Feedback on Barbados 2009 World Championship

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Olivier Cohen
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Feedback on Barbados 2009 World Championship

Post by Olivier Cohen » 29 Jun 2009, 15:26

I would like all competitors to express here what they believe was positive, and what may be improved in 2009 WC.

From here in Europe, I could enjoy, after initial difficulties, a great video coverage, and I would like to receive from Sen Gilkes all the elements on that wonderful outcome in RC events : Bandwith installed, statistics on simultaneous connections, and cost (by MP it is OK)

Thanks !

VC Events

Sen Peter Gilkes
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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 29 Jun 2009, 16:28

Most of this information can be provided within the next few days, as we complete our expenses and our payments and sit down together and do our debriefing meeting.

The event maybe over but the work behind the scenes goes on.

I am actually trying to get the complete stats for web streaming with hits and the number of viewers etc.

Ken Binks
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Post by Ken Binks » 01 Jul 2009, 22:01

Congratulations to Peter G and TEAM Barbados. What a super World Championships to have competed in. Barbados has one magic ingredient that rises above everything and makes it a very special place, no not the wind,sun, sand and sea but IT'S BAJAN PEOPLE, the real warmth of Barbados.

A big thanks to ALL the non Bajans who made it happen, Lana B, Geoff B and all the people behind the scenes. As competitors, we reap the benefit of hours and hours spent planning, doing everything so we can just sail.

THANKS for everything it was a GREAT GREAT Event which pushed the boundaries further than ever to keep IOM skippers worldwide informed as things happened. It's SOOO easy to complain, much much better to advise, learn and help for the good of IOM sailing worldwide.

Bajan Brad, thanks for helping Shane A realise a dream, you were always there, opening up, putting out the flags, taking audio speakers to the jetty etc etc etc in fact did you EVER sleep?

You can all be proud of a job well done. What Ambassadors for your great Island.

Thanks to you ALL
Ken Binks UK

Sen Peter Gilkes
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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 01 Jul 2009, 23:40

Ken, It was our pleasure to host this grand event here in Barbados and to have all of you visit our shores.

We tried our very best to do the very best that we could do, as we were certain for some that knowing that this event was not being held in one of the larger countries that some may have expected less that the best, this was not going to be the case from our very first meeting I pointed out to our group of four that failure was not an option, we had to make sure every eventuality was covered and taken care of and our decision to provide Live Video Streaming was something that we needed to do and to do well, I think other than for some minor difficulites even this can be considered a great new product offering for this and future IOM events.

We sincerely thank all of you for coming to Barbados and taking part in this event on our beautiful Caribbean shores.

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Post by Funci » 02 Jul 2009, 01:48

On Croatian IOM's web site gallery, everybody can see how is Croatia wellcomes world champion and the best team in the world! :D
CRO 71

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Post by RoyL » 03 Jul 2009, 00:29

A few thoughts inspired by my time spent observing the IOM Worlds in Barbados.

1. The Control Area: At the Barbados event the practice was to have the competitors stand on an elevated platform overlooking the course. This has been the case at many major IOM events. The other principal practice is to have a larger control area that the competitors walk that parallels the course. I think that in evaluating future major events the nature of the control area and the length of the course should be identified in advance.

2. The Number of Competitors: I understand the economic need to have a large number of entrants to help defray the costs of an IOM World Championship. However, it was my feeling that without "D" and "E" fleets we could possibly have a much more competitive event and more racing. This smaller fleet idea was part of the proposal suggested in the Spanish bid for the 2009 World Championship and I think it deserves new discussion and consideration by the class.

3. Event "Extras": Barbados did a wonderful job of providing "extras" to the competitors. A great opening and closing ceremony; daily happy hours; dinners; live internet feeds; a "goodie" bag; daily prizes etc. I think it is worth considering how much of this should be required of the host for future events. It can be a burden on the race committee and a cost to the competitors. It was great though.

4. On Water Judges: The system seems to be getting better with each event we hold, however, I think there are still improvements that can be made. For example, I think we should allow observers to play a role in identifying contact between boats.

5. Length of the Event: Our major events are now turning into major time commitments for the entrants. Travel time to and from the event and practice days means that some people are away from home and jobs for close to two weeks. Should we consider going to shorter events and/or eliminating lay days?

Just a few thoughts for the future. Thanks to everyone who worked on making this event happen.

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Post by Daniel » 03 Jul 2009, 03:55

Hi all,
what a great event, watched what I could at an un G-Dly hour, but really enjoyed it. I wish I had gone it was an event that the other half could have gone to without the pain.

Congratulations to Zvonko on his victory and well done to Brad who came close to defending his title. I agree with Brads comments re the Croatian Team. I attended the worlds in 2001 at Krk and to see the level they are at is truly wonderfully. We could all learn from this, no team sailing just hard fair and fast!!

As to Roy's point of only A,B and C fleet I could not disagree more. If you stop and wonder why IOM's are growing at such a rate you only have to look at the all inclusive nature, anyone can go to the worlds the pinnacle of competition, yes it may come down to the almighty $$$ but still it is open to all.

I love this class and hopeful it will continue to flourish under the new Exec and there will be great numbers pushing to go to the 2011 worlds in the UK. I for one will be!!

Well Done to all in Barbados it was a bench mark event.


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Post by valpro » 03 Jul 2009, 11:28

It's very tempting to limit the fleet which then gives more racing for the remainder. We used to limit the 505 Worlds to 85 plus one spot for the President and one for the Sec. Generally speaking these numbers were filled from the ranking lists and each country filled it's allocation but now and again we had a dire shortfall or struggled to make up the numbers. The knock on effect was that some of those events were financially difficult or just plain loss makers.
Nowadays the fleet elected to do away with allocations and you go if you want to. That has allowed new sailors to compete from new countries and in turn that has formed new fleets. New fleets mean new venues. Recently the fleets have been up to 150+ boats and a good time has been had by all. So on balance I think that allowing open events brings good results for the class and of course anyone who isnt that hot a sailor will have learnt more in one week than probably in a whole season of normal sailing and the hot shots will still be in A fleet!

Peter Allen
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Post by Peter Allen » 04 Jul 2009, 15:07

I've done Vancouver 2003 and this one,my memory of Vancouver was quite a wait betwene heats,this one seemed alot faster to me for some reason.With servos breaking down and broken stays on the No1 rig,i would never have had the time to get the boat ready for the next heat if it were 3.I therefore am in favour of 5 heats,the more the merrier,lots of people to meet that we dont normally sail with from all over the world and more money from entries to run the event.It's also my opinion that the cost of running the event needs to be looked at it's going to come to a point where it affects entries,it was held in my backyard so i did'nt incur the cost of travel and hotels,i'm there to sail so it's no bother to me if i get a goodie bag or not,There are several international judges in the caribbean who were not used which would have been alot cheaper to get here,with the buddy system which i really enjoyed, the judges i worked with actually listened to what i had to say,so i see no reason why we cant use judges from the region of a regatta and applying the buddy system while defraying some expensive travel cost for starters.Regards Peter
Last edited by Peter Allen on 05 Jul 2009, 14:16, edited 2 times in total.

Sen Peter Gilkes
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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 04 Jul 2009, 17:23

Any persons with pictures and are willing to share them please email them to either of the following email addresses,

Sen Peter Gilkes
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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 04 Jul 2009, 23:53

The IOM BARBADOS WORLDS 2009 maybe finished but your are all welcome back to Barbados to attend the FIREBALL INTERNATIONAL WORLDS 2010 to be held in Barbados at the end of April and the First week of May 2010

Fireball World Championship
24th April ~ 7th May, 2010

Barbados Yacht Club
Bridgetown ~ Barbados ~ West Indies
Organising Authority

Fireball International
With support of the

Barbados Sailing Association

IOMICA Chairman
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Post by Alfonso » 05 Jul 2009, 23:24

I think that Barbadians made a great job organizing this event, they put a lot of illusion, time, effort and of course money to make this championship a great event and the result was good but everything can be improved and we have to focus on that points to help the organizers of the next event to know what works and what does not.

Some of the things I liked most (not to talk of the people, the rum, etc):

The pick-you-up-service at the airport. It is clear that this service can only be provided when the venue is close to an international airport, but in the future, the organizers should provide in the event's website any kind of information to facilitate the arrival of the sailors by land, sea and air.

The height of the control area. No doubt that better visibility means less contacts. For future events we should require at least 3 meters above the water level.

The format of the windward leeward with offset and gate. It took us one day to get the gate and another one to get the right size.

The distance from the buoys to the control area. Again better visibility less contacts.

Small fleets. I think we need a calm debate on the number of competitors in a World or Continental championship, which, as RoyL has said, could lead to a less number of fleets, which means more races, or to maintain the number of fleets, but with fewer competitors in each fleet, which means less chance of contacts and easier to control competitors.

The schedule C of the HMS, which means 6 boats promote and demote.

The apres race or what has been called Event “Extrasâ€

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not specific to Barbados

Post by Nigel » 07 Jul 2009, 16:46

I can't give any comment on the event in Barbados as I was not able to go. :(

In my opinion THE core issue not only for IOM but for all classes of radio sailing are more compact and less regulated events thus bringing a drastically reduced financial risk to possible organizers of future events.

The GER NCA has had a good look at holding the 2010 Euros and after carefull evaluation of the costs versus the proceeds the risk is to large to push forward. Due to the current economic climate is difficult / impossible to find sponsors and the regulations by IOM ICA / ISAF create such a financial burden making a bid not feasible at present.
Nigel Winkley
GER 87

Peter Allen
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Post by Peter Allen » 08 Jul 2009, 05:38

I shall go back to my previuos post using judges from the region of a regatta to cut cost.As i said the buddy system i like and we need to work on this.Judges in Barbados,Don Martin(vancouver to Barbados IOM expierience lota money lovely guy)(local guy never sailed an IOM but judged last year cheap and did the same job as everybody)(Jeff Byerley PRO Australia my good friend,but do we need him in Barbados from such a distance just to set a racecource).Now let alone the others whom i dont know,salty pink trousers,mustache and lots of hooppala pompasett and god knows what else who thinks they are gods gift to sailing.It was said at the opening briefing we are your friends and we'll work with you,i have not seen one of them for the entire regatta after sailing to socialise or discuss how we could improve our sport,unless it was free dinner and show or off to thier 5 star hotel in a paid for ride,let me know if you saw them and i was blind or wrong.Compliments BAR and entry fees.This is the biggest cost of running a regatta under the requirements of ISAF.Next year it will be the regatta of the year to attend where we meet from across the ponds and new sailing venues Barbados not a bad place to sail(wind)and we never fail to invent ,compliments of the smallest DM in the world.Regards Peter

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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 08 Jul 2009, 16:12

Dear Friends of IOM sailing,

I find it absolutely necessary to place a post here to let everyone know that we the Organising Committee for the IOM BARBADOS WORLDS 2009, those organisers being Penny, Shane, Peter Marshall and Peter Gilkes were the party that extended the invitations to each and every official to attend and assist us with the running of the IOM BARBADOS WORLDS 2009, we are indeed very happy that all of you kindly graced us with your attendance at this world class event recently held in Barbados.

We owe a debt of gratitude to each and every person who so kindly took time off from their busy schedules to attend this event and help make it the success that it was.

To Jeff as I said in a previous post I personally want to thank you, for not only your effective management of this event but all your behind the scenes effort that you put into helping us coordinate and manage this grand event and even more importantly for having become such a great a fantastic friend in such a short order.

We know that we could not have done this event without all of you coming forward and giving of your time and your effort and for this the Organising Committee would like to say a sincere thank you and we hope you had an enjoyable and entertaining stay in Barbados our island home.

Remember that Barbados will play host to the Fireball International World next year so book your holiday and come visit with us for yet another sailing event.

The IOM BARBADOS WORLDS 2009 maybe finished but your are all welcome back to Barbados to attend the FIREBALL INTERNATIONAL WORLDS 2010 to be held in Barbados at the end of April and the First week of May 2010

Fireball World Championship
24th April ~ 7th May, 2010

Barbados Yacht Club
Bridgetown ~ Barbados ~ West Indies
Organising Authority

Fireball International
With support of the

Barbados Sailing Association

Peter Allen
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Location: BAR 187

Post by Peter Allen » 08 Jul 2009, 17:23

I also find it absolutely necessary to say that in no way whatsoever am i ridiculing anyone on the organizing comittie or the judges who gave of thier time and effort,without them there would be no regatta and they all did a superb job,my point here from the outset is the cost of running the event and the future of the class, as it stands now it will cost me approximatley USD$2,000.00 not including food and living expences to attend in 2011,thats a substancial amount of money to the average person.Peter Allen

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Post by RoyL » 08 Jul 2009, 18:48

I think Nigel and Peter have both identified the critical issue that needs to be addressed for our major events going forward--Cost!

Unless we figure out ways to reduce the cost of organizing a World or Continental championship, the number of countries able to host an event will dwindle to nothing.

Unless we figure out a way to lower the cost of attending a major event, the number of competitors from around the world will similarly decline.

Identifying costs and methods to make them lower I believe should be the focus of our discussion.

One thought--in upcoming negotiations with ISAF we could try to reach an agreement that will allow us to hold our major events with a smaller number of international judges--perhaps three rather than six or more.

I'm sure there are a host of other good ideas among our members.

Peter Allen
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Post by Peter Allen » 08 Jul 2009, 20:17

Excellent idea Roy 100% behind you on that.Coupled with the buddy system it will bring the number of people back up officiating the heat,why not even 2 buddys with the judge.The other problem we face is the pool of international judges with IOM experience is very small thats why i'm in favour of the buddy system.

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Post by Roy648 » 08 Jul 2009, 23:50

Agreed RoyL,

An absolute need to negotiate with ISAF to reduce the number of International judges. However, the target number should be zero not three.

If we, as a small interest group within the overall sailing community, cannot find within our ranks people that are capable of holding the respect of all competitors in their decision making then we don't deserve to hold major international events. Lets face it, many of us have been through the ropes of full size boats and actually have sufficient background to recognise port from starboard. Can we not use this experience to our advantage?

Geoff Smale, whom many of you will know, has suggested that we look at a requirement that each country with say 3 or more entries be required to also provide an official. The organising committee then allocates jobs for those country officials based on their individual abilities. If the qualifying countries exceed the number of officials required those who are closest to the venue fill the first gaps.

Peter laments that it will cost him US$ 2000 to attend in 2011. I had done the sums for attending this year and it would have been somewhere between US$ 5 - 6000 to attend 2009 (excluding food). Guess why I and fellow Kiwis were not there.

The next 12 months are critical for Radio Sailing, whether it be RSD or IOMICA. If costs cannot be addressed and ISAF convinced that ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL then the outlook for 4-5 years time is not very pleasant.

Roy Granich

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Post by CHATIN Achille » 09 Jul 2009, 11:05

I have very little experience in international IOM events (went to Dubrovnik & Barbados), but thanks to my ease of contact and speaking few languages, I could meet many people in these events. Also my interest in this IOM class is increasing.

these 2 last int. events in 08 & 09 where run in very different ways, both of them had many positive points, though sometime opposite :

- "rigid" measurement & umpiring + computer network, noon food included in registration fees, somptuous ceremonies Etc. in Dubrovnik

- "club" way of measurement & umpiring and experienced RC sailing skipper as race officer + totally adapted pier-end platform, races live video, airport welcoming, organisation's very big efforts with little means and so much more in Barbados

It must be pointed out that both organisation comitees did their best.

The main negative point is the increase of registration fees at least partly correlated to the ISAF obligation of so many international judges (as far as I know, there was 15 in BAR, is that correct ?)
we see that increase whilst people are face with economy facts ; nobody in BAR from DEN, NOR, ITA, POR, NZL... & lack of 12 entries!
It is clear that if the judge system does not change, we shall be faced to even bigger lack of entries in future events + cancellations of many big events (as in other RC sailing Classes).

So, please IOMICA bureau, urge to find a solution! I believe it is hard job, but as things goes we may have no EC next year.

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Post by valpro » 09 Jul 2009, 16:24

Having attended many World and European chanpoinships over the years and been a jury member at most of them here's a few points:-
1. Appendix N or the RRS sets out the requirements for a jury. It must have 5 members of which THREE must be IJs. Where there are difficulties in getting a jury this can be reduced to three of which TWO must be IJs.
What I have seen over and over again is that the Jury Chairman is appointed and he/she is left to find the other members. Surprise, surprise! they will all be IJs and friends of the chairman and the ensuing costs will be truly horrendous. Further, this prevents people like me from gaining the experience needed to become an IJ.
2. The number of IJs with knowledge or experience of the quirks of model sailing are few and far between. Mostly we get a set of ISAF Jurors and by the end of the event they may have learnt enough or they may not . I sailed in the A Worlds in 2005 and was amazed to hear two of the Jurors, as I walked behind them, discussing the coming week and saying 'Do you know what we are supposed to be doing?' That was when they were not watching the passing ships, planes and helicopters.
3. If you are going to have IJs, you need to have them from several countries and Appendix N sets the requirements out. I acted as a Jury Secretary once and was absolutely disgusted that the two Jurors from the host country were always looking the other way when their countrymen tore up the rulebook and were there with a microscope for everybody else. So recruiting them locally to save on travel costs is not really an option.
4. The expectations of Jury members were one of the reasons that I did not proceed with my application to be an IJ. Having been kitted out at one big regatta with a full set of foulies, a regatta coat, shirt, bag and trivia like sweatbands I then heard one of the members complaining that no boots had been provided. At another Worlds for another class, the Jury spent every night in expensive restaurants and the subsequent bills arrived with the organisers after the event and wiped out any chance of even breaking even. At another, one jury member, having demanded his own private fax and phone line (at our cost) and having been accommodated in a good quality motel, booked himself out of that and into the adjacent 5 star hotel, moved the two phone lines and told the relevant people that we would pay.

As far as I can see, we could make a good case for a three person Jury and we should be the ones appointing all the members and giving them a very clear brief about costs and responsibilities. Further we should be requiring of ISAF that any Juror that we use should be experienced in model sailing so that we dont spend a week teaching them their job.
5. As yet the Model sailing world has not gone down the line of training officials - Race Officers and Jurors being two examples - to the point of having recognised qualifications but with the level of competition hotting up , maybe we should as there seems to be a gap between what ISAF provides and what we are expecting.

So there's just a few points and I am sure that there are lots of you out there with others to make.

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Post by Lester » 09 Jul 2009, 16:31

Roy648 wrote:...reduce the number of International judges. However, the target number should be zero not three.

If we ... cannot find within our ranks people that are capable of holding the respect of all competitors in their decision making then we don't deserve to hold major international events
Hi Roy

There is a reason that the the Racing Rules of Sailing require an International Jury for International events (RRS 91(b), and App.N) -- it is to ensure the event meets minimum standards so that the end result can be declared to be a proper ISAF World Championship. So your point is entirely right -- if the class cannot meet the standards required of an International event, then it doesn't deserve to hold such events. A further thought is that it probably doesn't deserve to be an ISAF International class in that case. In this sense, the target cannot be zero International Judges.

A careful reading of App.N tells us, I believe, that an International IOMICA event can be run with three IJs (plus some NJs). A very detailed scrutiny of App.N in conjunction with RRS 70.5 also offers the possibility of only two IJs being needed under certain circumstances, particularly if a careful distinction is made between the use of umpires for on-the-water umpiring and the use of judges for off-the-water protest hearings...
Lester Gilbert

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Post by RoyL » 09 Jul 2009, 17:49

I think we all feel that IOMICA needs to come up with a better, less expensive plan for judging/umpiring major events.

However, let's not forget that judges aren't the only expense that we should examine.

For example, are there ways to reduce travel and lodging costs for competitors?

Could IOMICA explore an "official" airline deal with a carrier or an airline alliance or a charter company?

Is it possible for IOMICA to obtain international sponsorship deals that could subsidize event costs?

How can we leverage our relationship with ISAF to lower costs?

Should we eliminate "goodie" bags and/or lunches and/or dinners for competitors?

Should we cut out lay days or shorten or otherwise limit events?

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Post by awallin » 09 Jul 2009, 22:37

Alfonso wrote: Longer distance between the starting line and the windward mark. This distance is critical and has to be as long as possible and that will ensure a smooth race. Because of the direction of the wind it wasn’t easy to do that in BAR but the starting line was not always aligned with the leeward corner of the control area and also the starting line could have been separated a few meters from the control area.
I haven't looked at video or pictures from Barbados, but I agree strongly with Alfonso that the distance from the start to the first mark needs to be enough to get separation of the fleet.

When it looks like this I'm not so interested at traveling long distances in order to spend a week mostly waiting for my heat: ... ... /round.JPG
Anders Wallin

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Post by Hiljoball » 09 Jul 2009, 23:19

To me, there are several competing variables.

1. to be an International class requires a qualified international jury.
2. How many judges are required. RC sailing incidents happen fast and frequently. More so than in full sized racing. So the demands and mental pressure on the judge is much higher. Can just the minimum of 3 judges cover the course and handle the mental strain?
3. Judges cost money, whether qualified International or imported 'expert' RC sailors. The more competitors, the higher the entry fee revenue and the lower the 'per capita' cost.
4. But more sailors, leads to more heats and fewer races and more waiting around.
5. Travel costs are a major component, so there is not much difference in cost between traveling for a 44 boat/3 heat/ four day event or a 76 boat/5 heat/ 6 day event.
John Ball
CRYA #895
IOM CAN 307 V8
In my private capacity

Sen Peter Gilkes
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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 10 Jul 2009, 00:31

There are rules and there are minimum standard requirements to run an event such as this one, after all you want to seperate this from the type of weekend event.

When I decide to travel to attend the three days of sailing at the St Maarten regatta I expect for it to cost in excess of US $ 2,000.00 and this is a yearly event held over three days but still we are seeing issues to attend and take part in your IOM WORLDS events held every two years.

Putting on packages of events to the standard as was done in Barbados cost money to do so, it not only about the cost of getting the judges here it is all the other stuff that is involved, trust me the organising committee benefitted from the very kind donation of the accommodation this was provided by the wonderful people at Little Good Harbour and even with this gesture covered FREE OF CHARGE the event still cost in the region of BDS $ 150,000.00 to manage and put together.

Maybe what should be considered is that for future events that IOMICA uses its name for a more meaningful purpose and as was said before it can be used to secure more deals as a body for its competitors and added to that they ought to consider the creation of a membership listing of those sailing members and a annual membership fee that can go towards the offsetting of cost of running these World Championships.

In other words become a IOMICA member and compete or fail to pay and not compete, simple and plain.

Certainly in the case of Barbados and the ability to secure special rates for travel and accommodation this was certainly acheived to the point that Virgin airlines permitted each traveller to travel with all his or her gear at not additional cost, this is with a discounted fare already in place.

I honestly think that IOMICA can play a more meaningful role in the coordination and running of these events but I also think that were I to travel somewhere for a sport that I love and it were to amount to $ 2,000.00 to do so I would think that I am the best end of such a holiday.

Here is an idea for you, I am sure that some where like Iraq would only be too happy to host this event, they may even pay for you to attend but how many of you would want to attend or sail in Iraq ??

Not many I would suggest, so look at it this way this is your sport and if you are asked to spend some money once every two years it is not a big ask of you, my advice once again is to start saving from today for 2011, there is plenty of time to gather these funds together.

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Post by Brig North » 10 Jul 2009, 22:35

I have followed this and other threads with interest as they pertain to the expenses associated with holding a major international event such as the recently completed Worlds in Barbados.

Funding trips for the competitors will always be an exercise in savings. These trips are not inexpensive, and there is a degree of sacrifice required as well as making the best choice for one and one's family. An entry fee of $400-$500 US is not inconsequential; combine that with transportation, lodging, food, and then a bit more for beer, and the number is sizeable. It would seem to be, however, manageable with planning for most people. As Peter Gilkes pointed out in the prior post, there's two years to go until the next go around.

What seems to be much more vexing to me is the cost to stage the regatta and the attendant risk the organizers must accept. Just for point of reference, Mr. Gilkes stated that the cost to stage the event even with all of the concessions made by the various groups was still $150,000 Barbados, which is the equivalent of $75,000 US. That is not a small sum, and someone has to accept that risk. Bear in mind that entry fees, even at $500 US a head only comes to $35,000 US, so there is a gap to be bridged.

I have no idea of how these events are funded, but as the foregoing indicates, there are two sides that must be addressed cost wise, and in my mind, the big uncertainty here is how to get a group to accept the risk to host a regatta with that kind of money at stake. Yes, reducing the costs to the competitors is a great and worthy objective, but a bigger concern is reducing costs at the event level to make sure an event loses as little as possible. Any cost savings enjoyed by the organizers by using fewer judges and such should be there to reduce their financial risk. I would think that the competitors will have to accept the idea that entry fees likely won't decline to a large extent anytime soon.

I watched a lot of video from Barbados, and the event appeared to be very well done. I would say that in light of the economy and the relatively late date that the venue was determined, it came out very well. My feeling is that this event was saddled with bad timing to a large degree due to the unprecedented global economic melt down. Yes, parts of the world have been in recession before, but certainly in my lifetime, a recession like this has not been this pervasive as it is around the world. The fact that this event was pulled off in the fashion it was in light of this was fantastic.

I certainly applaud the ideas to reduce any and all costs as may be reasonably reduced. Let me close by saying that the idea of a smaller fleet sailing fewer days is certainly appealing; however, there is a fixed cost component that must be covered. It is my understanding that historically, this relatively large number is more easily defrayed with a larger fleet. Again, I don't know any of the economic details on what it takes to run a world class event, but certainly there will be a significant fixed cost component regardless of fleet size.

Brig North

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