Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3432 - Thursday, September 22, 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: Hall Spars & Rigging and Ullman Sails.

It was two weeks ago when 29 boats competed in the Beneteau First 36.7
North Americans, which was hosted by the National Yacht Club in Toronto.
While we'd all like to be winners, the reality is that most of us are mere
'entry fees'. But regatta participation should be more than the pickle
dishes awarded, and by all accounts, this regatta made sure of it.

"As we marveled at the job National did this time," said local class
booster Don Finkle, "one of our crew said 'regatta organization has become
an arms race', and I think he is right. With so many events competing for
sailors' limited time and budgets these days, organizers are constantly
having to step up their game to keep events viable."

As Finkle notes, the participant experience begins with simply feeling
welcome. "Folks at National were friendly and helpful, everyone involved
seemed like they were happy to have us at their club. This is an
underappreciated factor that often makes the difference from a competitor's

Sometimes the success of a regatta has to do with its creativity. "The
night before the event we had a reception," explained Finkle, "and instead
of another skipper bag that most of us have way too many of already, each
owner got a commemorative regatta hockey jersey - a sweater in Canada -
with the boat name on the back. This was a prelude to the 3 on 3 ball
hockey tourney that each boat could enter. They had set up a 'rink' in the
parking lot where after each day's racing, crews would take turns playing,
watching and critiquing. This turned out to be a great way to blow off
steam from any frustrations brought back from the lake.

Here are some of Finkle's other observations that contributed to the
event's success
- Cold beer delivered to each boat as we hit the dock every day
- Results sheet handed to us along with the beer at the dock
- Excellent race committee led by PRO Wayne Bretsch
- Each boat had its own dock with power and water
- Parking pass for every boat
- Kattack race player online for every race
- Unique Awards made by First Nation Artists
- Spectator boats
- Live weather briefings
- Regalia on-site
- Bow numbers
- Commemorative Hockey Puck and Jersey
- Banquet cooked and served by NYC volunteers
- Food & drink available at the club each night
- Box lunches available
- Plenty of sponsors headed by Barbados
- Convenient measurement, check-in, inspection
- Online registration, scoring, event news, etc. through

Full report:
Event website:

Boat S and P, two close-hauled dinghies, are approaching each other on a
collision course in medium breeze. P fails to keep clear and S bears away
to pass astern of P. As she passes astern of P, S accidentally hits the
starboard corner of P's transom, putting a small crack in S's bow and a
12-inch scratch along her starboard bow. She is safely able to continue in
the race. P immediately does a Two-Turns Penalty and protests S. You are on
the protest committee; how would you decide this? Answer below.

The Hall-rigged Quantum Racing wins the 2011 Audi MedCup championship.
Nilaya (Baltic 112) wins the SuperMaxi class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
and is overall winner of the Superyacht Cup. DSK (Swan 90) and Y3K (Wally
100) win their classes at the Rolex Maxi. At the Rolex Big Boat Series,
every IRC class winner has Hall spars, including the top three in IRC A -
Vesper, Powerplay, and Mayhem. Piet Vroon's Tonnerre (Ker 46) wins the
RORC's overall IRC championship. Different boats, different venues - same
spars, same results. Let Hall help you win in 2012.

Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO of the America's Cup Race Management
(ACRM) organization, is in charge of the independent conduct of the
regattas, and at the lead in pushing forward all the changes necessary for
the America's Cup World Series, the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup and the actual
America's Cup.

CupInfo checked in with him last Sunday on the final day of racing in
Plymouth. Iain talked about ACRM's focus going forward, plans for changes
at the next ACWS stop in San Diego and for 2013, and the possibility of new
teams joining up. Here is an excerpt:

* Iain, after the first two events, is the World Series showing their full
potential already?

IAIN MURRAY: We've developed a whole lot of boats and an event and new
tools and cameras and the way we run races and umpiring and, look, it's
going well. There's no question that I think we've met our targets. It's
not that we've got wonderful tools, it's how we use them to the best of our
ability in the most efficient way that we can, and get the most out of them
in terms of the races -- getting great races, the viewers getting great
pictures, the audience on the hill getting a great experience, all of those
sort of things. We have to work harder, to detail what we're doing, to make
it tighter and better.

* The potential new teams, are these from European countries only? How
close are we to seeing an Italian team join in Venice or Naples?

IAIN MURRAY: I'm very positive that we will see an Italian team in the not
too distant future. We have -- look, we're doing discussion with many
European teams and southern hemisphere teams -- we have a lot of
interesting teams right now.

* The feedback for the 45s is really great from the teams. Are the plans
going on schedule for the Youth America's Cup, or should we expect these
boats to race in 2013 at all?

IAIN MURRAY: We have always said we would be running a Youth Championship
in San Francisco. It's part of the Host City agreement and we were planning
to run youth events in both 2012 and 2013. America's Cup also has plans for
other youth things which are not disclosed at this stage. We are working
with the youth in every venue that we go to, but there are some plans afoot
that haven't been the highest priority today, but they're at the top of the
list now.

*Are you looking forward to having the 72s on the America's Cup World
Series? How will this impact the choice of venue, or the distance to
spectators onshore?

IAIN MURRAY: The 72s won't be on the World Series. AC45s are continuing
through and the 72s will be specific to San Francisco and the America's

Complete interview:

VIP TREATMENT: 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:

In Great Britain, the process for determining their Olympic representatives
includes a mix of subjective analysis with regatta performance. In short,
they choose the sailors who they think are best able to win in the
anticipated conditions for the 2012 Games.

So when the Brits recently chose Ben Ainslie to represent the country in
the Mens Singlehanded Heavy Dinghy (ie, Finn), they chose someone who was
currently ranked 34th in the world. More curious is that their choice
leaped over Ainslie's two countrymen - Ed Wright and Giles Scott - who were
currently ranked 1st and 2nd in the world.

In short, this reveals again (and again and again) how far the
international ranking system can be out of touch with what is occurring on
the race course. Given Ainslie's dominant performance in the class this
year, combined with his four Olympic medals and five world titles in the
class, a non-selection would have been a shocker. And thankfully, a
completely revamped ranking system to criticize will be in place after the
2012 Games.

Given that any of these three sailors are strong medal contenders, the
quality of a man can be tested when opportunity is not provided. Here is a
report by Scott after he was not selected:
I broke the news to Ben Ainslie that he had been selected ahead of me for
the one British place in the Finn.

We knew calls were coming last Thursday, and they must have rung me before
him. I texted saying 'well done' and that I'd enjoyed racing him. He texted
back saying it was a bit weird - he didn't even know yet. I'd say I was 90
to 95 per cent sure by then I had lost out.

I hoped they might extend the selection procedure to December's World
Championships in Perth, but we all knew that the Skandia Sail for Gold
Regatta and the Olympic test event, both in Weymouth, were the key events.

When Ben beat me in Sail for Gold, it meant he would go to the test event
and I wouldn't. It took a fortnight to sink in. I was driving around town
and I thought: 'S***, I'm not going to the Olympics.'

Certainly, the chances were slim to nothing. There was a time up to the
regatta in Palma in April when I was under his skin. I'd won in Miami, he'd
won in Melbourne, I'd won in Perth, I'd won in the 2010 Sail for Gold.

We were arguing the most on the water at that point. We'd come together in
training and he'd think I was in the wrong; I'd think he was in the wrong.
I was getting a lot from seeing him so angry. -- Read on:

MORE: If Ben medals at the 2012 Games, he would join Torben Grael (BRA) as
holding the most sailing medals with five. If Ben were to win, he would
equal that of Paul Elvstrom (DEN) who won four consecutive Olympics. In
short, Ben would become the greatest sailing Olympian ever. Here he
comments on his selection:

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

Sep 22-25 - Sonar North American Championships - Wayzata, MN, USA
Sep 24-25 - J/Fest Regatta - San Diego, CA, USA
Sep 26-Oct 1 - Santa Maria Cup - Annapolis, MD, USA
View all the events at

* Palma de Mallorca, Spain (September 21, 2011) - Warm temperatures but
lighter winds marked the second day of the 2011 Melges 32 World
Championship. A complete shuffle in the results was in order, in particular
the top five, with the exception of two - overnight leader John Kilroy on
Samba Pa Ti and Jason Carroll's Argo is holding steadfast in fourth. All
other positions shifted to include, Lanfranco Cirillo and tactician Michele
Paoletti on Fantastica now in second, and Wolfgang Stolz with tactician
Jesper Radich on Opus One moved up three notches to finish third. Vincenzo
Onorato's Mascalzone Latino slipped back to fifth. -- Full story:

* The 2011 IOD North American Invitational Regatta was hosted by the
Nantucket International One Design Fleet Association September 15-18, 2011.
Thirteen teams hailed from Maine to California, with defending Champion Ed
Kavle on hand to challenge the others for the win. However, the near
perfect score of Team Sierra - helmsman Roy Weedon and crew Colin Sykes,
Tom Darling, Chris Gould and Kevin Farrar - won seven of the eight races to
run away from the field. -- Full story:

* Annapolis, MD (September 21, 2011) - On the weekend of September 24-25,
the Corinthian Cup will unite the Annapolis Yacht Club and The San
Francisco Yacht Club in a friendly competition to hoist the Corinthian Cup
Trophy. Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) will try to strip The San Francisco
Yacht Club (SFYC) of the Corinthian Cup Trophy it earned on October 23,
2010. Last year's inaugural event took place on the blustery waters of San
Francisco Bay where wind speeds eclipsed 20-25 knots. This year, AYC will
have the advantage as the two clubs will battle for domination on the
Chesapeake Bay. -- Full report:

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:

* Quantum Leads Sail Development for New Soto33
* New J/70 Speedster Sails 2012
* Sebago's new category of high performance footwear: Triwater
View updates here:

Are you debating between performance sails for the racecourse or durable
sails for weekend cruising with the family? Or you maybe you only have the
budget for one new sail this year? At Ullman Sails, we're dedicated to
personally working with each customer to determine the best sails for their
sailing goals and budget. And it doesn't matter whether you're investing in
a Blue Line Cruising spinnaker or buying a FiberPath GP Race genoa for your
race inventory, our sail consultants will go the extra mile to make sure
every customer is satisfied. Invest in your performance.

Boat S is penalized for breaking rule 14, Avoiding Contact. Given that she
"accidentally" hit P, the presumption is that it was "reasonably possible"
for her to have avoided contact with P had she been more careful. However,
S, as a right-of-way boat, cannot be penalized for breaking run 14 unless
the contact causes damage or injury to either boat. In this case, S was
damaged and therefore she is penalized for breaking rule 14. She could have
exonerated herself by doing a Two-Turns Penalty, but she failed to do so
leaving disqualification as the only penalty available to the protest
committee (rule 64.1(a), Penalties and Exoneration).

This quiz question is from Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes

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 Matt Bounds, US SAILING Regional Race Officer/Judge:
Regarding John Diggins' comment in Scuttlebutt 3431 (the boat should have
been scored DNF for hitting the finish pin), the boat did finish according
to the definition of finish in the RRS, therefore, the RC must score them
in their finishing position (RRS A3). There is no reference to RRS 31
(Touching a Mark) in the definition of finish. Additionally, the scores for
DNF and DSQ are not always the same; the score for DNF is often changed by
the sailing instructions.

Mark Borga comes closer to the mark (pardon the pun) when he refers to the
Basic Principle. A request for redress could be filed by every other boat
in that race (RC's error was not filing a protest), but since a boat cannot
be protested by the RC or PC for information arising from a request for
redress (RRS 60.2(a) and 60.3(a)), we are still left with the problem of a
boat finishing which has clearly broken RRS 2 (Fair Sailing) and the Basic
Principle. However, they may be protested by another boat, and the Protest
Committee has the latitude to extend the protest filing time. This is not
an intractable problem.

Hopefully, by the time the process got to this point, the offending boat
will have been convinced to RAF (retire after finishing), especially since
a disqualification under RRS 2 is not excludable. -- Read on:

* From Kim Klaka:
The answer about wind speeds at different temperatures generating different
amounts of force (in Scuttlebutt 3431) is incomplete. Yes, the colder air
is denser so will generate more force at a given windspeed, but the
enquiring mind will realise it doesn't end there. What are you using to
measure that wind speed? If the measuring device is affected by air density
as much as the sail is, then the density effect is already accounted for.
There's also the question of water density/temperature changes (sail forces
must be balanced by hydrodynamic forces), and the effects of viscosity
change with temperature.

* From William Tuthill:
A quick comment on the wind strength myth (in Scuttlebutt 3431). Cooler air
is denser, but as one who sails with a wing, I have to say that different
winds have different feels. There is no better way to feel the wind than
with a Kitewing

You literally hold the wind in your hands. Some winds, whilst cold feel
braided and fraught with voids. Humidity affects the "pull" coming from the
wind and some of the best and most "punchy" winds come in spring when the
air is moist and flowing like water.

MORE: Additional comments on the wind strength myth are posted in the

* From Arland Whitesides, Wrightsville Beach, NC
I like those rules quizzes... here's an actual one:

Laser flips right before finishing and the sailor is in the water as a wave
pushes him across the finish line. His Laser is turtled and is washed
across the finish line next to the sailor.

The RC scored him as he and the Laser crossed the finish line. A Judge
overheard the story and said that the sailor was a DNF. After much
discussion ensued, the Judge was deemed wrong, and a higher Judge corrected

It was deemed that a Laser in a normal position can be upside down with the
sailor in the water. Happens all the time.

* From George Morris:
When discussing the merits of the reach, remember that much - perhaps the
majority - of sailboat racing is handicap racing between quite dissimilar
boats. It is desirable in this sort of event that each dog will have its
day. My small trimaran does not get a look in on a windward-leeward in
light winds, but if there is a reach everything becomes much more fun.

Editing is a rewording activity.

Quantum Sails - Morris Yachts - North Sails - Harken
LaserPerformance - The Pirates Lair - BIC Sport - Lewmar
Hall Spars & Rigging - Ullman Sails - Interlux - APS

Need stuff? Look here: