Sport or circus? Part two

In our second installment OC boss Mark Turner looks at how he plans to grow the iShares Cup
This article follows on from part one here There is also a potential problem, as they also have on the Audi MedCup that the circuit comprises a mix of private and corporate funded teams, which don’t always have the same needs. With the iShares Cup it is easier because they have laid out their stall – it is unashamedly commercial and those who sign up for it do so to be part of that. While on the MedCup privately backed boats are now in the majority, on the iShares Cup there is Eric Maris’ Luna and possible Gitana. The rest are paid for by sponsorship. With the racing arena set up close to shore, OC have also been trying to develop the shore-side ‘village’ to ensure the best spectator experience. There is of course commentary and a VIP tent. At Cowes Week this year they pushed the boat out and had a two storey building with VIP area upstairs and a public bar downstairs. Turner acknowledges that there is some way to go with this and upping the game will be directly proportional to the degree of support coming from the venues. At present the circuit mostly comprises events such as Cowes and Amsterdam where OC are effectively still paying to lay on their events. But the bar is set to be raised at the last event in this year’s iShares Cup, in Almeria, Spain over 10-12 October. “With Andalucia this year that is our first proper venue partnership. They studied the event over the two previous years and then they decided to go for it and signed a three year deal. It is a real partnership which they are working really hard on. That final event of the year promises to be a whole new step up for us. It