SCUTTLEBUTT 3742 - Wednesday, December 19, 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: Melges Performance Sailboats and Quantum Sails.
J/70: A RIVAL ONE DESIGN TO J/BRETHREN?
By Dan Rabin, Airwaves
In the business world, product introductions and competitive strategy are
often categorized as a "share game" or a "rising tide". In a share game,
the overall market has very little growth, and a company can only have
relevant growth by stealing share from its competitors. In a rising tide,
companies participate in a high growth market, and just by holding their
market share, experience strong growth.
In introducing the J/70, J/Boats may have done something quite rare,
expanding the pie, meaning that they might be increasing the size of the
market, capturing that growth piece, and doing it without significant share
losses to other one design fleets.
Early indicators look promising for the J/70. The Eastport Yacht Club
hosted the Fall Brawl the first weekend of November and saw 21 boats on the
line - pretty impressive for a boat in its infancy. In addition, Key West
Race week currently has 36 entries, more than 60% greater than the next
To get more insight into the potential effects of the J/70 introduction, I
spoke with J/24 World Champion and new J/70 owner, Tim Healy:
* Do you worry about the J/70 cannibalizing the J/24 Fleet?
TIM HEALY: The J/24 isn't going away, and in fact, you can see from the
2012 participation there's been a bit of resurgence. There are 5700 of them
scattered across the globe, they're well built, and it's relatively
inexpensive to pick one up. Boats have come and gone during the 24's
lifetime (introduced in 1977). Some people will buy a 70 and keep their 24.
Some might want to sell their 24, but there will be a buyer for that boat.
* Do you have different thoughts in regards to the J/22?
TIM HEALY: I'm not as close to that fleet, but again, it's a well built
boat with global adoption. If people want to sell a 22 and buy a 70, they
will find buyers for their boat.
* You participated in the April sea trial of the J/70, initial thoughts?
TIM HEALY: It's quick and responsive. The layout is simple and easy to
handle for both men and women. You really only need 3 people in any wind
condition. What really struck me was how much bite the rudder has, the
steering is amazingly responsive.
* You went ahead and bought a boat and have signed up for Key West Race
Week. What do you think will attract others to the boat?
TIM HEALY: Expanding on my point about the ease of handling - the jib is
non-overlapping and it has the modern asymmetrical spinnaker design. Costs
can be kept relatively low - the main and the jib have to be Dacron. The
beauty of the boat is really that you only need 3 people.
In order to gain more insight into the strategy behind the J/70, I reached
out to Stuart Johnstone, who helps J/Boats in their marketing strategies
and business development...read on:
2013 BOAT OF THE YEAR WINNERS
Middletown, RI (December 18, 2012) - Sailing World magazine announced the
winners of its annual Boat of the Year awards, the most anticipated awards
in the sailboat-building industry. Topping this year's field of winners as
the Boat of the Year is the J/70 from J/Boats and CCF Composites (Bristol,
The J/70 and five other new boats won awards from an independent panel of
experts that evaluated 15 nominees following the U.S. Sailboat Show in
Annapolis, Md., in October. Selections were based on extensive inspections
and sea trials of all the boats. Sailing World's January/February 2013
issue will feature all six winners.
"When it comes to successfully launching a new design, especially a
one-design in a crowded market, no other builder in the performance
sailboat industry rivals J/Boats. With the J/70, it meticulously refined
the design and construction while promoting it to yacht clubs and potential
owners before the first boat was ever built," says Sailing World editor and
Boat of the Year director Dave Reed. "The result is a high-performance, but
modestly technical sportboat that instantly appealed to a wide range of
racing and recreational sailors."
"The thing is really sweet," says BOTY judge Chuck Allen, whose enthusiasm
is echoed by fellow judge and professional boatbuilder Tom Rich: "It's
really fun to sail, but I'm really impressed with how well it's built - the
quality is excellent for the price."
"J/Boats promotes it as a multigenerational boat, and I can see why," says
Greg Stewart, a naval architect and veteran BOTY judge. "A good young
sailor could steer this boat just fine. It felt solid going through the
waves. We could sail the angles we wanted. This is a boat that could
definitely be raced by the family."
Other winners in Sailing World's 2012 Boat of the Year competition are:
Best Grand-Prix One-Design: MC38 One Design (McConaghy Boats, Australia)
Best Handicap Racer: Ker 40 (McConaghy Boats, Australia)
Best Daysailer: Sparkman & Stephens 30 (Bluenose Yacht Sales/CCF
Best Recreational Dinghy: RS Venture (RS Sailboats, United Kingdom)
Best Crossover: Dufour 36 Performance (Dufour Yachts, France)
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/BOTY-2013
THE AUDI MELGES 20 EXPERIENCE
Over 40 boats raced at the first Winter Series Championship at the Coconut
Grove Sailing Club in Miami, Florida. Professionally run races, great
camaraderie amongst the fleet, a fast and exciting boat to race,
performance de-brief clinics after racing, and a recognized ISAF Class.
This is all part of the Audi Melges 20 Experience. New boats are available
with a start point of $40,000 and used boats are available on the market
for less. Come and see the Melges Experience. Visit us live in Miami early
February for Event 2 or race to http://melges20.com for photos and updates.
When Oracle Team USA's Russell Coutts needed someone to design the AC72
rule for the 34th America's Cup, he turned to American Pete Melvin, who's
now working with challenger Emirates Team New Zealand to dethrone the
Melvin is the rare combination of being one of the world's leading
designers of racing multihulls, and one of the world's best multihull
sailors. Now, following the Kiwi's successful completion of their 30
sailing days on its first AC72 (the maximum allotted training time prior to
Feb. 1, 2013), Melvin provides details of their progress:
* What will be valuable to you next in terms of training?
PM: We've used up our 30 days for our first boat and that restriction ends
January 30th but we're not really planning on sailing our first boat
anymore. Our second boat will be launched sometime in early February so
we're focusing on assembling that boat. Hopefully we will get that boat up
to speed a lot faster than boat 1 just from all the learning we've done and
then be able to have some even better racing sessions with Luna Rossa.
Their development is behind ours so they're not quite as fast, their boat
handling isn't quite as good and they tend to have more breakdowns than we
do at this stage so I think our next sessions in February/March with them
will be more fruitful. We'll have some closer racing and both benefit from
that for sure.
* What was learned in 30 days of training?
PM: Most of the time it's a variety of little things that add up to a big
change or improvement over time. I guess it's the old adage of spending
time on the water is about the best thing you can do. We go for a day
sailing and we have a plan of what we want to test and usually it includes
testing of equipment and speeds - we try one configuration with another
sail or dagger board change, etc. We record the performance of the boat as
we change something and sometimes it's an obvious advantage or disadvantage
what you're trying and sometimes it's very subtle so you have to do it
multiple times. The other type of testing or sailing we do is crew work -
tacks, jibes, or sets - sometimes we do those as a manoeuver by itself or
we set up a racecourse and try to link all those maneuvers together.
There's just no substitute for being on the water.
What now happens to boat 1?
PM: Boat 2 is intended to be our race boat and we may never actually sail
boat 1 again which is sort of sad as its been a good boat for us and it
could be a fine boat to race in the AC, but with boat 2 we've had another 8
to 9 months of design time on and were able to refine things more. We're
fairly confident that boat 2 is going to be an improvement. We were able to
use the knowledge gained from sailing boat 1 in things like systems and
some of the deck hardware placement, foils and things like that; things
that can follow on a little bit later than the hulls and the basic platform
structure. It'll be a process of continual development all the way through
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/SW-121812
MORE: "If you look at that 30 days over time we had to sign off on the Boat
2 shapes very early in the process, literally Day 4 or Day 5 we signed off
on Boat 2," shared Emirates Team New Zealand Designer Nick Holroyd. "From
my perspective, the first half dozen days were pretty nerve wracking. Your
sitting in the chase boat thinking, 'Is this thing is going to fall
apart?'" More here: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-121812
USING YOUR STORM SAILS
By Tony Bull, Bull Sails
Whether we like it or not, on occasions the sport of yachting can be
dangerous; anyone who has ventured into or been caught in extreme
conditions can vouch for this. We always talk in yachting circles of the
value of practice and preparation, yet one area that we tend to ignore is
the art of survival in extreme conditions.
Several years ago it became quite common for a lot of ocean race organizing
committees to insist that prior to the start of the race the competitors
sailed through a set of buoys with their storm sails set and drawing. This
is a great initiative as I am sure that on a lot of race boats this would
be the only time that these sails are brought out of the bag.
Even so, I am always amazed at the bungled and botched attempts that ensue
when the setting up of the storm sails is done on these occasions. I have
even been on a boat where the trysail has been set upside down in broad
daylight and light winds; imagine the confusion if that happened in the
middle of the night in a howling gale.
The various yachting authorities have several uniform decrees that cover
storm sails - they must be made of orange cloth for superior visibility,
they must not be over a certain size and be built in a suitably robust
manner, storm jibs designed to go on headfoil must have an alternative
method of connection to the forestay and all storm sails must have their
sheets permanently connected.
