SCUTTLEBUTT 3389 - Friday, July 22, 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: Camet International and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.
THOUGHTS WORTH REPEATING
By Bill Sandberg, WindCheck
Why is it that many junior sailing programs lose as many as half their kids
by the third year? There are many reasons, but the bulk of them lie with
the two groups who have the greatest influence on young sailors -
instructors and parents.
To start with, I'd suggest you copy and print the JSA of LIS Mission
Statement. This statement should help guide the programs, sailors, parents
and instructors. Read it carefully.
The Mission of the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound is to
support junior sailors at member programs and to encourage them to
experience the joy of sailing and learn about and appreciate the
complexities of the marine environment.
The JSA promotes ethical behavior among its sailors and encourages the
teaching of life-long lessons, which seek to build character, foster
teamwork and strengthen respect for self and others.
Through its programs and policies, the JSA seeks to support both serious
competitors and recreational sailors at all levels of skill and to
encourage their sailing in local waters and beyond.
Let's start with instructors. They are a group who are far better trained
than when I taught back in the dark ages. As a whole, instructors are a
very responsible bunch, but here is a list of dos and don'ts they may want
to keep in mind.
1) Remember when you were 8 or 9 and were getting in a boat (most likely an
Optimist) and were scared to death.
2) Remember that you are a hero to the kids. Charles Barkley may have
believed "I ain't no role model," but you are.
3) Make safety the number one objective of the program.
4) Make fun the number two objective.
5) If you pay attention to 3 and 4, winning is likely to follow.
6) Find a place in all your programs for kids that don't care about racing.
Note the mission statement does not use the word racing once.
1) Play favorites. It's easy to spend time with the sailor who wins all the
regattas, but it can be far more rewarding to watch a young sailor come out
of his or her shell and develop a real love for the sport.
2) Forget that as a role model the kids will look up to you. If you smoke
or show up hung-over, they will think that is cool.
3) Overcoach. At most Opti regattas, the kids do not need to be told the
mistakes they just made on the racecourse. They need a water bottle and a
4) Forget that this is not school. It's meant to be fun.
OK, now that I've beaten up on the instructors, let's move to potentially
the worst problem - helicopter parents. Read on:
The organization that sponsors an annual sailing race from Chicago to
Mackinac Island plans an inquiry into the capsizing of a boat during a
fierce Lake Michigan storm that led to the deaths of two crew members, an
official said Tuesday.
"We want to understand what happened and to learn what we can do to improve
the safety guidelines under which we run this race," said Greg Freeman,
chairman of the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac.
Mark Morley, skipper of the Saginaw-based WingNuts, and crew member Suzanne
Bickel died after the 35-foot craft overturned around midnight Sunday. A
rival boat rescued the other six crew members, who said in a statement
their boat was knocked over by a 75-mph gust.
The survivors said they had prepared for the oncoming storm by dropping the
main sail and clipping on safety harnesses that attached each of them to
the boat. After it capsized, the six survivors detached the lines or cut
themselves loose. Morley, 51, and Bickel, 40, were unable to free
themselves. A dive team found them about eight hours later.
They are the only competitors who have died in an accident during the
race's 103-year history. One man suffered a fatal heart attack years ago,
officials said. -- Washington Post, read on: http://tinyurl.com/WP-072111
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FINAL 100 DAYS
This week - July 21st to be exact - marks 100 days before the commencement
of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain. Big milestone? Not for
PUMA's Mar Mostro skipper Ken Read.
"To be honest, the final "100 days" doesn't necessarily hit a specific note
with me," said Read. "We have really tried to treat every day like its
crucial, and this final stretch is no more important than the beginning
days were for this program. I believe this is a good thing. If we were
behind in our planning or had a problem, the final days would surely carry
quite a bit more significance.
"Now, what this also means is that we are committed to our schedule and to
reaching the milestones we set. Of course everything's not perfect or
fool-proof. As with all sports, every team plays to a system, and while we
have a system we decided to follow, only time will tell if the system is a
correct one. You simply look at your personnel, timing, budget, and all
parts and pieces, and come up with a strategy that you feel will give you
the best chance of winning.
"Final 100 days? Hopefully, they will just be treated like another day in
the office...100 times."
The PUMA Ocean Racing team has set up base in Lanzarote off the Canary
Islands to prepare for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. View a photo
slideshow of the move: http://tinyurl.com/PUMA-072111
Here is a compilation video (2:25 min.) with all five teams that have
launched new boats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH0eVCpl68c
HE WHO HAS THE GOLD MAKES THE RULES
This report comes from the "can't we all get along" department.
Ever since Oracle Racing became the defender of the America's Cup, they've
been working tirelessly to re-invent the 34th edition into an entertainment
vehicle to grow fan and sponsor interest. Not exactly what George Schuyler
had in mind when he deeded the event, but let's not go there.
Among Oracle's plans to build fan interest prior to the 2013 Match is to
launch the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) this summer. The inaugural
event of the ACWS will be in Caiscais, Portugal on August 6-14. What is
less clear is why the first event got put on that date.
The prominent conflict is with the nine event Extreme Sailing Series (ESS),
which is now in its fifth year of providing a professional league with
stadium type racing in forty foot catamarans. Sound familiar? For the ACWS
to put their event directly on top of the fifth ESS event in Cowes, UK is
more than an 'oops." It's more like a 'we're coming after your audience'.
But that's not the only conflict. The timing of the ESS event is to
coincide with Cowes Week, which has been a key part of the British sporting
summer calendar since 1826. One might think that the ACWS would give the
largest annual multi-class inshore regatta in the world a little space, but
And then there is another little event called the Olympics. Well, not
exactly the Olympics, but the London 2012 Olympic Test Event (July
31-August 13, 2011) which is designed to replicate the Games atmosphere and
will host 460 sailors representing 66 nations. This would seem to be of
interest to some people.
But maybe the date scheduling was for the ACWS to avoid a conflict with the
2011 RC44 class Championship Tour, which has their next event in Marstrand,
Sweden on August 17-21. In this Russell Coutts inspired class, the
America's Cup Defender and Challenger of Record hold three of the top five
positions in the Tour standings.
It's good to be king! -- Scuttleblog, http://tinyurl.com/blog-072111
* Corona del Mar, CA (July 21, 2011) - The twelve teams competing in Balboa
Yacht Club's 45th annual Governor's Cup International Junior Match Racing
Championship have completed their first round robin today and began the
second round robin. Following the second round the top four teams advance
to the semi-finals. Current leaders at 9-3 are Newport Harbor YC, San Diego
YC, and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, with Scuttlebutt Sailing Club and
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron at 8-4. -- Details:
* San Francisco, CA (July 21, 2011) - The second day of the Bic Techno 293
Windsurfing World Championships saw San Francisco once again deliver near
perfect conditions for racing. With three races sailed the day prior day
two's action was limited to two races. A fresh 18-20 mph sea breeze powered
the 145 racers in six divisions, with American Marion Lepert dominating the
U17 Girls with four firsts and one second place finish. -- Full story:
* Cagliari, Italy (July 21, 2011) - After finding themselves in last after
the first day of the Region of Sardinia Trophy Regatta, TP52 Audi MedCup
Circuit leader Quantum Racing returned to form today by posting a 2-1 to
improve to third overall in the rankings. Jochen Schuemann, Sebastien Col
and the crew of Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4One found consistency
today with their new Vrolijk design, rolliing a 3-3 to lead the seven boat
fleet. -- Full report:
* Buzios, Brazil (July 21, 2011) - Strong winds overnight continued today
to force the abandonment of racing at the International Lightning Class
Association South American and International Master Championships. Racing
will continue Friday for the 26 boats representing 7 countries. -- Live
* Shoreacres, TX (July 20, 2011) - Eighty-nine sailors competed in the 2011
Girls U.S. Optimist National Championship, which saw Audrey Giblin
(Shrewsbury Sailing and Yacht Club/LISOT) dominate the three race series
with a 2-2-5. In second was Martina Sly (Lauderdale Yacht Club) with local
Sophia Sole (Houston Yacht Club) in third. -- Results:
* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 3388, we included the sage advice esteemed
photographer Sharon Green had provided the racers before the start of the
2011 Transpac Race. Except we didn't get it quite right. To help insure the
teams looked sharp for the shot, Sharon had suggested that when they see
her helicopter to "have the owner on the helm, clean up the deck, put
shirts on and heat up the boat if it is light and doesn't take you too far
off course." We also might add to not wave at her.
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include climbing, training, classics, storms, mingling, shipping, waving,
and holding. 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
Through the combined efforts of host club American YC (Rye, NY) partnering
with their neighbors from Larchmont YC, the world's first all women's
disabled sailing event was held on the waters of Long Island Sound this
year. Sailing as an adjunct to the third annual Robie Pierce One-Design
Regatta, seven teams from the US and Canada competed.
"It has been a longtime dream of women to have our own event to help get
more women into adaptive sailing," said Canadian Sailing Team member Brenda
Hopkin. "A group of us asked the organizers last year if they could put one
on in 2013, and they did it in one year. We all had a ball."
Here is a highlight video of the event:
BONUS: Photographer Leighton O'Connor crewed on the Kerr 55 Denali for the
Marblehead to Halifax Race. And he brought along his video camera:
BONUS: Watch the elite Finn sailors duke it out at their European
BONUS: In the July 22, Week 29 "World on Water" Global Weekly Sailing News
Report it covers the WMRT Stena Match Cup Sweden Men's final, PWA Costa
Teguise World Cup Lanzarote, Spain, the Transatlantic 2011 Race finish UK,
Groupama 4 passing their Volvo Race Scrutineering in Lorient, France, Maxi
Trimaran Banque Populaire V breaks the Round the British Isles speed record
and the action segment "Fresh to Frightening". See this week's programme on
www.boatson.tv (1200 BST Friday July 22nd)
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Liz Stott, Marion Bermuda Race:
We'd like to extend our sympathies to the family, friends and crewmembers
of David Kendall who raced in the 2011 Marion Bermuda Race, aboard his
boat, Querencia, an Alden 44. He was found dead in the Gloucester MA area
after his sail back from Bermuda with causes unknown at this time.
On another sad note, the Race to Mackinac race encountered two tragic
deaths when two very seasoned sailors, skipper Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne
Bickel, 41 drowned after their boat, WingNuts, capsized during a freak
storm. They were properly harnessed and tethered - but perhaps these poor
souls encountered head injuries rendering them incapacitated. All that
being said, we should pause to reflect about safety reminders.
When the boat capsizes, are we going to be quick enough to un-tether
ourselves from the vessel? I'm not sure, frankly, if I would be that quick
to take that action. It's a real lesson that we all should be prepared for
and something that should be talked about during crew safety meetings
immediately prior to setting sail. The other lesson is that all of us
should carry, on our person, a knife in a sheath - that we can easily pull
out and cut away the tether, even underwater. A Leatherman is perhaps even
too cumbersome to be fiddling with in that emergency state.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families, friends and
crewmembers of these three fine sailors.
* From Mark Reid, Bayport, MN
In wake of the tragedy that occurred during the running of the 103rd
Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race, I wanted to suggest a possible scenario
that may have led to the boat being 'flipped over' during the swift moving
storm on Lake Michigan.
The boat WingNuts is an ultra-light Kiwi 35. A description of the boat
describes it as; "one of the original sport boats built of Divinycell and
Kevlar the boat is very light weight, but it's most unusual feature are its
wings. The hull is 8 foot wide but on deck the wings extend the width to
14'. The boat has been upgraded with the addition of a 12' carbon
retractable bow sprit and a carbon mast and extended boom with a big roach
main. It is very similar in appearance to Michael Fay's 1988 135' America's
Cup Challenger New Zealand KZ1."
Given the high winds with gusts of more the 50 miles per hour and 4 to 6
ft. waves, the boat's unique wing design could have contributed to its
overturning. If the boat was heeled over as described it seems possible
that the wind could have picked up the boat under the wing and flipped it
over. It almost becomes a winged dinghy and even given the experience of
the captain and crew, maybe it is not a suitable design for distance races.
Also, of concern during the race was the fact that the boat tracking system
managed by IONEarth was down for most of the race. For families and friends
of the competitors, this was an extremely frightening fact and in some
In respect to this tragic accident, the crew was very experienced and
qualified to be out racing. The storm swept quickly across the upper half
of the course north of the Manitou Islands and held most of the fleet
within its grasp. Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the families
of the WingNuts crew. It is a reminder though, that racing can be a
dangerous business, especially on the Great Lakes. Hopefully, next year the
Chicago Yacht Club will have a capable partner in tracking boats during the
race so that we will not have to needlessly worry about where their loved
ones are on the lake.
Kiwi 35 photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61347193@N08/with/5580194326/
Kiwi 35 design discussion: http://tinyurl.com/BD-072011
* From Gregory Scott:
On my Thursday morning commute, I heard the renewed push in Canada for
mandatory PFD wearing. The reasoning comes along with news of rather
significant number of drownings this year. The legislation of the "Boat
Smart Card" claimed to make boaters out of people who passed a multiple
choice exam. Pass and voila the waters are safe and everyone in a boat is a
It took very little time to realize the outcome was far from the hype
(particularly if we now add in more drowning related to boating). It did
provide a fantastic revenue stream on two fronts - the company doing the
testing have done very well and appear in mall parking lots and marinas
with their spiffy vehicles with equally fancy boat and trailer in tow. And
- The fines are significant if you don't have your card.
Now we can turn this newly formed bureaucracy to a new topic. I wrote about
a fabricated story created by the Canadian PFD manufacturers in this
publication some time ago. We quickly learned it was false but the cat was
out of the bag as far as the agenda. Today we were told that boating is the
cause of increased drowning statistics and how the mandatory PFD use would
prevent this. Opening a reasoned dialogue is good - slamming the gavel down
with wide sweeping mandatory rules is wrong.
* From John Robb:
In Scuttlebutt 3388, I noted with interest that four of the five crew on
Russell Coutts boat are all from New Zealand. Certainly three of those if
not all four were part of the team that Bertarelli "bought" from Team NZ
after the 2003 Cup in Auckland to sail for on Alinghi for Switzerland. And
now Oracle has "bought" them to sail for the USA! It certainly makes a
mockery of the notion that the Americas cup is nation against nation!
BACKGROUND: Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli was 35 years old when he
founded the yachting syndicate Team Alinghi, which in 2003, representing
the Societe Nautique de Geneve, won the Louis Vuitton Cup before beating
Team New Zealand in Auckland to win the America's Cup. The 2003 Match was
the first to remove the nationality rule, which allowed Bertarelli to hire
Coutts along with the 'tight five': Brad Butterworth, Murray Jones, Warwick
Fleury, Simon Daubney, and bowman Dean Phipps. The rest, they say, is
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