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Posts Tagged ‘nick bice’

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We were pretty surprised to see that North Sails is the only sailmaker allowed to make sails for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race. What kind of bullshit is that? Why should it be North? Why not Doyle? Surely they have proven to make fabulous offshore sails? Quantum?  Or how about any competitor can choose whatever fucking sailmaker they want?

Just like the exclusive North deal with the new Melges IC 37, no other sailmaker gets a shot at making sails. Sure, it’s all praying to the gods of One Design, but it all seems just a little too cozy.

Regardless of the legality of the thing (and we expect ‘monopoly’ to be something the sport will have to deal with more and more in the age of single-manufacturer one-designs), it’s definitely no good for the sport in many, many ways.  Diversity of design? Gone. Diversity of employers? Going away.  That inexorable price creep as the monopoly takes hold?  Undoubtedly.

If all the arguments about how single-manufacture sails that North uses when they win these bids are accurate,  why doesn’t the entire sailing industry insist that every single sail that is made be North? Here’s our proposed rule: Competitors not using North Sails will have their eligibility removed for all events run under the RRS.

Title inspiration thanks to The Dead Kennedys. Simply replace ‘California’ with ‘North Sails’ and you get the idea.

UPDATE: Nick Bice, who with Mark Turner’s departure becomes BMOC of the VOR (and the guy who’s been working on VOR campaigns for most of his adult life), sends in a response.

It’s not really my style to get involved in any sort of back-and-forth but some facts are required here.  The VO65 is a strict One-Design class which includes sails.  We decided that would be the best approach from the very beginning of the project, as sail development was always a significant percentage of the team budgets from the previous race.  

So to bring costs under control, it was agreed that everything should be one-design.  It worked in controlling costs for the 14-15 Race, so we decided to continue the approach.  Even though every VOR since 2001 has been dominated by North Sails – as selected by independent teams – we again put the selection out for tender for the 2017-18 Race.  The process was:

-Request For Tender (RFT) sent out 8 May 2016

-RFT invited proposals to become sole official One-Design Sails Supplier for 17-18 VOR

-Aspects assessed were (but not limited to): design, consistency of manufacture, reliability, inventory, number of sails, manufacturing lead times, branding, finished sail weights, reparability, individual costings, sail bags, accessories, package and freight.

-After receiving numerous proposal, both Doyle and North were taken to the next stage, which included more details required to the topics above.  

-After much deliberation, both proposals had their own strengths and weaknesses, but based on the criteria laid out above, we chose North. 

-We did consider the option of opening up part or all of the inventory to other manufacturers for teams to choose on their own, but we concluded that the intention of the VO65 has always been to ensure that each and every team has the same opportunity to get on the podium regardless of how late they are to the game or how deep their pockets are!  

May the best team win!

-Bicey

October 1st, 2017 by admin

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On the 21st episode of the Sailing Anarchy Podcast, we go straight to the source for an analysis of the new direction announced last week by the Volvo Ocean Race.  First, Clean updates us on the Podcast’s status, tells us his story of hunting and killing a 300 pound alligator in Charleston, and gives us his view on the new Volvo plans.  Then VOR big boss Mark Turner explains the reasons for their decision to use foiling monohulls for the offshore legs and foiling multihulls for the inshore legs of the two or three races following the next one.  Listen for Turner’s views on what other options they considered, what the new 60 footer will look like and how it is expected to perform, how the new lease model will effect the organization, and why teams have had such difficulty finding major sponsors.  The discussion moves to the timetable for full flying boats to take over the race and safety considerations between mono and multihulls, and finally what kind of events would make up the more permanent annual racing schedule for VOR teams.

Next we spoke to Nick Bice, Director of Boats and Maintenance and founder of the Boatyard, about more technical matters: How, exactly, a new-rules VO60 can be converted to an IMOCA-legal Open 60, what kinds of differences does a Volvo require compared to a singlehanded boat, and a whole lot on foil control systems and logistics for a two-fleet race owned entirely by Volvo.  Clean and Bicey got deep into the subject of the continually shrinking crew component and the impact of this shrinking pool to ocean racing and the sport in general, and plenty more.

Finally, we spoke to pro trimmer and former VO70 crew (ABN AMRO2, 2005) and medical officer George Peet on the anniversary of his crewmate Hans Horrovets’ death about a race that remains very close to his heart.  GP and Clean got deeper into crewing issues with a general discussion of the state of professional offshore racing as well as the usual pull-no-punches analysis of the new classes with a guy who always tells the truth.  As a bonus, we got Bear – one of the nation’s top Moth racers – to give us his America’s Cup picks…

Enjoy, and subscribe to the SA Podcast for more great shit (iTunes, Stitcher) , including our full form guide and preview of the America’s Cup dropping today.

May 27th, 2017 by admin

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IMG_1169The Sailing Anarchy/VOR “Show Us Your Boatyard” competition is off to a blazing start, with over 50 submissions coming in over the past few weeks.  They’ve been so good that the SUYB leaderboard (left) is now a permanent part of the traveling VOR race village show – be sure to check it out when you come down to visit the race.

Your submissions are also providing plenty of entertainment to the awesome girls of the Boatyard (the competition’s judges), and they remind you that Leg 3’s Boatyard T-shirt winners will be announced immediately after the Sanya In-Port Race.  Keep sending in your submissions, and if you want extra consideration, post ’em straight on the Boatyard Facebook Page with a hashtag #showusyourboatyard.

Full contest details over here.

 

January 30th, 2015 by admin

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We thank everyone who entered our Line Honors/Moth Worlds Flexfit Cap giveaway, and your hats will be on their way next week.  And now, we’ve something just as cool – a chance to win an exclusive Volvo Ocean Race “The Boatyard” t-shirt!  We call this one “Show Us Your Boatyard,” and all you have to do is send us a picture or video of your own personal Boatyard.  Be as creative as you can, send your entry to [email protected], and the beautiful and accomplished girls of the Boatyard will choose their favorite SA Boatyards for each leg and get you a sweet bit of kit.  Watch the video for details, and game on!

 

January 20th, 2015 by admin

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