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SCUTTLEBUTT 3783 - Tuesday, February 26, 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: North Sails, North U, and Farr 40 class.

San Francisco, CA (February 25, 2013) - Five of the best youth sailing teams in the world have qualified for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup following a grueling two-week Selection Series in San Francisco. The 12 crews, from 11 countries, were pushed to the limit as they fought for the right to compete in September's races.

National crews from Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland, made the cut to advance to the Red Bull Youth America's Cup where they will meet five crews supported by current America's Cup teams

Double Olympic Gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, the Sports Directors for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, made the selections after closely monitoring the teams on and off the water during the two back-to-back selection weeks. With the high talent level and extreme motivation of the crews, there were hard choices to make.

"This has been very difficult," Hagara said. "The level of each team is much higher than we could have hoped for, which is good. But only five of them are able to race with us in September so today's decision wasn't easy to make."

Race results made up 60-percent of the selection criteria. Teams were also evaluated on professionalism on and off the water, as well as on the training programs they have set up to develop their skills further between now and September.

"We always said we were looking for the best of the best," said Steinacher. "And that's what we have now. I believe any of these five teams will be capable of winning in September."

The teams proved their mettle in challenging winter conditions on San Francisco Bay, one of the most challenging race venues in the world. Cold and strong winter winds made taming the AC45 catamarans, with their towering wing sails, difficult. But the youth sailors, aged 19-24, were up to the task.

"We went into this with a plan not to let them sail in over 15 knots of wind and to keep the teams inside the Bay Bridge," Steinacher said. "We broke both of those rules on the very first day! Fortunately, the teams have shown us they are able to handle the boats in conditions that are on the limit."

The five teams selected today have now qualified to race in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup from September 1-4, in a fleet that includes five additional youth crews supported by current America's Cup teams. -- Full story:

Russell Coutts, CEO, ORACLE TEAM USA, and a driving force behind the creation of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup: "The Red Bull Youth America's Cup is meant to be a way for youth sailors to show their talents and make it to the pro sailing ranks. This (on the AC45 wing sail catamaran) is some of the best and most fun racing I've done in years. I'm sure they'll enjoy it too."

By Kimball Livingstone, Blue Planet Times
I don't think anyone connected to America's Cup competition was quite prepared for the poise and capability of the young sailors who showed up this month to try out for a spot in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. An event that once sounded vague and dicey is taking on real form, and much of the credit goes to high-spirited, grass roots enthusiasm. The British team, for example, did their training in a barn.

Well, mostly.

AC45s are a mite scarce in the UK. So are reasonable substitutes. A little time on a 23-footer did no harm, but it's just not the same, and you could say as much of a light-air day on a 26-footer, but at least, says, crewman Peter Austin, "That one had winches."

For lack of anything better, Austin relates, "We drew out the deck of a 45-footer in the barn at James French's house on the Isle of Wight. We laid a bench down the middle, where the spine of the boat would be, so we'd have to climb over it. We ran a bungee where the wing would be so we'd have to duck, and we went through tack, gybe, hoist, deploy, tack, gybe, hoist, deploy, tack, gybe, hoist, deploy."

The team had already developed a playbook from six hours of studying video, and every maneuver in the playbook was broken down into a series of small steps. The drills were intense and serious, and the moves were ingrained. This was the dress rehearsal. Add a bit of coaching and some tips from the teams, and the GBR Youth Challenge hit day one in trim. America's Cup PRO John Craig, fully impressed, declared, "They just went out there and started sailing the boat." --

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If you plan to compete the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (Mar 3-9), take a look at the commentary included in the event brochure by Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck. The importance of 'community' within the sport cannot be understated, and one of its primary tenets is discussed in this excerpt by Gary Dickinson from the February edition of 48 degrees North:
There seem to be many barriers to socializing with others on land. The reasons might be differences in class, position or status, the job you have or how much money you make. In addition, on land people seem to segregate themselves to likeminded people. There must be some truth in the saying, birds of a feather stick together. We are just too busy to take time to build relationships with our neighbors.

Our diversity on land can unwittingly lead to walls being put up between us. Our differences can sometimes keep us apart even if we live in the same community. Last summer I was lucky to spend some time near an Amish community. I saw neighbor helping neighbor and witnessed their strong sense of community. It reminded me of how my neighborhood was when I was young. Times have changed and I think somewhere among these changes we have lost the connection of community our parents once shared.

We are so busy with the things that fill our lives that most of us could not name the family members of those people who live across the street or next door to us. We live in a day and age of instant messaging, cell phones in our hands 24/7 whose calls and texts interrupt real life conversations that are taking place, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. We have 716 friends on Facebook but can't find a single person sit across from if we really needed the comfort of someone to talk to. We can read every thought someone felt was important enough to post on twitter all in an effort to stay connected. The modern devices we use to stay connected to everyone out there can become walls that keep us from real connections and community. They keep us isolated, and our world becomes very small.

I am happy that these barriers do not exist when you are on the water. On the water, people are more authentic and accept each other as fellow boaters. The barriers that seem to exist between fisherman, sailors and power boaters on land dissolve once they are on the water. Once the bond that ties us to the land is severed new bonds can be made.

The barriers between people when they are on land seem to just come down and dissolve when they are on the water. We all become part of something greater than ourselves. We become members of the boating community. -- Full story:

By Bill Allen, President, ISCYRA
Some of you may have seen the note in Sailing Anarchy suggesting that the Star was back in the Olympics for Rio 2016. Unfortunately, this is just a rumor. The article suggests that the host country can add an event of their choosing, which is not true.

The situation is the same as we have reported for the past year. The Olympic committee in Brazil may request an 11th medal for sailing. A final confirmation of all Olympic events will be made by IOC in late summer or early fall.

The spreading of rumors concerning Olympic status does not help our position. I will inform Star Class membership with any new developments. I keep in contact with all relevant parties and therefore have the most accurate and current information. -- Report at:

Emirates Team New Zealand's Chris McAsey has been a grinder with the team since 2001, with experience of two monohull campaigns, the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, two seasons of the MedCup and now the catamarans.

He sometimes regrets the passing of the monohulls and sailing in T-shirt, shorts and sunglasses. But, the regret is momentary because the AC72 is much more fun. McAsey describes the experience of sailing on the AC72 as a mixture of enjoyment, fear and pure adrenalin and he's confesses that at times he's not sure which emotion is kicking in.

These days the on-board dress code is helmets, lifejackets, kneepads, wet suits and spare air, a small cylinder fashion accessory the sailing crew carry on their backs. One of Chris' responsibilities has been to manage the development of the personal safety inventory - a necessary precaution for crews on yachts capable of 40 plus knots.

In the event of a capsize, the air cylinder will give anyone trapped under water a few precious fills of air to give them time to cut their way free.

A day on the water is full on for everyone on board, and everyone except skipper and helmsman Dean Barker spends time grinding. "It's very, very physical," Chris says. When he's not burning up calories on the winches he works at maintaining them. Not that he's complaining.

"Sailing with Emirates Team New Zealand is not really a job," he says. "Perhaps it's the perfect job… being paid to do what we want to do. The aim everyone here is to win the America's Cup. And that would validate what we have been doing for all these years." -- Story at:

North U Rules & Tactics Seminars (and Webinars) are coming soon to a city (or desktop) near you. We take the myth and mystery out of the rules so you'll understand your rights (and obligations) in any situation. The seminars cover all the rules - new and old - and related Tactics with a new Racing Rules & Tactics Workbook created by Dave Perry. US Sailing Memberships and Discounts! Full details and registration: 800-347-2457,

* The 2013 Laser Midwinters East Regatta hosted by Clearwater Yacht Club concluded over the weekend. After 10 races scored in the Laser 4.7 (9 boats), Andy Burns (USA), was the clear leader in first place with 9 points. In the 59-strong Laser Standard fleet racing was tight with Clay Johnson (USA) taking first with 20 points, David Wright (CAN) in second with 23, and Juan Maegli (GUA) in third with 27 points. Luke Ramsay (CAN) led the Laser Radial gold fleet finishing first with 7 points. In the silver fleet, Mott Parks Blair V (USA) took first with 126 points. -- Full results:

* (February 25, 2013) - San Francisco's new $90 million cruise ship terminal opens for business Tuesday but its first customers are going to be quite a bit smaller than the 4,000-passenger behemoths that will be docking at Pier 27 next year. From March through October, the two-story facility will be the headquarters for the America's Cup races. The Phase I construction that's completed now will be used for a variety of America's Cup events, as well as providing hospitality facilities and a viewing area for the races, with the finish line located just past the new terminal. -- Full story:

* Sydney, Australia, (February 25, 2013) - Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion was today declared the winner of the John Calvert-Jones Trophy and named the Aberdeen Asset Management Australian Farr 40 Champion for the 2012-13 season. Transfusion won all three lead-up state titles and this afternoon collected the clincher, the nine-race national one-design regatta sailed over two days on a blustery Sydney Harbour. This is Belgiorno-Nettis' fourth national title in the class, having also been crowned in 2012, 2010, 2009, and in 2011 he won the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Sydney. -- Full story:

* (February 25, 2013) - The Coast Guard are actively searching off Monterey, California, for a family of four who reported their sailboat was sinking yesterday afternoon. Around 4:30 p.m., crew from the 29-ft sailboat Charm Blow (make unknown) radioed the Coast Guard that their boat was taking on water off Pillar Point and their electronics were failing. An hour later, the crew notified the Coast Guard they were abandoning ship, but that they didn't have a life raft or EPIRB aboard. Instead, they said they were fashioning a makeshift life raft using a cooler and a life ring. -- Details at:

* (February 25, 2013) - Nimrod Mashich (ISR) and Patricia Freitas (BRA) got their preparations for the 2013 RS:X World Championship off to a flying start after winning gold at the RS:X South American Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The South American title went to Ricardo Santos (BRA) who takes the title for the sixth time. Freitas comfortably took gold ahead of Bruna Martinelli (BRA) with London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Marina Alabau (ESP) rounding off the podium. -- Full story:

Scuttlebutt is seeking 1 or 2 editorial interns this summer to help us produce our world famous publication. If you are in college and are seeking an internship, please review the requirements here:

US Sailing is deeply saddened by the passing of Charlie Leighton, 77, a sailing industry leader, contributor, and life-long sailor. Leighton served as the Executive Director of US Sailing from January 2005 through October 2010, and had a far-reaching impact on its members, staff and volunteers.

Leighton's successful six-year stint as Executive Director was spirited by his ability to recruit and develop a skilled and competent management staff. His strong business background was a key to the organization achieving and sustaining financial stability. Charlie's leadership style was to lead by example and he set the bar high.

Tom Hubbell, President, US Sailing, said, "When Charlie came on board as Executive Director, the board and staff were thrilled that we could work with a person of this depth of business experience and gift of interpersonal skills. And Charlie exceeded even those expectations. He radiated a positive attitude. He believed that bringing in very good people would produce very good results. US Sailing grew stronger and happier under his leadership."

Leighton graduated from Bowdoin College in 1957, and started the school's first sailing team. He later graduated from the Harvard Business School where he was a member of the faculty and later president of the alumni council. He competed in numerous adult National Championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, as well as the U.S. Junior Triplehanded Championship (Sears Cup). He was chairman of an America's Cup syndicate and is a winner of numerous offshore races, including the Marblehead-Halifax race. He also served as Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, and remained an active sailor by racing and cruising his 42-foot Hinckley, Whitecap.

Leighton had an extensive career in business and finance: 
-Chairman and CEO of the CML Group Inc., a NYSE listed company
-Director at MetLife
-President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Council
-Trustee of the Lahey Clinic
Memorial gifts may be made to Sail to Prevail, P.O. Box 1264, Newport RI 02840 or A memorial celebration of his life will be held in Newport this spring. -- Details at:

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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 Scott McLeod (re, Scuttlebutt 3782):
Interesting comparison on VOR & Nascar - at the new lower cost (approximately $5M per year over 3 years to title a campaign) we are putting the VOR in front of more clients looking at that price range for potential sponsorship ideas against comparable sports events (tennis, golf, etc.). We wouldn't have even considered VOR at the previous cost levels against comparably priced events. Compelling, consistent personalities with great stories will ultimately drive better media and greater fan interest than new costly technology.

* From David Eisenberg, Kansas City, MO:
In response to Peter Rugg's question where to find Appendix T (Scuttlebutt 3782), go to From there, the first item on the page links you to the prescriptions. These are US Sailing prescriptions, and thus don't appear in the ISAF version of the RRS.

When in doubt, take all the time you need to get all the facts, or all the time you have, whichever is less.

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