Storm sails have a completely different set of criteria from other sails
when being made; they are to be used in the most violent of conditions and
must be constructed accordingly. Over sized corner patches, multiple rows
of stitching, extra reinforcement under the hanks and webbed rings in all
corners are mandatory.
Storm sails not only have to endure high winds but also spend a lot of time
flapping as the boat is thrown around and can have several tonnes of water
dumped into them in a knockdown. So they need to be tough. -- Read on:
CROSSING INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN
(December 18, 2012; Day 39) - They call him The Jackal because of his
relentless hunting exploits in French sailing races and Armel Le Cleac'h
(Banque Populaire) is showing why in this Vendee Globe. After eating away
at the lead Francois Gabart (Macif) took from him on December 11, Le
Cleac'h had the final bite as they crossed the East Australia gate.
"We're now sailing towards New Zealand," explained Le Cleac'h. "I'm the
leader now but the gap is very small. I think I've made the right sail
choices and changes that may have made the difference. I had a key gybe,
too. It's great to be back and to have caught up with Francois, but there's
still a long race ahead of us."
For Le Cleac'h, the senior of the duo by six years and in his second Vendee
after finishing second in the 2008-09 edition in, led his countryman today
across the border between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. Once in the
middle of the Pacific Ocean, the leading skippers will be 2,200 miles - 8
days at sea - away from the closest land so they have no choice but to rely
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 12307.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 2.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 391.2 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 809.5 nm DTL
5. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 827.1 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/
FREE SHIPPING ON QUANTUM J/70 CLASS SAILS FOR KEY WEST
Sailing Instructions for the J/70 class at Quantum Key West Race Week
include the Spare Gennaker Rule, which states that participating racers may
present a second gennaker for measurement and registration for use in the
event the primary gennaker is lost or damaged (Part 3 Section 1, 1.1). To
assist owners who would like to take advantage of this rule for Key West
next month, Quantum Sails is offering free UPS ground shipping on in-stock
J/70 class sails. Contact a member of the Quantum One Design Team at
firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on Quantum J/70 class sails
* The 3rd official season of the Canadian Intercollegiate Sailing
Association (CICSA) has come to a close, with the CICSA releasing its first
ever National University Rankings for collegiate sailing in Canada. McGill
University in Montreal, Quebec earned themselves the title of Canadian
University Fleet Racing Champions and finished atop the 2012-2013 CICSA
University Sailing Rankings. Details:
* Cruising World Magazine has announced its Boat of the Year awards and
topping this year's list of winners for the most anticipated awards in the
sailboat industry were the C&C 101 and the Beneteau Sense 55. The C&C 101
won the Domestic Boat of the Year award, and the Beneteau Sense 55 was
named Import Boat of the Year. Seven other boats also won awards from an
independent panel of experts, who inspected and tested 24 nominated boats
following the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., earlier this year. --
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/bdl6zrt
* The fleet for the 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race now stands at 77
entrants for the 628 nm classic ocean race. The race will commence at 1pm
AEDT on Boxing Day, December 26 on Sydney Harbour. --
FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
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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 Cade Thomson:
The first two stories in Scuttlebutt 3741 were quite revealing. The first
story demonstrates how our sport can thrive when pro sailors aren't
involved, despite what the people who want pro sailors say. The second
story demonstrates how our sport can suffer when it is taken too seriously.
In other words, these two stories are saying the same thing.
As the Scuttlebutt editor remarked in his comments, our sport is often led
by the vocal minority which are motivated by self-interest rather than
looking out for the broader health of sailing. Kind of like the parent that
offers to coach youth sports to insure their child has an advantage.
Maybe next year we will see what we have done to our sport.
* From Hugo Schmidt:
A number of recent postings have felt strongly, as I do, about leaving
college sailing alone while looking at youth sailing as a way to better
prepare and encourage young sailors for a lifetime of sailing.
There are youth sailors today learning rig tuning, advanced sail trim,
asymmetric spinnakers... and they are doing it on a 29er skiff. These
sailors go to college and excel in that forma also. It may be probable that
a youth sailing a skiff today would move to a Moth, kiteboard, windsurfer,
multihull, 49er/49erFX skiff, etc.
Christmas Carols for the Manic: "Deck the Halls and Walls and House and
Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and
Trucks and Trees and....."
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Team One Newport - Doyle Sails - Harken - North Sails
Soft Deck - Melges Performance Sailboats
Quantum Sails - Southern Spars - Ullman Sails
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers