SCUTTLEBUTT 3518 - Wednesday, February 1, 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: USSTAG and Doyle Sailmakers.
ROAD WARRIORING - BAJA FOG
By Steve Bodner
It was billed as the ultimate showdown between kiters and windsurfers with
3 events spanning 9 days on the sea of Cortez on southern tip of the Baja
California peninsula. While the kiters showed up in numbers, the
windsurfers still found ways to keep the bragging rights for another year.
At the end of the day- we found we had more in common than what separates
us and in hindsight, I'd say it was more a gathering of the tribes- where
we all spoke the same language- wind!
After enduring what seemed like a windless (and snowless) fall and early
winter in northern California- I made plans for my first trip to Baja
California Sur. I hooked up with our local kiting crew who use the events
as a testing ground to where they stand in the off season. The Heineken van
made the trip down on Christmas eve packed with 6 sets of kiting gear & 4
people. Rock star siblings, Erica and Johnny almost made it only to be
delayed on Christmas morning when their front differential fell out and
their 4 wheel van quickly turned in a 2 wheel van.
In Mexico- anything is possible and after a 6 hour delay and trading some
beer for labor they were quickly back on their way.
I arrived 2 weeks later for the first event skipping the road trip and
flying directly into Cabo St. Lucas. Alaska Airlines & Virgin airlines are
probably the friendliest airlines for board enthusiast with $50 excess
baggage fees per board and quiver bag and no haggling. Part of the reason
our local race fleet stopped traveling was the fact that you'd show up to
the airport with your board and sail quiver and possible pay $300-500 in
excess baggage fees.
The Lord of the Winds Showdown in Los Barriles hooked up with the Travel
Channel who was featuring the Sand Masters show at the same time. If you've
never seen it, these guys create unbelievable works of art in the sand.
Their final creation was a huge sand stage for the Lord of the Winds where
Johnny 'Pacifico' Heineken was crowned Lord of the Winds after taking the
long distance race. (Windsurfers 0: Kiters 1)
To say there is a bigger emphasis on fun vs a normal regatta would be an
understatement. We came in from racing with the race staff handing us a
Pacifico as our official check in. The organizers pumped up the the idea a
Lord of the Winds showdown in every way possible. The windsurfers won the
pre-party with Josh Samperio crushing the kiting and SUP crowd in a 42 sec
binge under the beer tap bookmarked my double shots of tequila vs a meek 20
secs performance by the kiters. (Windsurfers 1: Kiters 1)
Read on: http://www.stevebodner.blogspot.com/2012/01/baja-fog.html
BACKGROUND: Steve is a Northern California guy, a multiple US Windsurfing
National Champion and the top ranked US sailor on the Formula Windsurfing
World Tour. Johnny Heineken's kiting world crown garnered him a 2011
nomination for US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. As for Mexico, that's just a
good place to go for relief from the brutal California winter.
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"Aim toward the finish. More boats win races with this simple strategy than
any other. Don't over think the strategy. Until you have a good reason to
do something else just aim toward the finish." - Bill Gladstone, North U,
MORE CHALLENGES LIE AHEAD
(January 31, 2012; Day 10) - After three days of dodging container ships,
unlit fishing boats and all manner of objects floating in the sea, Team
Telefonica navigator Andrew Cape couldn't hide his relief at being clear of
the Malacca Strait - but said the danger is not over yet.
Not only is Cape charged with getting his crew around the world ahead of
their five rival teams, he must also ensure their safety as they take on
some of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world.
"I can't put into words how relieved I am to get out of the strait," Cape
said. "It's a nightmare and I'm really, really relieved that nothing went
wrong and even happier that we managed to start in first place and finish
there. There's serious relief all round. It's good to be out."
Telefonica led the fleet out of the strait and into the South China Sea
yesterday, but four-time race veteran Cape said more challenges lie ahead
in the race to Sanya.
"It's a pretty uncomfortable place to sail, with obstacles in the way
again," he added. "There's oil rigs, islands, mud banks and everything you
can think of, plus a huge amount of debris in the water with logs and
trees. But that's the game we've got so that's what we've got to do."
The main tactical hurdle on the final phase of the leg revolves around the
strong current that sweeps down the coast of Vietnam and winds offshore
blowing up to 35 knots. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-013112
Leg 3 (4,600nm) - Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China
Standings as of Wednesday, 01 February 2012, 1:05:35 UTC
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 791.2 nm Distance to Finish
2. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 4.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 58.4 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 181.4 nm DTL
5. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 200.0 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 207.7 nm DTL
NOTE: When Scuttlebutt went to press, the Tracking/Standings data appeared
flawed. Either the boat positioning is wrong or the mileage distance is
wrong as they were not consistent in the display:
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Race schedule: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-2011-12-schedule
BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain (Oct. 29) and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early
July 2012, six professional teams sailing Volvo Open 70s will sail over
39,000 nautical miles around the world via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya,
Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient. Teams
accumulate points through nine distance legs and ten In-Port races. -
USSTAG SPONSORS CONGRATULATE 2012 PARALYMIC TEAM!
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics sponsors would like to extend their
congratulations to those who have qualified as the top U.S. sailor(s) in
their class to compete at the 2012 Paralympic Games in Weymouth, England:
Mark LeBlanc, Jen French, JP Creignou, Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley
FORMAT AND FUNCTION
(February 1, 2012) - Organizers and race crews are considering the way
America's Cup racing will be conducted in 2013, once teams switch from the
AC45 catamarans currently being raced in the America's Cup World Series to
the enormous AC72 cats that will be screaming around San Francisco Bay in
the summer of 2013.
During the latter stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup
Finals, teams could find themselves racing up to three matches a day in
order to win the day's point, adding more races to what is expected to be
an exhilarating, but exhausting schedule.
Regatta Director Iain Murray says the changes are being considered in an
effort to maximise the action on the water and to create a fair series of
"This is one of the scenarios we're considering in consultation with the
teams," Murray said from San Francisco, after arriving overnight from a
meeting with teams in New Zealand. "It has come out of our learnings from
the America's Cup World Series where we've been able to experiment with
different race courses and event formats.
"The 'three for one' plan we've been discussing would allow for more
starts, more mark roundings, all of the exciting parts of the race, on each
day," he said. "Essentially every day would be a best-of-three to earn the
point. It adds excitement, but also adds an element of fairness, as where
one mistake might put you out of a particular race, you still have a shot
to comeback strong in the other matches to take the point on the day."
In 2013, the challenging teams will race each other in the Louis Vuitton
Cup (July 4th - September 1st) with the winner going on to face the
defender, ORACLE Racing, in the America's Cup Finals (September 7th -
Currently four teams, including ORACLE Racing, are actively building AC72s
for the 2013 finale. Additional teams may join them, with a summer deadline
for entry on the horizon. -- Read on:
CLARIFICATION: Just three challengers - Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna
Rossa and Artemis - have paid the initial entry fee for the 2013 event.
While these teams are clearly proceeding, the remaining five challengers
have until June 1st to "put up or shut up". That is the date of the final
entry fee deadline, but it is also a practical point when teams should have
begun construction of their AC72.
If there is in fact a reduced field, one can't help but wonder what the
financial impact will be. The host bid put forth by San Francisco was based
on how the event would benefit the city, and a key variable was the number
of teams that would be competing. While the dates of the Louis Vuitton
challenger series are not expected to change, fewer teams should still mean
less money coming into the City. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
SCUTTLEBUTT PHOTO GALLERIES
Warm temps were on tap last week in the lower corners of the U.S.:
* The ISAF Sailing World Cup is open to the 10 sailing classes (equipment)
chosen for the 2012 Olympic and the three Paralympic Sailing events.
Photographer John Payne shares images from the 470 and Women's Match Race
courses during the six-day Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven 2011-2012
ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas. --
* The SCYA Harold Adams Team Race Classic in San Diego has become an annual
sell-out among teams representing high schools and yacht clubs. This year's
event was attended by 12 Southern California teams with on the water
umpiring and use of the Swiss League format. Photos by Bob Bettencourt:
Complete list of galleries: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos
ARE YOU IN THE MARINE INDUSTRY?
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum allows companies to
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Scuttlebutt selects some of the updates to feature in the Thursday
newsletter. Are you in the marine industry? Post your updates here:
* A record 35 teams turned out for the 2012 Interclub Midwinter
Championship at Larchmont YC (NY) this past weekend. The 146 sailors (70
skippers, 76 crews) represented the largest gathering at an IC regatta in
nearly 16 years, with a rare January southwester allowing for 20 races over
two days. The format featured 'college-style' racing with 'A' and 'B'
teams, with past IC national champions John and Molly Baxter, and Danny
Pletsch and Jane Delashmutt, all St. Mary's College alums racing for the
home LYC club, winning the title. -- Full report:
* The 11th Annual Women's Sailing Conference will be held June 2nd at
Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts. This is a day-long
conference for women designed to introduce them to and/or enhance their
skills in recreational sailing through seminars on water and on land. --
* In an attempt to find the perfect sailing shoe, SAIL editors Meredith
Laitos and MacDuff Perkins spent the fall sailing season testing dozens of
women's racing and cruising shoes. These were their favorites:
THE SCIENCE OF SPEED
Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be involved with the SpeedDream project whose
goal it is to create a record setting monohull. As part of our involvement
with this project the BBC filmed a segment at our manufacturing
headquarters in Salem, MA for their series "The Science of Speed". The
video highlights the CFD design and engineering aspect of high performance
sails along with our production process. What can Doyle Sailmakers do for
your next project? Go to http://www.facebook.com/doylesails
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 Chip Johns:
Ben says (in Scuttlebutt 3517), "a probable world title was taken away from
me". His actions resulted in the International Jury punishing him. The
title was not "taken away" from him, he lost it. I wish I had read, "I am
sorry, I am contrite, and I know I failed myself, my fellow competitors,
and my sport".
The TV guys were allowed on the course, they were promoting the racing, Ben
was the beneficiary of this promotion. It probably degraded the
competition, but isn't this what "we" have been signed up to?
For the record, I am not a big fan of trying to make our sport more
spectator friendly, I believe that our sport is a participant sport and
will never be attractive as a spectator sport, so we should not ruin the
game just to be a nth tier spectator sport.
But this opinion does not reduce Ben's responsibility. He acted
atrociously, the RYA will make a decision, and he will have to live with
that. The good news is that we will all survive to live another day and
race another race, maybe even in the Olympics.
* From John Alofsin:
My gut feeling regarding Mr. Ainslie's situation is that he has been
punished enough given the circumstances. I suspect that many other 'Butt
readers share my opinion. However, what would happen to a junior sailor who
left his 420 during a local regatta, boarded a support boat and put his
hands on the driver while berating him?
My guess is that instead of feeling sympathy for this junior, the powers
that be would not only disqualify him from the remaining races, but would
push hard for further sanctions to "teach him/her a lesson". We have two
identical situations but we have different "gut feelings" for each.
Should the level of regatta, the experience of the sailor, the age of the
sailor, and the goals of the sailor (ie, Olympics) have an impact on the
penalty? I believe that we need some more specific guidance in the rules in
order to avoid inequality when it comes to "unsportsmanlike conduct". What
do you all think?
* From Peter Rugg:
Regarding the 'Ainslie Incident', it must be the responsibility of the
organizing authority to assure fair sailing. It seems to me that one
critical element of consideration is the change to the SIs to not allow
request for redress regarding the actions of the ISAF TV crews. Once the
organizers have shed all responsibility, the competitors are forced to take
action to assure that they are not hindered in their performance by the
actions of others. The RYA has little stake in this affair, should support
their man and encourage ISAF to take responsibility in future.
* From Jay Cross:
I don't understand why Ben Ainslie has to be so apologetic. Professional
athletes argue with refs all the time but not with the media because the
media operate under very strict guidelines as to where they are allowed and
where they aren't. If sailing is so anxious for media coverage then the
organizing bodies should ensure that as the media arrives to cover the
sport, athletes like Ben Ainslie are never put in the position where they
feel the media is interfering with a fair competition.
COMMENT: I am certain this incident will lead to stronger guidelines for
media placement on the course. As for Ben apologizing, I suspect he is
anxious to bolster public sympathy prior to the RYA Tribunal. As for RYA
determining if additional sanctions are required, we are reminded that
their decision must withstand the judgment of the international community
as both ISAF and Yachting Australia have jurisdiction too. If the decision
of the RYA is not appropriate in the eyes of either ISAF or YA, they can
then start their own investigation and decide on whether an additional
sanction is warranted. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
* From Harrison Hine:
I heartily agree with Rodney Pattisson and his view (in Scuttlebutt 3516)
of the contrived Olympic sailing these days. The best sailor and crew will
not win the Gold medal, only the one with the best start.
I vividly remember the last race of the 1984 Olympics in the Star Class
where Bill Buchan was able to win the gold coming from well back in the
fleet on the last beat of the last race to take the gold.
Bill was the best sailor with the best crew and boat, but in today's
Olympics he would be left in the dust. It just doesn't make sense to
sacrifice the integrity of yacht racing to satisfy the media and fake
enthusiasm for the sport.
* From David Villiers-Child
Rodney Pattisson is of course absolutely right but it is worse than that.
I was recently at a sailing Supper Club where the after meal talk was by
one of the organisers of the 2012 Olympic Regatta, and as the talk
progressed some were feeling increasingly concerned. Also present was Rod
Carr, who had retired as CEO of the Royal Yachting Association in 2010
after 10 years in the position.
A person of some stature in the world of sailing asked of our lecturer,
"But the competitors are still the most important people aren't they?"
Before the lecturer could respond there was a loud emphatic "No they are
not" from Rod Carr!
I need add no more.
* From Mike Fahle
Concerning the GPS signal threat from LightSquared (from Scuttlebutt 3516),
this appears to be an issue of large variance, depending on who is
describing the situation.
This one from November, 2011 makes it sound like any concerns are all
worked out now and the issue is solved; of course it is the perspective
from LightSquared: http://tinyurl.com/LS-013112
However, later in November, 2011 the fifth annual Symposium on Position,
Navigation and Time was held at Stanford University. The "father of GPS",
Professor Brad Parkinson, warned of threats to GPS systems, including the
threat from LightSquared:
Here is a website for Scuttlebutt readers to get involved if they wish:
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