SCUTTLEBUTT 3544 - Friday, March 9, 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.
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"IT'S AS CLOSE TO NASCAR RACING AS YOU GET"
American Morgan Larson has come up just short plenty of times, thank you
very much. Barely scraping out a win is much better. Competing for the
first time in the Extreme Sailing Series, the American skipper led Oman Air
to a surprise victory in the season's opening act at The Wave on the Gulf
of Oman last week.
Larson's crew immediately surprised the field, jumping into a tie for the
lead after the opening day of the four-day event, then consistently sailing
to dominant victories as the week unfolded.
"It's an amazing feeling," Larson said. "It was a challenging week and
obviously our learning curve was quite steep. But this was really hard
racing and any team could have won going into those last couple of races
and we were just lucky that they went well for us. I'm sure there was a bit
of beginner's luck to this one and we just dug in and focused hard."
Larson may be new to the Extreme circuit, but he's hardly new to sailing.
His has been a successful career sprinkled with wild disappointments.
The son of a sailor growing up in Santa Cruz, Calif., Larson won the junior
national championship in 1988. He went on to enjoy a successful college
career, splitting time between the College of Charleston and the University
of Hawaii, and winning a national title in the process. Larson said college
sailing's style is similar in some aspects to Extreme Sailing.
"College sailing's a great arena," he said. "It's obviously slower boats
than this form of sailing, but it is tight-course racing and a little bit
of positioning. Skills you learn in that help you in this kind of racing.
"It would be like a football field that's the size of a tennis court - it's
just more man-on-man."
Larson faced the well-worn post-college dilemma - pursue his dream, or get
a real job.
The thin line between a life of sailing and a life in the business world
came down to the simplest of things: Beer.
"After college I just thought I was going to get a job and then some guy
asked me to come race on his boat," Larson said. "(He was) an amateur sort
of weekend sailor who wanted to win a race and hired a couple of us young
guys and gave us some beer money, basically, and a few bucks. That worked
out well and it just started snowballing from there."
Thus was launched a successful career that's seen Larson compete in two
America's Cups and make a serious run for the Olympics three times, in
1996, 2000 and 2004. -- China Daily, read on: http://tinyurl.com/CD-030812
BACKGROUND: The Extreme Sailing Series is in its sixth season, with this
year's eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and South America.
The platform used is the one design Extreme 40 catamaran, with the format
for event including both ocean and 'stadium' short-course racing in front
of the public. Interest in the ESS has grown in part due to the multihull
format planned for the 34th America's Cup in 2013. --
HIGH SCHOOL SAILING RIDES A WAVE OF POPULARITY
By Deborah Bach, Three Sheets Northwest
(March 8, 2012) - Looking around at the teens on the docks and out racing
in the waters off the Seattle Yacht Club on Saturday, Brendan Fahey smiled.
It was a sight to see - more than 120 guys and girls from about 25 high
schools racing on Portage Bay for the seasonal kick-off of the
Interscholastic Sailing Association's Northwest District (NWISA).
It wasn't like this when Fahey joined the sailing team at North Kitsap High
School in the late 1990s. Back then, there were only about seven registered
high school sailing teams in the district.
"High school sailing gives kids like myself, who aren't in sailing families
or members of yacht clubs, a chance to get out on the water," said Fahey,
28, who now coaches high school sailing.
"We are so lucky to live in a place where the idea of having sailing as a
high school sport is real."
It's real - and it's growing. The Interscholastic Sailing Association, the
national governing body for high school sailing in the U.S., reports
increased numbers of high school sailing teams across the country.
Participation in NWISA - which includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho
and British Columbia - has increased fivefold over the past six years, to
more than 25 schools with registered teams.
Crews and coaches watch the races from the Seattle Yacht Club docks. So the
Northwest seems a fitting place to host the 2012 Mallory Cup Double-Handed
Championship, which will bring the top sailors from around the country to
Seattle to compete for the nation's most prestigious high school trophy.
The championships will be held at The Center for Wooden Boats on May 11-13,
with the district championships there the previous weekend. It will be only
the second time the Mallory Cup championships have been held in the region,
said NWISA President Burke Thomas.
"It's a huge deal," he said. "It's really exciting."
How to attract more young people to sailing - and thus ensure a future for
it - is a topic of increasing focus among yacht clubs and marine businesses
as the boating demographic ages. -- Read on:
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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Lanee Beashel is an accomplished Olympian (she has competed in four Olympic
Games - 1992/1996/2000/2004, Women's Windsurf), the mother of two young
children and wife of pro-sailor Adam Beashel. Here she shares her story,
her passion for the sport and plenty of advice to young sailors and parents
* How and when did you start sailing?
LANEE: I learned how to sail on a Blue-Jay out of Port Washington, NY when
I was 10 years old. (I was born in Manhasset, but moved to California when
I was 5. My parents would send my sister and myself back to NY every summer
to live with my Aunt and Uncle so we could grow up sailing at the PWYC with
our cousins). Both my Dad and older sister, Lynn, windsurfed and sailed but
we started racing boards together when I was 15 in Dana Point Harbor. We
were lucky, it was when windsurfing was at its prime back in the late 1980s
and we had a strong local fleet at our harbor and in Southern California.
* How did you evolve from a young aspiring sailor to a top pro?
LANEE: I think the reason my sister and I loved it so much was that there
was a group of kids our age that all started windsurfing together and then
when a few of the kids started racing outside our fleet, my Dad, sister and
I went too. I was fortunate to have been racing as a Youth and a Woman, so
I had many opportunities open to me.
During that time, there were so many different types of one-design
windsurfers on the scene. I was racing on the Original Windsurfer, Waylar,
Mistral Superlight, Mistral SST and Division II. Every different board had
their own National series and Worlds throughout the year, so it wasn't
uncommon for me to fly to Florida for a National race one weekend and drive
to San Diego the next for a different board's National race.
When I was 19, they announced a separate women's class at the 1992
Olympics, which gave me a real chance to qualify for the Games (I had been
campaigning for 1988, but we raced against the men and it was going to be
very tough to win a trials). I just started at UC Irvine and was on their
sailing Team, so I decided to embark on a windsurfing campaign while I was
getting my BA. I always enjoyed competing and traveling, but it wasn't
until I decided to campaign for 1992 that I made the choice to get really
serious and focus on getting to the Trials with a shot at winning.
This was the point where I really changed my outlook. I was never going to
turn 'Pro' and do the World Tour; for me the Olympic side of windsurfing
was what I wanted to do. I preferred racing on the same equipment and
having the sailor race against the sailor knowing when you came back to the
beach, no one could say 'your equipment was better than mine'. World Cup at
the time was very equipment based and it was run over 3 disciplines, Waves,
Course Racing and Slalom. I love the tactical side of Olympic class racing
and back then, with no pumping, long courses and lots of upwind really
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/CP-030812
ONE FINAL CLIMB TO THE FINISH
(March 8, 2012; Day 18) - Before they can step onto the dock in Auckland,
Franck Cammas and his Groupama 4 team still have a day and a half at sea,
beating into a strong South-East to easterly wind, which will fade as they
make their way along the coast of New Zealand.
But with the forecast appearing sufficiently stable, expect only a
breakdown or mutiny to dislodge the French. However, the remaining podium
places are far from certain. "It is going to be a very close finish, that's
for sure," noted Gonzalo Infante, Volvo Ocean Race chief meteorologist
While the French are first to confront winds up to 38 knots and seven meter
seas, the conditions will stick around for their competitors. "These are
incredibly hard conditions for the end of a leg," said Infante. "The middle
three boats - PUMA, Telefónica and CAMPER - will also have to face the
winds and waves but it is decreasing."
Infante said a compression of the fleet was likely as they entered the
final few hundred miles to Auckland. "The race is very much open for the
five boats behind Groupama. It is going to be a very close finish, that's
Leg 4 - Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL (5,220 nm)
Standings as of Friday, 09 March 2012, 1:01:24 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 338.8 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 112.3 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 138.4 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 147.0 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 199.9 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 217.2 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
* Miami, FL (March 8, 2012) - Racing got underway in earnest today for the
five classes - Star, Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80 -
competing in BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. The
Star fleet, competing for the 85th BACARDI Cup, had started racing on
Monday but was sidelined for the last two days as a weather system
generating high winds and hazardous marine conditions sat over the area.
Today, with easterly winds in the upper teens, the Stars resumed their
series, joined by the Melges 20 and 24 along with the Viper 640 and J/80
classes. -- Full report:
* St. Petersburg, FL (March 8, 2012) - It was moving day at the 41-boat
Thistle Midwinter's East Championship, with the top three teams now within
two points leading into the final races on Friday. Skip Dieball helped
himself the most today by winning both races, and now sits in third
position. A 3-3 by Allan Terhune, Jr. has given his team the lead after a
4-13 by Paul Abdullah dropped his team to second. -- Results:
* Sailors from Peru, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. finished tight
competition in the Techno 293 North American Championships held at the
Calema Windsurf Center in Merritt Island, Florida. The sailors enjoyed a
variety of conditions in six races before the third day was blown out with
30 knot gusts. The Techno 293s were part of a windsurfing festival with 97
windsurfers in the Formula, RS:X, and Kona 1 classes. Rasmus Sayre narrowly
pulled out the podium over Jonathan Rudich and Juan Bazo in the Under 17
Techno class, and Maximo Nores bested Maria Bazo in the Under 15 division.
-- Full report:
* Charleston, SC (March 8, 2012) – The Maserati racing yacht, which
departed Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday to seek proper weather in
their quest to better the current 24-hour sailing record of 597 miles, has
postponed their attempt. While sailing toward Cape Hatteras, the VO 70s
windward rudder was seriously damaged after hitting a chunk of wood in the
Atlantic. The crew has returned to Charleston where Maserati's rudder will
be immediately replaced with a spare. -- Full story:
* The IRC rating system is administered around the world through Rule
Authorities, although all certificates are processed either by the RORC
Rating Office or the UNCL Centre de Calcul. The Rule Authority helps
regarding applications, measurements, any local policies regarding weighing
and measurement, or any IRC queries that owners or race organisers have (if
they don't know the answer, they will pass on the query to RORC or UNCL).
The appropriate Rule Authority is based on where the boat predominantly
races (as opposed to where she may be registered). A list of Rule Authority
contacts in now online:
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include Hungarian surfing, too old for that, selling the sport, March
calendar, Bimini racing, and Cruising Club of America award winners. Here
are this week's photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0309/
* Stu Johnstone posted this photo on the Scuttlebutt Facebook page. What
were you doing in 1977? Go Jumbos! - http://tinyurl.com/FB-030812
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
Before the arrival of spring turns these videos into old news, this week we
provide two clips of winter action. If you want some hard water speed,
these windsurfing iceboards are now surpassing the 50 knot barrier. If you
want to freestyle on snow, save the lift ticket money and take the skis and
kite to where the wind blows. With the ease of these stand-up sailing
options, now everywhere offers year round sailing. Click here for this
week's videos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/12/0309/
* This week on Episode 29 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we uncover Emirates
Team New Zealand racing dragon boats against rugby team Auckland Blues in a
best of three challenge. Then we're in San Francisco at the St. Francis
Yacht Club for the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. Then we go
behind the scenes of the second Americas's Cup Competitor Forum of 2012.
Tune in on Saturday March 10 approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
* The March 9 World on Water Weekly Global Boating Video News Report starts
with our "Fresh to Frightening" action segment of last Sunday's Sydney 18
Footers Skiff Race where 9 out of the 14 boats capsized in the gusting
Nor'easter, the Global Ocean Race Punta del Este Leg 3 finish, the 2012
RS:X European Championships in Madeira, the Farr 40 Australian
Championships in Sydney, Mid-way in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race China-New
Zealand and Act 1 of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series in the Wave, Muscat.
See all the fast action on http://www.boatson.tv approx 1100 GMT, 0600 EST.
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 Sam Blalock:
I read your report about the Melges 24 class (in Scuttlebutt 3543), and I
give the class credit for making a rules adjustment to moderate what they
now realize is excessive hiking. I am sure there are some young teams that
are bitter about the idea, but given how the class is fully professional
with the top crew being well paid, maybe this change will neutralize this
However, what is shocking is that it will take the class a year to figure
out how to tighten the lifeline. So for another season, the majority of the
class suffers, because the decision makers are worried about offending the
members. Guess what... some people aren't going like it but most will. The
lifelines in the J/80 are bone tight and that class is doing fine. Just do
* From Bill Artuzzi:
Regarding your observations on the Melges 24 Class, probably best to not
equate 'athleticism' with the endurance of pain.
* From Pete Thomas:
Per your report in Scuttlebutt 3543, the decision whether Brit Ben Ainslie
gets a pair of sailing handcuffs due to his Rule 69 violation is in the
hands of ISAF. But ISAF is mostly funded by the International Olympic
Committee, and if Ainslie is set free, he will compete in the Olympics
where a medal winning performance could make him the greatest sailing
Olympian ever. And this would get an avalanche of media attention. Can ISAF
be trusted in making a decision with such an enormous conflict of interest?
If you have nothing to do, don't do it here.
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