SCUTTLEBUTT 3595 - Monday, May 21, 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: Harken and Doyle Sailmakers.
BATTLE OF THE BOARD EVENTS
Britain's four-time kiteboarding world champion Steph Bridge says the
Olympics should find room for both kiting and windsurfing. Kiteboard racing
will make its Games debut at Rio in 2016 after the International Sailing
Federation (ISAF) axed windsurfing at their recent Mid-Year meeting.
"I know windsurfing's not gone forever, absolutely," said Bridge. "Without
windsurfing, kiteboarding wouldn't be where it is. But it's important to
get clear - they are two separate sports and both deserve to be in the
Games. If they have to lose one of the sailing classes, so be it."
The windsurfing fraternity has been critical of the decision and thousands
have signed an online petition to have it reinstated. Britain's Beijing
bronze medallist windsurfer Bryony Shaw branded it the "death of the sport"
and Athens bronze medallist Nick Dempsey said it was a "bizarre" decision.
But as one door closes, another one opens. "I was stunned. I couldn't
believe it," said Bridge. "I keep waking up thinking what a great thing
this is, what an opportunity for the young and everyone involved all over
the world. Suddenly there's a clear pathway."
The 39-year-old Bridge, who will defend her world title in Sardinia in
October, was part of the group from the International Kiteboarding
Association who lobbied ISAF and the International Olympic Committee to
consider the sport and took part in the final evaluation trials in March.
"It became clear that what mattered was that kiteboarding was a sport that
ticked lots of boxes," said Bridge. "It's accessible, it's easy to learn
from a young age, it's quick, very visual and high impact, it doesn't cost
much money, you can travel all over the world with the kit and you can do
it in winds from six knots to 35 knots with the same equipment.
"It can also be done close to the beach - and there's that lifestyle thing
with the sand between our toes - and not at a yacht club a million miles
away. It's more accessible from a spectators' point of view." -- BBC, read
Equipment and event selection for the Olympic Games often has a backwards
feel to it. The experts advise one thing, yet the ISAF Council chooses
another. The memo then comes from ISAF: "Here is the planet we are headed
to, now go build a rocket ship to get there."
Regarding the ISAF decision to switch the board event from windsurfing to
kiting, the concern now is if this decision came four years too soon for
kiting. When ISAF opened the door for kiting to be considered for 2016, the
kiting community jumped at the chance. Interest was built, and the finest
kiting ambassadors were at the ISAF evaluation event last March in Spain.
ISAF was duly impressed.
In all likelihood, kiters looked at this as a step toward the 2020 Games.
Arguably, that would have allowed the genre to mature, for course racing to
grow from top to bottom, and for the equipment rules and race schedules to
be refined. With now only four years, there will be a tussle for ISAF to
get what they want, and for kiting to maintain the elements of their game
that have taken them this far. And some of these items are in conflict.
With the uproar coming now from the windsurfers, is the ISAF decision
solid? "ISAF cannot comment on any suggestion that the decision could be
changed and is now working towards the implementation of the decision and
the introduction of kiteboarding to ISAF Events," explained Jerome Pels,
ISAF Secretary General. "There are regulations in place to ensure that
decisions on Olympic Equipment cannot be overturned just like that, the
next time a meeting is held, so there are rules that this cannot happen
with a simple majority, but it needs a special majority, which I think is
That would require turning a 19-17 vote for kiting into a 12-24 vote
opposed at the 2012 ISAF Annual Conference in Ireland on November 1-11.
Makes us wonder if ISAF creates these controversies to bolster meeting
attendance. The battle of the board events is on! - Craig Leweck,
ON THE OLYMPIC TRAIL - ANNA TUNNICLIFFE
US Olympic match racing skipper Anna Tunnicliffe shares her thoughts on
fitness, team dynamics, Olympic sailing, and what might come next in her
storied career. Check out this latest addition to the Harken/McLube
interview series with the US Olympic Sailing Team at
It was October when the six teams in the Volvo Ocean Race began their
39,000 nm march around the world. Their start was in Spain, and have thus
far been to South Africa, UAE, China, New Zealand, and Brazil. Their stay
in the USA concluded this weekend with the PORTMIAMI In-Port Race and the
Leg 7 start to Portugal. Here is the update:
* (May 19, 2012) - Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi cemented their reputation as
formidable in-shore contenders by winning the 10-leg, 8.2 nautical mile
PORTMIAMI In-Port Race. Despite their fifth position in the overall
standings, this is now their third In-Port victory, more than any other
team in the seven buoy races contested.
But this victory was not without drama, as softening winds throughout the
race shuffled the positions from start to finish. "That was a pretty
strange race," Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker said. "The last in-port race we
had no training time, this time we made an effort to have two training days
and it paid off."
While the race results did not change the order of the overall standings,
it significantly tightened the gap amongst the top four teams. Depending on
the finishing order of Leg 7, Telefonica, Groupama, Camper, and Puma could
be near level on points. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-052012
* (May 20, 2012) - The Volvo Ocean Race fleet headed out of Miami and
straight towards a tropical storm on Sunday after making a slow start to
Leg 7. With a gentle breeze blowing, Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
lead around the six-mile course, although overall leaders Telefnica now
hold a slim advantage.
The fleet was headed out into the North Atlantic where the first major
obstacle they will face will be Tropical Storm Alberto, the first of the
2012 hurricane season, lying off the east coast of the United States and
holding winds of up to 45 knots at its centre.
"The storm is the source of pressure for us to get north and east on so
it's important to try to feed into that pressure first," said PUMA
navigator Tom Addis. "You don't want to be the wrong side of that low
because the current against wind in the Gulf Stream would give quite a
heinous sea state. It looks like there will be plenty of good downwind in
the next leg, a reasonably fast leg, which we always enjoy."
"The first boat to reach the lower part of Tropical Storm Alberto will
stretch their lead but the big question facing the fleet is how close to
the centre of the system to go," Volvo Ocean Race meteorologist Gonzalo
Infante. "Winds are forecast to hit 45 knots, which are no good for
anything apart from breaking boats. This storm needs to be treated with
plenty of respect."
Leg 7 is expected to take around 11 days to complete. -- Event media
PORTMIAMI In-Port Race results
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 74:09
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), +00:33
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), +02:02
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), +02:11
5. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), +2:35
6. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), +6:28
Leg 7 - Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal (3,590 nm)
Standings as of Sunday, 20 May 2012, 23:38:32 UTC
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 3546.0 nm Distance to Finish
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 0.3 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 0.8 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 1.2 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1.4 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 2.6 nm DTL
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 organizers have selected the successful candidates who
will go through to the final stage of the bid process to become host cities
for the 12th and 13th editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, scheduled for
2014-15 and 2017-18. Of more than 60 applications received, a record number
of 33 will progress through to the Candidate phase.
"When selecting a route for the Volvo Ocean Race it is important that we
consider a range of factors including sporting, commercial, heritage and
legacy," explained Knut Frostad, Chief Executive of Volvo Ocean Race. "This
formal host city bid process allows us to choose the best possible route by
identifying the strongest host city partnerships that will benefit the
race, its hosts and the event's growing global audience." -- Full report:
A TRICKY KIND OF GAME
Venice, ITA (May 20, 2012) - French skipper Loick Peyron continued to
demonstrate the form he had shown all week, leading his Energy Team (FRA)
to a spectacular win on the final day of America's Cup World Series fleet
racing in Venice. This cemented the win for Peyron and his French crew, who
were perched atop the fleet racing leaderboard throughout the event,
demonstrating an impressive command of the Grand Canal race area.
"I think the lighter conditions were good for us," Peyron, the veteran
multihull sailor, said. "I'm used to this kind of tricky game, trying to be
as cool as possible. The pressure was in the red zone, but it made for an
exciting race for sure. This was a big victory for us. We are a small team,
and hopefully this is just the beginning."
Before the final fleet race on Sunday, Terry Hutchinson (USA) led Artemis
Racing to defeat Brit Chris Draper's Luna Rossa-Piranha to win the Match
Racing Championship. This is the second consecutive Match Race event win
for Hutchinson. In the light, shifty, and tricky conditions, Artemis Racing
led off the start and protected a narrow lead early before stretching away
in the middle of the race for a hard-earned victory.
"We've had a good result in Naples and now here, in quite different
conditions," Hutchinson said. "The nice thing about the match racing at
these regattas is we've executed on our game plan. We're starting to feel
with the training in the boat that it's paying off for us."
The final event of the 2011-12 AC World Series will take place next month
in Newport, Rhode Island from June 26 through July 1, 2012. At the
conclusion of racing in Newport, the 2011-12 AC World Series champion will
be crowned, with Oracle Team USA - Spithill holding a narrow lead over
Emirates Team New Zealand. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/AC-052012
At around 22:30UT on Friday 18 May, approximately 330nm northeast of
Bermuda, the yacht Outer Limits struck a submerged object, believed to be a
whale, and sustained damage to the hull causing significant water ingress.
Whilst the yacht's emergency pumps were able to contain the leaks, skipper
Joost Gehrels, doubted that the boat could safety return to Bermuda and
issued a MayDay to request immediate assistance. Using the yacht's
satellite telephone he also contacted RCC Bermuda.
The Netherland's flagged Hanse 370e, was taking part in the ARC Europe
rally and on route from Bermuda to Horta, Azores when the incident
RCC Bermuda contacted vessels in the area and diverted the merchant ship E
R Melbourne, and the ARC Europe rally yacht Halo, which was 15nm away to
assist. The E R Melbourne, a 36,000 tonne container ship, reached Outer
Limits' position at approximately 00:10UT 19 May, and commenced evacuation
of the crew. Within an hour, the 4 crew members of Outer Limits were safety
aboard the merchant ship and the yacht Halo was then asked to stand down.
Outer Limits was abandoned, at approximate position 34 19N 59 04W. -- Full
PROUD TO BE AMERICAN
When Mark Mendelblatt wanted to qualify for the Olympics in the Star class,
he teamed up with Doyle Sailmakers to obtain the speed he needed. Utilizing
innovative 3D modeling and rigorous testing, Doyle's Technology Team
continues to develop fast, winning One Design sails. Designed and crafted
in the USA, Doyle sails will proudly power Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih
in the 2012 Olympics. Since 1982, Doyle Sailmakers has been committed to
supporting sailors like Mark and Brian. Whether your goals are racing,
cruising or anything in between, teaming up with Doyle will deliver the
results you need. http://www.doylesails.com
* Falmouth, UK (May 18, 2012) - It has been a week of extremes at the J.P.
Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth, UK and the final day was
no different. Though a medal race was attempted, it was soon abandoned and
an hour later racing was completely abandoned for the day as the wind
disappeared. This left Ben Ainslie (GBR) as Finn World Champion for the
sixth time. Ed Wright (GBR) took the silver while Jonas Hogh-Christesen
(DEN) took the bronze. Britain held four of the top ten positions, with
American Zach Railey finished tenth overall. -- Full story:
* Barcelona, Spain (May 19, 2012) - The final count at the 2012 470 World
Championships for the doublehanded Olympic dinghy was 154 teams from 42
nations. Australians Mathew Belcher/ Malcolm Page led from the first race
to take their second world championship since teaming up in 2008. On the
women's side, Brits Hannah Mills/ Saskia Clark did just enough in the medal
race to win by two points. The North American contingent, however, did
poorly, giving thought with how doublehanded talent is being developed. Top
finishes were Luke Ramsay/ Michael Leigh (CAN) in 22nd and Americans Amanda
Clark/ Sarah Lihan in 19th. -- Event website:
* Boltenhagen, Germany (May 20, 2012) - Light winds on the final day of the
Audi Women's Laser Radial World Championship forced umpires to award total
of ten yellow flags, the majority for rocking the boat. Several of the
favorites were derailed, with a 5-8 by Gintare Scheidt (LTU) elevating her
to the title. Solid scores by 18-year-old American Erika Reineke helped her
to not only win the U21 ranking but also pull her up to 8th overall. --
Event website: http://www.laserworldchampionship.com/en/home.html
* Annapolis, MD (May 19, 2012) - With only three points dividing the top
three at the Star class Western Hemisphere Championship, the decisive final
race proved to be a non-starter for the 30-boat fleet as light winds and
strong current slowed the fleet as time expired. Leaders Tomas Hornos/ Kip
Gardner (USA) beat out early series leaders Peter McChesney/ Shane
Zwingelberg (USA) in second and Peter Vessella/ Austin Sperry (USA) in
* (May 20, 2012) - The Atlantic Cup began Leg 2 of their Class40 circuit on
Saturday, leaving New York for the doublehanded sprint leg to Newport,
Rhode Island. As of 8pm EDT, Americans Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl and
their new Kiwi 40FC Bodacious Dream led the 14 boat fleet with 30 nm
remaining. The final stage on May 26-27 will host an inshore series in
Newport with six crew onboard. -- Race website:
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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 Artie Means:
Nevin Sayre's headline article in Scuttlebutt 3593 was a bit misleading
about kite racing.
As he references, the guys who kite race really are on the cutting edge. I
would seriously doubt that anyone who had the sailing or boarding skills to
ride a course race board would end up with 150 stitches. Additionally, I
doubt that any of the referenced 110 deaths came from course racers. Course
racing is what goes to Rio, not the freestyle kiters. I've been kiting for
6 years and find it much safer than my other hobbies; snowboarding,
wakeboarding, and sailing big boats.
Being a new sport, there are too many people taking the freestyle route;
that don't take lessons, don't understand the wind, ride dangerous gear,
and try to do the 'magazine cover' tricks that they aren't qualified for.
This unfortunately leads to Nevin's very general statistics. We shouldn't
confuse these statistics with the course racing (now Olympic) crowd. But,
as in any sport (try riding an ice covered half pipe half pipe or downhill
skiing at 80+ mph), if you try to go beyond your ability there are
consequences. While riding within your means, kite racing is incredibly
As for the pipeline, learning to sail is the kitesurf pipeline. Kites are
waaaay too similar to the skiffs; just cheaper, faster and more fun. The
current top crop, of Johnny Heineken, Brian Lake, Adam and Andrew Koch,
Cameron Biehl, Ty Reed, etc, were all epic junior program and college
sailors. Thus the pipeline is already up and running. Considering that the
US dominated the last few Worlds, it seems like while this very loose
'pipeline' could obviously be better, for now it does get results.
To top it off the gear is affordable (1/10th the cost of a 49er), easy to
transport on an airplane, the speeds are epic and the sport is just way too
* From Reynald Neron
Further to your story on Ocean pollution (in Scuttlebutt 3594), I would
like to let you know about two recent shopping experiences:
I went into a supermarket in Fort Lauderdale two weeks ago, bought one
bottle (2 litres) of fizzy drink. At the cashier, the lady placed it into
not one but two plastic bags. When I told her I do not need a plastic bag
to carry one bottle, she looked at me surprised, and said everybody else
Last week I went in a Supermarket in the south of France, buying plenty of
the yummy food they have there. At the cash register, I had to buy two bags
that will get re-used. They do not have plastic bags anymore. The French
survived the transition from plastic to reusable bags.
* From Jay Sacco, Austin, TX:
Statistics being what you make of them, I was interested to see how sailing
deaths (in Scuttlebutt 3593) compared to the total number of deaths in
2011. The info on page 47 of the USCG report answers this question:
All sailing vessel deaths (Aux Sail, Sailboat (only) and Sailboat (unknown)
equaled 3.7% of all boating fatalities in 2011. I'm sure there are plenty
of ways to look at this, but overall, this statistical tidbit makes me glad
to be a sailor and happy to be amongst other sailors while on the water.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better. Get over
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Harken - Doyle Sailmakers - North U - North Sails - SailFast
Team One Newport - New England Rope - Dieball Sailing
Summit Yachts - Ullman Sails - Samson Rope - BIC North America
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers