SCUTTLEBUTT 3675 - Thursday, September 13, 2012
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
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Today's sponsors: Gowrie Group and Ullman Sails.
DEBRIEF: OLYMPIC GAMES - SAILING EVENTS
Jerome Pels is the Secretary General at the International Sailing
Federation, the highest employed position of the organization. Here Jerome
discusses the recent Olympic regatta and some of the issues that face the
* Is ISAF satisfied with the last Olympic Games?
JEROME PELS: "Yes, we think it was highly successful. We tried some new
things that worked well, and have had a very positive feedback. The
ticketed viewing area, for example, worked particularly well. It was sold
out in advance, and attracted an enthusiastic public."
* That's true, but wasn't the public almost entirely made up of sailors?
Can our sport attract a wider audience?
JEROME PELS: "I don't agree with you, there were many non-sailors in this
public. Bear in mind that the British sailors were expected to do very
well, and this has attracted people who don't sail but wanted to see one of
their fellow citizens win a medal."
* According to some sailors, this ticketed area compromised the quality of
the sailing and the event wasn't fair.
JEROME PELS: "Some sailors who haven't obtained the results they were
expecting have effectively said so. But I think the reality is different.
We've had a fantastic feedback from most competitors, who said they had
never before sailed in such a "stadium", where they could hear and see the
public. There has been a real interaction between the public and the
athletes for the first time in the history of Olympic sailing, and this is
definitely positive. As for the negative consequences of sailing close to
the shore, they didn't occur."
* What were the other most important changes this year?
JEROME PELS: "There were many, for examples the downwind finishes who
provided passing lanes during the last leg and opened up the game. The
prohibition of Rule 42 (pumping) in some circumstances also changed the
game. The sport of sailing is indeed changing radically.
* On the other hand, what didn't work as well as you expected?
JEROME PELS: "We've had some rights issues with the IOC, which I regret. We
developed GPS tracking and 3D animations, and both ISAF and Swiss timing
invested a lot for this; however we were not allowed to use them because it
was a violation of the IOC broadcast contract."
* What will be kept from those Olympic Games and transferred to Rio?
JEROME PELS: "It's a wide question, and still open at this stage. However
there are clear trends. For example, we are considering shortening the
Olympic sailing contest in order to reduce the costs for the organization.
With the new equipment selected for the next Games we will also consider
new format of courses."
* In order to satisfy the media and the public?
JEROME PELS: "The media don't have a direct impact on the racing; they can
follow the races well and we don't need to gear the events towards them. It
is different with the public as we want to increase the interaction. For
example, if the viewing area is on leeward of the course, then the arrival
should also be there. I believe that there will be more public in Rio than
there was in London, so we need to get this right."
HAVING THE SKILLS
Current Alpari World Match Racing Tour Champion, Ian Williams (GBR) was one
of many keen observers of the Olympic sailing last month in Weymouth.
Although fleet racing was the focus, Williams believes the regatta was a
great advert for match racing, with no less than "three of the nine" fleet
racing competitions exhibiting tactics more commonly seen on the Tour.
"Aside from the women's match racing event," observed Williams, "three of
the nine Olympic medal races had a strong element of match racing in there.
Ben Ainslie took a gold in his Finn class whilst the two 470 matches were
perhaps the purest examples of match racing amongst the fleet disciplines,
as the two top teams already knew they had the silver going into the medal
Williams suggests that match racing experience may also play its part
off-water: "In those instances, I think a lot of the advantage gained by
sailors with match racing experience comes in the preparation as some of
the guys wouldn't do a great deal of match racing so the prospect of going
head-to-head is something they wouldn't be as familiar with.
"On the water, even if it is complicated by the presence of several other
boats that are out there in a fleet race, additional experience is always
of benefit. The fundamental techniques that a match racer learns in
affecting your opponent, as well as recovering from unusual situations,
became vital in the one-on-one encounters. That versatility from an
experience across a variety of disciplines can really help."
Ian Williams is now turning his attentions back to the Alpari World Match
Racing Tour as he bids to secure his record-equalling fourth ISAF Match
Racing World Championship this season. He currently sits second on the
leaderboard behind Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team. The sixth
stop on the eight event tour is Match Race France (September 24-29) in
Marseille, where eight of the nine Tour Card Holders will compete. -- Full
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ALL THE WAY BACK
This year's preseason college sailing rankings of No. 1 and No. 2 for the
Yale University women's and coed sailing teams continue a long tradition of
success for sailing head coach Zack Leonard '89.
Since sailing became a varsity sport at Yale in 2002, the coed team has
earned a preseason ranking within the top ten in all but one year, and the
women's team has yet to fall below the ninth spot. This sort of perennial
success is not foreign to the sailing team or to Leonard.
Fifty-five All-American sailors, five national championship appearances and
four current Olympians are just some of the achievements Leonard has helped
the Yale sailors attain since he was asked to head Yale's sailing coaching
staff in 2002. Leonard has also shown his own prowess on the water.
"It was a lot of people working hard together to get things back where they
have been," Leonard, a four time U.S. Team Racing Champion and one time
U.K. Team Racing Champion, said. Leonard added that the last time Yale
sailing had found similar success was in the 1970s, when sailing remained a
Members of the Yale sailing team attribute its success to Leonard and his
"I think he is the best collegiate coach in the country," Cam Cullman '13,
skipper and captain of the coed team, said. "We are really lucky to have
him. He is very calm and knowledgeable in addition to being so technically
Cullman added that Leonard's sturdy technical foundation has enabled him to
impart invaluable skills on the sailing team. Leonard said the two
components to effective racing are speed and quick decision-making. His
goal has always been to teach both as quickly as possible.
Cullman came to Yale as a strong single-handed sailor. Under Leonard's
coaching, however, Cullman said he quickly developed the skills and tactics
he required as a competitive double-handed sailor. He attributed the
acquisition of these skills to a combination of hard work and Leonard's
"He is very focused and always has a game plan," Cullman said. "He has a
great eye for seeing trends and always knows what is going to happen on the
water before it happens."
This competitive intuition that comes with Leonard's fruitful sailing
experience has helped the team with more than just technical prowess. Crew
Kate Gaumond '15 said Leonard has surrounded himself with some of the best
coaching staff in the country to compliment his style.
Bill Healy, the 1995 U.S. Sailing Men's National Champion and Stuart McNay
'05, who placed 13th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Men's 470 class,
complete Leonard's team of advisors. -- Read on:
UPDATE: The latest college rankings were released September 12th, which now
has Yale leading both the Coed and Women's teams in the first national poll
of the season. Georgetown and Charleston round out the top three coed
teams, while Dartmouth and Brown take second and third spots in the women's
rankings. Compete rankings here: http://tinyurl.com/SW-091212
COULD THIS BECOME THE NEW STANDARD?
By Laurence Mead
I refer to the letter in Scuttlebutt 3664 from Roger Marshall about the
issues surrounding falling overboard.
1) A swimmer towed at more than 4 knots could not keep their head above
water and would drown if the boat was not slowed down,
2) Getting back on board is a lot harder than virtually anybody realizes,
3) It's almost impossible to swim in an inflated lifejacket.
My son, solo sailor Oscar Mead, who shot to fame as the youngest ever
competitor in the fabled singlehanded OSTAR race across the North Atlantic,
has designed and built a new type of harness after a guy died in the UK
last year in exactly this way, dragged along by his tether for 5 minutes
and he was dead even though he was never more than 12 inches from safety.
TeamO Marine Safety Products, a new UK based business is launching a
revolutionary new harness at the Southampton Boat Show in the UK this
Friday, which answers two and a half of the issues raised by Roger
First, the TeamO design has a unique and patented system where the tether
pops over the wearer's shoulders when called into service so that they are
towed backwards with face and mouth away from the water rather than chest
forward being drowned as they go as is the current standard.
Second, it's A frame design makes for easy attachment of a halyard to
recover the man overboard from the water by simply hoisting them up on a
halyard with no fishing around for other lines or strops.
Lastly, the lifejacket bladder has a pleat in the back so that the fit is
more ergonomic meaning it is possible to at least make forward motion when
trying to swim in it.
It's a brilliant new design that has evolved from lengthy development, and
will be available by the end of the year. Full details:
CLASSIC LONG BEACH CONDITIONS
Long Beach, CA (September 12, 2012) - The second day's results in the
GLOBALTECH Formula 18 World Championship had just been posted when Billy
Besson was told that his Swiss team was in first place among the 118 boats
from 13 countries. "Cool," he said with a smile.
Nearby at the host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Matthew Whitehead, 19, crew for
Taylor Reiss, 17, learned that their boat from Florida was in seventh
place, the highest ranking American boat, after six of 15 races. "Cool,"
Whitehead responded, his eyes as wide as a multihull.
By the third and final race of the day, the wind had built to 13 knots from
the southwest with gusts to 15 with the catamarans skimming through
whitecaps like a field wildflowers---classic Long Beach conditions.
But, not so cool: John Bauldry of Michigan, whose boat Hot Pink was wrecked
in a spectacular pitchpole and crash with rival Steve Rosenberg, whose
crew---14-year-old son Jacob---was being checked for trauma to his nose and
the back of his head.
Then there was Kelly Thompson, female crew for Canada's Benoit Sonrel, who
left the race course for urgent care in mid-afternoon with a possible
That's when Bauldry's boat, with the Rosenbergs on his tail, flipped
forward and pitchpoled upside down, directly in front of the Rosenbergs who
couldn't avoid a violent collision.
Meanwhile, contrary to previous interpretations of the Notice of Race, the
qualifying phase is finished after six races, not nine. The fleet will now
be divided evenly into Gold and Silver groups for the last three days
through Saturday in the first F18 Worlds ever contested in the USA.
The schedule still calls for three races each day, starting at noon,
conditions permitting. The first of two throwouts kicked in with Race 6
Wednesday; the second will be after 11 races, with as many as 15 total on
the open ocean course off Seal Beach.
The results of the first two days will count in the final overall scoring.
That's fine with the Swiss and the Florida kids. Besson, with crew Jeremie
Laguarrigue, has a finish string of 3-6-1-1-4-(7) for 15 points, just one
ahead of France's Olivier Backes and crew Matthieu Vandame. -- Read on:
ULLMAN SAILS POWER ITALIANS IN F18 NATIONALS SWEEP
Ullman Sails showed solid speed at the Italian F18 Nationals, powering the
top five Italian finishers in the 51-boat championships! Congratulations to
Vittorio Bissaro and Carlo de Paoli who claimed the 2012 Italian title,
finishing just one point ahead of defending champions Vincenzo Sorrentino
and Laura Pennati. The two Italian teams finished 2nd and 3rd in the event
behind the Dutch team of Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser. Daniele Saragoni
and Luca Filippi were the third best Italian crew, finishing 8th overall.
The top five Italian teams were fully powered by Ullman Sails! Invest in
your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
* East Tawas, MI (September 12, 2012) - Chris Doyle of Youngstown Yacht
Club in New York controlled the 31-boat fleet at the J/22 North American
Championship to take the title. With crew Will Harris and Adam Burns, the
team ended the nine-race regatta with just 16 points, after dropping a 22
from Race 1. During the other eight races, they had all top three tallies.
Behind Chris Doyle was Brad Julian of Annapolis, MD with 28 points and
Terry Flynn of League City, TX with 29 points. -- Daily reports/photos:
* Hamilton, ONT (September 12, 2012) - Two races were completed today at
the Star North American Championship, giving the 33-boat fleet now five
races for the scorecard. Tied atop the rankings are Arthur Anosov/ David
Ceasar and John MacCausland/ Guy Avelon, who have built a nine point lead
over Jud Smith/ David Timberlake in third. Racing continues through
Saturday. -- Full report:
* The United States Powerboat Show 2013 in Annapolis, Md., is now scheduled
for the week before the annual Sailboat Show because of the unpredictable
weather Maryland can experience in late October. The Powerboat Show will be
take place Oct. 3-6 and the Sailboat Show will follow on the traditional
Columbus Day weekend from Oct. 10-14, according to organizers. The 2012
Sailboat Show is set for Oct. 4-8 and the Powerboat Show runs Oct. 11-14.
-- Soundings, full report: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-091212
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
- Book by Renowned Ocean Racer Jim Kilroy
- SD Model Makers Expands Tall Ship Offering
- Book Release: Nick of Time - The Nick Scandone Story
- Timeless Jewelry with a Nautical Twist
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
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 Tom Fischbeck:
I had the chance to sit next to George Griffith on a NHYC Opening day race
on Pegasus (Cal 40). He explained the whole Cal 40 beginnings, but I did
not realize how he REALLY made the Cal 40! My vote for the best boat of the
century! I hope his tombstone will say "Fin Keel and a Spade Rudder". RIP,
* From Peter Allen, Rochester, NY:
Regarding the discussion this week on NORs and SIs and Skippers Meetings,
Race organizers often complain that so few competitors register in advance
for regattas. I bet they would improve this by offering to send by return
email the NOR and SIs to those who register in advance.
However, this would also mean that the SIs would be written in advance,
instead at midnight on the eve of the event. I bet that sleep deprivation
and alcohol consumption often lead to the stupid provisions that creep into
Competitors could then spend more time before the first race on the boats
and on the water, rather than standing around listening at the skippers
meeting. Only rarely are there reasons for last second changes in the SIs.
I do like the editor's suggestion that the RRS require "boiler plate" SIs,
leaving a place to insert local notes.
* From John McNeill:
I've been watching intently the postings regarding 'seamanship', as I
honestly believe that to be an important part of what has happened in
recent days. What occurred to me this morning though, is that it appears
that the definition of what seamanship is may be very complex and elusive,
and the acquisition of that skill equally as perplexing. Wikipedia says:
"Seamanship is the art of operating a ship or boat.
It involves a knowledge of a variety of topics and development of
specialized skills including: navigation and international maritime law;
weather, meteorology and forecasting; watchstanding; ship-handling and
small boat handling; operation of deck equipment, anchors and cables;
ropework and line handling; communications; sailing; engines; execution of
evolutions such as towing; cargo handling equipment, dangerous cargoes and
cargo storage; dealing with emergencies; survival at sea and search and
rescue; fire fighting.
The degree of knowledge needed within these areas is dependent upon the
nature of the work and the type of vessel employed by a mariner. However,
the practice of good seamanship should be the goal of all. The deep meaning
of the word seamanship derives from the word seaman & ship. Thus it is the
seaman who makes a good ship through his qualifications. Above all,
Seamanship means Safety onboard and this is managed through continuous
training and implementation of good working practices."
So, I would put to the community of sailors the following:
1) Just what is seamanship, in your opinion?
2) How does one acquire it? Or is that education ever complete?
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:
Sept 13-21 - J/24 World Championship - Rochester, NY, USA
Sept 14-16 - Snipe North Americans - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sept 14-20 - Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Chicago, IL, USA
Sept 15-16 - US-IRC Championship of Long Island Sound - Riverside, CT, USA
Sept 17-23 - Soling World Championship - Milwaukee, WI, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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