Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3335 - Thursday, May 5, 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: Melges Performance Sailboats and Ullman Sails.

With the selection of 2016 Olympic events to be decided at the 2011 ISAF
Mid-Year Meeting in St Petersburg, Russia on May 4-8, the multihullers look
set to get back in for 2016, with every submission put forward having
either one or two multihulls on the slate. With the early indication that
ISAF is favoring a mixed event (one man and one woman), the main topic of
discussion in St Petersburg is what to do between now and November 2012
when the decision on the boat to be sailed and which class should be chosen
for 2016.

Given that there is only one multihull, it is extremely difficult to cover
the whole spectrum of multihull sailing, so ISAF needs to decide if they
want a simple "Laser equivalent" boat, or a high tech "49er equivalent".
Going the simple route would guarantee a large number of new nations would
have a shot at Olympic selection, while the high tech route could catapult
sailing into the 21st century.

After each Olympics, the IOC presents their Gold Rings Award to the sport
that provided the best TV coverage of the Games, and in 2008, in a huge
surprise to everyone, this went to sailing. Given all the negative comments
about suitability of sailing for TV, this was a great achievement and a
huge coup for ISAF. The way the award is decided is that the IOC Broadcast
division put together a highlights package for each sport and these are
then judged by an independent panel. The highlights package for sailing was
put together exclusively on the Tornado medal race, with a mix of onboard,
helicopter, boat level and tracking graphics.

So the class that provided ISAF with its greatest media coup was
immediately dumped from the 2012 event lineup. However this then provides
the opportunity to upgrade the boat, much the same as the Flying Dutchman
being dropped for 1996, and replaced by the much more modern 49er in 2000.

As for classes, the following are the likely candidates and a few fors and
againsts for each one. With the multihull likely to be a mixed disciplines,
one of the key aspects of choosing the boat will be whether the design
dictates that the skipper could be either the male or the female member of
the crew.

Everyone in the multihull fraternity agrees the Olympic Mulithull should be
a twin trapeze boat, true one design (so no development costs) with
spinnaker. The only real discussions have been about whether it should be a
16, 18 or 20 foot boat. The choices are most likely boats being an F16 such
as the Viper, an F18 one design such as the Hobie Tiger, or the 20 foot
Tornado or Nacra.

However, a very recent addition into the mix is a proposal from the design
team behind the America's Cup multihulls to design an AC18 with either a
soft sail, or preferably a wing mast. So as of today, the most likely
candidates for selection in November 2012 are... read on:

PART 2: In this second part of his commentary piece, Sail-World's NZ
Editor, Richard Gladwell, looks at what he thinks the International Sailing
Federation should be selecting as the Events for the 2016 Sailing Olympics:

The fans of Key West Race Week have much to celebrate. With its future in
question following the 2011 edition, event organizer Premiere Racing has
attained a new Title Sponsor, early one design class and sponsor
commitments, and exciting grand prix news to ensure its 25th anniversary
will occur on January 16-20, 2012.

Key West Race Week welcomes Quantum Sail Design Group as the Title Sponsor
for 2012. Its support will enable Premiere Racing to produce another
quality event in January, while working toward the goal of long-term
viability for this renowned, international regatta.

"We recognize that Key West Race Week is the flagship regatta in this
country and has been for well over two decades," said Quantum President Ed
Reynolds. "This has been reinforced by many people we've spoken with both
here and abroad. Even with the smaller fleet sizes of recent years, this
midwinter, big-boat regatta is very important to North American and
international sailboat racing. We would like to see it continue and are
committed to supporting the regatta during this transition period."

"As we've reached out to boat owners, one design classes, sailors and the
sailing industry," remarked Premiere Racing's Event Director Peter Craig,
"it's been rewarding to hear the positive feedback and the impact this
regatta has and has had on sailing here in the U.S. Our goal is to work
with those classes and groups that can attain critical mass to provide
great competitive racing, and have a desire to work with us to produce a
quality event."

Classes committed include the Melges 32 and 24, Farr 40 and 30. As always,
J/Boats will be well represented with their J/105 and J/80s. A 2012
innovation will be J/Boats specific handicap classes. IRC Racing will be
presented in the form of a TP52 (modified) class and a group of smaller
boats in the 36'-43' range. -- Full details:

COMMENT: When I interviewed Peter Craig in Key West last January, it was
the first time he openly stated that Key West Race Week could not continue
without significant change. He was honestly not certain if the event would
see its 25th anniversary. But we are stoked to see that it will. Look for
our interview with Peter to find out what has occurred in the last three
months, and what we can look forward to in 2012. -- Craig Leweck,
Scuttlebutt editor

The Scow racing scene gets into full swing this month and Melges will be
supporting the upcoming championships. Melges Scows are fun and totally
rock. Check them out at The latest design is the Melges 17. The
class's spring championship takes place on Lake Geneva, WI this weekend.
Bob Heathcote from Michigan won last week's home opener at Lake Lansing. A
scows, E scows, C scows, Melges 17, M-16, MC and X boat. All from Melges,
all made in the USA. --

BONUS: (May 4, 2011) - Melges Performance Sailboats has announced that its
product line of scows and sportboats will expand to include the
International 29er and 29erXX, as well as the 49er one-design skiffs.
Melges acquired the 29er and 29erXX build division of PS2000 Performance
Products based in Montreal, Canada, and will serve as a non-exclusive U.S.
distributor and sales center for the 49er throughout the United States,
Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Full details:

The two week testing period for the AC 45s is almost over in Auckland, New
Zealand. SailBlast caught up with John Craig, PRO for America's Cup Race
Management, who had nothing but positive things to say about the progress
made on the water over the past few days. Here is an excerpt of the

SailBlast: Has this testing helped clarify what it may mean for the
spectator fleet in San Francisco?

JC: Yes, it's definitely put some shoulders around what it'll look like.
We're experimenting with all different types of courses - we're looking
forward to the next three days as we're not anywhere close to having
anything locked down to what the course will look like. Once that gets
firmed up, then we should have a better idea of what the spectator fleet
boundaries will look like and then what the virtual boundaries will look
like from that.

SailBlast: The 45s stop and start pretty quickly - how much can they handle
in the start, and what will the start sequence be?

JC: I was kind of skeptical. In all honesty I thought, "It's going to be
catamarans match racing. It's not going to be like it has been." But, it's
been amazing. The first day they just fully locked up and got at it and
started chasing each other - it's been really, really good. The quality of
what these guys are able to do and how quickly the boats can stop and start
lends itself really well for match racing. Right now, it's a 5-minute
sequence, the starboard end is coming in at 3 minutes and the port end
comes in at 2:50. They're fully locking up and it's very cool to watch.

SailBlast: What's your safety plan on the water?

JC: We've got two, jet-driven purpose built medic boats which will each
have a medic team on board. Additionally, the teams have really taken it on
as a concern. We're finding that a lot of the team boats are much better
equipped to deal with medical emergencies than previously, for example,
Team NZ had a medic on their RIB yesterday. Teams are wearing life jackets,
helmets in some situations and we see that developing more as the racing
heats up. It's something we have a concern about and trying to address with
as many resources as we can put at it.

SailBlast: Will extra wings be easily accessible to teams in the event of

Full interview:

Nelson, New Zealand (May 4, 2011) - Grant Dalton doesn't expect the people
of Nelson to understand why he accepted $36 million of taxpayers' money for
the 2013 America's Cup, but for him, it was a simple decision.

Dalton, the head of Emirates Team New Zealand, has taken flak in recent
weeks after it was revealed the team has been given the money from the
Government to fund its campaign to try to win back sailing's greatest

The deal was made with the previous Labour-led government and National has
backed the plan, despite many saying the money could be better spent,
especially after the Pike River mine disaster and Christchurch earthquake.

Dalton, in Nelson this week to speak to the sailing community as part of a
nationwide tour, said the millions made up less than 20 per cent of their
income, but without it, they could not operate.

"To a certain extent I can't defend it and say `yeah, it would have been
better off here or whatever', because I could never understand what those
people have gone through.

"But one thing I know is that if I hadn't gone ahead with it, my first
conversation would have been with the first 100 people that work for me as
they would have been made redundant.

"My second conversation would have been with the boatyard that makes our

"He would have had to make about half his staff redundant. He's got 45.

"The next conversation would have been with the spar maker, and so on and
so on.

"I chose the one that wasn't making people redundant. We're the arrowhead
of the industry, and it's a big industry, I think it's New Zealand's second
biggest export industry.

"I can't expect the people of Greymouth, Nelson and Christchurch to
understand that, I wouldn't, but the Government understood it and made a
tough decision."

Dalton said America's Cup sailing was often perceived as a "rich boys"
sport, which was true elsewhere, but in New Zealand the way they operated
had not changed, despite the increasing budgets. -- Read on:

(May 4, 2011) - Washington is now the first U.S. state to ban copper-based
bottom paint on recreational boats.

Gov. Chris Gregoire yesterday signed into a law a bill prohibiting the use
of the paints on most recreational boats. Under the law, no new boats with
copper-based bottom paint can be sold in Washington state after Jan. 1,
2018, and no paint with more than 0.5 percent copper can be used on
recreation boats as of 2020. The law applies only to recreational boats 65
feet and under.

The law will be enforced by the state Department of Ecology, with fines of
up to $10,000 for violations.

Copper-based paints have long been recreational boaters' main weapon in
preventing marine growth on the bottom of vessels. But the metal can have a
detrimental effect on fish and other wildlife, particularly salmon, even at
small doses.

The law puts Washington out front of a growing movement to reduce the
amount of copper released into the water from boats. And while numerous
paint manufacturers are offering products containing little or no copper,
none have yet gained widespread acceptance. -- Three Sheets Northwest, read

Congratulations to owner Julian Griffiths and his team on "Hot Vindaloo" -
a Pescott Firefly 8.5 Grand Prix catamaran - who claimed top division
honors last weekend in the 31st Bay to Bay Race 2011 in Queensland,
Australia. "Hot Vindaloo" corrected to win overall in the Sports Multihull
OMR division in the 87nm race from Tin Can Bay to Hervey Bay. Hosted by
Hervey Bay Sailing Club, the race is two days with a stopover at Fraser
Island Saturday night. "Hot Vindaloo" competed with a new Ullman GP Race
Technora mainsail and Red Line AP Asymmetrical Spinnaker. Invest in your

* The Nominating Committee of the Canadian Yachting Association is calling
for nominations from interested individuals who are prepared to help shape
the future of the sport of Sailing in Canada. Candidates for election to
the Board must be at least 18 and be a member in good standing of a member
club, class or other member organization. Details:

* The presentation of the 2011 US SAILING's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman
of the Year will take place at St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco,
Calif.) in February, 2012. The move to the west coast will start a new
tradition of alternating the award's ceremonies between St. Francis and New
York Yacht Club's iconic Manhattan clubhouse where the awards have been
held since Rolex began sponsoring them in 1980. -- Full report:

* US SAILING will award three Hanson Rescue Medals to kite surfers Jeff
Spiller, Paolo Frediani and Jeff Harrison for a rescue made off the coast
of San Francisco's Ocean Beach on April 9, 2011. The Arthur B. Hanson
Rescue Medal is awarded by US SAILING's Safety-at-Sea Committee to any
person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning,
shipwreck, or other perils at sea within the territorial waters of the
United States, or as part of a sailboat race or voyage that originated or
stopped in the U.S. In the most recent 20 Hanson-award winning rescues, a
total of 37 lives were saved. Full report:

* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 3334 it reported that the start of ocean
sprint five of the Velux 5 Oceans race had been delayed from its scheduled
date of March 14 to 3pm EST (1900 UTC) on Sunday March 27. Please note the
dates should be in May, not March. Details:

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

May 6-8 - Leukemia Cup Regatta - Dallas, TX, USA
May 7-8 - 'Round Whidbey 2011 - Oak Harbor, WA, USA
May 7-8 - Florida State Laser Championships - Miami, FL, USA
View all the events at

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
recent postings:

* Atlantis WeatherGear launches new expanded Spring 2011 line
* U.S. Coast Guard's National Recreational Boating Safety Program
* Melges products to include 29er, 29erXX and 49er Skiffs
View and/or post Industry News updates here:

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 Christian Giannini, Executive Director, Argo Challenge:
Please update your post in Scuttlebutt 2334 to say that we are working out
the details of our participation, but we will not be challenging (in the
34th America's Cup), merely participating as a partner with the America's
Cup to communicate and demonstrate the abilities and technological
advancements of the disabled community. We are honored by this opportunity
to partner with the America's Cup and as the details get worked out, we
will keep you informed.

NOTE: According to the America's Cup Event Authority, there is no
partnership yet confirmed with the Argo Challenge.

* From Casey Robert Baldwin (reply to S'Butt 3334 - Olympic Bell Toll):
Gladwell's comment on this week's forthcoming 2016 Olympic decisions was
concise and helpful. I had not realized how complicated, sadly, the
regulation of world-class sailing has become.

In accepting the collapse of the old Corinthian spirit of sailing many
decades ago, which made the sport far more universal and no longer
exclusively a rich man's game, I am appalled at the failure of ISAF and
other regulatory bodies to clearly keep up with the fast-moving changes in
an increasingly complex world.

Sport overall was originally meant to be a simple symbol of the best
important daily reality in our various countries. Although many sports are
no longer symbols but an important substitute in countless lives (witness
NASCAR, NFL, & NHL), was under the illusion 'sailing' was still
comparatively pure.

Have no problem with promoting our sport world-wide and encouraging far
more participants, including sailing super-stars (who are a great help),
but surely the officers of the major regulatory bodies of world-class
nautical events have a vital responsibility, to reflect the remarkable and
on-going evolution of our sailing world with crystal-clear clarity.

It may be a case of more senior official attitudes not quite grasping the
speed of change. But please, not this semi-political confusion that hurts
the growth of competitive sailing!

* From Joanne Carter, Editorial Director,
Many thanks for posting about the iPhone/iPad sailing app list in
Scuttlebutt 3334. I've had a look at some of the comments and there look to
be quite a few Android users there, upset that they weren't included. So...
I have compiled a top 10 Android sailing app list, just for them - would
you be so kind as to mention this too, please? Here's the link:

* From Barry Dunning:
Further to the letter from Craig Fletcher and your comments regarding pro
sailors in Scuttlebutt 3334, I contacted ISAF on Wednesday and they told me
that 1031 sailors were registered as Group 3 (pro) sailors. How many
sailors, who are professional, are racing without declaring or registering?
It must be many thousand, making the whole system a mockery.

COMMENT: In the Melges 32, their class rules allow for three crew to be
Group 3 sailors, but their rules also state that any crew that does not
hold a valid ISAF classification is deemed to be Group 3. Therefore, there
does not seem to be any motivation to register with ISAF unless you want to
preserve your Group 1 (amateur) status. And there is no system in place to
prevent pros from getting paid if they are not registered as a Group 3

Before sanctioned events, the M32 class must verify crew classification on
each entry. At the 2011 Melges 32 Miami Championship on March 4-6, there
were 59 sailors among the 20 participating boats that were deemed to be
Group 3. But of these 59 sailors, only 24 were properly registered, meaning
that nearly 60% of the pros were likely not included in the 1031 sailors
that Barry reports above. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt editor

Warning: The consumption of alcohol on Cinco de Mayo may lead you to
believe you are tougher, smarter, faster, and better looking than usual.

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: