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SCUTTLEBUTT 3525 - Friday, February 10, 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 U and NYYC.

By Jabbo Gordon, Southwinds
Some months ago, Scuttlebutt posed the question of why kids don't want to sail. The topic discussed, written by Bill Sandberg, originally appeared in WindCheck magazine (a free monthly magazine devoted to sailors and boaters in the Northeast,, and he offered various reasons why.

Why, indeed?

Basically, Sandberg says sailing isn't fun for kids anymore. He stepped back in time to his own youth activities, such as baseball and sailing, and discussed "the way we were." He recalled his early sailing days when he and his friends went from harbor to harbor and did overnights on the shores of Long Island Sound.

Yes, he was part of a junior sailing program, and yes, members of the group raced. But Sandberg hastened to add: They did not become burned out because sailing was more fun.

Ed Baird of St. Petersburg - and winning helmsman in the 2008 America's Cup - once bragged to a US SAILING audience that he could sail all over Tampa Bay long before the state of Florida said that he could drive on its highways.

When I was young and sailing in the Tampa Bay area, my buddies and I would sail from Dunedin over to the flats on the east side of Caladesi Island at low tide to round up some scallops. It was not unusual to sail clear to Clearwater - all of three miles - or to Clearwater Beach to compete in the Pram races there - before Dunedin's Optimist fleet was launched. And frankly, we didn't wear life jackets or sun block, let alone gloves. Many sailors wore old hats that would cover a person's nose and ears - favorite targets for the sun's rays.

Has Intense Competition Taken the Fun Out of Sailing?

Sandberg suggests that intense competition has taken the fun out of sailing. He has a point when you realize that there is a lot of parental and peer pressure to win at any cost. Coaches teach youngsters various tricks and ways to bend the regulations, and, unfortunately, some kids who don't think the rules apply to them are happy to push the envelope. But they are the first to complain when they are caught being over the starting line at the start of a race. What happened to sportsmanship?

On an interscholastic level, high schools have tried to use ineligible sailors. That sort of sportsmanship would result in the school's football team forfeiting an entire season. Is this what we want to teach kids?

Some kids start too young. They are not as ready as their parents may think. They don't have the mental maturity, the hand-eye coordination or the weight to hold a boat down when there are whitecaps on a bay or a lake. They become frustrated, and even if they stick with it for a year or two, they often burn out. Rare is the youngster who starts at age 7, for example, and continues sailing even through college.

Some summer learn-to-sail camps and small grass roots programs have become training grounds for year-round race teams. Instead of simply teaching a youngster how to sail with an eye toward how much fun it is, some summer instructors become race team recruiters.

L.K. Bradley of Palm Harbor, who has taught sailing in the Tampa Bay area for years, used to joke about scoping out the summer camp parking lot for SUVs with trailer hitches. Some sailing teachers become coaches during the school year, and they are looking for parents who can pull the race team's boats. -- Read on:

NOTE: Southwinds Magazine is a free, printed sailing publication serving the Southeast U.S.:

While pre-race preparation is vital to win the Volvo Ocean Race, equally important is a team's ability to improve during the nine month event. Here the Frank Cammas' Groupama 4 team shares their analysis of the comparative performances of the six VO-70s after a third of the way into the race.

Charles Caudrelier, helm and onboard performance analyst:
"Groupama 4 has considerable potential whilst the other competitors already know that they have a less high performance boat. Between the three sisterships designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian (Groupama 4, Telefonica, Puma), we don't know exactly where the weight is positioned in these boats. The hulls are a little different below the water and Groupama 4 is more geared towards points of sail involving sheets slightly eased-reaching in a good breeze, whilst the other two are more centred on VMG when sailing upwind and downwind.

"As regards appendages, our bulb is set back quite far with a keel fin sloping aft, whilst the other two (Juan K) boats are a little bit more bow down: at low speed, our transom is a little deeper and we create a bit of drag under ten knots of breeze. We've been able to correct this slight fault through the positioning of weight and the form of the sails and now Groupama 4 is more versatile.

"During this close-contact leg, we discovered that the other crews were using sails with angles we hadn't even imagined: in this way we've managed to make progress by observing the sails, their forms and their trim during the In-Port races."

Cyril Douillet, onshore performance analyst:
"We know that Camper stalls a bit on a reach but is very fast upwind. Puma is pretty inconsistent whilst Telefonica is steady on every point of sail. However, the performances by each boat remain extremely similar! The Spanish team is solid, with an interesting track record combining the Olympics and offshore sailing. The French team is more multicultural, which means that things take a little longer for everything to become fluid.

"Abu Dhabi is very strong in the In-Port races, but less at ease offshore. The crew is highly experienced, but it lacked preparation time. As for Camper, the team is stalling slightly in terms of its progress. It has spent a lot of time sailing close-hauled in breezy conditions, a point of sail where the boat is very at ease, with the ability to sail 2-3 degrees closer on the wind than everyone else. However, the boat lacks power and has difficulty lengthening her stride with sheets eased."

Full report:

SCHEDULE: The Sanya In-Port race is on February 18 and Leg 4 from Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL begins on February 19:

Overall leaderboard after Leg 3
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 6-1-1-1-5-1, 95 pts
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 3-2-2-2-3-3, 80 pts
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 5-3-5-4-2-2, 71 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2-DNF-3-3-4-4, 48 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1-DNF-4-5-1-5, 39 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 4-DNF-6-6-DNS-6, 16 pts

Video reports:

BROADCAST: Here is the television schedule for the U.S. in February:

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. -

The Free North U Tactician iPhone/ iPad App is intended to help Tacticians record, track and analyze wind data while racing. Nothing fancy. You enter data manually, recording your course and tack. The App tracks the wind over time a shows a strip chart so you can look for trends and patterns. Stop scribbling on the deck. Get the North U Tactician App.

By C.W. Nevius, Chronicle Columnist
Hosting the America's Cup continues to be an education for the city of San Francisco. Like you, the city might have thought this was a sailboat race.

Actually, it is good old-fashioned hardball.

Larry Ellison's America's Cup Event Authority has already proved itself to be bare-knuckle negotiators, and they are not done. While both sides agree this will be a wonderful event, before we hang the banners and start cheering the leeward tacks, there are some serious hurdles.

One of them is development critic and former president of the Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin, who is raising some awkward questions.

"I'm delighted that they want to have the race here," Peskin said. "And I think it will be a good event for San Francisco. But we just want it here on commercially reasonable terms."

This is where I have some grave concerns. I'm agreeing with Aaron Peskin.

I get the idea that everyone wants to cut the best possible deal. That's business. But there's real potential for a game of chicken that could sink or damage the event.

Read more:

BROADCAST: Oracle Race CEO Russell Coutts has revealed that a major broadcast deal was imminent for the USA. When pressed further Coutts said the deal was with one of the major US broadcasters, and was a free to air package. "Frankly I think this will be one of the best, if not the best television broadcasts that the America's Cup has ever had - certainly in the time that I have been involved," said Coutts. -- Sail-World, full story:

UPDATE: Team Korea has announced the addition to their America's Cup sailing team by two Current World Champion sailors. Australian Nathan Outteridge will be the new skipper and helmsman, replacing Chris Draper who is now on the Luna Rossa team. Outteridge is a three-time 49er World champion and is the reigning Moth World Champion. Also joining the team as tactician and float is current World and European Finn Champion Giles Scott from Great Britain. -- Full report:

* Three Canadians whose sailboat was caught in a violent squall in the Pacific Ocean have arrived safely in Honolulu after the crew of an American container ship saved them during a dramatic night-time operation Wednesday. -- Read on:

* The New Orleans Yacht Club is getting ready to host Mardi Gras Race Week on Feb 23-26, which promises three days of hard core racing and four nights of partying New Orleans style. With Mardi Gras culminating on Fat Tuesday, February 21, 2012, the seasoned competitors will be bringing a hangover to the premier one design regatta in New Orleans & the Gulf Coast. Early registration discount ends on February 10th. --

* (February 9, 2012) - Strong winds welcomed the fleet for the first day of fleet racing at the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour in Puerto Calero today, with only one race allowed before a steady 30 knots plus sent the fleet ashore. Owner/driver Pieter Heerema's No Way Back (NED) took the lead by the first leeward mark, with tactician Ross MacDonald holding them in front to the finish. It was the first day the fleet had raced with the new larger mainsail (two square metres), which proved manageable in the high winds. Strong winds are forecast again on Friday. -- Full story:

* North American marine accessory manufacturers will soon join boat and engine manufacturers in funding the Discover Boating marketing campaign. A voluntary funding model for Discover Boating contributions for accessory manufacturers was unanimously approved by the National Marine Manufacturers Association's Accessory Manufacturers Division Board of Directors at the International Boatbuilders' Exhibition & Conference. -- Trade Only Today, read on:

This week we highlight boat names, and the creativity that exists on the water. Must be the fresh air and the cold beverages. Here are this week's photos:

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

New York Yacht Club will host a US SAILING-sanctioned Safety at Sea Seminar at their 44th Street clubhouse on Saturday, March 24th. This is a certified safety program for offshore sailors required for many U.S. races including the 2012 Bermuda Race. Topics include seamanship, heavy-weather tactics, weather forecasting, communications and boat preparation. Gary Jobson will emcee and Sheila McCurdy will be the moderator. Enjoy the convenience of the City and the ambience of the famous NYYC Model Room. A box lunch is included. Details and registration at

Held for the past 25 years in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI, the Bitter End Yacht Club Pro Am Regatta dishes up all the major food groups of a great event: perfect weather, warm water, good winds, and better company. The format of hotel guests competing alongside professional sailors on the water, and then socializing with them ashore, has over the years proven popular for both groups.

The 2011 edition on Oct 30 through Nov 4 saw Ed Baird, Andrew Campbell, Zach Railey, Anna Tunnicliffe, David Ullman, and Peter Holmberg attending the event's silver anniversary. The week of sailing also determines the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club's inshore and offshore champions. Here are the highlights from 2011...

* Videographer Vince Casalaina shares some of the serious sailing and serious fun that comes from the Snipe class in San Diego:

* This week on Episode 25 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we get an Australian perspective on the 25th anniversary of the 26th America's Cup. We catch up with Iain Murray, who skippered the Australian defender Kookaburra III in 1987 and is the current Regatta Director of the 34th America's Cup. Iain looks back and then looks forward to the first competitor's forum of 2012 in Auckland. While in New Zealand we catch up with Luna Rossa Challenge to hear about their progress on their new AC45. Then we profile the world's number one sailor, Ben Ainslie, who will bring his own team, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), to the America's Cup World Series after the 2012 London Olympic Games this summer. Tune in on Saturday February 11 approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:

* In this week's Feb 10, Week 6 "World on Water" Global Boating News Video TV Show we feature the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race Wellington to Punta del Este, Uruguay Leg 3 drama, the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in Perth, West Australia, 2011-12 Clipper Round the World Race 8 start Singapore-Qingdao, China, Race 5 of the Australian 18 footers Championships, Sydney, Australia, Leg 3 Stage 2 finish of the current Volvo Ocean Race Sanya, China and in our regular "action" segment "Fresh to Frightening" the Camper VOR crew had troubles with a jammed dagger board. We have the answer for them on how to get it fixed without them getting wet. See it on at approx 1200 GMT or 0700 EST.

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

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 Casey Robert Baldwin:
Whilst it is impossible for me to imagine the stress and strain aboard the six Volvo competitors during their difficult challenge around the Globe, the extra anxiety created by fishing nets on the just completed leg to Sanya must be an added nightmare. However, to suggest that (S'Butt 3524) the Volvo Race organization and sponsors should devote any resources to meaningful changes for regulation of third world subsistence fishing, is at best, unrealistic.

Many of these unmarked dangerous obstacles to smaller vessels are set out to feed a considerable number of poor coastal villages that are largely dependent on fishing. It undoubtedly adds to the danger facing the Volvo racers, but organizing and paying for the race itself is a major challenge.

Spending a large amount of effort and money to reduce these hazards is far beyond the scope expected of those organizing and paying for this famous sailing race that has such a proud history

* From Bruce Thompson:
One of the most commonly heard complaints about U S Sailing is the perception that membership dues money does not go to promotion of the sport. That perception is wrong. Let me provide an example of where your dues money goes.

Corinthian YC Junior Fleet is going to use some of your dues money to support our winter training program to develop twenty more safety boat drivers, just like them. Our junior program has been growing and we need more drivers for our own use, so we have recruited a class made up of some of the kids, plus their moms and dads, many of whom are new to sailing, to fill that need. Step one was to purchase 20 copies of Powerboating, Safety and Rescue (,659.html) from the USSA store at a heavily discounted price subsidized by your dues.

While there is snow on the ground and ice in the harbor, we will do the shore based part of our program including using the training videos provided free by U S Powerboating ( In the spring, we will move onto the water and give the students hands-on experience doing what they've learned during the winter. So by the time we start to sail in May, we will have a greatly expanded pool of safety boat drivers.

Because we are a Corinthian yacht club, with a generous supply of adult volunteers and the financial support of CCYC's adult membership, we will be able to provide all this for FREE! If parents are assured their kids will be safe on the water, despite the occasional scary story they see on TV, they will be more willing to let their kids participate in our sport, and the sport will grow. So we are putting your dues money to good use.

This type of training by Mary Kovats, Jacob Karlin and Dave Stix of Chicago, Ill recently led to US Sailing awarding them with a Hanson Rescue Medal to sailors. for the bravery they displayed during their rescue of three distressed sailors from the cold, stormy waters of Lake Michigan on May 7, 2011 (

An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure.

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