Gathering of the clans

The World Yacht Racing Forum gets thedailysail thumbs up
After two rainy days in Monaco, the inaugural World Yacht Racing Forum has just concluded and it is safe to say it was a resounding success. With Peter Montgomery master of ceremonies, considerable ground was covered with excellent keynote speeches from Sir Keith Mills on the first day and Peter Gilmour to a slightly thinned out audience on day two. Those interested in the business of sponsorship and in particular its analysis were feverishly writing notes during today’s presentations by Annemarie Meyer, co-head of sponsorship at UBS and Ulrich Lacher, who’s company IFM Sports, advise on and analyse sponsorship strategies to the likes of Deutsche Telekom. Equally fascinating were the presentations from the panel including Oman Sail’s Albert Whitley, Patrick Lim (founder of the Monsoon Cup, Tim Coventry (advised on the establishment of Korea’s boat show and Chairman of the World Match Racing Tour, Scott Macleod on ‘the rise of yacht racing events in the Middle East and Asia’. It seems that if you have a country with a coastline in this region, then it is considered rife for the development of tourism, and yacht racing in some guise as a perfect marketing tool for this. Former Laser boss, Tim Coventry recounted how the event he had been dealing with was uniquely located - on a stretch of virgin coastline between North and South Korea where within the last two years, for the first time 50 years the razorwire has been taken down. For us personally the highlights were the America’s Cup discussion and the presentation by Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad on Wednesday. In the former we finally got to see Alinghi and BMW Oracle in the same space discussing the current problems besetting the America’s Cup, while with the round the world race in full swing and