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SCUTTLEBUTT 3406 - Tuesday, August 16, 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: Team One Newport, North Sails, and LaserPerformance.
RAMBLER 100 CAPSIZES IN FASTNET RACE
(August 15, 2011) - A statement issued by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC)
at 2053 BST reported that the yacht Rambler 100 (USA) has capsized between
the Fastnet Rock and the Pantaenius Buoy. The Irish Coastguard services were
at the scene coordinating the rescue as well as the Baltimore RNLI lifeboat.
Two Sikorsky helicopters have been scrambled and an Irish Naval vessel is en
route to the scene of the accident. All 21 crew have been rescued. According
to RORC, a further statement will be released when more information becomes
Meanwhile, the two largest trimarans in the record-sized Rolex Fastnet Race
rounded the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland at around 0930 this morning.
As expected Loick Peyron's Maxi Banque Populaire (FRA) was leading, but
surprisingly just eight miles ahead of the Seb Josse-skippered Gitana 11
(FRA), despite the latter being just 77 feet compared to Maxi Banque
Populaire's monstrous 140-foot long hulls. Once around, the boats have
approximately 250 miles (on the rhumb line) to sail to the finish in
Plymouth after 608 nautical miles. -- Reports at event website:
HARDESTY TAKES CHICAGO GRADE 2 INVITATIONAL
Chicago, IL (August 14, 2011) - The breeze was on for Bill Hardesty (USA) to
win the Chicago Grade 2 Invitational at Navy Pier on the third and final day
of racing which was filled with upsets, breakdowns and collisions. Winds
picked up to 30-40 knots in the middle of the night and tapered off just
enough for racing, though, it was determined early on that spinnakers would
not be flown after a broach with spreaders in the water by Chicago Match
Race Center Sailing Director Taylor Canfield (USVI).
The day began with the completion of the second Round Robin that had
potential for a three-way tie for third between Nicolai Sehested (DEN),
Hardesty and Canfield with one team not advancing into the Semis. Even
without spinnakers, there was still enough action to cause several
collisions including one between Sehested and Laurie Jury (NZL) that ended
in significant damage. The incident occurred in a port-starboard situation
when Jury on starboard tried to bear away enough to avoid the collision with
Sehested's port boat. Unfortunately, Jury wasn't able to move the boat
enough and ended up T-boning the Danes.
A better Finals match-up could not have been scripted between Hardesty and
Jury in a best-of-three series. While Hardesty dominated Match One from the
start, Jury held his opponent off long enough to win Match Two. The split
wins lead to Match Three which was a dog-fight the whole way through with
Jury receiving a penalty for not keeping clear in the start. The New Zealand
team looked like they were going to be able to gain ground on their opponent
up until Hardesty threw in a dicey tack that crossed the top of the rigs.
In what seemed like a certain call for a penalty on Hardesty, the umpires
gave penalties to both teams leaving Jury with his prior flag. Hardesty
attributed persistence to his team's success this weekend. "We got together
for the first time on Thursday for a few hours to practice. Friday was
looking pretty rough. My team worked it out and was able to pull it all off
today." -- Full report: http://chicagocup.org/news/article.asp?n=1068
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VALUABLE LESSONS LEARNED
Olympic gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe reports in her blog on the lessons
she learned this weekend at the Chicago Grade 2 Invitational. Team MacLaren
ended the regatta with a 7-9 record, after tying for 6th overall and losing
the tie. Tunnicliffe stated, "Not pretty, but much better than how the
The morning started with a skippers' meeting at which they informed us we
would be sailing with reefed main sails. We then went and rigged the boats
and headed off for racing. The first two matches sailed were the matches
that didn't finish yesterday due to the storms. After one or two great
wipeouts, the race committee decided that we wouldn't use kites anymore.
Most of the time between races the teams hungout in the lee of the pier to
stop the boat from being shaken around, but when we ventured out past the
pier, it was full on!
With three minutes to go before our entry, we gybed around and our vang blew
up. A block exploded under the pressure of the gybe so the girls did a quick
re rig of the vang so we could enter and sail the race. We had a good start
and drew a penalty on the Danish team just before the start gun went. We
started to the left of them, but had good speed and eventually reached the
obstruction area and therefore were entitled to room to tack. They tacked
and we were able to roll over them just before the top mark.
Downwind, we sailed a little too wide out from the mark and they were able
to get inside of us and round ahead at the bottom mark. Upwind, we kept the
game close as they had a penalty still to spin. We sailed out to the
starboard layline and then followed them into the mark. They tried to slow
and pull us close to them, but we hung back as we were supposed to. They
went on the round the mark, but tacked just shy and ended up rafting up on
it. We sailed plenty of extra distance to get around them and the mark and
went on to win the race. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/3hgnwnr
DOWNLOADING POST OLYMPIC TEST EVENT
By Michelle Slade
Dean Brenner, Chairman, Olympic Sailing Committee, has begun to download the
events of the past few weeks at the 2012 Olympic Test event that wrapped up
over the weekend in Weymouth, England. Here he talks about what he's got to
focus on next as US Olympic sailors prepare for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing
World Championships and beyond.
What did you take away from the Test event?
Brenner: We've been thinking about it a lot. The best way to describe it is
that you're always going to be proud of a medal at an event like this and
every time you win one, you feel really good about it. We won two medals and
we're proud of that. But we're not satisfied. We can do better than two
bronze medals and we need to better than that. I don't want to say that in
any way suggests that we're not proud of what Sally, Elizabeth and Alana
achieved in the match-racing and what Paige achieved in the Radial. They're
significant accomplishments and we're definitely celebrating those
Where can improvements be made?
Brenner: We're going to focus in a couple of ways. We've always been very
focused on a class by class basis and it's no secret to anybody who follows
our program that we pick where we put our resources. We're not at the stage
where we think we can compete in all ten events for a medal so we're going
to strategically apply those resources. We think there are five or six
places where we can be legitimately competitive next year and that remains
We struggled in some classes in the really, really big Weymouth breeze and I
don't think it's a fitness issue - our team is very fit - but I think it was
no mystery to anyone who we were racing against out there that our team
needs to get a little bigger (heavier) so we're going to focus on that too.
But, we'll be there in all ten events and we'll put our best foot forward in
What's the general spirit among the US sailors after the Test event?
Brenner: Excellent, we have a very close team, a very confident team and we
work really hard on keeping everybody together, supporting each other, so
the spirit is absolutely positive. It's one thing if you have a less than
ideal result and you don't know why. It's another thing entirely when you
don't get the result you want but you know exactly why. We had two or three
events minimum where we know for sure that our result would have been better
if we were a bit heavier. We're giving our sailors more support than they've
ever had before and they know it and are grateful for it. We're constantly
adding resources that will let them focus more exclusively on their sailing.
-- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/3mjtayp
Results were incorrectly reported in Scuttlebutt 3405 for Mark Mendelblatt
and Brian Fatih (USA) Star sailors who competed at last week's 2012 Olympic
Test event. They finished 6th in the medal race and 9th overall.
CAYARD REPORTS ON CASCAIS
(August 15, 2011) - The first racing of the new America's Cup is now in the
record books. In yesterday's only and final race, there were three lead
changes, the top boat speed was 24 knots, the course had 6 legs, and the
race took 40 minutes and was within .5 miles of the shore. Everything that
had been promised was delivered. Cascais delivered perfect conditions all
week with wind between 8 and 18 knots.
For those who thought catamaran racing would be dull and boring, this past
week has been a wake up call. The final of the match racing yesterday
between Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE Racing Spithill was classic
match racing with the competitors even tacking on each other at upwind
speeds of 15 knots.
There is much to learn in racing these boats. New strategies for starting,
course management, sail trim and boat handling. These boats are extremely
physical for the crew. I was looking at the heart rate data of one of our
crew for a race the other day and his average heart rate for the 25 minute
race was 91% of his maximum. His minimum heart rate was 82% and he hit 100%
three times! Athletics has finally hit sailing!
It was fantastic to see this new sailing "product" rolled out in such a
convincing way. The live internet coverage of the racing was very well done
with graphics that show the course boundaries like a basketball court. Other
graphics for the "zone" around the marks. The replays of critical moments
along with commentary were cool. Sure, all this can be improved still and
will, but it is such a huge leap forward from past coverage of sailing. --
Full story: http://www.cayardsailing.com/cs_Reports.cfm?evtID=143&csRpt=1038
NORTH-POWERED J/105s TAKE 1, 2, 3 AT 2011 NORTH AMERICANS
North Sails-powered J/105s ruled the 2011 North American Championship held
in Marblehead, MA over the weekend. Scimitar, owned by Henry Brauer &
Stewart Neff, scored three bullets over the 11-race series to win the North
American title. Savasana*, owned by Brian Keane, finished 2nd and Radiance,
owned by Bill Lakenmacher, took third overall. All three boats raced with
North Class Sail Development (CSD) upwind sails and Scimitar and Radiance
raced with North V-Series CSD spinnakers. When performance counts, the
choice is clear: http://na.northsails.com (* = partial inventory)
The event schedule last week was stacked up on both sides of the Atlantic
Ocean. Here is some of the evidence:
* Extreme Sailing Series - The Extreme Sailing Season is embarking on its
fifth season, with the nine event tour traveling through Asia, Europe, and
North America this year. Competing in equally matched 40-foot catamarans,
the stop in Cowes, UK always provides a blustery and bustery show...images
by Daniel Forster: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/11/0813/
* America's Cup World Series - While the winds were light and the carnage
was lighter, the AC45 racing in Cascais launched this new era for the
America's Cup. Photos by Guilain Grenier and Chris Cameron:
* J/105 North Americans - This 35-foot racer cruiser is made for those who
will not give up the intensity of one-design racing, with solid one-design
rules providing the foundation for growth. And unlike the very few other
one-design classes over 30-feet, there are no pro sailors allowed in Class
events. Photos by PhotoBoat.com:
* Marblehead, MA (August 14, 2011) - Henry Brauer and Stewart Neff on
Scimitar were victorious on their home turf to win the 2011 J/105 North
American Championship in Marblehead, MA. With crew Stuart Johnstone, Julia
Langford, Will Walters and Steve Cucchiaro, Scimitar never scored worse than
a 16 in the 11-race series, including three bullets and two runner-up
tallies. With a total score of 68 points, the team finished 13 points ahead
of its closest competition in the 42-boat fleet. -- Results at:
* Sailors from all backgrounds competed at the 2011 US 470 National
Championships, hosted by the City of Lake Forest, IL, August 5-7. The event
brought out 470 enthusiasts of all types in a fleet including three
father-daughter teams, two post-college 470 teams, one husband-wife team,
and a variety of "masters-aged" teams. At the sharp end of the fleet '88 470
Gold Medalist Allison Jolly, sailing with Andrew Sumpton, mixed it up with
Lake Forest local Olympic hopeful and Hunter Ratliff, fresh off the spring
training circuit in Europe, teamed for this event with Ian Schappe who won,
becoming the new 470 National Champions. -- Full report:
* In a vintage Cowes Week which averaged 20 knots of breeze over 8 days Mike
Bartholomew's Summit 40 Tokoloshe sailed a consistently excellent series to
take the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Title. Guided by Solent
tactician Mike Richards it was a true test of stamina as well as skill for
the UK based South African boat. Tokoloshe scored one of her three firsts on
the Tuesday in lighter conditions to win the Britannia Cup, Cowes Weeks
premier stand-alone trophy, the second time in the last four years it has
been held by a Mills Design boat. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/3q6puh2
* The 50th Cal 20 Class Championship was hosted over the weekend by the
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, California. The event topped its goal
of 50 boats for the championship, totaling 53 in Gold, Silver and Bronze
classes, and by the end of the weekend they were all rocking in whitecaps
stirred up by 15 knots of wind from southwest. The course was nine-tenths of
a nautical mile windward-leeward, twice around, between Oil Island Freeman
and the anchored tanker Front Eminence. Keith Ives and Chuck Stevens
(Alamitos Bay YC) took first place. -- Full report:
* The nomination deadline for the ICSA All-Academic Sailing Team is
September 9, 2011. The ICSA All-Academic Sailing Team recognizes those
scholar athletes who have distinguished themselves in national and
intersectional competition, while achieving the highest levels of academic
excellence. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/43wztda
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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 Tony Magee:
Re America's Cup coverage, I finally stumbled onto the following YouTube
site http://www.youtube.com/americascup#g/u late Saturday - it was a random
event and I could not duplicate the find if my life depended on it, and
spent all of Sunday staring at the computer.
After watching hours and hours now, I find the AC45s interesting but really
miss the tactical aspects of the windward starts, headsail decisions,
on-course tacking duels, et cetera. It's just not the same event. With the
AC45s, a huge number of variables have been removed from consideration in
the conduct of a race and will be the same with the AC72s.
* From Cameron McIntyre (re Scuttlebutt 3405):
Responding to Mr. Baldwin's comments regarding my own, really, seriously how
many "newbies" are watching? I can't find viewership statistics for the
series in Cascais, however previous America's Cup statistics report online
viewers at 140,000 on race days (Yachting World, Elaine Blunting). In
addition I will reference the 13,417 Americas' Cup Facebook friends, of
which I am one.
Dissect the numbers anyway you choose, they are tiny and they reflect a
niche market all of whom I am confident are familiar with the term
"headsail". I would like to see the popularity of the sport grow, however
rather than designing and defending commentary designed for people who don't
know what a sail is, perhaps the better approach would be to make it more
exciting and informative for those that do. And begin by using the correct
Name a broadcast professional sport where the commentary is designed for the
one viewer who knows nothing about the sport?
I am sure everyone on the AC broadcast team works hard to deliver a first
class product and I will retract the word "horrible" and suggest that the
commentary has a lot of room for improvement. The video coverage is
excellent, the CGI is first rate and I agree that long-winded details about
asymmetric dagger boards might be over the top, but I don't think I am being
unfair by suggesting it should be referred to as a dagger board rather than
"the big black thingy".
It is a dog-eat-dog world out there and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear.
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