“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 47

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issue – 47
25 October 2016

by Richard Crockett
Publisher & Editor of SAILING Magazine

Reader response is welcome – respond to: editor@sailing.co.za

Readers are encouraged to forward this to their sailing mates

The previous issue of “Talking sailing” appears to have hit the ‘spot’ judging by the positive feedback.

This is another bumper issue as quite simply there is loads of “Talking Sailing” to do.

I was surprised not to get any feedback on ‘Seniors Sailing’ as this was a subject I felt may get people excited. Hopefully those it was aimed at are now not too complacent to even bother to think about it, or comment?

I was also astounded that I got little feedback on ‘The Laser Dinghy. Are its days numbered?’ as I was sure that many of the ageing old codgers who sail the Laser today would have swopped their trusty steeds for a more modern, less bone-jarring chariot that would ease the burden on their ageing creaky bones. I should not have been that hopeful as it appears that once a Laser sailor, always a Laser sailor!

The Volvo Race is making big changes to the next race. One very positive change regards crew numbers which will open the door for more women to compete alongside the men.

Later in this issue I mention the SA Games regatta of 1973, and some of the names that appeared on the results sheets way back then. Many of those guys are still around and undoubtedly have memories of that event.

As I always say, the more we “Talk Sailing” the stronger our sport will be, so enjoy this issue and please share it with your mates.

Back in this issue is “The Bitter End” – as always the last words in “Talking Sailing”.

In this issue we “Talk About”…
• Cape Town Boat Show
• Undo that Top Button
• “Now Hear This”
• Trophies on Offer
• World Sailing
• The World Sailing Show
• Lipton Cup. Your Questions Answered
• Barts’ Bash
• Lab Simulated Rogue Wave Will Make Your Palms Sweat
• To Tether or Not To Tether?
• World Sailing Completes Rebranding Initiative
• Have You Got What it Takes to Go Back to Basics?
• What a Rum Comment
• Rum Recipes
• Serious Fun, Not Serious Racing
• Volvo Ocean Race
• 2017 Boat of the Year Nominees Announced
• In Desperate Need of …
• Towing a Million-Ton Iceberg
• Multi-Class Regattas
• Westward Non-Stop
• Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image
• Sense Prevails
• 35th America’s Cup Schedule Announced
• Eight Bells for Graham Snowball
• The Indiana-Farm boy
• “We’re Going Back Out There with the Same People”
• World Sailing’s Annual Conference
• Book Review. The Complete Day Skipper (5th)
• Some Humour
• How True! This Simply Needs to Be Said!
• I Like This!
• Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
• A Lasting Gift – A Subscription to Sailing Magazine
• Sailor of the Month – Submit Your Nomination Now
• To Subscribe to “Talking Sailing”
• The Bitter End

Cape Town Boat Show
I was impressed with this year’s show as the organisers had the courage to move it all to one venue in the V&A so that the stand exhibitors were alongside the boatbuilders on the water. There has been nothing but positive feedback, and talk of a possible resurgence of additional exhibitors next year. Now that would be good.

I have always believed that shows next to the water are the way to go, as one can see boats in their natural habitat, and also have a few on-water ‘side shows’. This year visitors, or should I say their children, were able to sail on a variety of dinghies from the SAS (South African sailing) stand. Those less adventurous chose to SUP!

The show always bring many interesting people to our stand, as well as many old friends. This year Derek Lourens came to visit. He turns 84 later this week (actually he and I share a birth date) which is probably why he is such a good guy!

At his age he is still part of the FBYC bridge crew. In his day he was a very good CASA administrator, as well as regional and Club administrator. Good to see your enthusiasm for the sport is still as passionate as it has always been.

I was photographed on the SAMSA stand! Skande!

Okay, there is no need to panic as I was not fraternising with the enemy and getting soft in my stand against SAMSA as I still believe that SAMSA is an acronym for Suffocating AMateur SAiling!

However, I was chatting to Debbie James who is the new ‘Head for the Centre of Boating’ and a person our administrators now work with to resolve sailing related SAMSA issues.

Debbie is friendly and willing to listen, and according to the SAS people who have had dealings with her, she is an action person too.

Here’s hoping that our sport moves forward positively with her hands on the helm.

A matter I did discuss with her which is close to my heart was the fact that the Sailtraining curriculum and Safety at Sea regulations in use today were not the brainchild of SAMSA. These rather came from CASA (Cruising Association of South Africa) in the ‘70s who were given permission by the RYA to use their tried and tested system and modify it to suit our local requirements. In those days Sailtraining and the certificates of competence were totally VOLUNTARY, and something people aspired to.

The Safety at Sea requirements were mandatory for CASA races, and highly recommended for those preferring the more sedate and non-racing way of life at sea.

Both were embraced by the sailing fraternity as they were not mandatory, nor law. Sadly today there is a very jaundiced view of these two important aspects of the sport simply because they are law.

Undo that Top Button
Still at the boat show, I had a yacht club Flag Officer come and chat, and he passed the comment that it’s time some people in our sport “undid their top buttons”.

What a wonderful phrase, and how absolutely correct he is.

Our sport has evolved significantly since I first started sailing. In those days one was always properly dressed at ‘the club’, whether there socially or for meetings. One committee I sat on had a rule that every person present had to be wearing club dress!

Thankfully those days have gone and the sport is still more relaxed than it ever was. I do however question why some club officials deem it necessary to don their club jackets and ties at every opportunity when all around them are in casual garb?

‘Undoing the top button’ does not just refer to dress, but to attitude too.

Maybe some chill pills are in order for the ‘Blazer Brigade’?

“Now Hear This”
Those who sailed regattas in Durban in the ‘70s and ‘80s will all remember Hillary Ralph, not just for her experience and efficiency as race secretary, but also for her strident voice when she would announce over the tannoy “Now hear this, now hear this”.

On this score I do remember a regatta she was not officiating at and the club arranged for one of its ‘old farts’ to do her job. Not a great administrator and a bit of a bumbling old fellow, he repeatedly announced: “have you heard this, have you heard this”!

Hillary turns 89 this week and is still as much fun and full of knowledge as she always was. She has a Facebook profile for those wanting to connect with her.

Happy birthday Auntie Hilly!

Trophies on Offer
Gerhard Koper was another person I enjoyed seeing at the Boat Show. We chatted about many things, especially Dabchicks, and how he would have loved a ride on the Riva powerboat at the show!

He mentioned that he has a box of old trophies which he was going to throw away! Being someone concerned about the history of our sport being trashed too regularly, I suggested he offered them to good homes.

All are engraved, but can be reused with a new plinth or whatever – and all were given to winners in those days when floating trophies were almost unheard of.

The trophies are as follows:
3 x Sprog Nationals Lourenco Marques 1965, Saldanha Bay 1966, Durban 1967.
Hobie 14 cup.
2 x Hobie 14 cups for Granger Bay to Clifton races 1975.
5 x Pewter tankards are for 1960, 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65 Easter Regattas at Hermanus YC.
Various small cups which were for floating trophies that were returned.

Contact Gerhard Koper HERE

World Sailing
There appear to be some cracks showing at Wold Sailing as the November annual meetings loom large on the horizon.

There is serious jockeying for position at the top, with three candidates having thrown their hats into the Presidential ring. They are:
Kim Andersen (DEN)
Carlo Croce (ITA)
Paul Henderson (CAN)

Personally, I am not sure that the current incumbent, Carlo Croce, has led the sport well in his first four-year term of office. Plus he has hired an international firm of PR Practioners to put his case forward and gain re-election – maybe knowing that he could face the chop.

I know very little about Kim Andersen, although reading his manifesto, he does sound like a man with his head screwed on. I certainly like the fact that he has identified our sport as “Sailing is a Sport For Life – it is about passion, life skills and fair play”.

A left field nomination is from former ISAF President Paul Henderson. He has been on the warpath in recent months since the issue of the presidential nominations were opened. He feels that under Croce World Sailing has ‘sold out’ to the CEO of the organisation who appears to be all powerful. Plus he feels that too much emphasis is placed on the Olympics.

In fact, their various manifestos make interesting reading, the weakest in my opinion being that from the current President.

I like what Paul Henderson says: “The foundation of Sailboat racing is based on Sailing Clubs, Yacht Clubs, Local Regattas, Race Weeks, International Class Championships and exciting events like the Volvo Ocean Race, Vendee Globe, Sydney Hobart Race, America’s Cup and many other such events worldwide. Sailing is a participatory sport that you can be involved in all your life and have participated in like me from 8 to 80 years old.”

If I were permitted to cast a vote I would probably plumb for Paul Henderson as I always felt he was a good President when he last administered the sport. I also always admire people who are prepared to stand up and fight for what they believe is correct, rather than those who toe the ‘politically correct’ party line. Unfortunately in his own inimitable way he has stood on the toes of the establishment who will undoubtedly do their damnest to ensure he does not get elected.

If that’s the case one hopes that Kim Anderson will take over control of the sport internationally from Croce.

The President and seven Vice-Presidents, two of which must be from each gender, will be elected at World Sailing’s General Assembly in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday 13 November 2016.

The World Sailing Show
This new format of sailing news, in the format of a TV show, this month covers:
• Around the planet alone, we preview the epic Vendée Globe race
• How an American President inspired generations of match racers
• The high tech, high performance TP52s’ World Championships
• World Sailing’s Andy Hunt outlines the road ahead for Tokyo 2020

Of the 138 sailors that have started the Vendée Globe, only 71 have managed to cross the finishing line. Many have retired more times than they have completed the course. Only one has won the race twice, Michel Desjoyeaux, in 2001 and 2009.

The America’s Cup is the sport’s most prestigious match race, famous for its big budget campaigns and high stakes. But, there other match racing events that attract both accomplished pros and younger up and coming sailors. Among them, the Governor’s Cup. Hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach, California, the 50 year old event has delivered generations of young match racers that have gone on to become some of the most decorated sailors in the sport.

We talk to some of the key players past and present to find out how they have benefited from Governor Ronald Reagan’s Deed of Gift back in 1967.

Sailing’s CEO Andy Hunt outlines the road ahead for Tokyo 2020
Rio 2016 might be over, but the road to Tokyo 2020 marks a big potential change for all Olympic sport, not just sailing.

Plus there are a host of other items.  Watch it on YouTube HERE

Lipton Cup. Your Questions Answered
Whenever this event is mentioned in the company of yachties, the temperature and volume soon rise as the debate gets somewhat heated. Maybe that’s a good thing as it indicates the passion people have for the Lipton Cup.

In an attempt to keep the event honest and transparent, The Lipton Trustees answer some recently asked questions. Last issue we answered 2 questions, and a further question is answered below:

Question 3. The L26 074 is clearly the most successful L26 in terms of its track record in the Lipton Challenge. To what extent is this attributable to the boat, and to what extent to the sailors?

There is no doubt that this boat has a reputation as a ‘fast’ L26, and an unparalleled record of success in the Lipton Challenge. However, in weighing up the role of the boat (in relation to other boats) compared to the sailors (in relation to other sailors) we shouldn’t ignore the following hard facts :

A. It is true that while racing the L26 074 in 2012 and 2013 PYC produced their finest results for many years, but it is surely also true that with Vernon Goss’s enthusiastic support PYC mounted the most determined campaign and assembled a team of the most talented sailors that we’ve seen from PYC for a very long time.

B. It is true that in the 13 years (1993 to 2005) during which Rick Nankin skippered or co-skippered 074 she was the most successful boat in the fleet, with 6 wins in 13 challenges for, or defences of, the Lipton Challenge Cup. But it is equally true that :

B1. By the time Rick first stepped on board 074 he already had 4 Lipton Challenge victories under his belt, with an even more impressive record of 4 wins in 5 attempts while sailing his previous boat 019.

B2. During the 13 years under Rick’s command 074 was beaten 7 times, with 4 different boats taking the Cup in those years. The winning boats were: Greg Davis & Dave Hudson on 058 in 1995 and again in 1997; Martin Schultz & Geoff Meek on 079 in 1996; Pete Shaw & Steve du Toit on 019 in 1998; Greg Davis & Mark Sadler on 058 in 2000; Ian Ainslie on 019 in 2002 and Dave & Roger Hudson on 024 in 2005.

B3. During the 9 years prior to Rick Nankin and his already dominant team taking charge of 074, the boat had competed in the Lipton Challenge in the hands of a number of experienced sailors, but was never close to winning the Cup.

C. It is true that during the 9 years in which Greg Davis has skippered or co-skippered 074 in the Lipton Challenge his team has only been beaten once. But it is equally true that:

C1. By the time Greg first stepped on board 074, he also already had 4 Lipton Challenge victories to his credit, beating 074 each time to take the Cup while sailing 058.

C2. Today Greg is by far the most experienced L26 sailor in the country, with some 30 Lipton Challenges under the belt. In addition, he is a multiple SA Finn National Champion, with an international track record of a second place in the Finn Masters World Championships and three other top 10 results in fleets of 200 to 300 boats.

C3. His only two helmsmen while racing 074, Gareth Blanckenberg and David Rae, have track records locally and internationally that are unequalled amongst the recent fields of challengers for the Cup.

Gareth Blanckenberg: After winning the Youth World Championships in the Laser Class (becoming the only South African ever to have won an ISAF Youth World Championship in any class), Gareth Blanckenberg went on to become a double Olympian. He reached a peak of 3rd place on the ISAF World Ranking list in his fourth season on the Olympic Classes world circuit, and maintained a ranking inside the top ten (of the 600 or so sailors from more than 60 countries on the ranking list) for all but one month of the following four years. No South African helmsman has ever come close to this achievement.

David Rae: Although not a regular J22 sailor, David Rae helmed a borrowed boat to victory in the J22 World Championships in 2015 and a different boat to victory in the 2016 J22 SA Nationals. He was the only mainsail trimmer on ‘Shosholoza’ throughout their four-year America’s Cup campaign, and competed with his Shosholoza team-mates in the ISAF Match Racing World Tour throughout that time. He co-helmed a Farr 40 in the Sydney Hobart race to set a record time for 40 footers that still stands today, and co-helmed the super-maxi ‘ICAP Leopard’ when she set a new record for the Cape-to-Rio race in 2009. During the past two years he has helmed the Corby 49 ‘Nitro’ to by far its best two seasons in this boat’s six years on the Cape IRC circuit, and co-helmed the Kerr 47 ‘Black Pearl’ in the Annapolis-to-Newport Race, the Fastnet Race, and three high profile offshore races in the Mediterranean season.

C4. The crew on 074 under Greg’s command have been drawn each year from the most active and highly regarded keelboat sailors in the Western Cape, and have included a number of National Champions in other classes.

Taking all of this into account, and accepting that there might indeed be inherent marginal differences between the potential of different L26s, we have difficulty attributing the dominance of the current holders of the Lipton Challenge Cup to anything other than their meticulous boat preparation, intensive training, and the racing skills they’ve all demonstrated far beyond the L26 fleet.

As Lipton Trustees, when we look carefully at the substantial ‘expertise gap’ between the defenders of the Cup today and the various challengers in terms of (a) experience and L26 knowledge of the skippers, (b) track record of the helmsmen, ( c) teamwork of the crew, it seems clear to us that this gap dwarfs any possible difference between 074 and the various other properly prepared L26s.

The shortage of teams with a proven level of sailing expertise that matches that of the current defenders is, in our view, the most serious threat to the vitality of the Lipton Challenge today.

Barts’ Bash
This was another success story with local South African Clubs doing well.

The Point Yacht Club had 2 people, Myles White (16th) and Andrew Dolloway (20th) in the top 20 in the world.

South Africa was the second biggest country in terms of numbers.

South African sailors also fared very well with a smattering of them being in the top 10 of many different categories. I was very pleased to see that in the Great Grand Masters division Gavin Smith, Denny Moffatt and Salvatore Sarno were in 3rd, 4th and 5th positions with Vernon Goss being 8th.

Mossel Bay Yacht Club and the Point Yacht Club were 11th and 15th overall in terms of ‘sailors by club’.

Well done to everyone concerned. Now how about more locals clubs taking up Bart’s challenge next year?

Lab Simulated Rogue Wave Will Make Your Palms Sweat
It’s a sailor’s worst nightmare. A monster wave that comes out of nowhere, two to three times bigger than the others. In certain cases, waves like this are capable of swallowing a ship whole. Yet to this day we still don’t know much about rogue waves or how they form. Actually, most of what we do know about these freak waves comes from actual experience. We know they’re out there, and many of you could probably share a sea story or two of your own.

But researchers at the Aalto University in Finland say they are now able to recreate the phenomenon in realistic oceanic conditions inside a laboratory, which is helping them learn more about how and why these mysterious and sometimes deadly waves form.

Professor Amin Chabchoub from the Aalto University explains: “Potentially extremely dangerous realistic rogue waves can now be controlled and generated at will in laboratory environments, in similar conditions as they appear in the ocean. This will help us not only to predict oceanic extreme events, but also in the design of safer ships and offshore rigs. In fact, newly designed vessels and rig model prototypes can be tested to encounter in a small scale, before they are built, realistic extreme ocean waves. Therefore, initial plans may change, if models are not resistant enough to face suddenly occurring freak waves.”

According to the researchers: The birth of rogue waves can be physically explained through the modulation instability of water waves. In mathematical terms, this phenomenon can be described through exact solutions of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, also referred to as “breathers”. [These breathers describe the dynamics of unstable water waves that become rogue: the instability arises from a calm state. As a result, now we know how rogue waves may appear in realistic oceanic conditions.]

Reproduced from the gCaptain newsletter.  Check it out HERE

To Tether or Not To Tether?
This opinion piece by Brian ‘Mugs’ Hancock in the last “Talking Sailing” solicited this well presented response from Nick Leggatt who has many circumnavigations and world speed sailing records to his credit.

Having read Brian Hancock’s piece in Talking Sailing, I am fully in agreement with his comments about the wearing of lifejackets and harnesses, based on my three laps via the Great Capes, plus some other miles of ocean sailing, although I think there are a few caveats, too.

Wearing lifejackets and harnesses should not be equated with wearing a seat belt in a car and I agree with Brian that situational awareness on a boat and around water is essential but at the same time the development of high performance boats has meant that in recent years the chances of being swept off the deck regardless of how tightly you hold on have increased tremendously.

With sportsboats I think PFDs are pretty much required now, as they are on dinghies. Remember, back in the old days capsizing a dinghy was frowned upon because they would immediately sink but nowadays it is not surprising to capsize and expect to rely on your PDF to some extent. A modern sportsboat, even compared to an old quarter tonner is quite a different beast, and so some sort of floatation device makes sense, however your average cruising boat or club racing boat has probably become safer over the years, better balanced, with deeper cockpits and higher lifelines, so I believe common sense should prevail with regards to lifejackets and harnesses.

But something else has changed over the years. Back in the “old days” we learned gradually by starting off on dinghies as kids and then progressing through bigger and more powerful boats, but developing a feel and respect for the water. I am not knocking the new “fast track” sailing courses, far from it, as the industry and the sport need all the support they can get, but it does mean that a lot of people are coming to sailing and diving in the deep end with no natural feel for boats and the sea. Learning through experience is no guarantee of safety, and there are many tragic examples of this, one of the most notable being Eric Tabarly, but I do believe that those who grew up around boats and the water do tend to be much more alert to the situations surrounding them on the water.

My policy is generally to tell crew that if they feel the need to wear a harness or a lifejacket, then they should do so, but if they are comfortable as they are that is OK, too. However there are certain situations and conditions where all the crew should wear a harness and lifejackets, and these situations should be made clear at a safety briefing before putting to sea. The specifics of when to be fully kitted up needs to be determined by the skipper, depending on the boat and the crew, but it does need to be made clear so that there is no argument.

World Sailing Completes Rebranding Initiative
World Sailing has announced a new strategic positioning for the sport, expressed in a new, fresh and modern brand identity.

A stronger and more contemporary visual identity alongside a new vision and mission puts sport, nature and technology at its core and fully completes the transition from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to World Sailing which commenced in November 2015.

A world in which millions more people fall in love with sailing; inspired by the unique relationship between sport, technology and the forces of nature; we all work to protect the waters of the world.

To make sailing more exciting and accessible for everyone to participate or watch; and use our reach and influence to create a sustainable future for our sport and the waters of the world:
• To create, and regulate, exciting competition events to showcase the natural power of wind driven water sport;
• To build a strong profile and image for sailing – using our key points of difference to resonate with people and give them a lifetime of sport;
• To create a tangible sustainability programme that maximizes the positive effect that the sailing community can have on our environment.

All of this can be encapsulated in a simple message: sport, technology & nature in perfect harmony.

World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt commented, “World Sailing has to adapt and seize opportunities and our new positioning captures both the substance and emotion of why we all have a passion for sailing.

“A more contemporary brand identity for World Sailing represents our new proposition to ensure we stand out in what is a very crowded marketplace and provide us with the flexibility to meet the communication needs of a modern, complex, multi-channel organization.

“We hope that the new brand identity will resonate well with fans, sponsors and the sailing community and captures the collective desire of Sailors to be the guardians of the Ocean.”
Sailing will be laying down plans for a healthy sustainable future for the sport, as well as the more specific subject of sustainability in the waters of the world. The dialogue and engagement will be cantered on an overarching theme of, ‘Our Sustainable Future’.

Have You Got What it Takes to Go Back to Basics?
Whether you sail a one man Laser or a 90 foot catamaran, the chances are you’ll be benefiting from modern technology, from glass reinforced plastic hulls to the latest carbon fibre sails.

Strip this tech away however and how would you fare with only your sailing skills and the most rudimentary of boats?

The Adventurists are offering sailors the chance to answer this question for themselves this coming January in one of the less traditional races on the sailing calendar.

The Ngalawa Cup launched last year and, running bi -annually, races for over 300km off the coast of Tanzania, snaking around the Zanzibar Archipelago. This January sees the fourth race set sail.

Maybe this is just what you have been waiting for? Check it out HERE

What a Rum Comment
The UK has a RumFest every year where rum afficionados get together over their favourite tipple.

Ian Burrell is the Global Rum Ambassador, who says: “Rum is more than a spirit, it’s a lifestyle”

Rum Recipes
Pusser’s Bloody Rum Punch
2 ounces Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum
2 ounces Pomegranate Juice
2 ounces Cranberry Juice
2 ounces Pineapple Juice
Splash of Grenadine
Fresh Orange wedge
Add ice, rum, and juices to cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour mixture into tall glass over ice. Garnish with fresh orange.

Serious Fun, Not Serious Racing
I have always advocated that our clubs and administrators spend too much time and effort promoting racing rather that people having fun in boats.

Music to my ears is MAST – the Milwaukee Area Sail and Trail. The motto of the Mast Yacht Club is ‘Serious Fun, Not Serious Racing’, and after completing their 41st season, the club hasn’t lost any spirit.

At its last race of the season, the Club, using a first-of-its-kind fun format that used sailing and darts to determine a winner. In the past they have sought amusement with various formats for the finale like a pursuit race or a Frisbee relay race, but this year went with the Regatta Dart Race.

The sailing race course was a normal twice around windward/leeward using standard PHRF handicaps. Once the race was over, everyone gathered on shore to try and improve their race position by throwing three darts. The total score of the three darts was then added to each boat’s standard PHRF handicap for the race.

“After each boat threw their darts, the race was re-scored with the new addition to their handicap added in,” explained Ken Quant. “This shuffled things around a bit as the handicaps changed creating some unique and fun post-race party drama. We even projected the results up on the wall for everyone to see and they really seemed to love it.”

Dart scoring was the standard scoring using the double and triple rings. To keep things fair in case of any dart ringers in the race, each boat had to have three different people each throw only one dart. Boats threw their darts in the order of last place finisher to first place finisher based on the race results.

Each boat threw all three darts to complete their turn before the next boat’s dart throwers began their turn to increase the drama. If a dart missed the board, the thrower was allowed to re-throw it until that dart registered a score. Once all boats had thrown their darts, the winners were determined by the race results using their new dart-improved PHRF rating.

Volvo Ocean Race
While the changes to a one-design boat in the last race made racing closer than ever, and reduced breakages and withdrawals during the race, there appeared to be a spark missing.

With the appointment of Mark Turner as the Volvo Ocean Race CEO after the completion of the last circumnavigation, the face of the race has changed significantly due to many new initiatives that Turner has introduced.

I admit that I admire Turner as he has a knack of being able to turn things around and have the courage of his convictions to make changes. First it was the course which now includes the ‘traditional Southern Ocean Legs, plus there are 10 more new initiatives – too lengthy to discuss here, but all available on the race website HERE – www.volvooceanrace.com

A major rule change will give world-class female sailors a much clearer pathway to compete at the highest level of offshore sailing in the 2017-18 edition as the rules of the race will limit all-male teams to seven sailors, one fewer than in 2014-15, and give mixed teams a significant numerical advantage.

The possible crew combinations for 2017-18 will be:
7 men;
7 men and 1 or 2 women;
7 women and 1 or 2 men;
5 men and 5 women;
11 women

Teams will be able to change their crew combinations from leg to leg in the race, which starts from Alicante in October 2017 and visits 11 cities around the globe, but as in previous editions, teams will be required to have the same crew members on board for the In-Port Race as either the previous or the subsequent offshore leg – with the exception of a team that is racing offshore with 7 males who can add an additional female for the in-port racing.

“This is not about lowering the standard as some in the sport will suggest – the reverse – it is giving more opportunity to the very best female sailors in the world to compete on equal terms,” said Mark Turner.

“Sailing is one of the few sports where you can have mixed teams, and we want to take advantage of that, and also reflect the growing desire for greater diversity in businesses – in particular the kind who back the race teams today.

“The Team SCA project in the last race did a great job to restart female participation, after 12 years with just one sailor getting a slot (Adrienne Cahalan, Brasil 1, Leg 1 2005-06). We’re determined to build on that momentum, and we want to guarantee that the Volvo Ocean Race continues to have the very best sailors competing in the race – both male and female.”

He continued: “We’re using the crew rules to incentivise skippers to bring one or more female sailors onboard. I really hope that it’s not necessary to have any rule at all in the future – but it seems it’s the only way today to ensure we can maintain progress.”

“This is fantastic news for elite female athletes not just in sailing, but in sport as a whole,” said Dee Caffari MBE, who raced onboard Team SCA in 2014-15 and, in 2006, became the first female to sail solo and non-stop the ‘wrong way’ around the world.

“It was important to make a big impact with an all-female team last edition in order to change the perception of women in sailing, and we showed that we could compete on the same boats, in the same conditions.”

She added: “I’m excited to see the concept of mixed teams evolve. I do believe that there are enough female sailors out there who can step up and prove that they can perform, deliver and earn a place onboard.”

The race has also reaffirmed the commitment to youth sailing, with a rule that two crew must be under the age of 30 at the end of the race in July 2018.

2017 Boat of the Year Nominees Announced
Cruising World and Sailing World magazines have announced nominees for the highly anticipated 2017 Boat of the Year awards. The annual awards, elected by independent judging teams for each of the publications, recognize the best of the year’s new sailboat models being introduced in North America.

The nominated boats move on to the judging round, where they will be inspected and sailed by the judges from each magazine. Cruising World judges focus on production boats laid out and equipped for coastal and offshore sailing and voyaging, while the Sailing World panel concentrates on boats designed and built with racing in mind.

Of interest is that there are several South African built boats amongst the nominees, with ALL four in the cruising cat under 50 category being locally built. They are:
St. Francis 50 Mk II
Balance 526
Royal Cape Catamarans Majestic 530
Xquisite X5

The Leopard 45 features in the Charter Cat section.

Congratulations to our local builders who continue to keep our boatbulding prowess world class.

In Desperate Need of …
I am on the Worcester Yacht Club committee with ‘Sailing’ as my portfolio, and it is my mission to renew interest and encourage more Sailing at our club.

We desperately are in need of any sailing vessels to use for training purposes. Topaz, Hobies etc, old and new – I’m more than happy to do repairs if needed.

If you know of anyone who would be willing to donate such a craft to our club, please would you contact me.

Thank you and kind regards
Jasper Hewitt
082 773 7544

Towing a Million-Ton Iceberg
This headline and the pics caught my eye on gCaptian. While what they are doing is nothing new, it is still interesting. I remember reading about this in a National Geographic magazine when at school. The emphasis then was to harness an iceberg and tow it to drought ridden areas for fresh water!

A Russian icebreaker has successfully towed an iceberg weighing approximately 1 million tons, according to the oil company Rosneft. The tow was part of a test to see whether or not an icebreaker could influence the trajectory of a large iceberg in order to protect offshore installations in the Arctic.

The test was carried out using the Russian polar research vessel ‘Akademik Treshnikov’, and actually involved towing icebergs of various shapes and sizes. According to Rosneft, the icebreaker was able to steer the icebergs 90 to 180 degrees relative to its original path.

In the offshore industry, wrangling icebergs, aka iceberg management, is actually nothing new. In 2015, Atlantic Towing vessels were used to intercept an iceberg found drifting near offshore rigs in the North Atlantic off the Newfoundland and Labrador coast.

Read the full story and see the pics HERE

Multi-Class Regattas
I was copied in on some e-mail discussions regarding multi-class regattas and found the thread quite interesting as there were really two sides – those who wanted cats and dinghies separated, and others who belived they should be together.

My old mate Campbell Alexander, a wiley old competitor, and someone with a loooong memory on the history of sailing, particularly dinghy sailing, reminded people of The Open SA Games in 1973 which were held offshore Durban – and which included many different classes, including the RCOD.

It is possible if everyone sees the big picture and WANTS to make sailing work for everyone.

Included in Alexander’s mail was the full report on that two week regatta as well as the results which made interesting reading for many different reasons.

Some seriously good sailors appear in the results. All would have been very young then, but 43 years later ….?

It is these sailors who today could compete in a Senior’s Sailing event.

The event attracted some of the top exponents in their class in the world. In the Finns J Bruder was a ‘guest’ (as recorded under the Club column in the results).
Keith Musto was there in the Flying Dutchman class, as well as international ‘guests’ in the 505 and Enterprise classes.

In three classes, the winners scored a perfect result of victories in every race after the discard. They were:
B Downham & B Gold – 505
D B Hudson & T J Reynolds – Spearhead
K Warr – RCOD

Some old and interesting names popped out of those results sheets. There are far too many to mention them all, but here are some of them:

A Tucker/P Squire; J Sully/A Hardie; B Metcalfe/ J Slootweg; K Musto; D Baikoff; S Ord; P Cardwell

L Nathanson/ P Bennet; P Morganrood/E Lapham; A Bush/ G Bush; JJ Provoyeur/R Nankin

B Downham/B Gold; P Hishin/ G Bush

D B Hudson/T J Reynolds

J Bruder; C B McCurrach; B Burton-Barbour; J R Howard; R Robson; E R Shaw; R Greaves

K Warr; R I Jamison

P M Baum/T McConnochie; E van Cuyck/D Ross

R F de Vlieg/G R de Vlieg

S J ‘Bertie’ Reed

D Ord; G J Neill; G L Reynolds

As an aside, Chris Clark who sailed in the event with Terry Ellis on a Fireball said “Fun to remember that regatta. Also to see that Terry Ellis and I finished 16th out of 79 in our brand new half put together Fireball after Campbell Alexander had to pull out, and the winner was the reigning World Champion, Don Forbes who came all the way from England as did a couple of other World Champs in other classes.

If I recall the ’73 Games was also the regatta when the press refused to publish reports unless all the boat names, eg Flying Dutchman, Fireball, Enterprise, etc were translated into Afrikaans!

Westward Non-Stop
I do sometimes wonder about those people who choose to do madcap schemes in sailing – like circumnavigate non-stop, unassisted and west about. And to top all this, in a 34-foot boat too.

That’s what Australian Andy Lamont is doing.

Apparently it’s a childhood dream of his!

“I have got to 57 years old and I thought if I don’t do it now it’ll probably be too late,” Lamont said.

He is hoping to be the first to achieve a record set by the World Sailing Speed Records Council, and to do so must sail a minimum distance of 21,600 nautical miles.

His passage takes him down the east coast of Australia and then west towards the southern tip of Africa. From there he heads north, crossing over the equator in the region of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, and then round Cape Horn on the southern tip of South America.

He plans to complete his circumnavigation next September.

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image
Discover the world’s best sailing pictures of the year! And believe me there are some absolutely incredible shots.

The world’s greatest marine and yacht racing photographers have entered this year’s international Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image contest and voting is open to the public! Click here to discover the world’s best sailing pictures of the year. The winning image and its photographer will be celebrated at the Yacht Racing Forum in Malta on November 29.

80 amazing pictures have been selected with the highest participation rate ever! No less than 149 professional photographers from 25 different countries entered. Their best 80 shots were preselected by a panel of three international and well recognized yacht racing photographers, and are now available to view and to be voted for, at the event website.

View the pictures and vote HERE

Sense Prevails
How could anyone in their right mind want to name a ship ‘Boaty McBoatface’?

Finally sense has prevailed and the new state-of-the-art polar research ship which is under construction will be named ‘RRS Sir David Attenborough’.

The ‘RRS Sir David Attenborough’ will be one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world and will help ensure world-class polar and deep ocean science in the decades to come.

35th America’s Cup Schedule Announced
The full event schedule for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017 has been confirmed, outlining the calendar of almost five weeks of world class sailing action which lies ahead in the beautiful waters of Bermuda, starting on May 26th and finishing on or around June 27th 2017.

The opening race of the 35th America’s Cup will be race one of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers between the Defender, ORACLE TEAM USA, with two time America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill and his crew looking to start their defence of the cup in style against Groupama Team France, led by French superstar Franck Cammas.

Bermuda is gearing up for what some believe will be the greatest America’s Cup ever and, with Bermuda’s beautiful Great Sound as the stage for the 35th America’s Cup. There is a range of exciting support events which will combine to make this an unmissable five weeks of sailing action, including the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup which will showcase the best national youth teams from around the world racing in AC45 foiling catamarans, currently taking centre stage in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. In addition there is the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta and the America’s Cup J Class Regatta, featuring the most spectacular superyachts afloat today and some of the most famous America’s Cup yachts of old, all racing on the turquoise waters of Bermuda.

Get all the details HERE

Eight Bells for Graham Snowball
Graham Snowball passed away on Monday 17 October, aged 75.

He and his brother Warren sailed together from the late 1950s initially in Sharpies at the Zwartkops Yacht Club. After their return from UCT, both having qualified in Mechanical Engineering, they then sailed in the Flying Dutchman Class and, if my memory serves me correctly, attended a Flying Dutchman Worlds in Australia.

Graham, and indeed the brothers as a team, were always feared competitors.

For many years, Graham served on the Eastern Cape Yacht Racing Association. He was a most competent Bridge Officer and served on many Protest Panels at local events.

Graham was very much part of the Sailing School established in 1979 with Vaughan Giles at the Zwartkops Yacht Club and was an Honorary Life Member of Algoa Bay Yacht Club and a member of Redhouse Yacht Club.

Condolences to his family.

The Indiana-Farm boy
In 2009, an Indiana-farm boy-turned-Chicago-trader bought a sailboat. With no previous sailing experience – relying on “Sailing For Dummies” – Alex Rust dared to circumnavigate the globe, meeting friends from all cultures and recording his adventures upon his Fast Passage 39’ sailboat (named ‘Bubbles’) all along the way.

Two years ago, a successful Kickstarter campaign funded by 585 backers raised over $50,000 to turn Alex’s footage into a full length feature film. Alex had only one contingency before releasing his footage – the film would be free for all the world to see and enjoy.

Fulfilling Alex’s dream of sharing his experience of the world, with the world, “Chasing Bubbles” has been distributed online.

Since it was posted, the film has organically gained nearly 1,000 views an hour – for a current total of over 100 000 views on YouTube and Vimeo from more than 101 countries.

Choose one of these 3 options to watch it:
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z3qk4Crxgw
Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibP5IQxId34
Film on Vimeo (for international viewing outside the US):  https://vimeo.com/184028703

Incidently, ‘Sailing for Dummies’ is available from SAILING Books – books@sailing.co.za

“We’re Going Back Out There with the Same People”
This is what Francis Joyon said when announcing that IDEC SPORT will once again be tackling the Jules Verne Trophy, less than a year after their last attempt, when he and his crew only missed out on the record by two days. For the first time in the history of the Trophy, the crew will remain the same. For this wild bunch of just six, there is the feeling that the job needs to be completed.

At the finish in Brest last February, the six sailors on IDEC SPORT, without exception, stated that they wanted to get back together and sail around the world. A lot of people thought it was just a statement, a desire expressed in the heat of the moment at the finish, particularly as it is never easy to bring together such world-renowned sailors, who are often hired for other adventures or other races. It seemed that the likelihood of setting off with exactly the same crew was remote… but that is exactly what is going to happen.

They will all be there again ready to sail around the world, as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Maybe in late October, but in any case, “as early as possible,” declared Francis Joyon. In particular, because “there aren’t many of these opportunities between October and February” and by setting off early in the season, there is a greater likelihood of moving from one system to another on the final climb back up the Atlantic. Taking advantage of their first round the world voyage together, when they pulled off some remarkable achievements (Indian Ocean record, in particular) but above all, experienced an extraordinary human adventure, the six sailors on IDEC SPORT are going to do it all over again, hoping that they will be luckier this time and grab the record held by Loïck Peyron’s crew since 2012 – 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.

His crew are all good all-rounders and motivated by the same goal – to become the fastest men around the world. They are: Bernard Stamm (CH), Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA), Alex Pella (ESP), Clément Surtel (FRA), and Boris Herrmann (GER).

Watch this space!  Follow them HERE

World Sailing’s Annual Conference
World Sailing’s Annual Conference is the central meeting point where the strategy of sailing is reviewed, discussed and celebrated. For the 2016 Annual Conference, the dialogue and engagement will be centred on an overarching theme of, ‘Our Sustainable Future’. Sailing will be laying down plans for a healthy sustainable future for the sport, as well as the more specific subject of sustainability in the waters of the world.

The 2016 Annual Conference, will be held in Barcelona, Spain from 5-13 November; welcoming up to 700 delegates. They will range from International Class Associations representatives, Member National Authorities officials and Committee Members to leading Sailors, Event Organizers, Boat Manufacturers and Observers.

As part of the theme, three new Forums – Sustainability, Commercial Strategy for the Sport and Para World Sailing – have been introduced into the Conference programme. The Forums will feature world leading experts and panel discussions, providing the basis for debate around sustainability across multiple facets of the sport.

The Forums will be open events and will also be streamed live on the World Sailing website, combining social media feeds to enable virtual interaction around the world.

World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt commented, “The introduction of three new forums to World Sailing’s Annual Conference is the start of a process to modernise the meeting into a professional, engaging and interactive event.

“Under the overarching theme of Our Sustainable Future, delegates will be able to engage, share best practice, be inspired to make positive change and make our sport more sustainable from a number of dimensions.”

Keynotes speakers include: Julia Palle (Sustainability Manager Formula E), Susie Tomson (Sustainability Manager Team BAR), Anne-Cécile Turner (Director Blueshift), Kelli Jerome (CEO Golf Environment Organisation), Jill Savery (CEO at Bristlecone Strategies) and Andy Hunt (CEO World Sailing)

Para World Sailing
Keynote speakers include: Geoff Holt MBE (Founder Reinstate), Ms. Külli Haav (Noblessner Yachtclub Sailing School, Estonia), Sarah Treseder (CEO RYA), Ms. Emma Hallén (Trim the Sails Foundation, Sweden), and Massimo Dighe (Para World Sailing Manager)

Commercial Strategy for the Sport
Keynote speakers include: Mark Turner (CEO Volvo Ocean Race), Jerry Newman (Head of Sports at Facebook), Ulrich Lacher (Lacher Consulting) and Hugh Chambers (CCO World Sailing)

The three Forums will be mixed in with a full schedule of Committee, Sub-committee and Commission meetings over the period of the conference and the recommendations of these groups will go to World Sailing’s Council on 11 and 12 November.

Concluding the Annual Conference on Sunday 13 November will be the General Assembly, a four-yearly meeting that will decide the Board of Directors (President and Vice-Presidents) for the next four years.  Follow this HERE

Book Review. The Complete Day Skipper (5th)
by Tom Cunliffe

Cunliffe is one of those rare breed of people who not only know their subject, but can write about it too.

Here he takes the RYA syllabus as a framework to support a skipper’s growing experience at sea. It begins with yacht handling under power, moves on to boat husbandry and sailing skills and then goes on to explore navigation, from steering clear of trouble to the practical use of modern electronic navigation systems.

It is worth understanding up front that in terms of its title, ‘A Day Skipper is one competent to take charge of a small yacht on short daytime passages under moderate weather conditions, in waters with which he or she is familiar’.

All illustrations are in colour, and there are useful highlighted sidebars of text explaining specific items – like up front in the book is the sidebar entitled ‘Engine Checks’. This and others provide valuable additional info for those acquiring skills and learning what is required for this certificate of competence. There are also sidebars of ‘Skipper’s Tip’.

The thickness of the book may put some off initially, but believe me, it is crammed full of really good and practical information, all of which is necessary the become a day skipper. So don’t be put off, and simply take it section for section, chapter by chapter, and work through it logically.

There is information on navigation, engine troubleshooting, weather, anchoring, mooring and boat handling, plus emergencies. Oh, and don’t gloss over the ‘Etiquette’ chapter – it’s as important as all the others.

This is a good beginners book – use it and learn from it as it will stand you in good stead, of that there is absolutely no doubt.

Get it from SAILING Books. books@sailing.co.za

Some Humour
Man invented the slowest form of transportation – the sailboat – then decided to race them.

How True! This Simply Needs to Be Said!
Don’t cling to a mistake because you spent a lot of time making it.

I Like This!
Yeah, I’ve got O.C.D – Old, Cranky and Dangerous.

Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
• That’s great humour Richard – wonder if you will get a religious backlash?

The Mossel Bay Race is actually +/-201nm not 120. Nice entry I wonder why they don’t race back again like they used to. Teddy Kuttel in Spilhaus III has a +70 average age crew I think! Nice mix of boats old and new, monohulls and multis, fast and slow.

Cheers and thanks for the continued great contribution to sailing.

• How about the Simonis –Voogd Far East 28 for Lipton?

• Thank you for the continued interesting content.

• Your best ever, Richard!

• Just read “Talking Sailing and two things came up.

Julien Girard: I built and launched a van der Stadt quarter tonner at Dennysville. I needed some fittings which I bought from Julien and when I wanted to pay for it he said I can pay later – you have a yacht here and I trust you. Recently when I needed some stays made I went to Hobie in Edenvale. When I wanted to pay the reply was the same as Julien’s. I trust you, you can do an EFT. I replied that sounds familiar as I herd that from Julien and the answer I got was, he is my father!

The Dabchick 60th: Recently I found the Dabchick web page and wrote to the Secretary. After a few day’s I wrote again, and still no answer. Now it is to late to build a Dabchick for the celebrations. I would still like to get a set of plans for my son who lives in Dubai and wants to build a Dabchick for his son.

For the record I built 9 Dabchicks , 6 during my last two years at school an another three after I left school.

Now I am getting to the end, building my Dix Pilot 43′ and hope to launch early next year and do a world trip. Thank you for “Talking Sailing”

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: subscriptions@sailing.co.za

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.

Sailors of the Month – 2016
February          Phillippa Hutton-Squire
March               Sibu Sizatu
April                  Mike Hayton
May                   Howard Leoto
June                  Rob van Rooyen
July                   Brevan Thompson
August              William Edwards
September       Graeme Willcox
October            Andrew Ward

Sailors of the Year
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 – editor@sailing.co.za

The Bitter End
Donald Trump. He’s itching to get his grubby paws on the nuclear codes. Let’s hope he’s not elected and that we will all still be here to keep “Talking Sailing”.

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 and life in general which get up peoples noses!

Check Also

“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 50

To Subscribe: Mail (sailing@iafrica.com) with the words ‘SUBSCRIBE TO TALKING SAILING’ in the subject line. …