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11th International Sailing Summit: a Watershed Moment for Australian Sailing?



Revolution Marine Finance reveals how events at the summit could awaken Australia’s “sleeping giant” and produce unprecedented growth for the sailing industry.

On 3rd December 2012, the International Sailing Summit was held at Sail Melbourne. The Summit was an international conference, with representatives consisting of a “who’s who” from the sport of sailing. The focus of the presentations was international, and aimed toward the growth of the sport. Australia, though, used the conference to launch a major initiative to encourage participation in both competitive and recreational sailing.

Literally everyone who is important in the sailing industry in Australia acted together as one to reorganise sailing as we know it, joining together in an unprecedented show of unity to form a steering group to work together for the good of the industry.

The steering group will be led by representatives of the ISS, and will include Yachting Australia, the Boating Industry Association of Australia (BIAA), and representatives of both small and large yacht clubs across the country. The industry aims to incorporate groups such as BIAA’s My Boating Life, and Yachting Australia’s Discover Sailing into a greater whole.

The main aims of the steering group will be to work together and “streamline” programs, producing a sleek, new association that helps both sport and recreational sailing grow. The committee will begin its work immediately, and will present an analysis in Sydney this April at the Marine 13 conference.

Those who attended the Summit were treated to cutting-edge presentations by some of the industry’s brightest and most creative minds. Jonathan Banks, who is the former executive director of Sail America, served as the international keynote speaker. He told the summit about his experience with the Discover Sailing Program, and how he was able to grow sailing in the US from a near-crisis state into a very healthy industry.

Tim Reid gave Small Business Big Marketing’s “7 Marketing Wake Up Calls” presentation, which helps small businesses maximise their marketing resources. The final presentation of the afternoon focused on mobile e-commerce and social media. The focus was on helping grow sailing by fully utilising both platforms.

Australia’s presentation was lively and inspiring. Sailing legend John Bertrand, Yachting Australia Sport Development Director Ross Kilborn, and Yachting Australia High Performance Director Peter Conde participated in an animated panel session that discussed how Australia can work to fully leverage the success at the Olympics into unparalleled growth for the sailing industry.

Ben Crombie, Managing Director of Revolution Marine Finance, is enthusiastic about the formation of the steering group: “I have long felt that sailing is a ‘sleeping giant’ in Australia, and I have often wondered what would happen if the industry ever decided to get serious and work together to grow sailing into what it could be. This could end up being the biggest development in the history of sailing in Australia.”

Crombie continued, “In the boat loan business, we talk to boaters and fishermen all day. Sailors, in particular, have a gleam in their eyes that nobody else has. When a sailor talks about sailing, it’s as if there is nobody else in the room, and he is back out on the water. We have known for a long time that sailors are among the most enthusiastic sportsmen in the world.”

Crombie concluded, “If this steering group gets it right, and brings everyone involved in sailing together under one roof, working together for the good of the industry, it will produce unprecedented growth.”

Revolution Marine Finance provides fast and reliable boat finance options across Australia.

To contact them, visit their website http://www.revolutionmarinefinance.com.au/ or dial 1300 448 675.