The city is not the place it used to be. Many of the excesses that parts of Yacht Racing came to rely on in recent years have been curbed, at least publicly, to try and restore public respect for the bankers, traders and others in the sector.
While iShares have withdrawn their sponsorship of the extreme 40 series and Artemis reconsider their sponsorship options, Solent based Pelican Racing have announced a City Racing Challenge for 2010. The company, which has been innovative in the use of GPS Tracking and geocasting is inviting London’s city brands to swap their Open 60s and Extreme 40s for SB3s and give their employees a chance to compete on the water.
Unfortunately, the water will not be that of the Thames around Canary Wharf. What could have been a really great opportunity to bring the sport to the city will instead be fought out on the Solent, miles from the glass buildings and cheering supporters. While London is not Sydney or San Francisco, cities with great sailing conditions that lend themselves to corporate twilight racing, Canary Wharf could support SB3 racing within reach of the bars and boardrooms.
Nevertheless, the event will involve four heats where teams can compete within their own business sector; there will be four divisions; Insurance & Asset Management, Legal, Banking, and IT. The season will kick off in April, culminating in the grand final event in September.
Ian Gilmour, Managing Director Pelican Consulting said:
“The City Racing Challenge will provide an opportunity for City based companies to enter a team of 3 or 4 persons to enjoy their passion of sailing in exciting boats and all on a level playing field. The event will also offer great networking opportunities not available in the boardroom!”