Monday, December 01, 2008

One week to the World Yacht Racing Forum

With just over one week to go to the first World Yacht Racing Forum in Monaco (10-11 December), the event schedule and list of speakers are now final. Both have been amended in order to make the conference as interesting as possible, and to address some of the industry’s most up to date issues and topics in the business of yacht racing.

“The voice of sailing”, New Zealander Peter Montgomery, will attend the Forum to introduce the panellists, and moderate some of the conference sessions and debates

The conference will start on December 10 with a keynote address by Sir Keith Mills, one of the key figures behind London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, and currently head of Team Origin’s campaign to win the next America’s Cup.

Veteran America’s Cup and round the world sailor Paul Cayard will join the first topic of the Forum discussing ‘The World of Yacht Racing; how do we drive the global growth of our sport?’ along with ISAF President Goran Petersson, Tim Coventry (Connect to Sailing) and Paul Strzelecki (joint CEO of Henri Lloyd).

Just back from India, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad will share the latest news from the Volvo Ocean Race with us, and offer an insight into the future of a global sailing event at 11:00 AM.

The second debate of the day will allow Mark Turner (CEO of OC Group), Christophe Baudry (Communications Director of Vendee Globe Race), Stuart Quarrie (CEO of Cowes Week) and Knut Frostad to discuss The Critical Factors to ensure Successful Commercial Event Management.

After the lunch break, double Olympic champion Shirley Robertson, Marcus Hutchinson (VOR Communications Director), Cliff Webb (CEO of 1080 Media), Andrew Hurst (Editor of Seahorse Magazine), Richard Simmonds and Bernard Schopfer will share their views on How can we improve the exposure and interest of Sailing to Broadcast and Media.

Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club Monaco, host of the 2008 Forum, will then tell us about The Growth of Classic Yacht Racing, before a much anticipated panel discussion on the America’s Cup with panellists Paul Cayard, Alinghi’s Brad Butterworth, Sir Keith Mills, Stéphane Kandler and Alessandra Pandarese, discussing The future of the Americas Cup after AC 32.

Closing the day at the Monaco Meridien hotel, The ‘Track & Ocean’ cocktail reception jointly hosted with the Motorsport Business Forum will offer an ideal opportunity for delegates from both conferences to meet and network with each other.

Thursday 11 December will begin with a discussion on The Impact of Sailing Events on Host Cities and Nations, featuring Rod Carr OBE (CEO of Royal Yachting Association), Tony Guiu (CEO of Pertrechos Group), Robbie Ferron (Founder of Sint Maarten Regatta) and David Stubley (Board Director of Clipper Ventures Plc).

Annemarie Meyer (Co-Head of Sponsorship UBS AG), Riccardo Simoneschi (CEO of B Plan Marketing), Andrew Pindar (CEO of Pindar Group) and Ulrich Lacher (MD of IFM Sports) will then discuss The Value of Sailing Sponsorship. How effective is the Return?

The afternoon will lead with a session entitled The Rise of Yacht Racing Events in the Middle East & Asia; featuring Albert Whitley (CEO of Oman Sail), Datuk Patrick Lim (Founder of the Monsoon Cup, Malaysia), Tim Coventry (Marine Consultant to the Nation of Korea) and Scott Macleod (Chairman of the World Match Racing Tour).

The last debate of the 2008 Forum will question The Commercial Value and Future of Offshore Short Handed Racing. With 30 yachts on the starting line and an outstanding media coverage, the Vendée Globe is a public and commercial success whilst at the same time the 60’ multihulls are momentarily in a hiatus. Why is this? Where should sponsors invest in the future? How do the returns compare to a VOR or an AC? These are some of the questions that Mark Turner (CEO of OC Group), Juan Kouyoumdjian (Racing Yacht Designer), Tim Jeffery (Sailing Journalist), Herbert Dercksen (CEO of Tornado Sport) and Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thompson will discuss.



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