The British Sailing Forum, on the eve of GJW Direct SailFest, aims to bring together the forward thinkers in sailing and those passionate about the future of our sport, who by working together could make the difference. Sailors, clubs, classes, influencers and the trade are all invited to a day of presentations and workshops. The daytime conference will give a platform for key industry stakeholders to debate and illustrate the latest technologies and developments in the sailing sector.
Various studies have shown current participation in sailing to be at the best flat lining, more often showing falling numbers. Many reasons are cited, but there can be no doubting the world we live in has changed dramatically since the boom times, with increasing pressure on leisure time and technological advancements such as the Internet all playing a part.
For those of us passionate about sailing all is not lost, the sport ticks many of the modern day boxes, with healthy activity and eco friendly near the top of the list. Sports such as cycling have already shown that with a joined up approach they can see significant growth in these challenging times.
The Sailing Forum will be facilitated by John Barber, ensuring focus and helping delegates maximise the opportunity. John brings extensive experience of working in the sailing industry across a wide range sectors, including the Extreme Sailing Series and providing software to clubs.
For almost 50 years after the end of WW2, dinghy racing would enjoy an unbroken boom in popularity. Few though realised that the very factors that were driving the development of the boats, the rigs and the sailors themselves, contained at the same time a blueprint for the subsequent decline in the sport. Many of these trends are highly specific to the UK, so it is here that we should look for the root causes and, it has to be hoped, the changes in policy and direction that will reverse the increasingly downward trends. The presentation looks at those formative factors and how they have spawned a series of developments and policy decisions that have opened up a divide, between the grass roots and the elite. It ends with a series of observations and suggestions aimed at restoring a focus on the grass roots, the weekend by weekend dinghy sailing at clubs around the country.
Rebooting Sailing - the collaborative approach
Riki Hooker, International Sales Director of RS Sailing reports back from the recent British Sailing Stakeholders Summit, which bought together the BMF, RYA and key industry stakeholders to produce a blue print for collaboration to move sailing forward. Riki will also share some of his experiences of Best Practises from around the world.
Big Data and sailing
As SailRacer's MD running the world's largest database of sailing results, processing ten of thousands of handicap results and tracking thousands of races, Simon is no stranger to the power of data. Exploring how data can motivate the individual to sail more and help the sports administrators get a handle on what is happening.
Rebooting sailing through funding and professional help
Andy Hooper - Lime Sports
Having helped sailing secure around £20m of funding, Andy will explore how Associations, Clubs, Events and other sailing organisations can gain support to grow activity.
Working as groups, delegates will be challenged to devise outcomes that can be taken back to their respective organisations and shared with other stakeholders.
New event formats to re-engage boat owners
Using the power of data and handicaps to encourage participation
Making the most of halo events such as Olympics and AC to inspire the Grass Roots.