SCUTTLEBUTT 3527 - Tuesday, February 14, 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: Doyle Sailmakers, North U, and Gladstone's Long Beach.
KIDS SAILING - IS THERE A PROBLEM?
By Robert Wilkes, Southwinds magazine
I have read with great interest Jabbo Gordon's thoughts in the December issue (of Southwinds) on "Why Kids Don't Want to Sail" (also in Scuttlebutt 3525) and the comments of others, and would like to add my own perspective.
Designing a Recreational Sailing Program...
Some of the comments make sense. No one can argue with the proposal to "make it fun. Make it educational. Make it social." Sailing games, trips to other waters, even fishing have their place. But I do wonder if such programs alone can retain the interest of today's young people beyond their first year.
I see reports of programs which proudly claim to have taught hundreds of kids a year to sail. I just wonder what those kids do then. Nowhere in my travels have I seen or heard of thousands of teenagers playing sailing games, "gunkholing" or otherwise engaged in "recreational" sailing. What I have seen everywhere - and found on the Internet - is tens of thousands of teenagers racing at all levels in many different types of boats.
Junior Sailing Is Not Shrinking...
Jabbo's comment that sailing could be compared with a church with "not many folks coming through the front door" is far from reality. Gary Jobson, president of US SAILING, commented recently: "I think that youth sailing in America is incredibly vibrant. There's over 500 high schools now with sailing teams around the country and over 200 colleges with teams, so I think we're doing pretty well. Last year I spoke at 118 clubs, and everywhere I go, the junior part of this is doing pretty darn well."
The main drop-off in sailing seems to occur mostly at postgraduate age for socio-economic reasons. -- Read on: http://www.readoz.com/publication/read?i=1046203#page54
AUTHOR: Robert Wilkes from Howth in Ireland has been involved with Optimist sailing for over 35 years, most prominently as secretary of the International Optimist Class (1996-2008). He remains responsible for class development in new countries.
COMMENT: Near as I can tell, the issue isn't how we can get more kids sailing. There are plenty of kids sailing. The issue seems to be how we can keep kids sailing.
Interestingly, the Olympic sailing program in the U.S. is finding that the sooner young sailors are ready to take the step from youth boats to Olympic type boats, the faster they can accelerate toward their goals. I am wondering if this also applies to retaining young sailors in general.
Since youth boats are primarily used in youth sailing programs, could it be that the sooner young sailors take the step away from youth boats toward something more lasting (OD class, keelboat, etc.), the more likely they will remain connected to the sport. Comments welcome. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
STUDYING THE RISKS OF ETHANOL
Washington, DC (February 12, 2012) - A House committee voted last week to approve a fund for a "comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends, and for other purposes."
The resolution called for multiple governmental groups to work together, including the EPA and National Academy of Sciences, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications associated with the use of gasoline blends with higher than 10-percent volume of ethanol.
The assessment requested in the bill would provide a broad view of the impact of ethanol and E15 across a variety of industries and equipment, from potential damage to existing fueling infrastructure at gas stations and other pumps and storage, to ways of reducing the risk of pump misfueling at storage and retail locations.
The study would also examine the best methods and practices to prevent misfueling, or fueling with E15 in a boat or other motor equipment not able to handle it, and provide recommendations to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other standards associations regarding fuel pump labeling.
A total of 31 organizations have come out in support of the House bill that would require the EPA to work with the Academy of Sciences on the study, including two marine industry groups, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Boat Owners Association of the United States. -- Boating Industry, read on: http://tinyurl.com/BI-021312
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OFFSHORE RACING 101
Adam Minoprio is widely regarded as a rising star in New Zealand yachting. Three years ago at just 24 he became World Match Racing Champion, the youngest ever and has an impressive string of titles behind him including the Monsoon Cup and New Zealand Sailor of the Year. Adam was only the fourth Kiwi to win the world match racing champs following Chris Dickson, Russell Coutts and Dean Barker to win the prestigious circuit.
In 2010 however, he put his highly successful match racing career on hold and decided to pursue success in a vastly different form of yacht racing - the Volvo Ocean Race. He went from being at the very top of his field in the match racing discipline to a relative novice as the youngest and most inexperienced offshore sailor aboard CAMPER.
Three legs down and with a third of the race done and dusted we caught up with Adam in Sanya to see how he was finding the transition and if being an ocean racer was what he expectedů
"In a way it has been what I thought it would be, but then in other ways it has been like nothing I expected. Parts of the change have been incredibly hard work but a lot of the fundamentals are the same so that makes thing easier.
"I'm actually enjoying the race more as it goes on. The first leg was pretty difficult for me as we were basically sailing by ourselves without another boat in sight and in a bad position for 21 days, so as a first taste that was a bit frustrating.
"But since then we've been right in amongst it and there's been some pretty intense racing which has been fantastic.
"Physically it has been a big step-up. I think stacking the boat and moving four tonnes of gear every tack would have to be one of the hardest jobs in sailing.
"Not many people probably appreciate that we're effectively match racing these boats as hard when we're in the middle of ocean thousands of miles from anywhere as when we're in the in-port race. The intensity just doesn't change so over 20 odd days at sea it can be pretty draining.
"It's all worth it though when you can crack sheets and allow the boat to get up and go. In the right conditions these things are pretty amazing to sail.
"For the in-port racing we're incredibly under-crewed. We race with 10 crew while on most seventy footers you'd normally have a racing crew of 18 to 20. So you're really working during a race and with the courses they set it's generally all won in the start so that loads on the pressure." -- Read on: http://etnzblog.com/#!2012/02/minoprio-making-his-mark-offshore
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
BROADCAST: Here is the television schedule for the U.S. in February:
SCHEDULE: The Sanya In-Port race is on February 18 and Leg 4 from Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL begins on February 19: 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 sailing Volvo Open 70s 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. -
* Think about it. Sailing cool boats. Against great sailors. With the Canary Islands as the backdrop. Pretty sweet. That was the scene last week as the RC44 Championship Tour began their 2012 season at the island of Lanzarote off of the African continent. Thankfully, the class imported esteemed shooters Carlo Borlenghi and Guido Trombetta to share the beauty:
* In a perfect world, we would be in the Caribbean until spring. The sailing circuit has begun, with photographers Bob Grieser and Sally Armstrong bringing us along to the Grenada Sailing Festival in the West Indies: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0213a/
Do you remember the Sunfish as the "camp boat" with the colorful lateen rigged sails? Despite their unlikely appearance, Sunfish have been raced since their inception.
It all began in Waterbury, Connecticut when friends Alexander 'Al' Bryan and Cortlandt 'Cort' Heyniger (the Al and Cort in Alcort) put a sail on a surfboard, and by 1951 achieved the Sunfish akin to what is sailed today.
The first Sunfish North American Championship was held in 1963. When the Sunfish reached Lake Michigan, the Sunfish sailors in Lake Bluff, Illinois wanted organized racing, which led to the founding of Lake Bluff Yacht Club in 1962.
This summer the Sunfish North Americans and LBYC will celebrate their golden anniversaries, and in conjunction with the Waukegan Yacht Club, will mark the occasion by hosting the 50th Sunfish North American Open Championship.
The regatta will be sailed in the fresh waters of Lake Michigan off the beach in Waukegan, Illinois from August 2 to August 4, 2012. The Youth North American Championship will also be sailed in Waukegan from July 30 to August 1, 2012. Details: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=13264
NORTH SOUTH EAST AND WEST
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ENVISIONING A WATERFRONT REBORN
By Kimball Livingston
We've heard the promise that America's Cup will pick up where other efforts leave off, to build a commercially viable San Francisco waterfront. A reasonable person could wonder, so let's consider precedents.
Case 1 - Toward the end of the first-ever America's Cup races outside America - Fremantle, Australia 1987 - it was clear that Dennis Conner was about to recapture the Cup and bring it home to the USA. People quipped, "Will the last American in Fremantle please turn out the lights." But, 24 years later, Fremantle is still a gem, still a destination justifying the huge investments placed in what had previously been a seedy little port town. The America's Cup transformed Fremantle for good.
Case 2 - Like San Francisco, the city of Auckland, New Zealand had a section of waterfront in dire need of renovation, within walking distance of prime downtown real estate. Like San Francisco, Auckland had a small population for a city, 1 million people, and financial limitations.
There were, amazingly enough, competing interests and agendas and a need for government coordination to drive the process of re-imagining Auckland's Viaduct Basin.
And then, there was a result: A vibrant new neighborhood that continues to thrive a decade later, drawing local and international visitors to waterfront property that once was walled off. Shops and restaurants operate year-round.
The America's Cup has moved on, but the Viaduct Basin is integrated into the life of the city. It also has served well for successive world events: Auckland estimates that 200,000 people thronged its waterfront on opening night of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Case 3 - Valencia, Spain "won" the Cup in a bidding war - after Switzerland won it on the water, the first time that the Cup venue had been put out to bid - then invested in radical makeovers for a 2007 event. The Avenue of the Port was rebuilt to presentation standards. A portion of the commercial port was repurposed, with public buildings and public parks (there had never been public access) and a long-term eye toward laying down a racetrack. So here's a gratuitous question: Would Formula One have come to Valencia without the America's Cup?
And one more question: Is there a theme here?
Before the America's Cup came to town, there was no Plan A for our deteriorating Piers 30-32. Without the America's Cup, there is no Plan B. The Port of San Francisco has been successful at revitalizing much of its waterfront - the Embarcadero is emerging as a gem - but 30-32 are the poster kids for the parts that are not working. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-021312
* Tampa, Florida (February 13, 2012) - Peter Bream of Jacksonville, Florida remains on top of the leader board after the second day of racing for the 2012 J/24 Midwinter Championship. Bream, the defending champion, sailed to a solid fifth place finish in the day's only race, held in a perfect 10 knot breeze under sunny skies. But as forecasted the wind gradually shifted to the south and died as the remnants of a cold front finally pushed through the area. The day's race winner, Tony Parker of Annapolis, Maryland, moved up to second place overall. Racing continues through Wednesday, with south winds and warm temperatures expected for the remainder of the 11-race series. -- Full report:
* Newport, New South Wales (February 13, 2012) - For the 61 yacht fleet competing in day three of the Zhik International Etchells 2012 Australian Championship, there was a healthy serving of shifty winds, general recalls, black flags, protests, and lead changes. At the top of the list and after five races with one drop is David Clark (AUS), with past Etchells World Champions Jud Smith (USA) and Vince Brun (USA) moving up to second and third, respectively. The nationals end Tuesday, with the World Championship beginning on February 20th. -- Full report: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=13263#13263
* (February 13, 2012) - Giovanni Soldini and his crew onboard the Volvo Open 70 Maserati have set a monohull time reference for the 3884 nm Cadiz-San Salvador route of 10 days, 23 hours, 9 minutes and 2 seconds. Arriving today, they left Cadiz on 2 February, traveling 4632 real miles at an average speed of 17.6 knots. The team, which includes 2010-11 VELUX 5 Oceans race winner American Brad Van Liew, will carry on without stopping to Charleston, South Carolina, where it will be completely overhauled. After the work, the team will attempt to beat the 24-hour speed record. -- Full report: http://www.oceanracing.org/MaseratiRecordFinishSanSalvador02.13.12.pdf
* After working with the California Department of Pesticide Regulations for two years, Coppercoat USA received approval to sell Coppercoat antifouling epoxy in that state. Coppercoat is a water-based, two-part epoxy and is non-toxic during the application and subsequent years of hull cleaning. Because Coppercoat is an epoxy it does not drop chemicals or minerals into the water, the company said. -- Trade Only Today, read on:
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WHERE SAILORS EAT AND DRINK
Man does not live on bread alone and sailors like more than cheeseburgers. There's rum and King Crab and calamari as well. Come to Gladstone's Long Beach before the Islands Race or the SCYA Midwinters this weekend. New outdoor bar for 2012. Gladstone's Long Beach - creators of Maui's "Best Mai Tai" and voted "Best Seafood" by Press Telegram readers...
COMMENT: When the US Sailing National Sailing Program Symposium was in Long Beach in January, I joined the attendees one evening to test the outdoor bar at Gladstone's Long Beach. I am pleased to say the venue is now an authorized Scuttlebutt sailing bar. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
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 Jim Nash:
Regarding your lead article (SBUTT 3526), of the possibility of Ben Ainslie becoming the "greatest sailing Olympian ever", Paul Elvstrom may have protested or been protested, but I can find no sanction against Elvstrom anywhere near what Ainslie has had to suffer, leaving aside the interference issue (I lean towards Ben's side). May Ainslie have as long a career as Elvstrom to demonstrate his abilities and contributions to our sport.
UPDATE: In Scuttlebutt 3526, we noted how Ainslie's Rule 69 incident report would be reviewed, as per the rule, by the national authority of the competitor (Great Britain), the venue (Australia), and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The decision last Friday by the Royal Yachting Association closed the report for Great Britain, but that Yachting Australia or ISAF could still instill sanctions.
It is now my understanding that YA has decided not to impose additional penalties beyond those of RYA and ISAF. So that just leaves ISAF to provide closure for this incident. The ISAF Executive Committee is currently meeting in Qatar and will be discussing the report of the RYA Tribunal that ISAF received on Friday. Their decision could come as early as this week. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
* From Tony Strickland, Royal Perth YC:
In response to Mark Lammens' and Cindy Lewis' comments about junior sailing in 'butt 3526, I had one of those "flashes of inspiration" just this last weekend. Tacking up towards our finish line in my S80, we dipped the stern of an Opti and saw a little boat being sailed by a little kid with a big grin on her face. There can't be much wrong with our world!
If you think the problem is bad now, just wait until a government solves it.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Summit Yachts - Hall Spars & Rigging - Doyle Sails - North U
Gladstone's Long Beach - North Sails - US Sailing - Soft Deck
Harken - Ullman Sails - The Pirates Lair - Melges Performance Sailing
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