SCUTTLEBUTT 3399 - Friday, August 5, 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: JK3 Nautical Enterprises and Summit Yachts.
STANDING BY FOR THE FAN EXPERIENCE
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
I've had a number of people contact me about providing reports next week
from the inaugural event of the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) in
Cascais, Portugal (Aug. 6-14). To each of them I say:
- Tell us what it's like to attend
- Tell us how the locals embrace the event
Up to this point it's been about the boats, the teams, the race format, the
broadcast features... but not much about the fan experience. The 2011 ACWS
host cities - Caiscais, Pymouth, and San Diego - are having to pay fees to
stage the events, and they need to fill hotel rooms and serve some meals to
warrant this tourism investment. A fan experience is crucial.
Additionally, the America's Cup is attempting to commercialize itself, and
it is doing so without benefit of a secure stadium. While stadium sports
covet the sponsor and broadcast media rights along with the spectator gate
income, the America's Cup must manage these revenue streams in public
As sailors, we assume water access is available to watch our sport. We want
to get in our boat, idle up to the race course, and experience the action.
The reality, however, is the AC45s are very fast, and a crowd of privately
owned RIBs attempting to keep up with the boats is a nightmare scenario.
So while the combination of a 5 knot speed limit at a distance of 300
meters from the course border is a buzz kill for the private boaters, the
alternative is to risk people getting run over. Then again, there is
incentive for the organizers to limit supply as they are seeking to sell
high priced tickets onboard designated up-close spectator boats. Think
floor seats at a Lakers game.
To help create interest, organizers are eager for the enthusiastic fan
'twit' and 'book' away to their social network, but anyone thinking of
commercializing their event updates is blocked by a litany of published
rules. Media personnel are thoroughly vetted, with various rights
distributed among them. Much like you wouldn't be smuggling your video
equipment into Yankee Stadium to covertly broadcast the game, the same
rules apply for the ACWS.
For those adventurous enough to experience the inaugural event, we
understand that excessive fees will gain you entrance to VIP hospitality
opportunities. And for those seeking to go on the cheap, these free
activities will be available to the public...
- Watch the racing live in the village, featuring America's Cup
groundbreaking new graphics and live commentary.
- Visit the America's Cup Experiential, where visitors will get a taste of
the teams and what it's like to sail on a high-speed catamaran.
- Take on the Racing Simulator, your own match race test, video-game style.
- Get up-close to best sailors in the world, with the day's racing
highlights and first-hand reports from the sailing stars every race day at
20:30 on The Base stage.
- Listen to great local bands and DJ's, with surprise international live
acts on the final weekend.
If you are seeking to enjoy the 'show' from the comfort of your couch, you
will need to be connecting your computer to the television for the big
screen experience. But while there has been significant talk about the
improved viewing experience, there has been a complete absence of
information of how to watch it.
We are told the races will be streamed live, beginning at 1400 local time
(GMT+1) on Saturday afternoon, with the player somewhere on
americascup.com. We do not know if the shows will be archived (and we have
asked and asked). In addition, the races will be live-tweeted at @34thAC.
The forecast for Saturday is for northwesterly winds building to 15 knots,
possibly increasing later in the afternoon. With the tight course layout
and puffy offshore winds, and some teams with very little AC45 experience,
collisions and capsizes are likely...just what the Facebook generation was
Cascais race program: http://tinyurl.com/2011-ACWS-Cascais
Fan features: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-fan-features
CALENDAR: Following the inaugural America's Cup World Series event in
Cascais, the second stop on the circuit will be Plymouth, England on
September 10-18, followed by the final 2011 stop in San Diego, USA on
ADAPTING TO STADIUM SAILING
The story in Scuttlebutt 3398 titled 'Are the Sacrifices of Stadium Sailing
Too High?' was curious about the compromises occurring within the sport to
heighten media and fan awareness. Among the sectors of the sport feeling
this pinch is the Women's Match Racing event for the 2012 Olympic Games.
With their course location typically near shore, the racing conditions are
often affected by the local landscape. American Anna Tunnicliffe, who won
the 2010-11 ISAF Sailing World Cup, comments on the situation:
"I think it's a responsibility on part of the sailors to have to commit to
say, yes, we are going to grow our sport and as such we might have to
sacrifice a little bit of the sailing. I know the first time we sailed in
Weymouth, we sailed right beneath a hill and we all complained about it. We
were told, 'Well, this is where the spectators and media are going to be.'
"You just have to wrap your head around it, find out where it's going to be
and learn how to sail in those conditions. We've sailed there the last two
events and it's been fine. We've put the negativity aside, taken the
positives and growing with it. We've had spectators out watching us.
"You may not be able to do it with a Big Boat Series or a Star course that
close to shore because they need a mile or more for the beat. But if you do
a short course for the fast paced stuff like the match racing or the 49ers
that's easy and exciting to watch, then that'll grow the awareness and grow
the spectators. Then you can branch the media out to the longer courses."
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to take place all over the world, come visit the J/111 in San Diego today
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COMMENT: The JK3 team allowed me to steer their J/111 last week in the San
Diego weeknight series. What do they say... "So easy a caveman can do it"?
This one qualifies. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC TEST EVENT
Weymouth/Portland, GBR (August 4, 2011) - The third day of the Weymouth and
Portland International Regatta saw the start of the Men's and Women's RS:X
and Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) are locked on
three points apiece after they both recorded a bullet and second place
Throughout the day the wind was blowing in between 12-15 knots. On the
conditions Van Rijsselberge said, "It was nice out there. It was a bit
shifty on the breeze but as long as the sun comes out it's nice." Canadian
Nikola Girke posted a 7-8 to stand 8th overall among the 25 competitors.
In the Women's Match Racing, the conclusion of the Round Robin series for
the twelve teams saw Russia's Ekaterina Skudina finally get derailed from
her undefeated record, falling today to Sally Barkow (USA) and Claire Leroy
(FRA). Nonetheless, when the top eight teams advance to the Quarter Finals
on August 6th, Skudina will be the number one seed and will face Olivia
Price (AUS). The other match ups are Silja Lehtinen (FIN) and Anna
Kjellberg (SWE), Mandy Mulder (NED) and Sally Barkow (USA), and Lucy
Macgregor (GBR) and Claire Leroy (FRA).
Racing continues for the RS:X sailors Friday, along with the first races
for the Laser, Laser Radial and Men's and Women's 470. Racing for the Finn,
Star and 49er classes get underway on Saturday, August 6. The medal races
will run August 11-13.
Full report: http://www.sailing.org/36416.php
Event link: http://www.londonpreparesseries.com/sailing/index.html
Canadian Sailing Team: http://tinyurl.com/CYA-080411
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-073111
UNBELIEVABLE: After three days, this ISAF regatta is still unable to post
timely online information. And when they do eventually post the results,
they are in PDF form, the lowest form of life on the internet. Considering
all the dynamic tools now available, and the urgency for ISAF to improve
sailing's reputation as a fan-friendly Olympic event, it is stunning how
badly the world governing body for the sport of sailing is handling the
online portion of this Olympic test event.
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.
HURRY UP AND WAIT - THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE OLYMPICS
By Dean Brenner, Chairman, U.S. Olympic Sailing
As we (slowly!) ease our way into the racing here at 2011 Test Event, I'm
reminded of the single biggest difference that always surprises first-time
Games participants. To quote my friend and two-time Olympian Tim Wadlow,
"there is a shocking amount of down time at the Olympics."
How many other one-design regattas can you think of that last two weeks? I
can't think of any. But that's how long this Test Event is, and that's how
long the Olympic regatta will be next year. This translates into more off
days than normal, and this can be frustrating for people not used to it.
There's just more time to fill off the water, especially if the wind gods
This is where your team's off-the-water support system can really pay big
dividends. If you do a good job creating a culture people feel good
about... if you do a good job creating comfortable space to hang in... if
you do a good job choosing the correct personalities that your team will
want to spend time with... if you do all these things well, the time off
the water can be a lot more productive and a lot less tedious. And if you
do it well, then when your sailors go back on the water, they do so with a
great frame of mind.
In our program, we always remind people that everything we do is connected
to everything else we do, and all the different parts of the program
matter. Everything has an impact on how the team does on the water.
Hurry up and wait... that's the new wrinkle when you come the Test Event or
the Games. And the sailors and the team as a whole have to have a plan and
a method for dealing with this new reality. --
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"I think in sports where referees (or some form of an official) enforce the
rules, there is an attitude to push to the limit what the referees allow
with no recourse for the competitors to call fouls that they see. Our sport
takes away the referees and forces us all to constantly play the game to
the same standard, otherwise our fellow competitors can and will call us on
our actions." -- Tracy Usher, winner of the Peter Barrett Sportsmanship
Trophy at the 2011 U.S. Singlehanded Championship:
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* San Francisco, CA (August 3, 2011) - With 25 knots registering on the
committee boat the Laser Slalom 2011 fleet hit the water for the wildest
ride on the Bay, the St Francis Yacht Club's Heavy Weather Slalom event,
presented by Laser Performance and Maclaren. Racing began about 1pm in a
flood tide and white caps, with the finals seeing Peter Shope and Ben
Richardson (both USA) going head to head for four exhausting races. Shope
prevailed, with third going to Scott Ferguson who was also recognized for
a phenomenal crash that catapulted him some two
boat lengths off his
stern. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/SailBlast-080411
* US SAILING wants to learn more about sailors around the country. They
have developed a short survey to help gather information about sailors'
interests and what they know about US SAILING's programs and services. US
SAILING members and non-members are encouraged to participate. Please take
five minutes to complete this survey and help US SAILING expand its
contributions to the sport:
* Complementing its global TV 6-part series and programming platform, and
the live TV coverage at each of the four previous worldwide Acts, the
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 from Cowes will also be broadcast live. Three
days of enhanced 'LiveTV' coverage (7-9 August), will be complemented by
four further days of a more basic 'WEBcam' product, allowing all seven days
of racing to be watched from around the world. With strong winds forecast
in this notoriously challenging venue, some of the best sailors in the
world from 15 different nations will battle it out for Act 5 honours in
front of a worldwide audience. -- Full report:
* From September 9 to October 19, 2011, US SAILING will hold its annual
election to fill three seats on its Board of Directors. The nominees for
the Board of Directors - Bruce Burton, Bruce Cook and Dawn Riley - will vie
to fill two slots on the Board. Nominated by the House of Delegates and
running unopposed for a three-year term is George Hinman. Online voting
begins on September 9. Details: http://tinyurl.com/BOD-072711
* Brewer's Yacht Haven West (Stamford, CT), one of the Northeast's largest
full-service marinas with a boatyard for major winter storage, will shut
down in the fall after losing its lease from a developer that plans to
remediate and develop the land, according to a report from the Stamford
Advocate. Unable to gain an extended lease or purchase the 14-acre site,
Jack Brewer said he was told by Norwalk-based Building, Land & Technology
two months ago that the boatyard must be off the property by Oct 31. --
Boating Industry, read on:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include high fives, new launches, sweet sailing, bad endings, brilliant
solutions, self preservation, and seriously big ideas. Here are this week's
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
New Zealand's Ross Field and his son Campbell are best known for their
individual exploits in the Volvo Ocean Race, but they have now teamed up to
compete in the double-handed, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR).
Beginning in Mallorca, Spain on September 25th, ten doublehanded Class40
teams will start this five-leg circumnavigation race. And while the Fields
are short on Class40 sailing time, they are extremely long in the
experience needed for this type of contest.
This week's video is a short documentary of the Field's GOR campaign:
BONUS: When a fleet of youth sailors set out on San Francisco Bay, caution
is advised. And when they set out for a race around Alcatraz Island,
concern is warranted. But when the fleet had just completed the T293 World
Championship, this was an award they had earned. Watch here:
BONUS: In July, twelve elite youth teams competed in the Governor's Cup
International Junior Match Racing Championship, hosted by Balboa Yacht Club
in Corona del Mar, CA. The finals proved to be an all American event, with
the San Diego Yacht Club team of Nevin Snow, Jake LaDow, and Jake Reynolds
taking the title over local Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Here is a video from
the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfrUbgJhyXQ
BONUS: If you have a pair of Red/Cyan 3D glasses, this video from Brian
Karr and Rockledge Productions will bring you onboard a Vectorworks Falcon
F16 catamaran for the Daytona Beach Summer Sizzler Regatta:
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
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 Robbie Ferron, Sint Maarten:
The discussion about "having fun" initiated by Peter Isler in Scuttlebutt
3396 is distorted by his own ability to have fun. He clearly manages this
very easily and I can attest to that. Others do not and are content to be
close to others having fun or be content on finding excuses as to why they
could not have fun. In fact , the discussion on "fun", is quite funny.
Here in Sint Maarten, our annual Heineken Regatta has for the past thirty
years used the slogan "serious fun" and we plan to continue using it for
many years. Unfortunately it is interpreted in very many ways! Some people
even think being serious is fun. Others interpret it as total fun and
abandonment tackled in the most serious way possible which means never
being serous! Personally I am having lots of fun talking about fun
* From Dobbs Davis:
In regard to Scuttlebutt 3398...like it or not... Stadium Sailing is here
to stay. The advent of new technologies in gathering and transmitting
images from onboard to your screen only goes so far in conveying the
visceral excitement of highly-competitive sailing, especially to
non-sailing audiences, so spectator-friendly formats will be important to
expand awareness of the game. This is vitally important for media and
sponsors, who usually won't have a clue about the nuances of the sport, but
whose interest is important to foster the growth and development of the
Next weekend in Chicago will be an excellent example of this in action: at
the largest tourist attraction in America's third largest city there will
be bleachers set up at the east end of Navy Pier and live commentary
provided to watch ten teams from five nations duke it out in the first
event of the US GRAND SLAM match race series, the Chicago Grade 2
Invitational. This will be another great opportunity to have the public see
competitive sailing, up close and personal.
* From David Fuller, YachtSponsorship.com:
It's going to be interesting to see the finished product, but it probably
won't be super slick in Cascais. The hard part is putting it all together
from a moving platform - that is quite hard to do, but it's a kind of geeky
No matter what the technology boffins create, the real secret will lie in
the commentary. Will the live explanation of the graphics be able to
educate and entertain?
Good business people know that expectation management is key to how people
feel about the product. The media people at ACEA have talked up the TV so
much that we are all expecting something mind-blowing, but in actual fact,
it will be an evolution rather than a revolution.
We wait with interest to see what they come up with, but all the graphics
in the world will mean nothing if no-one sees it.
It is the attempt for every edition of the Scuttlebutt newsletter to have
something for everybody. As founding editor Tom Leweck would explain, the
newsletter should be like a buffet table. And at the end of every good
buffet table is desert, or for Scuttlebutt, the Curmudgeon's Observation.
This newsletter feature has several 'elves' that regularly submit these
kernels of counsel. These supporters are not thanked enough, so to all of
you... and you know who you are... thank you! - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Any argument carried far enough will end up in semantics.
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Ullman Sails - West Marine - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Summit Yachts
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