Three decades of partnership with the Dutch apparently was enough for ISAF; at least that’s how it seemed last fall when the sport’s ‘governing’ body took a page out of the America’s Cup business book, grabbing up all the title sponsor and media rights for the World Cup events (formerly known as OCRs) while refusing to offer any compensation for any of it. Unlike the rest of the OCR clubs around the world, Dutch organizers in Medemblik refused to throw their sponsor Delta Lloyd (which supports more sailing in Holland than anyone in history) under the bus, and the Delta Lloyd Regatta became a non-OCR/World Cup for the first time since the international circuit began.
ISAF’s money grab around the OCR was slimy at best and unethical at worst, but the move to standardize the World Cup brand and events isn’t a bad idea at all. Unfortunately, like most everything ISAF does, the result wasn’t worth the effort; competitors say the “World Cup” concept is a joke, and we’ve heard almost nothing positive. Mostly, sailors tell us the World Cup may have a new name, but it’s massively outdated, filled with ‘old guard’ attitudes, and that the media/commercial rights situation makes it incredibly hard for sailors to prove exposure values to sponsors; in other words, ISAF is, yet again, making it hard for olympic hopefuls to raise money, even with good results. A quick look at the websites and content from Miami, Hyeres, and Palma shows it; there’s little standardization, the look and feel of each is sloppy, outdated, and contains very little of value, and outside of a couple of photographers, the media and PR effort coming from these “World Cup” events is pathetic.
Meanwhile, the Delta Lloyd organizers’ effort looks spectacular; big turnout, a strong social and web presence, 3D tracking, a great results screen, and voluminous visual content generally mean a strong future for any regatta. In the meantime, DLR organizers can be proud of making the ISAF World Cup effort look like the weak, disorganized mess it is.
Here’s a quick on-board video compilation from Medemblik that we liked; be sure to check out dozens upon dozens of videos from the event here.