Please select your home edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

ISAF World Match Racing Tour poised for major growth

by Rob Kothe on 22 Nov 2011
The Today Show with Hannah White, along with all other multimedia content, is available through the World Match Racing Tour’s iTunes vodcast site. © Chris Davies/AWMRT
‘Internet TV is watch it where you want, when you want, download it … and it has become very significant for the sport of sailing’ says World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) Chief Executive Officer Jim O'Toole.

Over the last five years the sport has gone from having small clips like the Volvo Ocean Race starts, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart start and the America’s Cup, to being viewable 24 hours a day on the internet via YouTube channels and a selection of IPTV platforms. The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has developed a unique package to deliver content to its ever-growing fan base.

O’Toole explains. ‘The WMRT IPTV coverage of racing is built around two hours of programming each day - the WMRT Morning Show and the WMRT Today Show, our daily magazine programmes.

‘The shows have proved to be very popular, not just with audiences but also with the sailors, the event promoters and with sponsors.

‘They increase our digital footprint and reaffirm the World Match Racing Tour as a leader in providing multimedia content for fans.

‘In media terms, our commitment to the wireless mesh that we have created for taking images off the water, has been I think our big achievement this year.

‘This is an exciting sport and we have to be able to get better pictures off the water. Now WMRT create our own wireless network on the water by using wireless nodes positioned around the race course, on committee boats, on pursuit boats and in fixed positions and these basically suck up the imagery, which is then sent to the editing suite on the land. This vision can then go straight out to the internet or to a live broadcaster.

‘We started off with three extra cameras in France and in Germany we improved the technique a little more. By the time we got to St Moritz, with the light and the air that you have there it was just stunning, absolutely beautiful imagery coming off the water… and I am proud of that.

‘‘That was a big step towards us being able to move towards regular live television as well as live IPTV.

‘Presently you are right in the heart of the action and the next stage is to increase the on-board audio, which we have tried for some of this year and we’ve had a great reaction to it.

‘It’s now a case of ‘how do we build in the ability for fans to listen to sailors actually talking to each other on the boat’?

I am really pleased with the audience numbers and the feedback we are receiving. It will be an ever improving process - some people want more sailing in these shows while some people want more background. Our fans have been able to follow the events through stories and blogs but they want to see the action.

‘There is no other way, unless the event has a sufficient TV budget to go to live TV, like the Monsoon Cup this week.

‘The Monsoon Cup is going to have 14 live broadcasters around the world. It’s just a phenomenal performance. The Korea Match Cup also had a large TV budget but we are pleased that the IPTV products are now significant for all the other events on the Tour.

‘However, our media package is just one part of our overall offering.

‘WMRT are well placed as we are a well-funded, well-supported business.

‘We have an owner that has a very clear vision and strategy and the WMRT will be unveiling some major developments before the start of the 2012 season.

‘We have modified our Tour Prize Bonus pool to assist the young rookies while providing greater certainty for Tour Card holders and this allows them to sign three year sponsorship packages and build a brand, together with their sponsors.

‘We continue to see a lot of talented youngsters coming through the ranks. I have been really encouraged by the young talent coming through, such as Keith Swinton, Reuben Corbett and we may see more British teams.

‘One of things we did this season was to change the point system so that there was a smaller differential between first, second, third, fourth and fifth etc and it rewarded the mid field. If you are consistent, if you are finishing fifth and sixth all the time, then you are getting good decent points and you can build up your points and prizes.

’I am pleased with the commercial developments, with the Garrard deal and with another global deal that will be announced just after Christmas.

‘We have made good progress on the sponsorship front in a competitive market place but we have done the hard yards with a lot of research, in terms of creating the product and polishing the product.

‘I am also very pleased with the relationship with promoters. When we took over the business two years ago you can imagine there was a little of ‘who are these guys and how can they tell us to run our own events?’ but that relationship has solidified. The new venue acquisition process will yield some very positive benefits over the next two seasons.

‘We have also launched our own magazine - Match Race 360.

‘We are building a community of match race fans around the world.
‘The process we launched in October 2010 has thrown up some great potential host partners around the world. We will be making some very positive announcements about new venues soon.

‘This week here at the Monsoon Cup, the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion will be crowned.

‘The World Tour offers over US$1.75million in prize money with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the ISAF Match Racing World Champion’.

‘Next season all teams competing on the Tour will have an added incentive to reach the season finale where the US$500,000 bonus prize pool will be awarded across a more even spread from first to ninth place, with the ISAF Match Racing World Champion pocketing US$75,000.

‘Our Tour Card Holders are our single biggest asset – throughout the season they are the headline acts that attract live spectators, TV and IPTV viewers around the world to watch our Championship events. The new WMRT Invite Policy is designed not only to safeguard that asset but also to reward our Card Holders for their performances on the water and professionalism off it.’

The Monsoon Cup will be sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia from 22-27 November. This final event of the World Match Racing Tour will decide the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion.

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82InSunSport - NZZhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug