Archive for » May 20th, 2014«

Report: Boat Sales Totaled $555M In MN In 2013

Head for the docks, Minnesotans: It’s finally boating season.

And newly released data suggests that the national boating industry tallied slightly higher sales last year, while Minnesota’s sales held steady.

After rebounding in 2012, the national recreational boating industry continued to see revenue increases in 2013. And despite—or perhaps because of—dismal winter weather, industry leaders expect 2014 to be even better.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), a major trade organization for watercraft and boating accessory manufacturers in the United States, said Tuesday that the recreational boating industry generated $36.7 billion in retail expenditures in 2013, a 3.2 percent increase from 2012. The organization expects 2014 retail sales to be 5 to 7 percent higher.

The NMMA also released a ranking of states by most new powerboat, motor, trailer and accessory sales. Despite ranking first for boats per capita, Minnesota placed fifth on the list of top-spenders, reporting $554.5 million in sales, a number that essentially held steady from the previous year. Florida topped the list at $1.9 billion, presumably due in large part to a larger population and accessibility to the ocean.

Fishing is big business in Minnesota. Last year, Twin Cities Business reported that anglers contribute $2.4 billion to the state economy.

According to the NMMA, 88.5 million adults in the U.S. participated in boating at least once in 2013 and fishing remained the most popular boating activity, with 58 percent of boaters engaging in it.

An estimated 166,800 new powerboats and sailboats were sold at retail nationwide in 2013, a 2.2 percent increase from the previous year, the NMMA said. It was the first year since 2009 that the ratio of pre-owned to new boat sales decreased. NMMA President Thom Dammrich attributed the shift to an increase in innovative and versatile boats on the market—ones that can be used for watersports, fishing, or relaxation and cost less to manufacture. The NMMA says that 95 percent of boats sold in the U.S. are manufactured domestically.

“Following a year of inclement weather throughout the U.S. driving pent-up demand and Americans taking to the water in record numbers, the industry is primed for a busy selling season,” Dammrich said in a statement.

NMMA said its members produce more than 80 percent of boats and equipment used by recreational boaters in the U.S. and Canada. The organization released the findings as part of its annual U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, the full version of which will be available June 1.

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Garbage fouls site of sailing, windsurfing at 2016 Olympics

We’re still more than two years out from the Olympics, but the Rio-isn’t-ready stories are flying faster Usain Bolt on a Red Bull latte. No, London won’t be getting the Games back, but short of that, everything else is apparently on the table to get these Olympics off the ground.

Now comes word that Guanabera Bay, future site of sailing and windsurfing events, is a trash-strewn nightmare, a dumpsite for 80 to 100 tons of Rio de Janeiro’s trash each day. Add to that the fact that only about 40 percent of sewage is treated, with the remainder going straight into the water system, and you’ve got the foundation for an epic public health/public relations/public image nightmare.

The local government has said it will clean up the bay, but to local residents, this is more of the same news. Brazil has spent more than a billion dollars in the past two decades trying to clean up the bay, with little if any progress to show for it. There are plenty of photos of the environmental devastation here, though fair warning: some include aerial shots of gag-inducing amounts of sewage floating in waterways.

The problem with sewage in the waterways is that it disproportionately affects those least able to fight it: the poor and impoverished. The Global Post notes that state authorities in April cut the water cleanup budget by 95 percent, from more than $1 billion to $51 million. Gone are sewage treatment centers, left are boats and fences to contain debris.

Plus, there are the corpses. Lars Grael, who won two sailing medals for Brazil, has observed at least four human bodies floating in the sewage-infested waters during his training. He termed the bay “dark, brown and stinking,” and indicated that Olympic organizers should move the water events to a resort hours away.

Rio officials have disregarded such ideas. They said the bay will be cleaned by the Games, a claim that leaves local environmental experts scoffing.

“The government could deploy aircraft carriers to collect the bay’s garbage and the problem would not be solved,” Mario Moscatelli, a Brazilian biologist, told the New York Times. “The bay is still a latrine. It’s an insult to Rio’s people to say it will be clean for the Olympics.”

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.


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Sanlorenzo Americas Announces First Sales Of New 125″ Yacht Model

Sanlorenzo Americas is a division of the renowned Italian superyacht firm Sanlorenzo Spa. Their newest model is the SD126, which like every Sanlorenzo model made since 1958, originates from the genes of the iconic SD122 model. The first SD126 model was sold shortly after the Miami International Boat Show. The 38-meter semi-displacement motor yacht is made to measure according to the tastes and the style of its owner.

The new SD126 will be displayed again at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from October 30 to November 3, 2014. Working exclusively within the continent of the Americas, Sanlorenzo Americas stands apart in the luxury yacht industry by offering their clients personalized, highly tailored, luxury yachts. The SD126 new features include a salon terrace, a bow lounging area complete with Jacuzzi tub, a new enlarged flybridge layout containing a pool and hardtop, the additional length with an enlarged swim deck area, and many more.

The interiors will be designed by Marty Lowe, in cooperation with the yacht’s new owner. Matte lacquer, leather paneled trim bulkheads in the VIP rooms and reflective ceiling combinations are utilized throughout. The master bedroom comes complete with a spa shower system for two, including steam showers and a horizontal shower system from Dornbracht with three pre-programmed choreographies allowing the selection of balancing, energizing or de-stressing effects.

The Italian shipyard’s sophisticated and innovative designs has placed them at the peak of International yacht building. Over the past 50 years, Sanlorenzo’s yachts have become a synonym of excellence. Their unmistakable style, refinement and attention to detail has taken Sanlorenzo to the number two slot for in the rankings of builders over 24 meters.


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2016 Rio Olympics: Sailing official wants tests on sewage-filled water

RIO DE JANEIRO — Sailing’s governing body may conduct independent water-quality tests in Rio de Janeiro’s polluted Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for the 2016 Olympics and the site of Rio’s first test event in 2 1/2 months.

Any hope Brazil would be able to clean up the sewage-filled bay soon was quashed in a document obtained by the Associated Press over the weekend.

In a May 7 letter to sports minister Aldo Rebelo, Rio’s state environment secretary Carlos Francisco Portinho acknowledged in a best-case scenario that pollution flowing into the bay could be cut to “over 50 percent” — well below the promised reduction of 80 percent.

Alastair Fox, head of competitions for the international sailing federation, told the AP the body is likely to test on its own, hoping to allay athletes’ health concerns.

The tests could also push Rio organizers to move more quickly on the problem.

Fox said he hoped the International Olympic Committee would do independent testing, although the IOC indicated to the AP it had no such plans.

“If the IOC are not conducting water-quality tests, then I think it is very likely the ISAF will,” Fox said Monday in an email. “Certainly compared to most sailing venues, the water quality is very, very bad.”

Danish Olympian Allan Norregaard, a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, told the AP that Guanabara was “the most polluted place I’ve ever been.” Other sailors interviewed by the AP called it an “open sewer.”

The bay and similar concerns about Rio’s iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches add to the disarray plaguing South America’s first Olympics.

The IOC has sent a special troubleshooter to monitor progress, and last month IOC vice president John Coates said Rio’s preparations were the “worst” in memory.

Spending on Rio has reached $17 billion and is expected to rise.

Nearly 70 percent of Rio’s sewage goes untreated into its waters. Exposure to fecal matter can cause Hepatitis A, dysentery, cholera and other diseases.

The visible problem involves old couches, tires and dead animal carcasses floating in the 148-square mile (383-square kilometer) bay. State officials are using garbage boats to collect floating debris, with the detritus weaving giant blankets of human and industrial waste along noxious shorelines.

“If someone picks up a bag, or hits a sofa or something like that, then clearly that is going to affect them in the race,” Fox said.

“We’ve seen numbers from teams of the fecal content in the Guanabara Bay, which clearly are not safe,” Fox added. “For us, that’s a matter of concern. We’ve been assured again by the organizers that they are doing everything they can.”

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the Olympic body would not test.

“To confirm, we are not conducting any independent testing, as testing is already being done by Rio,” Adams said in a brief email to the AP.

The IOC did not respond to repeated requests to interview IOC Medical Director Dr. Richard Budgett about potential health risks to athletes. In March, Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC inspection team in charge of preparing Rio, said she had been assured the bay could be “clean from garbage.”

“I don’t think we will forgive ourselves if we let the athletes compete in an environment that is not safe and secure,” she said.

Malcolm Page, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and chairman of the sailing federation’s Athletes’ Commission, said he trusted state tests, but welcomed independent testing.

“If the Brazilians are happy to receive any of that independent help, it only makes dealing with the problem easier and removes any sugar-coating,” he said. “The sailors are certainly worried about it.”

An analysis last year of a decade’s worth of government data on Guanabara and other waterways showed that sewage pollution indicators consistently spiked far above acceptable limits, even under Brazilian laws that are far more lenient on pollution than the United States or Europe.

Fox said at least five courses — three inside the bay and two in the open Atlantic — would be used at the test event beginning Aug. 2. He said courses outside the bay had always been planned, not driven by the pollution problems.

Fox said plans call for the medal race — the final race where the gold, silver and bronze medals are decided — to be held in Guanabara near Flamengo Beach, a venue convenient for fans.

Signs around that beach warn against swimming.

Mario Moscatelli, a biologist and outspoken environmentalist, said retrieving the floating garbage in the bay was fine, but did not address the problem of untreated sewage.

In an open letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, he asked for the “release of the funds needed to recover the environmental assets, which are being used in Rio as garbage dumps and latrines.”


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Sailing official wants Rio water pollution tests

By STEPHEN WADE
AP Sports Writer

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Sailing’s governing body may conduct independent water-quality tests in Rio de Janeiro’s polluted Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for the 2016 Olympics and the site of Rio’s first test event in 2½ months.

Any hope Brazil would be able to clean up the sewage-filled bay soon was quashed in a document obtained by The Associated Press over the weekend.

In a May 7 letter to sports minister Aldo Rebelo, Rio’s state environment secretary Carlos Francisco Portinho acknowledged in a best-case scenario that pollution flowing into the bay could be cut to “over 50 percent” – well below the promised reduction of 80 percent.

Alastair Fox, head of competitions for the international sailing federation, told the AP the body is likely to test on its own, hoping to allay athletes’ health concerns.

The tests could also push Rio organizers to move more quickly on the problem.

Fox said he hoped the International Olympic Committee would do independent testing, although the IOC indicated it had no such plans.

“If the IOC are not conducting water-quality tests, then I think it is very likely the ISAF will,” Fox said Monday in an email. “Certainly compared to most sailing venues, the water quality is very, very bad.”

Danish Olympian Allan Norregaard, a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, said Guanabara was “the most polluted place I’ve ever been.” Other sailors interviewed called it an “open sewer.”

The bay and similar concerns about Rio’s iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches add to the disarray plaguing South America’s first Olympics.

The IOC has sent a special troubleshooter to monitor progress, and last month IOC vice president John Coates said Rio’s preparations were the “worst” in memory.

Spending on Rio has reached $17 billion and is expected to rise.

Nearly 70 percent of Rio’s sewage goes untreated into its waters. Exposure to fecal matter can cause hepatitis A, dysentery, cholera and other diseases.

The visible problem involves old couches, tires and dead animals floating in the 148-square mile (383-square kilometer) bay. State officials are using garbage boats to collect floating debris, with the detritus weaving giant blankets of human and industrial waste along noxious shorelines.

“If someone picks up a bag, or hits a sofa or something like that, then clearly that is going to affect them in the race,” Fox said.

“We’ve seen numbers from teams of the fecal content in the Guanabara Bay, which clearly are not safe,” Fox added. “For us, that’s a matter of concern. We’ve been assured again by the organizers that they are doing everything they can.”

The IOC said it had no plans to test, but suggested others might.

“We trust the organizers and (the) ISAF will carry out the necessary research and analysis that will be carefully considered in order to ensure the safety of the athletes,” the IOC said in a statement.

The IOC did not respond to repeated requests to interview IOC Medical Director Dr. Richard Budgett about potential health risks to athletes. In March, Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC inspection team in charge of preparing Rio, said she had been assured the bay could be “clean from garbage.”

“I don’t think we will forgive ourselves if we let the athletes compete in an environment that is not safe and secure,” she said.

Malcolm Page, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and chairman of the sailing federation’s Athletes’ Commission, said he trusted state tests, but welcomed independent testing.

“If the Brazilians are happy to receive any of that independent help, it only makes dealing with the problem easier and removes any sugar-coating,” he said. “The sailors are certainly worried about it.”

An analysis last year of a decade’s worth of government data on Guanabara and other waterways showed that sewage pollution indicators consistently spiked far above acceptable limits, even under Brazilian laws that are far more lenient on pollution than those in the United States or Europe.

Fox said at least five courses – three inside the bay and two in the open Atlantic – would be used at the test event beginning Aug. 2. He said courses outside the bay had always been planned, not driven by the pollution problems.

Fox said plans call for the medal race – the final race where the gold, silver and bronze medals are decided – to be held in Guanabara near Flamengo Beach, a venue convenient for fans.

Signs around that beach warn against swimming.

Mario Moscatelli, a biologist and outspoken environmentalist, said retrieving the floating garbage in the bay was fine, but did not address the problem of untreated sewage.

In an open letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, he asked for the “release of the funds needed to recover the environmental assets, which are being used in Rio as garbage dumps and latrines.”

___

Associated Press writer Jenny Barchfield contributed to this report.

___

Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Sailing official wants water tests for Rio pollution

RIO DE JANEIRO — Sailing’s governing body may conduct independent water-quality tests in Rio de Janeiro’s polluted Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for the 2016 Olympics and the site of Rio’s first test event in 2½ months.

Any hope Brazil would be able to clean up the sewage-filled bay soon was quashed in a document obtained by The Associated Press over the weekend.

In a May 7 letter to sports minister Aldo Rebelo, Rio’s state environment secretary Carlos Francisco Portinho acknowledged in a best-case scenario that pollution flowing into the bay could be cut to “over 50 percent” — well below the promised reduction of 80 percent.

Alastair Fox, head of competitions for the international sailing federation, told the AP the body is likely to test on its own, hoping to allay athletes’ health concerns.

The tests could also push Rio organizers to move more quickly on the problem.

Fox said he hoped the International Olympic Committee would do independent testing, although the IOC indicated it had no such plans.

“If the IOC are not conducting water-quality tests, then I think it is very likely the ISAF will,” Fox said Monday in an email. “Certainly compared to most sailing venues, the water quality is very, very bad.”

Danish Olympian Allan Norregaard, a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, said Guanabara was “the most polluted place I’ve ever been.” Other sailors interviewed called it an “open sewer.”

The bay and similar concerns about Rio’s iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches add to the disarray plaguing South America’s first Olympics.

The IOC has sent a special troubleshooter to monitor progress, and last month IOC vice president John Coates said Rio’s preparations were the “worst” in memory.

Spending on Rio has reached $17 billion and is expected to rise.

Nearly 70 percent of Rio’s sewage goes untreated into its waters. Exposure to fecal matter can cause hepatitis A, dysentery, cholera and other diseases.

The visible problems involve old couches, tires and dead animals floating in the 148-square-mile bay. State officials are using garbage boats to collect floating debris, with the detritus weaving giant blankets of human and industrial waste along noxious shorelines.

“If someone picks up a bag, or hits a sofa or something like that, then clearly that is going to affect them in the race,” Fox said.

“We’ve seen numbers from teams of the fecal content in the Guanabara Bay, which clearly are not safe. For us, that’s a matter of concern. We’ve been assured again by the organizers that they are doing everything they can.”

The IOC said it had no plans to test, but suggested others might.

“We trust the organizers and [the] ISAF will carry out the necessary research and analysis that will be carefully considered in order to ensure the safety of the athletes,” the IOC said in a statement.

The IOC did not respond to repeated requests to interview IOC medical director Dr. Richard Budgett about potential health risks to athletes. In March, Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC inspection team in charge of preparing Rio, said she had been assured the bay could be “clean from garbage.”

“I don’t think we will forgive ourselves if we let the athletes compete in an environment that is not safe and secure,” she said.

Malcolm Page, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and chairman of the sailing federation’s athletes’ commission, said he trusted state tests but welcomed independent testing.

“If the Brazilians are happy to receive any of that independent help, it only makes dealing with the problem easier and removes any sugar-coating,” he said. “The sailors are certainly worried about it.”

An analysis last year of a decade’s worth of government data on Guanabara and other waterways showed that sewage pollution indicators consistently spiked far above acceptable limits under Brazilian laws that are far more lenient on pollution than those in the United States or Europe.

Fox said at least five courses — three inside the bay and two in the open Atlantic — would be used at the test event beginning Aug. 2. He said courses outside the bay had always been planned, not driven by the pollution problems.

Fox said plans call for the medal race — the final race where the gold, silver and bronze medals are decided — to be held in Guanabara near Flamengo Beach, a venue convenient for fans.

Signs around that beach warn against swimming.

Mario Moscatelli, a biologist and outspoken environmentalist, said retrieving the floating garbage in the bay was fine but did not address the problem of untreated sewage.

In an open letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, he asked for the “release of the funds needed to recover the environmental assets, which are being used in Rio as garbage dumps and latrines.”

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press


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