SCUTTLEBUTT 3453 - Friday, October 21, 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: US SAILING and Salt Harbor Studio.
FROM TENNIS COURTS TO SAILING STAR
As a youngster growing up on Australia's east coast he did not like
sailing; Tom Slingsby was bribed by his sisters to crew for them, at 20c a
What a difference a few years makes - 2010 World Sailor of the Year, four
World Championship titles, he is one of the hottest Olympic Gold Medal
prospects and has now joined the America's Cup scene.
25 year old Tom Slingsby from Gosford, north of Sydney, NSW is currently
training for Perth 2011 with the Australian Sailing Team.
Crowned 2010 ISAF World Sailor of the Year, Tom won his third Laser World
Championship last year and has been on the podium in the last nine World
Slingsby tells his story. 'My family got me into sailing. I remember my
first sailing season as I didn't enjoy it too much - my twin sisters used
to pay me 20 cents per race just to stay on the boat. I sailed the junior
classes, went OK but nothing flash. My favourite sport was tennis, I used
to train five days a week but then at 15 I wasn't too sure what I wanted to
"I had all this time on my hands. I didn't really want to do school work so
I went out training every afternoon in the Laser and after three months of
doing that I finished first at the Nationals. I'd finished 61st the year
"We lived on Brisbane Waters, it's the sea but it is exactly the same as
lake sailing. It is flat water, very shifty and I remember sitting on our
front deck every afternoon doing my homework, which I hated.
"Watching the boats racing, I remember looking at all the angles of the
gusts coming from down the bay and I remember just visualising myself being
out there - where I would tack and where I would go and that sort of stuff.
"Only later in my sailing career did I realise how much that has helped me.
I can look at a gust and know exactly what it is going to do - if it is
going to knock me five degrees, if it is going to lift me 10 degrees.
"The thing that made me want to sail at the top level was the 2000 Olympics
- I went down to Sydney every day for two weeks to watch the sailing. I
remember watching Robert Scheidt and Ben Ainslie sailing for the Laser Gold
"From that day forward I have dedicated everything to Olympic Sailing." --
Sail-World, read on: http://tinyurl.com/S-W-102011
100KMH ROCKET RIDES ON BIG WEDNESDAY
Since the Vestas Sailrocket team started in 2002, their pursuit has been
the all out world speed record, as measured on a 500 meter course. Their
best speed so far of 47.36 knots was good enough to set a sub record in
2008 (B Division, 150 - 235 sq.ft), but not enough to surpass the current
record of 55.65 knots set in 2010 by kitesurfer Rob Douglas (USA).
The team is now in Walvis Bay in Namibia with their latest craft, and on
Wednesday they went faster than they ever had gone before...50 knots over
the 500 meter course. And they weren't even trying. Here is pilot Paul
(October 20, 2011) - Well yesterday (Wednesday) turned into a pretty wild
day. The way the morning was unfolding we knew the wind was going to
outperform the forecast.
Vestas Sailrocket 2 had up to now done four runs within a knot of 50 knots.
Two over and two under. We weren't sure if we had hit some sort of flow
phenomena relating to the radical new foil around this speed. The team here
in Namibia had been hurriedly collating all the data from onboard the boat
and the shore to send it to the 'brains trust' back in the UK. As no two
runs are the same we wanted to get a solid understanding of where we should
be performance wise and what our areas of weakness are. As it stands, we
feel we should be hitting peak speeds around 60 knots. The 'brains trust'
aren't that emotional... they just want good data and the understanding it
As is often the case, the weather comes before the understanding and you
just have to 'wing' it and get out there. We decided we wouldn't change
anything major and that we should simply try and get more information that
would better define developing trends. It would be my job to simply do more
clean runs down the course to generate more points on the graph.
When we got over to 'speed-spot' we noted that the wind was still very
West. This means we get a small swell rolling down the course along with
the wind chop. It also gives us a TWA (true wind angle) of around 120
degrees which is a bit too downwind for us. When the wind started gusting
over 26 knots I decided to do a shakedown run anyway. -- Read on:
HELP SHAPE HISTORY
Submit Your Nominations for US SAILING's 2011 Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman
of the Year Awards. Who do you think are the best American sailors of 2011?
These prestigious awards recognize one male sailor and one female sailor
for their outstanding achievements within the calendar year and are viewed
as the nation's top sailing honors. Sailing greats Dennis Conner, Betsy
Alison, Ken Read and J.J. Fetter have held this honor. US SAILING members
can submit nominations for these awards TODAY. Make your nominations at
SAIL AMERICA UNVEILS STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
Financially healthy and growing, Sail America - the trade association for
the US sailing industry - presented several new initiatives at the annual
industry meeting in Annapolis, MD (Oct. 7th). Sally Helme, Publisher of
Cruising World magazine and President of Sail America, revealed the plan
before a crowd of key industry personnel attending the United States
Citing improved financials, diversified revenue streams, and a growing list
of partners including the management of a new boat show in Texas, Helme
reported growth in the organization's membership and an uptick in
attendance at Strictly Sail shows nationwide over the past two years.
Jonathan Banks, Sail America Executive Director, kicked off the breakfast
program by saying, "The attendance here serves as a reminder that there is
still life in the sailing market." He added that he was pleased with how
well the industry has coped and adapted as everyone has worked together to
improve market conditions in the down economy.
Sail America's vision was described as "creating a stronger sailing market"
and several objectives were outlined as steps to achieve that goal: Read
EVERYBODY NEEDS SOME GRITS
The health of the sport is often measured by participation in high profile
events. And lately, the interest in high performance sailing seems more
like a mandate than a preference. But there is more to recreational racing than
the type of boat you sail. Leave it to the South to show how a simpler
approach to our sport might be the key. Read on:
The 2nd year of the GRITS (Great Racing In The South) is finished with 40
Catalina 22's competing at 5 venues in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee
evenly split between Gold and Silver classes. Another 5 boats competed in a
Cruiser fleet for boats not tricked out for racing and inexperienced racers
at the helm.
The GRITS has brought a lot of C-22's together in the South for some great
racing. A number of boats are now regularly competing which had never
traveled to out of town regattas before.
Over the past few years Chattanooga and Nashville have experienced great
growth in their C-22 fleets, partially due to exposure of these races.
Chattanooga now has thirty-five C-22's in their fleet, certainly the
largest fleet in the country. Nashville just hosted their first C-22 only
regatta. The winds weren't great, but everyone went home with bellies full
of great food and beer.
GRITS has helped bring many new sailors into the racing fraternity the past
2 years. We expect the series to grow every year because the C-22 fleets
are so open to new sailors. While the boat is not fast, it is an honest,
easy-to-sail boat with all the sail controls of more sophisticated boats,
it can be sailed by only 2 people and trailered behind an average SUV. --
* Dallas, TX (October 20, 2011) - The 2011 Championship of Champions,
hosted by the Corinthian Sailing Club, began today on White Rock Lake.
Chris Raab, the defending 2010 Champion, and crew Bill Draheim has a narrow
two point lead over Andrew Eagan and crew Marcus Eagan. After an 80 minute
delay due to lack of wind, racing was held in winds of 5 to 10 knots in
full sun with temperatures in the high 60s. Special guest competitor Tom
Ehman with crew Kelson Elam is in fourth place. -- Full story:
* On October 26, the top U.S. Olympic hopefuls in Women's Match Racing will
begin competition in the U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, in Miami,
Fla. The ISAF Grade 3 event is scheduled for Oct. 26-30, and will determine
the top four teams who will advance to the second, and final, selection
event for the 2012 Olympic Team berth in Women's Match Racing. The second
selection event is scheduled for May 4-7 at the Weymouth & Portland
National Academy, in England, the site of the 2012 Olympic sailing venue.
-- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-102011a
* Information has been announced about the American qualifier for the 2012
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World championship. Details
for the multihull event in Florida are not confirmed, but for all other
events the qualifier will take place January 13-16, 2012 at the Alamitos
Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, Calif. The 2012 ISAF Youth World Championship
is in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland on July 12-21. -- Full report:
* A Detroit man was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for making a
hoax call about a capsized boat to the U.S. Coast Guard, cost-ing the
govern-ment roughly $53,000 in search and res-cue efforts. Craig Sanders,
32, who pleaded guilty to making the false dis-tress call in June, also has
been ordered to pay $53,306 in restitution to the U.S. Coast Guard. He was
sentenced in Port Huron, before U.S. Dis-trict Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff.
-- Detroit Free Press, read on: http://tinyurl.com/DFP-102011
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Jose E. (Tito) Argamasilla Bacardi, 67, native of Cuba, passed away in
Miami, Florida on October 18, 2011, surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Santiago de Cuba in 1944, Tito joined Bacardi Imports in 1969.
During his tenure at the company, Tito founded the Bacardi Museum in Miami,
which has evolved into today's very substantial company archive. Tito will
be fondly remembered for his role as the animated host of the Bacardi Cup
in Miami over several decades.
"All Tito's friends in the Star Class send our deepest sympathies to his
family," said Star Class President Bill Allen. "We will miss his energy at
the event he sponsored so enthusiastically. The Bacardi Cup has been one of
our premier events for 84 years. Tito was the primary driver of this event,
which has led to the Star Class winter circuit."
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 21, 2011. -- Full report:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include onboard umbrellas, A Class racing, wrath of Mother Nature, bad day
of sailing, trophy worth winning, inventive, go-fast accessories, and near
death experiences. Here are this week's photos:
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame has announced that the first
annual Induction of 15 people to the National Sailing Hall of Fame will be
dedicated to the Memory of Walter Cronkite, an avid sailor who served as
Honorary Chair on the NSHOF Board of Advisors from September 14, 2006 until
his passing on July 17, 2009.
The induction ceremony will take place on October 23 at the San Diego Yacht
To celebrate Walter's contributions to American sailing on this occasion,
the NSHOF website is now featuring a two-part series entitled 'America's
Cup: Cronkite Reports' where he chronicles, race by race, the 1987
America's Cup campaign, a watershed event in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Here is a 2:48 minute clip from the TV show:
BONUS: Canadian Star crew Tyler Bjorn, who along with teammate Richard
Clarke are strong contenders for Olympic medals in the Men's Keelboat
event, was featured on CBC: http://tinyurl.com/CBC-102011
BONUS: Episode 13 of the 'America's Cup Uncovered' magazine show celebrates
San Francisco Bay Fleet Week, and chats with the United States Coast Guard
about the transformation of San Francisco Bay into a perfect sailing
stadium. America's Cup legend John Bertrand shares his opinion on the new
race format with Regatta Director Iain Murray and ORACLE Racing's James
Spithill. Meet maker of the America's Cup trophy: Garrard in London; but
not before AC commentator Annie Gardner shows us around her hometown San
Diego: beach, burgers and boats! Tune in on October 22 approx 0800 PDT 1600
BONUS: The October 21, Week 42 "World on Water" Global Weekly Boating News
Report features Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series Almeria, Spain, the
opening of the 18 Footers Race season with the R. Watt Memorial Trophy
Sydney, Australia, the Monaco Yacht Show Port Hercule, Monaco, the Clipper
Race Leg 4 Start Cape Town, South Africa, the UNO Farr 40 European
Championships, Istanbul, Turkey, the opening of the Volvo Ocean Race
Village Alicante, Spain and in our action segment "Fresh to Frightening"
the Southern Ocean rescue of Jean Le Cam in the 2008-09 Vendee Globe single
handed round the world race when his yacht's keel bulb fell off and the
yacht capsized approaching Cape Horn. See this week's show on
www.boatson.tv approx 1200 BST, 0700 EDT Friday Oct 21.11
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
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 Nathan Dalleska:
Regarding the comment that we should all wake up and realize sailing is an
expensive sport (in Scuttlebutt 3452), I think the key point here is that
at least some sailing options, especially for kids, should not be
Managing costs may mean class restrictions against carbon fiber sails and
spars and limiting support boats on the water. Sure, you need time, money
and natural ability for any sport. But if the system we (as sailors) build
raises the bar on the time and money requirements too high, our sport will
miss out on many who have natural ability, and even more who are fun to
sail with and against.
The thesis of the earlier articles was not that sailing should be free or
even really, really cheap, but that it should be as affordable as it can
be. And if you can't have FUN on the water without carbon fiber hulls,
spars, sails and top of the line polarizing lenses, then you should seek
professional help. Or at least some coaching from a good sailor.
* From George Sechrist:
Regarding the coaching thread...firstly, we need to differentiate between
hiring a private or sailing school coach for lessons outside of regattas,
versus the coach/mommy boat fiascos that I read about.
Although I've never had a coach or lesson in my life, I would never be
against lessons or coaching outside of regattas. I have been racing for
over 45 yrs, including Star Bacardi Cups & Masters, and currently Laser &
Sunfish regattas, and personally have never experienced a coach boat
problem, because they were non-existent. I am having the most fun of my
life racing small boats, so to me the lesson is: choose your class and
regattas carefully. I succeed a lot and I screw up a lot, but I coach
myself with a mental critique.
I think the coach boat problem only applies to about 1% of sailboat racing,
so my advice is "Choose your class and venues carefully and just go out and
* From Jeremy McGeary:
I first encountered the breathless reporting Guy writes about (in
Scuttlebutt 3452) during The Race in 2000 (Maxi Cats around the world). I
was in Rhode Island, translating into English "reports" from French writers
based in Paris. These race updates were posted to the website every four
hours and were based on information gathered from "radio rendezvous" and
the position-tracking system. No live feeds from the boats . . . and I was
connecting from home by dial-up through an AOL email address. Pass the
I was on the night shift and my first report was supposed to arrive at
about 1800 ET. That, of course, was well after dinnertime in Paris, so my
oppos would wax long and lyrical about everything that might have happened
in a four-hour watch aboard a 100-foot catamaran stuck in the St. Helena
High. The prose was less purple, perhaps, than Pinot Noir, and I recognize
some of the same phrases (just as poorly translated into English) in so
many of the "reports" Guy describes. I wonder if there isn't such a thing
as too much information.
Anyone remember the tension during the Golden Globe, when we heard nothing
from the participants for weeks or months? Then Moitessier shows up in Cape
Town, says, "Bugger zis!" and heads for Tahiti. That's fodder for bar chat.
Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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