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SCUTTLEBUTT 3775 - Wednesday, February 13, 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: Gowrie Group, North Sails, and Waterline Systems.

The Canadian yachting authority Sail Canada launched a new program in 2013 - Sailor of the Month - and in January selected Isabella Bertold (22 yrs) who had just captured the Laser Radial bronze medal at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami (Jan 28-Feb 2).

On her way home to Vancouver, Isabella stopped by Scuttlebutt World Headquarters in San Diego to share her lessons from the past quadrennium, and her optimism going forward toward the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
I was going to college for the first two years of the quad, and was trying to balance the traveling and competition with school. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the priorities and made the decision to cut down the school for the last two years to sail full-time. I had a real chance to represent Canada at the 2012 Olympics and I was going all in.

The Canadian trials included the 2011 ISAF Worlds in Australia in December and the 2012 Rolex Miami OCR in January. I didn't have a great finish at the Worlds, but I was the leading Canadian and I qualified the country for the Games. But then I got injured before Miami, a bad concussion, and it affected my sailing. I lost my chance to go to the Olympics.

I was devastated and went home to recover. But then American Paige Railey called, who I had previously trained with, and asked if I would join her in Europe and help her train for the 2012 Olympics. I was on the fence, but decided to go and would just take it day by day. And I am lucky I did.

I sailed in two ISAF Sailing World Cup events and the Laser Radial Women's Worlds, posting my best results of the quad, and finishing as the top Canadian in each event. And I noticed how much fun I was having. There was no pressure, and I was sailing better and enjoying it more. It helped to heal the wounds from the Trials. It gave me some closure.

I ended the season by winning the 2012 Open Laser Radial North Americans. I had a blast sailing at the Gorge, and afterwards took a step back and realized how my successes were connected with my attitude. I realized that it has to be fun to do well. If I'm not out there enjoying it, then it's not worth doing.

As I start this new quad toward the 2016 Olympics, when people ask me what my goal is for this year, I say it is to have fun. It is not about my performance at certain events, it is about having fun. That is what allows me to sail to my potential, to perform in a manner that I am capable of. I have put in the time and have the skill set to do really well, so now it is just about putting it all together.

As hard as it was to lose the Trials, things happen for a reason. If I had qualified for the Olympics, I am not sure I would still be sailing now. I easily could have quit the sport. I just wasn't having fun. I was putting way too much pressure on myself. Ridiculous, unrealistic pressure.

In a way I feel lucky. I have found the fun again. I rediscovered why I love sailing, and have learned how important that is for my success. So now that is my focus, to have fun, which will allow my skills to surface.
Sail Canada's Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Sail Canada encourages the submission of noteworthy Canadian sailing activities to

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(February 12, 2013) - The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today agreed on the 25 sports it will propose to the 125th IOC Session for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

The 25 sports are: athletics, rowing, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, swimming, modern pentathlon, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.

The EB recommended that wrestling, governed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), not be included on the list of core sports. Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports - baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu - vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport.

The eight sports are scheduled to make presentations to the Executive Board at its meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, in May. The EB will select which of the eight sports to recommend to the 125th IOC Session for inclusion as an additional sport on the 2020 programme.

In an effort to ensure the Olympic Games remain relevant to sports fans of all generations, the Olympic Programme Commission systematically reviews every sport following each edition of the Games.

Golf and rugby sevens were added in 2009 as additional sports to the 2016 Olympic programme.

The 125th IOC Session will take place from 7 to 10 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. --

"Rob's one of the greatest guys I ever met - he was just like a son to me. On board he brought the whole boat up, he was always never down, and everybody loved him. I miss him dearly and think about him all the time." - Hank Easom commenting on Rob Moore who lost his battle with lung cancer last year at age 58, and will be remembered at the Rob Moore Memorial Regatta in San Francisco on February 16:

The 1st Annual Rob Moore Memorial Regatta is this Saturday, and there is an online auction to support lung cancer research and awareness. Details here:

By Kimball Livingston
In 1895, Encinal Yacht Club's El Sueno defeated San Francisco Yacht Club's Queen to become the first winner of the San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Trophy. After the America's Cup, this would be the USA's second-oldest challenge/match competition.

Over the years, the San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Trophy has wandered as far from San Francisco Bay as San Diego, but the Trophy in 2013 resides in Belvedere at The San Francisco Yacht Club.

There is a general expectation of a challenge and a defense in 2013, and though it would be outside SFYC tradition, my monkey brain thinks it would be pretty cool to see it sailed in the waters of the America's Cup. That decision is above my pay grade--and it would depend upon a challenger/defender agreement--but I'm the right guy to raise a different question...

AC aside, is there an older match race challenge cup in the world?

By Ryan Scott, Sailing World
Professional riggers are consummate tinkerers: Put a length of rope in their hands, and they'll immediately start thinking of ways to splice it, strip it, taper it, and ultimately avoid using any sort of knot, which we all know can compromise a rope's breaking strength. The rigger's obsession doesn't end with an excessively milked splice, however. When it comes to utilizing cordage in all sorts of inventive ways, the good ideas never seem to stop coming. I'll share some the best new ideas from the industry, as well as a few easy upgrades to consider before your next racing season.

1. Replace your wire lifelines.
Wire lifelines are history (unless your one-design class rules state otherwise). Dyneema is the best option, especially Dyneema SK90, which is up to three times stronger than similar sized 1x19 stainless steel wire. You are also able to eliminate all the associated hardware, including toggles, eyes, and turnbuckles. With Dyneema, you simply luggage-tag the forward eye splice onto your pulpit, run the lifelines through your stanchions, put a friction ring into the aft eye, and lash it to the stern pulpit. It is suggested that you have a Dyneema cover spliced into the portions that pass through the stanchions. Dyneema is UV stable and chemically inert, but the best part about this option is that it is much less expensive than a comparable wire lifeline assembly.

2. See your sheets or halyards in the dark.
You can now have custom lines made with glow-in-the-dark markers wound into the cover. Some manufacturers, such as Marlow, now offer this for full lengths, or certain spans of your specified lines. Use it for all your halyards and sheets, or select a few control lines that you need to quickly identify at night.

3. Blend hoist marks into your halyard covers.
As with the glow-in-the-dark markers, these marks can be woven into the cover at a pre-determined location in the rope. Gone are the days of permanent markers, whippings, or tape. These markers are specific to your line and are not going anywhere.

Tips 4 through 10:

North Sails is a proud sponsor of the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas and will be providing free weather forecasts for every event starting with this weekend's St Pete NOOD. North and Southern Spars have partnered with Sailing Weather Service for daily detailed forecasts which will be sent to weather subscribers each morning by 0730 and published on our Web site for Team Blue members. To sign up, visit our online weather center:

BETTER: The NOOD team is implementing a number of improvements for the 2013 series. What are they? Read here:

The Newport Bermuda Race is closely followed by an onshore team of race officials alternating four-hour watches as they monitor emails, satphone and radiotelephone calls, and the online tracker that identifies entries and their positions. At a little after 2000 EDT on the 2012 races third night, June 17, watch-stander Nicholas Weare, based in Bermuda, received an email from the race's consulting physician in Massachusetts. He promptly reported it to race officials:

Message received from Dr. Barbara Masser advising that she lost satphone contact 7:49 EDT while in communication with Seabiscuit regarding a 38-year-old insulin dependent male who has not eaten or drunk for 24 hours, with elevated blood sugar and appears confused.

These were the first two of more than two dozen emails (not to mention many satphone and radio calls) sent over the next seven hours concerning the serious problem on board Seabiscuit, a J-46 in the races Double-Handed Division. The effort to assist and, eventually, evacuate the seasick sailor, Nathan C. Owen, included more than two dozen people, including race officials, rescue personnel in the U.S. and Bermuda, and the crews of two other racing boats and a cruise ship.

Following the incident there were frank discussions of lessons learned in a debriefing at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, in replies to a questionnaire circulated to 21 people involved in the incident, and in John Rousmaniere's detailed incident report to the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee. Here is a summary of findings:

(February 12, 2013; Day 95) - With Tanguy De Lamotte (Initiatives Cur) forecast to arrive on the morning of Sunday February 17 and the last man, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), now saying he will be back on Thursday, February 21, this Vendee Globe is due to be the closest in the race's 24-year history. It was the closest at the front between the top two finishers and it should be the most compact fleet ever, with easily the smallest number of days between first and last.

2008-9 - more than 42 days
2004-05 - almost 39 days
2000-01 - almost 65 days
1996-97 - 34 days
1992-93 - 43 days
1989-90 - 53 days

For the 2012-13 edition, the final finisher, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), should finish 25 days after the winner Francois Gabart. -- Full report:

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. --

* Tampa, FL (February 12, 2013) - John Mollicone fortified his lead at the J/24 Midwinter Championship on Tuesday's three races. Team Helly Hansen has now tallied just 12 total points in the eight races thus far, dropping an 8 in race one, leaving scores of 3,1,1,2,2,1,2. Will Welles moved into the second overall spot with a solid day and 18 total points. Mike Ingham stands in third with 26 points. Racing continues through Wednesday. -- Full report:

* The US Sailing Match Racing Committee and Sail Sheboygan are organizing the 2013 Rose Cup, a national youth match racing event, to be held June 19-23, 2013, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. This is the fourth running of the Cup. Ten skippers from around the U.S. will be invited. The event will be sailed in Elliott 6's, the boat raced at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, with teams of three sailors who must be at least 16 and no older than 20 years old in 2013. Requests for Invitations, the Notice of Race and additional information here:

* Italian Giovanni Soldini and his eight crew on the VO70 Maserati are nearing the finish of their attempt to establish a 13,225 nm New York to San Francisco record. After beginning their effort on December 31, they have approximately 700 nm to go, and expect to arrive by February 16. There is no current monohull record, but a benchmark was set in 1998 by skipper Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations of 57 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes. A finish by this weekend would reduce the reference by 10 days. --

* Portsmouth, VA (February 12, 2013) - The Coast Guard begins formal hearings today into the sinking of the 180-foot wooden ship Bounty, which went down 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., on Oct. 29 during Hurricane Sandy with the loss of two lives. The investigation will examine the facts and circumstances of the sinking and offer conclusions and recommendations to improve the safety and operations of other tall ships. The National Transportation Safety Board also is involved and will recommend issues to explore, identify and examine witnesses and submit or request evidence. The hearings will run through Feb. 21. -- Soundings, full report:

* CLARIFICATION: The question was asked in Scuttlebutt 3774 regarding how the America's Cup race schedule would be impacted by collisions that may prevent a team from competing. According to AC Race Management, there is no current plan to publish Sailing Instructions for the Louis Vuitton Cup or America's Cup Match, as everything should already be covered in the Protocol and the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing - America's Cup Edition. ACRM does plan to publish a document specific to the Louis Vuitton Cup with information about the race schedule, scoring, ties, time limits, entry sides, etc. The rules and governing documents are posted here:

Join us on March 9th at our new location in Warren, RI! Come see what's going on with Alerion, True North, JBoats, and Waterline Systems. Mingle with fellow sailors, boat owners, and industry experts while enjoying workshops, demonstrations, and vendor presentations. RSVP ONLY. Details 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 John McNeill:
The US University of Sailing has a rather narrow curriculum in most of its programs. We do develop sailors, and emphasize racing single and double handed, but it most often seems to stop there in fast little boats. All good, but hardly a broad exposure to the sport.

Where is the course that teaches competition among TEAMS who have skills in coordinating their actions in racing big boats? Who issues a certificate of Qualified Crew Status? As a kid, I had the benefit of being taken aboard by the 'old guys' for races in big boats, and the thrill of being appreciated for my raw skills by those same curmudgeons. I never lost the love of fast little boats, but all sorts of new horizons, both afloat and ashore, were opened by the 'old guys', and soon I was too big for the little boats anyway.

Let's broaden the curriculum!

* From Geoffrey Emanuel - Southlake, TX:
The elephant in the room is participation in youth sailing is at an all-time high while the rest of the age cohorts participating in sailing is nearing all-time lows. Why? In my opinion, youth sailing has been too much about winning for too long and not enough about nurturing a long term love affair with the act of sailing.

I taught sailing in the 1970s. My students stopped sailing in the 1980s and for the most part never returned to the sport 30+ years later. Even the most passionate sailors I grew up with stopped. During my tenure teaching sailing, we raced incessantly and nurtured winning. We took little time out to just have fun or teach things like navigation, seamanship, cruising, etc. At the time, it seemed like we were all having a blast. In hindsight, we let our students down.

Even the most obsessed racers know deep down the sport of sailing is more than just racing. I never tire of just being on a boat sailing. This passion should have been instilled in our youth but I submit rarely is.

To fix this requires a zero-based rethink of every aspect of how we introduce, teach, and nurture kids. We cannot assume anything we are currently doing is untouchable or not broken.

COMMENT: When I taught sailing in the 70s, it was all about the racing because that is what I loved. When my kids were taught sailing, their instructors were active racers too. Do we find ourselves cycling a mentality that serves the minority rather than the majority? I wonder how many junior program directors research the cause of their attrition and have succeeded in reducing their rate? - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

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