SCUTTLEBUTT 3726 - Tuesday, November 27, 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: APS, Quantum Sails, and Mount Gay Rum.
WITHOUT THE HINDRANCE OF OLYMPIC INVOLVEMENT
American Johnny Heineken has been caught in the middle. His world,
kiteboard course racing, has been under intense scrutiny. The Olympic board
event had teetered for much of the year - windsurfing or kiteboarding. Both
sides were passionate, and weren't afraid at disparaging the other.
At 24 years of age, Johnny helped develop the kiteboard event, and has won
the past two world championships. Now that ISAF has decided for windsurfing
to be the equipment used at the 2016 Olympics, Scuttlebutt checked in with
Johnny for an update.
* How disappointed are you about the Olympic decision?
JOHNNY HEINEKEN: I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. I'm
definitely disappointed in that this was the one shot I had to be involved
with a sport at the highest level. It's not often you're at the top of a
game that all is suddenly adopted into the pinnacle of sporting events. We
got more attention over the last six months than ever before. But along
with that has come added stress, increased gear regulations, silly formats,
and involvement of people who have never raced kites let alone seen us
I am very relieved to no long have to defend the sport I love from ignorant
criticism. In my opinion, kiting is the most fun and free form of sailing
in the world, and one aspect of this is that we can now beat almost every
other craft around a windward-leeward. All this will remain true, maybe
even more so without the hindrance of Olympic involvement.
* Is there a kiting vibe that would have gotten lost as an Olympic event?
JOHNNY HEINEKEN: Definitely. We have a great feel right now. I love going
sailing, even after a hectic summer of traveling and racing. I plan to keep
having fun with this as long as I can--that's the most important thing for
* The critics said kiting lacked a pathway needed for an Olympic event.
JOHNNY HEINEKEN: Look at the current top sailors. Most of us are successful
college sailors, skiff sailors, windsurfers, etc. All youth sailing is the
pathway. I believe that a solid racing background, especially in high
performance boats, is the best foundation for kite racers. It's easier to
learn the board and kite skills than to become a solid tactical sailor. But
I'm not saying kids shouldn't start kiting; I wish I'd learned earlier!
* Is there a silver lining for kiting not to be included in the Olympics?
JOHNNY HEINEKEN: ISAF wanted us because we are different, but their
adversity to change has caused problems all the way along. We were making
some hasty decisions because of this double-standard. Now our event can
develop in a healthy manner--we can sail the courses we want, on gear that
we choose, and have more fun doing it. If we end up as a class that ISAF
wants to have in the Olympics, then they can take us as we are in the
* How will you remain inspired about kiting?
JOHNNY HEINEKEN: My sister Erika (2012 Women's World Champion) recently
spoke at the St Francis Yacht Club, where the title of her presentation was
"Kiting--Why We Do It". She focused partly on racing, but also on all the
amazing experiences we have traveling around the world with friends
pursuing our passion. She talked about the feeling of boosting huge airs,
the incredible silence of a hydrofoil-board, riding waves on a surfboard,
gliding down entire slopes snow kiting, and lining up with the AC45s off
the City Front. This is why we love kiting, and we will continue to push
the limits in all aspects of the sport.
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LIFE OF A TEST PILOT
The last time Frenchman Loick Peyron had a birthday, he was skippering the
130-foot trimaran Banque Populaire V into the record books, completing the
Jules Verne Trophy (circumnavigate the world) in 45 days. When Peyron
celebrates his birthday this Saturday, his 53rd, it will be with the
Artemis Racing team in San Francisco. Peyron has been assisting the
America's Cup challenger test their recently launched AC72, and shares here
some of his early observations:
"She is extremely powerful. To sum up, these are boats that aren't that
wide or that big, but which have a very powerful 'engine'. To get an idea
of what I mean, it's a bit like putting a V8 or V12 engine on a go-kart. So
it is no easy matter making use of all that power. We saw what can happen
when Oracle capsized. These machines require caution. My job was to be
something like a test pilot on this AC72. I'm here to find just how far we
can take things and avoid those hairy moments, when the boat starts to dig
in, for example. Already by the second or third trip, I found myself out
there on the helm and I can say it's fascinating."
Compared to the AC45:
"They don't have that much in common. Proportionally, the AC72s are much
more unstable. Because looking at the base, the engine is that much more
powerful. You need to add on a third more power to an AC45 to get some sort
of idea. And then, there is the sheer scale: everything is that much
heavier, including the wing, of course and the centre of gravity is not
that well placed, as it is higher up. On top of that, there is a lot of
inertia... the 'engine' is extremely powerful, but above all she is always
in gear. And of course, you can't take in a reef."
"Of all the boats I have sailed on, she is the trickiest. When you start
flying downwind, it is very impressive and that is one of the major
questions that interest us: you need to find a compromise, knowing when to
fly, but above all without using too much energy to do that. After each day
out there sailing, we need to spend several days ashore fine-tuning the
boat on every level. For the moment, we are just working on boat number 1,
but we have already got some ideas about the second one. With the first
one, it's rather like racing with 30kg on your shoulders. Once the second
boat is on the water, that weight won't be there anymore."
Full report: http://energy-team.americascup.com/news/1717
ICE FIELD IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
(November 26, 2012; Day 17) - In approximately three days, the
southeasterly descent of the Vendee Globe leaders will have them entering
the Roaring Forties and the strong westerly winds found in the Southern
Hemisphere. However, the journey will be tricky as the weather models are
predicting a high pressure on the edge Saint Helena high and a depression
forming off the coast of Argentina.
"Finding the right route in the next few days will be very important for
the rest of the race," noted Le Cleac'h. "The next few days will be
complicated for us all, we need to stay safe too."
The fleet is heading toward the Gough Island waypoint, their first ice gate
positioned west of the South African tip. Intended to direct the fleet away
from the risk of ice, recent ice movement required the gate location to be
"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," explained Louis Mesnier, who is responsible for tracking
the ice fields." Today the gate was moved 1 degree north and 7 degrees
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Monday 26 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 19746.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. François Gabart (FRA), Macif: 34.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 159.0 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 165.4 nm DTL
5. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 171.7 nm DTL
Full rankings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
RANT: It took some pestering but we eventually convinced the Volvo Ocean
Race that there is a big difference between 'Distance to Leader' and
'Distance to Lead'. Now we must do the same for the Vendee Globe. Their
tracking program references the former, but the data is for the later, and
that is the term we use above. An example is how Armel Le Cleac'h has a
lead of 34.4 nm over François Gabart (above, closer to the finish), but the
actual distance separating Le Cleac'h and Gabart is 65 nm (which would be
the 'Distance to Leader').
BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers began the 7th edition of the Vendee Globe, a
solo, non-stop around the world race in the IMOCA Open 60 class. Starting
in Les Sables d'Olonne, France on November 10, the west to east course
passes the three major capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn before
returning to Les Sables d'Olonne. In the 2008-9 edition, Michel Desjoyeaux
(FRA) set a new race record by completing the course in 84 days. --
THE 'OTHER' JUNIOR DOUBLEHANDER
When asked about youth doublehanders in the U.S., the quick answers are the
institutional-style Club Flying Junior and the Club 420. But there are
others, with Laser designer Bruce Kirby sharing the background of a boat he
designed for youth sailing:
The Pixel was designed in 2003-4 but had a rocky start with the Chinese
builders. After some builder errors and false starts we got going properly
in about 2006 with very good boats.
The Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound chose it over several
other boats as the new junior vessel to replace the Blue Jay. There were 84
boats at our first Larchmont Race Week, and now Long Island Sound has 200+
boats for the post-Opti, pre Laser kids.
The builder replaced about 70 boasts in the early days because they had
changed the structure without telling me and sent over some flimsy hulls.
Since solving that problem, the boats have been particularly good - strong,
stiff and down to design weight. The Chinese plant is very high tech and
the hulls are injection molded so consistency is not a problem.
The mainsail has a foam headboard which works very well. While it does not
prevent turtling, it discourages it which has made it a good safety
feature. We also have a carbon mast which helps with stability and reduces
pitching, and as the mast is plugged at both ends it also discourages
turtling. Under the side decks are open flooding lockers which fill when
the boat is on its side, thus allowing it to sink a bit lower and again
reduces the turtling tendency.
At the time I was very pleased to be doing an all new boat because it gave
me the opportunity to introduce features that helped a lot with safety
without getting in the way of performance. -- Photos:
QUANTUM'S WINNING J/24 CLASS SAILS ON SALE NOW
With John Mollicone's win at the J/24 North American Championship in
Jacksonville, FL, Quantum sails swept the four major class championships in
2012. The victory comes taking 1st, 2nd at the East Coast Championships,
1st, 4th at the US Nationals, and 1st, 2nd at Midwinters. At World's,
Mollicone and Quantum Newport's Tim Healy placed second with Quantum
Newport's Mike Ingham in fourth. Until December 15th, Quantum's J/24 class
sails are available at 15% off list price. Get the best and improve your
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* Buenos Aires, Argentina (November 25, 2012) - Reigning Snipe World
champions Bruno Bethlem and Dante Bianchi (BRA) added another title to
their resume by winning the Snipe Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship
on the Mar del Plata. The five day event, which lost two days due to light
winds, finally served up its famous sea breeze of 15-20 knots on the final
day. The stronger winds saw locals Luis Soubie and Diego Lipsszyc (ARG)
move up to second while Junichiro Shiraishi and Sinsei Ueda (JPN) slipped
to third. The top Master was Augie Diaz with Kathleen Tocke (USA) in sixth
overall. Full details: http://tinyurl.com/Snipe-112612
* On December 28, the Orange Bowl Regatta in Miami, FL will be hosting a
College Night for youth sailors to meet coaches, captains, and team
representatives. This is a great recruiting opportunity for college teams
to meet the top junior sailors. The event is scheduled for 5:307:00 pm;
over 560 junior sailors are anticipated. Contact Zach Brown for questions:
* (November 26, 2012) - US Sailing and Rolex Watch U.S.A. today announced
that the iconic watch brand will extend its support of sailing's national
governing body through the renewal of its long-standing sponsorship. While
continuing its position as the organization's official timepiece and title
sponsor of US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards,
Rolex will elevate its support of US Sailing by becoming a patron of its
Afterguard and Medalist programs. -- Full report:
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
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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.
Arthur J. "Tuna" Wullschleger (94 years) died Sunday, November 25, after a
long and full life. Tuna was a longtime member of the New York Yacht Club,
the Lauderdale Yacht Club and the Cruising Club of America. He was past
Commodore of both the Larchmont Yacht Club, where he was a life member,
having also served as Trustee and Treasurer, and the Storm Trysail Club,
and was part of the group that founded STC's biennial Block Island Race
Week. Tuna was also a past member of a number of other yacht clubs around
Raised in Larchmont, NY, he was a champion speed boat driver in college at
Cornell University, and began frostbiting at Larchmont after his serving in
the Navy in the Pacific during WWII. In addition to frostbiting, in the
1960s and 1970s, he raced his beloved mahogany-hulled yawl Elske with his
late wife Diana ("Stork"), as well as Golliwog and Fire One in ocean and
buoy races on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the late 1970s, he began his career as a sailing judge, an avocation to
which he devoted himself until his death. He helped develop umpiring at the
1987 Maxi Series and at the 1988 Congressional Cup, and quickly helped the
discipline adapt to include team racing, smaller keelboats and dinghies.
For his service to the sport, Tuna was awarded the ISAF Silver Medal, US
SAILING's Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy in 1998 and the Harman Hawkins
Trophy in 2010.
US SAILING's Tuna Fund, which among things was designed to help attract
younger umpires to the disciplines of match and team racing who might not
have the financial resources, was launched in 2009. His long involvement
with the America's Cup started in 1980 as part the support team for Ted
Turner's Courageous campaign, and extended through to Operations Manager
for the America II syndicate, for which he was awarded the New York Yacht
Club Medal (1988) and an umpire for defender trials in San Diego in 1992.
He served as co-Chief or the Chief Judge for too many regattas to mention,
and was looking forward to returning to Key West Race Week in January 2013
as Chief Judge Emeritus. He was a mentor for countless competitive sailors,
judges, and umpires around the world - a role he relished and for which he
will be fondly remembered. -- Patricia A. O'Donnell
THE SEASON IS CHANGING; STAY CONNECTED
Winterizing your boat? Preparing for frostbiting? Looking for a warm breeze
for sailing or getting the wood stacked for a warm winter fire? With
Sailing Spoken Here exclusively on Facebook you can stay connected with
sailors - in real time. Follow racing, read the latest sailing news - all
updating daily through your news feed, reminisce about the summer racing
and view photos and wrap ups on those Mount Gay regattas. Check for
recipes, promotions and more... The Mount Gay Rum sponsored regatta
calendar is posted so you can plan your 2013 sailing season, at any point.
Visit http://www.facebook.com/sailingspokenhere, If it speaks to sailors,
it's spoken here. Join in the conversation!
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 Gregory Scott:
Wow...when was the last time we had a father and son in competition for
Canadian sailor of the year (Scuttlebutt 3725)? And what about mom...she
runs CORK, and likely keeps both son and dad on track. And daughter is a
pretty darn good sailor as well.
This is the total sailing family. Paul is Commodore of Kingston Yacht Club
and runs North Sails One Design, Robert competing in Lasers for the
Canadian Sailing Teamer event, and all of them are human and have time to
chat and have beer. Not bad! It's like a US Marines ad. .. And what did you
do before lunch?
* From Renata Goodridge:
It is such a shame to see so many boats taken out by objects in the sea,
such as the latest incident in the Vendee Globe (Scuttlebutt 3725).
Unfortunately this is a part of our times and our seas. The overcrowding
and junk objects creating flotsam and jetsam - hard to avoid when you are
skipping along at/over 20 knots! I hardily wish and hope that the rest of
the Vendee Globe skippers get through without bumping into anything or
* From Michael Craddock:
I read with interest Michael Schaeffer's offering on Global Warming in
Scuttlebutt 3725. The opponent's of this Global Warming theory often place
the blame on volcanic eruptions, citing the enormous amounts of CO2
contributed by these events. I haven't seen any reference or response to
this in any of the Global Warming proponent's writings. I am concerned
about our part in Global Warming. What is the truth here?
Hang up and drive.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Kaenon Polarized - Ultimate Sailing - APS - Quantum Sails
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Ullman Sails - North U - Samson Rope - Team One Newport
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