SCUTTLEBUTT 2587 - May 1, 2008
Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions,
features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is
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WHEN THE WIND AND WAVES MEASURE SEVENTY
There is a group called 180 Degrees, who on April 24th sailed through the
Magnetic South Pole, completing their mission of traveling 22,000 miles from
pole to pole, and spreading their message about the earth's climate
problems. The following report is from the final stretch of their journey,
having just left the Kergeulen Islands, one of the few landing sites when
deep in the Southern Ocean. If the recent stories from the Barcelona World
Race or some of the round the world record attempts didn't live up to the
reputation of this wicked stretch of water, here is a posting that will:
"As we made a diagonal bee-line southwards we were assisted by a series of
low pressure weather systems causing the winds to pick up and the Sea to
build. This was all good news until the weather reports we receive showed an
intense low with winds of consistently over 50 knots (~ 55 - 60 mph). We
watched its track carefully and were buoyed when it seemed to be missing us
and veering South, so it was a shock to learn just before it hit that the
prediction had changed and put us right in the centre. Over the night of the
April 16-17, the winds steadily increased and we reduced the sail area
further and further until finally at 6 am on the 17th with a consistent 55
mph blowing we took down the stay sail and were running on bare poles but
still making 8 knots!
"The swell was huge and messy, with 70 foot waves regularly lifting us up
and accelerating us down their faces at frightening speed. A squall came
through, the anemometer hit 70 mph, the air was thick with spray, reducing
visibility to white-out conditions. At the helm we were being buffeted off
our feet. A mountain of water came from behind and as we tried to adjust
course against it, the pressure on the rudder was too great and the steering
wires snapped. Blizzard careered down the wave turning her starboard side to
the swell and we looked up to see another 70 foot beast, but this one was
different. The face was sheer, towering above us and the crest, like a
frothy avalanche, was crumbling down onto us. I grabbed a pole and wrapped
my arms round it with all my strength. The wave made a deafening thud as it
raged into the side of the hull and toppled us sideways. I was dangling in
mid-air, and then further so that I could look up and notice the Southern
Ocean where the sky should have been. It seemed like an eternity before the
yacht finally bobbed back up like a cork. Water filled everything that would
hold it, ropes lay strewn over the side and the storm jib was escaping
through the guard wires." -- Read on:
CUSTOMS HOUSE CERTIFICATE IS MISSING
The Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) - represented by Alinghi, Defender of
the America's Cup - has brought to light a requirement of the Deed of Gift
that requires the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) to submit a custom-house
registry of the vessel as soon as possible. This certificate provides
desirable design information, and since GGYC has yet to submit it, Alinghi
Design Team member Tom Schnackenberg, a three-time America's Cup winner of
the event, is questioning why. Said Schnackenberg, "They (GGYC) constantly
refer to 'complying with the Deed of Gift' but - despite having publicised
that their building process is well underway - continue to avoid this
customs house requirement. "
Schnackenberg makes an interesting reference in a posting on the team's
website, saying that "Nine months ago, GGYC promised in their Notice of
Challenge, that they would issue their customs house certificate as soon as
possible. It's taking longer than a baby!" As to what exactly is a custom
house certificate, he says that it is "Analogous to the issuing of a
passport to a citizen, and establishes the identity, ownership and
nationality of the vessel. The registration documents will contain apart
from the vessel name, the builder, year of build and ownership details;
gross tons, net tons, length, breadth, and depth."
As to why the certificate has not yet been submitted, GGYC team officials follow
Schnackenberg's analogy by saying that the baby isn't born yet. The issuing
authority in the United Sates is the US Coast Guard, and it is their
standard procedure not to issue such certificates until a boat is completed.
Since the GGYC boat is under construction, they are not sure why SNG is
raising this "red herring", but it remains their intention to submit the
certificate "as soon as possible."
Complete remarks by Tom Schnackenberg:
BRADY LEADS KIWI CONTINGENT TO TOP OF THE FLEET
Long Beach, CA (April 30, 2008) -- For a day that opened with what his
opponent called "a big crash," Gavin Brady's Wednesday turned out fine in
the Long Beach Yacht Club's 44th Congressional Cup presented by Acura. In
fact, the three New Zealand sailors in the fleet have no complaints after
the first of two round-robins leading to Saturday's championship sailoffs.
Brady, rolling with eight consecutive wins after an opening loss, leads the
Kiwi clan at 8-1, followed by local resident Scott Dickson (6-3) alone in
second place and Simon Minoprio in a three-way tie for third at 5-4.
But Brady's win against Antoine-Pierre Morvan wasn't pretty. In the
pre-start sequence he rammed the Frenchman's transom and his spinnaker pole
hooked onto the rival's luff line, leaving the boats temporarily
inseparable. Brady drew a penalty, but built enough of a lead to erase it
with a turn at the end of the race. On board Brady's boat this week is Jim
Swartz, who has hired him to sail his new STP 65, Moneypenny, now under
construction. After the incident Swartz asked Brady, "Is this what you do?"
Later, Brady thought, "I think I just lost my job sailing Moneypenny." --
Read on: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/08/0430b
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FINLAND ORDERS 300 OPTIMISTS FROM CHINA
(April 30, 2008) The Finnish Optimist Association has coordinated an
innovative deal between 62 Finnish sailing clubs & their member families and
the biggest builder of Optimists in the world, Far East Boats of Shanghai,
China. The result is that there are now three hundred Optimists on their way
from China to Finland, making this the biggest overseas Optimist shipment
during the 60 year history of the class. Since 2002, Far East Boats has made
over 4000 Optimists sold all around the world, with the capacity increased
to 2000 hulls per year in 2008.
With experience accumulating, from 2007 Far East Boats has started supplying
high quality fully-equipped Optimist packages. "Our aim has been to supply
the clubs and families with highest quality, ready to race, plug and play -
opti packages", says Tapio Lehtinen of the Finnish Optimist Association. The
boats left on the ocean going container ship Hatsu Courage on April 14th and
are expected to arrive in Finland on May 24th when a big youth sailing
fiesta is being planned with the new boats given over to the clubs and
families with TV and media present. "Our aim is to get the entry barrier as
low as possible for the beginners in the sport," says Lehtinen. -- Complete
story and photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/08/0430
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
May 3-4 - American Yacht Club Spring Series - Rye, NY, USA
May 3-4 - Desert Regatta - Richland, WA, USA
May 3-4 - Yachting Cup - San Diego, CA, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The SailRocket team has returned to Walvis Bay, Namibia, the famed speed
record strip on the Atlantic side of the African continent, to seek out the
holy grail of all out speed - the 50 knot barrier. While the project has
been fraught with high and low moments, the team is extremely thrilled with
recent runs that had them recording speeds of mid 40's in less than ideal
conditions. Speed sailing is all about big winds and flat water, and the low
lying beach and offshore winds of the speed track are ideal when sailing
mere feet off the land. This week's video finds the SailRocket team on a day
that they were unsure of their steering system, so they held a course
further offshore. The water was choppy and the ride was particularly rough,
with the video providing an awesome perspective of what it is like to go
this fast. Click here to view:
* To make it easier for prospective US SAILING-certified instructors to
fulfill course requirements for CPR and First Aid certification, US SAILING
has teamed up with the American Red Cross to provide an online training
program. All of US SAILING instructor training programs - including all
Small Boat Levels, Windsurfing, Powerboat, and Keelboat programs - require
current CPR and First Aid certification. The online training program offered
through the Red Cross provides convenient, effective, and affordable
training for instructors at all levels. -- Read on:
* The latest release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings on April 30th finds
Australia as the top nation, with sailors leading in the Laser, 470 Men, and
Tornado classes, and as runner-up in the Laser Radial. For the North
American contingent, the US remains strong in the Laser Radial (#1), Yngling
(#2), 49er (#4), and 470 Women (#6), while the Canadians are strong in the
Laser (#5), Tornado (#8), and Finn (#10). -- Complete standings:
* It was confirmed by Rita Barbera, the mayoress of Valencia, that should
BMW Oracle Racing win the 33rd America's Cup, the team this week made a
verbal commitment for the 34th edition of the Races to be staged in
Valencia. Mrs Barbera also stated that no date was mentioned at all as to
when the next events could take place in Valencia (33rd or 34th), but she
did add that despite her expectations, no contract had as yet been signed
for any sailing event with Alinghi despite their stated intentions that
Valencia should be the setting. -- Valencia Life Network,
* Watsonville, CA (April 30, 2008) -- West Marine, Inc. has released
preliminary unaudited operating results for the first quarter of 2008.
Pre-tax net loss for the thirteen weeks ended March 29, 2008 was $25.4
million, or ($0.81) per share after-tax, compared to a pre-tax loss of $18.4
million, or ($0.53) per share after-tax last year. Net sales for the
thirteen weeks ended March 29, 2008 were $113.3 million, compared to net
sales of $125.8 million for the thirteen weeks ended March 31, 2007.
Comparable store sales for the thirteen weeks ended March 29, 2008 decreased
9.4% compared to the same period a year ago. -- Read on:
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LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name, and may be
edited for clarity or simplicity (letters shall be no longer than 250
words). You only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot,
don't whine if others disagree, and save your bashing and personal attacks
for elsewhere. As an alternative, a more open environment for discussion is
available on the Scuttlebutt Forum.
-- Scuttlebutt Letters: firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Scuttlebutt Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum
* From Art Weekley, Newport, RI: (Regarding Beware of Threes in 'Butt 286)
Cocktails and poo-poos served? It's actually puu-puus, but then poo-poo is
what Alinghi has been feeding the sailing world for months! How appropriate
to have a cocktail party to celebrate it.
* From Dick Schmidt: I have been reading with interest the recent discussion
about which boats should and should not be included in the Olympic Games. It
occurs to me that a fundamental point has been lost in all this. If we agree
that the purpose of the Games is to foster international understanding
through sportsmanship, then it follows that the choice of a boat should not
arbitrarily preclude certain teams from participating. To me, the cost of a
boat is a primary consideration, as many hopefuls in small countries simply
cannot afford to compete in some of the high-priced boats. I am a 10-year
"veteran" of the Star Class--and I love the Star--but a competitive boat
costs upwards of $50k, and this would seem to limit participation.
Conversely, inclusion of boats like the Laser and sailboards makes a great
deal of sense on these grounds. As someone said in Scuttlebutt recently,
there is nothing high-tech (or cost-prohibitive) about a baton in a running
race or a ball and grassy field for soccer.
* From Jim Champ: In 'Butt 2585, Garry Hoyt wrote how "reliable wind over 10
knots is the single most important element" when it comes to selecting the
Olympic sailing site. Garry, do you think ISAF has any influence at all over
that? When the bidding cities present and ISAF says that Fredsville is a
lousy venue because there's no wind, and every other sport says Fredsville
is great, then what do you suppose happens?
As for TV - forget it. It's not just an impossible dream, it's a dangerous
one. The Canoe slalom event is about to get the chop even though it has
tremendous TV coverage because it just doesn't happen in enough countries.
Your slate looks suspiciously similar in that respect. The biggest risk to
sailing in the games right now seems to be low participation by third world,
especially African countries.
Your slate also, by the way more or less, spells death to sailing in the
Paralympics because there will be no keelboat facilities. Do you want that
too? I'm no fan of lead-assisted sailing, but if the price of having sailing
in the Paras is to have the dinosaurs in the main games then so be it...
* From Steve Pyatt: (regarding the color green and bad luck) The Green boat
thing certainly is in Europe, well England anyway. It is my understanding
that that is where it came from, down in the West Country where they have
Pixies. Green is the colour of the land (the trees, grass etc and the colour
of the Pixies too) and if you dare to take the colour of the land to sea you
risk untold misfortune, in a similar way to mentioning the noun for a
certain four-legged animal on any day that you may go to sea!
A group of sailors once tried to cure me of the green thing at a regatta we
were 'bound to win' [I had lots of anecdotes on all bad races being the
result of something green being worn or used on the boat (tape, burgee etc)]
. We had a disaster; gear failures, incidents, you name it. Afterwards they
sheepishly came over and pulled a green rag from its concealment in a pouch
saying "Sorry Steve, we thought we could show you that you could win with
* From Manfred C. Schreiber: The green boat thing is a lie. "IMP" had been
successful, fully dressed in green, and made the designer famous. A boat
with a positive Karma. Can anyone dig up a photo?
* From Justin Scott, President Viper 640 Class Association: (re, bad luck
and bananas, Fridays, and green) South Carolina must be a Voodoo free zone.
In April, Charleston Race Week began on a Friday. For the first time in
thirty-five years of racing we had bananas on board. One of my crew had a
seeming addiction to the ghastly things. We finished first in our class.
George Radley's very popular Irish winner of PHRF G, the delightful Ron
Holland designed "IMP", had a distinctive color scheme of...........green.
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: The sailing world quickly met designer Ron Holland
in the 70's after all the success achieved by the 40-foot IMP. Here are a
couple of images that we found:
>> Ron Holland Design: http://tinyurl.com/5yzwrt
>> CRW: http://www.charlestonraceweek.com/gallery/index.php?id=341
* From Bill Littell: In response to Bill Kasey's letter in issue 2586, I
thought sailing was supposed to be fun. Spending time in protest hearings is
NOT fun. Rules seminars would be better if they emphasized good sailing and
how to avoid situations that result in protests.
THE NUMEROLOGICAL MEANING OF SCUTTLEBUTT
It was noted in Issue 2586 that the 33rd America's Cup was numerologically
doomed. Of course, there was no basis for this, other than to squeeze a
value of entertainment from the event's current mess. However, it got us to
thinking about the numerological meaning behind Scuttlebutt, and after we
Googled our way to a free analysis, we liked what we saw. Here it is:
Expression: 28 / 10 / 1
You have an innate ability to get what you want and what you need for your
survival. You are primarily concerned about developing the self and
acquiring resources for your own enjoyment. Your independence and courageous
determination to succeed makes you a good leader, and your unique approach
is sure to open the doors to brave new worlds and fascinating discoveries.
Soul Urge: 11 / 2
Peace and harmony is your desire. You are a natural mediator as you are
genuine, tactful and adaptable. You tend to put your own will aside for
others and it is difficult for you to make decisions. This may cause others
to see you as shy, or lacking confidence. Your sensitivity and gentleness
can be a great healing force bringing harmony and support to others.
Personality: 17 / 8
There is an air of affluence about you, no matter your station in life.
People assume you are in control. You give the impression that you are the
best at what you do, so naturally others look to you for leadership. You
have an eye for quality and no matter what it takes you dress for success.
Designer clothing of the highest quality is certainly your preference.
People cluster around you hoping that some of that luck is contagious.
=> Get your own reading here:
Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills. - Robert A. Heinlein
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