SCUTTLEBUTT 3514 - Thursday, January 26, 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: Team One Newport and Ullman Sails.
IF IT QUACKS THAN IT MUST BE FUN
By Chris Caswell, Sailing magazine
There is a lot of chest-beating going on about the current state of the
sailing world. Participation is down 40% since 1997, sailboat builders are
folding, regattas are getting smaller and the sailing community seems to be
in the doldrums.
There have been a lot of theories advanced on the whys of all this, ranging
from the high cost of boating to the growing demands on family time. Nick
Hayes, in his book 'Saving Sailing', argues many have turned to highly
structured activities and away from family-based multi-generational
recreation. I've railed in these columns about how junior sailing has
deteriorated with the advent of $4,000 prams, mommy boats and private
coaches, and how the loss of interest by kids has added to the downturn.
My view is a simple one: sailing stopped being fun.
Near our home is a 900-acre public park that we love because it's not just
beautiful, but free. There are walking trails and pavilions for picnics,
exercise paths and ball fields, and a lake for sailing and kayaks. We
stopped by on a recent drive, and ended up sitting by the sailing lake just
watching people have fun. And I discovered the antidote for the sailing
Near us, a family of three generations was enjoying a couple of boats for a
day of sailing and a picnic at the water's edge. One of the boats,
essentially a square box, was ugly in such a charming way that 'She Who
Must be Obeyed' asked, "What the heck is that?" And thus I met Patrick
Johnson and his wife, Joann. He explained that he was using the day for
some practice, because he was heading for the Puddle Duck Racer World
Championship in a couple of weeks. Huh?
I've been sailing for more than five decades, but I'd never heard of a
Puddle Duck Racer (PDRacer to insiders). It is, in essence, a boat so
simple that even the tool-challenged can build it in a couple of weekends
in their garage. It is designed to be built from three sheets of plywood,
and all the low-cost hardware comes from the local building supply store.
You can build it for a couple of hundred bucks, including the latex house
paint of your choice and the sail, which is a tarp trimmed to size.
It is basically a box with a curved bottom and, get this, the plans are
free! On the PDRacer website (www.pdracer.com), designer Shorty Routh was
reminding readers that, with less than a month until the world
championships in Oklahoma, there was still time to build a boat to compete.
Six hundred of these little boats have been registered with Routh all over
North America since the first three were built in 2004, which is a number
that gives me hope for the future of sailing. And you know why they're so
Because they are fun! -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/Sailing-012512
STUCK ON BEAUTIFUL
Miami, FL (January 25, 2012) - The weather has been "stuck on beautiful" at
the Rolex Miami OCR, but more important to the 529 sailors competing here
from 41 countries has been the wind on Biscayne Bay, which today
strengthened in knots to reach low double digits and helped re-ignite
several key performances of sailors turning the corner to enter the
regatta's home stretch. Six days of racing, which count toward standings in
the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series, began on Monday for 354 boats sailing in
the same 13 classes that will be featured at the 2012 Olympic and
Making the most out of the zippy conditions were the 24 teams split into
Groups A and B in the Women's Match Racing discipline. Today's goal was to
complete the second of two round-robin series in each group. This was
realized in Group A but not Group B, which will finish up tomorrow and add
its top four finishers to the top four from Group A that have won the honor
of proceeding to the quarter finals, a single elimination "knock-out"
Group A's top finisher Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), who sails with
Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami, Fla.) and Alana O'Reilly (Charleston,
S.C.), was especially exhilarated by her 10-1 win-loss record, which was
helped by a victory in today's closely watched match-up with fellow US
Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), who
sails with Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi
(Bayport, N.Y.) and has a 7-4 record. "I don't think we were ever more than
a length apart the entire way around the course, so that was pretty cool,"
said Barkow. "There were probably about four lead changes; nobody got
penalties but everything was really close."
Said Barkow, who won bronze here last year to Tunnicliffe's silver:
"Sometimes when you get a two-length lead, then it's not so much of a big
battle, and you don't have to defend things so hard. But you can imagine
when it's really close that upwind it's kind of good for the boat ahead,
but as soon as you go downwind, it's good for the boat behind. So, if you
only have a length between the boats, it's really hard to be the boat ahead
and stay ahead. That was what it was with Anna."-- Read on:
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THE FUN HAS JUST BEGUN
(January 25, 2012; Day 4) - For the past four days, the Volvo Ocean Race
fleet has perfected the art of sailing upwind on port tack. But after 1000
miles, the deck is finally getting shuffled.
Where before each team was fetching the first course turning point -- the
island of Pulau - which marks the entrance to the Malacca Strait, now they
aren't. With 400 miles of upwind work before their right turn toward
Singapore, it's all about staying in phase.
However, this is but a precursor to the obstacle course that lies ahead. "I
hate to be the eternal pessimist here," PUMA skipper Ken Read said, "but
the Malacca Strait is going to wreak its normal havoc and it's going to
turn us inside out several times unfortunately."
Besides its notoriously fickle winds that scrambled the teams during the
2008-9 edition of the race, the 500 nm passage through the Malacca Strait
to Singapore beholds giant merchant vessels in their hundreds, with small
fishing boats, nets, pots and floating debris likely to be troublesome.
Or in other words, the fun has just begun.
Leg 3 - Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China
Standings as of Thursday, 26 January 2012, 01:02:28 UTC
1. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 2049.2 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 0.8 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 3.3 nm DTL
4. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 3.6 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 13.4 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 18.9 nm DTL
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 (Oct. 29) and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early
July 2012, six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles
around the world 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. - http://www.volvooceanrace.com
SAILING INSTRUCTIONS - CASE 32
This is an installment by International Umpire/Judge Jos M. Spijkerman
(NED) in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with
amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF
committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or
Summary of the Facts
The sailing instructions included, among other things, the following:
1. All races will be sailed under The Racing Rules of Sailing except as
2. A briefing will be held in the clubroom 60 minutes before the start of
the first race each day.
3. Shortened Course will be signalled by two guns and raising of flag S and
the class flag. Boats in that class will round the mark about to be rounded
by the leading boat and go straight to the finishing line. This changes the
meaning of flag S in the Race Signals.
At one of the briefings, the race officer attempted to clarify the phrase
'go straight to the finishing line' in item 3 by stating that when the
course was shortened, all boats should cross the finishing line in a
This would ensure that all classes, some of which might be finishing from
different marks, would finish in the same direction even if that were not
the direction of the course from the mark at which the course was
Subsequently, a race was shortened. Six boats, which had not attended the
briefing, followed the written sailing instructions, were recorded as not
finishing, and sought redress. The boats alleged that the race committee
had improperly changed the definition Finish and had failed to follow the
requirements of rule 90.2(c). The protest committee upheld their requests
for redress on the grounds they had cited.
The race committee appealed to the national authority, asserting that the
briefing sessions were a numbered part of the sailing instructions, all
competitors should have attended, and the briefings constituted a procedure
for giving oral instructions. Also, it argued that the sailing instructions
were not changed but merely clarified by the race officer as to what the
words 'go straight to the finishing line' meant.
* The hope for a 140-foot JumboTron-carrying barge in Aquatic Park for the
America's Cup was sunk Tuesday after members of swimming clubs blasted the
plan. The elimination of that proposal helped secure the San Francisco
Board of Supervisors' unanimous rejection of two appeals of the
environmental impact report completed for the upcoming 34th America's Cup
regatta. The decision means The City remains on track to host the
much-hyped event. Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:
* OnTheLine: Extreme Sailing will begin filming in Newport (RI) this
spring, and local businesses could benefit from the cameras in tow.
OnTheLine is a "loosely scripted" series based on a fictional production
crew documenting extreme sailing across the globe. "It's like 30 Rock meets
The Deadliest Catch," Project Director Janet Johnson said. She said she
hopes the series can generate tourism in the same way popular television
and reality shows bring new visitors to their home cities and towns. --
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/OTL-012512
* The California Department of Motor Vehicles will pay $5.6 million to
settle a class-action lawsuit over its practice of suspending the driving
privileges of people who have been convicted of boating under the
influence. The case stems from the 2005 arrest and conviction of a man for
boating under the influence on the Colorado River. After DMV suspended his
driver's license and required him to attend a class on alcohol addiction --
the same penalties issued for driving under the influence -- he sued to
contest the practice. -- LA Times, read on: http://tinyurl.com/LAT-012512
ULLMAN SAILS ADDS A NEW LOFT IN THE SWISS ALPS
Ullman Sails is excited to announce the addition of a new loft in
Switzerland! Dieter Kuhn has joined our international group of sailmakers
as a full service production facility on Lake Constance in Romanshorn. With
10 years of experience as a sailmaker and designer, Dieter also has an
extensive sailing resume that includes sailing to the borders of both North
and South poles, as well as repeat wins in Antigua Race Week and the
Antigua-Guadalupe Race. At Ullman Sails Switzerland, Dieter will provide
the complete range of Ullman Sails products, including FiberPath technology
and proven world-class one design sails.
Richard Chesebrough (81) of Laconia, NH passed away at home after a long
battle with lung cancer. The son of Joseph Cutler and Lois (Brown)
Chesebrough, Richard was born in Westerly, RI on January 29, 1930.
It was during the last tour of his 20-year Naval career as head of the
Department of Naval Science at SUNY Maritime College that Richard found his
second career, Director of Waterfront Activities and celebrated Sailing
Coach for the college. It was then that he earned the moniker "Cheese" from
In 1977, Cheese was asked to pilot the chase boat for the America's Cup
defender, ENTERPRISE. He went on to drive the chase boats for Cup winner
FREEDOM (1980), and contenders LIBERTY (1983) and STARS AND STRIPES (1987).
In 1987, when Cheese returned from Australia, where he had devoted 18
months to the successful effort to bring the America's Cup back to the
U.S., he became a full-time competitive sailing volunteer.
As a certified U.S. Sailing Umpire and Judge, he served both match and team
races internationally, and participated on a number of race committees,
primarily in mark boats, until he retired for health reasons in 2010.
Cheese was a member of the New York and Manhasset Bay Yacht Clubs and the
Storm Trysail Club. -- Complete obituary:
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free,
self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and
sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this
Jan 27-31 - Port Louis Grenada Sailing Festival - St.George's, Grenada, WI
Feb 2-5 - Charlotte Harbor Regatta - Charlotte Harbor, FL, USA
Feb 11-15 - J/24 Midwinters - Tampa, FL, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* FARR 400 One Design Class at 2012 Quantum Key West
* United Yacht Sales exclusive dealer for Tartan and C&C Yachts in SE U.S.
* Sparkman Stephens 30 Daysailor
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
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 Bill Gladstone:
With regard to Dave Perry's Quote / Unquote in 3513, as a freshman in
practice at Yale I wasn't finishing too well, but was heartened to know I
was at least starting in the right place. All the good guys - Perry, Isler,
Benjamin - were around me. Then Dave gave a talk after practice and I
realized, I wasn't starting near them; they were starting near me.
* From Tom Priest:
The question was asked: why anyone would "sit out" the last race of a
regatta when they have sewed up the win??? As Bora related in Scuttlebutt
3513....he actually won another race, the race to the hoist! At some
regattas.....That Is Big!
* From Matthew Fortune Reid
Regarding the transformation of Auckland, NZ for the 2003 America's Cup (in
Scuttlebutt 3513), I too have seen the wonderful things the AC did for the
rotting quays of the Auckland waterfront.
I am also very familiar with the derelict waterfront of S.F. It has been
unchanged for several decades...at least from the 60s when I was a toddler
visiting the city from my hometown of Napa. As the years past, I would see
it through the eyes of a tween, a teen and then in my early 20s. The only
change was that each year, it looked more and more like the aftermath of a
world without humans. Complete neglect.
Those that pose the obstacles should also be offering alternatives and
solutions. Why wouldn't the City by the Bay trade the mess they have for a
new, integrated part of the city where people can enjoy themselves, instead
of hurriedly driving by?
I totally support environmental causes, but sometimes the cause obscures
the sight of those who perpetuate it. Come on Ess Eff, don't cut your nose
off to spite your face!
* From Pete Reichelsdorfer:
Referencing the Rating Rule commentary in Scuttlebutt 3510, ORR uses a VPP
developed by the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation.
Many race organizers on both coasts and the Great Lakes use ORR for the
distance races. Every rating system has both a speed prediction calculation
and a time allowance formulation. In the case of ORR, the VPP produces a
multiple number of, wind angle and wind velocity, boat speeds (polar plot).
The race organizers combine this with a wind mix (Speed and Direction) to
provide the handicaps for the scratch sheet. Then TOT or TOD is used to
calculate finish placing. This combination has proved successful for a
number of events.
In the background, a small cadre of people work diligently providing rating
systems while we racing sailors work just a diligently to optimize our
yachts. This goes from a bottom scrub, to a new sail to a full on GP
program. The rule makers are Dollar Handicapped to keep rules current. This
problem has intensified with the computer age. A handicapping VPP is
different from designers VPP in that it must handle a wide variety of
yachts (say 50 years of yacht design).
The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF), a 501 (c) (3) organization,
was established promote the science basis necessary for today's yacht
handicapping. SYRF not only supports ORR but is supporting HPR and
indirectly supports PHRF through input to its empirical process. To support
SYRF, see our web site (http://www.sailyachtresearch.org). Your
contributions, big or small, will provide ongoing support for our
Forgive your enemy, but remember his name.
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