SCUTTLEBUTT 3503 - Wednesday, January 11, 2012
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: Melges Performance Sailboats, IYRS, and Quantum Sails.
RIDING TWO HORSES AT ONCE
(January 10, 2012) - Britain's three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben
Ainslie will be helping the Americans to defend the America's Cup next year
in a strange hybrid deal announced today at London's Festival Hall.
In a move which seems to have him riding two horses at once, he will be
contesting the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) representing the Royal
Cornwall Yacht Club but is being welcomed into the San Francisco-based
Oracle defence team and saying he hopes Oracle will win the cup.
How he would vote in the competitor forum, which includes teams from
France, China, Korea, Spain, Italy and New Zealand, is unclear, as is
whether he intends to pay the $200,000 entry fee that would give him a full
vote at the America's Cup table.
The 34th America's Cup, which started with a yacht of that name beating the
best of Britain in a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851, will be staged
in San Francisco next year, But Ainslie, who has long wanted a campaign of
his own and had seemed to be on his way with Sir Keith Mills' Origin team,
will have to wait under the terms of the deal struck with the man appointed
to run the next cup, Kiwi Sir Russell Coutts.
Coutts has welcomed him, expensively, into the Oracle fold with the
creation of Ben Ainslie Racing, which should make its debut in San
Francisco in September in a 45-foot, wing-powered catamaran of the kind
used in a series of exhibition regattas. The extent of the funding from
Oracle is unclear and it is said that Ainslie will be paying his own bills.
Until September, Ainslie has been picked to represent Britain at the
Olympic sailing regatta in Weymouth. A win there would give him a fourth
consecutive gold medal to add to his silver in Savannah in 1996.
Before that he faces a tribunal hearing into being disqualified from the
last races of a world championship in Fremantle last month for leaping from
his Finn singlehanded dinghy onto a television boat to remonstrate with the
driver. A jury at the time said there were mitigating circumstances and the
British tribunal being convened by the Royal Yachting Association is
expected to say that the disqualification was punishment enough.
But the tribunal findings will be passed to the International Sailing
Federation's executive committee. As this was not his first brush with
authority for gross misconduct, Ainslie must hope that he is not given a
suspension that would prevent him from competing in his home Olympics. --
Stuart Alexander, The Independent, read on:
COMMENT: Ben said in his announcement that his challenging team will be
underwritten by Oracle for the AC45 races, and that he will be joining
Oracle for the 2013 defense once the AC72's are launched. To be clear,
Ben's team must enter the America's Cup to compete in the ACWS... which I
understand is occurring. So Stuart's comment above about voting rights is
on point, and if Ainslie's team does have voting rights, it does make you
wonder who may influence them. And I can't wait to hear the ACWS broadcast
commentators try to explain this arrangement to joe public. - Craig Leweck,
MATCH RACING IN THE POOL
At the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show (Jan. 26-29), the Chicago Match Race
Center will be hosting nine mini match race regattas in a large pool, using
RC sailboats provided by Chesapeake Performance Models. The regattas will
be setup to have eight skippers who will sail a quarter-final knockout
series in races that will take around four minutes each with umpires and
live commentary. Prizes will be given to the top three skippers of each
Preliminary schedule of regattas:
Thursday Jan. 26, 2pm: (Open) & 6PM (Industry)
Friday Jan. 27, 2pm: (Open) & 6PM (Chicago Fleet 67)
Saturday Jan. 28, 12pm: (Yacht Club Coaches), 3pm (MCSA Sailors), 6pm (Pro
Regatta featuring Melges, Doyle Sails, Dawn Riley and others)
Sunday Jan. 29, 12pm: (High School), 2pm (Open)
On Saturday at 2pm, Taylor Canfield will give an "Intro to Match Racing"
presentation. The CMRC booth will feature an Elliott 6M, the Women's
Olympic Match Racing boat, for all visitors to check out. If you would like
to participate in a regatta, attend the Canfield presentation or have any
questions, please contact Stephanie Roble at StephCMRC@gmail.com
NOTE: Thanks to the Inland Lake Yachting Association for sharing the above
MELGES DISPLAY AT CHICAGO'S STRICTLY SAIL
Check out the new Melges 29er at this year's Strictly Sail Boat Show in
Chicago's Navy Pier complex. Also on display at Space #230 will be a new
Audi Melges 20, Melges MC and Melges C Scow. See what the Melges Experience
is all about and why there is such a strong brand following! The Melges
Team will be keen to show off some of their new 2012 boats! For Boat Show
Savings, check out http://www.melges.com
TOO MANY CHANGES FOR THE WORSE
By Karl L. Kirkman
(January 10, 2012) - I am thoroughly enjoying the coverage of the Volvo
Ocean Race, and I am truly in awe of those who sail these machines
offshore. The boats are incredible, and the skills of the sailors
tremendous. However, things seem to be changing away from a valid offshore
round the world race to a series of short legs with the contestants carried
on the deck of ships to the next bazaar.
On the first leg we had half the entrants unable to hold together without
what would once have been called outside assistance, we have enormously
expensive logistics operations to fly, drive, and float things ahead or to
catch up when something breaks, and now (as I understand the news coverage)
we have a boat (Team Sanya) getting points for a race they will not even
sail in (see below).
I suppose that is one way to make the results appear close and "exciting".
It is sort of approaching other professional team sports where the teams
play for a "regular season" but then most teams get into the "playoffs"
anyway where the season record is of no importance whatsoever.
As to the coverage, I realized just how silly it had gotten when I found
myself intently "watching" on my screen a presentation graphic of a map of
the ocean with the speed, heading, and distance behind of invisible boats
in the "stealth zone" headed to an invisible finish line an unknown
distance away in an invisible location; then the tents were folded up and
everything loaded on the deck of awaiting ship and everyone was whisked to
just down the coast from the finish line to be off-loaded for a grand
entrance at exactly the right time of day.
A great show; absolutely, but a round the world race? Not even close. It is
pretty clear the sponsorship tail is wagging the dog here. It seems
possible that a podium finish is quite likely for a boat that, strictly
speaking, could not and did not even sail the course.
Overall leaderboard after Leg 2
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 6-1-1-1, 66 pts
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 3-2-2-2, 58 pts
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 5-3-5-4, 42 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2-DNF-3-3, 28 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1-DNF-4-5, 19 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 4-DNF-6-6-0**, 4 pts
** Still racing. If Team Sanya finishes the first stage of Leg 2 under
racing conditions, they will collect four points for sixth place for the
first stage of Leg 2 and then automatically add one more under race rules
for the second stage and a further two points for the Abu Dhabi In-Port
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Course details: http://tinyurl.com/Piracy-121111
RACE SCHEDULE: The five teams are in Abu Dhabi now preparing for the Pro-Am
Race on Thursday (Jan. 12), the In-Port Race on Friday (Jan. 13), and the
start of Leg 3 to Sanya, China on Saturday (Jan. 14). As in Leg 2, Leg 3
will be similar with a Stage 1 short sprint to meet the ship which will
transport the five boats to the safe haven port. If all goes to plan, Team
Sanya will join the fleet there, and all six boats will compete in Stage 2
to Sanya. - http://tinyurl.com/VOR-2011-12-schedule
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. -
BUSTING THE YOUTH BUBBLE
While youth events in the U.S. attract record numbers, what will it take to
transition these young sailors from their youth classes (ie, Optimist, Club
FJ, Club 420) to the options that exist outside the 'youth bubble'? A group
of adult Snipe sailors in Miami took the initiative and hosted an event for
young prospects... here is their story:
What does $75 get you these days? How about a charter boat, two-day clinic,
2-day regatta, housing, regatta insurance, coaching by international
champions, and even a Cuban lunch and dinner? Too good to be true? Nope!
Just ask the 56 young sailors, age 30 and under, who participated in the
First Annual Miami Snipe Invitational this past weekend (January 7-8).
The new event, put on by Miami's legendary snipe fleet, was designed to
introduce young high level racers to high level snipe racing. It worked.
Competitors came from FL, CA, MA, NY, NJ, CA, RI, SC, and San Juan, Puerto
Rico. Four teams alone came from Boston College. Seven races were completed
over two days. Twenty-three sailors raced in their first snipe event and
found that time in the boat pays off. The Snipe class vetrans were hard to
What made such a turn-out of high caliber sailors possible? Every owner of
a race ready snipe in South Florida lent their boat to a young team. Miami
Fleet members were race committee, mark boats and patrol boats. They picked
sailors up at the airport, housed them and fed them. Champions like Peter
Commette, Augie Diaz, Ernesto Rodriguez, Tyler Sinks, Kathleen Tocke, and
Nick Voss taught sailors to rig and tune boats, and coached them on and off
the water. Not a bad deal for $75. Hey, college sailors, what did you do on
your winter break? Join them next year. -- Full story:
NOT A HAPPY CAMPER
By Mario Sampaio
After having been part of the International Optimist Dinghy Association
(IODA) as a parent for over a decade with two sons, and traveling with one
of my sons who represented Portugal at the 2011 IODA World Championship
which was completed Monday in Napier, New Zealand, I have to conclude that
IODA does great damage to sailing.
First, because IODA has become a ruthless business enterprise owned by an
investment fund, charging outrageous prices for the events and the
equipment charters. IODA continues to ignore ISAF's repeated
recommendations to lower cost, and indeed, costs keep rising every year. A
sail costs 500 euros, a competitive boat costs around 4 to 5 thousand
euros, and a daily charter alone costs 75 euros, with the various suppliers
having all agreed to fix prices.
(I remind the readers that the construction drawings for the Optimist
dinghy can be obtained for free as the designer has forfeited his royalty
rights. I just fail to see how these current IODA practices encourage
sailing, or help in ISAF's efforts, initiatives and directives for
Second, because it runs its pinnacle event based on the criteria that its
officials have a great time off the water, suffice it to say this year's
best day for sailing was the lay day, but IODA officials were very busy
visiting the local vineyards and wineries, and it was simply impossible to
change that (the event completed only 11 of the 15 scheduled races). This
was the fourth consecutive year the IODA Worlds had no wind. Turkey,
Brasil, Malaysia and now New Zealand saw almost all races run with wind of
Speaking of 'officials' we can only wonder why at least some of these
officials also represent and sell all kinds of equipment and boats, as if
that doesnīt constitute a blatant conflict of interests; IODA refuses to
acknowledge that, in fact it states it's run by two or three people only,
the rest are 'volunteers'.
Third, because IODA interfered and demanded the Principal Race Officer and
the race committee to do what IODA wanted, and if they didnīt they would
have simply cast them aside, which they threatened to do on more than one
occasion. As a result, a lot of screaming took place onboard the committee
boat... as the PRO simply refused to submit to IODA's blackmail 'tactics'
(I could go on and on but the point is to illustrate, not create a soap
Much more...read on:
Additional details on the Singapore team:
SHOP BOATS, SHOP CAREERS
A trip this week to the Providence (RI) Boat Show is not only a chance to
indulge your passion for all things boating: it is also an opportunity to
learn if the industry holds a professional future for you. IYRS will be
exhibiting at the show from January 12-15 with the Rhode Island Marine
Trades Association and participating in the show's new DIY workshop series.
Come learn about IYRS training programs and attend a workshop on
"Troubleshooting Electrical Circuits" on Friday (6 pm) and Saturday (1 pm).
For more information:
* The "Old Finn Farts Regatta" will be held August 25-26, 2012. Hosted by
Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the event is a celebration of 60 years of Finn
sailors' domination of Olympic sailing. Limited to all Finn sailors still
alive. All Finn sailors must be capable of speech at least at the start of
the festivities. To be sailed in Ideal 18s, which, as there are no hiking
straps, are IDEAL for those who carried 50 lbs of wet sweaters and have bad
backs and creaking knees and can no longer hike (and some never did). --
* The world of ice sailing will draw athletes from around the world to St.
Ignace in February, when the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA)
hold its 2012 championship in Michigan. WISSA, launched in the early 1980s,
alternates its annual championship event between Europe and North America.
The event glides back into the United States for the first time since 1995
when it lands February 20-26 in St. Ignace. The WISSA championship is the
only gathering where wings, kites, and sails compete at one event. -- Full
* West Marine will be hosting its Seventh Annual New Product Review Day on
Jan. 20, encouraging inventors and vendors to show up and pitch new
products to be considered for sale in West Marine locations. West Marine
said it's always on the lookout for innovative new products for boats and
boaters, and inventors and innovators will have a chance to meet with West
Marine category managers to pitch their product or idea throughout the day.
-- Boating Industry, read on: http://tinyurl.com/WM-011012
* Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 CISA Advanced Racing
Clinic on April 12-15 at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach, CA. The
clinic hosts training in Club FJ, Club 420, International 420, 29er, Laser
and Laser Radial. Deadline to apply is February 1 (5pm PST). Details here:
ARE YOU IN THE MARINE INDUSTRY?
The Marine Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides
companies with online exposure of their personnel, product and service
updates. Plus each week the Scuttlebutt newsletter selects a sampling of
updates to feature in the Thursday edition. Are you in the marine industry?
Post your updates here:
SEE YOU IN KEY WEST!
Quantum Key West launches this weekend with a strong contingency of Quantum
team members on-site to assist with all your sail and regatta needs. The
Quantum Service Loft, located at the corner of Simonton and Front streets,
opens Friday to provide overnight sail repair and Q gear. Follow all the
action on our website with daily video, photos and reports from the
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 Mike Kirk, West End YC treasurer:
The consistent popularity of the West End Yacht Club's Races and
"Fungatters" has caught the eye of a traditional rum sponsor - Goslings
Black Seal Rum. At a suggestion from the Goslings distributor in the BVI,
the Club has agreed to take four of its 6 events and run them as a series
for the racing season from May 2011 to March 2012.
Boats are competing for the honor of a new trophy -The Gosling Cup!
Qualifying races to date in the series were: Foxy's Wooden Boat and Classic
Plastic Regatta, The Annual Firecracker 500 and the Gustav Wilmerding all
comers race. Two races to count for the trophy.
The climax and fourth Regatta in the series will be the infamous Dark and
Stormy two race series (so you can still qualify) to Anegada March 9th to
12th. It's all in the name! (Friendly debate still exists as to the name
Dark 'n Stormy vs. the literal Dark and Stormy race name but the rum tastes
just as good either way.) -- Read on:
Curmudgeon's Comment: Our hope is that The Gosling Cup is a lovely
perpetual trophy that will handily hold bottles of Gosling's Black Seal Rum
and Stormy Ginger Beer to make a crew-sized cocktail.
* From John Harwood-Bee:
Regarding the Olympic sailing Notice of race Media Guide in Scuttlebutt
3500, please tell me that somebody is at this moment mounting a challenge
to the ludicrous demands in this inequitable piece of nonsense. Given that
the Olympics is no longer an amateur event, surely some of the professional
sailors will have management teams ready to take issue.
Clause 2, dealing with 'in perpetuity' rights, would not stand up in most
courts if challenged. And what happens if a participant's existing sponsor,
let's say a watch company, suddenly finds its star appearing in an ad for a
competitor. Crazy! Just as worrying is the implication that the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the sponsors can use any footage
or photographs in any way they deem fit and without compensation to the
So who is going to receive all the monies for the use of these images? Oh,
of course, it's that bunch of suspects running the circus. As consultants
in sponsorship and intellectual property rights, we would never allow a
client to be restricted in this way. Guys, you need to band together to put
a stop to this restrictive practice. The IOC sponsors are participating in
the Games, NOT buying the rights to your endorsement. Either share in the
spoils or tell them where to shove it.
NOTE: Here is the link to the NOR that John refers to:
* From David S. Greene, Lake St. Clair:
I happen to agree that the ranks of people sailing is shrinking. This last
summer we probably invited in excess of 25 people to go out with us and no
one either had time or the desire to go. My wife, who is new to sailing,
just could not believe the lack of interest.
We have a fully refurbished C & C 39 which looks really sweet and is a
totally safe ride for newbies. In this fast paced world that we live in, I
think attitudes have changed. People want constant communication,
exhilaration, speed and are just not excited about spending a couple hours
going 5 or 6 miles per hour.
MANDATORY ATTENDANCE REQUIRED
The National Sailing Programs Symposium is the premier event for sailing
education in the United States. NSPS is the only conference of its kind
that brings together program directors, instructors, volunteers, parents
and industry representatives to share and learn best practices with one
another about running, maintaining and improving sailing programs.
Hosted in Long Beach, CA on January 11-14, Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck
will be the event's keynote speaker this Friday at 5:00pm. Held at Cabrillo
Beach Yacht Club, attendees will not be served dinner until they have sat
fully enamored with Craig's 45 minute presentation that will cover the
highs and lows of 2011, his soap box rants, and why we used to like to go
Four-wheel-drive just means getting stuck in more inaccessible places.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
APS - Ribcraft - North Sails - Harken
Melges Performance Sailboats - IYRS - Mount Gay Rum
Ullman Sails - Amazon.com - North U. - New England Boatworks
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers