The annual Yachting Racing Forum (YRF) is growing in status as reflected in a number of recently agreed new partnerships. The 2018 event is scheduled to be held in Lorient on October 22-23, 2018. The YRF have recently announced a number of new partnerships which will strengthen the roll of the event over the coming years.

The YRF is the leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing. It is the only business-to-business conference that brings together the key players from across the whole yacht racing industry providing an opportunity to discuss the issues facing the sport and to share best practice. It also facilitates business development through providing quality networking opportunities with decision makers from all areas within the industry.

The forum splits into two key segments namely Business and Marketing and Design and Technology. The former conference focuses on the commercial aspects of the sport: sponsorship, event organisation, marketing, communication, venues, and yacht clubs etc. The Design & Technology Symposium focuses on the latest developments and innovations within yacht racing such as the latest technology from the America’s Cup, safety innovations, foils and flying boats, rigid sails and new materials.

Among recent partnerships is a three-year deal with Gunboat, the performance cruise-racing catamarans builder. At YRF it will showcase its brand and share ideas and knowledge. Founded in 2002 and owned by Grand Large Yachting, Gunboat has established a leading reputation for high-quality catamarans.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gunboat as a long-term partner and exhibitor,” commented Bernard Schopfer, the organiser of the Yacht Racing Forum. “This is a truly innovative brand, developed by some of the best specialists from within the yacht racing industry. Gunboat creates a strong link between the yacht racing and cruise / leisure communities.”

The YRF also has a new media partnership with French sailing magazine Voiles et Voiliers, a publication that focuses on the latest sailing boats and events, and long-distance cruising. A second media partnership has been agreed with the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA). This association was arranged by Cliff Webb, YJA chairman, and Schopfer.

“We are very pleased to welcome the Yachting Journalists' Association amongst our partners”, said Bernard Schopfer, the organiser of the Forum. “The sport’s key actors from all over the world, the industry members, event organisers, teams or sponsors, need media to develop their activities, whilst the media need them to generate quality content. “

Webb, the newly-elected chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association, sees the partnership as an important opportunity for members who come from all over the world. “The YJA have members who are at the forefront of all branches of the media, together with our corporate members working in PR and other areas from many different countries,” he added. “To open up this valuable forum to our members is a huge benefit to both sides of this partnership.”

Another recent link has been agreed with AkzoNobel which has been named by the YRF as the title partner of the Design & Technology Symposium. Headquartered in Amsterdam, AkzoNobel employs approximately 35,000 people in around 80 countries. The company’s portfolio includes well-known brands such as Awlgrip, International, Dulux, Sikkens, Interpon and Eka and it has been active in the yacht coatings industry for decades.

“We are very proud to welcome such a prestigious company and a true innovator of yacht coatings as the title partner of the Design & Technology Symposium", said Schopfer. “The Symposium attracts the sport’s key race boat designers, engineers, builders and technology providers.”

Odile Bernhart, AkzoNobel Area Sales manager Yacht Retail, says: “We are pleased to be involved with this year’s Yacht Racing Forum. It’s a great opportunity to share knowledge and inspiration, and have thought-provoking discussions about design and technology with other yacht professionals. This year is an especially important year for us after our coatings partnership with Volvo Ocean Race. As the toughest sailing race in the world, it’s the ultimate test and showcase for our products.”

Other recent partnerships for YRF have included OC Sport and Future Fibres. A three-year deal has been agreed with OC Sport, a French based company that has a unique portfolio of events across sailing, cycling and running. OC Sport will be the title sponsor of the 'Top of the Sport' conference module.

In regard to Future Fibres, it has signed a two-year deal with the YRF. This partnership is linked to the Design & Technology Symposium and the YRF is pleased to welcome the world leader in composite rigging as an Official Partner and exhibitor.