Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3248 - Monday, January 3, 2011

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: Doyle Sails and Summit Yachts.

Following the announcement on December 31st that San Francisco had been
selected by Golden Gate Yacht Club as the venue for the 34th America's Cup
in 2013, local Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius now wonders if the process
has given the City reason for concern:
Now that the America's Cup is firmly anchored in San Francisco Bay and
everyone is trying on blue blazers and captain's caps, one question remains:

Was this really necessary?

There isn't any doubt San Francisco is the perfect spot for the races. As
Larry Ellison told city officials, the natural aquatic amphitheater, the
knockout backdrop, and the cool, upscale region will showcase the sport of
sailing. Television will love it, spectators will flock to the shoreline,
and as a bonus the boats will be sailing past the Golden Gate Bridge. You
can't beat that.

Ellison's team should have spared us the last-minute drama and the tough
talk from lead negotiator Stephen Barclay, who said the city was "hanging on
by their fingernails." Looking at it now, all it did was create ill will and
make city officials wonder if race officials will be this difficult for
every minor decision from now until 2013.

It seems pretty clear there was no point in sailing off to Newport, R.I.,
because honestly, the team didn't give them much time to put together a
thorough bid. "You've got to remember," said one local race supporter,
"we've been working on this for six or seven months. Newport has been
working on it for six or seven hours."

Going to Newport may have seemed like a good tactical move to get San
Francisco to sweeten its deal, but really, it just made Ellison's team look
greedy. Ellison wasn't named Forbes third richest person in the United
States for nothing. Read more:

With perhaps the biggest challenge for the AC34 out of the way now that San
Francisco has been named as venue for the 2013 America's Cup, Craig
Thompson, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), confirms that
indeed, his team will begin setting up shop in San Francisco this month to
start work on the mammoth task ahead of building a world-class waterfront
event venue.

Thompson, who is married with two children (17-year old daughter and 14-year
old son), lived and worked in Europe from 1986 to 2009 and comes to the Cup
after a long involvement in the UEFA (soccer) Champions League. Sailing
journalist Michelle Slade chatted with Thompson from his home in Newport
Beach, California about the big job ahead.

* With the venue announced, what's the biggest challenge your team now faces
going into this project?

CRAIG THOMPSON: In addition to getting established in San Francisco and
staffing up, probably our biggest three priorities include finding the
commercial partners to now support the event, necessary like any big event
to make it first-class. Those sponsors are a critical priority right now.
Re-signing Louis Vuitton was a great show of confidence from them and sets
the stage as finding the first sponsor is often the most difficult. We're
doing a lot of work on how we're going to televise this event. We know we
have to upgrade and innovate in television production in order to make it
much more exciting for the average viewer of sports - we hope to capture
that new fan with new technology and innovative techniques. We're also
talking to broadcasters all over the world who we want to take the signal to
show to their audiences.

Read on:

Congratulations to the owner and crew of Secret Men's Business 3.5 on their
victory in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race, winning the coveted Tattersall
Cup for 1st Place Overall. Owner Geoff Boettcher worked with the Doyle team
to produce a winning inventory of sails capable of beating the rest of the
fleet and robust enough to win one of the toughest races of its kind. The
inventory included Doyle Stratis Carbon/ Twaron Mainsails and Headsails and
Doyle Downwind sails designed by Richard Bouzaid and Doyle's in-house design
team. For Better Engineered Sails, contact your local Doyle loft,

The 66-year Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was one of the more "classic"
editions in recent years because of the heavy weather and rough seas that
boats and their crews encountered - a hallmark of this well-known 628
nautical mile ocean race.

The race started December 26th with a 'Southerly buster' during the first
night, with the fleet of 87 starters encountering winds that reached 40 to
50 knots. Those gale-force winds and the resulting monstrous seas took their
toll and saw a steady stream of boats retire due to steering damage, torn
sails and engine problems, and for one unlucky yacht, a dismasting. After
two days, 18 boats were forced out of the race, retiring because of the
adverse weather conditions and resulting damage to boat and equipment.

Following that, boats and crew had to contend with getting across the
notorious 100 nautical mile wide Bass Strait. By the race end, winds
lightened somewhat and boats at the back of the fleet had trouble getting
enough wind to get up the ten-mile stretch of Derwent River to the finish
line in Hobart.

Race favourite, Robert Oatley's 100-foot maxi Wild Oats XI picked up the
line honours as expected for a fifth time. However, before Oatley's team
could celebrate, they had to overcome a procedural Race Committee protest
that was later dismissed. Geoff Boettcher's 51-foot Secret Men's Business
3.5 won IRC Overall and IRC Division 1 titles.

As the father and son team aboard their Dawn Star Baltic 46, one of two US
entries, Bill and Will Hubbard shared a lifelong dream of sailing in a Rolex
Sydney Hobart. The 76-year old Hubbard said of the race, "I can honestly say
it was the worst race and the best race I've ever done - and that's the
honest to God's truth. The second day was hell on earth. I've never been so
unhappy and thought that I made a major error in judgment."

But with a twinkle in his eye, Hubbard adds, "The fourth day was the most
fantastic day on the water we've ever spent. The wind was perfect. The
weather was perfect and in that night every star in the sky was out. It was
beautiful." Hubbard was the overall IRC winner of the 2006 Newport Bermuda
Centennial Race on his Carter 37 Lively Lady II.

Division Winners
IRC Div 0: Jazz, Chris Bull, (VIC/AUS), Cookson 50
IRC Div 1: Secret Mens Business 3.5, Geoff Boettcher (SA/AUS), R/P 51
IRC Div 2: Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson (NSW/AUS), Beneteau First 45
IRC Div 3: Paca, Philippe Mengual (NSW/AUS), Beneteau First 40
IRC Div 4: Ray White Spirit of Koomooloo, Mike Freebairn (QLD/AUS), S&S 48
PHS Div 1: NSC Mahligai, Murray Owens & Jenny Kings (NSW/AUS), Sydney 46
PHS Div 2: Flying Fish Arctos, Martin Silk (NSW/AUS), McIntyre 55
Sydney 38: Eleni, Tony Levett (NSW/AUS), Sydney 38
ORCi 1: Jazz, Chris Bull
ORCi 2: Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson
ORCi 3: Copernicus, Greg Zyner, (NSW/AUS), Radford 12
Cruising: OneLife, Alberto Biffignandi, Italy, Amel

Full report:
Carlo Borlenghi photos:

After four days of racing, the 561 entrants at the 2010 Orange Bowl
International Youth Regatta received a taste of nearly all kinds of Biscayne
Bay weather conditions, the raffle prizes for everyone and the 99 regatta
trophies. Hosted on December 27-30 by Coral Reef Yacht Club with assistance
from Shake-A-Leg Miami, the US Sailing Center Miami and Biscayne Bay Yacht
Club, this annual youth extravaganza continues to be a holiday tradition for
youth sailors looking to sail on their school vacation.

Top winners are...
Optimist (218 boats) - Sean Brennan (Florida)
Laser (30 boats) - Eric Lawrence (Florida)
Laser Radial (139 boats) - Jonathan Martinetti (Ecuador)
Laser 4.7 (20 boats) - Brendan Shanahan (Florida)
Club 420 (104 boats) - Antoine Screve (California)/ Mac Agnese (Florida)

The Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Trophy was given to Madeline Rice in the
Opti Green Fleet. After having a good start, she went back to help a fellow
sailor who had capsized below the starting line. The capsized 7 year old
sailor spoke only French and Madeline was able to help her as she is
bilingual. Madeline sacrificed her score to help her fellow sailor feel

Daily reports/results:
John Payne photos:

(January 2, 2011; Day 3) - The weather was not so much Barcelona, more
Breton or British, as the fleet of 14 Open 60 monohulls started the second
edition of the doublehanded nonstop Barcelona World Race on December 31st.
The first edition of the race was in 2007/08, with the third is planned for
2014. The length of the course is approximately 25,000 nautical miles
(46,300 km), with the winner expected to arrive by late March 2011.

Light winds have plagued the early stages, further complicated by how meteo
forecasting through the winter months in the Mediterranean is typically
problematic as the computer models can struggle to deal with the local

In what has been a shuffle at the lead, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) and Loick
Peyron (FRA) on Virbac-Paprec 3 are the latest to hold the position, though
there is bound to be more changes as the lead group picks their way around a
problematic transition zone of very light, shifty and locally even calm
winds which is effectively barring their departure from the Med.

The launch of this edition was marred with unfavorable news when race
directors were forced to disqualify the Polish yacht Fruit just prior to the
start for not having a valid, up-to-date IMOCA measurement certificate. The
event then had to make a decision to allow an alternate for Hugo Boss' Alex
Thomson when the British skipper underwent an emergency appendectomy two
days before the start. Thomson now has 10 days in which to be signed off as
medically fit to take part in the race, from which point he can replace his
substitute skipper.

Shortly after the race began, Jean-Pierre Dick notified race directors that
he wished to file a protest, specifying that Groupe Bel, Foncia, and Hugo
Boss had improperly passed a mark on the course. The matter is now in the
hands of the International Jury with no decision yet declared.

Race website:

Sure, we are just moving beyond January 1, 2011, but spring is coming, and
now is the time to start planning your summer sailing program. Summit Yachts
can still build a Summit 35 or Summit 40 in time for summer delivery, and
what better way to assure a winning season! Both of our Mark Mills designed
IRC Racer/Cruisers have some of the most enviable race records, World Wide,
and you too can cash in on the silver. Check us out at

* John Bertrand, 64, who led Australia II to its historic victory in the
1983 America's Cup, said a biopsy in September has revealed ''very early
stage'' prostate cancer. The cancer had been detected after his return home
from winning the Etchell World Championship in Ireland, when tests showed an
elevated prostate-specific antigen level, prompting a biopsy. A second
biopsy detected no spreading of the cancer and Mr Bertrand continues to be
monitored, with no decision made on further treatment. -- Full story:

* Langkawi, Malaysia (January 2, 2011) The 2010 International Optimist World
Sailing Championship hosts 231 sailors from 55 countries for the Individual
and Team Race World titles. After three days of the Individual event,
Thailand sailors hold the top two spots while current North American
Champion Christopher Williford (USA) is in eighth. The third and final day
for the Team Race title will be on Monday, with the Individual event
commencing again on Wednesday and concluding Thursday. -- Daily

* Premiere Racing announced that there will be a one year hiatus with their
Miami Grand Prix regatta. Current entry registrations, coupled with less
than optimistic projections, indicated that critical mass for the March 2011
regatta would not be achieved. Premiere Racing will seek to resume the event
in 2012, but will require an early and concerted promotion and sponsorship
procurement effort coupled with a turnaround in the racing sailors'
willingness to again participate in travel regattas. -- More here:

* (January 2, 2011; Day 18) - The VELUX 5 OCEANS solo fleet are being
powered by strong offwind conditions through the Southern Ocean on their
second leg from Cape Town to Wellington, NZL. At the front of the ECO 60
race is American Brad Van Liew, who is now 3164 nm from the finish, and
leads second placed Zbigniew Gutkowski (POL) by 200 nm. -- Event website:

* The honors for the first World Championship of the 2011 sailing season
goes to the 29er class, where 65 entries from twelve nations have come to
Mar del Plata, Argentina to contest the class' twelfth World title January
3-8. While current World Champions French sailors Kevin Fisher and Glenn
Gouron are unable to attend, nine of the top twenty from the 2010 Worlds are
here to contest the title. This includes Americans Max Fraser and David
Liebenberg who finished fifth in the 2010 Worlds. -- Full report:

* GEORGE SINKS: Our dad, "Mr. Naples Sabot" and the long time "Mayor of
Mission Bay YC", passed away peacefully December 23rd. He was 85. George
Sinks always said that every day sailing "didn't really count" towards the
number of days you get in this life - so he likely enjoyed an extra 15 or 20
years over everyone who didn't hop in a boat.

In 2009, at 84+ George folded up into his beloved 7'11" Naples Sabot and
raced the roughly 5 miles from San Diego YC to Coronado YC in the annual
Dutch Shoe Marathon. Competing with 170 or so youth sailors and racing hard
against his son and grandson, George out smarted most of them and captured
the Secretary of the Navy Award. George will be missed by his many friends,
his sons and family. His spirit, quick wit, friendly "hello" and love for
sailing will go forward. - Chuck Sinks and family,

* JOHN GRANATH: Well known Southern California sailing enthusiast John
Granath passed away December 31st in the afternoon after an aggressive bike
ride in Newport Beach, CA He owned several boats including a Cal 25 that was
recently renovated like no other one of its kind. 'JG' was 54 yrs young and
will be missed by all the lives he touched. - Mark Gaudio,

* DAVID ROBINSON: Former Olympic sailing coach David Robinson (GBR) has died
after being trapped in an avalanche while skiing in the French Alps.
Robinson, who was skiing off-piste with his wife Chrissy when they were hit
by the falling snow, had run his own sail-making firm Sobstad Sails until he
retired. -- Full report:

Events listed at

Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community.
Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted
comments chosen to be published in the newsletter may be limited to 250
words. Authors may have one published submission per subject, and should
save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.


* From Brad Read, Sail Newport Executive Director:
Over the last few months, Rhode Island has once again proved that it is a
preferred site to host world-class marine events such as the America's Cup
and the Volvo Ocean Race.

A little over two weeks ago, Oracle came to Rhode Island because of our
commitment to creating the infrastructure needed to host the America's Cup
World Series. They gave us a new task: to mobilize an effort to show that
Rhode Island could host the Selection Series Cup events, and the America's
Cup Match of 2013. The Rhode Island America's Cup Organizing Committee
reacted immediately. Rhode Island's marine industry, our hospitality
industry, and our political elements became directly involved. We proved
that we were not only viable, but a preferred site for the third-largest
sporting event in the World.

Today's decision by Oracle Racing to host the 34th America's Cup in San
Francisco instead of Rhode Island does not deter us from the effort to
augment the facilities at Sail Newport and Fort Adams State Park. Instead,
it reinforces the need for these assets so that we may offer more
opportunities for the public to enjoy Narragansett Bay and to experience the
global marine events that Rhode Island attracts.

The work we have done with our engineering team, our cost analysis, and our
market research reinforces our commitment to this game for the long haul.
Sail Newport and Rhode Island remain committed to being the premier East
Coast venue for global marine events. We look forward to working with the
the incoming Rhode Island Governor and Legislators as we continue to move
forward with the improvements to Fort Adams and to the marine facilities at
Fort Adams State Park.

* From Stuart Thomas: It's official! The Awards Committee of the Public
Relations Society of America ranked the Golden Gate Yacht Club's venue
announcement on New Year's Eve just below the Corpus Christi Church's Sunday
School Picnic promotion - but ahead of the Wichita Little League tryouts
communications program. What a joke for a professional sports franchise. But
not a funny joke.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: I must concur. Well before their official
announcement came at 5pm PT on Dec. 31st, every news outlet with a website
had referenced unnamed sources to state that San Francisco had been
selected. The Golden Gate Yacht Club distributed an email to its members at
2pm PT stating that San Francisco had been selected, which was followed by
an email retracting the announcement as it had not been approved by the
team. For a company (Oracle) that spends major money on PR and marketing, it
would seem that they need to shift some of their corporate personnel to help
their sailing division.

* From Edward Trevelyan:
I would like to add this note to the fine tribute in Scuttlebutt 3247
provided by my friend, Rod Davis, upon the passing of his father, Whit

Whit Davis was a great friend and mentor to those of us who grew up on
Coronado Island with aspirations of reaching the regional or even national
level in sailboat racing. He encouraged us to build serious campaigns for
the Sears and later the Prince of Wales cups. He introduced us to ocean
racing on his state of the art (at the time) Newport 41, Lola, and taught us
seamanship and navigation on "extended cruises" to Catalina Island. He
encouraged us to set our sights high and refine our skills for the next
level of competition, lessons that played no small part in our later success
at the Olympics and beyond. These successes were thrilling, but none so
memorable as the opportunity given a 14 year-old to steer Lola toward the
Isthmus, rail down at ten knots.

Thanks for the memories, Whit. You will be missed!

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Ed, along with Rod and Robbie Haines, won Olympic
Gold in the 1984 Olympics.

* From Cliff Thompson:
I had the privilege to sail with Whit (navigator) in a San Diego to
Manzanillo race aboard Cadenza, owned by Carl Eichenlaub (can't remember the
year!). I have never seen a navigator that was so accurate with a sextant. I
also remember him being bugged by a crew member as to our position. He drew
a huge circle of the whole Pacific and said, "We are in this circle!"

May he rest in peace. It was great knowing and sailing with him.

* From John Folting:
I have done a lot of work with Witt Davis, especially in the late 80's, and
I certainly concur what a gentleman and an avid racing person of distinction
he was. Mostly it was his work as a jury member that we would work together.
He was always fair and to the point.

I am sure that Libby and the boys will miss Whit a great deal, but they will
always have the solace of following in his footsteps as a great example of
how to carry on, as I know they all will. Whit will be missed.

* From Ted Pike
It was great to read about the B-Day party for Octavia in Scuttlebutt 3241
and the question came up if other boats got B-Day parties? We had the 50th
for Annie Too at the 2006 Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington

Annie Too is a Bill Lapworth 45' built in 1956 in Long Beach across the road
from Bills office. She was built by Willis Boyd and Bill Lapworth and she
came north to the San Francisco Yacht Club in 1961 by Dr Emmit Rixford and
was sailed and raced hard by the Rixford family for 35 yrs. Like Octavia (SF
to Monterey Bay race) she won the Windjammers Race of 1961 and set a record.

We brought Annie Too up to Port Townsend in 1994 and it was a joy to have
the Rixford family and old crew for her 50th and a great time was had by

"Rules for Next Year: to give opinions with caution, and to quote
authorities with the same, to have as little confidence in the world as
possible, and as much benevolence." -- William Bentley, American scholar,
December 31, 1792

Doyle Sails - Summit Yachts - Team One Newport - North Sails
J Boats - Point Loma Outfitting - Melges Performance Sailboats
Harken - Ullman Sails - IYRS - North U

Need stuff? Look here: