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Big Time

huge pimpin’

Big Time

We’re finally ensconced in a big house in Eastport, Annapolis, with piles of cameras, cables, adapters, computers and editing hardware strewn all over, and we’re getting pretty charged up for next week.  We are planning on bringing an unprecedented level of coverage to thousands of race fans around the world during the upcoming Melges 24 World Championship, and we wanted to take a few paragraphs to show our appreciation to the companies who’ve had the foresight and generosity to make it all possible.

We are immensely lucky to have reached a point in the development of On-The-Water Anarchy where we can offer sponsorship opportunities to only the folks that we truly like; industry partners whose products we appreciate, and companies that we respect.  And it’s important to know that they support OTW Anarchy not only because it helps them get the word out about their products, but because each and every one of them is part of our audience; they enjoy watching our reports just as much as any of you. Our coverage next week will include six hours of air time every day, so you’ll have plenty of time to learn more about these great companies then, but in the meantime, here’s an introduction:

PRESENTING SPONSORS : We call these guys "presenting sponsors" because they make our presence possible.  Their substantial support has allowed us to bring in an awesome crew of OTW staffers that you’ll meet very soon, and to arrange the kind of equipment needed to make this some of the most engaging race coverage ever.

Point Loma Outfitting is, by far, our favorite gear supplier, and not just because Mer is a Patagonia whore.  Owner Tom Carruthers has been an Anarchist since the beginning, and his operation has grown from backyard web sales to one of the best-stocked and best organized brick-and-mortar sailing apparel shops in the country, with an equally well-organized and easy-to-use online store. Tom stocks the best gear for any sailor:  Patagonia, Musto, Atlantis, Puma, Gill, Camet, SLAM, and Kaenon.  But where he and his employees really shine is when creating custom sets of team gear; from logo design and placement to perfect printing and embroidery, to last-minute orders, Point Loma delivers the best for your team at a fair price.  Just wait until you see the hot Atlantis gear that Tom made for our crew!  And those of you watching our coverage this week will find significant discounts for your next team order available only to OTWA fans, as well as contest giveaways that you can’t miss.

It seems that almost everyone has a Velocitek these days; the simplicity and effectiveness of the SC-1 and Speedpuck make them a necessity on any race boat.  The Speedpuck takes the thinking out of GPS electronics:  Stick it on your boat and get speed, heading, and lift/knock indications without scrolling through screens and pressing buttons.  For those who want start line proximity sensors, programmable VMG functions, and more, the SC-1 is bulletproof and does a great job for a fraction of the cost of dedicated PC-based solutions.  One TP-52 bowman said that he holds an SC-1 on the bow for the start, and he’s found it more accurate at finding the line than the fifteen grand worth of tablet PCs and multiple GPS antennas used by the afterguard.  We’ll be giving away a Speedpuck this week to a lucky OTW Anarchy viewer, and both Speedpucks and SC-1s will be ten percent off for everyone who uses a special code when they order them here.

Latis Yachting Solutions isn’t a big manufacturer, it’s a small but professional logistics and regatta support company dedicated to getting racers on the water no matter what it takes.  Owner John Woodruff, a Mumm and Melges racer, has been sponsoring regattas and classes for years, and he was one of the earliest to throw significant cash into this Melges 24 Worlds when they really needed it – not because he gets a lot of business out of it (he doesn’t), but because the M24 is close to his heart, like it is mine. 

As everyone knows, wear and tear on the road is substantial, often the part of a boat’s life where it ages the most, and Latis has a solution for it.  They specialize in moving, launching, rigging, and storing high-performance sportboats, with a custom trailer that allows the transport of multiple Melges 24s, M20s, M17s, Vipers, SB3s and similar, on their trailers but up off the road, saving boats and saving money.  They are  equipped, licensed, and insured to move boats up to 40 feet and much longer masts, and their experienced concierge staff can handle every aspect of your next race – from delivery and set-up to launching and hauling to rigging and repair to lodging and crew placement – they even have qualified chefs ready to cook for your team wherever it may land.  And like our other sponsors, Latis will be offering big discounts to OTW Anarchy viewers this week, and John will be one of our guest commentators on the water.  We’ll also be giving away a few of his new limited edition shirts with some very cool Mer-designed and Point Loma printed graphics.

SUPPORTING SPONSORS: Our supporting sponsors do exactly that – they support us.  With hardware, software, boats and fuel, and great prizes to entice you all to keep watching, they make the difference between a two-person production with Mer and I running around like nutters on a little boat, and a six-person production with pro video work, live streams, and multiple boats.  Here they are:

Ullman Sails Newport Beach is the home loft of our good friend Erik Shampain aboard USA 587 "WTF," one of the favorites for top American boat here at Worlds.  Bruce Cooper and the boys at USNB spend a ton of time promoting racing in Southern California, and their participation with OTW Anarchy is yet another way to spread the word about what they do.  Ullman has stuck to its guns with their Dacron Melges mains, and now we see the other major lofts beginning to follow their lead in other sportboat classes.  Meanwhile, Blu Moon and WTF use Ullman suits at the top of the Melges fleet, and former SCOTW Kristin Lane and husband Peter have great results with their Ullmans as well.  Check out their site for a winter’s worth of informative free seminars in Newport Beach starting November 4th, and stay tuned for sail discounts during Worlds.

Charleston Harbor Wireless Access is a quieter sponsor, working to create fast wireless internet solutions on the water.  CHWA supplies the folks at Charleston Race Week with web access so they can get scores and info to their site from four courses without a hiccup, and they’re testing a new system here in Annapolis for our coverage.

Ocean Sailing Academy is another Charleston-based company offering accredited sailing programs from engaging instructors — from basic keelboat, to offshore racing, to advanced Melges 24 racing clinics for owners and full crews.  49er and Fireball zealot and Owner Ned Goss is expecting a solid result here, racing with the Conejo Racing Team, and Ned’s offering some great deals to OTW fans during the week.  There really is no better place to improve your racing skills or to introduce your family to the joys of cruising than the gorgeous Charleston Harbor, and OSA is the place to do it.

RBS Battens help almost 90% of the M24 fleet here in Annapolis get the most out of their sails.  Their e-glass battens are nearly indestructible, while their high-modulus carbon battens are the choice when weight is essential.  Proven in the Volvo and America’s Cup, nobody makes better quality battens, and anyone who’s met owner Romeo Robichaud knows how far he’ll go to help a fellow sailor out, whether you’re a customer or not.  Check out RBS’s new website here, and keep an eye out for prizes worth $1,500 from RBS during next week’s broadcast.

Eastport Yachts owner and former AC team boss Tom Weaver designed and built one of the coolest motor boats we’ve ever had a pleasure to play on – the Eastport 32.  Created with both sailing and fishing in mind, these beautifully constructed work boats have picnic boat looks with an open feel, great visibility, nearly nonexistent draft, and a useful drop-down tailgate-style transom to load a RIB or sailing dinghy right in the back with ease.  We’ll have photos of Vincenzo Onorato’s brand new pimped-out 32 next week, and we hear both a flybridge version of the 32 and the new Eastport 43 may be coming soon…

We’ve decided to bring in one worthy cause to each OTW Anarchy event from now on, and this one is perhaps the most worthy of all.  Nick Hayes’ new book Saving Sailing is required reading for everyone who gives a crap about this sport – it identifies the reasons that there are 10 million less sailors in the US today than there were in 1979, and provides lessons for all of us looking to save our rapidly shrinking sport.  There is an epidemic in US sailing, and since no one has done shit to stem the tide in almost 30 years, it’s time for all of us to step up to the plate.  Nick will be offering discounted books to every OTW Anarchy fan next week, so buy one for yourself, buy one for your favorite sailor, and read carefully.

And finally, we want to thank Justin.TV, the world’s largest streaming video website, for supporting and promoting our coverage.  The folks who work in a little California office have built an easy-to-use and content-filled monster of a site, and after trying all their competition, we went with the one with the best video quality and interface of all of them.  And the fact that they are sailors doesn’t hurt…

So don’t forget — our program for Annapolis includes the following:

  • Live racing coverage (watchable any time) including live post-race talk shows
  • Archived interviews and clips of party action
  • Photo slideshows
  • Daily highlight reel in HD
  • Forum reports, mark roundings, and real-time scoring
  • Daily Front Page reports

We’ll be broadcasting opening ceremonies on Sunday, and the racing starts on Monday morning at 1030 EST/0730 PST/1530 GMT.

Be there.