'Sir Keith Mills has announced a major new investment in the IMOCA class'
© Christophe Launay
The big news in international offshore sailing is that Sir Keith Mills, the British advertising and marketing genius, has announced plans to invest several million euros into a new offshore sailing venture. Mills, it will be remembered, bought the global commercial rights to the IMOCA class last year; he promptly set up Open Sports Management to manage these holdings. Now, Mills is exploring ways to grow the class-and its media profile-over the next four years, using two eighteen-month cycles.
While reports are frustratingly thin on details, the first eighteen-month cycle is said to focus on double-handed racing, culminating with the 2014 Barcelona World Race, while the second cycle will target singlehanded sailing, with its ultimate aim being the 2016/2017 Vendee Globe. Also, a key aspect of Mills’ plan involves recruiting non-French sailors to the mix, thus creating more international media interest and helping to open-up shorthanded and singlehanded sailing to more sailors world-wide. Get the full report, including all of the sparsely known details, inside.
Meanwhile, the 505 Worlds have been taking place at the Barbados Yacht Club, where sailors have braved a variety of Caribbean conditions-from postcard to abandonment-and taken logistical hassles (read: shipping containers) in stride to enjoy the first half of this international event. Inside, be sure to get the full multi-media report, including plenty of great images and video reports.
And in Antigua, the fortunate few are savoring a great start to Antigua Sailing Week. 'Yesterday was fantastic but today was just incredible,' said Cliff Andrews, a sailing instructor at Antigua’s National Sailing Academy who is racing aboard the Grand Soleil 43, 'Quokka', during this event. 'I have learnt more in the last two days than I could ever imagine and the skipper and the crew are just the best. Quokka is a great boat, beautifully set up for racing, which means we can really get the best performance. We have only been racing two days but I am absolutely loving it.'
Also inside, get the latest news on designer Bruce Kirby’s lawsuit regarding the IP rights to the Laser design, check in with the windsurfers competing at the PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf, and don’t miss the latest ISAF World Sailing Ranking.
And finally, be sure to spend some time drooling over Oracle Team USA’s first official image gallery of 'USA17-2' in action on San Francisco Bay.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 5:05 PM Tue 30 Apr 2013 GMT
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