SCUTTLEBUTT 2600 - May 20, 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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COVILLE ON STANDBY IN NEW YORK
Thomas Coville's maxi trimaran Sodeb'O (105 feet) is currently moored at
Brooklyn's Gateway Marina in New York, ready to set off on the North
Atlantic record attempt. Since its launch in Australia virtually to the day,
the maxi trimaran Sodeb'O has already covered nearly 40,000 miles around the
world. Last winter, Thomas attempted to beat the solo round the world record
and, twenty days after the start, the skipper broke the 24 hour speed record
with an average of 25.8 knots, sailing 619.3 miles in the space of 24 hours.
A few minutes later, the maxi Sodeb'O lost one of its bows and the skipper
was forced to retire from his round the world record attempt. Disappointed
but never tiring of the adventure, Thomas headed back to South Africa. After
over a month of repairs in Cape Town at the America's Cup base of Shosoloza,
Thomas Coville and his crew left the South African coast bound for New York.
Thomas Coville's objective is to make the route from New York (USA) to
Lizard Point (GBR) single-handed in less than 6 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and
37 seconds, a time set by Francis Joyon aboard his trimaran IDEC in 2005.
"It's true that the bar has been set high. Francis' route is exceptional
once again. However, maintaining the maxi Sodeb'O at an average of over
19.75 knots over 2,980 miles for 6 days remains an achievable performance"
confides the skipper of Sodeb'O. Crossing the Atlantic on a 105 foot (32
metre) multihull single-handed is an extreme challenge. "You react like a
metronome in your manoeuvres, eating, slaloming. the most important thing is
to keep up a good pace. I'm expecting to be at 200% for 6 days!" -- Complete
IS PUMA BEING TOO ALOOF?
by Gary Jobson, Sailing World
The PUMA Sailing Team officially launched their new yacht at the Institute
of Contemporary Art in Boston Harbor last week. About 400 guests were in
attendance. The highlight of the evening was actress Salma Hayek christening
the yacht. After four attempts at breaking the champagne bottle, crewman
Jerry Kirby had the presence to step forward and give the actress an extra
I was disappointed, however, not to see an American flag anywhere in sight.
The boat was given an Italian name, il mostro which means, "the monster."
Sitting in the front row was Volvo Ocean Race chief executive officer Knut
Frostad; inexplicably, he was not introduced to the roughly 150 journalists
gathered in the museum's nifty theater. Similarly no Boston officials were
recognized. PUMA's marketing people need to rethink their protocol if they
hope to generate interest in the United States. Boston and the New England
region have a lot to be proud about considering the phenomenal success of
their baseball, basketball, and football teams. PUMA is clearly missing the
boat not attaching itself to the region. -- Complete post:
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: We don't disagree with Gary's concern, noting that
the team has not been in a rush to connect with the American sailors. Very
cat-like indeed, however, the team does have style:
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90 PERCENT PURE BLISS - 10 PERCENT TERROR
Years ago, Denise Ferguson would drive over the Potomac River, point at the
sailboats in the water, and tell her children, "I'm going to do that
someday," while secretly terrified at the prospect. Then one day, she showed
up at a boat dock and was asked to help crew. She agreed. "I've always been
scared to death of the wind, and I was terrified of even the idea of
sailing," said Ferguson, 54. "It was time I confronted my fear, and they
needed a crew member. So I thought, what better way to confront my fear than
sailing?" After just one outing, Ferguson said, she was still scared, but
hooked. She began racing in 1995, when she joined a growing number of women
Doris Colgate founded the National Women's Sailing Association in 1990 as a
way to introduce more women to the sport. "The reason there aren't more
women is mostly a lack of knowing what sailing is like, and women just don't
think about doing it unless they have a husband or boyfriend who is really
into it," said Colgate, who co-owns and serves as the president and chief
executive officer of the Offshore Sailing School, which she started 40 years
ago. The school is based in Florida."Sailing is 90 percent pure bliss, and
10 percent terror," she said. "It's not common to see women captains, but it
is common to see women who race very successfully." -- Baltimore Sun, read
WEATHER STUDIES PROVIDE MORE QUESTIONS
The following stories were recently posted on the same website, though they
came from different studies, and are providing more questions than answers.
Maybe Bob Dylan was wrong when he said, "The answer, my friend, is blowin'
in the wind."
* Washington (AP) - Mariners take note: The jet stream is creeping northward
and weakening, new research shows. That potentially means less rain in the
already dry South and Southwest and more storms in the North. The jet stream
is America's stormy weather maker. And because the jet stream suppresses the
formation of hurricanes, the trends could mean more and stronger tropical
storms. From 1979 to 2001, the Northern Hemisphere's jet stream moved
northward on average at a rate of about 1.25 miles a year, according to the
paper published earlier this month in the journal Geophysical Research
Letters. The authors suspect global warming is the cause, but have yet to
prove it. They also must do more research to pinpoint specific consequences.
-- Mad Mariner, read on: http://madmariner.com/blogs/pamela_coyle/9636
* Washington (AP) - Global warming isn't to blame for the recent jump in
hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal
scientist whose position has shifted on the subject.Not only that, warmer
temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic
and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson reported in a
study released Sunday. In the past, Knutson has raised concerns about the
effects of climate change on storms. His new paper has the potential to heat
up a simmering debate among meteorologists about current and future effects
of global warming in the Atlantic. Many climate change experts have tied the
rise of hurricanes in recent years to global warming and hotter waters that
fuel them. But another group of experts, those who study hurricanes and who
are more often skeptical about global warming, say there is no link. They
attribute the recent increase to a natural multi-decade cycle. -- Mad
Mariner, read on: http://abe5.com/410
IMPACTING A GENERATION OF SAILORS
Gal Fridman, the Mistral Windsurfer who won Israel's first Olympic gold
medal, has helped advance his sport in the eyes of Israel and the world. "I
started sailing at a very young age, my father sailed and he'd take us to
the ocean with the board," Fridman said. A natural talent, Fridman entered
his first international contest at the age of 13. "I started sailing and
improving, and I realized that I was good, and it attracted me to a league
competition," Fridman said.
He began capturing the field's attention when he won silver medals in both
the European and World Championships in 1995 and 1996. Fridman brought home
a bronze medal from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, his first ever
Olympic competition. From 1997 to 1999, Fridman came down with Mononucleosis
and could not get back into shape in time for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Despite the setback, Fridman followed with a string of victories. He won the
bronze in the 2001 European Championships, and in 2002 was crowned world
champion for the first and only time in his career. All this lead up to the
2004 Athens Olympics, where Fridman gave Israel its first Olympic gold.
He dedicated his medal to the 11 members of the Israeli delegation killed in
the 1972 Munich Olympics. "We have to remember them at every Olympics. The
Olympics are supposed to be a time of peace between nations, and what
happened in Munich is unheard of," Fridman said. Since his victory, Mistral
windsurfer sailing has become more popular, he said. "The field has grown,
there are more representatives, the facilities have grown, especially after
my first [Olympic] medal in 1996," Fridman said. "The Ministry of Education
gave a lot of money to the clubs and developed the sport through schools."
Today, Fridman competes in biking as an amateur in Israel after spending
time in the Jewish communities of Australia, Europe and the United States.
-- Excerpt from Jerusalem Post: http://abe5.com/411
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* Acclaimed British novelist and non-fiction writer Mark Chisnell has been
chosen as the author of the official book of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race.
He will be part of the travelling team for the entire race, ensuring that he
is at the heart of all the action and able to cover every aspect of the
nine-month ocean odyssey. Chisnell's previous books include Risk to Gain,
the best-selling account of Team EF's win in the 1997-98 edition of the
race. His own racing career includes winning the Admiral's Cup and
navigating for three America's Cup campaigns. -- http://abe5.com/412
* The 2008 J/24 US Nationals saw 54 entrants attend the Staten Island, NY
event on May 15-18, 2008, with Midwinter champions Chris & Waldek Zaleski
continuing their class dominance by winning the title by six points over
runner-up Mark Hillman. -- Complete results:
* The 9th International Sailing Summit will be held in Paris, France on
December 4th, prior to the Paris International Boat Show. For more
information on the ISS, email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Captain Fatty Goodlander is an original sea gypsy. The 56-year-old sailor
has lived aboard boats for 48 years sailing the world's seas and
circumnavigating the globe. Goodlander and his wife, Carolyn, have sailed
more than 100,000 miles on their 38-foot cutter, Wild Card, raised a family
and scraped together a modest living from their floating home. This summer,
Goodlander, who is editor-at-large of Cruising World magazine, will send
regular audio dispatches from his boat as he explores Southeast Asia.
"Sailing to me isn't just about boats and it isn't about the destination,"
Goodlander says. "It's about freedom, it's about passion, it's about lust,
it's about life." --
* The inaugural Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta
was co-hosted on May 16-18, 2008 by the Seattle Yacht Club and the
Corinthian Yacht Club, with 223 boats ranging from the Laser up to the
Beneteau 36 competing in 24 classes on three race courses. The regatta's
overall champion was Stephen Orsini and his crew in the Santana 20 class,
which earned them a berth at the 2008 Caribbean NOOD Championship in the
B.V.I.s in November. -- Wrap-up report: http://abe5.com/413
* (May 19, 2008) Day 9 of The Artemis Transat finds Open 60 class leader
Vincent Riou aboard PRB having lost half his lead, now only 15nm ahead of
Loick Peyron's Gitana Eighty as they near the ice gate, with winds for the
coming days alternating between light and strong to challenge race tactics.
In the Class40 fleet, Giovanni Soldini's Telecom Italia further stretched
its lead to 62nm, with positions 2nd through 4th in a dead heat. Leaders in
the Open 60 and Class40 are 1080nm and 1550nm respectively from the finish
of this 2982-mile race from Plymouth, England to Boston, MA. -- Race site:
* On October 28th 2005, Adrian Flanagan set sail aboard his 38 ft stainless
steel sloop Barrabas to attempt the first ever single-handed, vertical
circumnavigation westwards via Cape Horn and the Russian Arctic. Adrian is
nearing the end of this adventure, and is expected to arrive in the UK at
The Royal Southern Yacht Club on the Hamble River at around 11.00am on
Wednesday, May 21st. -- http://www.alphaglobalex.com
* Americans are particularly good at counting things. From the figures
released this week by the US Coast Guard, alcohol has been blamed as the
leading cause of boat accidents which result in death. The good news is that
total deaths were down in 2007, but on the other hand, total accidents were
up. We probably could have guessed that 90% of the 688 people drowned were
not wearing life jackets, and neither was it very surprising to learn that
75% of the skippers of boats which had an accident had not had boating
safety instructions. -- Sail World, complete report: http://abe5.com/414
CAREFUL WHAT YOU CLAIM
There is a Curmudgeon's Observation that says, "There are no new sins; the
old ones just get more publicity." Well, the same might go for one of the
innovative ideas being announced by the organizers of Kiel Week in Germany,
which is one of the premier European events. A press release last week from
the event publicized how they were presenting "a world premiere in sailing"
and how they "want to pass on our recommendations and new ideas to ISAF
which may contribute to a better future of sailing."
The idea they have come up with was to utilize the "yellow jersey" concept,
which is widely used in bike racing, wherein the leading crew in each
division at Kiel Week would done the jerseys. This is a great idea, or at
least it was when witnessed in action three years ago at the 2005 US Snipe
National Championship, held in San Diego, CA. At the end of each day, the
pomp and circumstance of the Tour de France would be replicated, and the
jersey would be transferred to the new leader, or would be re-awarded if the
leader did not change. Great fun at the end of each day, with the
traditional flowers being replaced by cool beverages! -- Read on for the
Kiel Week release:
OFFSHORE OR ONE DESIGN RACING
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BUSY MONTH FOR SCUTTLEBLOG
What is the difference between a website and a blog? At Scuttlebutt, the
blog is the place where a lot of bits and pieces get posted: some casual,
some meaty, some non-sailing related, all short and with a comments tool
that allows you to place your opinion adjacent to the story. The month of
May has been a busy month for Scuttleblog, with a few of the comments below
on some recent posts:
Sailing Language -
James Gallacher said... The whole point of jargon is that you can quickly
describe a complex thing with a high level of precision. Some of the terms
may seem silly or outmoded to you, but they offer us a unique language that
anyone who sails can understand if they put a little time in and learn them.
God forbid someone falls off the boat and your crew is wondering 'whose
left' you are referring to.
Certification Process -
J.D. Stone said... If you think we are well stocked with qualified Judges,
try to assemble an International Jury. The pool available is extremely small
and most are over utilized. Adding another layer of requirements adds
nothing. Rules knowledge is just one component of a good judge. Tack,
organization skills, ability to listen, diplomacy, preparation,
professionalism etc... count as much or more.
ISAF Sailor Code -
Anonymous said.The ISAF rating system is a complete failure. The system is
consistently abused (especially in classes such as the Farr 40 and Swan 45)
and has outgrown itself as many who should be classified as a 3 find ways to
reduce their rating to a 2. Change the system! It doesn't work!
Find all the Scuttleblog posts at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/blog
Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.
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