“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 25

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issue – 25
20 November 2014

by Richard Crockett

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Talking About…
• The Volvo Ocean Race
• No VOR TV Coverage Locally – so who has a red face?
• Phillippa’s Stop-Start Route du Rhum
• GAC Laser IRC Nationals
• Get to Know the RRS (Racing Rules of Sailing) – Especially Rule 42
• RCYC 100
• Bart’s Bash – Final Results
• Photovoltaic Sail
• Lewmar Launches Specifying app
• Volvo Ocean Race – Explanation Required Please
• United Nations Recognises Autonomy of Sport
• Lifejackets – interesting feedback
• I Like This!
• Nautical Superstitions
• Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
• The Bitter End

The Volvo Ocean Race
I was very fortunate to spend 2 weekends in Cape Town for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. This has been the most spectacular Cape Town stopover ever – so hats off to all those involved, from the V&A Waterfront, City of Cape Town, SAMSA and everyone who played a role in making it happen.

The highlight for me was sailing aboard Team SCA with the girls on Saturday’s In-Port race where “we” ended up on the podium with a 3rd place. These ladies are highly competent and exceptionally competitive and go about their business in a very professional manner. They are getting better every day – so watch them improve and turn a few heads as this race progresses.

So how did I land with my bum in the proverbial butter! Let’s simply put that down to my good looks and boyish charm!

What I really enjoyed was the very cosmopolitan atmosphere as people from many different countries came together in the race village, working for the race, the boat sponsors or as supporters. All the foreign helpers whom I came into contact with were intelligent, helpful, knowledgeable about the race and caring. But more importantly they were prepared to engage with all who took the time. I made a point of asking every single person I came into contact with where they were from and how they were enjoying our country. All love South Africa and those who are unable to spend additional time sightseeing after the start vowed that they would be back.

Will Cape Town be overlooked again in the future as a stopover port, or has enough been done this time to ensure that the ‘Tavern of the Seas’ becomes a permanent fixture? I don’t have the answer as I was told during the one seminar I attended that 74 cities are bidding to host the next race. So it’s all down to the commercial aspects I suspect rather than the historic emotions and romance of a host city.

However, I am told that unofficially Cape Town will be a host port for the next two editions. Let’s hope so.

In conclusion, as so much has been written about the race and Cape Town so far it is evident that this stopover was really good for our sport – and the public who like to follow those who go to sea in small boats.

No VOR TV Coverage Locally – so who has a red face?
Last time I mentioned that Supersport was not covering the Volvo Ocean race, so blow me down when coverage started appearing out of the blue. I suppose I should have a red face?

Well done Supersport -now please catch up with your programming and let’s see the current footage rather than footage a few weeks old!

Phillippa’s Stop-Start Route du Rhum
Finishing the Route du Rhum was simply a step too far for Phillippa Hutton-Squire as on the first night she was involved in a collision with a fellow competitor and had to retire the following morning with mast damage. Her adversary was able to continue the race!

“Initially I was hesitant to protest Yannick Bestaven as although I felt sure he was in the wrong, I knew how hard it is to get to the start of races like this. After a long debate I filed a protest against him for the collision. On Saturday 15 November the Jury claimed the protest invalid. Then the Jury filed a protest against Yannick and me. On Saturday evening we had a conference call to hear the protest. The Juries conclusion is that Yannick has a time penalty of 24 hours once he has finished the race” said Phillippa. Incidently Yannick finished in 7th spot.

“Now I will put the disappointment of my 2014 RDR that only lasted for 12 hours behind me. On the plus side I have learnt so much during the build up of this campaign and had a fantastic group of people helping me, I know it will be a struggle again to raise money, but the RDR is a fantastic race. I now plan to be on the start line of 2018 RDR but more importantly to be at the Finish!!!” she said.

GAC Laser IRC Nationals
I am a big fan of those who constructively put time and effort into our sport, and who are innovative and not afraid to try something different rather than simply ‘following tradition’.

As a result I headed to Cape Town to check out the IRC Nationals which were being hosted in the Volvo Ocean Race Village. What a spectacular event it turned out to be – with a good solid entry in 3 different classes, good racing on the water with a variety of different courses and good social interaction afterwards. Well done Hylton Hale – our sport needs more people like you.

Get to Know the RRS (Racing Rules of Sailing) – Especially Rule 42
Alan Keen says that during the seminars that he and Lance Burger have been doing around the country over the past two years, they have found that it has been impossible to adequately cover Rule 42 and the application of Appendix P (on the water judging).

“Rule 42 is a very poorly understood and a very poorly controlled aspect of sailing in this country and our sailors who have been fortunate enough to compete internationally have found it hard to adapt to international practices. As a result we are now planning a training session at this year’s Youth Nationals at Aeolians, Vaal Dam from the 14 to 20 December.”

Due to the nature of the practical training that is required the absolute maximum number of people that can be accommodated on the course is 12, (preferably only 8). They plan to divide the course over two periods. The first contingent of 6 (4) would be trained over the first three days of the event and the other 6 (4) over the last three days – so individual commitments would therefore be for only 3 days.

The organisers of the Youth Nationals have indicated their intention to include Appendix P for some of the classes (Optimist, Laser, 420) so the training will be a real situation and commitment will be needed for the duration noted above.

Information from Alan Keen – Alan.Keen@WSPGroup.co.za

RCYC 100
The Royal Cape Yacht Club will celebrate its 100th year of having a Royal Charter with a formal dinner at the Club. The guest of honour will be the Consul General of the United Kingdom, Mr Chris Trott.

This is an appropriate time to demystify the difference between the Royal Charter and the Royal Warrant, and why the RCYC can still legitimately call itself a ‘Royal’ Club, despite the protestation of a small group who think they know better!

The following information was supplied by Dale Kushner.

A Royal Charter is when the ruling British Monarch bestows upon a club permission to prefix its name with the word ‘Royal’.-. e.g. Royal Natal Yacht Club or Royal Cape Yacht Club. The Royal Charter can only be withdrawn by a ruling monarch.

The Admiralty Warrant is issued by the British Admiralty. The main benefit to clubs is the permission to fly the Blue Ensign.

In South Africa, Royal Cape Yacht Club and Royal Natal Yacht Club have been issued with Admiralty Warrants. However, when the Republic of South Africa was formed, Royal Cape Yacht Club chose not to fly the Blue Ensign as it was considered offensive to fly this instead of the national flag. Royal Cape Yacht Club returned its warrant in 1962 and continues with this sentiment. It can re-apply for the warrant should it so decide.

‘Nuff said!

Well done RCYC – as a Club you have led our sport by example for many years.

Bart’s Bash – Final Results
Over 30,000 people worldwide took to the water for the first Bart’s Bash!

The final results, which have just been published, show there were 30,717 participants, many of them first timers.

Bart’s Bash is a fundraising event in memory of Andrew Simpson, the Olympic sailor who died in a training accident in May 2013 – and over a quarter of a million pounds was raised.

Since race day the Bart’s Bash team has been compiling and processing tens of thousands of results and they can now confirm that an incredible 16,870 boats collectively sailed a staggering 87,072,769 metres, roughly the equivalent of sailing twice around the world.

Overall winners were Hans Wallen, sailing at Cape Crow Yacht Club in Sweden in an M32 Catamaran, Riccardo Macchiavello sailing at Circolo Nautico Rapallo in Italy in an Altura 1101 and Grant Piggott sailing at Weston Sailing Club in Great Britain in a Nacra 17.

The final results table is at: http://www.bartsbash.co.uk/results/table

Initially the organisers had hoped for 50 clubs to sign up with 2000 participants in the UK. But such was the enthusiasm that within one week 100 clubs had entered, and it grew daily from there.

The Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Championships recorded the highest numbers of boats sailing from the club at 233. In the UK, Parkstone Yacht Club recorded a whopping 194 boats on the water.

The Laser Standard dominated the dinghy class leader board, taking the top spot with 1 677 entries. Optimists were in second place with 1178 boats on the water and the Laser Radial took third with 953 boats.

Event Manager for Bart’s Bash, Tim Anderton, said: “At no point could we ever have expected over 500 clubs in over 60 countries to embrace the idea of getting on the water, racing, having fun and celebrating everything Bart stood for. This has to be one of the largest sailing participation events in the world. We would like to thank all those who took part with a special thanks to the volunteers, over seven thousand of them, who made it possible.”

RSA Results
The top South African sailor, in 56th place, was Alice Jagger sailing a Norfolk Gypsy at George Lakes Yacht Club. Alice was also 3rd lady helm overall.

The club with the biggest entry was Point Yacht Club with 46 entries.

South Africa had the 6th biggest entry with 758 boats – just two behind Spain.

We also had six sailors in the top 10 in the category ‘Wind under 1 knot’.

And your humble scribe on his boat with a motley crew finished in 10,975th position – not bad for a bunch of ‘old farts’!

