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SCUTTLEBUTT 3482 - Monday, December 5, 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: Ultimate Sailing and Summit Yachts.
IS IT TIME FOR A NEW STANDARD?
Trapeze harness entanglement is a known cause for drowning or near death
events in sailing. In the U.S., the drownings of a 420 crew this past
summer and an 18 footer crew in 2008 were attributed to the trapeze
harness. And when Scuttlebutt spoke to several elite skiff sailors, they
believe harness accidents are far more common than is publicized. Skiff
champion and designer Julian Bethwaite was so motivated by a personal
experience to seek a solution. Here are his comments:
I designed a quick release harness, and used it for about three years. On
that harness the hook comes detached when you pull a string. We were about
to go into production, had the dies ordered, but then I loaned the harness
to a sailor on Lake Garda and learned he had taped the hook so that it
wouldn't come off. Such an adjustment rendered the harness pointless, so I
realized that this was not a sufficient solution if people were going to
defeat this feature.
So then we went looking for ideas that couldn't be manipulated. We tried
maybe 20 different options until we settled on the ball option. We also
tried a hook on the wire and a ring on the harness, and that worked quite
well. But we found the ball design to meet our goal, and while we make
them, it is not a product we actively market, partly due to confusion with
the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which requires a
removable hook, and obviously our harness doesn't have a hook.
(ISO 10862:2009 specifies requirements and test methods for quick release
devices as a component of the small sailing-craft trapeze system worn
whilst afloat. The quick release device is intended to quickly release the
wearer from entrapment and minimize the risk of drowning in the event of a
failure to release from the sailing-craft trapeze system by other means.
The quick release device is intended to be easily accessible and operated
in all conditions that might occur whilst in use, including when a craft is
capsized or inverted.)
There are no standards from ISAF on harness design, so we probably sell a
hundred of the harnesses a year. It is a good solution, it works, though it
does take a little practice to adjust to it. We are looking at some new
tooling to improve it, which I believe to be the ninth revision. I think
the 49er took that many revisions to get it right, so maybe we are there
with the harness too. But certainly the ball system we use offers a far
lesser chance of entrapment.
Beyond harness design, the other contributing factor is the rigging. Think
about all the lines in the boat. The big issue now is that spectra lines
float whereas the older ropes would sink. We used to have wire for the
trapeze wires, and they would sink, but now the spectra trapeze wires
float. The spinnaker halyard floats, which is why in the 29er we have
mandated that you have to have a spinnaker halyard gobbler so that the
chance of entrapment by a loose halyard on the floor of the boat are
So with an overturned boat, these new lines are all floating. And the hook
on the trapeze harness is designed to hook on things. Unfortunately, people
are still very slow to change their mind, to consider other systems. The
current fixed hook system on the trapeze harness is what we all have grown
up with, so perhaps the thinking is that if it was good enough for us, it
is good enough for our kids. But as the sport becomes more popular, I am
thinking that this notion is incorrect.
Bethwaite harness: http://tinyurl.com/Harness-120411
Quick release harness: http://www.apsltd.com/c-3825-trapeze-harnesses.aspx
It's standard for the 18 footer class to not require PFDs to be worn as
they are found to contribute to entrapment after capsizing. And some
experts contend the crew on trapeze boats should always carry a knife as a
safety measure for entanglement. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently seeking
comment regarding the need for approvals of Inflatable PFDs for children
ages 13-16; the age between when they are mandated to wear a PFD as per U.
S. Coast Guard Regulations and when they can legally wear an Inflatable
PFD. Comments are to be posted here:
PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
When the mast on PUMA Ocean Racing failed on Monday, November 21 in
the southern Atlantic Ocean, sailing under jury rig to Cape Town was going
to take too long. Less than 700 nautical miles away was the small island of
Tristan da Cunha, and for five days this would be their home as they waited
for help to arrive.
Help came on Friday (Dec. 2) when PUMA's Mar Mostro successfully got the
boat loaded on the container ship TEAM BREMEN and departed Tristan da Cunha
for Cape Town. Also in transit was their 30-metre spare mast, which on
Saturday made it to the team base after a journey that took it from the
United States to Cape Town via Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Johannesburg.
With the boat not due to arrive until December 6 and the Cape Town In-Port
Race set for December 10 the tight timeframe is still a major cause for
concern. "How tight is it going to be," asked PUMA general manager Kimo
Worthington. "It's going to be weather dependent. Last time in Cape Town it
blew 50 knots for four days and that shut the place down.
"We'll hopefully get the boat in on Tuesday night, we'll unload it, bring
it over here, and then pull the boat put of the water," he said. "We'll
hopefully get the rig in on Thursday, sea trial on Thursday and then let
Kenny and Brad Jackson and the sailors make the plan. We're still trying to
win a race here, not just compete.
"It's not just a case of throw the mast in and go. If you start rushing
around too much you make more mistakes and we can't afford those at this
point. And the guys have to see the families a little bit - it's been a
long month already." -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/PUMA-120411
* Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 began with one of the most dramatic
first nights in the race's 38-year history and continued in epic mode on
the way to the finish in Cape Town. A 52-minute video documentary and
written review provide a recap of the first leg:
* Live coverage of the Cape Town In-Port Race on Saturday, December 10 is
at 1300 GMT and the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi is the following day at the
same time. Follow the action at http://new.livestream.com/volvooceanrace
Overall Standings (In-Port 1 and Leg 1)
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 31 points
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 29
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 22
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 6
5. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 5
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 3
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012,
six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles of the world's
most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around
Cape Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient. Teams accumulate points
through nine distance legs and ten In-Port races. -
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FICKLE WINDS WELCOME ISAF WORLDS
Perth, Australia (December 4, 2011) - The weekend saw the opening of the
2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, where the Women's Match Race event
got the event started in the stadium-like arena in Fremantle's Inner
Harbour. And while the venue was awesome for spectators, it proved to be a
challenge for the wind gods.
Despite difficult conditions and shifty winds as the day progressed, world
number one Anna Tunnicliffe (USA-1) sailed true to form, leading her team
to win three of three on Saturday. "It was extremely tricky, the wind was
very very shifty but it provided interesting conditions and kept you on
your game," Tunnicliffe said.
Twenty-nine teams are competing, representing 20 countries. Teams are
divided in A and B fleets, with Tunnicliffe leading the A group on
Saturday. Conditions proved more puzzling on Sunday for the B group, where
Genny Tulloch (USA-2) won their lone race of the day. "It was a hard day,
we had to stay mentally prepared all day, and that's the way it is in light
air and shifty venues."
Racing continues on Monday in Women's Match Racing with Women's RS:X, Laser
Radial, Finn and Men's 470 classes also beginning their series. -- Event
CANADA: A top 10 finish in Perth qualifies a competitor to represent Canada
at the 2012 Olympic Games. Furthermore, for the Laser/Radial classes, if a
top ten is not achieved, the scores are carried over to the final trial
stage at Miami OCR. The 'Canuck' presence in Perth is the third largest
contingent of the 78 nations in attendance. Host country Australia leads
the entry charge followed by Great Britain. -- Full report:
BACKGROUND: The ISAF Sailing World Championships are held every four years,
bringing together the Olympic class organization to host their most
prestigious event. The 2011 edition will see over 1,100 sailors from 78
nations coming to Perth, Australia to compete in their class World titles
and to qualify their nations for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing
OVER TWO DAYS FASTER
(December 4, 2011; Day 13 - 22:45:00 UTC) - Loick Peyron (FRA) and his team
on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V today passed the Cape of
Good Hope on their attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy - the non-stop
After 11 days 21 hours 48 minutes and 18 seconds since leaving Ushant, Maxi
Banque Populaire V crossed the Cape of Good Hope, getting to the end of the
second intermediate segment in the Jules Verne Trophy and at the same time
shattering the time previously set. They have set the fastest time to the
equator, and now the fastest time to the first of three Capes.
"This record is almost indecent, remarked Peyron. "A few decades ago,
twelve days was the time set by Charlie Barr to cross the Atlantic, a
record he held for a long time. And today, it is almost the time it took us
to get to the Southern Africa. However, we should not forget that we are
sailing on an extraordinary machine. Banque Populaire is an amazing tool
that uses the intelligence of men and the work of a team. What we have just
achieved would not have been possible three years ago. We had to optimize
the boat and earn on an incredible experience."
Now sailing in the Indian Ocean, the Maxi Banque Populaire V is faced with
a difficult sea requiring the sailors to slow down a little bit. The
instructions given by the skipper are clear: we do not exceed 30 knots! "We
finally jibed and are now sailing on starboard," remarked helm/trimmer
Brian Thompson (GBR). "We had not made a maneuver since the Canaries, which
is also a record! The sea is very rough and we have to fight at the helm to
slow the boat down as it is very intense for her right now. We are going
along a front and should be arriving around the Kerguelen Islands by
Peyron's team is now 1,769.50 nm - over two days - ahead of the record of
48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds set by Franck Cammas on the 103-foot
Groupama 3 in 2010. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/BP-120411
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
* St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. (December 4, 2011) - (December 4, 2011) - For the
first year that the Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR) became an open event,
Finland's Staffan Lindberg and USA's Sally Barkow would meet in the Finals.
Lindberg lost to Barkow in the first race of the Finals and came back to
win the next three and the championship. The USVI's Taylor Canfield won the
Petite Final 2-0 over the USA's Dave Perry, thus each skipper finished
third and fourth, respectively. This four-day Grade 2 match race was sailed
in Inter-Club (IC)-24s. Daily reports here:
* The release last week in San Francisco of the 1,612-page environmental
impact report provides a final look at how people will live and get around,
on- and off-shore, during the competition in 2012 and 2013. The report
noted that the America's Cup World Series events will run from Aug. 11 to
19 and Aug. 27 to Sept. 2, with the Youth America's Cup Series taking place
in between. The Challenger Series will begin July 4, 2013 with America's
Cup match culminating the summer's racing in a best-of-nine series Sept. 7
to 22. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/SFChron-120411
* Ft. Lauderdale, FL (December 4, 2011) - After three days and eight races,
Steve Howe aboard Warpath, alongside of tactician Morgan Larson and
crewmembers Jeff Reynolds, Warwick Fleury, Zack Maxum, Mark Towill, James
Maloney and Tim Klein, have been crowned 2011 Melges 32 Gold Cup Champions.
For Howe, who won four of the races, this is his first major win in the
Melges 32 Class. Eighteen teams competed, with Ryan DeVos (Ed Baird
tactician) on Volpe and Joe Woods (Geoff Carveth tactician) on Red
finishing in second and third, respectively. -- Full report:
TIME TO START DREAMING OF 2012
Winter is just starting, but thoughts of spring sailing can't be far off.
Strictly Sail Chicago will be running from January 26-29, and Summit Yachts
will be there. Come and speak with Barry and George about the exciting Mark
Mills designed boats. See what we can build for you and your crew to create
your dream yacht. In the meantime, check out the great products 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 Gail McCarthy Turluck:
Following up on the lead article in Scuttlebutt 3481, I'm one of few in my
generation that hauled my children to sailing events I was going to.
Whether my dad's Star, T-10, C&C 43, Ericson 46, or Great Lakes 70, or my
trailer full of Sunfish, we were the family that sailed (and traveled)
together! They did summer programs for two summers at two yacht clubs, so
this may be why they are more adaptable.
I tried to launch a high school program for them but that proved difficult.
My son did a little college sailing; my daughter attended schools with no
team. They had other interests: Color Guard, Drum Corp, football, soccer,
swimming, wrestling and more. Today we all race, whether the big boat,
Star, Sunfish or other boats.
I love the fact that when I ask them if they want to go to a regatta, the
answer is often, "Yes!" Maybe if those my age start asking their now-adult
children to come along to a race it might not be too late, and to scoop up
those grandchildren that are starting to come along! What's going to make a
next step after Opti-Laser-420, I don't know, but I hope and pray some
solutions are found soon.
* From Manfred Schreiber:
Gary Jobson's article in Sībutt 3481 made me thinking about the activities
we are offering in our small club for the youth sailors. And yes, Gary is
definitely on to something (as expected from the headline) already within
the first paragraph. A tow to a regatta. Yes, we have done that with the
juniors and their boats in tow but lately we have gone for the van option
for too many parents "on stage". I will discuss and re-think the situation
with our trainers; I will give assistance when necessary.
One just has to listen more to the kids about what they are talking about,
when talking about sailing. And here it is the same as Gary experienced
with his daughters: They talk about the yearly cruise or the blue ribbon
regatta when I took them on my C/R. We are not competitive yet, but we have
a lot of fun. A lot to talk about in winter and I am glad that this article
has put new blood into my system.
* From Adrian Morgan:
Maybe it's because you can concentrate on just a handful of boats, but the
dramatic first leg of the Volvo was gripping. No surprise they had a
billion (was it?) hits to date. Too many boats and you kind of lose
concentration. But with Cammas, typically French and doing his own thing,
(and nearly succeeding), mega-funded Puma dismasting and the plucky
Spaniards, no doubt benefiting from their dinghy experience, driving
through to the first leg finish in Cape Town like young heroes - there's a
real sense of individual character.
And now we have that old sea dog Loick Peyron and BP vs Groupama going for
the Jules Verne, streaking into the Roaring 40s accompanied by "flying fish
as big as small salmon...", leaving a wake as smooth as a javelin track.
The tracker technology in both races is addictive. What a treat in store
for us armchair sailors.
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