Sailing has developed as a major event platform over the last few years with promoters keen to tap into government tourism budgets. Events like the Volvo Ocean Race can show that inbound tourism does increase as a result of yacht racing. For others, bringing several hundred competitors to fill up a town’s hotel rooms leads to economic benefit.
[cleeng_content id="529543543" description="99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. " price="0.99"]A few weeks ago, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) announced that it would expand the series to 15 events annually. At the press conference in London, WMRT said that the process of selecting new venues would be done through a bidding process. Yesterday, they released more details about the process.
Cities wishing to bid to host a stage of the World Match Racing Tour are invited to take part in a process to be managed by ‘venue aquisition consultancy’, Regatta International headed up by Terry Newby.
The company’s (very new) website says: “Regatta International has extensive experience through three Americas Cup campaigns and project management of many other events, in assisting organizations with advice on host city procurement and event management. Terry Newby the Principle of Regatta International has nearly three decades of experience in the field of managing Yachting Events, Yachting Teams and Project Management at the highest level.”
Six new venues will be added to the Tour from the 2012-2013 seasons. The new venues will win the right to hold a World Championship stage, each lasting for 5 days.
WMRT CEO Jim O’Toole said via a statement:
“The World Match Racing Tour is a well proven marketing platform for destinations wishing to showcase their facilities, infrastructure and organisational capacities, increase their international tourism profile and attract inward investment.”
“We are currently undergoing an intense period of expansion and are looking forward to partnering with venues who share our ambition. We have already fielded strong levels of interest from potential venues and by opening up the bidding process we’ll be requiring bidding venues to meet certain criteria.”
“These will range from essential requirements such as proving they can ensure good winds, to logistical, marketing and financial commitments, as well as guaranteeing they can provide the level of infrastructure associated with a world class level sporting event.”
Regatta International’s Director Terry Newby said:
“The World Match Racing Tour is already one of sailing’s most respected brands with outstanding events around the world. The opportunity to work with interested parties to develop the series to 15 stages by 2013 is a hugely exciting prospect.
“Over the past 10 years WMRT has developed into a very well organised series which attracts top class sailors while drawing a huge global audience and media footprint. The benefits for venues looking to host a stage are numerous, ranging from strong economic returns to developing international awareness. We look forward to collaborating with bidding cities to maximise their chances of success.”
The WMRT has an imperitive to expand out of its current markets. While the series has blazed a trail in places like Malaysia and Korea, there are gaps in the Middle East as well as large territories like the UK and USA. While the last Volvo Ocean Race bidding process showed that there was a hungry appetite by cities around the world to attract sailing events, the World Match Racing Tour will have to sell it’s package against the Extreme Sailing Series, which is looking to become more global, and a proposed America’s Cup World series.[/cleeng_content]