SCUTTLEBUTT 3483 - Tuesday, December 6, 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 Sails, North U, and Morris Yachts.
The key to success in world-class sailboat racing, according to 51-year-old
Andre Rademaker of the Netherlands, is to train with the best, train hard,
and "make it fun."
He should know. For the past seven years, Rademaker has been training with
fellow Dutchman Thierry Schmitter, 43, who is the best in the world. The
strategy seems to be working. In the 2011 International Association for
Disabled Sailing (IFDS) World Championship, held last summer in Weymouth,
England, Schmitter finished first and Rademaker second in their event, the
However, Jan. 7-15, 2012, when the Worlds will be held on Charlotte Harbor,
Florida, training time will be over and a fierce duel will take place.
That's because the one who bests the other will go on to represent his
native Holland in the 2012 Paralympics, to be held next summer, again in
Rademaker said he learned to sail at 14 on a lake. He hoped to make
Holland's Olympic team. However in 1979, he was struck by a car and
seriously injured while riding a motorbike across a street. He was 19.
Rademaker spent the next three years in a hospital. He underwent 48
surgeries. A turning point came in 2001, after he finally had an infected
leg amputated. "It was a relief, actually," he said. "It was the end of a
long story and a start all over again."
He soon began competing in wheelchair basketball. As a consequence, he ran
into an Olympics sailing coach. The coach suggested he give sailing a try.
"When I was dreaming, I was always dreaming about sailing," Rademaker said.
"I was in the boat. It's the kind of feeling that you get. I was always
trying to get back to it, you know."
Schmitter also has lived a life rich in challenges. As a youth, he enjoyed
windsurfing and catamaran racing. As a young man, he became a mountaineer
and an extreme skier. In 1995, he participated in the Dutch K2 Expedition,
climbing above 24,000 feet.
In November 1998, however, Schmitter fell some 90 feet while climbing a
frozen waterfall in the Swiss Alps. He broke his back and was paralyzed. --
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HOW READY WILL THEY BE?
Before the start of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, it was observed that
while the fleet was small at six boats, it was likely the most competitive
group top to bottom that the race had ever seen. So when favorites PUMA and
Abu Dhabi dismasted on the first leg, and longshot Team Sanya suffers hull
damage, the question has to be asked: "Can they still win?"
All three appear to be on course to complete repairs before the start of
the Cape Town In-Port race on December 10th, but there is a big difference
between being able and being ready. If all goes according to plan, which is
razor thin for PUMA and Team Sanya, the three injured teams will not be
nearly as rested or prepared as the three teams that were able to complete
"The time between legs has been cut down by a week, which makes it very
hard to do everything that's needed on a boat like this, and even though we
got here first, we are running low on time all the same," says Horacio
Carabelli, Team Telefonica's technical director. "This change in the
regatta isn't favourable when it comes to getting the boats ready and it
makes it even more tough for those who come in further behind".
Since finishing the leg to Cape Town in third, the Groupama 4 shore team
has been working flat out to work on improvements to their boat. Pierre
Tissier, head of boat construction: "These past six days have seen us
checking the carbon and mechanical structures and we also unstepped the
boat's mast, daggerboards and rudders. We also cleaned the hull beneath the
waterline and checked over the whole structure. Some slight repairs and
modifications have been required to improve life for the sailors onboard."
Arriving in second position, CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson sees
reliability as a bigger factor than ever in the Volvo Ocean Race.
"Ultimately I was not hugely surprised by the level of attrition we've seen
to date. These are not the same Volvo (Open) 70s of previous races and any
comparison to earlier races is a bit pointless. I'm not saying that we're
any better or any worse than the others but we have done everything that we
possibly can to ensure that the type of breakages we've seen so far don't
happen to us." -- Source: Event and team media
* With PUMA in transit to Cape Town, skipper Ken Read reflects on their Leg
1 dramas and being plucked from the ocean off Tristan da Cunha:
* Photos of the hull reconstruction on Team Sanya:
* 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. -
HOT AND LIGHT AT ISAF WORLDS
Perth, Australia (December 5, 2011) - The first day of fleet racing in
Perth was held in light, fluctuating breezes as four classes took to the
water on Day three of the ISAF Sailing World Championships. With only the
lightest of sea breezes reaching just over ten knots, the temperature in
Perth soared to 93F degrees.
This was the third day for Women's Match Racing, where the 29 teams are
divided into two groups for the first round robin series. The top two teams
from each group automatically advance to the quarterfinals, while teams
ranked 3rd through 10th in each group come together for a 16 team round
robin. The top four teams from the second round robin complete the
quarterfinal stage. Both American teams (Anna Tunnicliffe and Genny
Tulloch) are in contention for the automatic quarterfinal bid.
Racing commenced for the Women's RS:X, Laser Radial, Finn and Men's 470
classes, which begins with a qualifying round to determine which teams
advance to the gold round, with the top ten teams then advancing to the
medal race on the final day. Leading the charge for North America are
Americans Zach Railey (3rd-Finn), Paige Railey (4th-Laser Radial), and
Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl (13th-470 M).
The forecast is for light winds to continue on Tuesday with an increase
thereafter. Here is the racing schedule:
Women's Match Racing (Elliott 6m), December 3-16
Women's Windsurfer (RS:X W), December 5-11
Women's One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial), December 5-11
Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy (Finn), December 5-11
Men's Two Person Dinghy (470 M), December 5-11
Men's Keelboat (Star), December 11-17
Men's Windsurfer (RS:X W), December 12-18
Men's One Person Dinghy (Laser), December 12-18
Women's Two Person Dinghy (470 W), December 12-18
Men's Skiff (49er), December 12-18
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
Competition. -- Event website: http://www.perth2011.com
ON THE OLYMPIC TRAIL - ZACH RAILEY
American Olympic medalist Zach Railey shares with Harken.com his training
for the 2012 Olympics, his superstitions, his future goals, and what it's
like to share his Olympic dreams with his sister, USSTAG Laser Radial
representative Paige Railey.
* Can you tell me about your training program?
ZACH RAILEY: Physical fitness has become a major part of any Olympic
campaign. My training week consists of five days on the water, between two
and four hours, Monday through Friday. Then, I do four cardio sessions. Two
of these are on rowing machines; the other two focus on running and agility
drills. And I also lift weights six times a week.
* Am I correct that you didn't sail in college?
ZACH RAILEY: No, I didn't. I was too big for the 420 or the FJ - I was 6'3"
and 185-190 pounds. So I made the decision to go to the University of
Miami. It's a great school and the US SAILING Center Miami is right there,
so this gave me the opportunity to train full-time and work towards the
Olympics while I was in school.
* Is it intimidating to race against four-time Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie
in the Finn class??
ZACH RAILEY: "Intimidating" isn't the right word - "motivating" is better.
A lot of people would be discouraged to race against Ben, but it encourages
me to sail harder. The primary reason that I wanted to do an Olympic
campaign was because I wanted to race against the best sailors in the
* I've heard that you're superstitious - any truth there?
ZACH RAILEY: I'm as superstitious as you can get! I have three things: I
always wear my University of Miami hat when I race; I have a song that I've
been listening to for years before I go out sailing - nobody knows what it
is, not even my family - and the last thing is the shaving. I'll shave the
night before a regatta, but then I don't shave during the event, unless I
qualify for the medal race - then, I'll shave the night before.
* How do you apply your game face?
ZACH RAILEY: I use visualization practices to go through an entire race and
visualize what I want to do that day. I visualize myself having a good
start and executing the important things. Then, I listen to that one song
right before I launch, and my coach and I check out conditions. The biggest
thing is the visualization.
Read on: http://www.harken.com/Interviews/Zach-Railey.php
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SUMMER IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN
(December 5, 2011; Day 14 - 23:00:00 UTC) - After a 24 hour run of 703.8
nm, Loick Peyron (FRA) and his team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque
Populaire V are now 1777.1 nm ahead of the current non-stop
circumnavigation Jules Verne Trophy record of 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52
seconds set by Franck Cammas on the 103-foot Groupama 3 in 2010.
Humming along at an average of 29.3 knots over the past 24 hours, their
easterly route across the Southern Ocean has them slipping further south
too. Brian Thompson, helmsman/trimmer, comments on the summer weather in
the southern hemisphere:
The water has dropped from 10C to 7C...it's the water temp that makes the
difference. We are on an equivalent latitude to La Rochelle in the north,
yet it's feeling distinctly wintry. I am sure La Rochelle is balmier today,
even in mid winter! Another gybe southwards likely tonight, so it may be
soon time to put the boots on for the first time this trip, and get the
gloves ready, just in case.
I have not got wet even once, am in the same thermals I had at the start,
though had lighter gear for the tropics. The key is to put on the right
outer layers, so you don't get the inner layers wet. The latex seals on the
neck and cuffs of the foul weather top are keeping all the salt water out.
I do remember very well having water wicking up the arms in gear years ago
- those days thankfully have passed. -- Full report:
GIVING THOUGHT TO THE NEXT STEP
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
US SAILING's Junior Olympic Sailing Program is a nationwide series of
sailing regattas for youth ages 8 to 21. The Junior Olympics were started
in 1997 to draw more young sailors to the sport through this nationwide
family of events. In 2011, 23 events were held throughout the U.S.
I have no idea whether the program has achieved its long-term goal of
"giving young sailors a foundation they can build on for a lifetime of
enjoyment on the water". I know other sports have Junior Olympics, which
are more of a feeder for the elite group of athletes and not so much to
grow the grassroots. The 'Olympic' brand does infer excellence.
I received a report from this past weekend's Junior Olympic event where 136
juniors participated at the US Sailing Center of Martin County in Jensen
Beach, FL. What caught my interest was that the Open BIC and Techno 293
Windsurfer - two classes new to the U.S. youth scene - were among the three
fleets. The other class was the Optimist.
Most of the JO's have the prominent junior boats such as the Optimist,
Laser, and Club 420. But depending on the location, there is some
diversity. One event had a Thistle fleet, one had a Flying Scot fleet, and
another with an N10. There were a few that had 29ers, and a few more with
Open BIC and Techno 293 fleets.
Two years ago, the same JO event in Jensen Beach had only prominent junior
boats. I'm not sure if there is a growing trend toward diversity, but if
there was it would seem to be a good thing. Every class of boat comes with
its own culture. And every kid is a little different.
This is all so different from my junior experience. When I aged out of
Sabots, there was no youth doublehanded boat. Instead I windsurfed and
sailed Hobie 16s, Snipes, and keelboats. And I still do. Now that there are
many more youth boat options, young sailors tend to participate in youth
events for more years.
If the long-term goal of the JO's is to build "a lifetime of enjoyment on
the water", hopefully someone is thinking of how to extend a young person's
enjoyment on the water beyond these junior boats. Otherwise, the future 49
year olds may not still be in the sport.
US SAILING's Junior Olympic Sailing Program:
* Palm Beach, FL (December 2, 2011) - Jim Swartz's IRC-class Vesper won
first-to-finish honors in The Sailfish Club of Florida/Cruising Club of
America's 2011 Wirth M. Munroe Memorial Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach Yacht
Race, held 2 December 2011, with an elapsed time of 3h 42m 11s over the
50nm course. Carinthia, skippered by owner Frank Kern, won first on
corrected time in the PHRF classes. -- Full report:
* The Notice of Race for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race is now available,
which includes new requirements for crew training, satellite telephones,
and life jackets and safety harnesses. The 48th Newport Bermuda Race will
start on June 15, 2012 off Castle Hill, Newport, RI and finish 635 miles
and several days later off St. David's Head, Bermuda. Details at
* The Melges 32 is the big skiff for the keelboat crowd, with the class
providing racing for the pro- and semi-pro sailors. And like most elite
racing, they tend to schedule their events in good places. Like South
Florida. In the winter. With sunscreen. Big breeze met with the 18 boat
fleet, and photographer John Payne was there to capture it all. Enjoy:
TOM MORRIS LIBRARY DEBUTS WITH WALTER CRONKITE COLLECTION
Morris Yachts is proud to announce that the soon-to-be-built National
Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) in Annapolis MD is dedicating their library to
Morris Yachts' founder, Tom Morris. The library makes its debut with The
Walter Cronkite Collection - a generous donation of over 225 books by the
estate of Walter Cronkite. The Tom Morris Library is now online as a
Virtual Library. It will exist in physical form at the NSHOF building when
it is built on the Annapolis waterfront adjacent to the U.S. Naval Academy.
The Library is being made possible through generous donations by family and
friends of Tom Morris, who passed away in December 2008. Visit:
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SCUTTLEBUTT FORUM: AN INAPPROPRIATE MOB HAIL
Yesterday, a boat loudly hailed, "Man Overboard" during a starting sequence
while a couple of boat lengths from the committee boat and a couple of
other boats. All 3 of us on the committee boat immediately started looking
for the MOB and assessing the need to abandon the race, haul anchor and
make an announcement over the radio.
As PRO, I made the assessment that the 2 boats nearest the hail had the
best opportunity to retrieve the MOB and the RC should stay out of the way.
However, as no one was visible in the water, the fear of someone under the
water welled up quickly.
The other boat nearest immediately changed direction to lend assistance.
The boat on which the crew hailed MOB immediately turned to retrieve the
After the Captain of the boat asked his crew to point to the MOB, the crew
who hailed told his Captain, it was merely his beer coozie that went
overboard. The Captain said he would not return for the coozie. The crew
then made two more MOB hails. Of course 3 loud MOB hails were heard from
much further away than the comment to his skipper that it was just his
No boats were materially harmed in the starting sequence by the immediate
actions taken. However discussions following the inappropriate MOB hail
were a distraction. The hail was not made to gain an advantage over another
* While this is obviously a safety issue, is it a violation of Rule 2, as
would be an inappropriate starboard hail as in Case 41 of the current
* If so, did the RC have an obligation to lodge a protest?
Posted by B Keim in the Forum:
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