SCUTTLEBUTT 3541 - Tuesday, March 6, 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, Atlantis WeatherGear, and Soft Deck.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT
While the domination by Brad Van Liew in the 2010-11 Velux 5 Oceans race
earned him a nomination for US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, it did not
provide him the financial support needed to sustain his Open 60 campaign.
As reported in Scuttlebutt 3540, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court was forced to
step in, but as Meaghan Van Liew explains below, Brad may be down but he is
News of scandal, failure and controversy seems to permeate the news these
days. I understand the job of reporting includes sharing the stories of
success, and failure, and everything in between. As the closest source of
experience and information about Brad Van Liew, I am compelled to write a
short and candid explanation.
It is heartbreaking that Van Liew Ventures has declared bankruptcy, after
fifteen years of business. There were extraordinary times (sponsorships
with mainstream American brands, multiple victories, international press,
and amazing relationships) and challenges (dismastings, product failures,
financial strife, and the ever-present obstacle of convincing companies to
invest in an unusual sponsorship property).
As a team we always aimed to under promise and over deliver. The bottom
line is that Brad was recruited to do the last race (Velux 5 Oceans) and
the expectations of a large fleet and mass media were not realized. We
could not attain a title sponsor, and therefore it was a race of survival,
on the water and on land.
We are thankful for all the amazing support of the sponsors and hundreds of
individuals that felt compelled to be part of an historic American victory.
The original business may be gone now, but believe me when I say Brad is
alive and well and yes... still sailing. His new business (as seen at
www.oceanracing.org) is focused on sail training, maritime events, speaking
engagements and consulting. Sailing with the international Maserati team is
not a bad gig either! They will be blasting off shortly for some more speed
records in the Atlantic (www.maserati.soldini.it).
Brad is not a quitter and although activities on the water or in business
can seem devastating, one can crumble or one can move on and seek a better
future. Brad's inclination was not to respond to this news. However, I feel
it is important to know that while Van Liew Ventures may be out of
business, Brad Van Liew is not. Thanks to all those individuals in the
marine industry (and not) that have expressed their compassion and care
during this difficult time.
WINTER WORLD CHAMPS
The World Ice and Snow Sailing Association wrapped up their 2012 World
Championships last week in St. Ignace, Michigan (Feb. 20-26). The Straits
of Mackinac, recognized by some sailors as the last stretch of the iconic
Chicago-Mackinac Race, are also known as the international ice bridge in
Despite getting nearly twenty feet of snow each year, the ice in the
straits is generally clear of snow because of constantly howling winds -
perfect for a WISSA World Championships! Except this year for the first
time in recorded history, the ice never came.
Racing moved to nearby Chain Lake, which was not big enough for all three
classes to race at once. The three classes at the event are:
- Sled Class: Any sled powered by windsurfing rig where rider is standing
- Hand Held Class: Any wing held directly by hand
- Kite Class: Any wing connected by line
Kites used the snow covered course whiles sleds and wings ran Short Track
Slalom [STS] on a plowed area of ice - again - props to the organizers &
volunteers who made this possible!
Winds on Chain Lake were a fraction of what was expected, but competitors
from Finland, Canada, Sweden, USA, Latvia, France, Russia, Switzerland,
Cuba, made the best of it. Results are found at
BACKGROUND: The WISSA Ice & Snow Sailing World Championships are the
longest running international competitions in the history of windsurfing,
kite sailing, and wing sailing - ironic given that at least two of those
are perceived as water sports. Next year's contest will be in Kalajoki,
Finland, and 2014 will be in Quebec. -- http://www.wissa.org
FAST IN ALL CONDITIONS
Optimum sail shape varies with wind speed and sea state. In smooth water a
flat shape with little twist provides high pointing and excellent speed;
but a narrow groove and poor acceleration. In chop a deeper more twisted
shape provides a wider steering groove and better acceleration; but lower
pointing and speed. Learn how to achieve full power, get the best mix of
power, balance power between the main and jib, and how to evaluate your
performance at a North U TRIM Seminar or Webinar. And then we turn
downwind. Full info at http://www.northu.com
RECORDS FROM THE HARD
The World Sailing Speed Record Council was established in 1972 to provide
impartial results for increasing numbers of claims to high speed sailing
craft. The organization was empowered by the International Sailing
Federation to establish the standards that records must follow, and to
insure that the results are accurate.
But the domain of the WSSRC is soft water only. Here we have an update from
Jeff Brown regarding hard surface sailing - ice and land:
Here is some news for Iceboards in the northeast. This video has some
unique features with use of Dashware to show realtime speeds in sync with
GPS speed data output and video time, along with GPS track data overlay:
On February 12th, we set new official GPS World Record speeds as recognized
by the World GPS Surfing Record Committee (WGPSSRC). Five other
participants each surpassed the 50 knot barrier!
Ice Record Rankings page: http://tinyurl.com/GPS-ICE-030512
Record Committee: http://tinyurl.com/GPS-KITE-030512
These speeds are quite accurate, by using two specialized GT-31 GPS units,
averaged together, for a specific time period of a single 10 second speed
run. This has become a universal standard for GPS speeds as practiced by
windsurfers and kitesurfers around the world.
Record claims must be submitted to the WGPSSRC for complete review of data,
in depth study of accuracy, including the # of satellites locked in! There
is also a special protocol to be followed to make any record claim.
Other "fun" rankings on the site are under more liberal submittals and use
an average of your best 5 runs, each 10 seconds long and then averaged
together. Anyone can upload their GPS data to be listed in those rankings.
The Top 10 on upper right reflects the current "Fun" category.
Here is a standard fun ranking overall for all crafts, ice & land combined:
Two other sister sites:
ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE
(March 5, 2012; Day 15) - As the Volvo Ocean Race media man Yann Riou on
Groupama 4 reported today, "The days are tending to become a little
monotonous". And we can well understand this sentiment since Franck Cammas
and his men have been on the same point of sail for over a week!
Seven days heeled over on port tack, in a breeze varying between 8 and 25
knots, where the only manoeuvres involve shifting the stack of sails
longitudinally and switching from the J1 to the J2 genoa, then back to the
J1 or the Code 0. Stadium sailing, it is not.
Then there is the stifling heat of the equator, with the sun directly
overhead, without the possibility of really opening the hatches to get some
air circulating down below. The onboard atmosphere is both sticky and
heavy, and it will be another three to four days before the tropical heat
fades as a result of a more temperate austral autumn offshore of New
Zealand. Glamour sailing, it is not.
The story today was the merging of the east and west factions. The eastern
boats are burning gauge for bearing, while the clocking forecast of the ESE
winds are drawing the western boats to the east before it becomes too late.
The meeting area is just west of New Caledonia, where all the teams will
offer enough berth to avoid its shadow before turning left for the finish.
- Source: Groupama 4, Scuttlebutt
Leg 4 - Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL (5,220 nm)
Standings as of Tuesday, 06 March 2012, 1:01:15 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 1197.8 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 98.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 157.1 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 213.7 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 251.3 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 344.1 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
CHINA SEA - 2, RACES - 0
When the Volvo Ocean Race sought to start their leg from Sanya, China to
Auckland, New Zealand on February 19th, a voracious storm thought
otherwise. But with huge crowds and television coverage planned for the
Sunday event, they forged a solution for an inshore race that would restart
on Monday when the offshore conditions eased.
This past weekend, the Clipper 11-12 Race fleet was to depart on Sunday
(Mar. 4) from Qingdao, China for their 6000 nm leg to Oakland, CA. But when
difficult weather conditions and poor visibility blanketed the race course,
the China Sea would soon be halting its second race.
With an exceedingly lavish departure ceremony shown live on Chinese
television, the show had to go on. An icy blast brought snow showers
sweeping across the Olympic Sailing Centre just before the boats were to
leave the harbor. But rather than remain in harbor, the fleet motored to a
waypoint 25nm offshore to wait out the storm.
That moment finally came Monday morning when the race got underway at 0235
UTC (1035 local time). The fleet is expected to arrive in Oakland,
California between 1-7 April and will be hosted by the 2012 Strictly Sail
Pacific Boat Show in Jack London Square.
BACKGROUND: The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race started on July
31st from Southampton on the UK's south coast and will return to the Solent
in July 2012 after 40,000 miles of ocean racing - the world's longest ocean
race. Over 500 people representing more than 40 nations plan to compete
among the 10 equally matched 68-foot long masthead cutters designed by Ed
Dubois. They can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more of
eight legs. http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com
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Since then, despite some pretty gnarly conditions, we seem to have stayed
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MELGES 32 WINTER CIRCUIT
Miami, FL (March 4, 2012) - After two days of racing at the 2012 Melges 32
Miami Championship, racing was called off on Sunday as a fast approaching
cold front was expected to deliver severe weather and high winds beyond
class rule limitations. The winner in the 26 boat fleet after six races was
Alec Cutler aboard Hedgehog, aided by tactician Richard Clarke, crew
members Max Skelley, Mike Wolfs, Eric Dorman, Charlie Pucciariello, Sarah
Callahan and Alan 'Budda' Nakanishi.
With the conclusion of the Melges 32 Miami Championship came the end of the
2012 Midwinter Championship Series. The Series consisted of combined scores
from the 2011 Gold Cup in Fort Lauderdale, Key West and Miami. A total of
thirty-two teams competed in the Series and atop the field is Champion John
Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti. Steve Howe on Warpath place second overall and
initially lead the Series starting with a big win at Gold Cup and a fifth
in Key West. A disappointing 13th in Miami surrendered his MCS lead.
Rounding on the top three was Joel Ronning's Catapult.
Miami report: http://www.melges32.com/?p=news&id=876
Series report: http://www.melges32.com/?p=news&id=877
John Payne photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0305/
FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
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* Miami, FL (March 5, 2012) - Conditions were near perfect as 51 teams of
Star sailors headed out on Biscayne Bay for the first day of racing in the
85th BACARDI Cup. Headlining BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by
EFG Bank, the Stars will race alone through Thursday, March 8, after which
they will be joined by the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80
classes. The Austrian team of five-time Olympian Hans Spitzauer, sailing
with Gerd Habermueller, won today's series opener. Racing concludes for all
classes on Saturday, March 10. -- Full report:
* Long Beach, CA (March 4, 2012) - One hundred thirty seven dinghy entries
competed in the Southern California Yachting Association's annual E.E.
Manning Regatta, organized and hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Winners
among the seven divisions were Chuck Sinks and 16-year-old offspring Scott
who won the Snipe and CFJ classes, respectively. -- Full report:
* St. Petersburg, FL (March 5, 2012) - Forty-one teams are competing this
week at the Thistle Midwinter's East Championship, hosted by St. Petersburg
Yacht Club on March 5-9.
Paul Abdullah rolled a 2-1 to lead the field after the first day, with
defending champion Greg Griffin two points back in second place. --
* Yale University sits on top of a very deep field at the beginning of the
2012 spring college team racing season. Rankings are based on college
teams' performance in team race regattas and an average of the polling from
the Team Race Ranking Panelists: Ken Legler (Tufts), Bill Healy (Yale),
John Vandemoer (Stanford), Ward Cromwell (Charleston), and Brendan Healy
(Navy). Here are the latest rankings for 02 MARCH 2012:
* The 125 nm spring race from Newport Beach, Calif. to Ensenada, Mexico has
been renamed the Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race. The luxury car
company is now the new title sponsor for the 65th annual offshore race that
starts Friday, April 27. With 170 boats already entered, the N2E is in
resurgence toward its traditional levels of participation, and is expected
to far exceed last year's total of 175. -- Full report:
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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 Eric Sorensen:
For Mike Hobson and his solution on GPS coordinates using a VHF (in
Scuttlebutt 3540), the VHF has to have the AIS broadcast for it to show up
on another boat's GPS with AIS ID. If all mark and committee boats have
this they can see each other on the screen of the GPS. It does require a
GPS that can interface with the VHF. A handheld of either will not work. It
can get expensive, but then it is easy.
* From Peter van Muyden:
The Garmin Rino GPS units contain a GMRS radio. The geographic location of
the GPS's are sent as waypoints when two radios are communicating. There is
an option to broadcast waypoints between radios that use the same
frequency. Geographic locations of other radios can be polled.
* From John N. Dennis:
I am truly sad for Brad and his family on the loss of Le Pingouin and his
personal bankruptcy (in Scuttlebutt 3540). That Brad could not find
sponsorship in the USA for his last race is very sad. Twice Brad swept all
legs of this race in 2002-3 and 2010-11. Brad would go out of his way to
help all of his fellow competitor in these races. A finer person would be
hard to find.
Brad also led the building of South Carolina's sail training ship and
development of a fantastic waterfront program along with his wife. To be
sued for rent by a landlord after he had left the organization is
disgraceful. Go break some records Brad.
It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong, and an even bigger one to keep
his mouth shut when he's right.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
APS - Gowrie Group - North U - Atlantis WeatherGear - Soft Deck
North Sails - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Ullman Sails - The Pirates Lair
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers