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SCUTTLEBUTT 3771 - Thursday, February 7, 2013

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: Ullman Sails and US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.

Americans like football while Canadians prefer hockey. What is soda to Americans is called pop for Canadians. And on average, Americans are fatter than Canadians. But despite the differences, these North American neighbors find themselves facing the same conclusion regarding their Olympic sailing programs.

Both countries believe that if their Olympic sailing programs are to become strong again, it will require a heightened emphasis on youth development. When asked what guidance he would give a young sailor with Olympic aspirations, U.S. Olympic Sailing Managing Director Josh Adams provided the following message:
What we are telling youth sailors now is that there is no one Olympic pathway. There are multiple ways to get into the Game and multiple ways to make it to the podium, and we want to encourage different pathways. The second thing we are telling youth sailors is to spend more time in and gain more experience in high performance dinghies that are feeder classes to Olympic classes. An example would be the International 420 for the 470, the 29er for the 49er, the Techno board for the RS:X, etc. Boats with bendy rigs, boats that plane upwind, boats with sophisticated rig tune and sail trim. This is the kind of experience that youth sailors would benefit from.

They should also be working within the existing framework of events and clinics. This is a priority. The team is working with the U.S. Youth Championship event, and we are working with the prominent youth clinics (CISA, Brooke Gonzalez, etc.) to share our expertise with those clinic organizers and to work with the young sailors at those events. We recognize that there are sailing institutions in this country that are successful for a reason, and we are not interested in changing what they do. We are eager to work with them to help develop sailors.

A prime example is college sailing. We view college sailing as part of the solution. We don't view college sailing as a problem. We have been spending a lot of time over the past couple months communicating with a lot of leaders and coaches in that community, making sure that the top sailors who are interested in the Olympics or are already on the Olympic path are getting into high performance boats when the college schedule allows for it. And the coaches know this. They know their sailors are in college to further their education, but many of them also have a parallel goal of pursuing an Olympic medal, and that we will need to work together to ensure that all the needs are fulfilled.


"I think there's a difference of about 12 years between the programs. Australia's Olympic history of results is not as strong as the US, but we have been movers in recent times. Australia realized the evolution of the sport for the Sydney 2000 Olympiad and made significant changes in our style and approach. We have not always been successful in the last 4 Olympics, but Australia never wavered in our belief for our system. Now, we are reaping the rewards. The US made some significant changes for the London period, but it will take longer than 4 years to bed down and find the equilibrium." -- Malcolm Page (AUS), two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and eight-time 470 World Champion,

Sharks, minnows, bogeys, gnomes?! What's really going on inside the mind of sailing's top competitors? You'd be surprised! The Ullman Sails Seminar Series is back and you're invited to a seminar that gives you an inside look at how the pros tackle the racecourse. With insight from our decorated panel of experts, "Unlocking the Racecourse" will walk you through each stage of a race day from pre-start strategy to choosing your leeward gate. Whether you sail one design or PHRF, grab your crew and check out this seminar in Buffalo, New York later this month. Get more info at:

Ben Ainslie's transition from Olympian to America's Cup helmsman was swift. He talks to Seahorse magazine's Blue Robinson on the move to a 'wider' platform, funding, the future of the AC World Series, while remaining unfailingly modest on the possibility of having to hire a top hat and tails for a royal audience in the New Year.

There were two excerpts from the interview that we found notable to share. The first dealt with how Olympic athletes can best support their country. The second touches on Ben's assessment of the sport, but it would seem that the type of sailing that Ben is doing may not at all be like the type of sailing the vast majority of people participate in.

Sustainable Performance....

SH: With your coach David Howlett and sail designer Juan Garay you've accumulated over 10 years of top R&D and intellectual property. Starting with the hardware, what happens now to Rita (Ben's Olympic boat), your masts and your sails?

BA: Well Rita goes back to the museum in Falmouth where she has been sent after both the past two Olympics - which shows how sure I was about the future after Athens 2004 and China 2008! With all the R&D, the right thing to do is to pass that on to the other British Finn sailors like Giles Scott, Andrew Mills and Mark Andrews, who helped me so much with my build up to London 2012.

SH: Are you open to international Finn consulting?

BA: No, definitely not. The Finn sailors in the British team helped me a significant amount leading up to both Beijing and London, so I don't think it would be right to now go off and support anyone else. If I'm going to be supporting anyone then it has to be the British guys.

The professional sailor's perspective...

SH: What sort of feedback are you getting from your sailing peers on funding?

BA: This is a difficult period for the sport. That is obvious. To my mind the sport itself is also now going through this transition towards increased commercialisation with the emphasis on quality TV production. But commercially, it is essential that the various components soon start to gel; so that the racing is of a high standard, the TV production is of a high standard and the right sailors are racing the right boats in the best venues. That way, once all the turbulence does settle, the sailing world is in a good position to move forward. Meanwhile, there remains a very fine line between the commercial demands and the integrity of the racing - which is still an issue for the bulk of the top sailors.
Full interview:
EDITOR'S NOTE: The above interview was re-printed from the February 2013 issue of Seahorse. If you wish to become a subscriber, our friends at Seahorse have provided a Promotional Code - KEYWEST2013 - to use when visiting their secure web-based order system:

The ISAF World Sailing Rankings as of February 4 2013 have been released, which seeks to rank the sailors in the ten Olympic events. However, when many of the medal winners from the 2012 Olympics fail to crack the top ten, the latest ranking reflects the difficulties the system faces at the start of each new Olympic quadrennium.

With many of the top sailors taking a break from competition, this opens up opportunities for the next tier to gain ranking points and rise up the ladder. And this trend will continue until the stars return, but even then they will need to make up for lost ground. Each competitor counts his or her best six results over the previous 12 months to determine their ranking.

Events are weighted based on their importance, with ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas and Class World Championship events offering the most ranking points. Competitors benefit the most when they excel in heavily weighted events, gaining bonus points for larger fleet sizes.

The new Olympic multihull, the Nacra 17, made its first appearance on the event circuit at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami (Jan 28-Feb 2). After impressing all week long on Biscayne Bay, Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA) take the World #1 spot after a convincing five point victory. It's an all American top three with Sarah Streater and Matt Whitehead taking second and Taylor Reiss and Sarah Lihan in third. -- Full report:

MORE: As the ISAF Match Race Rankings roll into 2013, Ian Williams (GBR) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) maintain their status as World #1 match racers in the Open and Women's divisions. Details here:

(February 6, 2013; Day 89) - The top five of the Vendee Globe was complete today when Jean Le Cam crossed the finish line at 12h:14m:58s UTC this Wednesday February 6th to end a gale stricken final passage across the Bay of Biscay.

"Because we had so little time to prepare this project, I was even happier to be part of it and to be in the race," remarked Le Cam. "So of course it's been tough, it's been a difficult challenge, but that made me feel very comfortable with the project, and even happier. And I couldn't have done better than fifth, against people who have had sponsors for ten years and who have been training for four years! I'm so happy with my performance!

"When you look at how things go one race after another, you realise there's no choice but to have huge budgets and means to win the Vendee Globe. I'm in favour of making sure money and financial criteria have less impact in the world of sport. And because of that, maybe my fifth place on this boat this year is even better than my second place in 2004-2005."

When British skipper Mike Golding on Gamesa crossed the finish line at 18h 38m 26s UTC this Wednesday 6th February he took sixth place. He became the first sailor ever to finish three Vendee Globe races and finished just 6 hours 23 mins and 28secs behind his French rival Jean Le Cam who he has been duelling with over fifth place since early December.


Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: Jan 27, 14:18:40 UTC, 78:02:16:40
2. Armel Le Cleac'h(FRA),Banque Populaire: Jan 27, 17:35:52UTC, 78:05:33:52
3. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: Jan 30, 07:25:43 UTC, 80:19:23:43
4. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA),Virbac Paprec 3: Feb 4, 15:05:40 UTC, 86:03:03:40
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: Feb 6, 12:14:58 UTC, 88:00:12:58
Full rankings:

BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers began the 24,000-nm 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. --

Congratulations to all U.S. sailors who competed at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. This was the first stop on the Road to Rio 2016. The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider together with Sperry Top-Sider, Harken and McLube look forward to following your journey over the next few years!

The calendar for the 2013 'Summer of Racing' in San Francisco has been released, culminating with the America's Cup Finals from September 7-21, when the defending champion, Oracle Team USA, will face the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup (the America's Cup Challenger Series).

This year, winning the America's Cup will require victory in an unprecedented nine races, in the extreme performance, wing sail, AC72 catamarans, on the most challenging race course in the event's storied history - San Francisco Bay.

The season begins with opening day on July 4 before racing starts in the Louis Vuitton Cup to select the top challenger. The finals for the Louis Vuitton Cup begin on August 17. The first team to win seven races will become THE challenger and advance to race Oracle Team USA in the America's Cup Finals.

July 5: Fleet racing - all Challengers and the Defender
July 7: First day of racing, Louis Vuitton Cup (America's Cup Challenger Series)
August 17: First day of racing Louis Vuitton Cup Finals
September 1-4: Red Bull Youth America's Cup
September 7-21: America's Cup Finals
September 9,11,13 - Superyacht Regatta

Full report:

* Paul Henderson, Sail Canada Councillor of Honour and former President of the International Sailing Federation, has been selected to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal following selection by the Canadian Olympic Committee's Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Nomination Committee. The award recognises exceptional work within the Canadian high-performance sport community. -- Read on:

* Portsmouth, RI (February 5, 2012) - US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has announced the winners of the 2012 Coaches of the Year Awards. Based on nominations from the public, the OSC has named Mike Callahan (Washington, D.C.) the National Coach of the Year and Steve Keen (Greenwich, Conn.) the Developmental Coach of the Year. The OSC has also nominated these winners to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for consideration for the 2012 Coaches of the Year Awards across all Olympic and Paralympic sports. -- Full report:

* Now entering its fifth season of providing world class match race sailing to the Great Lakes area, the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) has released its 2013 schedule of events and a new entry fee policy that seeks to grow sustainable match race sailing around the US. This year's list of event includes 6 ISAF Grade 3 events, two at the Grade 2 level, and one Grade WC event, the Chicago Match Cup, the only US stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). A new entry policy will vary fees according to the age and the budgets of the teams. -- Read on:

* US Sailing's Community Sailing Committee has recognized programs and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth and development of community access sailing in the U.S. Awards were presented to the following individuals:

* CORRECTION: An incorrect link was included in Scuttlebutt 3770 for a video which was to profile the Medal races in the Laser and Laser Radial. Here is the correct link for the produced video (9:57 min) from all the medal races... fast forward to 7:00 min for the singlehanded races:

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of recent postings:
* Sail Black Rock Foundation launched to provide race training
* Reckmann takes over Holmatro marine hydralics
* Coyote Lost At Sea: The Story of Mike Plant
View updates here:

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 Martha Parker, Team One Newport:
Molly Winans in her article "Stop Talking Like Thurston Howell III" (Scuttlebutt 3768) hits on some good points and I feel that US Sailing and groups like Sail Newport are successful in describing our sport without using the word "yachting".

Now for the gear aspect of her article, there are quite a few companies that make terrific products that we can adapt to sailing. Patagonia is a great example of this. At one point Patagonia made some of the most innovative sailing products and you can still see people wearing these products on the water.

When my crew at Team One Newport attends outdoor retail shows, we are searching for products that can cross over to the marine outdoor world. We understand that sailing is actually the most "extreme" of the outdoor sports because of the combination of wind and salt water which is very trying on waterproof and breathable fabrics. We carry lines such as Ex Officio and Under Amour because they offer great products that can be used on the water.

When a customer calls us or visits one of our stores, we always ask them "what do you have in your closet that you might be able to use while sailing"? This is because there is a cross over and balance between other outdoor activities and being on the water. But one of the things that we need to remember and be appreciative of are the marine clothiers such as Musto, Henri-Lloyd, Gill, Slam, Atlantis who are committed to our sport and who are bridging the gap between the "outdoor activities" and sailing community.

* From Fritz Mueller:
It was interesting to see how widespread and complicated kinetics and propulsion have entered the pinnacle of the sport (Scuttlebutt 3770). There was a time when all of that was not permitted, except for trimming and steering, later "pumping", and even later, pumping defined.....sculling at the start "happened"....only if you could get away without a competitor's protest as judges didn't need to be on the course. Surely, today's sailors train to exploit Rule 42. Just an odd thought, but I would love to see the standings if only the real basic skills were tested, and judges were there for more important infractions of the rules.

COMMENT: I am not sure 'exploit' is the right word, but they do train on the techniques that are permitted. You can roll the boat as long as it contributes to steering, and when sailing offwind, you can pump a sail once for each wave or gust to initiate surfing or planning. But do more than that and the provisions in Appendix P apply. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From David Redfern:
The letter from George Morris (Scuttlebutt 3770) about Royal Findhorn YC reminds me that a few years ago, the RFYC tried to get a Scottish challenge together for the America's Cup. Note the emphasis 'Scottish'. We are now playing a major rugby tournament here called the six nations, which are England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France. So by definition, in the America's Cup (a race between CLUBS of friendly nations) any future challenge from my country should be an English Challenge, not a British Challenge. All interested parties take note. Let's get it right from the start. Oh, and it was never the 100 guineas cup, but the 100 cup. Just being pedantic.

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:
* Feb 8-15 - Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race - Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
* Feb 9-10 - Frigid Digit Regatta - Seattle, WA, USA
* Feb 9-10 - Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Event No. 2 - Miami, FL, USA
* Feb 9-13 - J/24 Midwinter Championship - Tampa, FL, USA
View all the events at

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

Marion Bermuda Race - Hall Spars & Rigging - North Sails - North U - J Boats -
Harken - Point Loma Outfitting - Block Island Race Week - Ullman Sails -
US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider - APS - North U -

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