually impossible to sell”, commented Dominique Curchod (Curchod Communications). “The revenue therefore lies in a free distribution, and the visibility associated to it.”

“The sailing industry has an obsession with television”, added Richard Moore, CEO, Capitalize. “Does sailing have a strong appeal to a wide audience on TV? The answer is no.”

Many of today’s speakers highlighted the fact that the sport needs more creativity to appeal to a wider audience. New media and social networks are at the heart of the sports development; they will be discussed during tomorrow’s sessions.

Richard Brisius, CEO, Atlant Ocean Racing, concluded day one by saying: “Sometimes, we don’t believe enough in the sport of sailing. But the fact is, it’s a wonderful sport, with great values, that can provide a lot to its partners.”

Held in parallel to the Forum, the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium gave the industry’s more technically oriented participants the opportunity to discuss the new Volvo 65 One Design, debate what sailing can learn from the aeronautics industry, discuss model testing and project planning for high performance yachts.

The sessions went long and lively, with a full room of influential designers, builders, rule-makers and owners including Merf Owen, Thomas Ricard, Jeremy Elliott, Stan Honey, Yann Perfornnis, Pat Shaughnessy, Marcel Muller, Bruno Dubois, Juan Kouyoumdjian, Bill Tripp, Ian Walker and many more. A summary of the Symposium’s debates and conclusions will be available on Thursday.

Yacht Racing Image of the Year, presented by Mirabaud: the delegates have made their choice.
The public made an initial selection last month, with over 40,000 people selecting the 24 best pictures out of the photographs submitted by 48 yacht racing photographers from all over the world.

Today, the delegates from both the Forum and the Symposium voted for the yacht racing picture they consider as the world’s best. The top five photographs have been taken by the following photographers (in no specific order):
  • Matias Capizzano
  • Tom Gruitt
  • Ian Roman
  • Thierry Martinez
  • Kurt Arrigo

Tomorrow, an independent and international Jury made of Ben Ainslie, Shirley Robertson, Christian Février, Will Morris and Antonio Palma will make the final choice. The winner will be announced during the World Yacht Racing Forum tomorrow Wednesday at 2:00 PM.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Media & Communication:
MaxComm Communication
Bernard Schopfer




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Dec 12, 2012, 12:57 PM

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Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 19:47:18 +0100
From: MaxComm Communication
Subject: Press release - Great success for fifth edition of World Yacht Racing Forum
To: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com


PRESS RELEASE Great success for fifth edition of World Yacht Racing Forum

The fifth edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum and Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium closed its doors tonight following two intense days of presentations and networking at Gothenburg’s Clarion Post Hotel.

December 12, 2012– Four time Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie was the key speaker of the day. He opened the sessions with a keynote address during which he spoke with strong and passionate words about Olympic sailing, his next projects and the future of yacht racing in general.

Talking about Olympic sailing, Ainslie insisted on the fact that “the integrity of racing must be preserved despite the increase of commercial needs. The medal races, for example, tend to compromise the fairness of racing.” Ainslie also criticised ISAF’s lack of consistency: “How can windsurfers be told to go and buy kitesurfs one day, only to be reinstated two months later. In addition, a Class shouldn’t be selected for just one Olympic cycle; it is wrong. Those are examples that make our sport look weak. The problem lies in the decision process.”

The sport of sailing is changing fast, and debates focusing on yacht clubs and venues were a good illustration of the evolution the sport is going through. “We started going to Asia in 2008”, remembers Knut Frostad, CEO, Volvo Ocean Race. “Today, there are races everywhere in Asia, and in a consistent way.”

Debates focusing on the use of social media, and the new broadcast technologies used by the America’s Cup also highlighted the changes the sport is going through. “François Gabart, who leads the Vendée Globe, is only 29 years old and he sends three times more media than all his competitors”, observed Mark Turner, Executive Chairman, OC Sport. “It doesn’t stop him from being competitive. The others will have to learn!”

The fifth edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum closed its doors following two days of presentations, constructive debates and networking sessions. Over 250 delegates and 70 speakers from all over the world attended the different presentations, shared ideas and business cards whilst hearing insights from some of the sport’s major events.

“This edition of the Forum has been very successful, with great delegate numbers and many of the world’s most influential players”, said James Gradwell, World Yacht Racing Forum sponsorship manager. “We really need to thank our sponsors and the city of Gothenburg, who have been extremely helpful. Gothenburg is a fantastic city, and I wish them good luck in their bid for the Volvo Ocean Race.”

The event’s delegates, exhibitors, partners and speakers all had different motivations and objectives in attending the event, but they were equally happy at the time of drawing their conclusions.

“What was most useful for me was to spend time with so many of the key actors of the sport during the breaks”, said Manuel Ruiz De Elvira, one of Oracle Racing’s key designers. Other delegates preferred to listen to the presentations, such as Guillaume Henri, Director of the Vendée Globe: “I attended the Forum for the first time and I found it great. It is very important for offshore yacht racing to be part of those debates. As for the Vendée Globe, our goal is to make it more international. In this sense, our participation at the Forum is simply necessary.”

Dawn Riley, MD, Oakcliff Sailing, is a veteran of the Forum; she considers this edition as “the most exciting so far, both for the quality of the conversations and the networking. It was a very good event; the level of the presentations and the quality of the speakers were optimal.”

Knut Frostad summarised most delegates’ thoughts: “If you don’t care about the sport of sailing, then you don’t need to come to the Forum.”

Meanwhile, day 2 of the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium, running parallel to the Forum, carried forward with moderator Dobbs Davis coordinating fascinating debates and presentations on the AC 72 Class, and reliability versus risk management issues in yacht racing. A detailed release about the Symposium will be issued shortly.

High resolution photos of the event are available on the website: www.maxcomm-media.com

Details of the conference programme and speakers are available on the event’s website: www.worldyachtracingforum.com

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Media & Communication:
MaxComm Communication
Bernard Schopfer




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