SCUTTLEBUTT 2702 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday, and is a digest of major sailing
news, commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North
American focus. Today's sponsors are Camet, North Sails, and J/Boats.
PLAYING THE SHIFTS - AVOIDING THE FLYERS
By David Barrow, Barrow International
With regard to Peter Harken's interesting comments in Scuttlebutt 2701, I
have always liked Peter for his open uncompromising style, what you see is
what you get. It does not take a long conversation to hear the balance he
conveys due to his many years of industry experience. And again, of course
he is right (“Keep the blinders on and go forward”).
So far I have been to three of the major European shows, and yes things look
like they are going to get tough for everyone, but remember one thing, this
whole financial debacle is based on one thing - confidence. You are only
affected by the way you look at the market!
Financial cycles always take the same process and we never listen. It starts
with "things are bad, no one has any confidence"; then "the markets are
looking good - let’s invest"; followed by "markets are getting better -
greed takes over”; and finally "things are looking too good - when do we get
out". I guess if we all had a good retrospective look at ourselves we would
have kicked our own butts for not having spent more time to consider a
strategy for a major downturn; we knew it was coming.
However, having said that, there are still many positives for a lot of us.
Sure big market dominating companies will have to make tough decisions on
the amount of production they need for the immediate future. For small
innovative businesses, this is a time of opportunity. Industry chat is that
boat sales could be dramatically down; don’t listen to that, you are small,
growing, quick on your feet, new to market, and you have 100% of that market
to go for. The boating industry is not dead, just undergoing a leveling of
what could not be sustained.
I remember a man who, during a major recession, went home from a London boat
show and had to lay off all of his workers, but he did not give up, and
recently sold his substantial luxury yacht building company for many, many
millions of pounds. The same guy once told me he never had problems… only
opportunities. I agree with Peter, go for it!
ATLANTIC OCEAN WELCOMES VOLVO OCEAN RACE
(Oct. 13, 2008) - Calamities aside, the fleet of VO 70’s are now free of the
Mediterranean Sea, having passed through the Straits of Gibraltar, and on
the track down the Atlantic Ocean toward a scoring gate off of Brazil, and
then to the finish of Leg One in Cape Town, SA. It was a day of broad reach
true wind angles on starboard, though with the speed of these boats, all
reaching is tight reaching. Leader Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) lived for most
of this sunny day with its closest rivals on its windward hip, but as the
PUMA (Ken Read) edged ahead to secure second position - showing good legs in
the light to medium offwind sailing - E4 has consolidated its position,
moving to windward so as to close the distance with the purring cat.
Some of the drama from Sunday has concluded while some continues to linger.
For Telefonica Blue (Bouwe Bekking), they paid their penance for a poorly
constructed rudder arm, heading into a bay near Gibraltar for a replacement
parts and a 12-hour penalty. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp) problems may
linger longer, however, as their first use of a new Cuben fibre mast top
kite found it getting pushed too hard, with the resultant explosion
providing the onboard sewing machine with its first test. Also, the team is
dealing with failed ram boot seals whose job is to keep the ocean on the
outside of the boat. While the problem doesn't mean imminent danger, as the
boat is built in a way that the water ingress is manageable in the short
term, it does require a solution as the flooding around the wetbox and the
rams with some electronic bits won’t make it to the finish.
The length of Leg One is 6500nm, with teams expected to finish by the first
week in November. Current standings (as of Oct. 13, 1:00am GMT):
1. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, 5950 nm distance to finish
2. Puma, Ken Read, 3 nm distance to leader
3. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 5 nm DTL
4. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 5 nm DTL
5. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 18 nm DTL
6. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 30 nm DTL
7. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 59 nm DTL
8. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, 80 nm DTL
Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.org
* The U.S. government enacted a new regulation last week that is expected to
reduce the number of ships colliding with whales – one of the deadliest
threats to the U.S.’s dwindling right whale population. The new regulation
calls for ships greater than 65 feet in length to reduce their speed to 10
knots within 20 nautical miles of key ports along the U.S. East coast. While
it was unclear which ports would be affected, the VO 70 fleet is planning
for their 6th leg to go from Rio de Janeiro to Boston, with the fleet
expected to finish by April 27, 2009 in Boston Harbor. -- Complete story:
ON THE BIG SCREEN
Camet clothing goes Hollywood in the TV show “Morning Light: Making the
Cut”. Thirty young sailors wear Camet Aruba shorts as they are put through
their paces. Built to take abuse and handle everything thrown their way,
Camet Aruba shorts (made of quick drying Supplex and reinforced with
Cordura) exceed the crews and judges expectations. Camet Aruba shorts make
“the cut”! Be part of the team at http://www.camet.com/?Click=1018
* Point Loma Outfitting, a new San Diego based retail and online store
specializing in the best apparel for life on the water, recently posted an
interview with Brian Camet of Camet International that discusses the
thinking that goes on regarding their shorts. Enjoy:
MEETING THE TEAM
The Morning Light film opens nationwide on October 17th, and this week
Scuttlebutt will be introducing the fifteen young people that were selected
to participate in the project.
Chris Branning, 21, of Sarasota, Fla., had extensive small-boat sailing
skills, including offshore and buoy racing. “I grew up in Florida and have
been on the water most of my life,” says Branning, who won two Laser
National Championships and competed in three World Championships. The
student at the United States Merchant Marine Academy says he learned
teamwork during his first year of indoctrination as a Plebe. “The stress,
hardship and challenges that faced us during those times made us stronger
individuals,” he says. “We knew we could not make it on our own.”
Graham Brant-Zawadzki, 22, of Newport Beach, Calif., is a Stanford
University graduate. With less than two years’ sailing experience, he wasn’t
sure if he’d make the “Morning Light” team. “It takes so long to get good,”
says Brant-Zawadzki, who adds that he applied to the project “to learn
everything and anything to improve and get on more boats in more races.” The
Orange County native is applying to medical school and is interested in
Chris Clark, 21, Old Greenwich, Conn., started sailing aboard his
grandfather’s boat at just two weeks old. “I learned to walk by holding onto
stanchions for stability,” he says. But it wasn’t his lifetime of sailing
that earned his spot on the team. “There are a lot of people with sailing
experience,” he says. “You really have to love the sport to get everything
out of it that it has to offer.” Clark, who has a double major in geography
and pre-med at University of Mary Washington, works part time as a
Charlie Enright, 22, of Bristol, R.I., is a graduate of Brown University and
a veteran sailor in the College Nationals. The grandson of a boat builder
and the son of an avid sailor has been sailing since he was 6. “Sailing is
what I like to do,” he says. “It sets my schedule, it dictates my social
scene and has a hand in every aspect of my life.”
* Full details on the movie:
RULES QUIZ QUESTION
From Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes:
> In a valid protest the following facts were found:
> Boat X is approaching a downwind finishing line in very light air.
> There is a strong current moving across the race course.
> Just before finishing boat X is swept by the current onto the anchor line
of the race committee boat marking one end of the finish line.
> By holding onto the line for about 15 seconds, the crew of X keeps her
from touching the committee boat.
> A slight puff of winds fills her sails, enabling X to gain forward speed
Boat Y protests X for touching the mark. RRS 31. You are in the Protest
Committee. What is your conclusion and how would you decide this protest?
See answer below.
PHOTOS FROM AROUND THE WORLD RACES
* With eight high profile campaigns beginning the Volvo Ocean Race, the top
photographers are sure to follow. Add the stormy weather that arrived for
the start in Spain last Saturday, and capturing the action of the VO 70’s
becomes second nature for this pool of shooters. When viewing these images,
and seeing the waves crashing over the bow, the high speed surfing, and the
loads generated from the masthead asymmetricals, keep in mind that this
first 6500 nm leg to Cape Town is estimated to take over three weeks. Living
the dream… http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/08/1011
* Photographer Ingrid Abery was in Portugal for the start of the inaugural
Portimão Global Ocean Race last Sunday, where four Class 40 doublehanded
teams and two Open 40 solo entries were competing in this new offshore ocean
racing event designed for non-professional sailors. The five legs of the
race include stops in Cape Town, South Africa; Wellington, New Zealand;
Ilhabela, Brazil; and Charleston, USA before returning to the finish in
Portimão, Portugal. Images: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/08/1012
* When the 30 Open 60’s line up for the start of the solo, non-stop around
the world race in Les Sables d’Olonne, France on November 9th, it will
likely be one of the most photographed moments the sport of sailing sees in
2008. Standing by…. http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en
NORTH CONGRATULATES ENSENADA SAILORS!
