SCUTTLEBUTT 3508 - Wednesday, January 18, 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: US Sailing, North Sails, and J Boats.
SUCCESSFULLY SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE
(January 17, 2012) - A vastly experienced yacht skipper died alongside two
of his crew after being pressured into sailing into atrocious weather,
court documents have revealed.
Skipper John Anstess, from Plymouth, Dave Rodman and Richard Beckman, died
in December 2006 when their catamaran was wrecked in a storm off the north
west coast of the United States. Mr Anstess, 55, was skippering the 44ft
(13.4m) catamaran Catshot for yacht delivery company Reliance Yacht
Management, based in Farnborough, Hampshire.
Despite his warnings about the weather, outlining an alternative route and
suggesting they lay up in San Diego, California, for the winter he was
pressured into continuing. The three were killed when the catamaran
capsized during a massive storm. Mr Anstess's body was never recovered.
His sister Wendy Wood successfully sued the company for negligence in
September 2010, details of which have only just been made public.
"In my judgment in this case Reliance's intervention and the pressure put
on the skipper were directly causative of the loss of the ship and the
lives of the crew," Admiralty Registrar Robert Jervis Kay said. "In all the
circumstances I do not think that it would be fair to make a finding of
contributory negligence against Mr Anstess and I decline to do so."
Mr Anstess, who never married, served in the army in South Africa, later
taking up sailing and became coxswain of a lifeboat boat there.
Mrs Wood, from Bere Alston, near Tavistock, said: "His life was the sea. If
there had been an accident and he had died, we could have accepted that but
this was totally unnecessary. It has devastated the family. It is something
you just don't get over. There has been no closure because his body was
Details of the case emerged from an investigation by BBC Inside Out South
which was screened last night. It claimed that Reliance pressured skippers
to sail into bad weather against their better judgment, costing three boats
and five lives. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/RYM-011712a
Reliance Yacht Management website:
BBC Insults Yacht Captains: http://tinyurl.com/RYM-011712b
BBC Gets it Wrong: http://tinyurl.com/RYM-011712c
The US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier was held last weekend in
California and Florida to determine the American representatives for the
ISAF Youth World Championship in Ireland on July 12-21.
In Long Beach, CA, ninety entrants from across the country competed on four
types of boats: separate classes for boy and girl Laser Radials, boy and
girl International 420 dinghies and boy and girl Techno 293 windsurfers;
doublehanded 29er skiffs were a coed class without gender designation. The
three day event saw no wind on Saturday, 2-6 knots on Saturday and 9-10
knots by Monday.
In Islamorada, Florida, the open F16 class at the Tradewinds Midwinter Open
Cat Nationals would select the multihull team. The first day on Friday was
windless, while Saturday and Sunday had winds of 20+ knots.
Boys: Mitchell Kiss, Holland, MI
Girls: Nikki Medley, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Girls: Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick/ Abigail Rohman, Darien, CT
Boys: Harry Koeppel/ Charles Bocklet, Mamaroneck, NY
Techno 293 Sailboard
Boys: Lucas Gonzalez, Miami Beach, FL
Girls: Margot Samson, Belleair, FL
29er Skiffs (coed)
Quinn Wilson/ Dane Wilson, Ojai, CA
F16 Catamaran (open)
Jeremy Herrin/ Sam Armington, Sarasota, FL
Long Beach report: http://www.abyc.org/event.cfm?id=558
Islamorada report: http://tinyurl.com/Forum-011712
ISAF Youth Worlds: http://www.isafyouthworlds.com/
COMMENT: While Florida in the winter offers great conditions, it's a
mystery why any event of such prominence would consider a California venue
for this time of year. From November through March, the winds out west tend
to be very light unless a cold front blows through. I understand this
qualifier rotates through the U.S. each year, but should geographic
fairness take precedence over quality conditions? - Craig Leweck,
THE COUNTDOWN TO US SAILING'S 2012 ROLEX MIAMI OCR
US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Miami OCR promises elite, international competition
on the waters of Biscayne Bay from Jan. 23 to Jan. 28, in the classes
selected for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. RMOCR is the second
stop on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit. Over 500 sailors from 25
countries are competing. Visit the RMOCR event website at
http://rmocr.ussailing.org/ for everything you need to follow the event,
including daily news, results, videos, photos, and more. Get even closer to
the action in Miami by using the "Cover it Live" feature.
PRIOR PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS A PISS POOR PERFORMANCE
For the US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier, some parents were unaware
their child would need a passport available for inspection at the on-site
registration. Not a trivial item, but one that was listed when the Notice
of Race was published in October. U.S. Olympian and Youth Coach Andrew
Campbell took advantage of this 'teaching moment' to discuss the subject of
For sailors young and old, planning for regattas is a part of the game.
Whether it means finding somebody to help put the Laser on top of the car
for a trip across town to interclub racing, or finding somebody to help
ratchet a Star trailer in a shipping container for a trip across the world
for a major championships, there is some level of advanced planning going
on in everybody's head.
It all starts with a simple thought: I think we should go to that regatta!
Now what? Whether it's easy or not, the responsibility for making to the
starting line always sits on the sailor's shoulders. Granted, sailors too
young to drive themselves to the event, but each step along the process of
getting to the starting line is a learning opportunity. For young sailors
these logistical problem-solving skills can build self-reliance and a sense
of personal responsibility. We know that once young sailors are on the
water, they are teaching themselves valuable lessons while developing
character as they interact with their equipment and other sailors in an
effort to get around the racecourse.
Often overlooked are the opportunities for young sailors to take the
administrative efforts into their own hands. The moment a sailor vocalizes
to his or her parents or to a coach: "Yes, I want to do that regatta" it
seems the common reaction is for the parent or coach to jump into action to
make it happen, instead of the sailor. Parents are often so keen to see
their young sailors be interested and active in the sport, they actually
handicap the sailor's development in the sport by taking the administrative
role out of the sailor's responsibility.
At some point sailors have to make the transition from having his or her
parents take care of all the details and have to make plans themselves.
This is the most important phase in a sailor's development in the sport.
The classic concepts of homework, attention to detail, and the value of
planning are taught every day in school to enable students to transition
into the real world with the capacity to administer their own lives.
Sailors should be taught those same lessons if they desire to pursue the
sport throughout their lives.
I will never forget dear old Dad prophesying that ancient truth summed up
by the 7P's (please excuse the PG13 language but it's the only way I
remember it): Prior Proper Planning Prevents a Piss Poor Performance. --
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/AC-011712
EARLY START BAGS THREE RACES AT KEY WEST
(January 17, 2012) - With three races conducted in strong winds, there was
opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the
second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to
further increase leads taken on Day 1.
Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges
32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin
Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical
decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and
the Samba Pa Ti team.
"We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a
big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going," said
Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at
Schwartz has America's Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum
professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. "You have to give
Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed," he said.
"I'm fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the
wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but
the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty
Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot
easterly winds. With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing
are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the
five-day regatta. -- Read on:
Here are some links to help follow the event:
Event website: http://tinyurl.com/KWRW-2012
Quantum Sails: http://tinyurl.com/Quantum-KWRW-2012
Sailing World: http://www.sailingworld.com/racing/quantum-key-west-2012
NORTH SAILS-POWERED BOATS PERFORM IN KEY WEST
North Sails-powered boats are performing well at the midweek point of 2012
Key West Race Week. Ran leads the Mini Maxi Class; West Marine Rigging/New
England Ropes leads the Melges 24s; Red leads the Farr 400s; Samba Pa Ti is
tied for 1st in the Melges 32s and Teamwork leads the PHRF ToT Division (J
Boat Subclass). With North Class Sail Development leaders and an overnight
sail care loft onsite plus free daily weather forecasts from Sailing
Weather Service, North Sails has got you covered! http://na.northsails.com
NO REST FOR THE WICKED
You need to think on your feet night and day to be a Volvo Ocean Race shore
manager. Just ask Nick Bice. The likeable Aussie somehow musters a smile as
he recalls that dark day in mid-December when a phone text at the unearthly
hour of 4:50 am turned the Team Sanya shore lynchpin's life upside down.
Bice was just about to go for a dawn jog when he heard Mike Sanderson and
the Chinese boat's crew had been stymied by a broken diagonal in their
rigging (D2) and had been forced to suspend racing while leading the fleet
by some 200 miles in Leg 2 (from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi).
It was time for the 33-year-old to discard his running shoes and put on his
thinking cap. Fast. "All I could think was, 'Where's the boat and where are
going to take it?' And the first thing to consider was that the D2 is
broken so we're just going to have to pull the mast out," he recalled.
"So I just did a Google Earth search down the coast of Madagascar and found
this little port. That then took me to the next town that was close by
which is Fort Dauphin. And I had a look on Wikipedia about Fort Dauphin.
What it said about the little town was that it was quite remote in
Madagascar, pretty hard to get to from the capital of Madagascar,
Antananarivo, 670 kilometres away but five days to drive there by car.
"But it had quite a substantial port there and also in the Wikipedia thing
it said that Rio Tinto have a huge mine there. That then led me to think,
'Okay we're going to have to pull the mast out, we're going to need a crane
and if anyone is going to have a crane it's Rio Tinto.'
"So after about 10 phone calls to Rio Tinto Australia, Rio Tinto UK I
finally got on to Rio Tinto Madagascar and talked to a guy there. And I
said 'Look, have you guys got a crane that we can use to pull our mast
out?' and I'm not sure how he understood exactly what I was talking about
but he did and that's when we said to Mike and the boys, 'Let's go head for
this port' and in saying that it was the closest port to go as well.
"And that's the reason why we ended up there." -- Read on:
ABU DHABI TO SANYA: All six boats will be rendezvousing at the safe haven
port in the Indian Ocean later this week to start the second stage of Leg 3
on around January 22, with the first boats expected to reach the finish
port of Sanya by February 4.
Course details: http://tinyurl.com/Piracy-121111
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Race schedule: 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. -
DON'T SIT ON YOUR THUMBS
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:
* For the first time the National Marine Manufacturers Association, working
with Transport Canada and Stats Canada, conducted research throughout the
marine industry and among NMMA members. The data reveal statistics about
Canada's recreational boating retail sales, participation and boater
demographics, the overall retail market, imports/exports and economic
factors that affect the industry. There were 44,400 new boats sold in 2011
and their estimated retail value was $1.6 billion. The figures represent a
22 percent decline in unit sales and an 18 percent decline in dollars from
2010. - Trade Only Today, full story: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-011712
* The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda celebrated this month the
official opening of its Clubhouse in the North Sound, British Virgin
Islands. The occasion marked the completion and launch of the Caribbean
location for YCCS which has its home base in Porto Cervo, Italy. Details:
* The Southern California Yachting Association will hold its 23rd Annual
Women's Sailing Convention on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at the Bahia
Corinthian Yacht Club, Corona del Mar. Primary sponsor is BoatU.S. This
event is open to all women interested in sailing from novice / beginner to
expert. -- Details:
* SAIL's annual Pittman Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative
gear and equipment in the sailboat market. Freeman K. Pittman was SAIL's
widely respected Technical Editor for 14 years, until he succumbed to Lou
Gehrig's disease in 1996. Each year SAIL honors Freeman's memory with the
Pittman Innovation Awards, which recognize the most innovative and
interesting new products on the market. -- Full report:
ONE-DESIGN AT KEY WEST AND BACK HOME
The USA J/80 Class is kicking off its 2012 Winter Tour with one of the
biggest fleets at Key West, followed by three stops in Miami and the finale
in Charleston. Whether you're a snowbird or just looking to enjoy great
racing close to home, check out the J/80! http://www.jboats.com/j80/
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 Rob McNeal:
In Scuttlebutt 3507, Peter Isler nailed it when he said (paraphrased) the
health of the sport is directly related to the social side of the events.
Right on Peter!
At any level, whether it be Key West Race Week, the Beer Can Thursday Night
series at Davis Island (FL) YC, or the fun races right here at Bayshore
Gardens YC (FL), the sailing was fun but the party after the sailing was
usually always better.
Of course the party usually required some sailing first to then be fun. I
take that back - I recall several regattas where the weather or surf was
just too much and we started the party early without ever touching the
The Hobie Fleet regatta parties are still legendary. Good parties led to
great pranks. Like when a competitor's Hobie 16 was placed on top of a
picnic gazebo at Ceder Key or when another gent's Hobie 14 was placed in
the hotel pool at St Augustine beach or when yours truly's Hobie 18 was
hung sideways, fully rigged in a tree at Ft DeSoto Park. I thought there
had been a tornado at 4 in the morning.
I do miss those parties, partially because I never got all the culprits
back fully, but mostly because of the fellowship, the fun and great friends
I made all over the country. The more competitive it got the less we
partied and the size of the fleets dwindled. Peter's on to something...so
where do we go from here?
* From Damian Christie:
So America's Cup defender Oracle is backing a de facto defence team - Ben
Ainslie Racing - in the AC45 World Series. Just another prime example of
the farce that the America's Cup has become since the nationality rules
were relaxed in the early 2000s!
Ainslie is aiming to sail with his own "British" team in the AC45 World
Series as part of some misguided plan to bring the UK back into the Cup and
then will join the defender in the Cup proper. What next? Oracle's
Australian skipper James Spithill announcing he will form an "Australian"
team with a plan to bring Australia back into the game? Pull the other one!
This smacks of the same cronyism that Alinghi was famous for in its Cup
reign - de facto teams and sham challengers! Remember Club Nautico Espanol
de Vela, Alinghi's ill-fated Challenger of Record? That's right, CNEV, whom
Oracle successfully argued out of court before the 2010 match!
What's sad is that this "alliance" would not be possible if stricter
nationality rules applied. In 1983, when Australia II controversially won
the America's Cup, the New York Yacht Club sought long and hard to
disqualify the challenger on the grounds the Aussies had design help from
the Dutch. Now, with free agency across the competitors, you'd be hard
pressed to prove who is whose side and who helped who design what!
Ben Ainslie is a challenger ... No, hang on, he's the defender! Confused,
* From Eric Sorensen:
Andrew Verdon is on to something about balance (in Scuttlebutt 3507). After
7.5 weeks of cruising around Vancouver Island, and stuffing all kinds of
good foods into my pie hole, I actually came off the boat lighter by a
pound or so than when I started.
There was very little physical effort involved beyond balance as we motored
the 900 of the 1000 miles we put on doing it. Not much wind. Our pucker
string would tighten as we went out into the Pacific, and especially coming
back in through the rocks we had never seen, but flexing that seems minimal
as a weight loss technique.
I am sure it is just the constant body balance correction with the bounce
of the boat. I wish I could get my house to take off the pounds as easily.
I have never found, in long experience, that criticism is ever inhibited by
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