SCUTTLEBUTT 3566 - Tuesday, April 10, 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: North U, Atlantis WeatherGear, and Pure Yachting.
A NEW DEFINITION FOR 'BOAT'
While this article was written for marine industry professionals, all
sailing enthusiasts can help to promote their sport. From William Sisson,
editor of Soundings Trade Only...
You probably know the old saw.
Q: What does the word "boat" stand for?
A: Break Out Another Thousand.
At the Recreational Boating Leadership Workshop in Chicago last week,
National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich provided
a different interpretation of the acronym.
BOAT: Best Of All Times.
The two acronyms nicely frame the chasm between selling a commodity (the
boat) and selling the experience (boating).
Dammrich's remarks came at the end of a presentation on affordability,
which was the topic that a group of seven of us had been brainstorming and
discussing for several hours. We presented our findings to the larger body.
MarineMax chairman, CEO and president William McGill Jr., a member our
small breakout group, helped put an exclamation mark on what we had been
"I don't sell boats," McGill said. "I sell a lifestyle. Boating changes
people's lives. It's important to understand that the reason why people
boat is in the emotional part of the brain. It's hard to articulate. But
that is boating."
Dammrich agreed. "We have to sell the 'ing' and not just the 'thing,' " he
said, referring to the experience of being on the water rather than the
product itself. "We have to sell the value and the lifestyle." -- Read on:
GROWING THE PROGRAM
In the rankings of college sailing teams, the top twenty is dominated by
the powerhouse college sailing programs in the New England and Mid Atlantic
districts. But among the latest rankings are three distinct outliers:
veteran schools from the West and Midwest, and a rather new one from the
South... in Miami.
A competitive team only since 2004, David Hernandez has been president of the
Sailing Canes, won a host of race trophies and mentored the next generation
of UM sailors. As a senior, Hernandez has been an integral part of the club's
growth from about 25 members to more than 60 in just a few years. When asked
how it happened, Hernandez credited the newest members of the team.
"Thank God for our freshmen," he said. "We have been able to win a number
of district regattas by sending our next generation, and that's huge. It's
going to be great to be able to hand the reins over to a group of guys that
reminds me so much of the leaders on the team."
The student run team expects to compete in the National finals in June in
Austin, Texas. The nation's top teams from both coasts first meet in two,
eighteen-school semi-finals (on May 12-13 in Annapolis). The top nine
from each semi-final advance to the finals.
Hernandez, an environmental engineering major born and raised in Miami, has
served as treasurer, president, and is currently the social chair for the
sailing club. As a graduating senior, he plans to continue sailing after
"There's great competition in Miami and sailing will still be a big part of
my life," Hernandez said. "I don't think I'll ever be able to let it go
For now, Hernandez is still focused on the task at hand. "The goal is that
decades down the line the team will still be here, and be stronger than
ever," he said. "We want it to be self-sustaining. And I've never been more
confident about that than I am right now."
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STATE OF THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE
(April 9, 2012; Day 23) - What prospects does the future of the Volvo Ocean
Race have with the current rate of attrition among the fleet? How wrong are
the design rules of the Volvo Open 70? According to the CAMPER team, which
incurred sufficient damage to suspend racing for repairs, they find the
current situation not just acceptable, but expected.
"There's obviously been a lot of damage, but there's always damage in this
race," said team CEO Grant Dalton. "Probably the boats are going quite a
lot faster than last time, and the loads have gone up and haven't been
calculated quite correctly by the engineers. But it's all part of it,
really. Everyone has suffered something during the race. It has seemed to
dish itself out fairly evenly. And I guess everyone will be a bit more
careful for the rest of it."
"Perhaps people can perceive it as careless across the fleet, but I have to
ask what do people want to see," said skipper Chris Nicholson. "Do people
want to go see Formula 1 racing, and see no car ever break down? Do they
want to see the boundaries of technology and human endeavor pushed? Of
course they do, and that's what this race is about.
"In order for a boat to be reliable in this race, and believe me, our boat
is reliable, you need the best designers, best builders, best sailors, and
you have a good chance of it being right. Now we have done 30,000 miles
without a breakage, and now we have had a breakage. But I don't look at
that as unreliable.
"We will learn and get better, and we won't have these same mistakes happen
again. I still think it is a very good formula for the public and the
competitors. I just can't imagine going to watch Formula 1 racing and there
being no drama. It just wouldn't have the same appeal. And nor would this
race either." -- Video: http://youtu.be/Fxh29GsbzrY
COMMENT: Scuttlebutt contacted Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing to learn whether the
team will be ready to compete in the In-Port race. Their boat was to depart
by ship from the Chilean port of Puerto Montt on Monday, and then require
nine days to reach Itajai, Brazil. Upon arrival, the team will then begin
the process to repair the damaged hull. As of press time, the team has
either been unable or unwilling to provide this information. - Craig
SCHEDULE: Racing will commence in Itajai with the Pro-Am Race on April 20,
the In-Port Race on April 21, and the start of the 4800 nm Leg 6 to Miami
on April 22. -- http://tinyurl.com/VOR-2011-12-schedule
Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Monday, 09 April 2012, 22:05:39 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), Apr 6, 019d 18h 09m 50s
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), Apr 6, 019d 18h 22m 28s
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 72.2 nm Distance to Finish
4. Camper (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 2251.8 nm Distance to Lead
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), Retired
- 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
VOLVO OCEAN RACE - A VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDE
By Ryan O'Grady, Sailing World
So what has changed in this race to account for the extra damage? There
have been two major cases of failure in the current Volvo. The first is
mast failure, and the second has been structural delamination of the hull.
Right now, there have been four mast failures in the race; Abu Dhabi Ocean
Racing (Future Fibres), PUMA Ocean Racing (Hall), Sanya (Future Fibres),
and now Groupama (Lorima spar, Future Fibres rigging). Of those failures,
the only public comment has been from PUMA, where they seem to believe that
a metal fastener failed, causing the rig to drop. From the other teams, we
can only infer that the failures were due to the rigging, since both Abu
Dhabi and Sanya have changed out their rigging packages.
This is the first race to allow carbon standing rigging (VO 70 Rule
10.16.1), an area where Future Fibres has been working to push the limits
on continuous molded carbon rigging. While teams have been busy exploring
new rigging, mast designers also have had the opportunity to now work with
high modulus carbon fiber (392 GPa verses the previous 300 GPa for you
engineers out there) (VO 70 Rule 10.15.7). By using higher modulus
materials, mast tube sections can be made smaller but with the same amount
of stiffness, or greater overall stiffness can be achieved.
Since none of the failures seem to be caused by mast tube compression
failure, the most likely cause of the mast issues is in the carbon rigging.
I don't expect to see carbon rigging banned in the next race, but I do hope
the manufacturers all release engineering assessments of the failures so
that everyone's product offerings can be improved.
When addressing the issue of hull delamination, things become far more
complex. Both CAMPER and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing pulled into Chile to fix
damage to their hulls due to delamination. Telefonica had a similar issue,
but the damage was less widespread, requiring just a short pit stop to pick
up more material to reinforce their hull.
Already, the Volvo 70 rule requires boats to be built above and beyond the
requirements of every international insurance rule. (ABS, Lloyds, ISO) So
why are the hulls breaking? -- Full report:
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A PARADIGM SHIFT
It is hard to believe how much has occurred with the America's Cup in such
a compressed time. The AC45 was only launched just over a year ago. The
broadcast capabilities were first revealed last August. Both started well
and keep improving.
At each AC World Series event, the race format has been fine tuned. And
this week, at the fourth event in Naples, the format will reveal a paradigm
shift. Despite the America's Cup being a match race event, the race
schedule has reduced the match racing emphasis. Viewers prefer watching the
As the primary purpose of the AC World Series is to grow the America's Cup
brand, hopefully creating a hungry audience for the 34th America's Cup next
year, doesn't this present a problem? Regatta Director Iain Murray comments
on this revelation and its affect...
I think what is important is how the World Series is in 45-foot boats and
that it's not the America's Cup. What it does do, is present the
nationalities and the teams, and hopefully the super sailors - the "heroes"
- as identifiable characters that will emerge in the America's Cup.
If we were sailing in the same boats the whole time, whether it be AC72s or
if the America's Cup was in AC45s, we would have a different pallet to work
with. But we don't. And the America's Cup is and always will be match
What we have is these separate events in different boats, and not
necessarily the same teams in the World Series as in the America's Cup.
That in itself is confusing to people. What we are doing here is to
simplify what we are producing.
We must be very careful to keep the integrity of the America's Cup in one
piece. It could have been a very easy call some time ago to decide the
AC72s are too hard, and to carry on with the AC45s, and we would have all
these teams in the America's Cup. There was a conscious decision taken for
this not to happen. To me that was an important step. The America's Cup is
a grand event. It is not going to be something that everyone can do. And it
will be in match racing.
I think more the question is are we diluting the America's Cup with the AC
World Series. I hope not. I hope we are rebuilding the America's Cup with
awareness, and creating our heroes in sailing, and something that the young
kids can look forward to. And offering the competitors now, like Terry
Hutchinson, Jimmy Spithill, and the others, they are all clearly the up and
coming legends in our sport, and build them into the Ted Turners, Tom
Blackhallers, and Dennis Conners of the future.
It is a fine balance the whole time of what we do with the America's Cup.
The fourth regatta in the 2011/12 America's Cup World Series is in Naples,
Italy on April 11-15, and will feature nine boats representing seven teams.
Races can be viewed on the America's Cup YouTube channel
(youtube.com/user/AmericasCup), either live or replay, or on television
(americascup.com/en/Discover/AC-On-TV). Here is the race schedule:
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* A new virtual-reality game - 'America's Cup: Speed Trials'- is now
available, free, as an app for the iPhone and iPad. Players test their
skills on an AC45, attempting to set the fastest time across an AC500 Speed
Trial course. Optimal steering through the wind on the race course leads to
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resulting in a capsize. Details: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-040912
* The Bermuda Sailing Foundation's sail-training schooner Spirit of Bermuda
will join the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race fleet, sailing in the new "Spirit
of Tradition" Division. In nearly six years of operation since September
2006, the 86-foot Spirit has provided a character development program based
on experiential learning to over 2,600 young people and has sailed over
38,000 miles in overseas voyages to 17 ports in 10 countries. -- Full
* The world's biggest wind farm is being planned for the South Coast of
England. The Royal Yacht Squadron, the prestigious sailing club whose
patron is the Queen, has written to 200 sailing clubs on the Isle of Wight
and along the South Coast to call for action against the development, named
Navitus Bay. The Cowes-based club, which is headed by the Duke of
Edinburgh, fears the wind farm could ruin sailing from the Isle of Wight to
the South-West, including the famous Fastnet Race. Read more:
* After the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE, the third of seven ISAF
Sailing World Cup Regattas, the overall standings have been shuffled around
with new leaders taking control. Moving to the top of the Finn standings is
Zach Railey (USA), while Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) moved into second place in
the Women's Match Race ranks. Next up for the sailors is the Semaine
Olympique Francaise, in Hyeres, France from 21-27 April. -- Full report:
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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 Chip Pitcairn:
Anybody else think it is a sad comment on the basic seamanship of the Volvo
Ocean Race crews that Puma was out of food when the finished in Brazil? As
I understand it the food is pretty lightweight freeze dried meals.
From the competitive standpoint a malnourished crew certainly can't perform
at the athletic level of a well nourished one, and these are very athletic
boats. It would seem to me that any competitive advantage through weight
savings by shorting food stores would be more than offset by the drop off
in crew performance when on short rations.
More importantly, what about reserves for emergencies? I guess it is like
around the buoys racing now; you rely on the sat phone to call for help
should anything happen.
* From Rob Nye:
As an avid sailor I read scuttlebutt every day you publish it. Great stuff!
Some time ago I also developed a strong interest in riding motorcycles. I
have replaced offshore sailing with long distance motorcycle rallies;
they're like a scavenger hunt on steroids.
I was delighted to see my two passions mix in Scuttlebutt 3565, however, in
the interest of accuracy it should be noted that all "mile" bikes or more
commonly described as Flat Track motorcycles are equipped with a rear
As much as I love sailing, no matter what the marketing types do to entice
people to watch us race, it will be very difficult for sailboat racing to
ever match the excitement of being at the track as the big twins are
launched sideways into a turn.
I'd say the marketing types who are trying to turn sailing into a payday
are doing more to destroy high end sailboat racing than any insurance
As an aside, I sold my boat because I don't need wind, crew or big bucks to
race a one design in Newport. I get on my bike, turn the key and within
seconds I'm having fun while I ride to sail on someone else's boat.
* From Ray Tostado:
Mr. Troup is exactly right and proper in recognizing what brakes can do in
the wrong circumstance, or sport (in Scuttlebutt 3565). No, leave things
alone. We have made so many changes to date to the sport of sailing that
it's hard to recognize the competitors from the seagulls.
"I'm ready to listen... are you ready to think?" - Maxine
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