SCUTTLEBUTT 2615 – June 11, 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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THE BUSINESS OF YACHT RACING
Bruno Trouble's name is intimately linked with the business of yacht racing.
Founder of the Louis Vuitton Cup and organiser of the event for many years,
Troublé has seen the business of yacht racing grow to become the third
highest recipient of European sports sponsorship spending.
* What are the main assets of sailing as a top level sport?
TROUBLE: For me, sailing means freedom (no yellow lines), elegance, purity
(by opposition to pollution), travels (that’s why Louis Vuitton is there),
responsibility and team work. You need to understand that just five
generations back, the only link between the continents – to deliver love
letters or a declaration of war – was a sailing boat. We all have this
somehow in our soul, whether we are sailors or not.
* How do you consider the current state of our favorite sport?
TROUBLE: Our sport suffers from its huge complexity and variety. There are
as many world champions as participants! The public just can’t understand
it, and the abundance of trophies increases year after year. We need to
bring some order back; otherwise the media will just get tired of sailing.
* What should be done to help promote our sport?
TROUBLE: There should only be one world championship per discipline:
Men’s dinghies / keelboats
Women’s dinghies / keelboats
And perhaps a yearly Nations Cup with one boat per country in each
discipline. And an America’s Cup every 3-4 years.
=>>> In December 2008, the Principality of Monaco will be the venue for the
first dedicated yacht racing business forum to debate and discuss the
important issues critical to its future. Key topics will include
broadcasting, successful race management, sponsorship value, composite
technology, event management, safety, telecommunications, media exposure and
much more. -- Details: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/08/0605a
GUEST COMMENTARY – US SAILING MEMBERSHIP
by Chris Welsh, Owner, 65-foot Ragtime
Sadly, I don't believe it is possible for a non-representative national
entity with a monopoly position to do the right thing in a politically
correct era. The institution evolves into one of insiders, detached from the
populace; there is no force of competition to stay the course, and
correctness and a lack of juevos drives the organization to the fringe of
what the average guy wants. Top that off with an organization where the
hired staff tends to outlast the governing board and the problem
intensifies, even with the best of intentions.
US SAILING'S best measure of their success would be to keep membership
voluntary, as they will get undeniable checkbook feedback every year as to
whether they are serving their population well enough. Looking at the
website description of the value US SAILING wants us to see is an exercise
in how they are not delivering - if you have to convince people of the
value, you are delivering the wrong package of goods and benefits. Mandatory
anything is a sure sign that the content is not worth the price. So what's
the solution? Here is my list:
1. Discourage rather than encourage judging at regional events, thereby
lowering the cost of those events. This has been a disaster for regatta cost
inflation, and to me, solely driven by a competition of YC's to have the
"best" event, as measured by metrics like judges that the competitors and
participants don't care about. The paperwork and bureaucracy of the sport
continually grows, while the fun factor gets left behind. Reinforce the
Elvstrom approach of avoiding the protest hearing.
Read on: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/08/0609
HIGH SCHOOL SAILORS LEAVING LEGACY BEHIND
Yarmouth, MA - The four high school boys who had the vision of a competitive
sailing program for the Dennis-Yarmouth school district are graduating and
leaving the now-successful program behind them. Ryan Lotti, Sam Lowell,
Lathan Diog, and John Work all pushed for a sailing team in 2005 and thanks
to the support of the Yarmouth Recreation Department (which supplied the
boats) and Hyannis Yacht Club (which supplied the location), the program was
launched that year. “All we did was practice that first year,” says Michael
Lotti, the D-Y sailing club director. “We scrimmaged with Nauset and
Barnstable a couple of times that year,” adding that there weren’t enough
members to form an official team. The program has expanded from five team
members in 2005 to 13 this year, but Lotti says the focus now is to recruit
new sailors and continue fundraising efforts for the club. -- Read on:
NO BIGGER BUZZ RIGHT NOW THAN IN NEWPORT
The mad scramble for replacement gear at events is the dread of all sailors.
To facilitate those last minute needs, Team One Newport has longer hours
this weekend for the New York YC Annual Regatta on Friday (9a-7p) and
Saturday (8am-8pm). The following weekend is the Newport Bermuda Race, with
shoppers welcome on Thursday (10am-8pm) and for the start on Friday (open at
8am). All the Team One Newport reps will be in town for Bermuda, so come by
the store and enjoy the “boat show” buzz. Also, be sure to cruise through
town and get ‘Harpooned by the Atlantis Girls’ … trust us, it’s a good
thing. – http://www.team1newport.com
OLYMPIC COUNTDOWN: 59 DAYS TO GO
* (June 10, 2008) The fleet at the 2008 ISAF Grade C1 470 Europeans on Lake
Garda woke up early to get caught up on the race schedule, but the 9am
planned start time was not in synch with the weather, robbing the 119 boats,
86 men and 33 women, of some valuable sleep time as they waited for the wind
to develop. Americans Amanda Clark and Sarah Mergenthaler remain in the lead
after three days, though they had a rougher go of it today with a 3-20-15.
