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Posts Tagged ‘JuanK’

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AC Breaking

As the world waited for Le Roi Russell to announce his entry list for the LOCATION TBD America’s Cup, we learned that the delay had nothing to do with whatever the AC spin said; our insider tells us that at least one team asked for a delay to shore up their finances and sponsorship scenario.  Meanwhile, the AC has announced this morning that there are indeed five challengers who fronted up several million in nonrefundable deposits and bank pledges for the LOCATION TBD America’s Cup.  While we remain highly doubtful that all five will make it closer than Team Australia did to the starting line of the LOCATION AND TITLE SPONSOR TBD Challenger’s Regatta in three years, we do hope they do; it would be great to see the UK and France do well, perhaps igniting some national fervor for the America’s Cup, and perhaps (as unlikely as it may be) wresting it from Coutts’ control to bring it to real international prominence.

Meanwhile, Sportbusiness.com today writes that Ben Ainslie has lost any chance at getting longtime BAR sponsor JP Morgan to foot the estimated $50-75M title sponsorship spot for his AC bid.

The Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) sailing team will look for a new title sponsor for its inaugural 2017 America’s Cup campaign after the incumbent, financial services company JP Morgan, decided not to continue past 2014.

The BAR team is the UK’s entrant for the next America’s Cup series. It is led by Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history and tactician for Team Oracle USA during its dramatic victory at the 2013 America’s Cup.

It is understood that New York-based JP Morgan, which has been the title sponsor of Ainslie personally since 2007, and the main global partner of BAR since the team’s launch in January 2012, feels an alignment with a British team against American competitors would not match its brand image.

The team is now looking for a title sponsor on a three-year contract, from 2015 to 2017.

A UK South Coast insider sent us another update this morning, possibly explaining the JPM departure from Team Sir Ben.

I wouldn’t take this as a sign of anything other than regime change on the sponsorship front. When the team’s AC effort was launched, one of the things I noticed was there are a couple of people on the Board of the team from Vitol, an oil trading firm (including Ian Taylor, its CEO). Vitol is not quite Torben Torquist’s Gunvor, but that’s mostly in the sense it’s not largely owned, ultimately, by a tiger-petting Russian king.

Vitol is possibly not the most ethical of firms, and was only a few weeks ago exposed in engaging in UK Tax Avoidance on a massive scale, according to the Independent.  With figures like those in the above article, it’s entirely concievable they have 50 million quids kicking around ready to drop on a Cup campaign.  Given some of the other rather, ahem, ’controversial’ transations Vitol has been associated with, it could be that JPM didn’t really want to be sharing signage space with them…..

And in a final piece of AC news, European sailing blog Farevela reported yesterday the completely terrifying news that Juan Kouyamdjian will be one of the designers of the underfunded Team France effort, perhaps built on the strength of Franck Cammas’ relationship with the JuanKer during the successful Groupama 70 VOR program.   We’d humbly suggest our friends on the team get some extra life insurance…

Team France thread is over here.  BAR is here.

 

August 21st, 2014 by admin

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Rambler

The Rambler 100/Speedboat keel that nearly killed more than 20 sailors during the 2011 Fastnet has finally been plucked from the deep; will the world of yachting finally get an answer to what caused one of the most ridiculous and potentially deadly accidents in recent memory?  We’re not holding our breath.  Photo via West Cork Photo’s Facebook page.

June 13th, 2014 by admin

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epave-cheminees-poujoulat-r-644-0

Having followed Bernard Stamm and his Cheminees Poujoulat program for years, we have a few lessons to share with prospective Open 60 skippers.

1) “Win or Break” may be a silly axiom, but when it comes to sponsor exposure, nothing is truer.  And “Just Break” may be even more effective, especially when you pick the wrong designer and have no chance to win.  Proof:  Bernard and his sponsor have gotten more press since his Juan Yacht Design cracked in half on a delivery sail in December than he ever received sailing around behind the lead pack in any major race – except for when he crashed into an island.  And then again he got a lot of notice when disqualified by the Vendee Globe for outside assistance.

2)  As a follow-on to (1), if you want lots of exposure for your major race campaign, bring in JuanK to your design team.  We’re not saying that any of the recent disasters were his fault – after all, a big boat is a big project – but between the Artemis AC72 disaster, Cheminees implosion,, and Rambler 100s capsize and near-death experience, nothing can get those journalists fired up quite like a JuanK boat.

3) Nobody takes care of their boats like the French (and their kissing cousins, the Franco-Suisse like Bernard).  What American, Italian, or British skipper would spend months finding and recovering a boat that won’t even work as a garden planter? Remember during the infamous Route Du Rhum when half the ORMA 60 fleet was lost?  Only French boats made it back, often upside down and useless.  And guess what?  Some of those boats are still sailing today.  It’s no wonder the French can keep finding sponsors – the French sailors will just about die for them!  And you’ll never catch a Frenchman polluting on the ocean.  Unfiltered cigarette butts don’t count.

We joke, but only just.  Keep up with the latest on Stamm’s busted up ride here.

 

February 19th, 2014 by admin

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5087906912_20b229411a_zOne of the most popular foreigners in the IMOCA fleet, Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm continues to find himself cursed with the same bad luck that saw him DSQ from the last Vendee Globe and destroying his bow against a cargo ship in an earlier race.  And this time, it nearly killed him.

Stamm and co-skipper Damien Guillou were delivering Stamm’s Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat – a pre-fab metal chimney manufacturer with a creepy black cat as its logo – home from Brazil after the TJV, running ahead of a not-unusual winter storm with winds to around 50 knots and seas of 30 feet, according to the British Coast Guard (it turned out to be the deepest low recorded in the British Isles since the 1880s).  When his JuanK designed boat fell off a wave, the boat literally cracked in half forward of the daggerboard casings, and only by immediately shutting the watertight crash doors did Guillou and Stamm keep the boat afloat long enough to be rescued.

The rescue itself was a super sketchy affair, with two helicopters and a plane attempting to either pull the sailors out of the sea or drop them life rafts – all efforts failed thanks to a lack of light and the huge seas.  One aircraft remained on station, guiding a Norwegian cargo ship to the stricken Open 60 and rescuing the sailors as the boat sank underneath them.  We’ll probably never know whether it was a design or construction defect that led to this near-fatal accident, but we do know this:  After Rambler 100, Artemis Racing, and now Cheminees Poujoulat, Juan K might might be either a woeful designer or just unluckier than Bernard Stamm.  And they both might be looking for a new career soon.

Here’s an interview we did with Stamm in happier days, before the last Vendee Globe, and get into the thread for more news and information on the rescue.  Photo from Stamm’s earlier Velux 5 Oceans-winning 60, mostly to show you the kitty.

 

December 26th, 2013 by admin

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NZ wine magnate Jim Delegat has to be the unluckiest Kiwi racer of the past few years.  First, the poor bloke gets anally raped by a subsidiary of Salthouse Marine, which allegedly and quite creatively moved around the million-plus dollars he paid as a deposit for a 68-foot custom job before going bankrupt.  After licking his financial wounds, Delegat then caught a ride with Gavin Brady on the sexy Beau Geste for the tropical Auckland to Noumea race.  A sweet yacht, a great race, and a great big fucking crack in the hull famously ended that bid, with all crew rescued.

Delegat seems to have learned his lesson, and for the 2013 Sydney-Hobart Race (and let’s all get used to not using “Rolex” anymore) he stopped screwing around, with inside reports linking him to the outright purchase of Franck Cammas’ Groupama 4 for the all-important December classic.  Now it looks like Cammas is leading the crew as part of the deal, with sponsorship coming from a big French multi-national with a strong Aussie presence.

This puts an exclamation point on what’s likely to be the biggest and most exciting Hobart in years: Speedboat, the newly chopped and modded Wild Scissorhands, and a mini-fleet of Volvo 70s makes line honors an actual battle for the first time in a while, while the addition of the entire Clipper 70 fleet means more big boats in the race than in ages.

Keep an eye on the thread for more breaking news on one of the world’s baddest races.  Yvan Zedda photo.

UPDATE/CORRECTION:  Cammas ain’t coming, and the French sponsorship ain’t happening.  It’s not as if Delegat needs it.  Meanwhile we are told that Whitbread vet Steve Cotton will be running the boat, while our old pal Rodney Keenan is managing the project.  ”The nice thing about Auckland is you can find a dozen Volvo and Whitbread guys without getting in the car,” Rodney said, sort of.  The new boat is named Giacomo after Delgat’s grandpappy and the founder of much of New Zealand’s wine industry, and the boat’s first race will be the Coastal Classic.

 

August 21st, 2013 by admin

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