SCUTTLEBUTT 2732 - Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features and
dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors are North Sails Gear and Onne van der Wal Gallery.
A LIVE OCEAN ADVENTURE
Rich Wilson is the only American entrant in the Vendee Globe 2008. At 58 years
old, he is also the oldest skipper in the fleet, and his boat is far from the
latest Open 60 design. He’s already sailed solo across the Atlantic once and
twice between San Francisco and Boston by rounding Cape Horn. The simple
question is why would he sail this tortuous solo non-stop event?
Said Wilson, “We thought we could create this great school program. That's hard
for people to believe. But if we didn't have that program, there's no way I'd do
this race. The program is Ocean Challenge Live!, which will allow more than a
quarter-million kids around the world to follow your journey online
(sitesalive.com) and in newspapers. You hope to hook kids into learning about
geography, science, sailing and more. They don't know anything about spinnakers,
autopilots, or carbon fiber. What they are interested in is a live ocean
adventure.” -- Boston Globe, full story:
NO DOZE AND CRUISE CONTROL
(Nov. 24, 2008) - So it is the continued, droning monotony of motorway driving,
as the Vendee Globe fleet proceeds on the lone route south with the foot to the
floor. There is scope to change lanes as the breeze backs, gaining a little to
the east, or easing the sails and staying west and gaining a couple of knots of
speed, but everyone knows there is a roadblock up ahead. But while the boats are
driven by autopilot hour after hour, day after day on this long close winded
port tack, it is vital the skipper does not fall into autopilot mode. Weighing
heavily on each skipper’s mind is the South Atlantic High, which is refusing to
go back to its usual position. Regardless, this freeway has no offramps, so a
pile-up of meteorological proportions may cause to condense the fleet before the
Roaring Forties will punch the ticket aboard the bullet train past Cape Town.
For now, sliding along in the right lane is top Anglo Mike Golding (GBR), who
has skirted traffic to move up to sixth in the standings. -- Event website:
Solo, non-stop, around the world race in Open 60s.
Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants):
1. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 20509.7 nm Distance to finish
2. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 24.4 nm Distance to leader
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 40.2 nm DTL
4. Armel Le Cléac´h (FRA), Brit Air, 49.4 nm DTL
5. Vincent Riou (FRA), PRB, 50.6 nm DTL
13. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 293.3 nm DTL
16. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 489.8 nm DTL
21. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 745.1 nm DTL
25. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1471.4 nm DTL
Complete standings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
* From Samantha Davies: “Now Roxy and I, like the rest of the fleet, are
bouncing along upwind in the South Atlantic Ocean trade winds. Life is now all
at a 30 degree angle, on port tack, meaning that my right leg will soon be
longer than my left one. It is pretty bumpy too, which makes it feel like you
are driving off-road 24 hours a day. Any movement requires care, and I have been
likening this to my skiing trips in Avoriaz, when I frequently find myself
prostrate across a steep incline! The top tip is to remember what Bruno says:
"bend the knees", "stand across the slope" and "always keep the weight on the
downhill ski". It seems to work here too!” -- http:// www.roxysailing.com
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A MISSING DAGGERBOARD TRUMPS A BROKEN BOOM
(Nov. 24, 2008; Day 10) - It’s the walking wounded chasing Team Ericsson - all
three of the closest yachts have damage - Green Dragon has no boom; PUMA has
structural issues and now Telefonica Blue has only one daggerboard. GD’s boom
broke so long ago that it seems such old news, with the wider sailing angles
allowing them to remain competitive. However, as the east wind is now forward of
the beam, boats lacking booms and boards should suffer, but with Telefónica Blue
having passed GD, perhaps a missing daggerboard trumps a broken boom. How this
plays out will depend on the conditions we see between here and Cochin to the
north - suffice to say that if the fleet have to go upwind in any breeze, no one
is going to be getting any closer to the Ericsson boats. For now, with winds
about to get seriously squirrelly by Tuesday night, it is Happy Hour at the
Doldrums Saloon, with teams on final approach for that special bar stool
offering the friendliest ladies and the fastest refills.
The length of Leg Two from Cape Town to Cochin, India is 4,450 nm, with the
leader expected to finish by November 28th. Current positions (as of Nov. 25,
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 1230 nm Distance to Finish
2. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 3 nm Distance to Leader
3. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 27 nm DTL
4. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 35 nm DTL
5. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 36 nm DTL
6. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 94 nm DTL
7. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 149 nm DTL
8. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 180 nm DTL
Overall scores: http://www.volvooceanrace.org/rdc/#tab4
Race website: http://volvooceanrace.org
LET THE (12 METRE) PARTY BEGIN
A yearlong calendar of racing and events will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of
the classic and elegant 12 Metre Class of boats in the America’s Cup
Competition, with the highlight being the 2009 12 Metre World Competition in
Newport on September 22-27 chaired by Gary Jobson, W. H. Dyer Jones, and Jan D.
Slee, 12 Metre Class President.
In 1958, the elegant 12 Metre Class made its debut in the America’s Cup as the
victorious Columbia (US16) defeated the British challenger, Sceptre (K17). In
the 2009 Worlds, not only will Columbia again compete, but as many as 35 boats
including 14 from Europe and Australia are anticipated. Not since the America’s
Cup competitions have the waters and winds of Rhode Island Sound hosted such a
collection of 12 Metres.
May 15-17 - Boston, MA
July 25-26 - Newport, RI
Aug 8-9 - Edgartown, MA
Aug 13-14 - Nantucket, MA
Sep 22-27 - Newport, RI
Oct 2-3 - New York, NY
Full details: http://SButt112408a.notlong.com
MATCH RACING QUESTION
If you were an umpire, which boat - Yellow or Blue - is obligated to keep clear
in this situation? Yellow is given two penalties during the pre-start. Blue
starts early and is recalled. Blue realizes the recall a bit late, and as a
result there is an incident between Blue sailing towards the pre-start side of
the starting line (on proper course) and Yellow taking the penalty just after
starting, as she is required to do.
The funny thing is that rule 20.1 says that Blue must keep clear of Yellow,
whilst rule 20.2, as modified by C2.8, says the opposite. I haven't been able to
find any rule, call or case which states the prevalence of either rule on the
other. A common sense solution could be to have the two conflicting rules
offsetting each other, and to go back to the basic rules (10, 11 and so on).
BTW: the new rulebook (2009-2012) doesn't solve the issue.
* Said Jos Spijkerman, International Judge: “ I did some research and could not
find a call or case answering this either. But I do know that the rules in part
A do not apply. The preamble of section D specifically states that they do not,
when rule 20 or 21 applies between two boats. For now, both have to keep clear.
I would think the boat taking a penalty has a greater obligation to do so, but I
cannot back that up with the rules.”
Who has to keep clear? Read comments and post your own here:
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* (Nov. 24, 2008) - Frenchman Thomas Coville and his attempt to set a new solo
round the world record aboard the 105-foot maxi-trimaran Sodeb’O endured a rough
weekend of squalls and rain storms in the northern Atlantic, but today has
returned to steadier reaching conditions with winds in the upper teens.
Forecasts see that the Doldrums to be very far north, well before the equator
and fairly narrow, with the expectation for Coville to get south to the equator
by Tuesday. The unfavorable conditions of the past several days have put Coville
150 nm behind Francis Joyon’s record of 57:13:34:06. --
* Not sure how many regattas last weekend had a Thanksgiving Day theme, complete
with turkeys awarded to the winners, but it is likely none were as big as the
Turkey Day Regatta hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club with 319 boats in 19 one
design classes, which is believed to be a record for the event launched in 1948.
-- Full report: http://www.abyc.org/event.cfm?id=308
* The Canadian Yachting Association has announced that it will recognize 10 of
Canada’s top Optimist Dinghy Sailors as they are named to the CYA National
Optimist Dinghy Team. This initiative is in keeping with competitive stream
development in the Long Term Sailor Development Framework. The Optimist Dinghy
is acclaimed as the primary class to start a sailor on the road to high
performance racing. -- Read on: http://SButt112408b.notlong.com
87-year old Fred Schenck passed away last Sunday in Newport Beach, CA. Known
affectionately as "Deaf Fred" for the hearing loss he suffered while aboard a US
Navy Destroyer in WW II, Fred went on to numerous World and National
Championships in the Snipe Class where he served as class Commodore. Fred also
sailed offshore races to Mexico and Honolulu with the likes of Howard Ahmanson.
In his later years he was the terror of the radio controlled model sailing
world. -- Jeffrey Littell
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
For the American ‘buttheads, this week leads to the Thanksgiving Day holiday on
Thursday, and all but six of us should give thanks that we were not involved in
this two boat collision last weekend. While November frostbiting in Essex, CT
with Etchells appears to be much more civil approach to this winter past time
when compared to the dinghy option, the goal still should be to enjoy some
outdoor activity but then ultimately retreat indoors for warm drinkies ... and
not somewhere to file insurance claims. Perhaps the changes in 2009 to Rule 18
from a two to a three length zone around marks will help to alleviate incidents
like this in the future. Click here for this week’s video:
* If you have a video you like, please send your suggestion for next week’s
Video of the Week to mailto:email@example.com
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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editor, aka, ‘The Curmudgeon’. Letters selected for publication must include the
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* From Tom Dailey: When the Volvo stories were about dodging icebergs, that was
good spectacle. But griping about lack of sleep, boat noises, and carbon dust is
boring - it has the tone of a log from a standard business trip. When sailing
becomes business rather than sport, it is just not interesting.
* From Markus Schwendtner, class manager, International Kiteboarding
Association: The International Speed Windsurfing Class (ISWC) and the
International Kiteboarding Class Associstion (IKA) both officially acknowledge
kiteboarders as rightful speed sailing outright world record holders. Kiteboards
fully qualify under the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Equipment Rules
of Sailing and the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) rulebook for the
Although the WSSRC feels to be bound by an ISAF policy from former years, when
kiteboarding was neither compliant with the Equipment Rules of Sailing nor being
an ISAF international class, the only possible conclusion under the actual rule
situation and in the spirit of true sportsmanship is to acknowledge the
performances of Alexandre Caizergues, Robert Douglas and Sebastien Cattelan, all
with runs of more than 50 knots during this year’s Luderitz Speed Challenge as
the speed sailing outright record.
We have been consulted by WSSRC and ISAF to help and try to resolve the issue
and to ensure good sportsmanship is upheld.
* From Chris B. McKesson, Naval Architect: (Regarding the issue of high sailing
speeds when in shallow water) Yes, this is one of the basic hydrodynamics issues
of high speed naval architecture - indeed I slapped myself with a Homer Simpson
"Doh" for not having thought of it in regard to kiteboarding before reading
But 50cm is far too shallow for 50 knots. The factor that we use for deciding
when water is "shallow" versus "deep" is called a 'Depth Froude Number.' When
the Depth Froude Number is less than 1.0 the water is 'shallow', when greater
than 1.0 it's 'deep.' Think of this as kind of like Mach number for supersonic
I will spare you the math, but briefly put the Depth Froude Number of 1.0 for a
speed of 50 knots is about 60 meters or 200 feet. ANY vessel going 50 knots in
water less than 200 feet deep will experience a change in wave pattern, most
likely a reduction in resistance, and thus an increased speed.
The critical depth changes rapidly with speed: At 20 knots the critical depth is
only 30 feet. So we 'lead mine' sailors never need worry about this.
* From Bill Artuzzi: So goes our economy: 1) The recently completed 2008 Farr 40
North Americans in Miami with 8 (!) boats; 2) Last January's Key West Race Week
had 25 Farr 40s - just 10 signed up, to date, for this coming race week; 3) Last
January's KWRW had 34 J/105s - only 10 registered, so far, for the 2009 event,
with 3 weeks to entry deadline; 4) More and more sailing pros now peddling their
play for pay resumes (thanks in part to AC madness); 5) Industry pros reverting
to the 1980's model - buy my stuff and I'll sail with you. The moral: Now's a
good time to focus on our local racing programs - get the kids out sailing,
consider rolling back entry fees, and don't forget the fun factor.
* From Gregory Scott, Kingston Canada (edited to our 250-word limit): So the
decision has been made to keep women in the 470 designed in 1963. And in so
doing they may have done serious damage to the sport. I did read Jobson's 49er
race comments before I wrote and say this; F1 car racing has a huge world wide
audience and sometimes it rains creating absolute mayhem. So does rain evoked
mayhem end the interest in F1? No - because it's the best drivers wrestling with
extreme vehicles literally days old.
The decision made by the ISAF in many ways relegates the gals back to the
kitchen ("nice safe boats") and in many ways is reflective of why the "Big
Three" are on the brink. Old thinking unaware of a changing world around them.
Sailors I believe, applaud the efforts of V70 racing - Melges type boats and
wild rides on TP52's . We have to accept the fact that through technology,
sailing has expanded. If we want to race old boats there are many venues to do
so. Including classic wooden yacht regattas in traditional attire. But if we
want all Olympic sailors to be seen as contemporary athletes (in all forms that
expression means), then it's time to let the ladies play as well. Choosing to
give men access to the future and keeping women in the past is as old as an
Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to
know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.
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