Thursday, November 06, 2008

Three at once

I hope I am not the only one who has gotten reeled in by the sense of adventure that these around the around the world races have presented. The boats are leading edge, the conditions are unforgiving, the weather and communication systems are real time,… and I am finally learning my world geography. The teams have attracted elite sponsors, race villages are hosting huge spectator turnouts, and the quality of online reporting has never been higher. Yes, these races are good for the sport… but do we really need three at once.

Beginning next week, there will be three going on at the same time. I get the fact that you need to leave Europe in the fall to balance the seasons in the two hemispheres, but can’t we balance the schedule so there aren’t three at once? Wouldn’t it be nice for the sponsor to reap the benefits of total media exposure as opposed to divided exposure? Or how about the sailors who must choose between events.

Here is the line-up of around the world races:
Volvo Ocean Race: 8 crewed VO70 teams w/ stops
Vendee Globe: 30 solo Open 60s w/ no stops
Portimão Global Ocean Race: 2 solo Open 40, 4 dbl Class 40 w/ stops

The flooding from daily team media releases shall commence soon…yipee!

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At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Frederic said...

It's demand and supply. From the European perspective three may not be enough. Unfortunately Stateside we don't hold the same fervent appreciation for uber long distance racing and hence our collective imaginations are not sufficiently stimulated. Ask any kid enrolled in sailing class in France and they can name their favorite Open 60 skipper. They're heros! And the sponsors appreciate that kind of attention.


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