Varan

How about a The Ocean Race thread?

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50 minutes ago, mad said:

Isn’t that like asking the tobacco industry about the health effects of smoking, or the oil industry about pollution? :wacko:

Or taking their advice on vaping. Yeah right!

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Wind power produces 11g of CO2 per kw/h vs 980g of CO2 per kw/h for coal. The maximum a 4MW turbine could theoretically produce in 8 months is 23,040,000 kilowatts obviously it would be less, but that would save 22,325,760 kg of CO2. Thats a lot of energy and a lot of CO2 saved... at 70 tonnes of turbine (not that its all carbon fibre) you'd have to expend more than 318 tonnes per tonne of turbine to not break even...

Mad is right though, its frustratingly hard to get figures out of the industry for how much it does take to make carbon fibre :lol:

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1 hour ago, Chimp too said:

I don’t have anything other then the words of an industry expert to back it up. But if you consider the processes required to turn precursor into even high strength carbon fibre, the idea that it can be recouped in only 8 months would suggest that one windmill would be sufficient to power a city. Doesn’t appear to be the case.

Or to manufacture the glass and petroleum based resin systems etc. 

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1 hour ago, JonRowe said:

Wind power produces 11g of CO2 per kw/h vs 980g of CO2 per kw/h for coal. The maximum a 4MW turbine could theoretically produce in 8 months is 23,040,000 kilowatts obviously it would be less, but that would save 22,325,760 kg of CO2. Thats a lot of energy and a lot of CO2 saved... at 70 tonnes of turbine (not that its all carbon fibre) you'd have to expend more than 318 tonnes per tonne of turbine to not break even...

Mad is right though, its frustratingly hard to get figures out of the industry for how much it does take to make carbon fibre :lol:

I’m out of this conversation before it descends into PA territory. ;)
 

In the meantime, here’s a start. 
https://compositesuk.co.uk/composite-materials/faqs/embodied-energy

http://www.carbon-fiber.com/eccf.pdf

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I agree with Mad, let this go to PA thread. All I know is what the MD of the company that sells 11,000 tons of carbon to Vestas each year told me.

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with the race to start in just over a years time, no teams have been announced yet?!?

are the 65's one design?

why is there such little information about the race?

damn, i miss the old whitbread ....

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The 65s are one design, the same one design 65s that went around the last two times. Various teams have declared, in the IMOCA's you have 11th hour racing, Malizia at least. The 65s include childhood one and I think Mirripundi foundation?

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I mean it's still piss poor information wise for race scheduled to start so soon, anyone taking bets on it being cancelled or postponed?

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37 minutes ago, JonRowe said:

The 65s are one design, the same one design 65s that went around the last two times. Various teams have declared, in the IMOCA's you have 11th hour racing, Malizia at least. The 65s include childhood one and I think Mirripundi foundation?

Malizia making it to the start line won’t be easy either - he’s gotta do the VG, assuming everything goes well and the boat is back in France in good shape, it’s gotta go thru a conversion process to match TOR’s silly rules. 
 

And if there’s only 11th Hour Racing - for what? A two boat race to add to a racing resume full of disappointments for that boat. 

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There are allegedly more teams but not all announced  there is the kiwi team led by Bianca Cook but I can't remember what team what boat etc.

This town is coming like a ghost town etc.

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22 hours ago, JonRowe said:

There are allegedly more teams but not all announced  there is the kiwi team led by Bianca Cook but I can't remember what team what boat etc.

This town is coming like a ghost town etc.

The Kiwi team is using a VO65 as I recall.

The former Acciona 2011 IMOCA was supposed to have been brought by a second German team for the TOR but no idea if that is real and they have added foils etc.

The IMOCA TOR class looks very very weak.  Seems a waste of money to build a new TOR specialized MOCA with such competition.

 

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Theres OTG with Einstein in the IMOCA class, forgot about them, have Annie Lush signed up along with others?

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On 1/28/2020 at 1:47 AM, Chimp too said:

Compare the carbon footprint of using nuclear power and not throwing away an efficient petrol car against building a forest of windmills and scrapping your petrol car for an electric car with hard to mine cobalt and lithium that is also hard to dispose of and your Tesla owner looks a lot less smug.

Yep and Conventional Gas V Electric cars is also a geography argument around battery manufacture and charge source.

Building a car battery in Germany or Poland, countries which still have coal-heavy industries, would emit around 3/4 more CO2 than producing an efficient conventional car. So you can use a gas-powered vehicle there for three to four years before a similiar sized EV would beat it on CO2 emissions.

On the other hand EV's in Norway with their hydro grid generate 60% less emissions than the most efficient gasoline vehicles over their lifetime.

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https://mailchi.mp/tipandshaft.com/31012020-tip-shaft-197-antoine-mermod-loin-dtre-inquiets-pour-the-ocean-race-le-circuit-diam-24-cherche-un-second-souffle?e=9a497c6fa7

In French

Somewhat optimistic interview with Antoine Mermod (IMOCA class President) including some parts on the TOR.

Saying 8-12 boats (...).  Doesn't say the split of OD to IMOCA but pretty easy to guess very few IMOCA.  Only 11th Hour is mentioned by name.  The Spanish team is referred to but per Juan K's interview recently it is not funded and almost out of time. See's the race as a long term prospect and says some teams are working quietly on projects but no details. Seems to be hoping the international footprint of IMOCA will grow to pick up the slack given the minimal interest of many larger IMOCA sponsors in anything much outside of France.  Doesn't talk about the crazy expensive number of stopovers or route at all. Says the 10 big VG teams have 80% of the necessary budget to do the TOR as well but he doesn't say where the 20% (of ~10M E) budget overrun would come from.  Saying at the same time they are concerned about cost control.

T foils on rudders not a done deal.  GA meeting in March. Keeping class changes under control and hence costs and a more unified field are concerns.

Overall pretty disappointing.

 

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41 minutes ago, jb5 said:

https://mailchi.mp/tipandshaft.com/31012020-tip-shaft-197-antoine-mermod-loin-dtre-inquiets-pour-the-ocean-race-le-circuit-diam-24-cherche-un-second-souffle?e=9a497c6fa7

In French

Somewhat optimistic interview with Antoine Mermod (IMOCA class President) including some parts on the TOR.

Saying 8-12 boats (...).  Doesn't say the split of OD to IMOCA but pretty easy to guess very few IMOCA.  Only 11th Hour is mentioned by name.  The Spanish team is referred to but per Juan K's interview recently it is not funded and almost out of time. See's the race as a long term prospect and says some teams are working quietly on projects but no details. Seems to be hoping the international footprint of IMOCA will grow to pick up the slack given the minimal interest of many larger IMOCA sponsors in anything much outside of France.  Doesn't talk about the crazy expensive number of stopovers or route at all. Says the 10 big VG teams have 80% of the necessary budget to do the TOR as well but he doesn't say where the 20% (of ~10M E) budget overrun would come from.  Saying at the same time they are concerned about cost control.

T foils on rudders not a done deal.  GA meeting in March. Keeping class changes under control and hence costs and a more unified field are concerns.

Overall pretty disappointing.

 

10 big teams have 80% of the budget to do TOR? I call bullshit on that. I'd say that if teams have that much of the budget worked out and still have no interest in doing the race then The Ocean Race brand is more damaged than perhaps we all thought...  

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 Partially funded is unfunded, the saying goes.

 

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Agree with you. Funniest/saddest thing I think was talking about cost control for the class at the same time as entries spending more for the TOR. Messed up. 

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And there's no guarantee that "funded" won't be unfunded because of changing circumstances in the global economy and China.

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On 1/31/2020 at 6:17 PM, jb5 said:

https://mailchi.mp/tipandshaft.com/31012020-tip-shaft-197-antoine-mermod-loin-dtre-inquiets-pour-the-ocean-race-le-circuit-diam-24-cherche-un-second-souffle?e=9a497c6fa7

In French

Somewhat optimistic interview with Antoine Mermod (IMOCA class President) including some parts on the TOR.

Saying 8-12 boats (...).  Doesn't say the split of OD to IMOCA but pretty easy to guess very few IMOCA.  Only 11th Hour is mentioned by name.  The Spanish team is referred to but per Juan K's interview recently it is not funded and almost out of time. See's the race as a long term prospect and says some teams are working quietly on projects but no details. Seems to be hoping the international footprint of IMOCA will grow to pick up the slack given the minimal interest of many larger IMOCA sponsors in anything much outside of France.  Doesn't talk about the crazy expensive number of stopovers or route at all. Says the 10 big VG teams have 80% of the necessary budget to do the TOR as well but he doesn't say where the 20% (of ~10M E) budget overrun would come from.  Saying at the same time they are concerned about cost control.

T foils on rudders not a done deal.  GA meeting in March. Keeping class changes under control and hence costs and a more unified field are concerns.

Overall pretty disappointing.

 

The way it is written, it is quite clear he is talking 8-12 for Imocas only in this interview, even if this is still probably over optimistic.

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3 minutes ago, yl75 said:

The way it is written, it is quite clear he is talking 8-12 for Imocas only in this interview, even if this is still probably over optimistic.

Thanks yl75.  I was wondering about that but the 8-12 sounded so high if it were IMOCA only I figured it must include the OD boats.

The VOR total entry average was what. 7-8 or so (?) in recent races.  Where he's getting 8 IMOCA from is hard to see.  I'm thinking more like 3-4.  Then they may have a 8-10 fleet all together.

Even assuming some skippers sell their foiling IMOCA after the VG they are very likely to be old refits and not the good ones (IC, PRB).  Most of the new boats should be tied up with the next TJV and RDR cycle.  Many of the French projects go beyond the VG which he also mentions.  Most of those sponsors have minimal to no interests outside of France.

Sounds like he's talking it up to try to get the uptake to improve.  That will fail because its far too expensive with all those stops.  Out of step with reality.

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On 1/27/2020 at 6:55 PM, Chimp too said:

I don’t have anything other then the words of an industry expert to back it up. But if you consider the processes required to turn precursor into even high strength carbon fibre, the idea that it can be recouped in only 8 months would suggest that one windmill would be sufficient to power a city. Doesn’t appear to be the case.

Thank god, you don't need the equivalent of 8 months electricity consumption of a city to manufacture a wind turbine!!! Imagine how stupidly expensive carbon fibre bikes, boats, etc... would be!

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52 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Thank god, you don't need the equivalent of 8 months electricity consumption of a city to manufacture a wind turbine!!! Imagine how stupidly expensive carbon fibre bikes, boats, etc... would be!

Sorry, I forgot that I need to provide a health warning when using sarcasm. I will try better in future

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7 minutes ago, Chimp too said:

Sorry, I forgot that I need to provide a health warning when using sarcasm. I will try better in future

IMHO that was Bullshit not sarcasm, I have also read the 8 months figure to come even and unless you bring strong evidence, I will stick to it, thank you.

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51 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

IMHO that was Bullshit not sarcasm, I have also read the 8 months figure to come even and unless you bring strong evidence, I will stick to it, thank you.

Fuck you then

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30 minutes ago, dexter75007 said:

I read the same thing on facebook.
Video presentation of Yoann Richomme on the same page.

Where are the other teams?
Eleven Hour racing?

 

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2 hours ago, dexter75007 said:

Wonder what he really thinks of that with his track record and talent.  On a VO65 instead of an IMOCA in the VG.  Better than nothing but must be disappointing. Filling in time.

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8 hours ago, jb5 said:

Wonder what he really thinks of that with his track record and talent.  On a VO65 instead of an IMOCA in the VG.  Better than nothing but must be disappointing. Filling in time.

As you say, JB, better riding a nag, than sitting on the fence.

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18 hours ago, jb5 said:

Wonder what he really thinks of that with his track record and talent.  On a VO65 instead of an IMOCA in the VG.  Better than nothing but must be disappointing. Filling in time.

I mean doing the Ocean race than after that having time to do the VG 2024 is a great series of events. If he wins, its great for the sponsor search after TOR.  He wanted to go back to crewed sailing as well, and VG still in his sights but only with a winning project.

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On 1/28/2020 at 8:01 AM, Chimp too said:

I agree with Mad, let this go to PA thread. All I know is what the MD of the company that sells 11,000 tons of carbon to Vestas each year told me.

Quote

Carbon fibre: the wonder material with a dirty secret

Researchers are scrambling for ways to get the strong, light material out of landfill and make it ready for recycling and reuse

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/mar/22/carbon-fibre-wonder-material-dirty-secret?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

 

credit to @Priscilla  for the original posting 

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Just now, mad said:

I agree with Mad, let this go to PA thread.

I agree with Mad too, oh wait...

 

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On 1/28/2020 at 4:48 PM, JonRowe said:

I mean it's still piss poor information wise for race scheduled to start so soon, anyone taking bets on it being cancelled or 

Yup. Open the book. So far we have one IMOCA 60 entry with old boat and one old VO65. Neither with big money. Is that it?

Any bets whether the IMOCA 60 will beat the VO65?

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So when's the race scheduled to kick off? It it's this year and so far we have only two entries, in two classes- surely the question has become not what teams they will get, but when they'll admit job's a shitter and pull the plug? 

 

 

Surely no closer than 3 months out. It's such a shame seeing the point this race has gotten to. 

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15 minutes ago, Icedtea said:

So when's the race scheduled to kick off? It it's this year and so far we have only two entries, in two classes- surely the question has become not what teams they will get, but when they'll admit job's a shitter and pull the plug? 

 

 

Surely no closer than 3 months out. It's such a shame seeing the point this race has gotten to. 

 

Quote

The Ocean Race, scheduled to start in 2021, will be raced in two dynamic classes of boats: the high-performance, foiling, IMOCA 60 class and the one-design VO65 class which produced such close, compelling racing in the last two editions of the race.

Entries in the IMOCA 60 class will compete for The Ocean Race trophy, while those racing the VO65s will chase the Ocean Challenge Trophy.

The IMOCA 60

https://www.theoceanrace.com/en/boat.html

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19 hours ago, winchfodder said:

Yup. Open the book. So far we have one IMOCA 60 entry with old boat and one old VO65. Neither with big money. Is that it?

Any bets whether the IMOCA 60 will beat the VO65?

Nope. Open your eyes. So far we have at least one brand new Imoca 60 entry with very big money, still to be build though. And others with more or less money already announced or awaiting official announcement.

And all 6 or 7 Volvo 65's are supposed to do the race. 

Surely piss poor of the VOR that they fail to convey this to the SA aficionado...

 

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16 hours ago, Fiji Bitter said:

Nope. Open your eyes. So far we have at least one brand new Imoca 60 entry with very big money, still to be build though. And others with more or less money already announced or awaiting official announcement.

And all 6 or 7 Volvo 65's are supposed to do the race. 

Surely piss poor of the VOR that they fail to convey this to the SA aficionado...

 

All seems very nebulous. Like the course 

 

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As per today the fleet:

    #1 Miripuri            319060300    (ex-Dongfeng)
    #2 Ambersail 2        277188240    (ex ex-SCA)
    #3 Childhood        244780246    (ex-Brunel)
    #4                     367616310    (ex-Vestas 11th hour)
    #5 Viva mexico        319122300    (ex-Scallywag)
    #6 NZ Ocean Racing    319081500    (ex-TTTOP RACING)
    #7 Sailing Poland    224530860    (ex Mapfre)
    #8                     319119500    (ex-Team AkzoNobel)

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22 minutes ago, ITA602 said:

As per today the fleet:

    #1 Miripuri            319060300    (ex-Dongfeng)
    #2 Ambersail 2        277188240    (ex ex-SCA)
    #3 Childhood        244780246    (ex-Brunel)
    #4                     367616310    (ex-Vestas 11th hour)
    #5 Viva mexico        319122300    (ex-Scallywag)
    #6 NZ Ocean Racing    319081500    (ex-TTTOP RACING)
    #7 Sailing Poland    224530860    (ex Mapfre)
    #8                     319119500    (ex-Team AkzoNobel)

It's been a while since I checked, but the last time I looked there were at least 3 IMOCA teams/boats:

11th Hour Racing Team
Charlie Enright, Mark Towill

German Team I - Malizia
Boris Herrmann 

German Team II
Jens Kuphal, Michael End, Robert Stanjek, Annie Lush, Nico Lunven
 

 

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Yeah, I was just referring to VO65... sorry for being not precise :-)

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1 hour ago, ITA602 said:

Yeah, I was just referring to VO65... sorry for being not precise :-)

Theres a German VO65? Einstein and Malizia are IMOCA 60s, if theres a German VO65 that'll be three German teams! Good for the numbers :)

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On 2/12/2020 at 4:29 PM, RobHall said:
On 2/12/2020 at 4:05 PM, ITA602 said:

As per today the fleet:

    #1 Miripuri            319060300    (ex-Dongfeng)
    #2 Ambersail 2        277188240    (ex ex-SCA)
    #3 Childhood        244780246    (ex-Brunel)
    #4                     367616310    (ex-Vestas 11th hour)
    #5 Viva mexico        319122300    (ex-Scallywag)
    #6 NZ Ocean Racing    319081500    (ex-TTTOP RACING)
    #7 Sailing Poland    224530860    (ex Mapfre)
    #8                     319119500    (ex-Team AkzoNobel)

It's been a while since I checked, but the last time I looked there were at least 3 IMOCA teams/boats:

11th Hour Racing Team
Charlie Enright, Mark Towill

German Team I - Malizia
Boris Herrmann 

German Team II
Jens Kuphal, Michael End, Robert Stanjek, Annie Lush, Nico Lunven
 

That looks much better than I had been hearing. Though which ones have any funding. Looks like just Miripuri and 11th hour racing. So might not be so good after all.

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On 2/1/2020 at 1:17 AM, jb5 said:

  Doesn't talk about the crazy expensive number of stopovers or route at all.

 

Sorry. Let's look at some facts instead of suppositions and guesswork. The race is a commercial event. Teams depend on sponsors. The last arguably privateer was Kostaka in 2008-2009 and that was even sponsored through a supermarket chain and didn't even get half way round before running out of funds,- the one before that was George Collins Chessie Racing in what was then the Whitbread of 1997-98 so it is fair to say that without sponsors the race would already be dead and buried and might well have not even lasted into the 'Volvo Era.

Make no mistake sponsors need a return on their investment, that dreaded "ROI". They DO NOT do it for altruistic reasons, it is solely to increase that number found on the bottom right hand corner of an annual report.

Sponsors need to be able to meet potential customers/partners/clients and the stopover is the  ideal place to do so. I have  not heard of many multi-million contracts signed on the heaving deck of a VOR70 or VO65 in mid ocean in a force 8 much as we like to see the footage.

As an example of how important the stopovers can be to sponsors? 

A couple where I have had first hand feedback from would be Berg Propulsion, co sponsors with Puma of Mar Mostro. In one of the stopovers (Capetown I seem to recall) they signed massive contracts which really helped to give the company its eventual valuation when sold to Caterpillar (I think).

The other one which was significantly helped by their presence in Itajai was Dongfeng which achieved their annual sales targets by May of that year. In fact second time round, eventual winners Dongfeng were the only fully funded team in the race and yet had they not been provided with a 'home stopover' (Guangzhou) would most likely not have been on the start line at all.

This is first hand knowledge, not heard from a friend of a friend of a friend.

So stoppovers are expensive?

Not half as expensive as no sponsors because the cost of no sponsors is no race.

If you doubt that last statement I just refer you back to 1 privateer entry in 20 years 

Having said all that, expect completion of the route in the next 14 days.

Reality guys!

SS

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agree, Shanghai, no sponsors, no race. For me, the biggest issue are not the stopovers or the cost of taking part. It is the race purpose and the reason why sponsors should join the ship. It was obvious in the old Whitbread days, a crewed race around the world, an adventure of circumnavigating the world as fast as possible. This got lost when Volvo decided to include Middle East, India, China, etc. on the road. Even going one design took away the development aspect that appealed to some sponsors. Now, for the uneducated sponsor, the Ocean Race is just another Clipper Round the World Race. With pros and so on, but more expensive. The new claim of being a sustainability focussed platform hopefully works, but everyone is going into that direction. So limited differentiation. We'll see. 

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10 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Sorry. Let's look at some facts instead of suppositions and guesswork. The race is a commercial event. Teams depend on sponsors. The last arguably privateer was Kostaka in 2008-2009 and that was even sponsored through a supermarket chain and didn't even get half way round before running out of funds,- the one before that was George Collins Chessie Racing in what was then the Whitbread of 1997-98 so it is fair to say that without sponsors the race would already be dead and buried and might well have not even lasted into the 'Volvo Era.

Make no mistake sponsors need a return on their investment, that dreaded "ROI". They DO NOT do it for altruistic reasons, it is solely to increase that number found on the bottom right hand corner of an annual report.

Sponsors need to be able to meet potential customers/partners/clients and the stopover is the  ideal place to do so. I have  not heard of many multi-million contracts signed on the heaving deck of a VOR70 or VO65 in mid ocean in a force 8 much as we like to see the footage.

As an example of how important the stopovers can be to sponsors? 

A couple where I have had first hand feedback from would be Berg Propulsion, co sponsors with Puma of Mar Mostro. In one of the stopovers (Capetown I seem to recall) they signed massive contracts which really helped to give the company its eventual valuation when sold to Caterpillar (I think).

The other one which was significantly helped by their presence in Itajai was Dongfeng which achieved their annual sales targets by May of that year. In fact second time round, eventual winners Dongfeng were the only fully funded team in the race and yet had they not been provided with a 'home stopover' (Guangzhou) would most likely not have been on the start line at all.

This is first hand knowledge, not heard from a friend of a friend of a friend.

So stoppovers are expensive?

Not half as expensive as no sponsors because the cost of no sponsors is no race.

If you doubt that last statement I just refer you back to 1 privateer entry in 20 years 

Having said all that, expect completion of the route in the next 14 days.

Reality guys!

SS

Reads like a lot of opinions and suppositions.  I'll be sticking to my own.

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With the current public health challenges - if things don't improve, we'll be looking at a global recession starting from E Asia by April. Then all bets are off.

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12 hours ago, jb5 said:

Reads like a lot of opinions and suppositions.  I'll be sticking to my own.

Did  you actually read it? 53 entries since 1997, 1 privateer, 52 sponsored teams - that's a lot of opinions.

FYI - and by the way what follows are hard facts NOT opinions and not a supposition in sight.

4 editions ago I was tasked with attempting to find an additional sponsor(s) for one of the teams. I still have the material on file (no I will not post it - NDAs don't go away). Another potential sponsor that was close to signing went stone cold when Shanghai as a stopover dropped off the radar citing that as a reason.

One of the conditions of Abu Dhabi becoming a Race and Team sponsor (I'm guessing the prime reason) was a home stopover even though it involved ferrying the boats on part of the race to avoid pirate areas.

Dongfeng were known to be unhappy that there was a Hong Kong stopover but not a Mainland stopover and for those  who think that doesn't matter just look at Hong Kong's actions towards mainland people regarding the virus. Only very hard work and conversations by local activists at the 11th Hour (not the team just a saying) resulted in Guangzhou stopover.

Moving away from pure facts towards an element of supposition - does anyone really think there would have been a Dutch finish last time round if there hadn't been two entries sponsored by Dutch companies.

Instead of theorising or giving YOUR imagined opinions try speaking to the stakeholders in the race (or better yet being an actual stakeholder getting down and dirty having conversations with potential sponsors), the team management, the people that get contracts with the sponsors to build their pavilions to go round the world leapfrogging  the stopovers, the executives of the sponsors and  what they are tasked to do and what are the important parts of the races for them. A lot easier to be a forum critic than actually getting one's hands dirty trying to make a success of things - you should try it sometime.

FACT WARNING: The busy time for the sponsor's internal team is the few days leading up to the stopover. Is the pavilion ready? Are the canapes ordered? Are we sure we have enough cocktails? Is the schedule for boat visits in order? Have the category A clients confirmed their attendance? Who do we expect to sign or announce the big deals? The action for the internal team is almost all around the stopovers - I've been part of it, at ground zero. Then - shit - the sponsor's CEO wants to visit one day, can we get him on board for the Pro-Am, which important client do we bounce to get him on?

Then a few hours after the fleet clears the sea mark at the start of the next leg the heat goes off  the situation until a few days before the next stopover. Time for a beer and a debrief and start planning "Who have we got coming to the next stopover?"

In addition some companies may also internalise the  sponsorship and encourage their workers to follow and use it for team building. I know B & Q did this when following Ellen round the planet on her trimaran. Their China head office was covered with posters of the tri' and everyone seemed to know her progress.It was also particularly moving to see Dongfeng workers holding signs (often hand drawn) in groups being video'd shouting "Jia Yo" for the sailors to see that the whole company was behind them. In fact part of the victory celebrations was a visit by the whole team to Wuhan (yes THAT Wuhan) for a celebratory dinner with senior Dongfeng personnel.

To repeat myself - Stopovers in The Ocean Race are important for sponsors - the race wont survive without sponsors - in fact it would probably already be dead. Therefor a logical conclusion is that stopovers are vital for The Ocean Race.

And we haven't even started to discuss the fact that pit stops and servicing allows the boats to be pushed harder or a one leg error not necessarily being a total disaster.

Just sayin'

SS

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8 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Did  you actually read it? 

 

Yes, rather more than you evidently did posts #442 & #447 concerning the misuse of AIS.

Good luck elsewhere with your PR campaign.

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14 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Did  you actually read it? 53 entries since 1997, 1 privateer, 52 sponsored teams - that's a lot of opinions.

FYI - and by the way what follows are hard facts NOT opinions and not a supposition in sight.

4 editions ago I was tasked with attempting to find an additional sponsor(s) for one of the teams. I still have the material on file (no I will not post it - NDAs don't go away). Another potential sponsor that was close to signing went stone cold when Shanghai as a stopover dropped off the radar citing that as a reason.

One of the conditions of Abu Dhabi becoming a Race and Team sponsor (I'm guessing the prime reason) was a home stopover even though it involved ferrying the boats on part of the race to avoid pirate areas.

Dongfeng were known to be unhappy that there was a Hong Kong stopover but not a Mainland stopover and for those  who think that doesn't matter just look at Hong Kong's actions towards mainland people regarding the virus. Only very hard work and conversations by local activists at the 11th Hour (not the team just a saying) resulted in Guangzhou stopover.

Moving away from pure facts towards an element of supposition - does anyone really think there would have been a Dutch finish last time round if there hadn't been two entries sponsored by Dutch companies.

Instead of theorising or giving YOUR imagined opinions try speaking to the stakeholders in the race (or better yet being an actual stakeholder getting down and dirty having conversations with potential sponsors), the team management, the people that get contracts with the sponsors to build their pavilions to go round the world leapfrogging  the stopovers, the executives of the sponsors and  what they are tasked to do and what are the important parts of the races for them. A lot easier to be a forum critic than actually getting one's hands dirty trying to make a success of things - you should try it sometime.

FACT WARNING: The busy time for the sponsor's internal team is the few days leading up to the stopover. Is the pavilion ready? Are the canapes ordered? Are we sure we have enough cocktails? Is the schedule for boat visits in order? Have the category A clients confirmed their attendance? Who do we expect to sign or announce the big deals? The action for the internal team is almost all around the stopovers - I've been part of it, at ground zero. Then - shit - the sponsor's CEO wants to visit one day, can we get him on board for the Pro-Am, which important client do we bounce to get him on?

Then a few hours after the fleet clears the sea mark at the start of the next leg the heat goes off  the situation until a few days before the next stopover. Time for a beer and a debrief and start planning "Who have we got coming to the next stopover?"

In addition some companies may also internalise the  sponsorship and encourage their workers to follow and use it for team building. I know B & Q did this when following Ellen round the planet on her trimaran. Their China head office was covered with posters of the tri' and everyone seemed to know her progress.It was also particularly moving to see Dongfeng workers holding signs (often hand drawn) in groups being video'd shouting "Jia Yo" for the sailors to see that the whole company was behind them. In fact part of the victory celebrations was a visit by the whole team to Wuhan (yes THAT Wuhan) for a celebratory dinner with senior Dongfeng personnel.

To repeat myself - Stopovers in The Ocean Race are important for sponsors - the race wont survive without sponsors - in fact it would probably already be dead. Therefor a logical conclusion is that stopovers are vital for The Ocean Race.

And we haven't even started to discuss the fact that pit stops and servicing allows the boats to be pushed harder or a one leg error not necessarily being a total disaster.

Just sayin'

SS

A good summary of Marketing 101 - as it relates to leveraging sports sponsorship. Nothing new here.

The fact remains, this race is turning into a pile of bat shit, which many of us 'forum critics' find, um...boring.

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19 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Did  you actually read it? 53 entries since 1997, 1 privateer, 52 sponsored teams - that's a lot of opinions.

FYI - and by the way what follows are hard facts NOT opinions and not a supposition in sight.

4 editions ago I was tasked with attempting to find an additional sponsor(s) for one of the teams. I still have the material on file (no I will not post it - NDAs don't go away). Another potential sponsor that was close to signing went stone cold when Shanghai as a stopover dropped off the radar citing that as a reason.

One of the conditions of Abu Dhabi becoming a Race and Team sponsor (I'm guessing the prime reason) was a home stopover even though it involved ferrying the boats on part of the race to avoid pirate areas.

Dongfeng were known to be unhappy that there was a Hong Kong stopover but not a Mainland stopover and for those  who think that doesn't matter just look at Hong Kong's actions towards mainland people regarding the virus. Only very hard work and conversations by local activists at the 11th Hour (not the team just a saying) resulted in Guangzhou stopover.

Moving away from pure facts towards an element of supposition - does anyone really think there would have been a Dutch finish last time round if there hadn't been two entries sponsored by Dutch companies.

Instead of theorising or giving YOUR imagined opinions try speaking to the stakeholders in the race (or better yet being an actual stakeholder getting down and dirty having conversations with potential sponsors), the team management, the people that get contracts with the sponsors to build their pavilions to go round the world leapfrogging  the stopovers, the executives of the sponsors and  what they are tasked to do and what are the important parts of the races for them. A lot easier to be a forum critic than actually getting one's hands dirty trying to make a success of things - you should try it sometime.

FACT WARNING: The busy time for the sponsor's internal team is the few days leading up to the stopover. Is the pavilion ready? Are the canapes ordered? Are we sure we have enough cocktails? Is the schedule for boat visits in order? Have the category A clients confirmed their attendance? Who do we expect to sign or announce the big deals? The action for the internal team is almost all around the stopovers - I've been part of it, at ground zero. Then - shit - the sponsor's CEO wants to visit one day, can we get him on board for the Pro-Am, which important client do we bounce to get him on?

Then a few hours after the fleet clears the sea mark at the start of the next leg the heat goes off  the situation until a few days before the next stopover. Time for a beer and a debrief and start planning "Who have we got coming to the next stopover?"

In addition some companies may also internalise the  sponsorship and encourage their workers to follow and use it for team building. I know B & Q did this when following Ellen round the planet on her trimaran. Their China head office was covered with posters of the tri' and everyone seemed to know her progress.It was also particularly moving to see Dongfeng workers holding signs (often hand drawn) in groups being video'd shouting "Jia Yo" for the sailors to see that the whole company was behind them. In fact part of the victory celebrations was a visit by the whole team to Wuhan (yes THAT Wuhan) for a celebratory dinner with senior Dongfeng personnel.

To repeat myself - Stopovers in The Ocean Race are important for sponsors - the race wont survive without sponsors - in fact it would probably already be dead. Therefor a logical conclusion is that stopovers are vital for The Ocean Race.

And we haven't even started to discuss the fact that pit stops and servicing allows the boats to be pushed harder or a one leg error not necessarily being a total disaster.

Just sayin'

SS

SS - interesting post. I disagree with your comments relating to the entries of private teams (in fact I respectfully disagree with your post in its entirety), I think you'll find several teams have been funded with private money under the guise of a corporate entity. In the last edition alone two teams were funded in part by private foundations. This year the race itself is being funded by private backers (the same backers as the teams). 

Now here's the interesting thing - or interesting to me anyway. What builds a sustainable race (I don't mean solving the worlds many issues although The Ocean Race's attempt it cute, horse shit but cute)? Sponsors or Teams? Who comes first?

The way I see it every thing must come from the teams. The race is not your platform, the stakeholders are and in this case the key stakeholders are those putting teams together and investing time into bringing the race to life. What I cannot understand is that we're here, in this situation because a race founded on competition and teams has seen the only way to evolve/survive is to seek money from host cities in locations that do not suit themselves to an around the world yacht race. Whilst the race seeks to make money from these host city agreements what they seem to forget is that for those competing an additional stopover is just another kick in the metophorical budgetollocks. 

The Ocean Race and those within TOR seem intent on taking money wherever they possibly can from any municipality that'll take them and their somewhat phoney green credentials. The Ocean Race themselves don't seem to understand the self-fulfilling prophecy that additional cities adds additional infrastructure, the need to leapfrog 140 containers, the need to employ additional staff for longer periods of time, additional air miles and so on and so on. They also don't understand that this is not what the sailing community or their competitors wants (let's not get into the argument about taking sailing to the masses - that gets me going even more than most things). 

I'm afraid that to me the whole system is broken, it's totally back to front. They've misunderstood what it is their doing - they've misunderstood what they have and what worries me the most is that the company that now owns the race comes from a team management background... This year we'll see 6/7 VOR65s and 3 IMOCAs. It's embarrassing. I'd have loved to see them return to some form of a traditional racetrack - if only to see a reduction in budget required to race. For the record i'd loved them to have left the foiling 60s at home and opened it to non-foiling 60s and 65s only. Then press the reset button for foiling 60s only during the next iteration once the technology is better understood thus resulting in budgets decreasing. 

Anyway, without teams you have no race (fully aware i'm leaving the door open for you to reply with 'ahh but without sponsors you have no teams'. That i'll answer over a beer - seems more fun than an anonymous forum). 

 

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3 hours ago, Bentley the Badger said:

SS - interesting post. I disagree with your comments relating to the entries of private teams (in fact I respectfully disagree with your post in its entirety), I think you'll find several teams have been funded with private money under the guise of a corporate entity. In the last edition alone two teams were funded in part by private foundations. This year the race itself is being funded by private backers (the same backers as the teams). 

Now here's the interesting thing - or interesting to me anyway. What builds a sustainable race (I don't mean solving the worlds many issues although The Ocean Race's attempt it cute, horse shit but cute)? Sponsors or Teams? Who comes first?

The way I see it every thing must come from the teams. The race is not your platform, the stakeholders are and in this case the key stakeholders are those putting teams together and investing time into bringing the race to life. What I cannot understand is that we're here, in this situation because a race founded on competition and teams has seen the only way to evolve/survive is to seek money from host cities in locations that do not suit themselves to an around the world yacht race. Whilst the race seeks to make money from these host city agreements what they seem to forget is that for those competing an additional stopover is just another kick in the metophorical budgetollocks. 

The Ocean Race and those within TOR seem intent on taking money wherever they possibly can from any municipality that'll take them and their somewhat phoney green credentials. The Ocean Race themselves don't seem to understand the self-fulfilling prophecy that additional cities adds additional infrastructure, the need to leapfrog 140 containers, the need to employ additional staff for longer periods of time, additional air miles and so on and so on. They also don't understand that this is not what the sailing community or their competitors wants (let's not get into the argument about taking sailing to the masses - that gets me going even more than most things). 

I'm afraid that to me the whole system is broken, it's totally back to front. They've misunderstood what it is their doing - they've misunderstood what they have and what worries me the most is that the company that now owns the race comes from a team management background... This year we'll see 6/7 VOR65s and 3 IMOCAs. It's embarrassing. I'd have loved to see them return to some form of a traditional racetrack - if only to see a reduction in budget required to race. For the record i'd loved them to have left the foiling 60s at home and opened it to non-foiling 60s and 65s only. Then press the reset button for foiling 60s only during the next iteration once the technology is better understood thus resulting in budgets decreasing. 

Anyway, without teams you have no race (fully aware i'm leaving the door open for you to reply with 'ahh but without sponsors you have no teams'. That i'll answer over a beer - seems more fun than an anonymous forum). 

 

I agree with the non foiling IMOCA comment - there are many more of them (and cheaper) around.

"6/7 VOR's and 3 IMOCAs would be the biggest fleet in the VOR/TOR this century so I wouldn't be too embarrassed.

The rest of your post?  Not getting at you but I suggest you attend a sponsorship seminar or speak to people 1:1 who have actually been involved with the VOR (I am on edition 5 right now)

It's a tough world, a job, not a hobby whether concerning team or stopover and the VOR/TOR is a pay to play game.

But if you don't believe my comments take a look at these

https://www.chiefmarketer.com/qa-volvo-ocean-races-sponsorship-adventure/

https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-it-cost-to-run-a-Volvo-Ocean-Race-team#

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/28/sports/28iht-srvrlede28.html

Perhaps the most telling quote is from Ken Read, not only a top sailor - 6 world titles and much more - he is also pretty good at selling stuff. I sailed with him once and also interviewed him for SA about 3 editions ago - he talks sense and knows the game.

Cheers

See you on the water

SS

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The problem is that the boat is the cheap part of doing this race. So go not foiling IMOCA and whilst more boats are available to compete, the cost of doing 10 stopovers is still the issue. 

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23 minutes ago, Chimp too said:

The problem is that the boat is the cheap part of doing this race. So go not foiling IMOCA and whilst more boats are available to compete, the cost of doing 10 stopovers is still the issue. 

You're right. That said the problem with the foiling IMOCAs is also availability. 

5 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

I agree with the non foiling IMOCA comment - there are many more of them (and cheaper) around.

"6/7 VOR's and 3 IMOCAs would be the biggest fleet in the VOR/TOR this century so I wouldn't be too embarrassed.

The rest of your post?  Not getting at you but I suggest you attend a sponsorship seminar or speak to people 1:1 who have actually been involved with the VOR (I am on edition 5 right now)

It's a tough world, a job, not a hobby whether concerning team or stopover and the VOR/TOR is a pay to play game.

But if you don't believe my comments take a look at these

https://www.chiefmarketer.com/qa-volvo-ocean-races-sponsorship-adventure/

https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-it-cost-to-run-a-Volvo-Ocean-Race-team#

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/28/sports/28iht-srvrlede28.html

Perhaps the most telling quote is from Ken Read, not only a top sailor - 6 world titles and much more - he is also pretty good at selling stuff. I sailed with him once and also interviewed him for SA about 3 editions ago - he talks sense and knows the game.

Cheers

See you on the water

SS

SS, perhaps we're just going to have to agree to disagree. But, a couple of comments: 

Considering only the IMOCA Class can win The Ocean Race I think you'll find it is the smallest fleet to date.... 

I'm pleased to hear you're on edition 5 of the ocean race - congratulations. It's a brutal game. You're right it's pay to play and the budget associated to a top level Volvo team in no way blows other mainstream sports out of the water, what other mainstream sports have is engaging competition that keeps fans engaged. The Ocean Race lacks this. It's long, people get bored of the same drone image being flung out on various social media channels again and again. Without more boats, a smaller racecourse, smaller staff, much changed marketing/comms strategy and a different approach to sponsorship sales I fear this might be your last. 

I really don't want that to happen. Oh, I did read the links you provided. The first is editorial that tells me almost nothing. In fact it's almost embarrassing. Their biggest struggle is selling the race to B2C or B2B or B2E? That's scary. Sailing has produced some of the most successful B2B/B2E sponsorships around. The French sailing scene has sold B2C sponsorships for FMCG since the sport began. 

The second relates to a OD program which is now in its last cycle and speaks nothing to the future and the third is from 2011 - time's are changing. 

Again, I really want this to work, i'm sorry if my replies seem somewhat blunt or straightforward but if you're in your 5th cycle then perhaps you'll take onboard or at least consider what we're saying and pass it to those in their ivory towers. 

 

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9 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

 (I am on edition 5 right now)

Two ahead of you mate ;)

 

 

 

And whilst I keep trying to escape, I don't seem to be able to!!

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19 hours ago, Bentley the Badger said:

You're right. That said the problem with the foiling IMOCAs is also availability. 

SS, perhaps we're just going to have to agree to disagree. But, a couple of comments: 

Considering only the IMOCA Class can win The Ocean Race I think you'll find it is the smallest fleet to date.... 

I'm pleased to hear you're on edition 5 of the ocean race - congratulations. It's a brutal game. You're right it's pay to play and the budget associated to a top level Volvo team in no way blows other mainstream sports out of the water, what other mainstream sports have is engaging competition that keeps fans engaged. The Ocean Race lacks this. It's long, people get bored of the same drone image being flung out on various social media channels again and again. Without more boats, a smaller racecourse, smaller staff, much changed marketing/comms strategy and a different approach to sponsorship sales I fear this might be your last. 

I really don't want that to happen. Oh, I did read the links you provided. The first is editorial that tells me almost nothing. In fact it's almost embarrassing. Their biggest struggle is selling the race to B2C or B2B or B2E? That's scary. Sailing has produced some of the most successful B2B/B2E sponsorships around. The French sailing scene has sold B2C sponsorships for FMCG since the sport began. 

The second relates to a OD program which is now in its last cycle and speaks nothing to the future and the third is from 2011 - time's are changing. 

Again, I really want this to work, i'm sorry if my replies seem somewhat blunt or straightforward but if you're in your 5th cycle then perhaps you'll take onboard or at least consider what we're saying and pass it to those in their ivory towers. 

 

Now you are just being a dick (teasing not angry - would say that to a mate if they said the same thing.) to try and win the argument. All boats will be competing in The Ocean Race, all the boats will be on the start line and all the boats will be at every stopover. Many of the people following the race won't know the difference, they're not sailors. It is just that the IMOCAs will win one trophy and the 65s another trophy.

One positive is that people have enough passion for the race to still be discussing/arguing about what is right or wrong instead of just saying "sod it, it doesn'"t matter".

Trust me, many of those directly involved have concerns, and the race whether the VOR or TOR has not been particularly healthy for quite some time and something needs to be done at a higher level than deciding the boats or the route. After a (day job) career in sales (I spent 10 years training sales people for a large financial institution) it amazes me how teams or the organisers struggle to sell the package to so few. I mean,  9 months of coverage with all the metrics they can quote, a 100'high billboard and 9 or 10 unique B2B venues around the world and last time round they only managed to sell it to a handful of corporates - that's the real discussion we (or they) should be having

The Whitbread/Volvo has been selling sponsorships for close to 40 years (the first 2 editions were mainly adventurers) so I think there is perhaps some accumulated knowledge but perhaps not always actually utilised with, in the last race, some teams being on shoestring budgets.

The French have indeed been successful at selling sailing sponsorship but mainly at the lower end as a VG campaign costs a fraction of a full blown VOR/TOR campaign although there have been some associations that are wonderful examples of long tern cooperation. The one between Philippe Poupon and Fleury Michon springs to mind - what was it ?10 or 11 boats they paid for along with Philippe's lifestyle to boot.

I know the race, in whatever guise it has  been run has changed many times along the way with changes often poo-poohed by the current incumbents. Originally an adventure split into classes raced under IOR it gradually morphed into a sponsored professional event, eventually won because one skipper asked the designer the difference between masthead or fractional on rating leading to 2 maxis with one slightly shorter than the other; then along came the almost bullet proof Whitbread 60s (although Chris Dickson would argue with that) leading to the IOR being dumped, the VO70s which were super fast but perhaps a little on the fragile side; then one design to save costs primarily by them becoming a series build with a centralised spares inventory and now the IMOCA

I do think it is sensible to keep the 65 this time otherwise you would be spot on with your comment about entry numbers looking silly with just 3 IMOCAs.

Perhaps when the route is finalised some other teams will come out of the woodwork (this should happen in the very near future)

Like you I really want this to work and your replies are probably no more blunt than mine - that's what having a passionate view tends to do.

Certainly if it doesn't work out I will have one less thing to write about on the FP and one less reason to trip around the world - hey maybe I will be able to sail my own boats more often for a change.

Stay well

SS

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20 hours ago, Chimp too said:

The problem is that the boat is the cheap part of doing this race. So go not foiling IMOCA and whilst more boats are available to compete, the cost of doing 10 stopovers is still the issue. 

I agree Chimp that there are probably a lot more non-foiling IMOCA's available. I don't know if it too late to change that or not.

On the stopovers? It is the people who write the cheques who want the stopovers - ie the sponsors. The stopovers are the primary places where they can discuss business with clients and potential clients and bring the +ve side of the ROI equation into play. I've seen it in action first hand.

Just sayin

 

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

Perhaps when the route is finalised some other teams will come out of the woodwork (this should happen in the very near future)

Let's hope so! I guess they've finally convinced Newport that an April/May stopover is a good idea having loaded the back of the tour with various sponsorship obligations... It's position in the calendar has caused the delay, it should have been announced a couple months ago. 

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5 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

I agree Chimp that there are probably a lot more non-foiling IMOCA's available. I don't know if it too late to change that or not.

On the stopovers? It is the people who write the cheques who want the stopovers - ie the sponsors. The stopovers are the primary places where they can discuss business with clients and potential clients and bring the +ve side of the ROI equation into play. I've seen it in action first hand.

Just sayin

 

I don’t actually think they should change to non foiling IMOCA. I doubt any team with the funds available to do this race is going to be put off because they can’t find a foiling boat. 
And whilst stopovers are what the sponsors use for their B2B and B2C stuff, 10 stopovers in 9 months is a huge financial investment, and most stopovers are likely to be outside of their primary goals, unless they are truly global companies. But even then, how many people are they going to want to entertain that takes 10 events in 8 months?

To me there are just too many stopovers to make it financially viable. Go with 5 stopovers and the budget would probably be around half what it now is, but sponsors would probably tick just as many boxes.

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On 2/21/2020 at 7:38 PM, shanghaisailor said:

I am on edition 5 right now

 

On 2/22/2020 at 4:51 AM, Chimp too said:

Two ahead of you mate ;)

Only 5 and 7 gentlemen, anyone who can top that?

Bekking is going in for his 9th, and is actually doing them. And I myself will be on my 14th, did 2 before I was born, am already onto the next one lobbying for the Fiji Flyers, and plan to do a few more after my death.

 

PM. I seem to remember that Shanghai was saying that he was not working for Dongfeng, so I wonder what being "on" means. Didn't see him "at" the Volvo bar in Scheveningen either, so must have been drinking Dongfeng Bitter!  

 

 

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7 hours ago, Fiji Bitter said:

 

Only 5 and 7 gentlemen, anyone who can top that?

Bekking is going in for his 9th, and is actually doing them. And I myself will be on my 14th, did 2 before I was born, am already onto the next one lobbying for the Fiji Flyers, and plan to do a few more after my death.

 

PM. I seem to remember that Shanghai was saying that he was not working for Dongfeng, so I wonder what being "on" means. Didn't see him "at" the Volvo bar in Scheveningen either, so must have been drinking Dongfeng Bitter!  

 

 

Must be quiet on the island today Fiji. 

Talking shite like you so often do considering there have only been 13

There are those that do, those that observe and praise, then those who try and look good by bringing others down.

1st two are worthwhile, the 3rd is only worth laughing at, and eventually sits in the corner of the bar being listened to by no-one.

Bitter right enough!!!

It's so sad!

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2 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Must be quiet on the island today Fiji. 

Oh my God, we go to church here on Sundays!  Indeed so quiet that we can struggle through all the  long posts...

Talking shite like you so often do considering there have only been 13

Talking shite indeed, more commonly called sarcasm. And it's 14 including the next one. You said "I am on edition 5 right now", so assumed you include the next one too.

There are those that do, those that observe and praise, then those who try and look good by bringing others down.

So tell me, how many have you really "done" ???

1st two are worthwhile, the 3rd is only worth laughing at, and eventually sits in the corner of the bar being listened to by no-one.

If you had had the decency to come to the Volvo bar in Scheveningen, upon my invitation, you would have seen that I was not alone. And BTW, where were your pictures with the brave and lovely girls, if I may ask???

Bitter right enough!!!

I love Bitter!

It's so sad!

Writing for the Front Page, indeed.

Just sayin', stay well, see you on the water, cu in the bar.

FB.

 

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19 minutes ago, Fiji Bitter said:

 

Just sayin', stay well, see you on the water, cu in the bar.

FB.

 

Try purple font next time. :P

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Just now, mad said:

Try purple font next time. :P

You're on the ball !

I tried to correct it, but now the whole fucking lot turned purple, except the last bit.

I am possessed by Corona Bitter!

 

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On 2/23/2020 at 12:28 AM, Fiji Bitter said:

 

Only 5 and 7 gentlemen, anyone who can top that?

Bekking is going in for his 9th, and is actually doing them. And I myself will be on my 14th, did 2 before I was born, am already onto the next one lobbying for the Fiji Flyers, and plan to do a few more after my death.

 

PM. I seem to remember that Shanghai was saying that he was not working for Dongfeng, so I wonder what being "on" means. Didn't see him "at" the Volvo bar in Scheveningen either, so must have been drinking Dongfeng Bitter!  

 

 

If people don’t get involved in organising a race then no one has the chance to compete. So don’t mock those behind the scenes 

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22 hours ago, Chimp too said:

If people don’t get involved in organising a race then no one has the chance to compete. So don’t mock those behind the scenes 

That may be true in your case, Chimp, and for Shang's umpiring, but as far as his role in the VOR/TOR goes, not so much.

And as for the Chinese and their cohorts, they have truly fucked up what was once a proper RTW race.       That's a fact!

Oh, BTW, and what did you infer about my welding expertise, in the Showtime thread? ;)

 

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On 2/19/2020 at 3:04 PM, shanghaisailor said:

So stoppovers are expensive?

Not half as expensive as no sponsors because the cost of no sponsors is no race.

Shang I'm framing that and putting it in the Whitbread/VOR/TOR Museum in the section marked "The Asia Question - The Beginning Or The End". :P

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29 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Shang I'm framing that and putting it in the Whitbread/VOR/TOR Museum in the section marked "The Asia Question - The Beginning Or The End". :P

I agree we are seeing the end of a once great race. Whatever monies Volvo paid TOR to unload the race on them must now be almost gone and coronavirus will finish it off.

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2 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Shang I'm framing that and putting it in the Whitbread/VOR/TOR Museum in the section marked "The Asia Question - The Beginning Or The End". :P

Also, stopovers are expensive. 4 or 5 of them seems to have been manageable, and allowed big sponsors sufficient options to reap the benefits. 10 stopovers means teams need to double up on everything so it is probably 3 times the cost, but for no additional benefit.

I don't think the China thing is solely responsible for the reduction in participants. But I think the massive increase in cost that the extra stops have caused is.

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First Kochi, Singapore & Qingdao in 2008/09 with 8 boats, then an Arabian Knights tour of both the Middle and Far Easts, but down to 6 and then a second, but with only 7. After having pushed race costs through the roof and credibility out the window with freighter racing, the Knights fucked off after securing gold. 

This poster will hang in the Whitbread/VOR/TOR Museum, a plaque underneath simply saying: "The Beginning of the End"

images - 2020-02-27T003632.807.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Was a bit bored after posting a lot of shit in various threads, and after lunch needed to relax a bit. It's Sunday, and remembered that I hadn't listened to Bar Karate for a while, and went through the list. Right on, episode 37 of 9 Feb. with Carolijn Brouwer, that's got to be good! 

After laying down and listening, certainly after a glass of wine, I normally fall asleep in no time. But not with Carolijn and those three guys. Her English is perfect, much better than the Aussies, and actually her English is better than her Dutch too. And she makes totally sense, has a quick wit, and was far more relaxed than just after the Volvo. And of course they talked not only of the last exiting Volvo, but also of the up coming TOR, and the Imoca 60's. They are all thoroughbred RTW people, and something is definitely brewing. Maybe an Aussy entry?

https://podtail.com/en/podcast/bar-karate-podcast/bar-karate-the-sailing-podcast-ep37-carolijn-brouw/

It's a long listen, but worth it every minute. 

PS. Nicolai Sehested is in Ep 40, about SailGP, but we all know and love him from the Volvo. Gone listen now.

 

Edited by Fiji Bitter
Nicolai
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The problem with stopovers is that every team has to have theirs to keep their sponsors, but every team has to pay the cost of going to everyone else’s, and it rapidly spirals into an unsustainable zig-zag around the globe.

Surely the race has to stand or fall based on its intrinsic properties, which are either attractive or not to the people paying. Distorting the race to meet the individual team sponsors was always going to result in irreconcilable contradictions and at the same time diminish the race itself. Having the very best professional offshore sailors who can push a boat to its limit in the most extreme conditions is a narrative that falls pretty flat when the vast proportion of the race is in conditions the average cruiser would relish. Only the cognoscenti can appreciate the subtlety and skill required to extract the most from the boat in these conditions, and the cognoscenti are not the demographic the sponsors are aiming at. This is just one example of the many contradictions that the present structure has created.

I am not necessarily criticising the path the race took to arrive where it is at now, decisions were made for what must have been valid reasons at the time, but the present model is clearly not sustainable, having failed to provide either the historic spectacle or the ROI, and the obviously required reboot has to be an opportunity to radically change direction to a place that better fits the public perception of what modern ocean racing represents.

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It is easy to be critical from the sidelines, so here is what I would do:

1. 60ft LOA, and stick with it. If VOR/TOR had stuck with the 60's, there would be over 50 of them now. IMOCA would make sense as they manage costs and change in a reasonably sustainable manner. Granny in the 65's until they are dead.

2. 3 crew, mixed, with autopilots.

3. Run a RTW race via the great capes, stops near them and OZ/NZ, every two years, avoiding the VG.

4. Alternate the start/finish, from Europe, from Asia, from NA. So first course might be New York-Lisbon-Cape Town-Perth-Auckland-Rio-Rotterdam, next could be Shanghai-Singapore-Hobart-Montevideo-Durban-Sydney-Tokyo, then Vancouver-LA-Santiago-Port Elizabeth-Melbourne-Recife-Charleston.

5. Between these races have a tour in which the fleet races between other "sponsor-rich" locales as several individual single leg events, ending up at the next start for the RTW, with additional "passenger" places for sponsors to use/crew development. Piggy back on existing events where convenient (Fastnet, RDR, TJV, SH, C600 etc.). Obviously leave the VG space available.

This would provide a continuous structure, sponsors can dip in and out for events that visit their areas, which would be every four year or so, but the boats and sailing teams can be the same. Importantly, drop anything that isn't ocean racing. The level of professionalism will drop or rise to match the available budget, but will level out once the structure has run though a few cycles. Teams might be building new for this race, or they may be using the old IMOCA fleet, but opportunities will exist at all budget levels.

Just my €0.02, viewed from France. It's a format I would not just watch, but get involved in. I remember watching the fleet hammer up Southampton water back in the 80's, and really don't want to see it end like this.

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Hump,

1. The original VO60 was actually about 64 feet long. It was 60 between measurement stations. With the original rules pushing to aramid construction and highly loaded with water ballast I doubt many would be useable had they been pushed as they would in multiple previous races. Also the IMOCA seem to have give up managing costs. A current IMOCA would cost a lot more than a modern VO60 would.

2. 3 crew? Just do the Barcelona World Race - no wait, that failed.

3. Every two years for a race that lasts 9 months, and takes over 6 months to prep for, and then avoid the VG - tight logistical schedule. What Turner wanted, but wasn't logistically realistic.

4. & 5. This is what the organisers have been looking at and trying to get together since 2003 to my knowledge. The problem is getting teams/sponsors to agree when they want their own commitments to be fulfilled and costs restrained. A chicken and egg on the budgets, but has never come to fruition. But a lot has been put into trying to get there. 

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1. I can't comment on the longevity of the VO60, but there are 25+year old IMOCA's that are still capable of a trip round. Not win, of course, but this race needs to get away from the "win is the only narrative" situation. Include lower budget aspirants who will inevitably arrive just as the next leg is ready to leave, but teams at that budget level don't need the stopover time for ROI in any case. Don't make the next start, you are out until the next race, but the next race is only round the corner. Cost of the boat is a small proportion of total project cost, and becomes even less so when the boat can be reused/handed down for years to come.

2. Crew is the cost, or more accurately, the cost is proportional to the number of crew, and it is critically important for my model that the IMOCA's are not substantially modified between VG and TOR duties. 4 would be pushing the limit for such an IMOCA, I think. In any case, if you have 6 without autopilot, then 3 will just be driving all the time, so it is effectively the same, with less redundancy, but less cost, boat weight, etc. BWR failed for a range of reasons, not the number of crew.

3. Yes, but most teams would not do every race, many would pick every other or so, but the boats can be chartered to others for the interim races. Organisationally, it requires some additional capacity in the race office, but teams can choose how they participate. Don't limit the numbers, unless they get silly. Grab all the fleet, not the VG lucky few. There are many, many more people who would do such a race, or legs thereof,  than would do it non-stop on their own.

4 ad 5. The race office just needs to decide and implement. It will not be a success immediately. Designing the race by committee, particularly a committee made up of the teams, is a recipe for no decisions being made, leading to where we are now. With the above format, we could be getting on with the second TOR by now, and Volvo's money would have helped over the inevitable bumps in the first few editions. Bernie listened to the teams, but made his own decision, not always right, but they stuck. Even when the teams fought back a few times, he prevailed, and they are all the richer for it. F1's success is as much about keeping and promoting its core principles, not because it changes with the wind. It is arguably an anachronism in the modern world, but is still trucking. VG the same, RDR the same, TJV the same.

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"This is terrific news for our state, again bringing global attention to Newport and Rhode Island as premier tourist destinations and promising to generate tens of millions of dollars in spending and economic impact,” says Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Governor of the State of Rhode Island.

What's he smoking?

I see that Newport Rhode island have been announced as a stopover. Just can't see the city or local organisers offering much in payment (if anything apart from free berthing and a few hotel rooms for TOR management). So no big fees here. That then sends a message to any other potential 'host' cities to negotiate similar deals. 

As for the course, racing in light airs into the upper reaches of the Indian Ocean or the China Seas, let alone the Baltic, and now the Mediterranean as far as Genoa (have they not heard of the snooze fest Giraglia drift from St Tropez every year?), all seem to be nothing to do with a top around the world race. I think the new race only has a chance if it is refocused on a true test of racing in the deep south as many here have advocated.

The TOR management have a real challenge to generate quality entries, sponsorship revenue or host fees. At this time with the conivarus outbreak and the economic crash I don't see them pulling it off.

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21 hours ago, hump101 said:

1. I can't comment on the longevity of the VO60, but there are 25+year old IMOCA's that are still capable of a trip round. Not win, of course, but this race needs to get away from the "win is the only narrative" situation. Include lower budget aspirants who will inevitably arrive just as the next leg is ready to leave, but teams at that budget level don't need the stopover time for ROI in any case. Don't make the next start, you are out until the next race, but the next race is only round the corner. Cost of the boat is a small proportion of total project cost, and becomes even less so when the boat can be reused/handed down for years to come.

2. Crew is the cost, or more accurately, the cost is proportional to the number of crew, and it is critically important for my model that the IMOCA's are not substantially modified between VG and TOR duties. 4 would be pushing the limit for such an IMOCA, I think. In any case, if you have 6 without autopilot, then 3 will just be driving all the time, so it is effectively the same, with less redundancy, but less cost, boat weight, etc. BWR failed for a range of reasons, not the number of crew.

3. Yes, but most teams would not do every race, many would pick every other or so, but the boats can be chartered to others for the interim races. Organisationally, it requires some additional capacity in the race office, but teams can choose how they participate. Don't limit the numbers, unless they get silly. Grab all the fleet, not the VG lucky few. There are many, many more people who would do such a race, or legs thereof,  than would do it non-stop on their own.

4 ad 5. The race office just needs to decide and implement. It will not be a success immediately. Designing the race by committee, particularly a committee made up of the teams, is a recipe for no decisions being made, leading to where we are now. With the above format, we could be getting on with the second TOR by now, and Volvo's money would have helped over the inevitable bumps in the first few editions. Bernie listened to the teams, but made his own decision, not always right, but they stuck. Even when the teams fought back a few times, he prevailed, and they are all the richer for it. F1's success is as much about keeping and promoting its core principles, not because it changes with the wind. It is arguably an anachronism in the modern world, but is still trucking. VG the same, RDR the same, TJV the same.

1. W60 and VO60 were Kevlar and no matter what people say, they get pushed a lot harder in fully crewed mode. They were noticeably softer half way through one race let alone multiples.

2. Crew costs aren't the issue these days, stopover commitments and logistics are. Top shore teams members are not cheap and logistics costs are astronomical when you are looking at such a large number of stopovers. Yes, crew wages are part of this, but reducing them doesn't have as large effect as you suggest, especially since the ones you no longer employ are the cheapest ones on the payroll. You keep the three most expensive and probably keep another 3 on the payroll as back up and optimisation members.

3. If you aren't encouraging continuity and are suggesting that teams dip in and out, what is the point? Seems to have failed before it started.

4 & 5. Works when you have a fat cat willing to fund for an extended period without question or review after each race. Volvo had the funds, but wanted to see medium and long term return. Not in it to invest forever and get nothing for the first ten years. Are you saying that the race needs a Larry? If so then that model is only going to work in that scenario and no other.

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1 hour ago, Chimp too said:

1. W60 and VO60 were Kevlar and no matter what people say, they get pushed a lot harder in fully crewed mode. They were noticeably softer half way through one race let alone multiples.

2. Crew costs aren't the issue these days, stopover commitments and logistics are. Top shore teams members are not cheap and logistics costs are astronomical when you are looking at such a large number of stopovers. Yes, crew wages are part of this, but reducing them doesn't have as large effect as you suggest, especially since the ones you no longer employ are the cheapest ones on the payroll. You keep the three most expensive and probably keep another 3 on the payroll as back up and optimisation members.

3. If you aren't encouraging continuity and are suggesting that teams dip in and out, what is the point? Seems to have failed before it started.

4 & 5. Works when you have a fat cat willing to fund for an extended period without question or review after each race. Volvo had the funds, but wanted to see medium and long term return. Not in it to invest forever and get nothing for the first ten years. Are you saying that the race needs a Larry? If so then that model is only going to work in that scenario and no other.

1. The fully carbon IMOCAs have shown themselves to be capable of several tours. Appreciate they are pushed harder when crewed, and we don't have much data for that, but would anticipate a reasonable level of longevity.

2a. Crew salary is not the only issue, but more crew equals more logistics, supplies, hotel rooms, subsistence, bigger boat, more weight, more forces, so more structure, more sail area, more maintenance, etc. on up the design spiral. Key is to keep the boats in class at design performance levels, so keep the crew numbers to the maximum an in-class IMOCA can support without reducing performance. The recent RTW campaigns have shown that more crew is not more speed, can in fact be slower, so little benefit in increased crew numbers.

2b. Big cost issue is number of stops, as you note, hence the proposed routing, so that stops are limited to a reduced number per race. Big cost at each stop is when sponsors need to maximise ROI at every stop, so ship in the marketing men, the clients, the shmoozing kit, etc. Organisers also want this from each team when there are only a few as otherwise the race village is sparse, but not the case when you have 30 entrants, with a different 5 exploiting each stopover. The boats are the spectacle at each stop and taking the client out for a sail in the close company of another ten boats is the schmooze.

3. This is about race continuity based on fleet continuity. Teams and crews can come and go, but the fleet remains, so the numbers remain. The fixation on team continuity is completely missing the point. For race continuity you need the fleet to put boats on the line, and boats at every level of the narrative. Look at the French IMOCA ocean races, it is the same boats going again and again, with different crews on them and different sponsors backing them with different stories to tell, so a wide range of interest for the public and opportunities for the sponsors.

4 & 5. Works if you have a lean organisation and starting capital. Volvo provided the starting capital but it hasn't been used for racing so far (no idea what they have spent, or what is left, but no racing so far). The race should not be reliant on a Larry in the long term as a race owner (wonderful as his and others contributions have been, I am not ungrateful, and welcome as they might be). We are specifically trying to propose a format that can support itself. The fully professionally crewed marketing extravaganza VOR has already been proved unsustainable, and yet the organisers don't seem to want to let it evolve to include something else with a proven track record.

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Hump,

all I am saying is that these aren’t new ideas. Throughout the last 20 years they have all been considered several times. The crew number when linked to boat size etc always looks like a massive cost influencer. But as we have seen, it isn’t necessary to link the two.

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Fair enough, I am not involved so don't know what has been done, but it seems a tragedy that the sailing world can't manage to sustain a single crewed round the world race.

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