SCUTTLEBUTT 3301 - Friday, March 18, 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: The Pirates Lair and Harken.
TOP 10 THINGS FOR SAILING FITNESS
Australian Michael Blackburn is a past Laser World Champion and won the
bronze medal in the class at the 1996 Olympics. Blackburn is also has a PhD
in Human Movement Studies, and in 1997 authored Sail Fitter, a book
specific to sailing fitness. With Michael about to release the third
edition of his work, here are some of his top ten things you must do for
sailing fitness - the 2011 version:
Use ice and cold water recovery practices. Remember that you don't get
fitter from training until you get a chance to rest and let the body
rebound. You can recover faster for your next training session using
recovery strategies like cold water immersion.
Some people recommend making the bath really cold (12-15 deg C) but I like
it straight out of the tap (about 18 deg C). I'd sit in the half-full bath,
cooling my back and legs, for 5-8 mins. That usually has me shivering so it
feels like it's enough. While getting in is hard, afterwards you really
feel a difference by way of reduced soreness and faster recovery.
Develop Your Back.
Sailors suffer injuries to their backs more than any other part of the
body. Try to include exercises for your lower back and deep abdominal
muscles every day. There are specific exercises in the book.
Have Stable Shoulders.
After backs, shoulders are sailors' next most injured body part. Sailing
often requires sudden, strong movements of the arms over a large range of
motion and these can trouble the shoulder joints. Serious sailors should
include shoulder stabilization exercises as part of their strength training
Alongside working on your abdominal muscles, work on your hip flexors. Most
of the time when you are sailing, the hip flexors are in a shortened
position so you need to correct that at the end of the day with some
stretches. Hip flexor stretches can help improve your posture, help the
muscles recover and participate in reducing lower back issues
CENTURIES OF SAILORS WEREN'T WRONG
Seasickness is easily one of the worst things you can get on the water. So
what causes it? It's caused because your brain is confused by the input
sensors giving it mixed messages. Your inner ear (which senses motion) is
registering the boat going up and down while the person is looking at the
boat or the waves which are not moving so much in relation to your body.
So how do you treat sea sicknesses? If you know you are susceptible then
there are remedies to take in advance. However, the thing with sea
sicknesses is that nothing really works well once it has set in.
The real goal is to try to keep yourself from becoming sea sick in the
first place and with that, you need to keep your head up and looking
Since the dawn of time, sailors have said that you need to keep your eye on
the horizon to mitigate the effects and it looks like science is finally
catching up with that idea as well. In a recently published article in
Psychological Science they found that staring at the horizon makes people
steadier while at sea.
"It's the people who become wobbly who subsequently become motion sick"
said Thomas Stoffregen, a cognitive scientist at the University of
In the study they measured how much people swayed back and forth both on
land and while standing on a ship. They asked volunteers to stand on a
force plate that measured the amount of natural sway while staring at
either an object about 16 inches in front of them or to focus on the
horizon. They then did the same measurements on a large boat.
What's weird about the results of the study is that on land the volunteers
swayed more while staring at the horizon compared to the close-up object
but the results were the complete opposite while standing on the ship.
Staring at the horizon makes you considerably more stable when on the
So what does this mean? Keep your head up and you will naturally be a lot
steadier (or at least your brain will think so) and somehow your brain is
able to reconcile the conflicting sensor messages if you stare at something
far away. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/Hurl-031711
CLASH OF THE TITANS!
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START/FINISH LINE OBSTRUCTIONS
By Steve Pyatt
There is a recent trend in New Zealand that is very disturbing to me as a
sailor and is one that I can't really approve of as a Race Officer (RO).
That is the banning of boats sailing through the start/finish line on a W/L
course, where the S/F is part way up the course.
This practise effectively puts a huge 'island' in the middle of the course.
Why go to open seas and then restrict the sailing in such a way? The
arguments for it are to:
a. Differentiate clearly between boats racing and those finishing and
b. To avoid boats coming down through the line while others may be
On the first point I would say that any RO worth his/her salt will know
where their fleets are on the track and hence when the leader is really
approaching to finish and on the second point, the normal rules prevent any
issues here as the ones coming down the run are either port tack or
windward hence will always be keeping clear of those starting upwind.
Do ROs realise just how much this practice limits the racing? It is bad
enough upwind by splitting the fleet around a no-go 'island' but is really
bad downwind as it takes out the entire tactical run with passing
opportunities and replaces it with too broad reaches that require guesswork
as to which one is right (and you lose big time if the wind shifts and you
get the wrong option). On a normal run you can gybe each and every time the
wind shifts. On courses that route outside the (often long) line you have
to gybe at the ends of the line; no options.
Diagrammatically this is what we are creating with this practice... read
WHY DO SO MANY BOATS SINK IN THE SPRING?
It's a sad fact: Every spring, shortly after being launched and
commissioned for the season, boats sink while safely tied up at the dock,
turning what should be a good time of the year into a real mess.
BoatUS' Seaworthy magazine, a publication that helps BoatUS members avoid
accidents or injuries, has identified the top five reasons for springtime
sinkings, and has a free Spring Commissioning Checklist to help boaters
start the season right.
