[cleeng_content id=”504388873″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]New Owners for the Extreme 40 Class
OC Events, the promoters of the Extreme Sailing Series have announced the acquisition of the Extreme 40 Class from Tornado Sport. The deal means that OC will own the design and build rights for the boat which the Extreme Sailing Series is built on. The agreement also means that OC Events can create efficiencies by taking over the management of the class, technical support for boat owners including those competing in the ESS and boat sales.
TornadoSport, headed up by Herbert Dercksen, created the game-changing concept of the Extreme 40 in 2005 along with Mitch Booth and Daniel Koene. The catamaran was designed by Yves Loday and is built today by Marstrom Composites in Sweden. As well as delivering spectacular sailing entertainment, the Extreme 40 is designed to fit into a single 40 foot shipping container (the proposed AC45 needs 3), so lends itself to a travelling circuit.
OC Events issued a statement yesterday that makes only passing reference to the Amerca’s Cup. Instead, it chose to highlight the success of the Extreme Sailing Series over several years, attracting some of the world’s best sailors and visiting venues where contracts are in place. The format of racing differs to provide value to competitors, spectators and sponsors. Most well known are the short ‘stadium style’ races, but perhaps we will see more match racing in the future.
While the ‘New Deal’ America’s Cup will probably continue to be funded by rich owners who can afford to take losses in pursuit of the trophy, the Extreme Sailing Series has been based on commercial principles since its inception. Like other professional sports, including the NBA and NASCAR, the success of the teams is largely based on return on investment for the team sponsors. The larger the fan-base, and the more broad the market, the more chance sponsors have to meet their marketing goals. Teams that are run as businesses are also perhaps more focussed on controlling costs (budgets remain in the tens of thousands per market), and visiting more markets to extend the global reach of the event.
2011 and Beyond
In 2011, the Extreme Sailing Series will combine the successful European series with markets tested in the Extreme Sailing Series Asia and new venues. Organisers say that the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series™ will see an eight event global circuit across Europe, the USA, the Far East and the GCC region.
OC Events say that more than 60 host venues from around the world have expressed interest in holding a round of the series, with a current shortlist of 18 for the 2011 circuit. The preference of OC Events is to do multi-year deals, again to provide stability for sponsors and other commercial partners. 2010 host venues of Trapani (Italy) and Andalucia (Spain) already have multi-year contracts.
Mark Turner, Chairman of the newly merged OC ThirdPole outdoor events group that owns the circuit organiser, OC Events said:
“We are looking to expand and improve the Extreme Sailing Series on all fronts. With multi-format competition at top class venues of different types – city centres, ocean facing, rivers and lakes, top class race management and on-water umpiring, development of the outstanding B2B VIP experience that has been at the heart of the event since the beginning, and a bigger than ever entertainment package for spectators on the water and on shore including our Sailing Rocks™ gigs, the Extreme Sailing Series will be going up a level.
We have plans in place to expand the TV production and distribution, growing both the news service and the successful worldwide TV series, as well as the online content. We plan to expand the presence of other classes as warm-up acts, to both race and show-off, like the Moth dinghies and windsurfers this year.”
With the announcement in Valencia that the next America’s Cup will be competed in catamarans, demand for the Extreme Sailing Series in 2011 might be higher than normal. The planned AC45 is unproven and untested and only a few races are planned for 2011. On the other hand, the Extreme Sailing Series provides a platform to build a high performance catamaran sailing team with a team that has a proven track record of delivering professional sailing events.
A fully funded team in the Extreme Sailing Series would be a relatively small percentage of an overall America’s Cup campaign, but can provide accelerated experience of sailing this type of boat.
OC are expecting strong demand, but have imposed a 12-boat limit in place for 2011. A Preliminary Notice of Race has been published with a pre-entry procedure. The statement says:
Whilst there is an encouraging amount of new team potential, existing teams that have helped grow the circuit will be given priority should the limit be reached. Other evolutions in the rules are expected to ensure that the team budgets remain under tight control, in the value-for-money commercially funded circuit.
“We have invested heavily in this event since 2007 with good reason. It offers an exceptional return on investment to all stakeholders, in particular, for the ever-improving quality brands that we already have as team sponsors. We shall be announcing some excellent new partnerships at venue, event and team level in the coming months.”
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