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SCUTTLEBUTT 3634 - Tuesday, July 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: North Sails, Summit Yachts, and SailFast.

(July 16, 2012) - Entering the second week of the 2308nm Vic-Maui
International Yacht Race, Tom Huseby's J/145 Double Take is now 380nm from
the finish, building an 80nm lead on the fleet while on top of the handicap
heap as well. Here Tom's son Max provides onboard insight:

"The trip thus far has been a life-changing event for me in the best ways
possible. It took me a long time (years) to come around to even thinking of
the idea of offshore racing for roughly two weeks, but I don't regret my
decision in the slightest. All of it redefines incredible: The food (thank
you Mother, aka Janice), the wind, the waves, the seeming-less never-ending
expanse of ocean, and of course the company. These guys are all awesome.
Smelly, but awesome. I've developed new levels of relation with friends and
family alike that I'm sure will last a life time. That, in itself, is worth
the trip.

"However, it wasn't until last night's shift (when we were happily mobbing
at a steady 19NM in the pitch black with heavy rain accompanied by wind
reaching up to 30 knots, in shorts no less.. I like to call it "Sqaulin")
that I thought to myself for the first time, 'Wow, a lot of people must
think we're totally F***-in crazy.' It made me grin. Waking up every four
to six hours has become practically passe, sleeping in the same clothes
that you wear on your shift is expected (as well as tossing articles
overboard if they get too stench-ey), and the obnoxiously loud spinnaker
winch is pretty much white noise as this point.

"The only things that constantly keep me going like a freight train on
auto-pilot is the knowledge (thanks to Brad's extremely helpful computer
and navigating... or navi-guessing depending on the situation) that we're
almost there, and Mila Kunis's company when I pass out (I put a picture of
her above my bunk... thank you Maxim magazine). And we're ahead. My fingers
are crossed for an epic finish that yields some epic results. Considering
how hard everyone works and how little they all complain, we deserve it."

Race website:

(July 16, 2012) - National Sailing Hall of Famer and three-time winner of
US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Dennis Conner is the last man
standing in US Sailing's Greatest American Sailor Tournament.

Six weeks ago, US Sailing launched an online tournament featuring 64
American sailing living legends in a bracket style format, similar to the
NCAA's March Madness. Sailors went head-to-head each week and fans were
encouraged to submit their votes for these intriguing match-ups. Conner
proved to be the people's choice after edging fellow Hall of Famer Buddy
Melges in last week's Championship Round.

"Winning the tournament really meant a lot to me in view of all the great
sailors included, many who were my heroes," Conner explained. "This is my
legacy and I am very appreciative of all those who voted for me, especially
with Buddy involved, who I have great respect and affection for."

In 1987, Conner and his San Diego based crew on Stars & Stripes won back
the America's Cup in dominating fashion as a challenger over Australia's
defender Kookaburra III. Just over 25 years later, this career defining win
remains one of the most iconic achievements in American sailing history. --
Read on:

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The US Sailing Appeals Committee recently published Appeal #108 which
discusses the relationship between rules 11 (windward/leeward) and 16
(changing course) when a leeward boat is luffing a windward boat. The
decision reminds that a leeward boat may need to curtail its luff towards
the windward boat in order to continue to give the windward boat room to
keep clear, provided the windward boat is responding promptly to the luff.
Here were the relevant rules:

Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 15, Acquiring Right of Way
Rule 16.1, Changing Course

Facts and Decision of the Protest Committee...
In 6-8 knots of wind, two Naval Academy 44s (44-foot sloops, 29,000 lbs.
displacement, fin keel, spade rudder) were approaching the starting line on
starboard tack. At about one minute before the start (position 1), W (NA
32) was clear ahead and her speed was about 2.5 knots (10.5 seconds per
boat length). Shortly before position 2, L (NA 25), whose speed was about 3
knots (8.5 seconds per boat length) established an overlap from clear
astern. Between positions 2 and 4, L was changing her course, first by
luffing and then by bearing away, and W was changing her course to keep
clear. No contact occurred. L protested W for breaking rule 11. Neither
boat was penalized by the protest committee. L appealed.

Read on for the decision of the Appeals Committee:

Dublin Bay, Ireland (July 16, 2012) - Mother Nature was not content merely
to throw more testing westerly offshore winds at the 343 future Olympians
racing at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships. For
day three's two races, the under 19-year-old sailors from 61 nations faced
additional challenges of torrential rain and reduced visibility.

The largest class at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World
Championships is the Laser Radial Boys with 58 competitors. At the front
here America's Mitchell Kiss is two points clear of Russia's Maxim

Kiss, who heralds from Michigan on the Great Lakes, scored a 8-5 today. "I
felt today went good. We are just trying to bang out top 10s and get to the
end of the regatta - it is a long way but I'll try my best. The conditions
were really challenging at the beginning, lots of puffs, lots of shifts,
etc," said Kiss.

Kiss says he is pleased he is leading and having finished third at the
Laser Youth Worlds in Australia knows he has the potential to win. "I have
to work hard and try and maintain it and not get distracted. The conditions
are pretty challenging here. The shifts and the puffs coming from every
side is really tough."

With seven races now sailed and a layday tomorrow (Tuesday), the Youth
Worlds have reached their halfway stage with still three days of
competition left on Dublin Bay. -- Full story:

Top Positions - North America
Boy's Laser Radial - 1. Mitchell Kiss (USA)
Girl's Laser Radial - 20. Violet Stafford (CAN)
Boy's 420 - 10. Ian Barrows/ Ian Coyle (ISV)
Girl's 420 - 12. Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick/ Abigail Rohman (USA)
Boy's RS:X - 11. Ignacio Berenguer (MEX)
Girl's RS:X - 19. Cristina Ortiz (MEX)
Open SL16 - 10. Jeremy Herrin/ Sam Armington (USA)
Open 29er - 4. Quinn Wilson/ Dane Wilson (USA)
Complete results:

Andy Kearnan's Summit 35 "L Altra Donna" took a First in IRC Class in The
Australia IRC Championship recently, as Mike Bartholomew's "Tokoloshe" won
first place in the IRC Spring Series in GB. And in Asia, The Koh Samui
Regatta became a battleground for one of the strongest IRC fleets in the
world, where Bill Bremner's "Foxy Lady 6" took top honors with 4 first
place finishes on the final day of racing! These beautiful, fast and well
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A new sensor system from the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications,
Heinrich Hertz Institute can help to detect weak points on time and warn
yachtsmen when breaking point has been reached. Prof. Wolfgang Schade and
his team in the Project Group for Fiber Optical Sensor Systems in the
German town of Goslar have developed "nerves of glass" which can measure
the forces that act on hulls, masts, and sails.

Schade and his team's next objective is to adapt the measurement technology
so it is fit for use in competitive racing. "We have now fitted sail
battens with fiber optic sensors, which will help competitors in future to
find the optimal trim..." explains Schade. For the first time, the fiber
optic sensors and the connected measuring equipment - which is no bigger
than a cigarette packet and contains an LED light source, spectrometer, and
electronics - are supplying reproducible values.

This data tells the crew in which areas there is too much or too little
pressure, or how stresses shift to different areas, for example when the
sheets are pulled in tighter. The results provided by the sensor technology
will be accessible everywhere on board at all times - Schade's team has
already developed an app that allows crew members to access real time data
from their smart phones. The new measuring system will be launched shortly
under the name NextSailSystem.


* (July 16, 2012) - The staggered start schedule for the 2070 nautical mile
Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii began today for
the slowest of the crewed teams and all the doublehanded entries. In all,
16 of the 46 boats began the crossing in conditions reported to be cold and
overcast with winds in the high teens. Race starts continue through
Thursday. -- Full report:

* Corona del Mar, CA (July 16, 2012) - Australian Jordan Reece, who
finished second at the World Match Race Tour event last week in Chicago,
will arrive on Tuesday to start another five days of racing in the 46th
Annual International Junior Match Race Championship. Better known as the
Governor's Cup, the event has grown to become the pre-eminent championship
for competitors under 21 years. Reece, who failed to win in 2010 and 2011,
will have his final chance this year before he ages out. However, standing
in his way is the defending champions from San Diego Yacht Club led by
Nevin Snow. -- Full report:

* Headquartered in Arundel, Maine, The Landing School has announced the
development of a full scholarship specifically for students from Bermuda.
This scholarship is being awarded to students from Bermuda who have the
credentials to attend The Landing School and the career goals that match
one of four Landing School full-time programs: Marine Systems, Yacht
Design, Composite Boat Building or Wooden Boat Building (Cruising or Small
Boats). The scholarship provides tuition for one full year as well as all
living expenses. -- Read on:

We're bringing back a classic, the original SailFast performance shirt. And
for one day only Scuttlebutt readers can get one for just $25. Go to and order one now. While supplies last.

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 Bruce Parsons, Newfoundland:
I was amazed to see this product referred to as new (Psi Bands in
Scuttlebutt 3633). I have been using these for over twenty five years. The
pressure point on the wrist is that arrived at millennia ago in
acupuncture. Three finger widths down from the fold in the skin where the
hand meets the arm, in the centre of the wrist. If you don't have them, it
is a little convoluted to do this to yourself on both wrists at the same
time, but it does work. We have several pair on board at all times.

By the way I have found that seasickness is the only thing I have become
less susceptible as I grow older, and I am told it is because the inner ear
degrades, like many things, with age, and so the dissonance between ear and
eye, the cause of seasickness, is reduced.

* From Bob Johnstone:
Thinking about beginner boats and sailing programs, I wonder how many of
todays top sailors got their start off the beach in a Sunfish. Hard to
imagine more fun for a young sailor than planing in moderate breezes then
flopping into the water to cool off on hot days after capsizing a boat
that's easy to right. AND, it's a boat that offers the challenge of
competing against adults.

* From John Lambert, Cumberland, ME:
In Scuttlebutt 3633, Nicholas Hayes said, when writing about the Optimist,
"Folks either hate them or they're resigned to them."

I write as an enthusiastic proponent of the Optimist. Starting in 1999, the
first of my three daughters began sailing and then racing Optimists with
the last ending her Optimist career in 2010. They, my spouse and I had a
wonderful time with memorable travel and lifelong friends. The skills
acquired in the Optimist were immediately transferable to high school, team
racing, and the C420. The kids learned to love to sail and I am confident
that they will be lifelong sailors.

The Optimist is also an important tool in growing sailing. Whether the
purchaser is a club, community sailing program, or parent, the Optimists
are reasonably affordable and allow entry to a sport that can seem
intimidating to the new. Used boats are easy to find and resale is
painless. The Optimist works from learning to sail through the most
competitive youth sailing. While some mourn the ubiquity of the Optimist,
sometimes at the expense of the local, historic boat, to turn this great
sport - racing sailboats- from a marginal activity to a mainstream sport,
we need a strong one design, affordable boat available worldwide, like the
Optimist (just like the uniformity of a soccer ball).

We have kept our first Optimist to teach our unborn grandchildren; knowing
that the boat will still be competitive for almost any level in which they
might want to race.

Now, if we could just find something like the Optimist for the post-college

COMMENT: John's closing sentence deserves a follow up, but first I wanted
to note that Nick's article was directed at the attributes of sailing
programs and not the boats being used. As for boats for the post-college
crowd, this never used to be a question. If every teenager looked today at
what one-design fleets are active in their area, and then occasionally
joined in, they may have the answer to the question even before college
begins. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Dan Cooney:
Regarding the note from Justin Assad in Scuttlebutt 3633, here's the
specific gear we are using at Beverly Yacht Club. Our racing kids are not
having any issues with unintended release and the system seems to be
working well.

RWO Marine Products,
Spreader Bar, with Quick Release Hook, #R4020
Replacement Hooks, #R4023

They are located in England. The US Distributor is Oceanair Marine in VT.

* From Guy Buchanan:
Regarding his letter in Scuttlebutt 3633, what Mr. Assad is missing is not
trapeze hooks, but personal responsibility; not his own, but as a general
concept. Perhaps thanks to the discussions that went on here after the SSA
death he now feels that quick release hooks are "essential at the
learn-to-trapeze level". Really? Why? I learned to use a basic hook harness
at 15 and taught many down to age eight to use one. I never lost a student.

Indeed, in many, many years of racing trapeze dinghies I never heard of a
death, though many had stories of getting caught, and the potential for
drowning made for many a scary "campfire story." We even used "automatic"
trapeze systems, which guaranteed you were attached to the boat when it
went over, yet I still cannot remember a single drowning. (I imagine they
happened, just not often enough to be noticed.)

Could it be that Mr. Assad can't find his trapeze hooks because when Ms.
Constants drowned, most of the responses to the tragedy were to blame the
hook, the lack of training, the lack of supervision, or the lack of nearby
assistance? Is it possible (probable?) that hook manufacturers are looking
really hard at their culpability in manufacturing such a dangerous object?
Can the potential liability possibly be worth the meager profit they get
from selling them? Not since you decided to heap the responsibility on the
hook. What's wrong with calling Ms. Constants death a tragedy, and leaving
it at that? -- Read on:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since the drowning death that occurred on June 23, 2011 in
Annapolis, MD, there has been a lot of thought put into why the accident
happened. We have now compiled it all in a Forum thread for easy access.
Here is the link:

* From Terry Bischoff:
During my tenure as a PRO at the OCR in Miami, I witnessed a number of
incidents regarding coach boats (from Scuttlebutt 3631). One of the worst,
was a number of Stars under tow after completion of their race. These tows
went directly through a circle of 470s which were still racing. The worst
example was one Star towed directly through the gate of the 470 course,
totally ignoring the waves form the 470 race committee. The following
morning the Star PRO issued a stern warning to any repeating the previous
days' rude behavior. But why was this necessary?

Another example of the disregard by coaches toward others than their team
is displayed by their lack of interest to teams without the resources to
employ coaches. In Miami to get from the US Sailing Center to the racing
area can be very difficult especially in light winds. One year a team of
470 women without a coach asked me as the PRO if I could arrange tows for
them, as they were barely moving out from the Miami shore. They told me
that their requests to other teams with coaches were ignored or bluntly
denied. I personally monitored their situation the next morning, and
probably against my protocols arranged that they were at least towed out
from the islands and into Biscayne Bay itself, where they could find some
wind. Again, a complete lack of sportsmanship. Other examples of lack of
interest to other competitors by coaches could be related, but I think the
above examples make the point.

Personally, I think that coaches should be eliminated from Championship
events in all classes, not only Olympic classes. I highlight Championships
here, not beer can or regattas of lessor status, but some might disagree
here also. If you have reached the finals of your class champs, you should
be able to continue on without a coach. I exclude high school and
collegiate racing here, where coaching is necessary as in a basketball
game. Level the playing field, it would be very good for the sport at this

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