Top speaker line-up for World Yacht Racing Forum

Loick Peyron and James Spithill among the speakers this year in Estoril

Thursday August 5th 2010, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Portugal

The third World Yacht Racing Forum will take place on 14-15 December in Estoril, Portugal. Building up from the overwhelming success of the first two editions, which brought together hundreds of participants from all over the world, the two-day conference will once again be held alongside the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium dedicated to professional designers, builders and suppliers of racing yachts.

More than 30 top level speakers have already confirmed their participation; they include key members of the yacht racing industry and specialists from other areas such as marketing, communication, race management or brands. The conference will unite major yachting sponsors, industry suppliers, cities and venues. It will gather key members of the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, alongside top level mono and multihull sailors, yacht racing events and clubs. Other sports will be represented, giving the audience the opportunity to compare the organisation of sailing events with other disciplines and to learn from other sports.

"The Forum is all about learning, networking and exchanging ideas and experiences”, says James Pleasance, Event Director at Informa Yacht Group, the organisers of the event. “We have decided to open up the debates to other sports in order to allow everyone to learn from their experiences. We also want to welcome top brands and sponsors involved in yacht racing, and find out what has or hasn’t worked for them. Ultimately, our goal is to help the development of our industry and to increase the global value of our sport.”

Keynote speakers of the Forum 2010 will include Loïck Peyron (FRA) – one of the world’s most talented all-round sailors and James Spithill (AUS), helmsman and skipper of BMW Oracle Racing, recent winner of the America’s Cup.

Conference topics will include television and new media, Olympic sailing, venues, the development of sports personalities, brands and strategies. The future of sailing’s premier events will also be discussed, whilst delegates will have the opportunity to listen to an exclusive preview of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The debates and presentations will also highlight the differences between sailing and other sports and explore how our favourite discipline compares with other sports such as tennis and formula 1. The Forum will also focus on sustainable development, and explore ways to promote sailing as an environmentally friendly sport. Finally, the traditional America’s Cup debate will see the participation of the new America’s Cup Defender, BMW ORACLE Racing, as well as the challengers.

Speakers at the Forum will also include:

Karin Bäcklund, Director, Global Sponsorship and Brand Partnership Volvo Car Corporation, Michel Masquelier, President, IMG Media, Stewart Hosford, CEO, Hugo Boss Sailing, Richard Moore, CEO, Capitalize, Mark Turner, CEO, OC Group, Clifford Bloxham, Head of Athlete Representation, Octagon, Knut Frostad CEO, Volvo Ocean Race, Jim O’Toole CEO, World Match Racing Tour, Maria Ferreras, You Tube, Head of Partnerships, Southern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Pierre Ducrey, Head of Sports Operations, International Olympic Committee

Held in parallel to the Forum, the Symposium will give participants the opportunity to discuss, network and debate racing yachts’ key technological and design issues. It will give the opportunity to sailing teams, boat owners and potential owners to meet professional yacht designers and exchange views on the development and future of the industry.

Over the last two years, the World Yacht Racing Forum has become a must-attend event for the yacht-racing industry. As Mark Turner, CEO, OC Group explains: “Every progressive industry has a forum and meeting place where the people pushing it forward get to meet together in a constructive environment to debate the challenges, and brainstorm on the future. The WYRF has grown to be a must-attend event for anyone serious about contributing to the business and sport of professional sailing, and rarely do we have the top skippers, brands, managers and event organisers in one place like this.”

The two day conference will be held in the impressive Estoril Congress Centre, within walking distance of the waterfront and local hotels. The Forum is being staged a week later this year to avoid conflicts with the Paris Boat Show and the various regattas being staged in December.

More details here www.worldyachtracingforum.com

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