“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 49

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Issue 49
19 January 2017
by Richard Crockett
Publisher @ Editor of SAILING Magazine

Reader response is welcomeRESPOND HERE

Readers are encouraged to share this to their sailing mates.

Welcome to 2017 – may it be a year in which all your dreams are realised.

There is just so much that has happened since the last issue in the first week of December, that it is simply not possible to cover all of it here.

Remember that the February issue of SAILING Mag will be out before the end of this month, and that too carries a huge amount of sailing news. If you don’t get it, consider subscribing and have it delivered to you every single month of the year. Subscribe HERE

The biggest news, as I write this, is the massive duel Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson were having as they closed the Vendee Globe Challenge finish line. These two have hogged the limelight from the start, and have between them hogged the lead right from the start. As they close the finish line they have ‘duelled’ hard and fast, with Thomson having reduced a many hundred mile deficit into one of just double figures. Regrettably he ran out of runway to haul in his rival and ended just shy of 16 hours behind. What a fascinating duel and what close racing between two greats of the sport.

Le Cleac’h completed the race in record breaking time, shaving almost 4 days off the record – having taken 74 days, 3 hours and 35 minutes. He averaged an incredible 15.43 knots of boat speed over the 27,455 mile course, while Thomson covered 27,636nm averaging 15.39 knots.

Mention of these two would not be complete without highlighting the role Rob Sharp has played in disseminating info on them as the race has progressed. Caught up in the closeness of it all from the outset, he regularly posted updates, commentary and insight about the race – all the while increasing his fan base. Sharp comes from a short-handed sailing background having sailed on ‘Voortrekker II’ with John Martin when they won the Bakerly Transat – many moons ago.

So enough from me – sit back and enjoy the varied news and stories selected for this issue.

In this issue we “Talk About”…
• SAILING Magazine’s Sailor of the Year
• Rule 69 Investigation
• Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS)
• ‘Voortrekker II’ – The End of an Era
• Cape2Rio Race (presented by Maserati)
• Alex Thomson smashes 24-hour distance record
• A New Nautical Term!
• Youngest Rolex Sydney Hobart Race Record
• The ‘Heiner’ Name
• Those Pesky Moths
• America’s Cup – Love it or Lump it?
• America’s Cup – the Opinion of Gary Jobson
• Record Breaking Interest in Rolex Fastnet Race
• Accusations of Cheating
• Mossel Bay Yacht Club Issued a Vacation Order
• Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance
• Hot Buttered Rum
• Things That Go Bump in the Night
• 19-Metre North Atlantic Wave Sets New World Record
• Salty Oceans Can Forecast Rain on Land
• Biggest Iceberg to Break Off from Antarctica
• Ocean Watch Magazine
• Don’t Draw Straws!
• Deaf Amateur Sailor Pips Olympic Champion
• Storm Trysail Safety-At-Sea Video Library Now Available Online
• US Sailing National Conference
• Misplaced Focus
• British Sailors on Queens New Year Honours list
• Conduct Becoming a Parent
• A Very Valid Gripe
• Navy Slang Phrases From the Past We Want to Bring Back
• Dame Ellen MacArthur announces Round Britain project
• Request for Proposal: South African Sailing National Team Sailing League
• Using Your Phone as a Video Camera
• Laser Dinghy Dispute
• SAS WC Annual Trophy Awards
• The Sprog ‘Stroppy’
• Info Wanted on the Loch Fyne Dinghy

SAILING Magazine’s Sailor of the Year

Rob van Rooyen pic by Richard Crockett

Rob van Rooyen
pic by Richard Crockett

Al Mount Gay Rum. pic by Richard Crockett

Al Mount Gay Rum.
pic by Richard Crockett

Rob van Rooyen is SAILING Magazine’s Sailor of the Year for 2016. If you missed the interview with him in the January issue of SAILING Mag, get a copy NOW before the Feb issue displaces it on the bookstore shelves.

Van Rooyen defended his Vasco da Gama Race title in April last year, and in the process also took line honours to give him that elusive ocean racing ‘double’.

He plans to be back again in the Vasco da Gama Race this year as he feels he has unfinished business and has some mistakes to rectify in his quest for ocean racing perfection.

Well done Rob – and good luck in this year’s Vasco da Gama Race which starts on 27 April in Durban and finishes a few days later in Port Elizabeth.

Rule 69 Investigation
Around mid-2016 as various people were beginning their preparations for the Lipton Cup, it became apparent that there had been an alleged gross breach of the L26 Class Rules on a previous winning boat – in fact twice winning boat!

As a result a report on the alleged breach was submitted to SAS by the L26 Class Association and the Trustees of the Lipton Challenge Cup. SAS subsequently instituted a process of investigation as envisioned in Rule 69 – specifically Rule 69.3.

For clarity’s sake that rule reads as follows:
69.3 Action by a National Authority or Initial Action by the ISAF
(a) When a national authority or the ISAF receives a report alleging a breach of rule 69.1(a) or a report required by rule 69.2(d) or 69.2(f), it shall conduct an investigation, in accordance with its established procedures, and, when appropriate, conduct a hearing. It may then take any disciplinary action within its jurisdiction it considers appropriate against the competitor or boat, or other person involved, including suspending eligibility, permanently or for a specified period of time, to compete in any event held within its jurisdiction, and suspending ISAF eligibility under ISAF Regulation 19. The national authority shall promptly inform the other national authorities involved and the ISAF of its decision and reasons, even if its decision is to take no further action.

Mike Robinson and John Samuel were appointed as investigators by the SAS Council, with the President and Chairman of SAS as correspondents.

Various reports and supporting documents were lodged, as were submissions by the reported parties, Andrea Giovannini and Markus Progli.

The Rule 69 Investigation Finding by SAS stated:
Relevant to the reports that were lodged, is the reference to “a gross breach of a rule”. There is no dispute regarding the breach of the rule. The photographs that form part of this record clearly indicate the extent of the breach.

What needs to be examined is the intent of the parties at the time of the breach, both at the time of the modification, and thereafter, each time the parties raced the boat, including the pre-race measurement and scrutiny process.

That the reported parties were both aware that there was a metal insert below the mast step is common cause. Both readily admit to this fact, and both attest to the fact that the metal insert was visible.

Both reported parties claim to be unaware of the second, far more substantial, metal insert positioned below the visible insert.

The Class Rules of the L26 Class Owners association, however, place a burden on skippers of L26 boats. Rule 2.3.6 states “It is the responsibility of the …skipper to ensure that the yacht complies at all times with both the intent and content of the current Class Rules when Class racing.” Having commissioned the work, the reported parties accepted an onus to ensure compliance – knowing full well that they would need to meet the requirements of Rule 2.3.6.

(ED Comment. Incidentally, it’s not only an L26 Class Rule that places this obligation on a skipper. RRS 78.1 places this obligation on all skippers racing boats of all classes all over the world).

At very least, their failure to monitor the modifications led to them participating in Class Racing with a non-compliant boat.

The uncontested facts contained in the submissions are sufficient for the Investigators to present the following for consideration by Council:
1. The reported parties were the co-skippers of the L26 from 2010.
2. During 2010, modifications were made to the boat which included the use of two metal inserts under the mast step, in breach of the Class Rules. This is a substantial breach of the Class Rules.
3. The reported parties sailed the L26 007 in competition on a number of occasions, with the modifications in place, most notably in the 2011 and 2013 Lipton Challenge Cup Regattas, both of which were won by L26 007.
4. The onus for compliance with the rules rests firmly on the reported parties.
5. Although there is no indication of direct intent to breach the rules, the onus is clear, and at the very least, the reported parties were negligent in not properly monitoring the modifications to ensure compliance.

Rule 69.3 allows for Council to convene a hearing “where appropriate”. In the circumstances of this enquiry, where none of the facts recorded above are in dispute, the Investigators recommend that this matter be finalised without a hearing.

The Investigators find that the above 5 items reflect a breach as envisaged by Rule 69 a, warranting the action taken.

Council has accepted this finding.

Having accepted the finding of the investigators, Rule 69 allows Council to take “any disciplinary action within its jurisdiction which it considers appropriate against the competitor”.

A number of submissions relate to justification of the actions of the reported parties, and raise issues relating to scrutiny, the application of rules, weaknesses displayed by the Class Owners Association or the regatta organisers, and potential breaches of the rules by others. These justifications have no bearing on either the finding or the potential sanction.

Sailing prides itself on being a self-regulating sport, and as such any failure by others in policing issues cannot be used to justify or condone failure to self-regulate properly. Likewise, failure by others to comply with the rules must never be allowed as a justification for a breach of the rules.

The documentation on record does reflect mitigation that needs to be recognised.
1. The major mitigating factor is the undisputed fact that the breach was brought to the attention of the reporting parties, by the reported parties.
2. While there are minor contradictions in the versions reflected in the submissions, the reported parties have been open and honest during the entire process.
3. The fact that both the reported parties thought that the issue was primarily concerning the upper metal insert, and their age in 2010, indicates a naive approach to both the modifications and the duty to ensure compliance during the modification process.

Notwithstanding the mitigation recorded, SAS cannot condone the breach of rules, no matter what the attitude of the parties may be ex post facto. Nor should SAS allow any results to stand achieved on a boat which is in breach of measurement rules.

The Investigators recommend the following sanction:
1. The reported parties be stripped of any titles that may have been won in L26 007 since the modifications were undertaken in 2010, including the two Lipton Cup titles. In their submissions, the parties have reconciled themselves to this sanction.
2. Because the process that has ensued during the investigation, the reported parties are fully aware and conversant with the rules, and the onus that rests on them with regard to the self-regulating nature of the sport, it is superfluous to issue a written warning.
3. No further action be taken against the reported parties.

Council has approved this sanction.

The above is a summary of the document as approved by the SAS Council.

What is concerning is this:
• there is no dispute regarding the ‘gross breach of a rule’, yet there will not be a hearing (as permitted in the Rule), nor sanction other than disqualification from the regattas won in the illegal boat!
• both parties readily admitted that they were aware of a metal insert below the mast step, and both attested that it was visible.
• both parties claimed to be unaware of a second, far more substantial, metal insert positioned below the visible insert.
• Council felt that their age in 2010 indicates a naive approach to both the modifications and their duty to ensure compliance during the modification process. These guys were in their mid-to-late 20s when this occurred – surely at that age they cannot be ‘naive’ about the difference between right and wrong – and the interpretation of the RRS (Racing Rules of Sailing)? Quite simply they have been slapped on the wrist, nothing more.
• This naive interpretation sends a dangerous signal to our youth.

Furthermore, the recommendation that they be stripped of any Lipton Cup titles they won (two titles) is flawed as neither the SAS Council nor any one else can penalise a boat in a regatta without a hearing.

During this process a number of alleged rule infringements on various L26s over time were raised, and I assume were used as mitigating factors. However, the L26 Class was very diligent in answering these in detail, and refuted each and every allegation. It is also noted that prior to this incident none had ever been submitted to the class in writing, nor had any protests ever been lodged regarding those alleged rule infringements.

It is surprising that there was an attempt to implicate the L26 Class for not better policing its Class Rules as those issues were not relevant to this matter being heard as compliance of the rules is with the participants and not the Class.

The tough lesson we can all take from this Rule 69 investigation is that the RRS, and Class Rules are not to be flagrantly ignored nor breached.

In this case two sailors were very lucky to get away with a slap on the wrists – and nothing more severe – but serves as a warning to others to be very careful in the future as they may not come away as lucky as these two.

Note.
• The word ‘Council’ refers to the SAS Council.
• ISAF is referred to as rule wording uses that term. ISAF has in fact, since the rules were published, changed its name to World Sailing – and this name is now reflected in the new rules.
• RRS – Racing Rules of Sailing (2013-2016)

Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS)
As of 1 January 2017 the new RRS came into play.

The Rules in Practice 2017-2020 by Bryan Willis

The Rules in Practice 2017-2020
by Bryan Willis

The new Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) are now in force in this country. If you have not seen them, nor downloaded them, then maybe the book ‘The Rules in Practice’ by Bryan Willis is for you as it covers the changes from the old rules to the new ones.

It also explains many of the rules with clear full colour diagrams and concise explanations.

Plus, the new RRS and their Appendices are included in this book in full.

There are several new rules – and changes to old ones which need to be fully understood – and which are explained here.

Some classes require the RRS to be aboard at all times – and unless you download and print them, you may violate a class rule.

Get this book, which costs R400.00, from SAILING Books HERE

‘Voortrekker II’ – The End of an Era

Voortrekker when sponsored by Paper Pack. pic from SAILING Archives

Voortrekker II when sponsored by Paper Pack.
pic from SAILING Archives

Voortrekker II at the start of the Rio Race. pic by Kim van Zyl

Voortrekker II at the start of the Rio Race.
pic by Kim van Zyl

Within the first week of the Cape2Rio Race (presented by Maserati) the legendary ‘Voortrekker II’ suffered rudder damage which caused an ingress of water into the boat which could not be stemmed.

The crew finally had to request assistance and were taken aboard a merchant ship – having scuttled their legendary yacht.

The February issue of SAILING Magazine carries info on this, as well as brief interviews with her designer Angelo Lavranos, and sailors John Martin and Rob Sharp.

It is hoped to interview the crew for the March issue and to get more details from them.

Cape2Rio Race (presented by Maserati)
The race is coming to a close as the dash for the finish line resembles something of a traffic jam!

Line Honours was taken by the Peruvian yacht ‘Runaway’, an Andrews 70, owned by Hector Velarde. She was followed by ‘Black Pearl’ a Carkeek 47 and Vulcan – with those line positions also being the provisional handicap positions.

There have been the usual retirements due to breakages, with the ‘Ullman Challenge’ (Gryphon) breaking a rudder just days before she was due to finish.

I personally found the race difficult to follow as the trackers used were simply not up to scratch as they gave so little information. There are dedicated yacht tracking systems used in most of the major international races around the world which simply give so much more information – as well as line and handicap positions at each update.

It’s unacceptable that good information is not fed back as it brings the entire race into the homes, offices and mobile devices of those interested and following the race. Fortunately I am not alone in this view.

Alex Thomson smashes 24-hour distance record
He may not have won the Vendee Globe race, but second spot after such a titanic duel is no mean feat either.

There is some solace for Alex Thomson though as in the closing 1000nm of the race he smashed the world record for the greatest distance sailed solo in 24 hours notching up 536.8 miles on his 60′ racing yacht.

During the 24-hour period running up to the 0800 UTC position report he sailed his racing boat Hugo Boss at an average speed of 22.4 knots.

His 24-hour distance beats the record of 534.48 miles set by French sailor Francois Gabart in the 2012-13 edition of the Vendee Globe, a singlehanded race around the world without stopping.

He actually bettered Gabart’s record two weeks into the race, sailing 535.34 miles in 24 hours, but the rules of the record state it must be superseded by one whole mile.

A New Nautical Term!
I spotted this new term in correspondence from Follow the Boat, and feel it is simply too good not to share.

The word is ‘wanchor’ – as in don’t be a wanchor!
It’s a new word for an age-old problem: people who anchor right next to you in a bay three miles wide. No excuse for it, it comes down to lack of etiquette and politeness.

Read Follow the Boat HERE

Youngest Rolex Sydney Hobart Race Record
Brad Kellett set a record no-one will ever beat when he became the youngest sailor ever to sail 25 consecutive Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races.

“Twenty five races was a milestone I always wanted to achieve when I was young,” he said, “but to tell the truth, I haven’t really thought about it along the way. When it did start to come up towards 25, I thought I might as well – and now I’m really looking forward to it” he said prior to the start.

“Because I was so young when I did my first (16), and now you’re not allowed to compete before you’re 18, so I guess my record will never be broken.”

As the son of the renowned David Kellett the Hobart race was always in his blood.

David is one of the great figures of the modern Sydney Hobart. For the past 11 years he has been chaperoning the fleet down to Hobart on the Radio Relay Vessel, but before that, as sailing master/skipper of some of Australia’s great maxis, his name was synonymous with boats like ‘Gretel’, ‘Vengeance’, ‘Sovereign’ and ‘Condor’ as he made his way to his 31st Hobart.

Brad was a crew member aboard ‘Sydney’ in 1998 when David did his 25th race. Brad sailed on the super maxi ‘Perpetual LOYAL’ which took line honours.

The ‘Heiner’ Name
Remember Roy Heiner? Those around in the ‘70s and ‘80s will remember him well as he was one of our top dinghy sailors who eventually went on to win an Olympic Bronze Medal at the Atlanta Olympics sailing for the Netherlands.

His son, Nicholas, is also a great sailor and a former Laser world champion, but now he has moved on to the Finn and hopes to medal in the Olympics as his father did. Plus he has his sights set on winning the Volvo Ocean Race, something his father also did when he was aboard ‘ABN Amro’ in the 2005-6 race. Heiner senior did three Volvo Ocean Races.

Those Pesky Moths
The MS Amlin International Moth Regatta attracted a field of 50 Mothists from 10 nations. This is a very tough event as the competition is hot and highly competent.

And ‘our boy’ Jof Heathcote finished 7th in this fleet – and simply gets better at every outing.

Of the 12 races sailed he was in single figures for 8 of them.

America’s Cup – Love it or Lump it?
As the America’s Cup competition draws closer, there is growing chatter that the event has lost some of its spectator appeal as all one gets to see these days are lightening quick cats screaming around with a few crew hard at work.

There is an element of truth in that as in the ‘old days’ one could actually see and appreciate the role each and every crew member played, as well as see the tactics unfold in close quarters situations. There were spinnaker hoists and drops, headsail changes, trimming skills and more to watch and appreciate. Today, other than the start, the boats are never really too close.

I tend to agree with the ‘boring’ scenario – yet as the event gets closer I begin to think that maybe these supersonic cats will actually be exciting to watch.

Reader comment is encouraged – SEND TO

America’s Cup – the Opinion of Gary Jobson
If you were Larry Ellison, what would the 35th America’s Cup look like?

Bermuda is a wonderful place, but it’s not the United States. And the Deed of Gift was written as a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between foreign countries. You need to put all American crew on the American boat. And all Swedish crew on the Swedish boat. And all New Zealand crew on the New Zealand boat. If you do that one thing, the interest level will go through the roof. And on the boats, if you wanted to have a real test, I’d get rid of the computers (that calculate lay lines), I’d get rid of all (hydraulic) stored energy and let the sailors make the difference.

Larry Ellison also needs to be part of it so people can relate (to him). That’s what was so intriguing about Harold Vanderbilt or Ted Turner or Dennis Connor. They were available. Some people liked Ted, some people didn’t. But he was there and we got to know him. We didn’t get to know Larry Ellison.

Record Breaking Interest in Rolex Fastnet Race
One can only admire British sailors and all those who thrive on their dose of the Fastnet Race every second year. It’s a tough race with tough conditions.

This year it took just 4 minutes 24 seconds once entries opened for the entry limit of 340 boats to be reached.

The Fastnet Race is a real sporting institution and one which every sailor wants to tick off their personal ‘bucket list’.

The 47th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club will start in the Solent from Cowes, Isle of Wight, on Sunday August 6, finishing in Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock.

Wow, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see such enthusiasm for our own local offshore events?

Accusations of Cheating
The ARC Rally is primarily a cruiser event, although there is a racing division – the difference being that cruising divisions are allowed to use their engines for propulsion.

Cheating is nothing new as there are many different ways of doing this, and there are always the stories of some yachts being able to sail faster at night.

The problem came when a line honours and class winner declared just 5 hours of motoring, although rumours abound that they may have motored for 11 days! Yet there was no protest?

One thing is for certain though – and that is at some point the truth will be revealed as over time a crew member is bound to talk and spill the beans.

But why cheat in what is primarily a cruising event?

Mossel Bay Yacht Club Issued a Vacation Order
The MBYC was advised by its landlord, TNPA (Transnet Port Authority) that the club’s lease would not be renewed and that it had to vacate the premises by the end of last year – December 2016.

This eviction notice came while the Club was hosting the Fireball World Championships in December.

Apparently, and this is not yet substantiated, the new landlord is a company founded in April 2016,with a sole director and no assets or financial history.

Whilst this is a shock to the system, especially for those who have sailed from the club, a greater concern for the sailing community is that if this situation is allowed to develop unchecked by the law of the land, it may encourage others to attempt similar means to gain access to our club houses and land that is under lease from state owned or municipal entities.

Shame on you TNPA – for the poor timing and for wanting to evict a tenant whose activities add value to the area.

What it does tell us is that Clubs on TNPA land are vulnerable and tenure uncertain.

Quite frankly I believe that the Minister of Sport, and other Ministries need to be made fully aware of the threat to our coastal yacht clubs from a ruthless TNPA. Our sport is fragile enough without the uncertainty of tenure.

What is more unfathomable is the fact that the ‘brotherhood of the sea’ seems to have escaped the TNPA. The lore of the sea is to assist each other – not shaft them in the back.

Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance
In late 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set forth for Antarctica with 27 men, determined to be the first man to cross the continent from coast to coast.

His ship, the ‘Endurance’, became trapped in pack ice just short of the continent. When the ice crushed their ship to splinters, they were left stranded on the ice floes.

Shackleton resolved to rescue each and every man, and turned disaster into one of the greatest survival stories of all time.

Follow the link to see the documentary video HERE

The incredible Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance. DOCUMENTARY

Hot Buttered Rum
I am hoping that the crew of the Due North Rum Club in Port Elizabeth are taking note of this recipe as I am expecting them to serve this to ALL crew who finish this years Vasco da Gama Ocean Race – which has been tagged as ‘The Ocean Comrades’.

There’s nothing like forward planning, so here’s the recipe guys.

For the Spiced Butter mixture:
1 stick butter
½ C. brown sugar
1½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. ginger

For the Hot Butter Rum Cocktail
1 heaping spoonful of the Spiced Butter
1 shot Pusser’s Rum (any variety)
Boiling hot water
Garnish: orange peel and/or cinnamon stick

Instructions
Making the Spiced Butter:
In a small mixing bowl, combine softened butter with brown sugar and spices. Mix well and place to the side.
To Make the Hot Buttered Rum:
Add spiced butter batter and rum to your preferred mug.
Pour hot water over top and give it a stir.
Add your garnish!

I am looking forward to this guys, as I am sure are all the crew. Maybe a few practice rounds before the fleet descends on ABYC may be in order!

This recipe is from Pussers Rum.

Things That Go Bump in the Night
Untold stories abound of yachts hitting things at sea – sometimes sea life in the form of whales or sunfish, and others man-made objects like containers which can do a lot of damage.

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the scourge of containers falling off ships, so here is an interesting fact.

According to gCaptain, the average from 2008 to 2013 is 546 containers lost per year. That’s out of 120 million containers shipped. As a result, the outcry for solutions is limited.

19-Metre North Atlantic Wave Sets New World Record
An expert committee convened by the World Meteorological Organization has established a new world record significant wave height of a massive 19 metres (62.3 feet!) measured by a buoy in the North Atlantic.

The wave was recorded February 4, 2013 by an automated buoy in the North Atlantic ocean between Iceland and the United Kingdom. The agency said the wave followed the passage of a very strong cold front, which produced winds of up to 43.8 knots over the area.

The WMO Commission for Climatology’s Extremes Evaluation Committee, with scientists from Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America and Spain, classified the new record – 19 metres – as “the highest significant wave height as measured by a buoy”.

Keep in mind the term “significant wave height” means the average of the highest one-third of waves, so individual waves could be much higher!

“This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 metres. It is a remarkable record,” said WMO Assistant Secretary-General Wenjian Zhang. “It highlights the importance of meteorological and ocean observations and forecasts to ensure the safety of the global maritime industry and to protect the lives of crew and passengers on busy shipping lanes.”

Reproduced from gCaptain. Read more HERE

Salty Oceans Can Forecast Rain on Land
A team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) presented their latest research findings on the long-range predictions of rainfall on land. Their method is based on ocean salinity rather than sea surface temperatures, which has been the standard for decades.

Using this method, a research team led by Ray Schmitt, a physical oceanographer at WHOI, was able to successfully predict the extreme rainfall event that flooded states throughout the Midwest in the summer of 2015. The results of the study will be published in a paper currently in review.

Researchers analysed more than 60 years of global ocean salinity and terrestrial rainfall data and found that year-to-year variations in salinity, or saltiness, in certain parts of the ocean can be used to make accurate predictions of seasonal rainfall on land, often thousands of miles away.

Read more HERE

Biggest Iceberg to Break Off from Antarctica
A giant iceberg the size of Delaware is expected to break away from the Antarctic peninsula, so big it’s likely to be one of the biggest iceberg calving events ever recorded, scientists said.

Researchers at the Swansea University’s College of Science in Wales have been watching the rift in the Larsen C ice shelf for several years now. The researchers said today the long-running grew suddenly in December and there’s now just 20km of ice keeping the 5,000 sq km piece of ice from floating away.

The Larsen C is approximately 350m thick and floats on the seas at the edge of West Antarctica, holding back the flow of glaciers that feed into it. The loss of a piece this size will leave the whole shelf vulnerable to future break-up, the researchers said.

“If it doesn’t go in the next few months, I’ll be amazed,” said Project leader, Professor Adrian Luckman.

Read more HERE

Ocean Watch Magazine
Ocean Watch magazine takes you around the globe with new ways to take action on important ocean health issues. From saving sea turtles and tracking seaweed invasions in the Caribbean, to reporting whale strikes and pirate fishing on the high seas, every article speaks to the conservation-minded boater.

I read a copy recently and was most impressed, so download your free digital copy HERE

Don’t Draw Straws!
Drinking straws are consistently on the top 10 lists for marine debris collected every year during the International Coastal Cleanup. It is estimated that Americans use a whopping 500 million straws per day – a number that, end-to-end, could circle the planet 2.5 times. Now imagine this number compounded on a global scale.

While it seems simple, straws create a pressing threat to our oceans because they are made to be disposable, and on average are used for just 10 minutes. Plastic straws are rarely recyclable, requiring special facilities, and they almost always end up in a landfill, or worse the ocean. Over their lifespan the straw breaks down into smaller and smaller, even microscopic pieces. Pieces so small that single-celled organisms and other marine life eat them – the plastic remains forever – and then starts back up the food chain. Shocking photos of straws in sea turtles noses and the stomachs of seabirds can easily be found online.

There’s lots more to this which can be read HERE

Deaf Amateur Sailor Pips Olympic Champion
Gavin Reid, 28, an amateur sailor who was born profoundly deaf, has beaten “his heroes”, Giles Scott, the Rio 2016 Gold Medalist, and Brian Thompson, Round the Island Race Record Holder, to be honoured as the boats.com 2016 Yachting Journalist Association (YJA) Yachtsman of the Year.

The award recognised Gavin’s heroic act of seamanship whilst competing as a crew member in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, when he came to the mid-ocean rescue of a sailor found trapped at the top of the mast on another yacht, which was not competing in the Clipper Race.

Gavin has four caps for the Scottish Deaf Rugby team and has always enjoyed challenges. Like 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew, he had no previous sailing experience before embarking on his training for the 40,000 nautical mile marathon, regarded as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges.

The award was made following a close vote taken by members of the Yachting Journalist’s Association, and places Gavin Reid in the same category as giants of the sport, Ian Walker – Volvo Ocean Race Winner, Sir Ben Ainslie – America’s Cup Winner, and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston – the legendary solo sailor and Clipper Race founder, who have all won the boats.com JYA Yachtsman of the Year Award in the past four years.

Storm Trysail Safety-At-Sea Video Library Now Available Online
The Storm Trysail Foundation is one of the world’s leaders in the development of safety-at-sea strategies and techniques. For over a decade, Storm Trysail Club members have been conducting Safety-at-Sea Seminars at yacht clubs across the USA, and in recent years the adult-focussed Hands-on Safety-at-Sea Seminars have taught thousands of racing and cruising sailors how to protect themselves while coastal sailing or offshore racing.

One of the mainstays of the Hands-on Safety-at-Sea Seminar is a series of instructional videos that participants view online before attending the event. This 10-video library is now available to all sailors bringing them over two hours of safety-at-sea strategies, techniques, and tips developed by some of the world’s top ocean sailors and introduced by Storm Trysail Club member Gary Jobson.

For a one-time fee of $40.00 US, sailors receive a lifetime subscription to the full library to view over and over. They and their shipmates will be better prepared in the case of an emergency whether racing or cruising, in coastal waters or offshore, under sail or power. And, as Storm Trysail updates and adds more videos to its library, subscribers will have access to the expanded collection at no additional cost.

The first ten videos cover:
• Practical Man Overboard Recovery
• Understanding Weather
• Understanding Offshore Weather
• Flares and Pyrotechnic Devices
• Storm Sails
• Shipboard Firefighting Strategies
• Fighting Shipboard Fires
• Personal Safety Equipment
• Cold water survival & Life Rafts
• Deploying a Life Raft

For more click HERE

US Sailing National Conference
I always enjoy seeing organisations that actively interact with their members – and US Sailing is one of those.

The US Sailing National Conference is a unique opportunity for members to meet with the National Governing Body’s leadership and discuss relevant industry topics facing the sport, exchange ideas, reflect on progress, and look ahead to future plans. The National Conference also focuses on Board and Committee business, progress reports, current issues and planning.

In answer to the question “Who should attend?” it says: Anyone interested in growing the sport of sailing and who wants to bring creative ideas and energy to US Sailing.

Should SAS be taking a leaf from the US Sailing Book?

Misplaced Focus
Former ISAF President Paul Henderson sent this missive to World Sailing – and it is certainly food for thought.

World Sailing has a misplaced focus on “Technology” putting it onto the equipment that skims on top of the water rather than into the raison d’etre of World Sailing which is to serve the sailors and their competitive talent mainly in boats that displace water.

Knowing your opinion of lawyers especially “Sea Lawyers” I feel that the World Sailing technology thrust should be towards lowering the cost to regatta organizers and also to make the game more enjoyable for sailors.

I tried years ago to get a way to judge OCS electronically which is very simple to do but the UK Race Officials stopped it.

Now the cost of IJs and Race Officials eats up over 50% of all regatta entry fees. Most IJs are lawyers or quasi lawyers.

I believe that protest hearings could all be done electronically except in possibly the few high profile events.

The protestor and protestee puts their positions into the computer and it automatically spits back the decision.

It is not that complicated to do but we have made the issues into some mystical hearing only to be adjudicated by IJs.

It would allow the IJs to go sailing. The use of drones and transponders are the future.

I was approached by a Geek several years ago who had a way electronically to control pumping. Under your stewardship this should all be explored.

Sport is one of the future positives as the athletes can not be replaced and the Olympics should realize that the future is for heroes and nationalism and that the Youth no longer watch TV but use their smart phones and tablets for instantaneous information which all of the above relates to.

With a good announcer explaining the nuances with drones and transponders Sailing is launched into this new reality.

Speed of equipment is not the criteria that will sell, but the heroes and nationalism. Most Olympic sports realize this.

British Sailors on Queen’s New Year’s Honours list
Recipients of Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Sailing were Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills, Giles Scott, and Ian Walker.

New Zealand’s star sailing duo of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have been made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for 2017.

Conduct Becoming a Parent
by Bill Stump
We all look askance at parents yelling at their kids during soccer matches or browbeating coaches at little league games but, when it comes to sailing, why would we sometimes think and act like the same principles of decorum don’t apply? Here’s a list of suggestions to consider:
1. Leave the coaching to the coaches – those trained and paid to do that job. They have the big picture and the best interests of all their young sailors at heart.
2. Leave the rigging and minor repairs of your child’s boat to your child. How else will they ‘learn the ropes’?
3. Be respectful of other parents and their children, and be appreciative of regatta hosts and all the volunteers and coaches involved. Remember, how you act and what you say reflects positively or negatively on you and your child.
4. Take any issues or concerns to the person in charge of your youth program or sailing team – in a polite and respectful manner.
5. And, help where help is needed – loading trailers, driving to regattas, launching and retrieving boats at major events, volunteering for all the many shore-side activities or on-the-water positions needing staffing. Be useful!

This is a short but compelling list meant to improve the experience at junior regattas.

Moreover, if you are as old as I, remember how you learned to sail. It probably wasn’t by having an overly indulgent parent micro-managing your every tack and gybe. Don’t be that person.

Note: Bill Stump is a National PRO and National Judge often serving at Optimist events. This is reproduced from Scuttlebutt News.

A Very Valid Gripe
Myles White, the Rear Commodore of Dinghies at the Point Yacht Club wrote this in his Myles’ Missive recently:

Closer to home it was very disappointing to learn that the year-end annual dinghy and cat regatta at HMYC had to be called off as only 2 boats had entered. Over the last year and a bit I have learned to appreciate how much time and effort goes into setting up regattas, never mind just running them on the day. In a similar vein the Flying Fifteen Nationals were set for the long weekend in the middle of December – but with just one day before the event we had only 4 official entries! We ultimately had all 8 new boats enjoying some awesome racing, but it was such a disappointment for competitors and organisers alike to be left dealing with unknown quantities – and ultimately an event that failed to qualify for official SAS recognition.

On my desk I have an old-fashioned landline telephone; my cell phone with sms and Whatsapp capacity; my laptop with e-mail; and down the passage we have a fax – and I believe that for the majority of us this is standard equipment for communicating in the modern business world. Despite these fantastic tools, it seems that the art of formal communication in so many fields, and not just within the sailing fraternity, is falling apart. It is refreshing however to see a regular number of participants on the keeler Whatsapp groups responding very promptly to requests for participation in events – such feedback makes a massive and positive difference for event organisers, and the inevitable result is an all-round better event. My appeal to all sailors – please use the “reply” button, and let the organisers know not only if you are entering, but also if you will not be participating. Remember that a non-reply is not a “no”, and it isn’t a “yes” – it is simply a non-reply, and it doesn’t communicate anything constructive.

Navy Slang Phrases From the Past We Want to Bring Back
While researching the Hot Buttered Rum recipe, I also saw this on the Pussers Rum website, and share it for the simple reason that it makes good reading.

A little bit of Jack-Speak makes us feel right at home and if you’re a sailor, chances are you do too! The Royal Navy has a language of its own and these are our favourite past Navy Slang phrases that we wish would return to everyday conversation.

To Swallow the Anchor – To leave the Navy for good – implying that one has no further use for the implement one has for so long trusted.
How to use it today: When you quit your job and never step foot in that office again.

To Bleed the Monkey – To extract rum from its barrel by boring a small hole in the barrel.
How to use it today: Pouring the bottle of Pusser’s upside down to get every last drop of Navy Rum perfection.

Icers – A term used to describe something very cold, usually a drink served cold with ice.
How to use it today: Ordering a dram of Pusser’s Rum on the rocks.

All Hands in – “All hands in” refers to everybody on board. Usually when completing a task that needs many men at once.
How to use it today: Gathering your mates for a shot together

Rum Rat – Describes one in the older days of wooden ships who had a good nose for where extra rum might be aboard a ship, and who was seeking an extra tot or two.
How to use it today: A complimentary term to describe a rum lover who appreciates the authenticity of the spirit!

Goffa – A non-alcoholic drink.

Dame Ellen MacArthur announces Round Britain project
Dame Ellen MacArthur has announced a very special project that will see 100 young people in recovery from cancer taking part in an extraordinary challenge – sailing around Britain in a national relay, celebrating achievement and realising potential.

Round Britain 2017 is being run by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, a national charity which takes young people aged between eight and 24 from across the UK on sailing and other water-based adventures to help them rebuild their confidence after cancer treatment.

In order to help more young people in recovery from cancer in the long term, the voyage aims to increase national awareness by visiting towns and cities around the UK during the four-month endeavour. Building new skills and forging long-lasting friendships, her crew will also visit cancer treatment centres meeting people still in recovery and discussing possibilities after treatment.

Dame Ellen MacArthur said: “Round Britain is about a lot more than sailing – it is about rebuilding the confidence, self-belief and independence of those involved – bringing back in to focus positive options which have been unimaginable during treatment”.

Request for Proposal: SAS National Team Sailing League
South African Sailing (SAS) intends to launch a National Team Sailing League with regional representation in the Northern Region, KwaZulu-Natal Region, the Eastern Cape Region and the Western Cape Region.

It is intended that this initiative increase the number of active participants in the sport by removing some of the barriers to participation, reducing the historically required time commitment and injecting a fresh approach to competition and event execution.
The intentions of initiating the National Team Sailing League are as follows:
Participation
● A general increase in the participation in the sport of sailing.
● Participation should ensure that the SAS transformation agenda is addressed
● The inclusion of less experienced sailors, novices (new to sailing) and “pro’s”
● A focus on sharing a great experience and to offer the sport to as many current and would be sailors as possible.
● The reactivation and retention of sailors who find that they currently have less available recreational time
● The attraction of more youth to clubs and membership growth by making sailing more accessible to those who,
• Cannot afford to buy or own their own craft
• Don’t want the hassle of craft ownership
• Can’t or do not want to commit a whole day to sailing
• Prefer social sailing either in a group or with a crew

All submissions must be received by 17h00 on 31 January 2017, and are to be sent to Wendy Adams HERE

Using Your Phone as a Video Camera
As the use of social media grows during regattas, we continue to see – in our opinion – one of the unforgivable mistakes when using a phone as a video camera. So we repeat a repeated rant: TURN YOUR PHONE SIDEWAYS.

At issue isn’t what the video looks like on your phone. At issue is what your video looks like when you share it on social media, YouTube, etc. Players are shaped like your television – wider than they are tall. The goal is to align the camera so the video replay fills the screen. Do it wrong and its wasted space.

Tim Claxton produced a video offering a list of tips and tricks for using a smartphone as a video camera. Watch it HERE

Laser Dinghy Dispute
The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut issued its long awaited order and dismissed complaints and allegations by Bruce Kirby and Bruce Kirby Inc. against LaserPerformance and the International Laser Class Association.

The complaint filed by these plaintiffs alleged that the defendants were involved in a scheme not to pay royalties to Bruce Kirby and Bruce Kirby Inc., and illegally allowed the manufacturing of Laser sailboats by LaserPerformance.

The Court order confirmed that Mr. Kirby and Bruce Kirby, Inc. had no basis to sue LaserPerformance and denied and dismissed all such claims in entirety.

The Court order also emphasizes that Bruce Kirby has sold his interests to Global Sailing Limited of Australia. Global Sailing Limited is a group company and affiliate of Performance Sailcraft Australia, the Builder of Laser boats in Australia.

In its defence counterclaims against the plaintiffs, LaserPerformance sought to recover overpayments of royalties made by LaserPerformance to Bruce Kirby and Bruce Kirby Inc. over the years. This overpayment came to light in an accounting audit in preparation for the litigation initiated by Bruce Kirby.

The Court order of August 2016 allowed LaserPerformance to pursue such claims for overpayments against Bruce Kirby, Kirby Inc. and Global Sailing.

LaserPerformance will pursue its claims for overpayment of royalties with equal determination and will also focus its attention and resources to related infringements of its intellectual property rights by these parties and their affiliates.

LaserPerformance has requested a trial date for its remaining claims by way of a motion filed on 12 December 2016.

For over three years LaserPerformance vigorously fought these false allegations at great expense to the company, its reputation and the sailing community it serves.

There is no victory in any litigation but LaserPerformance is pleased that it stands vindicated in pursuing the spurious and fraudulent claims made against it by Bruce Kirby, Kirby Inc. and Global Sailing of Australia.

Hopefully it now paves the road for us to supporting the sailing community around the world without further distraction and waste of resources.

SAS WC Annual Trophy Awards
Awards only really have value if sufficient people are nominated for the right reasons. Otherwise, if the administrators at the last minute have to scratch their heads and make a decision, their meaning and value is lost.

So give some thought to these awards, and send your nominations, by 12h00 on 6 February 2017, to SAS HERE

Here are the awards and the criteria.

The Roger Bartholomew Lifetime Achievement Award
An annual award (when appropriate) to a person (usually aged 50 years or older) who has made an outstanding lifetime (long-term) contribution to the sports code of sailing in the Western Cape as a sports person/athlete, volunteer, administrator or technical official (or similar) at provincial level (SAS WC).

The Rob Meek Memorial Trophy
THIS DEED OF GIFT is effective from the twelfth day of June, 2015
The donor of the trophy is South African Sailing (SAS) Western Cape (WC)
1. The Trophy will be awarded annually.
2. The timing of the award will wherever possible coincide with the annual SAS (WC) Colour Award Ceremony.
3. The Trophy will be known as the “Rob Meek Memorial Trophy”. For the Junior Sailor of the Year.
4. Junior sailors from all classes will be eligible for the trophy. Junior shall mean sailors less than twenty-one years of age.
5. The initial criteria for the award will be “to the junior sailor who has had the most meritorious achievement in the sport of sailing during the prior calendar year.” In the absence of nominations there shall be no award.
6. Nominations for potential candidates for the award will be invited from Clubs, individuals and Classes in the Western Cape two months before being awarded. Classes include all disciplines e.g. keelboats, dinghies, multihulls, sailboards and kite boards.
7. The SAS (WC) Exco together with a representative of the Meek family will discuss and vote on the nominations and declare a winner based on prior year performance.
8. The awardee and immediate family will receive a special invitation to the applicable Colour Award Ceremony.
9. The winner will be responsible for the safe custody and care of the trophy while in their charge.
10. The Trophy will be displayed at the Western Cape offices of SAS when not in the possession of an awardee.

Charlie Mouat Memorial Trophy
In recognition of selfless and ongoing efforts to assist the Sport of Sailing within the Western Cape in any way which will result in the betterment thereof.

The Sprog ‘Stroppy’
I am led to believe that ‘Stroppy’ was the first Sprog ever launched – and it happened in Port Elizabeth on the river where both the Swartkops and Redhouse Yacht Clubs were situated.

My old mate in PE, Warwick Owen of Due North Rum Club fame, managed to come across an old Super 8 film clip of ‘Stroppy’ and sent me a CD. It came from Bruce Baldwin who had the forethought to save it from his grandfather’s archive.

The footage is obviously old, but interesting all the same.

Also shown in the ‘film’ are two canon being fired by the Bridge Officer. These two canon are now housed in the display cabinet at ABYC.

This clip can be viewed HERE

Info Wanted on the Loch Fyne Dinghy
Alan Ford (alanford@global.co.za) is looking for info on this veritable old boat.

“I wonder if you know of some old toppies who hang around Western Cape Yacht club bars who would do a historian act and remember the different ‘newer’ models of Loch Fyne dinghies.

“Pete Adamo from Sentinel Boats tells me he has a Loch Fyne mould but is not sure if it’s a MK2 or MK3 or what. I don’t even know if there was ever such a thing as a MK3.

“I have also been in contact with a chap by the name of Nick Taylor down there but he is not sure of these model designations either.

“I also have some questions regarding original rig configuration for the first boats.”

If you can help please email Alan.

Book Review
The Art and Science of Sails

The Art & Science of Sails

The Art & Science of Sails

by Tom Whidden & Michael Levitt
Published by North Sails Group

The subject of sails and sailmaking can be quite complex, but in this terrific revised edition of ‘The Art and Science of Sails’ authors Tom Whidden and Michael Levitt have done a superb job distilling the complexities into a narrative that we can all understand.

From the intricacies of how wind and water conspire to propel a boat forward to some of the more mundane aspects of sails, this book covers it all and in great detail. I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who wants to know more about that very important part of a sailboat, namely the sails.

Twenty six years ago the original ‘The Art and Science of Sails’ was published and it was a ground breaking book. Up until then the best book on the subject was ‘Sail Power’ by Wallace Ross and the most high tech that book got was cross-cut Dacron sail, so there was vast room for improvement. When ‘The Art and Science of Sails’ was originally published it covered all aspects of modern day sailmaking including valuable information on sail design and engineering, sail trim and how to choose the correct sail inventory for your purposes, but sailmaking is a vibrant industry and there have been numerous developments in the ensuing years. Who would have guessed back then that the America’s Cup would be raced in flying boats with solid sails?

The first thing that should give a reader any indication of the kind of book this is, would be the title. Sailmaking is as much art as it is science and the very first chapter of the book is a nod to the two men who did so much to advance the industry. I used to work for Ted Hood and can attest that he was indeed an artist. Ted would stand on the foredeck looking up at a sail, make some notes on his pad and then send the sail in for recutting. When it came back it was vastly improved yet none of us could see what he saw. At the other end of the spectrum was Lowell North who was, as the book correctly states, “bubbling with creative fire.” North was the first sailmaker to fully embrace the computer as a tool for sailmaking and we all know how far computer technology has come in the last few decades.

One of the most interesting chapters of the book is ‘The Science of Sails’; how indeed can a flimsy curved surface propel a boat almost directly into the wind? It seem unfathomable, but it’s true and Whidden and Levitt walk the reader step-by-step through the various stages of, as they put it ‘flying a flat plate’, to a complete understanding of aerodynamic theory. They then take this theory and explain how it translates into designing and engineering sails.

There is significant ink given to 3DL and 3Di sailmaking and for good reason. Building membrane sails on a full size mould completely revolutionized the industry and these days it’s not only the racers that want this kind of technology, as increasingly cruisers are seeking it out too. By being able to precisely lay fibres along the anticipated load lines in a sail meant that sails could be built lighter and stronger for the same stretch resistance. Incorporating exotic fibres such as carbon and Vectran into sailmaking further advanced things, and now blending different fibres into the same sail with each doing their own part all found their roots with 3DL.

The book ends with some of the more mundane aspects of sailmaking such as the basic parts of a sail and how sails effect each other when used together, in other words they explain ‘the slot effect’. If that’s the only part of the book you read you will most certainly become a better sailor, both as a racer and cruiser, but I urge you to read the whole book cover to cover like I did.

Sailors around the world spend an inordinate amount of money on sails, and without being disparaging many have no real clue how to use them. I can almost guarantee that your skills as a sailor will be vastly improved once you have read this book.  Review by Brian Hancock

Humour
Sailing is better than sex as it’s perfectly respectable to sail with a total stranger.

How True
“You haven’t won the race if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors.” Paul Elvstrom

I like this
You know how dumb the average person is? Well, by definition, half of ’em are even dumber than THAT. J.R. “Bob” Dobbs

Reader Responses
• Just a quick note to say how much I appreciate your thought provoking publications. Keep it up. A great way to keep in touch with the latest in sailing. Not just South Africa, but the world. One of the best reads out there.
• Captain, what a crock of shit published in Marine Notice 37! Is some idiot actually paid a salary to thumb-suck all this nonsense?

I’ve got an EU certificate for mine, but find it’s useless.

Thanks for the rest – always recharges my battery.

• Good issue again, thanks.

You probably won’t be scratching for responses to this issue, but extracts from this may help if you need.

You know that I have also been beating that drum about putting the fun back into sailing, more specifically for keeping juniors in boats though.

I raced my Paper Jet in two consecutive Wood Regattas in Rock Hall, Maryland, in a very diverse fleet with multiple starts. The first regatta used Olympic triangle courses and was a lot of fun. As my first racing experience with the new boat, I had to learn how to sail efficiently, not just fast. By the third race I was the fastest boat on the water by a considerable amount, but sailing single-handed with main, jib and asymmetrical, I lost out during hoists and drops and swam a lot, which kept me out of the prizes. I was wet, but I had fun and looked forward to more racing.

The following year, at the same venue, they only set windward/leeward courses. With the same boat and the same rating, I went from finishing in the top three in every race to finishing stone last, unable to use my asymmetrical. The sailing was slow and boring to the point that I stopped racing and instead went off the course and treated myself to some high-speed crash and burn sailing with all three sails in 20+ knots.

When I was in Cape Town I was told by various of my crew over the years that the reason that they always came back was because on my boats they knew that they would have fun. I did have one crewman who took his racing too seriously. I felt an obligation to him for helping me to complete the boat by a deadline, so I tolerated him aboard until he wore out my sense of obligation. Eventually I evicted him after my wife opened my eyes with some spousal wisdom. I told her that I wanted to sell my boat and she said “You don’t need to get rid of your boat, you need to get rid of (name withheld).” I did that and fell in love with my boat again.

I am also passionate about the plastic and other trash that man dumps into the oceans. Hope you don’t mind, I want to copy that section of your text into a blog post, with due credit to your publication and the author. Dudley Dix

• For all my years sailing, the part of PFDs and life jackets also got my blood boiling. But in retrospect, thinking about what sailing used to be and to what it has become, I can understand why.

In making sailing more accessible to the populous, unfortunately, more people take to sea that aren’t qualified to do so. So the onus rests on the government to ensure it is safer for everyone. Even a child of ten, with a rudimentary knowledge of electronics, can take a 100ft vessel and cross an ocean now. That is how easy sailing has become. Is it our own fault? And the government and tax payer is left to pick up the tab in a rescue situation.

Where do we draw the line? For us old time sailors, it might seem like another drag, and money making scheme. But sailing in the Caribbean, and witnessing even on Superyacht level, the competency level of crews and captains, I’ve got to ask myself if maybe these regulations don’t carry some weight.

On the other hand, how many people do fall overboard and in how many cases was a PDF a lifesaver? There is a balance.

The South African coast is one of the most notorious coastlines to sail in the world. Maybe there is something to the regulations. Also, what is the survival rate of someone in Cape waters compared to Durban waters?

The problem in my opinion, is that instead of educate, they try to regulate. And unfortunately, it is the way sailing is going. Another quick satisfaction game in a instant gratification world.

It needs to be regulated to open it up more to the general public. People don’t take responsibility for their own actions. A catch 22 situation.

For us old salts, maybe something to get the blood boiling, but for the newbies, a safety net?

Just a different perspective…..? Jaco Pieterse.

• I see that in episode 48 you are “banging on again” about boring courses eliminating the “FUN” in racing and encouraging organisers to do something creative. As a long standing Race Officer, I must say that I support the sentiment wholeheartedly.

It is interesting to note that some five to six years ago, we introduced a “Fun” course to the MSC Regatta which was first marketed as a cruising course and attracted a few cruising boats. Over these years we have found that the course has become more and more favoured by the big boat owners, to the extent that we now have a serious racing fleet on that course. And the general comment from the crews over an after race Juba in the pub, is that the racing was “great fun” – makes you think!

Some of the serious One Design racing fleets, however, still elect to sail the windward leeward courses, even when the organisers offer the choice of alternatives – and we aim to please, so we sail the course.

Having read Roger Vaughan’s piece on the ‘Anderson Course’, in your last publication, I will certainly ask the MSC organisers to consider this for the 125th PYC anniversary MSC regatta – sounds like it could make a fun change.
Keep up the good work. Dave Rushton

A Lasting Gift – A Subscription to SAILING Magazine
Need a gift for a loved one, sailing friend or crew? A subscription to SAILING Magazine will last the whole year round as we produce 12 issues per year – and it costs just R290 per year.

Call 031-7096087 or e-mail HERE

Subscriptions are available as a printed magazine OR a digital e-zine. Your choice.

Sailor of the Month – Submit Your Nomination NOW
SAILING Magazine, in conjunction with MDM Marine Services, North Sails and Southern Spars, back the ‘Sailor of the Year’ Award.

Monthly winners are featured in SAILING Magazine, with the overall ‘Sailor of the Year’ receiving a substantial cash prize.

Roll of Honour
Sailors of the Year
2016   Rob van Rooyen
2015   Stefano Marcia
2014   Blaine Dodds
2013   Asenathi Jim
2012   Roger Hudson
2011   Stefano Marcia
2010   Asenathi Jim
2009   Taariq Jacobs
2008   David Hudson
2007   Dominique Provoyeur
2006   Craig Millar
2005   Shaun Ferry
2004   Justin Onvlee
2003   Dominique Provoyeur
2002   Golden Mgedza
2001   John Eloff

Who can make nominations? Anyone (individuals, clubs, class associations or administrators) may submit nominations.
What are the criteria? The award is strictly for ‘sailing excellence’ or in exceptional circumstances, for ‘dedication to the sport’.
What is the procedure? All nominations must be fully motivated in writing, and must be accompanied by a head-and-shoulders picture of the candidate, plus an action sailing pic aboard his/her boat (unedited hi-resolution (300dpi) digital images are required). Motivations must include current performances, a brief CV of the nominee, and other pertinent, personal background information (age, school, employment, home town etc) so that an interesting editorial on the winner may be written. Failure to submit the required material will result in the nomination not being considered.
Deadlines. Nominations must be received by the 1st of every month, although this may be extended at the Editor’s discretion, so it is recommended to submit them as soon as possible.

If you think there is a sailor worthy of nomination, simply send the nomination with a motivation and a photo of the person TO