Sailing World Weekly - 28 November

US SAILING's One-Design Symposium, Volvo, Transat Jacques Vabre, NZ Match Racing Champs, Sunglasses review, and more.

THE FIRST BEAT: One-Design Stimulation By John Burnham Let's say there are 2,000 people in the United States who live, breath, and sleep one-design class and fleet leadership. That's my guess after spending a day, two weekends back, with more than 100 similarly obsessed one-designers mostly from just one region-the mid-Atlantic; they all appeared at the US SAILING One-Design Symposium, in Annapolis, Md., joining me and other presenters to brainstorm about how to make one-design sailing thrive. After an eight-hour immersion, I was just getting started. My part was to present the early results of this year's one-design survey, a US SAILING/Sailing World collaboration I work on every fall with Lee Parks. (And this year, also, Bob Merrick of the Hobie class and Clark Chapin of the Interlake class.) So far 74 classes have given us their membership numbers for the year, and we've accounted for about 29,000 class members. The top five classes were 1. Optimist (2950) 2. Lightning (2529) 3. Laser (2400) 4. Club 420 (1850) 5. Thistle (1754). We're still planning to bang away and try to get another dozen or more to give us their stats before we publish full results in December. A few of the bigger missing classes are the Catalina 22, Beetle Cat, Sonar, S2 7.9, and Tartan Ten. (For last year's survey: ) During the day, I took part in a variety of workshops: one on newsletters with Carol Cronin, a Yngling Olympian and newsletter editor for the J/109 and J/105 classes; a website discussion with former 505 class president Ali Meller; a race management session with Brad Davis and Jim Capron; and Greg Fisher's boatspeed workshop. Dina Kowalyshyn's topic was ISAF measurement and class equipment control, and it was a wakeup call. I know, it sounds boring as hell, but something's going on that Dina, a naval architect, has been in the midst of as U.S. rep for half a dozen years. ISAF has created standard class rules for new one-design classes and is pushing old classes to begin to adapt to them. It'll be a pain in the neck for them, but standardization sounds right to me. For example, why shouldn't all sails be measured the same way? At the same time, ISAF is streamlining the actual process of getting class changes approved. A few years back, all class rules had to be approved by the ISAF Council, which is political, not technical, and classes had to wait a year to get a change OK'd. Now rule changes are made on a rolling review basis, approved by the ISAF's equipment committee. That means a class can vote on a change in December, says Dina, submit it to the committee in January, and get it approved in February to take effect, say, in March. Probably the highlight of the day for me was the Ask The Experts panel, which was the wrap-up. Along with eight other presenters, I sat up front and answered questions from the audience. But we quickly found there were even more experts in the audience with good ideas about one-design, and the session quickly turned into a chance for everyone to share what they knew. For the rest of the story, including John's top five ideas from the symposium, please click here. Volvo Update: Bigger the Wind, Harder the Record Falls (27 November 2005) - 538 and 533. Those two figures are the new 24-hour runs set by the leaders in the Volvo Ocean Race. The two ABN AMRO boats are tearing up the ocean and both have beaten the old monohull record held by movistar. ABN AMRO One has set a new - unratified - world 24-hour run at 538 miles. Since the 1000GMT sched, ABN AMRO One and ABN AMRO Two have both beaten the existing world 24 hour run for a monohull with 538 and 533 miles respectively. With average speeds well over 22 knots - in just about 24 knots of wind - the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed, heavy-weather-loving boats have lived up to their billing. At 1600GMT ABN AMRO One led ABN AMRO Two by 62 miles, Brasil 1 was third 114 miles in arrears, Ericsson fourth, 139 miles behind the leader. Sunergy and Friends - still having a pleasant sunny sail in the trades - are now 1,213 miles adrift. Clipper Fleet Starts Leg 3 DURBAN, South Africa (27 November 2005) - The Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race started Leg 3 in Durban on Sunday. The pressure is now on for as they race into their home port. The Aussie entry is currently topping the leader board after three races and will want to avoid the 'home curse' that plagued Durban coming into their home port. The fleet is expected to arrive in Fremantle on 17 December. Overall: 1. 2. Liverpool 08 3. New York 4. Cardiff 5. Uniquely Singapore NZ Match Racing Championship WAITEMATA HARBOUR, New Zealand (27 November 2005) - Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker and BMW Oracle racing skipper Chris Dickson went head to head for 5 straight matches leaving the decider to the fifth and final match. The lead changed numerous times but Barker sailed home to win the final race by 12 seconds and the New Zealand championships for the 3rd time. GEAR UP: The Panoptx Speed SR75 Sunglasses By Stuart Streuli Maybe I should've done my research first, that what I would've known in advance that the light rim of foam attached to the inside of the sunglasses wasn't meant as padding, but rather to aid in blocking wind from your eyes. But, hey, when someone hands you a pair of sunglasses, the first thing you do-after checking in the bathroom mirror to ensure you don't look like a dork-is take them outside on a sunny day and see, well, what you can see. And that's what I did with two pair of Panoptx sunnies. Panoptx, a California-based company founded in 1997, has picked Dry Eye Syndrome as it's raison d'etre, especially that experienced by contact-lens wearers and post-LASIK patients. It produces three basic styles. The Speed line are very similar to a standard pair of sunglasses, save for a thin bead of foam around the frame. The Velocity CV and FX lines are goggle-sunglass hybrids, which block all wind from your eyes. The CV line has a removeable eyecup, while the FX has a fixed eyecup. With the eyecup installed, the Sirocco CV's (retail $195) failed the bathroom mirror test, looking like sunglasses after a long steriod regimen-though they look more normal with the eyecup removed. On the water, I found the slight reduction in my field of vision annoying and the eyecup uncomfortable. For windsurfers and sailors of skiffs and other high performance dinghies and catamarans, the goggle-style sunglasses may prove beneficial, blocking spray, wind, and sun. But for the average sailor, I'm not convinced. The second pair, the Zip from the Speed line (retail $125), I found much more to my liking. I can't say whether the foam, called an air dam by Panoptx, did reduce the wind flowing around my eyes. Panoptx says they block more than a standard pair of sunglasses and I'll take their word for it-they did some studies, which are presented on their website. But the glasses were very comfortable and the polarized lenses on par with other top brands. The only drawback was that after a half-summer of hard use, the foam air dam starting pulling away from the frame. A limited one-year warranty will solve that problem, as would a little more tender care. One final note about the Panoptx glasses is that each came with a nice zippered semi-rigid case, a cleaning cloth, and a Croakies-style leash. I'm always miffed when I buy an expensive pair of sunglasses and all they come with is a cloth bag that won't do an ounce of good when they get stuffed into a gear bag and thrown down the companionway before a day of racing. It's nice to have something in which to store your sunglasses when they're not on your face. For more on Panoptx, Anglo-American Team Wins Class in Transat Jacques Vabre Kip Stone and Merf Owen crossed the finish line in Bahia on Open 50 Artforms at 1346 local time (16:46:51 GMT), Friday 25 November, to secure second place in the closest duel the Transat Jacques Vabre has seen so far. Their elapsed time is 20 days 2 hours 46 minutes and 51 seconds at an average boat speed of 8.99 knots. Their distance behind rivals Joe Harris and Josh Hall on Gryphon Solo was only 17 hours 41 minutes and 6 seconds. From the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre in Le Havre, Artforms had taken a commanding lead of the seven strong Open 50 fleet until a ripped mainsail in the stormy Bay of Biscay forced them to make a two day pitstop in Lorient overnight between the 7-9 November to replace their mainsail with the old one. Definitely the biggest comeback in the story of this race, Artforms went from first to last place, setting off over 400 miles from new race leaders Gryphon Solo. Same-Tack Scenarios at the Start How do the rules apply between two starboard-tack boats on their final approach to the starting line to start? Dick Rose tells you in his December 2002 column. US SAILING One-Design Awards Nomination Deadline is December 1 Here is your chance to recognize excellent service to our sport! Nominate your favorite club, fleet, regatta or one-design spark plug for a US SAILING One-Design Award. Did your club run an outstanding multi-class regatta this year? Is there an exceptional person at your club who was responsible for making your fleet grow? US SAILING wants to hear about it. One superbly written nomination per nominee is all that is needed. At the Spring US SAILING meeting every year, up to five awards are presented to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations in one-design sailing. The categories are: Service, Leadership, Club, Regatta, and Creativity. These awards highlight role models of creative leadership in one-design sailing. Check out the past winners: Nominations are due by the December 1. For additional information contact Lee Parks at the US SAILING office. Do You Live for the Fine Print? Changes to IRC Rules for 2006 are again generally not great. Of greatest relevance to owners are the changes to the treatment of mainsail upper width in the interests of greater equity across the fleets. Apart from this, changes have little practical effect and are more of an administrative or informative nature. The 2006 IRC rules, which go in effect Jan. 1, 2006, are available at Online Registration Now Available for Rolex Miami OCR (22 November 2005) - US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, has announced that on-line registration for the 2006 US SAILING Rolex Miami OCR is now open. A mainstay on the winter circuit for Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, the 17th Annual US SAILING Rolex Miami OCR is expected to bring together hundreds of sailors from about 30 countries to Biscayne Bay from January 22-27, 2006. Registration information and other regatta and Winter Circuit information can be located at On-Line Registration On-line registration is now open for competitors and coaches at Early registration is recommended and encouraged by discounted fees for entries received by January 16, 2006. Registrations received after January 16, 2006 will be subject to late fees. Golding Takes FICO Gold The winners of the FICO World Championship 2005 are the Briton Mike Golding and Ecover, his sponsor for the past two seasons. The prize-giving ceremony will be held at the London Boat Show. The FICO rankings table for skippers takes into consideration the oceanic events of the past two seasons with two transatlantic races in 2004 (The single-handed Transat Plymouth-Boston and the fully-crewed transatlantic from Quebec to Saint Malo) and four major races in 2005 (Vendee Globe, Faraday Mill Ostar, Route de l'equateur, Transat Jacques Vabre). FICO Skipper Rankings Table 2004-2005: 1-Mike Golding (GBR) Ecover: 282 points 2-Dominique Wavre (SUI) Temenos: 242 points 3-Vincent Riou (FRA) PRB: 221 points 4-Jean Le Cam (FRA) Bonduelle: 209 points 5-Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) Geant: 191 points