SCUTTLEBUTT 1471 - December 4, 2003
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SPONSORSHIP PERCEPTIONS DON'T HOLD WATER
The common perception is that only the top teams with inside connections
get racing sponsorships. But the sponsored teams at the Rolex International
Women's Keelboat Championship held recently off Annapolis, Md., blow this
perception out of the water. They prove that the formula for sponsorship
success is a combination of hard work, innovative thinking and good luck.
Liz Filter, racing with Carol Cronin, didn't have a single contact when she
started her sponsorship effort. Undaunted, she wrote blind letters to 150
companies, followed up with all of them, sent five-page proposals to nearly
half of them, got serious interest from 10 companies, and a year later
signed an exclusive deal with Atkins Nutritionals to race in the Rolex
regatta, and pursue the Yngling Championship and Olympic gold.
Although Team Atkins took third in the regatta, they grabbed top honors in
the race for sponsorship dollars. The deal pays for two boats, covers team
expenses, and provides all the protein bars and company products they want
during the two-year campaign. "You have to be persistent," says Filter. She
advises researching your sponsor prospects and sending your letter to more
than one contact at each company.
Pursuing non-traditional companies or products that seem unlikely can work
to your advantage. When Levitra, a medication for men similar to Viagra,
sponsored Marie Klok Crump's team in the all-women's event, it created
enough controversy to generate media exposure, regardless of the team's
racing results. Admittedly, the foursome had an entrée to Levitra
co-marketer, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, through crewmember Townley
Everette who works for the company. In their proposal, they explained that
they had never sailed together before and they expected to finish in the
middle of the fleet (they were 33rd out of 66 boats), but they expected
"Sponsorship success is not measured by performance," says Crump, "it's all
about exposure." In addition to displaying the Levitra logo on the
mainsail, spinnaker and team clothing, the team sent out advance publicity,
distributed regatta updates, handled media interviews, and coordinated a
VIP boat for spectators from the company. "Both sides need to benefit from
a sponsorship deal," says Crump.
The Minnesota Women's Sailing Team came to the Rolex regatta with four
sponsors, three of them repeat sponsors from the last event. The team's
strategy was to approach large companies with corporate headquarters in
their area (such as sponsor, Yoplait Nouriche); regional distributors for
major companies (sponsor, Absolut Vodka); and companies that market to
women (sponsor, Great Clips). They offered different sponsorship levels so
local companies (sponsor, Hooper's Yachts) could participate as well.
Team member, Tanja Manrique, advises: "Tailor your proposal to the company,
seek a specific amount of money and ask for the sale. Be sure to do event
public relations, send out press releases and set up a web site. After the
event, go back to your sponsors with video footage and article clips to
prove how much media exposure they got. Take a long-term approach to your
sponsor relationships." They finished in 42nd place. - Excerpted from a
story by Kathleen M. Mangan, a freelance writer based in Hagerstown, MD.
WINDSURFING RECORD FALLS
'Big Wednesday' turned out to be a record setting day as the run of 46.24
knots by Finian Maynard sets a new windsurfing speed record and comes
agonizingly close to the outright world record of 46.54 knots. David Garrel
of France set a new French record with a time of 45.51 knots. Martin van
Meurs set a new Dutch record with a time of 40.8 knots.
All the action took place on a one kilometre stretch of canal in the South
of France. The day began with 35-40 knots and a better angle of attack
(115-120 degrees) than the last SE day. The timing was ready at 9am and it
was full on right from the start. The wind lasted until midday when an
enormous white squall brought heavy rain and thunder/lightning right over
us. The wind for the rest of the day was insignificant in strength, which
is a contradiction of the forecast but we will take what we get.
Pascal recorded the strongest gusts at 42 knots but during this fast
20-minute period, it was 40-42 knots all the way down the course. The dream
The 'Canal', as it is known to the sailors, is the unmistakable location
where today's windsurfing technology has the potential to explore the
unknown depths of speed. The trench itself is 1,100 meters long with a
width of 15 meters. There are three overlapping, 500 M courses on each side
accommodating the four quadrant wind directions. NW, N/NE, SW & SE. The two
most favourable directions are the widely known 'Mistral', which blows from
a N/NE direction and the 'Le Grec', which blows from the SE. This was the
wind direction of Thierry Bielak's record run of 45.34 knts. in 1993. All
potentially fast times will be officially ratified by the WSSRC, who will
have an observer on hand. - Masters of speed website, full story:
There are a number of websites 'speculating' that Paul Cayard has gotten a
financial commitment from an Arab mega yacht owner, and the two will
challenge for the America's Cup from the Yacht Club De Monaco. However,
readers should know that while all of this speculation is going on, Cayard
is in Florida for 10 days of Star-boat training and speed testing with his
training partner, former Star World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist,
Ross MacDonald from Canada. And Cayard has acknowledged that he has also
scheduled three similar training sessions before the US Olympic Trials take
place in March.
