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SCUTTLEBUTT 3537 - Wednesday, February 29, 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, Doyle Sailmakers, and Power Plug-In.

When Tulane University recently hosted their Nelson Roltsch Intersectional regatta at Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans (Feb. 18-20), it brought back memories for Mike Johnson of a person and the accident that took his life nearly thirty years ago. Here is Mike's story:
Not sure if you know the story of Nelson. He was a good friend of mine and a student at Tulane while I was at the University of Florida (Class of '85). I am a subscriber to the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association email list, and every time I see a report for this regatta it brings up strong emotions from my memories with Nelson.

Nelson came to Pensacola from the Midwest as a youth in about 1978. His dad was in technical sales and could live anywhere so they chose Florida specifically to allow his kids to sail. Before moving south, Nelson had just won the Butterfly (kind of like a Sunfish) National Championships and was a keen sailor. I was the same age as Nelson and we met though the sailing scene in NW Florida.

Upon moving south, he had given up the Butterfly and taken on the Laser in a big way. I was primarily racing Windsurfers and Hobie Cats so he was always trying to get me to sail Lasers. Nelson and I decided to try our hand at some keel boat offshore racing and I had a gig on an IOR 3/4 ton boat. Nelson came with us for a few offshore races and we had a great time making the boat go fast. Because of his natural ability and warm personality, he was sought by many of the big boat crowd in Pensacola. Here is the story of his last race.

Nelson had entered Tulane in 1981, and in 1983 he was racing on a brand new J/29 (outboard version) in the Gulf Ocean Racing Circuit off the Mississippi coast. Back in those days we raced big boats offshore around the oil platforms in races anywhere from 100 to 250 miles length. This was the 200 nm Lightship Race and the wind was fresh (35-45 kt range) with really big seas. I was not on the boat but have heard the story from several people that were. -- Read on:

Beginning March 1st, The National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame will start accepting online nominations for the 2012 Class of the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Categories include Sailing, Technical/Design and Contributors. Each candidate should be a U.S, Citizen; however if someone of international birth has had a significant impact on the development of the sport of sailing in the United States, they may be included.

Nominees must be 45 years of age or older. Posthumous nominations may be made 5 years postmortem or in the year the deceased would have reached 45 years of age or whichever is sooner. The nomination period will run from March 1 through May 1st, with the inductees for 2012 determined by mid-July.

NSHOF inducted its Inaugural Class of 15 Hall of Famers last October at the San Diego Yacht Club, including Betsy Alison, Hobie Alter, Charlie Barr, Paul Cayard, Dennis Conner, Nathanael Herreshoff, Ted Hood, Gary Jobson, Buddy Melges, Bus Mosbacher, Lowell North, Joshua Slocum, Olin Stephens, Ted Turner and Harold Vanderbilt.

For 2012, up to ten people will be chosen from online nominations by a selection committee appointed by the NSHOF, comprised of representatives from NSHOF, U.S. Sailing, the sailing media, the sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum and NSHOF founding member clubs. The Induction Ceremony will be held in October 14th at the Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans.

Full report:
Submit nomination:

Come to IYRS on Saturday, March 3 to attend Marine Industry Career Day. The free event in Newport (R.I.) has attracted marine employers from throughout New England who are coming to IYRS with one goal in mind: to connect with individuals with the skills and passion to work in the marine industry. This year the line-up of companies is strong and diverse, and experts will give seminars on marine careers and training opportunities. If you've ever wondered what life would be like if boating were your day job, this is the place to find out. Learn more at

By Stuart Streuli, Sailing World
A Monday morning e-mail from the U.S. Olympic Committee announced the nominees for the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame class of 2012. I perused the list, looking for any notable names. A few caught my eye...

Wrestler John Smith, who was a collegiate and Olympic superstar when I was a high school wrestler, is on there. As is Dan O'Brien, the decathlete and star of the famous "Dan & Dave" Reebok commercials that ran during the lead up to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Cross-country skiing pioneer Bill Koch made the list. As did an alpine skier I'd never heard of, Gretchen Fraser. It turns out she was a legend, winning two medals at the 1948 Winter Olympics. There is even a synchronized swimmer, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto. I know, I don't think it's an Olympic-worthy sport either. But she did win two golds and one silver. I think she was also a stunt swimmer in Caddyshack (OK, I have no idea if that's true).

No sailors were on the list of 18 former Olympians, which I didn't find to be very surprising. There are a lot of Olympic sports to cover. But something nagged at the back of my mind, so I clicked through to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame website and went through the 14 groups of athletes and contributors - 128 in all - that have been inducted into the hall of fame since it was founded in 1983.

You guessed it, not a single sailor. There are an astounding 38 Track and Field athletes and 15 swimmers. The men's basketball team has been inducted four times, while six boxers have also been chosen. There are rowers, skiers, weightlifters, figure skaters, a shooter, two wrestlers, and an equestrian. But no sailors. -- Read on:

By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
I received an email to say that my current ISAF Sailor Classification would soon expire. I have Group 1 status, which means I am a "competitor who takes part in racing only as a pastime".

My era with Group 3 status, for people whose paid work is closely connected to racing boats, was well in the past... or so I thought.

To renew my classification, I went to the ISAF website to complete the application process. Here were some of the decisive questions:
* During the last 24 months, have you taken part in racing only as a pastime (i.e. as an unpaid, leisure activity)?

* During the last 24 months, how many days have you raced? Please include practice and preparation days and cancelled race days at events. (0-30 days, 31-60 days, 61-100 days, 100+ days)

* During the last 24 months, have you competed in any of the events or classes listed below? Please select all Events and Classes which apply. List others that required or may require classification

Cork Week (Ireland), Newport-Bermuda Race, ORCi Offshore Worlds, RORC Commodores Cup, Tour De France a la Voile, Americas Cup World Series, LV Cup & AC Finals, World Match Racing Tour & qualifiers, The Volvo Ocean Race, Extreme Sailing Series, Trans Oceanic Races, Olympic Competition, Sailing World Cup, other.

Maxis, Farr 40, GP42, J80, J105, J109, Melges 20, Melges 24, Melges 32, RC44, Soto 40, Swan 42, TP52, X35, X41, other.

* During the last 24 months, have you been paid (or accepted an offer to be paid) for work that included competing in a race or have you publicly identified yourself as a Group 3 competitor or as a professional racing sailor?

* During the last 24 months, have you been paid to manage, train, practice, tune, test, maintain or otherwise prepare a boat or its crew, sails or performance-enhancing equipment for racing?

* During the last 24 months, have you had work in a marine business or organisation?

* During the last 24 months, has your paid work required knowledge or skills capable of enhancing the performance of a boat in a race or series?

* During the last 24 months, have you competed on any boat which used products or services provided by you or your employer?

* During the last 24 months, have you been paid to provide a boat or its sails (or to provide services connected with the provision a boat or its sails) and then raced on it or, in a team competition, a boat of the same team? This includes chartering.

* During the last 24 months, have you been paid for work that included coaching or teaching racing?

* During the last 24 months, have you been paid for allowing your name or likeness to be used in connection with your sailing performance, racing results or sailing reputation for the advertising or promotion of any product or service?

* During the last 24 months, is there any other work or activity for which you have been paid that you believe may affect your classification?
I suspect my affirmative answer to whether I have worked in a marine business triggered this response: "Your application has been referred to the review panel for consideration and you will be notified in due course of their decision."

However, providing false answers may be regarded as Gross Misconduct under rule 69, which can then lead to having my classification revoked, be fined, banned from competing in a particular class or event or may, in serious cases, banned from racing either temporarily or permanently.

I will let the truth set me free.

Classification FAQs:

In Scuttlebutt 3536, there was an error with the links for these photo galleries...

* Photographer Ingrid Abery provides Scuttlebutt with this stunning gallery from the World Championships in Sydney, Australia:

* A bit closer to home, the four event Jaguar Cup series finished with the class Midwinter Championship in Miami, FL. Thanks to John Payne for the photos:

When Mark Mendelblatt wanted to qualify for the Olympics in the Star class, he teamed up with Doyle to obtain the speed he needed. Combining advanced engineering and CFD modeling with years of on-the-water experience, Doyle was able to engineer sails that delivered. Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih will represent the USA in the 2012 Olympics, proudly using all sails designed and assembled in the USA. Since 1982, Doyle Sailmakers has been committed to supporting sailors like Mark and Brian and delivering the results you need. Have your dreams come true and your sail assembled in the USA. --

(February 28, 2012) - American Morgan Larson, new skipper of Oman Air, had an incredible start to his Extreme Sailing Series career on the opening day of Act 1 in Muscat, Oman (Feb 28-Mar 2). The forty-year-old, while sporting an outstanding CV with 3 America's Cup campaigns and 6 World Championship titles, had few pundits predicting the outcome today which resulted in Oman Air sharing the top of the leaderboard after 6 races alongside pre-season favourites Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with skipper Pierre Pennec (FRA).

Morgan Larson, skipper, Oman Air: "I didn't really know what to expect to be honest. I knew there are a lot of talented teams but I think the format of the sailing suits my style so I knew that would help a little but we have a long way to go that's for sure. The race we won Max slipped off at the bottom mark, and he somehow hung on to the rudder! I have seen a lot of people fall over board but I have never seen anyone hang on the way he hung on; it was quite impressive. That was key to the day really, otherwise we could have been an eight point swing and wouldn't be in the position we are in at the end of today."

Also starting well is reigning Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams, skipper of GAC Pindar, who is currently in third place. "We really targeted trying to get the boat in the top 3 so it's a great start and we're in 3rd place not too far behind the leaders," said Williams. "The preparation this year has been much better, the boat is in better condition and the crew have been in training leading up to this so we're feeling much more settled. The goal is to be inside the top 5 all the time and that's what we've got to do going forward."

The 8-boat Extreme 40 fleet will race on Wednesday in stadium mode inside the breakwater, surrounded by the outstanding residential development known as The Wave and home to Oman Sail.

Full report:
Live Race Console:

BACKGROUND: The Extreme Sailing Season is in its sixth season, with this year's eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and South America. The platform used is the one design Extreme 40 catamaran, with the format for event including both ocean and 'stadium' short-course racing in front of the public. Interest in the ESS has grown in part due to the multihull format planned for the 34th America's Cup in 2013. --

(February 28, 2012; Day 9) - After nine days of tiring upwind sailing in the wrong direction, 10 of CAMPER's 11 crew were today rejoicing in comfortable high-speed sailing through the trade winds that finally gave them a chance to get some rest.

But for navigator Will Oxley, the team's quick progress towards Auckland just means more hours spent at the nav station working out the next tactical move.

"I was hoping now we're into the trades I might be able to get some sleep," Oxley said. "But each time the weather comes in it allows me to look a little further into the future."

And while the rest of the crew are dealing with what the weather gods throw at them purely on a day to day basis, Oxley is looking into his crystal ball at what lies ahead much further down the track.

"The routing is just starting to be able to see New Zealand in terms of distance so we can start to make guesses," he added. "This is important because it sets up just exactly where you do want to cross the Equator and how you're going to approach it. It's never totally right but it starts to give you an idea.

"It's an interesting time for the navigator - hopefully I can come up with a solution that puts us in good shape coming into Auckland."

With speeds rocketing up to 30 knots, Oxley said they could be at the Equator in three days.

"We've got about 1,400 miles to the Equator and everyone's lined up in their east/west positions now," he said. "Everyone's belting it and averaging speeds in the 20s. At this rate we'll be at the Equator in three days. Then it starts to open up and there's plenty of options in the South Pacific." -- Source:

Leg 4 - Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL (5,220 nm)
Standings as of Wednesday, 29 February 2012, 1:01:33 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 3363.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 81.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 85.8 nm DTL
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 87.7 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 114.9 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 139.8 nm DTL

Video reports:
Race 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. -

By Darrell Nicholson, Practical Sailor
As one who has spent many hours in exotic locations, cycling bad diesel fuel through a make-shift filtration system, I am as vulnerable as anyone to the promises of a quick and easy solution to fuel problems.

In 2007, Practical Sailor warned of the problems related to ethanol-laced fuel (E10), and in 2008, we tested various products claiming to prevent problems related to ethanol and found varying degrees of success. In 2009, we looked at diesel fuel additives formulated to attack biological bugs that thrive in diesel. This summer, we'll look again at gasoline additives, taking a closer look at the standards the industry is using to separate the snake oil from the elixirs.

While the ethanol problem has brought a mountain of headaches to boaters, it has ignited a booming trade in fuel additives. At the recent Miami boat show, I heard Gerald Nessenson, president of ValvTect Petroleum Products, talk about the state of the finished fuel-additive industry and what established companies such as his are trying to do to fend off what he feels are unsupportable claims by small upstart companies.

Nessenson was quick to point out that the finished gasoline at our pumps already includes a range of additives that deal with issues such as corrosion, fuel oxidation, and deposit build-up. He added that the harsh marine environment presents special challenges and cited the well-documented ethanol-related problems in outboards as evidence that boaters need to be more cognizant of their choices when selecting, storing, and - if necessary - treating their fuel. But when it comes to comparing the fuel treatment products on the market, consumers are effectively left in the dark. -- Read on:

Sailor & energy expert, Gordon Ettie's new book, Power Plug-In is a 'must read' for investors looking for new energy investments for their individual or organizational portfolio. Email Gordon at to book him for your meeting or conference. The book is available wherever books are sold or visit

* One hundred fifty-three sailors descended on Clearwater Yacht Club in Clearwater, FL to compete in the Laser Midwinter's East Championship (Feb. 22-26). Winning in the Laser was David Wright (CAN), with Marit Bouwmeester (NED) winning the Laser Radial, and Liam McCarthy (USA) taking the Laser 4.7 title. -- Full results:

* The 2012 U.S. Championship of Champions event will be held at Pewaukee Yacht Club (WI) on September 27-30. The country's national champs will compete in a fleet of evenly matched C Scows with new sails from North Sails. --

* The UK Etchells Class and RYA Racing have got together to young sailors who aspire to race one design keelboats at the highest level an opportunity to apply for a number of fully race prepared Etchells, 30 foot keelboats, completely free of charge for the 2012 racing season. The objective is to bring two young teams up to the highest level possible with the aim of helping them to maximise their chances of winning the 2012 British Etchells Nationals. -- Read on:

If you would you like your marine business news to be published in Scuttlebutt, our advice for you is to buy ad space. However, the Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum does allow companies to post their personnel, product and service updates at no charge. As a bonus, each week Scuttlebutt will include some of the recent updates in the newsletter. Are you in the marine industry? Post your updates here:

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