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SCUTTLEBUTT 3593 - Thursday, May 17, 2012

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 Hall Spars & Rigging.

By Nevin Sayre, U.S. Sailing member
Every event chosen for the Olympics has a pathway from young kid to Olympic
champion. Every event, that is, except kitesurfing, which has now been
selected as the board event for the 2016 Olympics.

Kitesurf racing has no such pipeline. As an avid kitesurfer, windsurfer,
sailor, US Sailing member, and also someone who has been very involved in
youth sailing development, I am eager to hear US Sailing explain their
decision to support kitesurfing for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The ISAF General Council voted 19-17 to overrule the recommendation of
their own their advisory group and include kitesurf course racing in the
Games. This decision comes at the expense of windsurfing, which is easily
one of the two most popular classes at the Games, and has a huge junior

ISAF's own Events Committee and Windsurfing/Kitesurfing Committee, which
held an ISAF sponsored equipment evaluation, did not recommend kiteboarding
over windsurfing for the 2016 Olympic Games. If the experts didn't support
kitesurf racing, why did US Sailing place their three votes (more than any
other country) in favor of kitesurfing?

So now that the U.S. is in support of kitesurfing, how do they intend to
build the pipeline? What is US Sailing's plan to safely include kitesurfing
into Junior Sailing Programs, the Olympic Youth Development Team, Youth
Worlds Team, the Junior Olympic events, and all the pathways that leads to
the Olympics?

There are over 110 reported kitesurfing deaths in the last 10 years. That
should be compared with an excellent safety record in windsurfing's 40 year
history. I am personally very lucky not to be on the fatality list, and
suffered a head wound with 150 stitches from kitesurfing. And I consider
myself a decent kiter, and knowledgeable about the wind. There is no way I
would allow my kids to kitesurf. (see photos at link below)

During a time when US Sailing has expressed deep concern over the sudden
uptick in tragic sailing deaths from coast to coast, what is US Sailing's
safety plan here? Is US Sailing aware that insurance companies, citing
grave safety concerns, have refused to cover sailing programs which include
kitesurfing? Can you see kitesurfing at your junior program and/or sailing

Kitesurfing is evolving, and the very small percentage of kitesurfers who
race, are clearly on the cutting edge. I welcome inclusion in the Olympics
when the safety, equipment, logistics, and formats are ready. When
instructional and competitive programs are developing young kitesurf
racers, and safely channeling them toward their Olympic dreams, let's go.
We are clearly not there yet for 2016 Olympic Games. -- Read on:

With three more offshore legs and four more in-port races to be sailed
before the Volvo Ocean Race finishes in Galway in Ireland this July, the
top four teams all still have a credible chance of lifting the overall
trophy. But only one of those teams would be bucking history to take the

For PUMA to win, they would become the first team ever to claim victory
while not finish one of the race legs. Without their broken mast on the
first leg from Spain to South Africa, they would be leading now. With
racing to begin again on Thursday in Miami, here is a Q&A with skipper Ken

Q: How is the Volvo Ocean Race different from the America's Cup?

A: The Volvo Ocean Race couldn't be more different from the America's Cup.
It happens to be the same sport that deals with wind and water, but that's
about where it ends. The America's Cup has always been about politics and
in a way the sailing almost comes secondary. Now in the Volvo race, it's
purely about sailing. It's man against the ocean, man against man,
conditions that you'd never see in the America's Cup.

Q: What are some of the challenges you've faced overall in this race so
far, and challenges that come with being the skipper?

A: It all links together for me. The challenges of being skipper of a boat
like PUMA's Mar Mostro is balancing safety with performance. You have to
make sure there are 11 guys on the boat when you hit the dock, and safety
is always our No. 1 priority. But, at the same time your own
competitiveness is there wanting to push the boat as hard as humanly
possible. So there's a conflict sometimes. Then there's running the overall
program - delegating and not micromanaging...which is a challenge for me at
times. So every day there are challenges, but it's wonderful to be able to
put your stamp on a program, and at the end of the day if you're not
successful, you look in the mirror say "I screwed up" or if you are
successful, you say "nice job."

Q: As the skipper you are the "head coach" of the crew. Do you do "coach
speak" or Lombardi-type motivational speeches to your crew?

A: I think if I did, it would be the first and the whole crew would look at
me with a "what the hell is wrong with him" expression. The best part about
having a veteran team is the fact that we're all professionals, and at this
stage everyone has seen the movie so many times that they know the unhappy
ending and happy ending. And, everyone is looking for the happy ending, so
there's not a need for speeches. We talk about specifics, we talk about
responsibilities, but there is never a need for a rah-rah Lombardi-ish

Q: If you were to compare your crew to an NFL team, which positions would
everyone play?

A: The bowmen would be like wide receivers with their balance and
coordination. The driver, myself included, would be in more of a
quarterback role. The grinders would be like linemen, down in the trenches,
toughing it out. The trimmers would be somewhat like a tight end - a jack
of all trades, all over the boat, good at everything.

Full interview:

Video reports:
Race website:

TIPS: If have any interest in yachting photography, particularly if you
will be on the water for the Volvo Ocean Race in Miami, Leighton O'Connor
produced this video to provide tips on how to do it well:

Congratulations to Norwegian Christen Horn Johannessen and team on "Baghdad
2" who won a hard-fought battle for the Swedish Melges 24 Open Championship
last weekend! Fully powered by Ullman Sails, Christen and his crew of
Kristoffer Spone (skipper), Sigurd Paulsen and Børre Hekk Paulsen scored
five bullets in the eight-race series. Their win in the final race sealed
their victory in the 24-boat fleet. "Baghdad 2" competed with an Ullman
Sails Dacron Shark mainsail, medium jib, and showed excellent speed
downwind flying the AP+ Spinnaker. Kristoffer's feedback: "We never had a
speed edge with other sails - now we do!"

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill carries a narrow one point lead into
racing in Venice, with Dean Barker's Emirates Team New Zealand eager to
regain top spot. Venice marks the penultimate event of the 2011-12 AC World
Series, with the overall winner to be determined in Newport, Rhode Island,
next month.

"Every single person here wants to win this Series," Spithill said. "But
Venice is going to be very, very challenging. I think the key is to be
consistent. Now the level is such that everyone can win. We've seen that,
and in Venice there will be a lot more opportunities for passing. It will
never be over until you get across the finish line. For the spectators it
will be fantastic and for the sailors it will be a real test."

"The battle for consistency is pretty difficult..." agreed Terry
Hutchinson, skipper of the third place Artemis Racing."The challenge is
dealing with the conditions and the other competitors and trying to get
through some situations that appear quite random at times to get that
consistency. The good news is that it's not a big mystery, the difficult
part is in executing."

America's Cup World Series racing is Thursday through Sunday. The race
schedule on Thursday includes two fleet races along with the first quarter
final match races. Broadcast will include fleet racing only on Thursday
through Saturday, but will include both the fleet race and match race
finals on Sunday.

Teams, Skippers
Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson (USA)
China Team (CHN), Phil Robertson (NZL)
Emirates Team New Zealand, Royal (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL)
Energy Team (FRA), Loick Peyron (FRA)
Luna Rossa Challenge - Piranha (ITA), Chris Draper (GBR)
Luna Rossa Challenge - Swordfish (ITA), Paul Campbell-James (GBR)
Oracle Team USA (USA), Darren Bundock (AUS)
Oracle Team USA (USA), Jimmy Spithill (AUS)
Team Korea (ROK), Nathan Outteridge (AUS)

Broadcast on YouTube at 0800-0935 EDT. Details:

MOBILE: Available now from Apple's App Store, the new, free mobile Real
Time Race Tracker is built into the Enthuse app, and lets sailing fans
follow all the America's Cup World Series races as they happen. Introduced
by in cooperation with Seahorse Magazine, the Real Time
Race Tracker uses the Emmy Award winning Liveline technology to superimpose
the races on Google Maps. -- Read on:

COMMENT: People have questioned why the focus of the broadcast is on fleet
racing. This decision was made so that the broadcast had the greatest
chance to deliver riveting entertainment. Simply put, a lopsided match race
is not too interesting, whereas a fleet race tends to always have action
somewhere in the race. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

After last year's successful debut, organizers from the Chicago Match Race
Center (CMRC), Bayview YC (BYC), Manhasset Bay YC (MBYC) and Oakcliff
Sailing have expanded their international slate of teams to compete in this
year's GRAND SLAM Match Racing Series. In all, teams from eight countries
will be represented in this year's series of four consecutive ISAF Open
Grade 2 events: Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, US
Virgin Islands, and throughout the US.

