SCUTTLEBUTT 3740 - Monday, December 17, 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: Team One Newport and Doyle Sails.
GETTING YOUNG PEOPLE INVESTED IN THE SPORT
Gary Jobson's Sailing World article in Scuttlebutt 3739 - Weighty Issues of
College Sailing - and comments that followed it by Scuttlebutt editor Craig
Leweck stirred the mailbox at Scuttlebutt World Headquarters. An email from
Moose McClintock grabbed our attention. Who is Moose?
"Moose is without a doubt one of sailings greats," said Terry Hutchinson,
2008 U.S. Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. "From Laser frostbiting to winning
J-24 Worlds, whatever he does it is always for the 'love of the game'.
Having had the opportunity to race through the years with and against
Moose, you won't find a better competitor on or off the water."
Here's what Moose had to say:
If the mission is to prepare and encourage young sailors for a lifetime
sailing, I think the Scuttlebutt editor is right about what sailors do
before college reflects on what they become after college. When I was
younger, I didn't take sailing lessons or have a boat to sail, though I
loved sailing and hung around my yacht club begging for rides. I was pretty
big so I ended up crewing on a lot of boats, mostly keelboats, with really
good sailors who taught me the basics of a broad spectrum of sailing.
When I graduated from high school, my dad got the brand new class of boat -
a Laser. That was my introduction to planing boats (other than a little
crewing on International 420's, for which I was too big). I have sailed the
Laser non-stop until last year when I hurt my back, and it kept me sailing
in competitive fleets that rewarded fitness and tactical sailing.
At college, I was too big to be a skipper at the major regattas but I
sailed every minor event I could, and sailed in every practice. I developed
the tactical acumen (not great but good enough) to be sought after as a
crew, and with my big boat background, I sailed in all the prominent
college keelboat regattas. At the same time, besides the Laser I also
sailed 505s in the summers and midwinters with some very good sailors who
taught me a lot about tuning and speed.
After college, I couldn't find a job so I worked in a sail loft where I
learned more about sail shape and construction, and its values to boat
speed. As crew, I did an Olympic campaign that fit my weight (Soling) with
college acquaintances, which I think is the biggest value of college
sailing, the opportunity to sail with a wide variety of backgrounds in the
sport. This then led to more contacts, I was soon sailing bigger and bigger
boats, getting involved on the world match racing scene, and eventually the
In this instance, my size was a benefit to the sailing I chose to do; maybe
was forced me to do. I used college sailing to become a better sailor,
knowing that I wouldn't be a "starter", but developing the tactical and
boat handling skills I would need to keep sailing in the future. My
experience might be a bit different from most but it was incredibly varied,
and my current sailing is a derivative of what these experiences.
I sail all over the place and see juniors sailing all the time. I watch
them in Newport (RI) in the middle of the winter doing 6-7 hour clinics in
35 degree weather, and in Ft Lauderdale (FL) in the sun and warmth, and
they all have a bit of a glazed look on their faces from the repetition of
it all. I know that if I had to do that, I wouldn't have continued sailing
as I did. -- Forum, read on:
KIWIS ALERT FOR SAFETY SHENANIGANS
While their America's Cup rivals struggle for sailing days, Emirates Team
New Zealand are already well into the build of their second boat, to be
launched in February.
Their reliance in a wide range of conditions comes in stark contrast to the
problems that have handicapped cup holder Oracle who totally demolished
their AC72 in a dramatic capsize in San Francisco and are hurriedly
building their second boat in a game of catch-up. Swedish challengers
Artemis Racing have also experienced problems in the Californian city that
will host the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup between July and
September next year.
TNZ's concern is that the opposition, seeing their ability to handle the
high-powered monster so comfortably at the top end of the 33-knot limit set
for cup racing, will seek to have that wind range reduced to help even the
"We have proved that you can sail these boats safely in the conditions that
the protocol is set up for us to do," Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant
"Maybe Artemis and maybe Oracle, who in the end are kind of running the
whole show, are having a few problems in that area.
"So we start to see the start of a thread where 'well, maybe it's too much
wind or maybe the races should change a little earlier in the day when
there's less wind', which would be nothing more, from our point of view,
than them attempting to hobble us.
"If someone pulls out the word safety, it's one of those words where you're
look like you're not mean-spirited but just reckless if you don't abide.
"So we are watching that pretty closely now. But if our opposition feels
they have an issue, I think we have a lot of water to flow under the bridge
yet in terms of them thinking that maybe they are going to move the
Can they do that? "Well, that's the question."
It's the murky world of the America's Cup where lawyers play as big a part
as the action on the water. -- Stuff NZ, full story:
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RETOOLING THE OLDEST OLYMPIC REGATTA IN NORTH AMERICA
It was reported in Scuttlebutt 3739 that among the recommendations to
improve the U.S. Olympic sailing program was to limit the reliance on
traveling to Europe for the athletes to improve their competitiveness, and
that domestic training needed to become a strength.
To fulfill this mandate, a new event this February by Lauderdale Yacht Club
(Ft Lauderdale, FL) would follow the ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Miami.
These two events will offer the best winter training opportunities in the
Northern Hemisphere, and act as an ideal lead in to the summer European
And now Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (Long Beach, CA) has retooled the oldest
Olympic regatta in North America to better meet the needs of the
"The winners of the perpetual trophies read like a who's who of yachting,"
said Mark Townsend, club member and ISAF International Race Officer. "Names
such as Mark Reynolds, Robbie Haines, John Kostecki, John Lovell, Russell
Coutts, John Bertrand, Steve Benjamin, Ross MacDonald, Bill Buchan,
Jonathan McKee, and John Shaden all appear on the trophies."
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's Olympic Classes Regatta has been held every year
since 1961. In 2013, the event will be open to all Olympic classes as well
as the Junior Olympic classes, Kiteboards and other invited classes. More
importantly, it will be held September 14-15.
Traditionally held in the early spring, upwards of 250 boats competed in
the late 80's and early 90's when the ABYC's regatta was part of the CanAm
series including regattas in Canada (CORK) and Marblehead. But when the
emphasis shifted to winter training in South Florida and spring events in
Europe, event participation suffered.
Working in conjunction with the US Sailing team, ABYC has moved the regatta
to late summer to better fit the Olympic calendar, and to coincide with
what is arguably the best time of year for sailing conditions in North
America. -- http://www.abyc.org/home.cfm
HOLIDAY CHEER COCKTAIL GUIDE
The Boats.com team, who spend their sleepless nights to see that the
boating industry is helping to grow the sport of boating, is gathering
holiday drinks recipes from sailing enthusiasts. Here's their spiel:
In some parts of the world, the holidays are chilly. In others, the boating
season is full speed ahead. Wherever you're located at this time of year,
we want to know what you like to put in your glass at the end of the day,
whether the resulting liquid is high-test or virgin state. What is your
Among our editorial team, an informal poll suggests rum, vodka, and beer
are preferred ingredients, but by no means the only ones. Checking in with
two of the bars in the running for the 2012 Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting
Bar, we noted that the Original Painkiller is the specialty drink at The
Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. And the
Gladstone's "Queen" Mary, reputed to be "As majestic as the ship herself"
is at Gladstone's in Long Beach, California.
Speaking of your favorite bar, have you voted yet?
Details on how to vote for your favorite bar and where to submit your drink
recipe here: http://tinyurl.com/Boats-121612
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
(December 16, 2012; Day 37) - The Vendee Globe train has clearly left the
station, with the 'Dominant Duo' of Francois Gabart and Armel Le Cleac'h
leaving Jean-Pierre Dick on the platform.
For most of last week, the delta between Dick and the Duo was 80+/- nm, but
Dick admitted on Thursday he was concerned about the weather picture."I
fear the high pressure bubble coming behind me as according to the files
there is no wind in this ridge," Dick explained. "I'm trying to get away
from it as fast as possible. If it catches me, I could lose hundreds of
miles, even some days on the leaders, and they won't be easy to catch."
Dick is now over 400nm behind.
Gabart is now broad reaching in an ESE direction, with Le Cleac'h directly
astern. They are midway across the span of Australia, and have descended to
a latitude of 52 degrees south. "It is freezing here," shared Gabart. "I
even have little snowflakes this morning! It doesn't snow everyday on Macif
60. I must wear some gloves. It is beyond comprehension, yet it is summer
here, and we are not so far from Australia where I imagine everyone is on
the beach in a swimsuit. Moreover, we found some icebergs ahead; we'd
better leave quickly."
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Sunday, December 16, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 12830.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 41.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 459.1 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 778.3 nm DTL
5. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 823.7 nm DTL
Full rankings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers began 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.
Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) set the course record of 84 days in the 2008-9
edition. -- http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/
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* The World Sailing Speed Record Council has published the rule amendments
and clarifications for the 2013 rules. New items for 2013 are printed in
red. Among the changes include the introduction of the new "doublehanded
category" in the Offshore Course directory. Details:
* (December 14, 2012) - The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act,
which authorizes $8.6 billion in fiscal 2013 and $8.7 billion in fiscal
2014 for the activities of the Coast Guard, cleared the Senate Wednesday
and is headed to President Obama for his signature. The House last week
approved a bill that resolved differences between earlier versions of the
legislation. The Senate's action on the compromise bill sends it to the
president. -- Sounding, read on: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-121612
* Spirit Yachts has begun building a new £15 million J class racing yacht,
the first to be built in Britain for 75 years. The new J to be named
Cheveyo, will take three years to build to the Ranger 77B design, one of
the original series of six designs submitted by Starling Burgess and Olin
Stephens to Harold Vanderbilt for the 1937 America's Cup defence. The
135-foot long yacht will be only the eleventh J-class yacht to be built,
and will be built in wood rather than aluminum. The yacht has been
commissioned by a US-based syndicate of investors and sailing enthusiasts.
-- Full report:
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
ALMOST WORTHY OF A NAVIN R. JOHNSON OUTBURST
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Back when Steve Martin was funny, and the phone book was how you shopped
for a plumber, the 1979 classic 'The Jerk' featured the excitement of
Martin's character Navin R. Johnson on the arrival of the new phone book.
"The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!"
At Scuttlebutt World Headquarters, we now get several phone books each year
and they automatically get tossed in the recycle bin. But the Racing Rules
of Sailing... that's different.
"The new rule book's here! The new rule book's here!"
Distributed only every four years, the arrival of the Racing Rules of
Sailing marks the completion of another attempt by the rules gurus to
improve the sport.
By my guesstimate, this is the tenth edition of the rule book I've
received, but not all of them survived the book's four year term. Pages got
torn, stuck together, or worse... completely wet.
But for this latest edition, US Sailing has published an optional
waterproof edition, and I got one. The pages are harder to tear, and you
can read it - and drop it - in the bathtub. This model looks ready for the
four year enduro.
While the paper book is free to US Sailing members, the waterproof version
is available for purchase on the association website, and is almost worthy
of a Navin R. Johnson outburst... like this one from the movie:
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 Adrian Morgan, United Kingdom:
You people (and this is not to bash Americans or the enviable and in so
many ways admirable American way of life and reverence for life) have
taught us some terrible things, not least that "someone must always be to
The Farallones race tragedy was perhaps just that: a tragedy. It may have
resulted from a failure of judgment; more likely it was just one of those
things that happen when people race competitively and take risks at sea.
Rather than sue, as reported in Scuttlebutt 3939, why not simply mourn and
seek to learn lessons rather than line the pockets of Messrs Sue, Grabbit
and Runn, those greedy attorneys who hover like vultures over the scene of
No wonder U.S. sailing is in the doldrums; what's happened to your vaunted
reputation for taking risks, whatever the consequences? Why would a hefty
settlement, or a jail sentence, make the human loss any easier to bear, or
make a bean of difference in future cases?
* From Peter Rugg:
I appreciate your comment on Gary Jobson's Sailing World Article about the
inability of mainstream college sailing to properly foster a lifetime
addiction to sailing (Scuttlebutt 3739). However, I think you and Gary are
both well aware that the Storm Trysail Foundation's Intercollegiate
Offshore Regatta, the largest intercollegiate regatta on the planet, is
sailed in big boats. http://stormtrysailfoundation.org/intercollegiate.htm
This is central to the foundation's purpose to teach young sailors to
safely command big boats and to develop the skills to be lifelong blue
water sailors. Let us not condemn without reference to the solution.
* From Herb Motley, Past President, IOD Class:
As a nearly 70 year old sailor, I am in awe of the skill set developed by
today's collegiate sailors. Never a lightweight, I remember crewing for
Mike Horn in what was clearly the fourth boat on a Harvard team sailing at
the Coast Guard Academy in their International 12 dinghies, where we were
at a significant disadvantage. But I also had the honor of being the
skipper for a series of races over the years sailed there in their fleet of
Ravens which carried a crew of four where weight was far less sensitive.
Even won a couple!
From my perspective today as a designated "O.F." in the International One
Design Class (IOD) of 33 foot, 7100 lb sloops, I also reflect on the
wonderful virtues of sailing as what we used to call a "Carry over" sport,
which people can enjoy later in life. We've just had the retirement of a
skipper who is 87! Racing in a Metre boat (based on a Six Metre design) is
at its best with courses long enough to develop boat speed and this
requires delicate tuning of a fractional rig, including adjustable jumper
stays on the front of the mast. This is a Stradivarius with a sail purchase
plan limited to one new sail per year, so the competition is based on
sailor skill not deep pockets.
How do we welcome the collegiate sailor into a fleet such as ours? It
requires a change of culture where the rules are not tactical weapons, but
guidelines to keep boats apart. -- Forum, read on:
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Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
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