SCUTTLEBUTT 3345 - Thursday, May 19, 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: Atlantis WeatherGear, Ullman Sails, and US SAILING.
SAFE SAILING SAVES LIVES
By Joe Hummel
I thought folks might find this interesting given the lessons learned and
Last Wednesday, May 11th, we took my C&C 110 'Archimedes II' out sailing on
Lake Michigan. It was early evening, typical May (i.e. windy and cold), the
water temp in the low 40's, and thunderstorms had just rolled through but
the weather now looked clear.
As we closed in on 8pm, the sun was starting to set, and we saw a roll
cloud approaching --- with dark, dark storm clouds behind. We decided to
drop sails, put the boat in order, and head back to the harbor. As skipper,
I was very focused on getting the boat in order, and after a quick survey
of the horizon in front of me, saw only one other boat very close to the
The first cell hit, not a big one, 25+kts, and lasted a minute or two. But
another was coming, and you could see it on the water, and in the sky. The
second cell hit with rain, hail, and 40+kt winds. I was close to the harbor
entrance but it was too risky to enter, so we did circles until it passed.
It lasted 5+ minutes, and then started to abate. As soon as it was safe, we
rigged fenders and dock lines, and headed in to dock. I counted my
blessings, and felt we handled it well. The boat we had seen earlier was
likewise in and safely at dock.
Turns out all was not well out on the lake. Before the cells had hit, and
afterwards as we prepared to head in, we had failed to see a Rhodes 19 that
was also out sailing, seen the storm approaching, and likewise heading back
to the same harbor. They ended up capsized, unable to right the boat, and
floating in the water (wearing lifejackets) for almost 45 minutes.
Luckily, the skipper's wife was at the yacht club, was expecting her
husband at 8pm, and when he failed to show (and seeing the storm come
through), commandeered the YC's whaler, some volunteers, and went out onto
the lake to rescue her husband. Her efforts (and those of many others)
saved the life of her husband and the others in the water. All involved are
fully recovered and doing well.
The lessons are many, but paramount in my mind are the following:
- Make sure someone knows your schedule, and what to do if you are late
- Before/ after a storm passes through, look around for those less
fortunate than yourself
- Lifejackets, lifejackets, lifejackets.
Safe sailing everyone. Here are some local news stories of the incident:
TAKING ON THE MINI TRANSAT
By Tim Zimmermann, Sailing World
The Mini Transat is hands-down one of the most testing, exhilarating,
intense sailboat races any sailor can choose from the long list of epic
sailing challenges. Solo, 4,200 miles across the Atlantic from France to
Brazil, in a Spartan, designed-to-the-edge-of-safety, 21-foot boat that's a
brutal bitch to drive to weather but an absolute rocket off the wind.
Being solo and masochistic, the race is of course dominated by the French.
But it's always refreshing to see Americans take a crack at the Mini
Transat, and in 2003 Jonathan McKee almost upset the established order of
the universe by threatening to win - before the sailing gods woke up and
flicked his mast over the side as he zeroed in on the finish. What's even
more unusual is when an American woman sails up to the start line, and this
year's distaff daredevil is one Emma Creighton, from San Francisco.
If Creighton makes it to the start, and then - just as importantly - makes
it to the finish, she'd be the second American woman ever to complete the
Mini Transat. The first was Annapolis' own Gale Browning, who finished the
race in 2001. Plenty of Annapolis sailors remember the sight of Gale
sailing her tiny boat on the Chesapeake every chance she got, as she
prepared for her Atlantic crossing.
Despite the fact that the usual 4 knots of Chesapeake "breeze" was not
ideal preparation for slamming to weather across the Bay of Biscay or
surfing through the trade winds at double-digit speeds, Gale managed the
not insignificant feat of finishing, and even managed to beat another boat
across the line - whereupon she promptly put her boat up for sale. "It was
the toughest challenge I ever took on," she says. "And it's really hard
whether you're a man or a woman."
Creighton still needs to complete her 1,000-mile qualifier, in Pocket
Rocket, her 2006 Prototype Mini, and says she plans to set off this week.
After sailing the double-handed division of the Pac Cup last summer, and a
bunch of short-handed San Francisco Bay races, she shipped the boat to
France and has lined up a series of Mini races to sharpen her skills and
familiarity with the boat. She completed her first real solo race earlier
this month, the 300-mile Pornichet Select, and discovered something pretty
important. "I hadn't realized just how much I would enjoy racing alone,"
she says. Read on for full story, photos, and video:
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Discover Your Atlantis
TWO DAYS OF WORK FOR ONE DAY OF SAILING
The following is the May APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthly highlight
in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans):
When your grandfather wins the Newport to Bermuda Race in 1924 and your
uncle skippers an America's Cup boat in 1964, it's pretty safe to say, as
Keith Donald does, that he was plucked into a sailing family. As a kid,
sailing Round Bay and out of Severn SA (SSA), as a student and instructor.
