SCUTTLEBUTT 3785 - Thursday, February 28, 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: Ullman Sails and New York Yacht Club.
HOW TO ANSWER: "HOW EXPENSIVE IS SAILING?"
By Glenn T. McCarthy, LMSRF
It might be a social occasion or a news reporter brings about THE QUESTION. The worst thing anyone of us can do is perpetuate the myth that sailing is for millionaires. We all know it's not and we only can identify a small number of sailors who actually are millionaires. So, what does each of us need to have in mind when this question is asked? You already know THE QUESTION is coming, you just don't know when.
Answer it the way politicians answer all of their questions want to give that is not the answer to the question. What is the answer you want to give to help kill the myth?
Be ready to answer that, "Teachers, plumbers, fire from all walks of life sail. It is not a millionaire's game Most everyone can afford to go sailboat racing, with a variety of affordable levels to play in. drive a car to the store and how many drive open wheel Indy cars? There are a lot more sailors who drive a sailboat whose cost is equivalent to a car taken to the grocery store than drive sailboats equal to open wheel Indy cars!"
In that answer, didn't you just say that sailing is for everyone? Didn't you just help destroy the myth? That is one way to answer when this inevitable question comes up. Keep this answer in mind.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has media programs to teach their dealers and spokespersons how to answer this and other common questions that the media asks. We, as sailors, need prepared answers too!
Personally I believe the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Olympic Games damage the image of club racing. They leave everyone believing it is a sport for Kings or the third richest guy in the world (Larry Ellison - AC72, Oracle). They do discuss how much money these teams spend. No common person can play these games. It is way out of their reach, and out of the reach of every sailor I know, too. They look at it like watching an NFL game, thinking they have no chance in trying out for an NFL team. They never hear about the college sailing teams, high school sailing teams or youth/junior sailing programs like they are familiar with college, high school and pee-wee football. We need to educate the public and describe how access to sailing is very achievable for all levels of affordability.
Be prepared with a short canned answer that is not a direct answer they are looking for! Give the pre-canned indirect answer! -- Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation, http://www.lmsrf.org/lmsrf/images/stories/newsletters/2013_02_LMSuRF.pdf
SEVEN PODIUM FINISHES AT MARDI GRAS RACE WEEK
Ullman Sails customers claimed seven podium finishes at 2013 Mardi Gras Race Week! David Bolyard Jr., Collin Ross and Miia Newman won the VX One class, earning Boat of the Regatta honors in the regatta's largest fleet. In the Capdevielle division in Flying Scots, New Orleans YC's team scored first overall. Both teams were fully powered by Ullman Sails. And Lee Eikel's "Last Call" dominated the Viper 640 class with four straight bullets using an Ullman Sails mainsail and spinnaker. Hosted by New Orleans YC, competitors raced in challenging conditions with winds ranging from 0-26kts during the three-day event.
WATCH AND BE WATCHED - IT'S THE AMERICA'S CUP
Surveillance is part of America's Cup life. Everyone does it. Emirates Team New Zealand coach Rod Davis muses on what can be learned - and the rules that regulate it.
At times the America's Cup seems just like Mad Magazine's Spy vs Spy. One team keeping tabs on another and a game of, not so much dirty tricks, but pranks played both by and against the spy.
Teams have paid dearly over the years for a lack of understanding of what the opposition was up to.
Perhaps the best-known and costly lack of insight was about Ben Lexcen's winged keel on Australia II. A couple pictures shot early on and the America's Cup would have never left the New York Yacht Club.
Every team watches every other team, takes notes, pictures, collects gossip, even starts a little gossip to see what shakes out.
So what are the teams hoping to learn? Why are THEY doing things differently than US. Why are THEIR boards more curved than OURS? THEIR wing sets up differently than OURS. Is that good? By keeping logs of the progression of sails or boards, watchers can learn along with those being watched.
The spies watching Emirates Team New Zealand are very interested in our foiling: how do we do it? How much wind do we need? And how fast is it?
How does a team learn these things? Collect the information and then the hard part - make sense of it. Pictures and videos are good, but the human eye often picks up things that seem to melt into the picture. So good people and good notes are important.
Watchers would give anything to measure the other team's real boat speed and wind angles, but that is very hard to do. Often the number you get is only within 10% of the real speed. Hardly priceless information.
It helps immensely to know what you are looking for before you start observing. Set the targets and position yourself to get the pictures that you need. Without a target and a plan, endless hours can be wasted for little useful information.
Then comes the tricky part. In the piles of pictures, notes and hours of video what's rubbish and where are the gems?
The danger lies in jumping to conclusions that turn out to be an incorrect. Chasing phantoms costs both time and money. -- Read on:
COMMENT: What's notable too is there is no disguise amongst the spies. When I was on San Francisco this past Monday, heavily branded RIBs from both New Zealand and Artemis were following Oracle Team USA. However, not much to be learned that day... unless you weren't sure how to tow an AC 72 when the wind shuts off. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
PRETTY GOOD DAY AT THE OFFICE
As teams ramped up for the 33rd St Maarten Heineken Regatta on Mar 1-3, they were entertained this past Tuesday by the opening act: The Budget Marine Match Racing Cup.
With a flawless performance from start to finish, 24-year-old Virgin Islands sailor Taylor Canfield did not lose a race today en route to a dominating victory over seven other teams in the fifth edition of the event.
Canfield and his stellar crew - four-time Canadian Olympian Richard Clarke, and accomplished Caribbean sailor Mark Plaxton - went undefeated in seven races during the early round-robin qualifying tournament, and then dispatched fellow Virgin Islander Cy Thompson in two straight races in the best-of-three finals to earn the winner's purse of $5,000. -- Full story:
On assignment at the event for Scuttlebutt is Leighton O'Connor, who files this interview:
LO: You are haven't lost a step from last year. Give us a quick recap.
TC: The year started well with a third at the Congressional Cup, and then we won the US Sailing Match Racing Championship. But the big highlights were on the World Match Racing Tour, where we posted a fourth at the Chicago Match Cup, and a first at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda, and then won the finale - The Monsoon Cup in Malaysia.
LO: Any big secrets for your success here?
TC: No big secrets. Really just focused on always sailing in the most pressure possible. The boats get very sluggish in the light air so keeping them rumbling was the name of the game. Also, we did a nice job transitioning from playing the strong right at the beginning of the day to playing the strong left at the end. While we won most of the starts, the races were far from over with the shifty conditions in the lagoon.
LO: Who were the coaches that have influenced you the most?
TC: Anthony Kotoun worked with us early on in the Opti days. I had two great training partners in Cy Thompson and Thomas Barrow, and then my Boston College sailing coach Greg Wilkinson also made a huge impact on my sailing as well.
LO: Who are you sailing idols?
TC: I would have to say guys like Anthony Kotoun and Peter Holmberg from the US Virgin Islands are my idols. Seeing those guys do so well as I was growing up was pretty inspirational.
LO: Any long term goals for your sailing career?
TC: Long term goals would probably be to sail on the World Match Racing Tour for a few years and hopefully get into some catamaran racing such as Extreme 40 Sailing Series. Also the America's Cup is hopefully something I will get to sail in my lifetime.
LO: Have you done much offshore racing?
TC: I just finished the Pineapple Cup (Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica), getting second on the TP52 Icefire. I also was on the Farr 40 Flash Gordon in last year's Chicago to Mackinac Race, where we won the Farr 40 Class. I definitely would love to do some more offshore sailing as opportunities arise.
LO: What's coming up for you this year?
TC: I am hoping to get a tour card which will give us 7 events on the World Match Racing Tour and then sail the Ficker Cup Grade 2, Congressional Cup Grade 1, and a few Chicago March Race Center match race events. I am also looking to sail more Melges 32's and Melges 20's this year.
Leighton attached his video camera to the mast on Taylor's Jeanneau 20 and produced this 2:09 minute video of the team in action:
HONORING THE HONOREES
At an emotional ceremony Tuesday at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Johnny Heineken (Larkspur, Calif.) and Jennifer French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) were celebrated as US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Formally announced in January after being chosen for their outstanding on-water sailing accomplishments in 2012, the honorees were joined by family, friends, sailing dignitaries, fellow sailors and members of the media for a luncheon program.
The event was emceed by former US Sailing President Gary Jobson and the luncheon included a multi-media retrospective of their rise to the top of the sport. Heineken, the 2012 Kiteboarding Course Racing World Champion, and French, the 2012 Paralympic Silver Medalist in the SKUD-18 class, each gave heartfelt speeches after being awarded specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Masters, symbolic of their achievements in excellence, by Rolex Watch U.S.A. President and CEO Stewart Wicht.
Jen French: "It's a huge move forward for disabled sailing, the only sport where sailors can leave their wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs behind and go out and compete against able-bodied people; that's why it attracts me."
Johnny Heineken: "Kiteboarding is an evolution of sailing, not a new sport, and the fact that everyone is seeing it that way is pretty special. We're seeing the sport take off, on the racing side especially; people are noticing they can go sailing in lighter and lighter conditions and still have fun. Kiteboard course racing is popping up all over in little clusters of local fleets."
When Johnny Heineken and Jennifer French were honored as US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, they both were receiving the award for the first time, but they also were the first honorees to do something else? Can you guess? Answer below.
WHAT WILL THE NEXT VENDEE GLOBE LOOK LIKE?
By Elaine Bunting, Yachting World
As the Vendee Globe comes to an end again for another four years the discussions are turning to what changes need to be made to the format for the next edition.
Top of the agenda is changes to the boats eligible to take part. After more keel failures in this race, almost everyone agrees that something should be done, and the race organisers of the Vendee Globe have been looking carefully at whether or not they ought to move to a one-design for 2016.
There is a strong push for the IMOCA class to get its house in order by the Vendee Globe management. They know that, ultimately, they hold the cards. This is the pinnacle race for these boats and the focus of sponsorship.
To help make up their mind independently of what the current crop of skippers think, the Vendee Race management company, SEM Vendee, commissioned a report by former race winner Alain Gautier. Gautier has submitted his findings and recommendations, and a decision about the boats will be made within weeks.
"I asked Alain to give me a report on the evolution process of the boats and I gave him three objectives to look at," Bruno Retailleau, president of the race, told me. "One, the advantages and disadvantages of a one-design. Two, is that in accordance with the spirit of the race? And three, can the race be safer in one-design?"
It just so happens that Michel Desjoyeaux has a potentially suitable one-design up his sleeve in the form of the Oceans50, a modified version of the canting keel SolOceans 50 from 2008, built for a one-design race that never got off the ground. This has proved reliable, has the backing of the French Sailing Federation, and he argues it would be cheaper to build. A new build IMOCA 60 like the race-winning MACIF now runs to around 3.5 million euros. -- Read on:
159th NYYC ANNUAL REGATTA PRESENTED BY ROLEX
Save the dates: June 14-16 -- History in the making -- First raced in 1845 off Hoboken, NJ, the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex is the longest running regatta in the U.S. Racing will be held in Newport, RI, starting on Friday with the Around-the-Island Race. A separate two-day series will be held Saturday and Sunday for IRC, One-Designs, Classics and Metre classes. PHRF classes, including double-handed, will race around government buoys. Join in the post-race activities each day at the Harbour Court clubhouse. Contact: email@example.com. Entry and NOR:
When kiteboarder Johnny Heineken and Paralympic doublehander Jennifer French were honored as US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, they both set new records in the award's history. Prior to Johnny, only women had been honored in boardsailing. Wendy Thomson (Windsurfer and Windglider) was honored in 1983 and Kathy Steele (Mistral, Alpha, and Wayler) in 1985. As for Jen, she is the first disabled female sailor to win the award. In 2005, Nick Scandone won following his victory at the 2.4rM Open World Championship, which preceded the gold medal he won at the 2008 Paralympic Games in the doublehanded event.
* Upon the completion of the final qualifying event in Clearwater, FL, Sail Canada has announced the 2013 Canadian Youth World team to complete at the ISAF Youth World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus on July 11-20. Team members include Hugh Macrae (Laser Radial Boy), Corinne Peters (Laser Radial Girl), Jake Megaffin/ John Alexander Sapp (I420 Boys), Allie Surrette/ Ali ten Hove (I420 Girl), Fredrique Tougas/ Cameron Sawyer (29er Mixed), Gabriel Verrier-Paquette (Windsurfer Boy), and Fannie de Alcaia (Windsurfer Girl). - Details:
* The U.S. Coast Guard is suspending its search off the California coast for a distressed 29-foot sailboat that was carrying a couple and two children, and said Tuesday the incident is "possibly a hoax." The mission's cost had reached several hundreds of thousands of dollars, and involved more than 40 search-and-rescue assets in the effort. At one point, two Coast Guard cutters, HC-130 planes, MH-65 helicopters and a Navy E2-C Hawkeye were involved. -- CNN, full story:
* The 57-year-old man who drowned off Kualoa Ranch (Hawaii) last week has been identified as John Ross-Duggan, a quadriplegic who was sailing his Hobie Getaway in the surf with friends when they apparently capsized. Ross-Duggan was an accomplished racer, who even after a car accident at the age of 23, which caused the paralysis, continued to compete at a high level. Ross-Duggan's achievements include 1998 World Disabled Sailing Gold Medalist, 1996 US SAILING'S Male Athlete of the Year, 1996 Paralympic Bronze Medalist, 1996 Hobie 16 Trapseat World Champion, and 1977 Hobie 16 National Champion. -- Full story:
IS YOUR EVENT LISTED BELOW?
Posting your event information on the free, self-serve Scuttlebutt Event Calendar tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and sailing media. But don't stop there. If your event is listed below, please send us your race reports too:
* Feb 28-Mar 2 - J 22 Midwinter Championship - Tampa, FL, USA
* Mar 1-3 - Etchells Midwinters Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
* Mar 1-4 - St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - St. Maarten, NA
* Mar 2 - The Trans-Monroe Regatta - Sanford, FL, USA
* Mar 5-9 - TP52 / IRC52 World Championship - Miami, FL, USA
* Mar 5-9 - WISSA World Championships - Kalajoki, Finland
View all the events at
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