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  1. Patrick L
    Dec 9, 2009 @ 22:06

    Va fan – tankeläsning eller??? Precis när du postar detta sitter jag och skriver mail till Henke Sund (som är där som talare) och frågar hur det går :-)

    Hoppas att Henke kommer tillbaka med en liten rapport. Vi hade trevligt när vi skrev vår rapport från en krog nere i hamnen förra året, men i år hade jag inte möjlighet att åka tyvärr.


  2. Peter Gustafsson
    Dec 10, 2009 @ 22:26

    Day 2 of the World Yacht Racing Forum
    Great success for second edition of World Yacht Racing Forum

    The second edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum closed its doors tonight following eight debates and several presentations held over two days at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum. The highlights of the day were the America’s Cup session – with the exceptional presence of both Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth – as well as the contributions by double Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux and Brown GP F1 team CEO Nick Fry.

    December 10, 2009 – Over 350 key figures from the yacht racing industry attended the second edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum. Their feedback was a positive one, everyone recognising the quality of the debates and the importance of such an international Forum to debate the key issues our sport faces.

    Today’s keynote speaker Michel Desjoyeaux, double winner of the Vendée Globe, reminded the audience that the sport of sailing looks clean from outside but needs to better its carbon footprint. “We have a responsibility”, he commented; a wise reminder following the Copenhagen climate conference. Desjoyeaux went on to say that the sport of sailing is a great platform of integration for the younger generation, and especially for the ones who encounter problems in suburban areas. “It is wrong to consider our sport as an activity for the rich people. The access to our sport is easy and cheap. We have several projects that demonstrate this clearly in France.” Desjoyeaux concluded by talking about the business model of our sport and the direction it should take. “We don’t need to reduce our costs; what we need to do is increase the return we provide to our partners.”

    A message that provided a perfect introduction to the next session, entitled “Cutting racing costs – how can we meet the challenges of today’s economy?” Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, made it clear from the onset that reducing costs was a matter of survival. “Our sport is small and we need to work collectively at growing it. We can achieve this by reducing costs in several areas, and particularly in the technical side of the sport: there is money wasted in this area. I am also in favour of salary caps”, he said. “On the other hand, I am not in favour of subsidising teams like some events do. It is the wrong approach.”

    Also involved in this panel of experts, Dominique Wavre, President of the IMOCA, explained that the Open 60 Class was facing – and trying to address – fundamental issues of reliability, safety and budget control. “We had 30 boats at the start of the last Vendée Globe but only 11 made it to the arrival. We want to have 30 boats again in the next edition and we will achieve this if we manage to develop boats that are more reliable whilst protecting the existing platforms.”

    Other speakers such as Josh Hall – President of the Portimao Global Race – presented a cheaper alternative whilst the Audi MedCup Director Ignacio Triay confessed that it was difficult to trim down the costs “because we risk to reduce as a consequence the level of services provided to the teams and the partners.”

    The debate moved on to the governance of yacht racing – How does sailing compare to other sports? The presence of the Secretary General of ISAF Jerome Pels made it both interesting and controversial, with the panellists as well as the floor putting a strong pressure on the Sports governing body’s spokesman. CEO of the Brawn GP Formula One team, Nick Fry followed with amusement before observing that “this looks like a bogus model!” Fry then took some distance and suggested that the sports’ main actors look at the broad picture: “Rather than focusing on the details, ask yourselves: What are your goals? What is your global strategy? I don’t know your sport but it doesn’t seem to be managed professionally and for the benefits of its participants.” Nick Fry concluded by an advice: “Look at what the main corporations want. Observe the level of return they receive in other sports such as Football or Formula One. Your competition should be us!” He finally reminded the audience that his team was small – 450 employees, a budget of 100 million Euros / year, 18 events per year followed by 400 journalists: statistics that clearly illustrate the massive gap that our sport needs to fill.

    The afternoon session began with a debate about the future of multihull racing. Being former Olympic racers and multihull experts, all panellists agreed that it was an absolute shame that the Tornados had been taken away from the Olympic program; nobody in the 350 strong audience said the contrary… The reasons were more interesting to understand. Mitch Booth, a double Olympic medallist, explained that “multihulls have always struggled with acceptance within the institutions, the yacht clubs or federations. They have been banned for years. There is unfortunately a cultural issue still to resolve.” Cam Lewis, who is one of the best promoters of multihull racing in the US, considers that “this issue will be resolved. There are currently several successful projects – including the forthcoming America’s Cup – that need to be used to the benefit of multihull racing.”

    Founder of the Extreme 40 concept, Herbert Dercksen confirmed that the platform he successfully developed has “helped overcome this stigma.” Other promising projects such as the MOD – Multi One Design trimarans – are on their way, and could well become tomorrow’s most successful in and offshore multihull project. “There should also be some individual projects in parallel”, commented Desjoyeaux. “This is how the sport and the technology can evolve.”

    More than 500 delegates – including the ones involved in the adjacent Superyachts Coating Conference and the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium – then walked into the Grimaldi Forum auditorium for the events Grand Finale, the long expected America’s Cup session.

    CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts was first on the podium, speaking with enthusiasm about his trimaran’s wing – “bigger than any wing ever built including airplanes.” Coutts spoke at lengths about his passion for the America’s Cup, and the characteristics that made it so dear to him. “Some of the lessons for the future lie in the past”, he claimed. “Freemantle was one of the most exciting America’s Cups ever. Auckland showed the benefits of a custom built harbour, and the importance of a strong local support. Finally, Valencia illustrated the benefits of a global management for both the Challengers series and the America’s Cup. All those events were very successful in their way. I have one question”, he concluded: “why change such a successful format?”

    Brad Butterworth, President of Alinghi, followed on stage and reminded the audience about the ground rules of the event. “The founding document of the America’s Cup is the Deed of Gift. We can amend the rules if we agree to do it by mutual consent. However, in this case, there was no mutual consent.” Butterworth also spoke with enthusiasm about the Alinghi 5 catamaran, telling the audience how exciting it was to sail on such a platform. “In the future, he said, we should seriously consider a multi-challenge America’s Cup on multihulls.” After confirming that his team would be ready to race on February 8, he expressed a wish: “Whoever looses the dual should be graceful and abandon any lawsuit.”

    Nicolo Bastianini, Paul Cayard, Magnus Holmberg, Stephan Kandler, Sotiris Buseas and Marcus Hutchinson then joined Coutts and Butterworth on stage for a debate about the future of the event after AC 33. Talking on behalf of their respective teams, all panellists expressed clear – yet solvable – differences regarding the format, dates and type of boat to use for the next edition of the regatta. On the other hand all panellists agreed that an independent management was necessary, Brad Butterworth reminding his colleagues that its establishment would be difficult due to the complexity of the event.

    Led by Paul Cayard, the speakers then unanimously endorsed the idea to rapidly create an official group of challengers and to start working concretely, together, on a Protocol for the next America’s Cup. A promising achievement in the current context and after two years of legal battles.

    The second edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum ended up on this positive note. Officially closing the event, the Forum’s Chairman Peter Gilmour highlighted the great quality of the debates held during two days in Monaco. “To be honest, I am not really surprised by this,” he said. “I just wonder why we haven’t started a long time ago. This is an exceptional reunion of the most influential people in our industry. Next year’s third edition of the Forum will be built on this event’s success.”


  3. Peter Gustafsson
    Dec 11, 2009 @ 07:43

    Kort sammanfattning från Henrik Sund:

    Årets World Yacht Racing Forum är över. Som vanligt var det en gedigen lista över deltagare och talare. Årets lista av talare inklusive mig själv inkluderar riktiga celebriteter som Richard Brisius, Sir Knox Jonston, Russel Coutts, Paul Cayard, Mark Turner, Karin Bäcklund (Volvo), Magnus Holmberg, Knut Frostad, Brad Butterworth osv osv

    Dessa talare och deltagare i paneler diskuterade utefter en agenda som bl a omfattade detta:

    The commercial case for sailing sponsorship
    Can yachting deliver economic returns för host cities and ports
    Leveraging the sponsorship deal
    Tapping into the new media audiences
    Who is triming costs for todays economy
    Governing our sport
    The AC, what is the future for the challengers?

    Så vad är värt att veta, Här kommer en galet förkortad lista:
    – Det kommersiella värdet av segling är generellt sett oklart
    – Seglingens kommersiellt största utvecklingspotential ligger ost om Afrika
    – Team som söker partnerskap med större organisationer och då slåss mot andra sporter som F1 och fotboll, måste bli vassare på att kunna presentera ROI – som bör ligga 6 gånger pengarna…
    – ISAF är under förändring. Vilket kan påverka enskilda evenemang negativt men gynna segelsporten.
    – En företrädare för ett F1 team påvisade vikten av en fungernade “governing body” för att sporten skall fungera och vara kommersiellt intressant.
    – ALLA är less på debaklet runt AC 33, inklusive Russel och Brad. Eventuellt kommer ett protokoll tas fram under ledning av Paul Cayard att tas fram för AC34 innan AC 33 går av stapeln. Detta för att säkerställa enigheten INNAN det finns en ny vinnare och en ny förlorare. Brad och Russel “lovar” att oavsett vem som vinner så kommer ingen att överklaga – detta skall lösas på vattnet. Fortsättning lär följa….


  4. MA
    Dec 11, 2009 @ 11:57

    Intressant läsning, många betydelsefulla poänger. Förstår att Jerome Pelps (ISAF generalsekreterare) fick det hett om öronen, och fick bära dumstruten i detta forum. Problemet med vår idrott är att den spänner över så mycket, kanske för mycket. ISAF kanske skulle avveckla proffsseglingen och vara konsekventa och syssla med det man ändå ser som viktigast – OS! Det är givetvis lätt att betrakta saker och ting från t.ex F1 cirkusen, där finns det helt andra naturliga och direkta komersiella kopplingar till bilindustrin, samtidigt som det är en areneasport som är lätt att förstå. Publiken har som regel en relation till en bil, jag själv kan relatera till fartens tjusning, vrålet från motorer. Det är givetivs lätt att “raljera” om seglingens “governing body”, om man inte behöver bry sig om verksamheter som inte är så där väldigt sexiga, men som är helt nödvändiga för att vi skall få bra kappseglare till de stora projekten. Det är givetvis lätt att glömma att även en F1 förare har gått vägen från GoKart på lokal nivå, med en alldaglig och hårt underfinanserad verksamhet, förmodligen organsierad av en “osexig” nationell och internationell “governing body”!
    Formel 1 är i sig ett eget “governing body” motsvarande tennisens ATP, eller golfens PGA. Om seglingen skapade sitt fristående ATP eller PGA kanske det blir en bra lösning? Fast jag tvivlar, vi har alldeles för många olika intresseområden som alla hävdar sin existens, dessutom ser vi samma seglare i de olika intresseområderna. Sponsorer blir förvirrade och har svårt att relatera till mångfalden av projekt, ett ROIx6 blir inte helt enkelt att räkna hem och förefaller helt orealistiskt, om det vore så enkelt hade väl varje investmentbolag bytt slipsen och kavaj till idrottsklädsel?


  5. Patrick L
    Dec 11, 2009 @ 18:06

    ROI x6 går säkerligen att uppnå om satsningen är på rätt nivå och man gör allt rätt. Det finns sådana exempel även inom segling, vill jag minnas från förra årets WYRF. Men man skall nog inte tro att alla sponsorsatsningar *i genomsnitt* kan ge detta… Så risknivån för ett investmentbolag blir nog lite hög… Men det finns ju skäl till att bolag som enbart håller med sportsponsring går runt.

    Inom seglingen så är väl America’s Cup och VOR vårt F1 och Nascar. Men tyvärr så har ju vårt högst profilerade event blivit ett dåligt skämt. Men VOR tycker jag är på väldigt god väg in i framtiden. Och det finns väl på sikt hopp även för AC. Jag är optimist!


  6. Greven
    Dec 12, 2009 @ 15:11

    Vad är ni ute och far efter? Gräslig reklam på våra eleganta yachter är inget för oss. Tacka vet jag Torbjörns Artemis, rent och snyggt. Har ni sett Torjörns samling av ryska ikoner? Kamrat Putin lär vara grön av avund!


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