SCUTTLEBUTT 2722 - Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features and
dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors are Harken and North Sails.
AMERICAN MATCH RACE CENTER GETS LAUNCHED
Match racing is getting a boost in the United States. After a year of dreaming
and planning, Chicago based Donald Wilson has founded the Chicago Match Race
Center, with the simple mission of promoting and elevating match racing in
Chicago and the United States. Eight new Tom28s have been ordered and will be
delivered to Chicago in April 2009, which will add to the existing two Tom28s
that are already onsite. The fleet will primarily race out of Chicago's Belmont
Harbor, where any competent sailor who wants to get into match racing will have
an opportunity. In addition to the hosting of regattas, there will be weekly
training sessions with professional coaches, R/C, and umpires.
The founder Donald Wilson, a long time avid fleet racer, started match racing
just three years ago. Highlights of his year’s regatta schedule include the
Ficker Cup, Prince of Whales USMRC, and most recently the Bermuda Gold Cup. In
Bermuda he finished 12th out of 24 teams but was the second best American team.
Disappointed with the average performance of the seven American teams in
Bermuda, Wilson returned with renewed enthusiasm for promoting match racing.
Wilson says, “There are so few venues in the US able to host Grade 1 and 2 match
races. Americans are not getting the exposure and experience at the top level.
We plan to change that.”
Aiding in forming the Chicago Match Race Center is 2007 Match Race World
Champion and 2008 Etchells World Champion Bill Hardesty. Hardesty states, “This
is a once in a lifetime opportunity for match racing in the United States. It
takes a special guy like Don to get this off the ground. Now it is our
responsibility as match racers to take it to the next level. We need to get
better and will be putting in some serious practice time. For regattas, we will
sail close to shore for spectator visibility and try to mimic the success that
can be found in Europe and other parts of the world.” Hardesty is to serve as
the Director of the Chicago Match Race Center.
Key West Match Race 2009 will open the CMRC’s season. It will be a BYOB Melges
24 event held the weekend immediately following Key West Race Week. Information
on boats, training, regatta invitations, and sponsorship can be found at:
MAKING CHANGES TO THE SPORT
Madrid, Spain (Nov. 10, 2008) - The ISAF Annual Conference is now in its fifth
day. Here are some of the recent issues discussed by committees whose role it is
to make recommendations to the ISAF Council:
* The Match Racing Committee brought together a big audience with the discussion
focused on the Women’s Keelboat Match Racing event at the 2012 Olympic Sailing
Competition. The key topics in the meeting were the selection of the equipment
for the event and the timing of that selection. There was a contingent that
wanted to name the equipment as late as possible to keep to the traditional
match racing structure of using different equipment around the world, but it was
narrowly decided to select the equipment this November.
Regarding the choice of equipment, Dina Kowalyshyn (USA) presented the views of
the Working Party: “We endorse the view that supplied equipment is firmly a part
of the match racing discipline and that should continue to be the case.” After
reviewing the equipment available, and considering presentations by the Elliott
6m, Laser SB3, Sonar and Yngling classes, the committee’s top choice was the
Elliott 6m, already used widely in match racing events in Oceania including at
the 2008 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Auckland.
* In the Windsurfing Committee meeting, it was the recommendation to select the
RS:X equipment used for the first time at the Beijing Games. In making their
decision, the Committee pointed to solid base the class has now established and
its wide spread across nations. The Windsurfing Committee also made a strong
statement in support of kiteboarding joining the ISAF family. They supported
application of the International Kiteboarding Association for status as an ISAF
International Class and also recommended the approval of Submission 175-08, to
add a representative from the kiteboarding community to their Committee.
Complete report: http://www.sailing.org/26085.htm
GIFTS FOR THE SAILING-OBSESSED
When your friends do nothing but eat, sleep, and talk sailing, your shopping
list is easy. For surefire holiday hits, take a trip to Harken’s online store
for must-have sailing accessories. Find cool sailing tees, detail-enhancing
shades, hats, belts, and more. Pack your gear in a Roll-Top Wet/Dry Bag or grab
a Harken Hoister to stow your small boats and bikes aloft. For great gifts under
$30, $50, and $100, visit http://www.harken.com/Christmas/Christmas2008.php
HORRIFIC CONDITIONS RAVAGE FLEET
(Nov. 10, 2008) - For the thirty sailors who started the sixth edition of the
Vendée Globe, the Bay of Biscay is living up to its reputation as the fleet
encounters some rough weather. The SW'ly wind will continue to strengthen and is
expected to reach 40/45 knots as the cold front moves in with gusts up to 55
knots. The state of the sea corresponds to these conditions with 7-metre high
waves. The cold front is expected to pass over sometime after 21h Monday night,
and then the wind will be veering westerly and north-westerly while easing off
to 20/25 knots with gusts of 35 knots in squalls. The cross seas will be calming
down, but very slowly. -- Race website: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en
* As Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) still had some of his team on board
during the final Vendée Globe start countdown (four minutes before the gun was
fired), the International Jury has given him a penalty of four hours.
* The IMOCA Class expressed during its last Executive Committee meeting a desire
of stability, and for these reasons, whichever modifications proposed during the
General Assembly in spring 2009 will not go into effect until after the end of
the Barcelona World Race 2011. It was expected that the class would address cost
cutting and construction issues that would improve the affordability and safety
of campaigning an Open 60. -- http://www.imoca.org
* Start photos from Gilles Martin-Raget and Thierry Martinez:
Standings at 1500GMT
1. Marc Guillemot (FRA), Safran, 23491.4 miles Distance to Finish
2. Loick Peyron (FRA), Gitana, +10.1 miles Distance to Leader
3. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, +12.1 miles DTL
4. Kito de Pavant (FRA), Groupe Bel, +14.2 miles DTL
5. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, + 15.9 miles DTL
A tally of the 8 breakdowns and failures among the 30 entrants:
FIRST: Dominique Wavre was back in port at Les Sables d'Olonne shortly before
1700 hours on Sunday, with electricians and computer analysts immediately aboard
Temenos II to address a problem within the computer system managing the onboard
power. Following the replacement of a faulty part, Wavre was able to cast off
again at 2245 hours to restart.
SECOND: Thanks to the AIS tracker on the onboard computer, Cheminées Poujoulat's
support team appears to have identified the boat with which Bernard Stamm
collided. In fact, Stamm's team report that is is not to be a fishing boat, but
an 80-metre long Maltese cargo vessel which is believed to be a freight carrier.
According to reports the paint from the ship's hull side matches that left on
the Open 60's hull side. Now in Les Sables d'Olonne, the team is repairing the
broken bowsprit and hull damage with hopes of returning to the race on Tuesday.
THIRD: 2001 winner Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia: "I had a small leak in the
ballast system and underestimated its importance and the damage. This morning I
started up the engine and after 40 minutes of charging, I could smell something
burning. The engine was taking a swimming lesson and didn't appreciate it."
Desjoyeaux hopes to be in Les Sables d'Olonne by late Monday night, with his
shore team diligently seeking spare engine parts today despite the Armistice
FOURTH: Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty, the skipper of Groupe Maisonneuve, has returned
to Les Sables d'Olonne because of a damaged deck panel that will take two or
three days to repair.
FIFTH: Derek Hatfield on Algimouss Spirit of Canada is citing some form of
electrical problems as the reason to return to the start port of Les Sables
SIXTH: Yannick Bestaven on Aquarelle.com has been dismasted and is heading to
Les Sables d'Olonne.
SEVENTH: Groupe Bel skipper Kito de Pavant has broken his mast, boom and one of
the carbon deck spreaders. Bel was positioned 260 miles from Les Sables
d'Olonne, and was likely headed there.
EIGHTH: Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss reported structural problem Monday evening
after finding a crack on the port side hull, the opposite side to the recent
repair. The boat is taking on water, but at a manageable rate. He is currently
approximately 290 miles from the port and expects to return to Les Sables
d’Olonne by late Tuesday.
