The 22nd edition of the prestigious “Cor Caroli” regatta ended this week on August 15, the day of the city of Varna. Over 300 competitors with 44 boats entered the race, the big winner turning out to be the yacht “CHOCOLATE” with skipper Francois Bopp from the “Port Burgas” club. The regatta took place under the sponsorship of Next Consult, one of the leading business and digital transformation consultancies in Southeast Europe.
The Cor Caroli Foundation established the regatta in 2001 in memory of Capt. Georgi Georgiev and the well-known yacht “Cor Caroli”, with which he set a record for the fastest round of the world for monohull yachts with a single crew (202 days), an accomplishment registered in the Guinness Book of Records. After Next Consult participated for the first time with their boat last year, in 2022 the company decided to fully support the initiative, for which it was awarded a special plaque by the foundation.
Within the opening of the event, Next Consult shared its experience in terms of business transformation and the ways in which companies can become part of the modern digital economy, taking advantage of the advantages it provides.
What do sailing and business have in common?
“Sailing has much in common with business. It’s all about teamwork. You cannot succeed on your own. The favorable outcome depends not only on your efforts and skills but also on the team you are working with. You have to deal with very strong competition while technology, crew training, and strategy also have an important role,” stated Orlin Dochev, managing partner at Next Consult.
Drawing on Next Consult’s experience with clients, he elaborated: “As a leading provider of digital transformation tools, we consult many clients and in all the businesses we go in to help, we see that they have a lot in common with sailing. The main drivers of success are often things like team dynamics, proper distribution of tasks, and keeping track of who does what and how. Everything has to be like a well-oiled machine. In sailing, just like in any company, you have to take care of your responsibilities but the team you build is even more important.”
The notion that there are many business lessons hidden in the world of sailing is confirmed by 2-time world champion Elliott Wislar. According to him, sailing in a straight line is not the fastest way you can reach the end goal. On the contrary, in both sailing and business, it’s much more effective to follow the path of least resistance, even if this means taking a less obvious route.
How are technology and innovation changing sailing?
The Cor Caroli regatta has been held for 22 years. For this nearly a quarter of a century, sailing has changed a lot under the influence of one main factor – technological development. Technology continues to change the face of the sport to this day, especially with increasingly high-tech equipment and the trend towards more environmentally friendly and affordable vessels.
One of the technologies that could seriously increase the popularity of sailing is 3D printing, as reported by Digitalk. To date, it is more of an elitist sport, as the cost of practicing it remains high for most people. Especially for the younger generations.
This means that the industry needs to adapt to this fact and additive manufacturing may prove to be the necessary solution. Through 3D printing, it is now possible to make not only spare parts but also entire vessels. And while it will still be some time before the first fully printed boat hits the water, this technology could become a much cheaper alternative.
Robotics, AR/VR, artificial intelligence (AI), sensors, and drones are just some of the other technologies, along with 3D printing, that are expected to have a huge impact on the future of sailing. AI helps with both yacht design and creating autopilots that find the perfect race course. At the same time, augmented reality allows for real-time tracking of data and statistics that don’t need to be watched by side monitors. Virtual reality, in turn, can play an important role in promoting sailing as a sport through the possibilities it provides for various interactive presentations of the races.
The development of electric yachts and increasingly environmentally friendly materials for their construction is another trend that will trace the transformation of sailing in the coming years.