SCUTTLEBUTT 3381 - Tuesday, July 12, 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, Vineyard Race, and LaserPerformance.
WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS
The coaching industry in sailing has grown along with the expansion of
professional sailing opportunities. But whereas there are some limits on
the participation of professional sailors, there are fewer on the support
side. An editorial by Andrew Hurst in the July 2011 edition of Seahorse
magazine discusses his observations regarding the merits of coach boats at
small boat regattas:
Olympic sailing is now savagely expensive whatever boat you sail. And in
terms of boats, there is little ISAF can do since when national resources
become available they will be spent.
But there is one aspect of Olympic sailing with immense cost implications
over which ISAF retains complete control but has as yet done nothing; I
have never changed my opinion as to the merits of coach boats at small boat
The presence of countless nanny boats - which is what they are - at Olympic
class regattas, and most importantly at the Olympics themselves is wrong on
so many levels. Here are a few: coach boats are indulgent and immensely
divisive, making poorer sailing nations feel exactly that; they are unfair,
crews with help afloat can duck key choices others make each day about gear
and set-up; they are expensive and they add to the public perception of
sailing as a rich man's sport; they pollute and destroy the green image of
sailing that ocean sailors used to fending for themselves work to promote;
they require more facilities of venues, favouring wealthy areas; most
importantly they have done a good job of eliminating the culture of
self-reliance that can make an Olympic sailor into a round the world
champion. And that is a crime.
Having 200 ribs bobbing around the Olympic Regatta does not make sailing
look professional. It actually makes our outstanding sailors look slightly
We have said this before and will say it again. Make a start ISAF. Send a
positive signal that your sport is trying to reign in its excesses. Leave
the coaches at the gate.
Seahorse magazine is available in several formats for consumption. If you
would like to take advantage of a special Scuttlebutt promo rate, here are
the information links:
Print - http://tinyurl.com/6db3tjg
Digital book - http://tinyurl.com/66tyouy
Ipad app - Please visit the app store.
BECOMING MORE SPECIALIZED BY THE GENERATION
One sailor totes two Olympic medals and a lifetime of experience on the
water. The other is a local slice of the sport's future, a high school
junior who's primed to make a run to the Olympics himself.
Almost four decades separate 56-year-old Randy Smyth and 17-year-old Dodge
Rees. Smyth never had a coach until age 30, when he trained for the 1984
Summer Olympic Games. With the sport becoming more specialized by the
generation, Rees, a Pensacola High student, was already traveling the world
before he was licensed to drive around the block.
Recently they joined forces to lend their unique perspectives to youth
sailors during the 10th annual Subway Junior Sailing Clinic at Pensacola
Yacht Club (FL).
"It's funny for me because I never had a coach coming up," said Smyth, who
first learned to sail in his native Long Beach, Calif. He has raced in the
America's Cup, won silver medals in both the 1984 and 1992 Summer Olympic
Games, and netted more than 55 world championships in his illustrious
"For children today, they have coaching their whole career from a very
young age," Smyth said. "So you'd have to say coaching is a new element
where it used to be a self-taught game - how many times do you tip over
until you learn to not tip over yourself? - so that's a totally different
way of learning."
Rees is a product of increased specialization. He's been competing for
years, managing a hectic schedule of school, practice, workouts and
competitions. "Nowadays, I guess it's a lot more intense," Rees said. "I
feel like back in the day, stories I heard were kind of like no shoes, no
life jacket, no problems. Everything is more structured and maybe a bit
Rees races with the U.S. Sailing Olympic Development team, and next up
after this weekend is a trip to La Rochelle, France, to compete in the 2011
World Laser Championships on July 16. -- Pensacola News Journal, read on:
CONGRATS RAMBLER 100, PUMA'S MAR MOSTRO
North Sails-powered 'Rambler 100' crossed the finish line first in the
Transatlantic Race 2011 finishing in 6 days and just over 22 hours
establishing a new record for the 2,975 nautical mile course from Newport,
RI to Lizard Point, South Cornwall, U.K. Finishing second, but winning on
corrected time, was PUMA's Mar Mostro, also powered by a complete North
Sails inventory, finishing the race in 7 days, 11 hours and 40 minutes.
Race organizers declared PUMA's Mar Mostro provisional winners for the IRC
Class 1 and IRC Overall for the TR 2011. When performance counts, the
choice is clear: http://www.northsails.com
NOT A SINGLE NEGATIVE TO THIS RACE
(July 11, 2011) - PUMA's VO70 Mar Mostro is not only the second boat across
the Transatlantic Race 2011 finish line at The Lizard on the south coast of
England (at 05:40 UTC on July 11) but also the current overall standings
leader based on corrected time. Skipper Ken Read (Newport, R.I.) and crew
completed the 2,975 nautical mile course in 7 days, 11 hours and 40
After careful calculations, the race committee has confirmed that none of
the 24 yachts still racing has a mathematical probability of beating PUMA's
Mar Mostro on corrected time, and they shall be declared provisional
winners of IRC Class One and IRC Overall for the Transatlantic Race 2011.
"We entered the race with zero expectations, just like the other IRC
handicap racing we've done this year," said Ken Read. "We wanted to learn
the boat and the crew. Now here we are in the position of possibly winning
a race that we didn't expect to win. We are pleasantly shocked. We didn't
break anything, the sails held up, the team is certainly coming together,
and there's not a single negative to this race. It was a great experience."
PUMA's Mar Mostro reached a maximum speed of just over 30 knots early in
the race, traveling 551 nautical miles on day three. By day five, however,
light air slowed their pace towards the finish at The Lizard and the last
several hundred miles were slow going.
"The finish was excruciating," said Read as he detailed a bizarre twist to
the finish. "We approached The Lizard knowing we had to get there quick
because the current was about to change and go against us. As we entered
the English Channel the breeze was dying steadily to the point where the
current did change. Literally, when the race committee said we were
finished, we were stopped and about to throw the anchor as we would have
been going backwards with the current." -- Read on:
SHIFTING GEARS: THE NEXT TRANSITION
(July 11, 2011) - Great minds think alike, and as we continue through the
Navigator's Hot Seat segment of the Transpacific Yacht Race, with the
prospect of lighter winds ahead, the north-south juggling act continues to
be the great preoccupation. We've seen a well-formed High pump out some
pretty nice tradewinds, but now it's time to adjust, and there is just no
way to know until some point farther down the track just who is making the
best bets. Farther north, closer to the High, is a shorter course but
riskier. Farther south buys better breeze, probably, but at what cost in
I call that a great game of yacht racing.
The latest report from Hap Fauth's R-P 69, Bella Mente - the boat that
already has people talking "Barn Door winner" even though it's a bit early
for that - advises: "We are keeping a close eye on Magnitude. They are
definitely keeping us on our toes. The talk on the boat is to juggle how
high to go, but stay away from the High. So right now we are having a
pretty normal Transpac."
Read 349 miles in 24 hours for Bella Mente at morning roll call, 348 for
Doug Baker's Magnitude 80. Breaking the mast in the Cabo Race was not good,
but Transpac is the featured leg of Bella Mente's left-coast sojourn, and
they've had the Chamber of Commerce tour so far. Now the latest update on
Yellowbrick tracking shows Baker's Andrews 80 (navigator Ernie Richau)
making a bid to the south of the track of Bella Mente (navigator Ian
Moore). Mr. Richau is uninclined, apparently, to let Mr. Moore snooze
lightly. Rough-and-ready projections have the leaders making Diamond Head
Light on Thursday evening.
We will note that, as of Monday, James McDowell's SC70, Grand Illusion, is
basking in the 1-1 position, leading a fleet of six sleds on time
allowance, although Philippe Kahn's Andrews 68, Pegasus, shows the shortest
distance to go. Looking distance-to-go, however, the sleds have about a
60-mile spread with another 1,400 miles or so yet to go, plus the strategic
gybe for the final approach. These horses have a long way to run. -- Read
Race website: http://www.transpacrace.com
EXCUSE ME, IT TAKES A SAILOR
By Kimball Livingston, BPT
As a longtime member of what some people imagine to be a stuffy yacht club
on the San Francisco cityfront (St. Francis Yacht Club), I am pleased to
share a few thoughts regarding the skill sets of the racing sailor and the
place of kiting in that community.
The thoughts, that is, of fellow club member Johnny Heineken, second place
skipper at the US Youth Sailing Championships of 2006, first place skipper
at the 29er Nationals that year and at the same time a key member of UC
Santa Barbara's sailing team. More recently, podium number one at the 2011
Kite Course-Racing World Championship.
Number one, as in crushed the fleet. As in, fell all the way to second
twice in twelve races, and that includes come-from-behinds in which he lost
sight of marks in high winds and high waves and had to turn around and
chase down people who had been lucky enough to blunder into the right patch
And the point is, he is (still) a sailor.
Waves to three meters, according to the race committee. Six to eight feet,
I heard from the sailors. What we know for sure, race committee work was an
exercise in survival (thanks, guys), and photographers couldn't get out,
much less do their thing. There is no visual record of the racing.
The worlds wrapped last week in Sylt, Germany. Now it's time to think this
First off, I reckon my fellow yacht club member's blue blazer was a mite
crumpled from travel, and he was embarrassed to wear it on stage. No doubt,
his club tie is somewhere in lost luggage, but it will turn up. We should
note that Mr. Heineken had been going to school and later interning while a
lot of his competitors were full-time kiting, so even he may have been
surprised by so much success.
And here is what I get from our UC Santa Barbara graduate and Team Ozone
sailor. As they used to say in late-night TV, Heeere's Johnny...
"Two weeks ago a contingent of Bay Area kiters left SFO with our boats in
our bags, headed for Europe. The crew included 2010 World Champion Adam
Koch, his brother Andy, San Francisco Bay legend Chip Wasson, Bryan Lake,
Joey Pasquali, and me.
"Coming from the Bay Area, we fancy ourselves big-breeze sailors, but Sylt
took us to the next level plus. Over the six-day Kiteboard Course Racing
World Championships, this tiny German island in the North Sea provided us
with the gnarliest conditions I have ever experienced under sail.
"But the boys from San Francisco Bay held it together, taking first, second
and third. In fact, six of the top thirteen sailors were people who
regularly race in the Thursday night series at St. Francis Yacht Club,
where kite course racing was invented. For us locals, it's the equivalent
of 'beer can' racing, but, considering the evidence, it is just possible
that these Thursday night races are as competitive as any international
event, anytime, anywhere." -- Read on: http://blueplanettimes.com/?p=7382
COMMENT: I suspect that Johnny has earned himself consideration for U.S.
Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. Considering that the presentation for the 2011
awards will be at that same "stuffy yacht club on the San Francisco
cityfront" mentioned above, a win by Johnny might make the blazer crowd
shed their jackets forever. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS YEAR'S VINEYARD RACE WEEKEND
Take part in the East Coast classic, presented by Thomson Reuters and
hosted by Stamford Yacht Club. Three courses to choose from: cruising
division; multihull division; race tracking and post-race trophy party.
Join Tom Whidden at our skippers' meeting. Start date: Sept. 2. Register
* Zadar, Croatia (July 11, 2011) - Lighter conditions continue at the ISAF
Youth Sailing World Championship for the third day of racing, but each of
the eight events have secured enough races to allow for a lay day on
Tuesday. Tops among the North American contingent are Nikole Barnes/
Agustina Barbuto of the USVI and American Morgan Kiss/ Christina Lewis, who
are in second and third respectively in the doublehanded Girls 420 event.
Laser Radial sailor Erika Reineke (USA) had a good day, moving up from
fourth to second, and the 29er team of Antoine Screve/ Mac Agnese (USA)
also moved up from fifth to third. Event website:
* (July 11, 2011) - San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the
issuance of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), a critical
milestone in the planning for the America's Cup events in 2012 and 2013 and
the associated construction of the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier
27 by the Port of San Francisco. Oral public comments on the Draft EIR will
be heard before the Planning Commission on August 11, 2011, while written
comments will be accepted by the Planning Department until the close of the
45-day public review period on August 25, 2011. -- Full report:
* Both the number of boats sold and the total value of the sales increased
in June, compared to June 2010, according to reports by U.S. brokerage
members of YachtWorld.com. Unit sales rose 1 percent, but the 3,446 boats
was higher than in any month since 2007. In the first six months of 2011,
the number of boats sold lagged 2 percent behind the same period in 2010,
with sales of 15,370 boats. However, the total value of boats sold
increased 14 percent on sales of $1.86 billion. -- Soundings, full report:
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DON'T MISS OUT ON THE LASERPERFORMANCE EVENT BOATS!
This year LaserPerformance will be supplying over 400 sailboats at select
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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 John Tormey:
It is occasionally reported in Scuttlebutt about how the youth sailing done
today is mostly in simpler boats. It was notable to read in the Jonathan
McKee interview (Scuttlebutt 3380) about how he believed he has succeeded
in the Olympics and in World Championships because he had not participated
in a traditional junior program:
"I had sailed more high performance technical boats as a kid - 505's and
stuff like that. I think that helped me to be comfortable with that degree
of complexity in the boats that I subsequently raced."
* From Steve Gregory:
Reading in Scuttlebutt 3380 about the 40+ mile long course and 30 knot
winds for the kite and windsurfers on San Francisco, I am reminded how
extreme this venue is.. and how hearty the sailors are. While all the talk
might be about the catamarans or boards, the bulk of the racing occurs on
the same types of monohulls found in most harbors. The only difference is
the people. They go sailing in the types of conditions which other areas
abandon, and come away with the kind of stories that makes people take on
* From Pete Thomas: (re, Formula 18 Worlds in SBUTT 3380)
Are you kidding me - Aussie Darren Bundock now has thirteen world titles?
* From Brittany Siemens:
So sad to hear about the death of Richard Oland (in Scuttlebutt 3380). I
hear it was a result of a gunshot wound. Between Oland and Olivia
Constants, our sport is on a bad roll right now.
To keep a healthy level of insanity, as often as possible, skip rather than
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Quantum Sails - Vineyard Race - North Sails - LaserPerformance
Morris Yachts - Samson - Ullman Sails - APS
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers