©2010 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association©2010 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association

Premiere Racing Cancels 2011 Miami Grand Prix

27 December 2010

Below is an announcement as published online and distributed on Friday, December 24, by Premiere Racing. Although the International Melges 32 regrets to inform of the cancellation of the 2011 Miami Grand Prix, all owners and teams are advised that the class is in the process of rescheduling/restructuring a Miami regatta in 2011 as a stand-alone event. No details are available yet, however the determination of alternative race dates in Miami are in progress.

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After very careful review, Premiere Racing has determined that it is in the best interest of the event and prospective competitors to have a one year hiatus with their Miami Grand Prix regatta.

Current entry registrations, coupled with less than optimistic projections, indicate that critical mass for the March regatta will not be achieved. Our hopes and expectations are that this event will resume in 2012. It will, however, require an early and concerted promotion and sponsorship procurement effort coupled with a turnaround in the racing sailors’ willingness to again participate in travel regattas.

The Farr 40 class, one of the major Miami one design classes in past years, is unable to participate in 2011 with their World Championship in Sydney Australia next February. The J/105 class has made an effort to build interest, but projections suggest fewer than 5 entries, and IRC interest has been lacking.

The Melges 32 would constitute the largest class, but their numbers would likely have been off somewhat from recent years given their recent World Championship in San Francisco and an early winter class regatta in Ft Lauderdale.

The global economy and the ever-increasing pressure on leisure time appear to be impacting many boat owners’ ability and/or willingness to travel to regattas. This has been borne out at any number of events across the country over the past couple of years.

Despite signs of a rebound in the economy, the sponsorship environment remains very difficult and the title sponsor position for the Miami regatta remains vacant for a second consecutive year. The business model for executing a remote event (Premiere Racing is located in Boston, MA) with no yacht club infrastructure or title sponsor, coupled with an undersized fleet, simply does not work.

While we regret having to make this announcement, it is not practical for Premiere Racing, nor is it in anyone’s best interest to host an event that falls short of expectations from a competitive standpoint and the high standards that have been achieved at past Miami Grand Prix regattas. We will assess the wiliness of boat owners to travel, classes to engage, as well as the sponsor environment over the next 6-8 months before determining the future of the Miami Grand Prix in 2012 and beyond.

I would like to acknowledge the support from the Christofs’ Miami Beach Marina, Tom Glassie’s Avalon and South Seas Hotels and Dave Brennan’s crack race management team, all three of which have been instrumental in the success of the Miami Grand Prix in past years.

Peter S. Craig

Event Director
Premiere Racing


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