Glen Trusswell and Sam Pascoe extended their lead at the I-14 World Championships after day 5 in Carnac…
Glen Trusswell and Sam Pascoe extended their lead at the I-14 World Championships after day 5 in Carnac…
(August 31, 2016) – Florida officials issued the first hurricane watch in four years for the west coast of the state today as Tropical Storm Hermine strengthened and continued its slow churn toward the state. Coastal residents have been evacuated, schools and colleges are closed Thursday and Friday, and officials have opened shelters for evacuees. Residents of Hawaii’s Big Island rushed preparations to completion this afternoon as a weakening Hurricane Madeline closed in, the first of two tropical systems pushing toward the state. The National Hurricane Center warned that the storm will pass “dangerously close” to the Big Island tonight.
To win a Paralympic gold medal in the SKUD18 a team needs to be in-sync with each other on the water, and as current Paralympic champions in the class, Australia’s Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch certainly are. But, out of the water, their personalities are totally different ends of the spectrum.
Fitzgibbon explains how it all works for them saying, “Sailing is such a unique sport that throws challenges for different people. I have my challenges and Liesl has her own challenges on the water but somehow, we are very polar opposite in our personalities and not very usual in how we are, but we meet somewhere in the middle to make a normal person. I’m the still water to her rapids.”
Echoing her partner’s thoughts, Tesch says, “Us coming together is a magic combination of calm and energy that just balances perfectly on the boat.”
If London 2012 is to go by, the combination is magical. They won the Two Person Keelboat class. Defending that title may be a little harder though this time around according to Fitzgibbon, “It’s going to be a challenging venue. I’ve sailed a lot and I feel this is probably the most challenging venue I’ve ever sailed in. Anyone can win this regatta coming up and that will be great for the viewers.”
It isn’t just the venue that will make the SKUD18 attractive to viewers, the boat itself allows for any level of disability to compete on a level playing field, as Tesch notes, “The SKUD18, our boat, is an awesome boat designed for anybody to be out there on the water. I mean Daniel is one of the most disabled people in the Paralympic fleet but we are very competitive out there on the water.”
With an ‘awesome’ boat, a ‘challenging venue’ and two personalities that are so different, winning another gold medal will be difficult for the Aussie team, but for Tesch just performing at their peak is enough, “We both want to do the best we can. That’s not necessarily win, but just perform as individuals and bring that together as one unit to perform the best we possibly can.”
If the duo can perform to their best, there is a good chance another medal will follow judging by their history of results in major regattas. They are multiple World and Sailing World Cup champions as well as the defending Paralympic champions.
Fitzgibbon and Tesch begin the defence of their Paralympic gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on the Pão de Açucar race area of Guanabara Bay.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will take place on September 7-18 with the sailing scheduled to be raced on September 12-17 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Competition will be held in three events: 2.4 Norlin OD (singlehanded), SKUD18 (doublehanded), and Sonar (triplehanded).
To watch video…click here.
The 2016 Flying 15 Europeans are looking very much like a re-run of the 2014 event – Goacher v Wells
The 2016 One Ton Cup Regatta on September 16-18 will mark the return of the championship that has been idle since 2002. The FAST40+ Class is the first class to have the honour of racing for the trophy, which was made possible with the agreement of the Cercle de la Voile de Paris (the “Paris Yacht Club”) owner of the Cup, the support of Hamble Yacht Services, who will be the presenting partner, and the Royal Southern Yacht Club, who will be hosting the event in The Solent off Southampton, UK. Full report.
Brandon Scheid reports:
What makes a good downwinder? Flat water? Features? Beautiful views? This short downwind run in Squamish has all that and more. Probably my favorite downwinder I’ve ever done! It sure is amazing the places kiteboarding can take you.
The end of a professional sailing career as he knew it was the start of an unexpected Paralympic journey.
Carnac, France (August 31, 2016) – After yesterday’s layday, 76 teams returned to the International 14 World Championship for the fifth race. Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe (GBR) posted a second to extend their lead to 10 points over Neale Jones and Ed Fitzgerald (GBR), with more Brits and Aussies filling the top ten. Racing continues to September 2. Full report.
Max Crittenden switches kites outside San Francisco Bay.
The Cascais SB20 World Championships got off to a strong start with Hugo Rocha POR, the clear leader…
Already boasting a gold and two silver Paralympic medals, Germany’s Jens Kroker has seen it and done it all in the Sonar. However, heading in to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games he was faced with a challenge he hadn’t ever thought of or wished for.
All Images & Results mumblesyachtclub.co.uk – Simon & Josh have been injured for a while, so not able to train much for several months. Josh had a road bike crash and broke several ribs but continued their winning streak despite of the lack of sailing. Simon’s Hyde Sails set are now being adopted by many in the UK and with the background info I have also in the US and…
We know you’ve all been waiting for the Sailing Anarchy take on Rio 2016 and the US Sailing Team, so strap on your listening helmets and get ready for Sailing Anarchy Podcast # 9. We grabbed Nacra 17 helm Bora Gulari to find out how all his Olympic gear was stolen (in Detroit), how he got it back, and everything Olympic we could cram into 2 hours of slightly inebriated yapping…
by Laurie Fullerton
New England’s top sailors gathered on August 26-28 for the coveted end of summer event. – the ONE (Offshore New England Championships) Regatta, which saw over 80 boats racing off Marblehead.
The ONE Regatta has evolved from the former PHRF New England’s, which once attracted over 1,000 sailors. As the big boat numbers have dwindled, the racing format has evolved to include smaller, sport boats and the change has received a lot of positive feedback from the sailors.
“We have to be nimble enough to make changes and we have incorporated the smaller sport boats like the J/70s and the Vipers,” said event organizer Carter White of Maine. “We are pleased that so many of the traditional guys are still coming here. Folks like Bob Kellogg have been coming for 30 plus years as sell as sailors like Phil de Carlo. We are glad they keep coming and we are trying to be a completely independent event and our sponsors come from the maritime fields.”
The event was unique this year because it had a double-handed overnight component featuring racing overnight and offshore on Saturday with an additional race on Sunday. Racing his Sabre 28-2 Ketch, Richard Sides topped the fleet.
“We really get a lot out of long distance sailing and double handed sailing,” said Alessandro Pagani who raced his Alerion 41 “Nina”. “We saw five shooting stars out there and had very calm seas overnight. We feel that shorthanded sailing is not just about sailing but you have to manage fatigue, coordinate sleep and be ready to make decisions quickly. We take 20-minute naps over nights and it is an entirely different experience.”
Seventeen races, seven-top international teams, 35 world-class sailors, 45,000 spectators and one final race shoot-out. Watch the best moments from the Extreme Sailing Series Hamburg on July 28-31. Video published on Aug 30, 2016.
The Extreme Sailing Series is in its tenth season, with this year’s eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and Australia. The platform used is the one design foiling GC32 catamaran, with the format highlighting ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public.
March 16-19 – Muscat, Oman
April 29-May 2 – Qingdao, China
June 23-26 – Cardiff, UK
July 28-31 – Hamburg, Germany
September 1-4 – St Petersburg, Russia
September 22-25 – Madeira Islands, Portugal
October 6-9 – Lisbon, Portugal
December 8-11 – Australia (location TBD)
Our first two weeks on the water with the Expedition Canoes have brought us from Norfolk to Charleston! The boats are incredibly fun, though they require a fair amount of skill to sail upwind in breeze over 10 knots. The narrow beam of the boat allows them to move quickly, but also makes them prone to rolling in puffy conditions, which we’ve seen a lot of in the narrow channels of the ICW.
Fiona, Laura and Jennah are new to dinghy sailing, so these first weeks have been focused on developing skills, and less on grinding out each mile. The Outer Banks brought 20 knot winds which allowed us to strength test all the gear. So far, no breakdowns! Once we reached Ocracoke we crossed back to the mainland in a ferry to pickup the ICW again. One highlight was spending a night on Shackleford Banks with their famous inhabitants, 120 or so wild horses that have lived there for centuries.
Holy shit the 14 Worlds are on! Apologies on the late reports but 14 sailing is hard and 14 parties can be liver obliterating!
So far we are about half way through the event. The 2 weeks started with Team racing which was the 14′s original world championship (back to the 1930′s) and that was won by Team GBR after the wind died in the finals and they kept the title and beat Team USA based on overall points. The big 14 Team Racing party left the French organizers yelling that they had to shut down the games due to the French still being in a state of emergency… All good times but Team USA made sure to close the activities down with no one left un-offended.
The big individual Worlds is now 4 days/4 races in. Being a very high tech but old class – the first ISAF recognized class our rules state one very long race a day – and they’ve consisted so far of 1.5-2 mile beats of a W-L-W-Triange-W-L-W-Triangle-W-Finish format that the boats with top boat speed, no breakdowns, and top boat handling at the top. Day 3 was wind up to 20 knots and we saw masts, boats and crews crumbling in half – with long nights of carbon repair back at the boat shed.
Thus far the British are showing that they are still tops, Some select Aussies are up in the top ten with a few Germans, USA boats and Canadians filling in behind. The boats were absolutely flying on Day 3 hitting 20 knots downwind and day 2 and 4 were really good as well. These boats are a blast!
Today is the lay day which means last night was big for all! Team Germany hosted their ‘pass out in the gutter party’ and they did not disappoint… There are some ‘very 14′ traditions in the fleet inspired by Team Japan and we had 4 step up to ‘Jungle Fire’ sorry peeps we cannot show the video! The French Cops left around 2am and I ducked out and unsuccessfully skateboarded home at 3:30 – not sure what happened after that.
The town and YC of Carnac is absolutely a sailing mecca – surrounded by Le Trinite’ and Lorient everyone here sails. If your class has an event here – do not miss it. More excitement to happen in the next few days and we’ll report on the madness.
14′s are Forever – Cheers!
New Zealand Team racing Feng Shui of Andrew Wills, Anatole Masfen and Matthew Kelway, has win 2016 Etchells Open European Championship
Steve Goacher and Tim Harper have a four point lead after four races of the Flying 15 European championships
Thijs van Riemsdijk of Holland Composites BV provides this update from their facilities in Lelystad, The Netherlands…
After eight months of hard work, we have splashed and shipped the DNA’s first 46-foot F4 foiling catamaran for sea trials and commissioning in the United States. Our project partners Shannon Falcone and Tommy Loughborough of Exile Expeditions, will coordinate operations in Newport, RI in early September.
Our goal at DNA has been to design and build the most stable foiling platform available in a production catamaran. We have created an accessible boat offering speed and easy handling for those passionate about joining the foiling generation.
The design and manufacturing techniques focused on safety, efficiency and sustained flight in waves with coastal racing in mind. The spacious and unobstructed cockpit includes wheels at the helm, pedestal powered primary winches/hydraulic functions and a fluid layout to allow for a wide variety of sail combinations with limited hands on deck.
To make ownership as cost effective and sensible as possible, the F4 is strict One Design. In choosing our components, we put a lot of effort into gauging the balance between weight, durability, and cost. In most instances we went for reliability and safety factors over weight savings, and by partnering with industry leading suppliers, secured competitive pricing in exchange for class exclusivity. We are hopeful the market will embrace our passion to produce uncompromising foiling craft.
The class will be managed by Exile Expeditions and named the TOUR DE FOIL (TDF). The class management will develop sustainability guidelines and focus on consistency and value in class organization. TDF offers a unique ownership experience, rewarding both on and off the water. We at DNA will focus on craftsmanship and consistency of production and Exile Expeditions is responsible for organizing a world class grand prix racing experience.
Owner Driver racing is where the up and coming talent of our sport meets the network that enables a sustainable career as a professional sailor. Buying a boat is much more than purchasing an asset. It’s the creation of a team, broadening of a community, and investment in the culture and environment that we leave to the next generation.
We have tried to keep the price point as low as possible without compromising safety, performance, or the experience of participating in the TDF. Despite the lack of compromise, the DNA F4 is more affordable than a new TP52, sails at twice the speed, and at a third of the operating cost.
This first boat is being commissioned by Bronco Sailing Team’s Michael Dominguez of Barrington, RI. Dominguez, Loughborough, and Falcone have been sailing together since 2009. Winners of the One Design catamaran class at the NYYC race week in July, they are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their next adventure.
“There’s no feeling like foiling,” remarks Dominguez. “For me this was an opportunity to support two exceptional sailors who I have raced with for a long time and to take a small part in moving performance sailing forward with a foiling platform that was exquisitely designed and executed by DNA.”
About DNA F4
The F4 is an all-out strict 46ft One Design racing machine with a target range of 1000nm. The multihull platform blends the performance and efficiency of foiling with the familiarity of a monohull that can be sailed to its potential both inshore and offshore. The flexibility of its deck layout and systems incorporate Shannon’s experience in the Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup. http://dnaperformancesailing.com/our-boats/dna-f4-offshore-racer/
DNA is part of Dutch-based advanced composites constructions company Holland Composites. In addition to 25 years of carbon boat building experience, Holland Composites serves various other markets with niche composite products such as architectural façades and tidal turbine blades. DNA also designed and built various A-class catamarans which have been the platform of choice for the last five World Champions.
