Archive for » March 11th, 2015«

USA. Charleston and Savannah Shows boast increased attendance and boat …


JBM Associates, producers of The Charleston Boat Show, Savannah Boat Show and Charleston In-Water Boat Show are excited to report an increase in attendance for their first two shows of the year.

“We are happy to report an increase in show attendance and reported boat sales increases from our first two shows. The boat industry continues to be on an upswing,” said Jacqui Bomar, President of JBM Associates.

The 35th Annual Charleston Boat Show was held January 23-25, at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Although attendance was only slightly up from 2014, the boat dealers reported a higher increase in actual sales at the show, as well as post show.

The 13th   Annual Savannah Boat Show held February 27-March 1, at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, was up 24% in attendance from 2014 and boat dealers reported strong sales.

“This is by far the BEST boat show we have ever had,” reported Barrier Island Marine General Sales Manager, Craig Freeman. “We reached double digits and exceeded our sales goals by selling everything from 17 ft. Pioneers to a 30 ft. Chris Craft,” he continued.

According to Hall Marine Savannah’s General Manager, Paul Williams, the Savannah Boat Show had strong traffic each day and sales quality and quantity were up significantly up. “It was a record weekend for us,” he stated.

The Charleston In-Water Boat Show, April 17-19, should wrap up an outstanding season for our regional dealers and for my boat show management company, reported Bomar. Last year was the first year we produced this event and based on that experience and the continuing positive trend in the boating industry, we expect a highly successful show both in boat sales, as well as in an increase in attendance. The show is being sponsored by Allstate Boat Insurance and Maritime Insurance.

The Bristol Marina, located in downtown Charleston, SC will host boats in the water from 17-55 feet, while Brittlebank Park will feature additional boat displays as well as vendors selling marine related accessories and services. With gorgeous harbor views and slips for every size boat, the Charleston In-Water Boat Show promises to deliver the ultimate boating experience. For more show and exhibitor information, visit www.CharlestonInWaterBoatShow.com

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 March 2015 )


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Ocean sailing race overhaul recommended

An independent report into the crash of Volvo Ocean Race boat, Vestas Wind, on an Indian Ocean reef has recommended an overhaul of navigational charting in offshore racing to prevent a similar incident in the future.

Skippered by Australian Chris Nicholson, the Danish boat’s crew miraculously avoided serious injury when they collided with the reef at St Brandon on November 29 last year at around 40kph and spun 180 degrees before coming to a halt, grounded.

The vessel was badly damaged and the crew were forced to abandon it in the pitch darkness and wade to the safety of a nearby large rock in shark-infested waters before being rescued at first light by coastguards.

The Team Vestas Wind boat has since been retrieved and is being rebuilt for a return to the nine-month marathon race in June, but organisers commissioned a report in December into how the accident occurred and guidelines to avoid a repetition.

A retired Australian Navy rear admiral, Chris Oxenbould, headed the report’s panel of three, which revealed its findings on Tuesday in a global media call.

It found that a failure by the crew to spot the reef on onboard electronic navigational guides was to blame and has recommended that industry standards of charting, both electronic and paper, be improved.

In particular, the panel says that a passenger aircraft-style list of check-points should first be ticked off before ocean racing boats take to the open sea.

This currently does not happen in many leading events, including the Volvo Ocean Race, which is widely considered the sport’s top offshore challenge.

Both the Volvo Ocean Race and the Vestas Wind’s skipper Nicholson have welcomed the report.

The fleet sets out from Auckland for the fifth leg of nine on Sunday, March 15.

It is the longest and most challenging stage of the nine-month race, which takes the fleet through the Southern Ocean to the next destination of Itaja in Brazil.

The 38,739-nautical mile race will conclude on June 27, in Gothenburg, Sweden, after visiting 11 ports in total and every continent.


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Sailing

The Danish boat’s crew miraculously avoided serious injury when they collided with the reef at St Brandon on Nov. 29 last year at around 40kph and span 180 degrees before coming to a halt, grounded.

The vessel was badly damaged and the crew were forced to abandon it in the pitch darkness and wade to the safety of a nearby large rock in shark-infested waters before being rescued at first light by coastguards.

The Team Vestas Wind boat has since been retrieved and is being rebuilt for a return to the nine-month marathon race in June, but organisers commissioned a report in December into how the accident occurred and guidelines to avoid a repetition.

A retired Australian Navy rear admiral, Chris Oxenbould, headed the report’s panel of three.

The panel found that a failure by the crew to spot the reef on onboard electronic navigational guides was to blame and has recommended that industry standards of charting, both electronic and paper, be improved.

In particular, the panel said that a passenger aircraft-style list of check-points should first be ticked off before ocean racing boats take to the open sea.

This currently does not happen in many leading events, including the Volvo Ocean Race, which is widely considered the sport’s top offshore challenge.

“It is our intention that the report serves as a useful document for the entire offshore racing community in the future. Accidents will always happen at sea — we hope this helps make them less likely,” Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad, said in a statement.

The fleet sets out from Auckland for the fifth leg of nine on Sunday, March 15. It is the longest and most challenging stage of the nine-month race, which takes the fleet through the Southern Ocean to the next destination of Itajaí in Brazil.

The 38,739-nautical mile race will conclude on June 27, in Gothenburg, Sweden, after visiting 11 ports in total and every continent.


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A sailor's salary: $300,000, if he works for Ellison

A lawsuit against Larry Ellison’s sailing squad, which has led to the seizure of one of his million-dollar boats, is also revealing how much the Oracle Corp. founder is willing to spend to win the America’s Cup: $300,000 a year for a rank-and-file sailor.

The litigation is the latest in a series of legal battles that have surrounded the billionaire’s sailing successes.

On Monday morning, two federal marshals walked into the San Francisco waterfront base of the sailing squad, Oracle Team USA, and seized three gray, whale-size containers holding the disassembled parts of a 45-foot-long, seven-story-tall yacht called an AC45, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer and a U.S. Marshals spokesman.








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The marshals tagged the three containers, which can’t be moved until a judge issues a ruling on the seizure or allows the team to post a bond on the boat. The vessel, a smaller version of Oracle’s victorious 72-foot-long boat in the 2013 America’s Cup, is being held as a lien, or collateral, in the case. The plaintiff asked for the seizure.

The plaintiff is Joe Spooner, who spent a decade as an Oracle sailor until the team dismissed him in January. A 41-year-old New Zealand native, Spooner in February sued the team for $725,000 in wages over a 2½-year span, as well as double-wage penalties, punitive damages and legal fees, alleging the squad wrongfully discharged him without cause.

A team Oracle spokesman declined to comment, citing pending litigation. A spokeswoman for Ellison, who is Oracle Corp.’s executive chairman, also declined to comment.

“It is a match race and Spooner has the lead at the first mark!!!!!” Patricia Barlow, Spooner’s lawyer, said in a statement shortly after Monday’s arrest of the Oracle yacht. A match race is a head-to-head contest between two competitors.

Court filings show that Spooner signed a contract with the Oracle team that would have paid him $25,000 a month, which equates to $300,000 a year, from July 2014 to the end of the next America’s Cup, the world’s most prestigious yacht race, which is scheduled to be held in Bermuda in 2017.

In Spooner’s termination letter, team Oracle general manager Grant Simmer said Spooner asked for raise to $38,000 a month to relocate from San Francisco to Bermuda. Simmer said in the letter that the team wasn’t prepared to modify the squad’s relocation policy specifically for Spooner, and that the team also declined to increase his pay.

“For these reasons, and in the light of the stated position that you will not otherwise relocate to Bermuda, this letter constitutes prior written notice of termination” of Spooner’s contract, Simmer wrote.

Spooner was one of six grinders on the 11-man Oracle team that won the 2013 America’s Cup. In sailing, grinders are the equivalent of football offensive linemen, cranking hand-powered winches to power a boat’s hydraulics system. They are typically the lowest-paid members of a sailing team; the people who adjust the sails and helm the wheel can get paid double, or even more.

Oracle is the world’s top sailing squad, having won the past two America’s Cup contests, and Ellison has spent lavishly to retain the world’s best yachtsmen. The managing director of Emirates Team New Zealand, the runner-up in the 2013 Cup, has estimated that his sailors got paid half as much as Oracle’s, an appraisal that other sailing experts this week said sounded accurate.

Ellison spent at least $115 million overall on his team’s 2013 America’s Cup campaign, the Oracle team’s chief executive has said.

During Ellison’s recent Cup victories, his lawyers have taken the field almost as often as his sailors. He first captured the 2010 Cup after a 2½-year legal battle over the competition’s rules. Among other accusations, the Swiss team Alinghi alleged it caught a man who was hired by Ellison’s crew to spy on Alinghi operations. An Oracle spokesman said at the time that those were trumped-up allegations that had nothing to do with the legal matter at hand.

Another team Oracle grinder, Matt Mitchell, has sued the team for $68,000 in legal fees that he said he accumulated while fighting allegations that he helped alter an Oracle racing boat in preliminary competition before the 2013 Cup. An Oracle team spokesman declined to comment.

An international jury had concluded that Oracle was guilty of making illegal modifications to the boat and forced the team to start the first-to-nine-wins 2013 Cup races with negative-two victories. On the brink of defeat, Oracle ended up winning the final eight races of the 2013 contest to stage one of the most dramatic comebacks in sports history.

Write to Stu Woo at Stu.Woo@wsj.com and Aaron Kuriloff at aaron.kuriloff@wsj.com


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