Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

ISAF Sailing World Cup – No time to lose says new ISAF Appointee

by Rob Kothe, Sail-World.com on 4 Apr 2014
Nacra 17 - 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca, day 3 © Ocean Images
Canadian John Craig is the newly appointed Head of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Craig was for 11 years the PRO at St. Francis Yacht Club and who most recently the PRO of the 34th America’s Cup.

Sail-World talked to him in San Francisco yesterday, as he prepares to head to Southampton about the challenges ahead in steering the major restructure of the ISAF peak Olympic class series.

‘Reorganising the ISAF Sailing Word Cup is going to be a challenge. A lot of work to do in a short time but I am looking forward to the task.

‘ISAF President Carlo Croce is very keen to make the revamped format work- to make the change and he is definitely focussing on it which is great. It will help me get the ball to the end goal.

‘When I worked at the St. Francis Yacht Club I was also in charge of the sponsorship at that club and also in working as a board member of US Sailing. I have been around the sponsorship game for a bit so I know some of our existing partners and know how to make sure we get our fulfilment delivered to the sponsors and get a good long term relationship with them. I have had a good experience with that side of the game.

‘Getting coverage on the mainstream TV will be important.

‘That will make for happy sponsors and will make it work for everybody, the athletes and the MNAs that are going to the events and all the rest of it. We need to turn it around so we can build some heroes and get into the mainstream more effectively.


‘I know the landscape, I have been to Miami probably about four or five years running courses there for the World Cup and during my period of coaching with the Canadian Olympic team, I have been to Melbourne, Hyeres and Palma. I haven’t been to Qingdao.

‘The 34th America’s Cup has shown us a way forward, with on boat vision, audio, that sort of stuff in terms of engaging the main stream audience.

‘Swiss timing, I worked with them in Miami as well and had some good meetings with those guys and talked about what they could do to improve their side of the equation and they are looking to try and do that. Obviously the America’s Cup television coverage standard is at a very high level. In fact they just got nominated for another five Emmys for the work that they done.

‘My goal is to try and see what we can work to to deliver at that level within reasonable budget and that’s one of the biggest part is going to be trying to determine what we can deliver to tell the story but not have the $50,000 tracking devices on the boats.

‘It is actually pretty interesting. Stan Honey and I did a little experiment using non track boats and marks but still delivered the ladder lines and some of the visuals, the circles and those sort of things. Stan has since called it Live Line light. It actually tells the story pretty well and would be something we might deal to incorporate with Swiss Timing to try and tell the story a little bit better.


‘I was fortunate enough to grab all the audio files off of Oracle and ETNZ for the match and the discussions that the guys have, a lot of the stuff didn’t make air, but the discussions the teams were having about tactics and everything is very cool. It tells a great story and if we can get a way to incorporate that that would be huge.

‘Drones would be way less expensive than helicopters ever so maybe down the track that is going to help too. Yes, we looked at it for the Cup and our biggest problem with drones for the cup was that they actually couldn’t keep up theoretically with the boats in 30 knots of breeze.

‘I have seen them used for other events and the images they can generate out of those are pretty cool.

‘Right now the focus is to get over to Southampton and start digging in and identifying what we can achieve.

‘Event dates will be important. We have got to take the existing World Cups and see what we can do with them and ultimately we want it to be events that flow and make sense for training and shipping and also weather, making sure we are going to produce live TV.

‘We need to be able to deliver that as consistently as we can and go to a venue where you can lose a day with too little or two much wind makes it a lot harder to do that.

‘So we need to make sure when we go to venues we are going when we have the best shot at the good breeze and a consistent breeze.

‘Not every venue has a breeze at 14:00 from the same wind angle, for sure. For instance looking at a current venue. Qingdao, breeze wise, maybe it makes sense in October or maybe it makes better sense in September?

‘We need to make sure we are smart where we pick these dates and venues for the athletes and it works as well as it can for all the different interested parties.

‘In SFO we had to do a lot of coordination, it’s an area where I seem to be able to finding out what the objectives are and getting everybody looking at what they can and can’t do and work together to deliver a product.

‘Right now some of the timelines are really tight so it is going to be all consuming for the next two years.’

Zhik ZKG 660x82Southern Spars - 100Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Rio - Ready for the dream
sailors arriving in Rio are starting to enjoy the atmosphere of this great city. While the media talk about the work to be finished at the Olympic Village, sailors arriving in Rio are starting to enjoy the atmosphere of this great city.
Posted today at 6:57 am
Finn heavyweights ready to rock
23 Men's Dinghy sailors will race at Rio Olympic Sailing Competition with one name in particular touted as one to watch. Twenty-three Men's Heavyweight Dinghy (Finn) sailors will race at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition with one name in particular touted as the one to watch.
Posted today at 4:47 am
Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games - The return of the Radial medallists
China's Lijia Xu, The Netherlands' Marit Bouwmeester/Belgium's Evi Van Acker, medallists will make their Olympic return 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games - China's Lijia Xu, The Netherlands' Marit Bouwmeester and Belgium's Evi Van Acker, medallists from London 2012, will make their Olympic return in the One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial) at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Posted on 29 Jul
A Family Tradition - Torben, Martine and Marco Grael - Rio Olympics
Another Grael, Torben’s brother Lars has jumped on the Olympic podium twice so the Grael family has seven Olympic medals Brazilians have great expectations at Rio 2016 for their sailing team. Sailing is the sport which has given the most gold medals to Brazil in the Olympic Games, six, and the second in line with the most Olympic medals, 17.
Posted on 28 Jul
Jake Lilley bridges the experience gap as he prepares for Rio Olympics
Lilley is one of the tallest and heaviest Finn sailors in Rio, but also, at just 23 years old, one of the youngest. An intensely physical sailor Lilley stands head and shoulders over most of the fleet and is beginning to show some of his huge potential on the racecourse, with several top results in the past year.
Posted on 28 Jul
Scheidt to play leading Laser role at Rio 2016
The Rio 2016 One Person Dinghy fleet will welcome a bumper 46 boats, making it the largest fleet at the Olympic Games. The Rio 2016 One Person Dinghy (Laser) fleet will welcome a bumper 46 boats, making it the largest fleet at the Olympic Games.
Posted on 28 Jul
Full focus for second Olympics in Finn for Giorgio Poggi
Giorgio Poggi (ITA), took an emphatic win in the Italian Olympic trials in the Finn, with a career best fifth place When it really mattered and there were no second chances, Giorgio Poggi (ITA), took an emphatic win in the Italian Olympic trials in the Finn, with a career best fifth place at the 2016 Finn Gold Cup in Gaeta, Italy, an event which he played a part in bringing to his home country.
Posted on 27 Jul
Men's RS:X experience in abundance - Santos aims to inspire
Experience in abundance will be prevalent in the Men's Windsurfer (RS:X) fleet at Rio competition with World Champions Experience in abundance will be prevalent in the Men's Windsurfer (RS:X) fleet at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition with World Champions and Olympic appearances aplenty across the 36 strong fleet.
Posted on 27 Jul
World Sailing provisionally confirms participation of six Rio athletes
Following a conference call today with its Board of Directors, World Sailing confirms the participation of six athletes The World Sailing Board carefully reviewed the decision taken earlier this week by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which determined that decisions regarding the eligibility of athletes would be made by the International Federations
Posted on 26 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club's Racing Team trio for Rio 2016
Pre-Olympic Brunch at the GYC clubhouse – members, guests and friends gave a Brazilian farewell to the GYC Racing Team. The Gstaad Yacht Clubs sport members are: the Nacra 17 team with Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger who qualified for Switzerland, the 470 sailor Will Ryan, who starts with his helmsman Matthew Belcher for Australia and Billy Besson, who starts in the Nacra 17 class too, together with his crew Marie Riou for France.
Posted on 26 Jul