Industry Needs to Co-Operate More Says Dark Blue Book Boss.

The Dark Blue Book has overhauled its website ready to promote the 2009 directory of the Who’s Who of Yacht Racing. We spoke to Editor and Pilote Media CEO, David Fuller about the project.

YS.COM – Hasn’t this been done before?

DF – Not that we know of. Certainly for sports like Formula One and Tennis there are directories of this kind that are pretty well established, but we couldn’t find anything like it for yacht racing. Of course there are almanacs and marina guides and some directories for suppliers, but we wanted to focus on those people who make a living from racing yachts.

YS.COM – What has been the reaction of the industry? Are people willing to provide information?

DF – It’s been very interesting to compare how different teams and organisations have responded to our requests for information. On the whole the response has been fantastic and those who have embraced the concept will do the best out of it. Times are tough and many realise that networking with others who can work together on projects or provide funding can make the difference. Perhaps some people were a little hesitant to get involved until they saw the finished product, but we have had quite a few people send through their details for next year’s book.

YS.COM – How important is it for the industry to be a cohesive entity?

DF – I think it is imperative for those in the business of yacht racing to be better organised. The World Yacht Racing Forum is a fantastic initiative, but there is still a long way to go. What companies in Motorsport realised a couple of years ago is that they aren’t actually fighting each other, they are competing with other sports, the arts, entertainment products and theme parks for attention and participants. There needs to be a lot more sharing of best practice and some consolidation of classes and events would be a good thing too.

YS.COM – You’ve announced some interesting options for organisations, tell us about them.

DF – Rather than print thousands of books up front, we are using new technologies to print books as they are ordered and ship them around the world. This allows us to create custom versions of the Dark Blue Book. It’s something we picked up from publishers like Time-Out and Lonely Planet who do a similar thing. We can change the cover, we can add editorial, we can feature key people in an organisation as a separate section at the front of the book. There are many ways in which an organisation can use the base book as a tool.

The Dark Blue Book is available at