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SCUTTLEBUTT 3426 - Wednesday, September 14, 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: Doyle Sails, Atlantis WeatherGear, and J Boats.
TRAGEDY HITS HOME
Peter Isler, two-time America's Cup winner, has sailed in and won hundreds
of races over the last forty years. And he was onboard Rambler 100 when it
capsized during the 2011 Fastnet. In his latest book - Peter Isler's Little
Blue Book of Sailing Secrets - he shares lessons and stories that have
helped him succeed and enjoy the sport.
This excerpt, titled Tragedy Hits Home, was originally written with Gary
Jobson for the August 2002 issue of Sailing World magazine. The lessons
learned in this report remain as relevant today as ever:
In 33 years of ocean racing, neither of us had experienced a man overboard
situation of this magnitude: on Friday, May 24, 2002, soon after the start
of the Block Island Race aboard the 66-foot Blue Yankee, our bowman Jamie
Boeckel, 34, was lost at sea as a result of being injured and knocked
overboard when the spinnaker pole broke during a sail change. After hours
of searching, we were unable to recover his body, but the events of that
night will stay with us forever, as will the lessons we drew in its
aftermath. Jamie's memory is best served if we can help prevent future
Before leaving the dock in Stamford, Conn., Blue Yankee's owner Bob Towse
held an in-depth, thoughtful meeting covering safety and strategy. We
discussed our man-overboard procedure, the need to wear lifejackets (we
were all wearing them at the start), the location of safety equipment (a
list was posted), and communication procedures. Although safety harnesses
were available, no member of the crew felt the relatively mild conditions
(offshore winds and smooth seas) warranted putting one on. Following this
pre-race session we headed to the race course.
Blue Yankee won the start and set a fast pace. Just after sunset, 25 miles
from the start, the wind increased from 12 to 18 knots, triggering a call
to change from the Code 3 asymmetric spinnaker to the Code 5 asymmetric. As
the new spinnaker was hoisted, the wind built dramatically. Standing at the
bow, Jamie struggled to release the shackle holding the tack of the old
spinnaker. Something was preventing the shackle from opening, and as
seconds passed, an unseen gust caused the boat to round up. Both spinnakers
luffed violently, the spinnaker pole broke, and it hit Jamie hard. He
immediately went into the water.
As Jamie slid past the leeward rail, crewman Brock Callen (who'd been at
the mast hoisting the spinnaker) saw that he was floating face down,
unconscious. The boat was sailing at 13 knots, and Brock made a
split-second decision and dove in. Neither he nor Jamie was wearing
lifejackets. -- Read on:
Additional information about Isler's book: http://tinyurl.com/Lil-Blue-Book
Rambler 100 capsize report: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0816/
GOING THE DISTANCE
In the September issue of Sailing World, Gary Jobson reports that many
established amateur distance races are recording robust entries. He notes
how this year's New York YC Transatlantic Race, the Annapolis to Newport
Race, the Marblehead (Mass.) to Halifax Race, Chicago YC's Race to
Mackinac, the Bell's Beer Bayview YC Mackinac Race, the Vineyard Race, and
the Transpac all enjoyed healthy turnouts.
Theorizing on the growth, Storm Trysail Club commodore Eric Kreuter thinks
it might be the swing of the pendulum. "I think that the calendar is so
full that people would rather do an extra distance race and cut out some of
the day racing," says Kreuter, who is seeing how distance racing's growing
popularity is because his Long Island Sound constituents are looking for an
alternative to windward-leeward races.
Greg Miarecki, who chaired Chicago YC's Race to Mackinac twice, enjoyed an
overflowing entry list, but that doesn't mean CYC is sitting on its
laurels. This past spring, at the Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD, CYC added
a Saturday-only distance race component. The course was 30 miles and
extremely popular with competitors.
"This worked well for sailors that only had one day available to race,"
says Miarecki. "Since 2008, the Mac has been filled to capacity months
before the event. Given the demand, we made a push to create other short
distance races, including one for this year's Verve Cup."
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
While there is plenty of great sailing left in the season, now is the time
to start planning to service your sails during winter lay-up. Bring your
sails in to your local Doyle loft for a wash and check over - and extend
the life and performance of your sails. Doyle Sailmakers offers the most
experienced sail maintenance and repair services available. The sooner any
chafe, mildew or rigging problem is detected, the easier and less expensive
the solution. Let Doyle help protect your investment! See us at the Newport
Boat Show or visit http://www.doylesails.com/service
SEEKING TO BE THE BRIDE, NOT THE BRIDESMAID
Newport, RI (September 13, 2011) - Three races and three race winners
within a very tight 22-boat fleet were the hallmarks of the first day of
racing at the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.
Racing in upper Narragansett Bay, north of Newport's Pell Bridge, the
competitors got down to business in roughly 10 knots of southwesterly
breeze, which built through the afternoon to a south-soutwesterly in the
The close and intense action provided plenty of work for the 10 umpires,
who were on the water in teams of two, and the delivery of instant justice
meant that the yacht club teams knew pretty much where they stood at the
end of racing without having to wait for protests to be decided.
In a strong start to the series, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) team
has taken the overall lead on finishes of 2-1-4 to demonstrate that, having
placed second in the inaugural event in 2009, they are back and playing to
win. Eight of the 10 crew sailing for RCYC competed in 2009, including helm
Terry McLaughlin, a silver medallist in the 1984 Olympic Games and skipper
of Canada I in the 1983 America's Cup Trials.
RCYC will fly the Rolex gold spinnaker, indicating their position as
overall standings leader, when racing resumes tomorrow, Wednesday,
September 14. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/NYYC-IC-091311
Day One Results - Top 5 of 22
1. Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN), 2-1-4, 7 pts
2. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (HKG), 3-8-2, 13
3. New York Yacht Club (USA), 4-2-8, 14
4. Japan Sailing Federation (JPN), 1-7-9, 17
5. Eastern Yacht Club (USA), 6-5-6, 17
Full results: http://www.invitationalcup.org/results-and-tracking
BACKGROUND: The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex is
an amateur fleet racing regatta held in Swan 42 Class yachts. The regatta
is hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) in Newport, Rhode Island, in
alternate years and was first held in 2009.
What do the winners of the following recent major events have in common?
- 2011 J/24 North Americans (Halifax, NS)
- 2011 IRC North Americans, IRC Zero & IRC Super Zero (Toronto, ON)
- 2011 Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (Rochester NY)
- 2011 Sonar European Championship (Helensburgh, Scotland)
TWO STEPS BACKWARDS
(September 13, 2011) With racing to resume on Wednesday at the America's
Cup World Series in Plymouth (UK), today was an opportunity for the nine
competing teams to complete punch lists following the weekend races. But
for two teams, the to-do list on Tuesday got significantly longer:
* China Team is now the first team to log a full pitch pole capsize. While
training today in 25-30 knots, skipper Charlie Ogletree explains what
happened: "We stuck both bows in a bearaway which resulted in one heck of a
capsize. I think we flipped so hard right that after the wing hit the
water, the sterns hit the water. I think we went all the way around."
Despite the significant wing damage and minor hull cracks, the team
believes repairs will be completed in time to continue when racing resumes
on Wednesday. -- Full report:
* It was discovered today that Green Comm Racing's port hull was damaged
during Sunday's capsize and will have to be replaced. The entire team will
work throughout the night in order to be ready for Wednesday's races. "We
have been working flat out in order to repair the wing and be ready to race
on Wednesday," explained sports Manager Luca Devoti. "We also recut our
jibs and we thought we were 100% ready. When we double-checked the hull we
found there were some structural problems. The only solution was to replace
the damaged hull." -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/GreenComm-091311
ACWS-Plymouth website: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-Plymouth
SCHEDULE: Racing on Wednesday and Thursday will include a total of six
fleet races, with the standings from the fleet races used to seed the nine
crews entering the match racing championship, scheduled for Friday and
Saturday. The schedule for Sunday will be one fleet race, a winner take all
contest for the ACWS Plymouth Championship. -- Details:
LIVESTREAM: All racing in Plymouth will be streamed live beginning on
Wednesday at 14:10 local time (09:10 EDT). Viewing online at
SAN DIEGO: Entries are being accepted for a free drawing to award 4 VIP
Experience tickets to the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) San Diego (Nov.
12-20). These 4 VIP tickets grant the winner and 3 friends to an unrivalled
hospitality experience. Entry deadline is October 15th. Details here:
DISCOVER: GREAT GEAR FOR A GREAT REGATTA
Regattas are where the magic happens. Where you run into people you haven't
seen since college, but your friendship picks up right where you left off
years ago. Where people who are incredibly passionate about our sport spend
all day trying to kick the crap out of each other, and then hang out
together in the bar making strange hand gestures. Where the meaning of
sportsmanship is brought to life by competitors who play the game right.
This is what the NYYC Invitational Cup is all about, and Atlantis is proud
to be a sponsor of this September's event in Newport. Check out the gear at
Discover Your Atlantis
SCOREBOARD: Not only is Atlantis an event sponsor, but company CMO Bill
Lynn is currently in the top five as skipper of the Eastern Yacht Club
DEAR RULES GURU
I've got a question on what witnesses are appropriate to use in a protest
hearing. This involves junior sailors in an optimist regatta. Recently two
13 year old kids had a protest hearing and one of the sailors was allowed
to use their coach as a witness. Is this fair as the coach will most likely
be very biased to their sailor?
We were also just at CORK and at that regatta the jury would not even let a
fellow sailor who sailed from the same club be a witness. Who should the
jury allow to be a witness in a protest? Can a parent be a witness? Thanks
for your feedback. -- Paul
To begin with: a party in a hearing must decide if to bring a witness or
who, NOT the protest committee! If you read recommendations to protest
hearings in Appendix M it says:
"Allow anyone, including a boat's crew, to give evidence. It is the party
who normally decides which witnesses to call, although the protest
committee may also call witnesses (rule 63.6). The question asked by a
party 'Would you like to hear N?' is best answered by 'It is your choice.'"
So a parent can be witness, a coach, a fellow club-member, anyone. It is,
however, up to the protest committee to 'weigh' the testimony and evidence
that a particular witness is providing. They might give less credit to a
parent, or that coach or that fellow club-member. Simply because they are
perceived as having an interest in the outcome of the hearing.
Also; if you bring six witnesses who all say the same, you might end up
antagonizing the committee more than you want. It's still up to you, but a
chairman might ask: "Is this new witness going to tell us something other
than we already know?" Regard that as a hint to stop bringing in the
seventh. -- Jos Spijkerman, International Judge/Umpire, read on:
ARE YOU IN THE MARINE INDUSTRY?
The Marine Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides
companies with guaranteed online exposure of their personnel, product and
service updates. Plus each week the Scuttlebutt newsletter selects a
sampling of updates to feature in the Thursday edition. Are you in the
marine industry? Post your updates here:
* Recently injured veterans will be attending the 4th annual National
Veterans Summers Sports Clinic, held from the San Diego Marriott Marquis
Hotel & Marina in San Diego, CA on September 18 to 23. In the veteran's
recovery and rehabilitation process, the Clinic's therapeutic sporting
activities enhance the healing process, and introduce these vets to
athletic activities they can continue when they return home. The sailing
venue, provided by San Diego's Challenged America program, will give the
opportunity for the vets to experience the healing powers of sailing, as
they sail in both small boats, and aboard Sail USA-11's America's Cup
yacht. -- Details:
* Over 40 delegates from IRC countries worldwide will meet in Paris in
mid-October for the international IRC Congress. Delegates will discuss
proposed rule changes submitted by IRC Rule Authorities and the IRC
Technical Committee. Details of the meeting will be published on the IRC
website once the Minutes have been finalised. -- http://ircrating.org/
* Barcelona, Spain (September 13, 2011) - Niklas Zennstrom's team on RAN
(SWE) had their best day yet on the windward-leeward courses of the TP52
Audi MedCup Circuit when they scored a 2-1 to lead after the first day of
racing at the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy Regatta. As the final
stop of the 5-event 2011 season, Circuit leaders Quantum Racing (USA)
opened their lead on main title rivals Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) and
Container (GER). -- Full story:
* Big-boat sales in August continued to push the total value of U.S.
brokerage sales higher than in 2010. For the month, 2,746 boats were
reported sold at a total value of $261 million, according to YachtWorld.com
member brokers. This was $9 million higher than the previous August, when
nearly the same number of boats were sold (2,748) for $252 million. Sales
of boats over 55 feet account for all of this difference in valuation. --
Trade Only, full report: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-091311
J/111 BOATSHOW TOUR
Designed for speed before ratings, the J/111 is proving slippery on all
courses. J/111s have recently won the Chicago-Mac (KASHMIR in ORR-3),
Bayview-Mac (NO SURPRISE in IRC-3) and Cowes Week (SHMOKIN JOE in IRC 2).
Check out what all the buzz is about at the J/111 display in Newport,
Southampton and Annapolis. http://www.jboats.com/j111.
All the winners from the four championships are members of the Rochester
Founded in 1877, the Rochester Yacht Club in Rochester, NY is one of the
oldest yacht clubs in the United States, with more than 800 members. Its
facilities are located on the east side of the Genesee River near Lake
In addition to members winning regattas, RYC hosts major events every year.
Next September the Rochester Yacht Club will host the 2012 J/24 World
Championship which will be a historic "Open" regatta over 100 boats are
expected! Details at http://www.2012UMGJ24Worlds.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 Peter Simmons:
The way I see it, the online broadcast of the America's Cup World Series is
nothing more than a 'proof of product'. And an expensive one at that. A
significant investment is being made (btw, by who?) on broadcast technology
to prove the change to multihulls makes for a riveting product. A 115
person broadcast team, 16 custom air-conditioned containers, specially
built camera boats... and the list goes on. But the problem is that you
can't lead a new audience to an online product.
Maybe the commercialization of the America's Cup is possible, but I wonder
how many venture capitalists would take this risk. I guess when you have
the capital of fifth richest man in the world (Larry Ellison), you can roll
the dice on an idea or two. But until this 'product' consistently gets on
television, the new fans it so desperately seeks aren't coming onboard.
If somebody does dethrone Ellison's Oracle team, than what happens? Will
the commercial model, whatever it might resemble in 2013, stay afloat or
does it run out of helium and slam hard to reality?
* From Art Karpf, Snow Goose:
Well, it's finally come to a time where the PHRF sailors of Long Island
Sound will find out what it means to be considered second class sailors.
While the IRC boys and girls will have their hotly-contested
windward-leeward races at their US-IRC Championship of LIS, the PHRF
sailors are being shuffled off away from the action on the so-called
Navigator's Races around government marks. Welcome to the world of the
For too many years, regattas have been run by racers who, once they aged
out of Optis, have always raced with spinnakers. They probably have grown
up with the attitude that "if they don't fly a spinnaker, they probably
don't want to sail directly downwind." For those who have never raced W/L
courses without a spinnaker, take my word for it. There are only a few
things in life more boring than a 4 mile beam reach, followed by another 4
mile reach unless, of course, you're on the boat with the very long
waterline relative to the rest of the division.
W/L courses give non-spinnaker classes the opportunity to execute whisker
pole sets, jibes and takedowns just as the spinnaker boats do, and
experience the same satisfaction when done well, and the same embarrassment
when not done well. -- Forum, read on:
* From Steve Gregory:
While I agree with Craig's stance (in Scuttlebutt 3425) about how event
websites are screwing up the online history of events, my guess is that the
emerging tech generation could care less. The focus of communication today
is about immediacy, and not about organization.
Curmudgeon say man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Summit Yachts - IYRS - North Sails - Gowrie Group
Team One Newport - Doyle Sails - J Boats - Ullman Sails
JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Southern Spars - West Marine
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