Archive for » October 30th, 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.


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’’


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.



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