SCUTTLEBUTT 3442 - Thursday, October 6, 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: Ullman Sails and Atlantis WeatherGear.
SO WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
Attending sporting events is risky business. When to get there? Where to
park? Where to sit? For fans with local teams, part of the pleasure in
attending games is having mastered these obstacles.
So what do you do with an event that has never been held before? You wing
it, which is what Steve Sleight did when he visited Plymouth for the AC45
World Series to find out if this new America's Cup spin-off lives up to the
hype. Here is an excerpt from his report:
The Plymouth round of the AC45 World Series (Sept. 10-18) was the second
event following the start of the series in Cascais, Portugal and was the
first, and potentially only, time that the series would be seen in the UK.
The opportunity to see the new boats and format in the flesh was too good
Plymouth is ideal for the type of stadium racing that the AC45 World Series
has embraced in its effort to grow the audience and create a commercial
event, and Plymouth responded well. There was good local advertising and
the public, sailing and otherwise, turned out in reasonable numbers,
encouraged by some September sunshine and breezy conditions.
The mixed conditions, which included days with 30 knot gusts, showed off
the AC45s to perfection. They are superb machines, perfectly demonstrating
the revolution that materials technology has had on our sport over the past
30 years. Think wing-sailed Extreme 40s on steroids. No racing sailor could
fail to lust for one.
And spectators could get close enough to lust with a vengeance, although
few seemed to know about it. The race 'pits' were in the inner basin of
Milbay Docks with the teams pit 'garages' along Clyde Quay. Boats and wings
were craned out to be worked on otherwise the cats lay happily on moorings
in the basin. You could get up-close and personal here but few did in the
three days I was there.
The main spectator focus was the event village up on the Hoe with a big
screen for the live TV broadcasts and speakers along the Hoe for the
commentary. The graceful Hoe provides the perfect vantage point for the
action laid out below in the Sound. With short courses laid as close to
possible to the shore and with beats and downwind legs around a mile,
sometimes less, the race committee was delivering the 18-20 minute races
deemed to be the right length to maintain interest.
Full report: http://www.cowesonline.com/zonexml/story?cp=0;story_id=11775
BIO: Steve Sleight is the author of The Complete Sailing Manual as well 12
other sailing, business, and IT titles including Sponsorship, what it is
and how to use it.
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:
YOU KNOW IT'S REAL WHEN YOU HAVE TO PEE IN THE CUP
By Dan Rabin, Sailing World
(October 4, 2011) - One week from today, hundreds of (American) athletes
across the country will assemble in Houston en-route to the Pan American
Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Sailing World is providing me with this forum
to share my experience of being part of the U.S. Team as we compete in the
J/24 Class in Puerto Vallarta.
It seems like ages ago that we won the U.S. Pan Am Games Trials at Davis
Island YC last February. Our team for that regatta on Tampa Bay consisted
of John Mollicone on the tiller, Tim Healy on tactics, Geoff Becker
trimming, and me on the bow.
The Pan Am format for the J/24 is unique: the crew weight limit is trimmed
from 882 pounds to 705 pounds, and the genoa is eliminated. The boat is
still its painful self, but it does feel remarkably better with the extra
space on deck. As far as sailing with only a blade, the boat has plenty of
power as soon as the breeze gets up to 8 knots or so.
The Trials was a battle between a group of class veterans including Robby
Brown, Charlie Enright, Will Welles, and Flip Wehrheim. We were very
fortunate to come out on top.
The imminence of the Games hit me one evening in mid-September when I found
two representatives of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency standing on my porch.
We've been subject to random drug testing since April 1, and sure enough,
they finally paid each of us a visit in the span of a week. To the athletes
who have to go through this ordeal on a regular basis, I salute you. --
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/Sailing-World-100511
FORECAST: We recall it being a challenge to get updates from the 2007 Pan
Am Games in Brazil. And it is always a challenge to get updates from
Mexican regattas. Putting the two together and we could be in for some
serious online silence. The Pan Am Games sailing events, which will include
Men's Laser, Men's Windsurf, Women's Laser Radial, Women's Windsurf, Mixed
Hobie 16, and Open J/24, Sunfish, Snipe, and Lightning, are scheduled for
October 17-23. Here is the event website:
"LE TIGRE" LOCKS UP J/80 NORTH AMERICAN TITLE
Congratulations to "Le Tigre" who dominated the 2011 J/80 North American
Championship last week in Larchmont, NY! Powered by Ullman Sails upwind
inventory, the team of Glenn Darden on helm, Karl Anderson on trim, Max
Skelley on tactics and Reese Hillard on bow earned their title with
excellent teamwork and strong, consistent finishes throughout the 11-race
series (they scored 5 bullets and three 2nd place finishes!). Their NA
title polishes off a stellar season that includes 1st at Key West RW, 2nd
at the Swedish Nationals and 5th at the World Championship.
Ullman Sails - invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
BACK ON TRACK IN BERMUDA
Hamilton, Bermuda (October 5, 2011) - The 2011 Argo Group Gold Cup burst
into life today after several Tour Card Holders tasted defeat against
wildcards and qualifiers in the second Qualifying Session on Hamilton
In the opening exchanges, the headlines were all about Taylor Canfield
(ISV) Team ISV and Lance Fraser (BER) Freelance-Digicel. A shock win for
18-year old Fraser against Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat was then
superseded by a great run of wins for Canfield against three Tour Card
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, Mirsky and Peter Gilmour
(AUS) YANMAR Racing all fell foul to Canfield, the young skipper looking
every bit as impressive as last year in the Gold Cup when he finished in
6th place. Reflecting on his performances, Canfield said: "Beating the top
seeds in the group is the ideal start. This is our first Tour event for the
year and we're aiming to match, if not better, last year."
There's little room for error in the Argo Group Gold Cup Qualifying
Sessions where just two losses can put a team into the repechage. A crop of
teams in Group 2 face that very prospect after Gilmour and Mirsky finished
the second Qualifying Session on 2-2: "We should be winning our first races
in the group stages - the guys who beat us deserved to win," said Mirsky.
"We may be able to pick things back up but it depends on how the rest go.
Usually two loses puts you into the repechage group. We've got tough
matches coming up and every one of them counts now so the pressure is
In stark contrast to the opening day, a consistent breeze of 12 to 14 knots
swept through a sunny Hamilton Harbour to allow plenty of racing. In Group
3, the Tour Card Holders started to assert their authority with Ian
Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group and French Match
Racing Team mates Mathieu Richard and Damien Iehl all posting 4-0
scorelines. The pressure in that group will rise tomorrow though when those
three face one another with only two automatic qualification places on
offer. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/WMRT-100511
BACKGROUND: The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional
sailing series, with Argo Group Gold Cup as the seventh stage of the eight
event circuit sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF)
with "Special Event" status. Prize money is awarded for each event, with
event points culminating in the crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World
Champion". Ian Williams is the current tour leader. -- http://www.wmrt.com
SCREAMS LIKE A BABY
Six double-handed Class40's are competing in the 5-leg Global Ocean Race
2011-12 (GOR), which started in Palma, Mallorca on September 25th with an
expected finish in Mallorca by May 2012. On the first leg to Cape Town,
South Africa, second place Campbell Field shares some of the details
(October 5, 2011: Day 11) - "Like most boats in the fleet, we've installed
a hydrogenerator," Campbell explains. "The basic idea is you use the boat's
motion through the water to turn a small propeller that generates power to
charge the batteries."
The GOR Class40s have a single unit installed on the transom with two
brackets located either side of the yacht's centreline so the
hydrogenerator can be moved to the leeward side of the transom and lowered
into the water. "The new ones like we have can output about 40Amps," he
When not in use, the unit is raised out of the water on a pivot to avoid
unnecessary drag. "This saves carrying diesel and the fuel's extra weight,
adds a second charging system to the boat as a backup and is also
environmentally friendly." The hydrogenerator removes the need to run the
yacht's engine in order to charge the batteries that run all electronics on
board. There is, however, a price.
"They should come with a set of industrial earplugs," he cautions. "The
thing screams like you wouldn't believe at around ten knots - which is a
lot of the time on this bus - and the serenity of sailing is destroyed by
the noise which is akin to being stuck in front of a screaming baby on a
plane for six hours!"
BSL is fitted with an aluminium version of the hydrogenerator while many
IMOCA Open 60s are fitted with the more expensive, carbon fibre, racing
version. "And they call this one the cruising version," adds Campbell. "I
don't know a single cruising yachtsman who would put up with that noise!"
-- Full report: http://globaloceanrace.com/?page=news&news_id=529&lang=en
WHAT DO YOU DO ON COLUMBUS DAY?
In the olden days (circa 1978), the Columbus Day Regatta in South Florida
had 720 entries, 2,000 sailboats that didn't enter (but sailed down
anyway), and 5,000 power boaters that came down to watch the sailors and
get drunk. It got a pretty bad reputation with the law enforcement, but it
remained a major racing event. It was the final event for both the big boat
of the year and the local MORC fleet.
Sadly, numbers started going down as deaths increased (none to do with the
actual regatta), and then Hurricane Andrew put the final nail in the
coffin. The event wobbled around with poor management, but the new
administration has it going again. Numbers have been up each year (nearly
100 boats in 2010), and substantive changes to the event have made it more
family and sailing friendly. So far it's working.
But, as noted, that's not how it used to be. Miami Herald humor columnist
Dave Barry published this 'report' from the 1986 edition:
CALENDAR: It is somewhat ironic, given the event's torrid past, that
Bacardi is the title sponsor. Different times, right? The 2011 edition is
on October 8-9:
DISCOVER: THE ATLANTIS "GEAR DOCK" IN ANNAPOLIS
Last year, we were pioneers. We wanted a location that was a bit different
- a bit more suited to Atlantis - and we got "the gear dock". We were a
little leery of the location at first, but we're sailors and we're actually
more comfortable on a dock than on dry land anyway. So come shop our broad
selection of world-class sailing gear and sailing-inspired sportswear at
killer prices on the Atlantis "gear dock": booth G14 at the north end of
Ego Alley. And if you can't make the show, you can always shop online at
Discover Your Atlantis
* Porto Cervo, Italy (October 5, 2011; Day 2) - The long wait for wind at
the Audi TP52 World Championship allowed for only one late afternoon
windward-leeward race. The light conditions continue to favor the older
boats as the win today by Paramount Park Murcia (ESP, ex-Bribon) elevated
her to the top of a tight leaderboard with a margin of just one point ahead
of Tony Langley's Gladiator. A fifth today by Quantum Racing leaves them
third overall. The schedule on Thursday calls for one windward-leeward and
the 1.5 points premium coastal race. -- Full story:
* Together with artist collective Skeleton Sea, the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean
Race aims to raise awareness of the environmental and safety issues
regarding ocean pollution. The Keep the Oceans Clean! team will lead beach
cleans at all 10 Host Ports during the race, with artists then creating
sculptures from the beach trash with the help of local school children and
the general public during interactive workshops. -- Full report:
* Two of the most celebrated U.S. championships will be on the line this
Columbus Day weekend in Mooresville, N.C. at the 2011 U.S. Men's and
Women's Sailing Championships, hosted by the Lake Norman Yacht Club. Eleven
triplehanded men's teams in Ultimate 20s and 10 triplehanded women's teams
in Flying Scots will race for four days on Lake Norman, beginning Friday,
October 7 and finishing Monday, October 10 (subject to change). -- Full
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
Oct 6 - 1st Annual Harbor School Regatta at Governors Island - NY, NY, USA
Oct 7-9 - HPDO / Fireball North Americans - Rye, NY, USA
Oct 8-9 - College Big Boat Regatta - Larchmont, NY, USA
Oct 9-15 - J/22 World Championship - New Orleans, LA, USA
Oct 12-16 - U.S. Match Racing Championship - Corona Del Mar, CA, USA
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
* Andersen Now Available in U.S. from Ronstan
* Getting sailboats winter-ready in NY Harbor
* BoaterRated Launches Partner Business Program
* West Marine's "Green Product of the Year" Contest
* Bacon Sails & Marine Supplies Sponsor Bermuda Ocean Race (BOR)
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
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 Bennet Greenwald, San Diego, CA:
It was "Only a Matter of Time" (Butt 3441) all right. It was only a matter
of time before pro sailors bitched when there is no wind. Umpire Jos
Spijkerman empathizes with sailors "frustrated" by no wind and complains
about being called an idiot. Jos, you may be a great umpire but you should
have seen this one coming.
Money is involved here. It was only a matter of time before competitors
started whining and cursing at umpires. Pro sailors are frustrated about no
wind??? Try explaining it is sailing - and the poor babies have to deal
with it. You certainly recall that there is money being paid to the
complainers. So called professionals in every "sport" (is it "sport"? - see
Dr. Johnson for the definition) try to influence financial outcomes
complaining about rules interpretations.
Umpires are human and make mistakes. Pros become even more childish when
their money might be taken away through human error. If you can't stand the
heat get out of the kitchen because as the funds increase so will the abuse
you receive - and no one cares if you are abused - you get paid and
benefits. Sailing can always be frustrating but it is not and will not be a
spectator sport until we get people killed and injured regularly and on
TEEVEE. Jos you helped make this bed. Lie in it - or use the black flag as
* From Mal Emerson:
Seahorse magazine seems intent in taking anything it can from the current
format of the America's Cup and the Extreme 40. While the details of Rod's
article (in Scuttlebutt 3438) are largely true the conclusion is way off
the mark. The very first line says it all. "The show versus the
competition" indicates some sort of conflict that just doesn't exist. The
great majority of sports except, until just recently, sailing, are just as
I'm always amazed at how many bikes are on the road around here when the
Tour de France is being televised. Football, baseball, hockey, soccer,
basketball, rugby, cricket. There is no separation. The pinnacle of the
sport is always professional, often televised, always a show but there is a
smooth transition from the little league to the bigs. The vast majority of
baseball here is played in sandlots and little league fields all over this
country. The big league doesn't detract from it at all, just the opposite
is true. Why shouldn't it be that way for sailing?
If it weren't for the show the other stuff wouldn't exist, or is it the
other way around? It really doesn't matter. Sailing might finally just get
the boost it has always needed from the top level of competition being a
show. It's still competition and I'll wager the sailors are having fun.
There is nothing new here, no lack of competition giving way to a show, no
seduction, no murkey bog. It's still sailing. Rob, you may not personally
like it but there is a slight chance that sailing will get a top level
professional venue and audience it has always lacked. It may just be the
shot in the arm sailing has long needed. Get over your phobia and
objectively report on the new top levels of the sport, enjoy it, embrace
it; if you can't say something nice.......
* From David Shore, Vancouver:
In response to D.D. McNicoll in 'Butt 3441, you make the point that the
America's Cup has lost nationalistic pride due to the acceptance of import
crews and refer to the Rugby World Cup as an example of a more passionate
competition - country versus country. You further suggest that by allowing
imports, A-Cup sailing has sold out for money.
Perhaps, but then, so has rugby. Most of the teams in this World Cup have
imports; only 3 of the 20 teams are pure, home-grown teams.
Like sailing, the Kiwis are in high demand with 38 exports, nearly three
times the number of the next two export nations (S. Africa and Aus).
Fifteen Kiwis play for Samoa alone. Unlike sailing, rugby exports are
full-time pros while most of the non-import players on second-tier teams
are weekend amateurs.
While I'm sure exports play with a great deal of passion, I wish there was
a cap on the ratio of exports in all international sports. It might result
in more funding for home-grown pros. (Think of the Olympics.)
I think a cap might be popular in New Zealand too!
Curmudgeon's Comment: Rule 8 of the International Rugby Board states that
for a player to be eligible to play for national representative teams, the
player may only play for a country in which:
(a) he was born; or
(b) one parent or grandparent was born; or
(c) he has completed thirty six consecutive months of Residence immediately
preceding the time of playing.
I clean house every other day. Today is the other day.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
APS - Quantum Sails - West Marine - Atlantis WeatherGear
Lewmar - North Sails - International Rolex Regatta - Ullman Sails
Melges Performance Sailboats - Point Loma Outfitting
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