Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3780 - Thursday, February 21, 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: Atlantis WeatherGear and Ullman Sails.

By Glenn T. McCarthy, LMSRF
The Wall Street Journal in the 1980's wrote about the Walt Disney Company's decision to hire a Harvard MBA to run their business. In the Imagineering Department, this expert installed time clocks, layered on all sorts of reports and insisted on budgets (the Imagineers had to go to the dictionary to look up the word "budget"). Didn't we all at one time want to be an Imagineer?

During the time this money guy was in charge, the sales dropped, the stock value dropped, and output of the Imagineering Department dropped. The money guy from Harvard was replaced by a new guy who stripped out the time clocks, removed the budgets and paperwork, and let the Imagineers get back to doing what they do best - Invent fun (my personal favorite is the Hall of Presidents).

As I've gone through my experiences to help lead this sport, one of my Gold Medal Olympian friends sat on the US Sailing Board of Directors. He endured monthly conference calls and complained, "All they talk about is money. Money, money, money. Don't they ever talk about sailing? God, it is boring to listen to that stuff, and I have nothing to contribute."

Look at your meetings (board of directors, committees, social, etc.) and think about their agendas. If they are focused on how to add fun to your sailing and power boating, and the last item on the agenda is how the money thing is going, you'll be following the Disney model of performance and you'll find that your money thing falls right into order.

Comparing a humongous business centered on fun vs. a yacht club centered on fun, the correlation exists. But turn the agenda around, that makes it all about money first, and has everyone burned out by the time the discussion on boating and fun comes along. Then be prepared for a very long, dismal financial road ahead, like the Walt Disney Company in the 1980's.

Format the structure of your agendas to make sure that your events are sound, prepared with elements of fun and craziness in them, and then lastly look at the decimal points. It is a great way to manage successfully. -- Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation,

While some areas of the sport are desperate for participation, activity in match racing and team racing in the U.S. has never been stronger. Dave Perry, who is an active match racer as both participant and coach, provides his perspective on this shift:
We lose a lot of kids in the sport from 16-24 years old. I see those years as a "bridge" from junior sailing to adult sailing. College sailing is one of the "bridges" for sure, but many don't have the college sailing experience for whatever good reason (often their size is an issue, and of course where they go to school and what they choose to do with their time there, etc., etc.). So they need other "bridges" they can do and afford.

Most young adults don't have a dime to their name. If they are active, it's often with crewing on boats at their club or in their area. I doubt many are buying boats. So when clubs and other associations have programs where people can have access to their boats, that really helps.

We have seen a resurgence of 20-something sailors at my club (the Pequot Yacht Club in Southport, CT) since we began owning Ideal 18's back in the 90's. A dozen or so other clubs around Long Island Sound and elsewhere have similar programs. It is not uncommon for these sailors, as they get older, to want their own boats. We have a bunch of J Boats in our harbor now that race regularly. And in turn they take the younger kids as their crew.

Match racing and team racing are not usually ends unto themselves, but are other disciplines in the sport that excite sailors, accelerate their learning, and provide a "bridge" for that 16-24 year old group so they remain active in the sport.

At a recent North U match racing clinic in San Diego, the participants were sailors of all sorts of boats from Etchells to Snipes to Lidos to Lasers, etc. They won't stop sailing those boats if they enjoy match or team racing. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, these kinds of clinics are invigorating in my experience, helping what can become stale become interesting again...everyone benefits.

I encourage anything that raises the excitement level and expertise of 16-24 year old sailors, as I think those are the two ingredients to having a great experience in anything we do....and will provide the best "bridges" into adult sailing.

We try to head south whenever we can, especially when it's snowing and gusting 50 here in Marblehead. But when we have to satisfy our sailing jones by jumping into a boat on a Sunday for a bit of frostbiting, we don't leave the dock without the new Challenger jacket. Waterproof, windproof, breathable and cozy with 120 grams of lofted polyester insulation and a super soft tricot lining - and on sale this week for $179 (regularly $280) at. We'll even ship it for free!

Discover the best gear for winter sailing. Discover your Atlantis.

The rescue early last week of Alain Delord, the French single-hander whose boat was dismasted and holed Jan. 18 in the Southern Ocean, after he spent three days in a life raft offers a graphic reminder of the importance of choosing a raft that matches your voyage.

In the age of EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Beacons), it's easy to lulled into thinking that prolonged life raft ordeals like the one described by Steve Callahan in his classic tale "Adrift" are a thing of the past. Had it not been for the assistance of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, who dropped Delord a better raft with food, water, and a survival suit, the 63-year-old singlehander might not be alive today. Delord was eventually picked up by a cruise ship that detoured more than 700 miles to rescue him.

Life raft survival kits used by the recreational yachting community can generally be divided into five categories based, in part, on the distance in miles the yacht will be sailing from shore. Types of emergency survival packs include ISO Pack I, ISO Pack II, SOLAS B Pack, Offshore Pack (Type E), and Coastal Pack. -- Practical Sailor, read on:

As Sailing Director for Artemis Racing, the 36-year old Brit Iain Percy describes the scene at the compound for the America's Cup Challenger of Record:

"Anyone who knows anything about our sport comes to a team base and sees the operation is flabbergasted. No matter how big you think previous Cups have been this is a massive scale bigger. Everything is new, every part is engineered as a one-off; we have no experience in designing or building boats like this. It just takes a lot of energy and a lot of time from all departments to pull that together." -- Sailing World, full interview:

Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority, on whether Oracle CEO Larry Ellison would defend the America's Cup again in San Francisco if his Oracle Team USA were to win the 34th Match:

"I think San Francisco has a huge chance to have the Cup again should Oracle win. That said I don't think it's (automatically going to get the event). But clearly it will be a fantastic event. San Francisco will be the lead contender to host it again...." -- San Francisco Business Times, full report:

By Adam Cort, SAIL magazine
Call it sour grapes, but I for one am getting sick and tired of the way many sailors - pros in particular - feel it necessary to spray champagne all over the place after winning a regatta. The first few times, I suppose it was kind of funny. The next few dozen times may have been fun as well. But after years of wasting untold hundreds, if not thousands of perfectly good bottles of bubbly, I say it's time to stop the madness.

We're sailors after all. Aren't we supposed to want to chug this stuff by the barrel-full? Can you imagine Sir Francis Drake or Ernest Shackleton deliberately showering a bunch of their friends with perfectly good drink as they celebrated their latest sailing adventure? I should think not! True, they probably spilled plenty of hooch over the years, but I strongly suspect it was not only purely accidental, but the result of a fair bit of the stuff having already made its way safely down their gullets. (Heaven knows I've wasted my share of drink under these very circumstances!)

How many more gallons of Moet will Oracle skipper James Spithill be allowed to callously sacrifice before his Australian compatriots - a people renowned for their appreciation of good drink - say enough is enough? Admittedly, champagne is not really the beverage of choice for our friends Down Under, but that's no excuse. How many more gallons will we Americans allow to be spattered across the San Francisco waterfront during the upcoming America's Cup before we do the same?

And what of the poor young ladies whose job it is to supply these rascals with their ammunition? How must they feel knowing their moment in the limelight is destined to devolve into the liquid equivalent of a food fight? "Congratulations, Mr. Coutts, on your victory. Let me present you with this bottle of...EEK!" The next time a pretty girl hands me a magnum of chilled champagne, I can assure I will say thank you, and drink it right down - I might even use a glass, if one is handy. --

COMMENT: Does spraying magnums of Moet on a stage help the America's Cup connect to the average sports fan, or is it better to uncork the bottles within the locker room as in other team sports? What if we were to go back to throwing the winning crew into the ocean? Now that's something everybody can enjoy! - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

Ullman Sails customers dominated Viper 640 racing last weekend, sweeping the podium at the SoCal Midwinters and winning in New Orleans! Dr. Jim Sears and team on "Team FNG" won the SCYA Midwinter Championships in Long Beach, finishing one point ahead of Kevin Taugher. All of the top four finishers in the Viper 640 class were fully powered by Ullman Sails! Lee Eikel's "Last Call" also took first place at New Orleans YC's 2013 Mardi Gras Race Week. Eikel's team won the event with four straight bullets using an Ullman Sails mainsail and spinnaker.

Invest in your performance.

Professional sailor and sailmaker Dave Ullman shook the earth 25 years ago when he said how the sport needed to legislate the pros out of sailboat racing. Dave's motivation wasn't to spend more time on the golf course; he had concerns about the impact of professionalism in an amateur sport.

His view today hasn't changed much. Here is how he feels about professional coaching during regattas...

"I think regatta coaching is an expense that should be limited to only grand prix classes. When a regatta gets inundated with coaches and support boats, the result is a divisive environment of haves and have nots. For all types of racing short of the grand prix level, the emphasis should be on fostering a community atmosphere. I am not even sure there is enough value in event coaching to outweigh the expense. There is huge value in having coaches before a regatta, but once you limit communication during a regatta, the value is greatly diminished. But regardless of its benefit, it does create a perception of an advantage. Especially during the tow in."

* (February 20, 2013) - The records for the RORC Caribbean 600 barely survived during the 2013 edition, with Peter Aschenbrenner's 63ft trimaran Paradox finishing this morning with an elapsed time of 40:22:52, just missing out on the Multihull Course Record of 40:11:05 set by ORMA 60, Region Guadeloupe in the 2009 race. Mike Slade's Farr 100 ICAP Leopard also came up short, crossing the finish line today with an elapsed time of 45:58:05, just outside the Monohull Course Record set by George David's Rambler 100 of 40 Hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds. -- Event website:

* Sydney, Australia (February 20, 2013) - A three-way battle to win the Winning Group 2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship hotted up today on Sydney Harbour when Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took the win in Race 4. Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas and Dave O'Connor bounced back after a horror day in Race 3 when they were forced to retire with a broken bobstay. With a discard, Gotta Love It 7 holds the lead on 4 points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 6, and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 7. Strong southerly winds are predicted over the coming days. Racing concludes Sunday. -- Full report:

* (February 20, 2013; Day 103) - Italian skipper Alessandro Di Benedetto, the remaining skipper in the 2012-13 Vendee Globe, is now 300 nm from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. He estimates his ETA to be Friday morning. --

* The Gazprom Swan 60 Class has been officially recognised as a one design class by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The Swan 60 was designed by German Frers and the first boat was launched in 2008; eight Swan 60s are now racing from five countries across two continents. The Gazprom Swan 60 Class has been developed in conjunction with the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg and will now hold a World Championships in Cowes this summer. --

* (February 20, 2013) - The first poll of the spring college sailing season finds Georgetown and Charleston tied up at the top of the coed ranking, while Dartmouth edges Yale for first place in the women's ranking. Eighteen coaches voted in this poll: Boston College, Bowdoin, Brown, Charleston, Cornell, Eckerd, Fordham, Georgetown, Hawaii, Hobart/Wm. Smith, MIT, Navy, Rhode Island, South Florida, Stanford, SUNY Maritime, UC San Diego, and Wisconsin. -- Details:

"I absolutely love this race; the course, the weather and the welcome we receive back in Antigua is just the best, anywhere. The RORC Caribbean 600 is one of the premier yacht races worldwide and (we) will definitely be back next year." - Mike Slade after his Farr 100 ICAP Leopard won monohull line honors,

Scuttlebutt Sailing Club, the official club of the Scuttlebutt newsletter, has been officially sanctioned by US Sailing since 2001. Scuttlebutt Sailing Club was launched to provide an affordable (free!) club membership option to fulfill the requirement for race entry, and now offers membership cards, window decals, and coffee mugs. Need a club? Details here:

* Congrats to SSC members Scott Witt and Andrew MacDonald, who finished second in the J/80 class and fourth in the Star class, respectively, this past weekend at the Southern California Midwinters.

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 Katie Downing:
It was so good to hear an Olympic medalist speak out loud (in Scuttlebutt 3779) about whether the changes to the Olympics may affect a person's desire to pursue this dream.

Says 2012 Olympic silver medalist Nick Dempsey (GBR), "How can you spend four years of your life training for what could come down to one 15 minute blast in Rio where the winner takes all, regardless of how they have sailed in the rest of the event?"

Someone please remind ISAF that if the Olympics do not attract the best sailors, nobody is going to care what kind of show they create.

* Keith Simpson:
Reading about Mike Golding's recovery after the Vendee Globe (in Scuttlebutt 3779) helps to shape the picture of what life must be like on an Open 60 for three months. But one thing I have never heard anyone comment on is the stench of the boat as it arrives at the dock after the finish. I know what I smell like after a couple days without a shower. The stench off the boat must be unbelievable!

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity for companies to announce new products and services.
* Performance Analysis RaceReplay V9
* Junior sailing fundraiser - Ultimate Sailing calendar
* Euro Marine Trading, Inc. welcomes Herman Blanke to the team!
View/post updates here:

When properly administered, vacations do not diminish productivity. For every week you are away and get nothing done, there is another week when your boss is away and you get twice as much done.

North Sails - Atlantis WeatherGear - Gunboat -
North U - APS - Sail To Prevail - Ullman Sails -
Team One Newport - Block Island Race Week -

Need stuff? Look here: