Finn sailors make the difference in Prada Cup.

The British Finn Association sends huge congratulations to INEOS Team UK on their racing master class in the Prada Cup Round Robins, held recently in Auckland – in particular to British Finn sailors Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Chris Brittle and Ben Cornish. Part of the dramatic turnaround in the British boat’s performance was clearly Finn sail inspired – controlling the lower mainsail depth via an adjustable in-haul to keep the boat powered up and foiling.

In fact, Finn Olympians and world champions can be found in key roles in all the America’s Cup teams presently in Auckland:

Emirates Team New Zealand: Josh Junior, Rio 2016 Olympian and 2019 Gold Cup winner. Andy Maloney – Europeans 2019 Silver Medallist & World Cup final winner.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team: Philippe Presti, Atlanta 1996 Olympian, Gold Cup winner ‘93 & ’96, Enrico Voltolini – Trofeo Menoni winner 2016.

NYYC American Magic: Dean Barker, Athens 2004 Olympian, Caleb Paine, Rio 2016 Bronze Medallist, James Lynne, Ex GBR Finn campaigner.

INEOS Team UK: Ben Ainslie, 3 times Finn Olympic Gold medallist, 6 times Gold Cup Winner. Giles Scott, Rio 2016 Finn Olympic Gold medallist, 4 times Gold Cup winner. Ben Cornish, Finn Europeans Bronze Medallist 2017. Chris Brittle, Finn Silver Cup winner 2002.

Whilst traditionally Finn sailors may have been seen as the brawn on the pedestals on America’s Cup and even Ocean Race boats, they are today very much the ‘brains trust’ aboard INEOS Team UK. The team work and close communication between Ben and Giles as they called every shift and ounce of pressure was impressive to witness. So what is it that makes the International Finn such a strong breeding ground for world class sailors? 

Despite being a small, relatively low cost dinghy, the Finn has proved to be the perfect mix of being readily accessible to all but with just enough technical challenges to teach the athlete the subtleties of rig tune, boat preparation and the benefits of complete physical fitness. As a singlehanded class, starting, tactics, technique and race management are all down to the individual sailor – there is nowhere to hide.  As a result, the Finn builds self–reliance and confidence, creating all round sailors with an understanding of the aero dynamics of rigs and the importance of effective technique – all whilst honing their tactics and racing experience in a hugely competitive and tight international fleet, constantly pushing each other to greater performance.

The contrast in speed upwind between the Finn and a foiling AC75 could not be more stark, yet the Prada Cup racing has shown that spotting the pressure and upcoming shifts are just as important on the AC race course. These skills are vital to success in the relatively ponderous Finn, where boat speed is closer across the fleet and gains have to be eked out from every minor shift and pressure increase.

Is this unique education not available in other Olympic classes? Well not really – strict One Design classes remove the need to learn how to develop rigs to suit individual body size or venue conditions and modern lightweight skiff classes place a premium on boat handling which can be to the detriment of expert wind strategy and tactics.

The fact that the world’s best sailors have been developed in the Finn class for many years should not go unnoticed by World Sailing and the IOC when they select the Olympic Classes, if they are truly to represent the pinnacle of the sport and mirror the Olympic motto of ‘Faster – Higher – Stronger’!

The Final of the Prada Cup begins on 13th February in the Hauraki Gulf  and Waitematā Harbour, Auckland with the winner progressing to race Emirates Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup. Watch the Prada Cup racing live here.

Article created for the International Finn Association and published in EuroSail News Europe and Scuttlebutt , North America. The

Get your business ready to reboot post lockdown.

Itching to get the wheels turning again? How do we navigate the new uncharted business oceans to serve members and customers in the post COVID 19 world?

To revive demand, organisations need to identify zones of profitable growth by restarting marketing activity in areas that are relevant to the new norms. For many sports organisations and businesses this will involve an accelerated digital transformation to serve new client needs and choices. Even the most digitally reclusive customers have learnt to embrace online shopping, video calls and readily digest social media online – opening up new channels and markets.

Digital Rowing Magazine & app

Engaging with both new and returning customers requires a well stocked social media platform and regular (but not overwhelming) e-newsletter contact with relevant, useful content that appeals to their sports interest and lifestyle. But not all solutions are now digital. Print magazines and brochures are still highly valued by readers, are delivered to the door and don’t get overlooked in a crowded inbox. Sports organisations unable to deliver events due to the restrictions have even more motive to retain a quality print magazine to provide membership value and a tangible reason to renew.

The new world order provides a great opportunity to challenge the existing status quo of how organisations manage their communications and marketing. Agile, creative solutions such as smaller, highly targeted print runs delivered more individually can yield a better ROI. Combined with indispensable content and environmentally sustainable presentation, your business’s credibility can only escalate.

Legacy Sport Media provides publishing, consultancy and brand management services to sports federations, membership organisations and the marine industry.  We deliver bespoke sport publishing services , informed topical copy writing and ethical distribution solutions for a post COVID 19 world. Increasingly our business is providing more digital solutions to our clients, with digital magazines, brochures, e-Newsletters and websites making up much of the Legacy Sport Media portfolio. Legacy also has great options for producing promotional banners, flags, stickers and branded clothing to reboot your business this spring.

We offer a dedicated, personalised service – we love what we do and it shows in our work. Our team has worked together for over 11 years, so we have a strong core. We don’t believe in a one-size fits all approach and this is reflected in our work.

If you would like to know more or talk to us about a publishing, digital, or branding project, we would love to hear from you – just contact John Heyes.

We look forward to speaking with you soon.


Paper wrap solutions – your prayers answered!

In following our quest to find why there was no true environmentally sustainable magazine wrap available in the market, many printers have now converted wrapping lines to encase magazines, brochures and flyers in a paper wrap. Whilst the paper wrap solution can claim to be fully recyclable, removes the need for carrier sheets and permits access to lower Mailmark postage rates, the cost can still be expensive as printers seek to cash in on the growing demand for green alternatives to polywrap and recover the costs of converting the wrapping lines.

In mitigation providers point to the advantages of full colour personalisation providing targeted offers to subscribers or paid for advertising on both sides of the warp to offset the additional cost. Legacy Sport Media has been searching for a cost effective, fully recyclable solution for our ethically minded clients, but with tight budgets to adhere to, a criteria was not add any extra cost. Other publishers we spoke too admitted to jumping on the starched based film wrap bandwagon-not because of any true belief in it’s lower carbon footprint, but because it appeared to green to the reader.

In our search for a solution, Legacy Sport Media consulted widely with all our print, paper and mailing suppliers and eventually by working together with the UK’s largest mail and business parcel specialist, Asendia UK, found the ideal solution. Against all the hype of starch based supposedly ‘decomposable’ films, the most cost effective solution that provided all the benefits of the paper wrap is an amazing product known as an envelope!

It turns out that the humble envelope can also be fully personalised with digital colour messaging, carry time sensitive call to action messaging, qualifies for discounted Mailmark mailing tariffs and can be automatically filled with magazines, brochures and inserts on the mailing line and as a mass produced product is impressively cost efficient.

For upscale membership associations, a smartly addressed C4 envelope with a subtle 4-colour logo delivers a dignified message, underlines the organisations green credentials and underlines the value of the product inside.

Why can’t we have an environmentally sustainable magazine wrap!?

Organisations that have taken up the campaign to ban single use plastics are increasingly filling their publications with great articles on their sustainability policy, ethical travel holidays and programmes to clear the oceans of plastic waste. Great articles printed on recycled or FSC approved stock using vegetable inks all serve to promote the organisations’ sustainability ethics – but all too often ignore the fossil-based polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) wrap the magazine gets posted in or is displayed within on the newsstand.

This irony has not been missed by the team at Legacy Sport Media, who have been trying to find an economic alternative to the industry standard PE wrap used on most mailing lines. Some organisations claim their poly wrap to be ‘recyclable’ but in reality it is not accepted by most household recycling schemes and needs to be taken to a special carrier bag recycling collection point.
Recently mailing house Bakergoodchild developed a ‘100%-compostable wrap material’ made from starches derived from potato products, including waste form the food industry. They claim it contains no oil-based material, plastic or harmful toxins, making it eligible for EU certification. A well know ethical travel company has recently taken it up as well as a couple of campaigning membership associations keen to prove their Green credentials. Excited by the possibilities of this new wrap, the Legacy Team delved into the claims and process more deeply, only to find the alternative to PE & PP wrap is not only highly expensive but has several environmental pros and cons.

The latest PPA guidelines on the subject state: ‘Starch-based films are biodegradable and may also be compostable, but they are not recyclable. If starch-based films are used, these should be clearly marked as biodegradable and/or compostable as appropriate. These materials are not wanted in the recycling stream as they can have a negative impact on the recycled product. It is also very important to note that, in order to achieve the properties necessary for a selected application, many starch-based films incorporate biodegradable/compostable fossil-based petro-chemicals, often in high proportions. Whilst these non-bio-based ingredients to not affect biodegradability of the films, some of these can have a very high fossil carbon impact during production and will also release fossil carbon to the atmosphere at end-of-life. Thus, there may be a trade-off between biodegradability and carbon impact to consider. This could be particularly true of materials are home composted in poor composting conditions, which could lead to emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential. ‘*

Legacy Sport Media has been challenging paper mills and packaging producers to come up with a recyclable paper based option to meet the growing demand for a truly environmental alternative – not just a trendy green sounding solution that is potentially more harmful to the planet.

The European recycling rate for paper is over 72% with a goal of 74% by 2020, making it one of the most recycled products in the world. Maybe this is why organisations that do their environmental homework carefully are no looking for paper wrapping and smaller mailings returning to envelopes – with labeling to encourage recycling.

‘Digital is the answer’ – I hear you cry! With GDPR in place it is now all too easy to unsubscribe permanently from marketing brochures and membership managers will tell you their research proves that the association’s print magazine is often the only tangible benefit members can identify.

Let us all think more about the complete printed package and urge more paper producers to come up with a viable solution that eco-minded organisations can really shout about.

* Professional Publishers Association Magazine Plastic Wrapping Guidelines, July 2018.

Should you take your editorial in-house or not?

Help with making the editorial decision

Should you handle editorial in-house?

I recently met with a client who was looking to overhaul their somewhat dated membership magazine and who were faced with the question of whether to take the editorial out of house or not. With many NGB’s and membership associations facing reduced funding, freeing up valuable staff budget for other roles can be an attractive option for the Board. Commercial and membership managers are now required to cover a multitude of roles, some of which may be more financially pressing than chasing copy for the member’s magazine.
To these multi-tasking officers finding an agency that can take over the editorial headache can seem appealing, but at what cost? Obviously it depends on what the provider is offering – a specialist editor with in-depth knowledge of the subject area could be the perfect solution but depending on the frequency of the title this may not be a fulltime role for them, in which case their availability may be limited to just a few weeks in the magazine cycle.

Whilst handing over the job to a more qualified and experienced expert might appear the best solution, in reality much of the copy chasing and info gathering is often more efficiently (and cheaply), handled in-house. Somehow colleagues find it easier to prevaricate and put off writing articles when a stranger is chasing them – not so easy when someone is standing at the end of their desk! Conscientious staff members can also be wary of speaking with agency writers, concerned about being ‘on message’ and indeed exactly what the organisation message is that week.

‘But we don’t have anyone with the time or ability to edit the magazine’, I hear you cry. Possibly not, but a good agency will be able to work closely with a keen communications exec. to offer a guiding hand, check on house style and voice, spot sponsor branding issues and between them cover the ‘editor’ role. The editorial programme can be pre-planned with the membership/marketing/commercial director responsible for a year ahead and then regularly reviewed and adapted on a rolling 3-issue basis. This way the organisation can keep ownership and control of the content and more importantly be seen by the readership to be the true voice of the organisation.

This is not to say a freelance or agency supplied editor can’t do a great job for a membership organisation. Ideally with a strong interest in the magazine subject, a good editor will soon pick up the technicalities, jargon and brand style guide, and can be the perfect solution to an over stretched membership department. For organisations with a quarterly magazine this can be the perfect fit, as the frequency would not support employing a dedicated editor in-house.

One area to watch with any Editor who spends a long time in the role is that the title remains in touch with the grass roots membership – those that have just joined and those you are seeking to attract. It is a function of human nature that the more you learn about a subject, the more you become involved with it’s industry and the more press launches you get invited to – there is likely be an unconscious slide to polarise the magazine content towards the top end of the market, be that elite athletes, high end equipment or the most glamorous venues. This can apply to both staff editors and freelancers. If you recognise the symptoms do not be afraid to ‘refresh’ the editorial viewpoint.

Whichever path you take there will be a solution that works best for your organisation, and a good media agency should be able to offer you all the options to find the best fit to your specialist need. Legacy Sport Media can provide all these services and has the experience of working with many different client sizes and set-ups to be able to suggest what might fit best in your own situation.

Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre launches at WPNSA.

Paul Goodison MBE, Iain Percy OBE, Sir Ben Ainslie together with Hamish and Freddie Simpson open the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre

Paul Goodison MBE, Iain Percy OBE, Sir Ben Ainslie together with Hamish and Freddie Simpson open the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre

Weymouth 9th May 2014 – The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) officially opened the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre today at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) with an emotional ceremony attended by Andrew’s family and friends, WPNSA Chief Executive Peter Allam and many other representatives of the British sailing community. The ribbon was cut by Andrew’s sons Hamish and Freddie, who were joined by Sir Ben Ainslie, Paul Goodison MBE and Iain Percy OBE.

“On behalf of the trustees of the Foundation, we’re really overwhelmed by the turnout today from friends and colleagues who knew Andrew. It was a tough decision to launch the centre on the 9th May, being a year today that we lost the great man, but we felt that is was another great opportunity to celebrate him. Not a time to reflect and be sad, but a chance to continue the great things that he did in his life,” said Iain Percy OBE.

“Today is a very poignant day, but also a really exciting one to be opening the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre,” said Sir Ben Ainslie. “I would like to say a huge thanks to the Trustees of the Foundation, for the all the efforts they have put in over the last 12 months, especially Leah and Iain for their vision and leadership to get us to this point; and all the volunteers that have helped us. We are starting our activity, including subsidising sailing sessions for children, on a local level, but want to partner with clubs from around the country with similar objectives; and ultimately do that on a global scale. It’s fantastic to see what has been achieved in such a short space of time; and I’m sure the great man would be very proud.”

Dedicated to the memory of Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson, who tragically lost his life in an accident while training in San Francisco Bay exactly a year ago, the new RYA accredited Centre aims to become a centre of sailing excellence, providing a sustainable Olympic legacy and helping the Foundation to fulfil its charitable objectives through the provision of a range of RYA sailing courses for young people, community organisations and adults.

Peter Allam, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, sees the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre as a perfect fit alongside the other on site partners at WPNSA, delivering grass roots tuition right through to advanced race coaching for all age groups. “The Royal Yachting Association accredited centre will provide a focal point to remember Andrew Simpson’s outstanding achievements,” said Allam. “Andrew was passionate about inspiring people of all ages to take up sailing and the ASSC represents a tremendous opportunity to help provide a pathway from beginner through to whatever level individuals may aspire to, from recreational sailor to Olympic hopeful.”

Digital editions – how to find the right solution for you.

With more companies and membership associations looking to reduce the cost of communicating with their clients and members, digital newsletters and magazines are a solution that many organisations are now turning to.

Increasingly we get asked to suggest which platform is best? The fact that there are a myriad of providers out there from completely free use options through to complicated subscriber only versions with full rights management suggests that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

The best answer is actually the question – ‘what do you need a digital edition to do for your intended readership?’ Every organisation will have a different answer, so you really need to focus on what job you need your digital magazine or newsletter to do.

Is it content you want to share with as many people as possible for free?

If this is the main driver then save your money on fancy digital editions and retain traffic to your own domain by embedding a PDF on your own servers, then promote the link as widely as possible.

Do you have premium members only content to distribute to paid subscribers?

In the case of membership associations or magazine subscribers, asking them to login onto a browser edition does not cut the mustard anymore. Why when I have paid for a subscription/membership should I have to go online to read it? I might want to read it on my tablet on the train and how do I know when the new issue is out?  Most membership managers say that they need to actively send their members each edition as a download straight to their inbox as a service their clients expect – otherwise you are just competing for attention from all the other direct mail bumpf that we receive these days.

 Is your content so exclusive that you don’t wish readers to pass it on freely to other users?

In this specialist area of premium, paid for content you need to ensure your chosen platform has effective rights management software that only allows the subscriber to access the information they have paid for. However, having to download it via a specialist reader can be a pain, especially when many corporate networks block such readers, so this choice can be counter productive to B2B information providers.

 Are you looking to switch existing print readers to a digital only edition?

If you are in this situation you need to find a really simple procedure to persuade clients to register for a digital edition. No one wants to lose readership and without an email address and a client opt-in this is the reality if you just stop the printed version. How to mange this migration needs careful planning and finding the right, easily useable platforms that all your existing readers can access will add to the user experience.

 Confused already?

It can be a challenging minefield if you don’t start by asking the important questions of what job you need the digital edition to do and how your market will want to read it. If you speak to a number of providers they will all have slightly different options and features others don’t – all adding to the confusion! The answer is to seek out the advice of an independent agency with expertise in the this field, such as Legacy Sport Media, who have experience from the very beginnings of digital magazines and understand the needs and concerns of organisations making this big step. Legacy Sport Media do not have the ‘one size fits all’ approach and seek to thoroughly understand their clients requirements before either building a bespoke system or advising the neatest off the peg solution to fit the specific project requirements.

 John Heyes is Publishing Director at Legacy Sport Media.


Digital Rowing Magazine & app

Digital Rowing Magazine & app


How to reduce the cost of your membership magazine distribution.

Whilst many national governing bodies are experiencing a post London 2012 bounce in their membership, an unwelcome side effect can be a corresponding rise in the cost of distributing their member’s magazine. Whilst some membership managers might think this a nice problem to have surprising few NGBs actually link their membership revenues to the communications budget, leaving the Comms teams struggling to fund the deficit. Too often the result is a cutback in either frequency or pagination or both – not the ideal solution for a newly engaged association member who you wish to anchor to the sport and stakeholders you wish to keep happy.

The good news is there are now some very cost effective and reliable alternatives to Royal Mail. Companies such as TNT and Asendia can offer savings of around 15% on UK deliveries and mail consolidation companies considerably more for overseas mailing. Whilst some providers still use Royal Mail’s services for the last mile and so their rates are subject to RM wholesale rates, TNT now has their own doorstep deliveries in London and several other cities, with the benefit of being trackable. Such providers obviously need minimum collection volumes to make it viable, but printers and publishers such as Legacy Sport Media now offer this as a service for their clients who can benefit from the savings negotiated from our combined mailing volumes.

The tough question some NGBs are currently grappling with is whether to ditch print copies completely and switch to a digital only magazine. The Royal Yachting Association recently surveyed members to ask if they would read a digital edition of RYA News, as posting 100,000+ copies quarterly is clearly a major investment. However, most communications and membership managers agree that if members are paying a subscription the most tangible benefit and reason for joining is the printed magazine they receive.

Digital editions can provide the answer to reducing overall mailing volumes for client groups who find it a more useful way to access the magazine. Students who frequently change address and juniors may prefer a digital solution that fits their lifestyle better. It can then be tailored with more specific content and made more interactive with links to social media sites and embedded rich media. This could well be an ideal solution for NGBs that currently print a youth version of the membership magazine as a supplement. Getting the members opt in after showing them the added benefits and maybe cost savings of a digital alternative are key here.

Some NGB’s are nervous of moving to a digital edition, as they are concerned about the impact on their existing ABC audit figure and the consequent impact on advertising revenues. Have no fear as the Audit Bureau of Circulation can now audit digital editions – but there are some hoops to jump through such as monitoring bounce backs and the usual criteria of proving delivery.

So make 2014 the time to act on your membership magazine offering – you can re-fresh the look and feel, make it more interactive and reduce the overall costs by reviewing how you distribute the content to each of your individual client groups.



John Heyes is Publishing Director at Legacy Sport Media.

Legacy Sport Media supported sailor Allen Burrell captures 2013 Finn National Championships in Torbay.

British Finn National Championships 2013 prize giving ceremony.

Photo: Jean Border.

Burrell, the acknowledged master in the breeze, overcame the tricky light airs conditions to win the prestigious title. He now adds his name to the illustrious trophy that dates back to 1956, alongside the great list of top British sailors – Vernon Stratton, Chris Law, David Howlett, Stuart Childerley, Iain Percy, Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott. Last year the event was a key part of the build up to the London 2012 Olympic Regatta and saw 84 boats battle it out in Falmouth Bay, with Giles Scott piping Ben Ainslie and Jonathan Lobert (FRA) to the top spot.

Allen had in fact won the National trophy two years previously at Christchurch, but was beaten by two overseas entrants in the British Open event and felt the title a little hollow. This time round Burrell said, “I am especially pleased to win the event outright on the water this time, ahead of all the international sailors too”.

The Championships attracted entries from all over the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and Bulgaria. Marc Allain Des Beauvais, President of the French Finn Association put together a strong performance to finish 4th, behind the up-coming George Cooper (GBR) and Neil Robinson (GBR).


Start line at 2013 Finn UK National Championships

Photo: Jean Border

Burrell’s result in the glorious hot and sunny conditions in Torbay rounded off a good regatta for the Legacy Sport Media team, as LSM Publishing Director John Heyes claimed 7th spot in the 38 boat fleet.

Full results at: