SCUTTLEBUTT 3243 - Monday, December 20, 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: APS and Henri Lloyd.
SAILING MARATHON PROVIDES PERFECT SOLUTION
By Bruno Trouble, 2-time Olympian, America's Cup skipper
I am just back from the World Yacht Racing Forum in Estoril, Portugal. We
talked about the Olympics and the need to bring variety to the sailing
events so as to prevent the possible exclusion of our sport from the Games.
ISAF Secretary General Jerome Pels rightly explained the need for change
regarding the classes chosen for the Olympics.
I too have been concerned about this, and have given much thought as to how
our sport can best proceed with its Olympic vision. At the Forum I presented
my conclusion, which I share here in Scuttlebutt:
- The Olympic classes do not reflect the real world of sailing. They are all
dinghies or boards (except for the Elliot!).
- A huge chunk of our sport is about offshore racing such as IRC (over 8,000
certificates I heard!), ORC, IMOCA, Figaro, Farr 40s, and offshore classics
(Sydney-Hobart, Bermuda, Transpac, Hong Kong to Philipines, Fastnet, etc.
There are hundreds of them!
- Even small countries have a lot of offshore sailors (Hong Kong, Monaco,
Dubai , Oman, Caribbean....many!).
- A century ago (not that far back!) the only way to transport a love letter
or a Declaration of War from a continent was to put it on a sailboat!
Sailing offshore is part of our souls as humans!
- The Olympics are looking for diversity. Including an offshore events a
great way to attract a new audience.
- It can be a singlehanded, doublehanded, or mixed crew.
- The race would start the day of the opening ceremony - or the next day and
will go for 5 or 6 days.
- It would be the ONLY Olympic event you could watch 24 hours a day wherever
you are in the world!
- It would be a great TV/Internet product that would generate a huge media
attention worldwide. It would be very easy to understand for the general
We want to create sailing heroes; the winner after a 5 or 6 day race out at
sea would be a star! You can anticipate the time of finish by adding short
laps at the end of the main course or use virtual marks. The boats will not
be a problem. We will find a boat builder able to provide 20 to 30 similar
boats for the event at no cost (I promise!) Size? Around 30-35 feet .
Catamaran? Why not.
This idea would be a good way to reconcile the ''virtual'' Olympic present
family and the core of our sport. I sailed twice in the Olympics for France
and I know how isolated we were - and still are - as Olympics sailors.
Not everybody can appreciate the challenge of competing in dinghy one
designs on a windward leeward course, but people need not be sailors to
appreciate the adventurous challenge that an offshore event would present.
Rather than ISAF seeking the solution through changes to format or class
type, let sailing take a page out of Olympic history by presenting our own
marathon - the offshore distance race.
Whenever there is mention in Scuttlebutt about the 'firsts' that occur in
kitesailing, the grand poobah of the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association,
president William Tuthill, kindly reminds us that kiting began on the hard
water first. Here is William's history lesson:
Either you have been to a World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA)
event or you have not. If you have, then you know ... but if you have not
... then get ready. To describe a WISSA event is not easy, and words alone
are not enough. Think about this...
The WISSA Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships is the oldest
international event in the history of windsurfing. When windsurfing first
became popular in the late 1970's people living in cold climates discovered
that windsurfing rigs were also ideal for sailing on ice and snow.
The sport of iceboating is centuries old, but "boats" for sailing in the
snow always had problems because of the downward pressure from the rig- they
would bog down. The windsurfing rig changed all of that. Standing on a sled
and trapping the wind between the ground and the sail provided the lift
required to make snow sailing possible for the first time in history.
So-the windsurfing rig made possible a whole new sport. Next came kites.
Kites were developed for use on snow and land well over a decade before the
sport of Kiteboarding [in water] was born. Around 1990, winterboard inventor
Sami Tuurna of Finland came up with a new design for a wing to be used with
skis, skates and land boards. Originally called the "Skimbat", the first
wing resembled the "Wind Weapon" that briefly came onto the windsurfing
scene at the same time.
Fast forward to present, and the sport of windsurfing is in full recovery
from a decline after its halcyon days. Kites have morphed into a new
waterborne sport called Kiteboarding, and wings are more efficient and
better refined than ever. All of these sports have seen their ups and downs,
and each has their advantages and disadvantages. But here's to you!
Here's to you living life, and coming out into the winter winds to sail fast
and take part in the most prestigious international ice and snow sailing
event in history! Bring your flag, bring your culture, and represent your
history at the 2011 Ice and Snow Sailing World Championship in Oravi,
Saimaa, Finland on February 25 to March 6. -- Photos and links:
THE GIFT GIVING FINISH LINE IS IN SIGHT
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BIG COMMITMENT LEADS TO HOT START
Melbourne, AUS (December 18, 2010) - Sail Melbourne, the opening event of
the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup season, came to an end with close
finishes and a number of upsets on the final day of racing. While typically
the smallest event of the circuit that spans seven events on three
continents, the summer weather provided critical training conditions for the
two American teams that medaled.
After leaving for Australia on November 8th, 2008 Olympians Stu McNay and
Graham Biehl claimed silver in the Mens 470 event. Also notching significant
time down under was 2010 Scuttlebutt Sailing Family of the Year member Erik
Storck and 49er teammate Trevor Moore, whose bronze medal marks their first
podium finish in an ISAF World Cup Regatta. Here is their report:
"Going into the race, we were eight points up on the fourth place boat, the
two-time World Champion Australians. They came at us in the start, and we
were circling with them for a couple of minutes in the 12-15 knots of wind
and steep waves. At go, we found ourselves to windward in a fair lane that
would not last. We were forced to tack away. While we did not want to split
from the Aussies, we needed to get clear and come back to cover when we
could. Fortunately, in tacking clear we also tacked onto a port tack lift.
Soon thereafter, we got a righty puff to tack back in and cross most the
fleet. We were third at the weather mark with our competition well back.
"It is at these times when we are especially glad to have done so much
boathandling practice. When the pressure is on, and all that you need to do
is get around the racecourse, it pays to be automatic in everything. We
were. We found a few more shifts and puffs that got us past the next two
boats, and we won the race! We were not aiming to win the race, just to beat
the Aussies and secure our bronze medal, but it certainly was a nice bonus!
Final results are here.
"This event, at the conclusion of our 50-day trip to Australia, had many
firsts for the team. We wore the ISAF leader bibs for third place, for most
of the regatta without relinquishing them. We raced a Medal Race for only
the second time. We won the Medal Race for the first time! Most importantly,
we medaled in a World Cup event for the first time. We beat some of the best
in the world. We showed ourselves we can do it, at the close of a productive
year, and the beginning of what is sure to be our best year yet."
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/StorckMoore-121910
Regatta website: http://sailmelbourne.com.au
THAT'S NOT SMOKE, THAT'S FIRE
Rhode Island's top economic development official said Sunday that
representatives of BMW Oracle Racing and Golden Gate Yacht Club have
expressed an interest in holding the next America's Cup in Newport but
haven't made a final decision. Newport is vying with San Francisco for the
right to host the world's most prestigious sailing competition in 2013.
Negotiators have spent the last week in Rhode Island, and the state economic
development corporation's executive director, Keith Stokes, told The
Associated Press on Sunday that "everything we've presented has resonated
very strongly with them."
Stokes said he would present to the EDC board on Monday a letter from
America's Cup negotiators expressing an interest in holding the event in
Newport, about 30 miles south of Providence, and hammering out an agreement
with the state. He declined to release the letter ahead of the meeting but
said he would be joined by GGYC board member Tom Ehman.
"I think we've come up with several options that are pretty compelling,"
Stokes said. "Newport's simply just gone out and played its best game."
Stokes has said that hosting the racing in Colonial-era Newport could
require as little as $10 million in improvements, a small fraction of what
changes would cost in San Francisco. Newport's proposal has centered on Fort
Adams State Park, which offers panoramic views of Newport Harbor.
Gov.-elect Lincoln Chafee believes Newport is the natural site for the
America's Cup but it will be important to weigh the costs of hosting the
competition against the required infrastructure improvements, his spokesman
Mike Trainor said. -- USA Today, full story:
CONFUSION: While the America's Cup is intended to be a challenge between
clubs, the inmates have fully taken over the asylum. How odd is it to think
about Golden Gate Yacht Club, which is located on San Francisco Bay,
defending their trophy elsewhere? But when BMW Oracle selected the Club to
represent them, the Club agreed to relinquish the power of venue selection
to the team.
FIRE: There was some bad blood between the BMW Oracle team and San Francisco
when the City finalized their bid. So when the team travelled to Newport,
RI, which had been removed from venue consideration in July, it was
initially viewed as a smoke screen to leverage their San Francisco deal.
However, sources in Newport say they are now convinced the team is seeking a
suitable agreement so they can hold the America's Cup somewhere other than
San Francisco, and are very seriously considering Newport as the venue.
OPTIONS: Speaking of bad blood, Larry Ellison shouldn't expect the red
carpet treatment in Valencia, Spain anytime soon. They remain bitter at his
assurance that if he won the 33rd America's Cup, that Valencia would host
the 34th Match. While Valencia bowed out of the bidding war, the team's
options still include an Italian venue, and surprise surprise, a United Arab
VISION: While there has been disappointment in some corners that the BMW
Oracle vision for the 34th America's Cup would be in multihulls, the first
hard evidence that the team's vision had misread the market was when they
reduced the entrance and participation fees last week to hopefully encourage
more teams to enter. Will the next shoe to drop be the continuing rumor that
the event must be delayed from 2013 to 2014 so as to allow the team to
accomplish all the other far reaching aspects of their plan?
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
O CANADA, WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE
The last time Canada was present in the America's Cup was in Fremantle in
1987 when a combined project from Secret Cove Yacht Club and Royal Nova
Scotia Yacht Squadron challenged the Defender from the Royal Perth Yacht
Club and got eliminated in the Louis Vuitton Cup round robin.
Fast forward nearly a quarter of a century and it now seems possible that
the world's second largest country by area could be once again represented
in the competition for the world's oldest sports trophy. Red Maple Racing,
led by Toronto financier Kevin Reed, is the project that embodies Canada's
drive in the America's Cup. Valencia Sailing talked to Reed about the
background, current sate and future of the project.
* Let's start with a brief background on the project. What made you try to
form an America's Cup challenge?
KEVIN REED: I've certainly been a fan of the America's Cup for perhaps three
decades and it's something Canada hasn't had an entry in since 1987. In the
last 5-6 years I have been speaking with Paul Henderson, a former ISAF
President, about an entry for Canada. All these years, both personally and
through the companies I own, I have sponsored many Canadian Olympic
athletes, including Canadian Olympic sailors. With the new format America's
Cup Race Management and America's Cup Event Authority have prepared it has
certainly become very attractive now for Canada to take a look at this. The
economics of the old model or at least the last 10-15 years was restrictive
but now, Russell Coutts and his team have done a tremendous job transforming
it into a business like Formula 1 or other professional sports.
* At what stage of preparation is the project right now? Will you personally
fund it or will you have other backers as well, whether private individuals
KEVIN REED: In the next 45 days we'll be looking at a few things. One of
them is the financing mechanisms. Can we put them in place so that the
project is financed not only by me but also Canadian companies that want to
sponsor us? In the next area, we believe there is enough Canadian talent to
put together an all-Canadian sailing team. Another area we are looking into
is the design and build team and again we believe the talent is here. So, we
have three things Paul Henderson, myself and the rest of the team are
looking at: The financing mechanisms, the sailing and the design and build
teams and we are trying to be all-Canadian in all three areas, as much as we
* Do you believe you can be competitive with a solely Canadian team?
KEVIN REED: We certainly believe we have the talent pool to do that. There
is a number of Canadians that have been involved in previous America's Cups
as well as other major sailing events and we are convinced this talent pool
is right here in Canada.
Complete interview: http://tinyurl.com/VS-121910
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TWO NEW AMERICAN CAMPAIGNS TARGET LES VOILES DE ST. BARTH
A "new kid on the block" generally has to earn the respect of those who have
long ruled the neighborhood. In the case of the Les Voiles des St. Barth, it
took only one running - its debut in 2010 - for the regatta to become a
fixture for American sailors who compete on the multi-event Caribbean racing
circuit, which entices teams from all over the world to spend part, or all,
of the winter season sailing in paradise.
For the 2011 edition of the Les Voiles de St. Barth, scheduled for April
4-99, two U.S. teams - Vesper/Team Moneypenny and Rambler 100 - will
headline. Each epitomizes a level of player commitment not unlike that
commanded by other serious team sports where motivation is key and the
ability to work together over a long period of time increases the chance of
"We participated in the inaugural Les Voiles de St. Barth and knew
immediately we would return for 2011; we will have many of the same crew we
had last time," said Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah), a venture capitalist who
has been circling the globe for years seeking new adventures aboard his
various yachts named Moneypenny. His latest acquisition, a TP52 (formerly
named Quantum Racing, which was the 2010 TP52 world champion), replaces his
2010 entry, the Swan 601 Moneypenny, and will have aboard it some of the
world's finest sailors, including Gavin Brady, Ben Beer, Jamie Gale, Brett
Jones, Ken Keefe, Matt Waikowicz, and Swartz himself, who, as he always
does, will take the helm.
"The boat is currently in Florida, having modifications made to it, which
will take it out of its current one-design configuration, and we'll have our
first serious race week with it at the Miami Grand Prix in March; then it's
on to St. Barth," said Swartz, explaining that the "Vesper" in the new boat
name refers to James Bond's true love, the double agent Vesper Lynd, who
also inspired the Vesper Martini. (Bond fans should know Swartz also
campaigns a Melges 32 named Q.) -- Read on:
CALM BEFORE THE STORM
(December 19, 2010) - Since the start on Thursday of the second leg of the
VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race from Cape Town to Wellington,
New Zealand, Christophe Bullens was forced to return on Friday to repair
rudder issues. Today Bullens rejoined the other four Eco 60 skippers, who
have faced upwind conditions from drifting to 30 knots as they work south
toward the expected westerlies that will send the fleet across the Southern
Said leg 1 winner Brad Van Liew (USA), who trails leader Derek Hatfield
(CAN) by 1 mile, "The Aghulas Current is a warm water current that wraps
around Africa and really makes the entrance to the Southern Ocean a warm
paradise for sea life. I have only seen this place sailing at full speed
like most people; but wow is it different when you're going 3 knots. I have
had yellowtail swimming in the shadow of the boat, weird eddies of swirling
debris, jelly fish everywhere, flying fish and 23 degree Celsius water
temps." -- http://www.velux5oceans.com
SCUTTLEBUTT CLASSIFIEDS - FARR 30 WORLDS
The Farr 30 International One Design Class Association has announced that
the prestigious St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California will
host the 2011 Farr 30 World Championship in conjunction with the renowned
Rolex Big Boat Series, September 8th to 11th. This will mark the first time
the Class will host their World Championship on the west coast of the United
States. For anybody looking to take on this championship, there are two Farr
30 listings in the Scuttlebutt classifieds:
Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community.
Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted
comments chosen to be published in the newsletter may be limited to 250
words. Authors may have one published submission per subject, and should
save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
* From Rose Pearl:
Regarding the Curmudgeon's Observation at the end of Scuttlebutt #3242
("People who live in stone houses shouldn't throw glasses"), hey.that's not
how it goes!
Truth be known, the story is about an African chieftain who loved thrones.
His people made him a gorgeous new throne every year and he collected them
over many years storing them in his grass hut. One day when his grass hut
became so stacked up and crammed with thrones, the grass hut just burst and
fell over. And this moral of this story is: "people in grass houses
shouldn't stow thrones". However later in the so called civilized western
world, people took this historic story and modified it to say that "people
in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".
I don't know what that means; I've never seen an entirely glass house that
would compare to an entirely grass house.
Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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