Balancing the needs of sailing’s diverse stakeholders is something that challenges event organisers all over the world. In the past few years, the sport has come to the realisation that competitive sailing is not just about the competitors. Without an audience, the commercial options for sailing events are limited.
In the transition phase, the grandstands might look empty, but surely that is better than fans who have made the effort to come and watch not being able to see.
Sofia Mapfre is positioned as “The Sailors’ Event”, but in 2012, the facilities of Pabisa Beach Club, in Playa de Palma, will be designated as a meeting point for all teams and sailing enthusiasts.
The Pabisa Beach Club is located half way between two of the organising clubs, Club Nàutic S’Arenal and Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa and a Race Village will offer the citizens of Mallorca the opportunity to get to know the Sofía Mapfre and the top world sailors that race year after year.
Organisers are looking to create a social venue with free access with access to chill-out terraces and excellent views of the racing courses, especially for the Medal Races to be held on Saturday 7 April. Big screens will also be located at the facilities.
Ferran Muniesa, Sofía Mapfre CEO says:
“Besides the social events programme, Pabisa Beach Club is intended to be the regatta meeting point; the place where the teams from the four venues can get together at the end of the day and talk about the races. It is one of the most important steps made towards the 2013 edition in which the ISAF Sailing World Cup starts its new format which includes only two European events, with the Sofia and the Semaine Olympique Française among them”.
Certainly the intentions are worthy, but whether events like the Sofia Mapfre can adapt from being a “sailor’s event” to capturing the imagination of a wider audience remains to be seen. The website for the event has some great wallpapers that include the phrase “The Sailors’ Event” in big letters, and the Twitter feed has not been updated since Perth 2011 – 89 days ago.