SCUTTLEBUTT 3459 - Monday, October 31, 2011
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REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS
US SAILING conducted three independent panel reports on accidents that
occurred in 2011 involving U.S. participants: the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club
Race to Mackinac accident involving Wingnuts, the youth sailing 420 tragedy
on Severn River, and the Rambler 100 incident.
CHI-MAC (70 pages): After two sailors' lives were lost during the recent
Chicago Yacht Club-Race to Mackinac, the Chicago Yacht Club, the race's
organizer, requested an independent study of what happened and to consider
what lessons might be learned and also to make recommendations. Here are a
few of the findings:
* The crew of WingNuts was very experienced, most of them having raced in
numerous Chicago-Mac races or similar races, and most of them having
extensive experience on WingNuts. In fact, this was the fourth time that
several of them had sailed WingNuts in the Chicago-Mac.
* WingNuts was a highly inappropriate boat for a race of this duration,
over night, without safety boats, and in an area known to have frequent
violent thunderstorms. Her capable crew and preparation could not make up
for the fact that she had too little stability, which led to her being
"blown over" by a severe gust.
* Six of the crew members, including one who was below decks at the time of
the capsize, were able to free themselves from the vessel but Mark Morley
and Suzanne Makowski-Bickel were unable to free themselves and died as a
result of head injuries and drowning.
YOUTH (25 pages): Severn Sailing Association requested a review concerning
the accident and response involving the fatal accident of a teen sailor
participating in the Severn Sailing Association youth program in Annapolis,
MD. Here are some of the findings:
* The accident was caused by a chain of small events. Had Olivia not been
dousing the spinnaker at the moment the boat jibed accidentally, she
probably would not have been pressed by the boom and vang into the area of
the trapeze, where she inadvertently hooked onto the bail and became
tangled in the rigging. Evidence that this connection was accidental is
that the hook was in the wrong eye on the bail. While the accidental
connection might have been avoided had there been a nubbin or guard under
the hook, nubbins have been known to obstruct a connection or make it
difficult to disconnect. The harness did not have a quick-release system,
but this also is not a reliable cure-all.
* According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Olivia's death
was an accidental drowning, with no head trauma or other serious injury.
Like many drownings, this one occurred extremely rapidly.
* Both sailors wore appropriate Coast Guard-approved life jackets. As
Sarah's brave effort indicates, the life jacket would have floated Olivia
up into the air pocket had it not been for her entanglement in the rigging.
* The conditions were not excessive for the boat and crew. While the crew
was somewhat inexperienced with spinnakers and trapezes, they had sailed
this boat all week in more wind, without trouble and with caution (as the
early spinnaker takedown indicates). Both had had been trained in capsizes
and recoveries, though not in a trapeze boat.
RAMBLER (12 pages): As a result of the US yacht RAMBLER 100 losing their
keel and capsizing in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race, US SAILING conducted a
Safety Review to answer two questions: What should American Sailors learn
from the RAMBLER 100 capsize during the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race and what
improvements to US SAILING Procedures and Regulations might prevent a
reoccurrence of this incident. Here are some of the safety reviewer's
observations and notes:
- Digital Selective Calling (DSC) was installed but not used
- Handheld VHF never made it topside
- Satcom C was installed but not turned on
- Have not found the 14 ton keel yet. Salvage cost exceeds value of metal
in the keel.
* Many things went very seriously wrong. The fact that there were no major
injuries or casualties can be credited to the calm and professional manner
in which the crew worked together and helped each other but LUCK also has
to be mentioned. Had any one of several fortunate circumstances been
different the outcome would surely have been significantly different.
* No casualties or injuries should not be interpreted to mean that serious
corrective actions are not required. All offshore racers, especially those
with canting keels and movable ballast, should at least have access to a
grab bag and a liferaft from an inverted position.
Conclusions should not be made based on the report excerpts listed above.
Please read the complete report. These three reports can be found in their
RECOGNIZING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SPORT
Annapolis, MD (October 28, 2011) - US SAILING presented its highest honors
during Friday night's Annual Meeting Awards Dinner at the Annapolis Yacht
Club in Annapolis, Md.
- Dave Rosekrans (Cincinnati, Ohio) received the prestigious Nathanael G.
Herreshoff Trophy for his outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing
in the U.S.
- The Annapolis Yacht Club earned the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for its
superior organization and execution of the Beneteau First 36.7 North
American Championship, held in October of 2010.
- Matthew Chao (Boston, Mass.) was honored with the Gay S. Lynn Memorial
Trophy for his exceptional contributions to sailors with disabilities and
to the sport of disabled sailing.
- Sailing safety expert Ron Trossbach (Green Cove Springs, Fla.), and sail
trainers Jo and Dale Mogle (Punta Gorda, Fla.) received the President's
- Ken Legler (Reading, Pa.) was announced as the recipient of the Harman
Hawkins Trophy, awarded annually to an individual who has played a major
role in advancement of race administration.
- Veteran Umpire Ron Ward (Annapolis, Md.) received the Judge's Emeritus
Award for his long and distinguished service to the Judges Program of US
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REDEMPTION FOR WALKER
(October 29, 2011) - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing surged to a commanding victory
in the Iberdrola In-Port Race in Alicante, taking maximum points from the
first competitive action in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 to gain an early
advantage over their rivals. Light shifty winds ultimately shorted the
The crew, led by British skipper and double Olympic silver medallist Ian
Walker, roared home to a massive 14-minute win over their closest rivals to
make it a dream debut for the first team from the United Arab Emirates to
enter the race. Walker led the modestly-resourced Irish/Chinese Green
Dragon team to fifth place in the eight boat 2008-9 edition.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were second, ahead of CAMPER with
Emirates Team New Zealand in third. Team Sanya edged Groupama sailing team
in the battle for fourth and fifth, with Team Telefonica trailing home.
"It's a great win -- I feel fantastic," said Walker on board Azzam, the
team's strikingly designed racing yacht. "It's a great start for Abu Dhabi
Ocean Racing. I don't think it means too much but I said before we left the
dock that whoever wins today's race can go home with a spring in their step
and look forward to the week ahead."
The in-port race marked the start of the epic 39,000 nautical mile round
the world race, tipped to be the most hotly contested edition in the
eventīs 38-year history. And after opening their account with a crucial
win, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will go into the first offshore leg (to Cape
Town on Nov. 5) with a maximum six points and a psychological advantage.
In-port races take place in all 10 Host Ports around the world, testing the
crews' skills at close-quarters manoeuvres and tactics. More than 20 per
cent of all points are up for grabs in the in-port racing, which could
prove vital when overall positions are decided. The races also provide a
show for the millions of people who will watch the race worldwide. -- Read
PROTEST: Groupama sailing team submitted a protest against Camper for using
a system enabling them to cant the mast astern, which is strictly forbidden
in the VOR race rules. This protest follows on from those lodged by Abu
Dhabi, Puma and Telefonica on the same matter, without success. In this
latest process, Groupama sailing team has the benefit of Telefonica as a
witness. However, their protest was later dismissed.
"Camper's adjustable headstay system has been a major topic," PUMA skipper
Ken read said in Scuttlebutt 3454. "While the rest of the fleet pinned
their headstay at one length, Camper has a hydraulic ram to adjust the rake
of the mast in different conditions. For sure the rest of the fleet read
the rule in a way that you couldn't do this, but the rules makers had a
Results (Skipper, Team, Yacht Design)
1. Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Farr Yacht Design
2. Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing, Juan Kouyoumdjian design
3. Chris Nicholson, CAMPER, Marcelino Botin design
4. Mike Sanderson, Team Sanya, Farr Yacht Design
5. Frank Cammas, Groupama, Juan Kouyoumdjian design
6. Iker Martinez, Team Telefonica, Juan Kouyoumdjian design
Photo of all the teams can be seen here:
VIEWING: Assisted by coffee, I clicked on to watch the 0500 PDT start of
the In-Port race, and must commend the broadcast team on their first race
production. There were cameras on and off the boat, multiple angles on
everything, and commentators who only occasionally dumbed down their
observations. They even had Camper navigator Will Oxley mic'd during the
race to provide his strategic analysis. The start of Leg 1 to Cape Town on
Nov. 5th will be shown live. Start time is 1400 CET (Spanish time). - Craig
TUNNICLIFFE WINS FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND
Key Biscayne, FL (October 30, 2011) - In a dramatic conclusion to five days
of racing, Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) and her Team Maclaren crew
Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) won
the 2011 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta over Genny Tulloch
(Sausalito, Calif.) and her Team GetSailing Alice Manard Leonard (East
Haven, Conn.) and Jenn Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.).
With this win, Tunnicliffe secures the berth to represent the USA at the
2011 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Combined World Championships,
Dec. 3-18, in Perth, Australia.
First up was the final match of the semi-finals to determine third and
fourth place between Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) and Stephanie Roble
(Chicago, Ill.). Barkow came into today with one win on her score card in
the "first-to-two-wins" round and went at Roble, quickly winning the match
to seal third place.
Barkow sails with Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.) and Alana
O'Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) as Team 7 Match Race, while Roble, Maggie Shea
(Chicago, Ill.) and Darby Smith (Chicago, Ill.) represent Chicago Match
As the top four skippers at this qualifying event, Tulloch, Barkow,
Tunnicliffe and Roble advanced to the second, and final, selection event
for the 2012 Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, scheduled for May 4-7, 2012
at the Olympic sailing venue. The winner of that event will represent USA
at the 2012 Olympic Games. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-103011
LIFE IS ALWAYS GOOD IN THE BVI
Virgin Gorda, BVI (October 30, 2011) - It was another perfect day in
paradise as 47 teams lined up in the qualifying rounds of the
Gill-sponsored Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship at the Bitter End
For both the morning and afternoon flights, there was bright sun, flat
water, with breeze in the mid-teens as the competitors raced in Hobies,
Lasers, Rhodes 19s and Hunter 21s for the eight spots in the club
championship that takes place in IC 24s on Thursday.
The Gill SSC Championship is being held in conjunction with the 25th Annual
BEYC Maclaren Pro-Am, where the resort guests crew for the invited skippers
that include Anna Tunnicliffe, Ed Baird, Zack Railey, Dave Ullman, Andrew
Campbell and Peter Holmberg. - http://www.beyc.com/index.php/proam.html
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* La Trinite-sur-Mer, France (October 28, 2011) - The fourth and final day
of racing at the Student Yachting World Cup added three more
windward-leeward races to the total of 13 races. Having led from the first
day, Euromed Arthur Loyd (FRA) closed out today to win the 2011 edition.
Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and Maine Maritime Academy
(Castine, Maine) are in sixth and eleventh, respectively. Fifteen
university teams representing 14 countries raced in the 9.54 m Grand
Surprise. Event website: http://www.sywoc.org/
* At 05:13:25 GMT on Friday 28 October, New Zealand's Ross and Campbell
Field took first place in Leg 1 of the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean
Race (GOR) crossing the finish line in Cape Town after 32 days 17 hours 13
minutes and 25 seconds and 7,300 miles of racing from Palma, Mallorca, on
their Verdier-design Class40 BSL averaging 9.3 knots. They finished 89
miles ahead of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France, who
arrived in second place at 19:43:40 GMT (21:43 local) on Friday evening. --
Full story: http://globaloceanrace.com
* The 4,730nm double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race, scheduled to start
on October 30th, has been postponed. The decision was taken because of the
approach of a very significant low pressure system due to generate storm
force winds for the 35 teams that will race from Le Havre, France to Puerto
Limon, Costa Rica. The start is postponed to a date to be announced later
depending on the evolution of this depression. But it will not be set
before Wednesday. -- http://www.transat-jacques-vabre.com/english-section
* (October 29, 2011) - San Diego Congressman Brian Bilbray (CA-50) today
introduced H.R. 3270, the America's Cup Act of 2011, with strong bipartisan
support. This legislation temporarily and narrowly waives the provisions
set forth in the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones
Act, making it lawful to hold the sailing competition closer to the
coastline and in U.S. bays and harbors. The Act will protect the interests
of the America's Cup World Series event scheduled in San Diego on November
12-20. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/Laws-103011
* World Laser Champion and 2010 ISAF World Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby
from the Gosford Sailing Club, has been named Australia's 2011 Male Sailor
of the Year, beating a field which included five other world champions. -- MySailing,
read on: http://www.mysailing.com.au
* Grant Beck, New Zealand's most successful Olympic Coach ever, received
the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy as the 2011 Sailor of the Year. This award
won by Beck on 28 October 2011 is the premier award in New Zealand Sailing,
for outstanding contribution to yachting, and is given to someone who has
demonstrated absolute world class abilities over their career. -- Full
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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 Chris Caswell:
Loved the photo in Scuttlebutt 3458 (Photos of the Week) of the boat with
the skipper name. Cole Trickle was actually the race driver played by Tom
Cruise in Days of Thunder. Whatever the source of the name, I also love the
idea of skipper's names on the hull. But if it becomes like WWII fighter
pilots, who put their names below their cockpits, the next step is to have
little symbols not to show enemy aircraft shot down, but perhaps winners in
protests (a tiny rule book), class championships (tiny trophies) or, for
long-distance racers, a symbol for the race (tiny lei for TransPac/tiny
margarita glass for Mexico).
* From Alistair Munro:
Further to John Oliver's escapades in his 10 foot international Cadet
without a lifejacket (in Scuttlebutt 3458), I am a bit younger and times
had changed. We had to wear a Kapok buoyancy aid that made you sink like a
lead balloon. If you fell in you had to swim to the surface to keep alive.
Mind you we were a lot harder in those days as the wind used to blow harder
and the seas were definitely bigger.
* From Kitty Slocum Eaton:
I was most tickled to see Chaz's name in print (last week in Scuttlebutt).
We were crew mates on CHARISMA with Capt. Robbie Vaughan on a delivery from
Annapolis to West Palm Beach in 1973. I have never met anyone who could
talk so much and tell so many different stories. Chaz was a great addition
to the crew for his liveliness as well as his sailing skills.
* From Bruce Thompson:
I agree that conducting radio communications between the race committee and
the racers is a racer friendly policy. I would point out that the Lake
Michigan Sail Racing Federation (LMSRF) Area 3 race management committee
has been doing this since the mid 1990s. Here is a direct quotation from
the 1996 race book under the general heading Radio Communications:
"20.2 The Race Committee shall attempt to report visual signals and other
pertinent information over VHF Channel 69. This information is provided as
a courtesy to competitors and does not in any way alter the responsibility
to observe the Race Committee's visual signals which govern the conduct of
the race. Errors or omissions involving such courtesy broadcasts shall not
be grounds for redress."
Beware of the afternoon, as it will come sooner than expected, and remind
you of how little you did this morning.
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