SCUTTLEBUTT 3348 - Tuesday, May 24, 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 Sails, North U, and Gowrie Group.
THE MISSING COMPONENT IN YOUTH SAILING
Youth sailing in the U.S. has exploded. The structure of youth-only events
using simplified boats has proven to be a popular format, and has provided
a clear path from beginner sailing through college. The issue, however, is
whether this path encourages young sailors to remain active in the sport
beyond their youth years. Andrew Campbell, College Sailor of the Year
(2006) and Youth World Champion (2002), is a product of the U.S. system.
Here are his observations:
Sailors that are in the game by their own will, outside of structured youth
sailing, are far more likely to learn important lessons that will increase
their likelihood of continuing to sail after their youth years. I can
guarantee a higher percentage of these young sailors will continue in the
sport when compared to the general population of their peer group of youth
On one hand, there is a strong case made by many that the simplification of
the boats at the youth level (ie, Club 420s and Club FJs) has both
increased the overall participation of youth sailors by decreasing overall
costs thus improving access. The continuation from simplified youth boats
(often owned by local clubs) encourages sailors to participate further in
Interscholastic and Intercollegiate Sailing, improving the overall pool of
sailors at that level as well.
It is very clear that youth sailors improve more quickly when they race
with and against more experienced sailors. The technical nature of a boat
is irrelevant when we are talking about general experience level. However,
what I am seeing is how sailors used to a highly structured youth-only
environment struggle to keep the sport of sailing in their lives after they
graduate from college and the realities of life kick in.
The missing component seems to be the lack of exposure to classes of boats
with older sailors. Their only exposure to the sport is sitting alongside
their coach boat with their parents waiting for them at the beach! Believe
me, they will not be able to afford a coach forever, nor will their parents
be waiting for them at the beach. At some point they are going to have to
be in the sport for themselves.
If parents want their children to thrive in the sport, then they should
allow their children to race along with them or other adults in the
regattas they compete in. By providing a role model and a good example of
the fact that sailing does continue after college, and it's not always in a
boat with just a mainsheet and a jibsheet, young sailors will be better
equipped able to jump that looming gap between heavy structure and complete
The Laser was the single most important boat I ever sailed for all of these
reasons above. Once I got my license at age 16 I was on my own. My parents
were hugely supportive if I requested their advice and time, but otherwise
encouraged me to do it myself first. There are countless times when I put
the boat on top of my car and traveled to the to Laser fleet events (ie,
non youth events) throughout Southern California. As a much younger sailor,
not only was I learning valuable lessons about self-reliance, but I was
learning an incredible amount about sailboat racing from sailors that had
seen a lot more than I had at the time. -- Read on:
8 CITIES. 8 TEAMS. 1 CHAMPION.
The National Sailing League (NSL) aims to realign sailing with American
sports entertainment, designed specifically for the general sports fan. Its
inaugural year will feature 8 teams owned by individuals or syndicates of
individuals and representing 8 US cities, each with their own mascot and
distinct color schemes. Each week, each team will either host or visit
another team in a head-to-head competition; thus, each week features 4
events across the nation. A 10-week season will determine seedings for a
week-long playoff event at a pre-selected host city.
Who will be sailing? The athletes will likely be sailors who have advanced
through the ranks of high school and collegiate sailing. The NSL is
designed to be that "next step" you see in football, baseball, basketball,
What is the intended fan-base? The NSL started as an initiative to attract
athletes and general sports fans to sailing. Similarities of the practiced
plays and coverages in sailing with other sports make it viewer-friendly
even to those who don't fully understand what makes sailboats go.
Franchises will be referenced only by their city and mascot. As in other
sports, fan rituals and superstitions will contribute directly to your
city's success. Watch the racing live for an excuse to go to the
waterfront. Watch it on TV for an excuse to sit on the couch.
Where will the teams be located? The original 8 teams will likely sail out
of the United States' more traditional sailing cities; however, with the
anticipated type of boats, expansion to cities like Phoenix (Lake Pleasant)
or Las Vegas (Lake Mead) is not out of the question.
When will this all start? Read on:
NORTH-POWERED BOATS SHINE @ SEATTLE NOOD
Congratulations to the following North Sails-powered boats who topped their
respective classes at this past weekend's Sperry Top-Sider Seattle NOOD
Regatta: 'Allegro Vivace' - J/105; 'Crazy Ivan' - J/80; 'Blue Martini' -
Performance 30; 'Self Abuse' - J/24; 'Grauer Geist*' - San Juan 24 and
'Tantivy*' - J/109 (* = partial inventory). "The NOOD team and co-hosts
Seattle YC & Corinthian YC did a great job organizing and showing once
again that this is one regatta not to be missed," said Jack Christiansen of
North's Seattle loft. When performance counts, the choice is clear:
Although it happened nearly 20 years ago, Sharon Green easily recalls
shooting the Maxi Worlds off Newport, RI. "It was a distance race and they
were approaching the finish after a full day of sailing in extremely rough
seas." In fact, says Sharon, "We had no right going out there ourselves:
there were huge seas, and walls of water ... every time we'd come off a
wave the boat slammed down and water flew everywhere. It was impossible to
Longobarda and another yacht were sailing aggressively, and close. "I
instinctively knew something was going to happen and grabbed my camera, and
started firing through the walls of water. I heard the 'Bang!' of the rig
as it started to come down; zoomed out and just kept shooting. I didn't
know I got the rig breaking, and this guy catapulting off the back of the
boat, until I got the film back from the lab the next day."
This is just one of the thousands of images Sharon is poring over, from
three decades of the Ultimate Sailing Calendar. As she works to create the
newest collection of images ("Sharon Green's 30 Years of Ultimate Sailing"
will release in October), Sharon has a few mysteries she wants to unravel.
And the first is: who IS this airborne crew member? What happened to him in
Here is the photo... please post your information in the comments section:
LONGTIME DREAM FULFILLED
Rye, NY (May 23, 2011) - Through the combined efforts of host club American
YC (Rye, NY) partnering with their neighbors from Larchmont YC, the world's
first all women's disabled sailing event was held on the waters of Long
Island Sound on May 19th. Sailing as an adjunct to the third annual Robie
Pierce One-Design Regatta, seven teams from the US and Canada competed.
"It has been a longtime dream of women to have our own event to help get
more women into adaptive sailing," said Canadian Sailing Team member Brenda
Hopkin. "A group of us asked the organizers last year if they could put one
on in 2013, and they did it in one year. We all had a ball."
Sponsor Beirn not only underwrote the cost of the one day regatta, they
sent the women shopping in the clubhouse after racing, letting each
contestant pick from an assortment of beautiful Beirn handbags.
With five wins in five races, Sarah Everhart-Skeels and crew Christy Padin
won the event, capturing the newly rededicated Larchmont YC - American YC
Challenge trophy. Sailing with the winning team was able bodied crewmate
Teresa Loughlin of Larchmont YC.
The third annual Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta followed the women's
event, May 20-22 at American. Fourteen teams from the US and Canada
competed, each with an able bodied crew (AB) for ballast.
Eleven races were run over two days and the winning team was team was
Jonathan Evans, with crew 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen
McKinnon-Tucker. The able bodied duties were split between Jonathan's
brother Gansen and nephew Jake. -- Read on:
ELECTRIC WINCH: WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION?
By Charles Doane, Wave Train
I've been trying for a while to figure out exactly what it was that
happened in Jolly Harbor, Antigua, back in March. Accounts are vague and
somewhat contradictory. As is often the case, Dick Durham, news editor at
Yachting Monthly, seems to have developed the best information.
The magazine's most recent web post on the subject describes it, in the
words of one eyewitness, as a scene from "an abattoir with body parts all
over the cockpit." According to YM's current print issue (p.11), the
horrific accident was the result of "a complex riding turn on the drum of
[a] foot-operated self-tailing winch."
What seems clear is that: a) the boat involved was an Amel Maramu, ranging
somewhere in size from 50 to 56 feet; b) the winch was electrically
powered, built by Lewmar; c) a woman from Venezuela lost her hand and some
part of an arm, and also had her other hand crushed, while trying to hoist
her husband up a mast; and d) the good Samaritan who tried to rescue her
lost 7 (or was it 8?) fingers for his trouble.
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/WT-052311
RACE & WIN
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MELGES MEDIA BARRAGE
There something about big wind, big chop, and fast boats that brings out
the trigger finger in the professional photographer. It was a tough task,
but Scuttlebutt has selected the best 36 images taken from the countless
frames by shooter Rick Tomlinson at the Melges 24 World Championship last
week in Corpus Christi, TX. Enjoy:
And if you want to see what life is like onboard, here is a series of
videos taken on second overall Brian Porter's Full Throttle:
And lastly, SailGroove has interviews and race highlights:
COLLEGE NATIONALS HAVE BEGUN
Cascade Locks, OR (May 23, 2011) - The Intercollegiate Sailing
Association's three national championships, ICSA/Sperry Top-Sider Women's
National Championship, ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship, and the
ICSA/Gill Dinghy National Championship commenced Monday, May 23 with the
Women's event, which will last for four days immediately followed by the
Team Race Championship and the Dinghy Championship consecutively each
lasting for three days. All of the events will be sailed in Club Flying
The racing is taking place in Cascade Locks, Oregon approximately 40
minutes east of Portland, on the Columbia Gorge River. Today's semi-final
races were to determine the final berths to the Sperry Top-Sider/ICSA
Women's National Championships. Eighteen teams competed today for a spot in
the top nine that will allow them to advance to the final round of
competition for the Gerald C. Miller Memorial Trophy. Semi-final racing
will continue Tuesday.
Top ten of 18 teams
1. Yale University, 38 pts
2. Brown University, 45
3. University of Rhode Island, 64
4. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 70
5. Old Dominion University, 87
6. Georgetown University, 88
7. Eckerd College, 90
8. Harvard University, 92
9. University of South Florida, 99
10. University of Hawaii, 103
* Long Beach Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Farr 40 Class Association,
will host the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship on May 28-30.
The three-day regatta will be staged from Gladstone's Restaurant on the
waterfront in the heart of downtown Long Beach, with the fleet berthed at
the adjacent Rainbow Harbor. This year will be the regatta's debut in
California, with ten teams currently entered. Event website:
* The Delta Lloyd regatta, fifth event on the ISAf Sailing World Cup
circuit, begins May 24th in Medemblik, Holland. Some 600 boats in the ten
Olympic classes and the Paralympic 2.4 will represent 61 countries. Racing
will start Tuesday at 11 am (local time) and will continue through Sunday.
Live updates, videos, and reporting on the event website:
* Three Somalian pirates have admitted their involvement in the hijacking
of an American yacht and the deaths of its four crew. Eleven other Somalis
and a Yemeni have also been arrested in connection with the killings of
Jean and Scott Adam, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay in February. -- Yachting
World, full story: http://tinyurl.com/YM-052311
* Canada's Peter Wickwire and his crew of Matt Christie and Tim Bishop
comprehensively won the ISAF Nations Cup North American / Caribbean
Regional Final at Fort Worth, Texas, USA over the weekend. The Canadian
trio, who have an ISAF World Match Race Ranking position of #75, defeated
Colin Rathbun, Christopher Haycraft and Antony Wighting, from the British
Virgin Islands, 3-0 in the Final. The Canadians now advance to the ISAF
Nations Cup Grand Final, which will take place in Sheboygan, USA from 13-18
September 2011. -- Full report: http://www.sailing.org/35968.php
* (May 23, 2011; Day 10) - VELUX 5 OCEANS skipper Chris Stanmore-Major
(GBR) found a cabin full of water and a 3-foot hull crack on the final leg
from Charleston, USA to La Rochelle, France. The pumps drained the boat and
though now able to manage the situation, he is having to overcome
significant water damage to his electronics. Overall race leader Brad Van
Liew (USA) is now 1362 nm from the finish, with a 63 nm lead over second
place Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski. -- Full story:
GOWRIE GROUP: THERE'S MORE AT RISK THAN THE VALUE OF YOUR BOAT
Even a total loss to your boat pales in comparison to the monetary exposure
of a lawsuit for serious bodily injury from a boating accident. Many
boaters don't have sufficient liability coverage to protect their personal
assets. The experts at Gowrie Group take the time to understand your unique
situation and ensure the liability protection on your boat, home and
personal excess policies don't have risky gaps or costly overlaps. Gowrie
knows the risks yachts-people face on and off the water, and are committed
to getting you the right protection. Read the full article at
www.tinyurl.com/GG-Risk or start a conversation with Gowrie at
800.262.8911, www.tinyurl.com/gowriequote (use code: Scuttlebutt).
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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 Steve Gregory:
The letter by Clark Chapin in Scuttlebutt 3347 underlined the change which
has occurred in professional sailing. The classification code became
complicated when so many very talented sailors had worked in the various
types of businesses in the marine industry. Fairly defining the jobs within
a sail loft which were deemed professional took effort, and thus the
classification code (and FAQs) grew long.
However, the professional landscape has changed, and these very talented
sailors who once worked in the marine industry are now more likely to be
independent contractors that owners pay direct for their sailing services.
I know that ISAF recently simplified the code and reduced the categories
from three groups to two groups. But now I wonder if it should go back to
three groups, with one Group 1 being amateur, Group 2 being marine industry
pros, and Group 3 being sailors who get paid to sail.
* From Tim Gurr: (re, ISAF Classification Code)
Please excuse me but I am a little confused with all this talk about Group
3 if you do, or Group whatever if you don't etc. Applying this same logic
means that if you make a nice baseball bat and lots of pro ball players
like to use them, does it mean that the next time you go to the park you
are a pro ball player? I don't think so.
I have built one or two boats over the years which some guys have used
quite well and occasionally I may be asked to sail on them but somehow I
just don't see myself as a pro yachtsman. Nor do I want to be. I prefer
sailing with my mates.
Surely the test must be if you are paid to go sailing you are professional.
If you are not paid to go sailing you are not. Am I missing the point?
* From Chip Nilsen:
In the report 'YOUTH SAILING IN THE U.S.' in Scuttlebutt 3346, you are very
correct when you mention that this is more complicated than one might
understand at first blush. Many things contribute to participation at youth
regattas in today's diverse number of distractions with school being high
on the list. Regarding the 29er a bit of history will also be helpful in
seeing the future.
The 29er is just over a decade old and has been evolving into the youth
platform of choice for much of the international community. Today it is
common to have hundreds of entries at 29er events in Europe with the
advantage of 29er worlds and similar regattas drawing throngs of
international teams from around the world. The U.S. is in many respects
behind the curve when it comes to international platforms like the 29er and
the International 420 related to numbers, but this is moving quickly in the
favor of the 29er in recent years.
I say this because the 29er a decade ago was in large part sailed by older
teams that ranged from older teens to sailors in their 30's, 40's and
beyond. Today however the model teams are youths choosing the 29er as the
next platform as they exit the Opti style prams with the older heavier
teams opting to move on to other competitive keel boats, college sailing or
the skiffs like the I14, 49er and multihull platforms. With the 29er
becoming the youth platform for which it was originally designed by Julian
Bethwaite, along with Ian Bruce the father of the Laser, the 29er here in
the U.S. is positioned for major growth. -- Read on:
Famous Last Words... "Well, we've made it this far."
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Summit Yachts - Harken - North Sails - North U
Gowrie Group - Team One Newport - New England Rope
Melges Performance Sailboats - Ullman Sails - Hall Spars & Rigging
LaserPerformance - BIC Sport - Doyle Sails
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