“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 07

SAILING Acquires GybeSet
SAILING Publications, the publishers of SAILING Magazine and the new “Talking Sailing” editorial column, have acquired the GybeSet sailing portal.

GybeSet was the brainchild of two passionate sailors, Kirsten Veenstra and Ian MacRobert, who founded the portal at the beginning of 2011 because of their passion for sailing and a need for a sailing news site and portal in South Africa.

GybeSet became South Africa’s ‘One-Stop News Site’ for sailing, covering and encompassing news for all classes of dinghies, keelboats and multihulls – in fact all things sailing.

As GybeSet was run as an after hours project, the pair have found it more time consuming than the free time they had available, hence the need to move it on to someone equally passionate about the sport of sailing, and someone with more resources and time. So that’s where SAILING Publications came in.

“We are delighted that Richard Crockett and SAILING Publications is taking over GybeSet as over the years he has become a good friend and colleague. We could not think of anyone better to create a really incredible sailing asset from the foundation that we have built. Richard’s passion for sailing and expertise in sailing media in South Africa will take SAILING Publications’ GybeSet to a level we could never have done, and we look forward to contributing to this and Sailing Magazine” said Kirsten Veenstra.

“I am delighted to have worked closely with Kirsten over the years, sharing our passion for the promotion and publicity of our sport, and will continue to do so as she and Ian are assets to sailing” said Richard Crockett.

The handover will take some time to integrate with Sailing’s current infrastructure, although every effort is being made to integrate this as seamlessly, smoothly and quickly as possible.

J22 Jiggery Pokery
The Real Winners Re-Instated – Well will they Be?

In the last “Talking Sailing” I featured the results of two appeals lodged with the SAS Appeals Committee over the debacle during the J22 nationals.

It appears as if I may have jumped the gun by saying the real winners will be re-instated as out of the blue a few days ago came the results of a third appeal. And this one is also reproduced in full below. The Appeals Committee have basically instructed the class to re-open that specific protest, and hear it correctly.

24 October 2013
Appeal by Jessica Lenz of Majic #1130 against DSQ from first six races of J22 Nationals

Summary of the Facts
Rob Samways of Running with Scissors #768 submitted a protest against Majic and others on Tuesday, September 3. The protest was on the basis of information supplied to the protestor by the J22 Class Secretary that Majic and others were not in possession of valid measurement certificates. The protest committee found this to be a fact and disqualified the boats. Subsequently on Wednesday, September 4, J Lenz submitted a request for re opening the protest with evidence that she had tried for a long period to get the measurer to measure the boat but he was not available to do so. It would appear that this request for reopening was denied but we have not received any documentation to this effect.

Comment by the Appeal Committee
The protest form contains no information on the date and time it was submitted; no details of who gave evidence on behalf of the J22 Class Secretary; no details of the facts found as a result of the evidence heard except that there was no valid measurement certificate. No conclusion is given or rules applicable to the decision by the protest committee that the boats should be disqualified.

Decision
The appeal is upheld. The findings of fact are inadequate and in terms of Rule 71.2 and Appendix R.5 of the Rules the Protest Committee shall reopen the hearing and record all relevant facts after hearing evidence from the protestor, protestees and the J22 Class Secretary. A decision in terms of the rules shall be made in the light of these facts. The protest committee is advised to follow the recommendations contained in Appendix M of the Rules.

S Flesch
S A Sailing Appeals Committee,
October 17, 2013

Most people are fed up with this on-going saga, although what the three appeals have done is highlight just how necessary it is to conduct protests in the absolutely correct manner, and that those hearing them should know their rules.

Let’s hope that after this protest has been re-heard, this matter is put to bed once and for all and that the class will conduct its Worlds on the Vaal Dam next year in a proper and dignified manner.

Do Yachties Really Read?
This is no attempt at being cynical nor an attempt to cast aspersions on anyone. However, there are many ‘Race Management Guides’ and other reading matter available to ensure that administrators run events correctly. One simply has to either purchase them or download them from the internet, and then read and inwardly digest.

Everyone who runs races should obtain a ‘Race Management Guide’ and study it carefully, and have it close by at events for easy reference.

If one Googles ‘Race Management Guide’ many pages of options become available. I did this and the first item was from ISAF and the second from the RYA – and both are worth digesting.

It is interesting to note how few people have bought, from SAILING Books, the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) latest rules with explanations and interpretations of the new rules which became effective at the beginning of this year. How this could be interpreted is that people may know that there are rule changes, but have not really taken cognisance of them, nor studied the changes. Now this is not a commercial to get people to purchase rules books, but as we are the biggest sellers of books on sailing in this country, we have the stats to back this up.

The “Rules in Practice’ by Bryan Willis, and the ‘Paul Elvstrom Explains the Racing Rules of Sailing’, have really good explanations and diagrams. Incidently the Paul Elvstrom book comes with handy models that can be used for protests.

As one top yachtie said to me recently that he was appalled at how many kids do not know their rules, yet their parents won’t buy them the tools to learn them. They will however buy them the latest cool sunglasses, lifejacket or wetsuit, but not the rules books!

I suppose the same goes for the senior sailors as well?

At SAILING Books we have accurate records of sales over the last 15 years or more of RRS books. With new changes having come in at the beginning of this year, we have sold far fewer books than at any other time the new rules come into effect – which is every four years.

Maybe all our yachties are rules experts, although I doubt it.

Incidently SAS published the ISAF rules earlier this year for its members for free distribution. If you don’t have one, contact your nearest SAS Office. These books are rules only, and have no explanations.

Talking of rules, I clearly remember bumping into Dave Hudson and his crew of Terry Reynolds at the 1980 Fireball Worlds off Durban. They were in a quiet corner of the boat park, huddled around their boat – and in very serious mode, not wanting to be disturbed! I enquired as to what they were up to and Dave made it quite clear that at EVERY event he sails, he and his crew go through the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions together, line by line, to ensure that they both fully understand the rules for THAT event. This is not something which takes a few minutes, but a seriously long time to do properly and effectively.

They also checked their boat against the class rules very carefully, long before the first race.

Now that’s preparation and a lesson for all.

Discover Sailing
My comments on ‘discovering sailing initiates’ drew many good responses from readers who have highlighted that there are good initiatives locally, as well as internationally that we can all learn from.

Australia has a national Discover Sailing Day (Sunday 3 November 2013) where Australia-wide, Clubs open their doors and invite the public to try sailing for free. Participating Clubs offer a range of activities to provide a taste of sailing (both dinghies and keel boats) and club activities.

Discover Sailing Days are free to attend and all boats and safety equipment is provided by the Club. Signage is strategically positioned by the Clubs directing the public to their venue.

It’s not rocket science stuff at all – there simply has to be a will to get others to experience our wonderful sport.

Clipper Race
Last time I said “I have never really been a great fan of the Clipper Race as I am in two minds about its value to our sport as I am not sure that charging people exorbitant amounts of money to race around the world in what are ostensibly slow boats, does much for our sport.”

I received two interesting replies, the first from Sir Robin who said this: “The only point on which I might have an issue is about your views about what the race does for sailing. Its hard to be specific because I do not know the exact numbers. It is fair to say however, that many do take up sailing as a result of their experience in the race. Possibly the greatest benefit is that it shows that anyone can learn to sail safely across oceans. 40% of our crews, before they start our training regime, have never been aboard a yacht.”

Eero Lehtinen, a former skipper on the Clipper Race replied as follows:
With the experience as skipper in 2004/5 Global Challenge and 2009/10 Clipper, I have this to say:

“I think the rate of “coming back” or staying in the sport of sailing is higher than it is for the Optimist camps and school tryouts… perhaps even Optimist sailors that get through the competitive period from 9 to 15 yrs old.

They make friends with some more experienced sailors as part of the circles, also some with money for the necessary boats, and I have sailed with several of my ex-crew members later on, also I am aware of them teaming up on a boat owned by my “co-skipper” (paying customer him as well) in the GC, crewed by half a dozen of the others from the team, sailing in events like Middle Sea Race, Fastnet etc.

Also a rather high number have done further amateur events, they charter boats together on holidays, a few got into adult dinghy training programs in the UK and my Helsinki -based watch leader in Clipper keeps calling me asking me to sail with him on his family’s new Elan 350, also he has crewed for me on the Six Metre a number of times.

This month I sailed on an Oyster 655 in a fun Oyster regatta in Palma, skipper was my colleague skipper from the Clipper race and the crew was mainly ex-Clipper crew members from 3 different boats.

The boats aren’t really that slow either, the new Clippers are getting close to 30-knot maximum speeds and we managed to get nice long surfs of 20-knots plus out of the old ones. They are not really much slower than the old Whitbread boats from 1980s and the excess weight means that you have to have a good organization and great seamanship as standard on board to avoid breakages and injuries.”

So in a nutshell we have the opinions of two people who have been at the coalface of this race.

For those who can make it to Cape Town this weekend, please don’t forget to go to the V&A and see the clipper fleet which leaves on Monday 4 November.

Gavin van der Meulen, the Senior SAS Surveyor in KZN is doing the next two races. Gavin is an experienced yachtie and retired SAA pilot.

The End of Traditional Paper Nautical Charts?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the American nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of US coastal waters, has announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts.

The federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.

Since 1862, those lithographic nautical charts have been printed by the US government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. The decision to stop production is based on several factors, including the declining demand for lithographic charts, the increasing use of digital and electronic charts, and federal budget realities.

This is a serious reality check as there will be some computer illiterate crusty old salts mumbling into their beers as to how good old fashioned seamanship will become something of the past and forgotten.

I wonder if the SA Navy Hydrographic office has similar thoughts?

Staying in the Sport of Sailing
Taking up the comment that “the rate of ‘coming back’ or staying in the sport of sailing is higher than it is for the Optimist camps and school tryouts… perhaps even Optimist sailors that get through the competitive period from 9 to 15 yrs old” from Eero Lehtinen about the Clipper Race reminded me of something that has always intrigued me.

That is quite simply how many of our Optimist and Dabchick national champions have stayed in the sport? I would think there could be between 8 – 10 in each class?

So here is a list of those class champions from inception until their last nationals at the end of 2012. I have an idea of who I think may have left, but will leave you to decided that for yourself. But what this list does, is highlight some great names in sailing.

Optimist Class
1973        Christopher King
1974        Gary Holliday
1975        Simon Bongers
1976        Simon Bongers
1977        J. Davidson
1978        Brett Clark
1979        Jonathan Swain
1980        P van Hoof
1981        Jonathan Swain
1982        Nico van Wieringen
1983        Graham Bryant
1984        Ian Statham
1985        S. Carkeek
1986        Stefan Aspeling
1987        Michael Giles
1988        Donovan Tait
1989        David James
1990        Greg Barker
1991        Charles Nankin
1992        Gustavo Lima (POR)
1993        Sieraj Jacobs
1994        Richard Booth
1995        John Eloff
1996        Adam Swales
1997        G. Reuvers
1998        Simon Baers
1999        Kyle Klaas
2000        G. Heydenrych
2001        J. Onvlee
2002        Brett Stirk
2003        Taariq Jacobs
2004        T. Jacobs
2005        T. Jacobs
2006        Ashwynn Daniels
2007        Michael Crossland
2008 **** NO INSCRIPTION *** (Alex Lehtinen)
2009        Marcello Marcia
2010        Ruben Heard
2011        Daniel Sprately
2012     Calvin Gibbs

Dabchick Class
1969     Frank van Barsel
1970     Not Held
1971     Brian Downham
1972     Gary Calderwood
1973     Gary Calderwood
1974     Gillian Robinson
1975     Alec Lanham-Love
1976     Alec Lanham-Love
1977     Ivan Gibbons
1978     Nicholas Matter
1979     Craig Lanham-Love
1980     Martin Prest
1981     Michael Matter
1982     David Hibberd
1983     Oscar de Weyer
1984     Anthony Donkin
1985     Greg Ball
1986     Martin Prest
1987     Michael Haliburton
1988     Clynton Wade-Lehman
1989     Clynton Wade-Lehman
1990     Stefan Aspeling
1991     Mark Sadler
1992     Mark Sadler
1993     Charles Nankin
1994     Kathryn Sadler
1995     Gareth Blanckenberg
1996     Gareth Blanckenberg
1997     Ryan Collins
1998     Graeme Willcox
1999     Finn de Haan
2000     Paul Willcox
2001     Justin Clark
2002     Andrew Tarboton
2003     Bridget Clayton
2004     Bridget Clayton
2005     Ricky Robinson
2006     Ross Dyer
2007     James Stock
2008     Leo Davis
2009     Tim Manley
2010     Jon Kukard
2011     Jeremy Foreman
2012     Euan Hurter

There are some interesting names in these two lists. One stands out for me, and that is Jonathan Swain (1981 Optimist Champion) who has now completed 5 Whitbread/Volvo Round the World Ocean races.

Classes are welcome to send their list of National Champions for possible use at a later stage.

Have Flares Had Their Day?
I was interested to read this from Elaine Bunting in her Yachting World blog.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) thinks so and is trying to persuade UK authorities to drop the requirements for yachts over 13.7m to carry them on board.

“In today’s modern age there is no compelling case to support the mandatory requirement of flares,” says Stuart Carruthers, cruising manager of the (RYA).

“If the question is how to initiate a response, our position is this: flares are only required to burn for 40 seconds and you are expecting someone to see it, to recognise it and to take action. These days we have EPIRBs, personal locator beacons, and VHF DSC that will do the job automatically. That should negate the need for flares.”

The push to get the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to review their requirements is being made at a time when they are overhauling their Marine Guidance Notes for recreational craft over 13.7m, which makes carriage of four parachute flares and four hand-held flares compulsory.

But when I ask if the MCA is receptive to the suggestion of this change, Carruthers admits: “I’m not entirely convinced they are, but what we want to do is create conditions for these alternatives to be recognised.” — Elaine Bunting in her Yachting World blog

Now how will SAMSA react to that?

Diesel Engine Workshop for Women
I recently saw reference to a two-day workshop for women sailors in the USA. Now that’s thinking outside the box as many couples cruise or simply day sail together.

The course covers the proper methods of performing basic engine service and emergency repairs, and includes hands-on time with the engines.

Who is brave enough to arrange something similar for our sailors.

Competing Internationally
I have recently highlighted some great performance by local sailors on the international circuit. One person who has competed internationally for some years now with great success has been Mike Bartholomew whose ‘Tokoloshe’ has been sailed to many a fine victory.

Just recently they won Class One in the Hamble Winter Big Boat Championships sailed over 2 weekends. 9 races were sailed, and the boat was skippered by David Bartholomew. Well done the Bartholomews and ‘Tokoloshe’.

Afrikaans Sailing Terms
Below is what was submitted by a reader:

Your article on the jib sail translation in Dutch refers – and was very entertaining.

I recently heard an interesting talk on Afrikaans sailing terms on radio presented by Dr Willem Botha , editor of the WAT (Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal).

The term “port” in Afrikaans is “bakboord”’ and “starboard” is “stuurboord”.

These terms also originate from the Dutch and is explained as follows :

Apparently a boat was steered with a paddle (rudder) protruding from the starboard side of the boat.

The helmsman was facing to starboard while steering “stuur” (as in driving) the boat, therefore “stuurboord”. (I think “boord” means side?).

In Dutch “bak” literally means your back. The helmsman’s back was towards the “port” side when steering the boat , therefore “ bakboord”.

In Afrikaans they have a saying “van bakboord na stuurboord stuur” meaning sending somebody from one place to the next place without solving his problem – like in when you visit the offices of a state department!

Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
* Just to let you know that The Catamaran Club has adopted your suggestion for encouraging new sailors to come and play our game.

Copies of the attached flyer are being posted at schools, supermarkets, churches and anywhere else we can think to do so. Also, our membership are being encouraged to distribute them out to their entire contacts list via email (don’t say spam).

I’ll let you know how successful we are.

* Nice articles etc. Thanks. On the discussion on discover sailing Knysna Yacht Club has a very nice Saturday morning event, open to anyone. Something along the lines of “listen to a talk on sailing for an hour then jump on any boat for a sail”.

* Thanks for Talking Sailing which I enjoy reading. With regard to the J22 Nationals, glad common sense prevailed – what were they thinking ?! We need to encourage sailing and not put people off.

* For Dudley Dix benefit, the Indian guy was a Kiwi !!!! He set up the foil angles before the start.

* Quite a few years back VLC in Germiston held a highly successful ‘Intro to Sailing Weekend’ which attracted a lot of interest and in fact got me and my family back into sailing after a break of many years. They even managed to get a couple of small keelboats (Hunter and J22, I think) onto that small lake.

* Your reference to a Discover Sailing day in England in your latest issue of Talking Sailing refers. We do something similar down under. Refer http://www.syc.com.au/discover.

This is from Peter Lee who was a stalwart Stadt 23 sailing before emigrating.

* Congratulations on exposing those who through their efforts cause harm to our beloved sport. I have no idea who they are, but my concern is that these folk often see themselves as being bigger than the sport itself. I’d love to hear how they account for their actions when they bump into the most important of all folk involved – those whose bums are near the water!

* It’s not easy finding crew in the Northern Region, particularly if you are a new’ish immigrant to SA (as I am), without old school and university mates to call upon – or indeed any local mates!

I turned to Gumtree and advertised under the ‘sailing boats for sale’ section – a lot of potential sailors scan the boats for sale sections and dream about the day they will start sailing. It’s a great place to acquire crew.

I found 8 candidates and arranged an intro to sailing day using my JS9000 and a Formula One. Everyone really enjoyed it, despite the long drives from Pretoria and JNB to the Vaal. Of the eight, one bought a Microsail, moved to the Cape and did a Day Skippers (after sailing as my regular crew for a while), another Sailed on Formula Ones and Pacers, a Third is a regular crew, built a dinghy and is looking to build a Wharram Cat, a fourth did a SPICE course in Durban and went to work on Superyachts. 50% uptake of sailing and really good fun for me to meet new people and introduce them to a great community and sport.

Another tactic is to hang a Crew Wanted Poster on your boat – lots of potential sailors wander around marinas for the same reasons they read the sailing classifieds.

I have found these two strategies work better than notices in clubs.

There are young and old people out there who just don’t know where to start or feel it’s too intimidating. I feel that if they have the ambition and drive to show up then they can learn how to sail and race, just give them a shot!

* As always thanks for Talking Sailing, I have read each of your issues so far and really enjoy them.

On the J22 story, I am absolutely appalled at what went down and it seems to me to be a combination of complete incompetence on the one hand and rampant bad sportsmanship by some taking part in the racing. Reading between the lines a real tit-for-tat – you protest me and I will protest you. If I am reading correctly as you mention in the article?

To win on the water is what it’s really about, to try and win through any other means by protesting over the incorrect placing of decals or having an anchor not tied to its line is just simply extreme bad sportsmanship and disgraceful!

I don’t ever remember stuff like this happening in my days of competitive sailing and any protests were related to real sailing incidents, not some fabrication or abuse of the rules.

Bad sportsmen should be given a red or a yellow card!!

The Bitter End
Entry fees are a bugbear for some. Personally I have no problem with reasonable entry fees, yet there are a ton of yachties out there who never stop whingeing about them..

Recently I was provided with a schedule of discrepancies between events. On one weekend two regattas were held in different parts of the country. Both had sponsors and similar numbers, yet one charged R200 per boat and R125 per crew. The other R100 per boat!

Boats are normally sailed by their owners, who, in some cases, have to pay an entry fee for themselves and the boat. Surely the boat entry should include the skipper? Something to think about anyway!

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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