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Posts Tagged ‘volvo ocean race’

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The MUSTO + Torqeedo “Cleanin’ Up Europe” report continues with this hour-long jaunt in Western France.

Easily one of the most influential people in all of sailing over the past decade and a half, Mark Turner has done it all.  A naval officer turned Mini racer, Turner jumped into the management side of yacht racing with his wildly successful running of Ellen Macarthur’s campaigns – and he’s never looked back.  The creator of modern “Stadium Sailing” and innovator of sailing events in dozens of countries, Mark moves into the top spot in the world’s most widely followed ocean race against a fast-changing landscape in boat technology and event marketing, and he shared a full 1h40 with Mr. Clean at the Vendee Globe this past Friday to talk about it.

The boys got into some of the most important issues touching sailing, and Turner’s characteristic bluntness is refreshing as hell.  Wanna get into the groundbreaking new rules to integrate more women into the VOR?  we got that.  Or the deadline for the decision on the next Volvo Ocean Race boat and the possible boat choices? It’s in that chat.  Or maybe you’re looking for info on the $1M refit of the existing VO65s or the new AIS rules and incentives to pull a flier?  Click “PLAY”. Want to know exactly what’s wrong with ISAF and why Turner leaked an internal marketing document a few weeks back?  Listen.  What about emerging nations, the loss of Abu Dhabi as a sponsor, and how the recent Omani and Chinese offshore tragedies have effected those new sailing countries?  Give us an hour and forty.  And like all conversations with Mark, if you want to understand more about the commercial end of event and sponsor management, this guy knows it ALL.

Enjoy, and a big thanks to MUSTO and Torqeedo for presenting all of our Vendee, ISAF World Council, and METS coverage this month.  Also thanks to Bruce Schwab and Ocean Planet Energy for their support of our coverage.

November 5th, 2016 by admin

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After a very strong Marstrand finale to the inaugural World Match Racing Tour,  our friends in M32 World have been extremely quiet, with no firm announcements for the 2016/17 WMRT season other than a teaser telling us there would indeed be another million on offer for the winner of the series. This week, we found out what they’ve been up to: First, and as you can see by the titillating video above, they’ve gotten International Class status from ISAF and the inaugural M32 World Championship will be sailed on the Devil’s Island immediately after the Tour finale in Marstrand.  While future M32 Worlds will be qualified events, this first year is first-come, first-served, and capped at 25 boats, so get registered now.

Far more importantly, M32 World announced that the Volvo Ocean Race will now feature the M32 cat for Pro-Am and guest racing at 8 of the VOR Stopovers. Each boat will be branded like one of the teams and sailed over the course of the stopover, allowing non-stop sailing action for spectators and VIP/hospitality guests.  Instead of a two days of in-port and pro-am racing, those eight stopovers will now be full of racing action – a move that pleases both VOR, the teams, and the local vendors while increasing the crossover between long time circumnavigators and inshore cat racers.

 

 

October 14th, 2016 by admin

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The world’s premier offshore race and the most spectated sailing event of all, The Volvo Ocean Race starts in a bit more than a year.  But already, the discussion is getting real about where the Volvo goes after the next edition – the second sailed on the Farr-designed Volvo One-Design 65.  We grabbed Mike Sanderson, winner of the 2005 VOR – the first edition with the then-terrifying VO70, and Nick Bice, the creator of the VOR Boatyard and current VOR boss of boats and maintenance and a bunch more, to get their opinion on the state of the race and the options for the future; is the multihulling of the Volvo inevitable, or is there another way?

And these characters don’t disappoint – as you’d expect from a couple of guys who’ve gone around the world, they’ve got strong opinions and clever thinking and both would love to see great success in future races.  We also catch up with Mike about his friendly takeover and new CEO position of Doyle New Zealand, hear about the record mini-maxi fleet in Sardinia, and hear Moose’s real opinion of North Sails.  Listen above, download here for later listening, or subscribe to the SA Podcast on iTunes.

September 16th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.09.42 PMAccording to the sentence handed down yesterday by a Lorient judge, Spindrift Racing co-founder and skipper Yann Guichard will avoid jail time for the accident between the monster Spindrift 2 trimaran and Lorient local Virginia Namouric.  Guichard’s sentence of 6 months is suspended, meaning he won’t have to serve it – though he will be require to pay 25,000 euros in fines and several hundred thousand in restitution and compensation to Namouric for the loss of her leg.

Guichard’s conviction was for a deliberate violation of his duty of safety and prudence, and endangering the lives of others; an American court would probably call it reckless endangerment and would apportion blame according to maritime notions of comparative negligence.  Lorient didn’t, despite the RIB driver’s total obliviousness to the 140-foot trimaran; perhaps because the victim’s husband was the driver.  We hope event organizers don’t see this is a vindication of the insane policies allowing (and relying) on unqualified and untrained volunteer support boat drivers at major events.  It doesn’t matter how many courts go against COLREGS and basic rules of the road; as long as unaware powerboaters are allowed to drive near fast sailboats, injuries – or worse – will continue to happen.  Photo from the Ouest France article.

 

July 13th, 2016 by admin

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Spotty management and bizarre decisionmaking may have marred the history of the Volvo Ocean Race’s On-Board Reporter (née MCM) program, but there’s no disputing that the decision to bring specialist media crews on board for the world’s biggest ocean race was a landmark one.  Everything from the Vendee Globe to the Sydney Hobart Race to the America’s Cup has felt the influence of the program, especially as guys like Matt Knighton, Amory Ross, Brian Carlin, and Sam Greenfield have brought their training and experiences from the VOR into other forms of racing.

After three mistake-filled editions of the program, the 2017 version looks to finally reach maturity under the umbrella of progressive new CEO Mark Turner , especially if the VOR hangs onto some of the more crucial management players in the last race – guys like the indomitable Mark Covell and TV boss Leon Sefton – and embraces the vast changes to the media landscape over the past five years.  The next edition will mark great leaps forward in both the distribution of content from on board and the technology employed to capture it, and you have a chance to shape it.

We like the campaign the VOR just launched to get new blood into the OBR spot – called #ifyoudiedtomorrow, it’s pretty compelling shit.  Given the dominance of SA’ers in OBR spots during the past couple of editions, you guys have a great shot at getting in, so watch the video and get your CV together, and let us know if you do put together something awesome for the VOR choosers.

 

June 12th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.03.19 AMWhen we heard about King Knut taking off for whiter pastures more than six months ago, we suggested this guy take over.  When our sources said he was in, we reported it as confirmed, even though he denied it.  And now that it’s all been confirmed, we congratulate Mark Turner as the new CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.  As we said more than half a year ago, we think he’s the best choice for a job description that only a small handful of people could ever qualify for, and we’re very excited to see where the VOR goes under his care.

In other news that we reported long before anyone else, Hong Kong is confirmed IN with both a team and a stopover.  We’ll catch up with Turner when he’s got his feet underneath him.  Until then, stay tuned to the latest VOR rumors in the thread.

And quit doubting us!

 

April 13th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.16.51 AMUPDATE: Mark Turner e-mailed us to tell us that he’s “been flattered to be on the Volvo potentials list…but today that is still where I sit.”  If indeed there has been no contract signed, we apologize for the incorrect info – but we still think our sources inside the race are accurate and that Turner is the next CEO even if the deal isn’t quite inked.

If anyone has earned every inch of his reputation at the top end of yachting management, it’s Mark Turner.  Getting his launch in the trenches with Ellen Macarthur, Turner has never shied away from unpopular decisions and risky moves, and his drive to prove the establishment wrong has helped set the stage both for international coverage of offshore racing as well as much of the modern format of stadium sailing.

Turner has also made his share of enemies – a fact that actually makes him more likable and reliable in our eyes; if you don’t piss a few people off in an ultra conservative sport like sailing, you’re really not accomplishing anything.

So we’re extremely pleased to reveal the news that, according to numerous sources, Mark Turner has just become the CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.  It was a move that would’ve likely happened months ago if not for an extremely difficult winter for Turner’s family and the VOR ownership’s respect for his personal issues.

He’s the best possible choice in a very small world of yachting management, especially given the current uncertain world picture and the difficult transition ahead to a new boat and route for the 2020 race.  Turner isn’t an easy man to work for, but he works at least as hard as anyone under him, and he’s got the focus, brains, and experience to keep the Volvo Ocean Race alive, and possibly to thrive.

We wish him luck. He’s gonna need it!

 

March 2nd, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.17.43 AMWe’ve been following the Hong Kong Ocean Racing facebook page for months now, waiting to see whether it’s vaporware or something more, and an observant anarchist may have discovered the truth during the 18-foot skiff Worlds broadcast in Sydney last week.  According to a live interview after the racing, 3rd place JJ skipper (and longtime Ragamuffin 100 crew boss) David Witt has been contracted to skipper the team out of HK, which is also likely to get a stopover – meaning mainland China is probably out.  While it sounds as though there’s still money to be found and it ain’t a done deal, it’s more information about the next VOR fleet (or the next CEO, or COO, or…) than we’ve seen in a year.

What’s more, Witty is the kind of character desperately needed by a Volvo Ocean Race that’s seen more than its share of  quiet, restrained (on camera, at least) skippers lately.

 

February 23rd, 2016 by admin

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CEO Knut Frostad signed off from his tenure at the Volvo Ocean Race yesterday, and call us crazy, but shouldn’t you have a new CEO before the old one leaves?  Knut’s right hand man and VOR Chief Operating Officer Tom Touber is off for greener pastures as well, and while there’s plenty of wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes, the clock she is a’ tickin’ and at least publicly, the VOR looks to be a rudderless ship.

Love him or hate him, Knut’s work ethic, commitment, and love for the sport is impossible to deny.  Respect.  Here’s a little excerpt from Knut’s piece.

So tell us about why you came to make this decision to leave the job at this time?

KF: It was quite similar to the day I decided to stop offshore racing. It was two things – I have a family, and the kids are growing, and that’s following your heart again. For me it’s very difficult to reduce the time and energy I invest in anything, for me to say that I should step back from my role and start going home at 5pm rather than 8pm, that’s not an alternative. I can’t deliver something that I am  proud or satisfied with if I do that.

I got to a place where the ends didn’t meet. I’ve pushed with my heart for so long and eight years has been non-stop. I also felt that it was time for someone else but me. Not because I have run out of ideas, I have a few for the next race, but because it needs a fresh perspective in some areas.

 

February 9th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 10.51.55 AMAs any visitor to these pages knows well, the sailing community has almost universally shared a sense of betrayal over the ‘appropriation’ of the America’s Cup to another country by the American defender.  At the same time, San Francisco’s multi-million dollar AC shortfall and the bad taste left in San Diego and Newport’s mouths from ACEA’s negotiating sleaziness mean that sailing events in America have a tough road ahead if they’re going to try to repair some of the damage caused by Russell’s flying circus.

Thanks to the hard work of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sail Newport, and thousands of volunteers and cheerleaders, that job just got a hell of a lot easier; that’s because the numbers are in, and the Newport stopover for the VOR added some $32M in direct spending to the RI economy and nearly $50M in overall economic impact, with the government laying out only a tiny fraction of that amount to supply the stopover with services.

So even though we don’t know who will be running the next VOR or what teams we’ll see on the starting line, we’re pleased to share with you the news that the stopover voted ‘best’ by nearly every sailor, spectator, and reporter in the 2014-15 race has been confirmed to be BACK in May 2018, the only North American stop for the world’s most-watched sailboat race.  We congratulate everyone involved, and applaud Volvo and SailNewport management for doing smart business while also acting as custodians for the good name of the sport.

Imagine if Russell and the ACEA folks would learn that these are not mutually exclusive goals.

October 30th, 2015 by admin

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