Archive for » June 27th, 2013«

Paula Deen’s boat and book sales soar

The Paula Deen empire is burning down, although fans aren’t abandoning ship just yet.

As the fallout continues to build from the chef’s admission of using the “N-word,” Target Corp., which carries a range of products marked with the Paula Deen moniker, announced it is severing ties with the celebrity chef. The Minneapolis-based retailer disclosed Thursday that it will “phase out” all Deen-branded items from stores as well as online. Once the merch sells out, Target says it will not re-stock inventory.

Diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk also announced Thursday that the company and Deen have “mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now.”

There remains a stark contrast between fan and corporate support.

Amid the losses, public interest has increased significantly in Deen with the beleaguered star’s book sales catapulting up bestsellers lists. As of Thursday morning, “Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Recipes, All Lightened Up,” moved up to No. 1 on The book comes out in October. Another one, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible,” was ranked at a nice No. 13. These figures follow a Wednesday report report that revealed a second “Paula Deen Cruise” was added in 2014 due to so many requests from Paula’s fans.”

Despite the sudden spike in book (and boat) sales, corporate sponsors are swiftly severing ties with Deen. The Food Network announced last Friday that it would not renew the embattled chef’s contract after June. On Monday, Smithfield Foods dropped Deen.

West Chester-based QVC released a statement to Monday morning, saying that the company has been “closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation.” The home shopping network added, “We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”

Deen’s camp released letters of support from nine different companies on Wednesday that promised to continue to do business with the cook. Nevertheless, Wal-Mart announced it was ending its relationship with Deen shortly after. Caesars also shared its “mutual” decision to remove Deen’s name from four of its buffet restaurants.

During her extensive sit-down interview with Matt Lauer on Wednesday’s “Today” show, Deen shared, “I’m heartbroken. I’ve had to hold friends in my arms while they’ve sobbed because they know what has been said about me. It’s not true.”

The chef, who dissolved into tears on the morning show, repeated she’s not a racist.

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Cross-channel friendship blossoms between Weymouth and Cherbourg clubs

Cross-channel friendship blossoms between Weymouth and Cherbourg clubs

THE EXCHANGE: Jean le Carpentier and Jez Rees swap burgees

TWENTY-FIVE Weymouth Sailing Club (WSC) boats braved the weather to sail across the English Channel to France last Friday, writes Steve Dadd.

The group left Weymouth Bay at 5.45am in torrential rain, heading to Cherbourg to visit friends at the Yacht Club de Cherbourg (YCC).

Race officers Catherine and Peter Jacobs, aided by Allan Castle, got up even earlier to get the club’s committee boat, Viking II, into the bay and set a windward mark to turn around before chasing off to France.

The journey saw poor visibility through the shipping lanes but a fair wind. Friday evening’s arr-ival to the music festival in the town could not be bettered.

The welcome from YCC on Saturday evening was fantastic with an enormous Union flag flying from the yacht club’s flagpole alongside the Normandy flag. During a barbecue, members from both clubs mingled in celebration of YCC’s 75th anniversary and WSC’s centenary.

YCC president Jean le Carp-entier spoke of the friendship between the two clubs and highlighted the possibilities for each, both as a cross channel destination and for future racing.

WSC cruiser class captain Steve Fraser, who was pivotal in organising the French side of the trip, confirmed the WSC’s delight to be in Cherbourg and said the club was looking forward to YCC’s annual visit to Weymouth next year.

Club burgees were exchanged along with other gifts to cement the two clubs’ blossoming relationship.

For the WSC racers, Ray and Lynn Capp’s Malo 34, Crystella, took the premier position in the PY, while Mark and Rima Bugler’s J97, Saskia VII, triumphed in IRC and received line honours with a fantastic elapsed time of 9hrs 10mins double handed.

John Harvey, on the beautiful Theta, took the single-handed award although wife Lesley had been clever enough to get herself on the winning boat.

More than 18 awards were made to sailors who had made their first channel crossing.

WSC centenary events will continue through the year with sailing, history and partying all playing their part.

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Boat tax repeal pitched as jobs proposal

Repealing the sales tax on boats built in Massachusetts would lead to jobs and additional revenue for the state, according to advocates for the boating industry. 

Jamy Madeja, legal counsel and government relations representative for the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, testified Tuesday before the Committee on Revenue in favor of legislation that would repeal the state sales tax on boats built or rebuilt in Massachusetts. 

“This is a jobs bill. Nobody should make the mistake of thinking this is about giving rich people tax breaks. This is about keeping good-paying jobs in Massachusetts instead of bleeding them to Rhode Island, Maine and Florida,” Madeja said. 

According to the trade association, 75 percent of Massachusetts residents who owns a boat earn less than $100,000 and incorporate the vessel into their vacations. “They’re not going to Europe. They’re not traveling the world,” Madeja said. 

Despite its coast, Massachusetts ranks 22nd for boating behind Tennessee and Missouri, according to the MMTA. 

Three bills have been filed to repeal the sales tax on boats, including proposals from Democrat Rep. James Cantwell of Marshfield, Republican Sen. Robert Hedlund of Weymouth and Republican Rep. Daniel Winslow of Norfolk. 

Madeja says most people seek services for their boat in the place they purchased the vessel, costing Massachusetts business to states like Rhode Island where boating businesses advertise based on the lack of a sales tax. 

Rep. Paul Schmid, of Westport, said he has spoken with a boat builder in Rhode Island who employs a number of workers from Fall River. “This does strike me as having some job potential,” Schmid said, asking for specific job and revenue predictions. 

Madeja said she did not have specific numbers to report, but said, “Our members all say they would add jobs.” 

Madeja said she would have had more people to testify alongside her if it were not boating season now, joking that she considered but thought better of suggesting the hearing be held on the open water. 

“We’re told that you legislators are reluctant to be seen on a boat,” Madeja said. 

Revenue Chairman Rep. Jay Kaufman replied. “There’s a story to that.”

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Sailing roundup

Chris Lakey

Thursday, June 27, 2013
11:05 AM

A very windy south westerly breeze kept numbers down on the Waveney as only the bravest from Beccles ASC tackled the force five gusts under dark skies.

Ollie Meek worked hard to keep his reefed Topper Tic Tac upright and led a fleet of seven novices around a short course, finishing two minutes ahead of James Denny and George Browne. Only two Optimist helms made the Bittern Cup start, George Curtis enjoying the quick pace to earn another win with Alex Clayton unlucky not to finish.

The popular Clubhouse Trophy pursuit race became an endurance test with challenging beat upriver and quick run back, that had Elena Edwards take a bang on the head, capsize but still finish fifth and Matt How in Laseround remaining dry, picking up a well-earned third. Rory Kelsey and Georgie Roll in Norfolk Tankard battled to the front only to see Mark Langston in his Streaker Small Beer accelerate away on the gusts and take another win.

How continued with a good start in the Coronation Cup as the heavens opened, but Kelsey and Gorbould, in their Norfolks, took first and second on corrected time.

Overcast skies and extremely gusty conditions deterred many River Cruisers from competing at the Yare Sailing Club’s Reedham Regatta on Saturday, with only four boats making it across the start line.

The slower, smaller yachts struggled even to do this against a very strong ebb tide.

Kevin Rhead’s May, with her integral topsail rig, relished the conditions, even with a reef in and the triple-reefed Puck (Andy Garnham) and late-starting Modwena, helmed by Mark Cassidy, could not prevent her from taking first place.

Sunday was not quite as gusty and the intermittent sunshine made things look better, bringing eight boats to the start line for an upriver passage race to Buckenham Sailing Club.

The slower boats were set off first, in order to lessen their disadvantage on the last of the flood tide, and Modwena made the most of her good start to lead all the way upriver and take victory in the race. Others were not so fortunate with both Insh’allah (Daisy Wells) and Kelly Halifax on Anne being blown into the bank.

The return passage race back to Reedham saw May take first place and the overall trophy for the weekend by a mere 25 seconds on corrected time from Modwena.

For the second week running, sailors on Oulton Broad had to cope with strong winds. In fact, it was so bad on Saturday that the keelboats didn’t go out, leaving dinghies to entertain the spectators.

However, nothing seems to faze Duncan Madin, who continues to dominate the Saturday Fast Handicap series.

On Sunday more boats raced but, while the wind was not quite so fierce, there were some squally showers that added to the challenge.

Alan Cone won both Fast Handicap races while Joe Drake did the same in the Slow Handicaps. Three Broads One Designs raced and Guy Foulger in Peewit had a narrow win ahead of Mark and Annabelle Drake in Warbler, while the six boats in the Waveney fleet had the misfortune to be racing when the heaviest rain fell.

Trevor Balls and Valerie Walker were the winners in Creeping Jenny ahead of David and Suzanne Yapp in Foxglove.

The Mixed Keels race rounded off a good weekend for the Drake family when Warbler finished first with another Broads OD, Sam Cole’s Pipit, in second place ahead of the chasing Waveneys.


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    Powerboat sales up 7.6-percent among bellwether states


    By Christopher Gerber
    May 28, 2013
    Filed under Features, Top Stories

    Sales were up through April for most segments, but momentum generated during 2012 has been slowing for several months.

    Sales of 15-foot and greater powerboats grew for the 21st consecutive month during April, growing 7.6 percent year-over-year among Info-Link’s bellwether states, and 10.5 percent among the entire boating population, according to the latest Bellwether Report from Info-Link Technologies.

    A warm winter and early spring drove sales forward according to dealer reports in 2012. But the North and Midwest have been experiencing the inverse effect in 2013, as winter cold and winter storms encroached well into April and May have been delaying the spring boating season.

    Despite the lingering weather, outboard sales were up 9.1 percent year-over-year in April among bellwether states. April was the first month of single digit growth for the segment since March 2012. Across the entire boating population, sales were up 13.3 percent during December for the outboard segment.

    Weather or no weather, economic indicators continue to improve, contributing to increased sales year-over-year despite unfavorable boating conditions. Other consumer indices have improved as well, indicating that sales could improve again heading into the early summer months.

    The smaller boating segments continued to grow as well, but were also burdened by the weather, slowing sales through April. PWC sales were up 5 percent, ski boat sales were up 8 percent, and sportfishing boat sales were up 14.5 percent year-over-year among bellwether states.

    One segment did contract during April: sterndrive boats. After sales for the segment were up late 2012 into 2013, the segment leveled in March before dropping again in April.

    Data for Info-Link Technologies’ bellwether report is based off of U.S. boat registrations representing roughly half of the U.S. boating market, geographically dispersed, and varying by state depending on month and segment. Full graphs of the data can be found here: Info-Link Technologies Bellwether Report.

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    Sailing: Clewers claim first prize with hat-trick

    Sailing: Clewers claim first prize with hat-trick

    By John Withers

    POOLE Yacht Club’s Bob and Margaret Clewer used boat speed and local knowledge to win all three races at the annual Yachting World Dayboat Open meeting.

    Hosted by their home club last weekend, a somewhat depleted fleet took to the waters as the weather did its best to put off crews.

    Several Dayboat regulars were not in attendance but 12 Poole boats and three visiting crews enjoyed three competitive races.

    The Round the Harbour Islands action for the Tanglefoot Trophy, a traditional and popular feature of the event on the Saturday, had to be abandoned because of strong, gusty winds and heavy rain.

    This seemed to be a relief to the Dayboat crews who had rigged their boats in preparation and had got very wet before even leaving the pontoon. All returned to the clubhouse and enjoyed the
    hospitality in the afternoon before returning for an excellent carvery supper in the evening.

    The weather on Sunday looked much more promising, with a forecast for sunshine and moderate wind. There were frequent wind shifts which led to many changes in position but the Clewers went on to
    win all three races. The other places were hard fought, with visitor Michael Hew-itt gaining second and Poole’s Sue Clayton finishing third.

    Event organiser Phil Lokier presented the Newton Trophy to the winners and bottles of wine were distributed to the first three crews.

    • Lilliput Sailing Club member Martin Barker completed the Three Peaks Challenge in 27 hours, raising money for Sailability.

    Barker said: “Ben Nevis was torrential rain and 50mph winds all the way, with sub-zero temperatures at the top.

    “Scafell Pyke was much better weather but a very hard climb, especially starting at 5am after driving through the night.

    “It rained from start to finish on Snowdon and the cloud base was so low we couldn’t see further than 50m in front of us.

    “I didn’t quite reach my donations target but, hopefully, will get a bit more now it is done.”

    To donate, visit

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