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SCUTTLEBUTT 3225 - Monday, November 22, 2010

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: North U, Ultimate Sailing, and Quantum Sails.

Before Nevin Sayre was a five-time U.S. National Windsurfing Champion, he
was a four time college sailing All-American. Sayre not only understands the
competitive side of sailing, he understands that competition isn’t what
sailing is all about.

So it is no shock to him that the sport in the U.S. is struggling to turn
youth sailors into life sailors, because the focus in most junior programs
is to turn youth sailors into youth racers. Here he explains:
In general, most junior sailing programs are one-dimensional and therefore
limiting. There is the successful competitive track of prams/ Lasers/ 420s/
FJs that is great for the kids who are really into racing, but hardly
inspiring for a larger group of “other kids”. The percentage that is exposed
to sailing at age 6-10 but is effectively out of sailing by age 22 is
staggering. Yeah, we point to large junior fleets and growing collegiate and
high school sailing (which is awesome!), but this is usually the cream of
the racer crop, and most others have checked out. Should our junior programs
be teaching racing? Or sailing? We owe it to our sport to offer inspiring
sailing alternatives for the “other kids”.

When juniors are asked why they dropped out of sailing, I find the real
answers break down into three main issues: 1) boring compared to other
activities; 2) over focus on racing/results; and in some cases because 3)
“it was scary”. For most competitive sailors this is difficult to swallow.
We love the tactics of racing, and the measurement against our peers is part
of the excitement. We are enthused by the chess game, even if the boats are
not particularly exciting. We can handle ourselves when the coach boat is
not close by, and we are rarely scared. We wonder why the kids who drop out
- the “other kids”- don’t get it.

Let’s be honest. The boats we learned to sail in may have been cutting edge
at the time, but we introduce most new kids to sailing in boats that were
designed over 50 years ago, (particularly in the U.S.). While lots of adult
excitement surrounds new sport boats, multihulls, foilers, windsurfers, and
kites, we stick our kids in bathtubs with archaic rigs and think it’s fine.
The bathtubs might be okay for the first lessons, but sometimes kids are
stuck in them for six years before they are physically ready to handle the
next level boat. Many of these kids are bored out of their minds, and the
dropout rate at age 10-13 is particularly high. This is the age when kids
start to exercise their own choice, rather than just go where Mom & Dad
signs them up. We are teaching the palm texting generation how to sail with
typewriters. If the kids don’t like typewriters, they’re gone.

No doubt, most of us would find enjoyment in racing One Design Typewriters,
but unless you are a kid who loves the game of racing, there’s not much
inspiration. How often do kids take out the boats in your junior program
just for fun? Where I live they leave the beach only when it’s an organized
class or race. After class, they take out the windsurfers and other modern
alternatives to go have a good time. That says a lot. -- Read on:

The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) last week unveiled the boat design brief
for new venues joining the Tour, and is inviting designers and builders to
submit their proposals. WMRT, which already has nine events worldwide,
recently opened the application and bidding process for new venues and has
received interest from 57 venues representing six continents. The new boat
design specifications will be mandatory for all new venues but will also be
open to all nine existing venues. The WMRT would like to expand to 15 venues
by 2013.

WMRT will create a shortlist of approved designs from which all new venues
will have to choose their fleets. With each potential new venue having
different characteristics, such as high or low winds, shallow waters and
small racing areas, the design brief is intended to produce several
different yacht design options which will allow the Event Promoters to
choose the most appropriate design for their particular venue. -- Full

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I sent a note to the WMRT to confirm that they were
expecting the new venues to underwrite the cost to design/build a new fleet
of boats, and if the 57 venues knew that this was a requirement before they
registered their interest. Also, I was curious why the specified boat size
(38-48 feet) was larger than 8 of the 9 current tour events, as it would
seem the additional crew needed now for each team would negate some or all
of the increase in prize money that has already been announced. The WMRT
said they would have a response by press time, but I have yet to hear back
from them.

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Dubai, UAE (November 21, 2010) - The first round of Louis Vuitton Trophy
Dubai ended with BMW Oracle Racing on top and Artemis Racing beating
Emirates Team New Zealand in their final race to take the second spot, but
the commencement of the second round will likely shuffle the positions

In Round Robin One, each team sailed every other team twice, with each win
worth one point. In Round Robin Two, which is scheduled to conclude on
November 23rd, each team will sail every other team once, with each win
worth two points. The top four teams advance to the semi finals on November
26, with the top two heading for the finals on the 27th..

The American team BMW Oracle Racing were defeated in their first RR2 race by
the French/German team All4One, but sailed a near-flawless race against
Sweden's Artemis Racing to maintain their margin at the top of the
leaderboard. The Swedes, on the other hand, also dropped their second race
to Synergy Russian Sailing to plummet in the standings.

Provisional Results after Day Two of RR2 (Team, Country, Helm, Tactician)
1. BMW Oracle Racing (USA), James Spithill/John Kostecki, 11-2, 13 pt
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker/Ray Davies, 7-5, 8.5 pt*
3. ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), Sebastien Col/John Cutler, 5-7, 6 pt
4. Artemis (SWE), Cameron Appleton/Iain Percy, 5-8, 5 pt
5. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS),Francesco Bruni/Rod Dawson, 5-7, 4 pt*
5. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team (ITA), Gavin Brady/Morgan Larson, 4-8, 4 pt*

* Scoring penalty assessed by the umpires

LIVE COVERAGE: ESPN3, the online member of the ESPN sports network, will be
airing live the final three days (November 25-27) of the Louis Vuitton
Trophy Dubai. Show time on the website is listed at 3:30 am ET. -

BACKGROUND: The Louis Vuitton Trophy series was designed to be a
cost-effective format for match racing competition in Version 5 America's
Cup Class boats. Racing will continue to the November 27th. The event
website will have live streaming coverage with VirtualEye for the entire
regatta, with video highlights after racing. Look for enhanced live coverage
of the final days of racing. Event website:

OLD SCHOOL: The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai was on recess Saturday so each of
the six Louis Vuitton Trophy crews could compete on dhows, one of the
traditional craft used to ply the Arabian Gulf as essential modes of
transportation and trade. Today, dhow racing is among the top events on the
local sporting calendar and Saturday’s race marked the first time foreigners
were allowed to actively participate in a race. At the finish line, it was
All4One, taking the win over Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW ORACLE
Racing. -- Full report:

* San Francisco’s Budget and Legislative Analyst has released a report
outlining the costs and benefits of hosting the 34th America’s Cup in San
Francisco. Bottom line: If the world-famous yacht race is held here, it will
cost the city an estimated $42 million. The Budget Analyst is careful to
state that the report is not meant as a recommendation one way or another
for hosting the America’s Cup. “However,” it states, “it is the
responsibility of the Budget and Legislative Analyst to report the facts to
the Board of Supervisors.” Report highlights here:

* Until now, the concept of San Francisco hosting the America’s Cup sailing
race has enjoyed widespread support among The City’s supervisors. But after
a budget analyst’s report indicated that San Francisco could lose money to
the tune of tens of millions of dollars, some supervisors say they’ll be
taking a harder look at the project before deciding whether to stay onboard
or jump ship. -- Read on:

* Budget analyst Harvey Rose defended a report his office released Thursday,
which claimed that hosting the America's Cup regatta would lose San
Francisco up to $143 million. "I don't think everybody understands. We say
there'll be huge benefits -- $1.2 billion. That's the benefit to
businesses," explains Rose. "While we acknowledge that, what we're saying is
there is a huge cost to the city to do this. ... Yes, there are benefits to
San Francisco, but they go to businesses, not the city and county's
treasury. The report was pooh-poohed by the mayor's office, which noted that
a revised budget analyst's study which will likely be released on Wednesday
may paint a happier financial picture. -- Read on:

* The Snipe class has learned to promote women events. There are loads of
great female skippers and crews, but they rarely get teamed together. Also,
when you host an event like the Snipe Women’s World Championship that was
recently held in St Petersburg, Florida, there are plenty of guys that are
willing to help. Photos by Fried Elliott:

* Lauderdale Yacht Club revels this time of year, as the hot and humid south
Florida summer is replaced by idyllic conditions. Among their event schedule
is the Mercury Invitational that includes competitors in the club fleet, a
member of the junior sailing program and four invited "rock stars." When you
gather up talent like Tom Lihan, Ernesto Rodriguez, Chris Larson, Erika
Reineke, and Robbie Doyle, you know that thoughts of Corinthian competition
are left at the dock. Photos by John Payne:

* If there is one thing a photographer can’t fake, it is cold. They can
shoot brilliant clear days, but you see cold on the subjects face and you
can see cold on the gear they wear. So when photographer Glennon Stratton
was assigned to shoot the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Match Racing
National Championship in Kings Point, NY, his photos brought to life some
very cold action. And we can only imagine what it was like to get these
shots with very cold hands. Thanks Glennon:

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=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: There aren’t too many times when I have the
“nicest” of something, but I definitely feel schwanky when I take my
Ultimate Sailing shopping bag to the grocery store. Check it out here:

* (November 21, 2010) - Boston College, who needed the Repechage Group
before advancing to the knockout rounds of the 2010 ICSA Match Racing
National Championship, went undefeated against Kings Point in the quarters
and Washington in the semis before defeating St Marys in the finals to win
the inaugural event. The United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings
Point, NY hosted the ten teams that had advanced from the seven conferences.
This is the first year for the match race format, which had previously been
held as a fleet racing event. --

* Perth, Australia (November 21, 2010) - For the eight Olympic events
competing at the Perth International Regatta, the winds did not deliver the
punch that Fremantle is known for, but the event did provide a preview for
what could occur at the 2011 ISAF Combined Worlds to be held at the venue in
a year's time. For the Brits, they dominated the event, claiming triple the
top five positions than any other country. The Olympic focus now moves to
Sail Melbourne 2010 (Dec. 12-18), the first the first regatta of the seven
event 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup series. -- Event website:

* (November 20, 2010) - Canadian solo sailor Derek Hatfield today sailed
into Cape Town to take the third podium position in the first ocean sprint
of the VELUX 5 OCEANS. Derek’s arrival in the South African city ends a
gruelling 33 days at sea for the 57-year-old, the oldest skipper in the
VELUX 5 OCEANS fleet. Derek, who won class three of the 2002/3 edition of
the VELUX 5 OCEANS, sailed 7,932 nautical miles at an average speed of 9.74
knots in 33 days, 22 hours and 37 minutes. -- Full report:

* OC ThirdPole, organisers of the Extreme Sailing Series, will announce
their 2011 schedule on December 13 at the World Yacht Racing Forum. The 2011
team line up will be revealed, and venues spanning 3 continents will be
announced. --

* The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club have announced
the twenty-third edition of the 2012 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race will
start from Victoria, British Columbia with staggered starts commencing as
early as June 28, 2012. The race will finish near Lahaina, Maui, a great
circle route distance of 2308 nautical miles. -- Full report:

* The 2008/2009 Volvo Ocean Race winning navigator, Jules Salter from the
United Kingdom, heads a quartet of world-class sailing stalwarts signed up
to the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, which will contest the 2011/2012
round-the-world race. Salter is joined by New Zealand’s Craig Satterthwaite
as watchleader, Ireland’s Justin Slattery as bowman and the UK’s Simon
Fisher. And with skipper Ian Walker at the helm, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will
likely boast one of the most experienced and decorated sailing teams on the
Volvo Ocean Race’s Alicante start line next October. -- Valencia Sailing,
full report:

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My father, Tony Gretzky, passed away Thursday on his 81st birthday. After a
career change had my folks moving to western Michigan 50 years ago, they
took up sailing in the 210 fleet of the Muskegon Yacht Club, first as crew
and later as owners. They built their first 210 by themselves in the garage
over the winter of 1962-63, a feat all the more remarkable as my Mom was
pregnant with my younger sister at the time!

Early on, they started traveling to the east coast to attend the Nationals,
a tradition Dad continued until bad knees forced him to “retire” in 2007.
Dad was a past Commodore, Fleet Captain and Regatta Chair for far too many
regattas to remember! They started with their neighbors as crew and when we
became old enough, it was an all family affair.

Their love of sailing and the family environment led us kids to stick close
to the sea and stay involved with sailing. My older brother Harold sailed at
the Naval Academy, I became a naval architect out of Webb and my younger
sister Patty remains very active at the Muskegon Yacht Club. Both my parents
were very supportive of the Junior Sailing Program. Dad was so proud when
Patty’s daughter Emily and son Anthony finished 1-2 in an Opti Regatta this
past summer.

My parents and the others in the local one-design fleets created such a
positive environment at the club - they made sailing fun and passed this
love onto their kids and grand kids. Dad was an institution in Western
Michigan and he touched so many sailors in one-designs, cruising boats,
grand prix fleets as well as the new sailor taking their first steps! He
will be missed by family, friends and sailors from Michigan to
Massachusetts! - Jim Gretzky,

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It is with profound sadness that I inform the sailing community of the
passing Friday night of American Yacht Club’s (Rye, NY) beloved Commodore
Drake H. Sparkman III.

Drake was a good friend of many in the world of sailing and his passion for
sailing was instilled in his blood at an early age. His family was heavily
involved in sailboat racing and design, and his grandfather Drake co-founded
Sparkman & Stephens in 1929.

Drake was an exceptional racing and cruising sailor. He raced Etchells at
American for many years, competing at the highest levels. He also competed
in numerous offshore races to Bermuda, Cabo San Lucas, The Vineyard Race,
and the Pac Cup from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Perhaps his greatest gift to sailing was the many hours of volunteer time he
committed. In addition to being the current Commodore at American, Drake
served as a Trustee, and Chairman of both the Membership and Race
Committees. In 2003, the club awarded him the Starkweather trophy for
outstanding service to American Yacht Club.

His service extended beyond American Yacht Club. He served as a Vice
President of the YRA of Long Island Sound. A longtime member of the Storm
Trysail Club, Drake served many years as its Membership Chairman.

As yacht design was in his genes, he gave countless hours to, and served as
a Trustee of, the Landing School in Arundel Maine, which provides
educational programs that effectively prepare students for entry-level
careers in the marine industry.

He also reached out to those with special needs. He was instrumental in
establishing the American Yacht Club’s relationship with Maria Fareri
Children’s Hospital (Valhalla, NY).

In 2008, Drake was a leader in founding the Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta
for sailors with disabilities - an annual event run each year jointly by
American and Larchmont Yacht Club.

We ask that you keep his wife Heather and son Tucker in your thoughts and
prayers. Drake was an exceptional person who was loved and respected by
everyone who knew him. -- Duncan P. Hennes, Vice Commodore, American Yacht

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