“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 31

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issue – 31
18 June 2015

by Richard Crockett
Publisher & Editor of SAILING Magazine

Many thanks to all the readers who responded to my request for views on how “Talking Sailing” is distributed. Your responses are welcome and we are working on fine-tuning this aspect of “Talking Sailing”.

Much has been happening in the sailing scene in recent weeks with the Volvo Ocean Race gearing up for the finish, while two RSA teams competed in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland – and much, much more….

Enjoy this issue as we Talk About…
• Technology Changing the Face of PR in Sailing
• Volvo Ocean Race – the Closing Miles
• Ted Turner’s Greatest Race
• Lipton Cup Query
• Hostile Regulations
• Bart’s Bash – Update and Distribution of Funds
• ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland – RSA Teams Battle
• ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland – Innovative Changes
• ISAF Don’t Recognise Crew???
• Golden Globe – RSA Interest
• Angeloni’s Ill-Fated Voyage
• Northern Region – No Takers for Prize-Giving?
• Sailing Humour – Rust never sleeps
• How True! This Simply Needs to Be Said!
• I Like This!
• A Lasting Gift – A Subscription to Sailing Magazine
• Sailor of the Month – Submit Your Nomination Now
• Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”

Technology Changing the Face of PR in Sailing
The challenge every single PR person involved with sailing events has, is to be innovative and find creative ways of bringing news and pictures to the sport.

The Volvo Ocean Race brought Onboard Reporters (OBRs) to their event and this is now becoming the norm. Satellite tracking of ocean races is now the norm for those events that are serious about promotion and bringing sailing into homes globally.

As technology continues to advance it should not take anyone by surprise that drone footage taken from on board while racing is now the next big thing.

So check out this amazing mid-ocean drone shot from Dongfeng, of Eric Peron aloft repairing a spreader tear. See it at:  http://www.one.sail-world.com/photos_2015_06/Alt_Drone%20shot%20Dongfeng1.jpg

Up to now helicopters have been needed for aerial shots. The use of drones is going to revolutionise coverage of all kinds of racing, whether it’s regattas or long ocean races, well outside helicopter range.

Looking forward to 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Racing, CEO Knut Frostad is expecting to see faster drones, able to be deployed when boats are in breezes of 20+ knots. Right now landing a drone is difficult in the turbulent flow from the sails. So more powerful drones will be needed to overcome that issue and they are in the pipeline.

Frostad expects that the OBR’s for the 2017-18 race are going to have many long training periods and you will see that a lot of that time will be spent with drones. (Courtesy Sail-World – www.sail-world.com)

Volvo Ocean Race – the Closing Miles
The race is in its closing stages, and although Abu Dhabi Ocean racing has to all intents and purposes won overall – barring anything calamitous on the final leg – there is lots to play for in the runner-up positions. This will make the final leg tense, tough and undoubtedly well worth watching closely.

The VOR65s have provided exceptionally close racing right around the world, but to come back after being wrecked on an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and then rebuilt completely, to finish in second place on Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient was awe-inspiring and certainly a fillip for the skipper and crew of Vestas Wind.

But the big news of that leg was that the women of Team SCA won the leg. They had been written off by some who felt that they simply did not have the ‘grunt’ the men have, and would always be in the minor placings on each leg. Well they de-mythed that didn’t they?

I sailed the In-Port Race aboard SCA in Cape Town and at the time wrote that this was a very determined bunch of women who would at some stage during the race take a leg victory. That was not simply idle chatter and trying to ‘be nice’ for having me aboard, but was heartfelt as they have some highly talented crew aboard, and raced incredibly seriously. They have had their moments during the race – but this was the big one. Well done Team SCA.

Ted Turner’s Greatest Race
When Ted Turner entered his yacht Tenacious in the famed Fastnet Race in 1979, he did not need to prove himself. Turner already had the following on his résumé:
• founder of a television network
• owner of the Atlanta Hawks and Braves
• most appropriate here, winner of the 1977 America’s Cup.
This race would prove to be like no other Turner had ever entered when a freak storm turned the Celtic Sea into chaos. When the winds stopped and the race was over, many of the 303 entrants hadn’t even finished and, tragically, 15 sailors had lost their lives. The victorious crew of Tenacious relive the voyage, of which Turner famously said: “I was more afraid of losing than I was of dying.”

ESPN’s latest film, directed by Gary Jobson, tells the story of a dark and stormy night in one of the world’s most prestigious yacht races.

This is well worth watching, especially if one enjoys ocean racing. I must also urge ALL young keelboat sailors to watch it as they will not believe what a ‘state-of-the-art’ boat was in those days! Tenacious was just that – but in today’s terms she looks like an underfunded badly equipped cruiser. The sheets and halyards are massively thick, there are a myriad of winches, and systems and fittings are basic by today’s standards.

That’s the way many of us cut our teeth on in our youth!

Watch it at:  grantland.com/features/30-for-30-shorts-ted-turners-greatest-race/

Lipton Cup Query
A query from a reader.

I know the short answer is ‘the Lipton deed of gift says it must be in July/August’, but we all know it would be much better to sail at a better time of the year (in the Cape at least). If they could change the boats, why not the time of regatta?

It’s not like the whoever holds the AC treats their deed of gift as anything but a starting point. With the regatta just over a month away, and the first real rainstorm pounding my office roof – I think a more eloquent reasoning for this bizarre scenario would be a good addition to your next newsletter.

I asked Dave Hudson, a Lipton Cup Trustee, for a view and his answer was very simple. “If you ask any good Cape Town sailor when is the best time of the year to sail, they will to a man say July/August.” As Hudson pointed out, the winds are good, and the rain is of little significance. Some of Cape Town’s summer regattas have, in recent years, been moved due to the high summer winds.

Hostile Regulations
After the last issue a reader pointed me to an interesting website call ‘Sports Fire Daily’. She thought readers might like to see how other small codes are coping in what seems a hostile regulated environment.

She reckons that sailing isn’t in the same boat when it comes to “There is a lot of money that moves in Equestrian sport. When lotto funds are added, the stakes become high”…

The lady in question is also involved in sailing, so has experience with both disciplines.

Check this out at:  http://www.sportsfiredaily.co.za/article?id=9000

Bart’s Bash – Update and Distribution of Funds
So far there is an overwhelming amount of support for this year’s Bash with 208 venues all signed up and ready to take part in another event. And numbers are growing.

The aim of the 2015 campaign is to increase participation even further across the world with the ultimate goal of becoming the world’s biggest sporting event. Any sailing clubs, community sailing programmes, sail training centres, yacht clubs, scout groups, sea cadets and even groups of sailors globally can hold a Bart’s Bash race.

So far the following RSA Clubs have signed up:
Algoa Bay Yacht Club
Imperial Yacht Club
Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club
Point Yacht Club
Redhouse Yacht Club
The Catamaran Club
Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club

If your venue hasn’t already signed up please do so NOW at:  www.bartsbash.com

You may also enter at the above web address.

There is a new change for this year as Bart’s Buddies is launched. Bart’s Buddies is for those of you that may have said to friends or working buddy that you’d love to take them sailing but never quite got round to it. Is this you? it’s certainly most of the Bash team! …Then make sure that the day you do carry out this promise is September 20th.

Funds raised last year have been awarded and some have come to South Africa too.

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation has announced that it is to give 13 different grants totalling £71,475 to not-for-profit sailing projects in South Africa, Bermuda, Scotland and England.

These thirteen grants are in addition to the two larger grants awarded this year by the Foundation to the NSSA (National Schools Sailing Association) in the UK and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, enabling the centre to carry out valuable research into the benefits of sailing, taking the total donated this year to over £180,000

In South Africa the Garden Route Sailing Academy, have set up a project with Ridgeview Primary School and Sao Bra High in Mossel Bay, South Africa. This project provides children from a local township with transport to and from Mossel Bay, regular sailing sessions, a warm shower and a hot meal.

Don’t forget that 20 September is Bart’s Bash day – register and enter now.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland – RSA Teams Battle
Two RSA teams, the Men’s 470 and 49er teams competed in the above restricted event. While there was high hope for the team of Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim, in reality neither team really managed to put in a serious challenge.

Asenathi Jim & Roger Hudson finished 27 out of 37.

Graeme Willcox & Andrew Tarboton finished 39 out of 39

Both these teams are ‘privateers’ and still having to fund themselves and work on shoestring budgets without coaches and on-water assistants. All the other teams are fully funded, many with government funding, and part of a squad which has coaches, coach boats, on-water assistance and much more.

Before they even get on the water our guys are disadvantaged. But they are tough and knew the challenges before they embarked on this passage.

It’s tough out there on the Olympic circuit, and it’s even tougher when one has the pressure of having to do well to qualify for the Olympics.

Gone are the days when one simply ‘rocked up’ and announced their intentions to compete in the Olympics. Talk is simply not enough any longer. Today there is a qualification pathway, as follows:

Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) may enter a maximum of one boat per event, a total of 15 athletes (eight men and seven women).

Qualification Pathway
50% of the entry quota in each event shall be qualified from those best ranked NOCs in the corresponding events at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

The remaining places in each event shall be qualified from the 2015 Class World Championship and in a series of Continental Qualification Events sanctioned by ISAF, to finish by 1 June 2016 at the latest.

The inclusion for the first time by ISAF of Continental Qualification Events in the Qualification Pathway is an opportunity to develop sailing around the world and reflect the IOC Qualification System Principles. Key requirements of these Principles are to ensure the participation of the best athletes and ensure universality through continental representation.

Tripartite Commission Invitation Places allow NOCs which have traditionally sent small delegations to the Olympic Games to be represented at the next Games. For the first time ISAF has included four dedicated Tripartite quota places within the overall Athlete Quota providing an opportunity for those eligible NOCs to compete in the Men’s and Women’s One Person Dinghy events.

ISAF will inform NOCs and Member National Authorities (MNAs) of Olympic quota places following each qualification regatta.

All NOCs, including the host country must confirm to ISAF the use of all quota places by 1 June 2016. After this date the unconfirmed quota places will be allocated according to the principles set out in the Qualification System.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland – Innovative Changes
ISAF officials can be likened to the dinosaur as they are slow in making change or to the ostrich as they bury their heads in the sand to avoid the realities happening in their sport.

But this recently changed at the above event.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup is continuously striving to evolve and adapt to make the Olympic class races better for its competitors and spectators.

In Weymouth and Portland, ISAF have introduced some changes and are trialing others to ensure that the races are the best they can be through greater communication out on the water with the athletes.

Something that is being trialed is the use of radios between competitors and race officials. This has been in use already in big boat events such as the Farr 40 and Melges Class Worlds, but the trial introduction into the 470 class at the ISAF Sailing World Cup could be the first step to introducing the concept to all the Olympic classes.

The use of radios has been introduced on the request of coaches and came to fruition through ISAF’s cooperation with the Event organisers. Put into action on day two in Weymouth and Portland it has allowed the race committee to communicate better with all boats and help with the starting procedures.

Head of ISAF Sailing World Cup John Craig said, “This is an idea is to increase communications prior to racing between the race committee and athletes.

“Once the race has started it will enable all competitors in that race to know who started early which has significant impact on the tactics used in that race.

“This type of communication to competitors has been utilised significantly in other areas of the sport, particularly in big boat sailing, but it is a first time introduction to the Sailing World Cup.”

The hope for Craig and everyone involved in the Event is that this extra communication will prevent any possible confusion.

The other change that has been introduced to all the classes at Weymouth and Portland are the numerical flag system for race starts.
It is quite simply a numbered flag system which gives competitors a countdown to the start of the races. An orange flag gives a three minute warning that the race officials are going to be beginning the countdown. A white flag with the number five indicates five minutes to the start, a blue with three indicates three minutes, a red two, a yellow one and finally a green to go.

Autenrieth believes the flag system has worked and is a good change from traditional flag system, “The flags are good, it definitely makes it easier for us, the public and the media.”

The public and the media were also factors in the changes being made to the Sailing World Cup. The changes aim to make the start easier to follow for everyone and will help stop confusion and will give the sailors a greater chance to focus on their tactics and race strategy which should make for stronger races.

ISAF Don’t Recognise Crew???
I received information from a team sailing in theNacra 17 class in ISAF World Cup in Weymouth & Portland.

Basically, the helm of the 2014 Nacra 17 silver medalists at the ISAF World Championships injured herself and was unable to compete. Her crew was fully fit and an application was made to the International Jury for a change of helm.

Well blow me down, the International Jury denied this request.

After this decision the duo said: “On our team we like to think that the one helming the boat and the one trimming the sails has just as important jobs as each other; a helm cannot win a regatta without a good crew and a crew cannot win a regatta without a good helm. It is all about teamwork. So what happens when a crew gets injured? The helm changes his crew and can easily participate in the ISAF World Cup, if he or she is qualified and invited.

“We ‘ourselves’ on the Danish Nacra Team tried this twice over the past couple of months. We changed crews before the ISAF World Cup in Hyeres in April 2015. No questions asked at all. No problem.

“But what happens when the case is the other way around? When the helm gets injured can the crew sail the ISAF World Cup with another helm?

“We found the answer to our question. The answer is NO.

“A crew cannot change the helm if the helm gets injured. Crews and helms are not equal and we think they should be.”

Golden Globe – RSA Interest
Just a few days ago the 46th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s departure from Falmouth UK back in 1968 to become the first person to sail single-handed non-stop around the world in the Golden Globe Race was marked.

Of the nine starters in that Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, Robin and his 32ft ketch rigged yacht Suhaili were the sole finishers.

Six weeks after announcing a second Golden Globe race to mark the 50th anniversary of that remarkable feat, the race organisers have received 50 serious expressions of interest from sailors in 17 countries – including four from South Africa.

“The response has been remarkable” said Don McIntyre who conceived this race idea. “The concept for a retro race in long-keeled monohulls like Suhaili and sailing round the world with nothing more than the equipment that was available to Robin five decades ago, has obviously hit a chord with many people.”

McIntyre has received a further 150 letters from people asking for more information. The Race is limited to 30 competitors and the first names will be published on August 1st. Entries close on 31st December 2015.

The 2018 Golden Globe Race is very simple. Depart Falmouth, England on 14th June 2018, sail solo, non-stop around the world via the five Great Capes and return to Falmouth. Entrants are restricted to using the same type of yachts and equipment that were available to Sir Robin in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite-based navigation aids. Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 – 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 with a traditional full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge, similar in concept to Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili.

Angeloni’s Ill-Fated Voyage
Frans Loots, as wide awake as ever, refers to a Brazilian who had made an attempt at crossing the Atlantic in a tiny boat. He found reference to the article in the June 1967 issue of SA Yachting.

The gist of the article is as follows:

“I want to break the American record for the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic” said 36-year old Brazilian welter-weight boxing champion Tomasso Angeloni, sitting on his tiny 12-foot hull alongside the Durban yacht club jetty.”

Angeloni, the smallest craft tied to the end of the jetty, was a talking point at the yacht club for many days. It was a fibreglass runabout hull to which Tomasso had added plywood topsides and superstructure. His standing rigging was of ski-rope. She had two bilge keels, a daggerboard and a hinged drop rudder.

‘Angeloni Sails Today’ – big headlines in the Sunday paper were enough to cause a crowded jetty on the Sunday morning of his departure.

He shook hands with friends and set off in a stiff southerly.

At the end of the yacht mole his jib came down, and soon after he ran aground with a broken rudder. A tow back ended his dreams…

Northern Region – No Takers for Prize-Giving?
In the last issue I mentioned the lack of support for affairs in the Northern Region after I received an e-mail as follows:

The gist of the e-mail goes as follows:
“The lack of enthusiasm regarding the upcoming NR AGM is almost palpable. The only competition I have noticed is the competition to see who will have the best excuse for not being there and for not being elected!

Another mail recently said this:
“I am truly disappointed that nobody, apart from VCA and Mantens who responded they will be at the Prize Giving on Saturday evening at DAC”.

Come on ALL sailors – be pro-active please – and attend the events organised for you.

Sailing Humour – Rust never sleeps
“Nice boat. She’s steel, isn’t she?”
“She’s in nice shape. Have you had her a long time?”
The old man was concentrating on chipping a patch of rust near the chainplates and didn’t look up.
“Is she Corten or just mild steel?”
“Are steel boats really as much work as they say?”
“I don’t mean to bother you sir, but I am really interested in steel boats and …”
The old man finally looked at me.
“Son, can’t you see I’m working? If I pause to talk to you the damned rust will get ahead of me. Rust never sleeps.”

How True! This simply needs to be said!
I’m not stubborn. My way is just better.

I Like This!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes; come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller!

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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.

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: editor@sailing.co.za

Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
●  Thanks for another good issue. I don’t mind what format you send it, the content is good.

I would like to comment about reviving coastal racing in the Cape. I was saddened to read a few years ago that the Double Cape Race had dropped out of the sailing calendar. This is the one race that I believe to have taught me the most about sailing in those notorious seas and winds. I enjoyed every one of them, whether in drifters or gales but most combined a full mix of conditions.

One top local sailor told me that he didn’t like it because it was like a game of golf, sailing from hole to hole. I accepted those extremes of breezes and learned how to take advantage of the mountains, which formed the holes and squalls. The result was that I finished every Double Cape Race in which I competed and won prizes, satisfaction and enhanced sailing ability in the process. In contrast, many people have never finished even one Double Cape because they give up when the going gets slow instead of looking for the best way through to the next breeze.

As for why these events have disappeared, I believe it is because of the lack of people willing to take on the work and commitment of organising and running them. Run such a race and there will be boats on the start line. But it takes dedication to the event to put it together. In the ‘90s I organised a double-handed regatta in Hout Bay. Boats came from all of the Peninsula coastal clubs and we had more on the start line than RCYC could muster in weekend club racing. The second year there were even more boats. The third year I was building a new boat and was under massive time pressure, so couldn’t take on the organisation. I canvassed the sailors who raced and all wanted to race, but none would take on the organisation, so it died a sudden death. If the active sailors are not prepared to step up and get involved in the organisational work then they mustn’t complain when the non-active people who do the work stop doing so or organise races that don’t appeal to the sailors. Dudley Dix

●  Keep up the good work, Captain! My thirst for good, sound, information on the local sailing scene has been satiated by the monthly dose of Talking Sailing!

On the subject of the water quality the Rio Olympic sailors are faced with, I wrote to SAS for the attention of the President and Chairman asking for their response to Glen McCarthy’s plea for action sent to all ISAF hierarchy – not a thing was heard! How sad!

●  Great stuff, keep up the good work.

I am conflicted about the America’s Cup and VOR. I think it is arrogant bad form that they have been riding rough shod over the rules and participants. However it hurt Oracle at least as much financially as the others. Core Composites, owned by Ellison in Auckland (who build everything except the hulls ) have had to scrap AC 62 tooling. But I think, as for the VOR, the changes HAD to happen for the event to survive.

No participants, no TV, no live feeds = NO EVENT.

The AC 48 was absolutely the right choice. The 62 would also be difficult to manage. One could argue that they have made it ‘too one-design’ but a little reflection hits that on the head too. All the technology converges very quickly, and soon they would be spending spades for minor improvements (like they were with the ACC monos and 12-metres before that). Everybody said that multihulls would be a fizzer, and San Fran put a lid on that idea. It was terrific. With foilers the size difference is not a big issue.

As for the VOR, yes the VOR 65 is ‘less’ than the VOR 70, but it is the cheapest solution and the minimum size required, and provides excellent racing. I agree the competitors should not be able to track each other in real time. This is an offshore event not round the buoys. Angelo Lavranos.

●  Just want to say I love getting your newsletter. Thank you for all the effort.

●  You mention the Vaal Cesspool in your last issue. Please remind readers to sign the petition against this at:

●  We need to expand the sailing base & cater for all who wish to use the wind in whatever way they wish – cruisers, racers & messers-about will find their own places within the base!

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

If you know someone who would like to receive “Talking Sailing” via e-mail, either forward this mail to them and let them subscribe, or simply send an e-mail to sailing@iafrica.com with the words ‘SUBSCRIBE TO TALKING SAILING’ in the subject line – and the e-mail address in the message section. Readers are welcome to share this with friends and colleagues.

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“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 50

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