SCUTTLEBUTT 3667 - Friday, August 31, 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 Sails and Pure Yachting.
ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE BEGINNING
Remember shackles? How about ring dings? So yesterday! Mike Lee from Harken
Technical Service explains how we have progressed all the way back to the
Soft attachment sounds as exciting as sewing a button back on to your
favorite sweater vest; however, it is the latest high-tech trend in the
sailing industry. But clever engineers cannot run away with all the credit.
It really wasn't their idea in the first place. They only improved on an
Back in the days of iron men and wooden ships, blocks were attached with
rope in lieu of costly shackles and headposts which also needed to be
forged and shaped by a Smith. Today, shackles and headposts have been
eliminated to save weight. "What's old in sailing is now new".
Stronger than Steel
The creation of soft attachments for highly-loaded blocks really started
when line manufactures began introducing fibers that were amazingly strong;
5 mm line that could lift an angry rhinoceros. Dyneema and Spectra are a
sailor's dream lines: 15 times stronger than steel, absorb almost no water,
28% lighter than polyester line, and UV resistant. Other than cost, what
more could a sailor possibly want?
Shackles Equal Weight
When dozens of shackles quickly added up to significant weight increases on
race boats that will go to the ends of the earth to trim even a gram,
shackle-less blocks began to appear. With the introduction of the standard
Black Magic line in the mid-90s, Harken created a block nicknamed "The
Web-Head". In the beginning, the problem with using a webbed-on block was
there was no easy way to attach it without getting a rigger involved to web
and sew it permanently in place. In sailing, especially in racing,
everything needs to be tweaked on the water to get the best performance.
But with a shackle-less block, forever webbed in place, there was no
tweaking without starting over again with needle and thread. Convenience
was sacrificed if savings weight was important.
While other companies were coming out with their interpretations of
lashed-on blocks, Harken arrived on the scene with a simple soft-attach
block; the 57mm Ti-Lite. They figured that since line can be used to tie
things to other things, why not tie a block to the boat rather than use a
heavy shackle. The block came with a plain 3 mm yellow piece of Spectra
line along with a hex key to tighten the set screw securing the line.
Much more... plus photos and video:
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE SAILING
It's not often when a double Olympic medalist takes on the role of a High
School Coach, but that's where JJ Fetter found herself several years ago.
It was during this when she wrote a guide, 'Getting the most out of High
School sailing', to provide advice for sailors who want to maximize their
high school sailing experience.
And for those sailors that take their game to collegiate competition,
Brooke Thompson sought to help them make the transition. While competing on
the St. Mary's College of Maryland sailing team, Thompson had one of those
"if I only knew then what I know now" moments, and decided to write a
manual, 'High School to College Crewing Guide', to help crews make the
transition to college sailing. Said Thompson:
"In my opinion, high school sailing teaches crews most of the skills they
need to know, but college sailing fine-tunes and expands on those things.
College crews come from a huge range of experience levels and backgrounds,
but what they have in common is that everyone makes changes along the way
to adapt. This guide is an attempt to pinpoint some of the bigger reasons
that contribute to this transition and list all the little details that go
a long with it."
With High School and College sailing starting soon, these two guides may
High School guide: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/10/0928/
College guide: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/09/crew_guide/
FAST SAILS WIN RACES
In the last week, Doyle sails dominated the Rhodes 19 Nationals finishing
1-2-3-4 and also won the Etchells Great Lakes Championship. Winning one
design sailors know that fast sails are an opportunity to gain a
performance advantage. Summer isn't over yet, and now is the best time to
order new sails to put you on the podium in the future. For more
information on how Doyle can power your boat to victory, contact your local
Doyle loft, 800-94-DOYLE, http://www.doylesails.com
* Gimli, Manitoba (August 30, 2012) - Shifty and puffy conditions made for
interesting sailing on Lake Winnipeg today on the second day of racing at
the Craig & Ross CYA Youth National Sailing Championships. Winds were
higher today starting with winds between 12 & 14 knots and ending with
winds in the 20 knot range. Racing is especially tight in the 420 fleet
with only 8 points between 1st and 4th place. Currently Royal Nova Scotia
Yacht Squadron sailors Jake Megaffin & John Alexander Sapp and Allie
Surrette & Ali ten Hove are neck in neck with 11 points each. Two more days
of racing remain. -- Full report:
* US Sailing President Gary Jobson has appointed an independent panel to
review the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. Leading the panel will be the new
Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, Josh Adams. Members of the
independent review panel are Ed Adams, Andrew Campbell, Jay Cross, Andrew
Kostanecki, Bill Martin, Jack Mathias, Jonathan McKee, Cory Sertl, and Tim
Wadlow. The panel will present their findings and recommendations to US
Sailing's Board of Directors and the Olympic Sailing Committee in
consideration for the 2013 to 2016 Olympic quadrennium. -- Additional
* Cardiff, Wales (August 30, 2012) - Breezy and gusty conditions on Cardiff
Bay for the opening day of Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series delivered
extreme action for the nine Extreme 40s. Austria's Red Bull Sailing Team
tops the leaderboard, reaching speeds of 25 knots with Roman Hagara at the
helm. The conditions led to local entry Team Wales dismasting in final
race, while American Anna Tunnicliffe, crewing on Team GAC Pindar, was
rushed to hospital with a gashed knee which may likely prevent her from
returning to the event. -- Daily report: http://tinyurl.com/ESS-083012
* St. Moritz, Switzerland (August 29, 2012) - Light winds limited the
schedule for St. Moritz Match Race, the fifth stop of the eight event World
Match Racing Tour. Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match Sailing continues to lead
the qualifying round without having taken to the water on the second day of
competition. Phil Robertson (NZL) rallied from an 0-3 start on Wednesday,
today beating Peter Gilmour (AUS) and current Tour leader Bjorn Hansen
(SWE) to now stand at 3-2. --Full report: http://tinyurl.com/WMRT-083012
* The MOD70 European Tour fleet of five MOD70 multihulls are in Kiel,
Germany, making ready for five weeks and almost 5000 miles of racing around
the European mainland coast, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean,
finishing in Genoa on October 2nd. The inaugural tour event encompasses
challenging offshore races linking Kiel in Germany, Dun Laoghaire in Dublin
Bay to Cascais by Lisbon in Portugal to Marseille in France to a finish in
Genoa, Italy. The race starts from Kiel on September 2. Full report:
* Competition for IRC classes at the Rolex Big Boat Series will be hotter
than ever, since the 48th edition of the event doubles as the 2012 IRC
North American Championship. And while the big guns are slinging it out on
San Francisco Bay from Thursday, September 6 through Sunday, September 9,
three one-design classes, a new HPR (High Performance Rule) class and a
performance catamaran class also will be eyeing the Rolex timepieces as
prizes. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/RBBS-083012
* (August 30, 2012) - HPR (High Performance Rule) has posted the latest
version of its Rule Calculator spreadsheet on the HPR website. The Rule
Calculator provides an easy access method to determine the HPR rating of
any modern high-performance offshore-capable racing yacht given measurement
data available from certificates issued under the ORR, ORC and IRC rules.
The example spreadsheet is populated with measurements and rating
calculations for some popular race boat designs, and includes a section of
boats that are scheduled to compete in the upcoming Rolex Big Boat Series.
-- Full report: http://www.hprsailing.org
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include family team, charity event, summer is over, legendary, comical,
inspired kids, high altitude, and historic. Here are this week's photos:
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
Every year, British Columbia's top Opti sailors head down to San Francisco
for the St. Francis Yacht Club Heavy Weather regatta, As the venue for the
2013 America's Cup, San Francisco is known for its high wind speeds and
challenging conditions. This video follows these 10-15 year old sailors
though some of the toughest conditions in the sport. Click here for this
week's video: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/12/0831/
* 2011 IndyCar rookie of the year JR Hildebrand was a guest rider onboard
Oracle Team USA with Jimmy Spithill, and had the GoPro camera helmet cam
turned on during his race. If you have ever wondered what's it like to ride
on the back of an AC45, here is the show: http://youtu.be/HdHk_77ZwWs
* This week on America's Cup Discovered we are in San Francisco for the
first event of the America's Cup World Series 2012-2013. Fifty-five of the
world's best sailors from 8 different countries are on 11 boats, the most
we have ever seen at a World Series event. Tune in on Saturday September 1
at approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST: http://www.youtube.com/americascup
* ACWS goes "home" in the August 31 "World on Water" Global Sailing News
Report. Jimmy and Russell take the home town wins in the ACWS, Josh McNight
beats the favourite in the Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds, Hooligan wins again at
the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Irene says goodnight to her opposition
in the Yellow Sea Race, the Italians rule in the 420 and 470 Junior
Europeans and Russell Coutts rams the ACWS committee boat at 20 knots in
"Fresh to Frightening". See it on http://www.boatson.tv or download the
"boatsontv" app and download it to your iPad/Phone or tablet to watch
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
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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 Gail M. Turluck:
Regarding the non-windward/leeward discussion this week, I picked up a
third crew for a 3-man boat regatta this past spring - a college freshman,
quite proud of his prowess in the Laser and having come up through junior
We rounded the first mark of a triangle course onto a reach, and he
attempted to wing the jib. Nope, didn't work. I suggested just trimming it,
so he pulled it in tight. I asked that he ease it until the inside yarn
straightened. He did so, but struggled to grasp easing and trimming as the
wind shifted (it was light and fluky). At the jibe mark, he trimmed the new
sheet in tight. Same sort of discussion on easing, etc. It then dawned on
me that he'd likely never sailed a triangle course before!
We had a discussion about beam reaching and trimming appropriately. We've
got a whole generation of these program-raised sailors that will be
incredibly challenged by triangle courses!
* From Stephen G. Kasnet:
Alan Gurney's passing brought back memories of sailing on one of his finest
designs, Hotspur, which was built and raced by Chuck Blair. During the late
60's and 70's, she was a fixture on the Southern Circuit as well as in New
England. She was a brilliant design, and very difficult to beat given the
owner's and designer's skills. Those of us who had the opportunity to sail
on board learned a great deal about racing, design and life in general.
Most interestingly, after Windward Passage was constructed, Chuck
frequently sailed on board as navigator. It was during a time that
celebrated expertise of yachting skills, as well as great friendships.
* From Art Ahrens:
It is amazing how much has been forgotten. The question in Scuttlebutt 3666
about "A Staysail for Racing," was answered for a Volvo 70, not for an
older C&C 30 as was asked. On a low aspect ratio sail-plan such as a C&C
30, an effective staysail will have a luff length to the top of the mast.
It will be effective with a symmetrical spinnaker with the wind just aft of
the beam to a broad reach. The secret is not to tack the staysail along the
centerline, but to tack it to the weather rail, roughly midway between the
headstay and the mast.
The general rule of thumb that I used "in the day" is when the pole came
back far enough to set the staysail without interference from the pole, we
set it. The second trick is to never over-trim the staysail, as it will
disturb the flow between the spinnaker and the main, not enhance the flow
as intended. It is too bad that these tricks are being forgotten in these
days of just setting sails and holding on.
* From David Rogers:
In response to Eric Steinberg (SB 3666) and Olof Hult (SB 3664) about being
able to listen to the commentators, the official America's Cup iPhone app
was great to have when watching the racing. It has not only audio streams
but it also has virtual eye. VERY handy to have! I would put it as a must
have to watch the racing and keeping track of what is going on!
* From Paul V. Oliva:
Regarding the VHF 20 commentary during the AC World Series in San
Francisco, the broadcast was excellent, and a fantastic solution to
delivering commentary. However, it was generally inaudible to the spectator
fleet on the edge of the course a mile away. I understand there may have
been a transmission power or antenna issue in the broadcast relay. There
was a different problem ashore. The JumboTron and shore speakers carried
the commentary, but the sound feed of skipper interviews and boat
microphones was not fed to the shore speakers. It would be good to change
both these things for October. In any case, congratulations to AC Race
Management for an amazing job.
* From Franny Charles, MIT Sailing Master:
The article submitted by Zach Brown regarding the new Laser Performance 420
(in Scuttlebutt 3666) makes the reader believe that the boat builder has
developed something new and different for collegiate customers. In fact,
three years ago Rondar Raceboats built a fleet of fully cored 420s with
dual bulkheads, angled thwarts and much lighter rigs for MIT. The boats are
incredibly tough with a lighter overall weight than the heavier Club 420s
which have been promoted for too many years in North America.
These new 'collegiate' 420s at MIT are made by Rondar Raceboats in their
Peabody, MA manufacturing operation and Cornell University has already
taken delivery of an entire fleet of Rondar 420s to replace their Laser
Performance Club boats.
MIT hosts more collegiate regattas than any other university in the
country. Our rec program is open 7 days/ week and keeping boats durable and
functional is high on our priority list. During this past year the
Institute has added 14K sf of floating docks named after sailing's
inspirational technological pioneer Lowell North. In addition to cored
lighter 420s, MIT has recently purchased from Rondar Raceboats a fleet of
20 cored Fireflies and 30 cored Tech dinghies. The seventh generation Tech
dinghies are made with carbon fiber and are actually back to the original
design weight when they were built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company
Collegiate sailing needs to get their equipment lighter, tunable and more
responsive. Technology is available which allows hulls and spars to be more
durable with very significant weight reductions. Perhaps Laser Performance
is simply responding to a market change which was already shifting away
from their boat building style?
* From Derek K Bouwer:
I agree with Paul Warren (in Scuttlebutt 3666) but believe every Skipper of
every boat should be an instructor. I Skipper and run a 34ft VD Stadt and
have a few basic rules for my crew:
1. One hand for the boat, one had for yourself, and never let go for
yourself! (There is a codicil to this being the last person to touch
anything owned it?)
2. Call every boat you see while racing until I answer you that I've seen
her and what we are going to do.
3. They (the Crew) look after the boat and I look after them.
4. Never be afraid to ask why?
Most of all I try to share the passion for sailing, for the boat and for
the sea. But that they must remember that the Sea is alluring and beautiful
but at other times a really cruel mistress.
Scuttlebutt World Headquarters will be closed on Monday for Labor Day, an
American federal holiday that celebrates the contributions and achievements
of American workers. And how do we celebrate the holiday? By not working,
so there will not be a Monday edition of Scuttlebutt. Look for the
distribution of the Scuttlebutt newsletter to resume on September 4th.
A man should be greater than some of his parts.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Samson Rope - Dieball Sailing - Gowrie Group - North Sails
KO Sailing - Summit Yachts - US Sailing - Allen Insurance and Financial
Melges Performance Sailboats - Ullman Sails - Doyle Sails - Pure Yachting
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers