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SCUTTLEBUTT 3791 - Friday, March 8, 2013
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors: Hall Spars & Rigging and North U.
"IT WAS MAGIC. I DON'T KNOW WHY"
By Kimball Livingston, Blue Planet Times
Once upon a time ocean racing was going gangbusters. Every new boat seemed
important, and the new boats kept on coming. In the 1970s, the racing yacht
Imp was born in a sketch on a napkin at the bar at The San Francisco Yacht
Club. No one could have imagined what was coming.
Even the paint job was shocking for the day, and the crew looked more like
a rock band than yachties, but hey, we're talking San Francisco, and in
their 1977 world tour they rocked that world and won most of their races.
That would include SORC and then the Fastnet, as the top boat in the "world
championship" of ocean racing, the Admiral's Cup.
RIP, Admiral's Cup.
RIP, IOR. Jimi, Janet . . .
That whole scene is gone.
But it came back, briefly, on Wednesday evening (March 6) when Storm
Trysail Club Commodore John Fisher presented the Seamanship Award to the
crew of Imp, and many an old tale surfaced. Some of them may even have been
true. Fisher made the presentation in SFYC's Cove House, just steps from
where Imp's napkin sketch played out in the long ago.
Bill Barton read from the 1979 Fastnet storm chapter of his book, 'The
Legend of Imp' recalling dark hour after dark hour with the odometer pegged
at 60 and the wind blowing the top fifteen feet off the waves and every
move a struggle when "struggle" can't really tell the story. Finally, dawn
broke, and after weeks of gray skies, Skip Stevely recalled, "The sky was
clear. It was the prettiest weather I've ever seen in England."
Salt water mountains notwithstanding.
Storm Trysail's Seamanship Award is unique in recognizing all of the
crewmembers. It was first awarded to the crew of Tenacious, Ted Turner's
'79 Fastnet Race winner, and then to the crew of George Coumantaros'
Boomerang, in 1996 the first boat ever to finish a Newport-Bermuda in a
long weekend. Boomerang was designed and rigged to not have to reef below
40 knots true, and she found her weather.
I once compared Imp and crew to ensemble players in a theater that,
strangely, catch fire and become more than players, their vehicle more than
a play. Skip Allan gets that. "It was magic," he said. "I don't know why."
-- Great photos here: http://blueplanettimes.com/?p=10440
THE BOOK: From the website for the 'The Legend of Imp': "The 40-foot boat
designed by Kiwi Ron Holland for David Allen of Belvedere, California took
the yacht-racing world by storm from her launch in January 1977. She has
had a magical life through seven different owners over a 33-year life span
and is still winning races today. She spawned a large family of clones and
pseudo clones, all seeking a piece of her magic. None could recapture it."
More here: http://www.implegend.com/
Behind the scenes at Oracle Team USA, Joseph Ozanne crunches numbers using
mind-numbing equations all in the name of a faster time around the
racecourse for his team's AC72. Ozanne is the team's wing design leader and
is also responsible for the performance prediction functions.
Much of his work in the current campaign involves the daggerboards, which
he believes will be critical to a team's success in the 34th America's Cup.
Now on his third campaign with Oracle, the 34-year old Frenchman has had
plenty of experience working with the best in the game.
Is the wing more important that the foils on the 72s?
"No. You need to consider that the foils are now the main driver of
performance on these boats. It's critical to have it right. Last Cup I was
a wing designer, and then everybody believed that the wing was the key but
that's not true. The reality is that on this boat, the multihull, we try to
minimize the drag. That's the goal overall. Where you can really make big
gains is under the water, and you really need to have it correct. The foils
and the windage are two areas where you have to focus because boats are
going 40 knots, and the faster you go [the more] you're going to create
drag. The most efficient way to do that is to lift the boat to reduce the
volume of the floats, so you need to lift your boat out of the water. You
can do that with foils, but you can't do that with the wing because it is
Sailing World, full interview:
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MOTHER NATURE FAILED TO DELIVER
Miami, FL (March 7, 2013) - The fourth annual BACARDI Miami Sailing Week
(BMSW) presented by EFG Bank has been underway for three days with 56 Star
teams competing for the 86th Bacardi Cup. Today sailors in the Audi Melges
20, Melges 24, Viper 640 and J/70 classes were to have their first day of
racing on Biscayne Bay, however, Mother Nature must have had other plans as
she delivered only enough breeze to allow one race to be sailed in each of
those classes. For the Star sailors, who had a planned lay day, it was a
day to enjoy the renowned Bacardi hospitality.
Of the 45 Melges 20s racing, 15 picked up DNF (Did Not Finish) points, when
they failed to cross the finish line before the time limit for racing
"The start was light and it just got lighter," said James Wilson (Rye,
N.Y.). "I think our strength was to do well in the strongest wind we found.
We faced many challenges and needed to be careful off the starting line.
Our goal was to keep the boat moving and we had to do many adjustments. The
Race Committee did the best they could all around and also by shortening
Finishing second was Tony Tabb (Winnetka, Ill.), with Marcus Eagan
(Madisonville, La.), Marc Hollerbach (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) and Paul
Reilly (Chicago, Ill.) completing the Melges 20 top-five.
In the Melges 24 class, all 18 teams completed the circuit around the
marks, with Chesapeake Bay sailor Catherine Evans (Annapolis, Md.) taking
the win on the opening day of the series.
"I'm kind of used to these conditions," said Evans. "I have an amazing crew
and despite the shifting conditions we were able to manage to get the top
result. This is a fantastic event and I definitely have the right boat name
[Mojito] for it! The Race Committee made a good move to call it a day after
race one, we would have had a bad second race."
Finishing second in the Melges 24s was Alan Field (Los Angeles, Calif.),
followed by Don Wilson (Chicago, Ill.), Bent Dietrich (Hamburg, GER) and
Bruce Ayres (Costa Mesa, Calif.).
Racing for all classes resumes Friday, March 9, and will conclude on
Saturday, March 9. Full report and results:
WHAT'S NEW FOR THE ORR RULE IN 2013
The Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) was first used in the 2006 race season, and
is now the prominent rule for distance racing throughout North America.
Events such as the Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race, Chicago Yacht Club
Race to Mackinac, and the Marion to Bermuda Race all use ORR.
ORR is based on a non-public Velocity Prediction Program (VPP), with the
performance factors having recently gone through some small modifications.
Here's what's new for the ORR Rule in 2013:
- Hull Drag: the model for wave drag (residuary resistance) has been
adjusted slightly to include the results of new tank test data
- Sail Aerodynamics: the algorithm for de-powering offwind sails (man and
spinnaker) has been adjusted to reflect wind-tunnel test data
- Sailing Dynamics: adjustments to how dynamics such as tacking and
accelerating effect the ratings (boat speed predictions)
- Rudders: the effect of rudder span in generating lift has been reviewed,
particularly with respect to deep rudders
- Code Stability: the calculation of best downwind VMG has been made more
robust, in particular for very light boats with very large sails
ORR website: http://www.offshoreracingrule.org/
STEPPING UP YOUR GAME WITH FITNESS
There are about a million different factors that go into making awesome,
unbeatable sailors. These factors include both controllable and somewhat
For instance, while the next guy on the starting line might have a magical
hole and an incredible God-given talent for keeping his position on the
line, you might excel at the ability to crush him upwind by keeping your
boat flat solely because you've got a knack for woodworking and have built
yourself a hiking bench... and practice on it regularly.
Now while some of these talents other sailors have may seem unfair if you
were not 'born with it,' there are some controllable factors that can
instantly boost your game and make you a more competitive force on the
The number one way to increase you skills and your level of play is through
fitness. Fitness not only keeps sailors physically on top, but it also
increases our mental endurance and our ability to clear our heads after an
event. Like any other competitive sport, sailing is innately linked to
However, unlike soccer or lacrosse, where players will constantly run or
sprint and repeatedly use particular muscles during a game, in sailing,
much of our sport depends on weather. Therefore, no matter the regatta or
length of an event, competitors must always be prepared for a full range of
activity and movements. -- SpinSheet, read on:
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* Miami, FL (March 7, 2013) - Racing at the Gaastra 52 World Championships
was abandoned today when winds proved too little to complete a fair race.
Race 5 of the series was started in very streaky and shifty conditions, and
after over an hour and within only 300 metres of the shortened finish line
at the second top mark, Tony Langley's Gladiator was ahead of the pack when
the time limit expired. Several teams filed for redress but the
International Jury dismissed the requests. Racing continues Friday and
concludes Saturday. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/52-030713
* Muscat, Oman (March 7, 2013) - If Wednesday was all about the new talent
at the Extreme Sailing Series, today was about experience with the
established teams using their knowledge of the short stadium style race
courses to make the most of the light winds. The stage is set for the final
day on Friday with points tight between Red Bull Sailing Team, The Wave,
Muscat and Alinghi at the top. Currently in the lead is light air
specialist Roman Hagara and his Red Bull Sailing Team. -- Full report:
* Details for the 2013 Bermuda One-Two Race are now available online. This
is the 19th running of the biennial race between Newport, RI and St.
George's, Bermuda, with race distance at 635 nm each way. The race is
sailed in two parts: Leg One is singlehanded from Newport to Bermuda, and,
following a brief layover, Leg Two back to Newport is doublehanded. The
race is run by the Newport (RI) Yacht Club and the host in Bermuda is the
St. George's Dinghy and Sports Club. The start of Leg One is June 8.
FINALLY... THE DAY HAS COME
The Scuttlebutt newsletter was launched in 1997, and the website followed
in 2003. A lot has happened since then, and it is time for these two
platforms to get a well needed makeover. This weekend is when the heavy
Once we launch the new website, there will continue to be a period of
construction. Please excuse our dust as we seek to provide access to the
catalogue of information that has been posted online for the past ten
While we hope the transition goes smoothly, it probably won't. We are
transferring the e-Newsletter subscriber list to a new provider, so if your
Monday edition does not arrive to your email inbox (and you can't find it
in your spam filter), send us an email at email@example.com
Thanks for your commitment to Scuttlebutt and for your patience during this
step into the future.
Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community.
Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted
comments chosen to be published in the newsletter may be limited to 250
words. Authors may have one published submission per subject, and should
save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
* From Chris Caswell:
While I would dearly love to be so clever and insightful as Mr. Rave
suggests (in Scuttlebutt 3790) that "No more expensive way of going slowly
has been invented by man than sailing" is a Caswellian quote, it was
actually said by yacht designer, bon vivant and good friend, the late Gary
Mull. I included the quote, which is so true, in my book, "The Quotable
* From Malinda Crain, Chair, US Sailing Youth Championships Committee:
We would like to thank John Lambert for his note in Scuttlebutt 3789, as it
provides us another opportunity to share information about the upcoming
2013 US Sailing Youth Championships, to be held in Corpus Christi, TX,
August 12-16, and to provide some details about the event that may have
The US Sailing Youth Championship Committee works hard to ensure that the
US Youth Champs is the premier youth sailing event in the country. We are
constantly evaluating the criteria for selection, the equipment to be
included, the venues and the economic value for the sailors and their
families. As examples of this, three years ago we moved the event from June
to August, so the sailors could be at their best; and two years ago we
voted to include the I-420 in the event, in addition to the C-420,
beginning in 2013.
As a committee, we are cooperating with the Olympic Sailing Committee to
make Youth Champs a stepping stone on the Olympic Pathway, should a sailor
be interested in this pursuit. This year, the US Youth Championship will
also be a qualifying event for the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Team. With this
addition, it is necessary to include the equipment that ISAF has chosen for
the Youth World Championship. -- Forum, read on:
* From Rebecca Sterling:
Interesting comment in Scuttlebutt 3790 by the esteemed editor regarding
the purpose of yacht club summer junior programs. Of the three objectives
he mentions, the programs I see seem to fulfill two of them: fill a child
care slot for parents and strive to create youth champions.
It is unfortunate that the two ends of the spectrum are being satisfied,
while the much bigger middle section - instilling a lifelong love of
sailing - is getting overlooked. But in this society where measured
progress and ego fulfillment rule the day, these programs are merely a sign
of the times.
* From Amando Estela:
Regarding the future of clubs, the article you posted in Scuttlebutt 3790
from Afloat Magazine resonated with us over here in Spain, as I'm sure it
does all over the world. The transition from chaperoned and funded sailor
to solo and self-funding young-adult is not a straightforward one. This is
particularly the case when it occurs at such a transitional time in their
life when they are exposed to an explosion of new and exciting external
influences - sure, around sport - but also work and not least social life!
Here at SailX.com we have just launched a new (and free) product which we
hope will help clubs better navigate this transition. This product gives
clubs the ability to build and manage their own private and custom-branded
"members-area" on SailX (complete with lots of interesting statistics on
the group and individual racing), the ability to run their own private
racing and training sessions online (including race setup and replays, etc)
plus the ability to present themselves to the SailX community worldwide -
now 31k+ registered users and growing fast. We created this offer in
response to the growing pressure on clubs and in the main the offer is
designed to help clubs retain (and maybe in time even grow) their
membership over time - plus to help them monetize their club assets.
An overview of the offer is available for your readers to download at
* From Jan Visser:
In regards to Glenn McCarthy's comments and the expense of sailing. He is
right on every point but I don't know of a youngster that is going out with
the intent of buying a 70' whatever.
In 1991, I was looking for something for my son to do to keep him busy when
I stumbled upon an ad in the local newspaper for a sailing program. I
investigated and signed him up, and off we went one of the wildest ride
that I have ever encountered and am still on. I did run into a bit of noses
in the air, not to worry, it was only a couple of weeks that summer. The
next summer was spent from the day school was out until the end of that
The third year was the same with one exception. The noses in the air got a
little worse, and when the summer ended, there were thoughts running around
in my head that really did not make a whole lot of sense. Regardless, on
the 2nd of January the following year I filed Articles of Incorporation and
in June I launched a summer sailing program.
No boats, dock or any idea where they would come from. Here I was, a single
mom working 40 hours a week, making things work. Boats were donated to us,
a couple of used Lasers were bought, and I found some Level 1 US Sailing
Certified instructors. There was a new game in town and we are still at it.
-- Forum, read on:
* From Ray Tostado:
When I withdrew from "serious racing" to "fun racing", what factored in to
my decision was that to maintain a top of the line IOR boat, back in the
'80s, was no longer justified to my life style and income. It was a matter
that the replacement cost of my original sail inventory of 14 bags to be
competitive, had climbed 400% from the original package, in 8 years. Nearly
equivalent to the original launch cost for my CF 41 two-tonner Juarez
"Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment." -
Norman Vincent Peale
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