SCUTTLEBUTT 3744 - Friday, December 21, 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: The 'new and improved' Mayan calendar.
NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC)
By Darrell Nicholson, Practical Sailor Editor
'Twas the night before Christmas, and the crew couldn't sleep.
The waves were relentless, with troughs dark and deep.
The windvane was holding a course straight and true,
toward a spot on the chart: "Les isle inconnues."
As Cap tried to revive his brand-new GPS,
Ma delivered the news: "This ship is a mess!
The diesel won't start. The stove's out of gas,
and your fancy new radar is a pain in the ass."
She broke out the sextant and slugged down some rum,
"Give up on your gadgets. I'll get this ship home!"
The moon on the water allowed just enough light
to define a horizon. She began taking sights.
The cocked hat on the chart was not as small as she hoped.
She placed an "X" in the middle and refused to mope.
"Foolish men and their toys," she said with a smile.
"Get our ship almost there, then leave us the last mile."
She raised the atoll at dawn, but the pass, it looked bad.
No way they'd get in there . . . but then out came a lad.
His boat was no bigger than an island canoe.
"Follow me!" he shouted. "I know just what to do!"
He revved up his outboard and hugged the east shore.
Cap took the tiller and ordered, "Sheet in some more!"
The current was ripping, and whitewater raced.
Cap's pulse held steady, a look of calm on his face.
When they cleared the last coral head in the lagoon,
Cap ghosted right up to the dock on pontoons.
Ma took the bowline and gave it a twist.
When the spring lines were set, they gently bumped fists.
"You're a pretty good sailor," Ma said with a grin.
"But your navigation," Cap said, "got us in."
That night they slept beneath glittering stars,
Soothed by the knowledge that a good heart can go far.
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 how technology is being used to make the sport more
spectator-friendly.... as transcribed by YachtRacing.biz
At the London Olympic Games, the sailing footage was the best we have seen
yet. The on-board cameras finally brought home to people just how
physically demanding and challenging the competition at that level is, and
that's a major step forwards for the sport for people to see that side.
However, every sailor bemoaned the fact that it was left until the 11th
hour for us to try out the camera equipment.
You train for four years for one event and the week before the race, you
are handed a bracket and a camera that weighs two and a half kilos to put
on the back of your boat. To yacht racers, two and a half kilos might not
sound that much, but I can tell you that in an Olympic dinghy that is a
huge difference and it makes a huge difference to the handling and
performance of the boat.
Something like that adds a lot of negativity from the sailors, but having
said that - I think they all appreciate that this is important for the
sport, but we really need to work on the technical side - how we work with
the equipment to get the footage.
Why shouldn't we be designing future Olympic classes that already have
these camera and audio requirements added into those designs? -- Full
TOP TWELVE BEST BOATING IPAD APPS OF 2012
By Nancy Birnbaum, industry professional
It seems like there are five times as many apps for boating enthusiasts
than there were when I wrote my first annual "Best Boating Apps" review,
back in 2009.
Boaters are catching the wave and diving into the App Store for everything
from navigation & charting to basic communications apps for their iPads,
and Apple says that they've sold over 100 million of them since they first
hit the market. With over 12,175,900 registered vessels in the U.S. alone,
I wouldn't be surprised to find that a few million boaters now use a mobile
device of some kind. Fortunately for those who have climbed onboard the
mobile tech boat, there are some terrific new apps ready to make boating
even more fun and safe.
The biggest change over the past year for handheld devices is the number of
apps now available that connect to NMEA data via WiFi and TCIP. Which
reminds me of the top question readers ask me, "How can I interface my
boats' systems to my iPad?" Some great news for the techie-types who want
to virtually "run" their boat from the palm of their hand.
Many developers like Digital Yachts, Zapf, Ocean Equipment and ShipModul,
have brought this capability to the world of iOS, thereby allowing data
from instruments like wind and speed, as well as AIS and radar to be
streamed to a laptop over WLAN or over WiFi to an iOS device. Note: You
must have a device (such as Digital Yacht's iAIS or SeaMate1A) that will
get your NMEA data from your boat's network to your various i-devices. But
the good news is that it's getting easier to integrate and the new apps are
really well designed.
Here are a few for your consideration... read on:
(December 20, 2012; Day 41) - Sailing their own match race into the open
wilds of the Pacific, the leading duo in the Vendee Globe have begun to
extend away again. But not from each other. Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque
Populaire) said he could see Francois Gabart (MACIF), no more than two
miles away they passed the Auckland Islands of New Zealand, on the radar
Denis Horeau, the race director for four editions of the race, cannot
remember anything like it. "Never," he says. "There are two reasons,
firstly the gates have changed the strategy and the second is that they are
very similar sailors in the boats that have both been made by Michael
Desjoyeaux (the only two-time winner of the race). They are getting the
same weather files and they have the same conditions so it is natural they
are in the same place."
Following the withdrawal of Marc Guillemot's Safran shortly after the
start, a group of specialists were assembled to determine the causes of his
broken titanium keel. The results of the investigation excluded the
possibility of a break due to a collision and that the welds showed no
anomalies that could explain the break. The report concluded the break was
due to damage caused by metal fatigue, engendered by repeated shocks from
contact with waves.
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Thursday, December 20, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 11438.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 3.5 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 582.5 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 928.8 nm DTL
5. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 930.5 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/
DEEP WATER MARK SETTING
While not sure if this will be progress, it wouldn't be surprising if there
comes a time in the future when the sport of sailing will have eliminated
the use of physical marks with anchors. Can you imagine all the competitors
wearing 'heads-up display' glasses that show the virtual marks of the race
Some regions, like Hawaii, might be eager for this kind of advancement.
Setting marks in 2000+ feet of water requires special skills as Ken
I was the Race Director for all the Clipper Cup and Kenwood Cup races in
Hawaii from 1978 through 2000, which required our team at Waikiki Yacht
Club to develop deep water mark setting technique that was up to the task
of this grand prix event.
We initially used Dave McFaull's technique of monofilament packing twine
tied to 1/4" manila rope that bound together 4 cinder blocks. We were
setting marks in 300 to 350 fathoms or 1800 to 2100 feet. Waikiki Yacht
Club still uses this system today. Using the old cinder block system, it
used to take nearly 10 minutes for the blocks to reach the bottom. We could
not set a square line less than approximately 1000 feet in length. Waikiki
Yacht Club sets their lines in around 1000 to 1200 feet of depth so they
are able to set shorter lines for their smaller fleets.
However, when the US Government enacted a law stating that dumping anything
plastic within 10 miles of the United States was illegal, we decided that
for Kenwood Cup we needed a fully retrievable system.
We started out by buying two of the units that San Diego Yacht Club built
for the 1988 America's Cup, but decided that was too light weight for our
needs. The fully retrievable system we then used was designed by Tim Rhea
who at the time was the Boat Captain for Bamboo Opperman's 50' trawler
Golden Marlin. Tim cast four 50-pound molded lead bullets as the anchors.
We then attached 20 feet of 3/8 inch chain to each anchor. This was
connected to black 1/16th inch nylon fishing net line mounted on a spool
with about 4000 feet of line. These were the spools and lines we bought
from San Diego YC.
In setting square starting lines, we would set up both line boats heading
downwind, square to the line and time the drop of the anchors so they
dropped simultaneously. They would reach the bottom in 2.5 to 3 minutes and
were absolutely square to the wind. The retrieval system was also developed
by Tim Rhea. Since the trawler Golden Marlin had a full hydraulic system
with steel pinch pullers to retrieve long fishing lines, Tim adapted the
pinch pullers so they were mounted vertically and rigged them with a line
As the pinch puller pulled up the fishing line, another crew member was
winding the line back on the reel from where it had originally been sent.
We then purchased two Honda portable hydraulic generators and mounted them
on smaller fishing boats to use as mark retrievers after racing each day.
All the materials for this system are locked in the TransPac storage
container in the Ala Wai Harbor, in case it is ever required in the future.
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include cats and wings, retro cats, little wings, pink don't stink, now and
then, bad ending, shrinkage, rail meat, and the annual holiday card. Here
are this week's photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/1221/
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
As sailing events seek to enhance their media presence, we turn our
attention to the Extreme Sailing Series which has been on the leading edge
of this pursuit. Fast 40-foot multihulls, affordable team budgets, and
events hosted in spectator-friendly venues have contributed to the success
of the circuit.
In its sixth year on the international sailing calendar, the 2012 edition
hosted eight world-class teams - plus three 'wildcard' home teams in
Cardiff, Qingdao and Rio - for events in seven cities that stretched across
three continents. Here is a recap from the season:
* This week on America's Cup Discovered speed is King. Jimmy Spithill meets
racing legend Mario Andretti on the Indy 500 and looks for their formula
for success. How do you lift an AC45 out of the water? We go behind the
crane to learn more. We then track down ORACLE TEAM USA coach Philippe
Presti as we approach 2013, the year of the America's Cup. Tune in on
Saturday December 22 approx 0800 PST 1100 EST:
* Over the past 67 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and Cruising Yacht
Club of Australia have had marked influence on international ocean yacht
racing. The 68th edition of the 628 nm classic will start on December 26 -
here are historic video of past races, including the tragic 1998 race:
* Can you handle 3:36 minutes of Melges 20 footage from Miami? Test
* How about 3:41 minutes of heavy air spinnaker sailing on a J/125?
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Henry Brauer:
I read with interest the article that appeared in Scuttlebutt 3743. It's
very heartening to see certain one design fleets bouncing back. However,
the article failed to mention the big story of 2013 Key West Race Week, the
incredible story of the J/70. There are J/70's registered for the coming
edition of KWRW featuring a who's who of top amateur and professional
stalwarts.. Even more amazing is that the J/70 was introduced in March of
* From Chris Bulger:
Regarding the commentary by Ben Ainslie in Scuttlebutt 3743, does anyone
else find the definition of "progress" offered by many of the loudest
sailors simply wrong?
For a select few who try to extract a living out of sailing, there is good
news in Ben's celebration of the fact that "there is a growing realisation
that top performers need financial support and government funding."
However, for the other 99% of the sailing community - this focus is bad
news for the sport.
Pro sailors naturally want to obtain most of the scarce money available to
promote sailing, despite the perfect evidence that the sport isn't viable
in any traditional commercial sense. Of course there is awesome sailing to
watch - Volvo, Extreme, AC - but these are money losing ventures and all
the evidence suggests that this won't change. The Duke University
basketball team can generate more revenue in a single game that the sport
of sailing can in a year.
Some would argue that if we don't make professionalism the Holy Grail, we
won't have technical progress. Well, the whoosh you just heard while
grabbing for the cash was the sound of the Vestas Sailrocket going 68 knots
without a TV deal or an army of people who get paid to sail full time. Top
that America's Cup.
I am an enthusiastic capitalist and don't resent people trying to get the
money, and I am not surprised that those people are the loudest at the
party. I was once asked by a great sailor who works in the business, if an
industry can really be called an "industry" if its cumulative P&L always
ran at a loss. I think the answer is "no" - such an enterprise is called a
not-for-profit. Best practices in "not-for-profits" include being clear
about mission and being weary of people who are involved to get rich.
This is the final edition of Scuttlebutt for 2012. The publication of
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support Scuttlebutt. Please join us in thanking our 2012 sponsors
Allen Insurance and Financial, APS, Atlantis WeatherGear, Beneteau Yachts,
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Melges Performance Sailboats, Mount Gay Rum, MyBoatsGear.com, Nautic Expo,
New England Boatworks, New England Ropes, North Sails, North U, New York
Yacht Club, Newport Shipyard, Point Loma Outfitting, Power Plug-In,
Premiere Racing, Pure Yachting, PUMA Racing Team, PYI, Quantum Sails,
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Soft Deck, Southern Spars, Stamford Yacht Club, St Thomas Yacht Club,
Summit Yachts, Team McLube, Team One Newport, The Pirates Lair, Ullman
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Coast Sailing, West Marine, and Z Blok.
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Scuttlebutt will return on January 2, 2013. Until then, enjoy the holidays,
and let peace be with you.
"I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the
Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and
happiness and peace to this world." - Norman Vincent Peale
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Team One Newport - Doyle Sails - Harken - North Sails
Soft Deck - Melges Performance Sailboats
Quantum Sails - Southern Spars - Ullman Sails
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