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SCUTTLEBUTT 2990 - Friday, December 11, 2009
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.
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Today’s sponsors are Team One Newport and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.
NEW YEAR BEGINS NEXT WEEK
The second year of the Olympic/ Paralympic cycle begins next week at Sail
Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia as the first event of the 2009-10 ISAF
Sailing World Cup is set for December 14-19. The ISAF Sailing World Cup
incorporates seven events across Australia, USA, Spain, France, The
Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain to form the definite series for Olympic
and Paralympic sailors. Following its debut season in 2008-2009 - which
featured over 2,000 sailors representing 65 nations - the World Cup returns to
the same venues in 2009-2010 to build on its initial success.
The only significant change to the World Cup will be the scoring system, which
addressed the need for the overall winner to be the truly best competitor(s),
and not merely a good team that attends all seven events. Where last season’s
overall scores had to include all seven events, the 2009-10 Cup will score
only five out of seven events, with at least one of the discarded events being
a European Cup event. Teams only gain points by finishing in the top 20 of
each event, with more points awarded for higher placings.
The North American contingent for the opener is meager, with teams likely
setting their sights on the second event, Rolex Miami OCR 2010 to be held
January 24-30. Additionally, Sail Melbourne is not including the Women’s Match
Racing event, and early 2010 World Championships are cutting into the
schedule, with the 49ers in Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas (January 2-9) and the
Stars in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (January 12-23).
Entrants that will be there are:
Paul Tingley (CAN), 2.4 Metre
Michael Leigh (CAN), Laser Standard
Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl (USA), 470 Men
Paige Railey (USA), Laser Radial
Clayton Johnson (USA), Laser Standard
Sean Fabre (USA), Laser Standard
Derick Vranizan (USA), Laser Standard
Sail Melbourne website: http://www.sailmelbourne.com.au/
PROCEEDING WITH PLAN B
Valencia, Spain (December 10, 2009) - Alinghi, BMW Oracle and representatives
from the local, regional and central government of Spain met today at the
headquarters of the Valencia 2007 organization in order to start working on
the organizational details of the 33rd America’s Cup.
First of all, it's the city of Valencia that will organize the event, with the
help of the two competing teams and yacht clubs, and all organizational costs
will be borne by the city.
Valencia will be in charge of television production and distribution
(outsourced to some company), marketing and promotion of the event as well as
Four organizational groups will start working from Monday morning on a
continuous basis. Time is very short and with less than two months until the
first starting gun is fired there is no time to waste.
All parties agree that there could be more than three races, with the city of
Valencia, obviously, being the most public advocate. This is very easy to
understand since they are paying for the event and they would like to have it
lasting more. Still, as with most issues, no details were given, just the fact
they will work on this issue.
One important aspect is Alinghi's pending appeal. Lucien Masmejean, Alinghi’s
counselor, was very convinced that a decision should be made public before the
17th of December. For him, it is very difficult to conceive the (NY court)
judges going on the Christmas break without having solved this case. If no
decision is made public before Christmas then Alinghi would have to reconsider
its stance, according to Masmejean, but without entering into any details. --
Valencia Sailing, complete story: http://tinyurl.com/yl6f53f
* The fate of the America’s Cup remains in the hands of the New York Court
system, as a decision in Alinghi's pending appeal on issues regarding venue
and boat measurement has not yet been released. The Appellate Division issues
decisions on Tuesdays and Thursdays shortly after 1100 EST, and will post them
on the court website:
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PROFESSIONAL SAILORS SHOULD BE WORRIED
By Mike Sands
At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the America’s Cup race turned out to
be automated. With the 'optimum' positioning of the BMW Oracle wing mast
determined by one of the onboard computers (as stated previously in
Scuttlebutt by the soft sail trimmer) and the onboard motor being used to
position the wing mast, what is to stop Mr. Ellison from sailing with these
two functions fully integrated?
Just point the boat in the direction you wanted to go and the computer would
do the rest. It would use the GPS (current position, mark location, boat
speed/heading), wind data (strength, direction, velocity profile), and dynamic
structural loading (on deck/rig) to calculate what was optimum and send a
signal to the motor to do the work of moving the wing and trim tab/aileron
accordingly with feedback from optical encoders located at the wing/deck and
wing/aileron interfaces. You could even get fancy and incorporate weather data
at sensors located around the course area (for wind variations) plus the
location of Alinghi on the course for other tactical considerations to be feed
to the computer.
Constraints would be programmed in the computer to feather the mast if wind
strength approached critical values. You could even have the computer adjust
the mast for the start. The computer can determine trim to be at the line at
full speed (using positional data for the committee boat and pin end to
calculate the line location/length) when the flag is hoisted (gun goes off).
Who, of we observers, would know if wing trim was working fully automated and
a figurehead sailor was pretending to press the motor control buttons or not?
The motor is running all the time. You might not hear or see slight
wing/aileron adjustments. I doubt if pre-start dial-up and such would be used
with these huge boats and their high speed/acceleration potential. Thus, big
trim maneuvers would be for tacking, gybing, and mark roundings with an
occasional crossing situation. I expect little luffing situations with these
If this was permitted by the rules, there could be even less need for crew
(lighter is faster) with automatic wing trim. No button pusher.
It isn't impossible technically, just further away from a true test of sailors
as in rigid one-design racing in identical boats. We have already departed
from the best sailors and boat design/materials/construction from an
individual Country competing against the same from another Country. What's
=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: From what I understand, the wing is VERY, VERY
automated. However, the BOR 90 still needs crew to gather and trim the
genneker, and of course, holler out “Nice start, Jimmy!” when warranted.
WORLD YACHT RACING FORUM - DAY 2
Monaco (December 10, 2009) - The second edition of the World Yacht Racing
Forum closed its doors tonight following eight debates and several
presentations held over two days at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum. The highlights of
the day were the America’s Cup session - with the exceptional presence of both
Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth - as well as the contributions by double
Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux and Brown GP F1 team CEO Nick Fry.
Over 350 key figures from the yacht racing industry attended the second
edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum. Their feedback was a positive one,
everyone recognising the quality of the debates and the importance of such an
international Forum to debate the key issues our sport faces.
Today’s keynote speaker Michel Desjoyeaux, double winner of the Vendée Globe,
reminded the audience that the sport of sailing looks clean from outside but
needs to better its carbon footprint. “We have a responsibility”, he
commented; a wise reminder following the Copenhagen climate conference.
Desjoyeaux went on to say that the sport of sailing is a great platform of
integration for the younger generation, and especially for the ones who
encounter problems in suburban areas. “It is wrong to consider our sport as an
activity for the rich people. The access to our sport is easy and cheap. We
have several projects that demonstrate this clearly in France.” Desjoyeaux
concluded by talking about the business model of our sport and the direction
it should take. “We don’t need to reduce our costs; what we need to do is
increase the return we provide to our partners.”
A message that provided a perfect introduction to the next session, entitled
“Cutting racing costs - how can we meet the challenges of today’s economy?”
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, made it clear from the onset that
reducing costs was a matter of survival. “Our sport is small and we need to
work collectively at growing it. We can achieve this by reducing costs in
several areas, and particularly in the technical side of the sport: there is
money wasted in this area. I am also in favour of salary caps”, he said. “On
the other hand, I am not in favour of subsidising teams like some events do.
It is the wrong approach.” -- WYRF, read on:
GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS
With 102 entries submitted to date for the 2010 CST Composites International
14 World Championship to be sailed on Sydney Harbour in Australia January
3-11, the class has found itself in a good news / bad news predicament.
The good news is that any class with a World Championship pulling more than
100 boats is doing very, very well, and the I 14 Worlds will include
representatives from Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan, USA, and a solid
contingent from around Australia.
However, the bad news is that there will be concessions to accommodate a large
fleet of high performance boats in a confined harbor setting. Sydney Harbour
is expected to provide a mixed bag of wind conditions combined with a bit of
chop and slop as harbour traffic combines with ocean swells and waves
refracting off the three nearby headlands of North, South and Middle Heads.
Here are three adjustments that the event organizers needed to make:
* DIVIDED FLEETS: When registration exceeded 90 boats, it was deemed necessary
to split the fleet into two groups. Following a Qualifying Series, entrants
will compete in either the Gold Fleet for the World Championship, or the
* INSURANCE: Due to a confined harbor with high performance boats, each entry
must be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum
coverage of AUD$10,000,000. According to the event website, the insurance can
cost about AUD$175 ($160USD).
* NO REACHING LEGS: The class constitution requires reaching legs, but due to
the confined space and traffic, an amendment has been made for this event.
Apparently, the Worlds PRO was running an 80-90 boat junior regatta on the
same course as the Worlds when there was a near miss with a ferry due to the
boats reaching to a mark and not giving an inch, just focused on getting to
the mark straight ahead. It was decided if these sailors had the option to
gybe off the risk would be eliminated. The class agreed that this was a safety
issue, and would either have only windward leeward courses or possibly try
short reaching legs if the racing area allowed for them.
Wow… no skiff reaching! Kind of like drinking warm beer on a sunny day. While
safety is paramount, it is not clear how the windward leeward courses will
deal with two fleets of 50+ boats each. Will one fleet be planing downwind
toward the other fleet planing upwind? Hope not!
World’s website: http://www.i14worlds.com
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BUSY 2010 HURRICANE SEASON IS FORECAST
Fort Collins, CO (December 10, 2009) - U.S. meteorologists say they expect an
above-average number of Atlantic basin hurricanes to develop during next
year's hurricane season. Meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray --
in the 27th annual early extended-range hurricane forecast issued by Colorado
State University's Tropical Meteorology Project -- predict 11-16 named storms
will develop, 6-8 of them hurricanes and 3-5 of the hurricanes to become major
hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater.
The team said its December early season forecast calls for a range of storms
since the report is based on Atlantic basin conditions that can change
substantially by the June 1 start of the hurricane season. Klotzbach and Gray
said they will issue specific numerical predictions in their next forecast
"We foresee a somewhat above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season," Gray
said. "We anticipate the current El Nino event to dissipate by the 2010
hurricane season and warm sea surface temperatures are likely to continue
being present in the tropical and North Atlantic during 2010 -- conditions
that contribute to an above-average season." -- Read on:
* While consumers continue to watch their budgets and prioritize discretionary
income, thousands of potential boat buyers are still looking for deals and
interested in buying a boat. As a result, 2010 NMMA (National Marine
Manufacturers Association) shows throughout the U.S. intend on attracting
these buyers with the Affordability Pavilion - a special area on the show
floor featuring boats that can be financed for $250 or less per month. -- Read
* Maine has found an interesting way to secure $1.2 million in federal
stimulus dollars for its marine industry. The Maine Department of
Environmental Protection was granted federal funds to help repower at least 40
commercial vessels during the next year, from lobster boats to ferries. And it
is considering trying to find a way to extend the program, which will repower
the boats with cleaner engines while keeping local boatyards busy in the
process. -- Soundings, read on: http://tinyurl.com/yhfdrcd
* A provisional race program for the Class40 has been posted on the class
website before being officially published after the AGM, beginning of January.
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include rainbows and pots of gold, beer canning down under, South Pacific
sailing, the boat that will carry the boat, cross-training, the difference
between bugs and windshields. If you have images you would like to share, send
them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
This past October, the University of Rhode Island Sailing Club represented the
USA in the Collegiate Keelboat World Cup, a week-long sailing race between 15
international teams in Marseilles, France.
Before the team departed, they were provided with two Flip Video HD cameras to
document their experience. This video consists of footage shot on location in
Newport, RI, prior to the World Cup and the footage taken by the team during
their time in France.
This is the true story... of eight teammates... picked to travel to
France...sail together and have their lives taped... to find out what
happens... when people stop being polite... and start getting real...Team
Rhody. Click here for this week’s video:
* Each week T2P - the online network for on demand sailing video - adds an
entertaining reel of the highs and lows in the sport. There are now 44 shows,
with the latest shot at the International Moth Worlds this past summer, with
footage showing these foiling boats when things are not going too well:
LETTERS AND FORUM
Please email your comments to the Scuttlebutt editor (aka, ‘The Curmudgeon’).
Published letters must include writer's name and be no longer than 250 words
(letter might be edited for clarity or simplicity). One letter per subject,
and save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere. As an alternative, a
more open environment for discussion is available on the Scuttlebutt Forum.
-- To submit a Letter: firstname.lastname@example.org
-- To post on the Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum
* From Jean-François Reggio, IMCO President: (re, letter in Scuttlebutt 2987)
(Regarding the boardsailing equipment selection the 2008 Olympics) Rory seems
to forget that from the first test event in Torbole, ISAF Past President Paul
Henderson, said to test officers, "Choose any thing you like but not a
Mistral.” I was there - not Rory. Everything was said. The rest is pure
* From David Schmidt, Senior Editor, SAIL Magazine:
Many thanks for publishing SI's "The Games of Their Lives" (in Scuttlebutt
2989). This is easily the most powerful story that I have read in ages. I
always knew that Nick Scandone was a gifted sailor and a wonderful man, but
the depth of his fight, courage and heart is the stuff of legend. And while
Marin Morrison was robbed of her life at a horribly tender age, there is no
question that she too is cut from a stronger, tougher fabric than most
mortals. For anyone out there who did not read the full story, it is well
worth your time. Expect tears to fall, and for your heart to feel glad that
humanity is populated with souls as strong, vibrant and committed to
excellence as Scandone and Morrison. -- Sports Illustrated, complete story:
* From Bill Sandberg:
Nick Scandone was truly an amazing man and an inspiration to all--sailors and
non-sailors. In November of 2007, I co-chaired a fund raiser for the US
Olympic and Paralympic teams at the New York YC. While the team was in town,
they agreed to take a trip to Valhalla, NY to visit the kids at the Maria
Fareri Children's Hospital. This very special place performs miracles every
day with children with severe illnesses.
The kids were in awe to see some athletes who were in wheel chairs just like
themselves. In spite of his weakening condition, Nick Scandone made that trip
to see the kids. Attached is a picture of the team and kids--Nick is in the
front row far right.
The kids were so excited that when the Paralympic team arrived in Qingdao ten
months later, they had e-mailed a good luck banner to the sailors. Nick
rewarded them, himself, his country and his many friends by winning the gold.
He was truly a remarkable man, and our sport and our world is better for
having him be part of it. -- See photo:
If there are so many people named Tony, why is no one named Finger-elbow?
Special thanks to Team One Newport and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.
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