DAY 1 - Monday, November 25

  • 8:30 Registration
  • 9:00 Plenary session. Opening Remarks

    By Bernard Schopfer, Yacht Racing Forum organiser

  • 09:05 Welcome message

    By the Municipality of Bilbao

  • 09:15 Opening keynote presentation by Stan Honey: The present and future of yacht racing

    Chairman: Andy Rice

  • 09:40 New models for sailing sponsorship

    Being a sailor isn’t enough anymore. Nowadays sailors need to film and edit their stories, and to be very active on social media.

    Have story-telling and hospitality taken over results and performance?


    Stewart Hosford, Hugo Boss Sailing

    Dee Caffari, pro sailor

    Nathalie Quéré, marketing expert, W CONSULTING

    Stéphanie Nadin, project management, event management and hospitality

    Rolf Beisswanger, Chief Commercial Officer, SailGP

  • 10:25 How can events, venues and new markets benefit from the sport of sailing to develop their infrastructure and generate commercial opportunities ?

    How to use and maximise public space (and funding) through the sport of sailing.

    Opportunities and concrete examples


    Rufino Selva, Alicante (Deputy General Manager in Sociedad Proyectos Temáticos de la Comunidad Valenciana), in charge of The Ocean Race. 

    Lili, SailGP, China

    Bilbao, Spain

    Carole Bourlon, Bretagne Développement Innovation, Lorient

    Finn Lyck, Aarhus, Denmark

  • 11:10 Coffee break
  • 11:45 Golden Globe Race & Ocean Globe Race - Presentation by Don Mc Intyre

    Golden Globe Race -There is more to sailing than flying!  From concept to reality. What worked and why so successful.

    Ocean Globe Race– The growing appeal of low tech and slowing down. Filling the void left by the need for speed and why sponsors should get excited.

    With: Don Mc Intyre

  • 12:00 Youth sailing: can we win back the «lost generation» (18-35), reverse the decline in participation and bring new sailors into the sport?

    How do we grow the sport in a declining market? What factors do we feel are the cause of this and how might we try to reverse the trend? Is virtual sailing a satisfying alternative ? What classes are best adapted to young sailors? What professional opportunities does the sport offer to youngsters willing to work in the sailing industry?


    Scott Over, Commercial Director, World Sailing

    Dawn Riley, Oakcliff Sailing

    Philippe Joubin, Director, Spi Ouest France

    Jean-Baptiste Durier, Director, Sail & Golf, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO)

  • 12:45 Revival of ocean racing in the South Pacific: the Transpac Tahiti race, with Stéphanie Betz and Loïck Peyron
  • 13:05 Lunch Break


  • 14:30 Topical presentation tbc
  • 14:50 World Sailing: Recent evolution of the sports’ governing body

    What is World Sailing’s relevance for sailors?

    Would sailing be better off out of the Olympic Games?


    Andy Hunt, CEO, World Sailing

    Stan Honey, Pro Navigator, businessman and technology developer

  • 15:30 e-Sailing World Championship update


    Philippe Guigné, CEO and founder, Virtual Regatta

  • 15:40 Sailor’s ranking systems: Do they work? Can they be improved? Does the public understand who is the best sailor?

    Who is the world’s best sailor? Do we need a global sailors’ ranking? What are the best solutions available? Are there too many world championships in the calendar?


    Alastair Fox, Director of Events, World Sailing

    Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Star Sailors League

  • 16:10 Coffee Break

    Short presentation by Valencia Tourism Foundation

  • 16:40 Did you ask her? Study about women in the sport of sailing, by Vicky Low

    Earlier this year the World Sailing Trust carried out a strategic review of Women in Sailing. We look at the disparities and trends in barriers to participation identified in the global survey and identify initiatives that can support improved gender diversity and inclusion across the sport.

  • 17:10 Double handed olympic sailing + a new business model for the sport of sailing

    Topical presentation by Luka Rodion, olympic medallist (49er), VOR sailor (2008-09), commodore of the Kiev Racing Yacht Club and CEO of the L30 One Design.

  • 17:30 Is social media killing the art of story telling and ‘cheapening’ the quality of coverage ? Or is it a blessing for the sport, providing visibility and new opportunities to be creative ?


    Will Carson, Racing Communications Manager, Royal Yachting Association

    Cliff Webb, President, Yachting Journalists Association

    Meg Reilly, Media Consultant, Founder & Co-Skipper – Ocean Racers

    Jonno Turner, Head of Digital Content, The Ocean Race

  • 18:15 End
  • 19:00 Transfer by coach to the evening reception
  • 19:30 Evening reception. Guest of honour: Peter Harken

    Venue: Olatua Bizkaia Passengers Maritime Station

    –> Mirabaud Sailing Video Award prize giving ceremony

DAY 1 - Monday, November 25

  • 8.30 Registration
  • 9.00 Plenary session. Opening Remarks

    By Bernard Schopfer, Yacht Racing Forum organiser

  • 9.05 Welcome message

    By the Municipality of Bilbao

  • 9:15 Opening keynote presentation by Stan Honey: The present and future of yacht racing

    Chairman: Dobbs Davis

  • 09:45 Latest learnings in foil design & construction

    Session chaired by Luca Rizzotti

    Trying to answer the new questions raised by foiling boats:

    -Foil design and electronic assistance: what are they? How do they work?

    -Are electronically assisted sailing boats acceptable in a racing context?

    -Do we still need sailors onboard computer-assisted foiling boats? For how long?

    -How much breakage and injuries can foiling stand?


    Yann Dollo, Deputy General Manager, CDK Technologies

    Thomas Gaveriaux, Operations Director, Persico Marine

    Denis Glehen, CEO, GSEA Design

    Luc Talbourdet, Avel Robotics

  • 10:30 Topical presentation by Future Fibres

    With: Jonathan Duval

  • 10:50 Squaring the circle: Foiling Cruising Racing Fast yet Comfortable catamarans, by Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, Benoît Lebizay and Loïck Peyron


    Loïck Peyron

    Vincent Lauriot-Prévost

    Benoît Lebizay

  • 11:10 Coffee Break
  • 11:45 Latest innovations in sail design & construction

    What impact do they have on boat design & engineering?


    Hervé Piveteau, head of naval architecture for sailing yachts, Bénéteau group

    Jordi Arbusà, Sailing Technologies

    Juan Kouyoumdjian, Juan Yacht Design

  • 12:30 Roller furling headsails reinvented thanks to the cableless technique

    Session chaired by: Ken Read, President, North Sails


    JB Braun – Head of Design & Engineering, North Sails
    Seth Cooley – Project Engineer, Future Fibres

  • 13:05 Lunch Break
  • DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY SYMPOSIUM - afternoon session

    Chairman: Dobbs Davis

  • 14:30 New talent in sailing technology

    Some of the best students involved in academic research on sails & foils are invited to present their research. Session chaired by Dr Ignazio Maria Viola, Senior Lecturer, Institute for Energy Systems, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh.

    • Mr Menelaos Xanthis, MSc student, University of Southampton. Supervisor: Prof. Stephen Turnock. Project title: Sailboat Keel Failures: a Probabilistic Structural Reliability Study Using Monte Carlo Simulation.
    • Adam Persson, PhD student, SSPA and Chalmers University. Supervisor: Prof. Lars Larsson. Project title: Unsteady Sail Aerodynamics. 
    • Ms Margot Cocard, PhD student, University of Strathclyde. Project title: Experimental and Numerical Hydrodynamics of T-foils with Flaps Near the Free Surface.
    • Mr Camille Komorn, MSc student, Ecole Navale. Supervisor: Dr Patrick Bot. Project title: Foiling Multihull: from Scale-Model to VPP.
    • Mr Jean-Baptiste Souppez, PhD student, University of Edinburgh. Supervisor: Dr Ignazio Maria Viola. Project title: Vortex Flow of Downwind Sails. 
    • Mayeul Van den Broek, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, foils and fin design & shape.

  • 15:30 Protect Tapes: concrete applications for racing, cruising and super yachts

    With: Pietro Parmeggiani

  • 15:50 The Clean Boat: Reducing the environmental impacts of boat building through Life Cycle Assessment

    Consumers are increasingly demanding more environmentally friendly products and legislation has been passed in many countries aimed at reducing environmental impacts. In order to reduce the environmental impacts of boat manufacturing, first we must understand our current impacts before then analysing the choices we can make to improve efficiency as well as human and environmental health. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a proven tool that helps designers and manufacturers evaluate their processes, material inputs and waste and make better, more sustainable and cost effective decisions.


  • 16:10 Coffee Break

    Short presentation by Valencia Tourism Foundation

  • 16:40 What is the impact of the new Ocean Race on IMOCA design, engineering and sails developments?


    Dimitri Nicolopoulos-Salle, KND-SailingPerformance

    Quentin Lucet, Architecte Naval, VPLPdesign

    Ryan Breymayer

    Richard Mason, The Ocean Race

    Juan Kouyoumdjian, Juan Yacht Design

  • 17:30 What are the technological solutions for the next America’s Cup and what impact will they have on sailors?

    Max Sirena, Luna Rossa Challenge

    Manolo Ruiz de Elvira

    Grant Simmer

    Mark Somerville, Persico Marine

    Future Fibres

  • 18:15 End
  • 19:00 Transfer by coach to the evening reception
  • Evening reception. Guest of honour: Peter Harken

    Venue: Olatua Bizkaia Passengers Maritime Station

    –> Mirabaud Sailing Video Award prize giving ceremony

DAY 2 - Tuesday, November 26

  • 9:00 Plenary session. Opening Remarks
  • 9:05 Keynote presentation by Gianguido Girotti, General Manager, Bénéteau

    The commercial case for the sport of sailing

  • Module 3 - A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR THE SPORT OF SAILING, presented by 11th Hour Racing

    Chairman: Shirley Robertson

  • 9:25 The business of sport and sustainability

    Session chaired by Jeremy Pochman

    Sustainability is central to the business narrative of many major sports teams, events and organizations. And this trend is increasing dramatically. Why is this? Is it legislative requirements, audience demand or commercial planning that inspire this? Or, is it just a better way of doing things?


    Johan Salen, CEO, The Ocean Race

    Thomas Normand, Director General, MerConcept

    David Noble, PR & Communications Director, Bluewater

  • 10:10 The effects of climate change on the sport of sailing

    Will we see more extreme conditions more often? 

    Are there more risks of cyclones outside the usual cyclonic periods?

    Extension of the ice zone that extends each year in the Atlantic Ocean between April and July and poses a problem for race organizers (Québec Saint-Malo, The Transat,…)

    Development of “ice islands” in the South, emerging from the Antarctic continent


    Christian Dumard, router and meteorologist

  • 10:30 Coffee Break
  • 11:10 How can sailing and yacht racing help shape a better world with solutions for commercial transport?


    Marc Van Peteghem, designer, co-founder VPLP

  • 11:30 Chasing Coral: Update and controversies surrounding sun protection

    Sailors are considered high-risk for skin cancer due to solar radiation. Sun protection is paramount and the only strategy that can lower the rate at which new cancers arise. However, the use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate have a direct and negative impact on the maritime environment, especially coral reef. In addition, studies showed that certain chemical sunscreen ingredients are absorbed into the blood. Dr. Olasz Harken will provide professional guidance about skin cancer prevention and update sailors about potential adverse effects of sunscreens on human health and the marine environment.

    With: Dr Edit Olasz Harken

  • 11:55 Foiling Week, a new breed of events: how to accelerate innovation with social responsibility

    By Luca Rizzotti, founder, the Foiling Week

  • 12:15 Lunch Break
  • 13:45 Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award prize giving ceremony

    Celebration of the best sailing photos produced this year, and their authors.

    Presentation chaired by Sophia Urban

  • Module 4 - TOP OF THE SPORT, presented by OC Sports
  • 14:00 Star Sailors League Gold Cup - Presentation and perspectives


    Mateusz Kusznierewicz

  • 14:20 What future for match racing ?

    How is match racing doing? The WMRT has had ups and downs; it will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. The America’s Cup will take place on flying monohulls. Does match racing have a future? Are youngsters interested?


    James Pleasance, Director, World Match Racing Tour

  • 15:05 Double-handed offshore sailing - organisational challenges and successes

    When the idea of an Olympic offshore double-handed event was made public, doubts about its feasibility immediately emerged, particularly in the context of the World Sailing Annual Meeting. Such events have been organised in France for decades but rarely in other countries. Oakcliff Sailing Executive Director Dawn Riley and her team decided to challenge themselves and dispel doubts by organizing such an event aboard Melges 24. She describes the method implemented and the challenges encountered and the surprises along the way.

    With: Dawn Riley, Oakcliff Sailing Executive Director

  • 15:20 Coffee Break
  • 15:50 Assessment of olympic sailing 8 months prior to Tokyo 2020

    Session chaired by Shirley Robertson

    What shall we expect from Tokyo 2020?

    With: Alastair Fox, Director of Events, World Sailing

    + 1-2 Olympic sailors tbc

  • 16:10 IMOCA and the Ocean Race: marriage of convenience or true love?

    Session chaired by Andy Rice

    What will the new OR concept bring back to the sailing world ? Are sailors happy with the concept? What should a round the world race be like? 


    Johan Salen, CEO, The Ocean Race

    Dee Caffari

    Antoine Mermod, President, IMOCA

    Mike Golding

  • 16:55 Sail GP: Sailing redefined

    Is SailGP the future of sailing? Is the event sustainable? What are its organisers’ ambitions and goals?


    Chris Draper, CEO & Wing Trimmer, GBR SailGP Team
    Tim Godfrey, SailGP CMO
    Andy Thompson, SailGP Chief Financial & Business Officer

  • 17:20 GC32 - Challenges and opportunities in a competitive environment

    With: Christian Scherrer, Class manager, GC 32

  • 17:40 America’s Cup: Will the sport of sailing benefit from the Cup’s new format?

    Max Sirena, skipper, Luna Rossa Challenge

    Manolo Ruiz de Elvira

    Juan Kouyoumdjian

    Francis Capponetto, founder of Caponnetto Hueber, Naval Architect

  • 18:30 End
  • 19:00, Post-Event Drinks Reception provided by GAC Pindar