Friday, March 28, 2008

28/3 Back from China (again)

My blog has been silent the last 2 weeks as I was in China with really weak internet connection.

Lots of kayaks in the ware house!

A first picture of the DoubleShot

The managers and station heads (lamination, wet assembly, dry assembly, qc, packaging and stock each with about 5-8 workers) at our factory in Shanghai

A kid learning to paddle near our factory

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March 13 Revival of SKM Stockholm Kanotmaraton

SKM will take place August 30, 2008!!!

Point 65 was the main sponsor of the Stockholm Kayak Marathon (SKM) back in 2004 and 2005. Unfortunately, the then organizers were unable to put the event together for 2006 or 2007. I have been very active trying to get the project back on the water so I am very happy to announce that Ulf Öjebo and Mikael Jansson of Lidingö Multisport are taking on the project. Again Point 65 will be the main sponsor, sharing the honourwith PampasKajak, one of the leading Swedish paddling stores (which I also own with my brother Tomas).
Ulf, me, Staffan and Micke sealing the 3 year sponsorship deal
The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 30 with a very exciting course through the city of Stockholm, known as the Venice of the North. Start and finish will be at the same spot making it interesting for spectators. There will be a 14 km course for the Sunday paddler and a full 30 km course for the paddler looking for a real challange. If you ever wanted to participate in a kayak marathon, this is the one. Stockholm is an incredibly beautiful city and the water is lined with crowded promenades where people will be cheering the paddlers.
You can register here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Paddling Baja

The 2008 Southwest Kayak Symposium Friday, March 28th - Sunday, March 30th is coming closer. I wont make it this year but I hear that the event is as polular as ever with a great line up of instructors.
I joined this incredible group of paddlers for a paddling adventure, rock hopping in Baja. It included some of the very finest sea kayakers in the world. Like Southwest Kayak Symposium head honcho and owner of San Diegos Aqua Adventure, Jen Kleck. She is the FIRST American BCU Level 5 Sea Kayak Coach in history and as far as I know still the only one? Another of the few people world wide to have qualified as a British Canoe Union (BCU) Level 5 i was Steve Maynard of Sea Kliff Seakayakers. Dutch paddling personality Axel Schoevers, Sweetwater Floridas Russel Farrow and Jean Totz, no fear Jont Turner and the legendary Nigel Foster also joined the group making me feel sort of out of place...

March 12 PaddlingInstructor

Yesterday I received an e-mail from David H Johnston, making me aware of the web community PaddlingInstructor, "Professional Resources for Professional Instructors". I found this web site to be very informative and fun. There is a lot of industry news to. David had posted an item regarding my blog on his PaddlingInstructor blog. You can find his posting by clicking here.
David on a car roof

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March 9 -Nicki

My dog Nicki and I took a walk today. She is a great dog!

and one from when she was little..

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March 8th, A week in Stockholm

I spend the week at the Point 65 head quarters in Stockholm. This is what I did:
08:45 am. Budget meeting with my business partner and brother Tomas and our financial advisor Lars Hjällström.
Me, Lars, Anders and Tomas in budget meeting. I would rather be paddling...
12:00 noon. Tomas, Lars and I were joined for lunch by Point 65 board member Anders Arnborger and we spent the early afternoon in a strategy meeting.
3 pm. Tomas and I headed out to the Stockholm Boat Exhibition “Allt for Sjon” where Point 65 is exhibiting. There we met with Swedish retailers Pelle and Carina of Nynäs Kajak, Håkan of Rock Water and Pierre of Kajakeriet. Pelle and Carinas store and outfitting centre is located very near Stockholm in the archipelago around Nynäshamn. Järflotta, Torö and Öja, which is amongst the most beautiful in Sweden. Håkan runs Rock Water with his brother and brother-in-law and are located in Uppsala. They have focused a lot on white water kayaks but are getting more and more into touring. Pierre, whose store and outfitting is also located in the heart of the Stockholm archipelago, Ingarö, is actually Point 65's very first retailer and oldest customer!

7 pm. After hanging out in the booth we all took off to the excellent restaurant Bergamott, where we were joined by Point 65 staff members Lina (office manager) and Jonas (logistics) and all had dinner together. Alec, the owner of Bergamott and a friend had prepared a feast for us. Starting of with an "amuse bouche" in the shape of oysters washed down with a Muscadet, the most underrated white of France. Following this we were served an incredible "pot-au-feus" with a nice Cote de Rhone. The desert was a lovely baked apple. A very nice dinner!
Pelle, me, Carina,Staffan, Pierre, Tomas and Jonas with oysters. Paddling? this was ok!
9:00 am. The day started of with Tomas and others in another meeting concerning financials which carried on until noon.
12:00 noon. Lunch interview with potential recruit for the post as CFO.
1:30 pm. Meeting with our land lord about extending our offices as we need more space.
2 pm. Tomas and I were interviewed by Lars Larsson for a magazine article about Point 65 in Swedish paddling magazine "Paddling". Lars founded the magazine with friend Glenn Mattsing a few years ago and have added some spice to the Swedish paddling community.
Me and Tomas being interviewed by Paddlings Lars Larsson
4 pm. The afternoon was spent meeting with Tomas, Staffan (our Swedish sales manager) and Ulf Öjebo and Mikael Jansson of Lidingö Multisport signing a sponsorship contract for the Stockholm Kayak Marathon (web site up soon) and planning the August 30 competition which will be spectacular (more info will follow on this).
Ulf, me,Staffan and Mikael after signing the sponsorship contract
9 am. The day started with meetings with our patent bureau discussing patent applications we are filing (you will know what projects the spring of 2009)☺
Me, Tomas and Göran, the patent expert
11 am. We head out to the Stockholm Boat Exhibition were we meet with our biggest Swedish account Stadium, spending the rest of the day with them at our offices.
7 pm. Dinner with Aled Williams of Tiderace and David Felton of Knoydart at my favorite Stockholm restaurant PA & Co.
The delicious dinner featuring Swedish herring and aquavit ended with some brandy and PA & Co very special dessert, Gino invented by PA's owner and very good friend Niklas Ericsson. Fresh strawberries, banana, kiwi and ice-cream gratiné with white chocolate. David, runs and owns Knoydart, the exclusive Point 65 dealer in North England and was in town to inspect his coming Point 65 shipment. Aled and Dave co-founded Tiderace a year or so ago and have had a tremendous success with their britt style rough water kayaks. Aled and I are friendly competitors as I'm sure is evident from the pictures.
Tomas, me, Lina, Aled and David at PA & Co. We agreed that we would all rather be paddling -NOT
9:30 am. meeting with Sam Peters at NoPicnic, our industrial design partner.
11:00 am. Meeting with industrial designer Christoffer, about possible collaboration.
1:30 pm. Meeting with school administrator regarding my daughters coming high school year.
2:40 pm. Air France flight AF 2063 takes me back home to France.

Monday, March 3, 2008

March 3, 08 -Trains, planes, motorbikes & automobiles

Once or twice a month I commute to the Point 65 head quarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Getting from my home in rural France to the office in Stockholm is smooth and fast if well planned and executed.

Today I left home at 4:20 pm and arrived in my apartment in Stockholm at 11 pm. This is how:
4:20 pm I step out of my house and drive the 15 km to the train station.

4:41 pm The high speed TGV train with a cruising speed of 280km/hour (174 miles/hour) arrives in Paris, Gare Montparnasse at 6:20pm

covering the 300km/186miles in 1 hour and 31 minutes.

6:25 pm The 1000 cc motorbike Taxi whisks me to Charles De Gaulle International airport in 33 minutes.

7:45 pm Air France flight AF 1262 takes of towards Stockholm arriving Stockholm- Arlanda International Airport at 10:20 pm, covering the 1800km/1118 miles in 2 hours and 25 minutes.

10:35 pm A short taxi ride brings me to my parents apartment in central Stockholm, dropping me of at 11:15 pm, less than 7 hours after leaving home. I would rather be paddling...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hating my blog?

Swedish marathon paddler Lars Ericson posted an item on his blog regarding my blog. He is very critical of me having a blog on blogger stating concerns on my objectivity regarding Point 65 products. I thought Lars item was rather bizarre as there can be no doubt that my blog is not objective at all. There are tons of blogs out there, many discribing the daily trails of this or that business. Like any blog on the internet, it is my very personal view on anything I wish to express. That's the beauty of the blogging world and the internet in general. And I am very open about who I am and what I represent. The blog name spells it out and couldn't be more clear: "A kayak entrepreneurs diaries -Richard at Point 65". Looking through Lars blog I find his support for other blogs with kayak-entrepreneurs behind them, plugs for all kinds of products and links to kayak companies of his liking. So why pick on mine? Beats me.

Here a handful of products Lars pushes for on his blog: