SCUTTLEBUTT 3557 - Wednesday, March 28, 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: US Sailing, Doyle Sailmakers, and Henri Lloyd.
BEING PREPARED FOR ACCIDENTS
By Wayne Bretsch
In my role as principle race officer for the Division 3 course at Key West
Race Week this past January, my team was involved in an emergency situation
that occurred during the event. Involved in the situation was Tapio
Saavalainen and Arne Peterson, skipper and crew of Kalevala II (Grand
Soleil 37 B&C) respectively, who recently hosted several of us at lunch at
the Annapolis Yacht Club as recognition for our involvement. It was
enjoyable, interesting, and rewarding... let me tell you about it.
To back up to January, our opening day saw winds in the high teens with
gusts in the low to mid twenties, and we had two races planned. Within
seconds after their downwind finish of the first race, Kalevala II
contacted the RC on the competitors' VHF channel that there was an onboard
emergency. A crew member had severed his thumb.
With me on the RC signal boat was Peter Sarelas, who quickly took control
of the radio communication to coordinate the rescue. Tom Stalder, who
served on the RC gate mark boat, was directed alongside Kalevala within a
couple of minutes. Using a small racing mark as a fender, the injured crew
member (Arne) was sufficiently mobile to get into the mark boat with
another of the Kalevala II crew.
Meanwhile, Peter called 911 on his cell phone. Using the VHF, Peter
instructed Tom to take the injured crew member to Key West (about 6 miles)
while he made further arrangements with on shore emergency personnel. The
total time from the first VHF hail from Kalevala II to the time Arne was in
the ambulance was about twenty-four minutes. While Peter and Tom were
handling this incident, the remaining RC team continued finishing boats and
setting up the second race of the day.
Back to lunch, Peter, Tom, and I discussed with Tapio and Arne the injury
and the incident. Unfortunately Arne lost his left thumb (he is right
handed). The injury occurred when he was helping to bring in the spinnaker
after crossing the finish line. Arne had a grip on a sheet which pinched
his thumb between the sheet and a stanchion or lifeline. His thumb was not
cut off, but instead was pulled off, and it was clear the efforts by Peter
and Tom helped keep a bad situation from becoming worse.
We also discussed lessons learned or reinforced, probably the most
important part of our lunch conversation... read on:
CHALK TALK IS BACK
That's right, US Sailing is proud to bring back the Chalk Talk series with
Chris Love. US Sailing is running a special College Membership - a four
year membership for $95, regardless of what year you are in college. To
sweeten the deal, Sperry Top-Sider has agreed to provide footwear to the
college team that registers the most US Sailing members by the 2012
Collegiate Nationals on June 6, 2012. Sign up for a college membership at
http://racing.ussailing.org/College.htm, and get your college sailing fix
with the latest episode of Chalk Talk.
While plans are well underway for the 289nm 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race
to Mackinac, due to start this summer on July 20 and 21, memories of the
2011 race are never far.
When a severe thunderstorm crossed Lake Michigan near midnight, the force
of its 52 knot winds and waves of 4-6 feet led to the deaths of two
competing sailors on the capsized yacht "Wingnuts".
Integral to the rescue was the crew on the Beneteau 40.7 "Sociable". Here
is their collective recollection of the storm and rescue of the crew of
"Wingnuts" on Sunday July 17th and Monday, July 18th:
Around 10:30 pm CDT on Sunday evening, we encountered a severe squall while
positioned approximately 15 nautical miles northwest of Charlevoix.
Conditions prior to the storm were following seas of 4-6 feet with 20-25
knots south wind; conditions we had been sailing for the prior 6 hours.
During the squall, we saw heavy rain, a lot of lightning, and winds up to
50 knots. During a brief moderation of the storm, (it came in two phases)
we were able to lower our main sail, and ride the storm out with our #3
We raised our main sail once the storm had passed around 11:15 pm CDT.
Visibility was still poor, and the sea state was very lumpy from the storm.
Shortly after raising our main and beginning to make headway, several
crewmembers heard what sounded like a whistle. Around that same time, we
encountered a bare poled sailboat to starboard, and we suspected the
whistle came from that boat attempting to alert us to its presence. Hearing
the whistle certainly heightened our senses that we should be vigilant for
others given the nature of the storm that just occurred.
A minute or two after hearing the whistle, a crewmember spotted a faint
light perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 mile to port, and this light after 1 minute was
confirmed by other crew members. We continued on our current course for two
or three minutes until we had an appropriate angle to tack over to the
light. We brought our spot light on deck. As we drew closer, we were able
to see other lights, and we signaled in the direction with our spot light.
Our signal was returned with flashes from the lights in the distance. At
that time we became certain we were headed toward a vessel (or person) in
distress and we made the decision to lower our main sail and proceed under
power. We started the motor and verbally notated the time as 11:30 CST. The
sails on our boat were taken down and stowed. -- Read on:
(March 27, 2012) - It's full speed ahead for the 2013 America's Cup race in
San Francisco. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today approved the
agreement to host the America's Cup in San Francisco September 7 to 22,
The 2013 race will be the first time the competition for the "Auld Mug"
will be held in San Francisco, a perfect natural sailing arena where more
than one million spectators will see the 34th edition of the America's Cup.
The San Francisco agreement calls for teams to be based at Piers 30/32 and
for the America's Cup Village - the public Race Headquarters - at Piers
27/29. The pier improvements will be funded by the Port.
"We have worked very hard to bring this historic race to San Francisco and
we're very happy to have finally reached an agreement," said Stephen
Barclay, interim CEO of the America's Cup. "Now we are focused on making
this the most spectacular race in America's Cup history."
The inclusion of Piers 30/32 as the "pit row" for the teams in close
proximity to the America's Cup Village at Piers 27/29 will make the event's
footprint more compact and will benefit the teams as well as the general
public. Racing will be visible from the shoreline - only minutes from
downtown shopping and hotels, making this the most spectator-friendly event
in the Cup's 162-year history.
The dates for this year's (2012) racing for the America's Cup World Series,
the global circuit of events leading up to the 2013 America's Cup regatta
in San Francisco, were also confirmed today:
AC World Series Naples, Italy: April 11-15, 2012
AC World Series Venice, Italy: May 15-20, 2012
AC World Series Newport, USA: June 26-July 1, 2012
AC World Series San Francisco, USA: August 21-26, 2012
AC World Series San Francisco, USA: October 4-7, 2012
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-032712
SKUNKED IN PARADISE
Tortola, British Virgin Islands (March 27, 2012) - There was no racing
today, the first day of the BVI Sailing Festival. Principal Race Officer,
Dave Brennan postponed the start of the race to Bitter End and indicated to
the 48 competing yachts in the starting area to motor up towards Virgin
Gorda, to see if the situation would improve. In the vicinity of Ginger
Island, there were some signs of a stable wind developing, but it was short
lived and racing for the day was called off shortly after 1100.
"Unfortunately the wind has not materialized and there will be no racing
today." Commented Dave Brennan, Principal Race Officer: "The important
thing is now to make sure the fleet gets to the Bitter End Yacht Club as
every indicator available to us is forecasting that there will be no wind
today. However, tomorrow is looking far more promising with possibly 15
knots of breeze, so we hope to get the racing started then, perhaps with a
race around Virgin Gorda for the Bitter End Cup." -- Read on:
Schedule of Events
March 27-28 - BVI Sailing Festival
March 28-29 - GILL BVI National Match Racing Championships!
March 29-April 1 - BVI Spring Regatta
1.8 MILES OF STITCHING
Doyle Sailmakers is proud to have sponsored the St Barths Bucket Regatta
held March 22-25, 2012. With close racing through and through, the
highlight for many was watching the 54m Perini Ketch Parsifal III come
flying into the finish on Sunday with her new 15,260 square foot Doyle
kite, to pass two of her rivals and win the Grand Dames class. Completed
just in time for the Bucket, the spinnaker had 1.8 miles of stitching and a
90 foot tall coffee machine inlayed in the center. Visit the Doyle
Sailmakers' Facebook page to see the highlights from the St Barths Bucket:
IT'S DEFINITELY COLD NOW
(March 27, 2012; Day 10) - Now free of the restrictions of the ice
exclusion zone, the leading pair in the Volvo Ocean Race have continued to
power south east in winds gusting over 45 knots at average speeds over 20
With just over 1000nm remaining in the Southern Ocean before they reach
Cape Horn, and now sailing at 57 degrees south, Puma media crew Amory Ross
attempts to describe the onboard discomfort:
Now it's cold...officially cold. Like, "you're-not-a-complainer-if-you-say-it" cold.
Do you remember during the last leg when I mentioned finding refuge from
the Equatorial inferno by grabbing the propane tanks? How, after boiling
water, they would cool and condensate? Now they freeze. After boiling water
(which takes twice as long) they are covered in a thick layer of frost, and
I no longer want to grab them.
Sunshine on the black deck makes things more bearable during the day, but
down below there's little hope for added warmth - especially during the
nights. Small icicles are forming in the hatch and working below is like
taking your office onto the porch, but in the middle of winter. Hands are
too stiff to type, and the trackpad on my laptop struggles to distinguish
frigid fingertips from freezing air.
While it might not be that cold (our chocolate bar-ometer isn't exact),
it's so damp that it could feel worse than it really is. Condensation forms
on the ceilings, walls, and bunks, and the moist air chills to the bone,
regardless of the many layers you might be wearing on top of them.
Thankfully, our three-layer sleeping bags keep us toasty when it's time to
None of this accounts for the fact that there's still 30-35 knots of
windswept sea, and while being active in the sun for a few hours on deck
helps to keep the core warm, Southern Ocean elements take their toll.
Between the cold water - now about 5-degrees Celsius (40-degrees
Fahrenheit) - the crisp air, and the balance-testing ride of a rocking
boat, just living requires considerable energy, energy that isn't easy to
replenish. We're always tired, but exhaustion is growing. --
INFIRMARY: Team Sanya has arrived in New Zealand to repair their rudder,
and will rejoin the fleet in Miami. Camper is bound for Puerto Montt in
Chile to repair bow damage, and then continue to Itajai. Team Telefonica
will make a stop at the Argentine port of Ushuaia to repair bow damage and
then continue to Itajai.
Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Wednesday, 28 March 2012, 1:03:12 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 2879.3 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 45.3 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 353.4 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 990.5 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1418.9 DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Retired
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
COMMENT: Usually when a post on Twitter or Facebook tells me that I must do
something, I instinctively do the opposite. But I have to say that words
describing the Volvo Ocean Race can only do so much. If you are not a
regular viewer of the race footage, I encourage you to occasionally click
on the video link above. It really looks brutal. - Craig Leweck,
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
DON'T PANIC BECAUSE AD SPACE IS NOW SOLD OUT
If you would you like your marine business news to be published in
Scuttlebutt, our advice is to buy ad space. But since the advertising
opportunities are now sold out for 2012, the Industry News Forum allows
companies to post their personnel, product and service updates at no
charge. As a bonus, each week the Scuttlebutt newsletter includes some of
the recent updates. Are you in the marine industry? Post your updates here:
* Long Beach, CA (March 27, 2012) - The first day of the ISAF Grade 1 48th
Congressional Cup match racing championship saw its ten teams roll through
five flights at the foot of the Belmont Pier. Four-time winner Gavin Brady
(NZL), who is the lowest ranked competitor due to his absence from the
circuit, snapped quickly into the routine and went undefeated to lead the
event. Racing continues on Wednesday as the ten teams compete in the double
round robin opening stage to determine the top four that will advance to
the semi-finals. -- Event website: http://www.thecongressionalcup.com/
* (March 27, 2012) - The Canadian Yachting Association has announced the
Canadian Sailing Team to take part in the 2012 ISAF Youth World Sailing
Championship in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland on 12-21 July. -- Full report:
* The 2012 Sailing Industry Conference will take place Tuesday and
Wednesday, June 26-27, 2012, at the Newport Harbor Hotel in Newport, R.I.
The theme for this year's conference is "From Survive - to Thrive," and the
event's content is designed to help businesses adapt and profit in the new
economy. The event will feature one and a half days of seminars, workshops
and networking opportunities. Participants at the conference will engage in
brainstorming sessions, learn how to create an integrated marketing
campaign, and get tools and expertise on how to remodel businesses for
success. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/BI-032712
* The Fishers Island Junior Overnight Race will be held on August 10, 2012,
with an 80-100 mile course to be held in Block Island Sound or Long Island
Sound with the start and finish near Sea Flower Reef. The event will be for
boats 27 to 45 feet with a crew of at least 80% junior sailors ages 13-18.
* Hosted by Encinal Yacht Club, the 21st consecutive running of the 2012
Coastal Cup is an ISAF Category 2 ocean race from San Francisco to Santa
Barbara that start on June 13 and 14. The Race is open to crewed as well as
shorthanded entries. -- Details:
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HENRI LLOYD SPRING LIFESTYLE GEAR IS HERE...
Mauri Pro Sailing is launching "Mauri Lifestyle", an exclusive store for
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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 Don Bedford:
Thank you for sharing Dave Reed's article in Sailing World (in Scuttlebutt
3556). "Away" regattas have a unique place in my heart as that was how I
grew-up. Rumbling down the road in the back of my dad's pickup/camper with
a trailer behind us, we roamed all over California and as far as Florida.
It was not just the summer adventure of going to the Snipe Nationals but
also the High Sierras, Long Beach, and little dinky lakes all over the US.
I do hope people have not lost the sense of adventure and willingness to
make new friends and find new fun places to sail. Not only will your skills
improve but you will have new, fun photos to share with your friends!
* From Andy O'Brien:
The story about the Flying Scot Midwinters in New Orleans got me to think
about where else could we remain entertained for three days if the winds
would not cooperate. What if there was a huge sailing lake next to Las
Vegas? After three days of Vegas, I might not be able to ever sail again.
* From Craig Fletcher:
After reading Mike Urwin's interview (in Scuttlebutt 3556), one can only
conclude IRC is no more than a glorified, secret PHRF! Why owners spend
thousands of dollars to race a glorified PHRF, pretending it's a grand prix
rule, I will never understand.
To the national authorities: Please develop a scientific multiple number
grand prix rule with no age allowance, publish it, and leave it unchanged
for a minimum of 10 years.
"Don't make me use UPPERCASE!" - Maxine
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Dieball Sailing - Camet - New York Yacht Club - North U
North Sails - Soft Deck - US Sailing - Doyle Sailmakers - Henri Lloyd
Point Loma Outfitters - Ullman Sails - New England Ropes - Summit Yachts
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers