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SCUTTLEBUTT 3455 - Tuesday, October 25, 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: North U, North Sails, and J Boats.
BRUCE GOLISON - THE RACING PRO
It's a short list of people that are as dominant as a competitor as they
are competent as a principle race officer. Our list only has one...
California's Bruce Golison. After winning the 2010 Etchells North American
Championships in San Diego, Golison traveled to Marblehead Massachusetts to
run the 2011 edition. Scuttlebutt checked in with Golison about his
experience in wearing both hats:
* How did this all begin for you?
BRUCE GOLISON: Peter Craig is one of the best PRO's in the world, and he
asked me to come down to his Key West Race Week regatta and help out on the
water. I had been hosting an annual keelboat regatta in Southern
California, but I was always onshore and was looking forward to learning
about it from one of the top PRO's. After two years of being his 'caddy',
Peter said he had too much to do ashore running the event and that I would
be taking over running the big boat circle as the PRO.
Running the grand prix big boat circle with six classes at Key West for my
first time as a PRO was sort of like being thrown in the deep end of the
pool while learning to swim. Fortunately, I had an awesome group of
talented race committee people supporting me and things went well. For the
next eight years I ran one regatta a year, which was the big boat circle at
Key West Race Week.
With the downturn in entries at Key West three years ago, the event went to
three circles and I stepped out. But I had developed a passion for running
races in the manner that I thought that they should be run, and was looking
for new challenges. I picked up the phone and called Harry Melges and Andy
Burdick at Melges Performance Boats and after a good conversation on
racing, I found myself running Melges 32, Melges 24 and Melges 20 class
regattas, and it has taken off from there.
* What has led to the emergence of the travelling PRO?
BRUCE GOLISON: There are multiple reasons for this. First and foremost is
that this is being driven by the one design classes themselves. As boat
owners travel from place to place for their major regattas, the time and
financial commitments to do so have become quite substantial. The
expectation of having consistently well managed regattas is most important
to them. Another key component is having PRO's who are familiar with their
own class's preferences. All of this is why many competitive classes look
to bring in a PRO who they are comfortable with. It simply takes a level of
uncertainty out of going to a new venue.
There are several other reasons for the emergence of the traveling
PRO....1) some yacht clubs want their race committees to have an
opportunity to learn from a top level PRO (or to at least see a different
perspective in running regattas), 2) a boat owner wants his club to host
his class's championship regatta and the club simply does not have a
championship caliber race committee, 3) some clubs who are hosting a major
class championship, where their own members will be competing, prefer to
bring in an outside PRO to eliminate any potential "home club preferences"
issues, and 4) at certain ISAF or US Sailing events, the PRO is appointed
by the respective organizations. -- Read on:
"LIKE NO OTHER REGATTA I'VE EVER SAILED"
Sailing onboard the U.S. J/24 entry at the XVI Pan American Games in Puerto
Vallarta (Oct. 17-23), Dan Rabin was posting daily comments on Sailing
World about their silver medal winning experience. Here are some excerpts:
* Security has increased significantly since we first arrived. Getting into
the hotel or the yacht club is like going through security at the airport.
In addition, the Mexican Navy is patrolling the coast of our hotel and the
sailing area - wow!
* I feel like karma should be on our side. The Canadian team's jib got lost
in transport, so we gave them our practice jib which only has a few days on
it. Otherwise, they would have been sailing with a jib that looks older
than the kids I coach at Brown.
* We had a nice cross-class dinner after the first day of sailing with the
Lightning team and Clay Johnson. I learned that Farrah Hall, the U.S.
boardsailor went for a run while waiting for her redress hearing.
Boardsailing must be one of the most intense physical activities on the
planet, and Farrah goes for a run to cool down! I explained to Jay Lutz
that if I ran from our dinner table to the restaurant door I would probably
go into cardiac arrest. I guess I'm getting old, or maybe I'm flat-out
already there, but being on the water for 6 hours in 90+ degrees takes a
lot out of me.
* Another competition going on in the midst of the Pan Am Games is the
country pins. All of the athletes are given about 20 pins which have a
national team decal. The idea is that you exchange pins with athletes from
other countries. I am failing miserably on this front. I imagine that the
pin exchange is a great introduction to meet people if you are single. I am
not single, and I'm a bit shy by nature. So far, I have a couple of Mexican
pins that I got from one of their American coaches I was already friends
with - pathetic, I know. I gave a pin to a waiter today just for getting me
some parmesan cheese, and I gave another pin to a waiter with the promise
of a Puerto Rican pin in exchange tomorrow.
* For our day off, we managed to find the only place hotter than a J/24
deck downwind: the beach volleyball court. The U.S. men's and women's teams
had matches, so most of the sailors went down to cheer them on. During the
men's match, a group of 30 Mexican elementary school students were cheering
"Los Estados Unidos", so I'm thinking that NAFTA thing has worked out
* The Pan American Games was like no other regatta I've ever sailed. An
outsider might look at it and see there are only 7 boats, and think, "That
can't be nearly as hard as a Worlds or North Americans." The comparison is
pointless. They're so completely different that it's not really the same
Full report here: http://www.sailingworld.com/blogs
NORTH U SEMINARS, CLINICS, RACE WEEKS, BOOKS & CDS
- Find out how your club can host a NorthU seminar. Contact
- It's not too early to start planning for 2012 racing & match racing
- Race Week XII starts April 15. Ten boat limit. A coach on every boat.
- Special Deals on Rules and Match Racing books, CDs, and DVDs.
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process at http://www.northu.com
WORDS OF WISDOM
The inaugural induction ceremony for the U.S. National Sailing Hall of Fame
(NSHOF) this past weekend was one of those once in a lifetime moments. The
Hall now stands to provide recognition and inspiration to sailing
enthusiasts. Here are a few of the comments made during the ceremony at San
Diego Yacht Club on October 23, 2011:
George R. Hinman, Jr., NYYC staff commodore and NSHOF board member:
"I was at a (National Sailing Hall of Fame) press conference when a local
reporter came to me and said, 'Can you explain to me why the New York Yacht
Club, which has a beautiful clubhouse in New York City and another in
Newport Rhode Island, would become a founding member of an organization
that is domiciled in Annapolis?' I had to pause, as I knew I would hear
this question again, and members of the N board would hear this question
again. I said to the reporter, 'If this is going to be successful, if this
is going to be relevant, it has to reflect the entire country.' From that
point on I think everything the Hall's board has tried to do, the
composition of it, has gone in that direction. We now have 25 founding
yacht clubs, which represent both large and small memberships from
throughout the entire country."
Dennis Conner, 2011 NSHOF inductee:
"It is very special to me for the event to be held at San Diego Yacht Club.
I really feel that without this venue, this club, I don't know what I would
be doing, but I know I wouldn't be standing here and going into the Hall of
Fame. I grew up a half block away, my father was a fisherman, and he would
drop his fish off nearby. I think we are all a creature of our environment,
so it was normal for me to come down to the yacht club to hang out and
learn how to sail.
"Fortunately for me, I can look around here and see so many of the people
responsible for what success I've had. As a young guy, and you start
hearing the names of Lowell North and Malin Burnham and Carl Eichenlaub,
and all the special things they've done, I feel so privileged to have lived
up to their standard. Especially Lowell, who in my mind is probably the
greatest sailor that we've ever had."
Paul Cayard, 2011 NSHOF inductee:
"I would like to acknowledge my father who is with me today, and who built
the El Toro that is on display. That was my very first boat that he built
in our garage in San Francisco in 1968. Fate is an interesting thing. My
parents didn't sail, and we had no sailing in our family. It was when I was
in school, and a second grade classmate's family sailed and they invited me
to a small lake in Oakland called Lake Merritt.
"I went sailing there a couple times, and my dad could see that I was
passionate about sailing. I was just eight years old, and he probably
thought that this was just another fad that would pass. But he went ahead
and built me a boat in the winter one year, and that was the beginning.
Obviously we all here have a lot of sailing talent, we are born with it,
it's in our blood, but what if we never had the opportunity to realize it?
(Thankfully) life and fate took care of that."
NSHOF website: http://www.nshof.org
Scuttlebutt Facebook photos: http://tinyurl.com/Scuttlebutt-FB-102411
CORRECTION - MACKINAC TRAGEDY
US SAILING Offshore Director Dan Nowlan has reviewed Dawn Reiss's article
on the Chicago Mac Race tragedy that was published in Scuttlebutt 3449
titled ' In Too Deep - Behind The Race To Mackinac Tragedy'. Here are his
"We'd like to bring Scuttlebutt readers' attention to an error that was
present in the article on the WingNuts capsize. It reported that WingNuts
'passed' her Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) stability test. This is a
misunderstanding of what the ORR certificate communicates. ORR reports the
measured Limit of Positive Stability (LPS) and calculated Stability Index
(SI - resistance to capsize). It's up to race organizers to decide whether
minimum limits of either LPS or SI are needed for their event. The
certificate can be used by the race organizers as a source of data, but
does not make a judgment."
The Chicago Yacht Club asked US SAILING to conduct an independent study of
what happened. The complete findings of that panel will be presented to the
public in Annapolis on October 29th at the US SAILING Annual General
Meeting in Annapolis, MD.
Meeting details: http://about.ussailing.org/US_SAILING_Meetings.htm
Scuttlebutt 3449: http://tinyurl.com/Scuttlebutt-3449
When the six Volvo Open 70s line up for the first In-Port Race of the
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race on October 29th, each team will be quick to
analyze their relative performance. For a race with nine distance legs and
ten In-Port Races, the teams that don't continue to improve will get left
in the wake.
Chris Nicholson (AUS), skipper of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand,
describes a couple areas to look for:
"The boards continue to be a big ticket item on these boats. Our boards are
behind the mast, and we are the first VO 70 to put them in that position.
Everybody else has their boards in front of the rig. As for board breakage,
the only way to truly avert damage is to avoid ocean obstacles. I can say
it is an area of the boat where we did not spare any expense in terms of
weight and structure.
"The other important area is the sail program, as with fewer sails allowed
in this race, we have some real holes in the inventory so our designs have
to be doing a better job to improve each sail's versatility."
Skipper, Team, Yacht Design
Frank Cammas, Groupama, Juan Kouyoumdjian design
Iker Martinez, Team Telefonica, Juan Kouyoumdjian design
Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing, Juan Kouyoumdjian design
Chris Nicholson, CAMPER, Marcelino Botin design
Mike Sanderson, Team Sanya, Farr Yacht Design
Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Farr Yacht Design
Photo of all the teams can be seen here:
WHO WILL WIN THE 2001-12 VOLVO OCEAN RACE?
With less than a week until the start of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, all
six teams (five of which are powered by North Sails) are prepped and ready
to go in Alicante, Spain. Which of the six teams do you think will win? We
have started a survey on our Facebook page and so far, the overwhelming
majority of those who have voted think PUMA Ocean Racing is the top
contender. Let us know your opinion...
* La Trinite-sur-Mer, France (October 24, 2011) - For the second day of
competition at the Student Yachting World Cup, racing was cancelled due to
big waves and winds that exceeded 40 knots. Fifteen of the best sailing
teams from universities representing 14 countries are racing in the 9.54 m
Grand Surprise through October 28th. Among the 15 teams are Dalhousie
University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and Maine Maritime Academy (Castine,
Maine). Event website: http://www.sywoc.org/
* Just before 0100 CEST on Tuesday, 24 October, Igor Simcic's Esimit Europa
2 crossed the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour in Malta to claim the line
honours win at the 606 nm Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 100-foot Slovenian
boat completed the course in an elapsed time of 61 hours, 24 minutes and 35
seconds. As Esimit Europa 2 crossed the line in Malta, the nearest yacht,
RŠn (GBR), was approximately 90 nautical miles behind, and was expected at
the finish in Malta Tuesday afternoon. Seventy yachts started the 32nd
edition on October 22nd. --Full report:
* San Diego, CA (October 23, 2011) - The third annual PCISA Girls High
School Invitational was held this week-end. Created by Mary Brigdon Snow,
the winners were the defending champion Francis Parker High School, with
Newport Harbor Blue in second and Corona del Mar in third. Sailing A
division for Francis Parker was skipper Marly Isler with crews Michelle
Pond and Kaitlin Driscoll. Sailing B division was Emily Bohl with crew
Kristen Stipanov. Casey Hutcheson and coach Bryan Rigby complete the Parker
team. -- Full results:
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* From Steve Old, Australia:
A sailing friend and fellow Yacht Club barfly, one Charles Blundell (aka in
the sailing world as 'Chas from Tas') is looking for photos of Windward
Passage taken during the brief period when she was ketch-rigged.
I only managed to find one, which is a rather grainy shot running with
Mizzen Staysail, but no Mizzen. Would you or your readers be able to
HELP: The legendary Alan Gurney-designed 73-footer Windward Passage was
built of wood on a Bahamian beach, and was the pacesetter for many the
classic ocean races in the 70's. If you have images of this trendsetter
with her mainsail mizzen, please email them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here
is the image Steve mentions: http://i42.tinypic.com/2eyl1zb.jpg
* From Dawn Riley:
I read Scuttlebutt every day but don't normally chime in, but I'm hoping my
comments on the current coaching can help. A few years ago I started doing
some coaching for individuals like Stan and his team from NASA Ames and for
the Beneateau 40.7 fleet in Chicago. It was fun for me and the progress was
awesome. This definitely influenced us when we created the Oakcliff Sailing
We are a nonprofit coaching and training center for ALL sailors mostly
adults. Tuesday's are match racing drills; weekends will see regattas but
mostly 'clinegattas' where there is a day or two of clinic and then a
regatta. Next year we will partner with Sagamore who runs the Wednesday
night races and one start will be the Oakcliff Coaching start. Anyone who
is a supporter of the foundation can sail one of our boat or their own boat
and coaching will be provided from coaches on RIBs and depending on the day
Final note: With the exception of the above fleet coaching system. I think
coaching while actually racing is virtually impossible. You end up getting
too involved. A coach will say "hmm, are you sure that you are set up for a
jibe set?" A coach under pressure of racing will say "run the gear around
Coaching here at Oakcliff is quality efficient fun. Everyone is welcome to
come and visit and train with us.
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Any given computer program, when running, is obsolete.
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