SCUTTLEBUTT 3546 - Tuesday, March 13, 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 RIBCRAFT.
LIKE DATING MARILYN MONROE
Olin Stephen's breakthrough 1929 design 'Dorade' would prove to influence
all concepts of ocean racing during the 1930's , 1940 and 1950's. This
52-foot yawl-rigged wooden boat from the black-and-white era now has her
sights set on the 635-mile Newport-Bermuda Race in June.
Along with several other crew in training for the Bermuda Race, Boats.com's
editor John Burnham learns some unexpected lessons while sailing for the
first time on the iconic Sparkman & Stephens beauty.
You learn about a boat quickly when the wind blows above 15 knots, and
that's what happened in St. Maarten over four days when several of us had
our first sail aboard Dorade. But even before absorbing the dozens of
sailing lessons the 82-year-old yawl had to teach us, we quickly discovered
that we'd first have to get used to sharing this classic Sparkman &
Stephens design every step of the way with the paparazzi.
Maybe it's not quite the same as dating Marilyn Monroe, but from the moment
we tied up at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club dock before the 32nd Heineken
Regatta (Mar. 1-4), all cameras were trained on our slender 52-foot
starlet. As dusk fell, ESPN's Jo Ankier came down the dock with her crew to
interview owner Matt Brooks and skipper Jamie Hilton under the lights on
Dorade's gleaming foredeck. The next day, Friday, Matt and his wife Pam
Rorke Levy gave more interviews at the regatta press conference, one of
which can be seen on the Heineken Regatta YouTube channel.
After Saturday's race, while we anchored off Marigot, a camera crew from
Martinique motored alongside and shot a short interview on the boat's
history with Greg Stewart, a naval architect in our crew who has worked on
technical aspects of the restoration. The crew then stayed aboard for half
an hour filming close-ups of Dorade's immaculate brightwork, her six-foot
tiller, skylights, and new Sitka spruce masts.
Finally, at the regatta's close, there were Jamie, Matt and Pam on camera
again with Jo Ankier, discussing the silverware Dorade had just won for us.
But it didn't end there: we were also waylaid at the post-race party by
crews from other boats who pulled out their cameras to show off their own
snapshots of Dorade as we had sailed nearby them.
While Dorade was looking good all weekend, she taught us plenty of other
lessons. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/Boats-031212
THE COURAGE TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR
By Dean Brenner, US Olympic Sailing Program
The 2012 US Olympic Sailing Team, our three top women's match racing teams
(one of which will qualify for the Olympic Team in May) and many members of
our 2012 Development Team all convened at the USOC Training Center in
Colorado Springs, CO for the last four days for a physical training camp.
It was a chance to check in on health and physical fitness levels for our
Olympians and match racing teams, and also a chance to immerse our Dev Team
sailors into the realities of what it will take for them to reach their
Olympic goals in 2016 or 2020.
For our Olympic Team members, the clock is ticking. The Games begin in 138
days, and for each of them, there is work remaining to be done. Some of
them are still working out their equipment choices. Some are trying to get
a little healthier or fitter or reach a target weight. Some are working on
an aspect of their racing, such as onboard communication or tactical
decision making. None of them are ready, today, for the Games to begin. But
the good news is that there are still 138 days to go, and in most cases, I
see our sailors on track for a good Games performance.
One of the things on the agenda this weekend was an intense experience with
the Navy SEALS program. You can see photos on our Facebook page, and I
won't recount it all here. But the summary is that it was an intense
experience that forced our sailors to examine the physical and mental pain
they could take. For most human beings, their threshold for "no more" is a
lot further out there than we think. Most of us stop doing something that
seems painful a lot earlier than we need to or should. The experience was
excruciating for the participants. Not all of them made it through. But it
was also excruciating to watch.
The value of these kinds of intense programs can be debated. It's not for
everyone, and it's a roll of the dice any time you decide to put your
charges through something like this. But there is one aspect of undeniable
value. It forced each of our sailors to take a hard look in the mirror. And
taking an honest and hard look in the mirror is a hard thing to do. It
takes courage put yourself through honest self-evaluation, because the
answers you get are not always fun or flattering. But it is important for
our sailors to be looking in the mirror in the lead up to the Games,
because self-improvement and the goal of being the best in the world
absolutely requires a healthy amount of self examination. -- Read on:
* Portsmouth, R.I. (March 12, 2012) - Fifty-two sailors have been named to
the 2012 US Sailing Development Team (USSDT), the pipeline team supported
by US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC). The USSDT was created in
2007 to help aspiring athletes, who have been identified as future Olympic
prospects, acquire the skills necessary to launch successful campaigns and
compete at the Olympic level. -- Full report:
NORTH U TRIM WEBINARS
North U Director Bill Gladstone will lead two Trim Webinars: March 24
(10a-5p edt, 7a-2p pdt) and March 27 & 29 (7-10p edt, 4-7p pdt). Learn how
to control angle of attack, sail depth, and twist to optimize upwind
performance in various wind and sea conditions in an interactive on-line
environment. 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 the North U TRIM Webinar. And then we turn downwind.
Full info at http://www.northu.com
MEXICAN SAILING EXTRAVAGANZA
By Chris Snow, North Sails
On my way home now from the 2012 Copa De Mexico regatta held this last week
on Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. What week it was both on and off
The Copa de Mexico is a two and half week long sailing extravaganza that
combines three events. First is the finish of the 1200 mile long San Diego
to Puerto Vallarta race. Second is the J/24 event which I participated in -
a World Championship style event sailed over 5 days (10 races) on Banderas
Bay. The third event is MEXORC which is a big boat event also over 5 days
that combines closed course racing and medium distance races around the
The venue, Banderas Bay, is the largest bay in the world and combines
stunning mountain backdrops with warm water and good wind. The event is
staged from the new Marina Rivera Nayarit in a small village on the north
side of the bay called La Cruz. All crews are housed at the Marival Resort,
a short bus ride away in Nuevo Vallarta - a large development of resorts
with good security and all the amenities.
The event is heavily subsidized by the state of Nayarit, the Mexican
federal government and the Mexican Tourism board. This helps to make it
quite affordable for more crews, and creates a whole fleet of ambassadors
for Mexico and the region. Fifty-two J/24s participated in this edition
with crews coming from the U.S., Sweden, Monaco, Italy, Chile, Germany,
France, Brazil, and of course Mexico. Charter boats are provided for all
out of country sailors.
With a large fleet, the starting line was quite long placing a real premium
on starting at the correct end. With fairly shifty conditions it was
important to be in phase right away with clear air, if you could do this
big gains could be made if not it was very difficult to break out of the
Here are some things I learned over the week that might help you in your
J/24 sailing (and other sailing as well):
- Always set the rig up for conditions at the start, don't worry about the
rest of the race speed off the line is essential.
- When starting allow plenty of time coming back on port to find a hole.
Keep going on port until you find one. Starting with a boat directly to
leeward is practically impossible.
- If in doubt set the boat up for the lulls.
- In choppy conditions always sail the boat flat... even if it feels
slow... The boat does not sideslip when flat.
- Downwind in choppy rolling seas spread crew weight as far as you can side
to side. This helps a lot of stabilize the boat.
- If port tack jib is favored and you are towards the front of the fleet be
careful about jibing under all the starboard boats approaching the weather
mark... Better to go a short distance and jibe in clear air.
- At downwind gates... If they are evenly favored go to one the one that
will have less downwind traffic.
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/NS-031212
LIKE NOWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD
They promised the warmest of welcomes as the Volvo Ocean Race returned
(this past weekend for the first time in 10 years - and the people of
Auckland and New Zealand certainly didn't disappoint.
More than 47,000 people flocked to the city's waterfront to watch the
arrival of the six boats at the end of the punishing 5,220 nautical mile
leg from Sanya in China. Hundreds of spectator boats hit the water over the
course of the day in support of the round the world sailors, over one third
of them Kiwis themselves returning home for the first time in months.
"It was an absolutely amazing welcome as expected," CAMPER with Emirates
Team New Zealand co-skipper and local hero Stu Bannatyne said. "Auckland
certainly did not disappoint. It's awesome to come back here. It's the
first time in 10 years the race has been here and I think it shows that the
race should come here every time."
Despite finishing the leg in sixth place, fellow Aucklander Richard Mason,
one Team Sanya's two Kiwi watch captains, was beaming as he stepped onto
the dock to rapturous applause. "It was a typical New Zealand welcome," he
said. "Thousands of people out, and they were following us all the way down
the coast too. It's been fantastic - really super cool."
The welcome blew away PUMA Ocean Racing skipper Ken Read, sailing into New
Zealand with the Volvo Ocean Race for the first time. "Holy smokes, that
was a lot of people," Read said. "Clearly New Zealand is a sailing country.
To say it's a pleasure to be here is a massive understatement, we can't
believe the support."
Navigator Will Oxley, one of the few non-Kiwis on board CAMPER, still found
a smile after his team were edged into fourth by Team Telefónica. "We
certainly put on a show and so did Auckland," he said. "It was amazing.
Nowhere else in the world do you get a welcome like this." --
Overall standing after Leg 4
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 121 points
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 103 points
3. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 98 points
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 78 points
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 53 points
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 22 points
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
SCHEDULE: After what has been the toughest leg so far, the sailors will
have their shortest turnaround time in port. Expect teams to be back on the
water by mid week for training, with the race schedule to begin on Friday
for the Pro-Am, the In-Port on Saturday, and the start for Leg 5 to Itajai,
Brazil on Sunday. 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
DISCOVER: GREAT GEAR FOR SPRING SAILING
If you're like us, you can't wait for the spring sailing season to get
started. Here at Atlantis HQ in Marblehead, longer days make us think about
the list of things we need to do to the boat to get it ready, as well as
the gear we need to stay dry and comfy while we're out there on those
chilly spring days. It's what our Aegis spray top and hybrid bib are
designed for, and you can find them at an Atlantis dealer near you or
online at http://www.AtlantisWeatherGear.com.
Discover Life on the Water. Discover Your Atlantis.
COMMENT: This past weekend I found myself on a 40-foot catamaran,
participating in a 70 mile race that was 'supposed' to offer reaching
conditions. Big shocker... the distance race travel guide lied again. It
was upwind the whole way, and while I did my share of belly-aching, it
would have been a lot worse had I not been outfitted with the team's
Atlantis gear. At least I was dry. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
A YEAR LATER, HARBOR STILL RECOVERING
Santa Cruz, CA (March 11, 2012) - Sailboats glide by, the chatter of
outdoor diners fill the air and crab can be bought straight off the boat,
but the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor has a long way to go before normal
returns to port.
A year after a tsunami turned the harbor into a whirl of tidal surges that
tore apart slips and tossed around boats like toys, just two of 23 damaged
docks have been replaced. Despite appearances, Port Director Lisa Ekers
said, there is evidence of the work that remains right under the balls of
"On a real stormy day, you can be standing here on one of our docks and
it's an e-ticket ride," Ekers said Friday, leading a tour of tsunami damage
one year later.
On March 11, 2011, the 9.0-magnitude Great Tohoku earthquake, one of the
five strongest recorded in history, shifted Toyko, the largest metropolitan
area in the world, 8 feet to the east.
Located 32 miles offshore and 20 miles deep, the temblor shoved the Earth
several inches off its axis and sent waves more than 100 feet high crashing
into Japan, killing more than 15,000 people. The resulting tsunami set off
several disasters, including the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown and,
when it reached Santa Cruz, the demolition of the harbor.
Recent damage estimates put the cost of repairs at $17 million. Two docks
that were completely destroyed - U and V docks - are finished, but the
harbor estimates it won't be until the end of next year before all 23 are
replaced, casualties of repeated surges that seemed as if they would never
"It wasn't like we had a tsunami. It was like we had 40 or 50 of them over
the course of 36 hours," Ekers said. -- Mercury News, read on:
* Brisbane, Australia (March 12, 2012) - The second day of competition at
the Laser World Masters Championships 2012 delivered sunshine with 10-15
knots of breeze that graced the waters of Moreton Bay. Kerry Waraker (AUS),
who was the Laser Radial Great Grand Master World Champion in 2005 in
Brazil, heads the Laser Radial Great Grand Master Division leader board.
American Peter Seidenberg, who can now drop his OCS, has moved up to fourth
position. Racing continues at the 2012 Laser World Masters Championships
until Saturday 17 March, with Wednesday March 14 the designated lay day. --
Full report: http://www.sail-world.com/newsfeed_show.cfm?nfid=12&nid=94794
* The International Kiteboarding Association has announced that the 2012
Course Racing World Championship will not take place in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil as planned due to problems getting the necessary permissions for an
event at that time of the year and thus a delay in event funding. The 2012
course racing world championship will be held instead at Cagliari,
Sardinia, Italy on October 2-7, 2012. -- Full report:
* San Pedro, CA (March 11, 2012) - Cal Maritime came into the Port of Los
Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta not
only to defend last year's championship but to make it madly interesting.
Their path to the title had its share of mishaps but they managed to save
the weekend and secure their second consecutive title in the West Coast's
only intercollegiate big boat regatta, five points ahead of 2010 winner USC
and 10 ahead of CSU Channel Islands. For the first time in the event's
five-year history, the top three teams were from California. -- Full
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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 Rob Dexter:
Regarding the lead story in Scuttlebutt 3545 concerning HUD glasses, call
me old school but we're fast approaching the point where actual sailing and
video games will be indistinguishable. Money issue aside, do we really want
our sport to develop to the point where the sailors will be taking orders
from computer programs on everything from tactics to sail shape.
While we're all free to do as we wish, I see the technology race in sailing
as a potential turn off when we're all trying to keep people coming out on
the water. While I race in the Thistle Class which until recently did not
allow any electronics, we did recently updated the rules to allow
pacemakers as required.
* From Dale & Jo Mogle:
Charlie Dole was one of Hawaii's sailing royalty (Eight Bells, Scuttlebutt
3545). The Mogle Family -- along with many others -- were indebted to
Charlie for his gentlemanly behavior, corinthian attitude and generous
manner. He was a role model we all looked up to and emulated. A fine sailor
and a great friend. He'll be missed.
* From Chris Luppens:
I was wondering why there is a great lack of scoring programs and other
useful apps for iPads and Androids?
FEEDBACK: Focusing on only the scoring programs, please email Scuttlebutt
about which ones can work on the iOS and Android platforms:
"When the cost of gas reaches $5 a gallon, it should include insurance." -
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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