Monday, May 4, 2015

Maui Sails Challenges and Subsequent Events


Many of you will be aware that Maui Sails underwent a huge re-structuring in January/February.  I was going to do some commentary at the time but figured that you would see all the details on the Maui Sails site so I didn't bother.

For those of you who may not follow these things, here is the short version of what happened:

  • The Chinese sail loft suddenly changed their conditions from a monthly payment schedule, to a quarterly schedule meaning that they required an up-front payment for an entire quarter's sail production.  This placed an intolerable strain on the company's cash flow.  Salaries could not be paid and the sponsored sailors left.
  • Personal differences reached boiling point as often happens in times of financial stress and Barry and Artur pulled out.  Phil, having earlier bought out Rick Whidden (ending up with a majority share) now purchased Barry's share in the business as well.
  • All this leaves the company and its products as it was but now fully in the hands of Phil.  I say "as it was" but this is not strictly true.  It now lacks sponsored sailors and is without a sail designer.  Shaky ground I would have thought but you have to admire the courage, dedication and tenacity of the man.  Impressive!
What has now transpired is that the three former Maui sails partners - Barry, Rick and Artur have come together to form a brand new windsurfing sail company called S2Maui which will have its sail range on the market next year.  I understand that they will be using an ultra-high tech material on these sails (stronger, lighter, more UV resistant)  Nice.

I always look forward to seeing something new in our sport so I hope that we see something innovative.  Light, fast, strong and clever - that's what we need!  

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