SCUTTLEBUTT 3662 - Friday, August 24, 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: Quantum Sails and The Pirates Lair.
I SING THE SAILOR ELECTRIC
By Richard Hazelton, 48° North Editor
There is no doubt that, in a modern society, technology has taken over.
It's permeated into every aspect of daily lives - the Jetsons didn't have
the electronic omnipresence that we do. So, it only follows that those of
us who enjoy sailing as a means to get away from all this input, have
reluctantly embraced all the new electronic noses being stuck into our
business of sailing the boat. However, after using some of these wonders,
it's funny how they evolve from curiosities and toys, into necessities. Of
course we could do without them, but why? If they help increase your
enjoyment on the water, why not?
I was pondering this as I was following the Volvo Ocean Race (Around the
World). These guys have the latest of the latest and are the best at using
them. You would be hard pressed to find anyone on the planet with access to
more advanced weather informational systems than they have on board. Yet,
when you follow their tracks across the ocean, some go up, some go down,
some don't go anywhere. What is the difference in all these boats? Why
aren't they all in the same place at the same time?
It all comes back to the human element in this equation. The final computer
analyzing all this data is the navigator. He looks at what has happened, is
happening and projections of what is going to happen, then makes his best
deduction (I don't want to say educated guess) as to where they should go,
why and for how long. It is a very dynamic and ever changing situation. The
computers take care of the data, but it is the people on board who take
care of the "ifs." "If this happens then... but if..."
The same thing applies to our local waters. We can get more info on current
and weather than ever before, but it still always comes down to the, "ifs."
And, no one can argue that we don't have a lot of "ifs" in the Northwest
when it comes to weather.
So sailors take heart. Even if our first mates may have a little red light
glowing on them, we are still masters of our own ship, captains of our own
destinies out on the water. We're in charge of the "ifs." -- August
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
San Francisco, CA (August 23, 2012) - The home team, Oracle Team USA, put
on a show for its fans in San Francisco on Thursday, with its skippers
Jimmy Spithill and Russell Coutts leading their teams to the top of the
standings after the first day of fleet racing at the AC World Series San
Conditions were good for racing, with winds in the 12 to 16-knot range and
fans flocked down to the Marina Green to cheer on their favorite sailors.
The racecourse boundary was just yards from the shoreline and the teams
often came within spitting distance of the crowds as they pushed the
boundary to find relief from the flood tide. What was spectacular for the
fans also proved good for the sailors.
"This racing is awesome. It's the best I've ever done in any boat. I'm so
happy to be here and it's really what sailing should be about," said
Artemis Racing's Santiago Lange, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist in the
Tornado class, who is making his debut on the Series. "I'm still getting
used to steering while still looking around to see the marks and the
boundaries and all the lights, but this is really great racing."
Prior to the fleet racing, the first set of sudden-death Match Racing
Quarterfinal matches were held, with both Luna Rossa crews in tough
pairings against two of last season's top teams. First, Swordfish (Paul
Campbell-James) fell to the 2011-12 Match Racing champions, Terry
Hutchinson and his Artemis Racing White crew in a race the Swedish team
controlled from the start.
Then, Chris Draper's Piranha team came up against the overall season
title-holders in ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL. The American team timed the
start to perfection and protected its early lead well, fending off a
mid-race attack from the Italians, to earn a spot in the semifinals.
The match racing schedule on Friday will pair JP Morgan BAR against
Emirates Team New Zealand and Energy Team against Oracle Team USA Coutts,
with two fleet races to follow.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-082312
Here is some information to help follow the event:
- Event details: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-Aug-21-26
- Crew list: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-0812-Crew-List
- Latitude 38 viewing guide: http://tinyurl.com/Lat-38-ACWS-0812
WATCHING: Broadcast schedule (PDT) for the ACWS in San Francisco:
August 24-25 - YouTube - 2:00pm (120 min) www.youtube.com/user/AmericasCup
August 24-25 - Comcast Sportsnet California - 2:00pm (120 min)
August 26 - NBC - 11:30am (90 min)
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"TEAM USA" DEVOID OF AMERICANS
By Joe Eskenazi, SF Weekly
Glancing out the window here at SF Weekly, a graceful AC45 catamaran
featuring a large tricolor on its sail was just towed toward today's race.
Apparently, we are supposed to root against this French interloper into San
Francisco's waters, and put our efforts into cheering for the "hometown"
squad, Oracle Team USA. "One thing we're really hoping we can rely on is
some hometown support," Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill told the
Examiner. "There's something about racing at home that gives you a little
bit of an advantage."
The notion of San Franciscans going out of their way to root for the
corporately branded plaything of yachting billionaire Larry Ellison seems
farfetched -- though, who knows? We put our heart and soul behind the San
Francisco 49ers and Giants, and those aren't exactly small-time nonprofits
existing solely for the benefit of the community.
What's more counter-intuitive, however, is the notion of "home," and, for
that matter "Team USA." Spithill, for one, is Australian. His 20 fellow
Team USA sailors include six New Zealanders; four Australians, three
Dutchmen, two Canadians, a Brit, an Antiguan, an Italian, and a guy with
citizenship in New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia.
There are only two Americans, one of whom is a dual citizen of Australia.
On the one hand, this isn't a bad thing. Team Oracle hires the best
professional sailors money can buy, and it obviously scours the globe. So
do the San Francisco Giants, who are stocked with Venezuelans at the
moment. But, then, the Giants aren't Team USA. -- Read on:
PARALYMPIC GAMES HISTORY
Sailing first appeared as a demonstration sport at the 1996 Paralympic
Games in Atlanta, and in 2000 (Sydney, AUS) was included in the Paralympic
Games Competition program as a medal sport with events for the three person
keelboat (Sonar) and the single-person keelboat (2.4mR). The same events
were included at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
The SKUD18 was introduced for the Beijing 2008 Paralympics Games as the
equipment for the two-person dinghy, with Americans Nick Scandone and
Maureen McKinnon-Tucker winning the event in Qingdao, China.
The 2012 Paralympic Games (Sept. 1-6) includes sailing events in the
Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR), Two-Person Keelboat (SKUD18), and
Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar).
Event website: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/sailing/
USA team update: http://tinyurl.com/USST-082312
COMMENT: The Paralympic Games follow the Olympic Games, with the sailing
events held at the same venue. The Paralympic Games are often quoted by
ISAF past president Paul Henderson (CAN) as a reason why the cost of
keelboat facilities at the Olympics is not cause to exclude a keelboat
event at the Olympics. The cost of keelboat facilities will always be
needed due to the equipment used at the Paralympic Games. - Craig Leweck,
* Campione del Garda, Italy (August 23, 2012) - The qualifying series for
the 117-boat Zhik Nautica Moth World Championship completed today, with
2009 Worlds champ Bora Gulari (USA) winning both his heats. Scott Babbage
(AUS) won this preliminary series, dividing competitors into gold and
silver fleets, with each skipper's rank counted as a non-discardable race
score in this final series. Following Baggage was Joshua McKnight (AUS),
Bora Gulari (USA), and Anthony Kotoun (ISV), who qualified even on points,
and enter the final series in places second through fourth respectively.
Nine races are scheduled in the final series Friday-Sunday. --
* (August 23, 2012) - In the fourth race of the National Championship of
the Atlantic Class at Blue Hill, Maine on Thursday, seventh place was good
enough to keep Norm Peck III at the head of the standings as his closest
rivals slipped back. Both Bill Barton and Steve Benjamin finished in the
low teens allowing locals Ben Wells and Terry Britton to take over second
and third spots. Peck's father, Norm Peck Jr, 16 times a past winner of the
Atlantic Nationals, lies in fourth. Two final races are planned for
tomorrow, Friday. -- Daily reports:
* (August 23, 2012) - Tropical Storm Isaac threatens to unleash disaster on
Haiti by Friday night, with the possibility of stinging rain and
tree-bending wind descending on the hundreds of thousands of Haitians
living in camps has aid groups in the country on high alert. As much of 12
inches of rain is forecast for some parts of the country, posing danger to
the more than 400,000 Haitians in the camps. The outer bands of the storm
could reach Florida by Sunday, with the eye of the storm making landfall
anywhere between Galveston, Texas, and the Carolinas. -- Full story:
* A company found liable for the death of a British girl in a Greek sailing
accident is appealing against the ruling. Laura Morgan, 11, was on holiday
in 2003 when she became trapped beneath a capsized catamaran. Rescue staff
at the resort, run by Sunsail, told the coroner they had battled to unhook
Laura's trapeze harness after the boat "inverted". Her family had been
awarded a six-figure sum following a civil hearing earlier this year,
however, Sunsail maintains it operated within the safety guidelines set by
the Royal Yachting Association. The appeal hearing was expected to start in
April 2013. -- Full story:
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include the flush, the family, the name, the random, the winner, the
design, the flash, the fashion, and the spider. Here are this week's
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The BIC Techno 293, the dominant windsurfer for young sailors, drew over
300 sailors to the 2012 World Championship (Aug. 11-18) in Medemblik,
Netherlands. In this highlight video from the event, Olympic superstars
from past and present met the future stars of windsurfing. The video
captures the energy of the class, and includes interviews with Dutch gold
medalists Stephan van den Berg (Los Angeles, 1984) and Dorian van
Rijsselberghe (London, 2012). Click here for this week's video:
* Nantucket Race Week pulls the entire island community together to host an
eight day regatta from family knockabouts to grand prix racers at the top
of the professional ranks. Coverage of the event is of the final two days
of Race Week and the Opera House Cup by T2PTV:
* Le Professor breaks the record in the Artemis Challenge in the August 24
"World on Water" Global Sailing News Show while thousands turn out for
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the triumphant, Medal winning,
Australian London Olympics Sailing Team returns home to huge celebrations,
the Yellow Sea Race starts in Korea, Ben Ainslie announces a sponsor then
heads to San Francisco for the ACWS, the MOD70 Foncia screams around the
Isle of Wight in record time and Captain Raf gives his tourist passengers a
frightening ride of a lifetime. See it at http://www.boatson.tv or download
the "boatsontv" app and watch it anywhere anytime.
* Matt Knighton's wrap-up video of the Chicago Match Race Center's August
Grade 2 Invitational is now available online, with the show providing an
overview of each day's action on the water with fantastic on-board footage,
interviews and analysis, all set to an adrenaline-pumping upbeat musical
score that connotes all the excitement and energy of match race sailing at
its finest: http://youtu.be/kPtAYiCUj4E
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 Elizabeth Kratzig, Quest for the Cup: Team USA Board of Director:
In response to your side note in Scuttlebutt 3661 about American's being
prepared for the 35th AC Cup's nationality clause, check out the QUEST FOR
THE CUP: Team USA. http://teamqftc.com
Quest for the Cup: Team USA is a talented and driven group of 8 young
sailors dedicated to winning the 2013 Red Bull Youth America's Cup to be
held in AC 45 Catamarans. Headed up by Californian's Willie McBride and
Judge Ryan, this young team is training in various high performance
catamarans, including the Pro-Sail 40, in order to prepare for the AC 45. I
have no doubt that several of the members of the Quest for the Cup: Team
USA will be competing in the 35th America's Cup.
* From Rob McNeal:
I enjoyed Charles Pinning's piece on the 1962 America's Cup race between
Gretal of Australia and Weatherly of the USA (Scuttlebutt 3661). I was
reminded that John F. Kennedy's very famous quote (just 2 and a half months
before his death) - about how we all came from the sea - was made at a
dinner given by the Australian Ambassador on Sept. 14th of that year
welcoming the challenger and toasting the participants. Hard to image that
sort of fellowship happening today.
Kennedy's speech was very enjoyable to hear again as he comments humorously
on some historical events relating to US History with Australia. Both the
text of the whole speech and the actual audio are preserved at the
Presidential library website for anyone to see and hear.
(http://tinyurl.com/JFK-082312) JFK was an avid sailor and while President
brought priceless visibility to the sport. Again, hard to imagine today.
* From David Gruver:
In Scuttlebutt 3661, Ken Gardam made a fun point about the impact on
nationality requirements if the America's Cup racing could move to a
computer guided yacht and reduce need for crew. But then don't forget the
Deed Of Gift and the "Constructed in Country" clause. Perhaps we would then
see the trustees petition the courts for a slight modification to the CIC
rule. Get ready for "Coded In Country".
* From Paige Brooks:
I just re-read Jack London's Sea Wolf, and I'm glad to see it quoted in
Scuttlebutt 3661, particularly from that scene just after his ferry boat
was hit while crossing San Francisco Bay. It aptly describes the shock of
the cold water. And the character, a self proclaimed "gentleman," was not
at all accustomed to being on the water, much less in it. He barely
survived. Thank goodness someone thought to tell him where the lifejackets
* From Mike Esposito:
Mandating a blood-alcohol analysis before leaving a bar would probably save
more lives than any PFD requirement. Quit being nannies for responsible
adults. How about this rule instead: You know you should wear a PFD, if you
don't and you drown, you don't get to complain about it.
* From Patrick Blaney:
I live in a country where the wearing of PFD's in boats smaller than 8m is
compulsory - Ireland. This became law after a series of small boat
accidents, in many cases where more people than was safe were in a small
open fishing boat, out to sea on a day where the weather changed. The
investigations found that, had they been wearing lifejackets, some of the
victims could have been saved. The problem was the boats were not
seaworthy, and were in some cases overloaded, were poorly maintained - but
the solution was to legislate for lifejackets, not to make boats more
Like many sailors, I regarded this imposition as precisely that - an
imposition by those who don't know any better, but prefer to legislate than
Nothing beats personal responsibility, founded on experience, knowledge,
good seamanship and judgment - but so many people go out on boats with no
knowledge or experience - and so can't make informed judgments. Reading the
(usually excellent) reports on the many tragedies that have impacted our
sport in the past 12 months (many of them in the USA) has taught me a few
things as follows…read on:
Advice to college students: Honey is the only food that doesn't spoil, and
a hangover is life's way of saying you crossed the line last night. Embrace
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