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SCUTTLEBUTT 3349 - Wednesday, May 25, 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: Team One Newport, New England Rope, and LaserPerformance.
THE "DUMBING-DOWN" OF YOUTH SAILING
At the age of 20, Allison Jolly became the youngest woman ever to win the
U.S. Yachtswoman of the Year Award in 1976. And when the Olympics added the
Women's Doublehanded event in 1988, Allison with teammate Lynne Jewell
dominated the heavy air event in Pusan, South Korea to earn gold.
When Allison began sailing at 10 years, youth sailing programs were much
different. Now as the sailing coach for the University of South Florida
Women's Varsity Team, she shares her observations on the changes:
As junior sailors 30 to 40 years ago, we were introduced to simple concepts
about mast bend even in the prams we sailed. Our masts were laminated wood,
and the selection of which timber(s) to use was based on your weight, the
wind conditions you sailed in, and what mast bend characteristics you
wanted. We were all expected to understand these concepts. Additionally, the
easily adjusted vang and sprit control lines were led to the daggerboard
trunk, so effecting sail shape was almost effortless.
After leaving prams, I was exposed to many wonderful classes which promoted
an even greater understanding of the diverse combination of sails, rigs,
foils, hulls, and the physics of sailing. These included Snipes, Windmills,
Lightnings, Thistles, Fireballs, I-420's (no Club 420's in those days),
FD's, 5-O-5's, and yes, 470's.
I competed in the inaugural US Youth Championships in 1973 in Wilmette, IL.
Competition in the double-handed event was held in 470's, and I fell in love
with the boat before I could even (legally) drive a car. Just imagine the
top 20 youth double-handed sailors in the US competing in 470's today!
Having lamented the "dumbing-down" of youth sailing, however, I acknowledge
there is at least one significant positive result. Transferring the
responsibility of boat ownership to clubs and other organizations has
allowed for greater access and increased the opportunity for more widespread
community involvement in youth sailing.
The question is what happens to this influx of new competitive junior
sailors once they attain a certain level. The sport of competitive sailing
is generally associated with an elitist image, and unfortunately with fairly
good reason. The inevitable costs associated with higher levels of
competition make the sport prohibitively expensive for many of these
sailors. But is the solution to continue "watering down" the sport for all
juniors, putting U.S. sailors at a disadvantage on the international level?
I don't think so, but I don't have the solution.
TUCANA LEADING TO BERMUDA
Charleston, South Carolina (May 24, 2011) - As of the mid afternoon position
update today, it was evident that the lead boat - the Hofford-Ford team on
board the Shipman 63 Tucana - was making a move to distance itself from
race-long rival Spirit of Juno, the OnDeck Farr 65 that is under charter to
the self-acclaimed "world's greatest sailor," comedian Stephen Colbert. The
leader of Colbert Nation and his crewmates have hounded Tucana for the
majority of the race, staying within six miles of them much of that time,
but the situation began to shift after noon today.
On board Tucana, it's likely that the two most avid racing sailors among the
crew - Michael Miller and Dan Valoppe (both of Charleston) - are constantly
trimming the sails and squeezing every ounce of performance they can out of
this all-carbon-fiber machine. Miller is a professional sailor who once
campaigned for the Olympics, and Valoppe is a professional yacht delivery
captain. Together, they possess significant expertise in optimizing sailing
performance. As of the most recent position reports from Yellowbrick, Tucana
was nearly 15 miles ahead of her rival, and moving almost two knots faster.
Back on shore in Charleston, David Browder has been watching the fleet's
progress very closely. Browder, who founded this race in 1997 along with his
friend Rick Hennigar, said earlier today: "It's been very interesting to
watch. They're all right there together. I fully expect Juno to make a move
and sail past Tucana any time now. She's capable of doing that, and should
be able to pass." -- Event website: http://www.charlestonbermudarace.com/
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THE FLINTSTONES ARE BACK!
It was on September 13, 2010 when the plan for the 34th America's Cup was
revealed, and a "new era" was promised by the boss of the defending team,
Russell Coutts. The boats will be "cool", he said as he showed an impression
of a 72-foot catamaran with a wing sail. "This will be a competition for the
Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation," promised Coutts.
The Facebook-Flintstone comment, which had innocent intentions to highlight
the trend toward a younger competitor and audience, proved to be miscue. Not
only was it a slap at the generation most connected to the Cup, but it
failed to realize that Russell Coutts himself was in the largest Facebook
age range (35-54), and that his parents were in the age range experiencing
the greatest Facebook growth (55+). So much for cute comparisons.
Love it or hate it, the America's Cup remains the most recognizable event
for the sport, and it would be regrettable for the format to fail. But now
there is cause for real concern. Is it possible that Sir Russell, the master
tactician on the race course, is completely out of phase with his appeal to
the younger generation? Guess what... The Flintstones are back!
This animated, prime-time American television sitcom that ran from September
30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, is back in production and is gearing for a 2013
premiere on the U.S. Fox network schedule. And if you're paying attention,
its fall release will now be competing for the same television audience as
the 34th America's Cup.
The irony is overwhelming.
YALE LEADS AFTER DAY 1 ICSA WOMEN'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Cascade Locks, OR (May 24, 2011) - Today's racing began with the final races
for the First Round Women's teams, who were competing to make it in the top
nine to move on to race in the Final Round of the Sperry Top-Sider / ICSA
Women's National Championships. A westerly breeze ranged 14-17 mph, making
the current hard work on the downwind legs.
The qualifying teams (in order) moving onto the Finals are: Yale, Brown,
URI, Coast Guard, ODU, Harvard, University of South Florida, Eckerd and
The Women's National Championships began in the afternoon in just 4-8 knots
making for slow moving against the current. University of Rhode Island
sailors in A-division finished the day first overall. "What helped us a lot
was having sailed in the First Round yesterday and today. We knew what to do
on the downwind, it was familiar racing," says URI's head coach Clinton
It certainly shows in the current scores that the teams who have already
been sailing for a day are at a slight advantage with some practice under
their belts. The top six teams are all teams who competed in the First
Round. With only one set in each division completed the regatta is certainly
still wide open for competition. -- Results and live coverage at:
* 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 Juniors (CFJs), in Cascade Locks, OR.
CAMELS BEGIN CHASE FOR TITLE
(May 24, 2011) - Every year Jeff Bresnahan sets lofty goals for his
Connecticut College sailing program. Win a national championship.
The Camels have a realistic shot to finally accomplish that feat this week,
competing in the Inter Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA)/Sperry Top Side
women's national championship this week. Conn College begins the 18-team
competition as the No. 3 ranked team in the country.
"Our goal is to win a national championship," Bresnahan said. "We've had
All-Americans and Olympians come to Conn. From Day One, we (talk about) what
can we do to win a national championship. We've come close a couple of
times. With student dedication and resources that we have at Connecticut
College, that's a possibility."
Bresnahan has a busy two weeks ahead as his coed team also qualified for
nationals. Competition in the ICSA/Gill Dinghy national championship begins
next Monday and runs through Wednesday, June 1. The young Camels are ranked
15th. It is the third time in the sailing program's history that two teams
qualified for nationals in the same year. The Camels also did it in 1993 and
1998. -- Full story:
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* Nominations for the 2011 induction into the U.S. National Sailing Hall of
Fame are being accepted from the general public until June 1st for
candidates who are American citizens, 45 years of age and up, and who have
made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport. The
first class of inductees will be recognized on October 23, 2011, during
ceremonies scheduled to take place at the San Diego Yacht Club in
California. -- Details here: http://tinyurl.com/3hgmxyy
* The Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association held the 2011
Interscholastic Sailing Association Baker National Team Race Championship on
May 20, 2011 and May 21, 2011 at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club in
Norfolk, Virginia, with 12 teams competing in the qualifying round. Tabor
Academy is the 2011 National Team Race Champion, with a 10-1 record. Newport
Harbor finished 2nd with a 9-2 record, winning a tiebreaker race over The
Hotchkiss School (also 9-2) and moving it to 3rd place. -- Full report:
* Istanbul, Turkey (May 24, 2011) - The Extreme Sailing Series kicks off
Wednesday in the teeming city of Istanbul, for Act 3 of the nine-stop global
Extreme Sailing Series tour. The eleven international teams are now busy
assembling their Extreme 40 racing machines in the technical area on the
Halic estuary, after the containers were unloaded overnight. Weather reports
indicate some generous north to north-easterly wind conditions over the
coming days with 8-10 knots forecast tomorrow and up to 16 knots by
Saturday. -- Event website: http://www.extremesailingseries.com/
* Medemblik, Holland (May 24, 2011) - Day 1 of the Delta Lloyd regatta,
fifth event on the ISAf Sailing World Cup circuit saw the Croatian teams
master strong winds to take top spots in the 470 men, the Laser and the
Finn. Canadian 49er team Gordon Cook and Hunter Lowden sit in 2nd overall
with a 6-8-3 on the day while in the Star, Canadians Clarke and Bjorn, after
long delays on shore put in some good work with a 5-2 for 3rd overall.
Canadian Greg Douglas sits in 3rd in the Finn class, while USA's Brad Funk
took a second and seventh for 8th overall in a 122-strong fleet in the
Laser. -- Live updates, videos, and full results on event website:
* (May 24, 2011; Day 11) - At yesterday's 1800 UTC position report of the
VELUX 5 OCEANS, the last schedule where all four boats were polled, overall
race leader Brad Van Liew (USA) had a lead of just over 60 miles on his race
rivals, with 1082 nm to finish. Choosing to seek out stronger winds to up
his speeds towards La Rochelle Brad sailed close to the eye of a depression.
He was rewarded with boat speeds hitting more than 25 knots but also paid
the price for the move encountering howling 47-knot winds and crashing seas.
-- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/3cuy8bl
* Langenargen, Germany (May 24, 2011) - Stage 2 of the World Match Racing
Tour (WMRT), Match Race Germany, will begin on Wednesday with the first
Qualifying Session after the teams finished honing their skills on the new
fleet of Bavaria 40S yachts on Lake Constance. Conditions for the Qualifying
Sessions are forecast to be light and shifty which will present the teams
with a considerable test on board the Bavaria 40S boats. Heading the WMRT
charge after Stage 1 is Damien Iehl/French Match Racing Team with 25 pts. --
Event website: http://www.wmrt.com/
ATTENTION MARINE INDUSTRY: "GET GUARANTEED EXPOSURE"
Scuttlebutt World Headquarters is on every mailing list, so we get all forms
of email press releases about marine industry updates. Most go in the trash.
The Marine Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum was created so
companies could get guaranteed exposure by posting their own personnel,
product and service updates online. In addition to website traffic,
Scuttlebutt editors randomly select updates each week to include in the
Thursday edition of the Scuttlebutt newsletter.
Here is the link to post Industry News updates:
LASERPERFORMANCE AND ICSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Eighteen new LaserPerformance CFJ's will be sailed over 10 days in the
Women's, Dinghy and Team Race National Championships @ Cascade Locks,
Oregon. As a long term sponsor of ISCA, we are proud to be able to provide
the best boats for the best College sailors in the country. Good Luck to all
from the team @ LaserPerformance, largest collegiate sailboat manufacturer
in North America. -- http://www.LaserPerformance.com
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 Bob Johnstone (re, Scuttlebutt 3348):
Andrew Campbell is on the right track with the Laser providing the bridge to
all-age competition, providing the independence and motivation to youth to
learn from and compete with more experienced older sailors. But, the Laser
(and 29er) addresses a fairly small percentage of future sailors....the more
athletic and serious racers.
I look back in the 1950s when as Juniors, during the week we raced
Lightnings, took them out on moonlight cruises and cookouts on distant
beaches, then raced against the old folks on Saturday. What that boat,
J/22s, J/24s, Flying Scots and other larger "sit-in" one-designs accomplish
is to open up the broad vista and joy of local sailing activities to a wider
range of youth...activities that don't require a high level of athleticism
or wet suits to survive. Much of the US population is located on cold water,
even in summer: the Northeast, Great Lakes and West Coast.
* From Henry Filter:
Andrew Campbell is really on to something about youth sailors sailing with
and against the adults. That is the essence of our sport! Back in the late
70's, when I turned 16, I grabbed the car keys, threw the Laser on the roof
and never looked backed! I was fortunate to grow up in Laser District 7 in
New England, where a local regatta had guys like Ed Adams, Peter Isler and
Dave Perry just to name a few. These guys were the young adults at the time,
helping to inspire the youth coming up behind them. The independence and
life lessons learned were priceless.
Today, my 13 year old son sails snipes with me, as he has for the last 5
years. The adults in the class treat him as an equal and he is learning so
much about sailing and life just through osmosis. I know he will ditch me in
the upcoming years (as he should), as he is already talking of younger
sailing partners and sailing Lasers when he gets big enough. When he drives
off solo to his first Laser regatta, there will be a tear in my eye and a
smile on my face knowing that my mission has been accomplished!
* From Chris Bulger:
With the never ending debate on ISAF classification heating up, I am
reminded that the issue of professional vs. amateur in our sport means very
different things to different people. For some it is an issue of maintaining
a level playing field where we separate part time sailors from full time
sailors in the interest of fair play. To me this has always been an absurd
goal. First, we have a sport that attracts the affluent and some are much
more affluent than others. The notion that we can level the playing field by
excluding yacht brokers but including Larry Ellison is ridiculous.
Another goal of "labeling" professionals that I am much more sympathetic to
is separating the sailors who participate to "sail" from those who
participate to "sell". The corrosive effect of professionals that I have
witnessed over my 45 years in the sport doesn't stem for great performance
on the race course - it comes from the commercialization of the social
events that surround our sports. 25 years ago, major club and regatta
parties were populated with amateurs who were committed to escaping the
rat-race of retail culture. The few maritime professionals who made the
scene were largely passionate starving engineers who couldn't sell to save
their lives. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/3e3p4t8
Better living through denial.
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