Bart’s Bash Souvenir Programme
Download your FREE copy of the Bart’s Bash souvenir programme and read more about the life of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson and the fantastic event that has been set up in his honour. Get it at:

Photovoltaic Sail
It had to happen. With the advances of solar technology, soon you will be able to have solar energy producers – photovoltaic cells – built into sunshades, biminis, dodgers and/or into the sails themselves. The next best news is that the resultant fabric needs only light, not direct sunlight so it won’t matter that dodgers and biminis are often shaded by the sails while moving.

Sailmakers France, innovator of MatriX Titanium sails, has started a new company called SolarClothSystem that will make mainsails with a USA-made film containing high efficiency photovoltaic cells.

While solar sheets have been getting more flexible over the last few years, the good news for all sailors is that the cells are even more flexible – enough to be used on sails that get rolled or folded.

See More at: www.sail-world.com/USA/Its-coming.-Dodgers/biminis-to-be-solar-power-producers/119838

Lewmar Launches Specifying app
Following the success of its first App using Augmented Reality technology, Lewmar has expanded its App offering with a very practical tool that will serve any boat owner or builder wishing to specify Lewmar products whilst using a tablet.

Whether you are carrying out a complete refit or product upgrade, the Lewmar specifying app makes it easy to find the correct windlass, thruster or steering system for your boat. Using a quick and easy step-by-step process, you will be presented with a full list of part numbers required for a complete installation, including any suggested accessories either on screen or via email. This list can then be sent to your local Lewmar dealer for further pricing and availability details.

Lewmar’s specifying App is free and can be used on any Apple or Android tablet, follow this link or simply search “Lewmar” in your App store to download now!

Volvo Ocean Race – Explanation Required Please
“We went to watch the inshore race at the V&A and we found very helpful people at the waterfront and were given a pamphlet showing all that was happening and where the race was to be, so along with many other people we traipsed along to the breakwater to watch.

How cross and upset we all were to find the race was over on the Blaauwberg side and even with binoculars the race was lost to the spectators.

Was this Cape Town’s bad planning or the organisers?

This Volvo event is every sailor’s dream to watch, yet all other host cities allow and make sure that access for spectators is the best. We as South Africans who want to push the sport, feel we have been let down?”

ED. This was received from a Guest House owner who took his guests to watch the weekend sailing.

United Nations Recognises Autonomy of Sport
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has welcomed the historic recognition by the United Nations of the autonomy of the IOC and sport.

The recognition comes in a resolution adopted by consensus at the 69th regular session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. The document states that the General Assembly “supports the independence and autonomy of sport as well as the mission of the IOC in leading the Olympic Movement”.

IOC President Thomas Bach had emphasised the need for the autonomy of sport in a speech he delivered to the UNGA in New York in November 2013. “Sport [is] truly the only area of human existence which has achieved universal law,” he said at the time. “But to apply this universal law worldwide, sport has to enjoy responsible autonomy. Politics must respect this sporting autonomy.”

The resolution acknowledges sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace, and highlights the important role of the IOC and the Olympic Movement in achieving these goals.

It recognises “that major international sports events should be organised in the spirit of peace, mutual understanding, friendship, tolerance and inadmissibility of discrimination of any kind and that the unifying and conciliative nature of such events should be respected”. This clearly implies that full participation at sporting events is encouraged, and that in turn boycotts are incompatible with this UN request for respect of the values of sport.

“We highly welcome this resolution as a historic milestone in the relations between sport and politics,” President Bach said today. “We must form partnerships with political organisations based on this recognition of the autonomy of sport. The excellent relations between the UN and the IOC can in this respect serve as an example for relations on the national level between National Olympic Committees and national governments. This relationship with governments requires that sport always remains politically neutral.”

The UN acknowledged the Olympic Charter, and in particular Principle 6, that “any form of discrimination is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement”. This acknowledgement reflects the IOC’s responsibility to have Principle 6 and the Olympic Charter fully respected at the Olympic Games and in its Olympic activities.

As a sports organisation, the IOC does not, however, have a mandate to impose measures on sovereign states outside its own fields. The Olympic Games can show the world and the host country that a peaceful society is possible, that competition among people can happen in harmony and with respect for the dignity of all.

In a letter to the Presidents of the 205 National Olympic Committees, the IOC President called on them to strengthen the autonomy of sport in their countries and, in any dialogue with their national political leaders, to encourage them “to give sport due consideration in the context of the UN post-2015 Development Agenda”.

“It is essential that NOCs work with national governments to integrate sport into those goals, particularly in the fields of education, health, urban planning, cohesion of society and peace-building,” President Bach wrote.

Lifejackets – interesting feedback
I devoted a lot of space to the latest SAMSA Marine Notice on this subject in the last “Talking Sailing” and have had excellent feedback.

Response from Dudley Dix: I have mixed feelings about self-inflating lifejackets. They definitely can have a role in saving someone who goes over the side and is knocked unconscious in the process. However, more people go over the side conscious than unconscious. If you end up in the water and are conscious then you should have the choice of whether or not to inflate the lifejacket. There have been cases where crew have drowned due to being trapped underwater by the flotation of a lifejacket that prevents them from diving deeper to escape, which they might have been able to do without that extra buoyancy.

During our well-publicised Rio Race exploits earlier this year, two self-inflating jackets inflated when the owners didn’t want them to. One was the man on the foredeck when we ploughed at very high speed into the back of a wave. One can argue that he might well have needed the jacket in somewhat different circumstances. The other was a jacket that fell into the water on the cabin sole inside the boat after our capsize and inflated from just getting wet.

I understand from some reading that manufacturers are being encouraged to introduce inflation triggers that need a head of water pressure on them to inflate. Even that may not be the answer because someone who slips into the water unconscious from a relatively low height (maybe off a rubber duck) may not go deep enough to trigger and could drown on the surface. We have to trust the advisers and manufacturers to come up with a sensible solution or range of options. For myself, I think that I would like to choose when my inflatable PFD inflates by activating it myself.

Response from Hans Dettman: With regard to the lifejacket saga, and having been involved with the family business Canvas Construction who were the ‘other’ manufacturer, besides Enseai some years back, I recall this dates back to the requirements of Marine Division of Transport and SABS, where there was a very distinct difference between a PFD and a Lifejacket.

From memory , the basic specifications of a Lifejacket were that it should fit anyone, be reversible, be simple to tie ( ie, no zips which are fallible and not really reversible ). It was to be designed in such a way that it should float you on your back in the event of a knock on the head. This, I recall reading somewhere, was not really ideal and resulted in some drownings since the wearer would drift on his back with the wind, and the waves in his face.

The foam should be closed cell – which was a problem since it needed to be imported from Lynizell in the UK and as a result made the jacket expensive. The only foam available to us was EVA ( which they make slops from ) and this was stiff and uncomfortable, or neoprene ( expensive ).

The stitching of seams had to be doubled over and stitched to prevent seam shredding, which is why the jackets are so strong, and last so long compared to the imported PFDs we get from the USA. At Canvas Construction the seams of the polyester/nylon outer cover ( which also had SABS requirements concerning colour fastness, and strength) were individually cut using a heat cutter which sealed the edges by melting. This obviously prevented us from using an Eastman cutter where one could fold the roll and cut 50 pieces at one time – thus adding to the manufacturing cost.

The crux of the matter is that because of over regulation, the difficulty of maintaining a standard, and the inflexibility of the authorities, Canvas Construction , gave up the manufacture, Enseai no longer exist,( probably not the only reason ) and I think only Zero have taken up the challenge, but are also tied to the uncomfortable keyhole ‘Lifejacket’. The other Water Ski PFDs which Enseai made did NOT last , they shred, and when stowed away wet, developed memory and distortion – the buckles and zips broke, and they were size specific. I’ve seen a person wearing an oversize PFD get into trouble by sliding down into the jacket, which obviously remained on the surface, and become trapped where they could not breathe as their head was partially below water.

The problem is that the regulations are made and maintained by people who are NOT boaters, and have NO idea of the demands or necessities.

This is why yachting generally is in trouble , because we keep kow-towing to people like SAMSA and Port authorities who are simply justifying their positions by increasing regulations they know little about.

The trade off on a modern comfortable PFD of course is that the old SABS Lifejackets last forever, all cost the same, stow away easily – fit anyone, so you don’t have the added cost of buying a fitted jacket for each crew! And besides from what I’ve seen over the years, most people generally only wear them when conditions demand, and even then they don’t.

The response I really appreciated was this, from Michael Kavanagh: In the context of your recent Editor’s comments regarding inflatable life jackets, I would like to share our experience yesterday during the RNYC Trafalgar Pursuit race.

As the wind was fresh and sea lumpy I asked the crew to wear inflatable life jackets. This turned out to be a good move as we had a man overboard just before rounding the leeward mark offshore Umhlanga. The life jacket auto inflated, giving the crew member plenty of buoyancy and making him easy to spot. We were able to swing around and pick him up fairly easily (despite his size), with the integrated harness providing a good hand hold and the crotch strap preventing the life jacket from slipping off as we pulled him aboard.

In the end we lost very little time in the race and most importantly quickly and safely recovered the man overboard.

ED. Hans Dettman made reference to people ‘sliding down into the jacket’ and Michael Kavanagh make reference to ‘crotch straps’. Readers may be interested to know that it was CASA (Cruising Association of South Africa) who recommended to the ORC (Offshore Racing Council) in the early ‘80s that crutch straps be mandatory on safety harnesses. This recommendation was implemented world-wide. This was after an incident in local waters when a crewman, holding onto the toe rail of a yacht he had fallen overboard from, was washed out of his safety harness. The crewman was wearing a safety harness and was tethered to the boat. He managed to claw his way back to the boat, and was about to be assisted by crew, when the incident occurred.

I Like This!
You haven’t been cold until you’ve been cold on a boat.

Nautical Superstitions
Don’t Kill an Albatross. Seabirds were thought to carry the souls of dead sailors and it is considered bad luck to kill one. However, it is considered good luck if you see one.

Southern Spars Cape Town; designers, manufacturers and service providers of high performance spars and rigging, is currently offering an opportunity for a Project Manager.

The successful candidate will be suitably qualified in project management, and have experience running projects in a sailing mast or boat building environment.

Specific responsibilities will include:
* Ensure assigned projects are completed as per the agreed schedule to meet the required deadlines in conjunction with the Production Manager and the Production Team. (Deadline orientation)
* Regularly report on project progress and be on hand to provide advice and support when needed. (Accurate reporting)
* Ensure that production is the appropriate quality standards for Southern Spars by regular inspection of the project in conjunction with the Quality Control Department. Monitoring of quality to minimise defects and reworks. (Quality awareness)
* The position requires a good understanding of project schedules, timelines, designs, drawings, BoMs, budgets and costs, resource planning, customer liaison and interaction, and excellent verbal and written communication.

Please contact Elize Neethling on (021) 555 3470 or email: elize.neethling@za.southernspars.com for more information or send a detailed CV to (021) 555 3471 inclusive of your qualifications and specific work experience outlining your knowledge and skills meeting the above requirements.

Should you not hear from us within 2 weeks of your application please consider it unsuccessful. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Visit our website on: www.southerspars.com

Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
●  Thanks for another good issue. I can’t comprehend the SA TV decision-makers who cannot see enough benefit from the Volvo Ocean Race visiting Cape Town to even give it programme time.

●  There is a lot of excitement in our office regarding the National Sailing day for NSRI. Please let me know how we can help. Andrew Ingram

●  I met Anna Wolf about 18 months ago at Hout Bay Yacht Club when I went down to view an old yacht. I found her a very interesting person to talk to and she never mentioned her sailing achievements which just goes to show what a great lady she is. She was also in the process of selling her yacht as she wanted to down size and mentioned she may be moving to the Eastern Cape. Roger Gurr

●  Top of the day Richard. Just a big thank you for your inspiring mails. I would like to share the recently loaded web page (www.yachtmerlin.com) which I’m sure will be of interest to your readers as it is a little bit of ‘down memory lane’. For me its been couple of years since last on the water as I currently live amongst the vines in Robertson – ‘Valley of Wine and Roses’ . Dave Regester (‘DJ’)

ED. Most Capetonians will remember Merlin – and the site is well worth a visit as it gives a history of the boat and all the regular crew who sailed on her. Maybe other owners and crew should look at something similar?

●  Every time I get your news letter I feel good. There comes a time in a man’s life when things like this start to seriously matter! When your mail arrives, I say, thank you, he is still around.

Next year I will be 70! Who would have thought that a mongrel like me may ever get there!? Well, so be it. Old age is something to be thankful for. The thread gets thinner every year.

A few months ago I was at the point of flying to Perth to buy a Baltic 42DP (Finland built!) when Charlotte said -WHY? Because I can, I replied. Looking back to those few months her question made sense! (She did this to me in 2005 when I wanted to buy a 911 Porsche 3.3!!) I am still sorry I did not buy it then, although today I will find it difficult to get in and impossible to get out! (I gather this was her visionary capability at the time. An old fart in a small car! Egotistical wanker!!!)

You may recall Richard Petersen and Peter Albert from Manex Marine fame. Richard had a stroke some 3 or 4 years ago. He is totally incapacitated with his right hand side effected. He always wanted to sail around the world. Always put it off, married Sandra who worked for Volvo Marine, never got Triffid past the equator. Am I glad I did all that when I was able to. I guess today we both have a lot of memories should we end up in a similar position. Memories are worth their weight in Gold.

If you see Libby (Bonnet) around, give her our regards. Dan & Charlotte Matthee

The Bitter End
The slobs who vandalised an NSRI Base in the Western Cape. Shame on you.

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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