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SCUTTLEBUTT 3252 - Friday, January 7, 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: IYRS and North U.

By Kimball Livingston, yachting journalist
When Larry Ellison was studying at Cal, the sailing club had Lido 14s. A
Lido 14 is (duh) fourteen feet long. Fortunately it is a good little boat,
capable of surviving in a sea state well outside the boundaries of its
intended use. Fortunately, because a Lido 14 is what a young Larry Ellison
sailed all the way across San Francisco Bay from Berkeley, under the Golden
Gate Bridge, and out into the Golden Gate Strait, a patch of water notorious
for serving up sea states that gnarly sea tales do make.

I could have titled this, The Day That Larry Nearly Died. Beyond the bridge
you can go in the space of a few hundred meters from a difficult chop
(inside the Bay) to a roiling mayhem (out in the Strait). Which was the
state of affairs, Ellison said yesterday at City Hall, San Francisco, when
he offered up a little pact: “I said, if God will just let me make it back
under the bridge, safe in San Francisco Bay, I will never do this again.”

He once had a lousy experience racing his Maxi, Sayonara , in the
Sydney-Hobart, and he never did that again, either.

But this America’s Cup thing, with that, he’s been quite persistent. Back in
the day, Thomas Lipton challenged five times and came close once. Ellison
challenged and failed twice, in 2003 and 2007, then won the Cup in 2010 what
we might call in business parlance a hostile takeover. His warm reception by
yesterday’s audience (on Wednesday) at City Hall dispelled any notion that
the home town crowd wouldn’t forget and forgive a little jawboning in the
negotiations between the city and the team. However, the strongest applause
of the day went to the mayor’s AC project manager, Kyri McClellan.

Free advice: Don’t be in Kyri McClellan’s way when she has her working hat

Certain parts of the day were inevitable. Start with Larry Ellison and
Still-Mayor/Lieutenant Governor Elect Gavin Newsom striding down the stairs,
down a red carpet, with applause all around. Not inevitable, but pretty
cool, Jonny Moseley taking on the roll of emcee. (Sure, he won his Gold
Medal upside down and sideways on the side of a mountain, but his family’s
roots in sailing run deep.) “This is a big deal,” Newsom said. “I confess at
my peril, I didn’t recognize what a big deal it was when we began.”
The racing is expected to bring ten million visitors to the San Francisco
Bay Area over the next three years, if you need a definition of “big deal.”
The signing of the Host City Agreement was a consummation devoutly wished.

The plan for the World Series tour is to kick off in June-July in Europe in
the 45-foot, one design catamarans now in-build in New Zealand, with further
racing in Europe and the USA in September-October. Come December and
February, there will be racing in a “winter venue,” which could be in the
Middle East. 45-foot racing probably continues into 2012 - with both racing
teams and the race committee going to school - but the summer of 2012 also
sees the first races in AC 72s, on San Francisco Bay. -- Read on:

MORE: Additional details from the City Hall event on Wednesday, along with
photos and video from the press conference, and a tentative race schedule
for 2011-2013, comes courtesy of Eric Simonson and is posted here:

Seventy-nine percent of dinghy and keel sailors report at least one injury
in the last year, but most of the injuries are minor, U.S. researchers say.
Study leader Dr. Andrew Nathanson of Rhode Island Hospital said 4 percent of
the injuries were considered serious enough to require evacuation from the
vessel and/or hospitalization. "It's important to note that nearly half of
the injuries reported were minor and required no treatment," Nathanson said
in a statement.

Nathanson and colleagues surveyed 1,860 sailors who reported 1,715 injuries
in the last year on small boats with crews of one or two up to larger ones
with a crew of as many as 16. The study, published in the journal Wilderness
and Environmental Medicine, indicated the most common injuries were
contusions, lacerations and sprains. Injuries were mostly caused by trips
and falls, collision with an object or a fellow crew member, or being caught
in the lines. Seventy-one percent of injuries occurred on keel boats. --
Read on:

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Belmont, NSW, Australia (January 6, 2011) - On the final day of the Zhik
Moth Australian Championship, Australian Nathan Outteridge sent a strong
message to his 100+ rivals for the forthcoming Zhik 2011 Moth Worlds -
improve or expect more of the same. Nathan won all three races of the day to
finish the six race regatta on 5 points overall with his drop race of 8th
place in race one denying him of a clean sweep. “That Nathan pulled off 5
bullets is nothing less than frightening from our perspective,” observes
American Chris Rast. “The conditions for the Aussie Nationals were extremely
difficult. Shifty, light to medium breeze, tons of kelp and an unpredictable
Race Committee.”

The American contingent was lead by Dalton Bergan in 7th and 2009 World
Champion Bora Gulari in 8th, who used the Nationals to make the transition
back to the soft rig after training on the wing that he helped develop.
“Having to go back to the ‘soft’ sail was tough, but the right thing to do
if you are serious about winning the Worlds,” noted Rast. “It's going to be
tough to pull off another win for Bora as he did at the Worlds in the Gorge
two years ago. Then he was simply faster, had better boathandling and felt
at ‘home’. This time there are more serious contenders for the title and the
speed differences are smaller. Bora can definitely pull it off; he has all
the skill needed to do so. Key will be to focus on tactical issues, not
trying to inch out another half a knot of boatspeed.”

So what happened to the wing? In short, it was just not yet ready. “The
three identical wings the US team brought to Belmont have shown great
promise in certain conditions, but also considerable weakness,” shared Matt
Knowles. “The biggest weakness is light air (marginal foiling). The wings
also struggle at times downwind; if they are not set up and trimmed
perfectly, they are quite slow downhill. In breeze, they are very hard to
beat upwind. Nevertheless, the plan right now is for Bora and Bear (Peet) to
run soft sails for the Worlds. Charlie McKee is going to sail with a wing
for the whole event. As he puts it, ‘someone has to do it’ to help the class
see what we're dealing with.”

Racing for the Worlds, which has attracted 116 entrants, begins Saturday.

Chris Rast:
Matt Knowles:

SAIL’s annual Pittman Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative
products in the sailboat market. For 2011, SAIL's editors have selected 15
groundbreaking new sailing products. "It was more difficult than ever for
our judges to narrow down such a strong field of new products. Here's proof
that the marine industry is forging ahead with research and development,"
said Editor-in-Chief Peter Nielsen. Pittman Innovation Awards coverage
appears on page 66 of the February SAIL issue and will be featured at SAIL’s
Innovation Station during the Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show, January
27-January 30, 2011.

The winners are: Yale Ph.D Spectra Rope, PYI Max-Prop Ecowind Propeller,
Harken Rewind Radial Electric Winch, Facnor FlatDeck Furler, Seldén
Reversible Winch, Spinlock XXC0812 Powerclutch, Spinlock Zero Sports
Flotation Vest, B&G Zeus Multifunction Display, Standard Horizon Matrix AIS,
IsatPhone PRO, Garmin GPH 12 Autopilot, ProMariner ProNauticP/ Sterling
ProCharge Ultra, Dometic Marine SailVac, Sea Joule Solar Bilge Pump, and
Dock & Go by Groupe Beneteau. Honorable mentions went to FSE Robline for
their organic rope, Ronstan for their Core Blocks, and Wave Craft for their
Wave Blade.

By category, here are the 15 award-winning products:

(January 6, 2011: Day 7) - A course change to clear the Madeira archipelago
to the west Thursday evening has cost Barcelona World Race leader
Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac-Paprec 3 some distance, with
Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux and co skipper François Gabart on
Foncia now just 26 nm behind. The first island split finds their two
pursuing boats Mirabaud and Estrella Damm heading well to the east of
Madeira, sailing a deeper angle and going a little quicker than the two

The westerly track for U.S. co skipper Ryan Breymaier and Boris Herrmann
(GER) on Neutrogena has also cost them some mileage down the track, slipping
from fifth to seventh. “We have 22-24 knots of breeze on the wind,” reports
Breymaier. “It is still OK on board, conditions have not gone super rough
yet, but certainly going outside on deck is a full foul weather gear
experience at this point. “We are just pushing as hard as we can to try and
stay ahead of the three boats who are just behind us. They are newer boats
and probably faster on this point of sail, and so we are just trying to stay
ahead of them until it goes lighter again in a few days.”

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20:01:10)
1. Virbac-Paprec, Jean Pierre Dick & Loick Peyron, 23,656 nm DTF
2. Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux & Francois Gabart, 26.1 nm DTL
3. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret, 69.5 DTL
4. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 83 nm DTL
5. President, Jean Le Cam & Bruno García, 155.7 nm DTL

BACKGROUND: This is the second edition of the non-stop Barcelona World Race,
the only double-handed race around the world. Fourteen teams are competing
on Open 60s which started December 31st and is expected to finish by late
March. The 25,000 nautical mile course is from Barcelona to Barcelona via
three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, Cook Strait, putting Antarctica to
starboard. Race website:

The North U Tactics Seminar Tour will visit over 30 cities this winter -
including yours. Get full tour info at or join us for the
tour finale at our eleventh Performance Race Week in Captiva, FL on April
3-9. Free Tour T-Shirt to the first 20 skipper registrations at each
location! Sign up now at

* (January 6, 2011; Day 22) - The four solo skippers in the VELUX 5 OCEANS
continue to march toward New Zealand, careful to manage the speed of their
Eco 60 in the huge swells of the Southern Ocean. Little change in the
leaderboard, as American Brad Van Liew continues to stretch his lead second
placed Derek Hatfield (CAN), now at 342 nm with 2,074 nm to the finish line
in Wellington. --

* Mar del Plata, Argentina (January 6, 2011) - Belen Tavella and Franco
Greggi continued their winning ways at the 2011 29er World Championship by
winning 2 of the 3 races on the first day of the Gold Fleet finals. Rivals
in the series remain Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz who are only 2 points
behind in second, but who also won a race for the day. Racing continues
Friday and concludes Saturday. -- Full report/results:

* Langkawi, Malaysia (January 6, 2011) - Today the wind delivered 15­18
knots and those sailors at the International Optimist World Championship who
had found the light and shifty conditions so difficult, relished the
increased breeze. Thailand’s Noppakao Poonpa, despite an OCS in the second
race and a 16th in the final race of the day, remains ahead by 8 points of
Ahmad Syukri Bin Abdul Aziz (Malaysia). Friday is the final day with just
one race, after which the Optimist World Champion will be crowned. --

* A reschedule for the Melges 32 class finds the third and final event of
their Winter Series Championship to now be held in Miami, FL on March 4-6.
Leading the series after winning the Melges 32 Gold Cup in Lauderdale, FL is
Rod Jabins Ramrod from Annapolis, Md. The fleet will proceed to the second
series event at Key West Race Week (Jan. 17-21) before moving north to
Miami. Details:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include a Happy New Year greeting, major chaos, heli imagery, perfect storm,
January monitor background, Dragons in transit, and a great memory of Bill
Langan. Here are this week’s photos:

BONUS 1: What did you do on New Year’s Day? While the Scuttlebutt editor
raced on the J/111 in San Diego, the Lauderdale Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale
hosted their own tradition at the Hangover Bowl. Here’s the scoop from
Photographer John Payne:

BONUS 2: Not only does the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race get heavy weight
competition, it also gets heavy weight photography. When you have both Carlo
Borlenghi and Daniel Forster assigned to the event, you know it is something
special. Carlo’s images were featured on Monday, with Daniel’s featured

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States armed
forces and one of seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime,
military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for
having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both
domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission
as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland
Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the
Navy by the President or Congress during time of war.

During Coast Guard operations, the video cameras are frequently on to
support their ongoing training efforts, and they have compiled their Top 11
videos of 2010 in a 6:27 minute clip. The 11 videos symbolize the service's
11 mission areas and highlight the operations and people of the U.S. Coast
Guard from 2010. Click here for this week’s video:

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

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 Russ Silvestri:
America's Cup 2013 will be a giant experiment! Will boats that have never
been seen capture the attention like the Blue Angels? Will the elitist image
of sailing get keel hauled by the general populace supporting the USA versus
the world?

Needless to say, the population of San Francisco has no idea what is going
to happen with the America's Cup. Few know when it is, fewer know who will
be competing, and even less know the names of the players. The organizing
committee has the funds to bombard the public with noise which is enough to
generate interest and pique their curiosity, but after they investigate,
will they come back to something they are unfamiliar with?

A monumental task, but at least in the words of Mayor Gavin Newsome, "You
may have never seen the America’s Cup, but this time you cannot miss it."
The enormity of the boats, the power and speed will be like a space shuttle,
small boats in the bay will be Landmines, Islands will be Bombs .. it is
hard not to imagine carnage for the fastest boats ever designed.

It promises to be a great business case study for the sailors, organizers,
and the city. Go for it and make it great!

* From Brian Berger, San Francisco:
In regards to sailing being a sport (from Scuttlebutt 3250), everyone should
read the chapter in Dave Perry's ‘Winning in One Designs’ when he explained
to other athletes at the Olympics the sport of sailing.

* From Mark Eustis:
Well, hurling is a sport. So is curling. And water polo. And for the sake of
Pete, bowling is a sport. (Yo, Vinnie, youse wanna nuddah beah befo youse
next frame?) You might mention the International Olympic Committee considers
sailing as such, and has included it in the Games for decades. Then again,
they consider rhythmic gymnastics a sport as well. So what do they know? If
comparison to lesser pursuits won’t work on the drone who contests the
issue, take the toad out for a good 3-race day on a Melges 24 in 25+. Let’s
see what the punk-a@@ has to say about sailing after that. Wuss.

* From Jim Champ:
If my memory serves me right it was Uffa Fox, who before the war said that
if you can get badly injured or killed it’s a sport; otherwise it’s a game.
Different days eh!

* From Smitty, Newport Beach:
My take on the Mommy's boat is that as a volunteer to the R/C and as a tow
boat and lunch boat to the competitors I support the yacht club as a host.
Yes, my kid is out on the water too, but I'll anchor off the laylines and
out of the way of a fair course. I take exception that this is unfair, as
WTF am I gonna do anyway on that weekend when my kid wants to compete? God
only gave me one

I was bought up competitive, and sailing was my venue. I believe in giving
back to the sport that I love and enjoy being associated with the sport.
I've never turned down a sailor that needs to use my head either. If anyone
has a problem with that as unfair to others sailing, I've towed in many kids
that I don't know and in return have only received a thank you. To me that
is all I need.

* From Gunther E. Hering, Hamburg / Germany:
There is only one solution for reasons of fairness: Ban all coaches and
coaching when the boats leave the dock until they return. Any violation,
signals on the course, etc result in immediate disqualification for
unsportsmanlike behavior for the rest of a race series. Only sanctions and
enforcement will stop this cheating

* From John Vandemoer: (re, "Pusses And Wusses" article in Scuttlebutt 3251)
I don't think we are a nation of pusses and wusses but rather a nation of
people with very narrow perspective. What gets left out of the coverage of
the Gov. of Penn. was that the conditions were forecasted to be feet of snow
and wind of up to 50 mph and more, almost hurricane. I think it was the
right call for the NFL to postpone the game rather than kill it's fan base
on the way to the game. Call me crazy but I think rational thinking is
better than emotional bravado.

This same rational thought can be applied to Terry Bischoff's situation. I
was the head coach at that Lieter Trophy and what Terry doesn't mention is
that it had been a very windy regatta including the day before when we had
to rescue more than half the fleet - a big deal when we only had 2 safety
boats for 50 girls. The conditions on the day that Terry referred to were
forecasted to build, and as we had already gotten in some great racing when
the breeze started to build, the committee made a call to end the event
before conditions got out of hand for two days in a row. In my mind this was
a good call by the committee which the PRO ignored and got lucky when the
conditions didn't build as forecasted.

Again this is a case where irrational emotional thought out ruled rational
thinking. I was furious with the PRO for ignoring the committee's rational
call. As a coach I love it when we can push young sailors beyond their
safety zone and have them sail in breeze and feel confident to sail in
bigger conditions. But as responsible adults, leaders, and rational thinkers
we also need to weigh the risks and do what's right. I coach my sailors
every day to make their choices on the race course based on rational thought
not on emotion. So be tough but smart.

* From David Starck, 2010 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman Nominee:
I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to this year’s winner, Stan
Honey. I have not personally met Stan but got a sense of his talent and love
for the sport through recent news articles and the like. Impressive indeed.
Well deserved.

If you are given two contradictory orders, obey them both.

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

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