SCUTTLEBUTT 3696 - Friday, October 12, 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: The Pirates Lair and Quantum Sails.
HOW SAILING EVOLVED
A topical paper about modern sailing from International Windsurfing
Association Executive Committee member Bruno De Wannemaeker makes several
conclusions, one of which is that the growth of sailing is no longer in the
Yacht Clubs but on the beaches where easy access to the sport can occur.
In the recent past all types of sailing came from the established Yacht
Clubs. Parents, members of the yacht club, enlisted their kids in the
training program of the Yacht Club and some of them became so good that
they could go to the Olympics to represent the Yacht Club (and country).
For others it remained a pastime where they could spend their leisure time
among wealthy peers. The boats had names like Lightning, Dragon, Swan...
they were slim, beautiful and expensive.
New sailing members came from within the families of existing members of
the club or through a Godfather system where some members supported the
candidacy of the new member and often a substantial entry price had to be
paid. Some "Royal" yacht clubs still use this system today.
In the late seventies & early eighties a new type of craft, a "windsurfer",
suddenly became available and was embraced by the International Yachting
Racing Union as a "board-sailor". It was a much "hyped" sport; all over the
world millions were sold. In 1984 it made its first appearance (for men
only) at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, with an additional, new, medal. In
1992 in Barcelona the girls also got an additional, new, Olympic medal.
The special thing about these windsurfers was, and is, that you can easily
put it on your roof rack, ride it to the beach and sail off, free,
unattached to any official body. A bit like the 'renegade' surfers riding
all the best waves all over the world. Suddenly the established Yacht Clubs
had a kind of competition because the launching ramps, cranes and moorings
were not needed by those "boardsailors". Some Yacht clubs saw the potential
and started beachclubs using just the beach or a grassed area to launch
from. Other new windsurfing clubs were founded on small lakes (too small to
sail a boat) but good enough to boardsail around on a light day on a
displacement board. New disciplines and classes grew in windsurfing , for
example funboard, speed windsurfing, wave performance, planing freestyle
and Formula Windsurfing, all aiming at the thrill part of the
Next to this evolution and thanks to the Hobie 16 the catamaran-sport was
affordable and growing and also using beaches to launch to the sea. In many
countries mixed catamaran and windsurfing clubs started and grew very fast.
In some countries catamaran was also not within the ISAF family, and that
eventually led to its removal from the Olympic Family.
The need for speed, found its way into the sailing world and boats like the
Foiling moth, 49r, 29r, Open Bic, appeared and filled a void. Also these
boats needed a bit more wind changing the game to more 'speed and tuning'
oriented racing in comparison to tactical light wind sailing. -- Read on:
COULD SOON BE A BUYER'S MARKET
If you recall, the Women's Match Race event was included for the first time
at the 2012 Olympic Games, yet was removed from the 2016 Games BEFORE the
2012 Games. So much for proof of product.
This decision was made at the 2012 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Stresa, Italy
last May. We assume meeting attendees were required to check their pistols
at the door. With decisions like this, the fear of someone going postal
must be real.
It was inevitable that the ISAF Annual Meeting next month would include an
effort to reinstate the Women's Match Racing event into the 2016 Olympics.
After all, what's a good wall if you can't bang your head against it?
Those presenting their case for Women's Match Racing have provided the
highlights of their presentation:
It provided "up close and personal" views of the most dramatic and exciting
racing at the Olympic Games, where no race, no match and no series was
assured to any competitor and where the odds makers surely must have lost a
lot of money in trying to predict those who would finally ascend the podium
to accept the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals.
The logical reasons for having Women's Match Racing in the Olympics have
been expressed many times:
- It has the best spectator factor of any of the disciplines
- It is the most accessible sailing discipline to the media (TV onboard,
Internet and press)
- It is the most easily understood discipline by the public where the team
that crosses the finish line first wins the match and the team that wins
the last match played wins the Gold Medal
- It is suitable to a wide range of athlete sizes and weight
- It is suitable to a spectator-$B!>(Bfriendly arena setting
- It is a clear demonstration of athleticism, tactics and strategy
- It is short races which keep the attention of the viewing public
- It prolongs the Olympic sailing life of athletes and allows heroes to
It seems unlikely for ISAF to change the ten events now planned for the
2016 Games. The likely tactic to re-instate the Women's Match Racing event
is to increase the number of sailing events from 10 to 11. But the women
will have company as the men's keelboat contingent is taking that path as
So if anyone is in the market for a used Elliott 6M or Star, hang in there.
It could be a buyer's market after the Annual Meeting in Dublin, Ireland on
CUSTOM SAILING APPAREL
Get on the bandwagon at The Pirates Lair and buy your official Golden Gate
Yacht Club 34th America's Cup Defender Logo T-Shirt. Planning a regatta?
Need to outfit your yacht club, sailing club or team with moisture wicking
shirts, embroidered polos or hats? Browse The Pirates Lair online catalog
for the whole suite of products available for embroidery or screen printing
with your custom logo. Visit our online catalog or call 888-SAIL-BUM
(888-724-5286) for details and ordering information:
HOW TO REMOVE A BOAT NAME
By Doug Logan, Boats.com
I just had to peel the name off a boat. The letters were made of vinyl. The
transom had been baking in tropical sunlight for years. It was a long name
- not quite as bad as Gotterdammerung or Supercalifragilistic - but just
about, and the letters were big and ornate.
It took me about 12 hours over three days - also baking in the tropical
sun-to get the job done. And by "peel" I mean "remove in minuscule
fragments," with an occasional victorious pull of an inch or so. Those were
moments for celebration.
There are times when a hair dryer or heat gun can help a lot, as long as
the vinyl still has some suppleness. But I knew that in this case I'd have
to resort to a razor blade, and that the transom gelcoat would get dinged
up. Had to be done. Long story. Point is, if you can possibly avoid it,
don't use a razor. There's no question that you'll gouge tiny chunks out of
It was just a few weeks after the feeling returned to my cramped
blade-holding fingers that Brett Becker wrote a piece on Boat Trader's
Waterblogged called Removing Vinyl Boat Lettering and Decals. It was mostly
about a product I'd never heard of - the Stripe Off Wheel, made by 3M. Read
* The 2012 Youth and Open Sunfish World Championships will be in St.
Petersburg, Florida, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club and contested on
the waters of Tampa Bay. The Youth World Championship will be held October
12-14, followed by the Open World Championship on October 15-19. Details:
* Sail Sheboygan in Sheboygan, WI is hosting the 2012 U.S. Finn Nationals
on October 12-14. The forecast is for cold and windy for the field which
will include reigning Silver Cup (Junior Worlds) champ Martin Robataille,
CAN Olympic representative Greg Douglas, and a Kiwi named Coutts. --
* British adventurer Mike Perham, who in 2009 sailed solo around the world
at the age of 17 years, is set on being the first person to do three
separate solo circumnavigations of the world by land, sea and air. Now at
20 years, he is in New Zealand and nearly half way through his nearly
40,000km journey to drive solo around the world. From New Zealand he heads
to United States, Portugal, Spain, France and back home to the UK. Once
completed, next year he will be getting his pilot's licence and training
for his final circumnavigation in a vintage biplane in 2014. -- Full story:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include sibling champs, fire hose conditions, kids, victory, dark 'n
stormy, pilates, and paradigm shift. Here are this week's photos:
* When Oracle Team USA pitch-poled their AC45 last week at the AC World
Series in San Francisco, they were thoughtful enough to do their undo at
the weather mark and in front of all the photographers. And even more
thoughtful was how the Italian and New Zealand team photographers sent to
Scuttlebutt their photo sequence of the incident. Enjoy:
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
This week's video is for those of you who will never get the chance to sail
on a 18-foot Skiff. Taken during the 2012 UK National Championship on
Plymouth Sound, Devon, the camera angle from the end of the boom captures
the experience of sailing this three-person trapeze beast. Click here for
this week's video: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/12/1012/
* We know you've been wondering about the male fragrance by Prada Perfumes.
After you watch this video, you will know even less except how the Luna
Rossa AC45 team got the Hollywood treatment in shooting this commercial:
* In this week's America's Cup Discovered we are in San Francisco for
October's America's Cup World Series San Francisco. It's Fleet Week and the
Bay Area has truly become the Bay Arena with huge crowds, awesome
conditions and some incredible racing. We review race highlights with
commentators Gary Jobson and NBC's Todd Harris. Tune in on Saturday October
13 approx 0800 PDT 1100 EDT: http://www.youtube.com/americascup
* This week Chalk Talk delves into a couple of big College weekends at
Navy, check in with our insider at Sailing World Magazine, and pick the
brain of Zach Brown about a series of articles he's written about college
sailing. This week's Chalk Talk episode is live now at
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
FINAL WEEKS OF SAVINGS DURING QUANTUM'S FALL SALE & GIVEAWAY
Quantum's Fall Sale continues until Friday, Nov. 2nd, with the best prices
of the year on all cruising, racing, and one design sails. When you request
a quote, you're automatically entered to win great prizes. The final grand
prize is a Quantum Sail valued at $4000, with sailcloth by Bainbridge
International. More weekly prizes too! Many thanks to our prize partners:
Antal, Atlantis, ATN, Bainbridge, Cruising World, Sailing World, Forespar,
Gill, Gorilla Rigging, Harken, J/World Annapolis, Layline, Lopolight,
Marlow, Mobri, Nautica, Nautilus Lifeline, Premiere Racing, Ronstan, SAIL,
Sailfly, Sailing, Sailing World, Seahorse, Sebago, Selden, Tides Marine,
Velocitek, and Zhik. Signup here:
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 Gerald W. Lester:
In Scuttlebutt 3695, Tim Zimmermann wrote that Webb Chiles became the first
American to solo around Cape Horn in 1975. Anyone who has read Joshua
Solcum's "Sailing Alone Around the World" knows that Mr. Solcum, an
American, soloed around Cape Horn on board the "Spray" sometime between
1884 and 1886.
* From Wes Oliver:
As an observer, parent of two sailors at the 2012 Intercollegiate Offshore
Regatta, and Storm Trysail Club member, my hat is off to Adam Loory, Event
Chairman and all the volunteers and boat owners who continue to make this
regatta an unqualified success. Equal kudos to Larchmont Yacht Club for the
enthusiastic and generous loan of their club facilities, and to the
sponsors who make it all possible. This regatta is a bridge between college
dinghy sailing and lifelong big boat sailing. The college crews all look
forward to the competition and the camaraderie of the weekend. Boat owners
who loan their boats look forward to coming back each year. What could be
* From Roger Baker:
I think the planets have aligned. While having dinner last Sunday night at
a local pub, surrounded by over a dozen televisions with football and
baseball games, I struck up a conversation with an elder gentleman aside me
at the bar.
Somehow sailing came up, and he said the AC45 coverage that afternoon had
him glued to the TV. This was an 85 year old attorney who had boated but
never sailed. He was very impressed with how the racing was explained and
that he was able to follow the action with all the onscreen graphics. Here
was someone who had no knowledge of sailing, yet was consumed by this
When I went to work on Monday (heavy construction/sitework company), the
first thing my boss/owner says to me was "Did you see that sailing thing on
TV?" Here was another non-sailor, with no knowledge of our sport, who was
not watching football (not watching football for this man is rare to
nonexistent) in favor of sailing.
Two unsolicited pro-sailing comments in two days from non-sailors? I felt
like running to the window to catch the pigs flying by!
These non-sailors were happy with the way the sport was presented and will
be looking for more of this in the future. They were particularly
interested when I told them about the AC 72's next summer. Thanks to NBC
for the primetime weekend exposure and the much maligned AC group for
putting it together in a way all could understand and appreciate.
In this world of extreme sports, the ACWS has apparently struck a chord.
This, I am sure, will filter down and inspire some adventurous youth to
take up sailing.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We haven't had room to publish all the AC World Series
letters in the newsletter, but we posted the best of them in the Forum
where they can be read. Do you have something to add? Post it in the Forum:
* From John McNeill:
Once, on a reportedly calm night, the ghost ship AC45 Energy parted her
mooring lines and went adrift on a meandering current driven course in San
Francisco Bay to Treasure Island. Wandering in that dark night from his
liveaboard location on the far side was a young man who, upon seeing the
wayward ship, determined that he should single-handed attempt rescue in the
dread conditions of flat water and light breeze.
He navigated his old whaler and decrepit engine around the Island, past the
Coast Guard Station at the west end to the ghost ship, tied off and towed
her back around the Island, again past the Coast Guard Station (thinking as
he passed, that calling them would be a good idea) and delivered the ship
to its owners and the Coast Guard at the nearby marina.
What's wrong with this tale? Well...
1) How do mooring lines part on a calm night?
2) Who the hell is wandering around, distant from 'home' at 0330 in the
3) Why, with the Coast Guard as a permanently posted neighbor, manned 24/7,
would they not be the logical call well before attempting the 'rescue'?
4) How did the Energy owners manage to be on the scene at that hour?
Something about this whole scenario smells, and the legal warping of the
tale adds to the stench. I would suggest that an investigation of the facts
will shortly add clarity to the situation, and hopefully prevent the
unreasonable use of public facilities and funds in litigation.
I guess if I were the salver, I would settle quickly, take the money, and
* From Theo Muller:
Regarding the report in Scuttlebutt 3695, if Todd Tholke was a real sailor,
he would have brought the French AC boat Energy back after it broke its
mooring and gracefully accepted the French' gratitude for bringing her back
safely. The French on their part could certainly have offered to recompense
Tholke for fuel and any damage that his boat might have incurred in towing
the French boat back. But I smell a rat.
Hearing stories of US attorneys lurking around hospitals eager to "assist"
victims of crime or accident suing potentially rich insurance companies in
the fond hope that they collect a tidy sum themselves in a deal with the
victim. Who approached who? Did attorney John Edgcomb smell money and
suggested a 50/50 split of the proceeds. Whatever happened, Tholke would be
wise to stay away from the real sailors among us. They would not look too
kindly on this.
Leadership is, among other things, the ability to inflict pain and get away
with it -- short-term pain for long-term gain.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Pure Yachting - Ribcraft - Gowrie Group - North Sails
J Boats - Doyle Sails - IYRS - Allen Insurance and Financial
Harken - Ullman Sails - The Pirates Lair - Quantum Sails
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers