Do I wish it were true? Hell yes, I do!
Over this past 2018 racing season there have been major changes in the sport of open water powerboat racing, aka; offshore powerboat racing. And, perhaps best of all during the season the changes included the merger of the creditable and ‘functioning’ racing series despite each having their own distinct cultures, personalities and challenges.
Most would say it’s an overnight success; but it has been at least fifteen years in the making. It is definitely a high-risk move considering the self-serving nature of the sport’s major participants... Egos had to be put aside, attitudes corrected, vest-pocket deals exposed, self-serving commercial interests had to be altered and quite frankly, some people didn't make the cut. It was anything but easy. The process stretched business relationships, friendships and at least two marriages, but if this merger is treated physically, intellectually and psychically with respect, and if it is well subscribed to by the key team principals it will no doubt be wildly successful.
When the merger was secretly agreed earlier this year, it was at best with cautious optimism of the ‘naysayers’ and the true believers. But the merger will work... it is truly a merger of the series. It is not an acquisition of one group by the other made to look like a merger.
The key facilitators of the merger went through a time consuming and extensive process of analyzing the best practices, policies and procedures of the world’s top motor racing series on water, land and in the air... and wherever possible, the best practices were adopted including event production elements, marketing, fan base research, commercial partners, risk and legal, and yes, they even included subjects like HR, accounting and access to the financial resources important to sustainability.
The new group, yet to be named, has relocated all the practices and resources into a new headquarters facility in south Florida, meaning key management is now under one roof. That move not only combined the assets of the entities but also gives ‘em access to all the resources and capabilities of what is soon to be called the real ‘Wheel-House’ of the sport; although powerboat racing is not considered a mainstream sport, powerboat racing, aka; open water offshore powerboat racing, due to this merger, is destined to receive substantial commercial recognition and new audiences in addition to the ongoing support of its age-old loyal cult following. Due to the commitments made by the group to every subscribing team principal… The Gulf Stream Accords (merger) is working well for 2019.
There is more to come - wait for it.