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SCUTTLEBUTT 3305 - Thursday, March 24, 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: Hall Spars & Rigging and Ullman Sails.
OVERHAULING A PROGRAM
It's hard to recall what the U.S. Sailing Team looked like before its
chairman Dean Brenner took over after the 2004 Olympics. It's that
different! Dean and his committee, along with the team administers and
coaches, have succeeded in changing the program's culture, are providing
more funding and services, and have developed a younger and more
accomplished team of athletes.
Dean has his detractors, but that's what happens when overhauling a
program. He's an intoxicating cheerleader for the team, fueled in part by
his own Olympic campaign experience. Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck met
with Dean recently, where the discussion covered the U.S. Olympic program,
youth sailing development, and one design sailing in the U.S., and the
motivation needed to become an Olympic athlete. Here are some excerpts:
* On presenting the team to the public:
"We talk about our key audiences. One audience is the fans, one audience is
the sponsors, and the third audience is the donors. In the middle of the
triangle is the team. And we think of the team as the vehicle through which
we can bring donors, sponsors, and fans together. Having a greater and
broader level of awareness of not only who are athletes are, but what
classes they sail in, and how well they are doing and what their prospects
are has positive impacts for all aspects of the program. We are spending
more time and money on this level of promotion than we ever have before and
we think it's working. The level of awareness is definitely going up, but
we are not yet where we need to be."
* On judging the Olympic and youth program:
"At the end of the day the vast majority of people will judge a program
like ours by its success every four years. And we haven't shied away from
that. We have actually embraced it. I think it is one way of showing people
that we are focused on our true mission. But when my eight years are over
in 18 months, regardless of how many medals we win, I'll look at the
program and judge it in some additional ways. Are we heading a program that
is more sustainable, that has broader support, that has a better
collaborative training culture among the athletes? Absolutely! It used to
be where every kid and every team had to recreate everything for
themselves, from beginning to end. That's no longer the case. For the young
kid with the Olympic dream, the reality is that if you do a good job
building a program, more of these kids can actually have a realistic chance
at pursuing that dream because there is a program there to support them.
And that is what we are trying to do."
* On preparing today's youth for the Olympics:
"When you take a kid that comes out of a college program where they have
been highly successful, but has not had exposure to Olympic sailing, you
know that that sailor is going to understand getting to the first wind
shift, they're going to understand boat handling, they're going to
understand the starting line, they're going to understand mark roundings,
and they're probably going to understand their rules fairly well. But they
are not going to understand long course tactics, they're going to need to
learn more about tuning a rig and sail selection and maintaining a boat.
And they're going to have to learn plenty about managing their own
VIDEO: Watch the complete interview here:
DESIGN TRENDS PROVE HARD ON BOATS AND CREW
By Bruce Nelson, Nelson/Marek Yacht Design
Much has been said and written about the attrition of 9 of the 15 big boats
from the latest Newport-to-Cabo Race, but I have yet to hear anyone mention
what I consider the major reason for the high rate of drop outs -
sea-kindliness, or the lack thereof.
The simple fact is that the large modern light displacement hull forms,
ranging from the 70 foot sleds spawned in the 1980's to the even lighter
and beamier modern IRC hull forms, and even the latest Volvo 70
Around-the-World race boats, are far less sea-kindly than their heavier and
narrower predecessors when sailing into head seas.
One doesn't need a PhD in Naval Architecture to recognize that these
lighter and faster, flat-bottomed hull forms are going to experience
greater accelerations, and decelerations, while slamming in waves - and the
longer, faster boats are going to slam harder than the shorter, slower
ones. Then add 10+ tons of lead suspended on a 10+ foot steel strut below
the hull, and watch the dynamic loads and motions spike through the roof!
These design characteristics are not only hard on the boat structural
engineers, and the rig and rigging, but the onboard crewmembers get to
enjoy the benefits as well. The fact is that aside from Bella Mente's rig
failure, and a frighteningly loud mast tie-rod failure onboard Orient
Express, it appears there was very little actual structural damage amongst
the fleet, but many were concerned about safety and personal injury due to
the violent motion in the rough seas - with good reason.
Interestingly, when the Storm Trysail and Transpacific Yacht Clubs
developed the (now defunct) STP 65 Class, there was consideration given
towards a more sea-kindly set of design parameters, in lieu of the lighter
and beamier version which was ultimately selected. Apparently there was
more market interest in going faster off the wind than in performance and
comfort while thrashing upwind - which parallels the direction that the
Volvo boats and others have gone.
Today, many races which were once a test of seamanship are now more often a
test of nerves, and the physical stamina of the crew. Every ship in the US
Navy is designed to meet minimum sea-kindliness standards so that the
sailors are not routinely injured, or seasick beyond all usefulness.
Perhaps yacht racers need to consider some similar criteria.
And finally, I would like to nominate octogenarian Lindy Thomas as the
tough-old-guy-of-the-week award winner for completing the Cabo race onboard
his 70 foot sled Condor - nice going, Lindy!
* Event website: http://www.nhyccaborace.com
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NEXT GENERATION OF OPEN OCEAN RACERS
In announcing the members of its 2011 sailing roster, The All-American
Offshore Team (AAOT) is setting a course for a new generation of sailors to
move into open ocean racing.
Leading by example, the AAOT hopes to jumpstart a movement to foster youth
opportunities in offshore racing as they will do aboard the STP65 Vanquish
which will compete in four key events this year: the 66th Storm Trysail
Club's Around Block Island Race; the Annapolis to Newport Race; the
Transatlantic Race (Newport, R. I. to The Lizard, England) and the Rolex
AAOT is committed to providing "high-performance offshore training
opportunities for an up and coming generation of American ocean racing
leaders" and went through a detailed selection process before making final
team selections for 2011. Here they are:
Benjamin Allen (Newport, R.I.), age 24
Benjamin Quatromoni (Tiverton, R.I.), age 24
Charlie Enright (Bristol, R.I.), age 26
Chris Branning (Pace, Fla.), age 25
Chris Welch (Gross Pointe, Mich.), age 23
Colin Orsini (Seattle, Wash.), age 27
David Rasmussen (Novato, Calif.), age 24
Jesse Fielding (Wickford, R. I.), age 24
Kaity Storck (Huntington, N. Y.), age 23
Mark Towill (Kaneohe, Hawaii), age 22
Matt Noble (Richmond, Calif.), age 25
Molly Robinson (San Francisco, Calif.), age 23
Nate Fast (Noank, Conn.), age 19
Pat Showell (Sweetwater, N. J.), age 24
Full report: http://allamericanoffshoreteam.org/?p=573
COLLEGE CHAMP GOES TO SCHOOL ON PROS
Long Beach, CA (March 23, 2011) - Anyone who felt sorry for young Taylor
Canfield after his winless opening day in the 47th Congressional Cup should
get their sympathy refunded. The 23-year-old match racing waif from the
U.S. Virgin Islands followed his 0-7 West Coast debut with a 4-1 record
Wednesday that was better than anyone else could manage, except overall
leader and defending champion Francesco Bruni of Italy, who stands alone at
10-1 as the competition advances into the second round robin leading to the
"I think our whole team was more comfortable in the boat," said Canfield,
who is not only new to the boats but the territory. "It's our first time on
the [Catalina 37s] and our first time out here." Representing Boston
College, Canfield is the reigning Collegiate Match Racing National
Canfield opened with a stunning one-second photo finish against the veteran
Dave Perry and followed with wins over Ficker Cup winner Simone Ferrarese
of Italy, his only loss against Finland's Staffan Lindberg and then wins
against---whoa!---Great Britain's Ian Williams and Sweden's Johnie
OK, he beat Williams while he was carrying a foul for letting his spinnaker
halyard catch the starting flag on the race committee boat. But as the race
proceeded, Williams missed one of the many mark change signals on a shifty
afternoon and sailed to the wrong windward mark. Williams said, "We had to
do two jibes coming into the [leeward] mark and everybody was busy."
Then Canfield beat Berntsson when he responded to go with a 50-degree wind
shift before his opponent did. Certainly, Canfield's day was brighter than
the weather that deteriorated from bright sun and light, shifty wind to
overcast, a light drizzle and even lighter wind, none of which diminished
Bruni (10-1) broke away from a three-way tie at the top as Williams and
France’s Mathieu Richard—each 3-2 for the day—remained on his heels
at 9-2. In fact, they are the only three with winning records, raising speculation
on who will sail the fourth boat into the semifinals. At the moment it’s wide open.
Standings after 11 of 18 flights
1. Francesco Bruni, Italy, 10-1
2. Mathieu Richard, France, 9-2
2. Ian Williams, Great Britain, 9-2
4. Dave Perry, USA, 5-6
4. Simone Ferrarese, Italy, 5-6
6. Johnie Berntsson, Sweden, 4-7
6. Staffan Lindberg, Finland, 4-7
6. Taylor Canfield, U.S. Virgin Islands, 4-7
10. Evgeny Neugodnikov, Russia, 3-8
10. Phil Robertson, New Zealand, 3-8
LIVE UPDATES: Live video is available during the races and the press
conference, with T2P producing a highlight video at the end of each day:
FREE, FREE, FREE: Another way to familiarize yourself with match racing is
with the FREE "Welcome to Match Racing with Dave Perry" available for at
NorthU.com Thanks to the support of an anonymous donor this 45 minute DVD
is available FREE in North America. 2800 free DVDs have been distributed
since it was introduced last summer. Free postage and handling included:
AUDI GETS RIPPED
Amid a backdrop of an amateur sport where pickle dishes and personal
satisfaction remain the primary prizes, the continued growth of sponsorship
and professional sailing leads to unintended consequences.
The Melges 32 class hosts the four event Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series in
Italy. Audi has increasingly become a sponsor in a sport that does not have
many prominent international brands. But at the first event of the 2011
series in Naples, Italy, the winner of the event protested their support.
The 22-boat event was won by Mascalzone Latino with Francesco Bruni and
Paolo Masserdotti. This is the same team that is the Challenger of Record
for the 34th America's Cup, led by Italian Vincenzo Onorato. But Paolo was
onboard in place of Vincenzo who did not to attend the event.
"I'm very sorry to not have seen you in Naples, I envied you very much for
the fantastic races you had in my hometown," said Vincenzo. "I personally
apologize if we did not attend the prize giving. This was not a lack of
appreciation towards yourselves, with which I share the passion of this
wonderful sport, but an open challenge against the organizing club, and
more generally against Audi.
"The club has opposed the opening of our sailing school for disadvantaged
children living in the slums and Audi has not honored its contractual
obligation by paying the sponsorship for the Louis Vuitton Trophy (note:
the team had been rebranded 'Mascalzone Latino Audi Team') that was due to
us. We will not take part to any award of the circuit until Audi will
settle his debt."
American John Kilroy with tactician Nathan Wilmot (AUS) on Samba Pa Ti
finished second. The second event of the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series will
be in Scarlino, Italy on April 29 - May 1. -- Scuttleblog,
"DISASTER AREA" STRIKES FIRST AT SAN DIEGO NOOD
Congratulations to Chris Winnard, Ryan Lorence and Ben Amen who dominated
the 13-boat Viper 640 class last weekend at the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD
in San Diego. Despite the range of conditions thrown at competitors
throughout the three-day event, Winnard's Viper "Disaster Area" won seven
of the ten races and didn't have to sail the last race. Consistent starts,
excellent crew work and fast sails made this a formidable team. Ullman
Sails customer Tim Carter also had a solid performance, finishing third
overall after a strong finish in the breeze on Sunday.
Ullman Sails - invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
(March 23, 2011, Day 81) - The tension of looking behind was also evident
for race leaders Virbac Paprec 3 today, as Loick Peyron (FRA) admitted to
"pleading in front of the computer like a muppet!" every time a position
report came in. The French leading duo have added just 17 miles to their
advantage over MAPFRE in the past 24 hours, as Iker Martinez and Xabi
Fernandez (ESP) pile on the pressure.
But when it comes to their planned strategy for shaking off the Spanish
pair around an imminent high pressure system, Peyron would not be drawn,
wryly commenting: "We all know there are two ways to pass a high pressure,
or two sides I should say, and we have to choose one side, in a few days,
but you are not going to know what side we're going to choose, that's for
sure!" -- 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), 2089 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 249.8 nm DTL
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1071.3 nm DTL
4. Estrella Damm Sailing Team,Alex Pella/Pepe Rives (ESP/ESP),1220.8 nm DTL
5. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 1258.8 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:
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
Mar 24-27 - International Rolex Regatta - Cowpet Bay, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
Mar 24-27 - St Barths Bucket Regatta - Gustavia, St Barths, French W.I.
Mar 25-27 - 37th Annual Orange Peel Regatta - Jacksonville, 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
* Navtec Anti Torsion Stay
* Tom Derecktor joins Hall Spars as COO
* Samson Awarded for Outstanding Service
View and/or post Industry News updates here:
ON ASSIGNMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN
For 38 years, the International Rolex Regatta has been a racing getaway
that is as much about serious competition as it is about the festive yet
relaxed Caribbean experience that host St. Thomas Yacht Club has created
around it. The three-day event is scheduled for March 25-27, and features
race courses that accentuate the coastal beauty of the U.S. Virgin Islands
as well as shore-side gatherings that remind visitors why "tropical" and
"paradise" go so well together.
Local Paul Stoeken, who represented the USVI in the windsurfing event at
the 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney) Olympics, owns Island Sol, a sailing
school on the beach at the Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas. His school has a
fleet of IC 24s, and Stoeken will be competing in the class. "The regatta
provides a training opportunity for my crew, who are also instructors at
the school, plus our participation provides nice exposure for the school."
Photographer Leighton O'Connor is at the International Rolex Regatta on
behalf of Scuttlebutt, and on Wednesday he had the tough assignment of
getting action footage of Paul windsurfing. He mounted a GoPro video camera
to his boom and also jumped in the water with a GoPro. Water was warm and
the action was close.
Full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TQ5ixyC6q8
Regatta website: http://www.rolexcupregatta.com/index2.php
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 John Sangmeister: (re, dropouts in Cabo race)
In other parts of the country they sail in very different boats.
Twenty-three year old sleds preparing for the biennial Transpac are not
ideal platforms for a reefed main and #4 jib, jumping off double overhead
waves at 11 knots. Transplanted TP52s from Europe were built for short
course racing and admiring looks from scantily-clad Italian women, not
rugged conditions in international waters far from the safe womb of Vessel
Assist, much less the US Coast Guard.
Well prepared boats, sailing with highly competent, veteran professional
crews experienced catastrophic failures. The dismasting on Hap Fauth's IRC
69 Bella Mente may now keep them from making this year's Transpac. On the
Santa Cruz 70 OEX, we suffered a broken tie rod which attached the port
shroud base to the mast step. Had we continued, the shroud base would have
pulled out of the deck, leaving 80 feet of carbon in the drink.
I've read discussions from braggarts on the 'other site' who don't know the
facts facing these crews. My advice is to ignore them. That's all I have to
say about that.
* From Theodor Beier:
When I started racing in 1953, the penalty for a foul was retiring, which I
have done because my mentors taught that that was proper. Later, I remember
much debate at then USYRU meetings when the penalty was changed to two
turns as being much too lenient. The goal was rule compliance, but history
demonstrated that it largely failed.
The situation now is a result of our "winning is all that matters" society
that is involved in training recent generations. I began seeing this in
running and judging events for certain international classes in the 1980s.
Sailing should NOT reduce expectations and standards. There are other
actions that US Sailing and race officials can do to encourage compliance:
1. Emphasize the arbitration system and recommend its use to be mandatory.
This will streamline protest hearing activity.
2. Reinstate the rule that if there is boat contact and no protest is filed
nor penalty accepted, both boats be disqualified.
3. Publicize a link between the "I'll let you go if you let me go" attitude
and Rule 69.
4. Limit the number of witnesses that a party to a protest may call, and
make it stated policy to permit the jury to dismiss a witness that is not
5. Make provisions for judges to use Rule 44.1(b) without a hearing similar
to Rule 42, and make 44.1(b) a DNE offense.
6. Do not require a hearing to be stopped for no flag or failure to say the
* From Lou Sandoval, Owner, Karma USA-55367:
I take exception to Elaine Bunting's "Women Need Not Apply" (Scuttlebutt
3303/YACHTING WORLD Blog 3/21). Mandates and quotas don't serve to broaden
boundaries for the sport of sailing. It is after all, a sport.
Inclusion takes several key components: 1. Pioneers: Individuals willing to
go where no one has gone and deliver like they belong there; 2. Champions:
Skippers who understand that a sailboat is a microcosm of our real world- a
business, a committee or our neighborhoods; 3. Role Models: Individuals
such as Olympian and Rolex Yachtswoman of the year- Anna Tunnicliffe, who
serve as examples for little girls growing up in the sport. Showing them
how that they TOO can achieve (and at very high levels). It's also
important for sailing media to capture and highlight these successes at
various levels of the sport.
I am proud that we have been fortunate to have a very good sailor,
Christina Cordero-Chadwick, on board our First 36.7-"Karma" for ALL five-
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Section wins in the past seven years.
She is as competent (if not more) than any 200 pound guy on the team and
has been a leader since doing her first "Mac" with her dad in her early
tweens. She has also been an integral part of our travelling team at North
American Championships over the past several years. -- Scuttlebutt Forum,
* From Craig K Yandow: (re, Closed Start-finish Lines - SBUTT 3304)
Thinking about Al Johnson's too many boats in a small space justification
for closing start and finish lines, I realize there are two reasons to
avoid regattas put on by clubs that do that.
When there are too many other classes on the course, the quality of
competition in our own class suffers just as it does when the lines are
closed. Besides, sailing into a cloud of boats, even with a larger faster
boat, is still slower than choosing a course around the dirty air.
At Alamitos Bay YC (Long Beach, CA), multiple courses are regularly used to
minimize the problem. Perhaps that is why we still get a whole lot of boats
on each course. So we take the next step: Our PROs have experience with the
situation and choose course and marks to minimize the class to class
interactions. Fast boats get long legs and courses. It is perceived as a
PRO mistake when fast classes need to sail into the start of a later or
slower class. It can happen, but it results in learning and seldom happens
A man who is too old to learn was probably always too old to learn.
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