As temperature plummet and ski areas begin to open their lifts, we bring you some interesting movies from the still-beating heart of the sport.
We’ve made no excuses about our enthusiasm for offshore racer Ryan Breymaier, who may just be America’s only real hope at a major US sponsor and top US result in the Vendee Globe. The Annapolis native became the first American to break into the French offshore scene in memory, working as rigger and shore crew during Roland Jourdain’s Veolia Open 60 and MOD campaigns, and taking the helm of the generations-old Neutrogena to finish 5th in the non-stop(ish) Barcelona World Race.
Thanks largely to Larry Ellison, America is more attuned right now to sailboat racing now than it has been since 1987. Between the wonderful AC72 final, a recent HBO Sports documentary on Alex Thomson, and the soon-t0-be-released Robert Redford singlehanded blockbuster “All is Lost”, if there has ever been a time for a US-based racer to push for a major sponsor, the time is now.
Fortunately the good folks at 5West know all that — that’s the Sir Keith Mills-backed agency that handles Thomson’s Open 60 management and the Hugo Boss sponsorship contract — and they’re throwing their hat in with Breymaier. 5West hopes to use their contacts and experience to land him a budget for next year’s Barcelona and 2016’s Vendee Globe, hopefully waking up the largely untapped American market to IMOCA style racing. Anyone who cares about offshore racing and the US should head over to the Project USA site to find out more. And if you’d like to see an American effort in the next big race and your company (or an affiliate) is looking for some innovative sports/green marketing, get in touch with them right away!
Americans of the Americas
With just one day left of the first-ever F-18 Championship of the Americas, the Dutch are hanging on to a slim lead over longtime SA’ers Tripp Burd and Mike Easton from New England, who are wicked close to the front as the breeze picks up for Saturday’s racing. Here’s Friday’s
highlight skylight reel from Sam Greenfield.
America’s continued waning on the world sailing stage is certainly depressing to those who remember the dominating days of the star-spangled banner. Embarrassing performances at the past few Olympics, yet another Volvo failure, sparse appearances on sailing’s biggest podiums, and the sole US players at the recent America’s Cup consisting of a tactician who got the flick, a helmsman long since booted, a CEO who disappeared in disgrace, and a lone US grinder who drank from the Cup.
But all is not lost, and America can now claim not only to have the world’s best sailing website, some of the world’s best sailing videographers, and even a recent Moth World Champ: We’ve also got the world’s best match racer!
We’re speaking of course of Taylor Canfield and his USone team. They didn’t repeat as Bermuda Gold Cup champions this year, but they did exactly what they needed to do in order to cement their lead at the top of the WMRT and the ISAF rankings: Crush Ian Williams. They did it, and here’s the video that proves it; produced, shot, and edited by Matt Knighton.
50 Shades Of Greenpeace
By now everyone knows what scumbags the folks at Gazprom are, and while no one thinks that morally-challenged ISAF is going to do anything about the knife-and-bottle-wielding thug and Esimit Europa shore crew who attacked peaceful Greenpeace protesters, it seems international outcry over the Arctic Sunrise arrests has finally accomplished something. Russia announced the imprisoned activists (along with two journalists) would now face charges of ‘Hooliganism’ instead of the Piracy they previously were threatened with after staging a sit-in on an Arctic drilling rig; while Piracy carries a 15-year sentence, “Hooliganism” presumably carries a different charge – that is, if it is indeed a crime and not just something made up by former KGB officials to suit their needs for the moment. It’s not much of a stretch – time and again, Russian officials show they care about laws only when it suits them – as evidenced last week when they announced they’d boycott next week’s hearing into the arrests called by the UN-chartered International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea; the Russians said they ‘not intend to take part in the tribunal’s hearings’. How convenient. Regardless of the outcome of this gas profit-fueled shitshow, Gazprom ain’t leaving sailing anytime soon. Sponsorship hunters: Be careful what you wish for and even more careful who you are linked to.