Here are a selection of company blogs we have been involved with:-
bluQube blog : Following the adventures of solo sailor Katie Millerclick here
bluQube blog : follow yachtsman Steve White as he competes in the Vendee Globe click here
Scoop' the new TTA blog - click here
How to captivate audiences using blogs
Financial management software company bluQube was looking for a method of communicating with existing and potential customers. With a long history of sailing sponsorship, the company has supported several sailing events and personalities in the past including The Global Challenge, the bluQube Solo1000 race and solo sailor Steve White, currently ranked 8th in the World. To take full advantage of this investment, TTA researches and writes the company’s own ‘bluQube blog’ which taps into the latest associated events and stories.
Not only does this allow bluQube to develop a regular following, it also encourages people to sign up for regular updates, and to create an online community allowing the marketing team to gather additional email addresses for future activities. Blogs are typically based on interviews that bring to life the experience of sailing, which is seen as very popular pastime amongst bluQube’s target audience of Finance Directors and Senior Business decision makers.
As the current title sponsor for Katie Miller, one of the UK’s most promising female solo sailors, bluQube’s latest blog offers an insight into her latest adventures on her Figaro sailing yacht also named ‘bluQube’. Previous blogs include her record breaking voyage in the OSTAR (Original Solo Transatlantic Race) in which she was the youngest female to take part in the event.
Blogs also give you the opportunity to add still photography and video footage of boat preparations and racing. Here’s a copy of the latest bluQube blog
A week in the life….
Welcome to our latest blog which follows the adventures of yachtswoman Katie Miller and her boat bluQube, as she continues her sailing campaign for 2010.
Still fresh from the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland race with fellow yachtsman Matthew Lingley, Katie reflects on her most recent venture, the single-handed ‘Channel Week’ organised by the Solo Offshore Racing Club (SORC). Starting in Lymington, the race is a 360 mile, 6 leg dash around the channel visiting Alderney, Guernsey, St.Quay, Brixham, Portland and then finishing back in Lymington. With just one day of rest in St Quay, Katie describes the experience as “relentless”.
According to Katie this solo challenge delivered some tough and exhilarating sailing for bluQube and really tested her seamanship and endurance to the limit. The leg from Alderney to Guernsey was most certainly the best bit though,
“….After another short tacking experience out of The Swinge in about 10-12 knots of apparent breeze, it was a case of setting oneself into the groove and basically intending to sail on one tack to Guernsey. About 10 miles into the 22 mile course, the wind shifted slightly and dropped. At this stage we were lying in about 5th, with the majority of the other class one boats around us. As the wind shifted everyone bar Jbellino (who was much further ahead) and bluQube chose to tack, and as the wind dropped further to around 3 knots, and with us heading at Sark as opposed to Guernsey, I began to wonder if we had made a huge mistake, rather than opt out however, it was a case of sticking to the original plan, and as a rain cloud headed over towards us from the West I rather hoped that it would bring a big lift with it. As we managed to point higher and higher I began to wonder how long we could possibly hold onto the lift, but it was with great pleasure that Jbellino and bluQube managed to sail straight towards the line. To windward we had Solan Goose and Ding Dong bearing down on us pretty quickly, and I seriously wondered if we would be pipped to the post. Thankfully, as we sailed into Little Russell, the wind freed more and we were about to tight reach across the finish line in second place and third place in Class 1 IRC. “
Losing the pilot
And the worst bit? Well losing her spinnaker “was really hard”, but probably what topped that was the night passage from France to the UK, when she had to hand steer the boat for 18 hours due to a fault with her NKE pilot.
Katie recalls, “Fixing the NKE pilot was imperative to ensure a competitive over night leg to Brixham, otherwise up to 20 hours of non stop helming was on the cards... Alas, the pilot was not fixed, but shipped off to Paris to be investigated further.
Needless to say this left me rather concerned for the over night leg to Brixham. Upwind in the forecast conditions of F5-7, the spare tiller pilot would have no chance. To prepare, I stored all my food in the cockpit, memorised the tides, expected wind shifts and course to steer, and helmed for 18 hours. Sail manoeuvres proved tricky... particularly when I decided I definitely needed to put a reef in. As I engaged the pilot, it immediately bore away 60 degrees (once I was at the mast of course) causing Chris Rustom on Ding Dong to assume I had gone overboard and come and have a look. Once the reef was in, life was a little more comfortable... if still very wet. I was beginning to regret not putting on thermals under my oilies, and I knew it would be a pretty cold night. Still, at least it kept me awake.
Eventually the light sequence of Berry Head, and the finish line, was spotted as the wind began to abate. Once below 15 knot, the pilot was able to steer a vague course while I leapt down below for an additional layer. As tempting as a sleep was, I was pretty sure it was a bad idea, since I was now running on Red Bull and adrenaline.
After some short tacking back up to the North West, bluQube eventually crossed the line at 0442, as the sun was beginning to rise. I can honestly say that I have never felt so “spaced out” once bluQube was tied up and I could seriously consider some decent sleep.”
When asked whether this one of her more scary sailing moments, it seems nothing fazes her. “Not really, since I had a similar experience sailing bluQube back from France this year, so I was prepared for it mentally and knew what to expect. I just had to psyche myself up and get on with the job in hand”.
Did you learn anything from this particular race and would you do anything differently? “Well I think I have learnt not to take anything for granted, and also that I have the patience and skill to overcome pretty much anything. Most of my previous campaigns have run smoothly thank goodness, and I am now feeling more prepared than ever to cope with whatever sailing throws at me”.
When asked if she would do anything differently she said “I don’t think so, I just need to get my NKE pilot fixed then there’ll be no stopping us.”
At present Katie is undertaking a 3 month internship with International Yacht Paints, a manufacturer of high performance yacht and marine coatings. She explains“ I’m working on a feasibility study, it’s interesting work and something I’m qualified to do, and since most of my races for the remaining of the season are running over the weekends (apart from the Silicon Cup) it’s easy to fit this experience around my racing commitments.”
Katie’s next race is the Silicon Cup taking place on the 9th and 10th September, followed by the NAB Double. Read the next blog to find out how she does….