The Top Five Reasons Why Boats Sink in the Springtime:
1. Missing or damaged hose clamps: These clamps are often removed in the
fall to winterize the engine, and then forgotten about in the spring when
the boat is launched. Tight spaces in engine compartments make it difficult
to see some unsecured or deteriorated clamps.
2. Unsecured engine hoses: Over the winter, freezing water can lift hoses
off seacocks (valves).
3. Spring rains: Combine heavy rains with leaking ports, deck hatches,
cracked or improperly caulked fittings, chain plates and even scuppers
clogged by leaves and your boat could be on the bottom soon.
4. Broken sea strainer: Glass, plastic and even bronze strainer bowls can
be cracked or bent over in the winter if not properly winterized, allowing
to water trickle in when the seawater intake seacock is in the open
5. Leaking stuffing box: If equipped, a steady drip from an improperly
adjusted stuffing box (the "packing" around the prop shaft) has been known
to swamp a boat.
Here's the BoatU.S. Spring Commissioning Checklist:
This week's contest question is asking about your favorite Olympic and/or
Paralympic sailors. Who is your favorite current campaigner AND who was
your favorite competitor from past Games? Post your response on
Scuttlebutt's Facebook page by Friday noon PT. The winner will be picked at
random to win a pair of Polarized Sailing Sunglasses from Ocean Racing:
RIDING THE YOYO
(March 17, 2011; Day 48) - While it too soon to say the wheels have fallen
off the bus, Thomas Coville is in free fall. His track for the last few
days resembles more like the slash of Antonio Banderas in the 'Mask of
Zorro' than the direct course of the man he is chasing. As Coville admits,
"My boat is damaged and it gives me headaches."
Dealing with mainsail repairs, fatigue, and a huge bubble of high pressure
in the middle of the Atlantic, Coville is barely surviving in a narrow
corridor of wind near the coast of Brazil. He expects to cross the equator
by late Saturday, and is hopeful that the yoyo he is on is ready to jump
back up the string. -- http://www.sodebo-voile.com/
Current position as of March 17, 2011 (22:45 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: - 259.2 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 10.2 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 245.1 nm
Distance remaining: 3911 nm
BACKGROUND: Thomas Coville (FRA) and the 105-foot trimaran Sodebo is
seeking to set a new solo round the world record under sail. Coville began
the attempt Jan. 29th and must cross the finish line off Ushant, France by
March 28, 2011 at 00:40:34 (UTC) to break the record (57:13:34:06) set by
Francis Joyon in 2008 on the 97-foot trimaran IDEC.
JUST RELEASED - HARKEN 1D RESOURCE AND INTERVIEWS
Harken's new online one-design resource is live - filled with parts, deck
layouts, system drawings, and reference materials, bookmark or download
this PDF to help you gear up for the season. Set on equipment? Flip through
so you don't miss the new sailing photography and tips from greats like
Jonathan McKee, Tom Slingsby, Mischa Heemskerk, and Bora Gulari. Check it
out now at http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/556b4ae3#/556b4ae3/1
(March 17, 2011, Day 75) - At the front, Virbac-Paprec 3 remain clear ahead
though MAPFRE have reduced their lead by another 80 miles over the past 24
hours. But race title holder Jean-Pierre Dick together with this year's
co-skipper Loick Peyron (FRA) have the luxury of knowing that their chasing
rivals have yet to experience the same calms of what, for them, has been a
relatively benign Doldrums so far.
"We are still going very slowly and this is just the preamble to the
Doldrums," said Peyron. "We are getting up towards the Doldrums now, but in
fact it goes north with us. That will change. It seems the more west we go
the less there is the chance of getting trapped under the clouds with less
wind." -- Event website: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.com
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), 3180 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 228.3 nm DTL
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1012.7 nm DTL
4. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 1233.4 nm DTL
5. Estrella Damm Sailing Team,Alex Pella/Pepe Rives (ESP/ESP),1277.4 nm DTL
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:
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"If you can't beat 'em, you might as well convince them to join you." --
American 49er skipper Erik Storck, about his teammate Trevor Moore who beat
out Stork as 2007 College Sailor of the Year. Storck and Moore are
currently leading the 2010-11 ISAF Sailing World Cup standings. --
* The victim of a North Kingstown (RI) industrial accident has been
identified. Police say the man who died Tuesday at Composite Rigging was
26-year-old Andrew Pelletier of Glocester. Authorities say Pelletier was
working with a cable under tension when the fastener at one end gave way
and the cable struck Pelletier in the head. He was pronounced dead at the
scene. Another man suffered minor injuries. The Rhode Island Medical
Examiner's Office, the federal Occupational Safety and Health
Administration and North Kingstown police are investigating. Composite
Rigging makes carbon fiber rigging products for yachts. -- Boston Herald,
* The Marine Retailers Association of America is still accepting resumes to
select a new president for the association. All resumes should be presented
to MRAA by March 31 to be considered for the position of association
president. All qualified and interested parties may submit their resumes
via e-mail to email@example.com.
* With anticipation that U.S. President Barack Obama will soon lift the
travel ban on American tourists visiting Cuba, representatives of Cuba,
Jamaica and the Cayman Islands met during the recent Miami International
Boat Show to draft a strategy to handle the predicted influx of boats
heading south. Figures from the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida vessel
registration authorities indicate there are more than 600,000 boats in
Florida alone that are capable of making the 90 mile sea voyage from South
Florida to Cuba. U.S. boats have been barred from visiting Cuba for more
than 50 years and opening a floodgate of vessels would rapidly inundate
Cuba's marinas. -- Full report:
* In response to legislation that has been introduced in Rhode Island to
repeal the sales-tax exemption for boats, state Rep. Richard Morrison is
stressing the importance of the boatbuilding industry to the state's
economy and pledging to fight any attempts to repeal the exemption. A bill
recently introduced in the state Senate would extend the state sales tax to
the sale, storage and use of new and used boats. -- Soundings, read on:
John Bruce McPherson of Hyannisport (MA) passed away peacefully on March
15, 2011. A graduate of The Lawrenceville School and the University of
Virginia, Bruce spent most of his life as a designer. In 1966, Bruce moved
to New York City to work for yacht designer Sparkman and Stephens, becoming
Olin's right-hand man in many ways during the '60s and '70s.
In 1975, he designed and built the Maltese Cat, his own 30' racing yacht.
He later designed and built his dream sailboat, a 36' 20-knot cruising boat
known as CAYUSE. Bruce spent his recent years on Cape Cod exploring his
interest in responsible wind energy.
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 19, at Union
Chapel, 15 Wachusett Ave., Hyannisport. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may
be sent to Cape Cod Maritime Museum, 135 South St., Hyannis, MA 02601,
designated for the "McPherson Sailing Skiff Project." --
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Bruce was a frequent contributor to Scuttlebutt.
He will be missed.
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include a belated Happy St. Patrick's Day greeting from Ken Read, Kiwis
coming out of the closet, 500 days to the Olympics, disabled sailing, big
bottom sailing, Dhow sailing, rugged sailing, old school sailing, and
sneaker sailing. Here are this week's photos:
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The 31st annual WISSA Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships were held
February 27-March 6 in Oravi, Finland, with racers from 15 countries
competing in a variety of classes and race course configurations. This is
as close to the Winter X Games as sailing gets, and is the longest running
competition for windsurfing and kite sailing, much longer than its soft
water breathren. Here are a few well produced short videos from the event:
BONUS 1: Part three of an interview that Harken USA CEO Bill Goggins had
with Harry C. 'Buddy' Melges, Jr., widely considered to be among the
greatest sailors ever to compete in the sport of sailing:
BONUS 2: You don't need to understand German to enjoy the footage from this
video from the DN European Championship 2011 in Estonia:
BONUS 3: If Bono from U2 was announcing this next video it might go
something like this: "There's been a lot of talk about stadium
sailing....maybe, maybe too much talk. Stadium sailing is not a rebel
event; it is Sunday...epic Sunday." And so it goes, where stadium sailing
happens every Sunday in Sydney harbor for the fleet of 18-foot skiffs and
crowds of spectators that gather to see this circus of sailing each summer:
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.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 Peter Johnstone, Gunboat: (re, 5O5 story in Scuttlebutt 3300)
My impression is that a small handful of super-crews have been the key to
success in 505's. Asym's will level the playing field amongst the fleet,
and I suspect, attract new teams. Look at all of the skiffies out there who
have gotten older and are maybe not so willing to stand up all day. Being
able to catch your breath between races, and maybe even have a lunch
sitting down is a pretty nice luxury. 505's with sprits and
* From Adrian Morgan: (re, Olympic ticket story in Scuttlebutt 3300)
As one who spent much of the '80s, and too much of the early '90s watching
Olympic classes going round triangles in the middle of nowhere, I can
confirm that even at close range (I was more often than not on a RIB) it
was hardly gripping.
Even those in the know were usually at a loss as to who would pop out at
the top mark, and even at the end of the race, when it came to interviewing
the winners, it was more often than not a case of "We hit the pin on the
gun, picked the left/right side on the first beat, found clear air, covered
so-and-so, held him off and crossed the line ahead." Rather like those
athletes who (breathlessly) report how they "Got off the blocks well; kept
on-so-and so's hip; paced myself 'til the bell; kicked hard and dug
deep..." etc, etc, ie the usual sporty b+++++cks.
To pay anything to watch Olympic racing would be daft; but to be in the
dinghy park, talking to sailors, scrutinising gear and boats; marvelling at
the innovative control systems, and just being among the best in the
sport... now that's worth a fortune. As for watching from half a mile away?
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: I concur that the shoreside atmosphere at an
Olympic event is unrivaled. Whereas at most championships, you'll find top
contenders alongside club racers, but at an event like the Rolex Miami OCR
you breathe nothing but excellence. The energy in the boat park, as Adrian
said above, is "worth a fortune."
Bumper sticker on a car: Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Gowrie Group - New England Ropes - North Sails - North U
LaserPerformance - Mount Gay - Doyle Sails - US SAILING
Ullman Sails - Team One Newport - The Pirates Lair - Harken
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