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SCUTTLEBUTT 3781 - Friday, February 22, 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: Team One Newport and Block Island Race Week.

The impact of competition in the sport of sailing is undeniable. The higher the level, the more gratifying the prize, but the fewer willing to climb that mountain. Every class of racing, whether it's handicap or one design, must decide what balance they seek to achieve.

Professional sailor and sailmaker Dave Ullman provides some examples of this balance in action....
Let's start with the Melges 24 class. When I got involved in the second year of the Melges 24, that class grew at the fleet level. This was the early nineties, and in California we had a number of fleets, and people could compete locally or they could attend some of the traveling events within the state. But people didn't need to travel at all to have good racing. They had it in their home waters.

But now there is no Melges 24 fleet racing. Why? Expertise was the demise of the class. Some teams just got too good. The competitiveness within the class exceeded the ability of most people to keep up with it. Managing a class' competitiveness is two edged sword. Everybody might say they want to race against the best sailors in a highly competitive environment, and for some that is true. But there is a larger group that might like it for awhile but ultimately it becomes too much.

Let's consider how most of the established one design classes don't place limits on professional sailors. Classes like Thistles and Lightnings maintain their balance because they have strong fleets, local sailing, and a family foundation. And while these classes do have pro sailors within their ranks, most of them are sailmakers who understand the importance of keeping the class strong. Between the attitude of the class, and the boats offering good but not great performance, these classes can maintain a reasonable balance that serves a broader audience.

When the Melges 32 class came along in 2005, it offered phenomenal performance and immediately attracted a grand prix type crowd. It never got footing at the fleet level. It has established itself as a national and international boat, just like the 24 has become. Both these classes schedule a national circuit of events that everybody travels to. But I don't see the growth of these classes having a much more, if any, left in it.

As for the newest Melges boat, the Melges 20, this is another fast and fun boat that has attracted an elite group of sailors. Can this class get established at the fleet level? It's possible. The class has attracted great numbers at recent events in Florida, and while it is still growing, I wonder how much growth is left. Some of the new teams are spending a lot of money to compete in the class, and this historically is not what helps to foster growth.

It's great that there are various types of racing, but regardless of the level, if the motivation is to grow, the focus must be toward the "mid-fleet" sailors and not the top tier level.

Team One Newport has a very cool process to decorate and customize technical shirts. It's called dye sublimation and we have been doing this for 4 years! The process infuses dye into a polyester shirt rather than a screen printed process which is paint on top of the shirt. So with dye sublimation, the shirt will wick and move moisture away from your body to keep you dry and cool when you're sailing in hot weather. Polyester shirts have an inherent UV protection as well.

Team One Newport can customize shirts for your crew. If you need a single shirt, we can make it for you and there is no set charge for sublimation. If your sailing plans include the Bacardi Cup or Charleston Race Week or maybe a trip to the Caribbean, we can make you some great shirts! Sean is great designer and can help you design your shirt! Visit or email or

American Peter Wilson is a certified judge and umpire who wrote an article for Scuttlebutt almost two years ago about the decline of sailor compliance with the Fundamental Principle. As part of his follow up on this concern, he participated as a 'guest' on the Racing Rules Committee to help find ways to address this problem. Appendix T is the outcome of great work by the RRC... here's a brief report Peter provides for Scuttlebutt:
The right to protest is an important part of our self-regulating sport. It provides a way for a boat that has been fouled to get retribution. Either the offending boat immediately takes penalty turns worsening her position in the race, or she risks receiving a DSQ as the outcome of a protest hearing. This is the protest and penalty 'system' we sail under, but does it really work nearly as well as it should in today's world where almost all other sports have referee/umpire penalties that don't take you out of the game. The DSQ is 'draconian' punishment for most on-the-water rules breaches, except where there is serious damage or injury, or a breach of fair sailing.

Fortunately US Sailing has given us an opportunity to significantly improve the system. Appendix T, a new US Sailing prescription in the 2013-2016 rules, provides a great opportunity for fleets to change the penalty system in one-design racing by providing a broader range of alternative penalties that can be taken either while racing, or after racing. Not only are the alternative penalties more appropriate for most rule breaches, but making them available offers competitors more options to resolve their disputes, and can significantly reduce the need for most protest hearings.

We all know that most sailors are generally reluctant to protest competitors in fleet racing for many reasons: protesting can be an onerous process that takes away from social activities; the outcome can depend on the quality of the judges; protesting your friends has an unpleasant stigma; and, there is a real risk that the protestor is found to have broken a rule and gets the DSQ. On the other hand, it is also evident that many sailors don't avail themselves of the two-turns penalty when protested, for a myriad of reasons: they try to satisfy the protestor with "I owe you one"; they 'bet' that the protestor won't follow through and file the protest; or they are not really sure that they broke a rule until the crew talks it through after the incident, and then it's too late to spin and exonerate.

I suspect if you ask most sailors today about what they really want when they protest a boat that has fouled, they would tell you they want some kind of 'fair retribution'. Ideally this would be immediate acknowledgement and a penalty turn or two that sets the offending boat back several places, and clearly behind the protesting boat. And in most incidents, we really do not want the offending boat to be disqualified from the race.

For these reasons at Noroton Yacht Club the Sailing Instructions for our weekend Sonar fleet racing now incorporate the essence of the new Appendix T... read on:

Here's Peter's earlier report published on March 17, 2011:

After Adam Cort's commentary in Scuttlebutt 3780 regarding champagne celebrations at America's Cup events, Scuttlebutt HQ received several inquires as to whether it was already April 1st. Not yet, we said, but it is on a Monday this year so you better be ready.

"Champagne! In victory, one deserves it; in defeat one needs it" - Napoleon

G.H.Mumm & Cie, the official champagne sponsor of the Formula 1 since 2000, explains the history of the champagne celebration:

"The legend began on 13 May 1950 when the preeminent championship was created: Formula 1. The first Grand Prix race took place on the Silverstone Circuit in England, with the same distance as today's events, slightly over 300 km. The tradition of paying tribute to the winner with a bottle of champagne began that same year at the Reims-Gueux circuit in the Champagne region of France. But it was actually 16 years later when the prize-giving ceremony on the podium took the form that we now today. Jo Siffert, after winning his category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, unwittingly enriched the tradition. On the podium, the cork popped out of his overheated bottle of champagne, showering the onlookers below. The following year, in 1967, Dan Gurney celebrated his victory by deliberately spraying the crowd, a gesture that is now a Formula 1 ritual."

Concerning Cort's opinion, we got to wonder about where each sport hosted its champagne celebration. Thanks to Google images, there was a trend for team sports to typically celebrate in private (sort of) while individual sports did so in public:

In locker room: Basketball, baseball
In public: Auto racing, fishing, sailing
24/7: Rugby

At least one sport is concerned about the tradition. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has voiced his displeasure with the champagne-soaked celebrations that teams engage in following postseason victories. "This is something I am not happy about: spraying champagne all over," Selig said. "I'm not a fan of that."

Since they are a sponsor of the 34th America's Cup, the Moet moment will continue, but here is some advice so as to avoid champagne fatigue:

"The worst thing I think coaching does is intimidate the players who have no coach. If you need a coach to help you at your Championship, I don't think you're ready to sail in it! One more layer of cost to a struggling program. What's happened to self initiative?" - Terry Bischoff, past Executive Director of the Inland Lake Yachting Association,

* Sail Newport's 2013 Brooke Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic will be held for the 12th year on June 13-16 in Newport, RI. Applicants 14 -18 years of age are selected based upon their resume. This is a very intense, high-level program held in Lasers and Laser Radials, International 420's, Club 420's, Bytes and multi-hull F16's. Deadline for applications is April 1, 2013. Details here:

* The J/22 Class will honor its 30th anniversary this year with a World Championship in the birthplace of the J/22 - in Newport, Rhode Island. From October 1-5, J/22 competitors from around the globe will convene for five days of racing in one of the most venerable keelboats worldwide to take place in the legendary sailing venue on Narragansett Bay. Sail Newport will serve as the Organizing Authority and host site for the World Championship event. -- Details:

* (February 21, 2013) - The MOD70 class announced today that US-based Orion Racing will join the MOD70 circuit when it resumes in 2014. Cam Lewis, one of the top American multihull sailors and longtime ambassador for multihull sailing in the US, is a principal in the formation of the team. The boat and team will set up a training camp in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in May and then move to San Francisco for the summer and fall season. -- Full report:

* Sydney, Australia (February 21, 2013) - A rig choice in the park at Double Bay was critical to the Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel's victory in Race 5 of the Winning Group 2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today. With the ese breeze on the edge of the #1 and #2 rigs, the teams electing to go for the bigger rigs took four of the top five placings. Overall scores find Gotta Love It 7 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel each with a total of 8 points after discard, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 14. -- Full report:

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.

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include what not to do in front of photo boats, what not to do on a scooter, what the girls are doing, what the smart people are doing, what they do in OZ, the long way from New York, 54 years ago, and altitude sailing. Here are this week's photos:

Bonus Photos:
The stadium of Sydney Harbour in Australia annually hosts the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, the class' unofficial world championship. Photos courtesy of Frank Quealey:

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

While sailors strive to optimize the designs of their boats in an effort to ensure a greater chance of winning, the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) hopes to help level the proverbial playing field.

SYRF' s mission is to provide the sport of yacht racing with the technology, tools, research, and expertise necessary to broaden and deepen the understanding of yacht dynamics, to improve the fairness of yacht racing handicapping and rating rules, and encourage the universal adoption and implementation of those rules.

SYRF has an ambitious program to conduct further research to better refine the understanding of sailing yacht performance and to investigate those areas - such as unsteady sailing - where our knowledge only scratches the surface.

The results of SYRF'S work will be introduced into the public domain through rating rule development and through technical papers SYRF produces on the heels of its various research findings.

This week's video pulls back the curtain of SYRF...

Bonus Videos:
* Jeremy Leonard of Sail Revolution provides this interview with Ryan Breymaier, who was among the crew that smashed the New York to San Francisco Record with a time of 47 days 0 hours 42 minutes and 29 seconds. Jeremy snagged this interview with Ryan just after he hit the dock in San Francisco:

* With 53 starters representing 31 nations, the RORC Caribbean 600 has been getting rave reviews. Started from Antigua on February 18th 2013, here is stabilized, on the water footage of all classes starting. Includes before and after Liara's rig comes down:

* America's Cup defender Oracle Team USA provides the most revealing video of any team sailing their AC72. In fact, it may be the very first public footage of an AC72 tacking. After the team's horrific capsize in October that damaged their platform and destroyed their wing, it would seem safe to say that they are baaaack:

* This week on America's Cup Discovered we take you on a journey through time and technology. We get an all time exclusive when we get invited to spend a day on the water with Ted Turner, as he reforms his 1977 victorious 'Courageous' crew to commemorate this win 35 years ago. Then we take a leap into the future to see how some of the technology has evolved in our sport since Newport, Rhode Island. The award winning LiveLine team who bring impressive graphics to our screens is great for the spectators, but do the competitors like sailing by lights and being umpired by a computer? Tune in on Saturday February 23 approx 0800 PST 1100 EST:

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 Larry Moran - Chicago, IL:
The reports submitted by Glenn McCarthy and Dave Perry in Scuttlebutt 3780 are two of the finest posts I have read here in the past ten years. Thank you very much for publishing them. I think they are both very important. Perhaps you'll publish them both again, in case anybody misses Scuttlebutt 3780. (Or view them here:

* From Mark Chisnell:
I loved the note (in Scuttlebutt 3780) on the likely smell of an Open 60 after a trip around the world, but that's just one person. If you want real stench, you have to step onto a Volvo 70 just after the finish and then bravely, boldly, go down below.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark would know, having been a key member of the editorial team that followed the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race.

* From Russell Painton:
Having read the article in Scuttlebutt 3780 decrying the "elitist" spraying of champagne at sailing trophy presentations, I should like to refer the writer to the trophy celebrations at NASCAR races, the bluest of blue collar sports.

* From Peter Grimm Jr:
Concerning the champagne celebrations, and with all due respect to Mssrs. Cort and Leweck in Butt #3780, but the Americas Cup is Formula 1! I'm sure there is enough Magnums of Moet to go around in the "locker room" for the Red Bull F1 Team!

As for those poor young ladies handing off the ammunition, I doubt their inner voice is "OMG another food fight!" Enough Said

"Do not be awe struck by other people and try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as you can." - Norman Vincent Peale

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