Archive for » October 8th, 2014«

Sailors will benefit from Gali's skills

Bernat Gali

In the world of competitive sailing, Spanish-born coach Bernat Gali has a real soft spot for the underdog.

The 27-year-old arrived in New Zealand to take up the coaching reins at Queen Charlotte Yacht Club late last month, bringing with him nearly 20 years of experience in single-handed dingy sailing.

The Catalonia native has sailed for Spain in European and world championships in optimists and lasers, but two years ago decided to turn his focus to coaching.

“My family aren’t wealthy so I found it difficult to progress. Sailing isn’t a very expensive sport but when you get to the high levels it can be.

“I’ve been coaching since about 2005 and it was earning me money while keeping me involved with sailing so I decided to stick with it and make it my fulltime job,” he said.

Since turning professional he has worked with the Myanmar national team, preparing the laser sailors for the South East Asia Games. That was a tough assignment, coaching a relative minnow of the sailing world while travelling back to Spain every two months.

However, it was rewarding he said. “I come from a small club and I know it is for smaller teams to prove themselves. I really like to work with the smaller clubs and teams and help them beat the big ones.” After that he took up a post coaching the Icelandic team for a month. It was another tough assignment with the cold climate being something quite foreign to him.

He next set his sights on a coaching job in Los Angeles, but trouble securing a visa meant he had to look for other options – America’s loss became QCYC’s gain as he landed the job in Picton, much to his delight.

“I’ve always wanted to come to New Zealand, since I was young because I wanted to travel around the world and this is as far on the other side of the world from Spain as you can get.

“It’s like paradise here – very peaceful. I am coming from Barcelona, which is a big city so it’s very different, but I love it,” he said. Bernat is also a fan of Kiwi sailors, ranking America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker as one of his all-time heroes. He followed the New Zealand campaign for America’s Cup glory with intense interest and felt the loss as keenly as any Kiwi fan.

Coming to a country so obsessed with sailing was another draw for Bernat. Here the sport is seen as much more accessible by the man in the street – a contrast to the elite status it has in Spain, he said.

“The king sails so it’s seen as something only for the rich, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s the thing I like about the optimist and laser classes – they are one simple design, so all the boats are the same and not to expensive to get started in.”

Sailing is still competitive in his home country, and despite a meagre budget for their Olympic campaign they always manage to bring home medals.

“It’s a shame [there isn’t more money for sailing] – Spain is all coastline and there are a lot of sailors who can’t progress [because of budget constraints].”

Bernat got right into his coaching duties at the QCYC open day the day after he arrived. He aims to build all the club’s optimist, starling and laser fleets in size and skill, and see them achieve strong national results.

While coaching in Marlborough is his immediate focus he would love to stay on in the country and get involved in coaching at high levels.

“I’m still young but this is a great chance for me,” he said.

– The Marlborough Express

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Iran wants to stop the boats

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“The islands that Australia has considered for sheltering the refugees who intend to enter the country via the sea have hard and inhumane weather conditions and the refugees are not treated well in them,” Mr Qashqavi reportedly said.

“Sometimes, the refugees are deliberately kept in bad weather conditions, made to suffer malnutrition and don’t receive proper medical treatment, and we have always protested at such a behaviour of the Australian government.”

Mr Qashqavi’s comments were reported on Wednesday but appear to have been made last month following the death of Iranian asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei.

Mr Kehazaei died after cutting his foot in the Australian-run immigration detention camp in Papua New Guinea and developing septicemia.

The number of asylum seekers from Iran arriving by boat in Australia increased substantially from 2011, leading former foreign minister Bob Carr to later claim most were economic migrants.

Mr Qashqavi called for human rights activists to put an end to such inhumane conditions in Australia.

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C-JAM Yacht Sales expands to KI

C-JAM Yacht Sales

C-JAM Yacht Sales

C-JAM Yacht Sales is pictured at the Bay Bridge Marina on Kent Island.

Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2014 1:30 am

C-JAM Yacht Sales expands to KI

STEVENSVILLE — C-JAM Yacht Sales of Somers Point, N.J., has expanded to the Eastern Shore providing sales and service.

With its new office in the Bay Bridge Marina on Kent Island, C-JAM will provide sales for the Monterey, Cobia, and Pathfinder lines of boats throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, according to a company news release.

C-JAM offers certified service on Yamaha, Mercruiser, and Volvo engines with mobile service available.

“We are very excited about our new Maryland location,” Al Mury, COO of C-JAM Yacht Sales, said in the release. “Ben Johnson has been hired as our new manager to run the store. Ben is one of the most quality minded people I know in the marine industry and will provide a very rewarding boating experience for our customers.”

C-JAM Yacht Sales will be at the U.S. Powerboat Show displaying the Monterey and Cobia boat lines, including the new Cobia 344CC. The show runs Oct. 16 to 19 in the Annapolis harbor.

Follow Business Editor Bob Zimberoff on Twitter @stardem_biz

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014 1:30 am.

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Bay Bridge Marina,

Kent Island,

Al Mury,

Ben Johnson,

Bay Times

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Small cruise ships offer intimate, unique adventures

Just a few decades ago, I spent my summers sailing the coastal waters of British Columbia. More than anything else, it was those summers that piqued my interest in cruising.

While those big boats were following the Inside Passage north from Vancouver to Alaska, I was just a speck floating on bays and inlets up the coast – just a drop in the ocean – and never making it to Alaska, yet experiencing the adventures found along the shore.

Those were the days when boaters rafted their crafts together, with fresh seafood cooking for lunch or dinner on each boat. When a boater discovered a hiking trail, fishing holes or crab beds everybody knew about it. Killer whales abounded in the area, and you simply shut off your engine and floated among them.

These experiences can’t be repeated on today’s large ships, of course, but you can come close to those experiences on smaller boats that carry anywhere from 10 to 210 passengers.

While some of them don’t cruise in the wilderness, they still offer itineraries only a small boat can offer because they fit the narrow waterways. Managers of these boats have innovative routes and a leisurely pace to explore the nooks of seaside villages, and you can enjoy the intimacy you won’t find on big cruise ships.

So this week’s subject is the small-boat line, four of them that feature those unique elements: Blount Small Ship Adventures, Un-Cruises, Pearl Seas Cruises and Maple Leaf Adventures.

Blount is an innovative company that for 2015 has added three new one-of-akind cruises along the Atlantic coast on its two Grand ships.

The Blount ships have retractable pilot houses, bow ramps and a shallow draft that allows its ships to sail in less than seven feet of water so inland rivers and bays are easily accessible.

There’s no need to tie up to a dock.

Canada and the Northeastern U.S. offer up a trip from Saint John, N.B., to Portland, Maine. You’ll sail from Saint John Harbour to the Bay of Fundy and on to waterways unfamiliar to most – Annapolis Basin, Passamaquoddy Bay, Gulf of Maine, Frenchman Bay, Penobscot Bay, Rockland Harbor, Kennebec River and Casco Bay.

Readers regularly email me about sailing the Great Lakes. Premium cruise line Pearl Seas Cruises can accommodate you next summer. The 210-passenger ship Pearl Mist will sail from Toronto to Chicago with port calls in Niagara Falls, Parry Sound and Midland, and you can step back in time while visiting Mackinac Island and other ports on the Great Lakes.

The other two lines – Maple Leaf and Un-Cruises – based on the West Coast offer even more in the way of small-ship adventure.

Maple Leaf was a onesailboat operation but has added a second boat to the fleet, the Swell, which carries just 10 passengers. A 27-metre (88-foot) classic wood tugboat, the Swell has been restored to offer boutique expedition cruises along the B.C. and Alaska coast. With so few passengers, you should know the crew and everyone else by the first night’s dinner.

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