SCUTTLEBUTT 3741 - Tuesday, December 18, 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: Harken, North Sails, and Soft Deck.
When the J/105 class conducts a member survey, the results are worth
reviewing. As the most popular dual-purpose keelboat class in North
America, odds are good that sound decisions are being made.
The survey went out this summer, and 118 responses were received. The main
topics of the survey were membership and eligibility, sail rules, and
demographic data. While the full results of the survey are limited to class
members, below are highlights of the results of the survey.
1) Membership & Eligibility -
- Professionals: The Class is firmly opposed (80+% against) to allowing
professionals on board for regional and national events. For local events,
opposition was less (55% against), but the majority response was still in
favor of not allowing professionals.
- Chartering: The Class is in favor of allowing non-owner Group 1
competitors (64+%) to charter J/105s.
- No other membership and eligibility rules need to be reviewed (94%).
2) Sails -
- Sail rules should not be based solely on cost control (65%), but cost is
still a factor to consider (81%).
- Most owners (86%) would pay more for a jib that lasts two years instead
of one. 61% of owners would pay 25% more; 26% of owners would pay 50% more.
However, 66% of owners would buy the least expensive jib with equivalent
initial performance for jibs that last only one season.
- Most owners, by a small margin (56% to 44%), are in favor of allowing two
jibs on board.
- Days per year of primary jib use ...
Days per year / % of owners
31+ / 11%
26-30 / 13%
21-25 / 20%
16-20 / 30%
10-15 / 23%
<10 / 3%
40% of owners race at least 26 days a year, but only 24% use their primary
jib at least 26 days a year, indicating that secondary jib use is
3) Owner Demographics -
- Owners prefer Class communications to be done via the website, the
newsletter, and e-mail. Facebook and blogs were in disfavor. Communication
through the local fleet is okay.
- 40% of responding owners race their J/105 at least 26 days a year. 46%
race it between 10 and 25 days.
- 41% of responding owners participate in 1 or 2 out of town regattas a
year; 19% compete in 3 or more out of town regattas.
- 59% of responding owners had owned their J/105s at least 5 years.
Class newsletter: http://www.j105.org/docs/Fall2012Final.pdf
Class rules: http://www.j105.org/racing/rules.php
COMMENT: When one design classes or racing fleets are considering rule
changes, I suggest they also need consider who is making the suggestions.
Quite often the most vocal people are also the most competitive, and while
their suggestions might be good for the top third of the fleet, they might
not be as good for the majority. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
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DON'T MESS WITH COLLEGE SAILING...IT'S THE BEST
By Ken Read, president-in-waiting, North Sails
After seeing my friend (and 5-time J/24 World Champion) Moose McClintock
lead off Scuttlebutt 3740 with his commentary, I had to jump in and make
sure he wasn't walking the plank alone. Because when it comes to college
sailing, I can honestly say that my career would never have taken off if it
weren't for the organization, support, teamwork, and sailing prowess all
learned during my four years at Boston University.
Simply put, college sailing is the best part of sailing. You learn the fine
tuning of boat speed in identical boats along with tactics in every type of
condition possible. And to follow up Moose's thoughts...big, small, boy,
girl, newcomer or old hand...there is college sailing for everyone and it
is the best!
Additionally, I couldn't agree with Moose more about the boats that kids
are in prior to college is what needs to change. When we were kids we got
out of training boats like Sunfish as quick as possible and begged,
borrowed, bought or stole every type of boat imaginable just to get on the
water and race. Before college, my generation was doing everything from the
bow on big boats to sailing in planing high performance dinghies.
I hate to say this but getting kids out of the structure of Opti's earlier
could be a key, as well as getting away from Collegiate 420s as the next
boat for the kids to get into after Opti's. There is little creativity in
the C420, they aren't high performance enough, and it's time for youth
sailing to move on from the same boat that I sailed as a teenager nearly 40
Actually the boats that we sailed as kids were International 420s, which
are higher performance than the Collegiate 420s in many different ways. It
is pretty sad when you think that youth sailing in the U.S. may have gone
backwards in the past 40 years when it comes to youth training. That to me
is where we have to improve, and not by messing with college sailing which
has a major part in nearly every great American sailor's career. -- Forum,
FINISHING WITH A PENALTY...
On January 1, 2013, the new edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing will go
into effect. These rules are locked in through 2016, the year of the next
Summer Olympic Games. Rules authority Dave Perry helps explain some of the
Dave is chairman of the US Sailing Appeals Committee, Rules Advisor to the
US Olympic Sailing Team and Artemis Racing, the Challenger for the
America's Cup, co-author of the North U Rules & Tactics seminar, and author
of two books on the subject. Here Dave discusses the new 'Finish'
Under the previous rules, a boat that fouled at the finishing line and then
crossed the line and took her penalty was not "racing" anymore despite the
fact that she was taking her penalty and sailing back across the finishing
line again. This has been fixed. Under the new definition Finish, if after
crossing the finishing line a boat then takes a penalty, she has not
"finished" yet and is therefore still "racing" until she completes her
penalty and correctly crosses the line again.
Finish A boat finishes when any part of her hull, or crew or equipment in
normal position, crosses the finishing line from the course side. However,
she has not finished if after crossing the finishing line she
(a) takes a penalty under rule 44.2,
(b) corrects an error under rule 28.2 made at the line, or
(c) continues to sail the course.
For more on the rules, get Dave Perry's two books Understanding the Racing
Rules of Sailing through 2016 (which includes the complete rule book) and
Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes available at US Sailing, 800 US
SAIL-1, or http://www.ussailing.org
NEEDED: ONE SNOW PLOW
(December 17, 2012; Day 38) - As the Vendee Globe leaders approach the East
Australia Gate below Hobart, it is reported that the presence of icebergs
towards Cape Horn has required a realignment of the gates.
The West Pacific ice gate, located almost in the centre of the Pacific
Ocean between New Zealand and Cape Horn, was moved 180 miles to the north.
It is now on a latitude of 49 degrees south, instead of 52 degrees. With
the race leaders three thousand miles from the West Pacific gate, the
change was needed after icebergs were identified at 54 degrees south, the
road the sailors would potentially have gone down.
The delta today between Francois Gabart and Armel Le Cleac'h has been
reduced, a result of variable conditions and a needed jibe to get back
north to clear the East Australia Gate.
"I didn't think the way to Australia would be so complicated," explained
Gabart. "It is not that there is too much wind, it is not that there is not
enough, but it is sometimes the one, sometimes the other. When I look at my
path on the computer it is not very nice to see. Armel did much better in
this slalom game. At least during quieter moments I can clear the snow.
Snow doesn't move away by itself."
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Monday, December 17, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 12624.2 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 8.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 398.3 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 857.8 nm DTL
5. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 894.5 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/
500 N.A. NORTH SAILS VICTORIES IN 2012 & COUNTING...
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THE CLASS THAT EVEN A POWER SAW COULDN'T KILL
The year 2013 marks the fortieth birthday for the Force 5 sailboat, whose
racing class still has active fleets in Lake Monroe (FL), Pymatuning (PA),
Lake Hartwell (SC), Lake Lemon (IN), Port Huron (MI), New London (CT),
Hunterdon County (NJ), as well as the south Florida and northern Chesapeake
Its history is closely connected with that of Sunfish and Laser. In 1969,
AMF acquired the rights to (and began building) the Sunfish from Alcort.
Two years later the Laser was introduced by a different builder, and two
years after that - in 1973 - AMF debuted the Force 5.
The Force 5 featured a two-person cockpit (which, rumor has it, can also
accommodate a beer cooler), mid-boom sheeting, a proper traveler,
double-ended controls, and varnished bright work. AMF hired Steve Baker,
and later Lee Parks, to organize and promote racing events for both the
Sunfish and the Force 5.
While the Force 5 never enjoyed the commercial success of either the
Sunfish or the Laser, over 12,000 boats were built by AMF over the years.
In the early days, it was common for major regattas to see 60 to 80 boats
on the starting line.
In the mid-80s, a series of events occurred that would have killed a class
with a less loyal following. In 1985, AMF succumbed to a hostile takeover.
The new parent company soon sold off the small sailboat business to a third
party which had also acquired the rights to the Laser in a separate deal.
As the story goes, this third party took a power saw to the Force 5 molds.
The boat and class were now on life support.
Enter two white knights, Brian Weeks and Bob Cullen, both of whom were
long-time devotees of the boat. -- Read on:
OFFSHORE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The youth development program of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club,
located in New South Wales, Australia, has churned out its fair share of
dinghy and sports boats match racing champions, including Olympic silver
medallist Nina Curtis, Nicky Souter, America's Cup helmsman James Spithill
and his sister, Katie.
This year the club's youth development program has added another component
to its training repertoire - big boat offshore racing.
The January Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta and the
generosity of one owner is giving some of the current youth development
recruits wanting to venture out of Broken Bay and Sydney Harbour a handy
leg up into bluewater racing.
Bruce Hogan and Tina Clifton, owners of the sporty Marten 49, Perpetual
Mocean, will add another dimension to the sailing CV's of seven youth
development sailors when they set off on January 2, 2013, in the Club
Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour yacht race.
Hogan and RPAYC club coach, Tom Spithill, have put the inaugural program
together with Spithill responsible for training and the final selection of
the seven chosen from the original pool of 11. The youth development team
will be joined and mentored by an experienced ocean racing crew for the
annual sprint up to the tropical mid north NSW coast.
Ranging in age from 15 to 20, the high school and university students are
champing at the bit to be chosen for the 226 nautical mile on the 49
footer. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/RPAYC-121712
The Curmudgeon's Observation in Scuttlebutt 3740 - Speak kindly and leave
the rest to God - is so appropriate because of the sad news that my good
friend and long time mentor, St Francis Yacht Club Staff Commodore and well
respected International Judge Emeritus Tom Allen passed away in his sleep
Friday night, December 14.
Tom had served as an officer and director of several boating organizations
including US Sailing, the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association, the Yacht
Racing Association of San Francisco Bay and Treasure Island Sailing Center
Foundation. Tom was an International One Design sailor, racing his boat
Whitecap for over 40 years. He was a graduate of University of California,
Berkeley where he received a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. He
retired from IBM after thirty two years in marketing.
"Tom Terrific", as I always called him, took me under his wing in 1988, and
opened up a whole new world to me, that of yacht racing, event organizer
and jury secretary to name a few. I have been honored all these years to be
his friend and I will truly miss our long phone conversations, our hugs and
kisses, and e-mails that he always signed as "xxxxx T.T"
Yes he truly was "Tom Terrific" and no finer gentleman in this world. Rest
in peace my friend. -- Joyce Shiarella Andersen
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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 Fred Roswold:
To enjoy a lifetime of sailing you don't need preparation, you just need a
passion for it, and, as in Moose McClintock's case (SB 3740), that came
The points Gary Jobson (SB 3739) and the others make are about a person's
preparation for a future of intense, short course, sailing competition...
not a "lifetime of sailing".
College sailing as well as the summers of Opti coaching and practice that
some kids get pushed into might be great preparation for that racing
career, but otherwise, we need to let people develop a passion for sailing,
not give them a preparation for it.
And what gives a new sailor, a kid or an adult, the passion? For most
people it isn't going to be pushy parents, structured training programs,
and endless practice sessions with the coach telling you what you did wrong
all day. Pressure and expectation is a big turn off. The kids run from it,
the adults just don't come back. And it isn't going to be a college sailing
program that gets people hooked, for most folks they have to already have
that passion before they get into that college program.
It's going to be the discovery of the fun of messing around in boats, of
all kinds, with supportive parents who will let you off the leash a little
bit, with willing skippers who ask you along even if they aren't sure how
they will use you on the boat, with yacht clubs that have fun programs, not
too much structure, and where the kids can run about with their friends and
explore being on the water on their own terms.
If you have a lot of people who get hooked on sailing that way, some of
them will plough into the college sailing and turn into the intense
competitors who can go all the way. The rest of us have a chance to become
sailors for the rest of our lives, enjoying it and doing it our own way.
That's what we need more of.
* From Jamie Fraser, Board Chair, CORK:
Scuttlebutt 3739 and 3740 reported on the U.S. Olympic sailing program's
goal to improve athlete competitiveness by offering more training and
competitive opportunities in North America. A parallel effort is underway
here in Canada. The CORK regattas in Kingston, Ontario is one part of that
The very goal of the annual CORK regattas has and will be to provide
excellent training and competition for NA athletes. CORK International is
the youth event, with CORK OCR hosting the Olympic Classes. CORK regularly
hosts championships separately, or as part of the August events. In 2012,
Kingston hosted 1000 athletes in 800 boats and expects even higher
participation for 2013, with the Laser North American Championship in July
in addition to the CORK events running August 9-25 and our Fall Regatta
CORK strongly supports a revived CANAM circuit to further improve the
competitive opportunities for our sailors as well as the development
opportunities for our coaches, officials and event hosts. Here is the CORK
* From Virginia Jones
Although it is interesting and fortunate that another J Class sailboat will
be built (as reported in Scuttlebutt 3740), it is unfortunate that a
quintessential American design (Starling Burgess/ Olin Stephens) will be
built for an American syndicate in England! Surely there is a builder on
the U.S. side of the Atlantic who is capable and available...and at a
comparable price tag. We do have some incredibly talented boat builders
over here, and builders who can build in just about any material including
wood. What a shame.
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