Archive for » October, 2013 «

(Sailing) Dongfang enters boat for Volvo Ocean race


(10-30 18:07)

A team from China, backed by leading carmakers Dongfeng, is to compete in the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014/2015, organizers announced.
Race organizers said the team will represent China and will have a “significant number of Chinese in the final race crew as well as its support team.’’
The campaign will be run by leading sailing management company OC Sport, which has been responsible for numerous race campaigns over the past 15 years.
It will, however, be the first time that OC Sport and its chief officer Mark Turner, have been involved in running a Volvo Ocean Race campaign, AFP reports.
Team Director Bruno Dubois highlighted the initial focus of the campaign.
“Our priority is the recruitment and training of the Chinese sailors. This is very clearly the biggest challenge we have – to condense many years of experience of the average Volvo Ocean Race crew into just 10 months.
“But equally this process is at the heart of the project; we want to leave a real legacy that will both motivate the Chinese to want to embrace the sport of sailing, and be able to develop the talent so that, ultimately, a future campaign could be 100% Chinese.”
Team Dongfeng follow Team Sanya (2011-12) and Green Dragon (2008-09) as the third Chinese entry in the race’s 40-year history, the latter a joint-entry with Ireland.
Two Chinese sailors have previously participated in the Volvo Ocean Race – media crew member Guo Chuan in 2008-09 on Green Dragon and “Tiger” Teng Jianghe in 2011-12 on Team Sanya.
Team Dongfeng is the third entry so far to announce its participation in the 12th edition of the race in 2014-15 after the all-female Team SCA and Team Abu Dhabi.
Setting off from the Spanish Mediterranean port of Alicante in October 2014, the Volvo Ocean Race will oppose identical single-hulled 20-meter long boats in a multi-stage, team race around the globe lasting up to nine months.

   


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Michigan trade-in deal will cut taxes for car, boat buyers: ‘We’re giving …

Ford Fusions sit on a car lot. 

LANSING, MI — Michigan vehicle buyers could see some tax relief under a long-discussed deal working its way toward Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

The Senate and House on Tuesday approved legislation to reduce the amount of sales tax that customers pay on a car, boat or recreational vehicle if they trade in another as part of the purchase. One additional Senate vote is required for final passage.

“I’m excited because we’re giving something back to the average consumer,” said Sen. Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe. “…We’re telling people that, financially, we’re in good shape. We’re going to share that wealth, so to speak, with the people that put the tax money here in Lansing to begin with.”

Michigan is one of just six states that charges sales tax on the full price of a vehicle even if the buyer trades in their current model, according to House Republicans. Senate Bill 89 and House Bill 4234 will gradually change the law to apply the state’s 6 percent sales tax only to the difference between a new purchase and trade-in.

Supporters say the bills will align Michigan with several of its neighboring states, helping local manufacturers and dealers by reducing financial incentives for potential customers to cross state lines.

“It’s a common-sense tax reform that I think will strengthen Michigan’s economy and hopefully put more people back to work,” said state Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, who co-sponsored the House measure. “We’ve seen a resurgence in the boating industry. We’ve seen a resurgence in the auto industry. Let’s continue that momentum.”

Boat buyers would see full savings immediately, but tax reductions for auto and RV trade-ins would be phased over the next two decades. Beginning in December, a car buyer could exempt a maximum trade-in value of $2,000 from the sales tax. The maximum exemption would increase by $500 a year until it reaches $14,000.

Under the proposal, a customer who buys a $20,000 car and trades in a used model valued at $5,000 would save $120 in sales tax that currently would be owed. By 2020, that same customer would save $300 on the transaction.

Gradual implementation is meant to limit the immediate impact on the state budget. The majority of sales tax revenue is automatically directed to the School Aid Fund, which is used to support K-12 education.

The deal would utilize $20 million set aside for tax relief in the current-year budget, but annual revenue losses could eventually top $200 million, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. Supporters say the deal will boost vehicle sales and other economic activity that could help offset projected revenue losses.

“This year, there’s no impact whatsoever on the School Aid Fund, but in the future, we’ll have to take that into consideration when we budget,” said Richardville. “It’s nice, too, because we’re not just stopping here. Every year, we’re going to try to give something back. I think it’s responsible, and it’s a start toward thanking the taxpayers for their investment in the state.”

The House and Senate had approved similar measures last year, but Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who successfully pushed to eliminate a series of tax exemptions and credits back in 2011, had expressed concerns about the budget implications.

Lawmakers expect the governor to sign on this year, in part, because of the savings they already set aside. The Senate bill, as amended Tuesday, also includes a provision that would halt the phase-in in the case that lawmakers repeal the “Healthy Michigan” Medicaid plan, one of Snyder’s signature legislative accomplishments.

Jonathan Oosting is a Capitol reporter for MLive Media Group. Email him, find him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter.


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Onne van der Wal’s Newest Coffee Table Book, "SAILING," Featuring His Award-winning Nautical Photography is Available …

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Nautical Photography Book SAILING by Onne van der Wal

Newport, RI (PRWEB) October 30, 2013

Onne van der Wal will be signing copies of his long awaited coffee table book, “SAILING,” during a reception at the Clarke Cooke House on Thursday, November 21st, from 5:30 – 7:30pm.

Published by the art book experts at Rizzoli in New York, “SAILING” is stunningly presented at 11”x14” with beautiful glossy pages that compliment van der Wal’s award-winning nautical imagery. Signed copies will be available on November 1st at Onne’s Newport Gallery at One Bannister’s Wharf or in the gallery’s Online Store.

From the eye of a first-class sailor and lens of a first-class photographer, SAILING is a voyage around the world, capturing the joy, excitement, and serenity of the sea. As a professional sailor, van der Wal has skippered boats of many kinds, raced yachts in every climate, and crossed the Atlantic over ten times. He grew up on the “Tavern of the Seas” in Cape Town, South Africa—a vital stop in the ocean racing world known for its dramatic currents and powerful breeze—and comes from a family of sailors who helped him gain his sea legs as a boy. When his father gave him a camera to document races and expeditions, he discovered his second passion: photography.

No other photographer has the experience to shoot so well on board a speeding yacht or the confidence to scale a mast for the right panoramic view, and no other sailor has captured the extremes of the emotions, competition, and peace the sport affords. With nearly 200 color photographs and 5 gatefolds of wide-range images, this book is a love letter to the nautical lifestyle, and the closest you’ll get on land to the feeling of being on the deck of a world-class yacht with the wind in your hair.

Over a lifetime devoted to sailing, Onne van der Wal has created an archive of the pursuit in all its varied forms, from classic yacht racing around Newport, R.I. to beautiful schooners cruising around St. Tropez, and from peaceful catamaran expeditions through the silent Antarctic to intense competition around the coast of New Zealand. SAILING is for everyone who longs to see the world from a sea-going vantage point and van der Wal has seen it all; in sweltering heat and falling snow, at the top of the mast and at the end of the spinnaker pole.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/CONTRIBUTORS: Onne van der Wal is an award-winning nautical photographer whose photographs have graced the cover of every major sailing magazine in the United States and abroad. A seasoned yacht racer, he won the Whitbread Round the World Race and still tours with teams both as sailor and photographer. Herb McCormick is a veteran ocean racer, the former editor of Cruising World, and a seasoned sailing correspondent for publications such as the New York Times.

Credit line for the book must read: © Sailing by Onne van der Wal, Rizzoli New York, 2013. Images are © Onne van der Wal and images may be attained from Onne van der Wal Photography to use in conjunction with press about this book. For complementary images: please contact Kristin Browne @ 401 846 9552 or Kristin(at)vanderwal(dot)com.

SAILING

By Onne van der Wal

Introduction by Herb McCormick

Rizzoli New York

ISBN: 978-0-8478-3884-4

Hardcover / 288 pages / 200 color photographs / 11’’ x 14’’

PUBLICATION DATE: November 2013

PRICE: $100.00 US and CAN

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Lutz couple paid for a boat that did not exist, company withheld refund check …

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – A Lutz couple gave a Pinellas County Boat dealer a deposit on a new pontoon, a boat that our taking action reporter Jackie Callaway found never existed.

The consumers in this case, Charles and Melinda Clark, say months after they put down a substantial deposit, they discovered there was no boat.

Chuck Clark loves his new boat but this pontoon is not the vessel he ordered. Their contract shows the Clarks put a $13,000 deposit down on a custom boat back in May.

The Clark’s claim Gulf Coast Boat Sales never delivered the boat and never explained why.

But the manufacturer, Fiesta Boats, confirms they told Gulf Coast Boat Sales the boat design was unsafe and they refused to build it as noted on the Clark’s paper work.

In July, Chuck wrote a formal letter demanding his money back, and by August, he hired an attorney.  But still, they received no refund.

After reading over the Clark’s contract, I contacted the owner of Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor and asked about the $13,000 deposit.

The next day, the store returned the full amount to the Clark’s attorney. In an email, the general manager explained, “The manufacturer we placed the Clark’s order with was ultimately not able to fill the order we placed…upon the owners return from vacation, the Clark’s deposit was promptly refunded in full.”

Other options for Chuck Clark include filing a complaint with the office of Pinellas County Consumer Protection (727) 464-6200  and/or the Better Business Bureau.

 

 

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Any ferry findings appreciated



News For You  




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Our ferries are sailing into a foggy future, and that’s not good enough for communities that rely on those boats.

MLAs, we’re told, are out and about this autumn talking to British Columbians, but one Island MLA has decided to buck the trend and go talk to Americans. Claire Trevena, the NDP’s transportation critic, is out at sea this week in and around Washington State on an information-gathering tour of that ferry systerm.

She may be well-intentioned, but she’s sure to have packed along some partisanship, too, and will remind anyone who’s willing to listen about B.C. Ferries’ executive bonuses. (The fat cats are an easy target, but considering the corporation’s finances, criticisms are justified.)

So what will Trevena see aboard the MV Issaquah as it navigates Puget Sound? Fact finding on the Washington ferries isn’t a new idea. It was less than two years ago that the B.C. Ferry Commission released its Review of the Coastal Ferry Act. That report looked at ferry models around the world and included analysis of Washington State Ferries. It concluded what Trevena and the NDP already know – ferry fares there are cheaper, executive pay is lower and bonuses are nonexistent.

There’s a tradeoff – B.C. is further ahead in vessel procurement and upkeep; we have renovated terminals and better amenities on our ships.

Absolutely, ferry rides here are becoming unaffordable. But it may be that both systems are unsustainable in their present forms. In both jurisdictions, ferry rates are rising, ridership is down, and the reports basically just recommend increasing government subsidies.

Can we find answers in America? It should be noted that Washington State Ferries, when it conducted its most recent report, did its fact finding in B.C.

The portholes there might be just as foggy as the ones here, but it’s incumbent upon us to keep peering out in search of answers, anyway. Island communities depend on it.


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A Rising Tide Will Lift These Boating Companies

Powerboat sales rose 18% in September, marking the third consecutive month of double-digit gains. This is great news for the boating industry and boating stocks. On the back of these tailwinds, it’s time to dig a little deeper and see what the investment landscape looks like.

More than just a boat manufacturer
Brunswick  (NYSE: BC  )  has operations in marine engines, boating, fitness equipment, bowling and billiards. Its brands include Mercury, Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Life Fitness and Brunswick. Brunswick was founded in 1845 and has been traded on the New York Stock Exchange for more than 85 years.

In the second quarter, revenues increased 4%. Revenue growth was led by outboard marine products, marine parts and accessories, fitness equipment and U.S. retail bowling. Revenue declines were seen in fiberglass sterndrive/inboard boats and in bowling products. Gross margin increased by 60 basis points, while earnings per share increased by 18% to $1.23.

In the next quarter, Brunswick will be increasing its capital spending by $25 million versus the prior year to $61 million. This will include $20 million to expand Mercury’s manufacturing capacity in Wisconsin. The company is also investing in RD for Mercury with a new 17,000 square foot facility that will house two new 18,000 gallon testing tanks for Mercury products.

Brunswick is also transitioning its pontoon manufacturing to a new facility in Indiana that is twice the size of the old one. This new facility is expected to be up and running in August. In terms of bowling, the company is opening two new locations to test its new retail bowling concept in Atlanta. Lastly, Life Fitness has a new cloud-based website and app that users can connect to while using Life Fitness machines.

In looking at its shares, Brunswick trades at a forward P/E of 16. Its enterprise value/EBITDA is 10. The company has $472 million in debt, but that is offset by $330 million in cash. The company pays a very small dividend of $0.05 per share. The company has done a great job paying down debt. In addition, the dividend payout ratio is only 8%. I see it increasing its payout ratio in the near future. Brunswick will also likely look at divesting some of its brands just like it did with the recent sale of its Hatteras and CABO brands.

The ultimate boat dealer
Marinemax  (NYSE: HZO  )  sells new and used recreational boats. It is the world’s largest boat dealer with 54 locations. Its top sellers include boats from manufacturers Sea Ray, Azimut, Boston Whaler, Bayliner, Hatteras, Meridian and Nautique.

In the third quarter, revenues grew 16% to $175.8 million, which compares to last year’s sales of $151.3 million in the third quarter. Net income came in at $0.56 per share compared to $0.20 per share last year. Same-store sales increased 16%. This increase comes after an impressive 12% increase in same-store sales in the second quarter.

Going forward, Marinemax will benefit from the increase in boat sales. In terms of margins, new boat sales have the lowest margins for the company. It sees higher margins in the ancilliary businesses of finance, insurance, parts, service and storage. As more customers came to Marinemax for their purchases, those same customers will go back to Marinemax for the additional services.

Another driver of growth for Marinemax will be in its New York and New Jersey markets. That area is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Consumers are focused on repairing their homes and not on purchasing their next boat. According to CEO Bruce McGill on the company’s earnings call:

Based upon feedback from our customers, we believe there will be significant pent up demand in the state of New Jersey starting in 2014.

In looking at its shares, Marinemax trades at forward P/E of 29 and has a PEG ratio of 1.46. Book value per share is $9.21.

The store for your boating supplies and accessories
West Marine  (NASDAQ: WMAR  )  is the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories. The company has 294 company-operated stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and five franchised stores in Turkey.

In the second quarter, revenues decreased 2.8% compared to last year. Comparable store sales decreased by 2.7%. Net income came in at $0.91 per share compared to $0.95 per share last year. Among the bright spots were a 12% increase in e-commerce sales and a 4.3% increase in merchandise sales. While customers were buying boats at Marinemax from Brunswick, the adverse weather kept their boats on dry dock, so they didn’t need boating supplies from West Marine.

Even though West Marine posted a weak first half, there are items going forward that I like. The company remains debt-free and increased its cash position by $8.7 million to $45.8 million. The company decreased its inventories by 2.3%. West Marine is also opening two new flagship stores in the boating communities of Newport Beach, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia. West Marine also just opened a new flagship store in Portland, Oregon. In the first weekend alone, sales were triple that of last year’s same weekend.

In looking at its shares, West Marine trades with a forward P/E of 16. It actually trades just slightly above its book value per share of $12.21. Its enterprise value/EBITDA is only 7.

Foolish assessment
I think the overall industry tailwinds are enough to keep these boating stocks afloat. Each company has strong market share in its respective category and these companies are the go-to destinations for boating enthusiasts. Of the three, I like West Marine for its low enterprise value/EBITDA and because the shares trade near book value.


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Outdoors notebook: Sailors pack Jensen for fleet racing regatta

The U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County hosted 29 varsity and junior varsity high school sailing teams from across the state Saturday in a South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association sanctioned Fleet Racing Regatta.

The races took place in the Indian River Lagoon out of Indian RiverSide Park in Jensen Beach.

The event is the second of the 2013-2014 SAISA South Points regattas which are qualifiers for the Fleet Racing Championship. Fleet racing is sailed double-handed meaning there are two sailors per boat.

Two boats per school sailed in A and B divisions.

RESULTS

Area sailing teams

12. Jensen Beach High School

15. South Fork High School

18. Martin County High School

23. Clark Advanced Learning Center

24. The Pine School

26. Fort Pierce Westwood Marine and Oceanographic Academy

Top finishers were

1. Pine View High School, Osprey

2. Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas

3. Miami Ransom Everglades

4. St. Petersburg Shorecrest

5. Sarasota High School

CASTERS JUNIORS

The Junior Division of the Treasure Coast Casters fishing club fished Sunday at Harbour Pointe Park in Fort Pierce.

Kids between the ages of 5 and 11 fished from shore for free, competing for trophies. Dean Buxton caught and released two redfish including the largest fish of the day to win the event.

The next scheduled Treasure Coast Casters Junior Division tournament is Dec. 29. For more information find Treasure Coast Casters on Facebook or visit www.treasurecoastcasters.org.

RESULTS

1. Dean Buxton, Fairlawn Elementary, Fort Pierce

2. Michael Rochedieu, St. Anastasia, Fort Pierce

3. Brayden Adams, F.K. Sweet Elementary, Fort Pierce

O.K. CORRAL HOSTS EXPERT SHOOTER

Tim Bradley, Benelli exhibition shooter, will have two shows at the O.K. Corral Gun Club in Okeechobee on Nov. 9. Bradley’s shows will take place at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. with Bradley performing a variety of difficult shots. The shows are free and reservations are not required.

Visitors will be able to test Benelli and Beretta shotguns on O.K. Coral’s sporting clay ranges and check out the Club’s new 8,000-square-foot Events Center and Pro Shop. There will be snacks and refreshments.

O.K. Corral Gun Club is at 9449 48th Street N.E. in Okeechobee.

For more information call 863-357-2226, like them on Facebook or visit www.okcorralgunclub.com.


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A Rising Tide Will Lift These Boating Companies

Powerboat sales rose 18% in September, marking the third consecutive month of double-digit gains. This is great news for the boating industry and boating stocks. On the back of these tailwinds, it’s time to dig a little deeper and see what the investment landscape looks like.

More than just a boat manufacturer
Brunswick  has operations in marine engines, boating, fitness equipment, bowling and billiards. Its brands include Mercury, Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Life Fitness and Brunswick. Brunswick was founded in 1845 and has been traded on the New York Stock Exchange for more than 85 years.

In the second quarter, revenues increased 4%. Revenue growth was led by outboard marine products, marine parts and accessories, fitness equipment and U.S. retail bowling. Revenue declines were seen in fiberglass sterndrive/inboard boats and in bowling products. Gross margin increased by 60 basis points, while earnings per share increased by 18% to $1.23.

In the next quarter, Brunswick will be increasing its capital spending by $25 million versus the prior year to $61 million. This will include $20 million to expand Mercury’s manufacturing capacity in Wisconsin. The company is also investing in RD for Mercury with a new 17,000 square foot facility that will house two new 18,000 gallon testing tanks for Mercury products.

Brunswick is also transitioning its pontoon manufacturing to a new facility in Indiana that is twice the size of the old one. This new facility is expected to be up and running in August. In terms of bowling, the company is opening two new locations to test its new retail bowling concept in Atlanta. Lastly, Life Fitness has a new cloud-based website and app that users can connect to while using Life Fitness machines.

In looking at its shares, Brunswick trades at a forward P/E of 16. Its enterprise value/EBITDA is 10. The company has $472 million in debt, but that is offset by $330 million in cash. The company pays a very small dividend of $0.05 per share. The company has done a great job paying down debt. In addition, the dividend payout ratio is only 8%. I see it increasing its payout ratio in the near future. Brunswick will also likely look at divesting some of its brands just like it did with the recent sale of its Hatteras and CABO brands.

The ultimate boat dealer
Marinemax  sells new and used recreational boats. It is the world’s largest boat dealer with 54 locations. Its top sellers include boats from manufacturers Sea Ray, Azimut, Boston Whaler, Bayliner, Hatteras, Meridian and Nautique.

In the third quarter, revenues grew 16% to $175.8 million, which compares to last year’s sales of $151.3 million in the third quarter. Net income came in at $0.56 per share compared to $0.20 per share last year. Same-store sales increased 16%. This increase comes after an impressive 12% increase in same-store sales in the second quarter.

Going forward, Marinemax will benefit from the increase in boat sales. In terms of margins, new boat sales have the lowest margins for the company. It sees higher margins in the ancilliary businesses of finance, insurance, parts, service and storage. As more customers came to Marinemax for their purchases, those same customers will go back to Marinemax for the additional services.

Another driver of growth for Marinemax will be in its New York and New Jersey markets. That area is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Consumers are focused on repairing their homes and not on purchasing their next boat. According to CEO Bruce McGill on the company’s earnings call:

Based upon feedback from our customers, we believe there will be significant pent up demand in the state of New Jersey starting in 2014.

In looking at its shares, Marinemax trades at forward P/E of 29 and has a PEG ratio of 1.46. Book value per share is $9.21.

The store for your boating supplies and accessories
West Marine  is the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories. The company has 294 company-operated stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and five franchised stores in Turkey.

In the second quarter, revenues decreased 2.8% compared to last year. Comparable store sales decreased by 2.7%. Net income came in at $0.91 per share compared to $0.95 per share last year. Among the bright spots were a 12% increase in e-commerce sales and a 4.3% increase in merchandise sales. While customers were buying boats at Marinemax from Brunswick, the adverse weather kept their boats on dry dock, so they didn’t need boating supplies from West Marine.

Even though West Marine posted a weak first half, there are items going forward that I like. The company remains debt-free and increased its cash position by $8.7 million to $45.8 million. The company decreased its inventories by 2.3%. West Marine is also opening two new flagship stores in the boating communities of Newport Beach, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia. West Marine also just opened a new flagship store in Portland, Oregon. In the first weekend alone, sales were triple that of last year’s same weekend.

In looking at its shares, West Marine trades with a forward P/E of 16. It actually trades just slightly above its book value per share of $12.21. Its enterprise value/EBITDA is only 7.

Foolish assessment
I think the overall industry tailwinds are enough to keep these boating stocks afloat. Each company has strong market share in its respective category and these companies are the go-to destinations for boating enthusiasts. Of the three, I like West Marine for its low enterprise value/EBITDA and because the shares trade near book value.


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Upwind blast was 'great adventure' say sailors

The PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic has concluded for 2013. With it came new energy and commitment from an enthusiastic major sponsor and a family of supporters, a growing fleet, and the fun, games and challenge that traditionally marks Labour Weekend and launches the season of summer sailing in New Zealand.

There are one of two things that can happen when entrants in the PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic hear that a Northerly is forecast. One is that they decide to drive to Russell to take part in the race festivities. But most take the challenge on the chin and march on, knowing it might not be comfortable, but steadfast in their determination to get their boat over the line, and to have a great adventure in the process.

For the 151 starters, a march is exactly what it was, for the first ten hours or so at least. Parts were hard, parts were easy, but there was only one option: to keep going.

The gun fired at 1000hrs on Friday 25 October 2013 off Devonport Wharf in Auckland, which saw a short reach the few hundred metres to the eastern end of North Head, but from there it was onward and upward for the 119 nautical mile stretch to Russell.

Most boats in all three divisions opted to sail the shorter distance, starting the race at the wharf end of the line and braving the famous North Head wind shadow. Some were able to hoist reaching sails and get legs that way, and others – like Taeping and Stealth Mission – started well down to leeward in clear air and at impressive speed.

The North Westerly held on for most of the day on Friday, with a relatively easy-going sea state that meant the boats which are designed to excel at upwind sailing, could come to the fore.

“It wasn’t an ultra difficult race, but it was a challenging one,” says Race Director Matthew Flynn. “Wind and sea conditions with strongish coastal breezes made it tactically difficult, there were a lot of fluctuations, and a lot of sail changes on some boats.”

He says there was a split down the coast between the onshore and offshore breezes, and a North-East tide versus a North-West breeze, and the tacticians needed to position their boats close to the coast, but not too close.

The three titans on the race course – the 60 foot trimarans TeamVodafone and Team Australia, and the Volvo 70 Giacomo – took an easy, early lead, with match racing style lead changes between the trimarans eventually sorted out when Team Australia picked up a new breeze line south of Rodney, sailing past TeamVodafone to a convincing lead of more than 30 minutes.

Giacomo, on its first major race in New Zealand, arrived in Russell at 2141hrs, and the large catamaran, and former race winner, Taeping, at 2158hrs.

Charleston was the first finisher to surprise race watchers: the 28 foot catamaran proved that size does not necessarily equal might in an upwind race, arriving fifth, at 2222hrs. The five fifty footers, led by Georgia at 2254hrs, crossed the finish line within an hour of each other, and the new multihull entrant, Dragon, crossed at 2331hrs.

A wet and squally front passed through right on time on Friday evening, after which the breeze backed off, leaving the remaining competitors wondering when – and if – it was ever going to come back. For some, like Ash Rogers and her all-girls crew on Strider, it came too late, and they were unable to finish.

“The most frustrating moment, not having any wind and being so close but so far! We are still trying, we got speed up to 3.5 knots on a good course, but unless we get some good winds on the other side [of Cape Brett] and this side, we definitely won’t be making it. We need a miracle at this point!”, Ash reported in at 1225hrs on Saturday.

Taniwha, also on its maiden voyage with a new crew, lost its rudder and after having limited success steering with a spinnaker pole, was eventually towed to safety by a fishing charter boat, where they caught up with the crew of Tongue Twister and Pacific Icon, for a beach-side spit roast with some local residents.

For about 20% of the fleet, the race took more than 24 hours – one of the longest in a number of years, and 29 boats did not finish the race – either retiring, or still on the course at the cut off.

“Congratulations to everyone on their seamanship and safety,” says Matthew Flynn. “People sailed really well. They slowed down when it got rough, and looked after their crew.”

He said that more than any other year, this year seemed like a great adventure, that people really enjoyed, and as soon as the sailors were ashore, showered and fed, they were talking about next year. Even Sean Langman promised in his victory speech, that Team Australia would be back in 2014.

Being the first upwind race since 2008, a new set of boats were rewarded for the efforts: Omega 8, owned by Scott McLaren and representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, took top handicap honours from amongst the mononull fleet, winning the brand new North Sails trophy for its efforts. Spitfire won Division 2 on handicap, RnB took the double in Division 3, and the modified Ross 930 No Worries, in Division 4. Sigma 2 won Division 5 on PHRF. Fruition was the first multihull on handicap, and Cotton Blossom II the first Bay of Islands boat to arrive home. Elevation was the smallest boat to finish.

At the prizegiving in Russell, the skipper of Lawless had the opportunity to win the Audi A1 – but was ultimately unsuccessful – and tens of thousands of dollars worth of prizes and spot prizes were given away by the family of race sponsors: Musto, Jack Tar, PredictWind.com, Elf Oil, Mount Gay Rum, Burnsco, Jackson Electrical, Dirty Dog, Railblaza, and Yamaha.

The New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club thanks the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for its extensive support of the event. Once the trophies have been engraved with this year’s winners, they can be viewed in the Dinghy Locker at the RNZYS.


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Green Light Given for Bayport Boat Sales, Repair Business

It’s taken a bit longer than expected but by year’s end a
local resident hopes to begin setting up a family-owned boat sales, repair and
storage business at the former Sayville Plumbing Supply site on Montauk Highway
in Bayport.

Islip Town zoning and planning officials have given the
go-ahead for Bayport resident Michael DePalo to move forward and he hopes to
have the required site plan, architectural work and county health approval by
year’s end.

“It’s a green light,” DePalo told Patch in a phone interview.
“I’m extremely grateful for the community support and the support of the
Bayport Civic Association,” he said.

The project, which required a zone change from Business One
to Business Three as well as special permits, initially came before the town
planning board
last April.

The lot sits adjacent to the Hess gas station, just east of
McConnell Avenue. DePalo bought the parcel earlier this year and spent several
months cleaning it up and removing a building. He carted off over 11 dumpsters of debris from the site, a cleanup effort that’s cost over $10,000, he estimates.

DePalo, who has lived in Bayport for 16 years, operated
Nicolls Point Marina in Oakdale for 20 years and is currently operating a
mobile boat repair service company, DePalo’s Marine and Engine Works, and a
company called U.K. Motorsports.

The 53-year-old, who holds a degree in marine biology, has
been working on engines, from lawnmowers when he was nine years old, to
motorcycles, cars and boats throughout his life. He got into the business after
facing a dour employment landscape once he had graduated college.

The new business, at which DePalo said his sons will
be working for and learning the trade, will include boat storage, sales of new
and used boats, and repair services.


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