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SCUTTLEBUTT 3651 - Thursday, August 9, 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 Vineyard Race.

Weymouth and Portland, U.K. (August 8, 2012; Day 11) - Closure continued at
the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta with the Medal Race for the 49er skiff
event, while tight scores proved the theme on the Women's 470 and Match
Race courses.

While both the gold and silver were confirmed prior to the 49er Medal Race,
Austria's Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch led from start to finish in
hopes of gaining the bronze. However, on the second to last run, the Danes
Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang took the left side of the course whilst
everyone went right and it paid off as they climbed from seventh to third
in the race to grab the final podium spot.

On their gold medal, Australian Nathan Outteridge said, "We've sailed
brilliantly for four years and this week has been our best so far and its
great it happened at the Olympics. It was a tough race to get around, it
was great for us and awesome to enjoy with the Kiwis."

49er Results - Top 5 of 20
1. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) - 56pts
2. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) - 80pts
3. Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) - 114pts
4. Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) - 124pts
5. Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis (FRA) - 124pts

On Wednesday, the Women's 470 completed their final two qualifying races,
with the top two teams - Jo Aleh/ Olivia Powrie (NZL) and Hannah Mills/
Saskia Clark (GBR) - tied on points and assured no worse than silver when
the Medal Race is held on Friday. The Women's Match Race finished their
Quarter Final round, with many of the favorites getting eliminated.
Advancing are teams from Australia, Finland, Russia and Spain, while the
defeated included two time World Champion Claire Leroy (FRA) and World #1
and ISAF World Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (USA).

NORTH AMERICA: The 20-boat 49er event concluded with Erik Storck/ Trevor
Moore (USA) in 15th, Gordon Cook/ Hunter Lowden (CAN) in 16th, and Jesse
Kirkland/ Alexander Kirkland (BER) in 19th.

THURSDAY: The race schedule includes the Men's 470 Medal Race, while the
Women's Match Race will hold sail-offs to determine the standings of the
four teams eliminated in the Quarter Final round. Southeast winds under 8
knots, with the possibility of un-sailable conditions, are forecast.

OUCH: It was confirmed Wednesday that North America would be shut out of
the sailing medals. Despite Canada, Mexico and the USA each having
legitimate medal contenders, none of their top performing athletes were in
contention at the end of their events.

MEDAL TALLY: After the completion on Wednesday of 7 of the 10 sailing
events, there are now 14 countries that have thus far stood on the podium.
Full tally:

ISAF news:

Canada broadcast:
USA broadcast:

The United States won't win an Olympic sailing medal for the first time
since the 1936 Berlin Games. Anna Tunnicliffe, the last American skipper
with a chance, couldn't fight back tears after her run at a second straight
gold medal ended Wednesday.

U.S. Sailing officials on both sides of the Atlantic had blunt assessments
and promised an extensive review of why the Americans were so uncompetitive
in an Olympics in which they were expected to take three or four medals.

"This is not the distinction this team was going for," said Dean Brenner,
the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. "Listen, there's
no hiding. There's no way to spin it. There's no way to suggest anything
other than we didn't perform."

U.S. Sailing President Gary Jobson, who spent a week watching the games
before returning to Annapolis, Md., was equally blunt, calling the failure
to medal "a heck of a wake-up call."

"In essence, we weren't competitive in any class," Jobson told The
Associated Press by phone.

"I was a little surprised, and, like all American sailors, disappointed,"
Jobson said. "The question for me is, what do we do about it? I can't
predict how the review will go, but I can tell you it's going to be
thorough. This isn't going to stand long-term."

The U.S. has won 59 Olympic sailing medals, the most of any nation,
although its 19 gold medals trail Britain's 26. -- AP, read on:

MORE: Sailing World editor Stuart Streuli is in Weymouth, and sat down with
Dean Brenner for an interview. "Not the distinction this team was going
for," said Brenner, concerning the team's failure to medal. "There's no
hiding the results. There's no way to spin it, there's no way to suggest
anything other than we didn't perform. There's going to be an enormous
amount of discussion - a lot of it is going to be productive, some of it
probably won't be - on what we did wrong, and what we need to do better,
and I'm going to lead that discussion with my successor Josh Adams, and
we're going to look very, very closely at our program. But make no mistake
about it; we're not proud of these results at all. We came here thinking we
could compete for three or four medals, and we thought the track record
suggested that that was legit. It didn't happen." Much more here:

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"I'm sad to report that our dream of winning a gold medal for the USA ended
today in a 3-1 loss to Team Finland in the quarterfinals. It hurts! I can't
describe how upset and disappointed we all feel, but we know we gave it our
all. We sailed the best we could, and as a team are extremely strong. We
gave these last three years everything we had and are extremely proud of
where we have come. Team Finland has been amazing training partners and it
was a bittersweet finish to our series as one of us got to go on and the
other to go home. Unfortunately this time it was us that had to go home, so
we are cheering hard for them to bring home the gold." -- Anna Tunnicliffe
(USA), on behalf of Team Maclaren (Debbie Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer),
world #1 ranked women's match race team

After the story in Scuttlebutt 3650 about the Australian Gold Medal winning
49er boat being "not as one-design" as everyone else's, journalist Andy
Rice provided Aussie skipper Nathan Outteridge a right of reply. Here's
what he told Andy today...
"Ours is a Bethwaite boat, the other guys have got Ovingtons or Mackays. A
lot of other guys said they never had the chance to buy one of those boats,
but Julian [Bethwaite] built 10 of them and no one decided to buy, so
people started complaining about it. It's a bit frustrating that people
have talked about it like that, but we've sailed an Ovington, a Mackay and
a Bethwaite and won a Worlds in all three. It makes no difference. The last
Worlds was in a Bethwaite, the Worlds in Garda in an Ovington and sailed
all through 2010 in a Mackay. The Worlds I won with Ben [Austin, in 2008]
was in a Mackay.

"The boats are one-design but there are small differences and you can get
any boat from any supplier and I'm sure you'll find differences. It's a
matter of spending the time over a four year period working out what's the
right equipment to use for the weather. The hull is most important when
it's windy, and our best day here was in the lightest weather and our worst
day was in the windiest weather, so I don't think it's the equipment that's
doing it for us.

"It's been going on for about a year, people going on about our equipment.
If someone had an issue about it they needed to come and talk to us about
it, rather than just going behind our back. It's been quite frustrating. We
had four boats here, in case we had problems. And we were ready to say,
'you tell us which of these four to use, so long as we can tell you which
of your boats you can use.' We've got a few Bethwaites here and Mackays as
well, and it was a case of, 'I don't care which boat we're going to sail
because it's not going to make a difference.'" -- Read on:

There is plenty of lobbying going on at the Olympic Games concerning ISAF's
decision to change the board event for the 2016 Olympics from windsurfing
to kite-surfing. The decision, which may be overturned by a re-vote and/or
legal action, will be finalized this November.

Kate Laven provides an interview on Yachting World with Neil Pryde, who is
the manufacturer and supplier of the Olympic RS:X board as well as a
provider of kite-surfing equipment. Here is an excerpt...
"One of the key criteria of IOC in judging sports for Olympic competitions
is the television coverage," said Pryde. "It's the biggest revenue earner
for IOC so they look at it hard. And of course sailing performs very
poorly. Outside the America's Cup, sailing does not get big audience and I
think ISAF thought kite-surfing would add strength to media coverage. But I
do not think the sport is ready for Olympic inclusion."

"Windsurfing has done more to introduce the developing countries into the
sailing fraternity. China came into sailing through windsurfing. It's the
cheapest and easiest way into sailing and that has been ignored by ISAF and
I think that is tragic."

"In the past we have been able to sell off the equipment at a cheap price
to help developing countries get into the sport but with windsurfing taken
out of the Olympics we are sitting here today with no way of recovering a
million euro (the cost Pryde estimates to supply the boards to the

"That is a pretty big commitment. I doubt whether there is any other
sailing company in the Olympics who has made that sort of commitment. This
will be a loss but we made a commitment to ISAF that for the next two years
that we will go on supplying it and we will because we believe in it.

"I think it is a terrible decision because I see what windsurfing has done
for the sport of sailing," said Pryde.

Full report:

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The show, due to premiere in USA in the fall of 2012, is currently looking
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* Shoreacres, TX (August 8, 2012) - The third day at the Lightning North
Americans banked two more races for the 55 boat fleet. With a throw-out now
included after six races, Jody Lutz moved up the standings from third
position to now take the lead. Racing continues through Friday. Full

* San Francisco, CA (August 8, 2012) - After the first day of racing at the
2012 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, the early leaders are Addison
Hackstaff in the Byte CII, Christopher Ford/Daniel Ron and Patrick
Floyd/A.J. Libby are tied in the Club 420, and Michael Madigan/ Jimmy
Madigan/ Jack Thompson/ Johannes McElvain in the J/22. Racing concludes on
Friday. Results:

* One hundred thirteen entries from 11 countries and five continents are
entered in the Globaltech Formula 18 World Championship to be hosted by
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Sept. 7-15, the class's first world championship in
the USA. The headliners include defending champion Darren Bundock of
Australia and past Olympic silver medalists Pease and Jay Glaser. Full

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 Sally Lindsay Honey, US Sailing review panel chairperson:
I think Rodger Martin (in Scuttlebutt 3650) may have misinterpreted the US
Sailing Farallones report statement of "more conservative course selection"
to mean the race committee should set a more conservative course, rather
than the crew of Low Speed Chase should have chosen a more conservative
course around the northwest point of the Farallon Islands.

If that is what he understood, I agree with his "no no no!" However, as
stated on page 14 of the report, we dismissed the notion of the race
committee defining an offset mark or minimum clearance distance
specifically for the reasons that Rodger seems to espouse: racers should be
trained in better seamanship skills. This is our primary recommendation

Report link:

* From Guy Le Roux:
I wholeheartedly agree with Bruce Kirby (Scuttlebutt 3649) that Paul
Elvstrom is still the greatest Olympic sailor because he won 4 Gold Medals
without the benefit of a throwout race. Without throw-outs at the 2012
Games, Ben Ainslie would have lost the gold by two points and finished with
the silver.

* From Michael Rudnick:
Your reporting (in Scuttlebutt 3650) that only 3 USA teams were at the I420
World Championship in Austria last week is not correct. The US had 12 teams
(6 open and 6 ladies).

Besides the 3 teams that finished in the gold division, as you reported,
the US ladies had a 2nd in Silver fleet (my daughter Megan, who also
finished 11th at ISAFs last month in Ireland), and a 4th in the open silver
fleet (Reinier Eenkema van Dijk, who went to ISAF in 2011).

The top US open team that finishes 15th was also the top open team under 16
years of age - with two time Optimist worlds team member Wade Waddell at
the helm after being in the I-420 for only a few months (which involved
flying to NY/CT every weekend to train with LISOT as there are no I-420s on
his home waters of south Florida)

As I'm sure you know, the US does not place nearly as many sailors in the
gold fleet as most of the European countries - which is directly related to
your comments about the pipeline for Olympic sailors.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We stand corrected, as we indeed were only looking at the
performance of North American sailors in the Gold Division.

* From Peter Commette:
Regarding the comment "Future Prospects" (Butt-3650) by Scuttlebutt editor
Craig Leweck, if he's saying it's a mistake to lay the blame for the
disappointing U.S. Olympic sailing performance at the feet of our national
programs, I somewhat agree. Much of what Chairman Dean Brenner and his team
did to prepare our Olympic sailors and develop feeder programs for 2012 and
beyond was quite good and insightful. However, with disappointment like
this, it's natural to expect them to re-think all aspects of our system and
implement some needed tweaks.

With regard to Craig's other point, I agree wholeheartedly that one area
for U.S. improvement is the development path for our young doublehanded
sailors feeding into the 470 and other high performance Olympic boats.
That's why, when you referred to our kids' 420 World Championship
performance without the modifier "Club" or "International," you confused an
important issue.

The International 420, so popular in Europe, is a great feeder boat for the
470 and other Olympic class, but the U.S. national and local development
programs instead support the Club 420. Comparatively, the Club 420 teaches
little about tuning, mast bend, and matching different sails to masts and
crew weights. Our kids are challenged at I-420 world competition, and their
pre-470/other Olympic boats' growth stunted, because they rarely sail the
I-420, unless they're in Europe.

In South America, the Snipe fosters the same skills, without the speed, but
it teaches brute hiking. We need to re-think our doublehanded feeder boats
domestically; the 29er is the only good thing we're doing.

* From Connie Bischoff:
Maybe the question should be "Why is the Olympics our highest sailing
goal?" With the educational system in the USA focused on college in order
to get any decent job, and the reduced number of professional sailing jobs
which can support a family (look at the limited number of Americans sailing
in the Volvo and America's Cup World Series), there is no "entire
development path of North American sailor."

We all know that the only "pro" jobs for women in sailing are in coaching
and very few of those are at the college level. Maybe sacrificing years and
$$$ in order to reach the Olympic dream is not compatible with the American
dream. What is wrong with world championship titles and Rolex Yachtsmen,
Yachtswomen and a new award for Team of the Year honors? You cannot
implement change from the top down. Let us support youth sailing, high
school sailing, college sailing and team racing... and spread the love of
sailing so that motorboats do not take over!

COMMENT: My observation is the focus on the youth layer of the sport in the
U.S. has never been greater, but I wonder if an equal dedication is needed
to promote life sailing. Introducing young people to the types of sailing
that exist outside of the "youth bubble" should help to insure their
continued participation once they age out of youth events. - Craig Leweck,

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