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SCUTTLEBUTT 3408 - Thursday, August 18, 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: Summit Yachts and Ullman Sails.
OBSERVATIONS FROM THE IRC NORTH AMERICANS
By Don Finkle, RCR Yachts
One thing that struck me was the wide variety of boats that took part in
the event (Toronto, Aug. 11-14). Apparently almost anything that floats can
get an IRC rating. I don’t mean that in a negative way; just an observation
that you don’t need any certain type, age or style of boat to compete.
For example, on one end of the spectrum we had a Farr 30 and Melges 32,
very light high performance sportboats. You could throw the canting-keel
Shock 40 in there too. On the other end there was the vintage “Red Jacket”,
the 39 foot custom ocean racer that first put C&C on the map by winning the
SORC overall back about 1969 or ‘70. Of course RJ has been heavily updated
and optimized, yet she is still over 40 years old.
There was also a Hunter Legend 37 that you would not think of as a racer
but that does very well, lots of boats from the 1980s such as C&C 34s and
J/35s, an assortment that you need to scan the scratch sheet to truly
appreciate. The in the middle, so to speak, were more recent but not
extreme designs such as the Beneteau First 36.7s, 10Rs and 40.7s and C&C
The amazing thing is that the top five overall boats at the end of the
regatta came from across the board and included boats from the fastest
(John Odenbach’s Farr 47 Rampage) and slowest (Winston Beckett’s Santana
30-30 Fortitude) divisions and those in between as well. And the overall
champion is the mid 1980’s designed J/35 Buckaroo Banzai owned by David
We had a ring side seat of BB’s dominating performance because they were in
our division, and we owed them time (on our Beneteau 36.7). Examples of
other boats that did well included the Beneteau 40.7s, of which there were
7, and the First 10Rs, of which there were 6. Go to the event results to
see the whole story, we don’t want to leave anyone out here:
The bottom line is that boats of various vintages and types seem to be able
to compete, and for sure older designs are still very much alive in IRC. --
If you travel away from your local water to compete, there will inevitably
be a venue that just doesn’t click for you. But when you are training for
the Olympics, and the problem venue is the site of the 2012 Games, then you
have a problem. Enter Paige Railey, who the U.S. is counting on to medal in
the women’s singlehanded event at London Olympics. Here is her report from
the Pre-Olympic regatta last week in Weymouth:
I, along with my coach, family and team are soooooo excited about getting a
bronze at this event. It's not just the medal that means a lot, it's the
fact that I finally had my breakthrough in Weymouth. I have had many mental
challenges with this sailing area. I was facing many setbacks and
constantly fighting the feeling of being disheartened. I felt like I would
make progress in one area then find out I was weak in another. It seemed
that it was just one thing after another.
I kept telling myself to keep strong because I was so close to crossing the
line from unlucky to knowing/understanding how to sail here. This is one
area where my coach Luther (Carpenter) has made a huge impact on me. When
he noticed I was feeling a little down he would keep encouraging me, put me
back to work, do the task again until I understood, or state the positive
out of the situation. This has definitely been a team success because I
couldn't have done it without him.
I started the week off just okay. I had many opportunities to have good
results, but I would make a tactical error. The tactics are completely
different compared to North America. I have had to make some major
adjustments with the way I see things and how I would react to them. These
types of conditions have always been a weak area of my sailing, so I am
really happy to see I am finally conquering them. I believe this Olympics
is a huge test for me. It is pushing me both physically and mentally, so if
I were to win a Gold next year then it would mean so much more.
Anyways, I did a lot of analyzing of the area, races, my decisions and
forced myself to admit and face my mistakes. If I want to learn then I
can't run or make excuses for myself. Towards the end of the week I started
to feel more and more confident on how to get upwind and in the last few
races we saw a major improvement in my tactics. -- Read on:
SUMMIT 40, BACK IN THE NEWS
The Summit 40, TOKOLOSHE, owned by Mike Bartholomew, took the overall win
at Cowes Race Week, winning against tough competition in the IRC 1 Class.
Cowes Race Week, as one of the premier regattas worldwide, draws from the
best teams in Europe, and this Mark Mills design has again proven that it
has what it takes to continue as one of the most successful 40 ft.
racer/cruisers available. Check out the entire Summit Line, including the
Summit 35 and 40 at http://www.summit-yachts.com
BOATS ARE LIKE GUYS AND GUYS ARE LIKE BOATS
By Dawn Riley, ED, Oakcliff Sailing Center
My favorite boat is … I have no idea. They are kind of like guys I’ve
dated: each one has something sexy and special.
Firefly, a beautiful mahogany bright red and varnished Great Lakes Cutter,
was the boat on which I discovered sailing. Probably culminating in the
relatively short trip where us three kids delivered her through a
significant squall and up the St. Clair River, holding our own under sail
against a 3-knot current and pulling into port due to a split in the engine
exhaust tube. I was 13, my sister Dana was 11, and brother Todd was 8 and
we handled it all just fine. Talk about a self-confidence boost.
A J/22 is at the other end of the spectrum and a great little boat on which
I discovered my groove - match racing at the Santa Maria Cup.
And then there were the boats that you just step on and it is a perfect
match. Like that first time your eyes meet across the bar. USA 18,
Defiance, was one of those boats. The moment I stepped aboard I could feel
the electricity. She was a huge step up from USA 9 (aka the lab rat) and
USA 2 (aka the Scud). And you could feel it just in the way she floated,
and then sails up and we were off. Buddy Melges would cock his head and get
her “talking to the waves’” up the backside and down the front. -- Sailing,
read on: http://www.sailingmagazine.net/news/features/1115-my-favorite-boat
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
“The decision to take a more conservative approach came with experience.
Having 18 races with no throwouts gives you little room for error.
Throughout my college sailing career, I learned that being conservative is
the best way to avoid bad scores.” -- Charlie Buckingham, College Sailor of
the Year 2011, http://tinyurl.com/Sailing-World-081711
INQUIRY UNDER WAY
(August 17, 2011) - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has begun a
preliminary inquiry into the capsizing of the maxi yacht Rambler 100 with
21 crew on board south of the Fastnet Rock on Monday. A marine surveyor
from the board was assigned yesterday to ascertain why the keel snapped off
the 100ft yacht while it was leading the mono-hull fleet in the Fastnet
The hull of the yacht - worth at least $10 million before its capsize - was
towed overnight to Barley Cove on the Cork coast by Castletownbere-based
tug Ocean Bank , with a view to recovery once rigging is removed. The Naval
Service patrol ship LE Aoife stayed alongside the floating hull some three
miles south of Fastnet throughout yesterday.
Owner and US businessman George David was taken out to the location to
assess the state of the yacht and check if passports and other personal
belongings could be retrieved.
All 21 crew are recovering from their ordeal, including Mr David’s partner,
Wendy Touton, who was flown by Irish Coast Guard helicopter to Tralee
General Hospital suffering from severe hypothermia on Monday night. She was
treated by Irish Coast Guard helicopter paramedics Ciarán McHugh and Colm
Hillary en route.
Ms Touton, Mr David and three other crew had spent more than two hours in
the sea after they were thrown off the yacht. They were located by a dive
vessel, Wave Chieftain , with guidance from Valentia Coast Guard.The 16
other crew managed to cling to the hull when it turned turtle, and were
rescued by Baltimore lifeboat.
The first four yachts were finishing the race in Plymouth on Monday night
even as the rescue was under way. The Fastnet race’s main organiser is the
Royal Ocean Racing Club. Race manager Ian Lofhagen said he was aware that
several competing yachts had passed close to the Rambler 100 after its
However, he said it appeared that conditions were such that the other
yachts would not have known what happened. The racing club had first heard
of a problem with Rambler 100 from its close rival, ICAP Leopard , he said.
ICAP Leopard owner and property developer Mike Slade told the racing club
that his boat “knew there was an issue with Rambler” but was not aware of
“the full extent of what had happened [of its keel loss and subsequent
capsize]” as there had been thick fog.
The Marine Casualty Investigation Board will interview all the Rambler 100
crew and rescue personnel. It has been liaising with authorities on the
Cayman Islands, where the maxi yacht is registered. The racing club says it
will also co-operate with the investigation.
Mr Lofhagen said it would conduct its own review, with a view to “lessons
being learned”. -- Irish Times, read on:
UPDATE: Rambler is now righted: http://yfrog.com/kl6vtsdj
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* Newport, RI (August 17, 2011) - The 2011 U.S. Youth Championships will
hold the final day of racing on Thursday for the 87 entrants competing amid
the four events. The largest lead is in the Club 420 fleet where Lily Katz/
Fiona Walsh of New York have a 22 point cushion. Californians lead the 29er
and Laser fleets, with an 11 point edge for Paris Henken/ Connor Kelter and
an 8 point lead for Olin Paine. The closest fleet is in the Laser Radial,
where Floridian Erika Reineke must manage a narrow 6 point lead among the
top four sailors. -- Full report:
* Detroit’s waterfront will be on display Aug. 17-21 as one of the most
prestigious match racing events, the fourth annual Bayview Yacht Club’s
Detroit Cup, launches on the Detroit River. The regatta is part of the 2011
North American Grand Slam Match Racing Series, which is made up of four
events - the Chicago Match Cup Aug. 12-14, the BYC’s Detroit Cup Aug.
17-21, the Knickerbocker Cup Aug. 24-28 and the Oakcliff International Aug.
30-Sept. 3. The team with the best combined scores from match-racing events
raced at each venue will receive an invitation to the 2012 Congressional
Cup in Long Beach, CA. -- Full report:
* (August 17, 2011) - Marstrand, Sweden marks the halfway stage of the RC44
Championships Tour and with three events completed, the Chris Bake/Cameron
Appleton combo on Team Aqua (GBR) leads both the match and fleet racing
rankings. After matching today at the RC44 Sweden Cup, Thursday will see
the start of four days of fleet racing and with sixteen boats on the start
line it will be easy to rack up some big scores, with no discards allowed
in the series.-- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/RC44-081711
* (August 17, 2011) - The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport),
today confirmed the Government of Canada's contribution to the Canadian
Yachting Association in support of the 2011 CORK OCR and International
Regatta, being held in Kingston, Ont. from August 14 to 24. Since the 1976
Olympics, the CORK regattas have offered excellent training for sailors,
coaches, and officials and have become a fixture on the international
calendar. The event attracts 750 sailors from 9 countries. A contribution
of $50,000 was provided to the Canadian Yachting Association for the 2011
CORK OCR and International Regatta through Sport Canada's Hosting Program.
-- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/CY-081711
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 18-21 - J/24 North American Championship - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CAN
Aug 18-21 - Penobscot Bay Rendezvous - Camden, ME, USA
Aug 19-21 - 2011 Verve Cup Offshore Regatta - Chicago, IL, USA
Aug 19-21 - Ida Lewis Distance Race - Newport, RI, USA
Aug 20-24 - CORK OCR - Kingston, Ontario, CAN
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* West Marine’s Green Product of the Year Contest
* SAILING Magazine celebrates 45 years
* Kos Pictures announces new dynamic website
* Team Sanya Chooses Future Fibres
View and/or post Industry News updates at
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 Brian Bracken, Cowes:
In Peter Isler's graphic article (Scuttlebutt 3407) he was not certain of
the correct name of the organisation who picked him up. I guess with the
fright he had had he would be pushed to remember his own name. I know I
would be more than a little shook up and go cold when I think of their
The organisation that came along to Rambler and picked them up was The
Royal National Lifeboat Institution, better known as the RNLI and is indeed
manned by Volunteers and funded entirely by public donations. They are
nationwide with stations all around the coast of Great Britain and Ireland.
As well as the RNLI boat, a Fishing vessel was diverted and plucked the
crew from the water. Well done to them all and thank god no casualties
In Cowes, where the Fastnet race started, the local RNLI Guild is busy
trying to raise a million pounds to convert the old Custom House into a new
inshore Lifeboat station to better cover the central Solent - a well used
historic yacht race area. - http://www.rnli.org.uk
COMMENT: It should be noted that Peter’s actions during this incident were
heroic. Despite the keel breaking off of the 100-foot Rambler, he stayed
down below to make the emergency calls as it turtled on top of him. His
delay in exiting the boat nearly cost him his life. Peter’s report has now
been updated to note the assistance of the RNLI:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0816/ -- Craig Leweck,
* From Manfred Schreiber:
In Scuttlebutt 3407 editor Craig Leweck noted of the America’s Cup
coverage, “When the choppers are grounded, so is the broadcast.” I would
say, when the choppers are grounded the AC Alphabet comes closer to their
motto: "Save the Oceans".
Big noise and heavy fuel consumption just to deliver a few different
pictures are not environmental friendly at all. Long lenses from the shore
and maybe that special camera boat would do it even for the most interested
spectator/fan/ACup enthusiast. What the delivered live pictures needed in
my eyes was a much better broadcast coordinator as being said here on the
Valencia Sailing website:
* From Simon Gasston, Kent, UK:
For me, all the talk about the changes to the AC being bad for the sport
and for the challengers, and only good for the defender, misses the point.
Sailing is a recreation, which we do for fun, and watching the videos of
the Cascais events it is clear that all the sailors are really enjoying the
boats, and the racing, and they would rather not be anywhere else. These
are the top sailors in the world, and are good in anything that sails, so
putting them in these great new boats can only be a Good Thing. Bring it on
in Plymouth- I will be there!
* From Hugh Evans:
In my latest Seahorse magazine (Sept. 2011), I note a comment attributed to
Chris Caswell that competitors in the 2011 Etchells Worlds in San Diego
were paying $300 per day for a tow to and from the race course. Is this
As an enthusiastic Corinthian Etchells sailor based in the UK where
attracting new fleet members is imperative and the lure of World
Championships is an attraction, seeing this is not good news; it sounds
madness. Surely the race organisers should have this covered?
COMMENT: This was indeed true, though $300 was on the higher end of the
scale for a simple tow. The cost to compete at the Worlds for many teams
included paid crews and coaches and/or tow boat drivers. The costs for some
teams were well over $1000/day...before sandwiches.
The event tried to limit the impact of the coaches by creating course
boundaries and contact restrictions (no comms from 30 min before start to
until last boat finishes). Interestingly, it was pointed out to me (by a
coach) that the effect of coaching limitations is that some skippers will
then hire pro crew to coach them around the course. And the daily rate
tends to be higher for a pro crew than a coach. -- Craig Leweck,
Scuttlebutt editor (and Group 1 sailor)
* From Tim Patterson:
What a great piece by Tim Zimmerman in Scuttlebutt 3407. I have always been
thankful that my parents were able to see their way clear to allow me to
concentrate on sailing at age 12. I really did not care about racing, but
just loved being on the water. I came from a family that played golf with a
passion, but had given me lessons in golf, tennis, swimming and sailing
from 7 on.
When I asked to be allowed to sail more and do the others less, they gave
me a Sailfish kit for my twelfth Christmas. If there was ever a happier
kid, I do not know. That summer I built the Sailfish with the help of a
great carpenter named Charlie and I never looked back. Sailing offshore is
one of the most wonderful enjoyments I have ever known. In St. Kitts, where
Skyjack was built by Philip Walwyn and a wonderfully talented boatyard
crew, I am known as the guy who said that sailing Skyjack offshore was the
most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Thanks for the great work you are
doing at Scuttlebutt.
Any horizontal surface is soon piled up.
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