SCUTTLEBUTT 1588 - May 21, 2004
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A WEIGHTY ISSUE
It's still happening. There are still a number of classes with crew weight
limits that only weigh the crews before the start of a regatta. And too
often we find crewmembers who use dramatic weight loss techniques to make
the weight for that one moment on the scale, and then immediately
re-hydrate and eat big to gain back their strength. The result is that
those boats sail 'heavy' for the entire regatta - but that's really the
least of the problems. What those crewmembers are doing to their bodies is
extremely dangerous. The people who are doing this are in many cases our
friends, and it's time to re-think the weigh-in process before we lose one
We spoke with Dr. Joe McCoy who told us that from a medical perspective,
weight loss from rapid fluid loss creates potentially dangerous
circumstances. Our human physiology is poorly suited to deal with rapid
fluid and electrolyte fluctuations. Darwin would argue that, as we have
become more "civilized" we have lost some of our ability to deal with rapid
environmental fluctuations. Our common methods of water-related weight loss
create just such a rapid environmental fluctuation. It takes many hours, if
not a few days, to completely reestablish fluid and electrolyte balance
after a rapid fluid and electrolyte shift.
Conventional methods of rapid weight loss (sauna, rubber suited practice,
spitting, etc.) are effective enough to create significant medical risk,
particularly in a dry hot environment and when exercising. Some sailors
will even utilize diurectics to increase fluid loss via increased urine
output. This rather drastic attempt to make weight, although effective,
further increases the risk of a medical catastrophe. Daily weigh-ins would
eliminate much of this practice. Boats would be forced to maintain a stable
and reproducible weight over the course of an entire regatta. Parity in
one-design sailing due to weight limits will be achieved without putting
our friends and fellow sailors at risk of physiologic collapse due to fluid
and electrolyte imbalance.
Robbie Haines has been involved in many classes with weight rules, and he
1. Weigh in the crews of the top three boats when they hit the dock at
the end of racing each day.
2. Random weight spot checks of other crews at the discretion of the
class rep or race organizers.
3. Crews found to be one pound or more over are disqualified for the
day's races. Zero tolerance.
4. Weighing should be in shorts and shirt. No stripping.
5. Scale to be available from the start of the event for all to use and
Obviously a daily weigh-in for classes with weight limits is not hassle
free, but isn't it in the long-term best interest of our sport?
ANOTHER WEIGHTY ISSUE
A new rating rule initiative named ORCA has been launched in the United
States, led by a consortium of clubs, race organizers, marine industry
leaders and sailors with support from US Sailing. The immediate mission is
to coordinate the different levels of offshore racing in the US with
specific focus on rule(s) targeted for the more competitive owners and
sailors. These will include development of what is commonly referred to as
a grand prix rule.
An earlier Offshore Racing Club of America was created in the mid 70s.
According to member Terry Kohler, "ORCA was established to communicate the
interests and objectives of offshore racers to further the sport of
sailboat racing". That mission is part of the new ORCA as well.
The growing membership of this new US initiative includes Stan Honey, Pete
Reichelsdorfer and Jim Teeters of the former international rule working
party, as well as John Winder, chairman of the Bermuda Race Organizing
Committee, Bill Lee, designer and rule-maker (Transpac 52 and maxZ86
classes), Dan Nowlan of US Sailing and Barry Carroll, lately of Carroll
Marine. Teeters and Winder are co-chairing the effort. Discussions are
being held with numerous clubs, race organizations and individuals to
identify what is working and not working for their sailors and then put
together a rules program based on those needs.
The board of the Cruising Club of America (CCA), co-organizers of the
Newport Bermuda Race, last week renewed its own commitment to developing
rating rules. Commodore Truman Casner: "The CCA strongly believes in the
goals of the ORCA initiative and hopes that other clubs will join in and
provide support." It should be noted that the CCA, in it history, has been
centrally involved in rating rule development, particularly the CCA and MHS
ORCA has reached an agreement with the Transpac 52 Class to embrace that
growing fleet as central to its grand prix rule. These boats embody much of
what grand prix racing is about: fast, fun and seaworthy boats with close
racing and simple scoring. Moreover, this is where the market is and where
it is going. New boats have hit the water this year and class events will
be held at the NYYC spring regatta, Chicago/Mac Race and nine boats
expected for St. Francis Big Boat. At least four TP 52s will compete in the
Newport Bermuda Race.
Emphasis is on following the market and supporting existing high level
sailing as much as on developing any new rules or re-tooling old ones. The
initial response from the US professional community is overwhelmingly
supportive, with a strong desire to back the initiative.
Although ORCA is a US-based organization, it also believes that an
international rule with broad acceptance would be a boon to sailors
worldwide. We will keep our colleagues at ORC, RORC and other international
organizations informed of our progress. - Jim Teeters and John Winder,
What usage does shaving cream have in sailing other than to provide good
trophy banquet photos? (Answer below)
SLIP 'N SLIDE NO MORE
Suffering from a black and blue "stern side" from pre-release shoe
traction? The cure is not a painkiller; it's a new pair of extra grippy
Harken sailing shoes. At just $39, what sailor can't afford a pair? Unless
you enjoy your crewmates snickering every time you do a deck-digger, stop
suffering from Spiderman envy and show people how you can walk up masts
(with halyard assistance, of course). Don't slip slide away into the deep
blue, buy a pair of Harken Quattros. On sale at:
http://www.apsltd.com/quattro and http://www.layline.com
ATHLETE PARTICIPATION PROGRAMME
ISAF's Athlete Participation Programme (APP) will fund 30 sailors and 14
nations to participate at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. Taking
place in Gdynia, Poland from 8-17 July, the ISAF Youth Sailing World
Championship is the pinnacle event for youth sailors around the world, and
for many is the launch pad for future international sailing careers.
However, for many nations and sailors it is not always that easy to travel
around the world to participate, which can mainly be attributed to the
difficulty in generating sufficient funds.
Recognising this, in 2003 ISAF provided funding to the ISAF Youth World
Sailing Championship via the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP).
2004 sees a continuation in the programme, in conjunction with a commitment
from ISAF to a long-term funding programme for the Youth Worlds. This
long-term APP will enable developing countries to plan their participation
and prepare their teams for future Youth Worlds, secure in the knowledge
that funding will be available for their participation.
Supporting one of the fundamental concepts of the APP, which is to give a
priority to those nations who have not previously participated, the 2004
APP will enable athletes from Cuba, Latvia and Morocco to participate for
the first time at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. APP funding
provides support to the travel and entry for athletes, with funding
allocated based on a criteria set by ISAF. - ISAF website, full story:
SAILROCKET HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
(Paul Larsen provides an update on the Sailrocket program in a letter
posted on the Bang The Corner website. Here are a couple of excerpts.)
Sailrocket has left the Neg-Micon building and the entire project is now
secure in a new 40' container awaiting transportation to Weymouth. The
container (acquired with the help of Angus at Complete Frieght) will now
serve as secure storage, a workshop, an office and a clubhouse for the rest
of the project. Everything has a place. After the launch on the 23rd of
April we were hoping to be sailing within a week or two. Instead we have
taken the time to sit back and consolidate where we are and prepare the way
forward. We are heading into the unknown in many respects but on the other
hand, it will remain unknown until we go there.
The immediate objective of the Sailrocket project are to:
-break the existing world record as held by YPE at 46.52 knots
-be the first to break the 50 knot mark
-develop Sailrocket through solid sails and cavitating foils to be the
first yacht to break the true 'sound barrier' of yachting and establish an
outright record using cavitating foils.
The over riding goal is to build and sail the outright fastest yacht in the
world ... period.
From here on in, so as to achieve the aforementioned goals, the project
needs to be properly funded via title sponsorship. We have firmly displayed
our commitment by building the boat and now is the perfect time for a
company to come onboard to share in what lies ahead. We must focus on this
aspect of the program like we did on the build and do it until it is done.
The project is not desperate for money as a relatively small amount will
see us a long way at this stage. It does however raise a question which I'm
sure that many of you reading this must quietly be thinking. After dreaming
of this boat for over half your life, working on it for four years and
building it for the last 20 months... how the hell can you not just take it
out and thrash the pants off it????? How long can we hold out now that
Sailrocket in all its glory is sitting there... fizzing at the bungs in
anticipation. My guess is probably not that long. - .Bang the Corner Full
Annapolis, MD, USA - Three races were held on Thursday in both the Gold and
Silver fleets. Gold Fleet standings after six races with one discard (130
1. Alec Cutler, USA, 22.00
2. John den Engelsman, NED, 23
3. Terry Flynn, USA, 35
4. David Van Cleef, USA, 37
5. Scott Nixon, USA, 39
* Steve Fossett record-breaking round-the-world passage in Cheyenne will be
featured on a segment of NBC's Jeep World of Adventure Sports on Saturday,
May 22. May 22, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. -
* Longtime Star Builder Danilo Folli Passed away last night in Mandelo di
Lario , Italy. The entire Star Class is saddened and offer our condolences
to his family For more info check the 14 th District web site
www.starclass.it or soon on www.starclass.org. - Claude Bonanni,
International Secretary, I.S.C.Y.R.A.
* In the last week, three of the ten teams slated to sail Newport Harbor
Yacht Club Match Race Invitational have canceled and NHYC is now looking
for women sailors available to compete in this Grade 4 ISAF event. June 2nd
is a practice day and clinic with Dawn Riley. Competition begins on
Thursday June 3rd thru Sunday June 6th. The boats are the new Gov Cup 21
with a total crew of 4. All housing and most of the meals will be included
in the entry fee. - Jen Lancaster (949) 723-6869, www.nhyc.org
* Meridiana-Italtel, the Italian entry skippered by Vasco Vascotto, is now
in the top position in the non-Corinthian class of the Rolex IMS World
Championship, following Thursday's three windward-leeward races sailed on
nine-mile courses set by the Race Committee off Capri. In second place
overall at the end of the day is Raiffeisen C.M., another Italian boat,
with Lorenzo Bressani as skipper. Near Miss, a Swiss competitor with
Thierry Pepponet at the helm, is now in third place. The leader at the end
of yesterday's long offshore race, U.S. entry Talisman, is currently in
sixth place overall. www.regattanews.com
* Photo Op - Looks like the time leading up to Olympic Games is not all
hard work for member of the US Team:
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Don't leave the shaving cream in your shower kit, as it can provide an
assist after you have removed the ball bearings from a block for cleaning.
During reassembly, squirt shaving cream into the race where the bearings
live. Rather than struggling to keep the ball bearings from falling out,
the shaving cream will hold all the bearings in place while you reassemble.
Once the part is reassembled, rinse the cream out with water. - Mike Lee,
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (email@example.com)
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be
edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room nor a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Ross Morrissey: I think the classification code is set up backwards.
We shouldn't be asking what advantage people of a certain profession bring
to the racecourse, but what advantage winning races brings to their
profession. My father is a meteorologist - I can think of one memorable
overnight race where we gained about six hours because of his background. I
remember a yacht club lecture where he responded to a suggestion that he'd
just contradicted a noted sailing author's explanation of local conditions:
"Dr. Walker is an amateur..." - but so is my father - when it comes to sailing.
What about the Lawyer I faced in the protest room? - the psychiatrist with
the motivated crew? - the engineer with the tricked out rigging? - the
project manager who has every detail under control? All of these people
bring their profession to the racecourse. Racing is so multifaceted that
nobody can be the best at everything. Everyone brings their own strengths
to the sport we love. Sailmakers excel at sail trim, but is it really that
much more significant than the advantages other professionals bring?
I'd draw the line where winning a race will put more money in your pocket
than losing. The sailmaker who relies on his sails winning to generate
sales is a pro. The professional sailor who depends on his resume is a pro.
People (whether they are lucky enough to work on boats or not) who have no
financial stake in racing success shouldn't be penalized.
* From John J. Ford: Boy, was I ever disappointed last night to discover
that Gary Jobson's "25 Years of Sailing" was bumped from ESPN to telecast a
hockey game. Here on Cape Cod, we are deprived of ESPN Classic. Is there
any chance that ESPN will again broadcast this show on ESPN or ESPN2? I
really don't give a puck about hockey!
Curmudgeon's Comment: The program aired as scheduled on ESPN Classic at 9
pm ET and re-aired early Thursday morning at 12 and 3 am ET. Chad Lyons
wrote to ESPN and learned the program is not currently scheduled to re-air
through June. Programming beyond that point is not yet available; and video
copies are not available. Lyons wrote back to ESPN suggesting they
re-broadcast the special.
* From Mark Washeim (Regarding Peter Huston's comments from yesterday): I
would like to ask if a message of non-acceptance and intolerance should be
the positive "moral message" we want to convey to our youth? I personally
know two transsexuals. One was a very close friend for years when she was a
man. Changing gender is not a "choice" that people make lightly. In both
cases I know, the person felt compelled to become a women. It cured ones
life-long stutter. Imagine the courage and conviction required to make a
life change so incredibly drastic! Courage and conviction are values that I
try to instill in my children - and everyone I can - daily. Properly
placed, courage and conviction speak highly to a person's moral values.
* From Jim Mahaffy: I've known Peter Huston for a lot of years and had my
disagreements, but his comments regarding IOC latest ruling really hits the
point! I think he said it better than most of us could have also! Just what
are the brains at IOC thinking of?
* From Tom Priest (Re: Transpac entries & speed limits): As I recall, it's
been awhile so I may be off by a boat or two, but 1989 Transpac had on the
order of two dozen sleds at or near the "speed limit". That is what I would
call critical mass! Two billionaires match racing across the Pacific just
isn't the same. Actually, as I think about it a little more, the budget for
the total sled fleet probably is about the same as the current two!)
* From John Myrdal (2000 US Olympic team - Laser): I wanted to congratulate
Mark Mendelblatt for his awesome silver medal performance at the most
recent Laser World Championships in Turkey. As a longtime friend and on the
water rival of Mark for many years in the Laser on both the National and
International scene, I am intimately aware of how incredibly difficult and
deep the talent in the Laser class is these days and Mark's second place
showing is nothing short of incredible. Mark, you have definitely proven
that you are the right man for the job at the Olympics this time around,
and we're all proud to have you representing us.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OXYMORONS
Diet ice cream