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SCUTTLEBUTT 3444 - Monday, October 10, 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: IYRS and Harken.
FINALLY, A REAL RACE TRACK
Let's be honest. Would you want the America's Cup if someone gave it to
you? What a pain in the butt! Thank goodness Larry Ellison has a ton of
money to take on the task of shining up this tarnished trophy.
You remember the legal delay after the 32nd Match. How about the obscene
money spent on the farcical 2010 mis-match? Not the best of times. And with
the 34th America's Cup not until 2013, the event was on a road to nowhere.
To create interest again, the America's Cup World Series was invented. But
again, let's be honest. It's been a work in progress. The first event in
Portugal wilted under the bright lights. And in the UK, only the 'crash &
burn' angle rescued the show. If this was Broadway, it'd likely be a very
What's been missing is a legitimate sailing venue. Thus far it's solely
been about entertainment, and the actors have been performing on a sound
stage. But now, with the circuit coming to San Diego (Nov. 12-20), the
racers will finally get a chance to race their boats on a tested track.
And we're not talking about the track that hosted the Cup in 1988, 1992,
and 1995. No, the AC45s will be competing on the same course as... the...
annual... San Diego Bay Beer Can Series. Inside the bay, baby! And they're
lucky that four-time America's Cup winner Dennis Conner has retired. Nobody
went undefeated this past summer like DC did with his Farr 60 'Stars &
And the organizers of the San Diego event are for real too. Sailing Events
Association San Diego is chaired by Chuck Nichols. Chuck has been Commodore
of the world famous San Diego Yacht Club and was President of both the 1995
America's Cup and the 1998 Super Bowl. And Chuck is bullish on the venue
"We have a natural amphitheater," said Nichols. "We have developed areas
around the bay that will facilitate on-land spectating. We have Harbor
Island with all the open space. We have Coronado Island, which we hope to
have available with the Navy's cooperation. And then we have the city front
area. All of this is close enough to be able to enjoy the races from shore.
"With the cooperation of the Navy and Coast Guard, we can push the sailing
area to the edges. And the race management is really flexible on course
layout. This isn't like the old America's Cup where everything is set in
concrete. While we know the footprint of the sailing area, how the course
gets set within that area will depend on the wind direction so that it
provides for both good racing and shoreside viewing." -- Scuttleblog, read
SPECTATING: Scuttlebutt is asking the questions on the specifics for
watching the event, but answers are coming out slowly. Details here:
SHERIFF INVESTIGATION COMPLETE
The Charlevoix County (MI) sheriff's eleven week investigation is complete
that looked into the deadly July sailboat accident that killed two sailors
racing in the Chicago to Mackinac Race.
The morning of July 18th was a fateful one. 51 year-old Mark Morley, the
skipper of the sailboat WingNuts, and 40 year-old Susan Bickel died from
blunt force trauma to the head and drowned when their sailboat capsized.
Six other crew members survived
"The interesting part is to see what went right and what went wrong,"
explained Charlevoix County Sheriff Don Schneider.
In a 150-page report that took 100 work hours to complete, the Sheriff
noted two major points of concern that could have lead to even more deaths
that night. The first deals with the personal flotation devices (PFD) the
crew was wearing.
"If you've got a self-inflating PFD, and you find yourself upside down in
the boat, under the boat, that self-inflating PFD could cause your death,
because it could keep you under the boat when you can't get our from under
it," explained Schneider.
The second point speaks to the tethers connected to the sailors. When the
boat tipped, the report says the surviving crew had a hard time freeing
themselves. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/Chi-Mac-100911
VISIT IYRS AT THE ANNAPOLIS SAILBOAT SHOW
A trip to the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis is not only a chance to
indulge your passion for all things boating: it is also an opportunity to
learn if the industry holds a professional future for you. IYRS will be at
the Annapolis sail and power shows, and staff will be on hand to talk about
this Rhode Island school's programs in Boatbuilding & Restoration, Marine
Systems, and Composites Technology - programs that have already launched
many marine careers. To learn more about the school, visit
TIGHT AT THE TOP
Hamilton, Bermuda (October 9, 2011) - Torvar Mirsky won a sudden death
final (3-2) against Johnie Berntsson at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda
to claim his second consecutive victory on the 2011 World Match Racing
Tour. A win in the petit final for Francesco Bruni over Phil Robertson
means just over six points now separate the trio of Ian Williams, Bruni and
Mirsky with only the Monsoon Cup to go.
Mirsky was knocked out of the 2010 Gold Cup in the quarter-finals by
Berntsson and more than avenged for that defeat this year. He said: "We are
over the moon with winning two titles in a row. We've never done that well
in Bermuda and we've never had many Tour wins so this is fantastic, we're
really on a roll. I'm so proud of the way the team sailed this week,
everyone just knew what they were doing on board and we felt comfortable
and confident. Johnie really tested us in the final which made for some
Phil Robertson had defeated current Tour leader Ian Williams 3-0 in the
quarter-finals. "Obviously we're disappointed," said Williams. "We came in
here with high hopes but Phil had the speed edge all day and really
deserved to win. When we sail like that we expect to lose. This regatta has
been another bad one for us - we let ourselves down in St Moritz and we've
done it again here so we really need to pick our game up heading into the
Sailed in Foundation 36 on November 22-27, the tour title will be decided
in this final event of the year. "We are now close to Ian in the points,"
notes Mirsky, "and we have a big chance for the world title so we'll be
fighting for it! Hopefully we can keep on this roll and win in Malaysia
too." -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/WMRT-100911
Argo Group Gold Cup standings (Top 8 of 24)
1. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), The Wave Muscat, $50,000.00
2. Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Berntsson Sailing Team, $20,000.00
3. Francesco Bruni (ITA), Bruni Racing, $10,000.00
4. Phil Robertson (NZL), WAKA Racing, $7,000.00
5. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team, $5,500.00
6. Jesper Radich (DEN), Adrian Lee & Partners, $4,000.00
7. Ian Williams (GBR), Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group, $2,500.00
8. Staffan Lindberg (FIN), Alandia Sailing Team, $1,000.00
BACKGROUND: The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional
sailing series, with the 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. --
YOUTH PROGRAM SEEKS EXPANSION
Local involvement proves an important component in the Storm Trysail
Foundation's (STF) popular one-day Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminars, and to
that end the non-profit organization is looking to expand its impact
nationally by implementing more seminars at key sailing venues across the
The program, which was established 15 years ago, currently hosts seminars
in Newport, R.I., Larchmont, N.Y., Annapolis, Md. and Perth Amboy, N.J.,
with approximately 300 junior sailors - ranging between the ages of 12 and
20 - attending each year. Throughout the day, participants are taught the
importance of safety when sailing on big boats through classroom sessions,
dockside demonstrations and on-the-water experience.
The seminars are sponsored by the Jamie Boeckel Memorial Fund for Safety at
Sea, which donates life jackets to the programs. (The fund was established
in 2002 to preserve the memory of Jamie Boeckel, who died in an accident
while performing bowman duties aboard Blue Yankee in the 2002 Block Island
"Local leadership is needed to stir the pot and recruit kids in any given
area," said Rich du Moulin, who heads up the STF's Junior Safety-at-Sea
effort and is also chair of the Larchmont seminar. "Currently, we have
about 15 people in different parts of the country with serious interest; if
we can double from four events to eight, we'll be very happy."
The Storm Trysail Foundation is working closely with US SAILING to create
guidelines that will assist volunteers looking to host a Junior
Safety-at-Sea Seminar. "We want to make this program accessible and easy
for people who have never done this before," said du Moulin. "If there is a
strong interest in a given place, we can get some Storm Trysail Club
members to help set up the lesson plan, work with them as mentors and
possibly help with seed funding, if needed." -- Read on:
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
* Porto Cervo, Italy (October 8, 2011) - With a second and first on the
final day of racing at the Audi TP52 World Championship off the Yacht Club
Costa Smeralda, Ed Baird and the crew of Quantum Racing lifted their third
world TP52 world title from four challenges. They added to Worlds wins in
2008 in Lanzarote and defended the title they won last year Valencia.
Emerging with a four points margin over Germany's Container, the American
flagged Quantum team complete the same 'double' as they did in 2008,
winning both the Audi MedCup Circuit title as well as the World
Championship. -- Full story: http://tp52worldchampionship.org/news/?id=1535
* The Storm Trysail Foundation and the Larchmont Yacht Club teamed up to
run the world's largest college regatta on October 8-9, when 400 collegiate
sailors raced on a fleet of 47 offshore boats ranging from 35 to 44 feet.
Schools came from across the country to compete in the placid waters of
Long Island Sound off Larchmont, N.Y. Three light air races were sailed on
Saturday with two races attempted on Sunday with light winds forcing the
abandonment of both. The overall winner was Maine Maritime, which won the
eight-boat J/109 fleet with a perfect score of three firsts. -- Full
* Britain's Nick Craig and Toby Lewis representing the OK class bested the
field of 25 champion skippers to win the Endeavour Trophy - the UK
championship of the champions. Craig, who has now won the event a total of
five times, and Lewis who's won it three times, will gain entry to the
British Virgin Islands' Pro-Am Regatta at Bitter End Yacht Club (Oct. 29 -
Nov. 5). They will join the Pro line-up, which this year includes Ed Baird,
Peter Holmberg, Anna Tunnicliffe, Paul Cayard, Dave Ullman, Russell Coutts
and Zack Railey. -- Full report:
* Rye, NY (October 9, 2011) - Hosted by American Yacht Club, the 2011
Heineken High Performance Dinghy Open drew 119 boats to compete in nine
classes. The largest class drawing 28 boats was the Viper 640 was won by
Jason Carroll. -- Event details:
* Chicago, IL (October 9, 2011) - While the past two days brought beautiful
winds and weather for full days of racing, light air plagued the final day
at the 72nd Richardson Trophy. The conclusion of the Semi-Finals was one of
two flights completed today. After postponements, the Race Committee
decided the wind was not filling in enough to continue racing.
Subsequently, Finalist Don Wilson was crowned the 2011 champion. Sailed in
Tom 28s, this Great Lakes Match Racing Championship is second to only the
America's Cup in being the longest-running, continuously held match race
competition in the world. -- Full report:
* Mooresville, NC (October 9, 2011) - On Saturday, skippers David M. Hyer
and Amy Kleinschrodt caught fire and built significant leads in their
respective fleets. Today, their teams cruised to victory on the final round
of racing at the 2011 U.S. Men's and Women's Sailing Championships, hosted
by the Lake Norman Yacht Club. -- Read on:
* Hamilton, Bermuda (October 9, 2011) - The RenRe Junior Gold Cup wrapped
up Sunday afternoon as a true champion of champions event. The world's best
young sailors met each other for some premiere Opti sailing with 11
national champions facing off from 17 countries, including 22 Bermudian
sailors. Taking home the Junior Gold Cup this year is American Wade
Waddell, 14, of Miami, Florida. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/RenRe-100911
* (October 9, 2011) - The six teams in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
completed a 360 nm qualifying race from Alicante to Palma, Mallorca and
return. No points were awarded, as the purpose of the race was to check
safety systems as each boat fulfilled several tasks including a
man-overboard drill as well as testing their emergency steering and storm
sails for half an hour when instructed by race control. The first In-Port
Race starts on October 29, and the 6,500 nm race from Alicante through the
Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa on November 5th is the first of the
nine offshore legs. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-100911
THE STRETCHIEST PAIR YOU'LL EVER WEAR
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Richard E. "Pogo" Evans passed away at age 60 on Thursday, October 6th, in
Miami, FL after a prolonged illness. A long time resident of Fort
Lauderdale, Pogo was born in Macon, GA. He grew up working in his father's
boat-building and cabinet shop where he developed the skills that would
serve him throughout his life. He served for four years in Viet Nam with
the United States Air Force and then embarked upon a career of boatbuilding
and ocean racing that spanned the next twenty years.
In between stints with legendary boat builders Palmer Johnson and
Derecktor, Pogo served as the paid professional aboard Pat Haggerty's
racing yacht "Bay Bea" for several years, including the 1977 Admiral's Cup
in England as part of the US team. He also skippered Bevin Koeppel's
"Congere" before becoming part of the regular crew aboard Bill Whitehouse's
maxi-ocean racer "Mistress Quickly" for campaigns all over the world. --
Forum, read on:
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 Carol Newman Cronin:
To add to the event sponsor brainstorming session in Scuttlebutt 3443,
consider using in kind donations for a raffle, and sell tickets to regatta
participants (and others).
* From David Fuller:
Regarding the recruitment of event sponsors (Sbutt 3443), my advice is to
consult a pro. All sports are becoming better at raising sponsorship, but
some are learning faster than others.
It's like learning to sail. You can do it yourself, you'll get there in the
end, but if you pay for a couple of lessons you can get there faster.
The suggestions thus far are all good, but keep in mind that it is a
two-way transaction - if they are giving you cash, what are you giving
them. Is the value of what you are giving them more than 3 times the amount
of cash they are giving you?
* From Casey Robert Baldwin:
The comment by Mr. Hartman,"I don't think that sailing is a suitable sport
for the Olympics" in Scuttlebutt 3443 is somewhat short-sighted. Applying a
little bit of the extraordinary vision of the late Steve Jobs to
dramatically improving video/graphic coverage of sailing - witness the
recent success of the ACWS in Portugal and England - will allow similar
Olympic sailing viewing for millions to follow in the near future.
It is not "impossible", particularly given the recent racing format change
in which the last of eleven races in 2012 will feature only the top ten
boats in each class. If the Olympic Committee goes a little further in
future Olympics and for example, has the last three races for the top ten
racers, it will be both dramatically and economically feasible to have an
on-boat camera and helicopter coverage with real-time graphics.
There should NOT be near-shore 'Stadium Sailing' for Olympic sailors, with
the extra vagaries of large unpredictable wind shifts increasing luck and
reducing skill. Leading edge technology can provide excellent coverage of
normal and fair Olympic courses further off-shore.
While it was fun for the thousands gathered on the grassy 'Hoe' in Plymouth
to occasionally see the ACWS boats meters from the beach, I suspect many
watched the giant screen to follow the racing, seeing exactly what millions
saw at home. This further bolsters the idea of great tech coverage for
I agree with Mr. Hartman it's better to be sailing than watching, even if
you are struggling in the bottom half of your local club racing. However,
sailing has been an integral part of the Olympic tradition since the first
modern Games in Athens in 1896, missing from only one, the 1904 event in
And it is one of the few super-sports events remaining that are nation vs.
nation, no foreign ringers allowed.
COMMENT: It's relevant to recognize that the cost to broadcast the ACWS is
an extraordinary sum that's being underwritten (either in part or full) by
the fifth wealthiest person in the world. And even if someone were to fund
the cost to broadcast the sailing events at the Olympics, that does not
guarantee the television networks that bought the broadcast rights would
show it. The networks choose to show those sports that draw the biggest
audience so as to maximize their ad revenue. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
The Mr. Bean Guide to Fun in an Elevator: Crack open your briefcase or
purse, and while peering inside, ask, "Got enough air in there?"
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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