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Posts Tagged ‘volvo ocean race’

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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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SCALOR15-RT0136Whether it was a case of the girls doing way too good a job of delivering value for their sponsor or simply continuing fallout from the corporate perk scandal that claimed the scalps of numerous top SCA executives, the Swedish paper giant has officially turned over the keys of the Volvo 65 to Knut Frostad and ended their sailing sponsorship as of Friday.  According to executives we spoke to, the program exceeded every ROI metric available, and with the new CEO a trimaran sailor and longtime SA reader, we hoped for more.

The girls have split into separate groups as they hunt for sponsorship for a host of different projects, and we hope and expect them to pop up at the Vendee Globe, the next VOR, the World Match Racing Tour, and possibly the Extreme Sailing Series, as well as scattered throughout the offshore fleet.  Adios, girls, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us – and tens of thousands of little girls around the world -  something special to cheer for.

Here’s what they wrote on Facebook:

The whole team would like to thank each and everyone of you for the amazing support over the last three years. We couldn’t have done this without you. The squad will continue the momentum that Team SCA has started with the ultimate goal to find a new sponsor. Thank you for sharing this journey with us ‪#‎weareteamsca‬ ‪#‎justthebeginning‬

Also, a fond farewell to SCA’s Team Doctor, Antonio Zoido, one of the nicest, smartest, and most helpful people we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  He died suddenly on Sunday.  RIP.

 

October 5th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.47.27 AM“King Knut” transformed the Volvo Ocean Race from an offshore design contest to a media-centric one-design race around the world, and his iron fist characterized his 10 year-rule of the world’s most-watched sailboat race.  That all ends today in a shock announcement that the King is stepping down ‘to dedicate time to his family’ (translation: The gorgeous Mrs. Frostad told Knut ‘stay home or don’t come home’ to help raise his two young children.  The hard-core search has already begun for the next VOR boss, and of course we’ve got our own shortlist. SA’s choices:

 

1) Mark Turner (OC Sports)

2) Jamie Boag (ADOR Principal)

3) Bouwe Bekking (Team Brunel/Sailing Holland)

4) Karin Bäcklund (the hyper-competent girl who runs VOR background for years) c

5) Russell Coutts (ummm….just kidding!)

Who do you think could best bring the VOR into its next era? Let us know here.

 

September 11th, 2015 by admin

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With a dismally light but gorgeously sunny forecast on the North Malastrand River, we can’t promise much excitement on day one of the double-points finale to the M32 Scandinavian Series in Stockholm.  But the spectators will be out in force as US-One goes for its clean sweep of the 2015 series, and we’ve got plenty of interesting features to share with you as we wait for the wind to fill in.  Check it out above, and go here for the preview story.

 

September 10th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.59.47 AMMillions of sailing fans – Kiwis and foreigners both – have wondered why Grant Dalton remains at the head of the most famously choking team in the history of sailing.  After some fatefully wrong calls in San Francisco – including some really personal inter-team shit that still hasn’t seen the light of day – you’d think the New Zealand public, who partially funded the team, would have gotten their calls for blood answered.

But that never happened, and in a rare instance of good journalism rearing its head inside yachting, the boys from Canvas published a deep and interesting look at one of the hardest working – if deeply flawed – individuals in the sport.  His marriage woes, that fateful call to allow Oracle the lay day, his sailing ability, and plenty of other sticky subjects; here’s an excerpt:

It was at his grandparents’ waterfront house that Dalton had an epiphany. He was at the window when Heath’s Condor, with Peter Blake on board, hoved into view as it completed a leg of the 1977 Whitbread Round the World Race.

“It came around North Head with this giant yellow spinnaker and I thought, ‘holy shit’. Right down to where every seagull was sitting I can remember that place in time and I knew that was what I wanted to do.”

He rang his mum, Rose, another huge influence, to tell her he was chucking in his accountancy job that Christmas to do a Fiji race. On his return, he went the tried-and-true method and started sailmaking to broaden his skill base. He got a spot on a round-the-world boat, loved it, and decided to get his own boat for the next one. “And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since, basically.”

And here we enter another tricky port-tack in the Dalton story: his skills as a sailor. You do not have to go far to find someone who will denigrate Dalton’s yachtsmanship. Montgomery, who has known Dalton since his early Whitbread days, says the man himself would never confess to “being a rock star round-the-buoys sailor”, and he will correct anybody that claims Dalton won a Whitbread by saying he won the maxi class only.

Read the full story here.

 

August 12th, 2015 by admin

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