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SCUTTLEBUTT 3592 - Wednesday, May 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: IYRS, Point Loma Outfitting, and e Sailing Yachts.
KITING GOES BIG - GETTING READY FOR RIO
By Michelle Slade, SailBlast
A few years ago, I got the 'bro' deal from my friend Bruce Peterson, owner
of Sailworks, on a new sail to take to Baja (Mexico). The new 4.7 would be
the biggest sail in my Baja quiver so I could windsurf those lighter days.
Of course I could go kiteboarding on those light air days in Baja and not
bother with another windsurfing sail. But, I'd tried kiting and it scared
the crap out of me - I couldn't get my head around something flying on the
other end of 75 feet of line that I was also hooked into.
The 4.7 went to Baja where it sat for an entire winter season, still
wrapped in its newness. The wind was light all season and it seemed I
needed even a bigger sail if I was going to ever get on the water. When a
friend's 60-year old mother started ripping it up on the waves at North
Beach and someone else's girlfriend was riding waves after her first
lesson, (ok, later I found out she was a pro surfer), I felt seriously left
So, I went back at it. I became obsessed. Between Baja, the Gorge and Maui,
I threw money and time learning to kite, sacrificing my feet to nasty rock
and coral beatings, and my nerves to hell. And, that 4.7 went back to
Bruce. He called the other day to say it sold.
Cool. Now I can buy another kite...
I can honestly say that I don't have plans to rig another windsurfer,
perhaps ever. Kiting is so easy: rigging is quick, there's no heavy gear to
cart around, nowhere near as much time is wasted waiting for wind, and out
on the water, it's just plain way more playful.
So, when the news broke last week that ISAF had replaced windsurfing with
kiteboarding for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, I wasn't at all surprised. Being
around the sport over the past few years it seems like a natural
progression of its popularity. Yet, it's not a decision that all kiters are
crowing about, contrary to what many windsurfers may think.
Mike Gebhardt, a former pro windsurfer for twenty years and an Olympic
medalist who represented the US in windsurfing at five Olympic Games has
been kiting for the past 8-9 years. He and a few others have been the force
behind the push for kiting in the Olympics since 2009, nonetheless he's
still saddened by the departure of windsurfing from the world's most elite
"I'm the first guy who would love to see windsurfing stay in the Olympics,
it's my legacy," Gebhardt said, "I've literally dedicated my whole life to
windsurfing. It has incredible participation and it's got infrastructure
but ... really only in France, NZ, England and China. It's non-existent in
Gebhardt thinks it's now up to the windsurfers if the sport will grow or
shrink on the bigger level but meantime, he's got a pretty mean argument as
to why kiting is the choice for the 2016 Rio Olympics. -- Read on:
HOW THEY VOTED: The decision to replace windsurfing with kiteboarding at
the 2016 Olympics was by majority vote 19-17. Here is how the countries
Kiteboarding (19): United States (3 votes), Canada, Qatar, India, Finland,
Norway, Spain, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Bulgaria, South Africa,
Ireland, Venezuela, Singapore, Italy, Puerto Rico, Australia.
Windsurfing (17): France (2 votes), Poland (2 votes), Argentina, Britain,
Turkey, Slovenia, Germany, Canada, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, New
Zealand, Russia, Japan.
FINANCIAL AID 101
An IYRS Open House on the evening of May 17 will not only showcase the
school's Boatbuilding & Restoration program: it will also include a seminar
on how to pay for an IYRS education. Come to the school's Newport campus to
meet the staff, tour the facilities, see student restoration projects being
prepped to launch in June, and learn about financial-aid strategies that
can be used to build rewarding careers. The Open House takes place 5 to 7
pm at Restoration Hall; the financial-aid seminar begins at 5:30 pm. For
more information, visit http://www.iyrs.org.
ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK
(May 15, 2012) - With an unprecedented international fleet of 15
doublehanded Class 40s competing in The Atlantic Cup, #115 Mare skippered
by Jorg Riechers (GER) and Ryan Breymaier (USA) crossed the finish line
first at 1:20:13 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 15, with an elapsed time of
78:55:13 to complete the 642 nautical mile first off-shore leg of the
Atlantic Cup from Charleston, S.C. to New York Harbor.
The race, the first carbon neutral sailing event in the United States, saw
Germany's Mare finish ahead of #101 Campagne de France (79:16:38), followed
by two American boats in #Bodacious Dream (79:51:56) and Gryphon Solo 2
(80:48:05), with France's Eole Generation - GDZ Suez (81:50:45) rounding
out the top five.
The race began at 6:25 p.m. on Friday, May 11th from Charleston Marina with
international competitors from the USA, France, Great Britain and Germany
competing extremely closely for the three-day, first leg. The teams left
Charleston harbor with #116 Icarus jumping out in front of the fleet with
the best start. Shortly after the start #90 40 Degrees' cap shroud failed
leading to their dismasting and retirement from the first leg of the race.
Boats were mostly in sight of each other until they rounded Cape Hatteras,
where the fleet split into two groups. One group opted to go towards the
shore where the wind was forecasted to be stronger and the other half opted
to sail further east into the gulfstream to take advantage of the three
knot push. Forecast winds didn't eventuate for the group headed for the
shore allowing the group in the gulfstream to establish and extend the lead
over the inshore path.
"We tried to make a plan long before the start and stick to it, and I think
that helps when you don't let other people in on what you're going to do,"
said Mare skipper Ryan Breymaier. "The weather conditions might change a
little bit, but as long as you sort of stick with the plan you know is
right from the beginning, it's all going to work out in the long run."
Video of the first teams to finish can be found here:
http://youtu.be/OprFebq2bhE, with comprehensive results available here:
SCHEDULE: The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is the United
States' premier Class40 sailing race. The teams will dock in NY Harbor
until Pro-Am on May 18, followed by a doublehanded leg from New York to
Newport, RI on May 19 and an In-shore Series with a crew of six on May
26-27. -- http://atlanticcup.org/race/
THE CAT IS BACK
"We're back in the game," says comeback king Ken Read. Only now, with two
leg wins under his belt, can the PUMA skipper admit he thought his team's
chances of winning the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race were over the moment he
heard the mast crack into three pieces during Leg 1.
Read recalls having a very serious conversation about the consequences with
the team's sponsors, when he told them in no uncertain terms that an
overall race win was now impossible. Fast forward six months and Read can
barely believe the change in fortune that has his team just 17 points
behind overall race leader Team Telefónica and well within striking range
of the lead.
Read firmly believes his team are in with a shot of winning, becoming the
first team in the 39-year history of the race to win despite failing to
finish a leg. "As soon as you hear the cracking sound you have no
expectations, your expectations are done,'' he said.
"Not finishing a leg, I think we were put in an afterthought category. But
I don't think we're there now. These guys (the crew) have some mojo. I'm
proud of our team because it would have been easy to cash it in; we had
these moments of doubt. I remember sitting down with our sponsors saying
'guys, we're probably not going to win this'.
"I was just trying to be a realist. You have to manage expectations. It's
never happened before, no one's ever not finished a leg and won this before
for a reason. But why not us? Why not be the first boat to not finish a leg
and win this."
While the thought of where his team could be on the overall leaderboard if
they didn't crash out of Leg 1 still haunts Read, he says it is a testament
to his team that they have fought back. By many, PUMA are now regarded as
the in-form team, having won two consecutive legs and secured podium
finishes in the past six scoring opportunities.
"To all my friends out there, you don't need to remind me what our score
would be if we didn't lose our rig in Leg 1, I know, I know,'' he said
wryly. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-051512
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorry Kenny, we couldn't pass on this. If PUMA didn't break
their mast on Leg 1, and instead finished second (as they were behind
Telefonica at the time), they would now be leading the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean
BIRTHPLACE OF THE BELLINI
The penultimate event of the America's Cup World Series 2011-12 season is
in Venice this week, where nine AC45 boats will represent the seven teams
currently campaigning to compete in the 2013 America's Cup. The racing will
be Thursday through Sunday.
While the AC World Series provides a training opportunity for the sailors,
the four events thus far have given the AC event authority the chance to
refine the format and production tools to create a broadcast product they
hope will garner a significant audience to support their commercial
Scuttlebutt spoke recently with Stephen Barclay (Oracle Racing Chief
Operating Officer) and Dennis Harvey (Head of Production Operations) to
learn what viewers could expect in Venice.
Much like the YouTube broadcast for Naples, the feed for Venice will allow
the viewer to toggle between the production feed (which includes all the
camera angles) and the LiveLine feed (which includes only the aerial
The commentating team, which was first assembled last month in Naples
(April 11-15), will again be Mitch Booth (AUS), Gary Jobson (USA), and John
Rawling (GBR). Mitch's role is to provide technical analysis, Gary will
provide 'play-by-play' comments, and John is in charge of hosting and on
the water interviews. This team is expected to be retained for the Newport
event (June 26-July 1).
* Changes for Venice broadcast.
SB: "We are hearing good feedback on the format, wherein a race is
completed and immediately the broadcast is onboard the boat and able to
interview the sailors. Like in Naples, we will continue to broadcast only
the fleet racing in the early days of the Venice event. However, a notable
change in Venice is that, unlike Naples, we will also broadcast on Sunday
the match racing finals in addition to the fleet race finals."
DH: "As for the broadcast production, there is no one thing that we look to
improve on from Naples as we get ready for Venice. However, we are looking
at everything to see what we can do better. We review our camera angles at
the turns, and how the story is being told during the race. We look to
bring forward the same resources, but hopefully make the subtle changes
that provide the viewer with an overall improved experience."
SB: "We are striving for consistency now for Venice and Newport. One of the
criticisms, and I think it's a valid one, is that we kept changing things
for each broadcast. However, we found this to be necessary to learn what
works and what doesn't. To get the model right. But now, I feel we need to
lock in how we do things, not just with the broadcast but with everything,
until after Newport. This will complete the first AC World Series season,
and if there are remaining changes we feel are needed, we can apply them to
when we begin the second season in San Francisco (Aug. 21-26)."
Full interview and show schedule:
COMMENT: For sailing to build a television audience, the audio needs to
improve at the same clip as the video. Commentators need statistical and
technical information to add layers to the viewer experience, and need
immediate details on fouls. Commentators need to be wary of oversimplifying
the action, as it is the intricacy of sport that makes it interesting. The
audience will measure sailing commentators by their peers in other sports,
and thus they must be adequately prepared and equipped to meet that
standard. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
ALRIGHT, WE'VE FORCED IT ENOUGH
Kind of like the Star Wars movies, the last shall be the first. SLAM has
brought out the Force 1 series of outerwear. The Force 1 series of Jacket
and Bibs are lightweight, and extremely breathable, perfect for warmer
climates, or taking the center console out to watch the kids racing. Not to
mention the five colors they are offered in: Light Grey, Red, Navy, Steel
Grey and Black. Check out the whole SLAM Force series of foul weather gear
here: http://slam-shops.com/slam-force-series.html, and see how these
two-layer nylon garments are a perfect complement.
* Available now from Apple's App Store, the new, free mobile Real Time Race
Tracker is built into the Enthuse app, and lets sailing fans follow all the
America's Cup World Series races as they happen. Introduced by
CupExperience.com in cooperation with Seahorse Magazine, the Real Time Race
Tracker uses the Emmy Award winning Liveline technology to superimpose the
races on Google Maps. -- Read on:
* Barcelona, Spain (May 15, 2012) - Two more races today at the 2012 470
World Championships completed the qualifiers, with six races used to
advance the top group to compete for the world titles. Australians Mathew
Belcher/ Malcolm Page are blitzing the men's fleet with all firsts, while
Canadians Luke Ramsay/ Mike Leigh slipped two spots to 16th. On the women's
side, Americans Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan continued their climb up the
rankings from 20th to 11th. Racing concludes Saturday. -- Event website:
* (May 15, 2012) - If any proof is needed that Ben Ainslie (GBR) is at the
top of his game, then today was proof indeed. After dominating and winning
both races in the brutal environment of the cold and windy Falmouth Bay, he
now takes a 10 point lead over Ed Wright (GBR) and Andrew Mills (GBR) at
the half way stage of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup.
Canadian Chris Cook slipped two spots and is now in eighth overall. Racing
concludes Friday. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/Finn-051512
* Boltenhagen, Germany (May 15, 2012) - Extremely shifty winds that
increased from eight to twenty knots during the afternoon made racing
difficult on the first day of the Audi Women's Laser Radial World
Championship 2012. Consistency was a challenge, with favourites Marit
Bouwmeester (NED) and Gintare Scheidt (LTU) in tenth and twelfth place
respectively. American Paige Railey (USA) ended the races on her birthday
in 30th place overall. Racing concludes Sunday. -- Full report:
* Annie Haeger ('12) has been honored as the Boston College Female Athlete
of the Year. She is the first female sailor to ever receive this award and
the second sailor in school history to receive the award. To view her
acceptance speech, click here:
* Following their transit through the famous Panama Canal last week, the
international Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet is now back at
sea, starting Race 11 from Panama to New York at 2330 UTC on May 14. Ahead
lies around 2,100 miles, starting with four days of hard upwind sailing
before breaking out of the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. Follow
race viewer here:
FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to
buy and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. Here are recent job
* Sailing Coaches needed in Beijing
* Sailing Instructor - Manteo, NC
* Sailing Center Director - Hampton, Virginia
View/post ads here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/classified_ads
The sailing community suffered a great loss with the sudden passing of Dave
Shaffer (70 years) of Toledo, Ohio. Dave contributed countless hours of
race committee work throughout the USA. Most notably, Dave served as PRO
for many of the largest One Design events held at his home club of North
Cape Yacht Club. He's served dozens of classes, clubs and organizations. We
will greatly miss his compassion, professionalism and most of all
friendship. - Craig Koschalk, full report: http://tinyurl.com/TB-051512
WINNING IN EVERY WAY
When it comes to performance, quality, ease of sail and a uniquely
comfortable ride, the e33 is in a league all of its own. Practical Sailor
said attaining performance on this boat is "sinfully easy." Have you sailed
an e33 yet? We're scheduling 2012 test sails now:
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 Garry Hoyt:
The basic dilemma - of which the current dust up over Kite Sailing
replacing Windsurfing is the most recent evidence - is that sailing suffers
from being as inherently boring to the spectators as it is intensely
exciting to the participants. This is because the visual interest of any
race (track, swimming, horses) is directly dependent on the viewer being
able to see the contestants in close action proximity to each other. The
tactical choices that make sailboat racing so challenging are very
difficult to portray on TV, because strategy often dictates splitting away
from the proximity of action that viewers need to measure the relative
performance that makes a race a race.
Kite Sailing - for all its exhilarating speed - adds the visual confusion
of separating the power source (the kite) from the competitor. This is sort
of like separating the horse from the rider. This is a visual complication
that skeptical non-sailing audiences will find hard to fathom. As Kite
Sailing competition develops, they may find ways around this. It might be
as simple as requiring Kite Sailors to race around an oval track - just
like horses. This would create the most understandable sailboat racing the
public has ever seen!
In the meantime, Windsurfing has the great virtue of showcasing the
athleticism that sailing often lacks. (Dump hiking is indeed arduous, but
it does not come across as performance action.) Windsurfing is the most
lucid demonstration of how individual athleticism can translate to sailing
speed. So why not re-emphasize that by allowing pumping for Windsurfer
competition - isn't physicality what the Olympics is all about?
In short, it would seem wise to keep Windsurfing - possibly re-charging it
as described, and allowing Kite Sailing time to refine itself.
* From Brent Boyd:
Neil Pryde has contributed a great deal to sailing, but he has the
kiteboarding issues (in Scuttlebutt 3591) backward in my mind. Structure,
organization, and youth development are the last items that kiteboarding
needs to guide the Olympic dream. These "renegade" sailors organize their
own regattas, design and develop their own equipment, and largely finance
their efforts by working, teaching kiteboarding, and coaching others. How
much more Olympic spirit does the sport need? Time for the old to move out
of the way. Listen to the athletes like Heineken, Koch, and Lake. Don't
kill the fire, energy, and enthusiasm of these young, talented athletes.
THEY CALL IT MARKETING
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"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes." - Frank Lloyd Wright,
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
North Sails - Kaenon Polarized - APS - Gowrie Group - Mount Gay Rum
IYRS - Point Loma Outfitting - e Sailing Yachts - Ullman Sails
Hall Spars & Rigging - Melges Performance Sailboats - Quantum Sails
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