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SCUTTLEBUTT 3591 - Tuesday, May 15, 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: APS, Gowrie Group, and Mount Gay Rum.

By Alvin Sallay, South China Morning Post
Former Olympian and millionaire businessman Neil Pryde has warned sailing
is in danger of being kicked out of the Olympics as the fallout continues
from the controversial decision to dump windsurfing in favour of
kiteboarding for the 2016 Games.

Pryde says the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has made a terrible
and unfathomable decision and accused it of "selfishness". "The ISAF is
represented by all member countries and most come from the yacht brigade.
What they have done is to safeguard their narrow interests and sacrificed
windsurfing. What they don't realise is the whole sport of sailing is in
danger of being kicked out of the Olympics," said the 71-year-old Pryde,
whose name is attached to the RSX windsurfing discipline which will be seen
for the last time at the London Olympics.

"From a business perspective it doesn't impact me as I will continue to
provide the sailing equipment. But from a personal point of view, I think
it is a terrible decision for the sport of sailing as a whole. It's an
absolute disgrace."

His business interests allow him free access to the corridors of power in
the sailing world and Pryde was present two years ago at an ISAF council
meeting in Athens when the move began to get kiteboarding into the Olympics
as a separate discipline.

Pryde said: "Originally the idea was for sailing to ask for another medal
at the Olympics by introducing kiteboarding. There was no talk of replacing
windsurfing, but somehow, over the years, things have evolved and with the
number of athletes at the Olympics being restricted, this has unfortunately

"While kiteboarding is a great sport, it is quite immature. There is no
structure, no organisation and no youth development. And the plan was to
introduce kiteboarding by the 2020 Games, not in 2016. Fast-forwarding a
still developing sport is totally ridiculous." -- Full story:

When the ISAF Council voted for kiteboarding to replace windsurfing at the
2016 Olympic Games, the medal prospects for the United States went from
zero to hero. Americans Johnny Heineken and Adam Koch are two of the top
three sailors in the latest Course Racing World Ranking, and Johnny is the
defending Course Racing World Champion.

But despite the prominence now given to kiteboarding, Johnny has his
concerns too. Here he comments on the challenges that lie ahead for his
I have to admit I did not see that one coming so soon. The challenge now is
for kiteboarding to maintain our equipment regulations about as they are
now. If we end up with an RS:X situation (current Olympic windsurfer), it
will be over. So, I think we have two main things to address right now:

* Equipment -
Keep the box rule and open (production) kite rule. We cannot go one design.
If we go one design, we will have the same situation as now with the
Olympic RS:X board and formula class. The top sailors will participate in
professional tour stops and race formula boards, and we will have two
people from each country racing one design kiteboards to try to earn a
medal. Furthermore, we'll lose the industry support that currently supports
the top sailors. If a big company like Neil Pryde or North Sails produces
the one design equipment, there won't be any incentive for them to be
sponsoring the sailors.

* Schedule -
We also have to address how to integrate the ISAF Sailing World Cup events
and our current kite racing schedule. This may mean moving our current tour
stops around on the calendar a little to make room for the ISAF events. The
important thing here is that we keep the momentum these tour stops have
created and use them as tools to continue to grow the sport. The PKRA
( currently runs great events, and we need to be
careful not to take away from this (by doing anything like limiting
participants to only ISAF events), we just want to fill in the gaps with
those events that put competitors on the Olympic track.
The weeknight Cabrinha Race Series for kiters has begun at St. Francis
Yacht Club, where last week they had 51 entrants racing on San Francisco

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All six boats in the Volvo Ocean Race will be in Miami when the race
schedule begins again this weekend. But before the fleet sets off on the
3590 nm Leg 7 from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal on Sunday, they will battle it
out in the PORTMIAMI In-Port Race on May 19. And Scuttlebutt will get you
on the water.

Scuttlebutt will be giving away five VIP guest spots on the Volvo Cars VIP
spectator boat to watch the action for the In-Port Race. On Tuesday (May
15) at 1000 PDT, Scuttlebutt will post on Twitter and Facebook how to win
the tickets. Get connected with Scuttlebutt...


Overall Standings (after Leg 6)
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 164 pts
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 153 pts
3. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 149 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 147 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 68 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 25 pts

Video reports:
Race website:

(May 14, 2012) - The US Coast Guard of San Diego has requested that US
Sailing conduct an independent review of the sailing accident that occurred
during the 2012 Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race resulting in the deaths of
four sailors. Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter 376, and her crew of four were
victims of an accident that destroyed their boat a few miles offshore near
Mexico's Coronado Islands at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 28. These
were the first deaths in the 65-year history of the race.

The members of the Independent Review Panel are Chairperson, Bruce Brown
(Costa Mesa, Calif.), John Winder (Annisquam, Mass.), Alan Andrews (Corona
del Mar, Calif.), Ed Adams (Middletown, R.I.), and Alan McMillan
(Pensacola, Fla.). The Offshore Special Regulations Consultant on the panel
is Evans Starzinger (Milford, Conn). The Safety at Sea Committee Chair and
Review Panel Liaison is Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, Calif.). Medical Advisors
are Dr. Michael Jacobs (Vineyard Haven, Mass.) and Dr. Kent Benedict
(Aptos, Calif.). Jim Wildey (Annapolis, Md.) will advise on investigation
procedures and formats.

The panel and the US Coast Guard understand the urgency of this review and
anticipate completing initial findings and recommendations to be released
to the public in June. -- Full report:

Several of the premiere Caribbean regattas have agreed to adjust their
dates in 2013 to improve crowding the racing calendar. The race directors
will meet again in October 2012 to discuss this new schedule and work on a
permanent solution that will run from 2014 onward.

The big boat racing circuit in the region has grown over the years, with
new regattas being added and smaller events developing to an international
level. This resulted in a crowded race calendar with some conflicting

Peter Holmberg of the Caribbean Sailing Association spearheaded this effort
in an attempt to help both the visiting sailors and the events. "The
regatta directors were asked to consider the overall benefits, and not just
the success of their individual event. The spirit of cooperation from
everyone was greatly appreciated. With these adjustments, the entire
Caribbean gains - the individual regattas and sponsors gain, the island
economies gain, and the sport of sailing gains."

2013 Schedule
January 21 - Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race
January 25-27 - The Super Yacht Challenge Antigua
February 16-18 - Puerto Rico Heineken Intl Regatta
February 18 - RORC Caribbean 600
March 1-3 - St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
TBD - Caribbean Super Yacht Regatta Virgin Gorda
March 22-24 - International Rolex Regatta, St. Thomas
March 25-31 - BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
March 28-31 - St. Barths Bucket Regatta
April 8-13 - Les Voiles de St. Barth
April 18-23 - Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
April 28-May 3 - Antigua Sailing Week

The new regatta dates and links to their websites can be found here:

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* Seattle, WA (May 13, 2012) - The 2012 High School Doublehanded
Chanpionship (Mallory trophy) was sailed on Lake Union on May 11-13. Both
days saw cloudless skies and temperatures in the 70s with winds between 5
and 12 knots. Twenty teams competed, with A-division sailing Vanguard 15s
and B-Division sailing Flying Juniors. Point Loma High School team (San
Diego, CA) won both A and B Divisions to take the title. Team members Olin
Paine, Johannes Mcelvain, Trevor, Jake Reynolds, Maddy Brownsea, and coach
Steve Hunt. -- Full report:

* (May 14, 2012; Day 4) - The first leg of the double-handed Class40
Atlantic Cup, which began on Friday in Charleston, will see the leaders
arrive at the finish in New York City tonight. The 14 boat fleet is led by
Jorg Riechers (GER) and Ryan Breymaier (USA) on Mare, who had 28.4 nm to go
as of 8:38 EDT. There will be approximately a 4-5 day stop-over in New York
before the race restarts and competitors sprint to Newport, Rhode Island.
Once in Newport, skippers will race an inshore grand prix with a crew of
six. --

* Barcelona, Spain (May 14, 2012) - After lights winds on Sunday allowed
for only one race, the second day of the 2012 470 World Championships saw
the Men and Women's fleets roll through three races to get back on
schedule. Canadians Luke Ramsay/ Mike Leigh flew up the standings, moving
from 64th to 14th after posting a 2-1-4. On the women's side, Americans
Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan rallied after a BFD on Sunday, moving up to 20th
with a 9-3-3 today. Racing concludes Saturday. -- Event website:

* (May 14, 2012) - It was a great day for the British sailors on the second
day for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth. Ben
Ainslie (GBR) won the opening race to take the overall lead while Ed Wright
(GBR) dropped to second and Andrew Mills (GBR) had another good day to move
up to third. The second race of the day was won by Chris Cook (CAN), who
sits in sixth overall. -- Full report:

* (May 14, 2012) - After their start on May 9th, Giovanni Soldini (ITA) and
his international crew of seven have failed in their attempt to break the
New York-Lizard Point transatlantic speed record set by the 140 foot Mari
Cha IV (6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds). -- Full report:

* San Francisco, CA (May 13, 2012) - St. Francis Yacht Club hosted its 2nd
annual Team Race Invitational this past weekend, with five yacht club teams
from the West Coast racing on the San Francisco City Front. The three boat
teams competed in J/22s with winds ranging from 10 to 25 knots, completing
38 races, with St. Francis Yacht Club passing San Diego Yacht Club on the
final beat of the last race to win the Invitational. Seattle Yacht Club had
the best record in the triple round robin series before falling to San
Diego Yacht Club in the semi-finals. -- Details:

* Venice, Italy (May 13, 2012) - Organised by the Compagnia della Vela e
dal Diporto Velico Veneziano, this was the 26th edition of the Trofeo Marco
Rizzotti (May 10-13), which has become one of the most important Optimis
Team Racing events worldwide. Ninety sailors from 8 countries combined to
form 18 teams, including three from USA and two from Singapore. USA LISOT
(New York) took the title undefeated, with 18 race wins. USA (LYC), last
year's winners, finished fifth. -- Full story:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council has awarded a Performance
Certificate to Tomasz Cichocki (POL) for sailing singlehanded around the
world with stops. Cichocki sailed "Polska Miedz", a 39-foot monohull, for
311 days 7 hours and 27 minutes (1st July 2011 to the 7th May 2012). --

Frank Bethwaite (91 years) passed away peacefully after a short illness on
Saturday May 12, 2012, surrounded by his family. A pioneer in small boat
design and research, Frank was the author of "High Performance Sailing"
(1992) and "Higher Performance Sailing" (2002) and had just completed his
third book on apparent wind sailing to be published later this year by
Adlard Coles.

Born in Wanganui, New Zealand on May 26, 1920, Frank learned to sail on the
Wanganui River, building his own boats, experimenting with rigs and hull
designs. He joined the Royal NZ Air Force during World War II and flew
bombing raids in the Pacific for which he was awarded the DFC. Frank met
and married Adelaide (Nel) Mills, a cipher officer in the air force, in
1945 and moved to Torbay, just north of Auckland.

Continuing his interest in flying, Frank joined TEAL (later Air New
Zealand), at the same time experimenting with model aeroplanes to find the
most efficient wing shapes in competition. After five years of testing
various designs and studying thermal lifts along the coastline, Frank won
the world endurance record of over nine hours aloft in 1952. This was
followed by 2 more world records. Four children were also born over 11

Frank and Nel moved to Sydney with the family in 1959 after Frank joined
the CSIRO for the visionary cloud seeding project, settled in Northbridge
and immediately became active members at the Northbridge Sailing Club,
forming a group that designed the Northbridge Senior (NS14), a small light
sailing boat that women could sail as well as men. The NS14 proliferated on
the east coast of NSW and is still racing in various pockets today. In the
early 60s, under Frank's guidance and leadership and the teaching by
volunteer club members, several hundred children learned to sail. Numerous
State, National and World Champions evolved from this initiative. -- Read

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* From Paul Henderson:
Just an observation from a has-been ISAF President and IOC Member who first
went to then IYRU in 1970 as a smart-ass Canuck.

Never in all that time has a Council changed 40% of the classes in an
Olympiad. This totally disrupts the sailors, which is the reason for the
Games, not some unobtainable TV exposure. No other sport has ever done
this. One event maybe, but 40%?

I trust that the IOC Program Commission will ask ISAF to review all its
decisions... including the keelboat exclusion.

* From William Tuthill, Jamestown, RI:
Regarding the divergent views about kite boards and windsurfers in the 2016
Olympics, might it now be time to let common sense prevail? Here we have a
solid track record for windsurfing going back decades. It is a sport that
relates to Kitesurfing in only one way - a board. Both sports have sails
that are dynamic with reference to the board, and both sports are appealing
on a worldwide basis.

Hearing that the vote to jettison windsurfing from the Olympics had roots
in language differences is no surprise. No one in their right mind [who
wants to promote sailing] would knowingly alienate such a large and well
established portion of the board sailing community. Kite racing on water is
a new and exciting sport- even one that deserves a place in the Olympic
Games. However, I would urge the IOC to be circumspect about making a
drastic move that cuts away the established base that gave birth to the
board sailing community.

* From Alistair Murray:
Frank Bethwaite was a true legend of the sport of sailing. In particular
his knowledge of aerodynamics and weather and his talent for designing
small boats that were years ahead of their time, left him in a class of his

His primary motivation when designing the fabulous Tasar dinghy was to
create a high performance planing dinghy that could be handled by a man and
a woman together. He was so proud of the fact that he introduced so many
women to sailing as a result of his success.

But he did so much more, and the world of sailing has benefitted in so many
ways from his innovations and his contributions to the science of small
boat racing.

Many of us will be sailing in the Tasar Australian Nationals in Darwin in
July and we will be putting our heads together to come up with a fitting
send-off for a genius who has enriched our lives to such a great degree.

If it wasn't for Frank Bethwaite many people would be sailing slower boats!

* From Tom Priest:
In Scuttlebutt 3590..."The opening day of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth, UK ..."

With billion dollar losses adding up (& making the news), I wonder if
things like sponsoring yacht races will go away.

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