Preserving Championship History

Published on May 24th, 2016

As the internet evolved, a concern at Scuttlebutt World Headquarters has been how one design classes often do not have a long term plan to preserve their championship history. Here’s the frequent progression for one design championship events:

1) A unique event website address is purchased for 2-3 years.
2) The event uses the website for event communication.
3) When the event ends, the website address is not renewed.
4) The event information is gone when the website address expires.

On this subject, we published a report in Scuttlebutt 3752 (Jan. 11, 2013) which included three events as examples. Here is what we said three years ago:
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♦ A recent announcement by the Melges 24 class regarding their 2013 World Championship noted the event website would be www.melges24worlds13.com. We predict this website address is temporary, and all the links that point toward this website will be useless in a couple years. Unless the information from this website is moved to another website, it will all be lost too.

♦ Let’s use the 2012 J/80 World Championship as an example. The event was held in Dartmouth, England on June 9-15, but that’s all we know about it. The event website has already expired: www.j80worlds2012.com

♦ This week we received an announcement from the Finn class regarding their 2013 World Championship, which the class refers to as the Gold Cup. The announcement noted that the event website would be www.finngoldcup.org/2013. We predict this website address is the permanent home for their championship information.
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Did you click on the links? Only the Finn class passed the test. Three years later, have these classes made progress? Here are the links to their 2016 championship events:

Melges 24: The class has retained www.melges24worlds.com but it is unclear what becomes of the event history each year. Without an extension for each event, we are not optimistic.

J/70: No progress here. The 2015 Worlds website was www.j70worlds2015.com and the 2016 Worlds website is an extension of the host yacht club site. A class needs to control its information, not the host club.

Finn: The class continues to show good practices by hosting each year as an extension of their championship website: http://2016.finngoldcup.org

For additional thoughts about the Internet, events websites, and press releases, Scuttlebutt has collected valuable information that is indexed here: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/tag/event-communication

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