"What began last year as a series to promote the growth of match racing in
the US has grown to be a major international series," said Oakcliff
Sailing's Executive Director Dawn Riley. "The requests for invitations for
our event have come in early and hot, with only a few spots remaining."

The four events of this year's GRAND SLAM are held over four consecutive
weeks to allow invited overseas teams the best opportunity to optimize
their travel costs in one US trip. The schedule is as follows: CMRC's
Chicago Grade 2 Invitational, held over August 17-19 at Chicago's iconic
venue for stadium sailing, Navy Pier, on TOM 28's; BYC's Detroit Cup, held
in Ultimate 20's with racing in front of the clubhouse on the Detroit River
over August 23-26; the oldest event of the series, MBYC's Knickerbocker
Cup, will be held in Oakcliff's Swedish Match 40's in Long Island's
Manhasset Bay over August 29 - September 2; and the Oakcliff International,
held over September 5-9.

Besides winning valuable Grade 2 points for the ISAF World Match Race
Ranking List, the winning team of the series this year will be determined
by scoring the best three of four events. That team will then receive an
invitation to the oldest Grade 1 match racing event in the US, Long Beach
YC's Congressional Cup, to be held in March 2013. -- Full report:

Washington, DC (June 16, 2012) - Total boating fatalities last year rose to
758, the highest number on record since 1998, according to the U.S. Coast
Guard's official 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics released today.

From 2010 to 2011, total reported accidents decreased less than one percent
from 4,604 to 4,588, deaths increased 12.8 percent from 672 to 758 and
injuries decreased 2.3 percent from 3,153 to 3,081. Property damage totaled
approximately $52 million. The fatality rate measured 6.2 deaths per
100,000 registered recreational vessels, a 14.8 percent increase from last
year's rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.

Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive
speed and machinery failure ranked as the top five primary contributing
factors in accidents. Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in
fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent
of the deaths.

Seventy percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of
those, 84 percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket. Only 11
percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received
boating safety instruction. -- Read on:

Congratulations to Puma - the Hall-rigged Mar Mostro gained a second
consecutive first place finish, capturing the top spot in Leg 6 of the
Volvo Ocean Race, holding onto the lead position from Itajai, Brazil, all
the way to the finish in Miami. Meanwhile, in Acona, Italy, Hall Med
manager Andrea Merani and the Hall crew were on hand to step the mast on
the new Wally 50m. The Superyacht features the largest spar ever
manufactured at the Hall U.S. facility, as well as the largest-ever
Oceanfurl boom, built by Hall New Zealand. For updates and products, visit

* US Sailing has been selected as a finalist in Toyota's 100 Cars for Good
Program. This is a Facebook contest whereby Toyota will give away up to 100
cars in 100 days to 100 eligible nonprofit charitable organizations. Votes
must be cast by May 16th 11:59pm EDT for US Sailing to help them win a
vehicle from Toyota's 100 Cars for Good Program. Vote for US Sailing at

* Three-time America's Cup winner Grant Simmer (AUS) has joined the
America's Cup champion team Oracle Team USA as General Manager. His role
gives him day-to-day operational responsibility for the American team that
is currently designing and building the race boats to defend the America's
Cup in San Francisco in 2013. CEO Russell Coutts (NZL), four-time winner of
the America's Cup, remains in overall strategic charge of the team whilst
also fulfilling his role of ensuring that the 2013 America's Cup is the
most successful in the 161-year history of the most iconic event in sport.
-- Full report:

* The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships announced the event
exceeded economic forecasts after independent reports showed it injected
almost $39million into the Western Australia economy and generated nearly
$15million of global media exposure for the region. Backed by the State
Government who invested $8.8million into the Championships, the 16 day
event hosted the world's best sailing talent from 10 Olympic classes in
over 630 races in December last year. -- Full report:

* Barcelona, Spain (May 16, 2012) - With qualifying now complete at the
2012 470 World Championships, two races today took the fleet closer to the
title . Australians Mathew Belcher/ Malcolm Page have now built a 20 point
lead, while Americans Stu McNay/ Graham Biehl struggle in 18th position.
The women's side is much closer with only four points separating the top
three. A 3-22 by Americans Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan dropped them from 11th
to 14th overall. Racing concludes Saturday. -- Event website:

* Falmouth, UK (May 16, 2012) - Light and unstable winds prevented racing
on day four of the J.P. Asset Management Finn Gold Cup. The forecast is
18-22 knots on Thursday, with three races now scheduled to conclude the
opening series, before Friday's medal race and final race. Locals Ben
Ainslie (GBR), Ed Wright (GBR) and Andrew Mills (GBR) are currently on the
podium, with Canadian Chris Cook in eighth overall. -- Full report:

* Boltenhagen, Germany (May 16, 2012) - Tactically challenging conditions
with mildly oscillating winds from 15 to 20 knots today's races at the Audi
Women's Laser Radial World Championship 2012. Alison Young (GBR) dominated
the day with a 2-1 to lead the 130 entrants, with Tania Elias Calles Wolf
(MEX) in 11th. American Erika Reineke leads the under 21 division. Racing
concludes Sunday. - Event website:

* (May 16, 2012) - After seven months on top of the ISAF Women's Match
Racing Rankings, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) has been knocked off the top by
Lucy Macgregor (GBR). Making it an all British affair in the ISAF Match
Race Rankings is Ian Williams who remains on top in the Open Rankings. --
Full report:

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
recent postings:
* Become a professional racer on The Moment on USA Network!
* Mike Ingham Joins Quantum Newport's Team as One Design Specialist
* Nordic Marine will distribute SOS Dan Buoy & Sea Scoopa rescue equipment
View updates here:

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 Kathleen Tocke:
Few sailors have any idea how difficult Olympic Windsurfing is. I have
raced internationally in the Radial, the Europe, the 470 as both skipper
and crew, the 29erXX, the RS:X, and have a medal from the 2011 Pan Am Games
in the Snipe. By far, the RS:X is the most physically demanding discipline
I have experienced.

The skill level is unimaginably high. It is extremely technical - an
outhaul, downhaul, nine mast rake positions, a daggerboard, changes in mast
and boom length and boom height. Even batten tension is adjusted between
races. While kiteboard racing may be popular in San Francisco, compared to
other sailing disciplines around the world, there is little competition and
few participants.

Kiteboard racers are mostly an elite group of sponsored boarders who will
be unhappy once ISAF limits kites (favoring heavier boarders) and regulates
equipment. ISAF's decision to get rid windsurfing is like telling
ex-Olympic baseball players they should switch to cricket. One sport cannot
be substituted for another. Kiteboarding won't help save the sport of
sailing. Uneducated audiences won't equate it with sailing - since it lacks
a sail.

* From Gregory Scott:
Neil Pryde nailed it in Scuttlebutt 3591. We/sailing seem to be on a
suicide mission. The AC has become a mess. The Volvo is a train wreck
(still cheering for Kenny) and the Olympics is diving off a cliff. Who
cares...who watches?

Every sailor in the world today who is worth watching learned what we all
want to know - when no one cared! So we chase this TV viewer and in the
process lose sight of all the marvelous attributes of sailing that are in
fact sailing.

The ones who hold this charm and wisdom that has elevated them to
pro/Olympic and AC are also real live humans who have (and still do) lift a
beer at a YC bar and share what they learned today. TV will never get that
and without that we have no durable audience.

COMMENT: One thought that comes to mind is if sailing can sufficiently
contort itself to become a viable broadcast product, it could allow sailing
to evolve like other sports. Currently, with some exception, professional
and amateur sailors compete together. What other sport does that? As long
as the format for amateur events best serves amateur sailors, maybe it is
good that professional platforms evolve so that professional and amateur
sailors can thrive... apart from each other. Comments? - Craig Leweck,

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