SCUTTLEBUTT 3435 - Tuesday, September 27, 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, North Sails, and Melges
A MYSTERIOUS EXPERIENCE
By Andrew Campbell
At the end of every E-Scow season since 1966 the Pewaukee Yacht Club has
hosted the Blue Chip. To better understand the event, one has to know the
The National Class E-Scow Association (NCESA) has almost 90 years of
history with fleets spanning the Midwest, the Finger Lakes of New York, the
Jersey Shore, down to South Carolina, and west to Grand Lake, Colorado. To
judge the quality of E-Scow sailors is to index the very best that American
sailing has to offer: National, International, World and Olympic Champions
and legends are scattered across the historic records.
The E Blue Chip is an invitational event for the top finishers from all the
major events on the E-Scow calendar each year. Pewaukee’s strong scow
tradition and ideal location (smack in the middle of Wisconsin and ILYA)
makes it a perfect stage for an ultimate showdown between the top sailors
in the class from across the country each season.
Taking it one step further, the Blue Chip committee goes outside of the
class to find a sailor of note to join in the fun and test their mettle
against the seasoned class veterans. The guest list is a laundry list of
great sailing talent including Dennis Conner, Lowell North, Hans Fogh,
Jonathan McKee, Steve Benjamin, Gary Knapp, Tom Ehman, Gary Jobson, Paul
Cayard, Mark Reynolds, Ken Read, Russell Coutts, Courtney Becker-Dey, Dave
Perry, Betsy Allison, Carl Buchan, Vince Brun, Morgan Reeser, John Lovell,
Peter Holmberg, Dave Ullman, Liz Baylis and last year, Bora Gulari.
Ironically, those are the Non-E-Scow sailors, competing against legends in
their own right who had earned invitations to the event such as Buddy
Melges, Bill Allen, Gordy Bowers, Brian Porter, Harry Melges, Tom Burton,
and Dick Wight among others. The “Mystery Guest” gets the advantage of a
good boat, new sails, and a great local crew, but has little time to
prepare in what are some odd boats to sail. The E is very fast, sensitive
on the helm, but ultimately difficult to get a handle on because of the
need to sail with constant heel.
The 2011 E Blue Chip was an experience unlike any other for me. Some of the
legendary sailors on the list above that I spoke to about it demanded that
I make every effort to attend. I especially wanted to be there to follow in
the footsteps of not only my parents, Bill and Sherri, who attended the
event in the 80s and 90s (finishing 2nd in 1990), but also of my
grandparents on both Dad’s and Mom’s sides, since they have significant
histories in the class.
The Toms River Campbells are strong advocates for the class in New Jersey
after having retired from actively sailing. Likewise are the Wilders on
Keuka Lake in New York. Needless to say the entire family was happy to hear
that part of the new generation of Campbells would get the opportunity to
sail in an E boat at the Blue Chip. Bringing my wife Jacqueline to the
event was a big priority for me ahead of time. What I didn’t realize was
what a statement it would become for her to race the entire regatta with
us, more on that later.-- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/AC-092611
NOTE: Andrew is currently campaigning to earn the right to represent the
U.S. in the men's keelboat event at the 2012 Olympic Games. His resume
highlights include being selected at the College Sailor of the Year in 2006
and winning the Youth World Championship in 2002.
STORM OVER SAILING CLUB
Water Mill, N.Y.- A group of Wall Street executives and high-powered
attorneys in this mansion-lined Hamptons hamlet is trying to block plans to
revive an old neighborhood sailing club shuttered in the early 1990s.
Opponents filed a lawsuit this month against the Town of Southampton and a
local nonprofit, the Mecox Sailing Association, arguing that the club would
bring noise, traffic and pollution to the secluded, leafy streets leading
to picturesque Mecox Bay here, about 100 miles east of Manhattan.
The detractors include leaders of sundry New York businesses, including
Ameriprise Financial CFO Walter Berman and Kenneth Bialkin, a partner at
Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
"Absolutely none of this is necessary," the Mecox Bay Civic Association
wrote in an August letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to intercede.
The letter was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo's office did not respond to messages seeking
comment on the letter.
The sailing association's supporters say it would open the world of sailing
to the area's children and host only small boat races with little impact on
"This is 'Not in My Backyard' mentality at its worst," said Jeff Mansfield,
a former member of the old sailing club who is leading efforts to revive
The saga began two years ago when Mr. Mansfield and other former club
members and area residents decided to form a non-profit association to
revive the old Mecox Bay Yacht Club, which shut down in 1990. The new site
would be on the abandoned, overgrown site of the old club. -- Wall Street
Journal, read on: http://tinyurl.com/WSJ-092611
Last weekend J/Boats from all over Southern California convened at the San
Diego Yacht Club for J/Fest 2011. In light but steady conditions, the RC
was able to get 5 races in over the weekend. J/Fest is known as a regatta
marked by protest-free racing, camaraderie and awesome giveaways, and this
weekend was no exception. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the
J/Fest party consisted of finding creative ways to give away thousands of
dollars’ worth of SWAG. Congratulations to regatta winners: J/80, Avet;
J/105, Perseverance; J/109, Electra; and J/120, CC Rider. Thank you to all
the sailors, sponsors and SDYC staff for making J/Fest a success! For
photos visit http://www.facebook.com/jk3yachts
LET THE SAILORS BE SAILORS
By David Fuller, YachtRacing.biz
Funny thing happened in Plymouth on the final day of the America’s Cup
World Series. Oracle Racing skipper and CEO, Russell Coutts, beaming after
a race that he obviously enjoyed, stepped onto a RIB that I just happened
to be on and described what had just happened.
He asked for forgiveness for the language he was about to use and then
proceeded to enthuse about the race that saw him come 3rd, having had to
use all his skill to stay upright.
It was a very different persona to the one that sometimes turns up for
press conferences, that seems guarded, and almost glum. Not always - Coutts
joked in Plymouth that a collision with Dean Barker was not a ‘love tap’ -
that he was trying to sink the Kiwis to have a chance of winning, providing
one of the very few moments of levity in an otherwise forgettable set of
Off the record and on the QT, the man who has just converted his Facebook
profile into a ‘page’ with circa 5000 friends, is someone that one could
become a fan of.
Elsewhere in the America’s Cup fleet, there are other sailors who are
engaging as individuals, but as soon as they put on the gear and have a
camera stuck in their face, shut down and revert to the scripts they have
had drummed into them by media training, with a few exceptions - like
ORACLE Racing’s Simon Tienpont.
People expect footballers to resort to cliché when interviewed by the
press. Phrases like ‘one game at a time’ and other stock phrases should not
be what sailing is selling to sponsors, especially when most sailors are
articulate, engaging and if they were standing at a bar telling a story;
Perhaps it comes with experience, or perhaps it comes with a certain kind
of experience. Energy Team’s Loick Peyron manages to make the simplest
answer to a question seem like poetic insight. Maybe it’s just the French
accent, or maybe it is the experience of being an offshore solo sailor in
France, a position that puts sailors under intense media scrutiny and
The America’s Cup World Series has made a rod for its own back by vowing to
engage a new audience using the Internet and social media. Wowing an
audience with capsizes and chaos is not the same thing as creating fans.
Despite a large social media team, ACEA is still in a ‘broadcast’ mindset
rather than engagement mode. -- Read on:
NOSTALGIA: Can you imagine seeing the unscripted nature of Ted Turner, Tom
Blackaller, Dennis Conner, etc. combined with these catamarans and
broadcast muscle? Now THAT would be worth watching!
THREE TIPS FOR LIGHTNING STRIKES
There isn’t much you can do to prevent being struck (though lowering
antennas, fishing rods, outriggers and the like may help). But if your boat
does get zapped, you’ll fare much better if you’ve done some prep work.
First off, if you have a house or back-up battery which you don’t need at
the moment, disconnect it from the system. That way, if everything gets
fried you’ll still have an untouched power source.
Secondly, record your GPS coordinates on paper, so you have a last-known
position to relay if your GPS gets cooked but your radio or hand-held
back-up radio is still functional.
And finally, after they’ve donned life jackets, send your passengers into
the cabin. The safest place to be on a boat that gets hit by lightning is
in the cabin, and there’s no reason to expose them to any additional
More storm tips at Boats.com: http://tinyurl.com/Boats-com-092611
(September 26, 2011) - Racing across the Atlantic in grossly overcanvassed
21-footers, the sailors the Classe Mini are sailing's cockleshell heroes.
The Mini Transat, which goes under the cumbersome title La
Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50, started yesterday (Sunday) in light
winds to race from La Rochelle to Madeira and Brazil. There are 79 entries
this year. It is a fleet full of the young, keen and impecunious. I think
of it as being like a university of ocean racing, a place to see the
talents of today and tomorrow in action.
The race was established by Bob Salmon in 1977 as the poor man's
alternative to the progressively more expensive OSTAR. To restrict costs it
is governed by a box rule stipulating overall length, mast height, draught
and maximum beam, the idea being that it would remain affordable for
amateurs or would-be career sailors starting out.
It is still a class where the ambitious amateur and professional sailor can
come head to head. Being cheaper to obtain and also wet, lively and
cramped, these little 21-footers attract lots of impervious
twentysomethings and are brimming with technology and ideas. It was in the
Mini class, for example, that canting keels were first introduced.
The fleet is divided into series production boats, which have stricter
rules such as fixed aluminium mast, fixed keel and no carbon fibre
structure, and the prototypes, where the open nature of the rules still
sees plenty of ideas being tried out.
The protos have ultra-light carbon rigs; one has a rig recessed into the
deck that can be canted fore and aft. Others have wingmasts with adjustable
shrouds so they can be moved to windward.
There are keels that cant, move fore and aft, daggerboards that cant, keels
that are extendable so that, when canted, the bulb can be lowered to the 2m
maximum draught. There is a premium on design ideas and it's here that
young designers themselves are most apt to try their hand. -- Elaine
Bunting, Yachting World, read on:
‘GOOMBAY SMASH’ WINS MELGES 32 WORLDS WITH NORTH 3Di SAILS
North-powered boats ‘Goombay Smash’ and ‘Samba Pa Ti’ battled for the 2011
Melges 32 World Championship trophy finishing just one point apart during
the dramatic eight-race series in Palma de Mallorca. Racing with a full set
of North 3Di upwind sails, ‘Goombay Smash’, owned by William Douglass,
finished 2nd and stayed ahead of ‘Samba Pa Ti’ in the final race to seal
their win. ‘Samba Pa Ti’, owned by John Kilroy and also powered by 100%
North sails, raced hard until the end and finished just one point behind
‘Goombay Smash.’ When performance counts, the choice is clear:
THE AMAZING CLAIM
The Amazing Race is an eight-time Emmy Award-winning reality series that
pits 11 teams, each comprised of two members, against each other on a trek
around the world for approximately 25 days. Teams who are the farthest
behind will gradually be eliminated as the contest progresses, with the
first team to arrive at the final destination winning $1 million.
The show premiere for the 19th season was Sunday night, and this edition
has Zac Sunderland and his father Laurence as one of the teams.
At age 16, Zac set off on an Islander 36 to become the youngest person to
sail around the world alone. Sunderland departed from Marina del Rey (Los
Angeles, CA) on June 14, 2008, completing the route on July 16, 2009. After
many stops along his circumnavigation, he claimed that his thirteen months
adventure set two world records: the youngest ever to sail around the world
and the first under 18.
His successful trip - and the attention it received - opened the flood
gates for other teenage attempts. Soon the two record keeping authorities -
Guinness Book of World Records and the World Sailing Speed Record Council -
chose to no longer ratify age-related records.
A key feature of record ratification is to insure that a common route is
followed. There are shortcuts to take, and as Zac went through the Panama
Canal rather than around Cape Horn, his route failed to meet the historic
While you will not find Zac's name in any record books, it does not
belittle his accomplishment. It takes some big stones to sail solo around
the world. However, perhaps he should stop saying, as he does on the show's
website, that he was "the youngest person to sail around the world."
Isn't it enough to just be able to say you sailed around the world at age
Cast details: http://www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race/cast/63367/
* Returning last weekend to the scene of their 2002 Nationals success at
Seawanhaka Corinthian YC in Oyster Bay, NY, John Burnham and Reed Baer
narrowly won the 2011 Shields Nationals. In a light-air, rain-soaked,
4-race series, the Newport, RI, team finished second in the final race,
tying two-time champ Bill Berry from Marion, MA, and winning the series on
a tiebreaker. http://www.shieldsclass.com/2011/results.htm
* A jury decision has been confirmed for the final race of the America's
Cup World Series in Plymouth (September 18) for incidents involving Green
Comm Racing, Aleph, and Artemis Racing. While on the water penalties were
called at the time, the teams wanted a jury hearing to determine the exact
responsibility for the significant damage. The jury found Green Comm to be
100% responsible for all damage which is estimated to be 150,000 euros.
Complete jury decision: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0923/
* The Coast Guard announced today that its 2011 National Recreational
Boating Survey is under way. The Coast Guard encourages those contacted to
provide the information. The survey is a key element in the Coast Guard’s
strategic plan to reduce fatalities, injuries, and property damage from
recreational boating accidents. Survey questions are designed to gather
information on the extent of public participation in recreational boating
and to identify trends, risks, and causal factors related to boating
accidents; for example, inclement weather, boat defects, on-the-water
hazards, and high-risk boater behaviors. -- Soundings, full story:
* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 3434 it stated that Global Sailing in New
Zealand was one of the three builders for the International Laser Class
Association. Actually, the proper name for the entity is Performance
Sailcraft Australasia, which has common ownership with Global Sailing.
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MELGES 32 WORLD CHAMPIONS
Congratulations to William Douglas and the Goombay Smash team. 2011 Melges
32 World Champions. This year's World Championship was amazing! The Melges
32 class continues to gain momentum with new boats entering the fleet every
month. Next up for 2012 - Newport, RI for the World Championship one year
from now. Time to freshen up to some fun sailing - The Melges 32!
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 Bill Trenkle:
It was sad to hear about the passing of Rudy Choy, a very passionate
catamaran sailor and designer. I know he will have left this world for the
big ocean race in the sky a happy man now that catamarans are being used in
the America's Cup.
When all the teams got together after the 1988 Cup to decide on a class to
replace the 12 meter, Rudy was the sole representative pushing multihull.
"How can you go back to lead mines after seeing the performance of the
Stars & Stripes catamaran? Imagine a whole fleet of similar boats racing!"
Too bad he will not get to see the AC 72's race in the 34th America's Cup
in 2013. Sail on Rudy!
* From Matt Lindblad, Head Coach, MIT:
I have to comment after reading Scott Mason's post (in Scuttlebutt 3434. I
had a couple opportunities to coach his son and a large group of kids from
the Newport Harbor area (in SoCal) at East Coast 420 regattas and walked
away with a good understanding of why that area has produced so many recent
top sailors, beyond their great yacht club support, great coaching, and
There were a lot of parents at the travel event with the team, completely
hands off from the beginning of the day until after racing. The exception
was in organizing logistics of coach boats, etc., as I remember Scott and
another dad working on the coach boat engine with flashlights well into the
night one night.
After racing, the whole group (parents and kids) relaxed at the hotel pool
and went to dinner together as a group. Racing results and regatta specific
details were rarely discussed; we could have been having dinner after a day
at the amusement park based on the atmosphere.
Now, not a weekend of college racing goes by that I don't see at least a
few kids from that group racing for colleges all over the country
(including Scott's son racing for Georgetown). Great job to that group of
parents and kids for getting the right balance of fun, support, and
encouragement to make sailing a blast for their kids. It worked.
* From Hal Smith, NRO:
The situation of a competitor hitting a finish mark when finishing but not
performing an exonerating one-turn penalty and re-finishing is a long time
question on the US Sailing race management exam. The official answer is:
“score her in her finishing place, and consider protesting her for
contacting the mark.” You can have a different view and argue all you wish
with the judge, but you will lose the debate. She did finish per the
definition, so DNF is inappropriate. No other rule was “turned on”
afterwards that allows the RC to take a scoring action without a hearing.
The RC must protest the boat and have a hearing to score the boat DSQ. It
is that simple.
COMMENT: This thread has been ended in the newsletter, with all the
dialogue now in the Forum. If you have something to add, please add it
An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Summit Yachts - Gowrie Group - North Sails
Melges Performance Sailboats - Morris Yachts - Doyle Sails
LaserPerformance - Team One Newport - Ullman Sails
Premiere Racing - US SAILING - Beneteau
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