Sailweb – news – Dinghy Show turns the tide

13 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Sailweb – news – Dinghy Show turns the tide
Suzuki Grass Tracker

Dinghy Show turns the tide

Finally some good news for the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. After years of dropping attendance figures the 2014 show posted a 7% increase over last year’s figure to record 10,000 visitors over the two days. Attendances had fallen steadily since 2005 and this is a very welcome boost for the UK dinghy showpiece.

Following on from the recent Olympic Games and America’s Cup, both of which generated huge TV and Internet coverage, it seems that some of this enthusiasm is finally trickling down to the grass roots of British sailing.

The media coverage for dinghy sailing is growing fast, not from the old form media, but via the internet, with internet video and tracker coverage becoming the norm for international dinghy championships.

The rapid spread of smart phones and pads, combined with minimum input software requirements, has pulled the rug from under the traditional media, both printed and broadcast.

The gap continues to widen between the traditional coffee table magazines and the thirst for instant news. And the first to feel the pinch have been the media that once reported events, their time lag no longer valid. While the heavyweights have to spend evermore on high cost graphics to justify their rack cost, knowing that quality on the internet is catching up fast.

The initial spate of messy Facebook pages being sufficient is quickly morphing into dedicated Pop-up sites, combining tracking, video and instant messaging. Early days but the trend seems unstoppable.

Suzuki Grass Tracker

The on-line sailing websites now provide same day coverage to most big events and organisers are becoming more savvy in their attitude to instant media, and the bonus it can provide for potential sponsors.

ISAF, the international governing body, has belatedly recognised this shift and is scrabbling to get a high level international circuit organised to build on the success of the showpiece Olympic Games in Weymouth. Although the UK Olympic classes regatta is outside of that circuit.

The RYA was also slow to see the advantage of mixing the Olympic classes and the Club dinghy classes in big Regattas as done in Europe, maintaining the exclusivity of the Olympic regatta.

Britain does not have a tradition of the type of mixed event, personified in Kiel Week, but mixing water and land based events has a huge potential for the venue. Something Weymouth struggled with during the Games, with the locked away sailing base proving an insurmountable barrier to a true friendly Games.

As most clubs will know, it is all too easy to get excited about increased youth numbers turning out for learning courses, only for these to fail to carry over to the adult fleets. So, well the turn-round for the Dinghy Show is welcome, let’s hope that carries over to increased club and championship fleets, with some of those shiny new dinghies enjoying a great season.

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