Monday, June 30, 2008

Mini news

Just got word today that things are proceeding along on the tooling but also going a bit slower than planned. What this means is Hull #2 will not be ready until the end of August. Adding to the matter is the owner of Hull #3 had arranged for his boat to be in the Grand Pavois boat show in La Rochelle in mid September and #3 will not be ready for that. So I have agreed to trade build slots with Pascal and he will get #2 and I will get #3.
This means my boat will be done at the end of September. I will travel to La Rochelle at that time to take delivery. We have a training session planned on Oct. 3 and then a regatta on Oct. 4-5. I will likely then stay in France for a few more weeks training and getting the boat sorted. At the end of October there is also a training session for all three of the Nacira minis in Quiberon.


Am just back from Long Beach, CA where I sailing on Dave Kirby's J-122, TKO. We sailed in a PHRF Class with a J125, a newer Tripp 41, a Beneteau 44.7 and a Farr 395. On Friday the breeze topped out at about 11 knots and we struggled a bit without a genoa in the Long Beach lump. Saturday started out somewhat light and built through the day getting up close to 20 knots of breeze at the end of the day. Sunday's first race started in about 17 knots of breeze and held pretty steady arounf there throughout the day.
Our class ended up being one of attrition with the Farr 395 missing the third race on Saturday and not making it out on Sunday at all. The Beneteau 44.7 turned around on the motor out on Sunday moring and we did not see them the rest of the day. That left us, the J125 and the Tripp 41 to race on Sunday. The Tripp and the J125 had traded firsts and seconds throughout the weekend with us just ahead of the, now absent, Beneteau. Mid-way up the second beat of the first race the J125 dropped their jib and headed in. It sounded like they yelled to us that they had heard a loud crack from below and were calling it a day. The noise turned out to be their #3 track ripping out of the deck. The 125 did not need any assistance from us so we continued racing along with the Tripp. For the final race we match raced a bit for the start with both boats starting on Port, us closer to the boat. The Tripp gradually extended throughout the race giving them the win and the regatta and us a second in the race and third for the regatta. The J125 held on to get second.
Was a good group and a fun event.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Revision of plans

With the August launch, I am now thinking I will do a short bit of sailing in La Rochelle to essentially sea trial the boat and then send it straight away to L'Escala. If the weather conditions allow, I still could do the 1000 mile qualifier in the Atlantic. If not, I can do the DH race to Barcelona and then do the 1000 mile qualifier on the Med course and then the Mini-Barcelona.
Ah, the fun of revising plans, at this point they are just plans though.
Next, I will be getting on with sponsorship matters. Ideally I am looking for a company which wants to increase their presence in both US and EU markets. From the media impression data, the public especially in Europe, follows Mini racing with great enthusiasm. Also, sailors are savvy enough that they understand the motivation of companies which support sailing and want to support these companies by buying their products. I think Mount Gay Rum is probably the best example of this. In recent years, Acura, Rolex, Sperry TopSider and Captain Morgan all have tested the water by supporting events or teams.
One potential challenge is that there are a few restrictions on what sort of companies can sponsor individual boats/teams. The most notable one is that sponsorships from tobacco and alcohol companies are not allowed