Greensleeves


Ellen's profile has to be enticing people into our sport
 

Ellen's profile has to be enticing people into our sport

Andy Green considers the Ellen phenomenon how this is helping entice new blood into our sport
I have just been at the SORC (now Miami Race Week) in Miami and it proved a trip down memory lane for me as I used to work on a boat in South Beach Harbour exactly 10 years ago, polishing stainless and cleaning the bilges of Mumm 36s. This time I sailed with an old friend on the Melges 24 Rainbow. They are fantastic boats, still as modern as ever with competitive, close racing in a big fleets wherever you go, and they are sooo cheap! I am really looking forward to the Europeans in Torquay where they are talking about at least 80 boats. What a blast and what a resilient class. The headlines this last month have been dominated by Ellen. She has made a total transition to mainstream fame and this is surely a good thing for sailing. I am constantly asked by non-sailors about how she does it, what drives her and how much she is now charging for weddings and bar mitzvahs. For sailing in general Ellen and her team have shown how it is possible to give a return to sponsors. B&Q/Castorama must surely be impressed at their return if their investment was £5 million as is widely touted when it was signed. 5 million! What a bargain that has proved to be! Hopefully good returns for sponsors and managing your goals realistically will ensure that sponsors who sign up for big events in the future are not given short shrift. I am thinking here of HSBC who sponsored Graham Dalton for a sum rumoured to be not that dissimilar to B&Q/Castorama's investment and who are locally in Qatar now involved in Tracy Edwards’ Oryx Cup. I am all for being positive but the Oryx Cup is certainly not providing non-sailing returns in the UK

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