One of the peculiarities of the yacht racing industry, which we still can’t understand, is why ‘mass-market’ boat brands don’t compete as themselves in racing. If Dee Caffari wearing Dubarry boots or ORACLE Racing wearing PUMA kit helps the R&D process and sells more product to weekend sailors, then why doesn’t winning a major race in a yacht branded Benetaeu or Bavaria sell more boats?
This is perhaps one instance when the comparison to Formula One might be useful. Nobody would confuse a Renault F1 car with a Clio, but by competing in F1, Renault are saying to their consumers who only use their cars for the school run or picking up groceries, that when it comes to cars, they know what they are doing.
There is a trend in sailing towards more performance based boats. While the manufacturers might not have understood the relationship between winning races and shifting more yachts, the brokers it seems are starting to get it.
Take cruiser-racer.com, the Spanish team which is competing this week in Cartagena in the 40 Series demo boat, hull number 22, confirmed yesterday that they will race their new Soto 40 at the Conde de Godó-Barcelona Trophy from September 12th-17th. Their new Soto 40, hull number 27, will be owned by Álex Laplaza and Toni Guiu.
Guiu, who is a yacht broker and project consultant from Barcelona raced two Whitbread Round the World Races in the 1980’s aboard Licor 43 and Fortuna Lights and was an early supporter of the founding of the Barcelona World Race.
The new Soto 40 WWW.CRUISER-RACER.COM will be the sixth boat from the class to compete in the 40 Series this season on the Audi MedCup Circuit and will join the finale event of the season Conde de Godó-Barcelona Trophy on their home waters.
Guiu who is director of the company Cruiser Racer´s which sells, brokers and develops race and racer-cruiser boats said:
“It´s all about taking advantage of a great opportunity that we´ve been handed to be in the circuit´s last two events. We are moved by our excitement, passion and desire, we left all our previous plans aside to be here”,
In motorsport – the motto always used to be Race (win) on Sunday, sell on Monday, but it seems that sailboat brands have a way to go before they use racing as a part of their marketing strategy.
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