SCUTTLEBUTT 3703 - Tuesday, October 23, 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 U, North Sails, and Allen Insurance and Financial.
THE MORE I THINK ABOUT THE RACE, THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Shorthanded sailing is not woven deeply in the tapestry of North American
boating. Yet I am gripped by the Vendee Globe race. The more I think about
the race, the more I think about it.
Solo, singlehanded around the world. Sailed in the overpowering Open 60.
The best sailors. The best designers. A race that only occurs every four
years. The 2008-9 race saw 30 entrants on the start line, and it was
madness all the way around the world.
Four years ago, hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the sea walls of
Les Sables d'Olonne, France for the send-off. The fleet was immediately
battered in the Bay of Biscay, forcing several to return for repairs. The
urge to push versus the need to survive. Attrition proved the story. Five
broken rigs, four damaged rudder systems, two abandoned boats. In all, 19
entrants would not finish.
Among the entrants that did finish was 58 year old American Rich Wilson,
finishing ninth. Winner Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) returned to France in 84
days. Rich finished over a month later. By the time Rich finished, the race
was no longer front page news.
When Rich recently sent me his book to review, 'Race France To France:
Leave Antarctica to Starboard', I wondered whether I could be interested in
a book by someone so clearly off the pace. He wasn't a competitor, he was a
participant. And the Vendee Globe is a race for the very elite of
shorthanded sailing. Or so I thought.
But what Rich did for me by writing this book was to immerse me in the
experience. This book isn't about him; it is about the challenge, about the
obstacles that each competitor faced. I soon forgot that it was a race, and
thought only about getting through each day. And in his book Rich achieved
his ultimate mission. He educated me.
Rich clearly was not in the Vendee Globe to win, but to share the
experience with others. A lifelong educator, Rich sought to excite and
engage an audience about science, geography, and math in the real world,
via an educational program that he orchestrated onboard, ultimately
reaching 7 million readers weekly, and 200,000 students.
The 2012-13 Vendee Globe begins on November 10, and I am already looking
forward to following the 20 skippers around the world. The brilliant race
tracker will again spark my interest in the world's geography and climates.
The skipper reports will draw me into the onboard struggles. And Rich's
book will have made every moment of the race just a bit more vivid for me.
Shorthanded sailing in North America still remains in the shadow of Europe,
but its progress over the past four years is measureable. If you want to
feel more connected to this growth and the 2012-13 edition, I encourage you
to immerse yourself in 'Race France To France: Leave Antarctica to
Starboard'... available at Amazon.com:
2012-13 Vendee Globe: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/
HOST A NEW RULES & TACTICS SEMINAR
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included with the course; and with US Sailing Member pricing you won't want
to miss this opportunity. Learn More about free seminar hosting. Call
NorthU at 203 245-0727 or visit: http://www.northu.com
(October 22, 2012) - The 20 skippers of the Vendee Globe received their
first iceberg alert this morning - 19 days before they have even started
the race. At this morning's skippers' briefing, they were told there is
risk of there being large icebergs and growlers around the Gough Island
waypoint, the first ice gate of the Vendee Globe, west of South Africa.
"An ice field has been accelerating north, speeding up from 10 nautical
miles a day to 13-14 nautical miles and in 40 days or so, if they continue
moving north, will be arriving pretty close to the gate where you (the
skippers) arrive," Louis Mesnier, the project director at Collecte
Localisation satellite (CLS), said. CLS is the company that tracks the ice
fields for the Vendee Globe and sends daily reports to the skippers.
Mesnier was briefing them on how they will receive information from the
race office about ice fields.
"Logically they (the icebergs) would start moving south when they get
there," Mesnier said. "But I can see why they (the race office) left Gough
Island to starboard. They (the icebergs) do not move in a straight line,
this is not an exact science."
The ice gates are the limits of the course for the sailors and designed to
stop them heading into high-risk areas, even if they believe they can get
more wind there. Denis Horeau, the Vendee Globe race director, will make
the decision over moving the Gough Island ice gate once the lead boats have
reached a latitude of 20 degrees south - west of the coast of Namibia.
Bruno Retailleau, the Vendee region general council president, said the
French foreign ministry had recently established a new 'crisis department'
which would use diplomatic channel around the world to speed up aid in the
case of an emergency.
"The idea is that we can react faster if there is a problem," Retailleau
said. "We haven't got a magic wand, but we will do our best." --
IS SPEEDDREAM JUST A DREAM?
By Tim Zimmermann, Sailing World
I've seen it kicking around online for a few years now: Russian designer
Vlad Murnikov's quest to build the fastest monohull on the planet. Usually
any mention was accompanied by a cool looking drawing, but not much else.
SpeedDream, as the project was called, seemed like just that: a dream.
Now I am starting to wonder. Murnikov, who drew up Fasizi, the first
Russian Volvo entry, is not a designer bound by convention, and he has
hooked up with speed-loving Cam Lewis, and sailor and author Brian Hancock.
His vision was enough to intrigue the BBC, which put SpeedDream in pretty
good breakthrough company with L'Hydroptere DCNS and Sailrocket.
The notable difference was that L'Hydroptere DCNS and Sailrocket were
actual boats, and SpeedDream was still all paper and CAD drawings. But now
the SpeedDream team, with the help of sponsorship from Yandex, a Russian
search engine, has managed to build a 27-foot prototype.
According to Hancock, who is serving as the SpeedDream creative and
marketing director, "This prototype that we have built is really to test
three things: the extreme (flying) keel, the true wave piercing bow, and
the athwartship step in the hull. The main idea really is to build a boat
that is efficient with low drag rather than just piling on power."
Okay, so there is a pretty fun-looking 27-footer out there, and the real
dream has inched that much closer to reality. So what does the SpeedDream
team dream about in terms of records? Some of the ambitions, with talk of
50-plus knot speeds, 40-45 knot averages, taking the Jules Verne record
back from the multihulls, and 1000-mile 24-hour runs seem a little nuts.
"The big targets will be transatlantic, 24-hour run, and around-the-world,"
Hancock says. "But of course that's quite a ways off."
Count me as skeptical that a monohull will ever really threaten the
multihulls when it comes to speed records, and the speed sailing Triple
Crown. -- Read on:
COMMENT: You can read more about these key design features of the boat in
SW's Nov/Dec issue, and the link above hosts two videos of the boat
sailing. Fearful of projects that 'over promise and under deliver' (can you
think of one?), when their press release anoints the SpeedDream27 as "a
prototype for what will become the worlds fastest monohull", I wish for
once the sailing came before the selling. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
OMAN'S OLYMPIC ASPIRATIONS
Oman, officially called the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab state on the
southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. This oil rich country is looking
beyond the desert toward its shoreline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf
of Oman. It is looking toward sailing to help diversify the nation.
Oman Sail has set ambitious targets and has chalked futuristic projects,
which includes setting up of Sailing Schools all along the coast line of
Sultanate as the future course of action.
"The goal set now is to introduce around 70,000 Omanis to sailing and also
snare a Olympic medal in 2024," Oman Sail's CEO David Graham said. "Our
priority to implement projects that aim to empower Omanis and position Oman
on the international sailing and tourism scene."
Oman Sail has already opened three schools, including the latest at The
Wave, while a more will come up in Sur and Sohar in 2013, Khasab and
Salalah in 2015. Oman Sail believes youth sailing will grow exponentially
by 2016 with the Elite Squad swelling to 65 sailors, the Racing Club to 410
and the Youth Club to 630 at each sailing centre.
The latest motto of Oman Sail is to use sport as a powerful tool for the
development of the Omani youth and one of the main objectives of the
recently launched Oman Sail Youth programme is simply to use the sport of
sailing to create good citizens.
By introducing a new generation to sailing the Youth Programme supports
Oman Sail's overall objective of promoting national pride by succeeding on
the world's sporting stage, promoting elite Omani sailors as role models to
inspire the youth of Oman and ultimately winning a medal for the Sultanate
in the 2024 Olympic Games.
"We are targeting the youth to get involved with sport because of the
positive values associated with sportsmanship," said Rashid Al Kindi,
National Sailing Team Manager for Oman Sail. "Achieving success in sport
helps drive national pride and self worth. Our message to parents is let
your children come sailing because it is good for them." -- Full story:
NORTH-POWERED TEAM MASQUERADE WINS J/105 NAs!
Congratulations team 'Masquerade' for winning their third J/105 NA
Championship in San Diego last weekend. Owned by Tom Coates but skippered
this year by Chris Perkins, Team 'Masquerade' raced with a complete North
Sails CSD inventory finishing with two bullets and a 14 point lead over the
second place boat. "(The boat was) well prepared with a nice new set of
sails," Perkins said after their win. Congratulations also to the following
North-powered teams: Blow Boat (4th); Arbitrage (5th); Viggen - Team
Dagfish (7th); and Sanity (9th*). When performance counts, the choice is
clear: http://na.northsails.com (*- majority NS inventory)
LOSING A MONTH OF SAILING
For many Michigan boat owners, these are the waning days of the best season
of the year. The chill has set in and days of warm weekends on the water
are pretty much over. Typically, the last rite of the season is pulling the
boats from the water and getting them into storage. But 2012 has not been
like most years.
After a 12-month stretch of less-than-normal rain and snow, the bodies of
Lake St. Clair and each of the Great Lakes are roughly a foot or more below
their historic averages for this time of year with forecasts of record lows
in the coming months. The levels have been down throughout the spring and
summer and now, the lakes are beginning to see their seasonal decline -
effectively making a bad situation worse.
Marinas that normally have no trouble getting boats in and out of the water
are finding there isn't enough depth to do the job.
"This is the time of year when we typically see the sources of water
leading to the lakes dry up," said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed
hydrology for the Detroit district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"The rivers and streams that feed the lakes are at their lowest levels. And
evaporation starts pulling the water from lakes in larger amounts than what
runoff and precipitation can put back."
In other words, low waters drop lower.
Nick DiSalvio said he saw what was coming and decided not to wait for the
worst. DiSalvio, 60, has a classic C & C sailboat he docks in Harrison
Township (Lake St. Clair) and found it was getting close to being trapped
in shallow water last week.
"I've never seen the Clinton River down this much, and I've been sailing
out here for many, many years," DiSalvio said. "I had to pull my boat
already. I usually keep sailing up until right around Thanksgiving. So I'm
losing about a month of sailing time this year."
Full story in The Detroit News:
It was a weekend of J/Boat North American Championships, with the J/105
class in San Diego and the J/30 class in New Orleans. Here are photo
galleries from both...
CARNAGE ON DAY ONE- A CLASS WORLDS
Islamorada, FL (October 22, 2012) - Consistency wins regattas, and after
three races at the 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship,
Mischa Heemskerk of the Netherlands posted a 2-3-2 to get two points clear
of Australia's Brad Collett and five points clear of current world champion
Steve Brewin. Winds in excess of 20 knots proved formidable, with breakages
and collisions throughout the 112-boat fleet.
"Well there was a lot of carnage," commented Andy Kolb, who came early with
an injured foot. "Only about half the fleet finished. People were filtering
in all day with broken masts, and broken this, and broken that. Broken
boards. Several people capsized, and had people run them over. Matt Noble
had a guy run into him, the forestay cut his leg, broke his boat. It's just
really, really challenging conditions. Twenty to Twenty five knots, at
least, really consistent. Really big confused chop, super hard to sail on
an A Cat."
"It was pretty gnarly out there today," agreed Matt Noble. "Definitely at
the top end for A Cats. During the first race, on the second leeward mark
rounding, I rounded up on port, sailing upwind for about 8 to 10 seconds,
then I got bombed by another boat coming down on port. His forestay hit my
thigh and wrist. His rig snapped, and fell backwards, and wrapped me up in
his forestay and shrouds. His hulls went under my boat, and we got all
tangled up, and we spent the next 20 minutes untangling each other...and
bleeding." -- Sail Revolution, full report:
Current results: http://tinyurl.com/ACat-2012-results
* A new series of five championship regattas will be organised in Europe
next year, under the name EUROSAF Champions Sailing League. The new series,
which incorporates all Olympic disciplines, will incorporate new
innovations in race formats that will make sailing easier to follow and
more attractive for sailors, media and spectators alike. The events will be
Fraglia Vela Riva in Lake Garda, Italy; Dutch Delta Lloyd Regatta in
Medemblik, Netherlands; Sail for Gold in Weymouth & Portlan, Great Britain;
Kieler Woche in Germany; and Semaine Olympique Franšaise at La Rochelle,
France. -- Full report: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/1022/
* America's Cup challenger Team Luna Rossa plans to launch for the first
time their AC 72 on October 26th in Auckland, New Zealand, where the team
is currently finalizing the assembly. The team will continue to train
throughout the Austral summer before relocating to San Francisco next year
in anticipation for the Louis Vuitton Cup which begins in July. --
* The Ultimate 20 Class Association has announced the selection of W.D.
Schock as the official Ultimate 20 builder of North America. This selection
process took place over the last 12 months. The Ultimate 20, born in the
mid-90s, was developed by a team that included Jim Antrim of Antrim
Associates-Naval Architects, sail maker and Olympic medalist Jay Glaser,
and 505 builder and foil specialist Larry Tuttle. W. D. Schock Corp. was
founded in 1946 in Newport Beach, California, and has built tens of
thousands of boats in its sixty-five year history. -- Full report:
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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 Michael Roth - Honolulu, HI:
In response to the Extreme Sailing Series canceling because they could not
get marks to stay in 30 kts and big seas, they need to check in with the
Waikiki Yacht Club. They have been setting marks in 3,000 feet in 30kts and
big seas since the 70's and doing it well. Ask anyone who has raced a Pan
Am Clipper Cup or a Kenwood Cup. Fly us out there and we will show them how
to do it.
* From Lee Tawney:
Talk about getting people sailing. I recently learned that the Villanova
Sailing Team had a sign up for those interested in participating. 130
people signed on. 20 of those had raced before, the rest just wanted to
learn more and, in most cases, how to sail. Talk about building a base for
sailing. The Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia (a National Sailing
Center & Hall of Fame Founding Member) has offered their facilities not
only to Villanova but to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel
University. Imagine what the impact would be if every yacht club in the
country adopted a local college or high school program.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
The Scuttlebutt website provides a marketplace for private parties to buy
and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. For free. As a bonus,
each week the Scuttlebutt newsletter includes some of the recent ad
postings. Have an ad? Post it in the Classified Ad section of the Forum.
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies;
probably because they are generally the same people." - G. K. Chesterton,
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
International Rolex Regatta - Allen Insurance and Financial - North U
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