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SCUTTLEBUTT 3633 - Monday, July 16, 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 and Kaenon Polarized.

By Nicholas Hayes, Saving Sailing
On the subject of kids learning to sail, you'll be hard-pressed to find a
discussion thread on a sailing website or an op/ed in a sailing magazine
that doesn't include extreme opinions about the Optimist Dinghy (Opti) and
other similar one-person prams like the El Toro. Folks either hate them or
they're resigned to them.

Generally, the Opti-resigned assume that the only way for a kid to learn is
in a pram, starting precisely at the age of eight. Opti haters blame the
boats for scaring kids away, or, at least, for not being enough fun to sail
to hold their interest after a time. The resigned often get their cues from
people who sell prams. And haters get theirs from people who sell something

Of course, neither claim is true. Optis can be a heckuva lot of fun, and
they aren't the only way to learn.

Deeper thinking than rants and promotions takes you to a place where the
flaws and the benefits are found in the programs, not the boats.

On one hand, many a parent has teared up watching their child sail away
from the dock for the first time, mainsheet in one hand, tiller in the
other, and in full, confident control of their own tiny sailboat. It's just
as moving when later in the summer, the same kid hits the line at speed in
their first competition. But it can be awkward when a boat intended as a
basic trainer for little people is tweaked, turboed and branded like a
Formula One race car, to carry an adult-sized teen painfully slowly around
a race course year after year with mom or dad shouting commands from a

Programs that use prams as basic trainers and tools to build confidence go
a long way toward the development of a capable young person. But programs
that push too long and hard into the dangerous zone of making sporting
celebrities out of children, shuttled around by vicarious,
overenthusiastic, mini-van driving parents (and the win-at-all cost
approach that often accompanies them) can do more damage than good. It's
precisely the same in any youth sport; when it gets hyper-competitive, it's
gotten out of hand. The fun is replaced with panic and stress for everyone.
-- Read on:

French skipper Yann Guichard and the 5 men aboard Spindrift racing won the
Krys Ocean Race, the transatlantic race between New York and Brest (France)
for the MOD70, a new class of 70-foot one design trimaran.

Looking at the race tracking page, it's possible to drag the progress bar
to see when Spindrift got the advantage on the 2,950 route. Now we learn
how they got the advantage:

"It actually all comes down to our ability to stay longer than anyone under
gennaker on the second night of the race," explained Guichard. Winds were
really blowing hard as we entered the low pressure system and we were
picking up speed, close to 35 knots. The sea was still very calm and flat
so we pushed a little bit harder than any of our competitors. We were able
to combine great boat speed and a better wind angle. We slid downwind the
entire night and in the next morning, we were in command, on a better
course with greater speed. It was then all a matter of keeping that
advantage ."

Concerning the life conditions on the MOD 70, Guichard warns the ride is
not for the timid:

"We've been under water most of the time," Guichard said. "Big waves kept
spraying the cockpit and the man at the helm was the most exposed. We've
stayed wet during the entire race. We were quite tense at the beginning as
it takes a while to get used to high speed sailing. When you do 35 knots
and over for hours, you get the feeling that disaster awaits at the next
wave. Then you kind of get used to it, you build up confidence and you keep
on pushing hard. At night, things really get stressful as you can no longer
anticipate the direction of the waves. I know all the MOD70 have had their
moments of sheer fright, when the boat hits the wave with three hulls and
boat speed drops from 35 to 5 knots within seconds. You wonder which side
the boat is going to fall. And then you just keep on going."

Race tracker:
Full report:

If you're curious about how individuals are trained to build composite
structures - whether they are boats, planes or automobiles - come to IYRS
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(July 15, 2012; Day 16) - The bulk of the 23 entrants competing in the
2120nm Singlehanded TransPac Race arrived this weekend, keeping race
officials and bartenders busy with the completion of their crossing. The
big dog appears to be Jim Quanci's Cal 40 Green Buffalo as the overall
monohull winner.

However, not everyone would be joining the pineapple party, as early this
morning Derk Wolmuth on the Vindo 40 Bela Bartok activated his EPIRB, about
450 miles off the finish line at Hanalei Bay on Kauai, and broadcast on the
SSB that he was requesting a medical evacuation. The Coast Guard enlisted
the help of a ro-ro cargo ship that was about 80 miles away to effect the
rescue. Around dawn, Wolmuth was safely taken aboard the ship and is
scheduled to arrive in Oakland, California on Wednesday.

The Coast Guard reports that Wolmuth had been ill for three days with what
he suspects is a staph infection. Bela Bartok is currently adrift, or
possibly sailing slowly toward Kauai thanks to her windvane, but the race
tracker on the boat will continue to send position reports, which will be
helpful in salvaging the boat as well as keeping mariners - including the
46 entries in the Pacific Cup which start this coming week - updated on her

Race website:

Chicago, IL (July 15, 2012) - Reigning Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR) was
today crowned the 2012 Chicago Match Cup winner after a 3-0 battle against
Australian youngster Jordan Reece, which also closed the gap on Bjorn
Hansen at the top of Alpari World Match Racing Tour leaderboard, the Swede
having won the day's Petit Final to take third.

Williams GAC Pindar went into this inaugural US Tour event desperate for a
win, having finished second and third at his previous series events so far
this season. Starting strongly despite an enforced crew change due to
appendicitis suffered by his tactician and mainsheet trimmer Bill Hardesty
(USA), Williams kept true to his tactician's wishes sent from hospital:
"Tell Ian nothing fancy! Keep it smooth and fast!"

Williams, said: "It wasn't straightforward out there, the conditions were
very difficult with the light air and missing Bill [Hardesty] after he'd
done a fantastic job all week was a tough change to make. Garth Ellingham
[WAKA Racing] is also great sailor and he did a great job in the Final but
obviously it takes a while to gel as a group."

"The first couple of races were pretty dicey and they could have gone
either way but I felt that as we improved and the communication was there,
we did a much better job of controlling the start and controlling the race.

Full story:
Results/Prize winning:

One of the more helpless feelings is when you are sick on a boat. A new
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(July 15, 2012) - If the light to moderate conditions were challenging
yesterday, they were even more so on day two of the Four Star Pizza ISAF
Youth Sailing World Championship in Dun Laoghaire.

A westerly to southwesterly breeze, blowing off the picturesque town on the
outskirts of Dublin, was making the wind both shifty and gusty out on the
water for the 343 future Olympic potentials, all under 19 years of age, who
have congregated in the Emerald Isle from all four corners of the globe. At
one point a squall passed over the fleet measuring 25 knots in the harbour.

Despite the testing conditions on the water, competitors in the eight
classes all completed three races and with five races in total now sailed,
have been able to discard their worst result. -- Read on:

Top Positions - North America
Boy's Laser Radial - 1. Mitchell Kiss (USA)
Girl's Laser Radial - 22. Violet Stafford (CAN)
Boy's 420 - 18. Max Flinn/ Andrew Burns (CAN)
Girl's 420 - 9. Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick/ Abigail Rohman (USA)
Boy's RS:X - 10. Ignacio Berenguer (MEX)
Girl's RS:X - 18. Cristina Ortiz (MEX)
Open SL16 - 12. Jeremy Herrin/ Sam Armington (USA)
Open 29er - 3. Quinn Wilson/ Dane Wilson (USA)
Complete results:

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The Columbia Gorge Racing Association this week welcomes the Laser Class to
the Columbia River Gorge for the 2012 North American Championships. The
regatta is open to Laser, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 sailors.

Considered one of the top racing venues in the country with spectacular
vistas at every turn and a consistent warm windy breeze some 150 sailors
will are registered, the high end of expectations in an Olympic year, says
international Laser Class president Tracy Usher.

"It's a great turnout," Usher said. "As is becoming the norm, with 90 or
so, Radials are the dominant fleet by a factor of two over Standards. In
the 4.7s, 15 is a good turnout for this still fledgling fleet in North
America, in contrast to the European Championship where they can pull down
300 easy."

Derek Vranizan, 25, a favorite in the Standard rig when racing begins
Thursday, will first be taking on Tuesday's big event, the Laser Blowout,
the infamous distance downwinder. "I'll be trying for my third Laser
Blowout title. I'm definitely stoked about that because it's my favorite
race in the world - I like going downwind way more than upwind!"

The race is 18 miles dead downwind from Cascade Locks to Hood River through
the magnificent Columbia River Gorge. Big breeze, big waves, and
jaw-dropping scenery make this ride a genuine E-ticket! But it's not for
the faint of heart, as entry is limited to only sailors who can handle the
25+ knot winds.

Full report by Michelle Slade:

Events listed at

Newport, RI (July 15, 2012) - Over 700 sailors from 17 states descended on
Sail Newport this weekend to race in The Newport Regatta featuring BACARDI
Newport Sailing Week Presented by EFG Bank. Organizers set up four courses
to handle the 259 boats in 20 classes, with 181 races taking place over
three days, July 13-15, 2012. Marking its 28th year of competition, the
Newport Regatta has become one of the largest multi-class events on the
east coast. -- Full report:

* Newport, RI (July 15, 2012) - If the rest of the New York Yacht Club Race
Week at Newport presented by Rolex goes as well as this weekend did, there
will be hundreds of very satisfied sailors telling their tales of joy next
weekend, when the split-format regatta is scheduled to officially conclude.
For the past two days (July 14-15) the Weather Gods allowed 28 visually
arresting vintage yachts to engage in lively battles for victory in six
classes. Overall honors for best performance, earning a Rolex Oyster
Perpetual Submariner watch, was Michael McCaffrey, skipper of the S Boat
Osprey. -- Full story:

* (July 15, 2012) - One hundred fourteen boats are entered to compete at
Whidbey Island Race Week (July 16-20 in Oak Harbor, WA. PHRF and one design
fleets, led by the venerable Thunderbird with 16 boats, will compete on the
water and continue on land in the week long volleyball tourney. The party
got started early for some at Dinghy's Whidbey Island with five classes
competing. Winning the 'Bring What You Brung' class of 11 boats was Darlene
Woo in a Snipe. Event website:

* Following the demise of the TP52 MedCup circuit, the debut of the 52
Super Series this year will be followed by a 2013 schedule that expands to
competition on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The series will open in
the US at the Quantum Key West Race Week in January, which will be followed
by the 52 World Championship in either Miami or St Thomas. -- Full report:

* (July 15, 2012) - Flat seas and light winds marked the start of 219 boats
for the 88th Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race on Saturday. Finishers at
press time include elapsed winner Doug DeVos' Max Z86 Windquest, completing
the 254nm Cove Island course in 27:50:36. Third boat to finish, just over
three hours later, was Phil and Sharon O'Niel's TP52 Natalie J, the current
PHRF Overall and Division A leader. Event website:

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 Justin Assad:
I was interested in the piece about trapeze safety and Beverly YC's methods
in addressing it (in Scuttlebutt 3632). As part of my summer position
leading Nantucket Yacht Club's Junior Sailing program, I recently also
moved to retrofit trapeze harnesses, and to upgrade our older harnesses to
new ones.

I was interested to find that Gill is discontinuing the only quick-release
hook/harness option they produce, and was unable to find another
dealer/supplier offering an emergency hook system (we have some Magic
Marine spreader bars here that have been hook-less for several years, as we
seem unable to get the hooks in the USA any longer). All of this one year
after the tragic incident on Severn River - seems odd: it would appear that
we don't currently have an emergency release hook system on the US Market.

While I understand that at advanced levels the quick-release hook can be a
hindrance, it does seem essential at the learn-to-trapeze level. Any
insight on this would be appreciated - what am I missing?

* From stewartvz (Forum):
This is a good set of (coach and support boat) rules and the Melges 24
class should be commended (Scuttlebutt 3631). However it doesn't go far
enough. Coach boats can obtain information about the course, conditions,
competitors, etc. that a racer cannot. Any communication of this
information to a racer is an unfair advantage period. Coaches should be
prevented from communicating with racers from the moment they leave the
dock until the finish of the last race of the day. The exception is
development regattas where learning is the focus.

COMMENT: The 2011 Etchells Worlds banned comms between coach and crew at 30
minutes before the start. This limit was a bigger issue for multiple teams
that shared a coach, but for a team with a dedicated coach, 30 minutes was
still enough time to provide current and wind information before the start.
- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Fin Beven:
In Scuttlebutt 3630, it was reported that the International Jury for the
2012 Newport Bermuda Race penalized the yacht Carina 15 minutes in elapsed
time because a professional sailor briefly steered the boat during the
race. I'm not usually a "black-and-white kinda guy, but the rule about no
pros driving is so crystal-clear.

If you are in a class where pros are not supposed to drive (which Carina
was in), and you let a pro drive, you are OUT. Period. Let the owner then
deal with his crew issues as he or she desires.

I should know, as I recently experienced a similar situation. I sailed in a
race in SoCal last year with just my son. I negligently did not realize
that our local PHRF rules required a crew of at least three because we were
sailing more than 10 miles offshore. We were sailing from Long Beach to

When I learned of our transgression, I contacted the sponsoring yacht club,
and asked to be scored as DNS, even though we scored first in our class. My
request was appropriately honored. As it should have been.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It should be said the Notice of Race does allow the Jury to
waive or impose penalties other than disqualification for infringement of
the rules regarding professional sailors. Also, a letter last week inferred
there was a formula based on boat size to determine how many pros can be
onboard a boat. Actually, the formula is based on total crew. In the case
of the 48-foot Carina, her total crew of 12 people allowed for her to have
3 pro sailors onboard. Here is the link to the NOR:

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