The 2004 Hobie 16 Worlds is over.
10 days of racing - 47 races
18 Women’s Event Teams
32 Juniors Event Teams
58 Masters and Grand Masters Event Teams
120 Teams in the Qualifying Round
121 Teams in the Semi Finals
60 Teams in the Finals
Hobie Cat USA provided an additional 4 boats (64 boats total) to the event to bring the available slots up to 60 per heat, but we still had many teams turned away as each of the main events were over booked.
The effect of this event will be felt for years to come. This has raised the bar for all kinds of sailing events. Following my comments below is a report about the Hobie Worlds Website Traffic for this event. The ability to gain such a large market share will show future sponsors and media that sailing and specifically cat sailing is a very popular sport and can carry a large interest with the public (see website notes below… 5,000,000 hits in 27 days and likely the number one sporting website and number 3 of all websites in Australia where the site is hosted). The promotion of sailing and beach cat sailing has been, and will be, tremendous for the sport I think.
The things that really made this Worlds website work well (3 times as much traffic as the last 16 Worlds) were the live content and constant updates. Videos, stories, bulletin board, updated mark rounding for most all the races and up to date results. These are things to think about when planning another event and trying to draw traffic as well as pleasing your sponsors. You may also be interested to know that allot of large files were placed on another server (another Hobie site in Europe) to reduce the load and traffic on the Worlds site. The files moved were the daily video files and many of the image files.
The event had a professional video team doing videos every day as well as a professional photographer (and lots of amateurs) there were thousands and thousands of pictures taken. The video was edited on-site and shown in the Hotel Theater at night and on the hotel TV system in the rooms. Those daily videos were used in the many award events through the event and now will be made into a Movie. That movie is certainly going to be even better than what they showed at the final awards dinner... and that one was awesome! Arial footage, underwater footage... all finds of stuff. We will let you know when the movie is available.
There was an Internet room for the sailors that had about 30 PCs running as well as a separate section for media use with another 8 PC’s. They also had a wireless network that allowed us to access the web from our personal laptops. We had a PA system on the beach with DJs doing music and wireless microphones that I used for announcing mark rounding and sailor instructions during boat changes. They provided (sponsored) cell phones and VHF radios as well. I would receive course information, wind speeds and get mark rounding from the course via VHF, announce them on the beach and then call the web team to get them on-line. We were also blessed with excellent conditions that allowed us to run 47 races. All of this allowed the World to be a part of this event.
Writers and photographers attended the event from Sail Magazine, Sailing and Sailing World that I know of. (The Sailing World guys sailed in the qualification round.) We also had our Press relation person on-site doing press releases during the event as well. We can expect some great coverage by those magazines and others in the near future.
Here is the report about the website traffic:
The Coca Cola Hobie 16 Worlds web site has now hit a new milestone in sporting web sites. The site at www.hobieworlds.com
has in 27 days had 5,000,000 hits and almost 100 gigabyte of data downloaded from the site. To put this in language everyday sailors can understand Justine Freeman from Netristry who host the site www.hobieworlds.com
‘this is the biggest sporting site in Australia… when a Harry Potter movie is released it does not get the hits or the download this site has…. it is clearly one of the most popular web sites possibly in the top 3 hosted in Australia at present ’.
We all congratulate the fantastic web team that has made this possible.
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