The SolOceans Race, billed as ‘the first round-the-world single handed one design monohull race’ has been postponed for another two years.
The statement on the official website puts the blame at the feet of the world economic crisis. The new start date will be 23 October 2011.
Yvan Griboval, CEO of SailingOne and creator of the SolOceans says that the dazzling speed of the worldwide crisis came at a time when sponsor companies had to make decisions about budgets and the commitment of companies to build sufficent boats to make the start line interesting was just not there.
The event had consulted widely with key players in the ocean racing industry, skippers, media and sports marketing specialists, but that was when times were good.
SailingOne says they are looking for long term development of the event and not short-lived events communication.
Veolia Environmental Services will end its sponsorship, but organisers say that the company will keep an eye on the preparation of the 2011-2012 SolOceans as well as on the development of the 16-metre one-design Class specially designed for this event and to the OceanoScientific Campaign.
While the race concept is noble in its ideas, it asks the question – does the sailing world really need another round the world class and race? The choices for sponsors are already dizzying and competition for media attention high.
Try outlining the difference between the Vendee Globe, the Velux 5 Oceans Race, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Portimao Global Ocean Race to a sponsor is hard enough, let alone a casual sports fan in the street.
This complicated matrix with axis of crewed v solo, stops v non-stop, open v one-design doesn’t have to have a race in every box. There aren’t enough sponsors, skippers or fans to make them all viable.