where to next, sir?

Organizing big boat regattas without a palm tree in sight seems doomed to fail. With the sun and blue sky as other desired features from there it gets more complicated to put a finger on what makes a successful event, let alone a successful regatta series.
Simply asking ‘Where would you like to race next year?’ or ‘What would make you come back to our event next year?’ seems like a good approach if you are not selling a particular club or location, a position 52 Super Series is in. But quite honestly it is not as easy as that because you are most likely to get a real answer only if you ask from August onwards, so when owners traditionally start thinking of and making first plans for ‘next year’. Why Copa del Rey is such an interesting – reliable – event for those in the marine business is that all of a sudden next year comes into sight as if a magical switch has been flipped each year.
For club events this autumn timing works, as their event dates and locations are fixed. Then adjusting what is on offer, the menu, so to speak, to the client’s wishes is still very possible when it comes to race format, regatta management, choice of staff and the certainly important social menu… the parties.
For clubs the more long term concerns are sponsors, sponsor contracts and relations with authorities and marinas. As the number and quality of entries are not guaranteed there always is an element of uncertainty in longt erm deals made with event sponsors and other stakeholders. For sure, it makes quite a difference to a sponsor whether there are 50 or 100 boats in an event and whether there are a good number of boats and sailors of name and fame or that it is a family affair. Read on.