SCUTTLEBUTT 3728 - Thursday, November 29, 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 North U.
THE DAY THE RECORD WAS SMASHED
After ten years of trying, Australian Paul Larsen's Sailrocket team has
obliterated the outright world speed record. Seeking to better the mark set
by American kiteboarder Rob Douglas of 55.65 knots in 2010, Larsen last
week piloted the inclined rig hydrofoil proa Vestas SailRocket 2 to an
unofficial speed of 65.45 knots on Walvis Bay, Namibia. Here's his report:
Last Saturday (Nov. 24) looked like it was going to be a strong day from
the moment it popped onto the long range Windguru forecast. Amongst a bunch
of fluctuating average days it barely deviated as it approached. We began
to focus on it as being 'the day' when we would go all out.
Almost annoyingly, the day before piped up and blew just enough to force us
to fully gear up and head towards speed-spot. We stopped just short of
launching the boat. It was annoying as it was strong enough to force us to
react but we really wanted to focus on the next day. You have to be
reactive as for whatever reason, the next day may not deliver. Every
opportunity has to be seized this year and we had already had two
remarkable days on average forecasts.
That night we had dinner back at the crew house. I was about to raise a
glass to the following day and the last day of living in the 50's... but
decided not to tempt fate. We had an early night.
It was already blowing from the SW in the morning. This combined with the
strong forecast spoke to us that at long last, after over six weeks, we
were going to get some good, old-school, industrial Walvis Bay wind.
Our focus was to smash through a 60 knot average. After our previous record
runs there had been a heap of interviews and discussions about what it all
represents. People doing articles on Hydroptere, Luderitz and Rob and Alex
(in France) were all suddenly diverted to that 'other team' in Walvis Bay.
Everyone wanted to know what we thought she could do. My guess was a little
over 62 knots average.
Although our 59.38 knot run was obviously hugely satisfying for us, I
wasn't comfortable to leave it at that. I sincerely felt that it was still
within striking distance of the kiters. They could have an epic day at one
of the venues, and now they had all the motivation in the world to pull the
stops out. I could just sense that they were buzzing like a hungry bunch of
knife fighters whose leader had just been shot. They would want revenge,
and although they would figure they were on the offensive, we knew that the
gun had plenty more bullets. Today we would spend them. -- Read on (plus
photos and video): http://www.sailrocket.com/node/672
NOTE: The outright record is based on a 500 meter course. Here was Larsen's
Nov. 16: New 500 meter record of 59.23 knots
Nov. 18: New 500 meter record of 59.38 knots*
Nov. 18: New one nautical mile record of 55.32 knots*
Nov. 24: New 500 meter record of 65.45 knots*
* Not yet ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council
TRIAL BY FIRE
Double Olympic medalist Darren Bundock (AUS) was recently charged with the
training of six American teams that hope to be selected to compete in Red
Bull Youth America's Cup (Sept. 1-4, 2013). Each of the teams, comprised of
six sailors aged 19-24, had a two day camp where they were drilled on the
AC45 on San Francisco Bay. "Bundy", who is among the coaching staff with
Oracle Team USA, shares his observations:
* Among the training you provided, what did you find to be the most crucial
for their success at AC45 sailing?
BUNDY: The biggest challenge all of these teams had was that they had never
sailed the AC45 or used a wing before. Some teams came prepared and had
done their home work, watching video to give it their best guess at
playbooks and what role each member would do. We were looking for the teams
with the best potential to improve and be the best team come September 2013
for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. We assessed each team on team work,
communication, professionalism, attitude, fitness and willingness to
maintain their equipment.
* How many coaches were onboard with the teams, and how were they
positioned to correct small mistakes before they became huge mistakes?
BUNDY: We always had two coaches onboard at all times for safety but mainly
for instant feedback and instruction for the youth sailors. I was onboard
and would dock out and dock in the AC45. My primary focus for feedback was
on steering, wing trim, boat speed and boat balance. We also had Kyle
Langford, Sam Newton and Rome Kirby rotating through, sharing their
knowledge and tips and prominently focusing on the front of the boat and
crew roles and efficiency. I feel this was the ideal way of doing it and
fast tracked the youth's learning curve. We would primarily let the youths
take accountability of the boat and their time on the water but with a lot
of guidance from us.
* What aspects of the boat did the teams adapt to the quickest?
BUNDY: The most bewildering aspect of the boat was the wing as this was due
to lack of experience with wings. However, they were pleasantly surprised
how simple the wing was to control and setup, keeping in mind that the wing
is also the most fragile part of the AC45 and needs the greatest care.
* What aspects of the boat did they have the most trouble?
BUNDY: I believe all teams went away from their two days of AC45 sailing
with the focus on improving their strength and fitness. I think everyone
underestimates the loads and the fitness required to sail the AC45. The
most common comment was "it looks much easier on the TV."
* What was the worst thing that happened?
BUNDY: Unfortunately we destroyed one of the youth sailors in the fitness
test. Our in-house doctor was on hand but the sailor was not given the okay
to sail that day. At least we know he gave it everything he had. It was
good to note that over the six days no damage was done to the boats so full
credits to the youth sailors.
Of the six teams, Team America Racing and American Youth Sailing Force were
selected to represent the U.S. and San Francisco, respectively. The
selected crews will be provided with coaching and instruction by Oracle
Team USA through to the finals in September 2013.
Details on the six teams: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-112812
ULLMAN SAILS COUNT 1-2-3 AT SARASOTA INVITATIONAL
Ullman Sails customers enjoyed some late season racing, scoring a podium
sweep at Sarasota YC's 12th Annual Invitational Regatta! David Hillmyer and
team on Melges 24 "Rita B" finished first in the spinnaker class, winning a
tiebreaker with Travis Yates' S2 7.9 "Indigo" in a closely contested
four-race series! Just two points back, Randy St. James and crew on J/80
"Claire" sealed third place overall pocketing a bullet in the second race.
All three teams competed with 100% Ullman Sails! Over 30 boats hit the
racecourse in Florida for a great cause - the regatta benefited Sarasota
Invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
PENDULUM HAS YET TO SWING BACK
Descending on Melbourne's Port Phillip in Australia is the launch of the
2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup, an international circuit for the Olympic
sailing events. The first event - Sail Melbourne - will take place December
2-8 before the circuit continues on next year to the USA, France, and
Spain. The event also marks the beginning of the new Olympic quadrennial
that will conclude at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Despite the 2016 Olympic sailing equipment only just confirmed earlier this
month, Sail Melbourne hopes to feature all 10 of the Olympic sailing
events, bar the new mixed multihull event. But with the attendance at Sail
Melbourne typically less than the other World Cup events, the organizers
will also host 12 invited classes to supplement event costs.
Among the invited classes is Kiteboarding. When Kiteboarding was selected
in May as the Olympic board event, a quantum shift occurred. However, since
the RS:X windsurfer was recently reinstated as the board equipment, the
pendulum has yet to swing back. Here are the entry levels of both board
Kiteboarding Men: 52 entrants (48% Australian)
Kiteboarding Women: 11 entrants (36% Australian)
RS: X Men: 3 entrants (100% Australian)
RS:X Women: 2 entrants (100% Australian)
The RS:X windsurfer event is on the verge of being cancelled if they don't
have at least four entries in the Men's and Women's divisions by the
extended entry deadline of December 2. In 2011, the RS:X Men's event had 11
competitors (36% Australian) and the RS:X Women's event had 9 competitors
Event website: http://www.eventoffice.com/sm/entrylist.asp
"TIME WILL TELL" MODE
(November 28, 2012; Day 19) - For the past couple days, the Vendee Globe
fleet has been in "time will tell" mode. With over 400 nm of lateral
separation among the top five, they are nearly bows even in their
south-southeast descent of the South Atlantic.
The western edge - Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) and Fran�ois Gabart (FRA) - is
sailing a longer distance but hoping for more wind. The eastern edge -
Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA) and Alex Thomson (GBR) - is cutting the corner, and
hoping to avoid a substantial slow down as they skirt the St. Helena High.
And all bows are aimed toward Gough Island, which the fleet must pass to
The models are showing the advantage is to the west, so if that group can
make a rapid advance south and below the High, they could be the first to
punch their ticket and enter the ferocious winds and mountainous swells of
the icy south seas.
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Wednesday 28 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 19298.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 140.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 193.1 nm DTL
4. Fran�ois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 243.4 nm DTL
5. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 274.3 nm DTL
Full rankings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
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. --
* (November 28, 2012) - US Sailing today announced the launch of the REACH
Program, an initiative that utilizes sailing as a platform that enables
middle school aged youth of all backgrounds to embrace education, establish
a love of learning and explore productive Science, Technology, Engineering,
and Math (STEM) based careers. The REACH program connects educators,
sailing instructors, engineers, scientists with today's youth to provide
them with a one of a kind authentic learning experience, giving students
the opportunity to apply classroom learning in a cooperative work
environment. -- Read on:
* The British Sailing Team announced that its long term sponsor Skandia
will end its partnership in March 2013. Skandia's parent company, Old
Mutual, is to rebrand its Skandia branded businesses in Europe to Old
Mutual Wealth over the coming year, and due to the changes, existing
sponsorship contracts will be not be re-signed while this rebrand is
underway and the group determines its new sponsorship strategy. -- Full
* The official ISAF film of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition is
now available. The DVD includes full Medal Race coverage from all the
events, athlete interviews and a look behind the scenes from an exceptional
fortnight of world class sailing in Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2013
Seminars and Webinars on Rules & Tactics so you can make the most of
tactical opportunities; Expedition Software Webinars to bring your racing
into the Information Age; Six Day Race Week / Clinic in April to push you
to the front of our fleet; and great gifts with Free Long Sleeve T's for
your friends. Get a jump on the New Year at http://www.NorthU.com
It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of Chris Corlett
(61 years), who died in his sleep on November 23, 2012 in Alameda, CA.
The San Francisco sailing community has lost one of the best all-around
sailors that have ever sailed the Bay. Chris was a kind and giving
individual who loved his kids, sailing, and having fun on sailboats. His
laugh was contagious and he was one of the most honest and forthright
professional in the Yachting Industry.
Chris had an incredible sailing career that included multiple Big Boat
Series wins in addition to great achievements on "Scarlett O'Hara" at SORC,
Clipper Cup, and Admirals Cup. Chris won the 1/2 Ton Championship on the
Wylie design "Animal Farm", multiple championships on Carl Schumacher's
"Wall Street Duck" and "Swiftsure II", the 1986 British-American Challenge,
and several Transpac wins. Chris was instrumental in developing several
fleets in Northern California including the Express 37, J/35, J/105,
Santana 35, Sydney 38, etc.
A Celebration Of Life honoring Chris will be held at Encinal Yacht Club in
Alameda, CA on Friday November 30 at 1 PM. Please join in the celebration,
and if you have pictures and stories, please come prepared to share them.
-- Jeff Brown, JK3 Nautical Enterprises,
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 William Tuthill, President, WISSA:
I second the comments made by John Harwood-Bee (in Scuttlebutt 3727) to
Johnny Heineken about Kite Racing not being in the Olympics.
Congratulations to both Erika and Johnny on being the best in the world!
That's what counts.
The World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA) World Championships is
the longest running international competition in the history of both
Windsurfing and Kite-sailing. The fact that we have lasted this long has a
lot to do with KISS and KIF (Keep it Simple Stupid and Keep it Fun).
WISSA has been approached by the Olympics more than once, and we have
always declined. For anyone that wants to be part of a World Championship
on the snow in 2013, please join us in Finland:
* From Twitter (Sara, @antipodeon):
The cynic in me is asking... "has @AinslieBen announced retirement
(Scuttlebutt 3727) strategically to help win the BBC Sports Personality of
the Year Award?" He is a competitive lad!
* From Todd R. Berman:
How sad to hear of the passing of "Tuna" Wullschleger (Eight Bells,
Scuttlebutt 3726). As a Long Island Sound sailor since the early 70's, all
I can say is that nobody gave back more volunteer time to our sport.
As a youth sailor in the 70's and 80's I can remember that "Tuna" was
there, giving his time. At collegiate events in the 80's and professional
sailing in the early 90's "Tuna" was there - giving back. Now sailing PHRF
as a middle age man, he was there again, giving his time at events like
Block Island Race Week.
"Tuna", I'll raise a glass to you after the Around The Island Race at BIRW
next June. Thanks for a lifetime of service.
* From Martha Parker, Team One Newport:
I am very sad to hear of Tuna's passing. I had such fond memories of his
raspy voice recounting many vivid stories and his warm smile.
Tuna always took time to sit down and go over any question you might have.
I remember the 1988 Congressional Cup when we first experimented with
on-the-water judging (the term we used back then). We would come in after
racing and talk with all the judges about their calls; it was a great
learning experience for all.
Thank you Patti and Bill for your wonderful words and THANK YOU Tuna for
many fond memories and your thoughtful words of wisdom that you always had
for me! I know that you're in heaven telling many stories and we will
surely miss you.
* From Katrina Johnson:
Yet again we have the bleating about too many classes, this time from Roger
McMillan (in Scuttlebutt 3727). I did read through to the end of his
article to try and see where he was coming from, and yes, there it was -
"We must stay on the Olympic Podium".
Competition = medals = money. The Olympics are becoming more and more
irrelevant to the real sport of sailing except for those who think they
need it to make a living out of us and of course all the Authorities who
make money from their Governments when securing medals. Most of the world
of sailing goes about its business quite successfully enjoying the variety
of classes and the fact that these multitudes of classes allows people of
different sizes and abilities to find the boat that suits them. We do not
have genetic modification to produce identical groups of people, so why
John Harwood-Bees summed it up: "The true highest level in any sport will
always be World Championships where you will be competing against the very
best in your discipline".
If there is a supposed problem that the "public" do not understand all the
classes, then perhaps the problem lies not with the classes but with the
media who are incapable of explaining it properly. A very quick look at
motorsport shows that the FIA have 32 championships in different classes
and karting alone has some 16 sub classes. Add to that over 20 motorcycle
classes and all the other I did not find and motorsport must have as many
classes as sailing. I don't hear anyone calling for any of those classes to
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
* Waterline Systems/USWatercraft LLC acquires J/Boat files/molds
* CharterSavvy: New Winter Issue On Bareboating
* Oakcliffe Sailing hires Jay Kehoe
* Landing School Announces New Hire
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
"I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my
nap." - Bob Hope, comedian
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