The Power of Innovation

Vestas Sailrocket 2′s astounding 70mph dash to snatch the world speed sailing record could be one of the best things to happen to the marine industry since the invention of windsurfing.I love innovations like this, when a curious mind takes a fresh look at something, and comes up with a way to do it better, or just different – in this case with a set of foils, a tubular hull, and a rig on the end of an outrigger.

If only me and my mates had realised what we were on to when we yearned for straighter handlebars and fatter tyres to go off-roading, we might have invented the mountain bike 10 years sooner.

OK, this discussion isn’t strictly speaking about marketing ‘communications’, but it is about the first of the four ‘P’s in the marketing mix, ‘product’.  The great thing about such innovations is that they draw new blood into a sport from new directions.  The pool of participants grows, and they progress up the food chain – yesterday’s windsurfers become today’s yacht buyers.

For those who aren’t yet into sailing (too slow) nor windsurfing (too wet) Sailrocket could spawn their dream production boat.

Personally, I can’t wait for the day we can pull on our crash hats, slip into our comfy F1-style cockpit seats, sheet in, and take off at 40 knots leaving bemused powerboaters in our wake.  Priceless!  That should kick start another boom in boating.

Robin Petherbridge

January 2013