SCUTTLEBUTT 3699 - Wednesday, October 17, 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: North Sails, Point Loma Outfitting, and Allen Insurance
A BLOODY MESS
San Francisco, CA (October 16, 2012) - The boats are too big. They are too
expensive. Somebody is going to get hurt. These are the observations of the
AC72 that will be raced in the 34th America's Cup. And now there is a new
observation. The boats make a bloody mess when they capsize.
Defender Oracle Team USA became the first today to crash their AC72,
exploding their wing and scattering bits into San Francisco Bay. It was
their eighth day of sailing the boat.
Erik Simonson from Pressure Drop was on the City Front photographing Oracle
Team USA's sailing session when he witnessed the team's attempt to bear
away just east of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bows stuffed at approximately
3:00 pm PDT, flipping the boat mid bay in a huge flurry of spray. Here's
his report from San Francisco just moments ago:
"They were headed to weather about 3/4 of a mile west of Alcatraz in 25 to 30
knots. They bore away to set towards Point Blunt. They went about 200 yards
and stuffed the bows. Most of the crew fell off at that time. The top of
the wing broke off at that point, the second section broke off about 2
minutes after that, and now the entire rig, less the very bottom, is
floating and connected by who knows what.
"The boat is resting in a tripod fashion. It's resting on the bows and
what's left of the wing. It is currently drifting at about 2 knots out the
gate. I see parts floating around. I think that they're not interested in
the parts. It looks like they're trying to right the boat, so they can tow
it out of danger. If they don't do it fast, it's going to be out the Gate
(in the ebb tide)."
Full report posted on Sail Revolution: http://tinyurl.com/SR-101612
PAINFUL TO WATCH
San Francisco, CA (October 16, 2012) - Following the capsize of the Oracle
Team USA AC72, the team reports that there were no serious injuries among
the crew. "We didn't know what was going to happen with the new boat," said
Tom Slingsby (AUS). "When the nose went down, the wing hit and a few guys
went in the water. We were unsure if the wing would snap, so we all climbed
off the boat." It is unclear who was on the boat at the time, though it is
confirmed that John Kostecki (USA) was not.
Live video showed the current had taken the AC72 to the west of the Golden
Gate Bridge and into the Pacific Ocean. A large swell was hampering
recovery. The wing was destroyed, the hulls had turtled with one hull
floating lower than the other. At press time, three hours after the
capsize, the scene was far from secure. An effort was underway to tow the
boat (now with its bows down, sterns up), though the sinking hull appeared
to be hampering the salvage. The boat was still west of the Golden Gate
Bridge, approximately nine miles from its base inside San Francisco Bay.
Further details were not available.
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Unless you are from Wisconsin, Minnesota, or some of the surrounding
states, your understanding of the Inland Lake Yachting Association and the
scow classes they endorse may be limited. Rachel Beers seeks to improve on
that with this report...
Bruised legs, ripped callouses, sore abdomens, and the faint smell of the
winning gunshot. The feel of defeat and sight of 65 other sailboats
following behind what's left of your wake to the finish line is somewhat
indescribable; but when you ask an Inland sailor as myself, it feels like
the world. The majority of the community will never know or understand the
feeling an Inland sailor has after a regatta or race win, let alone the
feeling of a sailboat. The Inland Lakes Yachting Association is a group of
midwestern lakes holding regattas and sailing competitive performance
There's the world of lake sailing; pleasurable and relaxing, with the
expectation and thought of cheese and wine to accompany the happy couple.
Then there's the world of an Inland sailor. Their lives are invested in
world class and competitive performance sailboats ranging from 7ft to 38ft.
An Inland sailor puts his heart and income into new or broken equipment,
new sails, the upkeep of their fiberglass and regatta expenses every few
weeks. We Inland sailors don't get on a boat to be accompanied by cheese,
wine, and the glory of a sunset; we get on a boat to sail fast. We get on a
boat to put our minds to the test; to show what we've learned over the many
years of training that has been given us. We get on a boat to win.
We put in countless hours of our physical and mental labor during the hot
summer days on the (Wisconsin) lakes of Delavan, Lake Geneva, and
surrounding lakes. The general public doesn't think that competitive
sailing is strenuous or physical, but with winds ranging from 13 knots to
22 knots, the only weight keeping that boat upright is you and your crews'
body weight. This requires pure core strength, along with upper body
strength to hold and pull in 40 lbs of sail pressure every few seconds.
Ripped hands and severe bruises aren't uncommon either. It all comes along
with the 'goody bag of summer fun' we call competitive sailing.
In a mental sense, sailing requires rational and practical quick decision
making. It requires geometry on countless encounters, the knowledge of wind
pressure and shifts throughout the course and a much deeper knowledge of
sail shape acceleration and kinetics. Also, a mindset to block out any
'colorful words' said by a fellow competitor isn't too bad to have either.
A sailor on any occasion from anywhere cannot and will not begin to explain
the logic and mathematics that goes into a race. Instead, they'll probably
say, "Start first and increase your lead." A famous quote given by Buddy
Melges, the Father and Guru of the competitive sailing world. Someone
unfamiliar to competitive sailing may not understand why or how we do it,
as long as our Inland sailing community understands. We do this because
it's our summer, fall and spring life. It's our family and friends. It's
what we've grown up to do will do until our bodies are unable.
As an Inland Lakes Yachting Association member myself, I have the privilege
of belonging to this large family stretching across the midwest states.
I've grown up with this sport, with this lifestyle and with this community.
It's a lifetime sport with continual teaching; every sailor learns with
every race he sails. One cannot simply hop on a boat, gain sea legs and
expect to win. It takes years of learning and training from others to gain
the knowledge needed to make it to the top. To be an Inland sailor is an
experience only a tiny, tiny fraction of people will ever get to have. Once
you're included in that fraction, you are for life. --
SCOW COUNTRY - TACKLING THE LEARNING CURVE
By Skip Dieball, Dieball Sailing
Ah, the Championship of Champions! One of my all-time favorite events. It
is different, challenging and very fun!
To get there, you have to have won a big one. Nationals, Internationals,
Continental, Worlds, etc. I've had some great fortune on the race course
recently in various classes. Specifically, my teammates and I won the 2011
Thistle, 2011 Highlander and 2012 Highlander Nationals. No small feat and
truly a team-effort. These scores got me into the 2012 CofCs, which were
sailed in the C-Scow. You see, the boat changes every year. This makes it
fun from a raw learning perspective. It also allows us to tap that class's
gurus on the shoulder and ask advice.
For my non-Scow friends, a Scow is like a board boat. Flat, low freeboard.
They are primarily sailed in the middle of the USA, but have fleets
throughout the East Coast and down into Florida. The classes within the
Scow family include the popular MC, C, E, A, to name a few. I had sailed
the MC for a few seasons in the mid 2000's with some mild success. The one
thing that stood out to me was how friendly the people were....no big
surprise as everyone from the midwest is nice!
So the C is a bigger, older brother to the MC. It is cat-rigged and has a
center rudder & leeboards. There's a technique to sailing these boats that
I would call "rail riding". That is, heeling the boat over to were the
leeward leeboard is vertical, or about 15-30 degree of heel (totally
unscientific description). As the breeze comes up, the boat powers up with
its HUGE mainsail. The skipper does the main & the crew does the boards
(you coordinate it so that the windward board is always up and the leeward
board is always down). At least this is how we did it.....
My crew for this event is the one and only, Jeff Eiber. Jeff needs no
introduction to certain group of sailors. He's a World Champion and has
more One Design titles than anyone I know. He's the best crew, period. So
when we talked about going to Scow-land (i.e. Wisconsin) to sail the CofCs,
I knew that not only would have a great sailboat racer, but I would have a
conscious when it comes to shortening the learning curve. We had to learn
the boat quickly if we were going to have any level of success. Jeff is
somewhat no-nonsense when we leave the dock and his focus definitely helped
as I typically worry more about meeting people and dinner plans! -- Read
When the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race came to Galway, Ireland to finish the
transatlantic leg, it was estimated that 10,000 people came to watch the
fleet arrive very early Sunday morning, with a flotilla of 500 boats
crammed onto the water.
The tremendous support earned Galway the selection as the final finish line
of the 2011-12 edition this past July, and the locals did not disappoint.
But while walls of people at the finish were good for the sponsors,
apparently the local organizer is having trouble fulfilling their financial
Minister for Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has ruled out any Government
bailout to cover the 400,000 euros in debts owed by local organisers of the
Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway. Some 60 suppliers have not yet been
paid, and the race organisers are themselves are owed in the region of
170,000 euros, but even if collected this would cover less than half the
value of their own debt.
With the route for 2014-15 edition to be announced this December, this news
all but rules out Galway's potential third bid to host the event, at least
for the foreseeable future.
SLAM - WE DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING!
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mention the reducing glare. They allow 18% and 8% light transmission. The
frames are made of a specially designed material called Grilamid TR90 to
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Point Loma Outfitting continues to be the source for SLAM. Weather its Foul
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Justin Smith is embarking on a very ambitious journey to raise money for a
worthy cause. Justin, age 12, will be sailing his 8-foot Optimist across
the Long Island Sound singlehanded this weekend, and he is seeking donors
to help fund a project to restore the Sound's ecosystem.
"I really like sailing, and during the summer I primarily sail in the Long
Island Sound," says Justin, who lives in Muttontown, a village in the Town
of Oyster Bay, NY. "I thought it would be a great idea to help clean and
protect the Long Island Sound - where I go sailing, other people enjoy many
activities and an entire ecosystem of fish, animals and plants live - so
that it stays nice and clean. The money I raise will be used, in
partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to support a
'bioextraction' project in New York's Bronx River, whose waters flow into
Long Island Sound."
"I started sailing three years ago at Seawanhaka Corinthian Junior Yacht
Club," says Justin. "I learned about the National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation through a fundraising event at Seawanhaka last year," says
Justin. "The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a country-wide
non-profit organization that preserves and restores our nation's native
wildlife species and habitats through its funding and support."
Among the most critical environmental issues in Long Island Sound are algal
blooms, loss of seagrass, and hypoxia, a condition of dangerously low
levels of dissolved oxygen that kills fish, lobsters and mollusks. The
primary cause is an overabundance of nitrogen, which enters the Sound via
discharge from inadequate wastewater treatment plants and stormwater runoff
from heavily fertilized lawns.
Nutrient bioextraction, also known as bioharvesting, is a very promising
solution. "The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's bioextraction
project will place oysters, ribbed mussels and seaweed into the Bronx
River, which is going to naturally filter the water, removing waste
particles and adding more oxygen to the water," Justin explains. "Mussels
and oysters feed on plankton, and when they grow they incorporate it into
their shells and meat nutrients. When the shellfish are harvested, the
harvest will remove some of the excess nutrients from the aquatic
environment, thereby improving water quality for other marine life. Seaweed
also removes harmful matter from the environment as it grows."
Justin's solo sail, scheduled for October 20, will take him from Stamford,
CT to Oyster Bay, NY, a distance of approximately seven miles on the
rhumbline. Full details on his mission and how to donate:
* St. Petersburg, FL (October 16, 2012) - After two days of light winds at
the 2012 Sunfish World Championship, local David Mendelblatt leads the
75-boat field with a 5-2-2. Racing continues through October 19. Full
results here: http://sunfishworlds.org/resultsfull.asp?j=2012&e=N
* Martha's Vineyard, MA (October 16 2012) - The second day of the 2012
North American Speed Sailing Championship Invitational offered winds in the
high teens that rewarded patience and perseverance. Outright World Speed
Record Holder Rob Douglas posted the high speed of the day at 40.244 knots
to remain the overall leader. -- Full report:
* Reports have been received from the Philippines that legendary Australian
yacht designer Joe Adams has been murdered at his home in Alpa Village in
the Benguet province. Adams, who was born in 1931, made his mark as a
designer in the 1970s. He was a prolific designer, responsible for more
than 20 different yachts, the most famous of which was Helsal, a 73ft
pocket maxi which took line honours in the 1973 Sydney to Hobart. The Adams
10m was another of his famous designs and many of this enduring class can
be seen cruising or racing in regattas around Australia and New Zealand. --
Full report http://tinyurl.com/MSA-101612
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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
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save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
* From Marc Jacobi
Congratulations to Caleb Paine for prevailing at the 2012 Finn US National
Championship this past weekend. Per the race report in Scuttlebutt, I
question why would racing (especially for the Finn Nationals) be canceled
in only 20 knots of breeze and 8-10 foot seas? Sounds like an amazing day
to me! Is it any wonder U.S. sailors struggle at overseas regattas in
similar conditions when they don't compete in them at home?
COMMENT: I was curious too and learned the weather initially made the
harbor entrance too dangerous to pass. Conditions moderated by early
afternoon, though only in time for one or maybe two races. Cancelling was
deemed a conservative decision for the lesser skilled sailors who were the
bulk of the 25-boat fleet. It should be noted that the elite sailors did
not miss the opportunity to train that day. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
* From Gregory Scott:
In my earliest days in the marine industry I came to be aware of Britt
Chance. Like I did with motor racing, it was via that wonderful vehicle -
the glossy magazine. While archaic in timeliness by today's standards, l
learned of his great design skills and became inspired to learn and develop
my own skills..Britt with his cool name and great flare was a true "rock
star" and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for showing us a path.
* From Scott Kaufman:
Very sorry to hear of Britt's passing. In 1967 I sailed in the Fastnet race
with Britt on a German One Tonner. When the wind went very light, Britt
disappeared into the bow and pressurized a device to exude Polyox from tiny
tubes to improve the laminar flow over the hull. I'm not sure it made much
difference to our speed but this was typical of Britt...always working on
some idea to gain an advantage. He took things to the design edge. Chines
were a way to maximize a dimension. Rules were made to be stretched. But he
came up with some amazing original designs. He will be missed.
* From Rodger Martin:
Patty & I were sad to hear on Friday, that Brit had died. He was an
inspiration to me and a hero!
I worked on Equation (later Sorcery III under Jim Baldwin and Rattlesnake
with the Annapolis Academy) and she was a model for slim, fast, light (for
her time) beachable boats. Well ahead of her time as a well-behaved, safe,
seaworthy boat when other IOR boats were not. She was a 68' round-bottomed
sharpie with a 68' mainmast. I often wondered if Britt was a follower of
Commodore Ralph Munroe's writings. She was the first big boat in which we
sailed often and easily above her hull speed at 13-25 knots in 25 knots of
wind. I wondered why nobody else seemed to notice!
Britt was a brilliant and technically-sophisticated designer. His
wonderfully-precise engineering drawings for Mariner & Equation in the
drawing files at Dercktor's where I worked in the '70s were very
One image I have of him was of his arrival at a party in a big tent after
the first day of the Newport Sailboat Show in the early eighties, where he
swept in, adeptly snatched a rum & something from a table at the entrance
and marched, with the assured intent of someone who Knew His Stuff towards
the far end of the tent! I was impressed! I wanted to make this life mine!
A quiet & genius hero missed.
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