SCUTTLEBUTT 3515 - Friday, January 27, 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: North U and Hall Spars.
MAINTAINING A GOOD BALANCE
U.S. Star skipper Mark Mendelblatt and crew Brian Fatih is competing this
week at the Rolex Miami OCR, and will represent the U.S. at the 2012
Olympics. Here is an interview Mark provided for the Harken website:
I don't practice as intensely as some people do. I'm not the kind of person
who can go sailing every day, but that happened when I started sailing
professionally. It's easy to burn out, but I always enjoyed the competition
and matching up against the best guys - that always kept me going.
Now, my life is a balance between family and sailing. I'm married now and
my wife, Carolina Borges-Mendelblatt [a competitive windsurfer], is super
involved with my campaign. I guess I'm not burning out because I'm not
sailing too much and things are going well, both on the water and at home,
so it's a good balance.
* What chapter of your sailing career has been the most fun?
College sailing! It's a time when you do lots of racing, you make friends
and you have a good team around you. And, there's nothing to worry about -
the equipment is there, waiting for you, so it's easy.
* What's your favorite college-sailing memory?
The top moment was when we (Tufts University) won the Team Racing Nationals
at Old Dominion in 1993. I teamed up with skippers Nick Trotman and Josh
Adams and our crews. The final day of racing was in heavy air and we were
up against Navy; they used their heavy-air crews, while we were sailing
with our same teams. It came down to the last race, which we won. For me,
it was that race, that day - winning that regatta!
* You've sailed AC boats and maxis. What gravity pulls you to the Olympics?
I always wanted to participate in the Olympics, so I give it a try every
four years. Sometimes I have a better chance than others, but I've been
fortunate to have always been one of the top guys in one of the Olympic
classes. I've done five Olympic Trials, winning two and losing three. It's
a big challenge, but if you can go to the Olympics, it's a big honor.
* What triggered your matriculation from Lasers to Stars?
I always wanted to sail Stars and I was getting a little old for the Laser
- I think I was 31 or 32 when I switched. I had sailed a lot in
double-handed boats before, so sailing with a crew wasn't new. Still,
sailing with someone else is always a challenge, and you have to work
together. My crew right now - Brian Fatih - is an easy-going and
hard-working guy, and we get along really well.
Read on: http://www.harken.com/Interviews/MarkMendelblatt.php
FINALS TO BE DECIDED ON FRIDAY
Miami, FL (January 26, 2012) - A final showdown awaits three Paralympic
classes tomorrow and ten Olympic classes on Saturday at US Sailing's Rolex
Miami OCR, which has, thus far, gifted sailors with four days of sublime
sunshine and satisfying winds. The event is the only one of seven ISAF
Sailing World Cup events to grace a shore on this continent and has
attracted 529 sailors from 41 countries from as close as Canada and as far
away as New Zealand and China.
"It's looking pretty exciting," said Brazil's Star sailor Robert Scheidt,
who with crew Bruno Prada has perhaps one of the most impressive sailing
records here. (Together, they are two-time Olympic medalists and just off
their second straight title win at the Star World Championships). "Some of
the guys who have already got a spot in the Olympics are here and they are
really sailing well."
No one has been proving that theory better than Sweden's Fredrik Loof/Max
Salminen who yesterday trailed Scheidt/Prada by two points and today tied
on points with the Brazilians after finishing 6-2 to their 3-7. With both
teams posting 26 points, Norway's Eivind Melleby/ Petter Moerland Pedersen
are nipping at their heels with only 29 points.
"Today we didn't have a great day," added Scheidt. "The first race was
good because we were coming from behind, but the second race we wanted to
start at the boat and got jammed there, so we had to start behind the pack
and play catch-up the whole race. We managed to hold our lead, but there
are still two races to go until the medal race. "
As will happen at the Olympics, only the top-ten boats after tomorrow's
racing will be allowed to progress to Saturday's single medal race, which
will determine gold, silver and bronze medals. -- Read on:
COMMENT: When American Anna Tunnicliffe's team was eliminated on Thursday
from the Women's Match Race quarterfinals, they promptly posted the update
on Twitter and Facebook. They tipped their hat to their opponent and gave
encouragement to American Sally Barkow's team who had advanced to the
semifinals. Too many sailors only provide updates when things are going
well, or when they want money. Props to Anna, Molly, and Debbie for their
honest and classy approach to communication. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
MATCH RACING IS HOT!
You should try it! US Sailing's Sailors of the Year are both top Match
Racers. It's in the Olympics, and also that cup thing is a match race.
What's it all about? Learn about Match Racing with Dave Perry's Match
Racing Playbook and the Menin/ Cutler Match Racing Book-on-CD at NorthU.com
Find out about the FREE Welcome to Match Racing DVD and learn how to host
or attend a sponsored, discounted Match Racing Clinic!
OLYMPIC SAILING EVENTS SEEN AS MIXED BLESSING
Local businesses in Weymouth and Portland fear disruption and loss of
regular clients as summer bookings show little sign of boost from London
Asked what he is most looking forward to in Olympics year, Dave Caddy, the
owner of the Kingfisher Marine chandlery store on the quayside in Weymouth,
does not hesitate. "The closing ceremony. I can't wait until it's over and
we can start getting back to normal," he said.
"I don't see the upside for us. It is going to disrupt our business and
make sailing look like an elitist sport. They say it'll put us on the map
but that's rubbish. Can you remember which city in China hosted the sailing
event at the 2008 games? No, nobody can."
Of course, the London 2012 organisers and the local authorities, Dorset
county council and Weymouth and Portland borough, see it very differently.
They believe the sailing events being staged in Weymouth bay and Portland
harbour will lure an extra 30,000 visitors every day, bringing millions
into the local economy, and show the world what Dorset and the Jurassic
Coast has to offer. They claim the legacy will be new business
opportunities, improved infrastructure and a sense of optimism and
"But they are pissing a lot of people off in the process," said borough
councillor John Birtwhistle. "It feels a bit like Locog [the games
organising committee] is taking over Weymouth and Portland and the councils
are prepared to roll over and let them do whatever they want." -- The
Guardian, read on: http://tinyurl.com/Guardian-012612
OPPRESSIVE HEAT AND FICKLE WEATHER
(January 26, 2012; Day 5) - In contrast to the port tack beat for the first
four days of this leg, the last 24 hours have been nothing short of
dramatic. The weather forecasts continue to be complex and are often
anything but consistent. "The navigators are all scratching their heads as
the grib files are far from dealing with the present situation," CAMPER
navigator Will Oxley commented.
Following the shuffle of squall-induced 40 degree shifts, the upwind course
toward the gateway of the Malacca Strait has the fleet once again on port
tack. Telefonica has the high lane, Camper has the low lane, with PUMA and
Groupama centered between them. And they've all been in sight of somebody.
The heat is a frequent comment coming off the boats. "Everyone's finding it
hard to deal with and the only pleasant time is on deck at night," notes
Groupama skipper Franck Cammas. "To get some sleep in our bunks, we're
kitted up with little fans and we're lucky to have a white deck in contrast
to Puma or Camper, who must be suffering even more down below on their
Besides the oppressive heat and fickle weather, a fear among the fleet for
Leg 3 was avoiding the trash in the water. PUMA is the first to report an
incident, colliding yesterday with ocean debris that cost the team distance
while causing minor damage to their leeward daggerboard.
The fleet is expected to arrive at the entrance to the Malacca Strait by
noon Friday, and the order could be shaken up again during this 500 nm trip
through some of the most congested and hazardous waters in the world. --
Leg 3 - Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China
Standings as of Friday, 27 January 2012, 01:01:02 UTC
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 1794.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 2.8 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 4.6 nm DTL
4. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 12.8 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 38.5 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 72.0 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
AMERICA'S CUP - SMOOTH SAILING AHEAD
While it's too early to know if the America's Cup will fulfill its goal of
attracting significant commercial and spectator interest, it has succeeded
in being an acceptable topic at Oregon State University. Here is an article
that Jonathan Weston wrote as an assignment for his journalism class:
Grab your Topsider's, the environmental challenges keeping the 34th
America's Cup in San Francisco at bay have been tossed overboard. All
environmental impact report challenges were cleared by the Board of
Supervisors on January 25th. It's time to raise the sails for the third
stop on the new America's Cup World Series in 2012 and the biggest sailing
event on the planet, The America's Cup, in late summer 2013.
The hope for a 140-foot JumboTron-carrying barge in Aquatic Park for the
America's Cup was sunk after members of Telegraph Hill Dwellers, GG Audubon
Society, Sierra Club, and Dolphin Swim & Boat club blasted the plan. Yet
sails were raised as the elimination of that "red herring" proposal helped
secure the Board of Supervisors' unanimous rejection of two environmental
impact report appeals.
What makes this the most exciting news for sailing, hi-tech and speed
enthusiasts from around the world is the arena that has been set for this
"Superbowl of Sailing." For the first time in its 161 year running,
America's Cup racing can be seen from shore. Better yet, the wind will be
free for spectators flocking in from around the globe to witness what
promises to be the most exciting multihull sailboat racing in history. --
Read on: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=13202
JOIN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
Congratulations to these Hall-rigged winners at Key West Race Week: Quantum
Racing (TP52, IRC 1), Antilope (Grand Soleil 46, IRC 3), Teamwork (J/122,
PHRF 1). Hall Spars & Rigging can help with your quest for the winner's
circle, too. Start with a pre-season inspection of your standing rigging.
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will be ready before the spring racing season begins. Contact Hall Spars
today - the winner's circle awaits. http://www.hallspars.com
* (January 26, 2012) - A new transatlantic race for women has been launched
by one of Britain's most enthusiastic private sailing backers. Property
developer Tony Lawson yesterday announced that he would be running a
two-handed race from Plymouth to Antigua to help promote women's sailing.
The race is called the Women's Offshore Worlds will be on 28 October in
30ft one-design Beneteau Figaros. -- Yachting World, read on:
* ISAF is seeking bids from organisers around the world to host ISAF
Nations Cup Regional Finals during 2012-13 and the ISAF Nations Cup Grand
Final in 2013. The ISAF Nations Cup, which was first introduced to the
world in 1991, is based on a series of Regional Finals with the top crews
meeting at a Grand Final. The aim of the event is to broaden the
availability of match racing and provide international competition for
national authorities and sailors at reasonable cost, whilst acting as an
incentive for national match racing programmes. -- Read on:
* Over six months after the slaying of Canadian Richard Oland in his uptown
Saint John office in New Brunswick, the case remains shrouded in mystery.
No one has been charged in the murder, and a judge recently ruled search
warrants executed in the case must remain sealed. Despite the silence
surrounding the investigation into the July 7 homicide, Saint John Police
Force Chief Bill Reid remains confident his department can solve the case.
Oland was an active racer with his Southern Cross 52 Vela Veloce. --
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
This week we feature The Vineyard Race, annually hosted by Stamford Yacht
Club in Stamford, CT held on Labor Day weekend. The 238-mile course in Long
Island Sound has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats for over 70
years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time.
During the 2011 race, they held their inaugural photo contest. Here are
some of the entries: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0127/
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The 49er made its debut at the 2000 Olympic Games, appropriately in that
the skiff design by Julian Bethwaite was deeply rooted in the history of
sailing at the venue of Sydney, Australia. While skiff class racing was
prevalent down under, the 49er broke barriers with its international
The double handed twin trapeze 49er continues its Olympic history, having
been selected for the 2016 Games as the equipment to be used for the Men's
Skiff event. This week's video takes you onboard the 49er with two of the
U.S. teams: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/12/0127/
* This week's episode of 'America's Cup Uncovered' heads to Auckland to
check in with Luna Rossa Challenge. The Italian team has just launched
their new AC45 and we hear what skipper Max Sirena has planned for training
with Emirates Team NZ. While in New Zealand we stop by the factory to
uncover the new wing extensions designed to boost the speed of the AC45s in
light winds. Then back in San Francisco we pay a visit to the America's Cup
Event Authority office where plans are in advanced stages of preparation
for both 2012 and 2013. Tune in on Saturday January 28 approx 0800 PDT 1600
* "World on Water" January 27, Week 4.12 Global Sailing News Report
features stories on the shortened Race 7 finish to the 2011-12 Clipper Race
in Bantam, Indonesia, the spectacular $1million dollar prize race for 75,
60 foot Arab dhows during the Abu Dhabi Sailing Festival in the UAE, the
2012 Royal Langkowi International Regatta in Malaysia, the IFDS Charlotte
Harbour Regatta Florida, USA, US Video/Photographer Leighton O'Connor
shoots the 2012 Quantum Key West Regatta from on-board the Big Booty in
Florida, USA. See this and more on www.boatson.tv approx 1200 GMT, 0700
* Inside Sailing is a new series that bring the latest sailing news from
all around the world. This month we travel from France and the Student
Yachting World Championship to India and the India International
Regatta.Here is the link for the 1st Episode:
- Hydrofoil trimaran: http://www.vimeo.com/adventureonlinetv/osprey
- Billionaire kitesurfer: http://tinyurl.com/YouTube-Branson-012612
- MOD 70 promo: http://bcove.me/5hcge3m3
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
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 David Hammond:
Cheese will be missed, he was a wonderful person who loved what he did and
it was always about the kids and the sailors. Cheese and Dot were my house
parents in Australia and they became a second family to me and I will
always be grateful for the friendship that Cheese gave me. Anyone that
knows Cheese has way too many stories to tell but the best was his laugh.
* From Fin Beven:
Regarding Chris Caswell's article in Scuttlebutt 3514, I sense the
following will have about as much effect as pissing to windward, but
I think Chris is mostly right, but it's not about the $4,000 pram. In the
early 50's, a new Naples Sabot would have cost about $400, so $4,000 today
may not be out-of-line. It is certainly a vastly improved product, even if
it can't double as a row-boat. What seems crazy to me is the notion that
someone could have the advantage over everyone else of hiring a personal
professional coach in an amateur game ... IF anyone cares about maintaining
or "growing" the fleet.
The younger kids without their own coaches may not notice at first, but
sooner-or-later they figure it out. Some without professional coaches may
survive on pure talent. I suspect that most others will move on.
As I said, pissing to windward.
* From Leslie Valmadre:
I noted Chris's identification of 1997 as a benchmark for the diminishment
in sailing participation and wondered how that correlated to the beginning
of the demands by the ISAF for more spectator friendly sailing.
Maybe one day the sailing world will realise that, as Chris points out,
sailing is a participation sport and can and should be fun at all levels.
It used to exist at the highest and indeed all levels without sponsors so I
am sure it will continue to exist if all the sponsors disappear and we
actually have to run regattas at our own expense and for our own pleasure
Enjoy the race, not the recognition, and then the fun will really belong to
* From Peter O. Allen:
Regarding the Ben Ainslie "Incident" and, more globally, interference in
racing from other boats, such as TV camera boats, mommy boats, coaching
boats, et cetera, maybe sailing could take a lesson from the conductor of
the New York Philharmonic.
Alan Gilbert has recently been reported to have been conducting a concert
of the NY Phil when the cell phone of a first row patron started ringing.
Gilbert waited a few moments. The ringing continued. Gilbert then dropped
his arms, a universal signal to players to stop playing. Gilbert then
turned to the audience and simply waited. What class!
What if yacht racers simply refused to be bullied by "support" boats and
stopped racing? Would anyone care? I think so.
Research shows that individuals who would never consider littering an
aluminum can, a piece of paper or other items may be littering cigarette
butts. They may be surprised to be called litterers. Let's all surprise
them this weekend.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Soft Deck - Quantum Sails - North Sails - North U - Southern Spars
APS - Team One Newport - Ullman Sails - Hall Spars
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers