SCUTTLEBUTT 3384 - Friday, July 15, 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: APS and Vineyard Race.
REVOLUTION IN THE RIGGING
The advent of rod rigging and Nitronic 50 some years ago resulted in both
weight and windage savings, especially as the hefty terminals could be done
away with, explains Jon Morris of Marine Results International. "But it all
came at a massive hike in costs," he says, and although now the greater
proportion of boats over 40 foot have it fitted, "The price difference
still means that the smaller end isn't really going to be that interested."
Tim Watson of Pro-Sail Management explains that with the appearance of PBO
(poly-phenylene benzobisoxazole) in the marine world, things changed again.
The story is that Future Fibres founder, Tom Hutchinson, was involved with
tethers for the wheels on Formula 1 cars, and also being a yachtsman he
realised that that this composite fibre would also hold rigs up in boats
with a minimum of stretching. "Suddenly all the racing boats started to use
PBO," says Mr Watson.
It wasn't long before the trickledown effect took hold. With the upping of
manufacturing volumes there was a cost reduction and super yachts started
to use the material.
This in turn sparked something of a revolution. "If you can make the mast
and rigging lighter, you can make the keel lighter," says Mr Watson. "And
if you can make the keel lighter, you can make it shallower. Mr Morris adds
that it's not just a question of the super yachts getting closer into the
shore, "It means that the boats handle quite differently: you have less of
a loading moment, and all in all it makes them easier to sail."
On the other hand, PBO can be successfully retrofitted, and these days with
greater ease. Mr Watson says, "In the bad old days, the spreader tips had
to be changed, which used to mean cutting off and re-laminating a new tip.
However, on a recent project, we used a 'Replacement Tip Cup' which took
most of the pain out of the change over - it's nice to know the
manufacturers are thinking about things like this."
However, Mr Morris adds that the big jump in efficiency can cause
unexpected difficulties. "If you try retrofitting some of these very
efficient systems onto an older boat, the loading suddenly peaks. When the
'give' gets taken out of one section, you find other things have to take up
a lot more strain. In short, you need to find someone who knows what they
And there are other points to consider. Not all vessels will be suitable
for PBO. -- Boating Business, read on: http://tinyurl.com/BB-071411
BEWARE OF E15
Most recreational boats in the U.S. are "trailer" boats. Stored in the
backyard or driveway, they are trailered to the water and enjoyed for the
day. They are also refueled at your local gas station or minimart, which
may soon offer a fuel, E15 (or 15% ethanol), that is prohibited by the
federal government for use in boat motors and violates engine manufacturer
warranties. That has the nation's largest recreational boat owners group,
BoatUS, concerned over the potential for accidental misfueling.
EPA's recent debut of its proposed solution - a small, orange label affixed
to the gas pump titled "Attention" - has only heightened the need for
boaters to be vigilant, said the Alexandria, Virginia based association.
"As this new fuel starts appearing at the local fuel pump, we see the real
likelihood of putting the wrong fuel in your boat," said BoatUS Vice
President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. "It could lead to costly
engine or fuel system damage, and potentially leave you stranded out on the
water with a disabled vessel, compromising your family's safety. When a
boat's engine stops running, you can't pull over to the side of the road,"
Earlier this year, the EPA authorized the use of E15 in 2001 model year and
newer motor vehicles. However, the agency did not authorize its use in
marine engines or a range of off-road vehicles, tools and equipment.
Currently, most boaters in the US have transitioned to E10 (10% ethanol),
the maximum percentage of ethanol permitted in gasoline before most engine
manufacturer warranties are voided. However, many boaters still go out of
their way to find ethanol-free fuel. -- Read on:
HEIGHT OF THE SEASON
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BRING YOUR CAMERAS
(July 14, 2011) - If you believe the straightness of the routes on the
tracking software - or lack of straightness - the lead dogs in this
Transpac race are going to keep this exciting until their Friday morning
finish. With Hap Fauth's 74-foot Bella Mente to the north on port gybe, and
Doug Baker's 80-foot Magnitude 80 to the south on starboard gybe, these two
teams are on a converging course with near equal miles to the finish.
And as for the route straightness, Bella Menta's route looks like a
symphony while Magnitude 80's track is more like a garage band. You can
decide which team might have had to work harder today for what they got.
Division 5 is comprised of six Santa Cruz 50s, though the aging years have
led them to stray down various surgical roads of self-improvement.
Regardless of the time allowance spread, this class expects to draw cameras
for a photo finish. Navigator Peter Shumar shares this snippet from onboard
the SC 50 Deception:
"Light winds today with big holes from horizon to horizon. Winds went as
low as 3.5 knots and it was a struggle to keep the boat moving. Good thing
we have current pushing us where we want to go. Went up the mast today to
check on chafe, look for wind and take some photos. Best view in town, but
it looked a lot like the view from deck, just loftier.
"A pod of false killer whales visited us today. They swooped in under the
boat from starboard, then circled behind us, swam by our port side and then
played off the bow for a few minutes before they decided that our slow
speed was too boring for them and went in search of something more exciting
(most likely food).
"After some talk about the crew chopping me into chum for the lack of wind,
we picked up a nice breeze in the mid-afternoon and were able to place
ourselves in front of a squall that we rode for over an hour. We're
currently sailing in 12.5 knots of breeze and we feel like a rocket ship
after today's light breeze. In other good news, people have started
bathing. The bad side of that is that I've now seen it all. Ack."
Race website: http://www.transpacrace.com
* (July 14, 2011) - Newport, R.I. USA (July 14, 2011) - After racing nearly
3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, the two Class 40s in the
Transatlantic Race 2011 are set to provide a dramatic finish as they
approach The Lizard on the south coast of England. Concise 2, skippered by
Ned Collier-Wakefield (Oxford, U.K.), is just a few miles ahead of Dragon,
skippered by Mike Hennessy (Mystic, Conn.), and after 16 days of racing the
outcome of this duel is too close to call, even with just 100 miles to the
finish line. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/TA-071411
* Zadar, Croatia (July 14, 2011) - With racing to conclude on Friday at the
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, there remains plenty of
opportunities among the eight events. Tops among the North American
contingent are American Morgan Kiss/ Christina Lewis and Nikole Barnes/
Agustina Barbuto of the USVI, who are in second and third respectively in
the doublehanded Girls 420 event. Laser Radial sailor Erika Reineke (USA)
is still in fourth, but a 1-2 today has moved her within two points of
second. The 29er team of Antoine Screve/ Mac Agnese (USA) is in third, but
only two points from second and three points from fourth. Event website:
* The current top ten ranked U.S. match racing skippers based on the July
6, 2011 ISAF Ranking List have Anna Tunnicliffe as the top woman skipper
and Bill Hardesty as the top open skipper. Full list:
* Mantoloking, N.J. (July 14, 2011) - Sarah Williams (Bay Head, N.J.) and
crew Ali Blumenthal (Bellport, N.Y.) took a commanding lead on Wednesday at
the U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship and never looked back.
They won four of the first seven races of the championship to take an eight
point lead going into today's final two races. On Thursday, Williams and
Blumenthal finished seventh and fifth to win by a six point margin and will
have their names engraved on the prestigious Ida Lewis Trophy. Forty youth
teams competed in Club 420s this week on Barnegat Bay in this three-day
Championship. -- Read on:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include yawning, losing, European racing, fashionable in Britain, and
onboard in the Atlantic. Here are this week's photos:
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The growth of match racing is occurring at all levels. In the youth
programs, as a college national championship, on the yacht club race
schedule... all the way up to the professional World Match Racing Tour.
More people are match racing now than ever before.
Life is good for this section of the sport, which allows us to have a laugh
this week with a video produced by the Tour. Click here for this week's
BONUS: Videographer Vince Casalaina profiles the U.S. Junior Women's
Singlehanded Championship, one of several national championships organized
by US Sailing. In 2011 the regatta was hosted by the Richmond Yacht Club in
California and 56 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 competed on San
Francisco Bay. Enjoy: http://youtu.be/xuLKyr7Gbkg
BONUS: With 11,000 entries from 50 states and five countries, the video on
Challenged America and the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic, produced
by the Port of San Diego Communications Department, has won this year's
prestigious "Telly Award." View the video at http://youtu.be/2-pWKjxAKFc
BONUS: The latest launch in Essex, MA drew close to 2,000 spectators who
came to watch the 60-ton splashdown of the Schooner Ardelle last weekend at
the historic Burnham Boatbuilding yard. The launch capped the latest
edition in a near 200-year tradition. Essex has been the birthplace of
approximately 4,000 schooners. Watch here: http://youtu.be/UMPCssn93yo
BONUS: In the July 15 "World on Water" Global Sailing Weekly News Report we
cover the RC44 Cagliari Cup Sardinia, the Bosphorus Cup in Istanbul Turkey,
the Superyacht Cup in Palma Mallorca, The WMRT Stena Match Cup Sweden
Women's Final, Puma's mar mostro latest Volvo Ocean Race news, Neil Pryde
Sailing Series Dunkerque and in our action segment "Fresh to Frightening"
we see what happened when the steering broke on Ironbound causing a huge
broach during the RC44 Cagliari Cup. See it Friday 1200 BST on
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
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
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 Paul Henderson:
I sailed E Scows last weekend at the Royal Lake of The Woods Yacht Club and
decided to commiserate with Buddy Melges. After the usual half hour of
telling each other how good we once were I brought up the ridiculous
decision to throw keelboats out of the Olympics ... which Buddy fully
agreed. I then said that Torben Grael had written a great article (posted
in Scuttlebutt 3382) questioning ISAF and suggesting the major changes be
Buddy said that he had been in Brazil and met Torben's and Lars' father who
gave Buddy his business card. When Buddy looked at the printing he could
not believe it. His name on the card was Torben Melges Grael.
A century ago when the Melges clan decided to leave Germany, they split and
half went to Brazil and the other half to Zenda, WI. Buddy and the Graels
are related. My God!!
* From Fried Elliott:
John Longley makes excellent points (in Scuttlebutt 3383). The skid mark up
the left sleeve of one of my now retired Dry Fit shirts is silent testimony
to the need for greater safety awareness by coaches, and indeed, by all on
the water at major championships.
At the 2010 Star World Championship in Rio, we were making our way up to
the windward mark in my photo boat when I felt something coming up my arm.
Turned out it was the bow of a coach boat who had overran our transom up to
our console. Surrounded by navigable water, not one of the four individuals
on board were looking where they were going, which was into my boat and
over my arm.
* From Brian Todd, Canadian Sailing Team coach:
With the comments this week in Scuttlebutt about coaching, I wanted to
share my perspective as a professional member of this industry. Coaches do
provide a service to athletes and regatta organizers. They up the game of
the athletes and often help sailors to realize a potential they might not
think they had, at least in some cases.
But even more important, coaches at events often provide the safety that
regatta organizers cannot guarantee for racers in trouble. The coaches
understand when there is real peril and can act quickly and efficiently to
help a sailor in distress.
A case in point was the IFDS Worlds in Weymouth just last week. A
competitor crewing in the Skud class on a windy day was sucked out of the
boat during a broach, leaving the skipper (a quad) to fend for himself with
the chute up, heading for the seawall! Fast action by coach boats plucked
the crew from the cool water and another coach got to the boat and helped
to get it under control and then helped get another coach on board to help
sail the Skud back to the Sailing Center.
I am not suggesting this at the Weymouth event, but at many regattas the
safety boats are hard sided boats with well-meaning volunteers aboard ...
but do they have the skills to provide a safe rescue? I would argue
strongly that coaches can and usually do the job more effectively and
efficiently and they even have the privilege of paying over-priced regatta
coach fees for their service to the event.
I am old school and came up through the system the hard way with very
little coaching but I now recognize how much good coaching could have
improved my game. Even with coaching, all the fundamentals of enjoying
sailing and putting in countless hours still apply and athletes should not
depend on coaches to be motivated - that part should change!
* From Richard Clark:
America's Cup, the Volvo Round the World and the Single Handed Trans
Atlantic races... this is where my love of sailing resides, and not on TV,
nor in the Olympic RIB fleet. I was so close to unsubscribing to
Scuttlebutt, and then the Torben Grael opinion surfaced (in Scuttlebutt
3382). Now I see some hope. I will stick it out. Robust dialogue rules :)
Keep up the great work.
* From Greg Paul, NZ Yachting representative:
Why does the public view yachting as an elitist, Rich Mans sport? The
article 'WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS' in the Scuttlebutt 3381 is right on the
Having a team in RIBs racing around behind each yachtsman, is totally
taking away the whole reason that I went sailing. Having help to set up
your boat on the beach is okay, but then it is to be self-sufficient once
you leave the beach. Is this not the essence of sailing?
When you are out on the water, it should be your and only your efforts that
create the results. If something breaks, it is up to you, whether it is a
dinghy or a Volvo 70, to get to the finish.
That is why I went sailing, firstly in the P class (NZL) then small keel
boats, then in Admirals Cup 40 footers, representing my country. Two
hundred RIBs is bizarre. Isn't sailing one of the last chances to pit
"oneself" against mother nature, one on one?
I finish with the quote: "It actually makes our outstanding sailors look
slightly pathetic". I agree!
* From Gail M. Turluck:
Hear, hear, to Torben Grael! The sport lost 1000s of people with the "rules
simplification," they're not simple, and old and new sailors are put off by
them. Can we go back to the "old rules" to bring our ol' timers back? Don't
know if it would work. Then would we lose the "new sailors?" I wonder if
they changed the rules for Monopoly every four years (with interim changes
annually) how popular that game would be? I often wonder how to effectively
address the situation as I'd like to get more of our long ago sailors back
in a boat. Maybe it's going to take a "Classic Rules" circuit or ???
* From James S. Leopold:
Torben Grael for President....of the ISAF...and US Sailing too! Torben is
not alone in his views! Let's get sailing back to its roots. Goodbye to the
lawyers, coach boats and other obstructions that have created needless
clutter in our sport and detracted from it.
* From Susie Pegel:
Couldn't agree more with Torben's comments (in Scuttlebutt 3382). Groups
like ISAF and the IOC have become the 'tail wagging the dog' in the sport
* From Jon Wales, Marblehead, MA:
Speaking of the Marblehead to Halifax Race (in Sbutt 3383), this year
happens to be the 50th anniversary of the Ted Hood modified schooner Lord
Jim's epic win over DeCoursey Fales' great staysail schooner Nina. Ross
Anderson was so excited over that win he went on to build the 12 meter
"Nefertiti" for the 1962 America's Cup defense. Amateurs all, except for
Ted, trained by Don McNamara and Capt. Fred Lawton of Ranger, Bolero and
Columbia fame. We 22 year olds had the time of our lives. No paychecks and
lots of hard work and long days in Newport. But I wouldn't trade any of it!
The early bird who catches the worm usually works for someone who comes in
late and owns the worm farm.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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Morris Yachts - Samson - Ullman Sails - APS
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