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SCUTTLEBUTT 3093 - Monday, May 17, 2010

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: Kaenon Polarized, Interlux, and LaserPerformance.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Watson has spent the past seven months in a self-imposed solitary confinement of sorts. For 210 days, the avid sailor skippered her 34-foot yacht, the Pink Lady, around the world, a feat few others, let alone teenagers, have accomplished.

But on Saturday afternoon, her solo trip ended in dramatic fashion as tens of thousands of cheering spectators and hundreds of boats turned out to welcome her home to Australia's Sydney Harbor. "I haven't seen a person for almost seven months and suddenly there's just people everywhere -- you know, faces, so much color, so much noise, so much everything," she told a news conference. "All I've seen for so long is empty waves, so it was amazing and very overwhelming. At the same time, I achieved what I set out to."

That achievement -- her team claims she's the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop and unassisted around the world -- is not without controversy. A storm over whether she'd bested Jesse Martin, a fellow Australian recognized in 1999 as the youngest to make the voyage at 18, came to a head on sailing news websites last week, centering not on her age -- nor on whether she circumnavigated the globe -- but on whether she had sailed far enough.

Sailing websites such as reported last week that Watson's route wasn't long enough orthodromically -- that is, by measuring the shortest distance from point to point on a route -- to hit 21,600 nautical miles, the length of the equator. Watson's team has said she had sailed about 23,000 nautical miles, though it hasn't claimed the distance is orthodromic. Critics have said her logged distance includes zig-zags that yachts inevitably make, and those zig-zags do not count for orthodromic distance.

The World Sailing Speed Record Council, which certified in 1999 that Martin was the youngest to make the trip, mandates 21,600 orthodromic nautical miles for round-the-world courses. Watson's team has responded that it wasn't aiming for any WSSRC record, because the council has stopped recognizing the "youngest" category. -- CNN, full story:

By Chris Rast, 3-time Olympian
I'm feeling pretty lucky today so I have decided on writing this "delicate" and slightly weird article. Since I'm expecting to lose approximately half of the readers half way into the article I will start off by telling you what value it will bring if you persevere all the way until the end:

- If you are a skipper or someone who is frequently in the position of putting new teams together, this article will give you new overall perspective on this issue.
- If you are a Pro or Amateur Sailor it will help you realize what it takes to integrate into a team and hopefully you will question some of your current practices. (Never a bad thing to take a hard look at yourself, right?)

Here it goes. Business School has taught me that it's very powerful to utilize analogies when explaining difficult concepts and that's what I will do here. I will begin by explaining you the basic concepts of gears and a gearbox. (Again, please bear with me!)

- Two or more gears working in tandem are called a gearbox and can produce a mechanical advantage through a gear ratio.
- The purpose of a gearbox is to transmit power from a power source into something else, often allowing for a change of direction and different gear ratios.
- The efficiency of a transmission is defined by the quotient of the power at the output and the power at the input. (The more losses you have, the worse the efficiency will be). In an ideal world you would want to have 100% efficiency....
- Gears come in many different sizes and tooth shapes. These shapes include straight cut, helical, double helical, bevel, hypoid crown, worm etc. Check out the Wikipedia page on gears if you really want to dig into details...

So what makes it a good gearbox? A good gearbox:
- Performs under the most adverse conditions (e.g. even if one gear somehow stops working), snow, sun, low and hot temps etc.
- Has the appropriate gear ratios (amount of forward / reverse gears and ratios etc.).
- Has low maintenance requirements (may be even self lubricating).
- Has maximum possible efficiency.
- Is user-friendly. Meaning that it is relatively non partisan to different kind of operators (the mechanism that shifts between the various gears.
- Does all the above at the lowest possible cost.

In order for a gearbox to function properly:
- It has to be designed to the correct specifications.
- All the gears need to have the appropriate size and tooth shape (straight cut won't work with helical, duh...).
- Needs to be lubricated properly (oil levels!!!).
- The shafts on which the gears are mounted need to be strong enough and properly aligned, otherwise you will have wear and tear on your gears and thus low efficiency.

So this is the point where I believe that anyone that doesn't subscribe to Popular Mechanics, will have closed this window and is updating their Facebook page with a note telling all their friends that I have completely lost it. So how does this relate to sailing? Well, most of you have probably figured this out by now (and otherwise you're probably not the sharpest gear in the gearbox!) -- Read on:

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(May 16, 2010) - The current TP52 Audi MedCup champions Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) proved they have lost nothing from their competitive edge as they both opened the 2010 season with a resounding win in the Portugal Trophy, Cascais. After another day of muscular breezes which produced fantastic racing conditions off Sintra, just to the west of Cascais, Emirates Team New Zealand had an unassailable regatta lead, clinching the overall trophy with a race to spare.

Through the five events of the 2010 Audi MedCup season, regatta trophies are a bonus, and this is Emirates Team New Zealand's fifth successive regatta title in a row, but the dominant Kiwi crew will be even more content to leave Portugal with a comprehensive lead of 20 points over Franco-German Circuit newcomers AudiA1 powered by All4ONE, which is headed by four times Olympic Jochen Schuemann (GER).

Observed Dean Barker (NZL), skipper-helm Emirates Team New Zealand, "It's been a very difficult first event. The venue is tricky, very hard to understand and the first day we didn't really start off too well. I think in the remaining races, we achieved everything we set out to do and it was really a case of the other teams having races which dropped them back into the pack a little bit."

Final Results
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 6-11-1-1-4-2-1-1.5-2-2= 31.5 points
2. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 9-7-4-6-1-5-5-4.5-4-6= 51.5
3. Artemis (SWE), 3-6-7-8-3-7-2-6-6-9= 57
4. Quantum Racing (USA), 1-5-8-2-10-9-8-10.5-5-1= 59.5
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4-9-2-4-2-1-7-13.5-10-7= 59.5
6. Matador (ARG), 7-2-5-9-8-12(DSQ)-6-3-3-5= 60
7. Synergy (RUS), 8-1-6-3-5-8-3-15-11-4= 64
8. Cristabella (GBR), 2-8-3-5-9-6-10-12-7-3= 65
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5-3-9-10-6-3-9-16.5-8-8= 77.5
10. Bribón (ESP), 10-10-10-12(DNC)-7-4-4-7.5-9-9(RDG)= 82.5
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11-4-11-7-11-10-12(DNF)-9-1-12(DSQ)= 88

Complete report:

Among the 2010 inductees to the America's Cup Hall of Fame is Simon Daubney (NZL), who along with co-inductees Warwick Fleury (NZL), Murray Jones (NZL), and Dean Phipps (NZL), are known for having together won the America's Cup four times. However, the fourth win was also notable for Daubney in that he was found guilty of an Anti Doping Violation during the 32nd America's Cup - an infringement that earned him a two year ban from the sport (July 14, 2007 to July 13, 2009). The poll question was whether it was still appropriate for Daubney to be inducted in the ACHoF. Here were the results:

59.05% - Yes, he deserves to be in the America's Cup Hall of Fame.
40.95% - No, he does not deserve to be in the America's Cup Hall of Fame.

Interestingly, America's Cup rules have always held (not just AC32) that a personal infringement (e.g. a failed drug test) would not also penalize the team unless the jury found the team aided or abetted the personal infringement (e.g. supplied the drug).

Poll comments can be read here:

In an unrelated story, the following sailors have had their ISAF eligibility suspended as a result of Anti Doping Violations:
* Cedric Boeri (France) - from Feb. 1 to July 31, 2010.
* Etienne van Zyl (South Africa) - from Nov. 23, 2009 to Nov. 22, 2011.
ISAF website:

* (May 16, 2010) - Thirteen teams assembled for the Melges 32 East Coast Championship this past weekend at the American Yacht Club (AYC) in Rye, N.Y., almost doubling the attendance from 2009. After two days and eight races, Alex Jackson's Leenabarca team came into the final day leading the field, and took the title with a second place finish in the lone race today. Among the contending teams was 2009 Melges 32 World Champion Pieter Taselaar (USA) on Bliksem, but an apparent equipment violation dropped them out of the running when four of their races were disqualified. -- Final results:

* (May 16, 2010) - The very first Melges 32 European Championship sponsored by Audi took place this past weekend, May 13-16, in beautiful Cagliari, Italy. Seventeen teams from eight countries gathered in Sardinia, and after two days of racing the fleet was unable on Saturday to leave the dock to due to winds of 30 knots. For the final race today, in mistral conditions that had no boundaries, Joe Woods on Red, with Paul Goodison on tactics wins the 2010 Audi Melges 32 European Championship. -- Full report:

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"The sight of 40 Star boats short-tacking the shoreline, often only lengths from beachside hotels along with a backdrop of 5000 foot mountains, made for a spectacular bit of racing." - Andrew Campbell (USA), from the Expert Olympic Garda 2010 - Eurolymp on Lake Garda (Italy). -

* (May 16, 2010) - The Expert Olympic Garda 2010 - Eurolymp on Lake Garda (Italy) hosted eight Olympic classes, with Tania Elías Calles (MEX) winning the 26 Laser Radial event and George Szabo/ Mark Strube (USA) taking second amid the 35-boat Star fleet. -- Event website:

* Split, Croatia (May 16, 2010) - Not many sailors get the chance to sail a major championship in their home town and even fewer get a chance to win one. But Sunday, for Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) that dream came true as he successfully defended his Finn European Championship title in the medal race of the 2010 Finn Open Senior and Junior European Championships in Split, Croatia. The Junior title went to Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), also defending the title he won in 2009, with Americans Luke Lawrence and Caleb Paine in second and third respectively. -- Report:

* With three months to go to the 10th edition of the biennial Rolex Commodores' Cup (Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK), expected teams from South Africa and Hong Kong will join Ireland, France and the United Kingdom, with host Royal Ocean Racing Club anticipating 12 teams in all for the weeklong series (August 15-21). Teams comprise of three yachts in size, roughly, between 35 and 45 feet, for a mix of inshore racing on the waters in and around The Solent, with an offshore course taking the fleet out into The English Channel and a course round the Isle of Wight. -- Full report:

* Hard, Austria (May 15, 2010) - Mads Ebler from Denmark and Ekaterina Skudina from Russia are the brand new 2010 EUROSAF European Match Race mens and womens champions. Ebler had to fight until the fifth and last race in order to beat Eric Monnin from Switzerland while Skudina beat Britain's Lucy Macgregor in their fourth race when she crossed the finish line a few centimeters ahead of her opponent. It was an impressive end to an impressive event with 24 teams in 2 classes, 2 separate races courses and a full set of double round robins, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. -- Event website:

* (May 16, 2010) - All ten yachts of the Clipper 09-10 Round The World Yacht Race lined up on the start line for the 520-mile upwind sprint from Panama to Port Antonio on Jamaica's north coast. The teams left the marina in drenching tropical rain and zero wind and the race start line was set 50 miles from the coast of Panama. At 1831 local time (2331 GMT) Race 9 got underway with the fleet lined up for a rolling Le Mans start where the crews race to hoist their headsails in the fastest possible time. There are still six races, including this one, to be contested. -- Full story:

Events listed at

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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.

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* From Terry Bischoff:
Well said by Dan Knox (in Scuttlebutt 3092 regarding Olympic sailing). The key to success of the sport of sailing lies with the kids, not the Olympic level competitors. As I was quoted earlier saying, there are two organizations the US should get out off, ISAF and the UN; perhaps we should add a third, the IOC.

* From Dan Meyers, Newport RI:
Simon Daubney and his teammates Warwick Fleury, Dean Phipps and Murray Jones, and prior AC Hall of Fame inductees Brad Butterworth and Russell Coutts have been phenomenal ambassadors to sailing for decades. They have competed at the highest level, have been loyal to their friends, their team and their sport. They have sacrificed decades of their personal lives with their families constantly circling the globe, and for the vast majority of their careers for humble wages.

Anyone who knows them appreciates their code of honesty and fun as sportsmen. For someone to write to Scuttlebutt that Simon is a doper...offendermake the same mistake he did is a reckless slander of the facts of the case. Simon Daubney passed a lie detector test, was found to have been spiked by review panel after panel many times, and was held to a standard by WADA that tested only that the substance was present, not that he took the drug intentionally. I am sick to death of jealous, gutless people who sit on the sidelines and criticize those out there actually doing the sport as if they have any standing whatsoever. Get off your butt and try to achieve something yourself and push yourself to be the best in the world, and do it in a manner where people all around the world are proud to have sailed with and against you and call you a friend, and then maybe I could give a whit about your opinion.

* From Paul Bishop:
The America's Cup Hall of Fame is an 'Old Boys Club' rather than an entity where inclusion is based on merit. Looking at the list of designers who have been inducted, there seems to be a couple of names missing. I guess they don't fit in well with the East Coast Blue Bloods who control the votes.

Rolf Vrolijk has headed the design team that won two Cups (2003 and 2007). Doug Peterson has headed the design teams for two winners (1992 and 1995) and one Challenger (LVC Cup Winner 2000). If he had not been frozen out during the 12 Meter era, he probably would have won even more. Of course there are a number of designers (Payne, Fife, Nicholson, Watson) who have been inducted without ever winning the Cup.

This fact has been pointed out to the Selection Committee more than once, so it seems the snub is not simply an oversight. One has to wonder if attitudes toward Vrolijk's employer have anything to do with his exclusion. Perhaps the fact Peterson is an American who successfully designed for other countries has something to do with his exclusion.

* From Ken Quant:
In Milwaukee Bay, the two most popular fleets both use a floating PHRF rating system that adjusts based on performance. All racers start the season with their base PHRF rating and then get seconds removed or added each week based on results. Of course this leads to all sorts of spirited ratings discussions and theories on sand bagging, but the bottom line is that there are up to 70 boats on the line every Wednesday night and over 40 every Friday night, and both series use a floating rating system. In contrast, the fleets using standard ratings are either declining or holding steady at best. The only fleet currently adding numbers in town is the Friday night series.

Is it a perfect system for handicapping sailors? Of course not. But people turn out to sail, and have for years. I'm sure part of that is the fact that everyone feels they have a chance to compete with the more polished boats and crews. Of course it could be the free beer on Wednesday nights as well.

* From John McLeod, Toronto:
Over the last week or so I've seen several writers say that the reason people don't stick with racing is because they don't do get good results in their first few attempts. And all I can think is, seriously? Do you expect to play guitar like Clapton the first week you pick up the instrument? Do you expect to shoot hoops like MJ right out of the gate?

I crewed for five years before I bought my boat, and in that time I gained great respect for the racers at our club. Some of these sailors are former Canadian, North American and world champions. Others have been racing for 60 years or more. One of our skippers, now sailing a Star, crewed in two Whitbread races. The top people in every fleet here know our winds and waters intimately, and they prep their boats with tremendous care.

My first season as a skipper my goals were pretty humble: 1) Don't hit anyone, and 2) Try not to be DFL. We're now six years in. I've gotten better as a skipper and my crew has quite literally learned the ropes. We've also had a little luck, and we've been able to gather a little collection of flags, including some yellow ones. We're very proud of what we've been able to do, partly because we hold our competition in such high regard.

My advice to sailors new to racing is this: lower your expectations, gain some real respect for your more experienced competitors and open your eyes and ears. The only way to win is to learn.

"There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn." - Bill Maher

Special thanks to Kaenon Polarized, Interlux, and LaserPerformance.

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