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SAIL +LEISURE TOUR THE

SAIL +LEISURE TOUR THE REGATTAS N 40.712784 | E -74.005941 THE DIGITAL RACE Ingrid Hale, PR and Communications Manager for Lion of Africa Vulcan, explains the world of digital tracking and maximising a campaign using social media that allows sailing fans to follow their teams. Gone are the days when one relied on newspapers and the odd TV broadcast to keep you up to date on the progress of yachts crossing an ocean. Ocean crossings have become great spectator sports, you can follow from your couch or from behind your desk via livestreaming, or follow a race tracker, team blogs and social media platforms. With this in mind, every offshore race needs to make sure it provides up to the minute progress and updates. We are used to instant gratification, and instant information downloads. It can become very frustrating when a fan can’t track or follow their team. True sailing fans who understand sailing, VMG, DTF etc. want that info to be updated every second and they want to be able to compare the data of one boat to another. They become virtual racers. With offshore races like the VOR, Jules Verne and others providing us with instant information, live video feeds and incredible photography, we expect the same from our offshore races. Track it: For the Cape to Rio 2017, each boat was fitted with a tracker provided by Xtra-link for regular updates. Unfortunately, this year’s race fell short on the tracking front. This exact system was used in the 2014 race and it was suitable at that stage as the system available was pretty much what was available from other service providers. But with our demand for instant gratification and information, perhaps another supplier would have been better suited? There seems to be a dead spot in the mid-Atlantic where communications coming in from the boat were broken and sporadic. They were sending me information but I was receiving it a day or two later and the same goes for them receiving my replies. This can be very frustrating and one needs to keep the Sat phone for emergencies only, so you just need to work with what you get. When running a campaign, the PR machine relies on updated information in order to provide the press with interesting stories and to provide updates for social media. From a digital PR point of view, however, a few teams were very active on their Facebook pages, offering followers and fans from SA and abroad the opportunity to be a part of the team’s experience during the race. For example, Lion of Africa Vulcan had tremendous success with their Facebook campaign. In fact, the post on their arrival into Rio, and crossing the finish line as the first South African boat, received the most number of people reached out of all posts during the entire Cape to Rio race period (1 Jan to 28 Jan) and out of all the Cape to Rio official pages and other boat pages. A staggering 22 360 people were reached! Team blogs and posts were shared on www.cape2rio2017.com or on www.rcyc. co.za - cape2rio link Follow it: The following social media sites were set up: Cape 2 Rio Yacht race @cape2rio2017 @cape2rio cape2rio2017 20 SAIL+LEISURE

WHAT A GREAT DAY. WHAT A PERFECT DOCKING SPOT. LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. PREMIUM NARROW-BEAM PHASED ARRAY FORWARD-LOOKING SONAR HORIZONTAL BEAM-WIDTH: 20 DEGREES FORWARD-LOOKING RANGE: UP TO 90 METERS PANOPTIX PS51-TH FRONTVÜ ©2017 Garmin Ltd. www.garmin.co.za

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