Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3398 - Thursday, August 4, 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: Ullman Sails and West Marine.

One of the challenging teams in the 34th America's Cup is Green Comm Racing
which represents Real Club Nautico de Valencia in Spain. With the inaugural
event of the America's Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal to begin
August 6th, Green Comm had its first sail in an AC 45 on Tuesday.

Needless to say, they are a bit behind the curve, but they are already
turning heads with one of their early crew selections. Carrie Howe is not
only the only woman in Green Comm Racing, she is also the only woman sailor
taking part in the 34th America's Cup. Right after the first day of
sailing, Carrie talked to us about her impressions, her aspirations and
advice to young sailor girls.

* You are the only woman sailor in the 34th America's Cup. How do you feel
about that?

CARRIE HOWE: I feel fantastic and I think it's an incredible honor as a
woman to be asked to join a men's team. It makes you realize what women can
do, it's just a question of getting an opportunity. I am capable of sailing
these boats, I know how they work, I know all the little tricks and I think
I can be valuable. I don't know what will happen at the end but it truly is
an honor.

The AC45 yachts are very tough and physical. Green Comm Racing has onboard
the world's best Laser and Finn sailors, some of the strongest and fittest
sailors. Do you think a woman could have a full-time place in an AC45
sailing crew?

I think the answer to that question comes in two parts. First of all,
physically, there are positions for a woman on the boat. There aren't that
many women sailors that are that fit and with the adequate weight for that
boat. That's why you don't see many women in the catamaran world. However,
fitness-wise a woman can do it. The second part of the question is that
there are also people important on the team that are better with the
finesse and multi-tasking abilities women have. The sailors might be strong
and fit guys but someone has to have them going into the right direction
and that's another important aspect of the program.

* More specifically, during the team's first ever sail on the AC45 yacht
what position did you hold?

CARRIE HOWE: I had the opportunity to look and learn, to see what I can do
in the boat, what I am capable of. I was, obviously, not chosen for being a
big and strong person but as a very small person to fit the weight
requirements. I am a very small person but also a very strong girl. My
position in that first sail was to watch and I think there are three things
I can do onboard the yacht.

Firstly, I could steer and I have already done on catamarans and Extreme
40's. The second thing I saw I could do was trimming the wing, although I
didn't see 25 knots of wind. The third part is that you have a full-time
grinder for you and you can tell the other people to do more compared to if
I were a man.

Full interview:

BACKGROUND: Carrie was part of the American crew with Sally Barkow and
Debbie Capozzi that represented the U.S. in the women's keelboat event at
the 2008 Olympic Games.

UPDATE: While details for the online viewing schedule of the America's Cup
World Series in Cascais, Portugal (Aug. 6-14) have not yet been revealed,
here is the event program:

Weymouth/Portland, GBR (August 3, 2011) - Russia's Ekaterina Skudina
maintained her 100% winning record in the Women's Match Racing competition
after another light wind day at the Weymouth and Portland International
Regatta, the London 2012 Olympic Test Event.

Skudina won gold at Kieler-Woche and narrowly missed out on a top three
spot in the ISAF Sailing World Cup series by virtue of podium places with
Sally Barkow pipping her to third spot. But the Russian has been in
fantastic form since she got to Weymouth and is the only match racer to
head into the last day of the Round Robin with an undefeated record.

In third is Sally Barkow (USA) who went 3-1 today, losing to the Finish
team who they now sit behind with a 5-2 record. The Women's Match Racing
Round Robins conclude Thursday as the eight Quarter Finalists are decided.

The Men's and Women's RS:X sailors start their fleet racing on Thursday,
while the Men's and Women's 470, Laser and Laser Radial events begin on
Friday, August 5, and the Finn, Star and 49er classes get underway on
Saturday, August 6. The medal races will run August 11-13.

Full report:
Event link:
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics:

COMMENT: It was noted in Scuttlebutt 3397 that the results link for Women's
Match Racing was not functioning, and 24 hours later it still isn't
working. There is some good news though, as we stumbled upon a random link
elsewhere on the event site which had a PDF of the results after two days
of racing:

PORTAL: In the one year countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
Games, US SAILING has launched a new website that highlights America's
sailing athletes' journey to Weymouth, U.K., the location of the sailing
competition. Providing historical sailing reference from past Games along
with the latest updates from the US team, this site becomes the
one-stop-shop for 2012 Olympic sailing information:

BACKGROUND: The 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta is
designed to test the Olympic sailing venue and its operations in advance of
the 2012 Games. Racing for the ten Olympic sailing events is August 2-13,
where 325 entries representing 135 countries will compete across five
courses on Portland Harbor and Weymouth Bay. Consistent with the Olympic
Games, each country is allowed just one representative in each event.

Congratulations to Dennis and Sharon Case and crew on "Wings" who claimed
the J/105 Southern California Championships last weekend in San Diego!
Fully powered by Ullman Sails, "Wings" secured the 2011 title with 15 total
points in five races, including a first in the opening race. Hosted by
Coronado Yacht Club, the 13-boat fleet was treated to awesome conditions -
flat water and 10-15 knots in San Diego's South Bay. Of the 13 boats on the
water, ten competed with at least partial Ullman Sails onboard, including
Rick Goebel's "Sanity" and Chris Logan's "Pholly" who placed 4th and 5th

The rage these days is turning sailing events into spectator events. While
delivering the fans to the race course is littered with obstacles, the
solution has been to bring the race course to the fans. The problem,
however, is when you position the race course adjacent to land viewing, the
quality of racing changes.

When the Extreme Sailing Series brought their fleet of 40-foot catamarans
to Boston Harbor in early July, the wind was weaving through the downtown
buildings with predictable results. The RC44 tour had a better experience
when they hosted a 'stadium' event inside San Diego Bay last fall, but the
early prediction next week for the America's Cup World Series in Cascais is
for "puffy and shifty" winds. Hmm...

The Olympic sailing events have also been trying to flex their media muscle
and fan friendliness, but by the description of the course location at the
2012 Games venue, they may also be sacrificing fair winds for spectator

A course area in front of Nothe Gardens where 4,600 ticketholders will go
each day to watch the sailing competition is under scrutiny as the main
racetrack this year - with many of the early rounds plus all ten medal
races set to be staged there.

Tickets for the gardens next year, costing between $33 and $90 that include
live footage on giant TV screens and live commentary, have sold out and
organisers are keen to stage as many dry runs as possible to assess the
race course's suitability for spectators, athletes and the media.

According to Skandia Team GBR manager Stephen Park, the course area, one of
five in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, suffers from notoriously light
or unstable breezes, which may hinder crucial selection decisions this week
if racing is curtailed and hamper the schedule next year.

What remains to be seen is whether sacrifices in race quality to achieve
spectator convenience will result in a 'show' worth watching. As for the
sailors, with Olympic medals or professional salaries on the line, will the
randomness of stadium sailing make it a game worth playing? Standing by.

Story source:

San Francisco, CA (August 3, 2011) - The first day of the Laser Slalom 2011
threw contenders a relatively easy time, starting in a breeze in the high
teens, a flood tide and flat water - conditions that prevailed for the
first part of racing. By late afternoon the usual San Francisco breeze was
back and hitting the low to mid-20s.

While over half the fleet crashed at least once, a handful made the trek
around the course look like a walk in the park, including two-time Laser
World Masters Champion Scott Ferguson (USA) who ripped through in just five
minutes, executing smooth maneuvers that earned him two wins, easily
putting him in the winners bracket where he'll go up against Olympic Gold
medalist Anna Tunnicliffe tomorrow, who also won the one race she sailed
today (she also had a bye). Tunnicliffe is the hot contender to win this

"It was good, I got around the course smoothly, it wasn't as difficult as I
thought out there. I got the lighter air, it was fun, I could have done
with more breeze though."Tunnicliffe blew spectators away with her flawless
action and boat handling skills as she really demonstrated just what a work
out these boats are. "I had to, I was behind," she laughed.

No-one agrees more that the big breeze is what the event's all about than
the event's founding fathers, Don Trask and Bill Kreysler (who also hold
the distinction of being responsible for the successful construction of
11,000 Lasers in ten years, 30 Star boats and 300 J/24s during their career
in the business). -- Read on:

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of
the Year Awards, the most prestigious award of recognition in the sport of
sailing. Nominations may be made by anyone and the only criterion is
"outstanding achievement in the sport of sailing" during the qualifying
period of 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011.

Nominations should be sent to ISAF by 12:00 (UTC) on Wednesday 7 September
2011 using the Official Nomination Form, available at

A shortlist of nominations will be drawn up by ISAF from all those received
by the deadline and those making the cut will go on to become the ISAF
Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2011 Nominees. The 137 ISAF Member National
Authorities will then vote for one male and one female nomination who they
believe should win the Award.

The winners will be announced at the Awards dinner on Tuesday 8 November in
San Juan, Puerto Rico, the host city for the ISAF Annual Conference. The
2011 winners were Tom Slingsby (AUS) and Blanca Manchon (ESP). -- Full

Can you believe it's already August? Seems like summer just arrived. We
could tell you about our August specials (which you can view at, but I thought we'd give you something extra to prolong
your time on the water. Shop online and get FREE Ground Shipping, no
minimum purchase, now through Friday, August 5, at 11:59pm PT. Use coupon
code SCUTTLE at checkout. Free Shipping valid within 48 contiguous states
only. Offer excludes hazardous, oversized, truck freight and special order
items. --

A letter in Scuttlebutt 3397 by Stephen A. Van Dyck, a US SAILING Judge and
Umpire, provided critical commentary of what he saw as an imbalance of
priorities within US SAILING between the needs of the sport and the needs
of the Olympic effort. Steve's stone hit two birds... here is what they

* From Dean Brenner, Chairman, US Olympic Sailing:
Steve's entire point seems to be based on a basic and flawed premise. that
the support for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics somehow takes away from
other programs or initiatives within US SAILING. This is incorrect. Thanks
to the effort of many people, we fund our Olympic and Paralympic program
through the support of the USOC, private donors, and our sponsors who
specifically sign up to support the team.

As I've written here many times before, membership dollars are not used to
support the team. So all the resources here this week to support the US
Sailing Team AlphaGraphics don't change the realities of the rest of US
SAILING's programs by one dollar or one minute of anyone's time.

Steve also comments on the growing professionalism of the leadership of our
Olympic Program. We are competing against other professional sports teams,
some of which are known to outspend us 3 or 4 to 1. It's simply no longer
realistic to find highly qualified and motivated people to lead this team
full-time, and for free.

During these last three years, yes, there has been a transition to
professional leadership. But the support for this did not take one dollar
away from any other initiative within our Olympic Program nor the rest of
US SAILING, thanks to the generous support of a foundation that wanted to
help us ease the transition.

I think we should be celebrating our team of athletes, and the high level
of support that we are now able to provide them. support that aspiring US
Olympians and Paralympians have been seeking for many years now. On behalf
of our entire team, I'd like to thank our donors, our sponsors (led by
title sponsor AlphaGraphics, and our excellent partners at the USOC.

* From Jack Gierhart, Executive Director, US Sailing:
Steve raises a valid point about the resources supporting competitive
sailing that we grapple with daily. We agree that Race Administration, as
well as all of our programs could use more hands. Unfortunately resources
are limited. Where do we get resources to strengthen these programs? The
Board certainly plays a role, but more importantly it is the sailors who
can help.

I would like to comment on some of the information that Steve presented:
While there is one staff director managing Race Administration, there is
additional staff - member services, IT, development, and communications -
who support the department and volunteers.

US Sailing has a full-time staff of 41. Eight of the 41 are Olympic staff
whose salaries and overhead are included in the separate Olympic Division

The number of sailors participating in Sanctioned events (US Sailing
membership needed to participate) is approximately 5,000 across 120 events.

Estimates vary, but there are at least 300,000 sailors that participate in
some level of competitive sailing annually in the US. Critical to this
racing are the volunteers Steve mentioned who rely on our Race
Administration training and support, and the Racing Rules that our staff
and volunteers work to maintain and improve. Of these sailors, less than
15% - 40,000 - are US Sailing members whose dues support these critical
programs. Currently member dues do not support the Olympic program.

Sailing and US Sailing rely on volunteers. However, times are changing and
so is volunteerism. The 21st century volunteers have less time and cannot
contribute in the same manner as in the past. US SAILING is evolving to
better support this new paradigm and this requires resources. For Race
Administration, more resources will enable us to deliver race official
training to more volunteers, develop online training for those in the
field, strengthen communications and provide additional support to
volunteers and organizations. Our members provide these critical resources.

So to those who are members, thank you for your support; to those that
aren't and who enjoy racing, please join and help us strengthen racing
across the country.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free,
self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and
sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this

Aug 4-7 - Canadian Eastern U17 Champs - Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada
Aug 4-7 - Canadian Western U17 Champs - Gimli, Manitoba, Canada
Aug 5-7 - Buzzards Bay Regatta - S. Dartmouth, MA, USA
Aug 6-7 - J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship - Annapolis, MD, USA
Aug 6-7 - Lake Sunapee Open Star Regatta - Sunapee, NH, USA
Aug 10-13 - Chester Race Week - Chester, Nova Scotia, CanadaView all the
events at

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
recent postings:

* Onboard HD Camera
* 2011/2012 NMMA Boat & Sport Shows
* PUMA Selected as Official Sportswear Partner for the 34th America's Cup
* Reichel/Pugh designed Alia 65 Harbour Racer
View and/or post Industry News updates here:

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 Dennis Toews:
I read with interest Peter Isler's fun comments in Scuttlebutt 3396. I
sailed against him in Soling's in the 70's and sent him this note:

"In 1972 Hans Fogh switched from FD's to the Soling and asked if I would
crew for him. I said yes subject to a verbal contract. I said 'Hans you are
a sailmaker and winning is important to your business, I will do my best to
help you but if you feel I am not up to the job tell me and we will remain
friends. Conversely I sail for fun and if I find our efforts are not fun I
leave as a friend.'"

For the better part of a decade our Soling on the water or on shore was a
"fun focus". I have the temerity to suggest we had our fair share of
success too!

* From Dave Krotseng:
In regard to the announcement in Scuttlebutt 3397 of the 15 sailors who
will make up the first class of inductees into the National Sailing Hall of
Fame, I find it interesting that nobody else outside of Buddy Melges from
the Great Lakes is deemed worthy of the "Hall of Fame".

COMMENT: We suspect that sentiment is being made from the Pacific Northwest
and the South which had no representatives among the 15 inductees. However,
we can only imagine the challenge of coming up with this list after an
entire history of the sport. The Hall plans to have similarly large
induction groups in 2012 and 2013 to get 'caught up', and then will induct
five people in each year following. For what it's worth, this first class
had representatives from the Northeast (7), California (5), Mid Atlantic
(1), Great Lakes (1), and Southeast (1). Full report:

Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America,
Kentuckians, Tennesseans and West Virginians will no longer be referred to
as 'Hillbillies'. You must now refer to them as Appalachian-Americans.

Kaenon Polarized - Doyle Sails - Melges Performance Sailboats - North Sails
SailFast - Morris Yachts - Team One Newport - LaserPerformance
Ullman Sails - West Marine - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Summit Yachts

Need stuff? Look here: