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SCUTTLEBUTT 3777 - Friday, February 15, 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: Storm Trysail Club 25th Block Island Race Week and Samson

Dr. Thomas Hubbell is the President of US Sailing, having been elected in November 2012. Before becoming President, Hubbell served as Vice President of US Sailing for nine years. As Vice President, he led the 2005 re-organisation of a smaller Board of Directors with direct election by members. He is also a two-time Thistle class President.

* You have recently been elected as President of US Sailing, what are you hoping to achieve? And, how are you looking to achieve it?

TOM HUBBELL: US Sailing will sustain and improve its expertise in race management, rules adjudication, and sailing education at all levels. US Sailing began as an organization to foster fairness and uniform rules for racing sailors and that remains its central theme. We have developed extraordinary training programs and collaboration with the sail training industry. The exciting development of community sailing centers provides a model of access to sailing that delivers large numbers of new sailors to the sport. To grow and support the sport of sailing US Sailing assists sailing clubs and community sailing venues to share expertise. We strengthen all levels of the sport through a variety of programs in sail training including seamanship and safety.

US Sailing provides great value to the racing as well has the 'just for fun' sailing community. We will help larger numbers of people acquire and achieve excellent sailing skills. At the elite level this translates into superior international and Olympic performance. We continue to take the initiative in the area of safety through the study of sailing accidents that allow us to provide sailors with best practices designed prevent these tragedies from occurring in the future.

* Sailing is widely considered a 'niche sport', what does the sport need to do to appeal to more people and, if wanted, become more mainstream?

TOM HUBBELL: Sailing is mysterious to many people. How does it work? How do you get into it? And it is widely misunderstood. Here's a key that works; community sailing programs are all over the country, roughly 2,000 of them. They are very inexpensive (really) and they are accessible by literally anyone, any age, any physical ability or disability, both genders, any income level. All you have to do is show up willing to try something new. Many yacht clubs and sailing clubs are also developing this kind of more open access to bring in new people. Boat ownership is not necessary. -- Full interview:

The first thing followers and fellow competitors want to know about the Long Beach Yacht Club's 49th Congressional Cup: Is the Brit coming back?

Indeed, Ian Williams of Great Britain, still ranked No. 1 in the world, will return April 9-13 with his GAC Pindar team in quest of an unprecedented third consecutive victory in the prestigious Grade 1 match racing event. The first two launched seasons leading to his third and fourth championships on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (the Congressional Cup is not a part of the tour).

If Williams wins again, LBYC already knows the size for his Crimson Blazer, the winner's traditional prize that goes with the check for the largest share of the $60,000 purse.

"GAC Pindar is really looking forward to returning to the Long Beach Yacht Club to defend our Congressional Cup title," Williams said. "This year we are going for three in a row both in the Congressional Cup and the Alpari World Championships, neither of which has been achieved before. It will be extremely difficult to achieve with the standard of teams looking to topple us improving every year, but come April we will be well prepared and up for the fight!"

His rivals will include two former winners---the USA's Ed Baird (2004), currently unranked by the International Sailing Federation, and France's Mathieu Richard (2007), ranked 18th in the world---and five other skippers in ISAF's top 20: Laurie Jury, New Zealand, No. 7; Taylor Canfield, U.S. Virgin Islands, No. 8; Eric Monnin, Switzerland, No. 13; Simone Ferrarese, Italy, No. 15, and Jordan Reece, Australia, No. 16, plus Adam Minoprio, New Zealand, No. 217.

Baird, 54, is unranked because his recent match racing has been limited to America's Cups, and the rankings are calculated by accumulated scores of the best four results in each of the most recent two years. Although he drove Switzerland's Alinghi to victory at Valencia in 2007, the AC doesn't count in the world rankings, but Baird was recognized by ISAF as World Sailor of the Year.

Minoprio won the Alpari World Tour title in 2009 but has raced in only three events the last two years while sailing with the Emirates Team New Zealand Volvo Ocean Race and America's Cup campaigns. -- Read on:

Come for the competition and there'll be lots of it, but don't miss the parties and more at the Storm Trysail Club 25th Block Island Race Week, the premier East Coast five day race week. Extra exciting competition for yachts sailing for regional championships: North Americans in US-IRC, HPR and J80; East Coasts in PHRF, J109 and J105; Swan 42 New England and Beneteau 36.7 Northeast Championships. Navigator-style courses for Double Handed, Cruising, Classic and Gunboats. All PHRF-rated yachts, racing or navigator, will compete for the US Sailing East Coast Championship on a relative best-in-class basis.

American John Kostecki, tactician for America's Cup defender Oracle Team USA, explains the genesis of the reaching start...

"When we first launched the AC45s in Auckland, we tested a bunch of different types of starts. We wanted something exciting, and we found that both upwind and downwind starts resulted in a clear winner each time. It wasn't exciting to watch. So we experimented with the reaching starts, where we found everyone was able to get to the mark at about the same time. It's comparable to other sports' starts, like motocross, horse racing, or NASCAR, where everyone starts behind a line, so it's easier to understand. This is a huge step forward for our sport. We have a complicated sport and we need to make it easier for spectators to understand. And it keeps the racing exciting for both the sailors and the spectators."

Marin magazine:

* Three years ago on February 14, 2010, BMW ORACLE Racing defeated Alinghi on the waters off Valencia, Spain to win the 33rd America's Cup Match. With the 2-0 victory, the team, led by team owner Larry Ellison, brought the America's Cup to San Francisco. -- Read on:

* Launched 25 years ago, Sailing World magazine's 2013 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD season gets underway with the first of its seven national events on February 15-17 in St. Petersburg, FL. Nine fleets will host both five keelboat one design classes, two PHRF classes, and the F-18 multihull. -- Details:

* (February 14, 2013) With over 300 nm remaining, 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 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. --

* Miami, FL(February 14, 2013) - The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today gave West Marine founder Randy Repass and former West Marine CEO Geoff Eisenberg the Charles F. Chapman Award at the Miami International Boat Show. First established in 1977, the Chapman Award recognizes individuals or groups that have provided consistent promotion and protection of the sport of boating and its benefits to both the recreational boating industry and the public. -- Soundings, full report:

* CORRECTION: The list of oldest match race challenge cups in Scuttlebutt 3776 had a typo in the year of the San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Trophy. The first event was in August 31, 1895, not 1885.

On 11 February, Jim Kirk, a "sailor's sailor" lost a tough battle against Myelodisplastic Syndrome. He was 62 years of age.

Jim was a fixture on the Finn circuit in the 1970s and early 1980's, with several appearances in the Olympic Trials and Finn Gold Cup. Early in his career he sailed Lightings at the Buffalo Canoe Club and even coached at the U.S. Naval Academy. Jim was also a pilot, competitive college (at Buffalo State) and masters rower, kayak designer/builder, and windsurfer.

In the 1980s Jim moved to Long Beach where he became active at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in the Laser Masters fleet, the Congressional Cup, and volunteering during various class championships and club projects. Jim demonstrated the most endearing reserve and mannerisms. You knew that he had your back and would be there to help if needed.

While of course he had great athletic ability, he was also an engineer with considerable fix-it skills, which he never failed to share. Jim really enjoyed going out of his way to help newcomers in the fleet with tuning and equipment or to offer a place to stay to sailors and rowers visiting Long Beach. The best local Laser sailors sought him out as a training partner because he always brought his "A" game- on time and ready to work hard.

True to form, rather than wait for the disease to further weaken him, he and his wife Ellen took to the fight to the City of Hope. He underwent two transplants with stem cells derived from cord blood. Neither transplant engrafted and after a brief interlude, Jim passed away; peaceful and aware.

Jim was a man of few words but a man of action... that's how he lived life and he'll definitely be missed in ours. Ellen, Jim's wife, invites family and friends for a brief gathering in his honor on Sunday, February 17, at 4:30pm, at Colorado Lagoon Park at the corner of E. 6th St. and Monrovia, Long Beach, CA. -- Read on:

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Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include kissing, comparison, conversation, crowds, concentration, caulking, compensation, and The Candy Store. Here are this week's photos:

Bonus Photos:
* The inaugural Olympic Classes Ocean Regatta was hosted last weekend by Lauderdale Yacht Club, with several of the events 4 held at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami driving north to Ft. Lauderdale. Unlike Biscayne Bay in Miami, LYC hosts their events in an 'ocean' and the course lived up to its potential. Photos by John Payne:

* The Melges 20 Winter Series in Miami was attended by 46 teams eager to put down their snow shovels and apply sunscreen for three days of racing. Joy Dunigan took to both boat and helicopter to provide these images:

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

Kiteboard course racing made its first appearance on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit in December 2012, where the fleet was not only the largest in Melbourne, Australia, but also the only fleet to be able to race in all conditions throughout the week, from virtually no wind up to 40 knots.

Paul Cousins provides this video edit (5:05) from Melbourne, capturing both the competition and the artistry of this dynamic class. Song "Shadow on the Sun" by Deya Dova.

While the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami did not include the class in its January event, kiteboards will be featured again among the Olympic and Paralympic events at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma, Spain on March 30-April 6.

Click here for this week's video:

Bonus Videos:
* This week on America's Cup Discovered we revisit the extraordinary race days of past America's Cups. February 14, 2013 marks the 3rd anniversary of the 33rd America's Cup, competed in giant multihulls in Valencia, Span between the Swiss team Alinghi and the USA's BMW Oracle Racing. Tune in for never been seen interviews and footage on Saturday February 16 approx 0800 PST 1100 EST:

* Admit it... an amphibious vehicle that hits 45 mph on both land and sea is on your bucket list. For those of you on secret, covert missions or perhaps who simply love the idea of merging a jet ski with an ATV, the Quadski offers an incredibly impressive amalgam of the two. At the click of a button, this patented High Speed Amphibian is ready for land and water in a matter of seconds, setting a new standard in flexibility, freedom and fun:

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

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 Gluek:
Thank you for your report regarding Johnson Boat Works in Scuttlebutt 3776.

Many of us throughout the Midwest can give credit for our love of racing from the upbringing we had racing scows. Those of us that are fortune enough to have a family scow background have sailed what I consider one of the best racing boats along with a top notch organization with the ILYA in the world. The scow organization can be proud of turning out many world class sailors along with great mentors such as Buddy Melges.

Johnson Boats built my grandfathers A scow which he raced in the ILYA back in the early 1920's and he made sure to have his grand children experience his same joy with a new cub boat built in late 1960's. The experience of visiting the shop while our boat was in early stages of production is what I remember most. Truly an art of top notch craftsmanship, design, and group of people under the Johnson's leadership taking pride in building race boats throughout the Midwest.

Many of us have gone on and made a career working within the marine industry which started from a passion sailing scows and would like to wish the Johnson family members the best ahead.

* From Walt Spevak:
Our family bought our first sailboat, a yellow 16' fiberglass "X" boat with a wooden mast and boom, from Johnson Boat Works in 1964, some 48 summers ago when I was 10. Steve Johnson was always available to help us kids with rigging tips and techniques to help us go faster.

Generations of Midwest sailors learned our sport on Johnson boats, raced against the Wisconsin kids sailing their Melges boats and have stories to tell decades later about sailing on White Bear Lake with its larger than life yacht club. Thank you to the Johnson family for introducing the sport of sailing to so many families these past 100+ years.


* From Brent Boyd:
Does anyone know what the real cost of viewing the America's Cup in SF is going to be? The only information currently available is the PR hype i.e. "great venue viewing on the pier starting at $999" (for a Season Pass) or you can buy a corporate suite for who knows how much. This tactic follows the Formula One model for seat pricing that occurred at the recent F1 event I attended in Austin, TX.

Two questions: 1) how much are the pier seats or admission for standing room really going to cost and, 2) how close/where can a personal yacht get to the course? Not many people I know can plan on spending two months in SF spectating at the complete event. I, of course, assume that SF hotel accommodations will triple in price as they did in Austin.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The problem with hosting an event for the first time is determining how it can be done, which is complicated further when you seek to monetize the spectating. The readily available information on the event website is still fairly vague. Hopefully there will soon be one area on the website that will list all the viewing options, both free and fee-based for water and land. When that becomes available, Scuttlebutt will happily promote it.

* From Jonathan Mix:
Too bad for the city of San Francisco. They've committed themselves to an ARod-type of contract: lots of money going out, way less than expected product coming in. Hopefully the boats don't all self-destruct early in the competition and everyone - the racers, the viewers and the city - get something other than a "Trainwreck Cup" series.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Is there a lesson here for how to survive in politics? The SF mayor that inked the deal, Gavin Newsom, left town in January 2011 to become the Lieutenant Governor of California. On the other hand, Kyri McClellan, the city employee who was integral in connecting all the vested parties for the America's Cup to come to San Francisco, is now the CEO of the America's Cup Organizing Committee that is struggling to fulfill their fundraising obligation.

An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction, an object at rest will always be in the wrong place, and the energy required to change either one of these states will always be more than you wish to expend, but never so much as to make the task totally impossible.

Doyle Sailmakers - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - North U -
US Sailing - - Gowrie Group - North Sails -
Waterline Systems - Ullman Sails - Melges Performance Sailboats -
Block Island Race Week - Samson - Samson Ropes -

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