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SCUTTLEBUTT 3732 - Wednesday, December 5, 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: Doyle Sails, Atlantis WeatherGear, and International
THE FUTURE OF SAILING LIES WITH THE GIRLS
By Bruce Thompson, Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club
With all the talk about the future of sailing, I have been doing some
listening to young sailors, particularly young women. A big part of the
issue is what types of boats will work out best. Currently, the most common
boat for young sailors is the Club 420. I think the problem can be summed
up in this quotation from a young woman, Heidi, crewing in a Vanguard 15.
"The Club 420 is a kid's boat."
Heidi is definitely not a kid, she is a young woman. So persisting in
trying to get young women into sailing via the C420 is not a real solution.
As kids they may persist in sailing in C420s up through graduation from
college, because much college sailing is done in either C420s or CFJs. But
their sailing life after college is very poorly defined.
One answer is to promote these young women in V-15s, which is where my
club, the Chicago Corinthian YC, stands right now. We have young women who
want to sail at a higher level racing in V-15s. And an interesting part of
that class's activities is team racing. But to be complete, we need to make
further progress. Where might she go after her post-graduate V-15 racer
My idea is to create a notional "career path" for women starting when they
are little girls first starting to sail, up through junior sailing,
college, post-grad, the Mommy track etc. Based on the one-design fleets
available here in Chicago, this is my suggestion. First, this is what we
currently have on offer.
1) We start the kids out in prams. We typically use Vanguard prams as they
more easily accommodate two kids per boat than the Opti and kids like to
sail with their BFFs.
2) If the kid is interested and feels "the need for speed", we offer the
3) We promote the kids into C420s. This happens about middle school age.
4) We promote the kids into C420 racing. (We are looking at starting a high
school team at Lane Tech).
5) We let the kids start to sail with adults crewing in Rhodes-19s. This
will be their first taste of women's keelboat events for the girls.
6) We start them skippering the Rhodes-19s.
7) We encourage them to crew in Vanguard-15s.
8) They can also sail on offshore boats on weekends and/ or Wednesday
This is a reasonably broad spectrum of choices, but I think we can do
more... read on:
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CAPTURING THE IMAGINATION
While the Lightning may not be sexy looking or high performance to sail,
its strong class leadership has helped it to remain popular for over 70
years. Participation remains strong, with the class attracting both top
competitors and family programs. Scuttlebutt asked some of the class
insiders how the Lightning continues to capture the imagination of today's
Here are comments from John Faus, International Lightning class president:
We are working hard on our Boat Grant program ...and keeping touch with the
alums of the program. We have had a pretty decent retention of BG alums and
we keep in contact with them often. We also just appointed two Boat Grant
alums to take control of the program itself. Will Brown (2010 All American
from Brown) and Justin Coplan (RIT alum and an amazing natural talent).
The trick is getting them initially out sailing, meeting the people, seeing
the depth of talent, being an international class with opportunities to go
overseas, amongst other things. It is tough to compete against the various
sexy sport boats that continue to pop up (some surviving/some not).
We are also exploring the idea of a class sponsored boat loan/finance
program. Maybe three boats per year? Still developing the idea. We are
lucky that the class has a decent amount of money invested in the ILCA
A growth area for the Lightning is to harness the young people who were
products of Opti/420 youth sailing, and perhaps sailed collegiately, and
are now unsure how to remain engaged in the sport. We just try our best to
introduce them to the class, and with an older class like the Lighning,
there are affordable starter boats that are plenty fast. I recently
recruited a girl who basically quit sailing after graduating from Harvard
(over 6 years ago!) She is now active in the Long Island Sound. I am sure
she is the norm.
GRANT: The International Lightning Class Association is now accepting
applications for the 2013 ILCA Boat Grant Program. The program, entering
its seventh season, offers a few select teams the opportunity to sail a
race-ready boat in one of the strongest one-design classes in North
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO (SOUTH)
(December 4, 2012; Day 25) - While the sequence of ice gates is keeping the
Vendee Globe fleet from the treacherous conditions of the Southern Ocean
(south of 60 degree latitude), they still got a shellacking today as
mountainous waves combined with 20+ knot winds to create a pounding offwind
The ice gates are succeeding in keeping the leaders in tight formation,
though a prevailing high pressure system ahead may open up some leverage.
There are two choices:
1) Aim directly at the western end of the Crozet gate and hope the most
direct route overcomes the light winds; or
2) Sail extra miles, diving south to avoid the worst of the light stuff
before ascending north to catch the east extremity of the gate.
So far only Alex Thomson has pointed the bow of Hugo Boss south while race
leader Armel Le Cleac'h seems intent on the direct route to the gate 560 nm
ICEBERGS: New on the tracking display are the ice areas that have been
identified in the Southern Seas. The orange lines represent the northern
limit of icebergs found. Tracking: http://tracking2012.vendeeglobe.org/en/
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 17408.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 44.9 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 48.7 nm DTL
4. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 69.1 nm DTL
5. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 194.6 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. --
TOUR LEADER STUMBLES WHILE CANFIELD STARTS STRONG
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia (December 4, 2012) - As the first day of sailing
at the much-anticipated Monsoon Cup got underway today, Taylor Canfield
(USVI) enjoyed a strong start and reaffirmed his credentials as a future
Tour Card Holder with two wins from two in Qualifying Session 1.
After finishing the session without a win, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) will need to
quickly regroup ahead of Wednesday if they are to overcome their poor start
and maintain their Championship challenge at the final event of the 2012
Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) season.
Having taken victory at the recent Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda and
fourth at the Chicago Match Cup this season, Canfield is looking to make
the permanent step up to the top level of match racing by securing a Tour
Card for next season. He did his chances no harm in the first day of
Qualifying, finishing with a 100% record, before racing was abandoned in
late afternoon, owing to conditions that were too light and variable.
Canfield, said: "We've got two wins, even though we nearly lost out to
Jeremy Koo in the very first race of the event. We've been doing well at
shifty venues lately and the wind was doing that a bit today, so we're all
"This is a lot different to our last Tour event in Bermuda. Different
boats, different venue but we're learning every second we're out there. The
guys are ready to go. We'll get some sleep and a good feed tonight and do
it again tomorrow."
Referring to his team's primary ambition, Canfield continued: "Getting the
wildcard here was really important to us. This event may well determine
whether we get a Tour Card next year and there hasn't been a North American
team for a long time so we'd love to be competing regularly, representing
Light winds limited racing today. The Monsoon Cup will continue Wednesday
with the event Final taking place on December 8. -- Full report:
BACKGROUND: The eight event World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading
professional sailing series, and is sanctioned by the International Sailing
Federation (ISAF). Prize money is awarded for each event, with event points
culminating in the crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World Champion". --
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A HELPFUL TIP FROM DAVE...
When racing upwind on port tack with another boat close to leeward, Rule 20
allows that boat to hail you for room to tack if she needs to make a major
course change to avoid an approaching starboard-tack boat. Rule 20 requires
you to respond by either tacking as soon as you can, or hailing back to her
In almost all circumstances, it is better for you to hail, "You tack!" Rule
20 then requires the hailing boat to tack as soon as possible, and you now
have the option of tacking close to leeward of the hailing boat (leebowing
her), or ducking her and the approaching starboard tacker and continuing on
Remember, if your plan is to duck the hailing boat when she tacks, be sure
to create enough separation so that when she tacks, you can bear away and
duck her without hitting her! -- Dave Perry, Chairman of the US SAILING
Appeals Committee, http://tinyurl.com/USS-120412
* Each year US SAILING presents up to five awards to recognize outstanding
individuals, classes, clubs and fleets in one-design sailing. The awards --
Service, Leadership, Club, Regatta, and Creativity -- highlight role models
of creative leadership in one-design sailing. Nomination are now being
accepted - US Sailing membership not required to nominate. The deadline for
nominations is Monday, December 10th. Awards will be presented at the One
Design Sailing Symposium, Cleveland Yachting Club, Rocky River, OH on
January 12, 2013. Details:
* Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean this year saw above-average storm
activity and marked the second consecutive year that the Mid-Atlantic and
Northeast "suffered devastating impacts from a named storm," according to
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Nov. 30 marked the end
of the Atlantic hurricane season, one that produced 19 named storms, of
which 10 became hurricanes and one became a major hurricane. -- Soundings,
full report: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-120412
* Melbourne, Australia (December 4, 2012) - At the second day of Sail
Melbourne, the wind peaked on Melbourne's Port Phillip at 47 knots from the
Sou'west and for the rest of the time it averaged 25+ knots. These
conditions sidelined all the Olympic and Invited classes with the exception
of the kiteboarders, with the men completing three races while the women
added two races to their tally. Racing at Sail Melbourne, the first event
of the 2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup, continues through December 8. --
* Virgin Gorda, BVI (December 4, 2012) - The Farr 100 Ran Leopard, helmed
by Niklas Zennstrom with Adrian Stead on tactics, completed the
Transatlantic Superyacht & Maxi Regatta in 7 days, 8 hours, 59 minutes and
12 seconds to claim line honours and smash the course record. Zennstrom and
his 18-strong crew crossed the finish line off Virgin Gorda shortly after
10 p.m. UTC last night after covering 3,300 miles at an average speed of
18.6 knots. The new course record beats the previous one set by Hetairos in
2011 by 25 hours, 59 minutes and 18 seconds. -- Read on:
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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 Frederic Laffitte:
I read with attention the commentary from Glenn McCarthy in Scuttlebutt
3730. He is dead on.
I am a long time racer from days of the IOR dinosaurs, which I raced from
the Med to Australia and everywhere in between. I stopped racing big boats
when it stopped being fun, moving on to the J/24 and now Etchells. I
stopped racing big boats for the same reason Glenn did... it stopped being
I agree that the boats are much better now but it is irrelevant because so
few of them are racing. So why have they stopped racing? The main reasons
- The rules change too often, making boats obsolete.
- The fun is gone as only the pros have a chance in a high level
- The pro sailors killed the golden goose by making sure that no amateur
can ever dream to win, and that includes what Glenn said about the race
- The fact that the pros cannot get a job if they do not win has changed
the atmosphere everywhere from the dock to the bar, and from the race
course to the protest room.
Bottom line is that the pros are killing the sport we love. So what do I do
now? I race my Etchells as well as I can, I race my family wooden boat in
the Classic Boat race in the Med, and I go cruising on my 57 footer
whenever I can.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are a lot of
professional sailors hiking (or coaching) on Etchells these days. This
weekend begins the four event Jaguar Cup Mid Winter Series in Miami with 55
entrants listed. Details:
* From Paul Henderson, ISAF past president:
I read with interest the promotion of the Lightning Class in Scuttlebutt
this week. It brings to mind the great statement by Paul Elvstrom: "It is
much harder to build a solid class organization than to design a new boat."
I wish the ISAF would listen to this adage before replacing an Olympic
Class. Solid class organizations are the glue that holds our sport
together. Where is Ding Schoonmaker when we need him?
* From Barbara Thoney:
Thank you for pointing out that Terry Hutchinson is taking the high road
(in Scuttlebutt 3731). After years of organizing travel and logistics for
him and his teams, he has become one of my best friends. But it is without
prejudice that I can say I have rarely had the pleasure of working with
someone who is more focused, loyal, and dedicated to the idea of "team".
He works hard at bringing out the best in everyone - especially himself.
Perhaps the powers that be at Artemis Racing could not understand the
talent and drive they had with him to make them the best they could be.
Terry will land on his feet and move forward. I don't know if the same can
be said for Artemis.
* From Casey Baldwin, Nova Scotia:
The as yet unexplained dumping of American Terry Hutchinson from the helm
of Swedish challenger 'Artemis', leaving no U.S. skipper in the 34th
Americas Cup, including defender 'Oracle', is a travesty that could be
Make it a true international supreme sporting series, with skipper, crew,
and designer for the challengers and defender holding citizenship in the
country of their entry. Why not fully rejuvenate the passionate patriotism
of the founding 1851 race, when an all-American entry soundly defeated a
fleet of British boats and crews, reportedly to the dismay of Queen
To my knowledge, the true national teams in similar boats all ended with
the last 12 meter races in Perth 1987, when American skipper Dennis Conner
regained the Cup. In the extraordinary '83' battle, ending 132 years of
unbroken U.S. dominance, Aussie passion was electric, with the OZ Prime
Minister interrupting their footie Super Bowl with a gigantic crowd-rouser
to boost the eventual Australia II win.
The endless debate about using mono or multi-hulls in the Cup is
understandable, but the change to making citizenship mandatory is likely
more important. With many millions being spent to popularize the Cup, I
would suggest a pure national format for entries would do as much, if not
more, to help make the America's Cup the major sporting title it deserves.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've allowed Casey to reiterate a point that has already
been acknowledged by the organizers of the 34th America's Cup, which was
how it was a mistake for there to be no nationality clause included. But
some things are worth repeating. Thread now closed.
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