Both the International Funboard Class and the International Formula Windsurfing Class have healthy and growing tours in Europe.
However, both Classes realise that in order to continue to develop windsurf racing, there is a need to widen the accessibility, scope and quality, of their events in other parts of the World.
This development drive comes with a clear message to windsurfers, and event management companies everywhere which is that we must work together to ensure successful continental tours are built round each Grand Prix event. The quality of each one will provide a professional foothold and legacy in each of the major markets and act as a major draw for up and coming racers who wish to prove and improve their ability.
DMI is a company, which specialises in Sports, Media and Tourism and the synergies, which exist between these three areas. Recently they have been promoting and building Grand Prix events with the 49er Olympic Class. Through its existing event portfolio including Sailing Regattas in Asia and Africa and through trusted relationships with a network of Event Management companies DMI will be co-ordinating and overseeing the development of the Grand Prix Circuit for the Classes.
Initially the Grand Prix events will act both as open entry prize money events for windsurfers across the world and as part of the FW World Championship qualification system. A minimum of 6 qualification places will be allocated from each Grand Prix event.
For the first year, 2004, each Grand Prix will have a minimum of US$10,000 in prize money per Class outside Europe and €uro 20,000 within Europe which will be contested as an Open Pro-Am event. An overall ranking will be compiled from the Grand Prix circuit with 10% of the prize money from each event being held back to be put into the overall Pot to be won by the one Man and one Women who top the Grand Prix Ranking list at the end of each year.
The Circuit provides a network for racers to compete in either course racing or slalom sometimes at the same venue, sometimes at different venues, and to build points towards two GP Ranking Lists managed and co-ordinated by DMI with the support of the classes leading to one clear communication message… 'There is one clear structure for racing outside the Olympics'
IFCA, Formula and DMI are all realistic about what is achievable and therefore while the ideal is to achieve around 8 Grand Prix's in each Class (with some combined events depending on local conditions) the 2004 level has been set at 6 Grand Prix Events including one in Asia, Africa, South America and 2 in Europe. It is anticipated and intended for North America to be added to this list.
All events on the Grand Prix Circuit will, while being separate events, have a united media presence, which will ensure clear communications to the competitors, the sailing community and the press. This will include a dedicated website with a daily press and results service including images from each event. Grand Prix event managers will be encouraged to enter a television media pool where images, news tapes and footage will be collated, packaged and distributed to news and highlight broadcast media on a regular basis.
DMI will oversee all aspects of this media integration and are keen to point out that while they can provide a full service media package to any and all events on the circuit there will be no packages forced on Organisers.
The official website for the Grand Prix Circuit with information concerning the events will be launched before the end of January 2004.