"My sailing is pretty informal," says Donald. "For me, the top half of the
fleet is winning. It's for fun."
Although he has competed in major big boat regattas, such as a few
Annapolis to Newport and Fastnet Races in the 1960s and 1970s, he says, "I
turned into a small boat sailor." After many years as a Snipe sailor, about
five years ago, he traveled to Springfield, IL, on a whim and bought a
Star. "I was tired of capsizing in my Snipe. I thought, 'give me a keel.' I
figured if I bought it, I'd be forced to like it."
Today, in his workroom near Philadelphia, PA, he has two Snipes and two
Stars, one wooden and one fiberglass version of each, and has restored the
wooden boats himself. He discovered his latest project, the Star Hope,
after learning about her existence at the Star Class North Americans in
Vancouver, Canada. The boat was not for sale, but the owner was open to the
right caregiver coming along.
Other than Skip and Mary Etchells owning her in the early 1960s, Hope's
history is unclear. Donald believes she may have spent 30 years under a
porch in New Hampshire. Although she was under a tarp in snow when he first
saw her, "structurally, she was sound," he says.
With the Star Class 100th Anniversary Regatta in Larchmont, NY, in
September in mind as a target date, three and a half years and about 400
hours later, he had completed stripping the varnish of Hope, replacing all
hardware, and varnishing her. "After I launched, I stopped counting the
days and money," he says with a smile. "It's probably two days of work for
one day sailed, but that's getting better. I'm almost at the point where I
am sailing more." -- Read on:
'RUFO' THE RACE HORSE DOMINATES MELGES 24 DERBY
Corpus Christi, TX (May 18, 2011) - The 2011 Melges 24 World Championship
in Corpus Christi, Texas reached its midpoint today, with races five and
six being completed in overcast but breezy conditions. Overnight leader
Lorenzo Bressani at the helm of ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, won both of today's
races to establish a 15 point lead and an effective stranglehold on the
Winds remained in the mid teens for both races, which have proven to be an
advantage to the Italian team. "Rufo (Lorenzo Bressani) likes the breezy
conditions," explained Uka Uka trimmer Federico Michetti, "so this makes it
very easy for the rest of us. He is like a racehorse, we just take the
blinkers off his eyes at the start, and off he goes!" The team is taking
advantage of their solid starts, better than even upwind speed, and
dominant offwind pace.
In the amateur only Corinthian Division, Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783
Esprit continues to dominate with two more wins today to maintain his
perfect score so far. By way of two third places today, Christof Wieland on
GER 635 Unsponsored moves up to second overall ahead of Scot Holmgren on
USA 674 Rosebud, whose pair of second places today sees him ease into the
Corinthian top three.
Racing continues through until Saturday May 21, with two races per day
scheduled. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/M24-Worlds-051811
Day 3 Standings - Top ten of 32
1. Lorenzo Bressani (ITA), UkaUka Racing, (6)-2-1-2-1-1, 7
2. Kristen Lane (USA), Brickhouse 812, 8-1-(10)-3-3-7, 22
3. Flavio Favini (SUI), Blu Moon, 3-6-(8)-5-5-3, 22
4. Brian Porter (USA), Full Throttle, (16)-9-2-1-7-4, 23
5. Conor Clarke (IRL), Embarr, 2-5-5-(11)-9-2, 23
6. Alec Cutler (BER), hedgehog, (9)-8-3-7-4-5, 27
7. Alan Field (USA), WTF, 1-(11)-11-8-2-9, 31
8. Andrea Racchelli (ITA), ALTEA, 4-7-7-4-10-(13), 32
9. Riccardo Simoneschi (ITA), AUDI, 7-(12)-4-9-12-10, 42
10. Eiichiro Hamazaki (JPN), Esprit, 11-4-9-(15)-11-11, 46
Full results: http://tinyurl.com/M24-Worlds-2011-Results
LIVE UPDATES: Here are two sources that will keep you close to the
WILL THE USVI RUN THE TABLE?
With finals looming, the high school sailing season in the U.S. will close
out this weekend at the Baker Championship for the Interscholastic Team
Race Championship. This is the third and final championship for the 2010-11
school season that has been dominated by the Antilles School in the U.S.
Virgin Islands. Here are the winners thus far...
Single Handed Championship - Cressy Trophy (October 30-31, 2010)
Antilles School (St Thomas, USVI) - Ian Barrows, Laser radial rig
Cathedral Catholic HS (San Diego, CA) - Nevin Snow, Laser full rig
Doublehanded Championship - Mallory Trophy (May 6-8, 2011)
Antilles School (St Thomas, USVI) - William Bailey, Ian Barrows,
Nikki Barnes, and Alec Tayler
The Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) is organized into 7
Districts, with over 430 schools competing annually in events across the
country. The Baker Trophy will be hosted by Norfolk Yacht and Country Club
in Norfolk, VA on May 20-22. The following 12 schools have won their
District qualifiers to represent their respective Districts at the team
Northwest (1) - Orcas High School (Eastsound, WA)
Pacific Coast (3) - Point Loma HS (San Diego, CA); Newport Harbor HS
(Newport Beach, CA); Corona del Mar HS (Newport Beach, CA)
New England (2) -The Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, CT); Tabor Academy
Mid Atlantic (2) -Norfolk Collegiate HS (Norfolk, VA); Annapolis HS
South Atlantic (2) -Antilles HS (St. Thomas, VI); St. Thomas Aquinas HS
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Midwest (1) - Lake Forest HS (Lake Forest, IL)
Southeast (1) - St. Stanislaus HS (Bay St. Louis, MS)
Event details: http://www.sailvisa.com
ISSA Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/ISSA-Facebook
ISSA website: http://www.highschoolsailingusa.org
CLASS HONORS FOR ULLMAN CUSTOMERS IN VASHON ISLAND RACE
Seattle Yacht Club held its Vashon Island/Pt. Robinson Race last weekend
where Ullman Sails customers claimed first in class on both courses!
Congratulations to Charles Hill and his team on Wauquiez Centurion 40
"Different Drummer" for winning first in class and first overall in the Pt.
Robinson short course fleet. And Iain Christenson and his team finished
with top honors on the Dash 34 "Izakaya," placing first in class and second
overall in the around-Vashon fleet. Both boats competed with 100% Ullman
Sails inventories. The race is the second in SYC's Tri-Island/Tri-Point
Invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
FIXING THE FLAWS
The latest release of the ISAF Match Race rankings (May 18, 2011) show
there is no change at the top of the Open Rankings with Ben Ainslie (GBR)
staying at #1 ahead of Adam Minoprio (NZL) at #2. Lucy MacGregor (GBR)
returns to the #1 position of the Women's rankings, with a big gain by
Sally Barkow (USA) to move up five places to match her lifetime best of #3.
The European match racing season is in full swing with the 2011 World Match
Racing Tour kicking off in France and two ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas
adding points to the women's Rankings.
One of the long held flaws with the ranking system is that it is based on a
formula which adds together a skipper's best scores over two years. The
formula is wise to grade the difficulty of each event and provide bonus
points for the bigger wins, but the two year period allows for people to
maintain a high ranking long after they have earned it. This is the example
for Ainslie and Minoprio, who left the match race circuit last December and
are now focused on the Olympics and Volvo Ocean Race, respectively.
This situation also occurs after each Olympic Games, where the top athletes
can maintain their high ranking in their event despite not sailing for a
year (or moving on to another event). Fortunately, ISAF addressed this flaw
for the Olympic events at their Mid-Year meeting this month. A new ranking
system will be operational from 2013 onwards, merging with the Sailing
World Cup rankings, and will provide a yearly assessment of the top
athletes based on their performance in World Cup events and top class
The next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings will be 6 July 2011.
Latest ranking information: http://www.sailing.org/35935.php
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 20-22 - Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta - Seattle, WA, USA
May 21 - Charleston Bermuda Race - Charleston, SC, USA
May 21-22 - Live On The Edge - Eugene, OR, USA
May 21-22 - Sailing Supply Etchells Orca Bowl - San Diego, CA, 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
* Sailing Trophies by Noble Awards
* Yacht Broker Paul Buttrose Joins Sparkman & Stephens
* New Offshore Sailors Night Vision Nylon Cap
View and/or post Industry News updates here:
* Bristol Marine Holdings LLC recently purchased the 45,600-square-foot
building that Goetz Custom Boats formerly occupied in Bristol, R.I. The
facility will accommodate new and growing businesses in the marine trades
industries, with a composite engineering and manufacturing company to be
the initial anchor tenant. Established in 1998, Bristol Marine Holdings
owns and operates, through its subsidiaries, more than 30 acres of
commercial real estate in Bristol. -- Soundings, full story:
* (May 18, 2011; Day 5) - After recording some of the fastest 24 hour runs
of the race on leaving Charleston SC (USA) for the start of ocean sprint
five last Saturday, the fleet of four Eco 60s in the VELUX 5 OCEANS have
reached the end of the high speed gulf stream highway, and are now engulfed
in a high pressure system sitting off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Overall leader Brad Van Liew (USA) holds a 25 nm lead on Chris
Stanmore-Major (GBR) with 2502 nm to the finish in La Rochelle, France. --
* Cascais , Portugal (May 18, 2011) - With six new builds prepared for the
five event 2011 TP52 Audi MedCup Circuit, it was one of the debutants, Udo
Schutz's famous Container team from Germany, which proved the most
consistent performer with a 2-2 to lead the seven boat fleet in the season
opener at the Cascais Trophy. Racing in 13-18kts, new boats for Audi
Azzurra Sailing Team and Quantum Racing were also tested, and hold second
and third respectively. Full report: http://tinyurl.com/MedCup-051811
* Teams from Canada, the British Virgin Islands and El Salvador have
gathered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA for the ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final
for North America and the Caribbean. Racing begins on Thursday 19 May for
this Grade 2 event, which will take place in the Fort Worth Boat Club's
fleet of J/22s. The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition to find the
world's top match racing nations in both open and women's events. The ISAF
Nations Cup Grand Final will take place in Sheboygan, USA from 13-18
September 2011. -- Full report: http://www.sailing.org/35937.php
* Santa Barbara (May 15, 2011) - Fifteen boats were on the starting line at
the third regatta of the 2011 29er Pacific Coast Championship Series. Teams
from Seattle, San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, Long Beach, Santa
Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Diego and Coronado sailed in 6-8 knots and big
swells on Saturday while Sunday saw a strong, cold northwesterly. Taking
top honors was Tyler Macdonald and Willie McBride. Full report:
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES
US SAILING provides resources and benefits that impact all aspects of the
sport. We look out for your sailing interests and support yacht clubs,
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US SAILING members make this all possible. Help us enrich your sailing
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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 Ian Brown:
In my view the ISAF classification system misses a fundamental point; it
fails to distinguish between paid professional sailors, i.e. those that
earn their money racing boats, and those of us that merely choose to earn a
living in the marine industry.
There is no distinction between the likes of me, a humble sailmaker and the
likes of Russell Coutts or Terry Hutchinson. I am not sure what it is that
ISAF are looking to achieve; all I know is that there is an ever increasing
number of events that I find myself excluded from - not because of my
ability (or lack of) but because I am labeled as Group 3. Surely that is
The net result is that I find myself increasingly disillusioned with a
sport which has been a major part of my life for the last 35 years.
* From Peter Commette:
I loved Max Bulger's comment in Butt 3344 about Tufts' preparation in 50
degree drizzle at Cottage Park Yacht Club for the ICSA's Nationals at the
"Only college sailing could enable you to sail from Brookline to Winthrop
in a BU FJ. Getting out in the salt water, getting soaked by rain and
waves, and hiking for a couple hours straight may not sound like fun - but
if you sailed in school, you already know this was one of the best days of
sailing I've had all spring. Everyone is still smiling."
That's a great day of team building, skill building, and fun. Note that
they also witnessed the character building lesson from BU's coach, Brad
Churchill, of assisting a rival. All that in one rainy, cold, blustery day.
This is what we hope for when we send our kids to college, especially those
of us, like Max said, "who were fortunate enough to sail in school." Go
* From Tim Dick: (re, Kiss of Death in Scuttlebutt 3344)
Me thinks Mr. Cayard, as head of Artemis Racing, will laugh in the face of
such a kiss, a la Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean style. Being an SF
Bay Area native with plenty of local knowledge won't hurt him either.
* From Robert Warner:
Congratulations to Vincenzo, Russell and Larry. Their AC34 bluff carries
on. After signing a protocol dressed with the Defender's uniform, allowing
Oracle a three-year technical lead with the multihull and the wing, the
famous Challenger of Record pulls out. What a gang! Now comes the turn of
Russell's best mate Paul, and they will manage to put their dream together:
while the number of unemployed sailors, riggers and designers increases,
they will fill their pockets. Well done.
COMMENT: As they say, "He who has the gold, makes the rules." But on the
topic of how things appear, there has been an odd delay on what teams are
still entered. Each team was to post a $200,000 performance bond on April
30th, but there is complete silence on which teams were able to submit the
fee. It should come as a shock to no one that not all 15 teams that entered
by the March 31st deadline had sufficient funding. Perhaps the Bank of
Oracle is reviewing loan applications. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
"When I turned two I was really anxious, because I'd doubled my age in a
year. I thought, if this keeps up, by the time I'm six I'll be ninety." -
Stephen Wright, novelist
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