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SCUTTLEBUTT 3251 - Thursday, January 6, 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: Harken and Ullman Sails.
FOR THE LOVE OF OFFSHORE SAILING
"Occupation - Volvo Ocean Racer" sums up Stu Bannatyne, as he joins CAMPER
as watch leader for his sixth race. He tells why he keeps coming back for
The decision to go again, of course, is not mine alone and this is a total
commitment from my wife Amanda, to have another go, pack up the kids and
bags and travel to the stopovers in the far corners of the globe.
Our family loves travelling and for oldest daughter Anna, it will be her
fourth Volvo, having first travelled to England as a four-week old baby for
the start of the 2001 race.
As they have grown up, the kids have had great experiences at the various
ports we have visited - elephant riding in India, the water park at
Singapore Zoo. Perhaps the most memorable was the Volvo school, where kids
of all different nationalities came together to do their schoolwork, enjoy
local field trips and to learn about all the cultures and places we have
visited along the way.
I can only hope they remain as excited to travel as they get older and maybe
there might be more Volvo Ocean Races in the future for us after this one!
For me, the Volvo Ocean Race continues to hold a special draw which keeps me
coming back. I enjoy the whole project, right from the initial stages of
team selection, boat, rig and sail design and then the build up and sailing
the new boat - testing all our ideas and optimising the boat and sails to
give us the best shot at doing well in the race.
But ultimately, the most important reason for doing the race is the love of
offshore sailing. The Volvo Ocean Race is too long and gruelling to just do
it for a job - you really must want to be there.
The boats are very challenging to sail well, but the feeling of mastering
the Volvo Open 70 and the elements is a rush that is hard to find elsewhere.
The boats respond well to being pushed hard and you know when the team gets
together and has a good run, the scoreboard will reflect it with a gain of a
few miles on the opposition.
This competitive element is important, but there are also plenty of times
when the sailing might be relatively slow and it can be these times also
which provide enjoyment, being at one with the ocean and just being out
Competing in the Volvo Ocean Race brings a huge range of emotions, from the
highs of winning a leg, breaking a record and winning the race right through
to the disappointment of being beaten, getting cold and wet and abandoning
the sinking yacht in the mid-Atlantic. We have to deal with it all.
Some of the hardest times can be motivating yourself to get out of a nice
warm sleeping bag, to pull on wet gear and drag yourself on deck in the
middle of a cold, wet night for a four-hour stretch of being pummelled with
seawater. You just have to think that the guys on the other boats are
suffering more! -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-010511
=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Stu was a general in Torben Grael’s army when they
won the 2008-9 race on Ericsson 4. And if you want to try and stump your
friends with trivia, you can add that Stu won the singlehanded division at
the 1989 Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.
PUSSES AND WUSSES
In Scuttlebutt 3250, the commentary by blogger Tillerman titled MOMMIES GONE
WILD revisited a subject about our sport’s pussification where heightened
levels of pampering are now observed. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell sees
this issue as a national problem.
When the National Football League recently postponed the Eagles-Vikings game
because of winter weather, Rendell declared, “We’ve become a nation of
wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China
do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have
been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would
have been doing calculus on the way down.”
While it is true that students in China outperform American kids by a wide
margin in reading, math and science, is this because there are too many
coach boats on the water? Thankfully, long-time giver to the sport Terry
Bischoff pulls out of this conundrum with his learned commentary:
“For years when I was Executive Director of the Inland Lake Yachting
Association, I espoused how the Junior Championships could be improved by
having the competitors dropped off, and the parents disappear until
completion of the regatta. I continued thinking the same when I was the PRO
for those X Champs.
“You would be amazed if I related what tactics some parents went to "coach"
their kids on the course: whistles, hand signals while listening for OCS
calls over the radio, positioning of support boats on one end of the start
line or another. Of course now we've had to define the areas on the water
where support and coach boats can now operate!
“The worst thing I think coaching does is intimidate the players who have no
coach. If you need a coach to help you at your Championship, I don't think
you're ready to sail in it! One more layer of cost to a struggling program.
What's happened to self initiative?
“I was fortunate to be the PRO at the U.S. Junior Women's Singlehanded
Championship (Leiter Cup) a few years back. At that event the parents were
excused until the event concluded, and coaching clinics were done for
everyone attending by very qualified instructors. A great way to run a
“Unfortunately, at that event we had some wild weather. The "mommys" were
the Event Committee. Fortunately, I had excellent counseling on when to race
from my team and the Chief Judge - all who were seasoned competitors. Can
you imagine teen age girls too "tired" to sail the last race of the event,
when the outcome was still in doubt, on a beautiful day with a good breeze?
“Spare me from the "mommys". Bring back the draft!”
INTRODUCING THE HARKEN T2 - OUR LIGHTEST BLOCKS EVER
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HONEY AND TUNNICLIFFE TAKE TOP HONORS
(January 5, 2011) - Trophee Jules Verne winner Stan Honey (Palo Alto,
Calif.) and Snipe Women’s World Champion Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.)
today were named US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the
Year. A shortlist of 10 male and six female sailors - determined from
nominations submitted by members of US SAILING - was evaluated by a panel of
sailing journalists who selected these two sailors for the noteworthy
2010 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year:
With Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.) onboard as navigator, the 103-foot
trimaran Groupama 3 made the fastest non-stop circumnavigation under sail in
history (48 days, seven hours and 45 minutes) to claim the Trophée Jules
Verne while eclipsing a record - by more than two days and eight hours -
that had stood for five years.
“I am honored to receive the US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award,”
said Honey upon hearing the news. “It is humbling to read through the list
of previous winners. As an American, it was an unexpected opportunity and
honor to be asked to sail with the legendary all-French Groupama offshore
multihull crew. Groupama 3’s success in the Jules Verne is a tribute to
Franck Cammas’ leadership and the seamanship of the entire crew.”
2010 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year:
Having been shortlisted for the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award for the
sixth consecutive year, Snipe Women’s World Champion Anna Tunnicliffe
(Plantation, Fla.) has become the first woman in the award’s history to earn
it three consecutive years. Only two women have won the Rolex Yachtswoman of
the Year title more: JJ Fetter Isler (1986, ‘ 91, ’97, ’00) and Betsy
Alison, whose five honors (1981, ’82, ’84, ’93 and ‘98) have eclipsed even
Ted Turner’s four title wins, the most for any American man.
In 2009, Tunnicliffe, previously ranked number one in the world in the Laser
Radial, committed to a match racing campaign in the Elliott 6 Metre with a
goal of racing in the 2012 Olympic Games. In just two years she has moved
from 36th to fourth in the match race rankings - a clear demonstration that
her goal is within reach. “I knew it would be tough to get it this year, so
it was a great surprise when I heard the news,” said Tunnicliffe. “I have to
thank my teammates for this year. It was a group effort at the Snipe Worlds
and all of the match racing events. Molly [Vandemoer] and Debbie [Capozzi]
are fantastic crew and played a huge part in this award!”
HOW THE RICH GET RICHER
Larry Ellison had more to celebrate on the evening of Dec. 31 than the
coming new year. The deal his yacht racing team signed that afternoon to
bring the America’s Cup race to San Francisco in 2013 was much sweeter than
the one The City floated just weeks before.
In negotiations with The City that occurred after the billionaire’s team
made good on a threat to begin simultaneous negotiations with Rhode Island,
Oracle Racing secured several potentially lucrative concessions.
The changes included elimination of a guarantee that The City would earn a
small share of the revenues from the sale of condominiums to eventually be
constructed on a waterfront property south of the Bay Bridge.
The City also clarified how it will get the state to lift restrictions on
the 2-acre property so it can be sold outright to Ellison’s development
team. And that team now has more flexibility about what it does with the $55
million it has agreed to invest in city property.
On Dec. 14, after a host of last-minute changes, the Board of Supervisors
unanimously approved a host-city agreement that gave the mayor wiggle room
to keep negotiating as long as The City wouldn’t have to spend any extra
money. Yet the approval didn’t prohibit city officials from negotiating away
potential income. -- SF Examiner, read on:
SUBSTANTIALLY ENHANCED: (January 5, 2011) - The America’s Cup Event
Authority, the organization tasked with running the 34th edition, today
announced its on-shore plans for the Challenger Selection Series for the
Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup Finals at a public celebration held
at San Francisco’s famed City Hall. New elements include new course formats
to create tight, tactical racing that showcases the speed of the boats and
the skill of the sailors, enhanced online broadcasting to deliver a
personalized viewer experience, and new broadcast formats including magazine
programs, reality formats and racing packaged for live television. -- Full
WINGS AND KAMIKAZE PILOTS
(January 5, 2011) - With the first race of the Zhik Moth Worlds to commence
on Saturday, all competitors are fine tuning their boats in preparation for
what is shaping up to be the most interesting Moth World Championship to
date. There is a flood of sailing talent turning up amongst the 115 entries
from 10 countries that have come to Lake Macquarie in Belmont, NSW,
There has been a great amount of debate around the world about the solid
wing sail that 2009 World Champion Bora Gulari (USA) has helped develop.
With a class purposely guided by few rules, leaders debated whether the wing
had gone too far for this development fleet. Said Class president Mark
Robinson (SIN), “Hydrofoils have been a great success, but incurred a
significant cost increase upon their introduction, so we have to be careful
how many major revolutions we have, versus constant evolution.”
When the dust settled, the class leaned on its philosophy of ‘retrospective
legislation’ and will allow the wings to fly at the worlds ... and defer
their long term ruling for another day. Whether the wing will replace the
soft sail is yet to be determined, with the rig getting its first taste of
competition at the Australian Nationals this week (January 5-6).
American Chris Rast reports: “Obviously one of the big questions is: Will we
actually race with the Wing? Answer: Yes and No. Our testing phase was too
short to really validate all points and get comfortable to race with the
wing. Nevertheless Charlie McKee (USA) is biting the bullet and is committed
to sail the Australian Nationals and the Worlds with the wing. Together with
Rob Patterson they have worked hard to get all systems working well and
finding better downwind speed. Successfully so far actually! Every day
Charlie has been going better.”
If the first day of racing at Aussie Nationals is any indication of what to
expect at the Worlds next week, overall success may rely heavily on one’s
survival skills. With a record-breaking 101 foiling Moths on the Nationals
start line today, and the fight to foil being the name of the game, the
fleet was chock-full of kamikaze port-tackers risking it all for lift off at
the favored pin end. “The starts are insane,” noted American Matt Knowles.
“Even with a huge line things are crowded and chaotic. A number of people
ran port tack starts, which seemed more than a little suicidal. Nearly all
of them fouled a few people as they picked their way through, but no one
seems to care in this fleet, so it will continue until there is a major
Chris Rast: http://fasterandhigher.blogspot.com/
Matt Knowles: http://knowlesmoth.blogspot.com/
NO MATTER THE SEASON
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PHILOSOPHICAL ABOUT BEING SLOW
(January 5, 2011: Day 6) All but one of the fourteen IMOCA 60s competing in
the Barcelona World Race have put the Mediterranean behind them and crossed
into the Atlantic. Hugo Boss hopes to complete the exit of the Med by the
morning, but their missteps already find them 342 nm behind leader
“I think one thing in this race just now is to remind each other of the
extreme length of the race,” observes Hugo Boss co-skipper Wouter Verbraak
(NED). “This boat was designed, built and developed to reach its potential
in reaching in stronger winds in the major types of weather systems all
around the globe. We always knew this is the light winds part of the race
and the boat is not liking it, so we remind each other of that and keep the
course distance clear in our heads; that is very important.”
After the clear divisions between the fleet through the Med section of the
race - north (bust) or south (boom) - the Atlantic looks set to see some
more subtle distinctions. The skippers cannot yet entirely relax into an
unadulterated Atlantic sprint thanks to a large, slow-moving low pressure
system currently heading north-east and expected to bring squalls and a
northerly shift by Thursday morning.
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
* (January 5, 2011; Day 21) - The solo Eco 60 skippers in the VELUX 5 OCEANS
have thus far survived the first significant storm on their second leg from
South Africa to New Zealand. The forecast of 40 knots of breeze and giant
swells lived up to its billing, but no problems have been reported amid the
Southern Ocean. American Brad Van Liew continues to dominate, stretching his
lead to 336 nm over second placed Derek Hatfield (CAN) with now 2,364 nm to
the finish line in Wellington, New Zealand. -- http://www.velux5oceans.com/
* Mar del Plata, Argentina (January 5, 2011) - Belen Tavella and Franco
Greggi will finally meet Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz on the race course
when the finals for the 2011 29er World Championship begin tomorrow. Sailing
in separate fleets through the qualifying rounds, these two teams have been
in a virtual deadlock at the top of the standings. While the first two days
saw severe conditions, today was more moderate though confused seas
remained. The top 25 teams have advanced to the gold fleet for racing on
Thursday through Saturday. -- Full report/results:
* Langkawi, Malaysia (January 5, 2011) - Following the win by Team Thailand
on Monday at the International Optimist World Team Racing, teammate Noppakao
Poonpat has now grabbed the lead for the Individual World title. As the
first girl last year at the Worlds in Brazil, Noppakao leads an Asian
contingent that holds the top five places amid the 231 competitors. Current
North American champion Christopher Williford leads for his continent but
has slipped to 25th position. Racing concludes Thursday. -- Results:
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free,
self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and
sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this
Jan 8-9 - Etchells Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
Jan 8-9 - Rose Bowl Regatta- Long Beach, CA, USA
Jan 12-14 - Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race - Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of recent
* World’s smallest waterproof MP3 player
* Canfield hired to be sailing manager at CMRC
* Sailing Industry Veteran launches new Online Store
* Lewmar Marine USA Appoints Sales & Marketing Manager
View and/or post Industry News updates here:
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 Roger Willcox: (re, ‘Is Sailing A Sport’)
Your report in Scuttlebutt 3250 missed what I consider the most unique
answer of all. I've been sailing for 83 years, won the Comet Class
Championship in 1935, and other championships before and after WWII -- and
have been racing frostbite dinghies in the Mamaroneck Frostbite Assn fleet
since my brother, Bus Mosbacher, and Howie McMichaell created it in 1957.
A few years ago I even won the annual MFA fleet championship again when I
was 83 years old. Sandy Waters, now in his mid 70s, is winning races and
could be the fleet champion this season.
Is there any other outdoor sport where grandfathers like me, and
grandmothers too, can compete on equal terms with their children and
* From dlawson688: (re, ‘Is Sailing A Sport’)
I am a professional sailor. I have been for awhile now. Most people don't
know much about sailing even though sailing is a strong sport. If people
don't see it on ESPN every night they think it’s not a sport. Hotdog eating,
spelling bees are on ESPN. Are they sports?
The best thing for a person who does not know about sailing to learn about
it is to visit Youtube and take a look at the Volvo Ocean Race, America's
Cup, Vendee Globe, Route De Rhum, Barcelona World Race, Velux 5 Oceans Race,
Fastnet Race, Caribbean 600, Newport to Bermuda, Transpac, etc.
These sailors are in better shape than most other athletes in other sports.
Grinders are stronger than football players, bowman are more athletic that
basketball players, afterguards are smarter than coaches and helms have
better eye hand coordination than tennis players. If you need proof of any
of this, let me know. -- http://tinyurl.com/Yahoo-010511
“If you can't convince them, confuse them.” - Harry S. Truman, 33rd
President of the United States, 1945–1953
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