SCUTTLEBUTT 3333 - Tuesday, May 3, 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, North Sails, and Camet.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY DON'T ALWAYS COME
American Bora Gulari, 2009 International Moth World Champion and Rolex US
Sailing Yachtsman of the Year, has his sights set now on the 2011 Melges 24
World title, which will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas (May 11-21). The
problem is that not too many others do. Here Bora shares his thoughts:
The upcoming Melges 24 Worlds will be the third U.S. Worlds where the
numbers have dwindled from 93 to now thirty something. There are numerous
ideas on why this Worlds is to be lightly attended, with most focused on
the cost of getting there and the energy level and fitness required to
survive a six day race schedule in 20 knot plus breeze each day. While
these might be contributing issues, I think they both miss the mark a
I think the real problem is the "Fleet Building Worlds" concept. This is
when classes choose a venue to host a major regatta with the logic that
it'll help the local fleet reach a critical mass to help them grow after
the regatta. Whenever I hear that term, I cringe a little bit. I don't
think it works; I think it actually does quite the opposite and does more
to kill a class than improve its numbers.
For these emerging fleets, the majority of the people who make up the fleet
have to spend vacation time and substantial money to either compete or help
run it. Instead, the Class needs to select a venue where a family would
enjoy having a vacation, like what occurred at the Ocean Reef Club in Key
Largo, FL, the site of the 2005 World Championship, where there were 93
The last time the Worlds were in the U.S. was 2009, and we were handed
Annapolis in the end of October. No offense to my friends in Naptown, but
I'm doing my best to never have to experience that again.
To be at Corpus Christi in May, while being sand blasted by nuclear winds
every single day might not sound like fun to the average person, it sounds
like heaven to me. However, I fully understand I'm crazy and my girl friend
reminds me of that fact daily.
Nothing is going to change between now and two weeks from now when the
Worlds starts, so we are going to have a small Worlds where only
thirty-something boats will get to revel in the unique beauty of Corpus.
The U.S. Melges 24 class is going to have the 2011 Nationals at the home of
Melges Boats in Lake Geneva this October. The scenery is gorgeous; the
trees are changing colors by then. Buddy will be there to offer his wisdom
whether you want it or not. It is a great place to visit and even better
place to sail. Hopefully the entry numbers will reflect that.
FOR YOUTH SAILORS TO BECOME LIFE SAILORS
In the Northern Hemisphere, youth sailing programs are getting organized
for their summer sessions to begin next month. Countless parents have
dreams of seeing their children embrace the sport, but the odds are stacked
against youth sailors continuing in the sport through their teen years.
Quite often the culprit is the program itself, or OMG, the parent. Here
youth and USSTAG Coach Leandro Spina offers advice to help youth sailors
become life sailors:
The key factor for youth sailors to become lifelong sailors is to have fun
and get to love our sport.
In my experience as coach of youth sailors, I see that most kids are
introduced to our sport in racing oriented programs and they are too
focused on winning. Winning is fun, but there are so many ways to teach the
love for our sport. Kids love to surf waves, they love to defeat fear as
sailing in the ocean for example, they love to go fast, they love to learn
smart moves in a race course, and they love to travel and meet new friends.
But they need discipline at a young age or the simply "go out for fun"
approach will last few weekends and then they will find something else to
do looking for fun.
I like the racing approach but not focused on winning. Winning is a lot
easier when you work hard to get better and If we teach them to get better
as all around sailors, they will share the passion for sailing and they
will always come back to sailing. Some will go to the Olympics, some will
windsurf, some will just cruise with family, some will fly moths, some will
sail big keel boats and sail around the world, some will design sails, some
will design boats, some will build them, fix them, many will break them and
some will become coaches to stay involved and share their passion for
RACE & WIN
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BY THE SLIMMEST OF MARGINS
After a weekend of big breeze and dramatic wind shifts on Chesapeake Bay,
you might not expect an out-of-towner to come out on top of the Sperry
Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD, where members of the Capital City's strong racing
community accounted for the majority of the 220-boat fleet.
Nonetheless, when the overall winner was announced, it was Copenhagen
resident Thomas Klok - whose team won a three-way tie for first place in
the 29-boat J/80 division - who came bounding up to accept the silver dish,
as well as the real prize, an invitation to join the winners of seven other
NOOD regattas at the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Championship, hosted by Sunsail
in the British Virgin Islands this November.
The Guldfaxe team has an interesting dynamic. Klok is the owner/ main
trimmer. His brother-in-law, Will Crump, drives the boat. Klok's sister,
Marie Crump, handles foredeck duties. The trio also work together as
management consultants, which is why they refer to fourth crewmember, Scott
Collins, as their therapist.
"A lot of people wonder how we can work together and sail together," says
Will Crump. "Somehow, we make it work. I think it's because we can be
honest with each other. Sometimes, it's hard for family members who sail
together to be honest with each other about what needs to change."
* What were your expectations coming into the event?
Will Clump: There were three world champions in the fleet, and this is
probably the toughest J/80 regatta in the U.S. this year. So we didn't have
great expectations, aside from looking at it as practice, because we'll be
going to Copenhagen for the Worlds later this year.
Thomas Klok: We got the boat about a year ago for the worlds in Newport
(R.I.). I lived in Newport for a few years, and when found out the worlds
would be in my home turf two years in a row...
So we did the Worlds in Newport last October, then we left the boat here
and sailed Charleston Race Week and this event, then we'll be shipping the
boat to Denmark in about a week.
* With the Worlds in Newport last year, there was a lot of enthusiasm for
the J/80 in the U.S. Have you noticed a tapering off since then?
Will Crump: Not at all. It's actually ramped up. People came out of that
event saying, "What a phenomenal boat and class." There's still a lot of
development going on in the class. There's a lot of difference between what
the various sailmakers are offering, yet everyone's going about the same
speed. So there's a lot of opportunity for people to get into the class and
have fun figuring out the boat.
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/SW-050211
WORLD'S TOP TEAM RACERS RETURN TO MECCA
This week the world's best team racers will once again congregate in the
United Kingdom for the sixty-second edition of the Wilson Trophy British
Open Team Racing Championship, hosted and organised by West Kirby Sailing
Along with the Team Racing World Championship, which was first launched in
1995, the Wilson Trophy remains a highly acclaimed international team
racing prize. Held on May 6-8 at the Marine Lake in West Kirby, the event
has 32 selected teams coming not only from the length and breadth of the
United Kingdom, but from Ireland and the United States as well.
Sailing in identically matched, colour coded Firefly dinghies, used
exclusively for this event, the 32 teams will fight it out over three days
of Swiss league and elimination rounds, culminating in a thrilling Grand
Final to be sailed in front of a packed spectator grandstand (yes,
grandstand) on the final afternoon.
The Wilson Trophy is a major logistical undertaking. Over the 3 days, more
than 300 races are started, finished, accurately scored and uploaded to the
online rolling results service. On the water, a twenty-five strong team of
international umpires are on hand to give instant decisions on rule
infringements and dish out the appropriate penalties. And to keep the
throngs of spectators on shore happy and well informed, an expert
commentary team broadcasts live updates on all the action out on the lake.
2010 winners Team Extreme from the USA, which was comprised of Zach Brown
and Emmet Smith, Adam and Melanie Roberts, and Stuart McNay and Abby
Coplin, are back to defend their title. The 2011 team line up will be Zach
Brown and Emmet Smith, Thomas Barrows and Marla Menninger, and Stuart McNay
and Michael Hession.
More details about the event including entry lists and results can be found
at the official event website: http://www.wksc.net/wilsontrophy
AMERICA'S CUP: DEFINING THE LINES
By Rebecca Hayter, Yachting World
The 34th America's Cup is bounding ahead like a giant kangaroo - from
monohulls to catamarans, soft sails - who even knew that term two years
ago? - to wingsails, from intensely guarded designs to - gasp! -
production-built AC45s, from one design rule to two: the AC45 and AC75, a
youth series and now, well, if they keep this up, we are going to need
soothing cups of camomile tea served at the press conferences.
Here is the latest: you've all heard - and perhaps even contributed to -
serious concern that the AC72 catamarans may end up being two extremely
fast boats racing a million miles apart, which will be about as exciting to
watch as, um, a pair of 80ft, 25-tonne monohulls drifting about a million
miles apart. What we really want is these big cats missing each other by a
So AC regatta director Iain Murray and his team have delivered - there will
be virtual boundaries down each side of the course; their separation
distance will be varied for strong or light winds.
The boundaries will be depicted on screens mounted one in each hull, in
front of the skipper. The electronics can measure the yacht's position
accurately to within 2cm, updated 10 times a second. As the boat approaches
a virtual boundary, the screen bleeps and gives a countdown, expressed as a
positive in metres - for example, +20m, +15m....+5m.
If they cross the virtual boundary, the countdown becomes a negative in
metres and the umpires - in a shore-based booth - will issue a penalty of
four boat lengths: 60m on the AC45, 100m on the AC72.
To enforce the penalty, Murray says, "We tack them electronically. We set a
line across the wind and when they fall back on that by sixty metres,
they've cleared the penalty." The red penalty light on the boat's screen
changes to green to show it is cleared. It carries a text message service
so when a boat calls for room on another boat or protests, it comes up as a
Murray says the race rules have avoided the traditional 720 or 360 penalty.
"We want to penalise the boats, but we also want to keep them in the race.
"Given time, this will develop into a proper chart plotting type thing
where you see the course, the ocean and everything else," Murray says.
Television audiences will have the same view as the umpires. -- Read on:
NORTH SAILS-POWERED BOATS WIN IN ANNAPOLIS
North Sails would like to congratulate the following owners and crew for
winning their respective classes at Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD this
past weekend: Thomas Klok, Guldfaxe (J/80); Rutsch & Costello, Bebop
(J/30); Tim Bloomfield, White Cap* (Cal 25); Walsh & Potvin, SLAM DUCK*
(Catalina 27); Richard Reid, Zingara (Ben 36.7); Rod Jabin, RAMROD (Farr
40); Allan Terhune, Dazzler (J/22) and Tony Parker, Bangor Packet (J/24).
(* = partial inventory.) A special congratulations to team 'Guldfaxe' for
winning the coveted Boat of the Week award! When performance counts, the
choice is clear: http://na.northsails.com
IS RUST ON SAILBOAT RIGGING DANGEROUS?
Stainless rigging that shows signs of rust could be a safety hazard, as Ed
Sherman explains on the Boats.com website:
QUESTION: I've been inspecting my sailboat to put together a spring
maintenance work list. When I look closely at some of the end fittings on
my stainless steel stays I see evidence of rust. First of all, since this
is stainless steel, what's up with that? But more importantly, does this
rust indicate anything potentially dangerous with my rigging?
ANSWER: Good news and bad news here; first the good news. Your mast is
still standing upright. The bad news is that the photo (see link below)
shows very strong evidence of crevice corrosion.
First let me explain the science. Stainless steel is only going to become
stainless in the presence of oxygen, which helps to form an invisible, but
highly protective oxide coating on the surface of the metal. That is what
prevents rust from forming.
The photo you've sent shows an exposed end fitting. Sea spray and even
rainwater can and will migrate down along the strands of the wire rope into
the center of the end fitting, where it sits, somewhat deprived of oxygen.
-- Read on:
FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to
buy and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. Here are recent ads:
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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 jmsenger (Forum - re, qualifier for College Nationals)
Only one team from the West Coast and none from the Midwest? The new format
installed in 2009 is working wonders. --
* From Mark Silvey: (re, copper paint thread from Sbutt 3330)
In California, the approval process for a new bottom paint can take years
and $100K +. As of today there are paints in the approval process, but
there is no time expectation/limit on the process.
There are zero metal paints available now and being used successfully in
the U.S., (meaning able to be applied over existing paints and still
working after 18 months in-the-water) that have not yet been approved in
California. To do the in-the-water test for 2 years and be accepted in the
marketplace, January 1 2015, doesn't leave much time for any product.
When comparing what other groups sponsor, like the Northwest Marine Trade
Association, please be aware some products may not work for all. Southern
California water temperature, salinity, etc is very different from
Seattle's, or Florida's. Paints do not work the same in all areas.
"Acceptable alternative", must include in-the-water real world, hands-on
testing, and some technologies need to be time tested. (MTBE)
* From Jim Fulton:
I watched the videos, and the AC45s are obviously twitchy, high-speed
thoroughbreds. I think they're beautiful in their own way and they're
probably a gas to sail. But the video experience is a different matter.
Watching one boat edge ahead of another boat at 25 knots is not materially
different from watching one boat edge ahead of another boat at 10 knots. In
either case, the boats are nearly stationary in the middle of the screen;
all that is interesting is the speed differential between the boats in the
race, not the speed differential between those boats and some completely
different boats somewhere else.
Ellison, Coutts, and company will have to get a whole lot more creative in
presentation if their aim is to make sailing more TV-friendly. If this
happens, if the thrill of sailing can really be communicated to the
audience, we just may discover that the type of boat doesn't really make
all that much difference.
COMMENT: The videos presented thus far have given us a tease, but are not
yet near what is being planned. I'm expecting the visual equivalent of
surround-sound. As for the switch from monohull to multihulls for the
America's Cup, my gut tells me that catamarans are going to heighten the
live viewing experience but will have significantly less impact on the
broadcast experience. Like auto racing, where it's pretty cool when the
cars fly by your seat in the stands, the broadcast viewing experience will
be more reliant on how the event is produced to determine its
"watchability". -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
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Burglarize: What a crook sees with.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Gowrie Group - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - North U - North Sails
Camet - USSTAG - APS - Melges Performance Sailboats
Ullman Sails - O'pen BIC - Quantum Sails
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers