The Open60 calendar seems a little bit confused at the moment. The cycle that revolves around the Vendee Globe means that in 2010, many sailors in this elite class have come to the end of sponsorship deals and are having to fill in the gaps with an assortment of races, some of which run at the same time. Each event offers a slightly different proposition which while potentially splitting the Open60 fleet, allows sponsors the opportunity to pick the race that works best for them, rather than be locked into a single calendar that might not help their marketing goals.
[cleeng_content id=”786316080″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]It’s just short of nine months to go until the start of the Velux 5 Oceans Race. Title sponsor, Velux, presented at the World Yacht Racing Forum in Monaco in December, explaining that while there was a direct link between their product and the race, there were also many other aspects that made the event attractive. Like the Volvo Ocean Race, the Velux 5 Oceans Race includes a series of stopovers. This increases the exposure to the yachts and sailors and allows for more hospitality and activation.
Rather than start and stop in a single port, with just water in between, the Velux 5 Oceans Race can capitalise on a start and finish in multiple markets including France, South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and the USA.
The Velux 5 Oceans Race is also trying to differentiate itself using a sustainability message while offering a lower cost opportunity to get into Open60 racing. The Eco 60 provides a platform for Open 60 boats built before 2003 to have their racing lives extended and make the race more accessible to sailors with lower budgets.
There are also financial incentives for skippers to compete including:
- €500,000 prizemoney for skippers, to be split across the fleets and 5 ocean sprints, including awards for media work, seamanship and sustainability actions
- €21,000 investment per team in accommodation for the stopovers around the world
- €15,000 minimum per team to be invested in onboard communications and logistics, with details to be announced in the coming months
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures and the VELUX 5 OCEANS, says:
“Our vision for the VELUX 5 OCEANS is to offer the most challenging single handed ocean racing format. The VELUX 5 OCEANS in 2010 aims to support new talent, encourage global participation and bring ocean racing to large audiences around the world, embracing and promoting the shared value of sustainability. We are offering outstanding support to skippers and teams, as well as sponsors, covering five continents and spanning nine months, with significant investments across team budgets and communications.”