NOTE: Our new Sail America News’ header, “Regional Round-Up,” covers the most up-to-date information of sailing programs around the country. Last month, we heard from two successful programs including the National Sailing Hall of Fame Sailing Center and the Puget Sound Sailing Renaissance.
This month, we hear from San Francisco Sailing Renaissance and the Southern California Marine Trades Association, both of whom are busily promoting sailing to great success. Send us your information!
San Francisco Sailing Renaissance Plans Busy Year
According to John Arndt, the San Francisco Sailing Renaissance group continues to meet with the goal of growing sailing. One of the topics raised at its November Renaissance meeting was how to use the organization to better support, enhance and publicize existing sailing events and activities. Arndt believes there are numerous events already on the area’s annual sailing calendar which can, with additional support, become stronger assets for the sailing community.
One recent example cited is the Baja Ha-Ha cruising rally from San Diego to Cabo. After 15 years of sailing into and out of San Diego without creating much of a ripple beyond the local sailing community, the Renaissance meetings inspired Latitude 38 to make a San Diego publicity effort. Teaming up with the local Port Tenants Association and its marine business members, the PR effort resulted in the lead, front page story in the San Diego Union Tribune and several TV reports on the evening news. It was very positive sailing coverage inspired by the Sailing Renaissance.
Other possible opportunities on the horizon for San Francisco are the Clipper Race arriving in April and the ‘America’s Crock’ which Arndt says may become a Cup again someday.
In other developments, there are a few other events aimed at publicizing and growing sailing on the local, ‘active list’:
- Strictly Sail Pacific – Local committee continuing to work with Sail America to enhance the show.
- Winter Sailstice – Planning an event to gather some midwinter attention for sailing by noting the shortest day of the year and six-month countdown to Summer Sailstice.
- Summer Sailstice – the SF committee is hard at work planning the 10th Anniversary of the Sailstice celebration of sailing on June 19.
- Winter Boat Sales Event – there is no Northern California midwinter boat show so a local committee is creating a selling event in January
- Celebrity Regatta – Sub-committee is planning a second annual media celebrity sail.
- Gosailingsf.org – Continuing to enhance and publicize this local, Renaissance --inspired website aimed as a resource for prospective sailors.
“The results are encouraging, as is knowing that other groups around the country are actively pursuing similar goals in their local sailing communities,” said Arndt. “Hats off to all of them!”
L.A. Boat Show to Jump-Start 2010 West Coast Sailing Season
A little more than a year ago, the Southern California Marine Association called for a meeting of prominent sailing industry stakeholders for the purpose of brainstorming ideas to better promote the sailboat market. Although there was no initial long-range agenda, the meeting proved so productive that stakeholders immediately recognized the potential of a more permanent sitting committee.
"In tough economic times like these, a fragmented industry only magnifies the problems. Right from the start, we recognized that getting together and exchanging ideas was the way to inject new energy into our segment of the boating market,” said SCMA president and original committee member Bruce Brown. “These weren't just talk-sessions, but there were action components associated to the conclusion of every meeting. By keeping the interaction of the group on a nearly routine monthly basis, it didn't afford us an opportunity to stray from the task at hand. We got things done and it positively impacted our business.”
A prime example was SCMA's September 2009 Long Beach Yacht and Boat Show. According to Brown, the sailboat contingent turned out in excellent numbers, developed a highly effective on-water demo program and brought in a full complement of well-known sailing personalities for a powerful seminar schedule. “It proved that good results happen when people plan and work together to achieve a common goal," he added.
The SCMA sailboat committee has now set its sights on the upcoming 2010 Los Angeles Boat Show at the L.A. Convention Center, February 18-21. This will be the 54th consecutive year for SCMA's flagship boat show that has attracted over 3.6 million people in attendance. Although sailboats have not traditionally been a featured part of this particular all-indoor boat show, the sailboat committee is working hard to affect a different outcome. Plans are currently underway to create a sailing pavilion at this year's L.A. Boat Show, complete with a common scaffolding to allow a group of dealers and manufacturers to more professionally present their boats at a lower cost. Given the initial response, there's every indication that sailboats will command significant attention thanks to the committee efforts.
For additional information regarding the Los Angeles Boat Show, please visit the website at: www.losangelesboatshow.com.