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Event Coordinator’s Update

by . on 3 Aug 2008
SGW Event Coordinator Doug Jarvis, with wife Kerry - Skandia Geelong Week Teri Dodds ©

Recent news from the Skandia Geelong Week and Skandia Docklands Invitational Event Coordinator, Doug Jarvis.

I have taken the liberty of making a subtle change to an ‘old’ adage. Doesn’t time fly when you have grey hair!

Early on in life waiting those final few hours for Santa to arrive would seem like an eternity.

Now half a year passes like a flash of lightning.

We have arrived at the waypoint that marks six months down and six to go. Hard to believe isn’t it?

The team at SGW have enjoyed a thought provoking and productive first half of the year. As usual planning began soon after the last marquee was pulled down, however this time around we have focused a little further down the track.

We applied the absolute basics to forward planning and posed three important questions. Where are we currently at? Where will we finish up if we don’t change course? Do we like the answer to question 2?

The team were strong and united in response to question 1. All quantitative and qualitative trends are heading in the right direction. Objectives are being realised or advanced and we remain faithful to the mission statement. Competitor feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and our stakeholders are generally smiling.

Answering questions 2 & 3 proved more complex than first thought. No one on the organising team doubts the course; however the process of reviewing the destination highlighted reefs that lie ahead. Namely the multifaceted issues of expanding berthing capabilities and the cause and effect of transitional change.

Whilst these issues have been top of mind ever since drawing up plans for the expanded festival format in 1996 and assuming the role as professional coordinators, it is fair to say there is now wider appreciation of the urgency. There is also action!

The event is experiencing phenomenal growth and as expected there are challenges associated. We are confident we can navigate the ship and continue to advance the sport of sailing in Australia.

Skandia Docklands Invitational

The Docklands Invitational now links directly to Geelong Week with the two day event programmed for Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd January. The fundamental reasons for promoting this mid week program include: making the whole Victorian package more attractive to interstate/international owners, sustainability, umbrella logistics, providing a better stage for the sport and freeing up the weekend prior to Geelong Week. We expect the latter will produce ‘brownie points’ for all concerned.

King of the Docklands
Stay tuned for huge news on the King of the Docklands. We are very excited about the new format – it should be very well received, especially by ‘winners’. Enough of the clues - more on this in upcoming weeks.

Kiel Week -
I have recently returned from a quick visit to Kiel Week in Germany. Kieler Woche is a booming event in every measurable way. 5000 sailors, 2000 vessels and wait for it – 3 million visitors!!! (Yep 3 MILLION) The ten day programme boasts 1700 events and produces an economic impact of AUD$141m. I learnt a lot from the visit and I take my hat off to the organisers who do a magnificent job. They concentrate on satisfying the competitor and we will be implementing changes that reflect on my experience in Germany.

101 Victoria competition –
One final plea from me, please make the effort to vote for sailing. Anyone involved in promoting our sport will tell you how much of a struggle it is to get mainstream editors excited about sailing.

Their usual line is as stale as a month old sandwich, but they continue to trot out the same diatribe. 'No one is interested in sailing, so why should we cover it?'. Keeping Skandia Geelong Week up in the top 10 will not change their minds overnight – but it will help!

This is a painless exercise that takes less than a minute to complete. Do it for the sport!!!

Doug Jarvis
Event Coordinator
Skandia Geelong Week

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