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Sailing: Oracle Team USA beats New Zealand to keep America’s Cup

San Francisco • The big black cat almost used up its last life at the start, burying its bows in a wave and falling behind a boatload of Kiwis.

Of course, it was only fitting in this America’s Cup that Oracle Team USA would need to survive near-defeat again.


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With one last spectacular push in a winner-take-all finale Wednesday, the United States managed to hang onto the Auld Mug in closing out the longest, fastest and, by far, wildest America’s Cup ever with one of the greatest comebacks in sports.

“I’m going to rank it No. 1. We never gave up,” skipper Jimmy Spithill said.

Spithill steered Oracle’s space-age, 72-foot catamaran to its eighth straight victory, speeding past Dean Barker and Team New Zealand sailing upwind in Race 19 on a San Francisco Bay course bordered by the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Embarcadero.

All but defeated a week ago, the 34-year-old Australian and his international crew twice rallied from seven-point deficits to win 9-8. Owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, Oracle Team USA was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas and had to win 11 races to keep the trophy.

For eight races, they sailed with no margin for error in a new class of boats that had a learning curve that was almost straight up.

“There’s nothing like going all in,” Spithill said. “I’m so proud of the boys. … They didn’t flinch.”

It could have been over shortly after the start Wednesday just inside the Golden Gate Bridge.

Oracle’s hulking black catamaran — with a giant No. 17 on each hull — buried its twin bows in a wave approaching the first mark and Barker turned his red-and-black cat around the buoy with a 7-second lead.


“We just knew it was going to be a tough race,” Spithill said. “I just have so much confidence in the boys on board and the boat. When you sail these boats, you’re on the edge. You really red-line them the whole way. They keep you on your toes. It’s a very demanding boat but it’s very rewarding at the same time.”

The New Zealanders were game despite being stranded on match point for a week. Spithill and crew still had to sail their best to keep from becoming the third American loser in 30 years. Oracle narrowed Team New Zealand’s lead to 3 seconds turning onto the third leg, the only time the boats sail into the wind.

New Zealand had the lead the first time the boats crossed on opposite tacks. By the time they crossed again, the American boat — with only one American on its 11-man crew — had the lead.

Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Sailing

Ellison’s Oracle Team USA was within an inch of losing the world’s oldest international sporting trophy to Emirates Team New Zealand just a week ago, only to come back on Thursday with the eighth straight race it needed to retain the Cup.

The epic battle over the past few days has been a major vindication of the Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s much-maligned vision of how to modernize the competition.

For months ahead of September’s 34th America’s Cup finals, Ellison, known for his brash personality and aggressive business tactics, weathered near-constant criticism over the cost, complexity and potential dangers of the 72-foot catamarans he chose for the event.

Only three teams ultimately challenged Oracle, and a British sailor was killed when the Swedish team’s AC72 broke apart and capsized in May.

“There was a lot of criticism about these boats,” Ellison told reporters on Thursday. “I thought that rather than me personally responding, it would be up to the guys ultimately to show what these boats are like on the water. Let the regatta get started and let the people judge.”

And spectators ultimately ruled in Ellison’s favor, partly because he brought the regatta, historically held miles out to sea, into San Francisco Bay where strolling tourists and die-hard sailing aficionados could watch the races up close.

“This regatta has changed sailing forever,” he beamed at a news conference, flanked by Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill and the 162-year-old trophy.

Sailing has been in Ellison’s blood for about as long as Oracle has.

When he moved in the 1960s from Chicago to northern California, where he would eventually launch Oracle Corp , the future tycoon lived on a modest sailboat moored in Berkeley Marina until he ran out of money and had to sell it.

In 1998, Ellison was aboard his maxi yacht Sayonara when its won the 630-nautical mile (724 mile) Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which turned tragic when a storm killed six people and destroyed several boats.

He brought this year’s regatta to San Francisco after his team in 2010 beat Swiss biotechnology billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi in a bitter America’s Cup battle fought as much by Ellison’s lawyers as by his sailors.

Oracle Team USA’s determination against all odds is also a fitting metaphor for challenges that four-decade-old Oracle now faces against a sea of smaller, aggressive technology rivals.

Ellison’s sailing team has been a convenient marketing tool for Oracle for years, but the style in which it won this year’s Cup – excelling when the chips were down – now gives him a powerful image to convey to shareholders worried that the No. 3 software company is in danger of losing its lead to younger competitors.

“Its historic comeback against the odds in this race speaks to the character of both Larry and his company. This sends an important message to customers that Larry and Oracle never give up,” said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.

While Ellison watched his team from a speedboat this week, Oracle has been holding its annual customer conference at a nearby San Francisco convention center, with over 60,000 people registered for the event. He even skipped his keynote speech when it conflicted with a race.

But Oracle kept the regatta front and center at the event, making attendees acutely aware of the crew’s progress on the water by piping TV commentary into lounges and leading cheers to support the team.

Thursday’s victory entitles Ellison and his team to again change the rules and venue for the next Cup, should they choose.

Emirates Team New Zealand spent about $100 million on its failed America’s Cup campaign, and while Ellison refused to comment on suggestions he spent much more than that, he agreed that costs must be brought down in order to attract more challengers to future regattas.

“It’s no secret these boats are expensive. We’d like to have more countries competing next time, so we’re going to have to figure out how to accomplish both – getting more countries competing while keeping it spectacular.”


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America’s Cup was 21st century adrenaline rush

Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts got it right. The staid old America’s Cup can be an adrenaline rush.

On the brink of an embarrassing blowout, Oracle Team USA hooked into a wild ride around San Francisco Bay at 40 mph that didn’t end until its fast, black catamaran had pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in sports.

Down 8-1, Oracle won eight straight races to keep the America’s Cup in America and send Emirates Team New Zealand back Down Under to ponder its collapse.

The biggest winner was probably the overall image of the oldest trophy in international sports, which has been swept fully into the 21st century thanks to thrilling boats and hot-shot sailors who sometimes struggle to keep the big beasts under control.

“I think a lot of people who were never interested in sailing suddenly got interested in sailing,” Ellison, the software billionaire who owns Oracle Team USA, said after the American boat kept the Cup with one final thrilling win on Wednesday.

Mainstream interest spiked because of Oracle’s almost unimaginable comeback, the 72-foot catamarans that would pop up on hydrofoils and speed above the waves, their hulls completely out of the water, and the scenic backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.

Now comes the challenging part for Ellison and Coutts, a New Zealander who has won the America’s Cup five times, three as a skipper and twice as Oracle Team USA’s CEO.

Oracle Team USA will have to decide whether the America’s Cup remains in San Francisco and whether the AC72 catamarans return or are downsized.

This was the first America’s Cup sailed inshore rather than miles out to sea, making it more accessible to fans and TV viewers. While Ellison has raved about San Francisco Bay as a natural amphitheater, organizers ran into vocal political opposition, lawsuits and community protests over the public cost of the event to the city’s treasury and environment.

Ellison joked that the next America’s Cup will be around the Hawaiian island of Lanai, most of which he owns.

The Cup could be back in San Francisco, or it could go to Hawaii or the highest bidder. After Oracle won the silver trophy in 2010, there were reports Ellison was interested in holding the regatta in Italy.

“I think this regatta was the most magnificent spectacle I’ve ever seen on the water,” said Ellison, a long-time sailor. “San Francisco Bay is a great backdrop for a sailboat race. These 40-plus-knot catamarans are absolutely amazing.”

As for the boats, many feel it would be crazy not to keep sailing the America’s Cup in fast catamarans.

While the big cats were thrilling, they’re expensive, hard to sail and require huge shore crews simply to launch and retrieve. If catamarans return, there’s a chance they’d be smaller than the AC72s but bigger than the 45-footers that were sailed in warmup regattas called the America’s Cup World Series.

Ellison said organizers have to figure out how to reduce costs to get more teams involved. Only Oracle and three challengers built 72-foot catamarans. One of the challengers, Artemis Racing, was never a factor after its first boat was destroyed in a capsize that killed British double Olympic medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson during a training run on May 9. While a cause has never been announced, it’s believed the boat crashed because of a design flaw.

British Olympic star Ben Ainslie, who replaced John Kostecki as tactician after Oracle lost four of the first five races, said sailing the AC72s changed his mind about the future of the America’s Cup.

“If you asked me that question three months ago, I would have said match racing in monohulls is still for me preferable,” said Ainslie, who has four Olympic gold medals and one silver and hopes to launch a British challenger for the next America’s Cup. “But after what we’ve seen with this final, it’s just been breathtaking. I think to be talking about trying to make sailing a more popular sport for the future, then this is clearly the route. I think if you saw fleet racing in these types of boats it would be better still.”

Ellison said Oracle has accepted a challenge from a foreign yacht club that will serve as challenger of record to help make decisions about the future. Oracle hasn’t identified that yacht club, but it’s believed to be from Australia.

Oracle had to overcome a capsize last fall that damaged its first catamaran and a scandal involving illegal modifications of boats during the America’s Cup World Series that resulted in an international jury docking it two points in the finals and booting wing trimmer Dirk de Ridder.

Not only did that mean Oracle had to win 11 races to keep the America’s Cup, but it found out its boat was slower than the Kiwi catamaran.

While skipper Jimmy Spithill — now a two-time Cup winner — kept the sailing team focused, Coutts helped figure out ways to make the boat sail much faster upwind than Team New Zealand, which left the Kiwis deflated and defeated.

Coutts also had a hand in the decision to put Ainslie on the boat. Spithill, Ainslie and strategist Tom Slingsby, also an Olympic gold medalist, are three of the world’s most intensely competitive sailors, which contributed to Oracle’s comeback.

When things were going bad, some people wondered if Coutts would survive this campaign.

“Of course Russell Coutts will keep his job for as long as he wants it,” Ellison said. “Russell Coutts has never lost an America’s Cup. Not a bad record. As long as Russell wants this job, we’re blessed to have him.”

On Sept. 18, the Kiwis were at match point. A week later, Oracle Team USA was the winner.

“This regatta has changed sailing forever,” Ellison said.

———

Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson


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August boat sales top analyst projections

August boat sales top analyst projections


Posted on 26 September 2013


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August boat sales beat the expectations of Wells Fargo analysts who follow the marine industry.

Sales rose 11.8 percent in August, which was a modest increase from senior analyst Timothy Conder’s 10 percent projection.

August results were strong against challenging comparisons between 2012 and 2013, Conder wrote after data were released by Statistical Surveys and reported by Trade Only Today. Year-to-date retail sales were up 4 percent, compared with 13.3 percent a year earlier, following a first-half-of-year increase of 0.8 percent in 2013, compared with a 14.1 percent increase for the same period in 2012.

“Overall, inboard fiberglass boat sales appear to be stabilizing (down 1.4 percent, compared with a decline of 13.5 percent in the first half of 2013) as mid­size boat (31 to 62 feet) sales accelerated to offset the drop in small fiberglass boat sales” between 14 and 30 feet, Conder wrote.

Wells Fargo is reiterating its full-year industry growth projection of 4 to 5 percent.

Click here for the full report.

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Raymond India International Regatta 2013

The fifth edition of the Only International Youth Sailing Regatta of India is due to be held from Sep 30th to Oct 7th 2013. Organised by the Yachting Association of India (YAI) and hosted by Chennai Sailing Academy (CSA) under the aegis of Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA), the Raymond India International Regatta (RIIR) 2013 is the only event of its kind in the country and keenly anticipated by sailors from India and many other nations. Over a hundred sailors from 9 countries including India have registered for this event which will feature three of the most popular youth classes of boats, the Optimist, 29er and Laser 4.7. Twenty four sailors from Ireland, Seychelles, Malaysia, New Zealand, Britain, The USA, Netherlands and Slovenia will be here forming nearly 25% of the fleet. Malaysia will be the biggest foreign contingent with 9 of their sailors participating in the Optimist and one in the Laser 4.7. The RIIR 2013 will be inaugurated on the 30th of Sep 2013 by Shri G K Vasan, the Honourable Union Cabinet Minister for Shipping, Government of India.

The Optimist is the international single-handed class for juniors up to the age of 15. Ninety percent of the Olympic sailors are said to have started their career in this boat. Laser 4.7 is a hugely popular single-handed youth class which is a stepping stone to the Olympic classes Laser Standard and Radial. The relatively newer Australian skiff 29er that ‘sails faster than the wind that propels it’ is one of the most exciting boats ever designed and it has captured the fascination of the youth worldwide like few other boats have. The interest in this boat has grown exponentially in a very short period and this class has now gained a prominent place in the European circuit and the Asian Championships. It is the intermediate class for sailors who aspire for the Olympic classes 49er, 49FX and 470. It is worth noting that it was TNSA that introduced both the youth classes Laser 4.7 and 29er to India, the former in the Laser Coastal Nationals held here in 2006 and the 29er in the inaugural India International Regatta in 2009.

International Race officials and Jury have been appointed to ensure that the conduct of the event is scrupulously fair and efficient. International Race Officer Ilker Bayindir from Turkey is the Principal Race Officer for the event while International Judge Jagdish Singh from India will chair the jury which will comprise of distinguished International Judges from Singapore and Malaysia and Indian National Judges.

With unusually active SW Monsoon in Chennai this year and the approaching NE Monsoon, the Bay of Bengal is expected to provide the sailors with challenging conditions equal to any international sailing centre. The competition promises to be intense and exciting as all the participating countries have fielded their top sailors who have produced excellent performances in key international events.

In the five years that TNSA and CSA have run this international regatta, their constant endeavour has been to elevate Indian sailing to a new level and bring the best of world talent to India. Besides providing the Indian sailors an opportunity to sail with the best in the world, this event has promoted excellence in the sport of sailing and has also firmly established Chennai as an important sailing destination in the world. It is the organizers’ earnest hope that the Tamil Nadu Government will soon create the proposed marina facility which will further boost sailing activities as well as other water sports in the state besides attracting leisure yachts as well to our shores.

Pleased with the growing international participation, Ashok Thakkar, the Commodore of TNSA says, “It is wonderful to see sailors from nations far and near coming to Chennai to participate in the RIIR. Sailing engenders kinship across communities and helps establish cross cultural exchanges between nations. There is tremendous potential for taking this sport to a greater level in India and in the not too far future we hope to see India as one among the greatest sailing nations. With the kind of support we have received from our sponsors for this event, it is certainly possible.”

Title sponsors Raymond who have extended their support till 2021 are certainly convinced about the sporting and social value of this event. Mrinmoy Mukherjee, Director – Marketing, Raymond Ltd said, “The Raymond India International Regatta is very special for us indeed, the event is becoming a special feature on international sailing calendar. For Raymond this is the third consecutive year of association and our long term association with this event is a testimony to our dedication towards building and growing the emerging sport of sailing in the country and we will continue this endeavor in the coming years. On behalf of our Chairman Managing Director Gautam Hari Singhania, we welcome all national and international participants and wish them good luck for the event.”

Titan has come in as a co-sponsor for the event this year. Bhaskar Bhatt, Managing Director, Titan Company Limited said, “Titan Company in general and brand Fastrack in particular have continually encouraged and inspired young Indians to achieve global standards in all walks of life including sports.  It is in that spirit that Fastrack has associated with this international event.”

LT Construction – the construction arm of Larsen Toubro, which has designed and built many iconic sports infrastructure in the country and abroad, extends its support for the Regatta. S.N. Subrahmanyan, Member of the Board Sr. Executive Vice President (Infrastructure Construction), LT expressed his happiness in the  Company’s association towards this event  and said, “this is an ideal platform for the children in the age group of 8 – 18 years to learn and evolve into  Asian and World Champions. Just like the records set by the Indian Company (LT) in building a world class stadium at Chennai in 260 days, Wankhede (Mumbai) and Kensington Oval (Barbados) stadiums for two Cricket World Cup Finals, I wish that the children from India set new records in international racing competition and bring laurels to the country.”

Adding luster to the RIIR 2013 and inspiring the young sailors to excel will be the presence of Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy, a naval aviator who created history for India earlier this year by completing a circumnavigation of the earth on a sailboat, solo, nonstop and unassisted. He is the first Indian to have achieved this feat and one among just 80 in the world. He readily accepted our invitation to be the Star Ambassador for the event, saying, It is an absolute honour to be part of the India International Regatta and as a sailor, it is a pleasure for me to be among these young sailors who no doubt will one day make the world respect India as a sailing nation.

The Raymond India International Regatta is supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs Sports, Govt of India, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Chennai Port Trust and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, amongst others.


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Sailing-Thrilling America's Cup a boon for the sport

By Justin Palmer

LONDON (Reuters) – The thrilling climax to the America’s Cup in San Francisco has put the event and sailing “in a strong place commercially”, according to Oracle Team USA tactician Ben Ainslie.

An unlikely comeback by Oracle was capped in the winner-takes-all 19th race on Wednesday when they triumphed after trailing Emirates Team New Zealand 8-1, a stirring comeback that gripped the sporting world for days.

Having had “a little bit of sleep after a good party”, Britain’s four-times Olympic champion Ainslie said Oracle’s battle with the New Zealand team – on giant high-speed catamarans barely skimming the surface in the natural amphitheatre of San Francisco Bay – had riveted a global audience.

“It’s been great for the sport, great for the America’s Cup and great for the future of sailing,” he told Reuters on Thursday before boarding a flight to meet up with friends in New York.

“The number of messages I’ve had from all round the world and especially from home. People have been blown away by the footage of these boats. People who would not have watched sailing before have now taken to it.”

The San Francisco event, with faster yachts that produced the drama that eventually unfolded after what had appeared to be a one-sided series, Ainslie said, had shown it was tailor-made for television.

“It’s becoming more and more commercially viable, we’ve now got the TV networks interested in sailing, wanting to show the America’s Cup.

“It’s a very strong place for us to be commercially now – going forward selling to partners and bringing the costs down to have more teams involved in the future. I know that is one of (Oracle Team USA owner) Larry Ellison’s goals.”

FINANCIAL COST

The huge financial cost of mounting an America’s Cup campaign was evident with just three challengers to Oracle, including the New Zealanders who were supported with about $30 million in government funds.

Ainslie, 36, could find himself competing against Oracle at the next America’s Cup if plans to develop his own racing team Ben Ainslie Racing take off.

Formed last year with the backing of JP Morgan, the Briton is on the lookout for more commercial partners.

“We’d love to have a British team in the future, something I’ve been working on for a while now. We’ve got the talented sailors and designers across the board. Hopefully we can put it together one day.

“JP Morgan have been a great support to the team and me personally and hopefully we can bring in some partners.”

For now, Ainslie is happy to bask in Oracle’s success having joined the fray when the American boat was reeling in the face of a faster rival.

Originally brought in by software mogul Ellison to helm Oracle’s second yacht during training matches, Ainslie replaced American John Kostecki as team tactician.

“I had some weird feeling I may end up in the boat one way or another,” he said.

“No one knew how the relationship would work with (Oracle’s Australian skipper) Jimmy Spithill, and (strategist) Tom Slingsby at the back of the boat.

“We just gelled instantly and it worked incredibly well considering the time we had to prepare – which was zero.”

FRESH FACE

Ainslie said he was propelled into a “tough situation” with morale down.

“We were in a tough situation, we had lost a lot of races. I think that’s why I was brought in.

“I don’t think John Kostecki was doing much wrong. They just needed a fresh face to come in with a different perspective and try and lift everyone’s spirits – to win a few races and get people believing we could still do it.”

What transpired was one of the great comebacks in sport with Oracle, who had been docked two points before the start of the event because of a cheating scandal, chipping away relentlessly at New Zealand’s lead, knowing they had no more margin of error.

“Every day we had to go out there, we were 8-1 down, every day we were absolutely backs to the wall,” he said.

“It’s amazing what focus that kind of pressure brings. Everyday we went out there knowing we had to nail it and we did.”

Ainslie put Oracle’s improvement and ultimate victory down to “better development of the boat” during the event.

“The Kiwis did an amazing job and had an amazing campaign but they maybe stood still a bit through the event whereas we kept pushing to get faster and faster.

“We ultimately became the faster boat and more and more dominant as we went through the series.”

Their eventual dominance was emphasized when Oracle, despite trailing early on, came home 44 seconds ahead in the clinching race to land international sport’s oldest trophy.

“It’s been such a long event, over three weeks of racing,” Ainslie reflected.

“Working to try and get the boat faster and faster. It was an incredible team effort – not just the sailing team. The design team, the shore team all did a great job to get the boat around the track as quickly as possible.”

(Editing by Alison Wildey)


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'Sailing changed forever' after Cup classic: Ellison

San Francisco (AFP) – Billionaire yachtsman Larry Ellison said the thrilling America’s Cup series had changed the face of the sport after his Oracle Team USA completed a miraculous comeback.

The 34th edition of the prestigious yacht race had threatened to descend into chaos earlier this year following the decision to switch to the super-fast AC72 catamarans.

The tragic death of British Olympic gold medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson during a training run in May heightened concerns over the safety of the boats used for the America’s Cup.

Ellison said however that the move to AC72s had been vindicated by the dramatic finale to the race.

“There was a lot of criticism about these boats,” Ellison said on Wednesday.

“I felt I should keep my mouth shut and let the boats and the sailors demonstrate whether the vision was right or wrong.

“This regatta has changed sailing forever,” Ellison said. “It was the most beautiful regatta I have ever seen.”

Many now wonder if the sport will ever return to using slower yachts.

“This is absolutely off-the-graph,” said Richard Spindler of West Coast sailing magazine Latitude38. “This is the most exciting yacht racing ever seen, inside the Cup or out.”

“I think the AC72s have found a sweet spot with the people,” said regatta director Iain Murray. “They were challenging, exciting, and provided a great platform for these races.”

As winner, Ellison will get to dictate the location and types of boats used in the next America’s Cup.

“I’d love to come back to San Francisco; I have a house here,” Ellison said. “But we are going to sit down and talk to the officials in San Francisco and see if it will be possible to come back.”

He joked that the next Cup would be around the Hawaiian Island of Lanai, which he recently bought.

Ellison, ranked third richest person in the United States due to his business software company Oracle, is believed to have poured more than $100 million into the team.

“It costs about the same to win as to lose, and it is certainly better to win the Cup,” Ellison said while skirting precisely how much he spent to keep the trophy.

“I don’t think anyone thinks about the money.”

He even paid US television giant NBC to broadcast coverage of Cup races.

Ellison packed his team with Olympic gold medal winners and sailing icons such as Russell Coutts and Ben Ainslie.

The technology industry titan, whose personal fortune is estimated at some $40 billion (30.6 billion euros, 26.3 billion pounds) first won the Cup three years ago in Spain.

He brought the regatta to San Francisco, on a tight course bounded by iconic landmarks including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The financial benefit of the Cup to the city had yet to be tabulated, but climbed as the regatta stretched to an unprecedented 19 days.

More than one million people visited the America’s Cup Park set up on a pier at the race course finish, according to California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who backed Ellison’s bid for San Francisco host the regatta.

“Team USA’s imagination and innovation democratized a once unreachable sport for the fans by holding the races in San Francisco Bay, developing exciting new technologies and creating a television experience second to none,” Newsom said.


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350-plus boats afloat at Atlantic City marina show

ATLANTIC CITY — Dozens of new sport fishing boats and yachts bobbed gently Wednesday at the docks at Farley State Marina, as workers washed and detailed their glistening white exteriors for the Atlantic City In-Water Power Boat Show.


Perhaps no finishing touch is too small for boats whose price tags are more than most cars.

Some — like the Azimut 64 — has a cabin as large as a living room and a list price of nearly $2.7 million. A sign on the yacht asks browsers to take off their shoes.

The boat show takes place from today through Sunday at the Farley State Marina, where organizers say more than 350 boats will be in the water and on land.

That is 100 boats more than last year, and a sign the economy is improving, said Jerry Flaxman, co-producer of the show.

“The economy is getting better and people feel more secure about themselves … and they’re getting back to do what they enjoy,” he said.

The prices of boats will range from around $20,000 for pontoon boats to high-end yachts in the millions of dollars, he said.

The boating industry took some seriously hard knocks from the economic downturn as sales plummeted from 2007 to 2010 and remained nearly flat in 2011. The industry saw positive signs in 2012

Traditional powerboat sales reached 157,300 boats in 2012, a 10 percent increase from the year before when they reached 312,700, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Overall unit sales for powerboats are still about half those from 2005, the association says.

The average retail price of a new traditional powerboat last year was $37,140.

“The market we want to see come back is the over 35-feet (boat),” Flaxman said.

Lou Piergross, sales manager for South Jersey Yacht Sales, said the economy somewhat shifted more customers away from bigger boats, which are more expensive and costlier to operate.

Even with a somewhat shaky economy now and high fuel prices, boaters are anxious to get in the water, he said.

 “I see it to the point where people are tired of waiting,” he said. “Even though the stock market is up, business is difficult, fuel prices are up. I think people are tired of waiting,” he said.

“It’s very important to invite your customers and let people see your boats and get a chance to see what you have to offer,” he said of boat shows.

He said spring is still the prime buying season, when about 75 percent of sales take place, but fall offers times to see the new models and make orders for the spring.

“We do get a lot of boats ordered for spring delivery,” he said. “We sell a decent amount at the fall in the shows.”

The upcoming boat show is one of a few big shows that take place in Atlantic City throughout the year.

Each February, the Atlantic City Boat Show takes place at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

At the Atlantic City In-Water Power Boat Show, Flaxman expects 15,000 to 18,000 attendants this year and said about 2,000 tickets were already sold online in advance.

Contact Brian Ianieri:

609-272-7253

BIanieri@pressofac.com


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Ellison says Cup boats, venue could change

Oracle Team USA boss Larry Ellison says the 34th America’s Cup “has changed sailing forever” but he can’t guarantee whether the same boats, venue or format will return for the 35th edition.

A two-month regatta ended on a captivating note when Oracle retained the Auld Mug by beating Team NZ 9-8 in the final after trailing 1-8.

Footage of two evenly-matched, giant catamarans jousting at speeds greater than 40 knots was a quantum leap for sailing and captured a global audience.

However, that must be weighed up against the enormous cost of the boats which reduced the size of the challenger field to just three for what is the sport’s biggest prize.

Several lopsided races in the challenger series and long delays caused by wind and television requirements spoiled the event.

The biggest blow was the pre-regatta training capsize of Swedish challenger Artemis, resulting in the death of British sailor Andrew Simpson.

Ellison says Simpson’s death was his worst moment after deciding to introduce the class but he was confident the regatta could still be a success.

“I was very upset, as was everyone on our team and in the sailing community. These boats were meant to be extreme but they certainly weren’t meant to be life-threatening,” he said.

“It was up to the guys to show what these boats are like on the water and let the people judge what we have done and whether the vision was right or wrong.”

US technology billionaire Ellison says huge television viewing figures for the first race of the final helped him justify his decision, as did the subsequent storyline of the final.

“This regatta has changed sailing forever,” he said.

“We tried to make sailing a bit more extreme and friendlier for a viewing audience.

“I think a lot of people who weren’t interested in sailing, suddenly got interested in sailing.”

Ellison says criticism from Team NZ boss Grant Dalton and others that the cost of the boats is too high is valid.

That will be reviewed, along with the venue for the next America’s Cup.

“It’s no secret that these boats are expensive and we’d like to have more countries competing next time so we’d like to figure out how to accomplish both.

“And San Francisco is a great backdrop for a sailboat race but it’s something we’ll need to talk about as a group before deciding if we come back here again.”

NZN


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Strong’s Marine Seeks Sales Manager – Boats/F&I

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Strong’s Marine Seeks Sales Manager – Boats/FI

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Strong’s Marine Seeks Sales Manager – Boats/FI


Posted on 25 September 2013


MARINE SALES MANAGER – BOATS/FI

Strong’s Marine is seeking a proven professional to lead our dynamic sales team.   Responsibilities include growing boat sales, maximizing company profitability and delivering exceptional customer service before, during and after every sale.   Sales Manager will develop and implement processes for the sales team to ensure an effective sales approach and a high level of client care in every interaction.

The ideal candidate will have 5+ years managerial experience in a high-volume, full-service environment, with background in sales, training and/or finance.   Individual should be energetic, goal-oriented, and should thrive on building customer relationships.   Outstanding organizational, communication and leadership skills are required, along with an unquestionable level of integrity and a commitment to customer service.  Degree preferred.  A passion for boating is a must! 

Sales Manager will oversee 4 sales locations across Long Island and report to our Sales Director.  Strong’s offers a positive work environment and a great team atmosphere.  Ongoing training is provided to encourage employee growth.  Our competitive compensation package includes health insurance, matching 401K and profit sharing.  Salary commensurate with experience; substantial bonus opportunities available. 

Strong’s Marine has provided personal service to our boat sales and service clients on Long Island and the New York region since 1945.   We have been ranked #1 in the Northeast among Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers for “unsurpassed customer service and professionalism”; we were also named the first Marine 5-Star Certified Dealer on Long Island for our “commitment to maintaining higher standards in client service.”   We represent Cobalt, Pursuit, Regal and Absolute Yachts as well as offering a large selection of Pre-Enjoyed inventory.  For more on Strong’s, see www.strongsmarine.com.

For consideration, please email resume and cover letter to Jeff Strong:
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Submitted materials will be treated in strict confidence.

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