SCUTTLEBUTT 3250 - Wednesday, January 5, 2011
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: Point Loma Outfitting, North Sails, and J Boats.
ARGUMENT FOR "IS SAILING A SPORT"
When we need information, we tend to use our favorite internet search
engine. And when the information cannot be found, there are websites where
you can ask your question. Here is what somebody asked on Answers.Yahoo.com:
“Okay, so I personally know sailing is a sport, although some a-hole in my
school (excuse my French) is deliberately trying to explain to me that it is
in fact not a sport because all you do is move a tiller around. Obviously
this is not true.
“His argument is based upon that he does not see any ‘professional sailors’
around on TV all the time, and he doesn't watch Olympic sailing. He also
says he does not see sailing in the sports column on the internet. We argue
on the bus, and so far on the bus they say that sailing is not a sport (they
did a survey with five people), and I did admit it was not a popular sport
“Can you help me formulate some kind of argument to beat him?”
* “Yeah, I don't recall any Olympic sailing, but there is the America's Cup
which does get into the papers. And sure racing is a competition.”
* “Look up the definition of ‘sport’. Any organized, competitive,
entertaining and skillful activity. As for your argument. You should never
argue with an idiot, somebody might not be able to tell the difference.”
* “Isn't sailing considered to be one of the most complex sports ever?
“Physical and mental preparation of the person. Needing natural skill and
talent, as well as training for hours a day. Plus years of competition to
enable you to achieve any reasonable result.
“And then you have the boat preparation: weight all up, weight distribution,
surface details, boat design, mast shape, sail shape, control lines to
control the shapes - all of which must be meticulous and not break at the
“And then you are competing in a natural element - wind and waves and tide
all make a difference to the speed of the boat.
“And then you are (often) in a team of people, all of whom have to work
together to get anywhere.
“And finally (?) you are competing: so you are in a large mental game of
chess - positioning your boat in relation to others to improve your chances
of success and minimizing their chances.
“Yup, definitely: The most complex sport in the world.”
* “Of course it is! I would be very offended in your position. Tell him it
is organized, and it is an activity. Also tell him that you commit a lot to
this sport and you don't care what he thinks about it. Ask him how he would
feel if you judged how much of a sport (any sport he plays) was based on the
amount of well-known professional players. If you know any other people who
sail ask them their opinion, and I know a lot of sailors, as it has been in
my family for generations. Twenty nine people I know so far say that sailing
is a sport, and that includes my family.”
“WORST OF OUR LIVES”
(January 4, 2011: Day 5) Since the start of the Barcelona World Race on
December 31st at Barcelona, Spain, the fourteen boat fleet has faced fickle
winds to exit the Mediterranean Sea to tackle the meat of this non-stop
race. And just when each doublehanded team thinks they can sniff the
Atlantic Ocean, the difficult combination of very light winds and fast
flowing westerly current in the Gibraltar Straits has halted their pace for
The span of the Straits is just 7.7 nm which separates Europe and Africa,
and due to the varying water salinity of the Med and the Atlantic, the
surface current is typically flowing against the fleet. The lone U.S.
skipper Ryan Breymaier, with co-skipper Boris Herrmann (GER), onboard
Neutrogena have finally escaped the clutches of Gibraltar this evening in
“It’s been the worst of our lives,” shared Hermann. “In fact in 24 hours we
had not moved any metres west. We tried the north coast and are trying the
south coast. We missed getting away with Mirabaud by about half an hour.
Mirabaud overtook us in the Strait and took a slightly different route.
After that it shut down. It’s frustrating, disappointing. It is tough.”
Of the leaders (as of 20:50), Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac
Paprec 3 has stretched out a 70-mile advantage over Foncia (Michel
Desjoyeaux/ François Gabart) as both power south-west along the African
shoreline. A further 30 miles back is Mirabaud (Dominique Wavre/ Michele
Paret) in third.
REPLAY: British distance racer Mike Golding joins ESPN sailing commentator
Gary Jobson for video coverage of the race. To relive the live start as it
was aired on ESPN3.com, go to
BACKGROUND: This is the second edition of the non-stop Barcelona World Race,
the only double-handed race around the world. Fourteen teams are competing
on Open 60s which started December 31st and is expected to finish by late
March. The 25,000 nautical mile course is from Barcelona to Barcelona via
three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, Cook Strait, putting Antarctica to
starboard. Race website: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org
LEAVE LAND MORE!
If you are doing some sailing this winter and need to freshen up your kit,
check us out! Point Loma Outfitting has the largest selection of SLAM,
Patagonia and Atlantis Weather Gear; as well as Musto and Gill. We have the
experience to put you in the right gear, for the right conditions, and
=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I am very pleased to introduce Point Loma
Outfitting as the latest member of the Scuttlebutt sponsor family. They have
a wonderful retail store and online hub in San Diego that neighbors North
Sails and the Sail Ho golf course... in case you need an excuse for a SoCal
trip this winter.
RACE TO THE RACE
Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson is in a ‘Race to the Race’ following his
emergency appendectomy just 48 hours before the start of the non-stop
doublehanded Barcelona World Race. After discussion with the race
organization, and with the majority backing of his fellow Open 60 skippers,
it was ruled that HUGO BOSS would be allowed to start the race with the
team’s substitute skipper, Wouter Verbraak, and Alex will be able to join
the boat after he is declared medically fit to sail.
The race ruling dictates that Alex must be medically assessed within 10 days
of the race start, and the date and place at which he will join his boat
HUGO BOSS will then be agreed with the race organisation together with the
medical team. At this point the logical locations are the Cape Verdes off
the coast of Western Africa or the Fernando de Noronha Islands off Brazil.
-- Full report: http://alexthomsonracing.com/news/view/a_race_to_the_race/
MOMMIES GONE WILD
We've had a good rant, er, intelligent rational discussion here before about
the topic of Mommy Boats, the pestilence of so-called "coach boats" that
infest an increasing number of Laser regattas these days. In the comments to
my previous posts Mommy Boats and Ban Mommy Boats NOW the discussions were
lively and heated.
Some agreed with me, that the "mommification" of our sport has gone too far.
The practice of certain sailors having Mommy Boats bringing them warm coats
and hot drinks between races, and of course towing them to and from the
course area, is undermining the spirit of independence and self-reliance
which is the very essence of our sport of single-handed sailing.
Others pointed out the unfairness of a competition in which only a few
competitors have Mommy Boat drivers to provide them with physical and moral
support, not to mention passing on information obtained by radio from other
Mommy Boat drivers of what the wind is doing around the course.
Of course access to a Mommy Boat gives a sailor an unfair advantage. That's
why, at the highest levels of competition, the major international Laser
regattas, almost every sailor has a Mommy Boat. You can't hope to compete at
that level without your Mommy to help you. US Olympic hopeful Clay Johnson
reported that at the Laser World Championship in England last year there
were over One Hundred Mommy Boats and, in a wry understatement, that the
chop from all these Mommy Boats "doesn't help". Crazy!
And it's getting worse. Read on:
RINGING ENDORSEMENT, SORT OF...
Grant Dalton, Team New Zealand managing director, on the selection of San
Francisco to host the 2013 America's Cup: “It was by far the best venue.
Newport Rhode Island has great history and tradition but San Francisco is
the best overall canvas to work from. It suits the boats. It is a natural
amphitheatre - much like Auckland - which won't allow the huge separation
that has been feared by many people. I've been talking to potential sponsors
for the last six months but now we have something to sell....(but) if we
can't reach the level of funding required to be a strong challenger, then we
won't be going ahead. We will not be entering just for the sake of it.” --
* TRAINING: Among the 73 entries competing this week in the Australian A-Cat
Nationals is Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, who is faring well so far
in this singlehanded catamaran class. History reminds us that Jimmy
Spithill, who steered Golden Gate Yacht Club’s trimaran to victory in the
33rd America’s Cup, initially cut his multihull teeth at the 2008 A-Cat
North Americans. Barker is in fifth after two days at the Aussie Nationals,
compared to Spithill who was in ninth at the same stage of the North
Americans. Spithill eventually finished eighth overall. Interestingly, two
of the people that beat Spithill were Pete Melvin, who helped create the
design rule for the next America’s Cup, and Ben Hall whose company Hall
Spars & Rigging helped to build the masts used to win the 33rd Match. --
* REJECTION: Team Shosholoza, the first ever America's Cup challenger from
Africa when they competed in 2007, has announced they will not participate
in the 2013 event. Citing the heightened cost and the format change to
multihulls, Shosholoza joins Luna Rossa/Prada, United Internet Team Germany,
and Alinghi as teams from the 32nd edition that will not return. The British
Team Origin, which formed in 2007 to prepare for the America’s Cup, has also
declined involvement in the 34th Match. An update on entered and possible
challengers for 2013:
PARTY: If you want to bathe in the celebration of the 34th America’s Cup
coming to San Francisco, the America’s Cup Event Authority and the San
Francisco America’s Cup Organizing Committee are hosting a public
celebration at the City Hall (in the Rotunda) on Wednesday, January 5 at
3:00 PM Pacific Coast Time.
NEW YEAR, NEW SAILS?
If you’re in the market for new sails, consider this: North Sails has become
the world leader in sailmaking through an ongoing commitment to making sails
that are faster, lighter and longer lasting than any other sails in the
world. Whether you race or cruise, North Sails is committed to designing and
building sails that are just right for you! All new sails come with 1 year
free sail care & repair* throughout our worldwide network of sail lofts, so
whether you’re 25 or 2,500 miles from home, we’ve got you covered. When
performance counts, the choice is clear: http://www.northsails.com.
Long Beach, CA (January 4, 2011) - Yes, there will be a Rose Bowl for USC's
Trojans this month, but it won't be football, and fans will have to come
down to the beach this weekend on Saturday and Sunday to see it.
It's the 26th annual Rose Bowl Regatta, hosted by the University of Southern
California Sailing Team, which is not affected by NCAA post-season sanctions
imposed on the football team. The event is organized by the US Sailing
Center of Long Beach and based at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
The lineups feature 31 of the nation's best collegiate programs from Hawaii
to the East Coast and 56 high school teams from throughout California. That
makes it the nation's largest combined collegiate and high school sailing
event, contested on 13-foot, two-person CFJ dinghies, which will have plenty
of room after moving outside from the limited space in Alamitos Bay to the
Long Beach Harbor waters surrounding the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.
The defending champions are Georgetown University of Washington D.C. and
Point Loma High School of San Diego. Georgetown's toughest rival figures to
be top-ranked Boston College, which nosed it out for No. 1 this season. Full
GOING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE EARTH
(January 4, 2011) - Nearly 40 Australian and international scientists will
leave Hobart today on the Aurora Australis icebreaker for a month-long
voyage to deploy underwater cameras, moorings and sensors at the Mertz
Glacier in eastern Antarctica.
The expedition comes 100 years after explorer and geologist Sir Douglas
Mawson led and barely survived the first Australasian expedition to
Antarctica. A century on, there are many still burning scientific questions
to be answered at the bottom of the world.
The latest expeditioners are looking for the effects of climate change in
Australia's Antarctic waters. "The oceans, in general, play a big role in
climate," said expedition leader and CSIRO oceanographer Dr Steve Rintoul.
"They store and transport huge amounts of heat and of carbon. So when we
talk about global warming over the last 50 years, what we really mean is
ocean warming. More than 90 per cent of the extra heat that has been stored
is in the ocean."
The scientific team will be testing the Southern Ocean for changes in
salinity, temperature and carbon as the ship heads towards a gigantic
Antarctic ice oddity - the Mertz Glacier ice tongue. The ACT-sized ice mass
flowing out off the Antarctic continent was rammed and severed by an
enormous iceberg in February.
"That calving event, that breaking of the ice tongue, formed an iceberg that
was about 80 kilometres by 40 kilometres wide, and drifted off. That is
going to change how this whole part of the Antarctic shelf works," Dr
Rintoul said. The area around the Mertz Glacier is important for the ocean
currents that influence the Earth's climate system.
A fragile combination of extreme winds, temperatures and geology creates
patches in Antarctic sea ice called polynyas. They, in turn, create heavy
cold water, known as Antarctic bottom water, that sinks rapidly to the deep
ocean floor and then gets sent off around the planet, cooling as it goes.
Climate models suggest this process will slow as climate change happens and
that will tend to accelerate the rate of further climate change. "What we
really need to do is understand the physics of this process," Dr Rintoul
said. "That will help us improve the models we have." -- Read on:
* (January 4, 2011; Day 20) - The four remaining solo skippers in the VELUX
5 OCEANS are preparing for more than 40 knots of breeze and giant swells on
their second leg from South Africa to New Zealand. American Brad Van Liew’s
lead over second placed Derek Hatfield (CAN) has grown to 246 nm with 2,597
nm to the finish line in Wellington, New Zealand.
* Mar del Plata, Argentina (January 4, 2011) - The second day of racing for
the 29er Worlds rolled through three races on the two qualifying courses,
with bright skies and 16 to 20+ knots providing perfect conditions for high
adrenaline entertainment. The Argentine teams of Belen Tavella/ Franco
Greggi and Pepe Bettini/ Fernando Gwozdz remain tied after the 6 race
series. Qualifying continues on Wednesday followed by three days of the
final series. -- Full report/results:
* The 15-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker who has embarked on a round
world sailing journey is in need of cash and looking for new financial
sponsors. Laura's father, Dick Dekker told Dutch paper Volkskrant that the
team backing her, which consists of family members and others, needs money
to visit her during her journey and carry out major repairs which might be
needed to her boat Guppy. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/SW-010410
JOIN THE J/80 FUN FOR 2011
You know a class is strong when, two months after a Worlds, you can't find a
boat! 2011 looks to be another banner year starting with the J/80 Midwinters
at Key West and culminating in the J/80 North Americans at Larchmont, NY.
Special boat/trailer packages are still available for spring delivery.
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum encourages companies to
post their new hirings, product and service updates. Scuttlebutt editors
will select Industry update each week to include in the Thursday edition of
the Scuttlebutt newsletter. Here is the link to post Industry News updates:
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 Sutter A Schumacher: (re, Andy Burton's quote/unquote in issue #3249)
Truer words have never been spoken on these virtual pages. Unfortunately (or
fortunately?), taking care of the ones in the pack requires an investment of
time and energy by each of us in the greater sailing community. The question
is whether we are willing to make this commitment, or whether we're just
sailing for our own personal gain? This is something I need to ask myself,
* From Ray Tostado: (re, Bogart and Santana in Scuttlebutt 3249)
This I read in an expose’ of the flashy lives of the Hollywood stars when
they ruled Avalon, Catalina Island. Most had yachts and ran great party
weekends at the island.
Bogart had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the end was near. A close
friend, fellow actor David Niven, was persuaded to be a part of Bogart’s
end, along with his beloved Santana. The plan was for Bogart and Niven to
motor out to sea where Bogart had planned to chain himself to the binnacle
and sink Santana as his coffin.
Niven’s task was to open the sea cocks and begin the process; when upon he
would board a towed dinghy and return to Newport. Bogart's wife somehow
became aware of this plot and called the NB harbor and local CG who
responded immediately and stopped this plot from occurring. Both men were
arrested and Bogart returned to the custody of his wife. He passed on in a
Niven recalls this in the first person in his book, "BRING ON THE EMPTY
HORSES". A real entertaining book on being part of the Hollywood party
elite. They were reckless rascals.
I seek correction if required. Didn't Bogart rig Santana as a yawl when he
Famous Last Words: “I wonder where the mother bear is.”
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Doyle Sails - Summit Yachts - Team One Newport - North Sails
J Boats - Point Loma Outfitting - Melges Performance Sailboats
Harken - Ullman Sails - IYRS - North U
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers