SCUTTLEBUTT 3743 - Thursday, December 20, 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: Southern Spars and Ullman Sails.
THE DISTURBING PATH OF OLYMPIC SAILING
The World Yacht Racing Forum (Dec. 11-12) provides the opportunity for
thought leaders in the sport of sailing to have a platform to express their
opinions about the way in which things are being done well and the areas
that might need improvement.
This year, four time Olympic Gold Medalist - Ben Ainslie gave a keynote
address to the forum in Gothenburg, Sweden. This is an excerpt of what Ben
had to say about the Olympic classes... as transcribed by YachtRacing.biz
I think young sailors today have better support and opportunities than ever
before due to the increasing professionalism at every level of the sport.
When I first began sailing 20 odd years ago - as many of you in this room
might remember - sailors trained and competed part-time and tried to hold
down part-time jobs and careers. There were very few professional teams and
those that were, were the ones that came out on top at the end of the day.
And nowadays it's very different. The commercial side of sailing is much
more defined and developed. It has allowed sailors to source sponsorship
and there is a growing realisation that top performers need financial
support and government finding has also become a major part of every
national sailing committee.
Plans have been developed, funding pathways created, rights organised,
goals set and proper accountability practices put in place.
However, commercialisation comes at a cost and it is vital that as a sport
we appreciate the balance between developing a visually attractive sport
while at the same time preserving the integrity of the racing. That's
something that personally I think is absolutely crucial.
Much has been said about the medal race format at the Olympic regatta. The
recent Games in London were a huge success. In Weymouth, the sailing event
was fantastic on and off the water with final medal races in front of five
or six thousand spectators on the Nothe headland providing some of the most
exciting sailing we've ever seen.
I think the fans onshore had a great time and as a competitor, you can see
what it meant to everyone there racing. It was very special to hear and see
But you are probably not surprised to hear that the medal race format is
not universally popular from the sailor's perspective. Why is that?
There has been a shift across sailing and particularly Olympic sailing over
the last six years or so to maximising the importance of the final race and
to increase the likelihood that the final race will decide the winners.
And already, since this last Olympics there are some rather disturbing
suggestions that in the future perhaps the medal race should be a winner
takes all final race or perhaps even a series of medal races on that final
day to establish the winners.
And I can't say to you enough today how wrong that would be.... read on:
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"It is frustrating when people see your decision to protest as a personal
comment on how they live, instead of accepting they made a mistake.
Protests can be a part of sailing - we need to remove the emotional part."
- George Szabo, 2009 Star World Champion, http://tinyurl.com/GS-121912
EC6 BUNDLED CARBON ROD RIGGING IN TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH
The current Vendee Globe fleet are now well into the Southern Ocean and a
third have been forced to retire. Five of the leading eight yachts in the
race are sporting EC6 continuous bundled carbon rod rigging supplied by
Southern Spars and from all reports their rigging has been 100% reliable.
EC6 cables are constructed from a bundle of small diameter carbon fiber
rods - even if "a single twig breaks, the bundle of twigs is strong". In
record and boat breaking conditions, you need to ensure your rigging is up
for job; EC6 provides you with that supreme confidence. For more
information on EC6 rigging please visit http://www.southernspars.com or
email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.
(December 19, 2012; Day 40) - As the front of the Vendee Globe fleet
reaches the longitude of New Zealand, they have now crossed the midpoint of
the race and are on their way home to the finish.
"I'm glad to be halfway through and to be on my way back home, it's a
pleasant feeling," said leader Francois Gabart. "I'm doing ok, I'm
currently at 22-24 knots, and there's a lot of noise. Now I need to be
careful, and take good care of myself, make sure I don't push myself too
hard. Sometimes, when you're tired, you get nervous or mad really fast,
just like in everybody's daily life. And when that happens, you have to
take a deep breath or take a nap when it's really needed.
"It's hard to talk about happy and difficult moments, because sometimes,
you're happy to have gone through difficult moments, to have managed to get
out of them. Sometimes you realise it was a good moment, but only a couple
of days later. But basically, experiencing things like this, the race and
all, is a true privilege."
Difficult moments have been haunting third place Jean-Pierre Dick, who had
mysteriously bled over 100 nm in the past 24 hours. Dick now reports that
for several days he had been unable to use two of his headsails - his
staysail and gennaker. "I had been waiting for favourable weather
conditions to climb up the mast for several days," explained Dick after
completing the repair. "It is a risky type of operation but I had no
choice. You're by yourself, there's strong wind and a rough sea and, to top
it all, it's cold and you're in the screaming fifties. Needless to say, you
ask yourself a lot of questions before climbing up there."
