SCUTTLEBUTT 3605 - Tuesday, June 5, 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: Doyle Sailmakers, Atlantis WeatherGear, and J Boats.
BEING A GOOD SAILING PARENT
By Bill Sandberg, WindCheck
Let me start this column by admitting that I was not the perfect sailing
parent, making my share of mistakes along the way. However, I think I've
observed the right and wrong ways to rear a capable young sailor.
Certainly no sailing parent sets out to be a bad one, but sometimes "the
road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Rather than run the gamut of sailors, I will limit this column to the world
of beginning sailors who often sail the Optimist.
Many young sailors have their first experience with the sport as part of a
junior sailing program at a yacht club or public sailing program. This is
the most critical step in introducing young people to the sport, and often
results in the biggest loss of future generations. Does your program begin
with 20 first year sailors, shrink to 12 in their second year and 8 by the
third? There must be a reason for it. I don't place all the blame on
parents, by a long shot, but they can be a contributor.
Let me lay out some guidelines for proper sailing parenting.
Expose your child at an early age...
If possible, take your child for a sail on the family boat or with friends
before joining a sailing program. This will make them comfortable with the
water before the natural competitiveness of a junior program sets in.
Support but do not do...
If your child decides they want to race, notice I said if they choose, not
because of their instructor or under self-imposed duress because Mom or Dad
sails, take them to regattas. Once there, leave them alone. Do not rig and
launch their boat. They are capable of doing it themselves, or will find a
friend or instructor to help if need be.
Be a parent not a cheerleader...
If you do not attend a regatta, make sure your first question is "did you
have fun today?" How they did is not important and they will tell you
anyway, but how you approach the topic is critical to how your novice
Now here is a radical idea. Don't go out and watch your child race...
The Storck family from Centerport Yacht Club was named by Scuttlebutt
readers as the Sailing Family of the Year. They've had pretty good success
with their own children - three of them have been Collegiate All-Americans
and the fourth is on his way. Their number two son, Eric, is going to the
Olympics in Weymouth this summer as skipper of the U.S. 49er team. Most
importantly every one of their kids is polite and a great role model to
How did they achieve such success? One way was to sail as a family at a
very early age. Son Ian was aboard Jonrob for his first victory at the age
of 2 months. They continue to sail together and father John, by his own
admission has gone from helmsman, to tactician, to trimmer and now to bill
payer. But it was the way they helped their kids in their Opti career that
was unique. John and/or his wife Colette would drive their kids to events
around the world, but once there, spent the day touring the local town,
never once going out to watch their child race. -- Full report:
COMMENT: We have only shared a few excerpts from Bill's monthly column; if
you are in the 'market' we encourage you to read the whole piece. I wasn't
a perfect sailing parent either, but proved to be a pretty good baseball
parent. Why? Mostly because I did a better job keeping the focus on the fun
and less on personal achievement. Like it should be. - Craig Leweck,
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Weymouth and Portland, U.K. (June 4, 2012) - The first day of racing is in
the books at Sail for Gold, but now without a long wait for the wind to
reach a suitable speed for racing, keeping the fleets out on the water
until the early evening hours. Racing continues through June 9 at the venue
selected for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The highlight of the day was in the Finn class, where American Caleb Paine
won the lone race over a fleet of 44 skippers. Fresh off a gold medal at
Delta Lloyd Regatta, Paine explained that he won by picking the correct
side of the course throughout the long race.
"It was fairly close after the first weather leg, and the distance (on the
fleet) stayed the same on the first reach," he explained of the moment
capturing the race lead.
"It was all in the first downwind. I stayed with all the boats and sailed
in the pressure. There was an opportunity for me to either to stay with
boats on right, looking downwind, or go to the guys on the left. I jibed
over and took the pressure on the left side, and after rounding the mark it
was a pretty easy beat by hitting the right side and I just extended."
Paine has become more comfortable sailing against the top international
Finn sailors. "It was a matter of looking at where the pressure was," he
said. "It's more of being where the wind is. I'm happy I've been working on
getting all these pieces together."
US Olympic Finn representative Zach Railey, who is in 4th overall, talked
about the feeling at Sail for Gold, which is down in number of competitors
compared to previous years. "The atmosphere is very different than last
year," said Railey. "The selections have been made for all the classes and
we know, pretty much, who is going to the Olympics. For the Finn class, we
have all of the representatives who will be at the Olympic Games minus two
competitors. It will be a very good test here at the Olympic venue to where
we're at with just under two months to go."
Event website: http://www.skandiasailforgoldregatta.co.uk
Canadian team: http://tinyurl.com/CST-060412
USA team: http://tinyurl.com/USST-060412
Any lack of wind and racing on the opening of the Skandia Sail for Gold
regatta, the last chance to tune up before the Olympic rings move in next
month, was more than made up by the rumour mill about machinations within
the International Sailing Federation to overturn a decision made last month
to throw out the windsurfers and replace them with kiteboards in Brazil in
The decision came as a shock to the windsurfers, to the watching sail
racing community, and even to some of those who voted 19-17 to make the
switch. Now there is a move to raise the matter at ISAF's annual general
meeting in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, in November, where support by 75 per cent
of the council is needed for a formal review.
None of the leading presidential candidates, who would be left to implement
the decision on the departure of outgoing president Goran Petersson, has
publicly backed the decision to change. It is believed that considerable
progress has already been made in mustering the 75 per cent. -- Stuart
Alexander, The Independent: http://tinyurl.com/RM-060412
CANADA'S BEST MEDAL BET
They are, in one sense, an odd couple - a 44-year-old fifth-time Olympian
from rural Saltspring Island and a 42-year-old Olympic first-timer from
Montreal - but also a seemingly perfectly matched duo.
Richard Clarke, Toronto-born but a longtime resident of Salt Spring, and
Tyler Bjorn are perhaps Canada's best bet for a sailing medal in London
after the two longtime competitors decided to hook up a couple of years ago
to compete in a Star class boat.
"Tyler and I both have salt water in our veins," Clarke, the helmsman,
said. "Sailing goes back quite a number of generations. Both our fathers
represented Canada in [sailing] in the 1972 Olympics. We grew up as
competitors and have a lot of respect for each other's abilities."
Clarke competed in the 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics in the Finn
class, with a best finish of ninth in 1996. He decided to switch to the
Star class at the end of 2009 and convinced Bjorn to become his partner.
They were a disappointing 18th in last month's Star World Championships in
France, but had finished in the top 10 in all seven World Cup races in the
2011-2012, including a fourth in April in France. Last year, they were also
sixth in the Sail for Gold regatta at Weymouth, site of the London sailing
competition, and eighth in a pre-Olympic test event, also at Weymouth.
Clarke says the duo, who are coached by 2002 Star Class world champion and
British Olympian Steve Mitchell, have developed an instinctual team
chemistry. "We push each other hard and when Tyler says 'C'mon, let's get
this done,' I know it's time to respond. You can get in pressure-cooker
situations in the Olympics, when things can get on your nerves, so it's
nice to have a companion on your side who's not going to fall victim to
Clarke says that having failed to earn a medal at four previous Olympics,
he isn't interested in going to what he says will be his last Games just to
get "another feather in the cap." That's a major reason why he decided to
step away from his professional sailing career last August to "focus 100
per cent on winning a medal for Canada." -- Read on:
SCORE: The Star fleet had just one race Monday at Sail for Gold, with
Richard and Bjorn finishing second:
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LAST CALL ON BOAT PREP
It was only last Thursday night when the Volvo Ocean Race completed its
transatlantic leg, but teams are already looking down the barrel of the
restart. The six cradled Volvo Open 70s are due to hit the water on Tuesday
in anticipation of the Pro-Am Race this Friday, the In-Port Race on
Saturday, and the start of the 1940nm Leg 8 from Lisbon, Portugal to
Lorient, France on Sunday.
"What we're doing right now is just trying to make sure the boat doesn't
break and everything is set up perfectly," said Kimo Worthington, PUMA
general manager. "The next leg is pretty short and the final one is even
shorter yet there's 60 points on the table. If you look at it, it's the
same amount of points as the two legs from New Zealand to Miami. It counts
for a lot and it's going to be amazing to watch. Anything could happen
still - the race is still wide open."
The next leg to France will be their final port before the race concludes
in Galway, Ireland in early July. But this is each team's final chance for
full service. "Right now it's more about the fact the boat can't come out
of the water for the next five weeks," said Neil Cox, CAMPER shore manager.
"It's a massive concentrated effort under the water line, making sure just
diving under the boat is enough to keep a race win on the cards."
With just two legs and three in-port races to go, four teams are still in
the running for the overall prize. "One of the good things about a class
rule that is three generations old now is that the boats become closer,"
said Neal McDonald of Team Telefonica. "I think this race will go down to
the wire for sure. I'd be very surprised if this race is concluded before
the end of the last leg and maybe even the end of the last inshore." --
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
COLLEGE SPRING NATIONALS
Austin, Texas (June 4, 2012) - Racing continued today for the ICSA/APS Team
Race National Championships on Lake Travis. After the top eight teams had
advanced on Sunday from the pool of 14 schools, the focus today was to
complete the Gold double round robin series to determine the top four
schools that would compete for the championship title.
Racing began around 1 p.m. in 10 knots of breeze out of the
south-southeast. The air was warm around 84 degrees. As the first flights
of races got started the wind began to die on the racecourse and around 2
p.m. the wind gave out and racing was postponed.
The wind kicked up to 10-12 knots around 3 p.m. out of the south-southeast
and the races got started again. It was a long hot day for the competitors
due to the heat, fairly light winds and loads of sailing to be done. There
was barely time for breaks in between races as the teams had to rotate and
head right back out on the water.
St. Mary's was leading the standings for part of the day, but the College
of Charleston claimed back their lead from yesterday and ended the day on
top. Joining these schools in the finals on Tuesday will be Boston College
and Hobart and William Smith. -- Full report:
* The 2012 Laser US National Championship were hosted by Houston Yacht Club
(TX) on May 31-June 3. Erik Bowers of Minnetonka Yacht Club (MN) won the
14-boat Laser title, Mitchell Kiss of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club (MI) won the
43-boat Laser Radial title, and Conner Harding Lauderdale Yacht Club (FL)
won the 25-boat Laser 4.7 title. -- Results: http://tinyurl.com/LC-060412
* The inaugural Bayview One Design Regatta was held May 31 - June 3 at
Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, MI. Twenty classes with 179 competitors
filled the four race circles, with winners determined by tie breakers in
the J/120, Melges 24, PHRF A and B classes. The Lightning was the largest
class at 23 boats, which was dominated by Skip Dieball and crew Jeff Eiber/
Abby Freeman with all firsts. Complete results:
* Applications are now being accepted through July 20th for the 2012 U.S.
Team Racing Championship. Hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club, this championship
will be the U.S. qualifier for the 2013 Team Racing Worlds. More
information can be found at
* Fidelity Investments, one of the world's leading providers of financial
services, will partner with the America's Cup World Series, when it
concludes its first season in Newport, Rhode Island on June 28-July 1. The
2011-2012 America's Cup World Series is a six-stage championship spanning
Europe, the United Kingdom and North America where AC45 teams accumulate
points at each stage in fleet and match racing. -- Full report:
* Launched in New Zealand 2009, Karl Kwok's Farr 80 maxi was participating
in the Auckland to Noumea yacht race when it notified race officials on
June 4 at 7pm that it had suffered damage to its decking and hull and was
continuing to deteriorate. The incident occurred around 100 nautical miles
east of Norfolk Island, and as of June 5 at 8:30am, was being accompanied
by the fishing vessel Advance 2 as it sought the sheltered waters of
Norfolk Island's capital Kingston. A bulk carrier, Katherine, was also
coming to assist. The crew of 18 is safe and well. -- Full report:
J/111 - BRINGING BACK THE FUN
The J/111 has been lighting up smiles around the world. This 36'
easy-to-sail speedster, uncompromised by rating rules, has brought the fun
back into sailing. If you haven't been aboard, check out a J/111 sailing
near you (now 70+ boats sailing in 8 countries) or catch some video action
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 Dave Perry:
I rarely disagree with Moose (Guest Commentary from Moose McClintock,
Scuttlebutt #3604), but I strongly disagree when he suggests he doesn't
belong on a list of some of the most successful living U.S. sailors. In
fact, many of us would not be on that list if it weren't for sailing with
The driver is just one member of a successful team. Moose usually trims the
headsail and also assists with the tactics, so he is integral to both the
speed and the smarts on the boats he races on. Plus, his competitive drive
is inspiring, as anyone who has raced with him knows. He's won five J/24
World Championships with several different skippers, as well as many other
Worlds and countless North Americans. He's been integral in at least two
America's Cup campaigns.
And he's a very strong skipper as well, pushing Peter Commette hard in the
Laser before Peter went on to win the first Laser World Championship in
1974; and he's still racing his Laser hard in the highly competitive
Newport frostbiting fleet. Moose belongs for sure.
UPDATE: The voting has begun for the 'Greatest American Sailor' contest.
There have been some brutal match-ups in the first round, such as siblings
Ken and Brad Read, co-workers Mark Reynolds and George Szabo, and neighbors
JJ Fetter and Bill Hardesty. As for Moose, he is currently trailing his
match against Robbie Haines. Vote here:
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