Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Timo ELLIOTT

Why is the SAP 505 World Sailing Championships Like Business?

SAP is a proud sponsor of the 505 World Sailing Championships 2010 this week in Aarhus, Denmark. Why? Because the link between better run businesses and performance sailing is deeper than you might suspect…

Why is sail racing like business?

 “No matter how much theorectical planning you do, what counts is what happens out on the water — reacting to events as they happen”:



“At the start of something big, there’s always a lot of jockeying for position, because the person who’s in the right place at the right time can get a jump start on the competition.”

Photo by Christophe Favreau

“When you’re trying to reach your goal, you can seldom get there in a straight line. It’s a crowded market, and you have to avoid your competitors’ moves”:

Brian Haines Skipper Ted Conrads and crew Brian Haines try to keep their boat upright while heading to a mark during the 2009 SAP 505 World Championship in the San Francisco Bay on August 25, 2009 in San Francisco, California. 
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America

“In business, it’s never just a free-for-all — there are some obligatory things that you have to do in order to stay in the competition”

Photo by Christophe Favreau


Different companies take different approaches – a sudden change in the market wind direction can disrupt the established leadership”:

Photo by Christophe Favreau

“In order to push your performance to the maximum limit, you’ll have to go out on a limb from time to time:”

“When you push things too far, it can go horribly wrong, faster than you would suspect”:

 SAP 505 Worlds Day 1
Photo by Rich Roberts ©

“The key skill in optimal performance isn’t avoiding disaster, it’s recovering from it quickly”:

Hasso Plattner and Peter Alarie. Photo by Rich Roberts ©

“Finally when everything comes together, with the right team and the right conditions, you can fly like the wind…”

Martin and Nelson
©2010 Erik Simonson /

© 2010 Peter Lyons /

If you’re interested in the links between 505 racing and SAP’s solutions, check out this post, and expect to hear more about the 2010 championships soon!

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao
      Hi Timo,
      Thanks for sharing these connections between the 505 and Business! Some of us had the fortune at last year's SAP TechEd in Phoenix to see the SAP BusinessObjects Portfolio Demo Team show how the Explorer+Dashboarding tool was created.(For our community members, this tool is seen in the first picture, being used by racers to predict the best path to take based on expected conditions.)


      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan
      Even if some of the photos look a wee bit scary, I totally agree, when things go wrong, they go unbelievably fast. 
      Thanks for sharing!