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SCUTTLEBUTT 3327 - Monday, April 25, 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 and Doyle Sails.
WEIGHING IN ON THE WEIGHT ISSUE
Next month, ISAF will make the decision on what kinds of sailing events
(ie, singlehanded, doublehanded, etc) will be in the 2016 Olympics, and
what kind of boats will be used in these events. Will the events be a
reflection of the entire sport of sailing, or will they focus in on the
high performance boats that may get a bigger viewing audience?
Pat Healy, who between coaching and judging, has been to six Olympic Games
since 1984, and is wondering aloud if the event choices might instead be a
reflection of the people that can sail in them:
I’ve now experienced the Olympic class’s debate for eight separate Games
and finally come to the conclusion that it is probably easier to convince
someone to change their religion or their computer operating system than
change the boat they support for the Olympic Games.
That said, this time, given the significant funding that ISAF receives from
the International Olympic Committee (estimated at $8million from the 2008
Games), the discussion of preserving the support of the IOC is a relatively
new aspect of the debate. Interestingly, a nineteen year old study might
shed some surprising light on what the IOC could be thinking.
In 1992, then IYRU Medical Commission Chairman, and more importantly,
current IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge presented a paper as background for
the selection of the classes for the XXVI 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta,
His approach was to look at the world’s weight distribution of sailors
between 20 and 25 years old when considering which classes are appropriate.
For any given population there are a few people who are very light and a
few that are very heavy while the majority weigh near the average.
Statistically this is described as a “normal” distribution.
Dr. Rogge was very clear that his study could only be approximate and that
it is a simplification to divide the world’s population into only three
ethnic groups (from a scientific point of view there are more than thirty
different categories). However, ethnic types are grouped generally into
Asian, Black and White with a “mean” weight where half the population is
below that weight and half above. The 5th percentile is the light end of
the spectrum and the 95th the heavy.
His paper presented the following weight distributions in these three
groups for 20-25 year olds for the three percentile categories:
Ethnic group: 5th -- 50th -- 95th
Asian women: 87.6 -- 112.9 -- 138.2
Black women: 95.4 -- 127.6 -- 160.6
White women: 96.8 -- 136.4 -- 178.0
Ethnic group: 5th -- 50th -- 95th
Asian men: 101.4 -- 127.6 -- 163.5
Black men: 114.4 -- 154.0 -- 198.0
White men: 121.0 -- 172.5 -- 223.5
Dr. Rogge then left it to the IYRU-ISAF family to find the best mix of
classes to solve the puzzle. However, his reasoning is as pertinent now as
it was in 1992: the mix should include an achievable Olympic dream for as
many of the world’s sailors as possible. For what it’s worth, here were the
events eventually selected for the 1996 Games:
Men Finn - one person dinghy
Men Mistral - one person board
Men 470 - two person dinghy
Women Europe - one person dinghy
Women Mistral - one person board
Women 470 - two person dinghy
Open Laser - one person dinghy
Open Tornado - two person multihull
Open Star - two person keelboat
Open Soling - three person keelboat
OLYMPIC CIRCUS MOVES TO FRANCE
Hyeres, France (April 24, 2011) - Perfect conditions blessed the first day
of competition in the Semaine Olympique Française, fourth event in the ISAF
Sailing World Cup. The easterly breeze in the Mediterranean Sea ranging
from 12 to 18 knots in the seven different racing areas, big waves and sun
provided for excellent racing in Hyeres and saw many favourites taking the
ISAF Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby (AUS) took a rocket start with two
bullets to lead the Laser fleet. The British armada continues to dominate
the Finn fleet. Ben Ainslie is continuing on his good form after winning
both races in the breeze despite his preference for the lighter conditions.
Giles Scott, Miami OCR champion, also won both races in his qualifying
group while countryman Andrew Mills and Ed Wright are one point behind in
fourth and fifth overall.
Tops among the North American contingent is Erik Storck and Trevor Moore
(USA), who are leading the 49er fleet with a third and two bullets. “The
wind was out of the East with enormous chop built up from the last two
days’ big breeze, and the velocity ranged from 12 to 18 knots,” explained
Storck. “We know we have had good boat-speed in this condition, and we were
able to repeat that today. By starting in low-pressure positions and giving
ourselves large lanes to work with, we were able to sail our own race and
get to the windward mark in the top group.”
The Americans also posted strong scores in the Star, with George Szabo/
Mark Strube and Andrew Campbell/ Ian Coleman in second and third
respectively. On the women’s match racing course, Sally Barkow/ Elizabeth
Kratzig/ Alana O'Reilly were one of seven teams undefeated in the Stage One
qualifying round robin series. Racing continues each day this week and
concludes on April 29.
THE ROAD TO THE OLYMPICS
2004 US women’s keelboat Olympian Carol Cronin explains the significance of
the Olympic racing this year:
For the first time, US Sailing is using international events to pick its
Olympic Team - just as other countries have done for several years.
The two events for most disciplines are June’s Skandia Sail for Gold (in
Weymouth England, the site of the Olympics) and December’s ISAF Sailing
World Championships (Perth, Australia). In every discipline except Women’s
Match Racing, the US athlete(s) with the best combined score from those two
events will become our Olympic representative.
Entries for those two events are essentially unlimited for most classes.
But that wasn’t certain when the selection procedures were written, so a
qualifying series was set up to determine the seeding of athletes (in case
we had more sailors than slots). With me so far? Read on:
SPRING TIME IS THE TIME TO BUILD TEAM PRIDE
Spring time is the time to prepare for the upcoming season, and you know
what they say: Most regattas are won before the boats leave the dock. There
is no better way to instill pride in your team than making them look like a
team. Not only does good team gear make them feel like “one”, but it also
has a huge psychological effect on the competition when you walk down the
dock. Call us, we would be happy to put you in the right gear for your
sailing environment. We know how, because we’ve been there.
EYES ON NAMIBIA FOR SIT-DOWN SAILORS
By Tim Zimmermann, Sailing World
It’s true that Vestas SailRocket is one of the odder looking “sailboats”
you’ll ever see. And you wouldn’t exactly enter it in the Fastnet Race. But
in the excellent and ongoing battle for bragging rights over the outright
sailing speed record that has been waged over the past few decades by
windsurfers, kiteboarders, and sailboaters, SailRocket is firmly in the
Regardless of which camp you are partial to - and this is a debate that's
always best staged in a bar, preferably at Happy Hour - the outright speed
record over 500 meters has been one of the most exciting and suspenseful
showdowns over the years.
Back in the day, you had the Crossbow catamarans pushing speeds into the
30s (seems so slow, doesn’t it), and by 1980 the record was at 36. Then the
windsurfers took ownership of the record in 1986, and - except for a
ten-year intervention by “sailboat” Yellow Pages Endeavour - by 2008 had
pushed the record to 49.09 knots, just shy of the epic 50-knot barrier.
Deep in my heart, I root for the sailboats. But I have to admit, the sight
of Finian Maynard (on his windsurfer) rocketing down the French Trench in
2005 was pretty awe-inspiring.
Lots of people thought it was over for the sailboaters at that point.
Particularly because the kiteboarders finally figured out their technology
and from 2008 started to flat-out dominate, skimming through the 50-knot
barrier on a custom speed trench in Luderitz, Namibia that was so shallow
you could walk down it without getting your shorts wet. The sailboat
faction was offered a brief, shining moment of hope when the hydrofoiling
trimaran Hydroptere briefly stole the record back in 2009, with a
51.36-knot run. And how could you not root for a boat that sails like this?
The kiteboarders were unmoved, however, and callously smashed their way
through the 55-knot barrier, reclaiming dominion over all those who use the
wind to power across the surface of the sea. American Rob Douglas last year
managed an astounding record run of 55.65 knots. It felt like another
game-over moment, and maybe it is. So let’s give the man his due.
Now comes Paul Larsen, the most persistent sailor in Christendom, with Ver.
2 of his oddball SailRocket design. He’s been at it for closing in on a
decade, and his team is set up, and starting to sail, in Walvis Bay,
Namibia. Is there any chance he might pull off a miracle and restore honor
to sailors everywhere? -- Read on (with videos):
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
“As an adult who learned to sail as an adult, I believe strongly in the
same attitude that the Australians seem to have - make it exciting and fun
- and it should be looked at for adults who want to learn and get better.
Sure, I might be a little more aggressive than maybe the average girl who
learned to sail six years ago but I just feel like the skiff is a wonderful
platform because not only do you go fast, you have to learn how to use your
body weight and understand the dynamics of a boat moving at that speed.
Because the boat is going so fast, the loads on all of the sheets are
minimal so for a small person you couldn’t really ask for a better set up.
It’s thrilling, it’s educational, it’s easy. Kind of like the Melges 24
because it’s one of the easier keel boats to drive for the driver.” -
Kristen Lane, winner of the Melges 24 class at Charleston Race Week.
--SailBlast, full interview:
ANNOUNCING “WITH CONFIDENCE”
By Kimball Livingston, Blue Planet Times
With fifteen teams signed for the 34th America’s Cup, the question
persists, How many will actually show up on San Francisco Bay with a
72-foot catamaran in 2013? Most of them, and that’s as far as I’m taking my
One of the major players, Sweden’s Artemis, with Terry Hutchinson on the
helm, has been in-practice in Auckland with a one-design AC45, and Terry
comments, “These boats are going to eat a lot of people.”
A two-week period of testing begins Tuesday, with the teams collaborating
to try out course configurations and the like. Later, with a sixth AC45
catamaran completed to join the game, there will be a test of the new
electronic sports graphics developed under the lead of Rolex Yachtsman of
the Year Stan Honey - the sports graphics that are aimed at revolutionizing
sailing broadcasts while moving the umpires into a booth ashore. -- Read
ONE DESIGN WINS NEAR AND FAR
At Charleston Race Week, Brad Boston's “Jackpot” won the Viper 640 class
and went on to win the Charleston Race Week Trophy, awarded annually to the
skipper who wins the most competitive one-design class. Also at Charleston
Race week, in the Ultimate 20 class Doyle sails powered Jim Pearson's
“Slippery” to 1st and Peter Marriott's “Zulu” to 3rd. Over in New Zealand,
Doyle sails won the Young 88 Nationals and both the line victory and
overall handicap victory in the Farr 1020 Nationals. When one designs come
down to one, it's Doyle. http://www.doylesails.com/onedesign
* The newly formed US 18 Footers League is hoping to become the central
clearinghouse for 18' sailing in the US. Working in conjunction with other
international fleets, the group seeks to build the US 18 fleet in size and
skill, raise the profile of 18 sailing locally, nationally, and
internationally, and hopefully, eventually use it as a platform to pitch
the boats and the “league” to potential sponsors. -- Pressure Drop, full
* (April 21, 2011) - With just over a month remaining until the spring
championships, Roger Williams has taken over the top spot in the coed
rankings in the latest edition of Sailing World's College Rankings. Boston
College is the top women's, taking 15 of 19 first-place votes. -- Full
* Following the confirmation that Emirates Team New Zealand has secured
sufficient funding to proceed with a competitive America’s Cup challenge,
they are also now beginning to reveal key members of their team. Top US
multihull design partners Pete Melvin and Gino Morelli, instrumental in the
design the trimaran used by BMW Oracle Racing to win the 33rd America's
Cup, will be working with the Kiwi team. Also signed are Steve Killing and
Magnus Clarke (CAN), twice winners of the Little America's Cup, and World
A-Class catamaran champion Glenn Ashby (AUS). -- Sail-World, full story:
* Palma de Mallorca (April 24, 2011) - The opening event of the 2011
Mediterranean sailing season, the Mapfre PalmaVela regatta, hosted four
days of racing on the bay of Palma. Thirteen classes, from Maxi Wally to
Flying Fifteen, saw very different wind patterns and great conditions
throughout the whole contest. The TP52 class provided an early test for the
upcoming Audi MedCup Circuit due to start on May 16th in Cascais, Portugal,
with Guillermo Parada on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team leading the field
followed by Nikklas Zentrömm's RÀN and Bribón which was third. --
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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 Alfred C. Constants III:
As I read article after article where everyone describes hiring a coach, I
wonder aloud whether a sailor can achieve good results in very competitive
fleets without the engagement of a coach. The mind set has definitely
changed to an overall reliance on coaching. Putting aside the question of
whether that reliance is good or bad for the sport, is it true? By way of
example, my question arose as I read the Melges 24 champion's article in
COMMENT: Coaching is either a trickle down from the America’s Cup and
Olympic sailing, or a trickle up from youth sailing. Regardless, when
‘leaving no stone unturned’ in competitive fleets, retaining paid crew
and/or coaching is frequently seen. I am crewing for Bill Hardesty in the
Etchells Worlds this June, and last week we had a three day testing session
with Ed Adams as our coach. No doubt we got much more done with Ed there.
He provided structure, off the boat input, photos and video for debrief,
and kept us on the water longer than we would have on our own. But not
everybody can prepare at this level, so you can argue that when the bar
gets pushed up too high, some people will stop trying to chase it. -- Craig
Leweck, Scuttlebutt editor
* From Richard Clark: (re, NZL government funding their ACUP team)
The Current economic situation in New Zealand is indeed dire, however...
there is always a "however". The government has had no issue in bailing out
flawed insurance & finance companies, even TV Stations owned by friends of
friends. They had no problem changing the laws over the filming and
financing of the Hobbit.
New Zealand is a nautical nation. It's how Pakeha and Maori got here. We
have a history of Nautical Nonsense. On the world stage this tiny country
has shown a level of expertise and professionalism that would make the
world's most powerful sit up and take notice. A pity our Politicians are
not from the same gene pool!
It is in our very best interest as a people that we continue (funding the
Team New Zealand). It brings us together like no other. The sailing world
supplies employment opportunities way beyond the imagination of dire bean
counters. In tough times we need to enjoy ourselves, we need inspiration.
Peter Blake, Grant Dalton et al as sailing icons and mentors have inspired
and uplifted far more than any social welfare program that has kept the
people under the governments thumb.
Go Team New Zealand, I know this brings me back into the community in a way
no other program I have seen does. First the Volvo Ocean Race, then The
Auld Mug; it's the way it's been for yonks, time to get back to our roots!
If you tell your boss what you really think of him, the truth will set you
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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Melges Performance Sailboats - Interlux - Team One Newport
Morris Yachts - LaserPerformance - Ullman Sails - Summit Yachts
US Sailing - The Pirates Lair - O’pen BIC
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