Formidable speakers

Schedule and topics announced for December's must-attend World Yacht Racing Forum

Thursday September 16th 2010, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Portugal

Organisers of the World Yacht Racing Forum have announced the conference schedule and topics for the third edition of the Forum which will take place from 14-15 December in its new venue of Estoril, Portugal.

Following several months of collating feedback from the first two editions of the Forum, this years schedule will include a number of new topics and in a more interactive panel style format. The two-day conference will feature a series of panel sessions focussing on building value in the sport of sailing from a commercial perspective, learning from other sports, developing new media technology, and much more..

This year, the Forum is also pleased to invite a number of speakers and panellists from outside of the sport to share ways in which sailing and yacht racing can learn from other major global sports. Confirmed speakers include brand and marketing experts such as:

Richard Moore , CEO of brand agency Capitalize
Steve Madincea, CEO of PRISM
Toby Shaw, Head of Sponsorship Sony Europe
Karin Bäcklund, Director, Global Sponsorship and Brand Partnership, Volvo Car Corporation
Stewart Hosford, CEO Hugo Boss Sailing
Michael Masquelier, President of IMG Media
Maria Ferreras, You Tube, Head of Partnerships, Southern Europe, Middle East & Africa
Lars Haue-Pederson, Director, TSE Consulting
Pierre Ducrey, Head of Sports Operations, International Olympic Committee
Scott Macleod, CEO, F10 Marketing
Isabelle Jahlan, Head of Sponsorship, Veolia

Day 1 of the Forum will focus on building investment into the sport with panel sessions including 'How can Sailing compete for sponsorship against mainstream sports?' Following a keynote address by America's Cup winner James Spithill, this session will be chaired by Richard Moore, CEO of brand agency Capitalize and panel members will include Karin Bäcklund, Director, Global Sponsorship and Brand Partnership, Volvo Car Corporation and Mark Turner, CEO, OC Group. Clifford Bloxham, Head of Athlete Representation at Octagon Marketing, will follow the session with a keynote address entitled 'Growing the brand and profile of a sports personality'.

The schedule will then move to focus on the growth of some of sailing’s top events including the Volvo Ocean Race, World Match Racing Tour and America’s Cup, with speakers including CEO Knut Frostad [Volvo Ocean Race] and Jim O’Toole [WMRT]. Can these and other sailing events create brand partnerships? The audience will hear the opinions of sports marketing expert Steve Madincea, Founder & Group Managing Director of PRISM (WPP) and Stewart Hosford, CEO, Hugo Boss Sailing, in a panel coordinated by Scott Macleod, CEO of Force10 Marketing.

In the afternoon, APP Sunset & Vine's Richard Simmonds, the event’s Chairman for Day 1, will lead a discussion on 'How can Sailing provide a more dynamic and thrilling television presentation' Michel Masquelier, President of IMG Media; Adam Binns, Director of Television for the Volvo Ocean Race; Marcus Hutchinson, Director of External Affairs, TeamOrigin, and Maria Ferreras, Head of Partnerships for You Tube Southern Europe, Middle East & Africa, will exchange views on the subject.

The second day will begin with a keynote address by Loïck Peyron, one of the sport’s most successful and respected offshore and multihull sailors. Later, Mark Turner will chair a panel entitled 'How can major cities and venues benefit from hosting sailing events?' Panellists Duarte Nobre Guedes, Presidente of Estoril Tourism, Lars Haue-Pederson, Director, TSE Consulting and Robert Datnow, Director of The Sports Consultancy.

The WYRF will then discuss the next Olympic Games, through an exclusive preview of the London 2012 Games followed by a topical  debate about sailing’s future inclusion in the Olympic Games, with ISAF’s General Secretary Jerome Pels, Pierre Ducrey, Head of Sports Operations, International Olympic Committee and Sarah Treseder, CEO, Royal Yachting Association.

Sustainability and respect of the environment will be at the heart of Wednesday afternoon’s debates, through a session discussing whether the sport of sailing can be promoted as an environmentally friendly sport. This debate will include Conrad Humphreys, Vendee Globe Skipper and CEO of Sport Environment, Sam Davies, the top female finished in the last Vendee Globe, Isabelle Jahlan, Head of Sponsorship, Veolia and Andrew Pindar OBE, Board Director of Earth Watch.

The WYRF traditionally closes with a session about the America’s Cup. Last year saw a fascinating debate – and the first public meeting during years of bitter rivalry – between Alinghi’s Brad Butterworth and BMW Oracle Racing’s Russell Coutts. A new era has now begun for sailing’s iconic event and this session will be a unique opportunity for the audience to learn more about the opportunities and expectations for the 34th America’s Cup.

The Forum will once again be held alongside the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium, dedicated to professional designers, builders and suppliers of racing yachts, as well as the International Superyachts Coatings Conference. Over the last two years, the World Yacht Racing Forum has become a must-attend event for the yacht-racing industry. The two day conference will be held in the impressive Estoril Congress Center, within walking distance of the waterfront and local hotels.

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