SCUTTLEBUTT 3658 - Monday, August 20, 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: Hall Spars & Rigging and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.
HAVEN'T LOOKED BACK
More than three decades ago, while studying at Harvard, Paul Callahan
slipped on a wet floor and broke his neck, rendering him a quadriplegic
with limited use of his hands. He completed his education at Harvard and
pursued a business career at Goldman Sachs - until his first sailing
experience revealed a deeper passion.
Callahan, 56, is now the CEO for Sail to Prevail, a nonprofit organization
based in Newport, R.I., that uses sailing to help disabled children
overcome adversity. The Rehoboth (MA) native heads for London this month
for the 2012 Paralympics, where he will compete in the Mixed Three-Person
First sailing experience...
"While I was vacationing in Newport, someone asked if I wanted to go
sailing. I'm a fairly adventurous person, so I said, 'Sure, why not.' We
left the dock, and I looked back and [realized] I was out of the wheelchair
for the first time. It was a very liberating feeling, and that cascaded
into self-esteem and a unique sense of independence which I hadn't
experienced in nearly 20 years. I was in control of something other than my
wheelchair, which happened to be a sailboat. From that day, I haven't
Controlling the boat...
"I drive the boat with upside-down bicycle pedals that are connected
through a series of lines and pulleys to the regular tiller of the boat, so
it functions just the same as an able-bodied person who'd drive the boat
with their hand. Because I have very little movement in my fingers, I drive
it with rollerblading gloves that turn the boat."
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/Boston-081912
Paralympics begin Sept. 1: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/sailing/
WHEN AN OLYMPIC EVENT CHANGES
Henry Menin, Chairman of the ISAF Match Racing Committee, reports that the
ISAF Match Racing Committee has filed a Submission with ISAF asking the
Council to reconsider its decision last May regarding the removal of
women's match racing from the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Here is his
To make this change, it will take 75% of the 39 voting members of Council
to put match racing back into the Olympics. That is a huge hurdle to
overcome. This vote will take place at the ISAF Annual General Meeting in
November. But we are giving it our best shot.
If you, like so many others, are convinced that the match racing in the
2012 Olympics was sailing's showcase event; that match racing brought
sailing into the best light with the public, that it enthralled and
entranced spectators, even those who knew little or nothing about sailing,
then please contact your sailing federation, your Council members, members
of the Events Committee, or anyone who you may know who has anything to do
with ISAF, and tell them how you feel.
The links for the members of the ISAF Council and the Events Committee are:
One argument frequently heard against match racing is that it is too
expensive compared to other disciplines in the Olympics. The fact of the
matter is that for many countries, it is not more expensive. The boats are
provided to the competitors for the Olympics and at the various regattas
around the world. Sailors do not have to transport boats to the regattas
and they don't have to continually replace spars, sails, foils, sheets and
Because the teams do not bring their own equipment to events, there is no
reason to replace equipment over the quad (i.e. buy new boats for the
country qualifiers then again for the Games and yet again for the next
Quad). The cost of the match racing capital investment can be amortized
over 2 or more Quads.
The cost of running the match racing at the Olympics can be effectively
reduced by using the qualifying regattas to seed the event and go straight
into the cut throat knock out stages.
The real cost now is in changing to a second two person dinghy/skiff (in
addition to the 470) in the 2016 Olympics, casting aside the investment
that nations have made in the purchase of the Elliott 6m as training boats.
Having to purchase the new Mackay FX boats (and replacing them periodically
before the Games, along with spars, sails, etc.) and in setting up new
training programs with new teams, coaches, advisors, etc. It is a complete
waste of assets and established programs.
Brazil had already purchased the Elliott 6ms in anticipation that match
racing would be in their Olympics.
If you feel that the ISAF Council erred in eliminating match racing from
the2016 Olympics, please make your voice heard.
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FOR A GOOD CAUSE
One of the few remaining week long events, Nantucket Race Week (Aug. 11-19)
marshals the entire Nantucket community together to host an event for
everyone from young dinghy sailors and families in the household one design
to grand prix racers at the very top of their profession. And among the
special features is the IOD Celebrity Invitational (Aug. 16-17), where
every team will have one of America's prominent sailors aboard calling
With all eyes on the southernmost section of Massachusetts, the regatta's
unique format matches the celebrity tacticians with a participating
helmsman and team whose regatta fees and "bids" for tactician selection
raised nearly $50,000 for Nantucket Community Sailing. The local IOD Fleet
Association makes its fleet of identical International One Design sloops
available for the benefit of the NCS fundraiser.
In the end, Heather Gregg of Stage Harbor YC and New York YC became the
first female winner of the event. Her celebrity tactician was sailmaker and
champion Robbie Doyle, along with crew members Miles Cameron, Michael
Obuchowski and Will Christenson. -- Full report:
RESPECT THE BAY
This past weekend saw teams training on San Francisco Bay for the America's
Cup World Series, with racing set to begin Tuesday. For the teams that
tested the venue, among the lessons learned was to respect the Bay. Finding
the limit, and then nudging past it, has consequences.
Team Korea was the first to capsize on Saturday. Before leaving the dock,
skipper Nathan Outteridge had spoken of the need to be conservative in the
early stages of training, but said his team would likely be pushing more
and more each day. Saturday, they found out what happens when you push too
"We were in a little race with Energy Team and we were trying to sail past
them, so were really on," Outteridge said. "And then I guess we found the
limit of how far we can push it."
One of the crew, Mark Bulkeley fell through the lower section of the wing,
but was unhurt. The team had the boat up and sailing within a couple of
minutes. The wing needs repairs, but the team is expected to be ready for
racing in a couple of days.
The second capsize of the afternoon was more damaging. Luna Rossa Swordfish
went over later in the afternoon with the wind gusting over 20 knots. The
boat remained capsized for over half an hour, and there was significant
damage to the wing. All the flaps were removed and brought in by chase boat
and the wing mast is damaged as well.
"We were in a pre-start practice and we bear off and that was it," said
skipper Max Sirena. "It was pretty windy, over 25 knots, and the wind was
against the tide (causing waves). Sooner or later, where you push the
limits, it is going to happen.
"The big damage came when we went down. The boat came back up with bow up
and stern down as part of the capsize. This is when the damage occurred.
The wing is certainly not in good shape. So we will use a new wing and are
hoping to sail again on Monday."
Earlier last week, Artemis Racing also capsized during training. The strong
conditions in San Francisco mean the sailing is 'on the edge', all of the
"The last few days we've had a little bit of an ebb tide and some pretty
strong sea breezes, so it's been pretty 'exciting' on the race course
area," said Oracle Team USA tactician John Kostecki. --
DETAILS: There is a practice race on Tuesday, with the competition to be
held Wednesday through Sunday. Here is some information to help follow the
- Event details: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-Aug-21-26
- Video tour of live viewing options: http://youtu.be/BXk8lgRKIWw
- SF sports bar viewing: http://tinyurl.com/beer-and-cheer
- SF restaurants with a view: http://tinyurl.com/gawk-and-grub
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
* Cascade Locks, OR (August 18, 2012) - The US Sailing 2012 Youth
Championships on the Columbia River Gorge began with two days of brisk
winds, with lighter air on the final two days of competition. Dominant
performances by Mitchell Kiss (Laser Radial) and Scott Buckstaff/ James
Moody (29er) won their events with a race to spare, while Greg Martinez
(Laser) and Max Simmons/ Riley Legault (Club 420) led from start to finish.
* Kingston, ONT (August 19, 2012) - CORK OCR Regatta for Olympic and elite
development classes (Aug. 18-22) is hosting 174 entrants in the Laser
Radial, Laser, Finn, Kite, 29er, 49er, and International 14. Thirty-nine
entrants are competing in the 29er North Americans, currently led by Sam
Gustin and Ian Woodbury. Details here:
* The Pan American Games Board of Directors has overturned an earlier
decision to change the sailing events for the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto,
ONT. The decision made was to return to the sailing event schedule used at
the 2011 Pan Am Games in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Laser (Men), Laser Radial
(Women), RS:X (Men and Women), Hobie 16 (open), J/24 (open), Lightning
(open), Snipe (open) and Sunfish (open). -- http://panamsailing.org/
* The 2012 National Championship of the Atlantic Class begins August 21 in
Blue Hill, Maine. This 84th running of the Nationals has attracted no fewer
than 42 entries, a record for the class, and a result of a strong
renaissance currently occurring. This beautiful, classic 31-footer was
designed by W. Starling Burgess in 1928, just before he began drawing the
successful J-Class yachts Enterprise, Rainbow and Ranger. Since those days
the boats have modernized, leading to one of the better turnouts of any
keelboat championship this year in the U.S. -- Full report:
* Newport, RI (August 19, 2012) - Ideal sailing conditions, perfect starts
and a 16-18 knot southwesterly breeze allowed the 26 boats competing in the
2012 Ida Lewis Distance Race (ILDR) to power up on Friday, August 17, and
provide a great show for the spectators who turned out to see them off on
their offshore adventure. The IRC, PHRF and PHRF Doublehanded fleets were
sent on the 122 nautical mile Nomans course, while the two boats racing in
the PHRF Cruising Spinnaker class took on the 103 nautical mile Buzzards
Tower course. -- Full report/photos:
YOUR BOATING GOALS AND DREAMS
As the summer season rolls on, JK3 continues to sell quality sail and power
boats - both new and brokerage. A couple of our current quality brokerage
listings are "Varuna", the pristine 2006 Oyster 44, and the beautiful J/65
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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 Dean Brenner, Chairman, US Olympic Sailing Program:
Ben Barger is entitled to his opinions (in Scuttlebutt 3657), but his facts
are completely false. The statement that only 16% of our budget goes into
direct athlete grants is completely false. Ben has no idea what he is
talking about. He cites (and posts) one spreadsheet that was not final, and
represented only one of several pools of money that benefit our sailors.
The real number is far higher than 16%.
Secondly, Ben's assertion that our coaches are paid close to twice their
European counterparts is laughable. Our coaches are fairly paid, but
nowhere close to double any of the other top country's pay scales. Again,
Ben completely lacks any actual fact here.
Finally, Ben sits on the USOC Athlete Advisory Council, whose mission reads
in part "to protect the rights of athletes." His decision to post a
spreadsheet, without any validation of its accuracy, that included specific
athlete names and numbers, was professionally irresponsible. Many of our
athletes ask us not to publicize their actual funding numbers, the same way
you would ask your employer not to publicly advertise your salary. Ben's
desire to publicly criticize the program overwhelmed what should have been
his professional responsibility to the athletes he claims to represent.
EDITOR'S NOTE: It's likely time that commentary on the US Team's failure to
medal at the 2012 Olympics moves from the Scuttlebutt Newsletter to the
Forum. Ben has a follow-up comment to this letter from Dean in the Forum,
where additional comments are welcome:
* From Chip Croft:
Until sailing becomes more PROACTIVE in including non-whites, it will
always be a minor sport in the U.S. with no growth and lacking the talent
that could make the U.S. amazingly competitive in the Olympics. Look what
Tiger Woods and Serena and Venus Williams did for their sports. Where is
the Gabby Douglas of sailing? They massively increased the popularity of
their sports. Where are their counterparts in sailing?
Look at all the major sports in the U.S. - they are wonderfully diverse.
Now look at sailing. Look around the next sailboat show and see how white
the crowd is. Sailing is a dead sport until it catches up in including the
rest of the athletes in the U.S. and it is a very long way from it.
* From Geoff Emanuel:
I took note of the statement in Scuttlebutt 3657 by the Aussie Gold
medalist in the 49er Class:
"One of the factors behind the sailing team's success, Nathan believes, was
having a social headquarters at a local Weymouth pub for the sailors and
their supporters to get together at the end of each day."
Could it be that the U.S. is taking the Olympic training process too
seriously, leading to burn out?
* From Paul Henderson:
I feel obliged to correct a few of the facts that Mr Harmsworth got wrong
in Scuttlebutt 3657.
As ISAF President from 1994-2004, the number of Olympic events rose from 10
in Savannah 1996 to 11 for Sydney 2000, and was the same for Athens 2004
and for Beijing 2008. In 2008, the Events for London 2012 were reduced to
10 after I retired from the ISAF Presidency in 2004.
All sports were given a quota of athletes for Sydney 2000 and Sailing was
set at 400 and ISAF over sold by one to 401. It is the responsibility of
ISAF to get as many sailors to the Olympics as possible, not to stop them.
For Athens 2004, the IOC cut all sports back 5% to try and keep the
athletes to 10,500 so Sailing was allocated 380. This meant that ISAF had
to reduce one entry in each of the 11 events which was not onerous. Sailing
was allowed the same number for Athens.
One of the other challenges was to increase women's participation in the
Olympics. In Savanna 1996, Sailing had the lowest % of women competitors of
any dual gender sport at 19%. In Athens 2004, the women's competitors in
Sailing went from 19% to 37%, a result I am most proud of. To get a higher
% will be most difficult as certain regions of the world do not promote
women in sport.
* From Bob Fisher:
Every sailor worth his salt agrees with John McConnell (S-3656) - Paul
Henderson was simply the best.
* From Ken Bertino:
Regarding the commentary in Scuttlebutt 3657 by Nicholas Hayes titled
'Sailing Isn't A Sport', I have watched and been active in many sports over
the years. To be successful at any, there must be a passion. Many sportsmen
(women) have that passion.
Sailing/racing, particularly offshore sailing/racing, takes that passion
beyond most sports as I see it. Maybe it isn't a sport, so what? It sure is
fun!! Well said Nicholas. Thank you.
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