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 11883.0 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 3.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 518.6 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 829.5 nm DTL
5. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 843.6 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/
GATES REQUIRE DIFFERENT SAILS
The 2012-13 Vendee Globe race has included more ice gates than any previous
around the world race. Positioned every 1300 +/- nm, they keep the fleet
from diving to the southern latitudes where the course is shorter, the wind
is often stronger... and the icebergs are more plentiful.
But this change in course has required tighter sailing angles across the
Indian and Pacific Oceans, which in turn has affected the sail
inventory."What we are doing is that reaching sails for downwind have to be
able to transition up to the gate now," explained Bruno Dubois, Vice
President of North Sails. "I think we will look again at how the gates
influence the sail design, but don't forget we only have ten sails on
board. So it is not too much of an influence.
"The inventories across the fleet are very different. I cannot say
specifically but some guys have been using fractional kites off the bow or
the sprit, which you can use upwind a bit. That has been a difference with
François [Gabart]; he has not been pushing the boat hard, but has been
letting the boat do the work. All our sails now are in 3Di; we have moved
from 3DL and so the sails are stronger."
There are nine gates extending from the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn. The
leaders are now passing south of New Zealand toward the seventh gate along
the latitude 52 degrees south. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/MG-121912
ONE-DESIGN CLASSES BOUNCING BACK
John Hele has wanted to compete in Key West Race Week ever since he got
into sailboat racing. The New York Yacht Club member will finally get to
achieve that goal next month because the Swan 42 class is coming back to
the beautiful blue waters off the Conch Republic.
"Key West has been on my bucket list for a long time. That is one of the
most spectacular locations to go sailing and I'm very much looking forward
to it," Hele said.
The return of the Swan 42 as a one-design class and the resurgence of the
Melges 24 fleet are among many highlights of Quantum Key West 2013 (Jan
21-25). The Event Organizer and officials with title sponsor Quantum Sail
Design Group see those two success stories as further indication the
popular winter regatta has weathered the storm.
"Like most major sailing events around the world, Key West was impacted by
the economic downturn. However, adjustments made these past few years have
produced the stability we were seeking and enabled us to continue
delivering what sailors and classes are seeking. The new and returning
classes along with better fleet numbers are evidence of that," event
director Peter Craig said. "We are particularly excited to have the Swan 42
class back in the fray again while the improved numbers in the Melges 24
class and their exciting plans for a World Championship in 2016 bodes well
for the future of Key West Race Week." -- Read on:
WISHING YOU A BREEZY HOLIDAY
The Ullman Sails group would like to wish you, your family and your crew a
very happy and safe holiday season. No matter where you are in the world,
our sail lofts are committed to delivering attentive customer service and
high quality sails all year long. As we say goodbye to 2012 and look
forward to exciting year of sailing in 2013, we want to thank all of our
customers for an excellent sailing season! We are lucky enough to share our
passion with you and help you maximize your enjoyment on the water.
Happy Holidays! http://www.ullmansails.com
* (December 19, 2012) - The shortlist of nominees for the 2012 Rolex U.S.
Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards were released today, which
includes 2011 honorees Bill Hardesty and Anna Tunnicliffe along with
Kiteboard Course World Champion Johnny Heineken and Paralympic silver
medalist Jen French. The nominees will be reviewed by a panel of noted
sailing journalists to determine the winners who will be announced in
January and honored on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, during a luncheon at the
St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, when they will be presented with
Rolex timepieces. -- Full report:
* Quiberon, FRA (December 19, 2012) - At the 2012 International Boat Show
in Paris, Challenge France, the French challenger for the 2013
International C Class Catamaran Championship (ICCCC) in partnership with
the French National Sailing Centre (Ecole Nationale de Voile et des Sports
Nautiques - ENVSN), announced details about the C Class Cup (May 22-26),
the first French C Class Catamaran sailing event. Four sailing teams
already registered for the C Class Cup including Swiss team HYDROS lead
Jeremie Lagarrigue, the French Groupam team with Franck Cammas and the
French Challenge France team with Karine Fauconnier and Gwenole Gahinet. --
* Among the fleet for the 628 nm Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the
bookies are ranking the R/P 100 Wild Oats XI firm line honours favourite at
about $1.50, followed by the Elliott 100 Ragamuffin-Loyal at $3.25 and the
30m Lahana at $10 (formerly Zana and Konica Minolta). The 77 entrants for
will start at 1pm AEDT on Boxing Day, December 26 on Sydney Harbour. --
* America's Cup defender Oracle Team USA reports that the repairs to their
damaged AC72, which they capsized in October, will be ready to meet up with
the arrival of their new wing rig so as to be sailing again in February.
The team expects to have their second boat available sometime by
March/April. -- http://oracle-team-usa.americascup.com/
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
* Gill Announces Footwear for Sailors
* Kos launches BOYD Yachting Lifestyle
* Team One Newport launches new website
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
Jan Clover Gougeon, of Bay City, Michigan, died Tuesday, December 18, 2012
in Ann Arbor, Michigan at age 67.
In 1969, Jan founded Gougeon Brothers, Inc. with his brothers Meade and
Joel. The company began building boats and iceboats, and found great
success in formulating, manufacturing and marketing WEST SYSTEM and PRO-SET
epoxies for boat construction and repair.
At age 14 Jan began building boats as an apprentice to master boatbuilder
Victor Carpenter, and went on to become an accomplished multihull designer
and builder. Over the course of his lifetime he designed Wee Three, Flicka,
Splinter, Ollie and Pocket Rocket. In 2012 he launched his groundbreaking
40' multihull, Strings. He was also a key builder on the multihulls Adagio,
Rogue Wave, Slingshot and Adrenalin, as well as several monohulls including
the 1975 Canada's Cup winner, Golden Dazy.
Racing iceboats and multihull sailboats were Jan's passions, and he
particularly loved sailing solo. His first sailboat race was in 1955 at age
10, and he competed in Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinaw aboard the newly
launched Strings in July, 2012. In 1980 during qualification trials for the
OSTAR challenge, Jan's trimaran Flicka capsized in the Atlantic Ocean. He
spent four long days floating in Flicka's disabled hull before he was
rescued by a passing freighter. The next boat Jan designed, Splinter, was
self-rescuing, as was every boat he's designed since.
Jan placed first in the single-handed Port Huron to Mackinac race in 1981,
1982 and 1983 aboard Splinter. Racing his trimaran Ollie, he won the
singlehanded Supermac in 1987 and the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society
Peter Fisher Memorial Award in 1989. He won the DN Iceboat World Gold Cup
Championships four times, the North American DN Iceboat Championship eight
times, and won the DN Great Cup of Siberia Race in Russia in 1989. He
competed annually in the Bayview Yacht Club's Port Huron to Mackinac Race,
the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinaw and the 300-mile Florida
Burial at sea will take place privately with the family at a future date.
TRIBUTE: "There is no group of sailors that compares to iceboaters and Jan
Gougeon was one of the reasons why," shared Eric Lind of Suttons Bay, MI.
"He had no secrets as he readily shared his vast knowledge and experience
with everyone. This interview with Jan by Ron Sherry back in '95 -
http://www.idniyra.org/articles/gougeon.htm - ends with a story that is
classic Jan Gougeon."
MORE: Few details are available, but it is known that Swedish yacht
designer Peter Norlin has recently died. Norlin's breakthrough occurred
with the prototype Scampi, which was designed in 1968 and won the
unofficial World Cup races in her class, Half Ton Cup in three consecutive
years 1969-1971. His storied career includes being the dominant designer of
2.4mR, the singlehanded boat sailed in the Paralympic Games.
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* From Scott Spurlin:
Thank you the J/70 article in Scuttlebutt 3742! As the J/Boats dealer in
the southwest, I hear this theory of the J/70 destroying our fleets all of
the time - usually stated as a fact by the speaker. It's simply not true.
We have now delivered and have under contract 18 J/70's, with less than 4
of these boats sold to owners of another J/Boat model. In one case the
owner has been dormant for about ten years, so the fair number is probably
3 out of 18. In another case one owner plans to keep his J/80 along with
So who's buying these great boats? In our case the cross section is wide
and varied: Several young professionals that sailed as kids and have been
crewing on friends and dad's boat; Big boat owners that want to race one
design on a smaller boat, less expensive program; A few non-YC members that
want to ramp launch at any lake they choose, families that want to sail
with their kids. The first sale was to a family that wants to crew their
boat out with kids from their yacht club's junior program!
I could not be more surprised, and happy with the collection of owners that
will be the founding owners of our Texas fleets in Ft. Worth, Austin, and
Houston. In the words of our newest owner, who happens to own a larger
Grand Prix boat, "This boat is a real game changer for getting families
back to sailing together" (btw, his plans on keeping the bigger program
boat have changed - it will be for sale).
It's going to be a great fun here in the Southwest with our circuit next
year and the growth we will see in NEW sailors for our sport in this
region! Definitely the right boat at the right time for our sport.
IS YOUR EVENT LISTED BELOW?
Posting your event information on the free, self-serve Scuttlebutt Event
Calendar tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and sailing
media. But don't stop there. If your event is listed below, please send us
your race reports too:
Dec 27-30 - Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
Jan 5-6 - Jaguar Cup Series - Sid Doren Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
Jan 16 - Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race - Ft. Lauderdale/Key West, FL, USA
Jan 18-20 - Arizona Birthday and Leukemia Cup Regatta - Phoenix, AZ, USA
Jan 20-25 - Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
Two boys were walking home from Sunday church school after hearing a strong
preaching on the devil. One said to the other, "What do you think about all
this Satan stuff?" The other boy replied, "Well, you know how Santa Claus
turned out. It's probably just your Dad."
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