Venues for high end sailing events are important. Larry Ellison, commenting on American TV over the weekend, suggested that the America’s Cup was worth a billion dollars to Valencia (AC32 and AC33 combined?), but all sailing events bring a set of economic benefits including a wider brand exposure for the town or region, not to mention hotel room nights and sports tourism dollars spent in resturants and local shops.
[cleeng_content id=”145107117″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]Spanish host venue of the Extreme Sailing Series in 2009 – Almeria carried out an Economic Impact Report in 2009 confirming that the event had generated 2.7m Euros of return on their investment. Over 75,000 spectators attended the Spanish event in 2009, boosting the combined audience to over 200,000 spectators in 2009. A total of 15,000 tourists visited the city over the period of the 2009 Almeria event, 92% because of the event and 80% of visitors expressed their intention to return. Hotel occupancy was up by 19.2% compared to the same period in 2008.
Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily (Italy), will be one of the new venues for the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series Europe. The Provincia Regionale di Trapani has committed to an initial two-year agreement and will provide financial, logistical and operational support as Host Venue Partner. The event will take place in the very heart of the port of Trapani, right in front of the public and VIPs and just metres from the shops, bars and restaurants of the town.
The issue of venues and the sport of sailing is a complicated one. One the one hand, sailing events are not tied to a stadium which can be a large investment that cannot be moved. On the other hand, a stadium provides operators with ticket revenues and gives fans a sense of security and place. The model of touting the event to the higest bidder has to be weighed against the disruption to long term continuity of the calendar. If sailing is to ever appeal to a wider audience, then events need to happen in the same place at the same time every year, year after year.
OC Events, the organisers of the Extreme Sailing Series, have created some momentum with their calendar despite the series only being 3 years old. Kiel and Cowes in particular have become events that fans put in their diary 364 days before the event. OC Events have also got a deal with Almeria Spain for 5 years, which gives stability and continuity to teams, sponsors and fans, but several venues for the 2010 season are still unconfirmed.
Gilles Chiorri, Race Director of OC Events says:
“To confirm Trapani as a new destination for the Extreme Sailing Series circuit, is another great development. Trapani became well known to the sailing world when it hosted Acts 8 and 9 of the Louis Vuitton Cup series in 2005 and left a lasting impression as the city opened its arms to the sailing world with thousands of public supporting the event. We are looking forward to bringing the Extreme Sailing Series to this location and hope that we will be welcomed with the same enthusiasm and support that was clearly demonstrated in 2005.”
The Extreme Sailing Series Trapani event will be the penultimate event to the 2010 circuit over 23-26 September. The President of Provincia Regionale di Trapani, Mr. Girolamo Turano commented:
“2010 will be a great year for Trapani as we host top nautical events including the Garibaldi Tall Ships regatta in April and the Extreme Sailing Series in September. We have followed the success of the Extreme Sailing circuit over the past three years and are delighted to be hosting the penultimate round in 2010 – the beautiful waters and strong winds will no doubt provide an excellent situation for the top international teams, racing right in the heart of our harbour: perfect for spectators.”
Included in the logistical and operational support package are technical area and moorings for the Extreme 40 fleet, a race village with public attractions, Media Centre and VIP Lounge by the Piazza Garibaldi, race management and media boats, discounted accommodation for the teams, marketing and promotional support and personnel.
For more information on the Extreme Sailing Series Europe click here: www.extremesailingserieseurope.com[/cleeng_content]