SANTA'S AT SAILING ANGLES
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THE (REAL) LITTLE AMERICA'S CUP
Team Invictus, a British Challenge for the 'Little America's Cup', has
begun building the first of two boats with which they will challenge the
Australians and ultimately the American defenders for one of sailings most
technological trophies. Carbon specialist, Dan Emuss from Independent
composites, based in Bristol Docks has launched into the build of major
components for the construction of the 'wing' and hulls. The team aim to
have a boat ready to sail by the end of February with a Mk II boat to
follow sometime later.
Although the brief for the C-Class cats is relatively simple, the designs
that have evolved are some of the most advanced in sailing. Soft, fabric
sails disappeared long ago in favour of solid 'wing sails' similar to
aircraft wings, with slots and flaps to control their shape. These can
develop two to three times the lift and efficiency of conventional sails.
If you've ever looked out the window of a passenger airline and watched the
contortions of the wing when the plane gets ready to land then you will
have an idea of how a C-Cat sail works.
Headed by Airbus engineer Norman Wijker, the team is growing and the
experience base is widening. The design team is largely derived from within
Airbus but now people are lending their weight from outside the project
mostly motivated by the passion to see these amazing craft take to the
water once again. ISAF website, full story:
Invictus website: www.team-invictus.co.uk
If (TNZ skipper) Dean Barker has his way, boom British yachting talent Ben
Ainslie could be sailing alongside him at the next America's Cup.
* To get the signature of Ainslie would send a huge signal to the rest of
the sailing world as he is considered the most talented sailor of his
generation. The 26-year-old recently won the Finn world champs at Cadiz,
Spain, and will be the hot favourite in that class at next year's Olympics.
Barker had him on board at the Bermuda Cup earlier this year in his Swedish
Match match-racing campaign and liked what he saw.
"It was great. I've known Ben for quite a while having seen him around in
the Laser scene and different regattas from time to time. I've been
following his career with a lot of interest because he has been so
incredibly dominant over the last few years." And the chances of getting
him on board a black boat? "We're talking to a number of people at the
moment and he obviously has a lot he can offer to Team New Zealand." -
Dylan Cleaver, NZ Sunday Star Times, full story: http://tinyurl.com/x5f7
* The Notice of Race for the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge 2005 is now
available online and as a hard-copy color commemorative from the New York
Yacht Club's Sailing Office. The race is for monohull sailboats 70 feet LOD
and longer attempting to break the world's oldest ocean-racing record, that
of the three-masted schooner Atlantic. The 3,000-mile race starts in New
York on May 21, 2005, and finishes off the Lizard in England, covering the
same racecourse followed by Atlantic 100 years ago. To download the PFD
version of the NOR or for more information: http://www.nyyc.org
* Vineyard Vines®, designers of hand-sewn silk ties and apparel
accessories, has become an official sponsor of US Sailing and the US
Sailing Teams. The agreement begins with the creation of a limited edition
commemorative tie and tote bag as part of US Sailing's "Voyage to Athens" -
a fundraising initiative supporting the 2004 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic
Teams for Sailing. Other key elements of the partnership include a program
for US Sailing member yacht clubs and sailing organizations, as well as the
creation of a line of US Sailing themed ties.
* "We are looking for an accomplished businesswoman and boater with
experience as CEO/ COO/ EVP in a public or private company to serve on West
Marine's Board of Directors," reports Randy Repass, founder of West Marine.
"Previous board experience is not necessary." If you are or know of any
likely candidates, email Repass at: email@example.com. - 'Lectronic
Latitude website, http://www.latitude38.com/LectronicLat/LectronicLat.html
* Standings in Le Defi Altantique singlehanded Race for Open 60s from
Salvador de Bahia to La Rochelle at 1500 GMT on December 3: 1. Jean Pierre
Dick, 3471.7 mile from finish; 2. Alex Thompson, 17.4 miles from leader; 3.
Vincent Riou, 54.4 mfl; 4. Mike Golding, 56.3; 5. Nick Moloney, 76.4 mfl.
A number of readers were nice enough to take the time to let the curmudgeon
know he screwed up the answer to yesterday's trivia question. In addition
to England and Italy, Canada was also an unsuccessful challenger for the
America's Cup in 1876 and 1881. Both of those challenges took place after
the de facto independence of Canada from Great Britain in 1867 with the
Acts of Confederation.
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE
Key West Race Week is just around the corner so it's not too early to get
prepared. Check in with your rigger and load up with Samson running
rigging. WarpSpeed, Validator II, Progen II, AmSteel Blue and Ultra Tech
are the lines of choice for top competitors in all classes. Also, ask for
HPS Twine for lashings and general purpose use - "Duct Tape on a rope" has
lots of uses. In Key West, drop by the Samson booth to see what's new for
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be
edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room nor a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Robert Wilkes: Further to Gus Miller's editorial in Scuttlebutt 1470
there is little evidence that the US "has lost the dinghy tradition it once
had that gave us our pool of Olympic sailors." The International Optimist
Class recently researched details of all sailors who represented the U.S.
in the Optimist dinghy 1996-2001. This should be an important source of
Olympic potential since over half the Olympic dinghy helms in 2000 were
former Optimist sailors. Of the 161 U.S. Optimist team sailors no less than
85% are still sailing dinghies up to seven years later. OK, a quarter of
them seem to be primarily engaged in Collegiate sailing, but the rest
appear to be competing in ordinary inter-club and national events.
* From Frank Conway: I am to believe that the general public would be more
interested in the America's Cup if they raced in any wind between 5 knots
and 40 knots. Watching these boats race in the lighter conditions is like
watching NASCAR with a 125 MPH speed limit, and we can't control the light
wind, but in the heavy wind, there will be lots of action and no TV delays.
Also, with a higher wind range, more teams could be competitive as the
boats need to be able to handle all types of wind and wave conditions,
instead of a set wind range. Letâ€™s not forget the best TV cup ever was in
Australia with big waves and winds. This last one was the worst with all
the delays and cancellations.
* From Jerry Kaye: Dennis Connor is a sailing hero and a class act who's
presence will be greatly missed. Hopefully he will maintain some
involvement. Thanks, Dennis, for all the action, intrique, laughs and tears
throughout the years and the many cups you've enriched through your efforts.
* From JJ Isler (Re: John Drayton's question): I read "The Race" this
summer by Tim Zimmermann and couldn't put it down - great read! Great look
at the extreme catamarans, clipper ships and Golden Globe characters! I'm
glad John Rousmaniere weighed in with his selections, but he's too modest
-- I would add his book "Fastnet Force 10" as another good read. And then
there are the classics, "Sailing Alone Around the World" by Slocum and
"Endurance - Shackelton" by Lansing. Last but not least, "Adrift" by
Callahan is good - just have a bottle of water handy because his story
makes you really thirsty.
* From John McNeill: Although I have amassed nearly twenty feet of
bookshelf volumes on sailing over the years, the one little book I find
myself re-reading quite often is "First You Must Row a Little Boat" by
Bode. This little volume, still readily available at most book sources for
about $10-12, is a wonderful blend of one mans youthful development of love
for the sport, and the life lessons that came from that experience. If you
know sailing as an avocation, or want to introduce someone to the love of
the sport, this is THE book to provide. It is a delightful quick read and
will actually fit in some larger Christmas stockings.
* From Steve Schupak: Further armchair sailing adventure sugesstions for
- William F. Buckley: "Airborne", "Atlantic High", "Racing Through
Paradise: A Pacific Passage"
- Sir Francis Chichester: "Gypsy Moth Circles the world"
Put the kids to bed, send the wife off to watch the Bachelor, grab that
glass of scotch and enjoy!
* From: Morton Weintraub (re Great Sailing Books) Bill Snaith's "On The
Wind's Way" is a recounting of a transatlantic race, and much more. If any
man deserved the sobriquet "renaissance man", it was Snaith. I envy anybody
reading this wonderful book for the first time.
* From George Morris: Further to David Munge's letter, Erskine Childers
(author of Riddle of the Sands) was not hanged by the British, he was
hanged by the Irish who thought he was a British spy, which he was not. Is
there nowhere where we can be free of American/ Irish anti-British propaganda?
* From Steve Moore: Actually, Childers was shot, not hung. Nevertheless,
'The Riddle Of The Sands' is a great yarn and a wonderful read in several
ways. It was the original English spy novel. It alerted the British to the
potential threat from Germany. For sailors, it is a wonderful treatise on
shoal water sailing.
* From Denis Kiely: The Erskine Childers name holds an honoured place in
Irish history. He opposed the Treaty, joined the republican side in the
Civil War, and was captured by Free State forces at Glendalough House.
Court-martialled and sentenced to death, he was shot on 24 November 1922,
having first shaken hands with each member of the firing squad. [by the
forces of the government of the Irish Free State]
People are like tea bags - you never know their strength until they get
into hot water.