SCUTTLEBUTT 3656 - Thursday, August 16, 2012
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providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors: Atlantis WeatherGear and Ullman Sails.
FAILURE TO PERFORM
The United States didn't win an Olympic sailing medal for the first time
since the 1936 Berlin Games... the boycott of the 1980 Games
notwithstanding. This shutout was not the plan the team had hoped for at
the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth, Great Britain (July 29-Aug. 11).
Dean Brenner, who has been Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program for
eight years, is stepping down. The position has a two term limit, and his
successor Josh Adams is ready to take over September 1st.
In the second part of Scuttlebutt's interview with Dean, he discusses the
failure at the 2012 Games and the future of the U.S. program.
* Any problems leading up to the event that may have affected results?
None. We spent significant time here over the past four years to understand
the venue. We got here on July 17, a full ten days before the regatta.
There was no jetlag. Everyone was rested and ready. There were no equipment
problems. We were comfortable here. We had our routine. I believe our
lead-in plan covered all the bases, and I have gotten no indication that we
made any errors in this plan.
* Performance is the bottom line, and the team did not perform very well.
What happens now?
Here is what's happening. As is customary after each Olympics, an
independent panel review will take a look at what we are doing. This is
being headed by US Sailing President Gary Jobson and my successor Josh
Adams, who are now organizing the panel, and it is the intent of this
process to determine what changes might be needed.
There is going to be a lot of analysis of what we did right and wrong, and
that's okay. That's healthy. But it's also going to be possible to
overreact. You can do a lot of things right and still not win your regatta.
I think we were good enough in a lot of classes, but at these Games, we
didn't get it done.
I am not sure what we would have done differently, but I can share some
things that kept us off the podium. First off, in about half the events, we
were a long shot at best. So to say we did not win medals in any of the ten
events is correct, but we weren't expected to either. To say that we failed
in those classes, at the Olympics, is unfair. The surprises for us were to
fail in the Women's Match Race, Finn, Laser Radial, and Women's 470. We
also thought our 49er team was capable of more, though by no means they
were not a strong medal contender. -- Read on:
COMMENT: There is much more to this interview as Dean discusses the Games
and the Team's future prospects, but from a personal observation, there is
one theme that remains certain to me. While the Club Flying Junior and Club
420 may be fine boats to use in the U.S. for youth sailing in general,
their simplicity is stifling the development of elite young sailors.
Competition in boats of greater complexity, as is done in other countries,
and as once was the norm in the U.S., is desperately needed. - Craig
PHOTOS: Courtesy of esteemed photographer Carlo Borlenghi, Scuttlebutt has
produced an Olympic gallery which captures the scenery, celebrations, and
sailing in each of the ten events:
DISCOVER: THE HOT COMBO FOR WARM WEATHER
Here in Marblehead, it's too hot to wear the heavy gear. But the water's
still in the 60s, so when it starts to come aboard, you need something to
wear. This is where the new Resolute line nails it: a lightweight inshore
jacket & pant combo that's light enough to take anywhere, waterproof enough
to protect you from the occasional wave and breathable enough to wear even
on the hottest days. It comes in a range of cool colors, and the women's
version is the hottest thing on the water! Check it out the new Resolute
range at http://www.atlantisweathergear.com/Newfor2012.
Stay cool when it's hot. Discover your Atlantis.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA: Atlantis WeatherGear, who was the apparel partner for
the US Sailing Team during the 2009-12 Olympic 'quad', wanted to share this
quote with Team Leader Dean Brenner, and to anyone else who is seeking to
make a difference in the sport of sailing:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The
credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who
comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and
shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who
at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at
the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his
place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know
victory nor defeat." - Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship in a Republic"
delivered by Teddy Roosevelt at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
The closing of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition is also perhaps
the end of a magnificent era within the Finn class. With three time gold
medalist Ben Ainslie (GBR) announcing that he is very unlikely to ever set
foot in a Finn again, his decade of domination is complete and he leaves
the stage open for a new generation of heroes to take his place.
The goodbyes are not just limited to Ainslie. Almost a dozen of those who
competed at Weymouth and Portland have probably sailed their final Finn
regatta and will be hanging up their hiking pants one last time. The game
is changing at a fast pace. The new generation are younger, taller,
stronger and fitter than ever before. And they are all hungry for success.
Silver medalist Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) pointed this out just a few
weeks back, "I love the Finn and think it has gotten a revival with the new
physical aspects. It is for sure the hardest boat on the Olympic programme.
Real athletes pushing super hard. Next time around there will be no old
school sailors with a bit too much fat. They will be fit, tall and young.
With that said it looks like my time is up." -- Read on:
American Zach Railey comments about the conditioning needed for the Finn...
"The physical requirements of sailing a Finn are like no other boat on the
Olympic Circuit. You have to be big and have the frame to build the
strength needed to sail the boat. Power is the number one word I think of
when I think of a Finn sailor; we are just big powerful guys. With the new
sailing techniques and especially the new 10 knot free pumping rule we have
seen the fleet become much fitter while maintaining the strength needed to
control the boat.
"The top Finn sailors in the World will spend 4 days a week lifting in the
gym, 3 days a week doing cardio training sessions, eating the right
nutrition and will do all of this while sailing 5 days each week because
the boat requires that type of dedication. Finn sailing requires you to
hike against a boat that has non-stop power while sailing upwind. The burn
and pain that runs through your body while hiking, I have never felt in
another boat in my career.
"Finn sailing is simply a test of power and endurance. Then imagine doing
that for 20 minutes upwind and then going straight into a downwind or reach
where your heart rate is at 180 bpm or higher; do this over and over again
until you reach our target race time of 75 min. Then do that at least two
times a day and then do that for 6 days straight. I challenge anyone to do
this and come back and tell a Finn sailor that the Finn is not physically
2012 INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED
Annapolis, Md. (August 15, 2012) - The National Sailing Center & Hall of
Fame (NSHOF) today announced the nine sailors who will make up its 2012
class of inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. The 2012 class
of inductees will be honored on Sunday, October 14, 2012, during an
invitation-only ceremony at Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, Louisiana),
the second-oldest yacht club in the country.
National Sailing Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees: navigator Stan Honey (Palo
Alto, Calif.), winner of the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race as well as the 2010
Trophée Jules Verne for fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe;
prominent yacht designer Bruce Kirby (Rowayton, Conn.); 1988 Soling Olympic
silver medalist, winning Volvo Ocean Race skipper and America's Cup
tactician John Kostecki (Reno, Nev.); and three-time Star Olympic medalist
and two-time Star World Champion Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.).
National Sailing Hall of Fame 2012 Posthumous Inductees: Olympic gold and
silver medalist Peter Barrett (Madison, Wis.); America's Cup competitor and
journalist Bob Bavier (New Rochelle, N.Y.); preeminent rules expert Gregg
Bemis (Boston, Mass.); yacht designer and Medal of Freedom winner Rod
Stephens (New York, N.Y.); and founder and first commodore of the New York
Yacht Club John Cox Stevens (New York, NY).
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/NSHOF-081512
STRONG FINISH FOR FRENCH IN COMMODORES' CUP
Before the first Olympic gun fired in Weymouth, seven teams gathered in
Cowes for the prestigious Brewin Dolphin's Commodores' Cup 2012.
Congratulations to Herve Borgoltz and crew who scored the second best
overall individual result aboard Grand Soleil 44 R "Eleuthera"! Competing
with new Ullman Sails onboard - including a FiberPath GP Race mainsail and
genoa, and a Redline S2 spinnaker - "Eleuthera" helped the French team
place third overall in the seven-day event. GBR Red won overall honors,
leading teams from Great Britain, France, Hong Kong and Benelux in both
inshore and offshore races on the Solent and English Channel.
* Cascade Locks, OR (August 15, 2012) - It was breeze on for the first day
at US Sailing's 2012 Youth Championships on the Columbia River Gorge. All
four fleets completed three races, with current leaders as Mitchell Kiss
(Laser Radial), Greg Martinez (Laser), Scott Buckstaff/ James Moody (29er),
and Max Simmons/ Riley Legault (Club 420). Racing continues through
Saturday. Event website:
* A federal court judge in Norfolk, Va., ordered a Somali pirate on Monday
to serve a dozen life sentences in prison for his role in the hijacking of
a German merchant vessel and a U.S. cruising sailboat, saying the hostage
negotiator was lucky he wasn't facing the death penalty. Mohammad Saaili
Shibin is considered by U.S. authorities to be the highest-ranking pirate
they have ever captured. Shibin had direct ties to those who finance pirate
operations from ashore in largely lawless Somalia. -- Soundings, read on:
* The Coast Guard said a series of tests to the Global Positioning System
will be conducted at various times between Sunday and Sept. 9 that could
cause GPS service to be unreliable or unavailable. -- Soundings, read on:
* On Friday, August 17th the Chicago Match Racing Center (CMRC) will begin
competition in its August Grade 2 Invitational, with 11 teams from 7
nations slated to do battle through Sunday in what is the first of four
events in the US GRAND SLAM Series. This series features ISAF Grade 2 match
racing in four consecutive events: the Grade 2 Invitational, held at CMRC
over August 17-19; the Detroit Cup, held August 23-25 at Bayview YC; the
Knickerbocker Cup, held at Manhasset Bay YC over August 30 - September 2;
and the Oakcliff International, held over September 5-9 at Oakcliff Sailing
in Oyster Bay, NY. -- Read on:
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
* Sailor/Author new website
* Sail America retains association management company
* Nautor's Swan Launches 2,000th New Swan
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
SEND US YOUR RACE REPORTS
Posting your event information on the free, self-serve Scuttlebutt Event
Calendar tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and sailing
media. But don't stop there... send us your race reports too. Here are some
of the upcoming events listed on the calendar:
Aug 17-19 - Verve Cup Offshore Regatta - Chicago, IL, USA
Aug 17-19 - Ida Lewis Distance Race - Newport, RI, USA
Aug 17-18 - Nantucket Race Week - Nantucket, MA, USA
Aug 18-22 - CORK - OCR - Kingston, Ontario, Canada
View all the events 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 John McConnell:
I wish Paul Henderson could be put back into the ISAF President's Chair
(re, Scuttlebutt 3655).
* From Peter Johnstone:
If you want to build something to the highest peaks, you need a pyramid
with the broadest base. We have great sailors in the U.S., and terrific
commitment. We need leadership that understands what it takes to build
something of significance from the ground up. I am a huge fan of the new US
Olympic sailing team leader Josh Adams, and wish him the very best in what
will be a huge task.
* From Alex Stout:
In regard to the letter from Lew Sacks (Scuttlebutt 3655), people die in
cars and car racing with regularity. Doesn't seem to have hurt motor
sports. American football and concussions have very bad long-term effects
on the players, but NFL teams are at or approaching billion dollar
entities, and the fan base keeps growing. X-Game bikers, snow boarders,
etc. all have tragedies, but these sports are growing, not shrinking. Heck,
in line with drowning, the Olympics told the story of an open water U.S.
competitor dying last year in a competition. Tragic, yes, stop open water
swimming, not a chance. Go Red Bull. I got excited when I heard about the
Red Bull Storm Chase (Scuttlebutt 3654).
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Red Bull energy drink has a long history of promoting
its brand alongside hazardous action. The company either seeks out the
extreme event, or creates it themselves. The Red Bull brand is now a
prominent sponsor at the 34th America's Cup, and we suspect they are not
concerned if disaster were to fling the crew through their wing branding...
like this: http://youtu.be/HjwY6O2zE0E
* From Tracy Usher:
Regarding the observations shared by Alistair Murray in Scuttlebutt 3655, I
have to admit I've never understood why sailing is so hard to understand. A
regatta is simply a series of races where one's finish position in a race
translates to points for that race, a sailor gets to discard their worst
race, and the sailor with the lowest series score is the winner. Why can't
we explain that?
The cycling world was able to tell me how Lance Armstrong could cross the
finish line of any given race in, like, 50th place yet not lose any time to
the guy in 20th place. Gymnasts and divers get judged by a number of
judges, they toss out the low and high scores and sum the rest to get their
score. We seem to understand that. Heck, even NASCAR has a series with
points given for finish positions in individual races. As for not needing
to win the last race, the gold medalist in the Decathlon finished 9th and
7th in the last two events...we seem to understand how that works.
To me, the hardest part of explaining sailing to a non-sailor is the upwind
leg where its often not obvious who is ahead until they get to the weather
mark. But I think the video from this Olympics, especially the great aerial
shots, did a much better job than I've seen in the past at giving an
overall perspective. All it needed was some good commentary (the videos I
saw were silent) and I think it could have been interesting to the general
public - in particular the Radial medal race where the podium positions
changed on nearly every leg.
I hate people that say "he's a nice person once you get to know him." They
might as well just say "he's a pain but you'll get used to it."
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New England Boatworks - Kaenon Polarized - North Sails
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