Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3371 - Monday, June 27, 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: IYRS and APS.

With school age children on summer break and the junior programs getting
cranked up, the promise of a memorable sailing season was shaken last
Thursday afternoon in Annapolis, MD when fourteen-year-old Olivia Constants
died during her Club 420 class out of Severn Sailing Association.

The incident occurred following a capsize near the Naval Academy, and she
is said to have been underwater for several minutes. Initial news reports
that her trapeze harness got tangled are not confirmed. Olivia and her
skipper had just taken down the spinnaker. She was wearing a lifejacket,
the winds were barely 10 knots, and veteran instructors reacted immediately
and per protocol. An investigation and autopsy is underway.

Observed Amy Gross-Kehoe, veteran coach and US Sailing Youth Council
Chair from Annapolis, “It has reminded me that training and procedures are
important, but sometimes, are not enough. At Annapolis Yacht Club, Eastport
Yacht Club and SSA, we are working hard within the community to prevent
irrational fear of youth sailing as a result of this event and to avoid
laying blame. This tragedy was genuinely a freak accident.”

The sailing program at SSA was closed on Friday to allow for grief
counseling. Olivia’s memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday. - Craig
Leweck, Scuttlebutt

On-the-water umpiring is now the standard for match racing. But when the
boats are too fast for high speed RIBs, then there is either a problem...
or an opportunity. That is the reality for the 34th America’s Cup and its
catamaran platforms.

The Pressure Drop website got a peek behind the scenes while the crews
working out the kinks during last week’s trials and testing on SF Bay. Here
is Umpire in Chief Mike Martin for a round of Q and A's!

* How did the week work out overall?

Mike Martin: "These test sessions are always valuable. We get to test all
the systems and work out any bugs that we might find. It is great to do
this before the first competition begins. Like all of the teams, ORACLE
Racing really wants the AC World Series to be a great new circuit so they
were very open to trying new ideas and race courses to see what works."

* The umpires on the (jet)ski's are retired Seals, are they also sailors?

Mike Martin: "Yes. David Blackman was a college sailor at the US Naval
Academy and is an active sailor in Southern California. Ryan Cox also went
to the Naval Academy and was multi-time college All American as well as
college sailor of the year in 1995."

* What's the chance they will be able to keep up with 72's in 3-4 ebb chop
and 25 plus knots?

Mike Martin "That is the question that we all are asking. Not just for the
jet ski, but also for a RIB or any reasonably sized powerboat. That is why
the electronic system is so promising. We will be testing different
approaches like having the Ump Boats in different stations around the
course and then the yachts sail to them instead of umpire boats chasing the

* ACRM seemed to be focused primarily on a reaching start, can we
anticipate that will be utilized on the 72's?

"In our testing the reaching starts have been very popular with the
sailors, the spectators and the ACEA broadcast team. Our plan is to use
these for the AC World Series. We will see how it goes before we make a
decision on the finish AC course configuration."

Full report/photos:

School may be out for summer at IYRS, and grads can be found working at
places like Brooklin Boat Yard, Rybovich, and Hinckley; on Puma’s shoreside
crew; and at companies building composites structures for everything from
boats to musical instruments. But there is still a lot happening at the
school this summer, with three good reasons in July alone to visit IYRS -
including two Open Houses in Newport and Bristol, and the July 9 Annual
Summer Gala with a great band and a great after-dinner party. To find out
more about IYRS summer events, visit

By Fred Eagle, SailRaceWin
In 2006 I was head of the graphic design department for a custom golf
equipment manufacturer in the US, working from home and looking at putters
all day. Every day. My house is on the waterfront and so I also look at
boats out the window while I am working. Every day. So, I guess it was
bound to happen. My creative subconscious mind naturally twisting my daily
visuals and attempting to create something new with the information.

While I was practicing my short game in my yard one afternoon, It hit me
hard. A future-forward club design that would marry the sport of golf with
the sport of sailing. Land with Sea. Fuse the two legendary pastimes into a
lethal precision sporting device. Great. Seeking advice from the only
expert I knew in the field, I asked the French multihull specialist Loick
Peyron: Hey, what do you think about a multihull putter, mate? Hmmm ...A
catamaran for the golf course? Yes. Ees good. Let's do it dude.

We collaborated on design concepts, and Loick nailed it with his conceptual
renderings of his asymmetrical catamaran or proa design. (prao in French).
It was a perfect look, sexy and stealth, and a bit from left- field. After
some nice CAD work from Loick, and multiple hours of detailing in a tiny
Northwest garage, the Proatype was born. A glamourous child of salt water,
cigarettes, sweat and steel. -- Full story/photos:

Portimao, Portugal (June 26, 2011) - Ian Williams won his first World Match
Racing Tour event in three years today sailing to victory at the Portimao
Portugal Match Cup. The last time Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar tasted
victory was at the Danish Open back in 2008, the same year that he was
crowned World Champion for the second consecutive year.

Williams’ victory over Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing in Portugal means
there has been a different winner in each of the four completed stages of
the 2011 Tour which is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested
seasons in recent years.

Williams took down current Tour leader Bruni with two back-to-back wins in
a wet and wild Final. The win shoots Team GAC Pindar up the World Match
Racing Tour standings from tenth to third place, which at the halfway stage
of the Tour is a huge boost for the 2007 and 2008 World Champion. -- Full

Results from 2011 Portimão Portugal Match Cup:
1. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, 17,726.25 USD
2. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing, 10,635.75 USD
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 9,926.70 USD
4. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, 7,799.55 USD
5. Torvar Mirsky (AUS)The Wave Muscat, 6,735.98 USD
6. Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners, 6,381.45 USD
7. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, 6,026.93 USD
8. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team, 5,672.40 USD
9. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team
10. Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team
11. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Aon Racing Team
12. Olli-Pekka Lumijarvi (FIN) Siragusawa Sailing Team
(Prize money converted from euros to dollars on June 26, 2011)

BACKGROUND: The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional
sailing series, featuring 8 events across the globe, sanctioned by the
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with "Special Event" status. Prize
money is awarded for each event, with event points culminating in the
crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World Champion". --

Block Island, R.I., (June 24, 2011) - The Storm Trysail Club’s (STC)
biennial Block Island Race Week XXIV presented by Rolex hosted 134 boats
fourteen classes in IRC, PHRF and One-Design along with titlists for the
2011 IRC East Coast Championship, the J/122 National Championship and the
J/109 East Coast Championship.

After a slow start on Monday and Tuesday, when light wind conditions
postponed racing until late afternoon, officials cancelled racing
altogether on Wednesday but then amped up again on Thursday with a lively
running of the event’s traditional Around the Island Race. Light air was
the soup of the day again on Friday, but none of the more than 1,000
sailors here seemed to mind - just wanted one final chance to make some
power plays and enjoy their last moments on tiny Block Island at one of the
country’s most beloved and classic of sailing competitions. -- Full

PHOTOS: By Daniel Forster and Karen Ryan:

Twenty years ago, Kyle Gross recognized a need for a one-stop shop where
sailors could obtain everything they needed from foul weather gear to
nearly impossible to find deck hardware. He opened the doors to Annapolis
Performance Sailing in 1991 and in 1992, distributed the first APS mail
order catalog. Slowly and steadily, APS grew from a one-man operation into
a thriving international company run by a team of 30 racing sailors
stocking over 10,000 sailing products. APS has revolutionized accessibility
to boat parts and sailing accessories while building strong relationships
with its patrons and vendors to support the sport of performance sailing.

Party details here:

Newport, R.I. USA (June 26, 2011) - The first cannon fired today from the
iconic Castle Hill Lighthouse to signal the beginning of the Transatlantic
Race 2011. Ranging in size from 40’ to 289’, the 26 yachts representing 10
countries will commence with three staggered starts on June 26 and 29, and
Sunday, July 3, with the hope that they finish off The Lizard on the South
Coast of England in close proximity to one another.

Among the six boats starting today was local favorite Carina, a 48’ sloop
skippered by Rives Potts, Jr. (Essex, Conn.). Onboard are four fathers and
five sons, as well as the youngest crew member in the race, Dirk Johnson,
Jr. (Middletown, R.I.). At just 16 years of age Johnson has been sailing
since he was a baby and has always wanted to sail across an ocean. “I have
been sailing short offshore races for a while and I really wanted to do
this race,” he explained. “I guess I will miss home comforts the most,
especially my Mum’s lamb chops. But all of my family are sailors and this
is in my blood.” -- Full report:

* Chicago, IL (June 26, 2011) - Southern California high school senior
Nevin Snow turned heads by winning his first event at the Chicago March
Race Center, the Grade 3 GoPro Match Cup A Event on June 24-25. Snow, who
is ranked 186 in the world, joins ten skippers for the Grade 3 GoPro Match
Cup B Event on June 26-27 where he is in second behind leader Taylor Canfield
of the USVI. --

* The eight event Sperry Top-Sider NOOD series was in San Francisco (CA)
this past weekend, where 135 boats competed in 11 classes ranging from IRC
to kiteboarding. Dominating the largest class was the J/105 Arbitrage
skippered by Bruce Stone, which built an 11 point lead during the 5 race
event. Details:

* Cres, Croatia (June 25, 2011) - After a long week that featured weather
conditions varying from 0 to nearly 30 knots, and amongst the largest fleet
ever assembled for an ORCi championship event, two new ISAF offshore World
Champions are crowned in Cres. Alberto Rossi’s Farr 40 Enfant Terrible has
won the crown over 55 rivals in Class A, and Giuseppe Giuffre’s M37 Low
Noise has won the top prize over 62 opponents in Class B. Despite the
weather conditions and starting line controversies, these two emerged
unscathed with 13 and 12-point margins of victory, respectively. -- Full

* UK Residents of Weymouth in Dorset will not be allowed to watch the 2012
Olympic sailing regatta without a ticket even if their property overlooks
the sailing competitions. In a bid to stop people catching a glimpse of the
Olympic regatta, officials have closed off the public park that boasts sea
views. A wall will be built around Nothe Gardens at Weymouth and Portland
that stretches across 40,000 square metres of land and will play host to
sailing events. New plans will ensure only ticket holders who have forked
out up to 50 pounds each for a seat get a view of the action. Read more:

Events listed at

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 By Baldridge:
To take the mandatory PFD rules to their ultimate end, I suggest that all
cruise ship passengers should be required to wear PFD's 24 hours a day, All
Navy personnel on all ships from aircraft carriers to submarines wear them
24/7 and all passengers on aircraft be required to wear them when flying
over water.

* From Tim Patterson:
In all the talk of PDFs that I have been following, I have not yet heard
anyone mention life lines attached to harnesses, nor jack lines to allow
movement without detaching from the boat. Offshore, the harness and tether
seems more important than a PDF to me. I did like the one Dad who said he
had stressed the ‘One hand for the ship, one hand for yourself’ rule.

* From Ari Barshi, Laser Training Center Cabarete:
On the 'Dollar Per Knot' scale, Kiteboarding is first by a long shot, with
Windsurfing a close second. My Laser is about $450.00 per knot, assuming we
reach a max of 12 knots of speed and the boat costs $5,500.00.

How do the new AC Cats, grade on the 'dollar per knot' scale? Not sure, but
for those of us who cannot afford an AC Cat, the 'dollar per knot scale'
helps us to feel good about sailing slow.

* From Peter Willcox:
Your video of the surf at Waikiki (in Scuttlebutt 3370) made me remember my
father's stories of surfing both a PC class sloop and a Star off the
Waikiki beach.

During WWII he was stationed at Honolulu. On Sunday afternoons they got off
work long enough to go sailing. When the Kona wind, counter to the trade
winds would blow, he would surf off the beach in one of the boats. They
would leave out of the Ala Moi channel, and sail the three miles over to

They would catch a wave off Diamond Head, and follow the break left until
100 feet off the beach, when they would kick out and sail back out to deep
water. Once the wave was caught, the sails would luff, and spray would
flare up five feet on each side of the boat.

For desk bound soldiers, this provided all the excitement they needed for
the whole week.

During this time, Dad co-founded the Waikiki Yacht Club along with Duke
Kahanamoku, Gus (?) Solomon, and some well connected local sailors who were
able to score the land for the club. Dad (Roger) at 91 is still frostbiting
all winter in New York.

* From Paul Warren, Redington Beach, FL:
First off, I was boarded last week by local USCG (Station Sand Key,
Clearwater, FL). The two "Coasties" who came aboard were polite, efficient
and friendly. They definitely were NOT "thugs." I, for one, am thankful
that our Coast Guard friends are the professionals that they are. They keep
us all safe.

Now, a second note, regarding Event Permits. New permits are usually
granted with minimal effort required from the applicant. However, in the
case of the J/80 fleet in Newport, I suspect that a "blanket" permit had
already been issued for all races in that series, usually covering a
multi-week/month time-frame. Without knowing the precise details, I'd be
willing to bet that no extra permit was needed for their races.

* From Tyler Carder, Largo, Florida:
Alex Arnold (in Scuttlebutt 3369) apparently does not understand the
America's Cup at all, or else he would not have wondered whether Oracle
hosting the America's Cup on the home waters of the Golden Gate Yacht Club,
the defenders of the America's Cup, was somehow unfair

The great advantage to winning the America's Cup is being able, among other
things, to host the event on the home waters of the winning and thus
defending yacht club.

It was only because Alinghi, a team that should NEVER have been accepted
into America's Cup competition in the first place because the yacht club
the Alinghi team represented was the Societe Nautique de Geneve which is
not located on an "arm of the sea", shopped around Europe to find a venue
to host the event- and pay millions for the right- after Alinghi won the
America's Cup from New Zealand.

Thus the AC landed in Valencia, Spain, where Alinghi, a Swiss team
representing a Swiss yacht club, hosted the event- which made absolutely no
sense in the grand traditions of the AC.

If the assumptions are wrong, the conclusions are not likely to be very
good either.

IYRS - APS - North Sails - Atlantis WeatherGear - Gladstone’s Long Beach
The Pirates Lair - Quantum Sails - Melges Performance Sailboats
Gowrie Group - Ullman Sails - New England Ropes - USSTAG

Need stuff? Look here: