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North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

WASZP appoint global class manager

by Marc Ablett 20 Oct 2020 06:38 PDT

It is an exciting time to be part of the WASZP class, with an explosion of growth and close to 250 new boats being pushed into the market during 2020. This has seen the class tick over 1000 WASZPs since 2017, saving the 1000th boat for something special later this year.

From a junior and youth standpoint, WASZP is being positioned as a steppingstone to professional sailing through its relationship with the Sail GP Inspire program, as well as a number of Youth America's Cup teams.

WASZP is also fast becoming a solution to improving participation in sailing by capturing new youth talent, retaining sailors after youth level (many of whom would ordinarily drop out of the sport through lack of direction) and reinvigorating lost passion for many older sailors who are looking to put some excitement back into their sailing. In terms of ages, gender balance and representation of countries around the world, the fleet has to be one of the most diverse out there and they all race together on the same track.

To push its offering further, WASZP is very pleased to announce another monumental step forward in the development of a unique class administration pathway. WASZP is pleased to welcome Martin Evans as its Global Class manager. This is a pivotal moment in the evolution of the WASZP class, which has never been afraid to do things its own way to cater directly for its sailors needs, no matter who they are or where they're based.

Martin has in-depth experience of the sailing industry from a number of angles. He is a former member of the British Sailing Team campaigning the Laser class and has since raced and coached professionally across a range of classes. His working background includes an integral role in the commercial department of the Extreme Sailing Series as well as overall manager of the Flying Phantom Series, which was run as part of the ESS and took teams to events in Oman, Europe and China. Since, Martin has had a taste of life in the slow lane, having renovated his own cruising boat and sailed 12,000 miles, including two Atlantic crossings, on an extended honeymoon. WASZP is looking forward to benefitting from Martin's commercial and events acumen as well as his rounded knowledge of the sport as a whole.

Martins appointment coincides with the imminent release of our new class administration tool RACEHUB. This platform is going to be the key pillar in the International WASZP Class Membership. It's not a traditional association structure, but one that both streamlines operations and offers significant added value to all members of the International WASZP class.

RACEHUB's primary focus is to digitally connect the entire community of WASZP sailors in every corner of the globe. With boats now in 44 countries, WASZP looks to connect them all, whether they're seasoned racers, newbies learning the ropes or joyriders that simply love to rip around their local spot on the foils.

The new RACEHUB platform will offer the following features:

  • Global Rankings - Connecting the WASZP community through local and international events.
  • Sailor Portal - Housing all historical results, allowing sailors to build their own sailing resume and track their friends' results.
  • GPS and Virtual Reality Sailing - Allowing sailors to stay sharp and challenge each other on land or sea, even if they are thousands of miles apart or locked down in a global pandemic! The sailor portal will allow individuals to set up and race one another through GPS and eSailing Virtual Reality events.
  • Event creation and entry - Events can be built and fees paid through the RACEHUB system for any WASZP event around the world.
  • Pay Fees in one location - Sailors will be able to pay their International Membership and, if their local association affiliates with RACEHUB, they can pay their local fees in the same place.

Locking in exciting events at quality foiling venues for the next 3-5 years is a principal goal for WASZP, with the aim to support thriving continental championships in Europe, the Americas and Asia/Oceania that will feed into the class' pinnacle event; the WASZP Games. Along with maintaining the RACEHUB platform, Martin will be involved in creating and managing the end-to-end delivery of the major WASZP events. Given the current restrictions, his first major project will focus on Europe but, as soon as restrictions allow, he will broaden his work to encompass other continental championships and the all-important WASZP Games.

WASZP also looks forward to strengthening its commercial offering to sponsors and venues to ensure a sustainable future for what is now the world's largest one-design foiling class. In line with WASZP's ethos to provide unrivalled sailor experiences for all of its members, any benefit from a commercial partnership will be reinvested directly into the class to ensure its high standards continue to improve without compromising affordability. Whether it goes towards offsetting entry fees at events, creating better logistical arrangements for oversea competitors or enhancing the overall championship experience of sailors and their families, members can look forward to an exciting and fulfilling future with WASZP.

Contemplating the journey ahead, Martin explains: "I've always loved the sport and what it has to offer to so many. For me, whether I'm racing, cruising, drafting a sponsorship contract or simply knocking around a boat yard, I'm generally pretty happy as long as it involves sailing. I've seen so many aspects to the sport, both good and bad, and now look forward to working on a project that is genuinely committed to bettering the sport I love. Waszp has some revolutionary ideas in the locker that I can't wait to get onboard with as we do our bit to address declining participation numbers and ensure a healthy and profitable future for sailing."

Martin will be reporting directly to Marc Ablett, Head of Product and Sales/Marketing at WASZP, who looks to the future with great anticipation:

"We are so thrilled to have Martin on board in this new and exciting role. It will further strengthen the link between the WASZP brand and our sailors. Our company and the WASZP brand are built around providing the best customer experience possible, which doesn't stop once you have purchased the boat. WASZP sailors buy into a lifestyle that is leading the way in modern dinghy sailing and Martin's role is going to be integral to all of our stakeholders as we work together to enhance that WASZP experience for sailors of all ages, genders, nationalities and abilities."

With the implementation of its online platform, its contribution to youth development, its positive impact on participation, its championing of diversity and its continued investment in resources such as Martin, WASZP is creating a formula that not only looks to invigorate the class, but to transform the sport as a whole.

If you are looking to form a local WASZP association, need advice on a local event or just want to introduce yourself, you can contact Martin at

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