About Shannon Falcone
Shannon is a 34-year-old professional sailor from Antigua who grew up racing in the Caribbean. He has competed in four America’s Cup campaigns, and was onboard Oracle Team USA for their successful 2013 defense in San Francisco. Furthermore, he has been involved in two Volvo Ocean Races with Puma Ocean Racing and currently races on Comanche, the 100ft super maxi that successfully set a new Transatlantic Monohull World Record a few weeks ago. You can follow Shannon on social media via @racingsf.
About Tommy Loughborough
Tommy, also 34 years old, and Shannon met in 2004 racing on the owner driven Swan 68 Chippewa. Tommy has since raced in the international Grand Prix and One Design fleets, specializing in team and project management. His experience within owner-driver racing will guide the F4 One Design class priorities toward meeting the unique needs of the benefactors of sailboat racing. You can follow Tommy on social media via @tloughboro.
Source: Holland Composites BV
All Images Courtesy of Jasper van Staveren – www.jaspervanstaveren.com – Shots from the Red Bull Foiling Generation Belguim Series from last week. Lots of nice shots by Jasper to publish so I will make a series of posts too from each day. Click images for slideshow & HQ.
With a five-point lead on the overall scoreboard, following their last gasp win in Hamburg, the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus to make sure they perform to their maximum capabilities right up until the final race in Sydney in December.
Memorable because 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the very first Swan yacht; an opportune moment to celebrate both the heritage and the continued evolution of one of the leading – and most distinctive – marques in the sailing world.
It was the final Sailing event of the 2016 Olympic Games, and with four teams within one point of the gold medal, it was easily the most thrilling. A report in The Seattle Times provides the background of how the 49erFX Women’s skiff event joined the Olympic program. Here’s an excerpt…
This Olympics marked the debut of women’s high-performance skiff sailing, a fact for which the 20 teams who competed in Rio de Janeiro have Seattle’s Jen Morgan Glass to thank for the opportunity.
Glass, 36, is widely acknowledged as one of the main players in the drive to get women’s high-performance skiff racing into the Olympic Games.
“I can say unabashedly that it wouldn’t have happened without Jen,” said Julian Bethwaite, who designed the 49er, the boat the 49erFX was based on.
The fight to get women’s skiff racing into the Olympics was an uphill battle that spanned eight years and multiple countries.
But it all started one summer day in San Francisco in 2005, when Glass fell in love with a boat that forever altered her perspective on sailing.
Glass is a former international-class sailor who has long held Olympic aspirations of her own.
Sailing the 470 class racing dinghy, Glass came painfully close to making the Athens Olympics when she finished third in the 2003 U.S. Olympic trials and wrapped up that year with full intention of bouncing back to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Life, however, had other plans for Glass.
In 2005, while with her husband, Ben, at the 29er World Championships in San Francisco, Jen tried her hand at skiff racing for the first time and fell in love with the craft.
The boat Glass sailed in 2005 was Bethwaite’s prototype of the 29erXX, a smaller, easier-to-steer precursor to the 49erFX that Henken and Scutt will sail this week in Rio.
At that point, Glass’ ambitions morphed. She decided that the next time she mounted an Olympic campaign, it would be as a high-performance skiff sailor.
The problem, however, was that in 2005, there was no women’s skiff-racing event in the Olympic sailing lineup. Thus began the quest to get women’s skiff racing into the Olympic Games. – Read on
It was 50 years ago this week that Francis Chichester set sail from the south coast of England bound for Cape Horn and a single-handed lap of the planet. It was a voyage that changed sailing history. When Chichester returned to England in May the following year he was given a hero’s welcome and indeed he deserved it. The former aviator was greeted by a crowd estimated to be around a half million people and later he was knighted by the queen who used the same sword that was used honor Francis Drake. His was the first solo circumnavigation that took in the five great capes and his accomplishment inspired a new generation of offshore sailors.
It’s worth noting that prior to Chichester there had already been some extraordinary circumnavigations including the very first solo circumnavigation by Joshua Slocum in 1895, but Chichester was the first to round Cape Horn. Slocum sailed through the Strait of Magellan. In 1932 the American sailor Harry Pidgeon circumnavigated twice single-handed but he went through the Panama Canal. In 1962 the New Zealand sailor Adrian Hayter became the first person to sail around the world in both directions but he too went through the Panama Canal. Indeed almost 20 people had sailed around the world single-handed before Chichester, but his voyage aboard Gypsy Moth was the one that changed things and there was a number of reasons for this…
All images courtesy of Malcolm Hanes / Swedish F18 Assoc / Lars Linder – Click for Slideshow & HQ. The F18 still mantains great assets like fleets nrs and special events like the Stockholm Archipelago Raid. Along Garda events or St Barts and more event like those, it will be the base the Class should look to adapt to new era.
Great shots & scenery by Malcolm Hanes
Rob Greenhalgh sweeps to International Moth UK title with back to back wins on final day…
Cowes, UK (August 29, 2016) – In advance of the Etchells World Championship next week, the first day of the Etchells Open European Championship proved to be a long one as the wind refused to settle down until mid-afternoon. Once the wind committed to the northwest, three good races were held in the Central Solent. However, it wasn’t until sundown that the fleet returned to Cowes Yacht Haven.
“With a forecast for less wind tomorrow, we knew we had to get the races in today, and that was a difficult task,” noted Principal Race Officer Phil Lawrence. “Once we got going, the wind was still shifting around, but at least we had a peak of 15 knots – the mark layers had a tough day of it today. With the forecast conditions tomorrow, we have amended the schedule to start after 2 p.m. Hopefully, we will get at least one race in to make the series.”
The top Etchells team today was Feng Shui, from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Auckland, NZ. Helmed by Andrew Wills and owned by Anatole Masfen, Matthew Kelway completes the line up. The team has won several New Zealand National Titles and Wills was on Jud Smith’s winning team for the 2006 Etchells Worlds.
“We haven’t done much practice so far for the worlds, so we are very happy with the results today,” commented Andrew Wills. “Our speed is good but we are not taking anything for granted. To be honest, we got lucky with the shifts today. We have sailed together for over ten years, so spending ten hours on a boat together is not a problem. We hope we can continue the good form tomorrow.”
The top Corinthian crew today was Luder, from the Royal Ocean Racing Club, skippered by the club’s CEO Eddie Warden Owen. Olympic medallist Ossie Stewart and double Finn World Masters Champion, John Greenwood, make up the crew.
“The race team did a very good job today; getting in three decent races was extremely difficult,” commented Eddie Warden Owen. “We are still learning how to sail the boat, but today we had good speed and we got off the line. To do well in this fleet, we will have to consistently perform at that level.”
Ante Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue, representing the Yacht Club Costa Esmeralda, finished the day second, three points behind Feng Shui. Chris Hampton’s Tango, representing the Royal Brighton Yacht Club Victoria AUS, finished the day in third. Steve Benjamin’s team from the Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, Connecticut USA was fourth. There were race wins today for Jim Cunningham’s Lifted from San Francisco USA and Andy Beadsworth’s K2 from Warsash SC UK.
Racing for the 2016 Etchells Open European Championship concludes tomorrow. One more race will constitute a series, two more will see the discard kick in. Live Tracking and social media coverage from 1400 local time (GMT+1).
Day One Results (Top 10 of 50; 3 races)
1. Feng Shui, Andrew Wills / Anatole Masfen / Matthew Kelway , NZL – 1 -5 -7 ; 13
2. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic / Chris Larson / Brian Hammersley , GBR – 2 -12 -2 ; 16
3. Tango, Chris Hampton / Sam Haines / Mark Andrews , AUS – 3 -10 -10 ; 23
4. Scimitar, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet , USA – 11 -13 -3 ; 27
5. Bon Vivant, Lucy Macgregor / Nicky Mcgregor / Dave Evans / Annie Lush , GBR – 19 -2 -15 ; 36
6. Elizabeth , Tom Carruthers / Chris Busch / Andrew Palfrey , USA – 28 -4 -4 ; 36
7. Luder, Edward Owen / John Greenwood / Simon Stewart , GBR – 8 -9 -19 ; 36
8. Lifted, Jim Cunningham / Jeff Madrigali / Mark Ivey / Bryn Bachman , USA – 12 -1 -24 ; 37
9. Aretas, Skip Dieball / Jon McClean / Jeff Eiber , USA – 17 -6 -14 ; 37
10. Jolly Roger, Tom Abrey / Matt Reid / Jack Wetherell , GBR – 6 -8 -26 ; 40
Report by Louay Habib.
Carnac, France (August 29, 2016) – Day four at the VRsport.tv International 14 World Championships was a world away from the carnage of day three. The sun was high in the sky, there was a fresh breeze out in the bay, and the atmosphere at Carnac Yacht Club reflected the conditions. Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe (GBR) stepped back into their usual position at the first windward mark to win their third race of the series, now leading Neale Jones/Ed Fitzgerald (GBR) by six points. Full report.
Paralympic gold medalist Maureen Mckinnon heads to Rio hoping for more hardware, this time with a young ace at the helm.
While they arrived by individual paths to the sonar, these three sailors move forward to rio Together.
After a five day, nine race series, Hollandia of the Netherlands wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions and Hollandia managed to win every race.
Video by Neil Marcellini: “The best way to end an epic summer! It was a lot of work to organize this video, and a little sketchy because we weren’t able to have a support boat, but glad we could make it work! Thanks to Joe for the song.”
They captured the hearts of Newport and beyond as the youngest team in the race last edition, and now Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. We caught up with them to chat about everything from the transition back into ‘real life’, their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign – and the future.
Yet another great set of images by Jodie Bawden / www.jnbimages.co.uk, who shot also some of the best shots from the Worlds at Medemblik. British Nats Final results pending.
Full Gallery at British A-Class Assoc. Contact Joide at jnbimages.co.uk & her Fb page.
Team Jolly – Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, 2012 Womens 470 Gold Medalists and now 2016 Olympic Silver Medalists review their four year Olympic campaign leading to the Rio Olympics
Strange to be sitting here, writing this, these last few weeks being the culmination of a huge four years, eight years together as a team and twelve years of Olympic campaigning for Jo.
All Images Formula 18 Italia, Full gallery at formula18.it — Iordanis Paschalidis & Lorenzo Bianchini doninated the 2016 joined Italian & German Nats Championships held at Circolo Vela Arco grabbing 6 bullets over 9 races, sailing the Windrush Edge / 1D Sails. Second place for Gianni Fantasia & Davide Recalcati(C2/Landenberger/SI Spi) , the Italian crew recovered the vice…
Microbeads can be used in medicine for a range of treatments, but do we really need them in face wash and other body scrubs?
When British sailing entrepreneur, Mark Turner, took over the reins at the Volvo Ocean Race earlier this year, the sailing world breathed a sigh of relief, happy in the knowledge that one of our sport’s premiere brands was in safe hands.
But this was not the first time Turner had been offered one of the top jobs in sailing. He was close to taking over at the America’s Cup prior to the 34th edition in San Francisco but opted to continue with OC Sport, the business he had built from scratch into a significant extreme sports marketing company involved in sailing, cycling and skiing.
Sail Racing Magazine Editor, Justin Chisholm, asked Turner recently what had been different about the Volvo Ocean Race opportunity. Here’s an excerpt of Mark’s comments:
The America’s Cup very much revolves around private wealth. There’s nothing negative about that, but if I’m honest, my professional interest has always been around brands and making the sport work on a purely commercial front. For me, that side is more fun and perhaps more interesting.
It’s important to say that I was close to taking the America’s Cup job, very close to taking it in fact. But in the end, I went a different route.
I think it’s wrong to compare the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race and I don’t know if you really can, but ultimately the Volvo has probably more scale. It has more scale on a global level consistently, across public, B2B or anything else. That said, the America’s Cup is very big and has a big image in some countries, at certain times bigger than the Volvo Ocean Race will probably ever have.
It’s the amount of scale that the Volvo Ocean Race has which makes it so interesting for me. At OC Sport we were always fighting from a lower level scale-wise, so we were limited in what we could actually do and always trying to keep the company together, to survive and not go bust. It’s exciting now to be able to take what I’ve learned and use the scale of the Volvo Ocean Race to do some much bigger things.
That’s not to say the Volvo Ocean Race does not face big commercial challenges. It could equally go wrong if we make some big mistakes. Our starting point is something in the region of two and half million visitors and 100,000 VIPs in the last race across 11 venues.
It’s also important to recognize that when you have a great title sponsor who also happens to be the owner, that gives you a little bit longer term view of things than a normal sports property.