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SCUTTLEBUTT 3678 - Tuesday, September 18, 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: US Sailing, North Sails, and Allen Insurance and
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Bermudian Brian Billings was recently elected as the new president of the
Match Racing Association. VSail.info talked to him about the present and
future of the match racing discipline, the major match racing events and
their relation to a changing America's Cup.
* Let's start with the obvious question. What is the Match Racing
Association and what are its goals?
BRIAN BILLINGS: The Match Racing Association (MRA) was formed back in 1986
by a group of like-minded clubs that were running match racing events and
the concept was to give a venue for the then America's Cup skippers who
wanted to continue sailing in a professional way in between America's Cup
events. Obviously, back then, there was no way for them to make money and
make a living out of sailing, except once every four years. So, we formed
the MRA which was there to assist existing skippers who were part of an
America's Cup program or sailors that wanted to be that kind of skipper.
So, we were running events in various parts of the globe, at the time there
were events in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, California and Bermuda. We
would organize the events and get sponsors so that we could provide prize
money, enabling the skippers to go from event to event and actually earn
not a living necessarily, although it turned out to be that way for some
people like Russell Coutts and Peter Gilmour. They both started at that
time and, obviously, made a very successful living out of match racing.
Some other people, such as Ian Williams, Mathieu Richard or Torvar Mirsky,
have done reasonably well on the match racing circuit. Some other skippers,
like Dean Barker or James Spithill, stayed with the America's Cup now that
it has turned into a full-time job as opposed to once every four years
All America's Cup teams are always looking for qualified skippers and crew
for their program and the MRS still provides all of that as through it
sailors gain experience at the high professional end of match racing. The
MRA is part owner of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and we formed the
Tour as a more formal association of major match racing events that were
part of the MRA. We wanted to find a title sponsor of that Tour and that
was when Swedish Match came onboard. They were a very successful and
excellent partner to work with. Unfortunately, because of the European
Union regulations regarding tobacco-related products and sponsoring of
sports events, Swedish Match had to give up their title sponsorship.
Swedish Match owned 100% of the organizing company called Pro Match Tour
and gave as a result 60% to Scott MacLeod and 40% to the MRA.
Scott MacLeod sold his 60% stake to other individuals who tried to promote
it the same way and helped to try and grow it and now found Alpari as the
title sponsor for that. Currently there are eight events in the Alpari
World Match Racing Tour and the MRA has twelve member events. Some of them
are part of the Tour while others are not, such as the Congressional Cup in
Long Beach, the Knickerbocker Cup in New York or the Oakcliff match racing
Full interview: http://tinyurl.com/VSAIL-091712
YOU ARE INVITED TO US SAILING'S 2012 ANNUAL MEETING
Meet with US Sailing's leadership to discuss important topics, exchange
ideas, reflect on progress, and look ahead to future plans for our sport.
The 2012 Annual Meeting takes place October 31 - November 3 at the San
Francisco Marriott Marquis. The 2012 Board of Directors Election results
will be announced and a new President will be appointed. Other attractions
include the Championship of Committees Regatta, US Sailing Team Sperry
Top-Sider Annual Awards Dinner, and presentations on the 2012 accident
investigations featuring the Full Crew Farallones Race. Register today at
EDITORIAL: MEASURING SUCCESS
Australia's recent success at the London 2012 Olympic Games thrust sailing
into the limelight across the country, and for the first time their Olympic
sailors were on the front page of every newspaper and leading every
television and radio news broadcast.
But the country is not measuring the success of the team in medals alone
but how the sport can capitalize on London 2012 and increase participation
across the country.
Yachting Australia CEO Phil Jones said that Australia's sailors did a great
job of raising the profile of the sport and now it was up to sailing clubs
to react and reap the benefits. "For some time now, Yachting Australia has
been working on a program to increase participation across the country and
is now ready to introduce the Discover Sailing Program to Australian
"The team performed incredibly well, not only topping the sailing medal
tally but becoming Australia's most successful sport in London. It has
created a great opportunity for sailing in Australia to reach more people
than ever before and introduce these people to our great sport."
While the Olympics did not provide a similar opportunity for North America,
the upcoming America's Cup could. The 34th edition is desperately seeking
to enhance its commercial appeal, and the dramatic changes made to the
event have been in hopes of growing the non-sailing segment of audience.
So just like the Australian attitude, the success of the "new" America's
Cup should not be measured by the success of the event, but how the sport
can capitalize on it and increase participation across the continent.
Source: Scuttlebutt, Yachte (http://yachte.com/news/story.asp?story=37608)
MANAGING YOUR REGATTA BRAIN
Jay Livingston is a corporate coach who sails, and finds a lot of common
ground in what it takes to succeed at both work and play. Here he discusses
the mental part of the sailing game...
Our decision making ability deteriorates as regattas progress. As we get
tired, our brains begin to try to moderate energy use by settling for easy
choices - "I'll keep going this way until I get a more obvious sign." Both
the power to focus and control, and our stamina to keep at it can fail us.
This is an important issue because as your skill level improves, mental
"toughness" is what separates those at the front of the fleet. And we've
all seen a competitor's inability to control their emotions lose them
places. In less obvious ways even those of us in mid-pack give up hard won
distance or sacrifice potential gains by not being able to maintain our
best mental game.
Research throws an additional huge caution at us; as our capacity to sort
through possibilities wanes, our emotional regulation also begins to slip.
Just when we need a damper on our inclination toward anxiety, anger or
exuberance, our brains allow a freer reign. Suddenly the "I'll show them!"
urge has less "What are the odds of success?" monitoring to quiet it.
This double whammy gets played out on the course with boats heading toward
the corners, tacking on rivals and betting on elusive wind shifts amid
increasingly distracted and loud helmsmen. If we can manage our energy and
emotions a bit better than other competitors, we may pass a few and see our
finishing places in the latter races trend upwards.
Studies show that food helps you recover your ability to regulate your
emotional self-control, decisions and discipline. Just a reminder, too much
makes you fat. We tend to overestimate what we can afford to eat and
underestimate how often we need to eat. Small amounts eaten every hour are
the most effective.
Here are ideas to experiment with.... read on:
Professional website: http://www.livingstonservices.com/
WHICH SAILING SHOW WOULD YOU WATCH?
With so much discussion about improving the manner in how sailing events
are broadcast, Scuttlebutt got curious about what people would prefer to
watch. And to keep this simple, we considered only the three sailing events
with the highest international profile:
* America's Cup - match racing in catamarans
* Olympics - one design racing, 9 fleet race events and 1 match race event
* Volvo Ocean Race - around the world race in crewed keelboats
We conducted this poll in 2010, but since these events have now been
broadcast either online or on television (or in the case of the America's
Cup, the AC World Series), we were wondering how the poll results may
So here's the scenario. You are home on a Saturday afternoon, relaxing on
the couch, and channel surfing on the television. You find that there are
several sailing shows on at the same time, and all of them are equally well
If these three shows where on at the same time, which one would you watch?
Post your answer and comments here:
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Rules guru and sailing coach Dave Perry points out that all bad starts are
a result of a violation of one or more of six basic rules for getting a
1. Don't get to the line too early and have to stop and wait for the gun.
2. Start close to or at full speed, regardless of where you choose to
3. Start as close as possible to the boat to windward of you, and as far as
possible from the boat to leeward of you.
4. Don't ever go in to leeward of a boat in final seconds before the start
unless you are 100 percent sure you'll make it out into clear air on the
5. If you feel like being conservative and hanging back at the start, do it
only at the windward end.
6. Only try to win the start at the leeward end when you are 100 percent
sure that you'll win it.
For more tips and advice from Dave Perry, see his book Winning in One
A TRADITION OF YACHTING EXCELLENCE
Chicago, IL (September 17, 2012) - As one of the oldest yacht clubs in the
world, established in 1869, Chicago Yacht Club is the embodiment of
tradition as demonstrated by the red carpet welcome the competitors at the
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship have received. The club's Monroe Harbor
Station, where the regatta is headquartered from September 17-20, is
ideally situated just a short distance from the Magnificent Mile, the main
link between Chicago's business district and its exclusive Gold Coast
neighborhood, making it the perfect venue in which to bond business
relationships through sporting competition.
Eric Mergenthaler (Mexico City, Mexico), chief executive with Active
International Mexico, is no stranger to competing at the elite level having
represented Mexico in the Finn class at three consecutive Olympic Games
('84, '88, '92). Three years of involvement in the Farr 40 class have led
him to compete in the world championship for the first time this week. "The
experience in Chicago has been fantastic," he said before the start of the
first race aboard Flojito y Cooperando. "The venue, the atmosphere, the
organization has been really good. Our goal is to finish in the top 50% of
the fleet. It is an extremely competitive fleet, so if we finish 10 or
above that would be a very good result for us."
As he was leaving the dock, defending champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis of
Sydney, Australia, was feeling prepared and quite ready to go racing aboard
Transfusion. Noting that there were seven top boats who could easily take
the prize, Belgiorno-Nettis predicted an interesting week of sailing. His
win of the first race of the series, followed by a fourth-place finish
propelled Transfusion to the top of the overall standings, leaving no doubt
he is looking to repeat as world champion. Along with Transfusion, three
other boats were all very impressive in their consistency: Enfant Terrible
with finishes of 3-3; Flash Gordon 6 with 2-6; and Charisma with a 4-5. --
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/RN-091712
Current Results - Top 5 of 20 (after 2 races)
1. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, Sydney, NSW, AUS, 1-4; 5
2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, Ancona, ITA, 3-3; 6
3. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, Ill., USA, 2-6; 8
4. Charisma, Nico Poons, Monaco, MON, 4-5; 9
5. Groovederci, John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Calif., USA, 5-7; 12
Complete results: http://tinyurl.com/F40-Worlds-results-2012
JINX: Among those who harbor superstitions, winning the practice race
before a major event is considered bad luck. The same must apply to the
Farr 40 Pre-Worlds, which was won by Jim Richardson's Barking Mad team, who
are now sitting last in the Worlds standings.
ONE REALLY LONG START LINE
Rochester, NY (September 17, 2012) - Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz sailed
Bruschetta to the top of the leader board on day 1 of the Quantum Loop
Solutions J/24 World Championship at the Rochester Yacht Club. Ninety-six
teams from 12 countries (Argentina, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada,
Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Peru and the United States) are
participating in the event.
With the entire fleet competing together, Bruschetta scored a 2-6 on a day
when Lake Ontario started at 4-6 knots and got as high as 10 knots during
Race 2 before subsiding. The conditions then turned too unstable for the
Race Committee to complete a third race. Racing continues through Friday,
and 10 total races are planned. Live updates are available. -- Full report:
Current Results - Top 10 of 96 (after 2 races)
1. Bruschetta, Mauricio Santa Cruz (BRA), 8 points
2. Drivers Wanted, Ted Bartlewski (CAN), 13
3. Scaramoush, Luis Olcese (PER), 16
4. Luca, Matias Pereira (ARG), 17
4. ELVIS, Nicolas Cubria (ARG), 17
4. Orange Blossom, Peter Levesque (USA), 17
7. Fugue State, Kevin O'Brien (USA), 22
7. JJone, Frithjof Schade (GER), 22
9. Bangor Packet, Tony Parker (USA), 24
10. 3 Big Dogs, Pat Toole (USA), 30
10. 11th Hour Racing, John Mollicone (USA), 30
Complete results: http://myyc.org/race/list/regatta_id/23
FOR THE DEMANDS OF TODAY'S SAILING PROFESSIONAL
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It was mistakenly reported in Scuttlebutt 3677 that Americans Taylor Reiss/
Matthew Whitehead finished 10th at the GLOBALTECH Formula 18 World
Championship. They actually finished 12th, with the top placed North
American team being Michael Easton/ Tripp Burd (USA) who finished 10th.
Final results: http://www.abyc.org/upload/F18_World_Championship1.html
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 Justin Scott:
Bill Laverty wrote in Scuttlebutt 3677 that it would be awesome if an
Australian rower successfully made the transition to championship sailor,
opening up sailing to a population of boaters tired of going backwards.
Bill will be thrilled to discover that British champion rower Glyn Locke
won the 2012 EFG Bank Viper Pan American championship for the second time
and came second at the Viper 640 North American championship last week.
Rowing enthusiasts will remember when Glyn and Tim Cooke wrest the
prestigious coxless pair trophy from the East Germans at Henley in 1971,
and the super lightweight Glyn Locke rowing skulls that he built are highly
Glyn did not take up sailing until his competitive rowing days were over,
first as crew and then as skipper. In this year's Pan American Viper 640
championships, he overcame three Olympic sailors from his home country Team
GBR's Olympic sailing team, as well as world and national champions from
over 10 classes. Glyn was an enormously popular winner in the Elvstrom
tradition of winning the respect of his fellow competitors as well as the
trophy. Ever the English gentleman, at the awards ceremony Glyn apologized
for winning against "such a talented field who all deserved to beat us".
Perhaps we should all study what it is that they put in the champion
* From Toby Cooper:
If Australian Olympic rower Sarah Cook makes a successful transition to
Olympic sailing she will not be the first. Three-time Olympic medal winning
rower Conn Findlay (Men's Coxed Pairs, gold in Melbourne , bronze in
Rome , and gold in Tokyo ) hung up the oars for sails, first as
a crew member for DC on the twelve meter Mariner which lost at the
America's Cup trials. Then DC put Findlay on his Tempest wire for a gold
medal effort at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Not done yet, Conn was mast man
on Ted Turner's successful Courageous America's Cup defense in 1977. And
again in 1983 he joined John Kolius on the next Courageous. Conn must be 80
something by now. Conn, if you are reading this, Dude, you're awesome.
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