SCUTTLEBUTT 3549 - Friday, March 16, 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: Southern Spars and New England Boatworks.
ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS.
By Erik Storck, U.S. Olympic 49er skipper
The Olympics are contested only once every four years. They come in and out
of the consciousness of the public in a similar timeframe. For an Olympic
athlete, however, the reality of the Olympics is constant. Now, the
constant reality of the Olympics for the athlete, for the first time for
us, is overlapping with the general consciousness of the public. This thing
that has ceaselessly driven us for the past three and a half years now
demands the attention of the world.
In the past couple of months, I have seen commercials for the Olympics on
NBC (though there are no sailing images yet...). I've seen a picture of the
Olympic Rings on a barge floating down the Thames on the cover of USA
Today. I've read articles about what impact the Olympics will have on the
British economy. We've been interviewed by NBC, and appeared on the cover
of each of our local papers. What was once a small group of followers and
supporters has ballooned since we qualified for the Games. The
rollercoaster ride of the Olympics has already begun, and there are still
over four months to go!
All this attention is what makes the Olympics special. Embracing the
uniqueness and chaos of the Games will be important for us to succeed. We
attended a camp for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and Development Team
at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs at the beginning of
this month. While in Colorado Springs, we had two very special experiences
that significantly helped us to prepare ourselves for the reality of the
Brandon Slay, a Gold Medalist in Wrestling at the Sydney Olympics in 2000,
spoke to us twice during our camp. His message was clear and direct.
Visualize yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, and you will
succeed. He defeated a Russian wrestler who had not lost in six years by
first beating him thousands of times in his mind. Our odds are
significantly better than that, and his message resonated with us. By
preparing ourselves mentally prior to even stepping off the plane in
London, we will be ready to execute the way we know we can.
The second significant experience came at the hands of the US Navy Seals,
two of who drove all the way to Colorado from San Diego to push us beyond
our perceived limits. The work is not done with four months to go. Having
experienced a training session that was very much beyond what we thought we
were capable of will serve as a reminder to us of what is possible. Gold is
POOR PERFORMANCE CHALLENGES CREW HARMONY
One of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's senior crew members, Justin Ferris, has
left the campaign with half the Volvo Ocean Race still to go, though
skipper Ian Walker has played down suggestions of disagreements among his
Ferris, an experienced helmsman and trimmer from New Zealand who started
his Volvo Ocean Race career with EF Language in 1997, left the team after
they arrived in Auckland following another disappointing leg.
It was a mutual decision, said Walker, who announced Ferris' replacement as
39 year-old Australian Anthony Nossiter, an Olympic rival of Ben Ainslie's
who competed on Djuice Dragons in the 2001-02 Whitbread Race.
Walker said: "Maybe it was coming back to New Zealand or maybe it was not
having seen his kids for six months I don't know but both of us felt we
were not getting the best out of each other and we should try something
different. It was fairly mutual really."
Abu Dhabi started this Volvo Ocean Race as favourites to win with a Bruce
Farr-designed boat built by Jason Carrington and a crew packed with
offshore experience and talent.
But after dismasting six hours into the race on the first leg from Alicante
to Cape Town, they have recorded three consecutive fifth place results and
their disappointing performance now rates as the biggest surprise of this
After 20,000 nm completed, the boat appears to excels only in a small range
of conditions and to date, those optimum conditions have eluded the fleet.
Also as the race has progressed, talk of problems in the crew have gathered
pace with Ferris' departure giving credence to the stories. -- The
Telegraph, read on: http://tinyurl.com/TT-031512
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
LIVESTREAM: Racing heats up in Auckland for the In-Port on Saturday at 2:00
pm local (Friday at 9:00 pm EDT) and the start for Leg 5 to Itajai, Brazil
on Sunday at 2:00 pm local (Saturday at 9:00 pm EDT). Both can be watched
online, live and replayed: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/live.html
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
SOUTHERN SPARS AT THE VOR STOPOVER IN AUCKLAND
Southern Spars is "raising the bar" at the Volvo Ocean Race's (VOR)
Auckland Stopover showcase, stand number 25. The stand showcases Southern
Spars history in the Whitbread/VOR; from the first Southern rig - Sir Peter
Blake's Steinlager II in 1989, to the current rigs on Telefonica and
Camper. There is a chance to win team clothing and a Whitbread/VOR history
DVD is screening. Our sales team is on-hand for any inquiries you have
about Southern Spars' products and services, and we will be using this time
to offer as many people as possible a chance to visit our custom-projects
facility in Auckland. -- http://www.southernspars.com
PHILOSOPHY ON CREW CHANGES
During the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race, it was not uncommon for the competing
teams to make crew changes. However, Ericsson 4, which dominated the event,
kept the same crew intact for the entire race. E4 skipper Torben Grael
provides his observations on crew changes:
* What was the crew rotation plan at the beginning of the race and has that
TORBEN GRAEL: The plan on Ericsson 4 was to not have any rotation, and I
think when things go well, normally you do not have the rotation. I think
the rotation is something you do normally do to work around some
circumstances. In Brasil 1 (during 2005/6 Volvo Ocean Race) we had a
planned rotation to bring Knut Frostad for the Southern Ocean legs, the
reason there was that we were quite an inexperienced crew and nobody had
sailed those legs before so we thought it was a good idea to have someone
with more experience on those legs. So that was the reason. Apart from
that, the only other rotation was the navigator and that was for other
reasons. I think the fact here that we haven't had any rotations is that
nobody has gotten hurt and that the crew is getting along well together.
And I think that is a very good sign.
* How much easier is it to keep the crew together when you are winning?
TORBEN GRAEL: I don't think it is necessarily about winning or losing. It
is more if things are going well or not. I don't think we necessarily need
to win to have the perception of being successful. This was much the case
with Brasil 1.
It is harder when things are going bad, and there is not a good atmosphere
onboard, that is when you have to change. It is very easy to need that,
because it is a long period of time to be together with ten other guys in a
high pressured environment. It is very easy for things to not go well and
you need to make a change. The good thing is that we have done a lot of
practice before so we had a good idea before that if things were not going
to go well, we would have had an indication beforehand due to our proper
Full interview: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/09/0509/
COMMENT: When I spoke to Ken Read after the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race about
crew changes, he acknowledged that some of his were not planned. But he
also wondered out loud if E4 was able to keep their crew together due to
their blistering performance. "It's easier to manage the crew when you're
winning," he acknowledged. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
* Clearwater, FL (March 14, 2012) - Thirty-one Snipes from Europe, South
America, and North America attended the 2012 Snipe Midwinters on March
12-14. Ernesto Rodriguez/Megan Place posted such consistent finishes that
even an OCS in the last race couldn't keep them from winning the event.
Kevin Reali and Tim King (St. Pete, FL) managed to stay within three points
of the leaders, even after they lost a tiller extension halfway through the
last race. Emanuel Aghem and Luciano Pesci from Argentina rounded out the
top three. The second stop on the Snipe Circuit is Miami's DonQ Regatta on
March 16-18. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/Snipe-031512
* Brisbane, Australia (March 15, 2012) - After a layday on Wednesday, the
fourth day of racing at the 2012 Laser World Masters Championships was
abandoned today after huge wind shifts prevented fair racing. Weather gods
willing, three more races will be completed Friday 16 March, and three more
on Saturday when the Laser World Masters Championships for 2012 will come
to a close. -- Full report:
* The U.S. Coast Guard has released maps of the proposed areas of the bay
it will monitor during the America's Cup races this summer and next. The
maps show that the Coast Guard will keep watch over the area from Crissy
Field to Aquatic Park this year. The zone proposed for 2013 is slightly
larger, covering Alcatraz Island and reaching as far east as Pier 27. It
includes a transit zone along the southern boundary of the zone. Commercial
vessels can pass through the regulated area, as long as they stay out of
the race course. - Details: http://tinyurl.com/SFC-031512
* Following the success of the Transatlantic Race 2011 and its companion
Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, the Royal Yacht Squadron and the New York
Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm
Trysail Club, announce the Transatlantic Race 2015 (TR 2015). The race will
start in mid-May, 2015 from Newport, Rhode Island, the on-the-water home of
the New York Yacht Club. The TR 2015 is scheduled to coincide with the
200th Anniversary of the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) in early June. -- Read
* US Sailing prescribes that the requirement for a highly-visible colored
material or patch covering 50% of the area of storm jibs in ISAF OSR 4.26.2
(a) is only a recommendation in the U.S. until January 1, 2014. Then, after
January 1, 2014, the ISAF requirements for new storm sails in ISAF OSR
4.26.2 (a) shall apply to CAT 0, 1, 2, and 3. This requirement grandfathers
all storm sails made prior to January 1, 2014. -- Read on:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include big wings, college keelboat racing, feast or famine winds, skiff on
steroids, eight bells, and round up time. Here are this week's photos:
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
This month, the CNN Mainsail show offers a unique insight to what life is
like for the people who earn their living in the America's Cup teams.
Shirley Robertson takes a look inside this private world with Cup team
Artemis at their base close to Valencia, Spain.
This three part series meets Swedish billionaire Torbjorn Tornqvist and his
team of designers that are working on Artemis Racing's 2013 America's Cup
boat, interviews Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard who is in charge of turning
a multi-million dollar investment into a winning team, and follows
Mainsail's Shirley Robertson as she lines up against skipper Terry
Hutchinson during an AC45 training day.
Click here for this week's videos:
* This week on Episode 30 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we uncover our
newest and youngest skipper to date: Team Korea's Nathan Outteridge. Along
with his teammate tactician Giles Scott, these young Olympic class sailors
inject new blood into Team Korea starting at the next AC World Series event
in Naples April 7-15. Peter Ansell, ACRM On-shore Operations Director,
takes us for a site tour of the Naples event site. We also have an
exclusive first glimpse of the brand new super-sized Artemis Racing AC72
wing-sail. Tune in on Saturday March 17 approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
* On T2P.tv this week is the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week 2012. This world
famous regatta off the shores of Biscayne Bay had over 150 boats competing
in this prestigious event made famous by the Stars and now including Melges
20's, 24's, Viper, and J-24's. -- http://www.t2p.tv/guide/msw12.php
* In the March 16 "World on Water" Global Weekly Sailing News Report we
have videos of the 2012 Farr 40 USA Circuit Championship Event #2 in
Florida, Clipper Race dramas as two crew are medevac'd and a man-overboard
incident, 2012 Middle Harbour Yacht Club Sydney Harbour Regatta Australia,
2012 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week Florida, in "Fresh to Frightening" we see
really awesome footage of Clipper yachts in huge seas showing just what
their novice crews can experience and in the VOR Groupama 4 has drama as
its hull delaminates as it races to win the leg. See it on
http://www.boatson.tv 1200GMT 0700EST.
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ENGLAND BOATWORKS TO LAUNCH NEW BELLA MENTE JV72
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GO PUMA MAR MOSTRO!
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 Steve Gregory:
Following the Australian survey and editor's comment in Scuttlebutt 3548, I
contend that their problems are what we also see in the U.S., and that few
of the survey findings have changed in the past 20-30 years. And that, to
me, makes me question the design of the survey.
I don't think the Aussies needed to spend any money to learn that clubs are
viewed as exclusive, that sailing is meant to be relaxing, or that a
barrier to entry is the complexity for involvement. These aren't new
issues. What the Aussies needed to be asking is why these issues are
different today than in the past.
My guess is that the free market of our sport, which has encouraged the
heightening cost and commitment to participate, is partly to blame. Did we
really need carbon gear and moulded sails? The other part of the blame is
on liability, which has crushed our free spirit for adventure. We are now a
society of worriers.
If we could spend less and worry less, our sport would thrive again.
Remember, other than a small percentage of pro sailors who pinch owners for
a daily rate, we sail for recreation. But we have allowed the sport to
become more stressful than our work life. And that is killing it.
* From Andy Zimbaldi, S/C Newport Harbor Yacht Club:
Craig, your query about whether the study would be similar in the US is
interesting (in Scuttlebutt 3548). Actually, US sailing associations and
yacht clubs have done a lot of work on this subject and the findings are
very similar to those in Australia. Big crisis in our sport in the US. And
much exacerbated for yacht clubs. The average age in most yacht clubs is
rising precipitously as younger people are disinclined to make the
financial and time commitments to a yacht club membership. Our sport is at
an interesting crossroads.
COMMENT: I wonder how closely yacht clubs are now looking at their junior
programs. They are more diverse and comprehensive than ever, but are these
programs fulfilling their purpose? The mission statement of my club's
program is "to develop knowledgeable youth sailors and to instill in them a
love for the sport of sailing that will serve as a foundation for the
future of the Club." Are junior programs still the source for future club
members? - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
* From Olof Hult:
Who started buff sailing (as asked in Scuttlebutt 3547)? Paul Elvstrom, of
He recalls in one of his books, when sailing in his early Olympic contests
('48, '52,..) his competitors were not very good hikers. So he built a
bench at home with straps to do daily practice. He tried for 1.5 years (!)
to learn to hike with his knees outside the rail, but found it impossible
to stay there longer than six minutes, before fatigue would affect his
He would also sail at max speed and concentration to and from the
racecourse, to cement the idea in his competitors' minds, that he had
superior boat speed, and couldn't be beat.
* From Matt Blake:
Ah Fritz Mueller, don't sell yourself short vis-a-vis your younger brother
Mark (re, letter in Scuttlebutt 3548).
I remember a day, many years ago, in the early spring when our high school
sailing coach - Art Ellis - put me in a Finn dinghy for the first time with
the wind blowing in the 18-20 knot range. I clearly remember capsizing into
the frigid waters of Sippican Harbor within a few minutes away from the
dock. After fumbling around for a few minutes, righting the capsized
dinghy, I became exhausted and cold.
Art replaced me with you to show me how it was supposed to be done. You,
with your OK dinghy experience, jumped into the boat and quickly sailed the
completely swamped Finn dry and showed how it was supposed to be sailed
with several crisp tacks and jibes in the stiff wind. Needless to say, I
was really impressed.
Having sailed with your brother, Mark, a few times, I agree he was well
conditioned and agile, in large part due to his participating in
competitive high school gymnastics. I could not agree more that good
physical conditioning helps one sail faster and is extremely important to
compete at the top end of our sport.
It's okay to pretend we're Irish on St Patrick's Day. We pretend we're good
on Christmas, don't we?
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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