SCUTTLEBUTT 3684 - Wednesday, September 26, 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: Team One Newport, Harken, and Pure Yachting.
THE THINGS WE DO
The 2012 5O5 North Americans blasted onto San Francisco Bay last week
without massive fanfare, with the 31-boat fleet going about their business
on the Berkeley Circle. After 11 races over 4 days (Sept. 20-23), Tyler
Moore and Rob Woelfel edged out Mike Martin and Jesse Falsone for the
The 5O5 is one of the sweetest dinghies on the planet, which perhaps
explains the lengths at which Falsone went to attend the NAs. Here is his
I'm sitting in my office on Wednesday mid-morning when I get a call. It's
Mike Martin and he needs me to hop a flight to San Francisco immediately to
sail the 505 NAs with him, but not until he makes absolutely sure that any
one of 7 other local (and not so local) alternatives absolutely cannot make
it. I don't remember the entire list, but Carl Buchan, some local kite
boarder, and one of the Barbados Worlds run girls were in there so I'm not
in such bad company.
Mike's regular crew, "Jeffa" Nelson, had to bolt out of town for a family
emergency; otherwise the regatta would have been over since they are 10%
faster. Mike and I sailed together in 2005 on both coasts and the Germany
Worlds where we were one bad tactical move from the title (and decades of
an unbearably smug Falsone). This success accounts for why I'm #8 on the
Mike Martin 505 crew depth chart.
After explaining to Mike that although it was possible, I would undoubtedly
pay a large price at work, where I had proposal work, and at home being
that it was my daughter's 10th birthday and my wedding anniversary. Mike
was undeterred by such flim flam, but said to give him another hour to
check in with the junior club after I said that I only weighed 192 and had
a bad shoulder. Meanwhile, I watched the internet prices of last-minute
plane tickets ratchet ever-higher by the minute.
In desperation, Mike relented and asked me to push the "purchase" button,
which I did just before airfares reached a grand and I would have to
connect through Anchorage.
So, after an unconvincing explanation to my boss, I risked life and limb
dodging DC traffic to get home, pack, and race back up to BWI for my flight
to SFO. Fortunately, I did have just enough time to stop at CVS and pick up
a prescription for some little pills to calm my nerves. There was a lot to
live up to after snatching the crewing spot from some anonymous kite
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/PD-092512
Event details: http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/5787
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I'M GUILTY - THE ADMISSIONS OF A SAILOR
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
A recent Scuttlebutt thread discussed how event rules can vary from event
to event. These event rules, defined in the Notice of Race and the Sailing
Instructions, are required reading, and understanding the event rules is
paramount to being prepared.
So, at the risk of embarrassing myself, I will share a story from a
national championship this past weekend.
I hadn't read the Notice of Race, but wasn't too concerned. I had read the
Sailing Instructions several days before the regatta, which seemed to
include all the details. It was a three day event, and it had gone well for
us. I determined we finished second, but was puzzled when I learned we were
What happened? My mistake was I did not know there was a throw-out.
While this seems like an epic blunder to admit, it was a result of how the
Sailing Instructions were written and my rusty rules knowledge. The Sailing
* The Race Committee shall attempt to complete 9 races.
* Low Point Scoring System per Appendix A will be used.
My hope right now is I'm not the only imbecile that doesn't know all the
details of Appendix A in the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). When I didn't
see any mention in the Sailing Instructions of there being a throw-out, I
assumed all races were included in the score. But Appendix A in the RRS
states that "each boat's series score shall be the total of her race scores
excluding her worse score."
In my feeble defense, I had been following the J/24 and Farr 40 World
Championships last week, and their Sailing Instructions clearly detailed
how their events would be scored. The J/24 Worlds stated there would be a
throw-out after five races, and the Farr 40 Worlds stated there would be no
So perhaps there are two lessons to share; 1) For race organizers, keep the
Sailing Instructions clear and simple, and; 2) For competitors, assume
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"People are getting tired of frugality. They have frugality fatigue.
They're looking around saying, 'I'm OK. Life doesn't go on forever. If I
don't start doing something for myself or my family soon, it will be too
late.' They realize that if I'm waiting for world peace or political
sanity, I'm going to be waiting for a long time." - Phil Bennett,
Hinckley's vice president of sales, regarding the improved boat buying
climate. Full story on Soundings:
THIS KID'S GOT GAME
Peter Burling may be 21 years old and the youngest skipper in the America's
Cup arena, but he arrives with a wealth of knowledge that belies his age -
he's already an Olympic silver medalist and a two-time world champion.
"All the yachting I do, I'm always the youngest, it doesn't bother me
anymore," says Burling, a tall and soft-spoken New Zealander. "It's always
been that way, I just go with it."
Burling began sailing at the age of 8 when his dad bought a boat for him
and his brother. By the age of 11 Burling had jumped into the Optimist
class, the largest youth trainer in the world, and finished second at the
New Zealand Nationals after winning the first two races of the regatta. He
returned a year later to win the national championship, his first title.
From the Optimist he moved on to the International 420, a two-person
dinghy, and won with skipper Carl Evans his first world championship by the
age of 15. A year later they were repeat champions.
On the fast path to success, Burling and Evans represented New Zealand in
the 470 class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They placed 11th in a hastily
prepared campaign, but it was a great learning experience for Burling who
switched to the 49er Class after the 2008 Games. Now a skipper, he won the
silver medal at the London Olympics, a medal he had wrapped up before the
medal race finale.
"You obviously learn a lot from every event you do, but the Olympics are
certainly special. They only happen every four years and they are what
everyone's trying to aim at, so it was nice to have been there before (in
2008) and seen how it all works," says Burling. "Most of my youth boats
through to the 470 were all pretty similar, but the 49er is a different
beast and it took a while to get used to sailing it. We've done all right,
Burling is hoping that success carries over to the AC45 for Team Korea.
Given his pedigree in the 49er Class, he might be well suited for the role.
Burling follows Nathan Outteridge in the helmsman's role for Team Korea,
whom he also happened to follow onto the medal stand at the Olympic
Regatta. Outteridge and Burling were training partners leading up to the
"It's a bit annoying that we're always stepping where [Nathan's] been
before us, but he's set a high bar for the team," Burling says. "I'm
looking forward to a bit of racing." -- http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-092512
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Newport, RI (September 25, 2012) - Opening day at the 2012 Melges 32 World
Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) was nothing short of
spectacular. With big seas and a steady 18-20 knots blowing throughout the
day, NYYC member Benjamin Schwartz on Pisces has secured the lead after two
"The first time I sailed with Ben was in Ft. Lauderdale at the Gold Cup
last December, and immediately I felt very comfortable and confident on the
boat." commented Pisces tactician Chris Rast. "Ben is a great helm, George
'Bear' Peet does an awesome job trimming and Marty (Kullman) pulls all the
remaining pieces together.
"Everyone really knows what needs to be done in order to win and that there
is no time to ever feel we are not in control. Which for me, as a
tactician, it really sets me up in a nice spot. I can ask for things and
it's usually delivered. So, like on the last run today, we needed to go
lower and slightly faster than the guys in front of us, which set us up
perfectly to gybe on top of them and win. This team is delivering right
Two more races are scheduled for Wednesday with a start of 11.00. Racing
continues through Saturday. -- Full report:
Current results - top 10 of 33 (Skipper/Tactician)
1. Benjamin Schwartz/Chris Rast, Pisces (USA); 4-1 = 5
2. William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash (USA); 3-3 = 6
3. Andre Pozzi/Gabriele Benussi, Bombarda (ITA); 1-6 = 7
4. Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone (ITA); 8-4 = 12
5. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog (BER); 5-7 = 12
6. Vincenzo Onorato/Nathan Wilmot, Mascalzone Latino (ITA); 12-2 = 14
7. Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath (USA); 2-15 = 17
8. Andy Lovell/Steve Benjamin, Rougarou (USA); 14-5 = 19
9. Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe (USA); 13-9 = 22
10. Pieter Taselaar/Nick Thompson, Bliksem (USA); 7-16 = 23
Complete results: http://tinyurl.com/M32-Worlds-2012
* Marseille, France (September 25, 2012) - Strong offshore winds made for
exciting sailing conditions in the J/80s on the first day of qualifying at
Match Race France, where Peter Gilmour got off to a flying start for the
sixth stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR
Racing sits on top of the standings in Marseille after five straight wins
put his team on the brink of qualification to the knockout stages. Overall
tour leader Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team stumbled today,
sitting ninth in the twelve team field. -- Full report:
* The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) have released a Guide to
Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising. The ISAF Guide to
Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising will provide essential
reading for sailors undertaking the ISAF Offshore Personal Survival Course,
which equips them with the knowledge to be safe at sea and prevent and deal
with emergencies. The handbook provides important information to accompany
the course. -- Details: http://www.sailing.org/news/32564.php
* l'Hydroptere DCNS will have to wait until next season to relaunch their
Transpacific record attempt between Los Angeles and Honolulu. Ultimately
their 2012 campaign hasn't offered up a favourable weather window to set
sail for the Hawaiian archipelago. The team will soon conclude their
training in San Francisco before returning to Los Angeles. -- Full report:
We have learned the report by Australian Geographic in Scuttlebutt 3683 was
in error, as esteemed yachting journalist Bob Fisher reports: "The day that
Australia II took the Cup was 26th September 1983 (and not the 25th). Those
of us who were there will never forget the date. As for the 'Ben didn't
design the keel' lobby - I discussed this phenomenon with him when we were
shipmates aboard the 48ft More Opposition in 1976, and I will admit to no
surprise when I learned of the configuration of Australia II's keel seven
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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 Julie Ashton:
Thanks for laying out the sponsorship scenario that Inter-Collegiate
Sailing Association has created (in Scuttlebutt 3683). While requiring
schools to buy boats from LaserPerformance is clearly an aggressive sponsor
requirement, it may have succeeded if handled differently.
ICSA needs to communicate better with its members, and ICSA needs to
partner with companies that schools are eager to work with.
This sponsor agreement was not mentioned in the May meeting minutes, and
schools are only now learning about the agreement after it was finalized
this month. Additionally, schools can now choose other boat builders which
have succeeded in entering the market because LaserPerformance has been
difficult to work with.
ICSA leadership clearly misread their membership if they thought requiring
schools to work with a supplier for whom overall respect has dipped would
be well received. It will be worth watching to see if this eight year
agreement is upheld.
* From Leslie Valmadre:
Thank you for the article (in Scuttlebutt 3683) reminding the sailing world
what a great achievement the 1983 win was, not only for Australia, but more
importantly for the America's Cup itself as it was only then that it was
able to throw off the New York Yacht Club custodianship and become the
premium event it is today.
Sadly I am not sure the many who are involved in today's campaigns are
aware of, or even acknowledge, the debt of gratitude owed to those who,
lead by Alan Bond, dared to and won the great prize.
On Friday this week, as we have every last Friday in September for many
years now, a group of Western Australian AC sailors from most of the
Australian campaigns will gather to enjoy a lunch and renew again the close
camaraderie that comes from high endeavour whether it is successful
achievement as in the '83 challenge or unsuccessful as many of us
experienced in the '62, '67, '70, '74, '77 and '80 challenges.
However, I know that to a person not one of us would ever feel we wasted
one second of our time, and win or lose, we are proud that we gave it a go.
With respect to Vince Lombardi, winning is not everything it is only the
ultimate reward for how you play the game and playing the game at any level
is the greatest reward.
* From Tim Patterson:
I shall never forget seeing the commentator shoving the mike in front of
John Bertrand's face and asking him how he felt (after their AC victory in
1983). His words were the best anyone could possibly have hoped for after
132 years. I may not have them exactly, but what I remember is: "If I could
make my countrymen as proud of their flag as you are of yours, I shall have
done a great thing."
My apologies to Mr. Bertrand for any mistake in the wording; the thought of
that moment and his most gracious words have stayed with me - I hope I was
not too far off.
* From Mal Emerson:
I certainly grow weary of the pure sour grapes being published in The Butt
about AC 34. Considering that sailing is the subject of the Butt, I
perceive it to be solidly one-sided. The Asian teams, no doubt, had winning
in mind when they joined the fray. Trying is the essence of winning.
Even if there is only one challenger, AC 34 will have been a resounding
success and be truer to the history, tradition, and intent of the Deed of
Gift, and thus The Cup itself than any of the matches since WWII. I'll
wager more people have been directly exposed to The Cup in AC 34 than in
all previous events combined and the real deal starts next year.
I really enjoy the constructive criticism of the way AC 34 is being run and
even the mono/multi controversy. Simple, unsubstantiated, derogatory
comments and predictions of failure, however, are not only tiring but also
bad for the sport and even contrary to the guest commentary directions to,
"save your bashing .... for elsewhere"
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