ISS kicks off with near record attendance

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The second-largest gathering in the six-year history of the International Sailing Summit met Tuesday in Annapolis, Md., to listen and learn from the 19 guest speakers and panelists on hand for the opening day of the ISS, organizers reported today.

The summit, which was founded by Alistair Murray of Ronstan in 1999, is held to “stimulate, influence and lead the global sailing industry in cooperating with national and international sailing and industry groups to increase participation in sailing,” according to its organizers. “This global industry meeting serves as an action group/think tank to bring together all the various interests in sailing from both industry and sport.”

Among the 130 delegates from eight countries and four continents who attended Tuesday’s events were International Sailing Association Federation President Paul Henderson; Janet Baxter, president of US Sailing; Gary Jobson, ESPN commentator and former America’s Cup winner and Scot West, executive director of Sail America.

“We had an action-packed first day with a world of top-notch presentations and many great ideas and concepts,” said Murray. “It is gratifying to see the results of previous ISS activities as representatives from various countries come back and report their successes. This is a brilliant forum and a remarkable opportunity to learn from many of the best in the business throughout the world.”

The presentations to Summit attendees included:

  • Paul Coward of Sailing Center Associates in Ship Bottom, N.J., reporting on the SAILABILITY HELLAS project which had been announced at the 2003 ISS to establish Sailability in Greece.
  • Doris Colgate, CEO and president of the Offshore Sailing School, Ft. Myers, Fla., speaking in support of an industry-wide promotional fund to target “adventure seekers.” Colgate offered to lead an industry charge to determine how to fund and market such a program.
  • Phillippe Fourier, president of FIN, France, explaining how the French Sailing Federation and FIN are developing a joint operation entitled “The New Wave” to assist the 450 French sailing schools in their move forward to provide a better experience for their clients.
  • Teo-Ping Low, president of Singapore Sailing Federation, sharing a presentation entitled, “The Winds of Change,” which addressed the positive economic conditions in Asia that are helping to grow sailing there.
  • Janet Baxter, president of US Sailing, speaking about how volunteers grow sailing and discussing a variety of ways in which volunteers can be utilized and what motivates their participation.
  • Paul Henderson, president of ISAF, who will retire in November and was given a standing ovation by his peers for his many contributions over the past ten years, addressing many of the accomplishments of ISAF during his tenure and sharing his thoughts on the sailing’s future.
  • A “Successful Sailing Events” panel discussion was also held and was moderated by John Arndt of Latitude 38. Arndt posed questions on the keys for major special event successes in the areas of sponsorship tactics, marketing activities, community relations and more. While responses varied, the panel agreed that the increase in Internet/web-based marketing activities had a major impact in their respective spheres of influence.

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