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SCUTTLEBUTT 3449 - Monday, October 17, 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: BIC Sport NA and Hall Spars & Rigging.

Thirty-eight year old skipper Dean Barker and his team Emirates Team New
Zealand (ETNZ) currently sit at the top of the leader board of the
America's Cup World Series Championship with 38 points (19 scored in match
racing, 19 in fleet racing), just four points ahead of Oracle Racing

With the third and final World Series event for 2011 just around the corner
in San Diego, Barker updated Sailblast on ETNZs training well
as shared some thoughts on the new AC game. Here are some excerpts:
* What was one thing that you took away from racing AC45s in the recent
events in Cascais & Plymouth?

DEAN BARKER: The biggest eye opener is the maneuverability and how the
racecourse and boundaries operate. It makes the racing just so much tighter
and more emphasis on crew work and boat handling than ever before.

* Emirates Team NZ (ETNZ) did extremely well - what do you attribute your
strength to this early in the game?

DEAN BARKER: We were really happy with our performance. We know we can sail
a hell of a lot better but I'm sure like all the teams you make a lot of
mistakes around the course but it's a challenge with these boats in tough
conditions and close quarters with other teams. It's going to be hard to
sail at a high level.

We've put a lot of effort into our crew work and boat handling and that's
paid dividends. I think during the period in Auckland we're a bit off the
pace. At our first crack at the soft sails, they were good but not good
enough so we've developed our sails - we're into our second generation and
that's been a big improvement in our speed. We feel like we're a lot more
competitive now against Oracle who in Auckland who had quite a big jump it
felt over the rest of us. We've made some good gains there. But we've
worked really hard on things like getting around the corners and being able
to react in all different situations around the course. That's been a big

* If Oracle was so committed to keeping costs down for AC34, how could they
then go buy four AC45s while the other teams have only one? What's ETNZ's
position on this?

DEAN BARKER: There's no way Oracle is committed to keeping costs down. It's
a complete fallacy that they're trying to keep costs down. It's absolute
bullshit. The whole idea of this next America's Cup was to try to make it
more affordable for the teams. I can tell you right now that the budget for
doing this campaign is at least what we spent last time and you can do it
for less but you just don't have a chance to perform. It's a complete joke
if they can sit back and say it costs less money, it's not. It's way more
expensive. But that's the game we're in. If you want a crack at winning the
America's Cup you have to play by the rules and these rules are more

* Do you think a nationality rule would help the AC grow as a fan sport?

DEAN BARKER: I think it helps countries identify with their teams. We've
got other nationalities involved in our team but it's still pretty much all
NZ, which certainly helps our fan base within NZ and the support we get as
opposed to some of the other teams. Even though they may represent the US,
Sweden and so on, they're not true national teams to the degree we are.

Complete interview:

MORE TALENT: Triple World Laser Champion and current ISAF International
Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby, is currently in San Francisco, training
with Oracle Racing on their AC 45s in San Francisco Bay. Slingsby joins
fellow Australians James Spithill, who helmed Oracle to victory over
Alinghi in the last America's Cup, and Darren Bundock, the 2008 Olympic
silver medallist in the Tornado class. -- MySailing, read on:

At 333 miles, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is the longest annual
freshwater sailing race in the world. The grueling two-and-a-half or
three-day slog requires crews to sleep in shifts every two or four hours in
the beating rain, scorching sun and bitter cold that can cause frostbite
even in summer. Starting near Navy Pier and ending close to the quaint
vacation destination of Michigan's Mackinac Island, it is man versus nature
on the most basic level, even with its reputation as a rich man's sport.

Before the 2011 race, the event had never seen a racing-related death in
its 103 years. (There have been a few health-related incidents, including
several heart attacks, but nothing directly attributed to sailing.) In some
ways, the race's clean record is a wonder, especially considering Lake
Michigan's rapidly changing squalls, which can blow in and out much quicker
than ocean winds. The squalls make it harder to navigate and anticipate
conditions, causing boats to go over one choppy wave and smash right into
the next without reprieve.

Experienced sailors Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne Bickel, 40, both of
Saginaw, Michigan, were among the 3,500 competitors placing their sailboats
in position on the afternoon of July 16, waiting for the firing cannon to
start the race. Soon after the loud report sounded, their boat, a Kiwi-35
named WingNuts for its unusual 14-foot-wide winglike extensions to the
deck, navigated with Mark at its tiller past 11 other boats in its
sportsman class. WingNuts followed the Wisconsin shoreline the first night
of the race, passing summer festivals as fireworks lit up the sky.

"The first day and first night were awesome," recalls Peter Morley, Mark's
younger brother, who was part of the crew. "We were having the time of our
lives and everyone was all smiles. This year, the race felt better. We were
going fast and passing boats. It was the second night that things went to

Several years ago, when a member of Saginaw Bay Yacht Club mentioned he had
a 1984 Kiwi-35 for sale, Mark and his brother Peter, along with their
cousins John Dent of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Stan Dent of Midland,
Michigan, jumped at the chance to buy it. "It was a cool boat [and] fast,"
says Peter, who lives in Midland. "It needed some work, but that's what we
like to do." High-tech for its time, the unconventionally designed 35-foot
boat's eight-foot-wide hull and fold-up wings meant the crew could sit
farther out over the water than on most traditional boats. -- Time Out
Chicago, read on:

The O'Pen BIC and Techno 293 Classes enjoyed a very successful summer of
growth, leading into a full series of events in Florida this Fall/Winter.
But competition isn't the primary reason why more and more Junior Sailing
Programs are adding these classes. The kids LOVE them and are excited for
sailing. The O'Pen BICs and Techno 293s are modern, less expensive,
amazingly durable, and completely self-bailing. Capsizing becomes fun.
Check new videos at O'Pen BIC and Techno 293 One Design (below). Contact or 508 273-1141 for attractive JSP packages. BIC also
offers great Stand Up Paddleboards for your program!

O'Pen BIC:
Techno 293 One Design:

The XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico are scheduled for October
13-29, with the sailing competition to take place at the Vallarta Yacht
Club located in Puerto Vallarta, approximately five hours away from

Racing begins on October 17th with medal racing on the 23rd. Laser (Men),
Laser Radial (Women) and RS:X (Men and Women) - and five non-Olympic, open
classes - Hobie 16, J/24, Lightning, Snipe and Sunfish.

Canadian Laser Radial sailor Isabella Bertold shares the experience so far:
I arrived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this past Thursday and have been busy
getting everything set up for the regatta since then. Upon arriving I was
greeted by a group of volunteers and COC (Canadian Olympic Committee) staff
to help me with my luggage and getting my accreditation. This was a little
strange as I am definitely used to lugging around my bags by myself and
eventually making it to a cab or train to get myself to a hotel.

Once I had my accreditation I was escorted to a bus to take me to the
hotel. Normally this wouldn't be that different to me, except that this bus
had a full police escort! (I have now figured out that this is the norm for
transport of athletes down here.) Once at the hotel I received a suitcase
filled with team Canada clothing and then quickly headed downstairs for
dinner and then subsequently went to bed.

Day 2 was a lot more "normal." I headed down to the venue, a 30 minute bus
ride away, set up my boat and went sailing. The one big difference being
the temperature, it is RIDICULOUSLY hot here! You go outside and instantly
begin sweating, staying hydrated has definitely been a challenge here.

Yesterday was very similar to today except that I added a morning and
afternoon gym workout and the wind was a little bit stronger than the day

Today (Sunday) I am going to spend the bulk of the day inside trying to
stay cool and drinking as much water as possible so that I am hydrated for
racing. I am also thinking of going to one of the local markets for a
couple of hours to look around. Tomorrow (Monday) we start racing and will
sail 2 races a day for 3 days, have one day off, and then again race 2
races for 2 days, followed by a medal race on Sunday. --

Canada team:
USA team:
Event website:

The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race started on July 31st from
Southampton on the UK's south coast and will return to the Solent in July
2012 after 40,000 miles of ocean racing - the world's longest ocean race.

This is a pay to sail event, where over 500 people representing more than
40 nations will compete among the 10 equally matched 68-foot long masthead
cutters designed by Ed Dubois. They can sign up for the whole
circumnavigation or one or more of eight legs.

There is no section of the circumnavigation that exemplifies the challenge
as does the race's current leg from Cape Town, South Africa to Geraldton,
Western Australia. This is where the track drops down towards the 40th
parallel and the Southern Ocean provides some of the most extreme sailing
in the world.

The skippers and crews on board each are busily preparing for a Southern
Ocean offensive as an approaching low pressure system looks set bring
challenging conditions along with wind speeds of gale force proportions.

"To all of our supporters out there from the skipper, 'stand by, the
Forties are about to roar!'" comments skipper of Edinburgh Inspiring
Capital, Gordon Reid. "All deck equipment has been checked and double
checked, gear stowed and secured, our roaring game plan discussed and
prepared. We are ready for some more action!"

"Today we are prepared for the onslaught as a massive front closes in on
us. There is nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide, the wind will come with
the rain and the squalls, the sea is building, with the white caps forming
all around, the sun is still shinning but the cloud base thickening and
descending. Currently we have a lively 25 knots of breeze and a generous
sail plan, we will have to reduce sail as the winds are forecast to build
to over 30 knots and will be a fair bit higher with gusts and squalls."
"There is a dark sense of foreboding regarding the incoming weather,"
shares Singapore skipper Ben Bowley. "We have made as many preparations as
possible and this morning ensured that the crew had a large hearty
breakfast. Right now you would never believe that there was a front on the
way but we all learnt last time just how quick the situation can change
down here in this watery wilderness. Keeping a weather eye open and
battening down the hatches."

And to think that the crew pays for this privilege.

Event website:

* New Orleans, LA (October 15, 2011) - Rob Johnston of Heath, TX won the
Allstate Sugar Bowl J/22 World Championship by six points over Jim Barnash
of Rochester, NY. Barnash went into the last day of the four-day regatta in
the lead but finished 26th to Johnston's third in the first race. He came
back strong, however, with a win in the second race while Johnston finished
12th bringing the championship into play on the last race. Johnston's fifth
place in the last race of the regatta was enough to earn him the winner's
trophy. Sixty-four boats and 12 races were completed. -- Event reports:

* Islamorada, FL (October 15, 2011) - It was feast or famine at the 2011 A
Class North American Championship for the 40 competitors. Racing on
Wednesday and Thursday was cancelled due to light winds and high winds
halted racing on Saturday. Fortunately, a building northeast breeze on
Friday permitted four races to be held in choppy conditions with wind
speeds of 8 to 12 knots. Dominating the day was Ben Hall (USA) and Matt
Struble (USA), with Hall taking the title by one point over Struble. --
Event reports:

* Corona Del Mar, CA (October 16, 2011) - Dave Perry, a three-time U.S.
Match Racing Champion and the top ranked U.S. match racing skipper by the
International Sailing Federation (ISAF), won the Prince of Wales Bowl at
the 2011 U.S. Match Racing Championship. Skippers Taylor Canfield (St.
Thomas, USVI), Chris Nesbitt (San Diego, Calif.), Perry (Southport, Conn.),
and Brian Angel (El Segundo, Calif.) won their respective series to advance
to Sunday's semifinals. After Canfield beat Angel and Perry outlasted
Nesbitt, Perry blanked Canfield 2-0 in the Finals. A field of 12 teams
competed in Governor's Cup 21 boats. -- Event website:

* Almeria, Spain (October 16, 2011) - While Tanguy Cariou's team on Alinghi
secured a dominate victory at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 8, it came
down to the wire in the final double points race to determine the remaining
podium places. Luna Rossa (ITA) with skipper Max Sirena just nipped Ben
Ainslie and his Oman Air (OMA) team to finish second and third
respectively. Luna Rossa leads the overall standings, with the final Act in
Singapore on December 7-11. -- Full report:

* Istanbul, Turkey (October 16, 2011) - In a thrilling conclusion which saw
the top two boats heading into the final race of the series tied on points,
Barking Mad (USA) has been crowned UNO Farr 40 European Champion 2011. The
boat owned by Jim Richardson and with Hamish Pepper calling tactics secured
victory with a storming win in the last race. Second place went to Alberto
Rossi's Enfant Terrible (ITA) and Wolfgang Schaefer's Struntje Light (GER)
took third. -- Full report:

* The nomination period for the US SAILING One-Design Awards has been
extended to October 22. Each year US SAILING presents up to five awards --
Service, Leadership, Club, Regatta, and Creativity -- recognizing
outstanding individuals, classes, clubs and fleets, highlighting role
models of creative leadership in one-design sailing. The awards will be
presented at the One-Design Sailing Symposium on Nov. 12, 2011 in Bay Head,
NJ. Details here:

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Events listed at

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 Dean Dietrich, Tiburon, CA:
I might as well add my boom story since it is unique. Several years ago, I
was racing wing 'n wing with the Alerion Express 28 fleet in San Francisco.
As we approached Alcatraz from the City side, the boat on my right was
yawing considerably, momentarily locked rigs with a boat to his right, and
then careened over to my boat. Our bows struck at about a 30 degree angle,
with his boom initially to starboard (he was on port tack) causing him to
heel over and jibe. His boom swept across the cockpit of my boat where I
was sitting on the starboard side; I regained consciousness at SF General
Hospital. I suffered some nerve damage to my eye, but now I am OK. The
moral of the story: the boom that hits you may not be your own.

* From Margaret L. Herzog, PH.D., Clinical Psychologist:
I was pleased to see the recent article regarding helmets for dinghy
sailors. I have been concerned about the risks of concussions in dingy
sailors for many years. My son, at age 15 , was hit by a boom during a
microburst , thrown out of his laser and was found face down ,unconscious
in the water.

Despite a terrifying accident, poor protocol subsequent to the accident and
a major concussion, he thankfully recovered from the event. The neurologist
whom we consulted with instructed him to wear a helmet for all future
sailing in winds over 13 knots, to reduce risk of future concussions.
Though he wore a helmet for one year, he did not comply with the
recommendation after age 16, through 9 seasons of high school and college
sailing. A helmet sits in the closet in his home bedroom. You can imagine
how ridiculous a young man might feel, being the only sailor in a helmet in
the entire East Coast.

Subsequent to the accident, I contacted the US sailing youth division
regarding the risks to youths in the sport . I recommended a study to look
at concussions in youth sailing with an eye toward introducing mandated
helmet use in youngsters. My inquiry was minimized by the youth committee
chair, who indicated that the "data" only suggested that ocean sailors
incur concussions. When I followed up and asked if there had been adequate
studies looking at youth sailing, I discovered that there had been minimal
formalized data collected. -- Forum, read on:

You know times are tough when Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.

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