* Vendée Globe rules stipulate that if they suffer damage, the competitors may
only return to Les Sables d’Olonne to carry out repairs before heading off
again. They must cross the start line by 13h02 on 19th November.
FINAL WEEK IN CAPE TOWN
(Nov. 10, 2008) - It has been a week since the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race’s
first leg in Cape Town, SA, with teams now shifting their attention from boat
repair to training for the second leg. A new and untested route for the race,
the 4,450nm distance to Cochin, India begins on November 15th. PUMA Ocean Racing
and Green Dragon became the first teams to return to the water, with both
hoisted in on Monday morning. The two Telefonica boats had their masts stepped
on Monday, but remain in their cradles.
* Ericsson 3 skipper Anders Lewander has announced crew changes ahead of leg two
to Cochin, India. Returning to the starting lineup is Swedish trimmer Martin
Stromberg, who missed leg one due to an injury. His replacement, Norwegian
Eivind Melleby, will remain on board, as the Danish sailor Stefan Myrälf, steps
* Guy Salter, Ericsson 4 media crew member, describes a typical day: “My day
usually would be to get up and make the boys some breakfast at around 04:00.
Then I get my cameras ready and get up on deck. I’m usually up there more or
less for the duration of the day – about 12 to 14 hours. I go down below and
start to process the video and still pictures. I average about six or seven
hours of sleep a day, and I’m lucky, I get to have it all in one go.”
Overall Leaderboard (Provisional)
1. Ericsson 4, 14 points
2. PUMA, 13 points
3. Green Dragon, 11 points
4. Telefónica Blue, 10 points
5. Telefónica Black, 7 points
6. Ericsson 3, 5 points*
7. Delta Lloyd, 4 points
8. Team Russia, 4 points
*Scoring penalty: http://tinyurl.com/illegal-keel
Ethan Bixby and Erik Boothe scored 3 bullets to capture the 505 European
Championship in Sicily in October. Racing with a 100% North Sails inventory
including a 3DL main, Dacron jibs and a North trapeze harness, Bixby and Boothe
won by three points to capture the title among the 70-boat fleet. When
performance counts, the choice is clear: http://www.northsails.com
* A photo of Bixby/Boothe was featured last Friday in Scuttlebutt’s PHOTOS OF
THE WEEK: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/08/1107
* (Nov. 10, 2008) - Five of the remaining six competitors in the 804-nm 2008
Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race - including the smallest
boat in the race, Bob Lane’s Andrews 63, Medicine Man - were projected Monday to
break the race record of 3 days 3 hours 46 minutes 24 seconds when they finish
Tuesday morning. However, the leading favorite to break the record, Doug Baker’s
Magnitude 80, broke their mast Sunday morning, and are now berthed in Ensenada.
-- Detailed accident report from Mag 80 navigator Ernie Richau, along with a
* The Southern Star, a French 75-foot sloop, left Norway mid-May to start a
one-year circumnavigation of North America, sailing through the fabled Northwest
Passage this summer before arriving in San Francisco on Sunday, November 9. From
San Francisco, the Southern Star will sail down the coast to Panama, and finally
back to Norway. The main goal of this expedition is to investigate and raise
awareness around climate change. The crew is a mix of scientists, journalists
and crew partners. Leading the team is skipper Olivier Pitras. The Southern Star
will be docked at the St. Francis Yacht Club until November 18. --
* The 2009 vernal (spring) equinox will officially occur on March 20th, which is
the time when all the ‘buttheads are to burn their socks after surviving another
Northern Hemisphere winter. The tradition of sock burning draws large parties
with huge fire pits, where the celebration marks the return of bare feet into
boat shoes or flip flops. But when does the sock season begin? The Boatyard Bar
& Grill in Annapolis, MD - deemed by Sail Magazine as “One of the World’s Top
Sailing Bars” - says it starts on November 13th, and is hosting a Sock Donning
Party to help get the winter season started. --
* From Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, in Oak Point, Texas, 41 women sailors representing six
U.S. states, Canada and Mexico took part in the Road to Rolex Clinic at the
Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club (DCYC). Coached by international competitor and
coach Elizabeth Kratzig (Corpus Christi, Texas/Miami Beach, Fla.) and designed
to prepare women sailors for US SAILING’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat
Championship (Rolex IWKC), the three-day clinic featured drills on the water in
International J/22s, as well as classroom learning about keelboat racing. --
Full report with participant list:
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 subject, and save your
bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere. As an alternative, a more open
environment for discussion is available on the Scuttlebutt Forum.
-- To submit a Letter: email@example.com
-- To post on the Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum
* From Andrew Flynn, Chandler, AZ: I caught ESPN Classic's broadcast of the
Chicago to Mackinac race, as hosted and produced by Gary Jobson. While Gary is
most knowledgeable, he did mention in a large sweeping crescendo as they
approached the Straits of Mackinac that the Mackinac Bridge "links the United
States and Canada". As a Michigan native, I was surprised to learn that the
Upper Peninsula of Michigan had been annexed by the Canucks. This should have
been mentioned during the presidential debates, how the Bush administration was
asleep at the wheel! For the record, the Ambassador Bridge (Detroit) and the
Blue Water Bridge (Port Huron) and the International Bridge (Sault Ste. Marie)
are the only bridges to link the US and Canada in the Great Lakes.
=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I spoke with Gary, who is aware of the miscue and has
corrected it on the DVD.
* From Maurice Cusick, Esq. Newport: Regarding the Vendee collision "while he
was working inside the boat", remember what I wrote on this page just a few
years ago: You still have to keep a lookout under the law. It does not matter if
you are solo or a fisherman.
* From Ray Tostado: Given the financial crisis people seem to have taken a code
of silence recently; but not I. What I observe during these harsh economic
realities is a downturn in almost every aspect of the sport of boating, save for
the big ticket items where buyers are unaffected by the economy. Having lived
through more than one of these bubble events I hope that history repeats itself.
During those past times many innovative designers and builders had a chance to
take a deep breath and not be pressured by any need to keep up with anybody.
"Head above water." was the only ambition. But during these moments of rest,
minds can think towards the future rather than only the present. In power
boating new ideas already are offering 20%+ fuel savings. I expect that in the
months, maybe few years to come, sailboat designs will make significant
breakthroughs in speed and comfort. Whatever proves well on the race course
eventually makes its way to the consumer production line.
There will be no demand to get it ready for market the next quarter. Refinement
studies will be extended, quality assurance will become a given. All in all, a
better world will emerge; if only we have the conviction and determination to
survive. In the mean time, we should all enjoy what we have; even make an effort
to share with those who have not been able to retain their ownership in the
world of yachting.
* From David Barrow, Chairman, British Marine Federations International
Committee: I know that Scuttlebutt is a non-commercial operation but this will
obviously be an opportunity for your readers, many of whom are actively involved
in the marine industry.
A few years ago under the previous Chairman a unique event was developed which
is really helpful to OEM suppliers globally called “Meet The Buyer”. This gives
anyone, who is a supplier to the Marine industry an opportunity to buy a meeting
slot with a major supplier for between £50-100, this is a non profit making
exercise for the benefit of the marine trade world-wide. Buyers include Hanse,
Shipman, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon, CNB, Oyster, Riva, Rodman, Numarine, NCP,
Prinz, Piculan, AD Boats, Johnson, Trinity, RMK Turkey, Mulder, Palmer Johnson,
Each supplier submits their company profile and then you are invited to
prioritise the Buyers you wish to see. The Buyers see your information and
decide if they want a meeting and then the meeting schedules are produced. This
way meetings you are accepted for are confirmed and you know that you both want
to sit down and discuss the product further. The meetings take place at the
London Boat Show (Jan. 13-14) and application closes on the 12th of November.
Further information at http://www.bmfmeetthebuyer.co.uk
If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why
can't he fix a hole in a boat? (If you need a Gilligan’s Island fix, here are
over 50 full length episodes: http://video.aol.com/show/gilligans-island)
Special thanks to Harken and North Sails.
A complete list of preferred suppliers is at