SCUTTLEBUTT 3551 - Tuesday, March 20, 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: Gowrie Group, North U, and Gladstone's Long Beach.
HISTORY OF THE ONION PATCH SERIES
Nearly 50 years ago three Bermuda sailors were in Cowes, England sailing in
the Fastnet Race, the finale of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Admiral's Cup
Series. They liked the event and wanted to bring it home.
The Admiral's Cup was a hard fought series of races that included racing in
the powerful tidal currents of the Solent, racing in adjacent bays, racing
around the Isle of Wight, racing in the Channel Race and trekking off on
the famous Fastnet. Shorty and Jerry Trimingham and Warren Brown hatched
the idea of bringing the Admiral's Cup to North America and calling it the
Onion Patch Series.
The Onion Patch Series was born in 1962 when the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
backed the concept and deeded the Onion Patch Trophy to be competed for by
national teams of yachts entered in the Newport Bermuda Race. Racing in
1964 was scheduled to include a 25-mile race off the Ida Lewis Yacht Club,
the Newport Bermuda Race and a 25-mile race off Bermuda's South shore. The
first Onion Patch attracted teams from Bermuda, the United States and
Since 1994, this diverse five-race series has begun with windward-leeward
racing in the Rhode Island Sound's often brisk winds and tricky currents,
it's been centered by the daunting challenge of the classic 635-mile
Newport Bermuda Race with its exciting Gulf Stream crossing in the Thrash
to the Onion Patch and it concluded with a windward-leeward race and a
scenic flexi-course in flat water with shifty breezes on Bermuda's Great
Sound, Granaway Deep and Hamilton Harbour.
Warren Brown who sailed that first series recalls, "Having sailed with
Fenton (Jerry) Trimingham, as crew on Shorty`s boat in the Fastnet, I was
well aware of what they wished to do with the Onion Patch Series. The
concept was discussed extensively in England when we participated in the
Admiral's Cup. The formula was to use the Admiral's Cup as a guide."
The Onion Patch Series initially was purely team-oriented, like the
Admiral's Cup. But it has evolved into a tough triathlon of offshore yacht
racing for teams going for the Onion Patch Trophy and for individual yachts
racing for the Henry B. du Pont Trophy.
Over 48 years, the format has changed from racing in three venues - New
England, the Bermuda race and a concluding race in Bermuda - to racing in
multiple New England events and concluding with the Bermuda Race. The
Series is back to being close to the original format. two races of the New
York Yacht Club Annual Regatta are in Newport, Rhode Island, then the
Cruising Club of America-Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Newport Bermuda Race
and concluding with the two-race RBYC Anniversary Regatta. -- Read on:
FACEBOOK: Do you know the history behind the "Onion Patch" name? The first
to post it on the Scuttlebutt Facebook page gets a Scuttlebutt coffee mug:
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that a boat that is tacking must keep clear of a boat on a
tack? But when is a boat tacking? In the Racing Rules of Sailing, Rule 13
"WHILE TACKING: After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of
other boats until she is on a close-hauled course."
What's notable is the rule does not state the sails must be full when a
boat has completed its tack, only that the boat is aligned on a
close-hauled course given the wind direction.
International Judge/Umpire Jos Spijkerman (NED) reviewed Rule 13 from the
ISAF Case book 2009-2012, which provide the official interpretations by the
ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or
interpreted. In Case 17 it provides this Q & A:
Rule 13 applies until the tacking boat 'is on a close-hauled course.'
However, the rule does not say whether the boat must be moving when she
assumes a close-hauled course. Is it intended that, at the moment rule 13
ceases to apply, the boat must actually be moving through the water on a
close-hauled course and not merely be on such a course?
A boat is no longer subject to rule 13 when she is on a close-hauled
course, regardless of her movement through the water or the sheeting of her
Read on for Jos' comments:
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The stadium of San Francisco Bay will be at full capacity this fall as
several high profile events share the arena.
* The Melges 20 U.S. Class Association will be holding their 2012 National
Championship on October 5-7 in the eastern section of the bay. Hosted by
Corinthian Yacht Club, there are upwards of 35 boats expected for the
event. Details: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=589
* The annual Fleet Week celebrates and showcases the rich naval tradition
in the Bay Area on October 4-8. Parades, air shows and ship tours attract
over one million people along the San Francisco Bay waterfront stretching
from the Ferry Building to the Golden Gate Bridge. Details:
* The AC World Series will showcase America's Cup competition in AC45s
during the first week of October in San Francisco, with the finals
scheduled on October 7th. The boats are expected to be based on Pier 80,
with the race course possibly extending along the San Francisco Bay
waterfront from Piers 27/29 to Crissy Field. Details:
HARDEST OPENING NIGHT EVER
(March 19, 2012; Day 2) - There is no fooling Stu Bannatyne, five-time
Volvo Ocean Race veteran and co-skipper of second placed CAMPER, when he
described the opening night of Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajai in Brazil.
"Without a shadow of a doubt that was the hardest opening night of a Volvo
leg I have ever done," he said
After enduring upwind angles with gusts of over 50 knots and waves in
excess of seven metres, the teams have now sheets cracked and are
blast-reaching towards 40 degrees south at speeds of 17 to 18 knots. Their
next hurdle is a ridge of high-pressure causing lighter breeze on Tuesday.
An additional variable are the waypoints that define the ice exclusion zone
to the south. To ensure the boats are kept clear of the risk of ice,
organisers are using satellite imaging to monitor the fleet's likely path,
and when necessary, they are adjusting the position of the waypoints.
Overnight satellite images revealed possible iceberg 'targets' outside the
exclusion zone and accordingly the waypoints were shifted north.
"Unfortunately they have moved the ice gates north by 120 miles," CAMPER
navigator Will Oxley said. "The high pressure is around that latitude so
the whole leg is much different -- much lighter and more headwinds."
DAMAGE: Just 12 hours after returning to the port to repair structural
damage, Abu Dhabi set sail again from Auckland at midday local time Monday.
However, on the way to where they had suspended racing six hours into Leg
5, Ian Walker's crew was forced to seek shelter as winds reached 60 knots.
"All we needed was a break from the weather to get us back in the race, the
other boats are only 200 miles away after all, but sadly we have exactly
the opposite," said Walker. Abu Dhabi was able to resume racing several
hours later. -- Event media
Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Monday, 19 March 2012, 22:15:05 UTC
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 5833.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 13.1 nm Distancer to Lead
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 26.3 nm DTL
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 30.9 nm DTL
5. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 58.2 nm DTL
6. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 757.2 DTL
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Volvo Ocean Race will be making its only North
American stopover in Miami, with the fleet estimated to arrive by May 6th.
During the two weeks that the fleet is in Miami, the event village will
host sailing and extreme water sports activities, educational programs for
children of all ages, interactive pavilions, food, drinks, and more. If you
are interested in volunteering please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or go to
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
GATEWAY TO THE 'SHOW'
In an ambitious young sailor's dream world, he (or she) somehow finds his
way into the Long Beach Yacht Club's Ficker Cup match race event (Mar.
22-24), wins it to qualify for the prestigious Congressional Cup---and then
wins the Congressional Cup.
That's what Gavin Brady did in 1996 and what eight competitors from the
next generation will be reaching for in the Grade 3 Ficker Cup Thursday
through Saturday. Meanwhile, Brady will be contemplating an unprecedented
fifth win in the Grade 1 Congressional Cup next week.
Sixteen years ago he was an unfamiliar young Kiwi riding the crest of New
Zealand's landmark victory in the 1995 America's Cup. Brady, 22, came from
behind in the last race to beat France's Thierry Peponnet and win the first
of his four Crimson Blazers on a tiebreaker, each with 15 wins and 3 losses
in the days before semifinal sailoffs.
"We got in by winning the Ficker Cup," Brady recalled recently. "I had
[local crew] Steve Flam and Rich Matzinger who knew the area and the boats.
We were very fast and went the right way."
The right way to a successful sailing career.
"The Congressional Cup gave us the credibility to get invites to other
events around the world," Brady said.
This year's Ficker Cup competitors can draw high hope from Brady's past. In
order of ISAF's world ranking, they are...
Canada's Peter Wickwire, Royal Corinthian YC, Toronto, 35, and Americans
Nevin Snow, San Diego YC, 42; Dustin Durant, Long Beach YC, 84; Nicholas
Dugdal, San Francisco YC, 100; Mike Quaglio, Oakcliff Sailing Center, N.J.,
105; Brad Funk, Lauderdale YC, Fla., 127; Mike Komar, Oakcliff Sailing
Center, N.J., 218, and Nicole Breault, St. Francis YC, 249.
Read on: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=13449
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* St. Petersburg, FL (March 18, 2012) - The Lightning Winter Championships
and three event Southern Circuit titles were decided during the only race
today. Allan Terhune, Katie Terhune and Jen Millar captured the Winter
Championship title; Jim, Brenda and Bill Crane took the Master Winter
Championship title; and Overall Southern Circuit honors went to Greg
Fisher, Jo Ann Fisher and Jeff Eiber. -- Full report:
* Miami, FL (March 18, 2012) - Fifty-three teams from Europe, South
America, and North America competed in the second stop on the Winter Snipe
Circuit - the DonQ Regatta on March 16-18. After two days and four races,
Bruno Bethlem and Dante Bianchi (BRA) were trailing Augie Diaz and Kathleen
Tocke (USA) by two points going into the final day. With only one race
scheduled, a bullet by the Brazilians gave them the win over the Americans.
Raul Rios and Manuel Inserni (PUR) finished third. -- Results:
* 2010 Sunfish North American Champion Bill Brangiforte bested a 56-boat
fleet to win the 2012 International Masters Championship held on Lake
Monroe in Sanford, Florida on March 15-18. Brangiforte led wire to wire,
with Eric Woodman finishing second, and former champion Donnie
Martinborough of Bahamas in third. -- Full results:
* Winter weather blew into San Diego for the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta
(Mar. 17-18), with blistering wind and rain shellacking the 13 divisions
spread out on courses in Coronado, San Diego, and Mission Bay. Mike
Honeysett and the crew of Beneteau 40.7 Wiki Wiki were named the overall
winners, earning an invitation to the BVI this Fall to compete against
other NOOD regatta winners from around the country in a championship
regatta. -- Final results: http://tinyurl.com/NOOD-031912
* From 17-25 March 2012, Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull evaluations for
the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Prince Felipe
High Performance Sailing Centre, Santander, Spain. Evaluation results,
including objective scoring and sailor's feedback, will then go forward to
the Equipment Committee and Events Committee at the 2012 ISAF Mid-Year
Meeting in Stresa, Italy from 3-6 May. The ISAF Council will make the final
decision taking into consideration any recommendation from the Committees.
-- Full report: http://www.sailing.org/news/38024.php
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GORGEOUS WATERFRONT DINING
By Congressional decree*, Gladstone's Long Beach and Mount Gay Rum have
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* Gladstone's Long Beach proudly supports the 48th edition of Long Beach
Yacht Club's ISAF Grade 1 match race Congressional Cup on March 27-31.
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 Dawn Riley, Executive Director, Oakcliff Sailing Center:
Craig, I couldn't help but reply to your question (in Scuttlebutt 3549):
"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?"
I believe that the junior programs are very much the key to future members
and in part to the future of our sport. The other component to the future
is the growing community programs.
Perhaps even 40% of the new sailors come through this path. But we can't
just train kids and expect them to slot into the open slots vacated by
older members. They need to be involved in the decision making of the
clubs, and at the risk of scaring some lawyers and insurance agents, be
trained and then be allowed to assume the responsibility of sailing across
lakes and bays and even oceans.
The other thing that I totally believe in is club-owned boats as well as
good coaching. And in case you haven't heard; Oakcliff Sailing Center has
all of this. It is working, and man is it fun to see the super enthusiasm
of the people - young and old - who come sail and train with us!
COMMENT: Dawn and I traded emails on this topic, where I noted how junior
programs could be more impactful if there was a continuous path from
beginner sailing toward open/adult sailing. "Yes," she noted. "I agree that
the success of junior sailing has inadvertently broken that path." If the
mission of junior programs is to help fill the sport with participants,
creating a bridge to recruit youth sailors into open/adult sailing would
then seem vital. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
* From Alex Arnold:
Since the participants in a club's junior program are, most likely,
children of members, I'd think that they're already introduced to sailing.
I don't think that's the growth area of sailing about which people have
been talking. How do we get the "totally green" folks involved?
* From Peter Norton:
Maybe this is a reflection of my age, but I take serious offense to the
claim (in Scuttlebutt 3550) that if Ben Ainslie were to win at the 2012
Games, his medal collection would make him the greatest Olympian ever.
Being successful in the Olympics is not just about winning. It is more than
The Olympic creed states: "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is
not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is
not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have
conquered but to have fought well."
Unfortunately, everything now must be measured by success, and the manner
in how success is achieved has been minimized. Ben's actions in Perth were
not an isolated incident. There have been prior incidents of poor behavior.
The irony in this incident is the media ISAF is so aggressively courting
nabbed one of its own stars.
It would be sad to think that, if Ben were to win his fifth medal this
summer, this feat would surpass the body of work put forth by Paul
Elvstrom. The Great Dane deserves better.
* From Frederick W. Mueller:
With regards to Glenn Selvin's comments (in Scuttlebutt 3550)....excuse my
rant, but this has been something of a "pet peeve" for me. Many classes
have precluded the ability of the amateur builder and entry level people to
get into and enjoy the sport, make it affordable.
There are many classes which still foster the ability of an amateur
craftsman to build a competitive boat in their garage - Snipe, Windmill, OK
Dinghy, Starling, Fireball, Optimist (maybe), you name it....the options
are out there, and it is do-able.
In the case of the Finn, building plans/measurement jigs (which John
Christiansen, USA and Gilbert Lamboley, FRA developed in the '70's) have
since disappeared and why? I have tried for over ten years to get the class
to respond, and to no avail, as several years ago I was ready to build a
strip-planked boat, like in the old days.
The Finn is a great boat, but with the current dynamic in the class (and
also as seen with some others) I think it is doomed based on a couple of
facts. Primarily, a boat ready to truly compete costs as much as car...for
any young person with the resources wanting to enter the class for someone
around the world with limited access to material, this is a no-brainer.
Technological advances with exotic materials have driven cost but not
performance. A $4k carbon mast...really?
I love these boats, but has the time come to throw then into their own
arena? The best classes are those that provide a level playing field, and
not that exclude competition of the builder.
Everything is actually everything else, just recycled.
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