SCUTTLEBUTT 3296 - Friday, March 11, 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: North U and IYRS.
IT'S GOOD BECAUSE IT'S HARD
The 470 has been an Olympic class since the 1976 Games. The event was
initially an open class, but since the 1988 Games there have been separate
events for men and women. The current proposal for the 2016 Olympics is for
the 470 to be used in a coed event.
There are some that question why the 470 is used at all. It is nearly a 50
year old design, and with high performance skiffs providing exciting
doublehanded options, why do the Olympics continue to support this class?
Perhaps because the boat is hard to sail.
Thirty-one year old Australian Nathan Wilmot is a five time 470 class World
Champion, and he along with Malcolm Page dominated the 470 event at the 2008
Summer Olympics. Nathan has retired from the class, and is now more likely
to be found at the elite keelboat events. He just returned home from Miami
where he won the Melges 32 regatta as tactician with Morgan Reeser (470
silver medalist, 1992 Games) on mainsheet for John Kilroy and the crew of
Samba Pa Ti.
While he is enjoying the keelboat competition, he clearly respects the
foundation he gained in the Olympic class.
"470 sailors are sought after for the skills they bring," observed Nathan.
"For example, knowing how to tune a boat and make it go fast. Also, the
tactical style of 470 sailing is very similar to big boats. You see the 470
legends around the world. Guys like Dave Ullman (USA) in various different
fleets. Jordi Califat (ESP) is a pretty sought after person. I'm often
racing against Gabrio Zandona (ITA) in different parts of the world sailing
Melges and Farr 40s. You definitely see a lot of ex 470 sailors being in the
main core of the afterguard on a lot of keel boats making them go fast. In
New Zealand you've got guys like Murray Jones, Peter Evans, Chris Dickson,
and Mike Drummond all coming out of 470s."
The value of the 470, according to Nathan, is in its complexity. "You need
to understand how the rig works and how the sails set up and then adapt your
sailing technique to get the most out of it - like when to be vanging and
when not to be, when to drop the rig back or when to rake the centerboard.
The fine-tune makes a difference all the way around the race course. The
challenge is knowing the timing of that and being able to race at the same
time - this is where that next step to be with the top guys is made. --
Complete interview: http://www.470.org/content.asp?id=2446
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: While there are not many 470s in North America, it
would seem that experience gained in the 505 and Snipe classes would be
hugely valuable if preparing for this Olympic event.
DAY 1 BACARDI MIAMI SAILING WEEK
Miami, FL (March 10, 2011) - It was 'game on' for sailors in the Melges 24,
Melges 20, Viper 640 and J/24 classes as they headed out to Biscayne Bay for
their first day of competition at the 2011 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
presented by EFG Bank. Unfortunately, action for the Star teams competing in
the 84th edition of the Bacardi Cup was curtailed today after a severe
thunderstorm threat was issued by the National Weather Service. While the
course utilized by the Stars was further offshore, the other classes were
competing on two circles closer to shore where the overall conditions
delivered water that was surprisingly smoother than yesterday when there had
been high chop due to a strong south-southeasterly wind.
"We've got a front coming in that went through Orlando and we've got a
feeling that this is all going to turn nasty real quick," said skipper
Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) after the Stars were cancelled.
"Obviously, a lot of sailors are disappointed and want to go out.
Ultimately, we understand the decision from the race committee which is
concerned for the safety of the fleet, especially if lightning and other
things become a factor out there. The next couple days of Star sailing are
going to be big moving days for a lot of people, so we're going to get out
there, stay focused, and do our best."
Sharing one course, the two Melges fleets were up first, with the Viper 640s
and J/24s sharing racing on a second course. Breeze from the south around 15
knots greeted the fleets, along with a sharp drop in temperature as a cold
front made its way across the bay.
In the 35-boat Melges 24 class, the first win of the series went to Lorenzo
Bressani (Milan, Italy). Alan Field (Los Angeles, Calif.) sailing with
tactician Steve Hunt (San Diego) and crew Sarah Curran, Jeff Reynolds and
Erik Shampain placed second, with Riccardo Simoneschi (Milan, Italy) taking
third. -- Full story: http://www.miamisailingweek.com/news.html
* Americans Andrew Campbell and Brad Nichol are campaigning the Olympic Star
Class for Weymouth 2012. Campbell reports on his blog from the Bacardi Cup:
(March 9, 2011) - After a fast start to the series down here we've slowed
down to a complete stop on Wednesday at the Bacardi Cup. We fought hard from
a top mark rounding in the 30s in race 2 Tuesday and made gains into the 20
range, but gave away a few boats on the final beat to finish 26th in the
race. Today was a bit breezier 12-15 knots out of the east but certainly
Unfortunately we are new to the marks and references on this week's borrowed
boat and let the mast get away from us a little in the warm up gybe before
the start. The rig inverted and strained under the load. Instead of breaking
the port spreader twisted in its bracket and put an end to our day of
sailing before the race even started. Fortunately (very fortunately) we were
able to sail back to the dock and the mast was durable enough to retain
shape with no dents, kinks, bends or breaks. Read on: --
Enrollment is limited to 40 at the eleventh annual North U Performance Race
Week to be held with Offshore Sailing School in Captiva Florida, April 3-9.
Six days of on-the-water racing. A coach on each boat. Great fun and a great
education. Just ask the 40 sailors who were lucky enough to attend last
Visit http://tinyurl.com/RaceWeekXI or call 888-454-7015.
JOINING THE CIRCUS
On March 12, 2011, a sailing event will begin which is unlike any other in
the world. The event will draw hundreds of sailors representing the US,
Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Australia and Argentina. Is it another
"Olympic" training regatta? The launch of another "Grand Prix" pro sailing
event? They only wish!
This weekend the annual Lightning Southern Circuit will begin with 14 races
scheduled at 3 venues (Savannah, Miami, St. Petersburg) over 9 days to test
the mettle of both seasoned class veterans and an influx of new talent who
have recently caught the Lightning bug and are launching their maiden
The Lightning Southern Circuit is a marathon, a sprint, a family vacation, a
training ground for PanAm Games hopefuls, a serious competition and a
serious party all rolled into one. This year will feature at least 4 PanAm
country qualifiers, 6 NA Champions, 2 World Champions and a litany of fun
loving, talented sailors.
Also, the ILCA 2011 Boat Grant Committee will announce this year's
recipients at the annual midwinter banquet on March 19 at St. Petersburg
Yacht Club. They will join the 50+ other sailors who have received grants
over the past 5 years. -- Details: http://tinyurl.com/4c4an6h
PUMA OCEAN RACING INTRODUCES VOLVO CREW
Boston, MA (March 10, 2011) - PUMA Ocean Racing Powered by Berg Propulsion
announced today the complete roster of crew members for the Volvo Ocean Race
2011-2012. Skipper Ken Read has amassed 10 of the most elite off-shore
sailors from across the globe to compete in the "Mount Everest of sailing,"
a 39,000 nautical mile ocean race stopping in ten ports of call over the
course of nine months.
The team is currently training aboard George David's and Alex Jackson's 100'
Maxi Rambler100, which most recently broke the Caribbean 600 course record.
The new PUMA Volvo Open 70 racing boat comes out of the shed in early
spring. Once the new boat is launched, the crew will bring the boat to Miami
for on and offshore training. In July, Read and his crew will participate in
the Transatlantic Race beginning in Newport, Rhode Island and finishing in
Plymouth, England. The training program will finish when the boat is brought
to Alicante, Spain in October for the race start.
Cumulatively, the management and sailing team for PUMA Ocean Racing shares a
level of success difficult to match with 22 Volvo Ocean Race entries and 20
America's Cup editions. Collectively, the core team holds seven 24-hour mono
hull speed records and has won the Around the World Race seven times. --
Meet the PUMA crew: http://tinyurl.com/4judr96
GET A REPUTATION
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A LONG TERM STRATEGY THAT HAS PAID OFF
(March 10, 2011, Day 70) - Since they rounded Cape Horn last Thursday,
Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron have have remained faithful to their
strategy for tackling the Saint-Helena anticyclone despite the come-back of
Mapfre. Today they have benefitted from this move east. In the 15:00 hour
ranking, Virbac-Paprec 3 has a 347 mile lead on Mapfre, which is caught in
the centre of this high pressure. The French duo are now making headway to
Said Jean-Pierre: "We chose to sail east of the Saint-Helena anticyclone,
avoiding getting too close to the centre of this high pressure area where
there's no wind. We sailed round it at a distance of roughly 200 miles. Our
calculation was a good one. It was a wager; we bet on a long term strategy
favouring safety. In these conditions you must accept the "bungee effect",
i.e. you give away miles to widen the gap later."
Regarding Mapfre's position, the Virbac-Paprec skipper said, "The Spanish
duo have got too close to the centre of the anticyclone. They are
progressing slowly. They are fighters and they attacked. You can understand
this. We won the Saint-Helena battle, but there're still many miles ahead of
us and lots of tricks to play. They won't give up!" -- Event website:
Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20:01:03)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 4773 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 414.8 nm DTL
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1225.2 nm DTL
4. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 1558 nm DTL
5. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Rives (ESP/ESP), 1684.9 nm
Full Rankings: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/ranking/
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
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include Open 60s, Etchells, RC44s, Wetas, Big Boats, and DNs. Here are this
week's photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/11/0311/
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
This is a big year for Olympic and Paralympic sailors. Right now, everyone
has a chance to represent their country at the 2012 Games. But by the end of
this year, most countries will have selected their representatives that will
compete at the Games in Weymouth, England.
For the US Sailing Team Alphagraphics, they produced this video from the
2010 events which highlights the energy and effort that exists within this
level of sailing, and provides a look at many of the sailors that have made
the extreme commitment to be selected to represent the United States next
Prepare for goose bumps... click here for this week's video:
BONUS 1: Sailboat racing as a stadium sport came to San Diego Bay on March
2-6 for the inaugural Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego. This was the launch for the
2011 RC44 championship tour, with 11 high-performance teams competing within
the confines of the bay venue. Here are five daily highlight videos:
BONUS 2: It's not easy to get Russell Coutts to sit for an interview, but
Chris Love of Sailgroove laid in wait and successfully landed the big game
during the Oracle RC44 Cup in San Diego. Here is his three part interview:
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
SUPPORTING TWO GREAT CAUSES
Scuttlebutt has launched a new T-Shirt that promotes sailing with one of the
Curmudgeon's Observations, but also proudly displays the pink ribbon symbol
that's the international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Please join
Scuttlebutt in supporting two great causes, with all the proceeds going to
breast cancer research. All Scuttlebutt gear can be purchased at the
Scuttlebutt Store: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/store
* (March 10) - Defending champion Steve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team
Sam Newton and Scott Babbage dominated Race 5 of the Winning Appliances JJ
Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship sailed in light winds on Sydney Harbour
today. Gotta Love It 7 defeated Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (TFL) by 2m18s and
now trails TFL by just one point. Third place today went to Western
Australia's SLAM, which finished a further 1m6s behind TFL. On overall
points US champion Howie Hamlin and his CST Composites team are in third on
16 points, followed by SLAM, also on 16 points. -- Full story:
* (March 9, 2011) - After 5 races at the Flying Scot Midwinters hosted by
the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Andrew Egan maintains an 11 point lead in his
effort to join his father, brother, and uncle in placing his name on the
Mary Meno trophy as the winner of the 42 boat championship division. John
Aras, Chris Morgan, Chris Wientjes, & Robbie Brown all posted a string of
top 10 finishes, and are within 6 points of each other. 5 races have been
completed over 2 days with racing called off for Thursday due to the passing
line of thunderstorms and following northwesterly. Racing is expected to
resume Friday with 2-3 races to be completed to finish the series. In the 21
boat challenger division, Ronald Kiss has put together a string of top 3
finishes to hold a 7 point lead over Chuck Howting. -- Event website:
* The USA Snipe Sailboat Class has finalized the team that will represent
the USA Snipe Class in the 2011 World Championship. The event will be held
August 6 thru 13 in Rungsted, Denmark.The team is a mix of new faces, young
adults and veteran Snipe sailors; Rick Arneson, San Diego, CA, Carol Cronin,
Newport, RI, Augie Diaz, Miami FL, Doug Hart, San Diego, CA, Eric Heim, San
Diego, CA, Brian Kamilar, Miami, FL, Ernesto Rodriguez, Miami, FL, Tyler
Sinks, San Diego, CA, and Nick Voss, Miami, FL.The team was determined based
on the top finishing sailors at the 2010 Nationals in Annapolis, the Silver
Cup at Lake Carlyle, IL and the Carolyn Nute Memorial Regatta in San Diego.
Ernesto Rodriguez qualified as the reigning Western Hemisphere and Orient
Champion. -- Details at: http://www.snipeus.org
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: Andy Rice, sailjuiceblog.com (re, Scuttlebutt 3295):
* If Larry Suter has "coached all the Olympic classes", where did he manage
to glean his misinformation about the 49er? The 49er started out with four
class builders - Vanguard, Bethwaite, Ovington and Mackay. After initially
ordering boats from all four builders, the majority of 49er sailors started
to home in on Ovington and Mackay as their most favoured suppliers. They
voted with their wallets. And so today the class has two high quality,
independent builders on opposite sides of the world - Ovington in the UK and
Mackay in New Zealand - supplying beautifully built boats.
How exactly does this fit the definition of a 'monopoly'? A good number of
World and Olympic medals have been won by both manufacturers, surely less of
a so-called monopoly than the Finn, where the Devoti has dominated major
competition for the best part of 20 years.
And then "49er hulls that still fall apart", Larry? I wasn't aware they'd
even started falling apart. I sailed the class from 1997 to 2004 and never
heard of boats falling apart. If I wanted to go club racing in a 49er again,
I'd happily buy my original hull, No.248 from 1997, and go racing. And masts
that break? Well, yes, they can break, but not all that often. I broke two
masts in eight years of sailing, both times due to bouncing the rig on the
sea floor. As in most classes, the times when 49er rigs break are usually
due to operator error.
* From Marc Jacobi:
Greg Sieck, wrote, "...I would like to sail a moth. But I race Stars,
because they're hard."
I challenge Greg (and everyone else) to sail a Moth and not conclude it is
"hard, technical and the sailors are tops." The boats are also a total BLAST
* From Chris Bulger (re, Scuttlebutt 3294):
Wow, pretty confusing piece. What does "easy to sail" mean in an Olympic
context - please name a boat in which it would be easy to beat Dennis Conner
or Russell Coutts at the Olympics. It is "easy" to run in circles - not easy
to win the gold in the mile - that's what the Olympics are about.
The Star is a great technical boat - very old technology - and very
expensive even by sailing standards let alone Olympic Equipment. What you
seem to be saying is that you want sailing to be the sport where "paying
dearly" means spending the most money on equipment instead of focusing the
challenge on the competitors skills and athleticism.
As a reasonably well-off not-so-fit old guy I appreciate your support. But
you are missing the point of the Olympics and certainly not working to open
up sailing. If we want sailing to fit in at the Olympics, then it is time
for boats that attract many very fit and talented athletes like on Moths and
Defeat is worse than death because you have to live with defeat.
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