Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3660 - Wednesday, August 22, 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: IYRS, Point Loma Outfitting, and Allen Insurance and

By Richard Shrubb, Southwinds
Four sailors from Florida are competing in this year's Paralympic Games in
Weymouth, England, Sept. 1-6. To a person, their journeys have been
amazing, from severe adversity that would challenge even the strongest in
this world to competing for Gold on a world stage.

Jen French and JP Creignou, both from St. Petersburg (FL), travelled two
separate journeys and have come together in the last two years to race the
SKUD 18 for this year's Paralympics in Weymouth. French is a
wheelchair-bound paraplegic, and Creignou is legally blind.

The SKUD 18 is a high-performance racing yacht, and the crews must be a
pair, one severely disabled and the other less so. Many resent that they
cannot "hike out" on the boat to keep it flat in higher winds and make the
boat go faster; the pair must be sitting down.

Many able-bodied people race this class of boat for the speed and
exhilaration. JP Creignou points out, "Sailing is a great sport for
disabled people, as you aren't always in a specific disabled class, and you
race head-to-head with able-bodied people," which drives up the standard
for all. Most sailboat racing doesn't consider a disability a disadvantage
in competition and is one of the few sports where people of all physical
abilities will race against each other regularly.

French adds, "It is all about the creativity of adaptations on your boat to
help you sail it." This is shown at its greatest among the teams with the
contraption that Sonar skipper Paul Callahan - one of the other Florida
Paralympic sailors competing - sits in. Callahan, from Cape Coral, FL,
cannot move his hands or legs. He sits in a mechanism that can be moved
from side to side to keep the boat flat, and steers the boat using his
arms, with his hands clipped to bicycle pedals that are attached via a
mechanism to the rudder.

All have been active throughout their lives, loving the competition and
teamwork involved. French was a competitive windsurfer while at college in
Ohio. Her journey toward Paralympic glory began on Friday 13, 2002, with a
snowboarding accident. "I came off a 40-foot embankment on my snowboard and
broke my back." She laughingly points out it was a full moon that night, as
she was rushed to the hospital and started her fight back. -- Read on:

MORE: The Paralympic Games (Sept. 1-6) includes sailing events in the
Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR), Two-Person Keelboat (SKUD18), and
Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar). Event website:

On Labor Day weekend, the Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta—with
Title Sponsor Panerai and Presenting Sponsor The Hinckley Company—will
attract a fleet of jaw-dropping classics to Newport. If you're a classic
sailor, register online for two days of racing run by Sail Newport and
festive social events. If you're not one of the lucky ones racing in this
fleet of everything from legendary S&S ocean racers to S-Boats, get to the
Newport harborfront Sunday morning to watch the Classic Yacht Parade. The
regatta is also the finale of the North American Panerai Classic Yachts
Challenge. For more information:

Forget the fastest sail boat; next year's America's Cup could come down to
who has the fastest computer.

The boats competing on the San Francisco Bay next year will be kitted out
from bow to stern with high-tech gear, including sensors that measure
variables like wind speed and the amount of stress on their hulls, and a
server that analyzes the data and sends instructions to the crew.

High tech has long played a role in the America's Cup, but this year its
impact could be more decisive than ever. That's because of the
high-performance catamarans selected for use in the race, which are
designed for speed rather than stability, and because the course covers
only a small area of the bay.

"It's a monumental shift in terms of how we do things. Not only are the
boats faster, but the course is more restricted so you're maneuvering
almost every minute," said Asim Khan, the New Zealander in charge of IT for
Oracle Team USA.

Oracle's boat has hundreds of sensors embedded throughout its hulls, in the
underwater fins and up the length of the mast. They're connected by wire to
a server in a waterproof box in one of the hulls. The server uses a single
wireless access point to distribute data to computerized "wrist watches"
and other devices worn by the crew. The others teams in the race are
expected to employ a similar set-up.

The computer tells the crews the optimal moment to tack or jibe, or when to
trim the sails to increase their speed. It does this by looking at
measurements including the "bend, twist and rake" of the mast, which helps
it to calculate the "true" wind from the apparent wind experienced on the
moving boat.

On the mono hull boats used in previous America's Cups, positions such as
navigator, strategist, and tactician would process the data to make racing
decisions. But on these catamarans, the limit on crew has eliminated most
of these afterguard positions. "There's no one person interpreting the data
anymore," Khan said. "Everyone's having information processed and given to
them exactly how they need it, on their own personalized display." -- PC
World, read on:

MORE: Oracle Team USA has partnered with Ruckus to equip its AC 45 and AC
72 catamarans with its patented ultra high-speed Wi-Fi technology. Details

DETAILS: Eleven AC45s will be competing on San Francisco Bay for the AC
World Series Aug. 22-26. Here is some information to help follow the event:

- Event details:
- Crew list:
- Latitude 38 viewing guide:
- Video tour of live viewing options:
- SF sports bar viewing:

NETWORK: While the American television network NBC is contracted to cover
the America's Cup events, its brethren remain engaged too. Here is a video
and report on ABC News:

NEW APP: The 34th America’s Cup is expanding and enhancing its digital
outreach with a new app for iOS and Android devices. The new AC mobile
application America’s Cup, which is free and available in the iTunes app
store (soon to come for Android), features content such as latest news,
results, videos and event schedules, but it’s the delivery of the real-time
live action that promises to take the mobile race viewing experience to new
levels. Details:

KEEPING BUSY: Spaniards Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernández have been keeping
busy. They nearly won the Volvo Ocean Race on Telefonica, then competed in
the 49er event, and now have joined the Luna Rossa team for their America's
Cup challenge. The duo have participated in three editions of the Volvo
Ocean Race, and won two Olympic medals (gold in 2004 and silver in 2008)
and three World Championships (2002, 2004 and 2010) in the 49er. Full

Communication between boats on the course can help in tight situations, but
sometimes it's better to "shut up and sail." From the Sailing World
July/August 2012 issue, Andrew Campbell explains...
The Racing Rules of Sailing only demand that we hail our competitors in two
situations: when we need "room to tack," and when we feel we've been
wronged with "protest." But somehow ours is still a noisy sport. All around
the racecourse we have verbal exchanges, which are inevitable when a lot of
boats are in the same patch of water all trying to win the same race.

But somehow, and somewhat gracefully, our rules actually cover 90 percent
of common situations without any need for a single spoken word. There's
good strategy behind it: We should avoid distractive chatter and
concentrate on our boatspeed instead. The communication we need to use at
critical points should be quick, concise, effective, and most importantly,
limited. A few common situations come to mind where brevity is key, and
with the exception of these, along with our two mandatory hails, we should
generally just "shut up and sail."

Read on:

Campione del Garda, Italy (August 21, 2012) - After Scott Babbage (AUS)
blitzed the record-breaking 117-boat fleet with three bullets on the
opening day of the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championship, the very
light and unstable breeze on Lake Garda didn't let the Moths fly today.
Brad Funk, among five Americans competing, is currently in 11th with a
7-7-6. Funk describes the venue:

"The organisers picked Campione for its flatter water and slightly less
wind. There is a 1300 foot wall on the right side of the race track, and
tacking alongside it is THE upwind strategy. There's more wind and a
geographical shift going into the wall, offering a lift on port with

"This is also the plan on the downwind leg as you gybe and head for more
pressure at the wall, making for a one-side race track. Additionally, the
pressure difference at the top of the course is half the velocity of that
at the bottom, so the rich get richer on the first run."

With the right side advantage, there's an urgency on the start line. "The
starts are probably the most exciting 30 seconds of sailboat racing that
can exist," assessed past world champion Bora Gulari (USA). "Most of the
fleet is lining up on port and a few people are lining up on starboard and
with closing speeds of 30 knots it gets your heart going. That's for sure."

The schedule now calls for an 8:30am start on Wednesday to take advantage
of the morning breeze. Unlike the afternoon "Ora", the early-morning wind
on Lake Garda, called "Peler", is usually stronger and creates much more
waves, which could prove troublesome for the foiling fleet. Racing
concludes Sunday.

Event website:
Brad Funk website:

Point Loma Outfitting is excited to be able to offer the new SLAM Force 4
foul weather gear. This inshore gear is to replace the well-received Racing
Evolution and RC series. The Force 4 collection is made up of a jacket,
spray top and salopettes. This three-layer gear is lightweight, yet very
waterproof, and breathable. The jacket and spray top both have neck seals,
and cuffs, as well as a pocket to insert X-Pads to absorb and disburse
shock. The salopettes also have pockets in the knees for these pads as
well. Check these out at

* The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced the
transition of the Long Beach Boat and Yacht Show to Southern California's
only all-sail boat show, Strictly Sail Long Beach. The show will take place
October 18-21, 2012 at Rainbow Harbor, maintaining its original dates and
location. With the transition, NMMA will produce the region's three leading
boat shows, including the San Diego Yacht & Boat Show (July 26-29, 2012)
and Los Angeles Boat Show (Feb 7-10, 2013), creating three distinct boating
events in the region to meet the demands of consumers and the recreational
boating industry. -- Full report:

* The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced it is
disappointed in the decision today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
D.C. Circuit to dismiss on procedural grounds the recreational boating
industry's challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)
decision to allow E15 into the U.S. fuel supply. This decision puts the
potentially dangerous E15 at gas pumps across the country, a troubling
scenario for American boaters and the recreational boating industry. --
Full report:

* Kingston, ONT (August 21, 2012) - With one day remaining at CORK OCR
(Olympic Classes Regatta), the positions look near certain in the 29er and
49er North Americans, whereas the Finn North Americans might not be settled
until the end. Canadian Olympic Finn sailor Greg Douglas is trading punches
with his young team mate, Finn Youth Worlds Champion Martin Robataille, who
sits just four points behind. The National Single Handed Championship is
also underway with some Canadian Sailing Team Members sitting high in the
Ranks. Details here:

* (August 21, 2012) - The record fleet of 42 Atlantics was met by an almost
total absence of wind for the first race of their National Championship at
Blue Hill, Maine, today. Principal race officer Ken Legler abandoned at
4.15 when the usual sea breeze failed to materialize. Two races are
scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday). -- Daily reports:

* (August 21, 2012) - Tropical Depression Nine, now moving westward across
the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to become a tropical storm within the next
day and a Category 1 hurricane by Thursday, forecasters at the National
Hurricane Center said Tuesday. Tropical storm watches and warnings cover
much of the Leeward Islands as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
-- CNN, full story:

* The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time
since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest company SCA announced they
would enter a women's crew for the next edition in 2014-15. The team, which
will sail with an international crew, are the first to announce an entry
for what will be the 12th edition of the race, starting from Alicante in
the second half of 2014. The all-female challengers are the first team to
confirm an order for the new 65-foot one-design boat, details of which were
announced by the race in June. -- Read on:

Do you sail professionally or cruise or race internationally? Are you an
Olympic team member, instructor, coach or US SAILING team member? US
SAILING is proud to offer all members a creditable health insurance plan
with coverage at home and abroad. 24/7 assistance in your language.

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 Roger Vaughan:
I'm totally in league with Bill Schanen's resistance to wearing PDFs
whenever we are within sight of water -- including the decks of waterfront
restaurants (Scuttlebutt 3659).

Wearing PDFs is about common sense. I wore one frostbiting my Sunfish, and
racing dinghies, and wore one (and a safety harness) on the leg of the
Whitbread I sailed. But sue me: I didn't wear my PDF down below, off watch,
in my bunk. When the going gets weird, I put on a PDF. Absolutely. But
otherwise I've pleasure sailed for many (many) years without one, and will
continue to do so.

Common sense seems to be at low tide in this country. It seems some people
would rather have more laws so they don't have to make the enormous effort
of opening the common sense portal of their brains. Would those promoting a
full-time PDF rule also want parachutes to be required on passenger jets?
What about making a law requiring restraints to prevent us from rolling out
of bed and getting injured? Hey, it happens. My uncle sprained his thumb
that way.

The fact is, try as we might, there is no way to make laws that will
protect us from ourselves. If you want to shoot yourself in the foot, then
you will shoot yourself in the foot. Period. Common sense, people. Try it.
It works.

* From By Baldridge:
Regarding Bill Schanen's commentary concerning mandatory life jacket
attire, this is why I do not drink alcohol (preferably Mt. Gay) unless
there is a lawyer present. I am 61 years old and have sailed hundreds of
thousands of miles without a PFD or safety harness. I am responsible for my
actions. My sons, who are great sailors in their own right, must abide by
the new normal, but I still want them to be able to survive what comes,
with or without these aids, which I believe may give a false sense of

* From Rob Peters:
My last boat was a small sled that we raced offshore, and as soon as dusk
arrived, our rule was that anyone on watch had to be in a harness and
tether. Personally, I wore an inflatable life vest which incorporated a
harness. On a few occasions, I had a crew member plucked off the foredeck
by a wave and washed back to the cockpit. Full gales in the North Atlantic
on a 4000 lb boat are "challenging" especially after dark while you're
still trying to race. Safety was not an option; it was an absolute.

* From Matthew Chao:
I agree with Chip Croft's assessment regarding diversity in sailing
(Scuttlebutt 3658). As one who is of Chinese descent, I am well aware of
the lack of diversity of sailors of other ethnic backgrounds in our sailing
community. Could this be another reason why sailing here has little or no
ongoing traction in minority groups? Add to that the fact that I am also
totally blind, yet compete in "mainstream" regattas as much as possible,
and you might have two areas in which diversity is an issue.

My point here is that we may be dealing with perceptions which in turn
result in lack of diversity. If minorities and those with disabilities see
all whites and able-bodied "normal" sailors in the majority of regattas,
might they assume that sailing isn't for them, thereby not getting involved
in sailing? In short, it's kind of a feedback loop that both needs
correcting and which has no easy solution.

Based on the above, the perception, in my view, is that sailing is an elite
sport for those with money, sort of like a beautiful sport for beautiful
people. If we can get rid of that image, and can promote our sport in more
diverse venues, we might go a long way towards opening up our sport.

* From Skip Lissiman:
Isn't it interesting to see nationalities of the skippers and crews on the
crew lists of the 11 teams lining up for the AC series in San Francisco -
especially on the back of the recent results from the Olympics. Here is the
list of countries and the number of team (crew) members from that country:

NZL with 16 team members, followed by AUS 9 crew, GBR 8, FRA 6, ITA 6, USA
4, and ARG, SUI, CHN, CAN all with 1 crew member.

Then look at the nationality of the teams. USA 2 boats, ITA 2 boats, SWE 2
boats, KOR 1 boat, FRA 1 boat, GBR 1 boat, and NZL 1 boat.

Read into what you like.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In case you don't know Skip, he is one of those famous
Australians that won the 1983 America's Cup during a time when not just the
boat represented the country from which their club resided, but the crew on
each boat did too. Here is the crew list to which Skip is referring:

The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to
buy and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. Here are recent ads:
* For Sale: C&C 30
* For Sale: O'Day Daysailer 17ft
* Now Hiring: Crew deckhand for America's Cup racing in SF Bay
* Now Hiring: Executive Director - US Optimist Class
View/post ads here:

Two's company, three's the Musketeers.

Hall Spars & Rigging - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - North Sails - APS
KO Sailing - IYRS - Point Loma Outfitting - Allen Insurance And Financial
Ullman Sails - Harken - Quantum Sails - The Pirates Lair

Need stuff? Look here: