SCUTTLEBUTT 3558 - Thursday, March 29, 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: Point Loma Outfitting and Ullman Sails.
NO MORE SAUSAGES!!!
When one of the prominent yacht clubs in the western United States decides
to completely change the format of their successful keelboat buoy event, it
requires a closer look. What we found was a club reacting to the staleness
in the sport, and seeking to adapt to the needs of its members. Robert
Kinney of Newport Harbor Yacht Club explains:
Newport Harbor Yacht Club has been hosting the Ahmanson Cup for as long as
anyone can remember. During the 60's, 70's and 80's, it was an ocean racing
series with races such as Catalina and Return, Huntington Tidelands (around
the oil islands), Ship Rock, Point Fermin, and a Gold Cup just for good
measure. My earliest memories were when it was run under the CCA rating
system, which then was moved to IOR in the 70's and ran there until IOR
faded in the 80's.
The Ahmanson Cup was revamped and became a "day racing" series in the late
80's and early 90's as IOR participation slipped. The windward- leeward
courses replaced the traditional ones, and the regatta started to turn to
one design fleets - Farr 40, J/105, J/120, and Schock 35. Eventually the
handicap racing changed from IOR to PHRF and a smattering of ORR and ORC.
But what we recognized was last year we only had two member entries
participating, so we held a meeting with our boat owners who had racing
type boats and asked "what would you like to do"? Overwhelmingly, the
answer was "no more sausages"!!!
It was the decision of the club that we need an event that served our
members, and if others wanted to join in, that's great too. The other thing
we noticed were the short distance races were getting 80 entries, and we
were having a tough time getting 40 to 50 boats for the buoy events.
The club was looking for something FUN and different, so we decided on
pursuit races. Course length was important too, so we decided on 14 miles.
This was long enough to do some sailing but short enough to get everybody
back at the dock by 5:00pm. This format has already proven successful in
San Diego with their Hot Rum series, and then we added a $10 Hamburger
dinner on Saturday night along with $2 beers and a cocktail special. --
MY FAMILY OF SNIPE
By Carol Cronin, 2004 Olympian
When I think of family, my first thoughts are pretty standard: husband,
parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, in-laws. But I'm a member of several
other family trees as well. One of those is my family of Snipe.
While most people think of the Snipe as a well-hunted and elusive bird, to
me it means a 15 foot sailboat that has been raced hard worldwide by teams
of two for almost eighty years. The class motto is "Serious Sailing,
Serious Fun," which offers a wide range of goals: win on the race course,
win the party, or try for both.
In mid-March fifty-three boats from nine countries met up in Florida for
our annual ten day reunion, otherwise known as the Winter Circuit. We
laughed with and at each other, we told and retold jokes, and we even
rolled our eyes at the Snipe equivalent of loud Uncle Harry, telling the
same tasteless jokes after downing far too many drinks. In short, it was
just like any other family vacation.
Some would call this kind of group a "community," but that just doesn't
communicate the warmth and depth of our shared passion. The Snipe is a hard
boat to sail, and the constant challenge of success keeps us all working
hard. After a long day on the water, there's nothing quite so satisfying as
reliving the high (and low) points with another skipper or crew. Language
barriers disappear; we all speak Snipe.
This was my twentieth Winter Circuit, so I've achieved "regular" status. To
inspire my continued dedication, there are many sailors who have sailed the
boat for five or even six decades. And thanks to a strong junior group
moving up the ranks, I know the competition will be top-notch for many
years to come. Middle age has never felt so good.
Sometimes just showing up is enough to build relationships. After traveling
to the same locations, climbing into the same boats, and lining up on a
tight starting line with so many familiar faces from around the world, we
recognize each others' quirks. We share a parking lot, a boat rigging area,
a race course, and this forced intimacy is a large part of what makes it
all so special.
Besides our sailing habits, we know little or nothing about each other. I
can rattle off another Snipe sailor's favorite shirt and hat color, whether
someone is likely to leave the dock early or late every morning, and where
most of us are likely to start and finish in a typical race. But I usually
can't tell you what another sailor does during the work week or exactly
where s/he lives. And that's okay; most of us are on vacation, trying to
escape from whatever 9-5 routine we slog through between regattas. -- Read
COMMENT: Having done this circuit, trust us when we say the sailing is a
small part of the adventure. Spring break in Clearwater, traversing
alligator alley, DonQ rum party in Miami, Miss Norway... good times! Got a
favorite memory from a similar winter trip? Post on Facebook:
THE AIR MAY BE WARM, BUT THE WATER IS STILL COLD
SLAM has introduced a "Coldy" series to their already successful Skiff
Line! Same focus on ergonomic design, same focus on quality construction,
new focus on thermoregulation. In addition they have introduced a new
Buoyancy Vest. When these were first shown at the Bacardi Race Week, SLAM
could barely keep up with demand. Point Loma Outfitting is the largest
single SLAM dealer in North America, why, because we make a point of
knowing everything there is to know. Every new product is immediately put
on for sizing and fit. Visit http://www.pointlomaoutfitting.com and check
out the complete SLAM line.
LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE? USE YOUR COMPASS!
By Andrew Campbell, 2008 Olympian
In the Laser class there has always been a debate about the value of using
a compass. For most competitive sailors it's a standard item that might get
too much of the skipper's attention. Coaches and more experienced sailors
might steer their proteges away from worrying about it too soon in that
there are more fundamental aspects of the game like getting the sail set up
correctly and boat-to-boat tactics.
It can be easy to get caught up in the compass numbers and the mathematics.
While I agree with the need for priorities when it comes to focus, the
compass is a must-have item on board any racing sailboat with very few
We use reference marks all the time on our boats. We put a mark on a sheet
so we know just the perfect amount of trim. We put marks on the dagger
board to see its height. We mark the boomvang to know where it should set
for reaching or running, etc. We remember what number hole the jib lead is
in and how it affects the sail in certain conditions. These are all just
references. It would be absurd to think that we should sail around the
racecourse staring only at these reference marks. Yet, that is the best
argument against using a compass?
A compass is just a reference of our angle on the racecourse. It can be
easy to get sucked into the numbers. Are we lifted? Are we headed? Are we
headed enough to tack? The compass will give you information, but only the
sailor can decide what to do with that information, and that takes more
course awareness than a compass can provide. Blending the reference of the
compass angle to the rest of what you see on the water can give you a
decided edge over the competition. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/AC-032812
FINALLY ON THE WAY BACK NORTH
(March 28, 2012; Day 11) - As the leading pair in the Volvo Ocean Race
prepare for a rounding of Cape Horn on Friday, both Groupama sailing team
and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG will be painfully aware that the
second section of Leg 5 could be every bit as challenging as the Southern
After the Cape the teams will still have around 2,000 nautical miles of
tough sailing ahead of them to the finish line in Itajai, making the final
leg result far from clear at this stage. For now at least, the warmer
weather will be a relief. "We got as far as latitude 59, just one degree
shy of 60 South, but we are finally on our way back north after making the
first jibe in weeks," reported Puma's media crew Amory Ross.
Fifth-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is now in the stronger winds that the
leaders have had for most of this leg. "Not only have we finally joined the
war in the Southern Ocean," said media crew Nick Dana, "but we just hit 40
knots while surfing down wave. We're into Azzam's conditions, at the moment
and we are averaging around 23 -24 knots of boat speed."
While it is certain that Abu Dhabi will pass Camper when the later is in
port for repairs, all eyes will be on Telefonica to see if their delta is
sufficient to hold off the Emirates team during their pit stop. -- Event
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 Thursday, 29 March 2012, 1:05:34 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 2476.8 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 47.9 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 379.5 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 1189.8 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1380.8 DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Retired
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
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
BIG RISKS BUT BIG SMILES
By Rob Greenhalgh, Abu Dhabi
People have asked me to describe what life is like on a Volvo 70 and the
hardest thing is to get across is the noise.
Azzam is made of carbon fibre, very light, extremely strong and very stiff,
so when we are racing offshore the motion onboard is like being on a
speedboat slamming over waves - bam, bam, bam. Probably the best way to
replicate this is to get a car, take off all the tyres then drive it as
fast as you could over a rally course without your seatbelt on - that would
be about half as bad as the motion out here.
Plus most of the time we are at an angle and that is a big part of it. You
have seen footage of guys falling in cockpits - slipping down to the
leeward side, but these guys are fully awake on deck and prepared for a
bashing. Inside Azzam, when we are trying to sleep it is a tough time so we
have to strap ourselves into our bunks so we don't get flicked out. Then as
the guys get up and get dressed they are half asleep, and pulling their
drysuits over their heads means the arms are trapped. If you fall then you
can do yourself some real damage.
Bottom line is, everything you do out here is tough and there are risks
every day. Southern Ocean sailing. Big risks but big smiles. --
A WINNING LINE-UP FOR THE SAN DIEGO NOOD
In very blustery conditions Ullman Sails customers swept several top spots
at the 2012 San Diego NOOD regatta over St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Congratulations to Mike and Carol Honeysett who were crowned regatta
champions on Beneteau 40.7 "Wiki Wiki"! Chick and Alexis Pyle won the
Beneteau 36.7 class on "Kea" with five bullets in seven races, and Dave
Flint's Catalina 36 "Isle Run" took class honors. And Gary Mozer's "Current
Obsession 2" took first overall on the J/105 podium, followed closely by
Bennett Greenwald's "Perseverance" in 2nd place and Rick Goeble's "Sanity"
in third overall.
Invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
* Long Beach, CA (March 28, 2012) - The second day of the ISAF Grade 1 48th
Congressional Cup match racing championship saw day one leader Gavin Brady
(NZL), a four-time leader of the event, hold on to the pole position after
posting a 3-2 today. Defending champion Ian Williams, who stumbled out of
the gate yesterday to post a 2-3, rolled a 4-1 today to move up to second.
The ten teams will complete a double round robin opening stage to determine
the top four that will advance to the semi-finals and finals on Saturday.
-- Event website: http://www.thecongressionalcup.com
* Tortola, British Virgin Islands (March 28, 2012) - The BVI Sailing
Festival held a 30 mile race around the Virgin Gorda in a 15-knot easterly
breeze. The overall winner was Team Trolly Car, a Dufour 405 sailed by Bill
Petersen and Peter Stazicker. "It has just been a fantastic day," said
Donna Jo Petersen who was also celebrating her birthday. "To win on my
birthday with my son, husband and old friends on board was a dream come
true, it just doesn't get better than that." The Nanny Cay Cup concludes
the Festival on Thursday, with the 41st BVI Spring Regatta beginning
Friday. -- http://www.bvispringregatta.org/bvi/
* Halifax, NS (March 27, 2012) - On the authority of the Search and Rescue
Region Commander, the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre has reduced
the Search and Rescue operation to locate the three people missing from a
sailing vessel off the coast of Cape Sable Island, N.S., as any hope for
their survival has diminished significantly due to the frigid water
conditions. All available resources were used and the search area was
thoroughly covered. This search will now be turned over to local RCMP as a
missing persons case. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/OC-032812
* This past weekend the Thistle Class concluded their Southern Circuit with
The Florida Yacht Club's Orange Peel Regatta. Greg Griffin with crew Mark
Reddaway and Dave DeCamp won the Orange Peel, but couldn't close the gap
with this year's Champion Paul Abduallah (Jacksonville, FL). A record
number of sailors competed in both the Thistle Midwinters East in St. Pete
and the Orange Peel in Jacksonville. Great weather and fantastic race
management treated Thistle sailors from all over the country. -- Results:
* Cadiz, Spain (March 28, 2012) - The completion today of the 2012 RS:X
World Championship finalized the board representatives at the 2012 Olympic
Games for the U.S. and Canada. While American Bob Willis had secured the
men's position at the 2011 World Championship, his women's teammate is now
confirmed as Farrah Hall. For Canada, Zachary Plasvic and Nikola Girke
qualified as the men's and women's representatives, respectively. -- Event
* Cascais, Portugal (March 28, 2012) - It was a cracking first day of
sailing for the RC44 fleet in the second leg of the 2012 Championship Tour.
Ed Baird (USA) joined the RC44 Tour at the start of the 2012 season and his
presence seems to have had an immediate effect on the match racing results
of Valentin Zavadnikov's Synergy Russian Sailing Team. The team didn't lose
a match today and now sit on top of this year's standing. The fleet racing
phase of the Cascais RC44 Cup 2012 begins on Thursday 29th March and
concludes on 1st April. -- Full report:
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 31 - North U. Racing Trim Seminar - Clinton Township, MI, USA
Mar 31 - North U. Racing Trim Seminar - Erie, PA, USA
Mar 31 - North U. Racing Trim Seminar - Ottawa, ON, Canada
Mar 31 - North U. Cruising & Seamanship Seminar - Seattle, WA, USA
Mar 31 - North U. Racing Trim Seminar - Delta, BC, Canada
Apr 1 - North U. Racing Trim Seminar - Seattle, WA, USA
Apr 1 - North U. Cruising & Seamanship Seminar - Delta, BC, 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
* Karver: Top Down Spinnaker Furler
* Andersen Now Available in US from Ronstan
* New wind forecast app by PredictWind is launched
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 David Ginsburg, Annapolis, Maryland:
Thank you for publishing the feature by Wayne Bretsch "Being Prepared for
Accidents" (in Scuttlebutt 3557).Being from Annapolis and having crewed
with Wayne, Tom and Peter, and raced while they have been on race
committee, this only further confirms that they are the best. The advice is
timely and on point.
* From Brian Hancock:
With regards to Dave Reeds wonderful piece about "away" sailing (in
Scuttlebutt 3556), the world over the same thing applies when it comes to
sailing "away" regattas. Dave Reed hit it so perfectly. It's as much the
experience as it is the sailing.
As Don Bedford (S-3557) roamed across Florida and California, I roamed
across the dusty plains of South Africa with a boat behind my VW heading
for another boat race. What memories!
* From Chuck Twombly:
While racing in the Volvo Ocean Race Game, I have been sailing within about
10 miles of Puma and Groupama for the last few days. I feel very guilty
that I am doing most of this from my warm bed (especially at the 2 a.m.
wind shift), and they are out there in ridiculous weather and waves. Warmer
sailing is ahead boys! Keep on trucking, God's speed.
Gamer link: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/games/vor2011-12/
If you understand it, it is obsolete.
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