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SCUTTLEBUTT 3373 - Wednesday, June 29, 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: The Pirates Lair, Quantum Sails, and Melges Performance
TRANSPAC ANNOUNCES SIX-HOUR TRACKING DELAY
One of the lively conversations for the 2011 Transpac Race from Los Angeles
to Honolulu has centered on position-reporting delays, pro or con. Given
new transponder technologies and the capability at last of real-time
reporting at minimal cost, you might think it's a no-brainer to report
real-time. However, no less a voice than Stan Honey made a case for the
hefty six-hour delay - even longer than the four-hour delay of 2009 - which
after long consideration is now announced as policy for 2011.
That is, when the two staggered starts commence on July 4th and the
8th, transponder-based position reporting will be delayed six hours until
the first monohull comes within 100 miles of the finish line at Diamond
Head, at which time reporting for the entire fleet goes real-time.
"Racing around a High is one of the most difficult and treacherous
challenges for an offshore navigator," explains Honey, who has navigated 22
transpacific races, winning 11 of them, including three course records.
"It's hard because, when rounding a High, you have to pick your 'lane'
early, and if you get it wrong, you're toast. Navigators who succeed at the
Transpac become sought after worldwide because the ocean racing community
understands how important and how hard it is to get it right.
"With real-time reporting throughout a Transpac, the fastest boat in any
group of boats with nearly level ratings would always win by covering,"
Honey said. "The navigational intrigue, challenge and tradition of the
Transpac would be lost. For me, the Transpac races that I'm most proud of
are the ones in which I won class or first to finish in a slower boat.
Think Drifter '79, Charley '83, Pyewacket '99. Transpac is among the most
difficult navigational challenges in any of the premier transoceanic
The board members of the Transpacific Yacht Club weighed their choices
carefully, along with input from the likes of yacht designer Alan Andrews,
a good friend of Stan Honey, but a man who chooses a different point of
emphasis. He points out that only a few sailors have the opportunity to
sail with the top navigators. Focusing the game on those top navigators
might not well-serve the greatest number of participants
"Many people find themselves on a boat that misses a few shifts and is
pretty far behind early in the race with a long way to go," notes Andrews.
"You could argue that a more moderate delay, three hours, for example,
still provides an edge to a skilled navigator, but it could provide a
better Transpac experience for crews in the lower part of the fleet, even
if their navigators end up blindly following from three hours behind, not
taking full advantage of the shifts."
Full report: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0628/
RACING SOLO FOR AMERICA
By Tim Zimmerman, Sailing World
Perhaps the biggest failure of American sailing over the past decades is
the lack of presence and impact at the highest ends of global shorthanded
sailing. It wasn't even until 2004-2005 that an American, Bruce Schwab,
managed to finish the Vendee Globe. But for Americans, the podium has been
(much) harder to scale than Mount Everest. Ditto the transatlantic races,
and just about any elite shorthanded event. Lack of sponsorship interest in
the US has no doubt been the biggest problem when it comes to the lack of
Americans, and lack of success. But for any American who loves shorthanded
ocean racing, the best strategy has been to learn French or root for the
Brad van Liew deserves enormous credit and respect for flying the flag over
the past few years, and for being the one American to get to the top of the
podium in a major solo global race, albeit the increasingly lame BOC/Around
Alone/Velux 5 Oceans, and soon to be Purina Cat Chow Global Cruise
(kidding, but it feels like it's headed that way). And respect to Mike
Plant and the other Americans who have sailed well in the BOC/Around Alone,
and to Ryan Breymaier for coming 5th in the Barcelona World Race (and for
sailing it non-stop).
But I still lust for more Americans to a) enter a serious solo race; b)
compete well; and c) kick some European ass. And so I welcome the return of
Joe Harris, with his Gryphon Solo campaign, to the shorthanded racing
I first met Harris almost a decade ago, when he was learning to (not) sleep
with the help of solo sailing sleep guru Claudio Stampi. And so I followed
his Gryphon Solo campaign (in van Liew's former Open 50), with interest.
And he sailed to a second in the Transat and a first in class in the
Jacques Vabre. So he was off to a promising start. But then the Open 50
class withered, Harris had a third child, and, well, you know. But after a
couple of years thinking about how to get back into it, Harris built an
Akilaria RC2 Class 40 and he is now campaigning it with the aim of
competing in the Class 40-based Global Solo race, 2013-2014. -- Read on:
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AN IMPROBABLE TRANSATLANTIC VOYAGE
It was reported in Scuttlebutt 3105 that Kenneth M. MacKenzie, 69, of
Mattapoisett, MA had died on May 27, 2010. Kenneth was the former owner and
operator of the 72-foot Herreshoff designed Ticonderoga, and had organized
the first and second Mount Gay Rum Regattas in 1974 and 1975, which evolved
into the Classic Yacht Regatta in Antigua.
Now we learn that a glass bottle, cast into the Gulf Stream off New England
one year ago as a farewell gesture to Ken, turned up a couple weeks ago on
a beach in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland after an improbable, 3,000-mile
Bound with rigging tape and sealed with wax, the rum bottle carried
handwritten tributes to Ken. The bottle was launched from the deck of the
76-foot sailboat Lilla last June when the yacht, owned by Simon and Nancy
DePietro of Mattapoisett, entered the axis of the stream while competing in
the 2010 Newport to Bermuda race.
"Simon and Nancy live right next door to me, and Ken and I go way back with
the boat," said Mary Lou Manley, MacKenzie's life partner who conceived the
idea of the tribute at his memorial service. "Ken found two messages in
bottles in his lifetime, so we decided to make two messages in his honor,"
The second bottle may still be out there, Manley said. She joined Lilla in
Bermuda for the return trip to Mattapoisett after last year's race and
launched the second bottle herself, 10 days after the first. "The second
one might show up,' she said. "But I just think that it's really cool that
this one made it somewhere and someone actually found it. Here he is
Scottish and he ends up in Scotland."
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/SCT-062811
Eight Bells: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/archived_Detail.asp?key=4454
TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR SUMMER LIGHTNING STORMS
The weather's power and rage showed itself recently with the devastating
springtime tornados that roared through the southern U.S. For recreational
boaters, summer thunderstorms bring danger not only with wind and waves,
but also with lightning strikes. BoatUS' Seaworthy Magazine recently took a
look at how to protect yourself from this hazard while boating, sailing and
fishing on the open water and has these tips:
- Don't wait until it's too late: Get off the water early: Getting to safe
harbor is the safest bet. If you're in a powerboat and can't get in, you
may be able to get around the storm.
- Inside is best: If you can't get off the water in time, the best place to
be on a boat is inside any cabin, but avoid being near mast or chain plates
(sailboats), or large metal appliances like refrigerators.
- Keep away from metal: If there is no "down below" and you're stuck out on
deck, stay away from metal railings, wheels, the mast and mast stays (both
on sailboats), or any other metal fittings. A boater was killed in North
Carolina when lightning jumped from his sailboat's backstay to his head and
then the metal steering wheel he was holding.
- Don't be a lightning rod: If you're on an open boat, stay low and in the
center. Depending on the severity of your situation, it's also a good idea
to remove jewelry. The US Coast Guard reports a case a few years ago in
which lightning struck a man who was standing up wearing a large medallion.
Read on: http://www.boatus.com/pressroom/release.asp?id=676
AN EXPERIENCE THAT ONLY NEW ORLEANS CAN DELIVER
In the summer of 1991, Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, LA hosted sixty
J/22s for a North American Championship. This event was unofficially dubbed
"The First J/22 Worlds" as there was participation of two teams from South
Africa, home to the first J/22 fleet outside of North America.
Over the last two decades, fleets have sprouted around the globe and the
J/22 class received ISAF-sanction as an "International Class". And now this
October 9-15, twenty years after hosting the "first" J/22 worlds,- the
class comes full circle as SYC will be host to the 2011 J/22 Class World
To help ensure a good time, Allstate Sugar Bowl has signed on as title
sponsor of the championship. "Allstate Sugar Bowl has traditionally been a
strong supporter of sailing in the New Orleans area, sponsoring the annual
Allstate Sugar Bowl Regatta," said regatta chair Chris Clement. "Their
support of J/22 Worlds is very significant, as the Allstate Sugar Bowl will
also be the host of the BCS college football championship in January,
On the water, October on Lake Pontchartrain generally offers excellent
sailing conditions, with warm temperatures and breezes that can range from
5 to 25 knots. Because Lake Pontchartrain is very shallow, averaging 14
feet deep, north winds with a 25-mile fetch can kick up a short, steep chop
that challenges the best sailors. Off the water, the regatta promises an
experience that only New Orleans can deliver. -- Forum thread:
Q SAILS SWEEP THE ROLEX AWARDS AT BIRW
Quantum customers had great results last week at Block Island Race Week
with Jim Swartz's IRC 52 Vesper winning the IRC 1 class and the 2011 IRC
East Coast Championship. Quantum sails made a clean sweep in the Rolex
awards as well with Lawrence Dickie, Ker 43 Ptarmigan, winning IRC 2 class
and Rolex for best performance in the Red Fleet; Interlodge owners Austin
and Gwen Fragomen receiving a Rolex award for Round the Island Race; and
Bill Sweetser, Rush, winning the J/109 East Coast Championship (second year
in a row) and Rolex for best performance in the Blue and White Fleets.
Congratulations teams! For sails that deliver the speed:
* Newport, RI USA (June 28, 2011) - Having cheered on the first six yachts
when they departed on the Transatlantic Race 2011 two days ago, the
14-strong group of yachts that will take the second of the three staggered
starts now have less than 24 hours until they begin the race across the
North Atlantic for themselves. The warning signal at 13:50 Eastern Daylight
Time on Wednesday, June 29, will cue the largest group of yachts to depart,
including the show-stopping 289-foot Maltese Falcon, and spectators are
guaranteed to see a unique sailing spectacle when the cannon is fired at
Castle Hill Light. -- Read on:
* The Landing School awarded its first Associate of Applied Science degrees
in marine industry technology to students June 11 at the 33rd annual
commencement ceremony. Among the 64 graduating students, seven were degree
recipients who completed two years of education and training at the
post-secondary institution in Kennebunkport, Maine. -- Soundings, read on:
* Lewmar issued an advisory notice about its deck switches. Electric deck
switches operate in a hostile environment and are subject to salt water,
extreme temperatures, direct sunlight and UV rays. They are also
susceptible to wear and tear after repeated use and can suffer accidental
damage during boat operations, according to the notice. -- Soundings, read
* Laird Hamilton (USA), one of surfing's biggest names, has been hired as
the fitness and nutrition coach to help the PUMA team prepare for the
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Hamilton, 47, who made his name for his daring
feats on a surfboard, joins skipper Ken Read for the training of the team
ahead of the race which starts in Alicante, Spain on 29 October. -- Full
POST YOUR INDUSTRY UPDATES HERE
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:
The Audi Melges 20 fleet had a great event this past weekend in Newport.
Part of a three event championship series. The Bacardi Newport Sailing Week
was rocking Melges style. Paul Reilly wins the championship. The National
Championship is in Newport late August. New boats are being delivered for
the event and we can build one for you. Check out http://www.melges20.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 Karl L. Kirkman:
It was almost exactly thirty years ago when your Video of the Week # 1 in
Scuttlebutt 3370 was aired on a local news channel, providing the first
clue as to the fluid mechanics that caused the large number of yacht
capsizes in Fastnet '79. Prior to that race, ocean racing had largely been
considered to be a relatively safe, albeit often uncomfortable, pastime.
By gaining an understanding of the capsize mechanism , the USYRU Safety
from Capsize Project was able to then trace unhealthy design trends that
had made the yachts of the day particularly susceptible to capsizes, and
even being trapped inverted, and to suggest rule changes to reverse the
design trends. In that sense, that particular footage had a powerful
Here is the link: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/11/0624/
* From Bob Black:
In regard to the Long Beach connection story in Scuttlebutt 3372, Tom Ehman
was the honcho of the U.S. Sailing Team at the 1984 Olympics. This team set
a record of three golds and four silvers out of seven classes which has
never been even close to equaled. I was Assistant Press Chief at the venue
and it is firmly etched in my memory.
* From Judy Hanlon, Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club:
What a horrible tragedy with the death of a junior sailor in Annapolis
(Scuttlebutt 3371,3372). Personal for me because I know the family;
critical to me because I am the Adult Sailing and Racing Director at BHYC.
What can we do better? How can we protect against a similar tragedy at our
Investigations are in progress but what can we immediately do in our
programs? This should be a wakeup call to every junior program. What should
we teach our Junior Sailing staff?
Some immediate suggestions are below. Please add to this list:
- There should always be two instructors per coach boat, one to drive, one
to deal with capsized boat and people in the water.
- There should be appropriate "tools" in every coach boat - "handyman" with
sharp knife and wire cutter to deal with any sailors trapped by lines or
- There should be drills/discussion with all instructors about what to do
with a capsized boat - first count heads, then deal with the situation. In
my cold waters of Maine we should immediately consider hypothermia.
I will be meeting with instructors to review and discuss this awful
situation. Please add to my list of discussion topics.
* From Adrian Morgan: (re, story in Scuttlebutt 3372)
So it's the crashing that's attracting spectators to the America's Cup; not
the sailing or the subtlety. But one capsize in the full-size AC 72 cats
and that's it. Game over, I suspect.
* From Damian Christie:
I have to agree wholeheartedly with Tyler Carder's remarks in Scuttlebutt
3371. Alinghi and the Societe Nautique de Geneve should NEVER have been
accepted into America's Cup competition in the first place because SNG did
not hold its annual regatta on the open sea or an "arm of the sea", as
required by the Cup's Deed of Gift. The New York Yacht Club would certainly
have rejected such a challenge back in the 1880s! Indeed, had SNG been
barred from the outset, perhaps we would have been spared the farcical
shenanigans in the lead-up to the last Cup defence in which Alinghi
appointed a Spanish non-entity in CNEV as its formal challenger.
However, I will put this question to Tyler: Is it still too late to strike
Alinghi's Cup victories from the record? Of course, it would mean that
because Alinghi and SNG were ineligible, every Cup victory since 2000 has
been null and void. Oracle's Cup victory last year would also be null and
void and that means Golden Gate Yacht Club would not be the rightful
trustee (after all, you have to win the Cup off a valid defender!). I
recommend the Cup is returned to the Kiwis and the Royal New Zealand Yacht
Squadron is reinstated as Cup trustee forthwith! (My tongue is firmly
planted in cheek!)
COMMENT: This sounds like the movie 'Groundhog Day':
* From By Baldridge:
This will probably sound like a rant but the NOOD regatta concept is
bugging me. National Offshore One Design (NOOD) is the worst description
possible for these regattas. What is offshore one design about Lasers,
Kiteboards and F-18s? San Francisco's recent regatta had 62 boats that can
be possibly classified as offshore, fewer that are one design.
One year after Hurricane IKE temporarily cut our fleet in half in Houston,
Sperry canceled future Galveston Bay NOOD Regattas when we could only put
seventy boats in their 2009 regatta. I guess we should have known that we
could put in dinghies and IRC handicapped boats to bolster our numbers.
Obviously the sponsors can go where they want but they should rename their
regattas because they are not National, one design or offshore.
COMMENT: Before the San Francisco NOOD there were Thistles in San Diego,
29ers in Seattle and handicap classes in Detroit and Chicago. The NOOD
events have evolved, remain highly relevant, but are shackled with a dated
name. Same thing goes for video rental stores that no longer have videos.
Branding is tricky business.
"Don't be a spectator; don't let life pass you by." - Lou Holtz
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
IYRS - APS - North Sails - Atlantis WeatherGear - Gladstone's Long Beach
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Gowrie Group - Ullman Sails - New England Ropes - USSTAG
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