January 30th, 2008
Well I am leaving in a couple of hours to freeze my rear off checking out this show. This show has traditionally been one of the biggest shows in the US for sailors; it fills the Navy Pier Exhibition Halls. Really I am being flown out there to check out the latest offerings from Puma. They have decided to enter the US market with their technical sailing line of gear. Ronstan US will be the importer, and they have asked if I would consider being their Tier 1 dealer in California. So I get schmoozed a little, check out their line and get a chance to walk around and see if there is anything else that looks cool.
Seeing as how the wind chill factor was -24 early this morning I hope that I am bringing enough clothes!
January 28th, 2008
You may, or may not, know that we are planning on moving from our current location here in the old J World San Diego office down the street to Liberty Station. Liberty Station is the old Naval Training Center, and is being re-developed as a residential, commercial, non-profit 12,000 acre mini-village. We have signed a lease for a 6,500 square foot building down in the Landing District( next to the golf course). This historical bulding as in the past been the brig, the Post Office and lastly a day-care center before the Navy moved out.
Anyway, we had planned on opening in the new location March 1, but now it looks like it will be late-April. The reason we felt we needed to get more space was we will be bringing in the complete sportswear line from SLAM; as well as expanding our coverage of the Patagonia line. When all is said and done we should have the largest coverage of Patagonia in San Diego County, especially when you count the new Patagonia Footwear line! While SLAM is best known in the States for their technical sailing gear, in Europe they are best known for their sportswear line. We are quite excited to be the only ones in the US that will bring bringing this line in.
In addition to the above we will also have a seoarte froom just for children’s clothing and shoes; expanded product line from Kaenon, as well as more accessories than you can shake a stick at!
Hopefully I will become smart enough to be able to include some pictures in future postings; but I will definitely keep you apprised of the progress. We hope to have a huge Grand Opening, and get the opportunity to meet you in person.
January 26th, 2008
Well I did not quite follow through as promised; mostly due to technical issues with my lap-top, and somewhat due to the rather interesting weather pattern of the past week. Mondays racing was canceled due to high winds, Tuesday they got three races off in a medium breeze; Wednesday was canceled due to no wind, and then they got fives races off Thursday and Friday. Gear sales in the SLAM booth continued at a rather torrid pace, and by now they are packed up and headed back up the highway towards Miami.
When we arrived at the Key West airport over a week ago I commented on how many bags per person all of the sailors were carrying; then on race day I was amazed how big a bag the crews were bringing on board. With todays materials, and proper use of base layers a crew member should be able to fit all of there gear in a small bag (except boots if they wear them). Last year for the Cabo race (6-8 days) I managed everything; Racing Evolution Jacket and Lohn Johns, Capilene 4 Zip, Cap 3 bottoms, Cap1 Crew and T, shorts and underwear in just a small bag. At no point was I uncomfortable and wished I had brought more gear. If everyone had packed as light we would have saved almost 250 pounds!
I say all of this because last week the racers saw a wide range of conditions, but if they had layered up well they would have been able to save a lot of weight on board each day. I still remember back in the IOR days, if you were racing around the bouys the saying was: “If it fits in a baseball cap you can bring it.” Or if you were racing offshore you brought what you wore. Both of these statements were to emphasize keeping things light; but were also promoting unsafe preparation. Using today’s synthetic materials you can easily take enough gear to stay warm, get adequete sunprotection and not overload the boat with gear weight.
So next time you are going out for a day race and the breeze ia up, ask yourself if you really are taking the right gear. You do not need a 3-Layer jacket that is good for offshore sailing, when a 2-layer spray top will keep you just as dry and warm. In the end it the crew that has the fewest distractions that perform the best.
January 21st, 2008
After a postponement of a couple of hours the 261 boat fleet is off the docks and heading to their respective courses. A cold front came through early Sunday morning making practise yesterday very wet due to winds in the mid to high twenties. Here in the SLAM booth things were quite active. Sunday’s sales surpassed last year more than 25%, with the RC Spray Top and Racing Evolution Long Johns being the big sellers. Of course a little bad weather always boosts gear sales, and last year it was warm and dry the whole week.
Watching all of the crews yesterday and this morning it amazes me just how popular SLAM sailing gear has become in just the two years it has been available in the US. I had imagined that their technical sailing gear would be widely accepted due to the continued effort to push innovation. What is surprising is how well their sportswear is also accepted!
I will try to post something later today, or early tomoorw regarding the results for today. I expect there will be a lot of tired crews, and hopfully not too much carnage!
January 17th, 2008
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