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Organisation/IWA AGM/Appendix 1

Appendix 1

Executive Summary of the Consultation Exercise with the Industry

 

The present study is aimed at bringing a complement of information to the previous study carried out by Aristeia Sport Communication and whose results have been presented at the BOOT event in Dusseldorf, mid-January 2003. 

  • The aim of the previous study was to assess the "White Board Concept" market potential.
  • The aim of the present study is to assess the industry's opinion about the "White Board Concept" and to a certain extent about the Olympic board.

 

I.      QUESTIONNAIRES

 

The board manufacturers and marketers were asked to answer a short questionnaire investigating their interest in getting involved in the "White Board Concept" when it will be launched. This should not be confused with the industry's opinion about the White Board Project's feasibility.

Nine brands replied to the questionnaire, which represent 76% of the board market in terms of sales according to the market data provided by the IWA.

Key lessons:

  • The manufacturers and brands are willing to participate in the development of the new Olympic board.
  • The manufacturers are willing to build the board under licence from ISAF (subject to financial feasibility)  (if they have to do so).
  • Most of the brands that responded wishes to take a distribution licence (subject to financial feasibility) that allows it to have their logo on the boards they are distributing (if they have to do so).

 

II.      OPEN LETTERS

 

All the industry representatives were asked to write an open letter in which they were given total freedom to express their opinion regarding the White Board Project or any windsurfing-related issues. As a complement to the questionnaire, this open letter thus made sure everyone had an opportunity to question the white board concept and give his or her real opinion concerning the development of Olympic windsurfing.

Sixteen industry representatives sent us an open letter about the Olympic windsurfing, which represents 60% of the board market in terms of sales. It does also include the major sail brands of the market.

Key industry opinions :

  • The industry considers windsurfing's presence in the Olympic regatta as one of the sport's assets
  • ISAF should select new windsurfing equipment for the 2008 Olympic regatta. This new equipment should have wider appeal, and mirror more closely the practice of the general windsurfing public (B&M do not think it is necessary to change the present Olympic equipment).
  • The new equipment must be different from the existing one, by being either:
    • An evolution of the current Olympic equipment that keeps the centre board principle, or
    • Something like the existing Formula format

No respondents except B&M support a one-design equipment concept. The majority want tight measurement tolerances to be established.

The industry unanimously ask for a free builder class (except B&M) so that any brand can be involved in the Olympic process.

Many brands (even those do not necessarily agree with every word in the white paper) think that by engaging in the consultative process engendered by these studies, the IWA has provided a useful forum that gives hope for the future.

Some brands expressed criticism of the amount of politics involved in the Olympic process and are looking for further confidence building initiatives from the IWA.

Appendix 2

Connect to sailing Proposals sent to the ISAF Task Force

Windsurfing Strategy

Introduction

The international windsurfing equipment industry does not have an umbrella association like the BMIF so development over the last 30 years has been haphazard and un-coordinated. With a few notable exceptions, individuals own windsurfing schools and centres. There is no international quality control organisation that is universally recognised. 

Windsurfing is a global sport. Whichever sea or lakeside destination you travel to, you are likely to see people out on the water on a sunny day windsurfing and having fun. The age range of participants starts as young as 8 years old and extends through to people as young as 70. You can now learn the basics in 15 minutes on a stable well-padded board. The skill barrier has been lowered considerably by great strides forward in equipment design.

The major sponsors of international windsurfing regattas are national, regional and local tourist boards.

It is important that the equipment industry, holiday companies, educators, schools and the windsurfing media are involved in the "Connect to Sailing" initiative. To date the sport has not been represented at the International Sailing Summit.

 

Stage 1

  • Decide to integrate windsurfing activity into the international  "Connect to Sailing" strategy;

 

Stage 2

  • Contact the RYA and ask them to make available their course material on CD-ROM;
  • Build a windsurfing section into the ISAF "Connect to Sailing" website;
  • Starting to windsurf
  • Where to learn (RYA, VDWS etc )
  • International development coordinators

 

Stage 3

  •        Invite the industry to a "Connect to Sailing" presentation at the Salon Nautique, Paris in December 2003;
  •        Establish international windsurfing task force under the umbrella of the ISAF "Connect to Sailing" task force;

 

Stage 4

    •        Primary tasks
      • Ensure 'first experience' is rewarding and fun;
      • Establish good lines of communication between MNAs and the industry;
      • Encourage equipment industry to develop dedicated schools & club equipment packages;
      • Pay & Play
      • Encourage the setting up of leasing packages or similar to ensure financial barrier for clubs and small independent schools is as low as possible
      • Develop and agree an international 'ISAF Recognised School' brand to be applied to 'quality controlled' schools;
      • Develop PADI reporting systems and procedures;
      • Develop pro-forma marketing strategy for these initiatives with the aid of media and holiday companies
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