SCUTTLEBUTT 3700 - Thursday, October 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: Ullman Sails and APS.
AC72 CAPSIZES: RISKS AND PREPARATION
Safety issues with the Americas Cup radical new 72-foot-long catamarans
have been a hot topic since the design was unveiled. Capsizing wasn't an
"if" but a "when" -- and "when" arrived on Tuesday, when Oracle Team USA
pitchpoled in 30 knots of wind near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
Dirk Kramers, Oracle Team USA's engineering guru, and Iain Murray, Americas
Cup Regatta Management Director, recently addressed the risk issues
inherent in the boat's design and how best to manage the aftermath of
flipping one of these huge race yachts.
2013 will make the fifth Cup cycle for Kramers, who was one of the
multihull expert behind the Stars&Stripes 88 and Alinghi 5, as well as the
Alinghi and Young America monohull campaigns. His experience with the
America's Cup is one of the most extensive of any active player. Kramers
believes that the safety systems designed into USA-17 are fairly
self-explanatory personal safety equipment, rescue personnel, righting
lines -- but noted that many safety systems would not really see active
practice. At least not planned practice. Post-Tuesday, that may be a
"There are a lot of different safety aspects, most of which are common
sense, like wearing life preservers and helmets", said Kramers on a recent
tour of the team's Pier 80 base. "It's also important to always have a
knife on you in case you get stuck or caught somewhere, like a diver you
can cut yourself free."
"The boat is set up with righting lines, in case we have to right the boat.
We also have buddy-breather cartridges, so if you have to dive, you can go
under longer. But it's also an organizational issue; we have three to four
boats out there supporting us, and there's a whole set of response
maneuvers that we've practiced to make sure that we do the right thing at
the right time. For example, if someone falls off and gets hurt, that's the
first priority. The next priority is getting the boat head-to-wind. So
there's a whole series of events that have different response maneuvers."
Oracle went with a design that includes a large pod below the boat's hard
wing that acts as something of a wing extension, providing more power
closer to the waterline. That's a positive contribution, but one negative
with the pod is it means the sailors cannot do the "monkey dance" down the
netting to safety.
"One of the aspects that's difficult about this kind of boat is that once
it's capsized, you can't really climb up or climb down. So you're sort of
stuck. With the AC45, you can climb up and down, but this boat has the big
pod in the middle. And you can imagine falling off, if the boat is at 90
degrees. If you fall down into something hard, that's not going to be good.
We've had a lot of guys falling off the AC45s, but we've been lucky that no
one has hit something hard yet -- like what happened to Russell, it was
inches away from it being a big problem. And it's happened to other guys.
That is the biggest thing, making sure the guys have something to hang
onto." -- CupInfo, read on:
READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL
Despite watching the teams at the America's Cup World Series become
increasingly proficient at surviving an AC 45 capsize, it was well
understood that an AC 72 capsize would be much worse. The narrow line
between control and catastrophe would be given a wide berth.
But on October 16 the line got crossed. America's Cup defender Oracle Team
USA capsized their AC 72 on the team's eighth day of training on the boat,
digging their bows in for a pitch-pole while bearing away downwind. "I
guess we found our limit today," admitted tactician Tom Slingsby.
With training days limited by the rules, and with the defender already
behind schedule due to daggerboard problems, Oracle Team USA was in
catch-up mode. What made matters worse, Emirates Team New Zealand appeared
to be progressing quickly with the development of their AC 72. And with the
light winds of fall and winter soon to descend on San Francisco Bay, the
defender needed hours on the water.
The forecast for San Francisco Bay on Tuesday was for a maximum of 18
knots; certainly within the range of safety. But when winds spiked to 30
knots, the defender was caught using one of their limited training days in
Witnesses say the team appeared to be wisely cautious, using only the small
headsail and keeping the hulls in the water rather than foiling. The
defender had previously demonstrated their foiling ability, but had yet to
exhibit the same foiling control as the Kiwis. And with a strong ebb
pushing against winds estimated to be in the mid-20s, maintaining control
in the steep chop at this early stage of training was prudent.
But herein, quite possibly, lied the onboard conflict. Observers have noted
that the defender's AC 72 opted for a narrow bow shape design, which is
good for reducing weight and windage but does not prevent a pitch-pole like
a fuller shape. So how did the designers expect their AC 72 to avoid
pitch-poling in strong winds?
As team engineer Dirk Kramers explains, their AC 72 is supposed to be
foiling when they bear away. "Our hull is quite small, much smaller than
Team New Zealand's, so we are reliant on the foils to keep it from
pitchpoling in a bearaway," explained Kramers.
Memo to spectators... get good seats at the upwind mark.
UPDATE: The San Francisco Bay current, which swept the AC 72 four miles
west of the Golden Gate Bridge, was estimated to be over five knots. The
boat, which capsized at 3:00 pm Tuesday, was upside down when it finally
returned to the team's Pier 80 base by 1:00 am Wednesday. The wing,
estimated to cost $2 million, was completely destroyed. A replacement wing,
according to Jeremy Leonard of Sail Revolution, may not be ready until
after Christmas. The port hull, which had filled with water, was supported
by airbags as it was pumped. The platform was eventually hauled, with no
disclosure at press time regarding damage.
Video of the capsize: http://youtu.be/drgglIebuQY
'CURRENT OBSESSION 2' CROWNED J/105 SOCAL CHAMPS
Ullman Sails customers swept three of the top five spots in the J/105
Southern California Championships last weekend in San Diego!
Congratulations to Gary Mozer and his team on "Current Obsession 2" (photo:
http://tinyurl.com/J105-CO2) who claimed the title, securing the
championships with a score of 1-3-5-3-1. Dennis Conner's "DC's Pholly"
finished a close second, collecting two bullets in the five-race series.
And Dennis and Sharon Case on "Wings" finished 5th overall in the 22-boat
fleet. All three boats were powered by 100% Ullman Sails inventory! Good
luck to all the competitors at this week's J/105 North Americans in San
Diego! -- http://www.ullmansails.com
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
At next week's Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Yachting Association
in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 27, 2012, members will vote on a
proposal to change the name of the organisation to Sailing Canada (Voile
Canada in French).
If approved, the proposal will align CYA with nine of the ten Canadian
Provinces who use "Sail" or "Sailing" in their titles, with the
International Sailing Federation, the International Olympic Committee and
with neighbouring US Sailing. It also brings CYA into line with many other
Canadian National Sports Organisations that use the format "Name of Sport"
Canada in their titles.
Adoption of the new name will enhance marketing opportunities for the
organisation, while dovetailing well with the recently launched national
sailing program, CANSail. It is intended that the name will be associated
with the Maple Leaf sail logo, a registered trademark of the CYA.
Additional details: http://tinyurl.com/SC-101712
IMPROVING OUR OFF-WATER GAME
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
how to build our fundamental skills off the water...
We all have limits to our on-the-water practice time, which combined with
the number of things we need to practice puts pressure on us to build as
many of our fundamental skills as possible off the water.
Physical strength and stamina are two obvious candidates to develop off the
water. Studying the racing rules of sailing and basic tactical and
strategic considerations are two more. The one that often doesn't get
attention is improving the subtler facets of the mental side of our racing.
Self-control or self-regulation (a psychological term) is the base of the
mental game and will also make it easier to study and do the repetitive
practice routines needed to develop all the other aspects of your sailing.
Self-regulation allows us to resist "coming apart" when we make a mistake,
the wind shifts unpredictably, a competitor messes with our plan for the
leg or any other thing happens that stimulates a strong emotional reaction
in us. Self-regulation is the basis of our ability to continually focus on
important clues about speed, wind shifts, heel angle, etc., without getting
distracted by thoughts of our greatness or inadequacies, our successful
start or the last terrible mark rounding.
Self- regulation is the ability to pay attention and stay as calm as
necessary or to spike your emotions in order to carry on when you're tired,
cold or discouraged. A person with self-regulation stamina can continue to
make good decisions long after others have started unconsciously opting for
"keep doing what I'm doing" plans. In extraordinary circumstances, when
others are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their emotions
moderated, the sailor with self-regulation power will still have moderate
reactions and less need to expend energy regulating them. -- Read on:
Professional website: http://www.livingstonservices.com/
COLD WATER SURVIVAL, HYPOTHERMIA, RESCUE & RECOVERY
By Vincent Pica, US Coast Guard Auxiliary
Hypothermia is a subject that my son and I, members "back in the day" of a
USCGAux Cold Water Team, were trained in.
Recently, amongst the professional life-saving community, whispers started
that we had it all wrong - that data, from US Navy studies from the post
WWII era on "Time of Useful Consciousness" on molded dummies with internal
brass skeletons, didn't calibrate to live testing conducted by various
scientific and medical studies in the last couple of years. Further,
medical testing of the effects of cold water on human physiology would lead
one to believe that the standard "fireman's hoist*" of a stricken mariner,
taught everywhere, could in fact lead to a worsening of the effects of cold
water on the victim, even leading to death.
This column is about that.
The Cold Facts...
Back in August 2010, while attending the National Convention of the US
Coast Guard Auxiliary in Phoenix, AZ, I attended a presentation on this
topic by a Canadian organization called Cold Water Boot Camp
(coldwaterbootcamp.com) which works in cooperation with many lifesaving
organizations, including the US Coast Guard.
In the video part of the presentation, I saw a good friend and fellow
member of US Coast Guard Forces - Mario Vittone, USCG Marine Safety
Specialist and former Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Instructor - featured as
one of the "guinea pig" subjects. In the past, Mario would ping me with
commentary on hypothermia. "Vin, some of the this stuff is not lining up
with the latest data. Be careful!"