On October 3rd, 93 boats hit the start line for the 2008 San Diego to
Ensenada International Race. North Sails' Jon Gardner is proud the
congratulate the following North-powered boats for finishing in the top
three in their respective classes: 1st - Stars & Stripes, 2nd - Peligroso
(Maxi Class); 1st - Condor* (CRZS Class); 2nd - CC Rider (J/120); 2nd -
Stark Raving Mad, 3rd - Bad Pak (PHRF-1); 2nd - T & Me*, 3rd - Sea Maiden
(PHRF-4). (* Indicates partial inventory). When performance counts, the
choice is clear: http://na.northsails.com
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LANDMARK ON FIRE
San Francisco, CA (Oct. 13, 2008) - Hundreds of firefighters are making
solid headway in their efforts to stamp out a wildfire that has ravaged more
than half of Angel Island since Sunday night, using ground crews and
water-dropping helicopters to ward the flames away from more than 100
historic buildings. Crews have contained 75 percent of the blaze, officials
said this afternoon. White smoke is still billowing up from the canyons on
the southern and western parts of the island, with the plume visible from
around the shoreline north of the Bay Bridge. The fire has consumed more
than 400 acres of the 740-acre island since it broke out at about 8:30 p.m.
Sunday. -- SF Chronicle, read on:
* The Optimist Atlantic Coast Championships were held at the Brant Beach
Yacht Club on Little Egg Harbor Bay in New Jersey, where 275 sailors
completed 10 races over the two day series. Winds ranged from a brisk 15
knots on the first day to a lighter 5 knots on the second. The overall
winner was Ian Stokes (USA) who was the recipient of the Charlie Fasulo
trophy. Second place was Aponte Taboas (Puerto Rico), third Mas Simmons
(USA), fourth Juanky Perdomo (Portugal), and Malcom Lamphere (USA) in fifth.
The best performance in the Green fleet was Philli Schofield (USA). Complete
results can be found at: http://www.bbyc.net/OptimistACCs/index.htm
* The Lahaina Yacht Club and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club have announced
the 2010 edition of the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race will commence off
Victoria, British Columbia, with the first division starting on July 1,
2010. The race will finish by July 22, 2010 near Lahaina, Maui, a great
circle route distance of 2308 nautical miles. For more information, call
Marlene Bolster at 1-360-739-3377 or go to http://www.vicmaui.org
* US SAILING is currently conducting a survey specifically geared towards
offshore sailors to help the organization and similar-affiliated sailing
groups operate at their greatest potential. It should only take about 15
minutes to complete the survey. The results of the survey will be made
public once they've been analyzed. Take survey here:
RULES QUIZ ANSWER
Conclusion and rules that apply:
> Boat X broke rule 42.1, Propulsion. She did not compete, using only the
wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed, by holding on to
the anchor line of the committee boat.
> Boat X also broke rule 45 for the same reason. She made fast but not to
bail out, reef sails or make repairs. She did not anchor (herself) or stand
on the bottom.
> She is not penalized under rule 31.1. The anchor line of a mark is not
part of the mark itself (see definition Mark).
> Decision: Boat X is DSQ.
Posted on the Racing Rules of Sailing blog: http://rrsstudy.blogspot.com
J/105 IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN
The new 2009 model J/105 from US Watercraft is more than just eye candy.
With faired blades, composite tiller, molded in footrests and new-style
European interior, she's ready to join the J/105 one-design tour - at home
or on the road at Key West, NOOD, Block Island, Rolex Big Boat and more.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Reader commentary is encouraged, with letters to be submitted to the
Scuttlebutt editor, aka, ‘The Curmudgeon’. Letters selected for publication
must include the writer's name, and be no longer than 250 words (letter
might be edited for clarity or simplicity). You only get one letter per
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alternative, a more open environment for discussion is available on the
-- To submit a Letter: email@example.com
-- To post on the Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum
* From Dan Meyers, Newport, RI: Thanks to the French Sailing Federation for
a perfect example of what is wrong with Grand Prix sailing. After race three
of the Voiles de St Tropez, the Federation disqualified 19 boats for having
any type of sponsorship despite obviously ineffective notification. If there
was appropriate warning how could 19 boats miss it? NUMBERS won all 4 races
in a 41 boat class but with the DSQ, finished 6th overall. At the hearing
the first question from the jury chairman to our representative was, "Are
you American?" No, he was from New Zealand. The second question was "Do you
know Ernesto Bertarelli?" "Yes, he is driving the boat." Then, "You are
How can ISAF let this happen? Does the Federation know how much time,
effort, and money it takes to bring 19 boats and crews totaling over 400
people to St. Tropez? The French didn't mind charging millions to house,
transport, and feed them. But they hate sponsorship. Oh, hold on now, they
LOVE sponsorship for themselves, promoting Rolex, Wally, Cegedim, Les Echos
Serie limitee, Gaastra, Sillinger, Paris Premiere, Port de Saint Tropez,
CCI, Regions Provenxe-Alpes-Cote d' Azur, St Tropez tourisme and Ville de St
Tropez. They just hypocritically don't like sponsorship for the boats. No
wonder the sport is shrinking.
We will not return where we are treated so poorly. Adieu St Tropez. Too bad
French federation officials have short memories about Americans. If it
wasn't for General George Patton and the American Third Army, they might
know the best places to get weiner schnitzel in their beloved St. Tropez.
=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Dan had chartered his Judel/Vrolijk 66 Numbers to
Ernesto Bertarelli for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, held September 27-October
4, 2008 in Saint-Tropez, France. --
* From Gregory Scott, Kingston, ONT: (edited to the 250-word limit) While I
applaud every person involved in sailing to push boundaries seeking new ways
to allow sailing to develop and include more people, the idea expressed in
Butt 2701 to race with no rules still requires a very critical element
essential to all forms a sailing - a boat. Not to over simplify this but,
borrowing from a famous quote, "It's The Cost Stupid!"
Sailing has foolishly allowed the vocabulary of cost dominate the dialogue
... whether it's the squillions spent on AC racing ... the millions on TP52
... the hundreds of thousands on Farr 40's or the $8,000.00 to buy a Laser (
not to mention the $30K for a 49er). What we have done is tell anyone that
sailing costs a bunch of money, because racing new boats does cost a bunch
of money ... pick any of the BOTY racing boats and the cost will shock you.
What sailing needs is to promote racing in used Lasers, Albacores, etc. or
older PHRF boats like the Shark and Santana 20 … the remarkable amount of
fun that can be had in any one of these types of racing is dirt cheap
compared to many other activities ... but here's the rub ... who will do it?
If the entry cost is a J/105, we are in trouble. We need to get people
hooked at the club level ... in older low cost boats ... adding revenue at
the bar... and numbers on the start line.
* From Bill Fastiggi: While there have been some other sailors with great
performances this year, Allan Terhune Jr. also deserves recognition as a
potential Rolex nominee. Allan dominated both the Lightning and Flying Scot
North Americans and finished third in the Etchells North Americans. The
Lightning NAs featured the deepest fleet in years, and both of these
regattas were sailed in a variety of wind conditions. Allan also had some
notable performances in finishing in the top 10 in both the J/22 Worlds and
the Melges 24 Nationals.
If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion. -
Robert A. Heinlein
Special thanks to Camet, North Sails, and J/Boats. A complete list of
preferred suppliers is at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers