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SCUTTLEBUTT 3452 - Thursday, October 20, 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 IYRS.
JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a
sound? This goes for sailing events too. There are now high expectations as
to what people expect to find online. However, often event press releases
appear to be written by travel bureaus selling timeshares, not reporters
providing daily news.
Before an event report is published in Scuttlebutt, we strive to do the
necessary editing to focus on the facts and pare down the adjectives. This
takes time, which is likely why we got a good chuckle from Guy Nowell's
article in the Asian publication Yachtstyle magazine where he addressed
Is it just me, or have the press releases and announcements surrounding
sailing events and regattas in this part of the world been getting just
that little bit more breathless lately? Shakespeare was probably right - 'a
rose by any other name would smell as sweet.' But what if the bottled rose
water is being used to mask an odour less palatable? Or less exotic? Has
anyone else noticed the remarkable proliferation of highly scented 'PR
speak' that accompanies regattas and sundry marine related events these
days? Are they just trying to cover up a different sort of smell?
Media operations have changed substantially over recent years. Once upon a
time newspapers and magazines sent staffers to events, and then published
the stories they wrote. The reputation of the publication rested on the
quality of the writing, and the reputation of the events rested on reports
produced by largely independent writers.
Now, the difference between reporting, journalism and PR goes like this:
reporting is telling it how it is, journalism is telling it how you think
it is, and public relations is telling it how the client thinks it is (or
at least, wants it to look). Today, events produce and distribute their own
'news', and all the major sailing events in the world have got their media
image well sewn up.
Starting with the big players - Volvo Ocean Race, World Match Racing Tour
etc - they all produce their own news roundups (read: press releases) and
issue them to the waiting world - a media world driven by the insatiably
hungry 'social media', in which the attention span of the consumer is
shorter than a sneeze. Inevitably, that means that a substantially skewed
account of any event is what makes it into the public domain. As soon as an
event writes its own press, objectivity is compromised. When did you last
see a press release that said 'our event was a bit of a flop this year,
there was no breeze and the race management tanked'? Right, so never
believe your own advertising.
There are lots of events all scrambling to get noticed, even within Asia.
One local sailor described the Asian regatta circuit as 'same people, same
boats, same conditions, different bar'. Take a look at the calendar:
there's a major event, and often more than one, taking place in practically
every month of the year - and that's before you take into consideration the
weekend racing happening at your local yacht club. Your event doesn't stand
a snowball in hell's chance of being noticed unless it is the biggest, the
fastest, the oldest, the longest or the windiest (or whatever), and if
you're not 'International' don't even bother to publish a Notice of Race.
So the superlatives pile one on another, and the prose becomes ever more
purple. -- Sail World, read on:
THEY WOULDN'T PRINT IT IF IT WASN'T TRUE
One of the changes with grand prix events is that they have drifted from
competitions to paydays. There was a time when the people that competed in
the America's Cup and the Whitbread Race invested their soul for the sake
of a trophy. It was a significant sacrifice but their intent was honest.
But in current times, the competitors are mixed with people pursuing
paychecks, and the vociferous appetite of the media bites on everything.
Here is an example of two press releases:
September 22, 2009 - An Italian campaign led by Giovanni Soldini has been
officially confirmed for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Known as Italia 70,
the team will race under the il tricolore with an all-Italian crew for the
next two editions of the race. Soldini, 43, has completed two single-handed
round the world races and has made over 30 Atlantic crossings. He is
partnering with John Elkann and Carlo Croce on the project. Italia 70 has
acquired the Volvo Open 70 Ericsson 3 which competed in the 2008-09 event.
October 7, 2011 - Giovanni Soldini and his team of nine sailors will next
year captain the yacht Maserati in an attempt to break the Cadiz-San
Salvador (Bahamas), Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK) records.
The three ocean course attempts will be monitored by the World Sailing
Speed Record Council, the international body certifying the record times on
the historic clipper routes. Soldini and Maserati will also attempt to
break the record for the longest distance covered by a single-hull yacht in
a 24-hour period. Maserati is a VOR 70 that participated in the 2008-2009
round-the-world race. --
While attempts to contact Soldini for comment have been unsuccessful, it is
common for teams to announce their intentions to do something without the
funding to actually do it. How many of the seven America's Cup challengers
will actually exist this time next year? Maybe they too can hook Maserati
to be their Plan B. -- Scuttleblog, http://tinyurl.com/Scuttleblog-101911
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COULD BE 'THE' PLACE TO BE
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
San Diego is the third stop in the inaugural America's Cup World Series
(AWS), which will take place November 12-20, 2011 and feature both fleet
and match racing. The series was born to give America's Cup challengers
critical training time and to grow fan interest prior to the 34th America's
Cup in 2013.
Now I personally believe that if I really want to watch a sporting event,
any sporting event, it has to be in broadcast form, preferably on my 55
inch HD television. In my home. I can focus on the game, hear the analysis,
and rewind when needed. On my couch. Drinking my beer. To me, going to a
game to watch the game is nearly an oxymoron.
While I have yet to attend an ACWS event, I have a hunch it's like watching
any other sporting event live. While the AC45s might be the attraction, you
don't go to just watch the racing. You go for the fan experience. People
watching. Tailgating. Souvenir shopping. Drinking expensive beer. Screaming
like an idiot.
The hopes and dreams of the ACWS organizers are that if they build it,
people will come. To get connected to this 'new and improved' America's
Cup. To buy into the vision. And to hedge that bet, it helps that San Diego
is ranked the third best vacation spot in the United States. In short,
there is plenty of stuff to do there, so there are plenty of reasons to
But just because the boats are exciting and the city is attractive, it's
still not enough. What will really make the ACWS event worthy of fan
attendance is an event village. When you've had enough of race watching,
you want to roll over to something else. Somewhere close. With things to
The good news has just arrived as the details of the America's Cup Village
have been released. And if the stars line up and the skies stay clear, this
could be 'the' place to be in San Diego for November 12-20. Here is the
Additional details: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-SD-101911
MORE: Scuttlebutt has been hustling for all the information, but just like
Rome, this event hasn't been built in a day either. And since some of the
info keeps changing, we're waiting until this cake is fully baked. We hope
to soon share details about viewing locations, transportation and parking,
and any related fees.
HALF TIME AT PAN AM GAMES
The sailing events for the XVI Pan American Games are being held at the
Vallarta Yacht Club in Puerto Vallarta, with racing scheduled for October
17-23. Laser (Men), Laser Radial (Women) and RS:X (Men and Women) - and
five non-Olympic, open classes - Hobie 16, J/24, Lightning, Snipe and
Wednesday saw some of the lightest conditions of the event. Dana Paxton,
Communications Director for the USA team, provides this update:
(October 19, 2011) - Heading into the scheduled "lay day", Team USA leads
in the Lightning and the J/24 classes and stands in medal position in three
others through six races of the Pan American Games sailing regatta at the
Vallarta Yacht Club.
In addition to the two leaders, the U.S. stands second in the Snipe and
Sunfish classes and third in the RS:X Women's (Windsurfer) class.
The U.S. Lightning team, skippered by Jody Lutz (Brick, N.J.), picked up
fourth- and second-place finishes today to secure the top spot through six
races with 11 net points. Jay Lutz (Houston, Texas) and Derek Gauger (Ann
Arbor, Mich.) round out the Lightning crew.
"We didn't see much current on our course that affected anything, but the
wind was light and there were puffs of wind throughout the racecourse that
changed things rapidly, so you had to be a little lucky to get it," Jody
Lutz said. "There were a couple of times we were lucky and there were also
a couple of times we weren't. We'll take the way the day went, but for us
it could have been a touch better."
Each sailing class is slated to race twice per day, with the exception of a
scheduled off day Thursday. The medal races, reserved for just the top five
in each class, are set for Sunday. The low point total at the end of
competition will decide the medalists. -- Full report:
Ashley Love, a producer/filmer/editor for t2p.tv, files this report:
"ISB hired us as the official video for the event, so we have a t2p.tv team
of 5 producers, videographers and editors covering all three courses each
day. So far, the breeze has started off light, which the locals knew and
hence posted in the SIs that all races would wait till 1:00 each day for
the first warning signal. The afternoons have been picking up with the sea
breeze from the west, but not so much today, Wednesday, October 19th.
"The breeze never filled in, which contributed to the Full Rigs getting all
bunched up at the last windward mark of the day. I swear there were three
different languages coming out all at once. Just so you know, the way to
say 'Room!' at a mark in Spanish is 'Agua!' Literal translation being
'Water!' Makes sense.
"With Thursday as a lay day, the t2p team has some zip lining/repelling
down waterfalls on the docket."
Canada team: http://tinyurl.com/CYA-Pan-Am-2011
USA team: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-Pan-Am-2011
Event website: http://www.guadalajara2011.org.mx/ENG/01_inicio
* The Olivia Constants Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch
of their much anticipated website, honoring the spirit of 14-year-old
Olivia Constants, who died tragically in June 2011 in a sailing accident in
Annapolis, Maryland. In conjunction with the launch of the website, The
Olivia Constants Foundation, Inc., is currently pending a 501c3 status;
allowing donations to the organization to be tax-deductible. -- Full
* Twenty of the elite one-design sailing champions in the U.S. will come
together this week to see who is the best of the best at the 2011
Championship of Champions, hosted by the Corinthian Sailing Club on White
Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas. The three days of racing will take place in
Flying Scots from Thursday, October 20 to Saturday, October 22. -- Read on:
* (October 19, 2011) - The Board of Directors of PRADA S.p.A. announced
that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Prada S.A. ("Prada SA") has been invited
to sponsor the participation of Luna Rossa yacht in the 34th America's Cup.
The total amount of the sponsorship is expected to be approximately Euro 40
million. The America's Cup Event Authority has not yet announced that Luna
Rossa is among the entered challengers for the event. --
* A proposed Canadian Yachting Association Bylaw amendment will be
presented to the membership at the Annual General Meeting on October 29,
2011 in Kingston, Ontario. The change is in regard to the eligibility of
athletes to be board members, who currently must be carded members of the
Canadian Sailing Team within the three years prior. The Board has approved
a change to the eligibility requirements that will allow anyone who has
been a carded Canadian Sailing team athlete within the previous ten years
to be eligible for election as an athlete director. -- Details:
Look inside the IYRS workshops virtually and in-person this November. The
"Inside IYRS" blog chronicles day-to-day life at the school, as students
restore boats and learn about onboard systems and composites. On two
November days, the school will open its doors to the public so interested
fans and potential students can visit and meet the staff. On Tuesday,
November 1, stop in at the Newport campus, and on Thursday, November 3,
visit our Bristol facility. Both Open Houses run from 4 to 7 PM. The IYRS
blog is updated year-round. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/IYRS-blog
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 21-23 - Invitational Regatta for the Hoag Cup - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Oct 21-23 - IRC Mid Atlantic Championship - Annapolis, MD, USA
Oct 21-23 - US Soling Championship - Annapolis, MD, USA
Oct 22-28 - Rolex Middle Sea Race - Valletta, Gzira, Malta
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
* GMT Composites announces new Director of Sales and Marketing
* Marchal Sailmakers opens in San Francisco Bay Area
* Green Product of the Year Contest
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 Craig Fletcher:
Concerning the coaching thread, to all the people who want to make sailing
a less expensive sport...wake up! Sailing is an expensive sport. There are
many other sports for you, such as running. You only need shoes and some
clothes. But if you want to be a great runner, you will need a coach,
funding, natural ability and time to train and compete.
My point is in any sport you have to have natural ability, time and money.
The best will move to the top of their sport and the rest will either
complain how unfair life is or they will go out and have FUN competing. I
* From Howard Paul:
With all due respect to Gary Jobson (in Scuttlebutt 3450), I must clarify
some facts regarding the differences between coaches in other sports. Many
sports like Baseball and Football (American), the coaches are part of the
game. In Golf and Tennis, they help train their athletes and prepare them
for competition. When the match or tournament take place they have to sit
in the stands and keep quiet. It is strictly forbidden for them to say
I remember a few years back I was driving the stake boat in a youth
regatta. As the boats approached the lay line one of the coaches from one
of the clubs yelled out "Don't over stand the Lay line!" As part of the
committee I felt I had an obligation to intervene. So discreetly I went to
a friend of mine who was a member of that club and told him what had
happened. He went to the coach and they came back with "It was not
coaching. It was encouragement." I must not have had my poker face on as
after a brief pause they said they wouldn't do it again.
This is the problem with having coaches on the water. Let's have coaches
but once they leave the dock the coaching stops and the sailing begins!
* From Jim Champ:
I don't get all this "ISAF must" stuff (in Scuttlebutt 3451). ISAF seems to
regulate with a reasonably light hand. Surely it's mainly up to the
individual classes what they want to do?
If ISAF came up to my class and said "we've decided that you're an amateur
class and need to be protected from professionalism and so we've added all
this to your rules", I rather suspect the first thing that would happen
would be a large "[expurgated] off" message from the sailors and a campaign
to withdraw from International status from at least part of the membership.
I don't think ISAF is really "in charge" of the sport in that sort of sense
and I certainly don't think they should be. Sounds like far too much
authoritarianism and over-regulation to me.
The best ideas probably don't occur when everybody is sitting around a
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