In This Issue
• All Foiling Olympics
• ORC Faces Lawsuit, Chaos
• Owner Driver Rule For The America's Cup
• The Ocean Race renamed
• Key West Race Week Returns!
• The Next Golden Globe Race will be even harder
• The Last Word: Douglas Adams
Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and YachtScoring.com EuroSail News is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to
All Foiling Olympics
World Sailing has dropped another bombshell on plans for the 2024 Paris Olympics, with an Executive Committee submission for the 2019 Midyear Meeting that will scrap completely all current proposed boats... and usher in a new era for Olympic Sailing: All Foiling.
"It's our last hope for big television ratings" said a World Sailing Vice President who requested anonymity. "The IOC has directly threatened to eliminate sailing from the 2028 Games unless we bring in more revenue than we collect. The loss of Olympic funds would ring the death knell for our organisation. Only foiling sailing has the elements of danger and speed that will draw big audiences, particularly amongst millennials."
The pushback from the IOC was apparently triggered by the introduction of Keelboat Racing after heavy lobbying and pressure from the French. The huge costs of equipment and the expense (and low viewership) of offshore television filming were apparently the last straws for the IOC.
In a counter proposal to the IOC, and one that will certainly reverberate amongst other sports federations, World Sailing has proposed that the sailing events have title sponsorship, with a yet-to-be-determined percentage handed over to the IOC. Head of World Sailing Sponsorship Lamine Diack told EuroSall News that the split is under negotiations at an extraordinary WS Executive meeting in the Cayman Islands, hosted by bankers BCCI.
The proposed sponsor? French medical giant Sanofi, who have retained the lobbying services of Franck Cammas. "When my foot was nearly severed by a hydrofoil, the medical costs topped 7 figures... as was the spike in media coverage from the mainstream. I realized then that my injury could end up saving our sport" said the famed sailor. Grave injuries = huge media interest = big medical company profits. It's a win-win-win!
Imagine the carnage from foiling boards, cats, monohulls (the Figaro Beneteau 3 is reportedly the new proposed Keeboat) at the Paris Games. "We fully intend to rigourously enforce lifejacket requirements" said another WS official on the Medical Committee. "We need all the target flotsam possible."
ORC Faces Lawsuit, Chaos
While the numbers of certificates continues to climb for the ORC, a lawsuit filed in Moordale by Oliver Bostick threatens to upend the 2019 spring season. Mr. Bostick claims that he trademarked the acronym ORC in 1972 for his local pond sailboat racing club, Oliver's Raceboat Challenge. His solicitors are demanding that all ORC certificate owners, and the Offshore Racing Council, pay a retroactive licensing fee and cease and desist any further certificate issuance until settlement has been reached.
While only 12 years old at the time, Bostick's trademark was properly applied for and granted; officials were unable to say why the trademark had not been entered into national and international databases used to insure non-competitive licensing.
"We're talking about tens of thousands of certificates", said ORC's Nicola Seroni, head of the council's wing mast measurers consortium. "Fortunately there is no copyright or trademark indemnification clause in a measurement certification, so our customers are on their own on this one, we're not going to cover the legal costs of any class action or individual suit that Mr. Bostick intends."
Colleagues of Mr. Bostick have privately noted that he may be amenable to a settlement of a new pond sailor in lieu of payment from the Offshore Racing Council. "I think a half scale Shamrock V would do nicely, and Oliver's asked that the hull be a nice British Racing Green and real Burmese teak on the deck not any of that bubingaz shite." reports his sister Honoria.
Owner Driver Rule For The America's Cup
According to their latest joint column in The Independent, Stuart Alexander and Bob Fisher have stumbled upon a previously unknown stipulation to the Deed of Gift that requires syndicate owners to be onboard and that they take the helm "for a signficant portion" of a race.
Found in the archives of the Royal Yacht Squadron by Fisher during research for the final volume of his magnum opus "An Absorbing Interest", this previously unknown document was submitted to, and accepted by, the New York Yacht Club in 1930, then sent to the Royal Yacht Squadron in a packet of otherwise unnotable documents from Lipton's fifth and final attempt to take the Cup. Where it lay undiscovered for nearly a century.
The signatories on the document included both Lipton and Harold Vanderbuilt, owner of the winning boat Enterprise. "Both men had a vested interest in making sure that the competition would not be dominated in future by professionals. Thomas and Harold had spent considerable amounts of money on what they considered to be a true Gentleman's Sport and feared that future benefactors would not keep pouring money into boats they'd never get to sail. In a way, their push for an owner driver requirement was the pinnacle of Connthianism and is to be applauded." said Fisher.
How the appropriate representative will be determined in an age of syndicate LLCs and obtuse legal structures, but the news has sparked the interest of both Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli, who are now reported to be considering late entry into the next America's Cup in Auckland. "Not so bad with Larry and Ernesto, they're very good, proper sailors... but what if we end up getting the VP of Money Laundering from some bloody Maltese Bank?" wrote Alexander.
The Ocean Race renamed
The Ocean Race (ex-Volvo Ocean Race) has a new sponsor. And it's not far afield from its recent past. Stepping up with sponsorship and support is SAAB, the former (and future) Swedish automobile manufacturer. Copyright lawsuits finally settled, NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) has once again acquired the ability to use the SAAB brand name for their breakthrough electric vehicles.
"We saw what sailing sports sponsorship did for Volvo", cited NEVS marketing director Beaurigard T. 'Skruggs' McTavish. From a a car line described by Dudley Moore as "sure, they're boxy but they're really safe" in the 1990 movie "Crazy People" to the Koenigsegg for those of upper middle class means, we are VERY impressed at how the race affililation brought Volvo into the performance brand spotlight.
"We hope to marry the high technology of our electric cars to the advances in construction, aerodynamics and hydrodynamics that makes this century's America's Cup so alluring. Our parent company SAAB AB is a world leader in aircraft systems and will bring a depth of technological expertise that will send those Kiwi bastids scuttling back to their sheep farms" said one of McTavish's deputies on condition of anonymity.
The SAAB Ocean Race will start from Alicante, Spain in the autumn of 2021 and finish in Europe in early summer of 2022. There will be up to nine stopover ports.
Key West Race Week Returns!
In a statement from the Storm Trysail Club today, great news for sailors and for the city of Key West. Key West Race Week is set to return in January 2020... with two new sponsors and new event. KWRW will be named the Bombardier Sea Doo Key West Race Week Presented by Labatts.
The greatest single issue facing racing events is declining registrations; Storm Trysail commissioned marketing firm Hill & Knowlton to determine the best way to increase participation. The answer? Canada!
"The weather's horrible in January anywhere in Canada. They don't call Canadians in Miami 'Snow Geese' for nothing" said H&K's Craig Fuller. Interviews at a dozen prominent Canadian Yacht Clubs identified a real need for a week in the sun. The logistics issue of boat transport has been solved with a contract with JBoats to supply well over a hundred boats for very inexpensive charter. That combined with support from Air Canada will mean that even moderately well-heeled Canadian yachtsmen can fly in and enjoy a week of world class competition with virtually everything sorted with just a swipe of an Amex card.
The closer was integration of two other popular Canadian sports: snow mobiles and beer. Bombardier, the Canadian based sports behemoth, manufacturers of snowmobiles and jetskis, got Storm Trysail to open a course to a new one design at the event: Jet Skis. Labatts will provide hundreds of kegs of Labatts Blue at deeply discounted pricing. "We've lost marketshare in Florida over the past decade, we regard this as a superb way to reintroduce this iconic brand" said Labatt's global brand ambassaors Douglas McKenzie.
"Look... they have stand up paddleboards at Volvo Ocean Race events, kayaks at Kiel Race Week, why not Jet Skis at Key West? Florida has a State Bird, State Flower, State Tree, State Salwater Mammal, even a State Pie (Key Lime) , why not fully embrace reality and denote a State Annoyance? Let's embrace Florida Man instead of shunning him" said STC's Lee Reichert. "We've all been yelling at jet skis throwing up wakes inside marinas... now we can just wave and smile and regard them as comrades. They're helping us keep registration and charter fees low, and we'll be sure to put their racing circle a LONG ways out to sea. We're reasonably confident that most will make it back to the marina intact".
The Next Golden Globe Race will be even harder
No GPS? No sat coms? No iPads to watch Netflix in the Southern Ocean? We got halfway there in the last Golden Globe, says organizer Don McIntyre. We've winnowed out all the true pussies in offshore sailing now we need to get right down to the gristle.
"For the 2022 event, there will be food allocation based on the average time of the first three finishers in the most recent GG. We'll take the average time, assign 2500 calories per day and skippers will either have to stop and fish or starve if they're slow. Just as they did on the Clipper Ships of yore. We may allow HMS regulations on rum consumption... and we'll allow rudimentary auto pilots, but this will truly be a do or die voyage. No nancy-boys need apply".
The Last Word
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -- Douglas Adams
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