“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 24

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issue – 24
22 October 2014

by Richard Crockett

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Reader response is welcome – send to: editor@sailing.co.za
Readers are encouraged to forward this to their sailing mates.

Talking About…
• The Volvo Ocean Race
• No VOR TV Coverage Locally
• Phillippa’s Stop-Start Route du Rhum
• South African Women Singlehanders
• Here’s An Initiative to Assist the NSRI
• A New World Record!
• …And What About Local Rum Afficionados?
• A Woman with A Sense of Humour!
• Clipper Race Audience Exceeds 3 Billion Worldwide, and Growing
• Victorian Farmers Stake Festival of Sails Sports Boat Entry
• Boats and Boat Bits for Sale
• Life Jacket Type Code Labels Go Away?
• I Like This!
• Nautical Superstitions
• Giving Back
• Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
• The Bitter End

The Volvo Ocean Race
There’s no need to remind most sailors that the race has started and the fleet of identical 65-footers are flying down the Atlantic towards Cape Town.

What is fascinating is that each of the 7 boats has at one time or another had the lead. What did take the wind out of many people’s sail was the ladies on Team SCA who led the fleet through the Straits of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic after a brave navigational call by navigator Libby Greenhalgh.

The speed of these boats is so similar that the race is now all about the skill of the sailors and not how superior one boat may be in certain conditions or on specific points of the wind. It’s a sailors’ race – and the brave move made by those who introduced the one-design concept should be applauded.

What is interesting is that the organisers did not expect the fleet to be so tightly bunched – and had to rapidly make alterations to their tracker system to cope with this.

It’s early days yet, but what is certain is that it’s going to be a very close race with the best team winning.

If you are not following the race on the tracker, I suggest you do so now. It’s rivetting stuff – so get it on your PC, tablet or phone – NOW.

And PLEASE don’t forget to support the Cape Town Stopover. Cape Town was initially left off the route for this race, but due to a South American port issue, we were reinstated. It is up to us, ALL the yachties in South Africa and our non-sailing mates to support the fleet in Cape Town. If not, we may never see the Volvo Ocean Race stop in our country again.

No VOR TV Coverage Locally
The rest of the world is enjoying wonderful TV coverage of this race, but here in good old RSA we simply don’t get to see it. Supersport is the scheduled broadcaster, but they are not showing it, nor do they have anything scheduled in the future.

I did contact Clinton van der Berg, Communications Manager at Supersport who promised to let me know if and when we could expect anything. So far, no response!

Phillippa’s Stop-Start Route du Rhum
It’s been a stop-start and incredibly tense time for Phillippa Hutton-Squire as her funding for this race was not forthcoming and it looked as if she would have to pull out, but now having worked extra hard she is in the race which is due to start on 2 November.

Phillippa will be sailing Swish in Class 40 against 42 other competitors in that class – and she is just one of three woman skippers.

She has a ton of experience in Class 40s two-up although this will be her first foray into the world of singlehanded sailing. She qualified after a 1000nm passage singlehanded.

This is one very competent lady who should do well, although she is concerned about sleep – as she loves to sleep – and sleep is the number 1 enemy of singlehanded sailors.

Phillippa will become South Africa’s first woman singlehander to compete in this race, and our first racing woman singlehander. Go girl – you have it in you to do well. South Africa is behind you.

Follow her as she will need all the support she can muster.

Regrettably the official race website is only available in French – so you will have to hack your way around it if your French is non-existent.

South African Women Singlehanders
My old mate Len Davies pulled me up about the statement I made in the last “Talking Sailing” about Phillippa Hutton-Squire becoming South Africa’s first female singlehander.

As said above she will become the first South African women singlehander in a race as in the late ‘80s South African born Anna Woolf sailed from South Africa to the UK to re-unite with her two sons and reconcile with her husband. Her boat was a 22-ton ferro-cement ketch which was named Mara Zulu. She built it herself.

Interestingly Anna also sailed from Cape Town to Brazil and back singlehanded at the age of 65.

Does anyone know what may have become of Anna?

Here’s An Initiative to Assist the NSRI
Reader Response to this in the last “Talking Sailing” was very positive, as was Andrew Ingram, Communications Manager of the NSRI in Cape Town.

This year the Point Yacht Club and sailors of Durban alone raised R109 000 for the NSRI on just one day.

I spoke to PYC Rear Commodore Keelers and the man who organised the day, and he says that he would wholeheartedly support a national initiative like this. He has set the date for the next initiative as Sunday 28 June 2015.

So here’s a challenge from the Point Yacht Club to ALL clubs in RSA to compete on that day (or weekend if they are a ‘Saturday’ Club) and raise much needed funds for the NSRI.

Reader Response. I love your idea of a national NSRI Race Day! Given that each and every sailor with offshore endeavours or ambitions may at some stage – heaven forbid – be in need of the services of NSRI, the least we can do is ‘invest’ for the future! Len Davies.

Reader Response. I think your initiative to have a National NSRI fund-raising day is a brilliant idea and you are for sure the man to drive this. The Northern Region would definitely support this initiative and do our bit to help make it happen. Keep up the good work.
Steve Thysse. Chairman, South African Sailing, Northern Region

Reader Response. I have just joined an events company as 50% partner. Let’s talk about the National NSRI Fundraising Day. I am prepared to take on the challenge!!!

A New World Record!
Just recently 353 rum lovers joined Global Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell and leading industry figures at the ILEC Conference Centre in London to savour premium rums from around the world.

Following strict procedure guidelines, the ‘World’s Largest Rum Tasting Event’, was officially confirmed by an attending Guinness World Records’ adjudicator. Guided on a voyage of rum discovery, record breakers sampled some of the finest rums from around the world presented by esteemed figures from each distillery. Guests included Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Pitt and boxer David Haye.

Speaking of the achievement the RumFest founder and host Ian Burrell said: “Rum is about history and that’s what we all achieved today. It was a true honour to be joined by such esteemed representatives of the category and to enjoy such a special evening with so many rum lovers.”

…And What About Local Rum Afficionados?
From 27 to 29 November, the CTICC will host the MUDL Live Liquid Lifestyle festival at which one can explore an exciting array of spirits, cocktails, beers and other liquor delights, some of which are not yet available in South Africa.

Other attractions include the world famous Rumfest and the Cocktail Theatre where you can try your hand at mixing a few drinks.

I have it on good authority that a wide variety of Rums not normally available in this country will be at this festival. Guess where I will be at the end of November?

A Woman with A Sense of Humour!
Seen on Gumtree recently was the following:

For Sale/trade Hobie Tiger or Boyfriend – both finished 2nd at the Hobie worlds 2013. R 10,000.
Hobie Tiger Or Boyfriend Need New Home. I am looking for a sailor who is crafty, and quick. Someone who can hitch and tow my boyfriend’s Hobie in 0.1 seconds off of my driveway- alt on Saturday I could arrange for the house to be empty, should the sailor be slow and drunk. Hobie Tiger condition: 10 years old, in good cond. aside from a few dings due to bad driving on the start line Boyfriend condition:- about 49.9 years old, bit shagged out due to a young girlfriend driving him mad about a Hobie in her parking space. Hobie Tiger: previously ranked 2nd in world championships Boyfriend: Previously ranked world champ (age has caught up slightly, so results have declined). If you are interested in either of the above please let me know asap – not willing to trade boyfriend for anything older than a 1964 model – also no swops for men with ex-wives please.  NO RETURNS!

Clipper Race Audience Exceeds 3 Billion Worldwide, and Growing
Record numbers of people have followed the exploits of the latest Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, with a cumulative audience of more than 3.3 billion people in over 200 countries seeing news coverage in the press, radio, TV and online. Countless more have engaged through social media.

More than 670 people from over 40 nationalities took part in the 2013-14 race, the only place where students, teachers, bankers, housewives and truck drivers join together to take on one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges.

The latest independent evaluation of media coverage of the 2013-14 edition by Kantar Media shows a huge growth in global audiences, virtually trebling the news media reach of the previous race. The media report is only an interim evaluation and with more than a thousand news items still to be added and the TV series yet to air, it’s projected that the final audience achieved could be well in excess of 4.5 billion. The full report will be published later in the year.

“The Clipper Race is capturing the imagination of audiences around the world, not only because it is compelling viewing but also because it could be them. Our crew members achieve something remarkable, racing across oceans and, for many, circumnavigating the planet – no experience necessary as we provide all the training. It’s very inspiring!”

Victorian Farmers Stake Festival of Sails Sports Boat Entry
Farmers and sailing in the same sentence might seem paradoxical. Country vet Peter Knight appreciates the misconception, but assures there’s a healthy scene on Australia’s Victoria outback lakes, particularly when the rains come.

Knight’s Festival of Sails entry for his Thompson 7 sports boat called Major Tom, named after the astronaut from David Bowie’s song familiar to those from Knight’s generation, will be the crew’s second consecutive appearance on Geelong’s Corio Bay over the Australia day long weekend.

A couple of farming mates, a glazier and an agricultural engineer, Melbourne boat builder Scott Hearle, the skipper, and Knight have a busy season ahead. They will be proudly competing for Stawell Yacht Club, perched on the shores of Lake Fyans, at the foothills of the Victorian Grampian Ranges.

Large established Australian yacht clubs can boast membership typically in the thousands. Stawell Yacht Club’s membership is undergoing a healthy resurgence – up to nearly 30 members from a lowly 10 during the worst of the recent drought.

Knight says “After 10 years of drought membership dropped way down, plus there weren’t any regattas and formal racing during a 15 year hiatus. Many of the other clubs around the area were sitting alongside dry lakes.”

Depth isn’t the only issue for Lake Fyans’ sailing community. Currently 85% full the lake spans 420 hectares or 4.2 kilometres, but during the drought it shrunk to 22% full and exposed tree stumps that became a hazard and had to be marked with buoys.

“The main problem with sailing on the lake is you run out of room pretty quickly, especially with this monster,” says Knight. “For this reason we go further afield. This year’s Festival of Sails was our first regatta …they say you spend some time at the back of the field before you get going. We had a great time on the water though.”

Boats and Boat Bits for Sale
C-J Milln has created a platform on Facebook called “boats and boat bits for sale (South Africa)”.

His idea is to create a platform where people can buy and sell second hand boats and equipment from fellow sailors throughout South Africa. It is run by sailors for sailors and is obviously free.

“Some of us have bundles of fittings at home we will never use again, but by advertising them here they will go to someone who can use them – you save space in your workshop, and you also receive some money for them” he said. “It’s also a place where unwanted boats that are taking up space can be advertised free to good causes like sailing schools who might need them”.

C-J says he personally found himself owning three extra Laser hulls, which through this platform have now been donated in an effort to get Westville boys back on the water.

The rules of this site are:
1. No commercial advertising
2. Strictly a buy swop or sell platform not meant for profit
3. Prices must be placed with each item advertised

Life Jacket Type Code Labels Go Away?
Reader Query? Captain, do you think we have a hope in hell of SAMSA taking note of the very progressive and insightful development – below – made by an authority of no lesser standing than the US Coast Guard?

“Life Jacket Type Code Labels Go Away”.
In a move that’s expected to benefit recreational boaters, on Oct. 22 the US Coast Guard will drop the current life jacket type code scheme — Type I, II, III, IV and V — that has been used for years to label and differentiate the types of life jackets and their specific use. Chris Edmonston, BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety President and Chairman of the National Safe Boating Council, said, “The boating safety community believes this move by the Coast Guard will help lead the way toward more comfortable and innovative life jacket designs, help boaters stay on the right side of the law, lower costs, and save lives.”

Explains Edmonston, “This is positive news in that we will no longer see a Type I, II, III, IV or V label on a new life jacket label after Oct. 22. This type coding was unique to the United States, tended to confuse boaters, limited choice and increased the cost of life jackets.” He says removing the type coding is a first step toward the adoption of new standards that will eventually simplify life jacket requirements for recreational boaters.

“This move is expected to lead to the introduction of new life jacket designs, especially those made in other countries as US standards will be more ‘harmonized,’ initially Canada and eventually the European Union,” said Edmonston. “Along with a wider variety, aligning our standards with those to our neighbour to the north and across the Atlantic will help reduce prices as manufacturers won’t have to make products unique to the US market.””

The time is long overdue for a clear-thinking mariner occupying a seat of importance at SAMSA to recognise the immense benefit afforded by the newer, less movement-restricting PFD-type life jackets offering so many advantages over the traditional Class 1 life jackets so often on board only to comply with regulations, but not worn due to the discomfort and restriction of movement imposed.

That these PFDs are universally recognised by maritime authorities and standards regulators would appear to have escaped those in decision-making positions at SAMSA

Having had personal experience of the absence of restriction and comfort of wearing a PFD, I foresee judicious use of PDFs – especially on the foredeck at night – becoming commonplace as it is elsewhere in the sailing world when the Class 1 version would remain firmly below deck.

Editor’s Comment. SAMSA recently issued Marine Notice 24 of 2014 regarding Lifejackets and Buoyancy Aids.

Our hard-working South African Sailing (SAS) Offshore Committee Chairmen, Gavin van der Meulen and Jannie Hofmeyr, have gone through this with a fine toothcomb – and there is good news.

Basically what has come from this is that boat owners now have a choice of lifejackets they can carry – the old bulky foam type or the modern inflatable type lifejackets.

The fact that SAMSA now recognise inflatable type lifejackets is a massive boost for our sport as this will hopefully encourage more sailing yacht crew to wear these as a matter of course, rather than only in inclement weather. Self-Inflating Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are very comfortable to wear, are unobtrusive and now simply the seamanlike thing to do.

I Like This!
Sailors, with their built-in sense of order, service and discipline, should really be running the world. Nicholas Monsarrat

Nautical Superstitions
Beware of the Lurking Shark. A shark following the ship is a sign of inevitable death.

Giving Back
I have previously mentioned a group of guys in the Algoa Bay Yacht Club who besides being part of the Due North Rum Club are anything but rum infused old salts. They add massive value to the Club in terms of a variety of things they do, including DIY bits ‘n pieces. They refer to themselves as the “Tinkers’ when doing this work.

Recently they installed a Dwyer wind speed instrument in the club as well as a wind direction indicator which is rather innovative.

Every Club needs a group of guys like the ‘Tinkers of ABYC’ who are ably led by Warwick Owen. He is quite willing to share his ideas with anyone – so if you are in need of wind speed and direction indicators in your Club – Warwick is the man! Contact him at: warwick@isat.co.za

Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
●  Yet another superb and thought-provoking issue!

●  Rather embarrassed that my Club failed to do anything to support Bart’s Bash!

●  As a rank outsider with no more interest in the failed merger than that of someone who believes he sees common sense when it stares him in the face, I’m still smarting at the short-sightedness of those few who took the trouble to vote. What makes the whole issue even more unpalatable, is the comparative ease with which RORC & RCYC merged where so much more appears to have been at stake.

●  Great editorial, interesting, informative and uplifting. Keep it up.

●  Delighted to confirm have just received the latest “Talking Sailing”. It truly is a great contribution.

●  I am so grateful to read the story about children doing sailing for a birthday party … how fresh and what an AWESOME way to introduce fresh blood to the sport? They would probably never have given sailing a thought?
I will be tabling this at our Committee meeting tonight and will be encouraging all members to do the same for their next kiddie party, which will hopefully be introducing more members to clubs and more boats on the water.  Bev le Sueur, Commodore, Vogelvlei Yacht Club

The Bitter End
Supersport – for the lack of coverage of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The ‘Bitter End’ is the inboard end of an anchor chain or rode which should be attached to the vessel so as not to be lost overboard in it’s entirety. In terms of “Talking Sailing” it’s things about our sport which get up peoples noses!

“Talking Sailing” is written by Richard Crockett, the Publisher & Editor of SAILING Magazine, South Africa’s monthly sailing mag.

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“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 50

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