Hometown high - Sail Magazine

Hometown high

When the Volvo Ocean Race calls on Boston Harbor in May, every weekend sailor in the region will have a chance to sniff the air around a grand prix circus. So how did Boston "steal" the US stopover? We turned to the instigator, Bill Lynn of Marblehead, Massachusetts, an unassuming ace Etchells sailor and co-operator of Atlantis Weather Gear. He also has a background in
Author:
Publish date:
volvo_boston_1



When the Volvo Ocean Race calls on Boston Harbor in May, every weekend sailor in the region will have a chance to sniff the air around a grand prix circus. So how did Boston "steal" the US stopover? We turned to the instigator, Bill Lynn of Marblehead, Massachusetts, an unassuming ace Etchells sailor and co-operator of Atlantis Weather Gear. He also has a background in advertising and a deep knowledge of the sailing world and its players.

SAIL: And how did it begin?

"In 2006 I had this thought to bring the America's Cup to Boston. We have a seafaring heritage, the highest average wind speed in the U.S., and one of the few harbors where you could accommodate the teams. I called my friend Ken Read to see whether he would be interested in trying to put something together, but, when we looked at the numbers, the costs were astronomical and probably out of reach."

"We turned our attention to the Volvo instead. Kenny had done the last four legs of 2005-06 on Ericsson, and he had the bug. Also, he said, the Volvo was the one sailing event that delivered measurable return on investment to sponsors. If we could field a Boston-based team, we might use that as leverage to get the U.S. stopover in Boston."

SAIL: And step one was?

"We spent a few weeks on a business plan and a presentation with pictures of out-of-control, logo’d Volvo 70’s. Kenny had sailed with a major Puma shareholder, and when Jochen Zeitz, Puma’s CEO, was in New York we got a meeting. He actually didn’t seem all that interested until we showed him a mock-up of a shiny red boat with a big white cat on it."

SAIL: How big a role did politics play?

It's all politics. PUMA's North American headquarters are in Boston. They made it a precondition that the stopover move here. The VOR wants more teams, so teams have leverage. It was still complicated, though. We needed to get the Mayor and the Governor on board with the concept — a bit of a challenge since neither Ken nor I had many connections in City Hall or the State House. Then we still had to convince Volvo that we weren't going to drop the ball, because Baltimore and Annapolis did an outstanding job on the stopovers they ran.

volvo_boston_2

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more

Sun-Odyssey-490-Bertrand_DUQUENNE-aft

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

True innovation in monohull sailboat design can be a bit elusive these days. That’s not to say that there are no more new ideas, but it does seem that many new tweaks and introductions are a bit incremental: let’s say evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Just when it seems ...read more

X3M-family

Gear: X3M Flight blocks

Block PartyThe elegance of these new X3M Flight blocks from Ubi Maior conceals the fact that they can handle loads of up to 15 tons. Designed to be used with a variety of textile loops, as fixed or snatch blocks, the X3M blocks have resin frames to carry the loops and anodized ...read more

03-BAVARIA-C34_Interior-2k_2

Ask Sail: The Right Cabin Sole Finish

Q: I am working on refinishing my cabin floorboards. I have brought them home and sanded the old finish off and would appreciate comments on using varnish or polyurethane for the sole.— Danny Love, Grand Rivers, KYDON CASEY REPLIES Polyurethane is the better choice for a cabin ...read more

shutterstock_peterisland

The Caribbean Charter Trade Rides Again

“The BVI is now a bit like it was 20 years ago,” Josie Tucci, vice president of sales and marketing for sister companies Sunsail and The Moorings, told me last December. “Instead of full bars, it may be a guy on the beach with a cooler and a barbeque, but the spirit of the place ...read more

Dragging01

Waterlines: Fear of Dragging

If you have a paranoid personality, anchoring out can be a validating experience. On the one hand, it seems rather simple. You amble up to the bow of your boat, drop a lump of metal overboard, let out some rode and secure it somehow. Then you stroll back to your cockpit and ...read more