Archive for » March 4th, 2015«

Dean Barker signs on with Russian magnate's sailing team

NEW HORIZON: Dumped Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker has a role with a Russian computer magnate’s sailing team, competing in Malta this month.

Dumped Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker has landed a sailing job calling tactics for a Russian computer magnate in a major international regatta in Malta this month.

The 2015 RC44 Championship Tour starts in Valletta on March 25, the first regatta of a five-event calendar that moves to Italy, Sweden, Portugal and the British Virgin Islands.

The tour sails in a one-class monohull design that is the brainchild of Sir Russell Coutts and was launched in 2007. It features global businessmen racing alongside some of the world’s best sailers.

In announcing the 13 team lineups today, the class association trumpeted the arrival of Barker on board the Russian entry Team Nika, which will be skippered by owner Vladimir Prosikhin, an entrepreneur who made his fortune by getting in at the ground floor of the computer boom in the 1990s.

“Having finished 2014 on a high by securing the RC44 Oman Cup with a race to spare, Team Nika is aiming to keep the momentum going by welcoming America’s Cup sailor Dean Barker on board to call tactics in Valletta,” the class’ website said as it previewed the season and noted crew changes.

Barker, a 20-year America’s Cup veteran with Team New Zealand has been overlooked for helming duties by the syndicate as they build towards Bermuda 2017. Rising Kiwi star Peter Burling and Australian multihull ace Glenn Ashby will share the helm in the cup build-up.

Barker has been offered a job as Team New Zealand’s sailing coach and performance manager. But, as he considers his options, the 42-year-old Barker has made it clear he believes he still has a future in sailing.

Whether that involves any other America’s Cup syndicate remains to be seen given most of the teams are well-established in the helming departments. But Barker will have appeal in other lucrative areas as a hired gun as this RC44 assignment proves.

Team New Zealand indicated their offer to Barker was still valid and that he would be able to work his Russian commitments around that.

Barker is no stranger to the RC44s being heavily involved in the 2009 tour when Team New Zealand were in limbo between the 20-7 and 2013 America’s Cups.

The 13 crews listed for the opening 2015 event feature many America’s Cup sailors as well as 10 other New Zealanders.

Team Nika also have Kiwis Jeremy Lomas and Sean Clarkson on board. It’s a competitive team, finishing fifth in fleet racing and third in match racing during last year’s tour.

British team Aqua, defending champions for a fourth successive year, have Kiwi match-racing ace Cameron Appleton as tactician.

Swedish America’s Cup syndicate Artemis Racing have entered two boats on the tour and will involve their top talent including double Olympic gold medallist and team manager Iain Percy as well as Australian skipper Nathan Outteridge. They will run a youth team with an eye to scouring talent for Bermuda 2017.

Artemis owner Torbjorn Tornqvist believes racing the RC44s complements their America’s Cup Campaign.

“This is a fantastic class for our America’s Cup sailors to come and work together in a fun and challenging environment. Everyone enjoys being part of the class, it’s a nice break from the daily routines.”

 – Stuff

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Pro-Line Boats signs Miami Total Marine as a dealer partner

WASHINGTON, N.C. – Baja Marine, parent company of the Baja, Donzi, Fountain and Pro-Line boat brands, is pleased to announce it has signed a new dealer partner for Pro-Line Boats: Miami Total Marine. Located in Doral, Fla., the dealership offers the full line of high-quality Pro-Line fishing boats from 20 to 35 feet, as well as the Baja, Donzi and Fountain boat brands.

In addition to new boat sales, Miami Total Marine is a Mercury Marine Platinum Dealer, authorized to sell and service Mercury engine products, including Mercury outboards, diesels, MerCruiser sterndrives and Mercury high-performance engines. The dealership also offers Suzuki outboards. Miami Total Marine services boats as well engines, with a staff of two full-time mechanics and a fully stocked parts warehouse. The company’s location near the Miami International Airport helps its mechanics obtain parts and perform quick repairs.

“We’re strategically located near the airport and not far from marinas,” Mariela Nava, president of Miami Total Marine. “On the weekends we’ll go to Crandon Park in Key Biscayne or Haulover Marina in North Miami. Our goal is to become well known here locally and provide everything our customers need.”

Nava and her husband, Ramon Araujo, Miami Total Marine’s vice president, moved to the United States from Venezuela four years ago. Both have more than 25 years of boating experience. Their family-owned business in Venezuela is boat building, manufacturing boats from 25 to 38 feet. Their background also includes owning a dry-stack marina in Venezuela and serving as Mercury and MerCruiser dealers there since 1989.

Ramon Araujo is Mercury Certified and has extensive knowledge of high performance engines and boat racing. Miami Total Marine participates in marine trade activities such as the Miami International Boat Show, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and many racing competitions.

“We want to build the business and be there to help our customers when they need us,” explained Mariela Nava, president of Miami Total Marine. “Our goal is to help everyone enjoy the water.”

Mariela and Ramon enjoy cruising in the warm Florida waters themselves. “We love to cruise as a family, and now we are becoming more familiar with the fishing market and tournaments,” Nava said. “We first learned about Pro-Line last year in Orlando at the 75th anniversary for Mercury Marine. It is a great brand and we’re very excited about growing it and selling boats in South Florida.”

“We’re very pleased to welcome Miami Total Marine as our dealer partner,” said Johnny Walker, Baja Marine’s CEO. “This is an ideal territory to sell and service our entire range of Pro-Line Boats. The access to the fishing grounds off Miami and Fort Lauderdale is excellent, and the Florida Keys are extremely close as well. This is a great addition for the active South Florida boating community.”

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No 'floating rubbish' collection for Olympic sailing venue

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A program has been halted to retrieve floating rubbish from the sailing venue of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to Brazilian media.

A report Tuesday in the newspaper O Globo comes just three days after top International Olympic Committee officials ended week-long meetings in Rio, saying they had been ”reassured” that severely polluted Guanabara Bay would be suitable for Olympic sailing when the games open.

O Globo said 10 rubbish collection boats were out of service because of a lack of funding from Rio’s state government. It said that some barricades to keep household waste from reaching the bay also lacked funding.

The paper quoted Carlos Minc, the former secretary for the environment for the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Water quality has become a hot-button issue for Rio. Several Olympic-medal winning sailors have said it’s the dirtiest place they have ever competed, citing incidents of dodging floating sofas, dead animals and plastic bags.

Rio Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao said recently that 49 percent of the area’s sewage is being treated, a number repeated last week by IOC officials.

A year ago the figure was reported to be about 30 percent. Olympics officials say they believe a goal of treating 80 percent can be reached in 17 months when the games open.

In December a drug-resistant ”super bacteria” normally found in hospitals was also discovered in the water around the bay.

Fish die-offs are also common in Rio’s Rodrigo de Freitas Lake, where the Olympic rowing competitions will be held.

Severe water pollution also plagues the lagoon that touches the Olympic Park – the heart of Rio’s games – and the new Olympic golf course.

Aerial photos taken last week by the environmental group Olho Verde showed a massive bacterial bloom inside the lagoon that has spilled into the Atlantic and a popular nearby beach.

Nawal El Moutawakel, head of the IOC inspection team, said last week she was assured by government officials that the problem was being tackled.

”We want every single venue to be ready for the athletes to compete in a secure and safe manner,” she said. ”We have been given reassurances that all the venues will meet the level … so athletes can compete.”

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