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SCUTTLEBUTT 3548 - Thursday, March 15, 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: Atlantis WeatherGear and Ullman Sails.
DATA TO HELP SHAPE FUTURE OF SAILING
Yachting Australia has released the findings of a research report into the
perceptions of sailing in Australia. Developed over six months by leading
sports and entertainment consultancy firm gemba, the report will shape
future Yachting Australia and yacht club programs to increase membership
Funding for the research project was provided by the Australian Sports
Commission (ASC) and was conducted between September and November last year
and involved a quantitative survey sent to nearly 30,000 people, including
club members, a series of focus group meetings, primarily with people not
currently in the sport, and workshops with key stakeholders including
Yachting Australia and the BIA.
In releasing the report Yachting Australia CEO Phil Jones said that the
information will be used to shape a number of future programs and
"In working with the ASC on the Participation initiatives in our Strategic
Plan, we jointly identified the lack of solid data and evidence into the
levels of participation in sailing, and what the drivers and barriers were
to increasing it," Jones said. "Whilst there are plenty of opinions in the
sailing community, we really needed solid and objective information about
what club members and the Australian public think of our sport.
"There are no big surprises to what many people would have guessed, but
there are lots of insights and identified priorities that will enable us to
be much more effective in growing participation," said Yachting Australia
Sport Development Director, Ross Kilborn. "The report identifies the roll
out of a national junior program, targeting seven year olds as our highest
priority, closely followed by the development of an entry brand and program
to improve communication with all Australians."
The top six insights in the Report Summary are:
- Australians generally have a low rate of both participation in, and
passion for, sailing (we rank 34th and 37th respectively amongst all
- Sailing is perceived as an 'exclusive' sport while not being seen as very
'accessible'. Yacht Clubs are generally not welcoming, and are for older
- On average, the starting age of sailing is much higher than other sports
with established junior programs
- Primary and Secondary school age children, and young families have the
highest interest in participating in sailing in the future
- Relaxation is consistently the most important reason for participation in
sailing among both current sailors and those interested in sailing. New
participants are interested in a social, relaxed activity rather than
competition, the later tending to be more important to current club
- The main barrier for future participation is the perceived cost of
sailing. Boat ownership, maintenance, storage costs, and annual membership
payment, are expensive, especially for a family.
Full report: http://www.yachting.org.au/?Page=58965
COMMENT: My guess is the results of this survey would be similar if
conducted in the United States. However, what I wonder about is how
different would the results of this survey be if conducted 30 years ago.
Comments welcome. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
FRANKEN-GATTA: IS IT SKIING? IS IT SAILING?
By Tim Zimmermann, Sailing World
Any good regatta organizer knows that it's best to make the most of what
your sailing venue has to offer, whether it's big wind, beautiful scenery,
excellent food, night - I mean dance - clubs, or any and all of the above.
And some venues - think Key West or San Francisco Bay - maybe have a little
more to work with than others. Regardless, it always pays to think outside
Take the Laser fleet of Park City, Utah. They have an enthusiastic,
fun-loving fleet. They have a surprisingly excellent sailing area, the
Jordanelle Reservoir, which is tucked into the mountain landscape, but by a
quirk of the Gods (or maybe it was the engineers who built the thing) has
pretty reliable, and sometimes honking, winds. How do I know? Well, I went
racing there, in the 2011 No Coast Regatta.
That was enough (okay, the steak dinner and copious craft beers helped) to
sell me on the idea of Park City as a Laser sailing destination. But the
Park City Laser-heads aren't prepared to rest on pure sailing fun. Perhaps
they have too much time on their hands. Perhaps they are geniuses. Maybe
both. Either way, last year they launched a regatta that takes full
advantage of Park City's mountain location: the SkiGatta.
It's a brilliant, though almost inevitable, idea. Take two days. Sail on
the first. Ski on the second. Combine the scores to determine who kicks ass
best on both water AND snow. The first SkiGatta, held last April, was
blessed with a massive snow dump and light enough winds to keep the Lasers
upright (sailing day photos are here). Jay Miles, the winner over eight
other ski-sailors, had a nearly perfect background for success. He was a
college sailor, but spent his early school years being taken out of class
to travel to northeast ski resorts by a father who sold advertising for
"Jay is falling down on his ABCs," a miffed teacher wrote on his
Kindergarten report card. "Yeah, but he could ski your ass off," Miles'
father wrote back.
"We sailed college-style races right off the ramp, because we were the only
ones crazy enough to be on the water. Then we came in and had a killer
party Saturday night," Miles says of the 2011 SkiGatta, with NASTAR-style
slalom runs to follow on Sunday (ski day photos are here). "We had an
absolute blast." -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/SW-031412
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NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
What happened to those iconic figures that we had grown to know at the helm
of America's Cup yachts? In America's Cup 2.0, they have been pushed out,
replaced now by a generation of Olympic pros.
Among the new faces is 26-year old Aussie skiff sailor Nathan Outteridge,
who is spending a lot of time on the water and in airports as he juggles
his new role with Team Korea and the push for a medal in the 2012 Olympics
with 49er crew Iain Jensen. Here is part two of Nathan's chat with
Scuttlebutt colleague Michelle Slade ...
Your bio says you live in Wangi Wangi - where the heck is Wangi Wangi?
OUTTERIDGE: (laughs.) It's pronounced 'Wonggee Wonggee'- it's a little bay
on Lake McQuarrie which is about a 1:45 minute drive north of Sydney. It's
near Newcastle - a big inland lake that's actually a lot bigger than Sydney
Harbor but with hardly any traffic on it and lots of dinghy and skiff
sailing. Chris Nicholson - the driver on Camper in the current Volvo and
also an Olympic 49er sailor lives in the same area. It's a bit of a skiff
breeding ground. I grew up there and once I got older I'd make the drive to
Sydney every weekend where the competition and coaches are.
Who do you consider your competition out there?
OUTTERIDGE: Good question - there's so many out there in sailing and it's
such a diverse sport. I used to really look up to Chris Nicholson when I
was a younger kid because he was so close to what I was wanting to do - he
was unreal on the 18-footers and three times World champion in the 49er -
he was the guy I was always trying to chase - I was almost a generation
ahead of myself. I thought if I could get to be as good as him I'd do
pretty well in the world of sailing.
In terms of people who I race against - there's obviously the Spanish guys
Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez. They've been the benchmark for me over
the past few years in 49er racing - when they came back at the recent test
event it was very impressive to see how well they did with very little
training on the boat. Tom Slingsby is one of my best mates and an unreal
sailor and he's really only sailed Lasers for the past 15 years but he's
been ratcheting up recently - whenever I get to race with him whether it's
in the Moth or the A, it's always a good race - it's fun competition
between the two of us and I think you'll see him go a long way in the Cup
now with Oracle.
THE SWEET SPOT FOR VOLVO OPEN 70S
Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race could be set to produce record breaking high
speed sailing as the six boat fleet takes on fierce storms and huge ocean
swells on their way from New Zealand to Brazil.
With no more than a week to regroup after finishing the punishing fourth
leg from China the teams have had to hustle in Auckland to be ready for
what is likely to be their toughest test yet -- a daunting Southern Ocean
passage around Cape Horn to the Brazilian city of Itajai.
At 6,705 nautical miles (nm) Leg 5 is the longest of the race and takes the
boats into the world's most remote and inhospitable stretches of open
On their way to Itajai the crews will face ocean swells the size of
buildings, storm force winds, freezing temperatures as well as taking on
Chile's infamous Cape Horn.
Bordered only in the south by the frozen wastes of Antarctica, the Southern
Ocean is characterised by rapidly moving low pressure storm systems that
circle the world's lower latitudes unfettered by major landmasses to slow
Fed by the steep temperature gradient between the Antarctic Ocean and the
South Pacific these high intensity weather systems can generate winds up to
60 knots as they tear eastwards.
According to race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante Leg 5's predominantly broad
reaching- downwind sailing conditions could well see a new IWC Schaffhausen
Speed Challenge 24 hour distance record set.
"This is going to be a leg for fast downwind sailing," Infante said. "Based
on data from previous races and current weather models we expect the boats
to sailing fast open angles in average winds well over 20 knots. This is
the sweet spot for Volvo Open 70s and we could see some huge 24 hour runs."
-- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-031412
CHANGES: Finnish sailor Thomas Johanson will be joining PUMA Ocean Racing
for Leg 5, replacing injured helmsman Kelvin Harrap. Johanson, one of
Finland's most experienced sailors, raced on board Ericsson 3 in the
2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race and has represented his country at the Olympics on
three occasions, winning gold in the 49er class at the Sydney Games in
New Zealander Harrap was forced out of Leg 5 with carpal tunnel syndrome in
both arms as well as bursitis in his elbow, but will still sail with the
crew for Saturday's In-Port Race. Harrap will begin treatment in New
Zealand immediately and, if successful, will rejoin the crew of PUMA's Mar
Mostro for Leg 6 from Brazil to Miami. -- Full story:
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
SCHEDULE: Racing heats up in Auckland on Friday for the Pro-Am and the
In-Port on Saturday before the start for Leg 5 to Itajai, Brazil on Sunday.
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
* San Francisco port officials revealed Tuesday (Mar. 13) that they are
considering spending $18 million or more in city funds to upgrade
waterfront areas for the 2013 America's Cup regatta, including $7 million
to $8 million to partially overhaul Piers 30-32, which were once envisioned
as the spectator hub or team bases for the event. This would be a complete
revamp of a deal that initially had been based on providing development
rights and long-term leases to race organizers in exchange for fixing piers
the city couldn't afford to overhaul. Read more:
* Miami, FL (March 14, 2012) - The second stop on the Lightning Southern
Circuit wrapped up today for the forty boats that traveled to the Lightning
Midwinter Championship, where two more races completed the 6-race event.
While it was not an epic day for leader Greg Fisher, the 9-8 he posted with
crew Jo Ann Fisher and Jeff Eiber sufficiently managed the fleet to win the
title by two points over Midwesterner Jim Ward. The circuit now heads to
St. Petersburg for the final leg of the circuit. -- Full report:
* (March 14, 2012) - Ian Williams (GBR) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) hold top
spot in the Open and Women's Match Race Rankings ahead of a busy European
summer of match racing action. -- Read on: http://www.sailing.org/38020.php
ALCHEMY CROWNED FIRST IN CLASS IN VALLARTA RACE
Congratulations to Per Petersen and crew aboard Andrews 68 "Alchemy" - the
team scored first in Division 2 and 4th overall in the 2012 Vallarta Race
last week! On their "delivery" to Mexico's MEXORC regatta, Alchemy finished
the 1000nm race from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta in just over 5 days, 19
hours. Fully powered by Ullman Sails, the team competed with new GP Race
Carbon GPL mainsail, GP Race AP #1 genoa and a quiver of Red Line
spinnakers and staysails. Good luck to the team at MEXORC where they
currently stand first in class!
Invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free,
self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and
sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this
Mar 15-18 - Lightning Winter Championship - St Petersburg, FL, USA
Mar 15-18 - Don Q Rum Keg Snipe Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
Mar 16-18 - Sunfish International Master Championship - Sanford, FL, USA
Mar 16-18 - Sperry Top-Sider NOOD - San Diego, CA, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* New Stephens Waring Yacht Design brokerage service and satellite office
* Sparkman & Stephens, Spirit Yachts Announce New J-Class Project
* Safety in Man Overboard Rescue Equipment
* Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas Program Enters its 7th Season
* Largest resin-infused sailing yacht to be produced in Great Britain
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
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 Andrew Hurst, Seahorse Magazine Editor:
Regarding the question in Scuttlebutt 3547 as to when it was realized that
'Fit is fast', this one is easy. First time around it was Paul Elvstrom, no
After that, fitness in Olympic sailing developed steadily... until John
Bertrand (USA) appeared to dominate the Laser Class and then the Finn Class
in the late 70s early 80s, stepping into the Finn and winning the Gold Cup
with little weight but unprecedented fitness.
As 'wannabe' Laser contemporaries of JBs in the late 1970s, we all read
about his extraordinary training routine, including gym, jazz ballet,
mental, agility, etc under coach Pete (Monte?) and wept.
* From Frederick W. Mueller:
I have been around a bit over the years and have met some absolutely
incredible athletes in the sport. All had glory in their day....and not all
were Olympians, but pioneer athletes/champions in the sport. The ones I
remember (and this is a bit of a list, not in any kind of order) are Paul
Elvstrom, Carl van Dyne, Joe Duplin, Joerg Bruder, Franny Dolan, Peter
Commette, Dave Buemi, Magnus Liljedahl, I could go on.
There were many tough guys/gals......there is no doubt that fitness has
become an integral part of the sport, especially since technology and
systems have come into play (along with permissible kinetics).....and many
of these folks mentioned remember the day when weight jackets/clothing were
not being controlled.
Personally, I have to throw into this group my brother Mark, who at a 165lb
showed up at the Laser Midwinters, ripped his boat off the roof of his car
alone, carried it 300ft to the beach, took off, and won with well over 120+
boats competing He beat half the fleet before the racing began.
* From Eric Sorensen:
Regarding the next skipper of China Team for the AC45s (Scuttlebutt 3547),
after watching the 45s race in San Diego and following all of it since the
beginning, I note a trend towards the younger short course skippers. I know
it is obvious once you saw Russell Coutts step away from the helm and put
Bundy in his stead. Younger and hungry. These boats demand speed on all
Loick Peyron went on his successful 45 day round the world race and left
Yann Guichard in charge in San Diego. He took the AC45 helm for Energy
Team. They had their best series ever!
Hot rod drivers like Nathan Outteridge of Moth and other small fast boat
fame has been drafted for Team Korea. He is up against it with only 4-5
days on the boat before racing for the first time.
Phil Robertson for China Team, has the CV to step in and get the nod, being
young and a match racer. Both are good qualifiers for this class of racing
where things happen so quickly. Put some wind in the venue and reactions
need to be SO fast.
Who would have ever considered Jimmy Spithill old at 34? He is getting to
be the old dude of the fleet, but we still have Terry Hutchinson to cheer
for from AARP! Keep it fast and fun!
The 72s will just be that much MORE. Maybe Bora Gulari is getting some
phone calls now.
Experiments should be reproducible. They should all fail in the same way.
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