SCUTTLEBUTT 3709 - Wednesday, October 31, 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, APS, and Gladstone's Long Beach.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR THE NEXT FOUR MONTHS?
By Joe Cooper, sailing consultant and coach
Without question the Vendee Globe is, hands down, the hardest sporting
contest on the planet. It might even rank in the top ten of the hardest
things to complete on the planet. "Climbing" Mount Everest is a relative
cake walk when viewed alongside the Vendee Globe.
For such a hard thing to do, the rules are simple, rather like the old gag
about the simplicity of the rules for the Sydney Harbor 18 footers:
"They're 18 feet long and they start at two o'clock".
For the Vendee Globe the gag might run: "The boats are 60 feet long and the
start is in November".
Realistically there are four rules.
- The Boats: IMOCA 60 footers
- Crew: Single handed
- Course: Around the world, France to France, under the Great Capes,
Antarctica to starboard
- Rules: Non-stop, no assistance
Simply reading this summary of the race does not do justice to the
magnitude of the event.
Consider for a moment the following:
The record for this circumnavigation is 84 days set in the last race in
2008-2009. And that was of course for the winner. The last finisher crossed
the line FORTY TWO DAYS after the winner taking 126 days. Another month and
a half at sea! This is an average of just over 8 knots or about the time it
used to take the fast BOC boats to sail from Newport to Cape Town.
Think about that for a minute. What are you going to be doing for the next
four months beginning 10 November 2012?
- Will you be doing it by yourself?
- Will you get, oh, 4-5 hours of sleep per 24, on a good day!
- Will you be burning through 6,000 to 8,000 calories per day?
- Will you be burning these calories on a diet largely fueled by freeze
- Will you be trying to fix equipment that ranges across the industrial
spectrum from chemistry, electricity, hydraulics, electronics, mechanics,
composite fabrication, sail repair?
- Will you have the skills, thinking, the determination to finish have to
deal with all alone?
- Will you have to repair yourself in the event of injury?
- Will you have the courage and skills to beat the record for a 24 hours
run of 439 miles set in 2004? An AVERAGE of bit over 18 knots.
- The 24 hour run record in the last Volvo Ocean Race is 565 miles in 24
hours, on a 70 foot boat with 10 guys...
I could go on but you get the idea. The Vendee Globe is much more than a
sail boat race. Even after following the race for years, I still find it
hard to precisely define what it is. -- Read on:
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QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"This is the Vendee Globe. It is a competition above all; this is why we
are here. But it's also an adventure, no one can forget that. There is
always some unpredictable thing; it's the DNA of the race. If you knew in
advance what was going to happen, we probably wouldn't be here. That's what
all big adventures are like. When we leave, we don't really know where
we're going; we don't really know what is going to happen. This is what we
are interested in, what makes us go for it and come back. We can do many
Vendee Globes but never experience the same thing, the same adventure." --
Vincent Riou (FRA), the only previous winner (2004-5) that will start the
2012-13 edition on November 10, http://tinyurl.com/VG-103012
HMS BOUNTY: THE INSIDE STORY OF ITS FINAL DAYS
(October 30, 2012) - The HMS Bounty was apparently headed to a public
appearance in St. Petersburg, Fla., when it sank Monday off the coast of
North Carolina amid the howling winds of hurricane Sandy.
Fourteen of the 16 people aboard the replica tall ship were rescued by
Coast Guard helicopters. Crew member Claudene Christian was pulled
unresponsive from the water and later pronounced dead at a North Carolina
Ship captain Robin Walbridge remained missing as of midday Tuesday.
According to the Coast Guard, Walbridge went overboard when the ship rolled
from the impact of 18-foot waves.
Coast Guard assets, including a 225-foot cutter, an HC-130 aircraft, and an
MH-60 helicopter continued to search for Walbridge, as the water
temperature in the area is nearly 80 degrees F. If properly clad in a
survival suit, someone could survive in such an environment for a
considerable length of time, Coast Guard officials say.
According to information posted on the HMS Bounty's Facebook page, the
wooden ship recently underwent a month of painting and structural
refurbishment at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine.
The repairs involved were minor, involving some bottom work and planking,
new spars, and new fuel and water tanks, according to an account of the
work posted on the shipyard's website. Five years ago, the same facility
rebuilt the ship from the waterline up. Several years prior to that,
Boothbay Harbor Shipyard crafted the Bounty a new bottom.
The current work on the ship was finished Oct. 18. On Oct. 21, the Bounty
left Boothbay for a stop in New London, Conn. On the 25th, the ship went
for a day sail in Long Island Sound carrying US Navy personnel.
The tall ship left New London later that same day for a sail to St.
Petersburg, Fla., and was scheduled to dock at The Pier in St. Petersburg
for a public appearance on the weekend of Nov. 10-11. St. Petersburg had
served as a winter home for the ship in past years.
The ship's course out of Connecticut took it due east to try to avoid the
oncoming hurricane Sandy. Early on Sunday, the crew felt it had skirted the
danger: A Facebook post showed the ship's position on a map well to the
east of the storm's fiercest winds.
They were mistaken. The ship was close to the tail end of the hurricane as
it whipped up the Atlantic coast. Details about the ship's final hours
remain sketchy. Apparently at least one generator failed, and the Bounty
began taking on more water than it could safely handle.
Full story and video of USCG rescue: http://tinyurl.com/RIP-103012
THESE WERE THE DAYS
Famous for accumulating more sailing trophies and records than just about
any other campaign was Californian Jim Kilroy and his Maxi race boats named
Kialoa. From Kialoa 1 in the '50s through to Kialoa 5 in the '80s, it was a
historic era in offshore racing.
Kilroy has released the beautifully illustrated autobiography - KIALOA
US-1: Dare to Win - which recounts the adventures of the Kialoa teams as
they raced around the world and the lessons in business, in sailing and in
life that they took away from it all. Here is an excerpt:
Kialoa I (1956-1962) - S & S 50-foot
The learning process continued in the 1959 Transpac. We all know that we
learn from our mistakes, and that one can never get an answer without first
posing a question. After the 1957 Transpac, we asked a lot of questions
about our boat and our crew, after which we tried and practiced many new
techniques, and made significant modifications and improvements to Kialoa
I. The 59' Transpac would show us how much progress we made.
With good wind, good speed, and good crew work, we arrived off Kalaupapa
Light, about 50 miles from the finish, in very good shape, and it appeared
that we might make the winners circle. Our closest competitor, Nalu II, was
well behind us, and we were under spinnakers, sailing downwind in about 30
knots of wind with optimal surfing waves.
Our other main competitor, Chubasco, skippered by Don Haskell, had already
finished and was moored at Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. We received a radio call
and it was none other than Don, who asked, "Where are you?"
"Off Kalaupapa Light," I replied.
"Thank you," said Don, "and you have Chubasco's congratulations as the
probable winner of this great race." I thanked Don for his comments and
courtesy but suggested that they were premature, that many things could
Unfortunately, I was right.
Almost immediately, the wind velocity dropped from 30 knots to about 3
knots. The aftermath of the blow left big waves but Kialoa I had almost no
helm control, and the boat rolled and bucked like a cowboy's horse at the
rodeo, tearing sails, breaking the sheets and guys controlling our sails,
and generally creating havoc aboard.
Worse still, we kept checking on the progress of Nalu II and the other
yachts behind us, all of which were having a wonderful sail and closing the
gap rapidly. The closer they got, the more perilous our hopes for victory,
or even beating Chubasco.
Finally, we got the breeze the other boats had carried from behind to catch
up with us. But it was too late. Even though we had a fun, fast sail to the
finish line, Nalu II, accompanied by another trio of smaller yachts, held
the following wind all the way to the finish. For Nalu, it was a fair wind
indeed. Once the corrected times were applied, she finished first in class
and first overall. Kialoa I was the fourteenth yacht to finish, fifth
overall on corrected time, and second in class.
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FANTASY CAMP, CARIBBEAN STYLE
Paradise, professional sailors and painkiller cocktails meet this week as
the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, BVI hosts the 26th Annual Pro Am
Regatta. Eight elite skippers (and one original Curmudgeon) team up with
resort guests for a 'Fantasy Camp' at one of the most pleasurable sailing
venues on the planet.
* (October 29, 2012) - The normally reliable Caribbean northeasterly winter
trade winds totally disappeared for the annual Defiance Day Regatta and
Scuttlebutt Offshore Championship at the Bitter End Yacht Club's Pro Am
Regatta. They were replaced by a determined southwesterly, so the customary
downwind slide from the BVI's North Sound to The Baths became an ugly beat.
And while the talent-laden cast of Pro Am sailors was having lunch at The
Baths, the winds lightened, and lightened and lightened. Consequently, the
race back to BEYC for the second leg of the championship became a very
painful light air run.
Dave Ullman broke the code in both directions to win the MarineMax class in
matched Dufore 413s over a determined Andrew Campbell, with Dave Perry
taking third place. In the competitive IC24 class, US Olympian Rob Crane
bested local favorite Taylor Canfield, while Tom Leweck took elapsed and
handicap honors in the multihull class in the Leopard 45, Jet Stream.
Day 1 report on Outside Television: http://tinyurl.com/OT-R1-102912
* (October 30, 2012) - It was a kind and gentle BVI North Sound that
greeted the eight invited skippers for first day of fleet racing at the
Bitter End Yacht Club's Pro Am Regatta. With gusts peaking at eight -
possibly seven - knots of southeasterly wind, consistency was difficult.
Except, that is, for US Sailing's 2011 Yachtsman of the year, Bill
Sailing in IC 24s with guests of the BEYC rotating in and out as his crew,
Hardesty won three of the first eight races and was in the top three places
for six of them. Good enough to build a ten point lead over Dave Ullman.
Fleet racing continues on Thursday, with the top four boats advancing to
the Pro Am's match racing finals on Friday. Standings: 1. Bill Hardesty, 20
points; 2. Dave Ullman, 30; 3. Taylor Canfield, 33; 4. Stuart Bithell
(GBR), 34; 5. Dave Perry, 37; 6. Rob Crane, 38; 7. Andrew Campbell, 47; 8.
Zach Railey, 49.
Day 2 report soon on Outside Television: http://www.outsidetelevision.com
Event website: http://www.beyc.com/index.php/the-pro-am-regatta.html
MAYBE PEYRON WILL WIN
ISAF and Rolex will announce the 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year
at an award ceremony in Dublin, Ireland on November 6.
This year there are five male and four female nominees who have been
shortlisted for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards based on
their achievements during the qualifying period of 1 September 2011 to 31
The male and female winners are selected by the ISAF Member National
Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the
world, and it will be of particular interest to see if these voters have as
much trouble selecting the male recipient as Yachting Australia did in
selecting their Male Sailor of the Year.
At the 2012 Australian Yachting Awards, there were joint winners in the
Male Sailor of the Year category, with Mathew Belcher, Malcolm Page, Tom
Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen rewarded for their domination
of their respective classes.
These five men are also nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the
Year Award. In their respective Olympic events, they each were Gold
Medalists along with winning their 2011 and 2012 World Championships.
What will make the determination even more daunting is the five Australians
are also arguably the most deserving for the award. Also nominated are Ben
Ainslie (GBR), Gold Medal and 2012 World Champion; and Loick Peyron (FRA),
Outright Around the World Record.
Could the choice to determine which Olympian is most worthy be too hard?
Could the likable Peyron, the most decorated offshore sailors of all time
with his success spanning single handed, two person and crewed ocean racing
right through to the America's Cup, be an easier selection?
Follow Scuttlebutt on Twitter next Tuesday to find out: @Scuttbutt
FACTS FOUND REGARDING RACE TRAGEDY
Portsmouth, RI (October 30, 2012) - US Sailing has released a report of an
independent review panel on its investigation of the sailing accident that
occurred on April 28 during the 2012 Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race that
resulted in the deaths of four sailors. The crew were victims of an
accident aboard Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter 376. The 125-mile Newport to
Ensenada Yacht Race is held annually, starting from Newport Beach, Calif.
and ending at Ensenada, Mexico. The Newport Ocean Sailing Association
(NOSA) is the race organizer.
The panel relied on available facts to create this report. There were no
survivors and no eyewitnesses to the accident. The facts include the SPOT
Connect (GPS tracking device with text capacity) position reports from
which vessel course and speed were derived, times of SPOT Connect text
transmissions during the race, published material, press reports including
accounts of the San Diego Coroner's report and the results of their
toxicology analysis, interviews with race organizers, participants and past
crew from Aegean, wreckage found at North Coronado Island and in the debris
field and underwater at North Coronado Island.
Full details here:
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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 Kent Fox:
Thank you for your support of the LYCSF scholarship program (Scuttlebutt
3708). The feedback related to the scholarship program has been amazing. We
look forward to not only adding additional elementary schools in 2013, but
also providing scholarships to a new municipal learn to sail program
established last year by the City of Fort Lauderdale. We are also exploring
Boy's and Girl's Club participants and other community based organizations.
Although the response has been generally positive, I wanted to clear up a
few misconceptions about the LYCSF:
1. LYCSF is set up for the benefit of all of South Florida junior sailors,
not just those in LYC's sailing program,
2. LYCSF does not supplement ANY program's operating budget.
3. The primary mission of the LYCSF is to make sailing accessible to all
children and to build character in youth through sailing.
I am proud of my club for making sailing available to all children in our
community. However, at hundreds of dollars per session, "available" is not
good enough. Through the LYCSF we are able to make sailing available and
affordable for all children.
* From Annie Gardner:
Thanks for printing the thoughts of kids who want to learn to sail (High
Threshold of Worthiness, SBUTT 3708). Their enthusiasm and excitement still
has me smiling from ear to ear. That fundraising program should be
implemented at every yacht and sailing club. Nice job LYC Sailing
Foundation! Boo Yah!
* From John Rumsey:
I skippered the HMS Bounty for Turner Broadcasting for four years
('86-'90), through the Great Lakes and the coasts of the U.S. and Central
America. When I heard the news regarding the sinking and needed rescue of
the Bounty on Monday, I couldn't believe anyone would dare to take that
ship or any vessel into that storm.
* From Warren Brown, War Baby:
I find it hard to believe that with all the latest weather technology
available today - which we did not have during the three hurricanes I
survived - how anyone could take a vessel like the HMS Bounty into the path
of a hurricane coming directly towards them.
When a hurricane is slow moving, the length of time it is blowing generates
huge seas hundreds and hundreds of mile extending well beyond the major
strength of the hurricane itself. A few years ago a hurricane sat off
Bermuda for about six days and created the largest seas I have ever seen
hit the Island, yet when it went by we had little rain and not more than 40
knots of wind
Looking at the tracking of this storm, it was obvious the Bounty was going
to run into very severe sea conditions
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