Archive for » September 10th, 2013«

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) Boat Sinking: Minifies U.S Sale Staff and …

With the outbreak of many smart phone companies, one of a dominant force in the mobile phone market, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has been steadily losing subscribers and market share over the past few years. According to IDC report, BlackBerry’s worldwide smartphone market share in the second quarter was 2.9%, compared with 4.9% during the same period in 2012. According to published reports, BlackBerry layoff dozens of people from it US sales force which is another wave of layoffs at the besieged handset maker on Monday.

Canadian technology blog Cantech Letter wrote that the Company laid off more than half of its sales force on Monday because the company’s consumer sales force is described as “gone” and project as “devastated.” The company continues to cut back in the midst of weak sales and withdrawing market share. The layoffs are part of rolling job cuts that have been ongoing for several weeks. In March, BlackBerry reported that it had more than 12,000 employees.

The Journal reported in July that the U.S. sales chief, Richard Piasentin, was fired in June. The reason is recent layoffs, which come on top of the 5,000 cuts planned during the company’s last fiscal year. On the next month plan, the handset maker laid off 250 workers at a Waterloo, Ontario, product-testing facility. Last month, the embattled handset maker put itself up for sale, announcing it had formed a special team to design “strategic alternatives” for itself.

BlackBerry also added that it was ready for everything from joint ventures and partnerships to an outright sale of its operation to another firm. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company is looking to arrange a speedy auction process that could be over as soon as possible till November. When CNET has contacted BlackBerry for comment, a company spokesperson confirmed for the Journal that “a small number of employees were laid off today,” but did not elaborate. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares were off -3.73% in premarket.


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Sailing-Oracle calls off America's Cup race after big New Zealand win

By Alden Bentley and Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 10 (Reuters) – America’s Cup defending

champion Oracle Team USA called off one of its races in the

competition on Tuesday after Emirates Team New Zealand trounced

them, giving the Kiwis a fourth victory In the series.

Oracle appeared shell-shocked and asked for a postponement

of the second match of the day in San Francisco Bay. Both teams

have the right to delay one race in the 17-race series for the

world’s oldest sporting trophy.

“We need to up our game,” skipper Jimmy Spithill said.

“We’re going to go away and make sure we do what we need for the

next one.”

Oracle faces an uphill battle, having started the regatta

with a two-race penalty and without its first-choice wing-sail

trimmer, Dirk de Ridder. An international jury punished the team

for illegally modifying its smaller, 45-foot practice catamarans

in a preliminary regatta.

The unprecedented cheating penalty means that Oracle must

win 11 races to keep the Cup.

On Tuesday, the team backed by software billionaire Larry

Ellison’s won the race start and cruised in its 72-foot

catamaran past government-backed New Zealand for the first two

legs of the five-leg heat.

Then Oracle tried to do something never been done – to lift

its foils out of the water while tacking. It failed, and the

Kiwis rushed past and commanded a lead of nearly a mile.

Oracle gave up its more than one minute lead to eventually

lose the race by 65 seconds.

“It’s working for us,” Kiwi skipper Dean Barker said after

the race. “We have plenty to work on, but it was encouraging to

get back in the race.”

Emirates Team New Zealand won three of the first four races.

But, after a shaky start, Oracle Team USA charged back with a

vengeance on Sunday, leading much of the third duel, winning the

fourth and emerging as a formidable foe.

The radical 72-foot catamarans look evenly matched then and

the racing has been more exciting than many expected, featuring

dramatic starting maneuvers, near collisions, lead changes and

closely fought tacking duels.

The cheating scandal, quarrels over rules and grief over the

death of a sailor during a training exercise took center stage

during the preliminaries, when a promised “summer of racing” to

determine which yacht could take on Oracle fizzled into a

lopsided series with powerhouse Team New Zealand dominating.

Now the TV network-dubbed “September Showdown” is delivering

high-adrenaline, edge-of-the seat racing in San Francisco Bay’s

natural amphitheater.

Flag-waving fans have watched in awe along the waterfront as

giant twin-hulled yachts with three-story tall wing sails cross

within inches of one another.

The yachts look like airplanes flying when their foils lift

the hulls out of the choppy water. With 11 sailors on board, the

yachts have cruised as fast as 53 miles an hour around the

five-leg race course, starting near the Golden Gate Bridge,

sailing past Alcatraz Island and finishing against the backdrop

of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Ellison and his crew desperately want to keep the Cup. But

the Kiwi team has vowed to bring the Auld Mug, as they call it,

back to its Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Team New Zealand held the trophy from 1995 until 2003 with

the Kiwi sailor Sir Russell Coutts at the helm. He now runs the

Oracle Team USA. The 51-year-old Olympic gold medalist has won

the America’s Cup four times, twice for his homeland.

New Zealand lost the trophy in 2003, when Coutts jumped ship

to Alinghi, a yacht sailing under Geneva’s flag. After Ellison

hired away Coutts, he won the Cup for the fourth time in 2010 in

Valencia, Spain.

Ellison chose the 72-foot catamarans as the boats and his

home waters of San Francisco Bay as the venue for this year’s

competition. Critics complained that the boats were too fragile

and hard to handle after Olympic gold medalist Andrew Simpson of

Britain was killed in a May training exercise for Sweden’s

Artemis Racing.

But this week’s thrilling racing has radically shifted the

conversation.


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Record breaking sales at Ocean Alexander this summer

Alexander Marine, the manufacturer of Ocean Alexander yachts, has announced the recent sale of 4 new yachts for the US. These 4 additional sales combined with the prior 5, sets a new record of 9 new sales for a summer.

Ray Prokorym from Ocean Alexander’s Seattle office successfully completed the transaction for the sale of the new Ocean Alexander 78 Skylounge Motoryacht. Ocean Alexander wishes to express thanks to all its suppliers and technicians who put the finishing touches on this beautiful yacht.

This new 2014 78 Ocean Alexander will be on display at the Seattle Boats Afloat Show starting September 11th and ending on the 15th .

Louis Dvorak from Ocean Alexander’s Ft. Lauderdale office also sold a new 2014 78 Ocean Alexander Motoryacht. This version was ordered with an open bridge with enclosures that allows for use in all climates. The owners plan to take this 78 on a maiden voyage and return in time to show her at the upcoming Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show with the Ocean Alexander display. Afterwards, the yacht will be kept in South Florida for the long term.

​​​

Lastly, Kevin McCarthy from the same Florida office sold two new 2014 72 Ocean Alexander Pilothouse yachts. The first was a custom order by a previous Ocean Alexander owner. They’ve owned several yachts by various manufacturers and when it was time to build their own, they decided to order a 72 to suit their needs. The redesigned master suite, crew’s quarter, and spacious galley were just a few of the details that appealed to the new owners.

The other new 72 Pilothouse was also sold to a former Ocean Alexander owner. He previously owned an Ocean Alexander 51, moved up to a 62, and will now own the new 72. He plans to use the yacht in the Bahamas and South Florida for most of the year and take it up to the Northeast for the summers. The Florida office is very appreciative of all its vendors, the yards, and all of the various personnel who made the commissioning and delivery of both yachts an outstanding experience for all involved.

Ocean Alexander of Florida 
+1 954 779 1905
Florida@oceanalexander.com  
www.oceanalexander.com


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Sailing

Henri Lloyd under skipper Eric Holden crossed the line first ahead of GREAT Britain, followed by Derry~Londonderry~Doire, on a close-hauled start.

But it was Derry~Londonderry~Doire that was first round the windward mark followed by Henri Lloyd and PSP Logistics; GREAT Britain opted to take a penalty 720 degree turn (making two turns in the same direction), after touching the mark.

Race director Justin Taylor said: “Three minutes before the start, the yachts were fully powered up and as the wind got up, the boats that benefitted were the ones with a reef in.”

The new generation of Clipper 70s are embarking on their first big ocean crossing, sailing to 2016 Olympic host city Rio in Brazil to complete Leg 1 after a short stopover in Brest, France.

Legendary British yachtsman, Clipper Race founder and chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Tactically, the Doldrums is where Race 2 is likely to be decided. The teams will have to ensure they maintain concentration and keep the boat moving.

“Between the flat calms and the squalls, the lack of wind will be frustrating at times but how they perform at this stage of the race will be worth watching as it could make a big difference to the final positions.”

After a stopover at Marina da Gloria, Rio, the fleet will then continue on via South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney (including the world famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Race), Brisbane, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry Londonderry and the Netherlands before returning to London’s St Katharine Docks for Race Finish in July 2014.

The fleet will not be returning to the UK until July 2014 after a total of 670 crew race 40,000 miles and visit 15 ports on six continents.

Designed to provide everyone – regardless of sailing experience – the chance to race across oceans and taste the exhilaration of completing a circumnavigation, the Clipper Race has turned over 3,500 novices into ocean racers since its inception in 1995.

The leaderboard going into Race 2 to Rio is as follows:

1. Invest Africa 12 points

2. Great Britain 11 points

3. Qingdao 10 points

4. Team Garmin 9 points

5. PSP Logistics 8 points

6. One DLL 7 points

7. Switzerland 6 points

8. Henri Lloyd 5 points (joint)

8. Derry~Londonderry~Doire 5 points (joint)

10. Jamaica 3 points

11. Old Pulteney 2 points

12. Mission Performance 1 point


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Industry Is Angered Over Move by Cuomo

Attendance had fallen sharply, and it was not worth hauling 40 or 50 Boston Whalers, Sea Rays and other pleasure boats to the Manhattan show. He had asked for dates that he felt were more favorable, and had been rebuffed.

But he did not pull out. Instead, he called Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

“I got lucky; he actually picked up the phone,” Mr. Barbara said. “I explained what’s going on; the amount of business we’re losing, the sales tax we collect and the amount of people we’re letting go. I explained it to him, and he made it happen.”

The governor — whose love of outdoor sports and the lakes of upstate New York is well known — intervened. The boating industry got the dates it wanted in January, and even a September event on the Hudson River.

But there was a problem. The new dates for the boat show meant that five other trade shows and conventions had to be moved to less favorable dates. And those shows have an arguably greater economic impact.

Mr. Cuomo’s actions created something of a furor in the trade show industry and among city tourism officials. It provides a glimpse into the decision-making process of a chief executive who cultivates a reputation for swift and decisive action, and demonstrates how such actions can have unintended consequences.

He bypassed the directors of the Javits operating corporation on behalf of the boat show, according to two board members, and reversed Javits’s longstanding policy, which favors trade shows and conventions over consumer shows like the boat show, which draw thousands of visitors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut but, unlike conventions, rarely result in bookings for hotels, restaurants and Broadway shows.

Mr. Cuomo’s announcement on Aug. 6 that he had saved and expanded the boat show brought an angry response from the trade show industry as well as some hotel operators and city tourism officials. Those in the trade show industry were fearful: Would they suddenly have to shorten the length of their shows; use less space than in the past; or be displaced altogether?

At the same time, executives worried that they could no longer rely on promises made by Javits’s staff concerning future dates because of what they viewed as political interference.

The Cuomo administration declined to comment publicly, but has played down the dispute to others. Trade show executives are meeting with Javits to sort out the event schedule, starting in 2015. But Friends of Javits — an alliance of more than 40 trade shows and organizations — has also hired a prominent litigator, lobbyists and a communications expert to wage battle at Javits, in Albany and in New York City.

“Trade show organizers were outraged by this unilateral action, and it has shaken the industry’s confidence in Javits,” said Errol Cockfield, a spokesman for Friends of Javits. “It could threaten jobs, hurt the city and state economies and lead to significant increases in costs for business. There is widespread concern that the convention center — on a whim — will not honor protocols.”

Henry Silverman, a businessman whom Mr. Cuomo appointed chairman of the Javits operating corporation a month ago, issued a letter saying the boat show was at risk of cancellation after the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy. “The economic consequences,” he said, “would have been devastating and far-reaching” in a state where the industry has a “$2.4 billion impact.”

Mr. Cuomo’s 2012 attempt to make changes also ran into criticism. His $4 billion proposal to demolish Javits and build the nation’s largest convention center next to a casino in Queens collapsed after talks broke down with the developer and convention executives questioned the wisdom of the move.


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They’re going sailing in the Mediterranean

Ladha said there will be about 100 boats, with 45 to 50 countries competing in the event.

“All the best teams in the world will be there,” he said.

The best a Canadian team has ever finished at the world championships is 13th. There are four Canadian boats competing in the event. Ladha and Inkpen are both with the national team, and there are two other national-team crews as well.

“We want to finish in the top 25. It would be a very big accomplishment if we were able to finish better than any previous Canadian team,” said Ladha, who is from St. John’s.

He said they will hold Olympic qualification the same time next year, and the pair would like to be in the top 10 in the world by that time.

“Those are realistic expectations and realistic goals,” Ladha said.

“Of course, we want to win, as unrealistic as that is at this point.”

The duo won gold in the 49er class regatta in Kingston, Ont., and also at the national championships in the same location in July.

Recently, they took a bronze medal at the United States nationals in New York.

The team has been preparing at the Canadian Training Centre in Halifax and have been racing and training daily in preparation for the worlds.

The duo has two 49er class boats, one at home which they also use while in Halifax and another that’s available to them when they compete in Europe.

“It’s actually cheaper to own two boats in two different places than to have to move from North America to Europe,” said Ladha.

Ladha said Oceanex has been very supportive in terms of moving the boat from St. John’s to Halifax and Montreal.

The team held a special launch ceremony Monday morning from the Boathouse at Quidi Vidi Lake. They left for England Monday night.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com


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