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WBS Students win International Sailing MBA cup

Fifteen crews of MBA students travelled to Italy this month to compete for this year's MBA Sailing Cup, the sailing regatta of the world's top business schools.

For the first time, Warwick Business School came home with first prize and an armful of trophies. This highly competitive and international event was organized this year by top Italian business school, SDA Bocconi. The event was held over 3 days at the sailing village of Sta Margherita in the beautiful Liguria area of the Italian Riviera.

With light winds, the crews needed every ounce of concentrated effort and teamwork to coax the best possible performance from their boats. After three extremely tense races, the WBS crew had gained such a lead they could not possibly be beaten. On the strategically sound grounds that the possible risk of disqualification in the last race would have cost them the overall victory, they decided not to compete.

Instead, they spent an enjoyable time sight-seeing! The last race decided second and third places respectively won by Instituto de Empresa, and IESE, both from Madrid.

The 6 members of the WBS crew covered 5 nationalities:
  • Skipper: Bobo Baudin (Swedish)
  • The Crew:
  • Irina Motovilova (Russia)
  • Sean Buckland (British)
  • Robert Vangstad (Swedish)
  • Filippo Riva (Swiss)
  • Daniel Sailland (Canadian)


Luca Vicini, who along with Irina from this year's crew is just commencing his MBA studies, will be leading the School's Challenge next year. He said "We are already busy recruiting the team members. This year's was a memorable victory! We believe this will help us to attract more sponsors for next year's regatta. Winning the title for a second time would give Warwick Business School even more visibility and a confirmation of its edge."

Dean of WBS, Howard Thomas, gave this reaction to news of the crew's triumph. "WBS is absolutely delighted to hear this news, and extremely proud of the Warwick MBA crew who gained this victory. The fact that the Skipper was the only experienced sailor, and the crew had not had a chance to practice together, goes to show how a professional approach to teamwork and co-operation, coupled with expert leadership, can bring about the best results. It is good to see them putting into practice what they learn on the Warwick MBA!"
The WBS crew of MBA students was sponsored by the telecommunications company Ericsson, WBS Swedish partner Fretagsekonomiska Institutet, and WBS itself.

As well as WBS, the following business schools competed:

  • UK: London Business School (2 crews)
  • Europe: HEC, INSEAD, SDA Bocconi, ALMA, IESE, Instituto de Empresa, Rotterdam (2 crews), Essec/Mannheim combined
  • USA: Columbia, Kellogg, Sauder


Before the winning crews received their awards at a Gala dinner, they had an opportunity to meet with top managers from industry and the world of finance at a forum with the theme 'The Innovation Challenge'. Contributors included executives from BMW, Morgan Stanley, Rolex Italy, Pirelli RE, and SIAD, who all sponsored this year's MBA's Cup.