The problem I had was in sorting out that which was still good and that
which was good to go - as in "outta here!" There was no official report to
rely on. Well, not only was there now an official scientific report, but I
could talk directly to one of the subjects - Mario Vittone, USCG, who has
published a detailed article on the subject
(mariovittone.com/2010/10/the-truth-about-cold-water/) that I want to
acknowledge as an underlying source document to this column.
Traditions Die Hard at Sea...
It isn't easy convincing mariners that a lifetime of tradition and practice
is wrong. And not everything we know and practice on this subject IS wrong.
Here are the facts:
The first phase of cold water immersion is called the cold shock response.
This we've had right. Data now shows that roughly 20% die in the first two
minutes. They take on water in that first uncontrolled gasp, panic and
drown, plain and simple. In some, the cold shock triggers a heart attack.
Surviving this stage requires you to stay calm and get your breathing under
control. If you don't, your life is measured in minutes and you won't need
two hands to count them. -- WindCheck, read on:
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* With the aim of bringing younger sailors into the Canadian 49er class,
Pitch Pole Skiff Products (aka 49er.ca) will be providing charter boats to
young sailors interested in sailing the Olympic class 49er skiff. The
charter boats will be a complete 49er with dolly, a carbon mast and ready
to race for a period of one year. This is a perfect opportunity for young
Laser, C420 or 29er sailors, both male and female, looking to make the jump
into the exciting 49er (or FX) class. Applications shall be submitted on or
before Thursday, October 25th, 2012. Full details:
* Twelve teams will compete in the U.S. Team Racing Championship, hosted by
the Larchmont Yacht Club on October 19-21. The roster is led by defending
champions Minor Threat with skippers Cy Thompson, Charlie Buckingham, and
Tyler Sinks and crews Kelly Stannard, Lucy Wallace and Alex Taylor. Racing
in Vanguard 15s will be held in Larchmont Harbor. -- Full report:
* St. Petersburg, FL (October 17, 2012) - After two days of light air, the
third day failed to provide sufficient wind for any racing 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:
* Martha's Vineyard, MA (October 17 2012) - Winds proved to be too light
for any heats on the third day of the 2012 North American Speed Sailing
Championship Invitational, with the forecast for similar conditions on
Thursday. After three heats, Outright World Speed Record Holder Rob Douglas
holds the overall leader. -- Full report:
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
* Spirit of Canada Offshore Sailing
* Onboard Wifi. Only Better... NautiCloud!
* UK Sailmakers - Titanium Blue sails
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 John J. Ford:
After reading in #3699 the articles Bloody Mess and Painful To Watch, is it
possible that the envelope (for the 34th America's Cup) has finally been
pushed off the edge?
* From Bruce Edwards:
Thanks for your report in Scuttlebutt 3699 regarding Sydney yacht designer
Joe Adams who had been found murdered in the Philippines.
Joe was aged 81 and was responsible for designing the 1973 Sydney Hobart
winner "Helsal". She was affectionately known as the "Flying Footpath" as
she was constructed of ferro cement which was nearly unheard of for a
Joe also designed the Adams 10 which was a popular Sydney Harbour and Lake
Macquarie day racer. A very early build of this boat was set up to race the
Hobart in the early 80's and was named "Tun Tun" because it rated Two Ton.
A sad way for Joe to go.
* From Scott Kaufman:
Very surprised to hear of Joe's death. Joe was from a different era. A
former high school teacher who sailed around the world with his wife in a
30 footer in 1965. He was very friendly with Bob Miller (Ben Lexan) and
learned yacht design the old fashioned way... by reading Skene's elements
of yacht design. A natural designer, he honed his trade first on cruising
boats and then turned to the racing world and production yachts. Over the
years he designed hundreds of boats. A sad ending.
* From Bob Austin-LaFrance:
Like many I was saddened by the news of Britt Chance's passing. This past
Saturday I had a wonderful way to reflect on the man, the myth, and the
legend - I raced the Thunder Mug out of Duck Island YC, CT. on the Chance
Custom (31.55') Arabesque.
To put things in perspective, I was intimately involved in building this
distinctive, dark blue IOR racer 30 years ago in a garage in Bozrah, CT.
Thank you Jonathon Lathrop! She has been scrupulously maintained by her
current owner, Bob Bruno, and could pass for a brand new, albeit a strange
design... blooper included.
At the end of the day Saturday, Arabesque won her class, sealing a first in
class for the 2012 season, Eastern CT Sailing Assoc. Thanks Britt for 30
years of magic and memories - what a legacy!
"The truth is always exciting. Speak it, then. Life is dull without it." -
Pearl S. Buck, Pulitzer Prize winning author
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
JK3 Nautical Enterprises - BIC Sport North America - Dieball Sailing
North Sails - Team One Newport - North Sails - Point Loma Outfitting
Allen Insurance and Financial - Ullman Sails - APS - Soft Deck
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