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SCUTTLEBUTT 3338 - Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
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Today's sponsors: Atlantis WeatherGear, IYRS, and North Sails.
MAINTAINING THE CORINTHIAN ASPECT OF THE REGATTA
The history of New York Yacht Club is intertwined with progressive thinkers
- starting with John Cox Stevens and James Gordon Bennett Jr. - who took a
proactive approach to organizing sailing contests that have become
benchmarks for all other sailing events: from transatlantic crossings to
America's Cup match races, to team and fleet races. The proactive approach
is the common thread that extends to The New York Yacht Club Invitational
Cup presented by Rolex, scheduled for September 10-17, which has announced
that extensive on-the-water umpiring will be used for the competition.
Primarily used for match and team racing and the medal rounds of the
Olympic Regatta, this will be the first time NYYC has emphasized umpiring
to this degree for fleet racing, a first for a Corinthian event of this
magnitude. Ten umpires will be on the water daily to deliver instant
justice. With broad geographic representation, eight of the 10 are
certified as international umpires or international judges, or both, and
each is an active sailor who competes regularly.
"They get the game," said Patricia O'Donnell, NYYC Chairman of the Jurors.
"In most instances, when competitors come off the water they will know
where they stand and not have to wait for the decision of a jury. If
there's a protest, the umpires can institute a penalty right there on the
water. In the event a protest does need to be heard ashore, this event is
being adjudicated by an international jury, which means the decisions of
the jury cannot be appealed. We're hoping it will ensure people sail
cleanly, that we maintain the Corinthian aspect of the regatta, and the
event is moving forward in line with the direction sailing is going on the
Sailed in NYYC Swan 42s, the recent addition of boats has allowed the event
to now host 22 yacht club teams - representing 16 nations from six
different continents - with racing on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett
Bay. Taking cues from the halcyon days of the America's Cup, competitors
must be non-professional (Corinthian) sailors; members of the yacht clubs
they represent; and also be nationals of their country. -- Full report:
WHAT THE HECK DOES 'CORINTHIAN' MEAN?
A question about the meaning of 'Corinthian' was asked last week in the
Scuttlebutt Forum. "I've done all the Internet searches I can think of,
done the OED, the library at the San Francisco Maritime Historical Park,
and consulted the many reference books I own," noted Tony Johnson. "I've
contacted the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, where the concept got its
start according to their website, and the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon,
CA. Nothing has been of much help."
When it comes to questions like this, few are better prepared to answer
than yachting historian and author John Rousmaniere. Here is John's
The word "Corinthian" seems vague and harmless today, but it's been
controversial for 2,000 years. The first Corinthians were residents of the
ancient Greek seaport of Corinth. A typical port town, Corinth was
described by A. N. Wilson in his biography of St. Paul as "a place of
proverbial wickedness, energy, riches, noise." Paul's chiding first letter
to the Christian Corinthians in the New Testament portrays them as a little
unruly but fully capable of improvement. Paul was not one to waste golden
words like "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not
love" on hopeless reprobates.
The notion of the Corinthians as hearty fellows with hearts of gold carried
on for centuries. In Henry IV Part 1, Shakespeare has young Prince Hal
(then a rowdy but a future great king) describe himself as "a Corinthian, a
lad of mettle, a good boy."
A Corinthian, then, was a spunky, robust guy or gal. This nickname would
have appealed to the young American sailors of the 1870s who were
challenging the yachting establishment by sailing their own boats. Until
then most yachtsmen had just one well-proven ability, which was to write
big checks. When three 105-foot schooners crossed the New York Yacht Club's
starting line in the first-ever transatlantic race in 1866, two of the
owners watched from spectator boats and the third, James Gordon Bennett
Jr., sailed as a passenger, deferring to his professional skipper, the
aptly named Samuel "Bully" Samuels. Among the nicknames for traditional
yachtsmen was "the splurgers."
The new alternate definition of "yachtsman" as an amateur ("Corinthian")
developed in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century and caught on in
America. New Corinthian yacht clubs had fleets of small boats, and the
rules required that they be raced only by Corinthian sailors who did all
the work, had all the fun, and were paid not a nickel. The old
establishment initially responded by slinging mud, and when the Seawanhaka
Corinthian Yacht Club was ridiculed for "aping English ideas," the envy is
as thick as the mud itself. By the 1920s, the average American yachtsman
was a Corinthian "lad of mettle." Good on them.
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PERSPECTIVE FROM THE OLYMPIC TRAIL
By Graham Biehl, 2008 U.S. 470 Olympian
With the sailing events confirmed for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in
Brazil, I am quite pleased with the direction that ISAF is taking the
sport. Having sailed both two person dinghies and skiffs at a high enough
level, I had a personal interest in both of these events and took more
concern to the skiffs being in or out of the Olympics more than anything.
Both disciplines offer necessary skills to compete at a high level, and I
strongly encourage anyone to sail both competitively. I am stoked that both
events will be representing the sport in the Olympics for men and women.
The recent ISAF event selections for the 2016 Olympic Games sparked a lot
of debate within the Olympic Circuit during the last year and a half. With
the prospect of the 470 class being used as a mixed event (one man and one
woman) as opposed to a separate gender event, people in general were pretty
good with their nerves. The fleet did not seem to be worried that the class
would fall out of the Olympics, but that it would simply change and
everyone would have to change with it.
We are all here to ultimately win medals, not to worry about what's going
to happen two years from now. The 470 group on the men's side is very
peculiar because most of us sailing the boat simply cannot fit into the
Laser, Star, or 49er without making a concentrated effort on weight gain,
or lucking out and finding the perfect size crew or helm. Most of us
naturally fit our positions and although we still have to make an effort to
maintain our team size, it is minimal compared to what we would have to do
to sail another class. I would say that a lot of sailors were a bit worried
about the future but just sort of accepted that change happens.
IF the 470 would have gone mixed, I don't think it would have been a
necessarily bad thing. Sailing is one of the few sports at the Olympic
level that offers men and women to compete against each other. The 470 is a
great option for this and would certainly draw some new attention to our
sport. I believe the biggest impact would have actually been at a lower
level, like in the 420 class. Participation at the 420 World Championships
is always around the 100 mark for the open division and around 60 for the
women's division. That's a huge level of participation for a feeder class
to the 470, and the numbers would have certainly dropped in the 420 had the
470 gone mixed.
The best thing about ISAF's decision for the 2016 Olympic sailing events is
that it now allows an equal number of sailing opportunities for both
genders through many different disciplines. The future of our sport in the
Olympics looks much brighter and longer term with the recent decisions, and
am hopeful that ISAF continues moving forward to grow interest in our sport
on an international level.
NOT A SINGLE PHRF RATING TO SOUR THE MOOD
By Carol Cronin, 2004 Olympian
I belong to the church of one design sailing. Though I miss a few Sundays,
I make up for it on the occasional Saturday. Last week, I even went on
Friday - for eight hours.
It's been two years since my last Sperry Topsider NOOD Regatta. (NOOD is
short for National Offshore One Design, but of course non-sailors assume
you're talking about its homophone when you tell them "you're off to sail
in the NOOD" - always good for a laugh.) With nine events around the
country, the series has become a national revival meeting for the church of
one design. And thanks to a record-setting 220 teams racing in 16
divisions, the Annapolis stop (April 29- May 1) was even better than I
NOOD regattas have something for everyone. At the top of my list is the
competitive racing for those whose chosen class is no longer the hot new
fad. Boats were grouped by size and speed, minimizing fleet overlaps and
making the ambitious schedule of eight races in three days achievable.
The Annapolis entry list included Alberg 30s, Beneteau 36.7s, Cal 25s,
Catalina 27s, S2 7.9s, Etchells, Farr 30s, Melges 24s, Farr 40s - and seven
different J/Boats classes. It was a true variety pack of keelboats, without
a single PHRF rating to sour the mood after sailing. -- Boats.com, read on:
DRAGON WINS OFF-SHORE LEG IN INAUGURAL ATLANTIC CUP
The Atlantic Cup, a new professional Class40 race showcasing the top
short-handed sailors in the U.S., set off in light conditions on Saturday,
May 7th under the backdrop of the Manhattan Skyline. The course took the
four doublehanded teams out of New York Harbor Saturday afternoon south to
the only turning mark on the course at Barnegat Light and then east to
After a slow start, Mike Hennessy and Rob Windsor sailing the Owen Clarke
designed Team Dragon rallied across the finish line at 9:23pm ET Sunday,
May 8 with an elapsed time of 30:48:44 to capture first in the off-shore
leg of the Atlantic Cup.
Attention now turns to the in-shore series, which will be held Saturday and
Sunday May 14-15 in Newport, RI. Teams will use a crew of six for the three
races held each day. The combined overall winner of both the off-shore and
in-shore stages becomes the first Atlantic Cup Champion and earns a portion
of the $15,000 prize purse. Full report:
SEE WHERE MOTHS ARE BUILT
Moth dinghies may seem otherworldly, but they are indeed built on Earth.
One of those places is IYRS in Rhode Island. On May 25, the school will be
host an afternoon Open House at the IYRS Bristol facility, home to the
school's Composites Technology and Marine Systems programs. Visit IYRS
during one of the most dynamic times of the year, as students ready their
projects for an early June graduation ceremony. The Open House runs from 4
to 7 pm at IYRS in Bristol (253 Franklin Street). Go to http://www.iyrs.org
to learn more.
Italian Francesco Bruni is closely connected to the Mascalzone Latino team,
which is the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup. But with the
team's Cup plans currently landlocked in a fight for funds, Bruni is
staying active as one of the few Cup sailors on the World Match Racing Tour
"Last season we had a lot of ups and downs. A lot of times we went well
through the round robins but we seized up in the quarter finals. We only
competed in two semi-finals, resulting in a third in France and a fourth in
Denmark which simply isn't good enough. We need to do better this year. We
With the previous two Tour winners not taking part in 2011 (2009 Champion
Adam Minoprio is competing in the Volvo Ocean Race and 2010 Champion Ben
Ainslie is focusing on qualification for the Olympics), Bruni is expecting
more. "Honestly, this season we're looking at the top 3 - we have to get
there. We seem to do well in qualifying but we're missing something in the
knock-out phases. A lot of times we ended up losing 3-2 and not progressing
to the semi-final. This happened 3 or 4 times - just 1 point can make a
huge difference. The experience of last year will help us a lot.
"It takes a lot of teamwork, you need a lot of training and race time. It
takes time, you can't just come to the WMRT and win an event - it doesn't
happen, the level is so high. You need to get to the semi finals first and
only then think about winning one. You don't get a lucky win - results show
that. Ian Williams will be one to watch as he is very prepared and proved
to be at a good level at the Congressional Cup. Torvar Mirsky has also been
sailing a lot this winter so those are the two guys who will have a good
shot at winning in France."
The first event of the 2011 WMRT begins on May 11th at Match Race France.
Here is the line-up:
Alexis Littoz-Baritel (France) - Savoie Mont Blanc
Francesco Bruni (Italy) - Mascalzone Latino
Peter Gilmour (Australia) - YANMAR Racing
Bjorn Hansen (Sweden) - Hansen Sailing Team
Damien Iehl (France) - French Match Racing Team
Alvaro Marinho (Portugal) - Seth Sailing Team
Torvar Mirsky (Australia) - Mirsky Racing Team
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (France) - Extreme Team Morbihan
Bertrand Pace (France) - Aleph Sailing Team
Jesper Radich (Denmark) - Radich Racing Team
Phil Robertson (New Zealand) - WAKA Racing
Ian Williams (Great Britain) - Team GAC Pindar
WMRT website: http://www.wmrt.com/
CLASSIFYING RACE ORGANIZERS AND OFFICIALS
The ISAF Classification system is a service to classes and events who want
to define who they want to sail. If there is a limit on the number
professional sailors that can participate on a boat, the Classification
Code is the system that must be used.
The challenge of the Code is to fairly determine what types of activity
warrant a sailor to be classified as Group 3 (professional), and what is
permitted within the Group 1 (amateur) classification. One of the tools of
the Code is a list of over 120 frequently asked questions (FAQs), with
their answers helping to define Group 1 and 3.
Here are the FAQs for Race Organisers & Race Officials:
Q. Is a race officer, judge, umpire or measurer who is paid for this work
A. Yes, he is normally Group 1. The knowledge and skills required do not
normally enhance the performance whilst on board a boat when racing.
Q. Is a measurer who has been paid to measure a boat and then races on it
A. (a) Yes, he is normally Group 1 provided that the paid work is only to
carry out official measurement duties of recording data, certification or
equipment inspection. The measurer must act as an agent of the body that
appointed him and not for the boat, but may be paid by either the
appointing body or the boat
(b) However If he engages in any other form of paid work on the boat (for
example, consultancy on boat design or rating/measurement optimization)
then this must be considered separately and he may be Group 3
ISAF Sailor Classification Code: http://tinyurl.com/ISAF-CODE-0111
ISAF Sailor Classification Code FAQS: http://tinyurl.com/CODE-FAQS-0111
* At the Edgewood Yacht Club in Cranston, RI, members are prepping for the
summer season, just as they have for decades, despite the fire that
destroyed the club's historic building in January. The clubhouse had been a
fixture in the Edgewood neighborhood since 1908, and even survived
Hurricane Carol in 1954. New decking has replaced the burned area, and
plans are in the works for a new building as well. -- Full story:
* The week of May 21-27 leading up to Memorial Day has been designated
National Safe Boating Week with the emphasis on wearing life jackets and
saving lives. In 2009, the Coast Guard counted 4730 recreational boating
accidents involving 736 deaths, 3358 injuries and approximately $36 million
dollars of property damage. Almost three-fourths of all fatal boating
accident victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were not wearing life
jackets, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. -- Boating Industry,
full story: http://www.boating-industry.com/output.cfm?id=2745955
* Less than one week before the VELUX 5 OCEANS fleet begins their final leg
across the North Atlantic to La Rochelle to complete the race that began
more than eight months ago. The four boats will start at 1500 local time
(1900 UTC) on Saturday May 14 from Charleston Harbor. After winning all
four legs so far, American Brad Van Liew need only finish the final leg to
secure his overall victory. However, Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek'
Gutkowski on Operon Racing and Canadian Derek Hatfield on Active House
start the 3,600-mile race to La Rochelle tied on points. --
NORTH-POWERED J/105s TAKE 1ST, 3RD AT SDYC YACHTING CUP
North-powered J/105s 'Sanity' owned by Rick Goebel and 'Blow Boat' owned by
Tom Hurlburt took 1st and 3rd at the San Diego Yacht Club's 2011 Yachting
Cup held April 29-May 1 in San Diego, CA. Racing in the 16-boat fleet, 1st
place 'Sanity' stayed in the top five all weekend with one bullet and three
2nd place finishes. 'Blow Boat' was only six points behind with a bullet in
the final race and never finishing worse than 7th. Both boats raced with a
complete North Sails Class Sail Development (CSD) inventory. When
performance counts, the choice is clear: http://na.northsails.com
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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View/post ads here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/classified_ads
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 Mike Esposito:
While all the broadcasting innovations for the America's Cup sound pretty
cool, their recent announcement (all ramped up about "extreme sport" yadda
yadda) stumbles in its second paragraph: ".teams fly over the water as
speeds of up to 35 mph." It's not the "as" vs. "at" typo, those things
happen. It's the 35 mph bit.
A non-sailor has got to think: "Wow, 35 mph, I've seen cars drive faster to
grab a parking spot at the mall." Years ago, during the Milwaukee-Grand
Haven Queen's Cup, I was aboard an SC70 reaching along at 25+ knots for
more than an hour with a peak around 30 knots, so I know 35(ish) mph on a
boat feels screaming fast. Most Scuttlebutt readers know 35 mph on a boat
feels screaming fast. But it sure must sound like a snooze to people who go
20 mph on side streets in their family car.
Maybe AC could post how little time skippers will have to decide to "cross,
ram or duck" as the speedy cats converge, or how far a sailor would plunge
if he fell from a flying hull, or the tremendous loads on the rigging, or
even the shark-friendly confines of the planned race course. It might even
put people ahead of the new toys and create some athlete heroes.
* From Andy Rice, SailJuice: (re, 2016 Olympic event selection)
Contrary to my previous report (in Scuttlebutt 3337) that it was a 19:18
vote between one submission and another, it was actually a vote-off between
seven different submissions, shown in the attached table (see link below).
The winning submission did indeed gain 19 of the votes, 51% of the overall
votes, which meant that with an outright majority no further rounds of
voting were required.
That ISAF Council could reach a majority consensus in round one - out of
seven choices - is an even more ringing endorsement of the line-up of
events that Olympic Sailing now has for Rio 2016. Interesting to note,
also, that the only support for the Star came from the Puerto Rican and
Brazilian submissions. The politics of Olympic selection are writ large in
If you did what you always did, you'll get what you always got.
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