SCUTTLEBUTT 3386 - Tuesday, July 19, 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: BIC Sport, North Sails, and US SAILING.
(July 18, 2011) - For the 350 boats racing in Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd
Race to Mackinac, the experience was a tale of two distinctly different
races, governed entirely by when their boats finished sailing. For those
that finished by Sunday evening, there was champagne-sailing conditions
with the wind coming from the right angle and the wind machine providing
However, for the boats caught in Sunday night’s horrible storm, Mother
Nature was not kind. Peak wind speeds were reported by several boats as
being north of 55 knots, with 6-8 foot seas, sheet lightning and
torrential, sometimes horizontal, rain and hail. Sadly it was in this storm
which led to two deaths. Here is the statement from Chicago Yacht Club:
As of Monday, July 18, it has been confirmed by the U. S. Coast Guard and
it is with great regret that the Chicago Yacht Club acknowledges the deaths
of two sailors who were competing in the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to
A severe thunderstorm crossed Lake Michigan around midnight EDT last night.
Wind gusts were reported at 52 knots with waves of 4-6 feet.
The Coast Guard was notified at 12:40 am via VHF radio by crew members from
one of the competing boats "Sociable" (Beneteau 40.7) that another of the
competing boats, "WingNuts" (Kiwi 35), had capsized in these severe
conditions. Five sailors were pulled from the water on arrival to the scene
and one other sailor was later rescued. The six sailors were rescued by the
crew of "Sociable."
The accident occurred approximately 13 nautical miles northwest of
Charlevoix, Michigan, and 10 miles east of South Fox Island.
The "Sociable" skipper called all boats for assistance on Channel 16 and
ten boats in the vicinity immediately abandoned the race to join in search
efforts for two missing sailors. The two lost sailors were "WingNuts"
skipper Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne Bickel, 41, both from Saginaw, MI.
Mark Morley had 44 years of sailing experience, including six Chicago
Mackinacs and 85 qualifying races. Suzanne Bickel had sailed in two
previous Chicago-Mackinac Races, with 16 qualifying races.
In a brief statement Commodore Joseph S. Haas said, "On the behalf of the
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, the Board of Directors and Flag
Officers, we express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of
the crew of "WingNuts." The crew of this boat exemplified the spirit of the
Chicago Mac that is steeped in tradition of family, friends and passion for
the water." -- http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/
DETAILS: One of the original sport boats built of Divinycell and Kevlar,
WingNuts has a listed displacement of 3765 lbs, and while the hull width is
8 foot, the deck wings extend the width to 14 feet. Photos:
COMMENT: We find it confusing that the record of WingNuts competing in the
Chi-Mac Race has been erased from the event website. The team is no longer
listed in the entry list or the results. While the incident involving this
entry is tragic, is this cause to delete them from the online records?
MORE: Here are some stories picked up by the local press...
IS THIS TRUE?
From the July 2011 issue of Latitude 38, that prominent monthly magazine
distributed along the western U.S.:
“The 2011 Etchells World Championship regatta was supposed to be a
nine-race series, but San Diego’s Bill Hardesty with crew Steve Hunt, Mandi
Markee, and Craig Leweck needed only eight races to take the title. ...The
win also marked the first time a full-time sailing journalist - Leweck
edits the popular www.sailngscuttlebutt.com website - has ever won a
legitimate world championship.”
Is this true? Am I the first full-time sailing journalist to win a
legitimate world championship? -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Post comments here:
GET ON BOARD!
The Techno 293 Class would like to welcome the 200 sailors, ages 16 and
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adding windsurfing excitement, now is the time to take advantage of the
discounted charter boards in San Francisco. To see the action coming to SF
Bay, check out ‘cool kids windsurf’ and ‘Worlds Preview’ videos (below).
BIC Sport brings exciting alternatives to youth sailing with the O’Pen BIC,
Techno 293 One Design, and Stand Up Paddle boards. Contact
Info@BicSportNA.com for more information.
Cool kids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWyTQuyAIJI
CONTROLLING THE INTERNET
When the Protocol Governing the 34th America’s Cup was made public on
September 13, 2010, one of the bold features of the document was under item
number 51 titled ‘Websites And Wireless Communications’.
Within this rule competitors are to use only the official event website
(www.americascup.com) as their sole online presence. As stated in the
rules, “The intent of this Article is to substantially grow the online
audience for the benefit of the Competitors and the Event.” Each competitor
would receive sufficient space for their exclusive use, and if they have an
existing site, it must now redirect online traffic to their section of the
For any event organizer, maximizing exposure for their sponsors is a
priority, and structuring their event website to be the ‘one stop shop’ for
all information is an effective approach. But in the ‘Wild West’ of the
internet, there are countless news and team sites that strive to divert
event traffic to their domain for the benefit of their advertisers and
audience. But so far no event has attempted to control the internet, and
one of the America’s Cup competitors has now gone public with their
Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed today (July 18, 2011) that it is
seeking mediation in its dispute with the America’s Cup Event Authority
(ACEA) over rules that restrict the team’s internet presence.
In the team statement they state that ”ACEA is seeking to prohibit teams
from altering page templates, which control the look, feel and personality
of the space allocated to them, without ACEA approval and without incurring
costs. Team managing director Grant Dalton says that one effect of this is
to stifle the ability of commercially funded teams to raise sponsorship,
and that affects all commercial teams.”
Said Dalton, “We are an established team which has been in continuous
operation since the 1987 America’s Cup challenge at Perth. We have a
campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race and we are competing in the Extreme
Sailing Series. We need to be able to project ourselves to the public as we
see fit, not controlled from within someone else’s web site.”
Dalton said the event authority, by controlling all America’s Cup internet
traffic, was promoting the event at the expense of the teams, without which
there would be no event. “People follow teams, not events.... people are
not fans of the Rugby World Cup soon to be held in New Zealand, they
support the teams within the Rugby World Cup.”
America’s Cup Protocol Documents:
END THIS RACE AND END IT SOON
(July 18, 2011) - For some of the crew competing in the 2,225 nm Transpac
Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, they are now in their second week at
sea. With the stop and go nature of this edition, some of the teams are
getting hungry. Here is a report from Peter Shumar, navigator onboard the
SC 50 Deception:
“Food is running scarce with one planned meal ahead of us. Tortilla soup.
After that, it's the inedible stuff like oatmeal and cliff bars. My
friends, cannibalism is not far away. We'd better end this race and end it
“At least we've got water. Bill and I play the daily cat and mouse game
with the water maker. We estimate we've got three days of water left in the
tanks, so he turns it on, and I come by 30 minutes later to turn it off,
much to his chagrin. At roughly 8.8 pounds per gallon, water is weight we
do not need.” --
Race website: http://www.transpacrace.com
WHAT CONSTITUTES OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE?
In Scuttlebutt 3385 it was reported that in the Transpac Race the R/P 45
Criminal Mischief had heard grinding sounds from their rudder bearings and
used their satellite phone and email to seek support for the problem. With
screams of ‘outside assistance” occurring on the internet, we contacted the
Press Officer for Transpac 2011, Kimball Livingston, who provided this
Multiple yachts participating in Transpac 2011 made outside contacts which
they reported to Transpac officials, as required by the rules. These
matters now fall simply under RRS 41 and the specifics of Transpac NOR
14.3. Here is the essence...
If a boat makes any outside contacts while racing regarding either the
safety or performance of the boat, they must declare that contact and
explain it in their finish declaration. The Race Committee will create an
incident report and refer it to the Jury. The Jury will determine whether
rule 41 was broken, and if so, the appropriate penalty.
Here are the two rules referenced by Kimball:
RRS 41 - Outside Help
A boat shall not receive help from any outside source, except
(a) help for an ill or injured crew member;
(b) after a collision, help from the crews of the other boat to get clear;
(c) help in the form of information freely available to all boats;
(d) unsolicited information from a disinterested source, which may be
another boat in the same race.
NOR 14.3 - Communication Restrictions
Competitors may only utilize weather information that is routinely
available throughout the year to the general public without charge, and
whose availability is publicly indexed. For example: Competitors may NOT
arrange for routers or meteorologists to provide them with advice, custom
data, or compilations of public data during the race, no matter how that
information is communicated. Competitors may receive regularly scheduled
weather broadcasts or weather fax transmissions (e.g. from NOAA, USCG, WWV,
NMC, KVM70, or from the Transpac Communications Vessel). Competitors may
receive imagery from satellites (e.g. NOAA, APT satellites).
Competitors may use any means to retrieve data from the Internet (e.g. from
the web, from ftp sites, from email responders), provided that those data
are intended for public use without charge, are routinely available for
free throughout the year, and are publicly indexed (e.g. can be found via
Google). Prior to their preparatory signal, there is no limitation on
private services or any other source of data or consulting, except that a
competitor that has started may not provide weather information to another
competitor that has started, or to a competitor that has not yet started
except through the information provided to or from the Transpac Race
Communication Vessel. This amends RRS 41.
Standing by for the Jury’s decision....
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Recycle your old sail and SAVE. From July 1st-September 3, 2011, you can
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return your sail to the North Recycling Center. Once your old sail is
received, we will send you a free recycled sail cloth tote bag from Sea
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buy a new North sail and save 20%! Blue is Green:
BEST OF TIMES
Ever hear about the good ole days? For the sport of sailing... some were,
some weren’t. The depth of the conversation depends on your age. The sport
has paid a price for the pursuit of excellence. Most everything in sailing
has improved with time... except the number of people doing it. Here
longtime Scuttlebutt reader Ray Tostado of Southern California reflects:
You may have missed the best times sail boat racing ever had. It happened
in Marina del Rey (Los Angeles, CA) in the late '70s and early '80s. During
the birth of the IOR rating system.
It was a period of total transition from wooden boats with full keels to
the Peterson, fin keel and detached rudders age. The entire racing scene
was open for innovation. From sail cuts, to hull shapes, it was an open
playing field. I recall some summer months when the harbor was welcoming
one IOR boat a week to the starting line. What made it so exciting is that
money was not the dominant factor for winning races.
Amateurism was still assumed, and "pros" stood out for their limited
skills, bravado talk. Crazy kamikaze crews ruled the seas. As an owner you
could compete against multi millionaires, even billionaires. All you needed
was decent gear and crew. It was exciting to race against the best money
could buy, and have at your disposal only what true friendship and will to
win could provide. I, as a Hollywood teamster, was racing against a man who
owned a Hollywood studio. Now that was fun.
Eventually money won and took over the playing field. Our amateur crews
became semi-pros, then full time pros. Getting good crews became limited
unless you could "compensate" them. We, today, could not buy the great
times we had back then.
Would you like to share your version of the ‘best of times’? Post it here:
* The 2011 DoubleTree by Hilton US Windsurfing National Championships,
hosted by Berkeley Yacht Club, wrapped up this past weekend capitalizing on
what has been one of the best weather regattas on San Francisco Bay this
decade. The racing action was intense and competitive with 4 of the 5 days
featuring double and sometimes triple dips of formula racing, freestyle and
slalom competition. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/WH-071811
* European sailing countries are in discussions to introduce a European
Olympic circuit, along similar lines to that which previously operated
under the EUROLYMP title. Because of changes to the ISAF Sailing World Cup
after the 2012 Olympics that will reduce the number of events in Europe,
there is support to launch a new circuit to ensure that the European
continent retains a major events circuit for Olympic and aspiring Olympic
sailors. -- Full story: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0718/
* Newport, RI (July 18, 2011) - Experiencing the roughest weather
conditions of any yacht in the Transatlantic Race 2011, Sasha, skippered by
Albrecht and Erika Peters (Munich, Germany), crossed the finish line at The
Lizard at 20:10 UTC on 17 July. At sea for over 22 days, the husband and
wife team sailed their 1970 Sparkman & Stephens-designed wooden yacht with
another couple, Christine Beech and Ron Melton of Picton, New Zealand. With
Sasha’s finish, all 26 of the yachts which left Newport, R.I. over the
course of three staggered starts have now successfully completed the
Transatlantic Race 2011. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/TA-071811
* With the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 scheduled to be a round the world
double-handed only event in Class40s, there has been a revision to the
Global Solo Race 2013-14 format that was to be a similar contest for only
singlehanded teams. With some of the doublehanded teams needing additional
time to prepare for this year’s rae, it was decided to add a doublehanded
division to the 2013-14 race and change the name to Global Ocean Race
2013-14. -- Full report:
REGISTER TODAY FOR 2011 RIWKC IN ROCHESTER
Registration Deadline for US SAILING's 2011 Rolex International Women's
Keelboat Championship is Wednesday, August 3. The 14th edition of this
Championship is hosted by Rochester Yacht Club (N.Y.) and raced in J/22s on
August 29-September 1. Test yourself against top teams in this
international event. Register at http://bit.ly/RIWKCreg2011
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 Mario Sampaio:
After reading the letter by Tom Arthur in Scuttlebutt 3385, it never seizes
to amaze me at the capacity people have to talk about things they know
nothing about. On the issue of Torben Grael's recent insightful and very
critical points made, most people have no idea what he's talking about;
perhaps they are too young to know how exhilarating it was to be
self-sufficient and to depend one yourself exclusively when going sailing.
They´d be amazed at how much we learned empirically by trial and error. The
circumstances forced us into really thinking about the situations we
encountered, without being interrupted by people, which in many or most
cases don´t have the experience required to become a coach!
But yes, there was a time not long ago, when sailors depended exclusively
on their seamanship, their rational and empiric skills! Nowadays my hardest
'sailing' moments with my youngest son, who is 15 years always arrive when
I ask him to take a single decision without having to ask his coach.
It is therefore not a surprise at all that sailing has become open to
intentional cheaters, crooks and all kinds of dishonest vagabonds; honesty
is most definitely not a criteria anymore. The criteria is: 'win at any
cost, because if you don’t win, I lose my bonus.'
We belonged to the generation who followed Elvstrom’s mantra that it is
useless to win if you didn´t win your opponents' respect. Need I say
* From Rick Tears:
Don McNamara wrote a book called “White Sails, Black Clouds” back in 1967.
I was just starting racing then, but that book struck a very special chord
with me and I reread it every couple of years. One of the chapters is
dedicated to that Halifax race between Lord Jim and Nina. If anybody should
ever have the chance to read this book (you can sometimes find it on
Amazon/E-Bay), you will find it a thoroughly enjoyable story of one man’s
saga through this great sport of racing sailboats including the Olympics in
5.5’s, the 1962 America’s Cup, Mallory Cup Finals and offshore racing!
The difference between art and science is that if something works in art,
you don't have to explain why.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Summit Yachts - Kaenon Polarized - BIC Sport - North Sails
US SAILING - Doyle Sails - Team One Newport - LaserPerformance
Ullman Sails - West Marine - Camet - JK3 Nautical Enterprises
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