Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sign of the times

The winter Olympics from Turin is not a great success when it comes to television broadcast. But the net is a whole different story. opened up for traffic January 9th and this Wednesday they reached 261.1 million page views. That’s 10 million more than Athens two years ago.

That’s probably not that much of a surprise, even if it’s a whole lot of people. But what’s more interesting is that the use of streaming video is peaking. The Olympic site has delivered 6.4 million video streams and more than 72,000 hours of video - double the amount of video from the Athens Olympics.

The young generation is more accustomed to using the web as a infotainment platform than the elders, and if sailing wants to reach this audience we have to get in to the net on all levels. Fast. The top three video clips viewed so far where Shaun White Wins Gold in halfpipe, Lindsay Jacobellis’ snowboard cross race and ice dancing. That the young ones voting with their mouse, and the guys on NBC has definitely caught on:

- The success of validates our strategy to utilize the site not only to promote and compliment our network and cable coverage but as a standalone entertainment platform, says Gary Zenkel, President, in a statement to New York Business.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

SailTV in your pocket

This might be a posting for the dedicated gizmo-freaks. But since I'm one of these and sailors tend to have a high rate of the high income, high educated and high-tech users on the dockside, I'm going to give it a go.

Salt PR pushed to get SEILtv, the Norwegian based web-TV for SEILmagasinet, launched in Apples iTunes. This means that you can subscribe to all the content and get it on your iPod as soon as it's out there on the www. Right now there’s even an English posting with an interview with Ellen MacArthur. Just open iTunes, go to the podcast section and search for seil-tv. There it is and it’s already a success.

This means that you can take out your iPod on the train, flight or everywhere and watch sailing. Not the mention the wow-factor this will bring to the party. If you get some cool sailing downloads and shows it to your friends on your own personal TV, you most likely will get the WOW! This also opens up a whole new scenario for big regattas and commercial interest in the yachting industry.

Take Henri-Lloyds new collection of technical clothes. If everyone that sells Henry-Lloyd has an iPod in their pocket with a film that shows all the garments and how it should be used, they will be better sellers and they can show it off to the customers where ever they are. The whole organization has the same information. If they mix it with some great sailing footage, it even might be a case for the sailing media to have on their site. I most certainly know a few sites that would post it…

Friday, February 10, 2006

Chorintian boost for shorthanded sailors

Josh Hall and Brian Hancock have just brought us excellent news. The professional circuit for IMOCA 60 boats is crowded and leaves little room for the Corinthian spirit that wants to move up in the sailing world. One of the few options is transatlantic races in Transat 6.50 or Routhe de Rhum. Now an adventurous sailor can sail solo or double handed round the world with an acceptable budget. Keep up the good work, guys. This regatta can create some good stories. Here’s the press release from their website.

A new global ocean race for 2007/08

Global Ocean Sailing Ventures (GOSV) today announced the creation of the Global Ocean Challenge 2007/08, the first ever solo-double around-the-world yacht race. The event, open to 40 and 50 foot monohull sailboats only, will start from a major European port in September 2007 and circumnavigate the world stopping in South Africa, New Zealand, South America and the United States before finishing in Europe in May 2008. For the first time ever single-handed sailors and double-handed sailors will be competing together in a global yacht race.

- Our principal intention with this new event is to make around-the-world yacht racing as accessible to as many people as possible, co-founder and Race Director Josh Hall said.
- It’s practically impossible for most sailors to participate in an around-the-world race without either paying a fortune or being immensely qualified. The double-handed division of the Global Ocean Challenge puts a campaign within the reach of two keen sailors looking to live out a lifetime dream of sailing around the world.

The course will have “gates” where competitors accumulate points. The gates will ensure that the fleet remain closer together and also restrict the yachts from sailing too deep into the Southern Ocean.
- While our intention is to open up the race to as many people as we can, we will be doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the competitors,”Hall continued.
- In fact one of the things that will separate our race from others is that we will be very much competitor driven. We recognise that without competitors we do not have an event.”

The Global Ocean Challenge will embrace a strong education message and recognize the core values of shorthanded ocean racing namely tenacity, determination and courage.

- It’s these themes that will bring the race to life, said co-founder and Communications Director Brian Hancock.
- The stories from on board the boats as they traverse some of the most extreme and remote parts of our planet will be compelling. With modern communications equipment we plan to bring the race to life. Human drama and man against the elements are themes as old as time.

With the race stopping in five countries and spanning nine months the event will recreate the unique family atmosphere that was once the hallmark of shorthanded global ocean racing.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mike Golding enters Velux 5 Oceans

Big names create big events. It’s a truth with some modifications, but when it comes to round the world sailing it’s the deal that makes it real.

The Velux 5 Oceans, former Around Alone, has been regarded as a B-event in the sailing community for years. It has not managed to draw neither the sailing stars nor a title sponsor. But now things have been starting to change and Clipper Ventures seems to have a very good grip on the event. During Americas Cup acts in Malmö, Sweden last year the organizers used the presence of the entire sailing media community to launch their title sponsor. That was one smart PR-move.

Today the news that Mike Golding will participate broke. They already have Bernard Stamm, Conrad Humphreys and Alex Thomson on the entry list. If these guys can get some more IMOCA 60 skippers on the start line in Bilbao in October, we have the potential off a great round the world regatta. The fact that the Velux 5 Oceans also draws a lot of other characters and up-and coming sailors to the scene gives the race yet another interesting story to tell. We absolutely love the fact that the race has been quick to adopt WebTV.