Qualifying has completed for the men, with top North Americans Stu McNay/
Graham Biehl making it into the Gold division in 27th place. Racing
continues through to the Medal race on Sunday. -- Results:
McNay/Biehl website: http://blog.teammb.org/?p=40
* From American Laser rep Andrew Campbell: “’Classic Caberete.’ Those are
the words out of the local’s mouths when we come in off the water each day
here on the north shore of the Dominican Republic…. ‘Classic Cab!’ The
forecast looks like groundhog day: hot 88 degrees of air temp, 80 degrees of
water temp, mostly to completely sunny, light easterlies before eleven
o’clock, smoking south-easterlies from one o’clock to six followed by a
possible shower. What does that mean for us? The training group Raul Aguayo
(going to his first Olympics, one of 24 athletes from the Dominican
Republic), Dave Wright (Canadian Sailing Team member and training partner
leading into my trials in Newport), and our local host and masters sailor
Ari Barshi leaves the beach around eight o’clock in the morning to get the
light air and lump left over from the previous day’s breeze. We drill with
coach Rulo upwind, downwind, and around the buoys for about three and a half
hours and hit the beach for lunch at the sailing center around noon. After a
bit of debriefing and talk about how the day went, we generally rig up the
windsurfers and blast around in the afternoon breeze until we can no longer
stand up and then head back to the apartment for recovery.” --
* American 49er reps Tim Wadlow and Chris Rast are back in Qingdao, China
training everyday in preparation for the Olympic Games. Despite their boats
being stuck in customs, they have been able to borrow the Canadians boat and
the German's mast, and have been on the water working closely with their
training partners from Germany. They have put together a very interesting
slide show of life off the water: http://tinyurl.com/3jdhez
* A countdown feature is on the Scuttlebutt website homepage from now until
the first race begins at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games on August 9th. --
EMERGENCY FLASHLIGHT SAVES COLLEGE CREW
Sometimes the smallest things mean the most. For Steven Conway, during the
610-mile Regata de Amigos from Galveston to Veracruz, Mexico, that turned
out to be an inexpensive emergency flashlight that could be attached to a
life vest. He bought it at local sporting goods store. Not likely to really
need it, but you never know when a waterproof light might come in handy.
Then the keel fell off his boat Friday night and five guys suddenly were
floating together in the Gulf of Mexico — five little dots bobbing in the
water, all but invisible from an airplane or helicopter. Unless it's night,
and there's intermittent blinking coming from the general vicinity of a
Conway's little light helped U.S. Coast Guard rescuers spot the group early
Sunday morning. Soon they were safely aboard a helicopter heading back to
Galveston, all save Roger Stone, whose dedication to getting two students
out from under a capsizing boat ultimately cost him his own life. As
survivors, family, friends, fellow mariners and many of those connected to
the extended Texas A&M family paused Monday to remember Stone and his heroic
final acts, the school itself began looking for answers to the tragedy. --
Houston Chronicle, read on:
*A funeral service for Roger Stone will be held on Thursday, June 12th at
Clear Lake United Methodist Church at 5:00 PM. The address for the church
is: 16335 El Camino Real, Houston, TX 77062.
* Cannigione, Sardinia (June 10, 2008) - The second day of the J/24 World
Championship saw a steady easterly blowing 18 knots for the 76 boat fleet,
with American Mark Hillman dominating the day with two first place finishes.
However, not to be too outdone, Britain’s Malev Rossi rolled two deuces to
become the new event leader. It was a day of doubles, with current World
Champion Maurico Santa Cruz’s two sevenths moving him up to second overall,
with Hillman in third. -- Daily report: http://tinyurl.com/4atd5n
* After validation at 35 knots of the high speed foiling trimaran, the
'Hydroptère team decided to do a complete verification of the boat and an
analysis of all data recorded while sailing before further pursuing the 50
knot speed barrier. In order to get even more accurate measurements, load
pins are being installed in the winches to measure the strain recorded by
the mainsheet traveller’s winches and to know the stress exerted on the
sails. Additional video cameras are also being installed on the mast.
Following this, the team will move to Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône to begin
speed trials. -- http://www.hydroptere.com/_en/
* A French company has taken about 1018 NOAA raster nautical charts
(RNC/BSB/KAP format) and merged them with Google Maps to enable online
viewing. -- http://demo.geogarage.com/noaa/
* The Waterfront Challenge is a national competition to encourage people who
care about their local waterfront, to improve their local waterfront. The
Challenge is designed for any group of three or more people who want to
spend a minimum of two days of their lives improving their local waterfront
and encouraging others to do the same. Projects should be new, and make some
part of your waterfront an environmentally better place. Seven regional
awards of $5,000 each will be presented, along with a separate grand prize
of $25,000. -- http://www.wfchallenge.com
* BoatU.S. Foundation's Environmental Leadership Award recognizes a group,
organization, company, marina or individual who has made a significant
contribution towards advancing clean boating and educating boaters on
minimizing their environmental impact. The deadline for nominations is June
30, 2008 and the award includes $1000 for the continued support of the
winner's environmental efforts. – Details at
COMING SOON TO A RACE NEAR YOU
Whether you’re in the Mediterranean, Newport, or in the middle of the ocean,
you’ll be seeing a Goetz-built boat. PUMA’s new Volvo 70, Il Mostro, will be
prowling the waves at the NYYC Annual Regatta and the Newport-Bermuda Race
this month while preparing for the upcoming VOR. Platoon, the recently
launched TP52 helmed by Jochen Schumann, has already begun a successful
season on the MedCup circuit, and looks to build on her promising start.
Stay tuned to http://www.goetzboats.com for updates on these two speedsters,
along with information on the ongoing builds of an 85-foot European racer by
Reichel-Pugh and an 82-foot fast cruiser from Rogers Yacht Design.
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 Brendan Lowry, New Zealand: A number of comments you have printed, in
reference to the two parties involved in the latest dispute over the
America's Cup, describe the antagonists as spoilt rich kids upset at not
getting their way or words to similar effect. Just because someone is rich,
does not mean any argument they have lacks legitimacy. I often feel annoyed
at these comments, as in my opinion, Larry Ellison (owner of BMW Oracle
Racing) stood up to bullying. Wherever bullying takes place, whether it be
at school, in the workplace, or in sport, it is great to see someone stand
up to it.
* From Ralph Taylor: (Re: Gregory Scott’s article in ‘Butt # 2614) If the
Canadian Yachting Association is really collecting only $10 per year per
(reported) member, this is considerably less than US SAILING annual dues.
Despite the collection system having the leaks he describes, perhaps the
organization is more efficient – doing the same or more with less. Or, could
it be that lower dues produce greater income?
* From Andrew Besheer: Ever have the feeling that you were watching a train
wreck or car accident happening in slow motion and there was nothing you
could do about it? That is surely what it feels like watching President Jim
Capron drive over a cliff towing US SAILING behind him. Jim, I’ve been a
member since the days of the NAYRU and will remain a member long after this
silliness has passed and it certainly won’t be because you’ve made it
Honestly, the fact that you would seek to make something “mandatory” seems
to show a lack of understanding of the psychological makeup of your typical
constituent. Have you ever noticed how much we Americans hate anything
that’s mandatory? God forbid we should ever see Uncle Sam try to reinstate
the draft, but even with the near certainty of being sent into harm’s way
the all volunteer military finds the manpower that they need. Ever notice
how American’s rail against death and taxes…the two “mandatory” things that
no one’s discovered a reliable way of avoiding yet. Ask any wage slave about
the “Sunday evening blues” as their weekend draws to an end – they may love
their job, it may be very fulfilling but for most of us, it’s still
Jim, you still have time to make this fiasco go away. Shame folks, sell
folks, educate folks…do the tried and true things that American’s have
always responded to but for heaven’s sake don’t do the one thing that’s
guaranteed to set folks on a totally contrary path!
* From Ralph Pombo: (edited to the 250-word limit) I have also been watching
the discussion on mandatory membership in USSA with interest. In my mind, it
always comes down to free will and free enterprise in regards to any subject
within the United States, and in the end, this too will all be summarized
into one question: What does US Sailing give me in return for my investment?
I know, I know, this has been listed out in detail several times by USSA.
The problem is that if it needs to be listed or if the question even has to
be asked then the product, in this case a US Sailing membership, is failing
to give the customer what he/she needs.
Does Walmart need to list out why you should shop there? No! I wonder why
people flock to the store then? Maybe they are giving the general public
what they are looking for. If a new store offered a better product for a
cheaper or equal price, would you go there? I think that most people would.
The benefits should be so obvious to future members of the USSA that no one
would ever question the value of a membership. If USSA continues at this
pace without being aware of the simplicity of marketing, then they will die
off and another organization will take its place. It is really just that
simple. I have been a proud USSA member for several years, but this proposal
should be looked at much closer before implementation.
* From Frank Lawson, Port Ludlow WA: I wonder if US SAILING is in financial
difficulty and wants to gain income through a larger membership. I say this
because last week I went to the US SAILING website to acquire the 2008 PHRF
Ratings handbook. Price? ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS!!
I declined the offer.
* From Roger Marshall, U.S. Editor, The Yacht Report: (Re: Butch Ulmer's
comments in #2612) Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone. When rule
changes are promulgated, USSA could and should promote the changes more
heavily with clinics and classes for members at major boatshows and at
pre-regatta events. If USSA wants more members it needs to get out, or get
spokesmen out, on the race course and boatshow circuit where they can be
seen and heard and can demonstrate that USSA fills a need and has benefits
to membership. We all know about USSA, but very few people can tell you
accurately what USSA does or how the sport benefits from their
You know you live in the 21st Century when every commercial on television
has a website at the bottom of the screen.
Special thanks to Team One Newport and Goetz Custom Boats.
A complete list of preferred suppliers is at