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Emirates Team New Zealand – third

Emirates Team New Zealand update – third-place finish at
Qingdao

Big wind gusts blasted across the race course
on the final day of the Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao
regatta.

The city lived up to its reputation as a tricky,
unpredictable race course, giving crews a tough time even
with the fleet reduced to two divisions of six boats to
minimise the risk of collision.

With rapid and frequent
wind shifts (from 90 to 180 deg not uncommon) the stage was
set for another day of mayhem on the water. The almost
inevitable big crash occurred when Red Bull Sailing Team hit
the series leader Alinghi as it was lining up at the start.
That was an early end to Alinghi’s regatta.

Emirates
Team New Zealand finished the regatta third overall – and
retained third place in the 2014 series championship.

It
was a great result for the team. It was Peter Burling and
Blair Tuke’s first regatta in team colours and they had
never sailed before with Glenn Ashby, Jeremy Lomas and Edwin
Delaat.

Burling and Tuke’s previous Extreme Sailing
Series regatta was more than a year ago and they made a fast
transition from their 49er Olympic campaign. They were happy
to achieve a podium finish for the team.

The next regatta
is at St Petersburg, Russia, starting June 26. Burling will
again be at the helm.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 3
Qingdao
Standings after Day 4, 32 races
1st Alinghi
(SUI) 178 points.
2nd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 168
points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand 160 points.
4th
The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 159 points.
5th Gazprom Team
Russia 140 points.
6th Oman Air 133 points.
7th J.P.
Morgan BAR (GBR) 129 points.
8th Groupama sailing team
(FRA) 128 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 126
points.
10th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 125
points.
11th Team Extreme Qingdao (CHN) 111
points.
12th GAC Pindar (AUS) 98 points.

Extreme
Sailing Series 2014 overall standings
1st Alinghi (SUI)
28 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 26 points.
3rd
Emirates Team New Zealand 24 points.
4th Realteam by
Realstone (SUI) 22 points.
5th Gazprom Team Russia 15
points.
6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 12 points.
7th
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 11 points.
8th J.P. Morgan
BAR (GBR) 10 points.
9th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 9
points.
10th Oman Air 8 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS)
3
points.

Ends

© Scoop Media


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Sea change ahead for boat sales?

Luke Hellier and his wife have been shopping for two years for their first boat.

They’ve researched online and shopped Craigslist and auctions. But one place they haven’t set foot is the showroom.

“We’re trying to find a deal,” said Hellier, a 29-year-old from Edina, Minn. “We think we can save 20 percent or more from a private seller.”

Used boats have always outsold new, but five years after the recession, powerboat buyers of every stripe are still focusing on value, value, value. Boat manufacturer Brunswick surveyed 15,000 people and found that the majority liked boats but saw cost as a deterrent.

That’s causing manufacturers to rethink the way they do business, including maintaining or lowering the cost of every new boat from entry-level to high-end. Manufacturers are not only offering new boats below the $20,000 threshold, but even under $5,000 in a few cases.

Mark Niforopulos, general manager of St. Boni Motor Sports in St. Bonifacius, Minn., said that he’s been begging manufacturers for years to change their “exclusionist” thinking. “We went through this fancy phase with all these expensive bells and whistles,” he said. “The industry is badly in need of a reset.”

Boat buyers choose used over new by a factor of 5 to 1, a ratio that retailers and manufacturers would like to narrow. In 2007, used boats outsold new by only 3 to 1, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Part of the reason for new boats’ sinking sales was an abundance of bargains after 35 percent of boat dealers closed during the recession, said Matt Gruhn, president of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

“There was a lot of repossessed product back then,” Gruhn said. “We hope those days are behind us.”

Recovery continues to ebb and flow. The number of new powerboats sold in the United States before the recession had been cut in half by 2010. In 2013, the number grew to more than 160,000, but it still doesn’t qualify as a recovery.

Irwin Jacobs, who owned 16 boat companies in the 1980s and still owns Larson Boat Group in Little Falls, Minn., said the growth in new boat sales, while not stellar, is at sensible levels. “We’re the first business to go in a recession, and the last to come back,” he said.

To rev sales, manufacturers and retailers say they’re putting value front and center. At Brunswick—which owns nearly a dozen brands, including Mercury, Bayliner, Lowe, Sea Ray, Crestliner and Lund—Chairman and CEO Dusty McCoy said, “Every new model made should cost the same or less than the model it replaces.”

But it’s not about stripping a model to make it affordable. McCoy said many new models come standard with features that today’s buyers expect, such as joystick docking for easier maneuverability, state-of-the-art dash systems and fuel-efficient engines.

“Consumers want more but expect to pay less,” McCoy said. “They want more standard features without a higher price. It’s happening across the industry.”

Dan Chesky Jr., co-owner of Dan’s Southside Marine in Bloomington, Minn., said that he’s completely changed his customer approach. He’s added an affordability page on his website so customers can see how a new boat fits in their budget.

“If someone is spending $150 a month on a cellphone, we can show them how to own a new boat for about the same amount,” Chesky said.

The monthly payment on a 16½-foot new Alumacraft with a 50-horsepower, four-stroke engine with fish finder, trolling motor, cover and trailer is $159, assuming a $17,628 purchase price, 10 percent down and financing for 12 years at 5.49 percent.

“We say that you could own that boat for less than $200 a month instead of throwing out an $18,000 price tag,” Chesky said. (Interest rates vary from 4.99 to 18.95 percent, depending on a customer’s credit.)

Chesky said most buyers make extra payments to pay the boat off faster, but they still negotiate hard to get the original selling price down. “The wife says, ‘We really don’t need this,’ and the husband says, ‘If I can get it for this price, let’s do it.’”

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/business/2014/05/03/sea-change-ahead-for-boat-sales/


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