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SCUTTLEBUTT 3255 - Wednesday, January 12, 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: Atlantis WeatherGear, IYRS, and Royal Netherlands Yachting
SCIENCE + EVOLUTION = FAST
For the 2007 America's Cup, Andrew Mason created a DNA structure for the ACC
yacht class, and then used it to race virtual fleets against each other,
automated by computer, culling out the top performers and cross-breeding
them until the best of the breed was found.
What impact can Genetic Analysis and automated optimization play in
designing the new 72-foot catamarans and wingsails for the 2013 America's
Cup? Does Oracle Racing now have an insurmountable advantage on wingsails?
Is this advanced study within reach of anyone other than the teams with the
Andrew explains his innovative methods in this interview with CupInfo.com...
here is an excerpt:
* What is your opinion of the advantage some people perceive that BMW Oracle
has in multihulls and particularly in wingsail design? Is this advantage
insurmountable for a challenging team?
ANDREW MASON: Actually, I think this purported advantage is a myth. The wing
used on the BMW Oracle trimaran was aerodynamically simplistic, and if
scaled down to the correct size for an AC72, would not be competitive with
the first generation of AC72 wings that we will see in 18 months time. The
wing was simple for good reason, it was a gargantuan task to get it built
and sailing in the time available, and it needed to work straight out of the
box and be robust and reliable. In that respect the BMW Oracle design team
did a fantastic job, if they had gone for a more complex design, chances are
that the wing would have been too late or too unreliable. The team picked
the correct level of design complexity for the task at hand, which was
simply to be faster than Alinghi, not to produce the fastest possible wing
This time around it will be different, and aerodynamically BMWO will have to
start from scratch with all the other teams. The wings will be very
different, possibly with all elements able to twist and the likelihood of
more than two elements being used. I would also not count on the C-Class cat
rigs being a model for what we may see in AC34. While the C-Class designers
have done a fantastic job developing the rigs to where they are, they have
had to work with little or no CFD facilities, relatively small budgets, and
small sailing crew numbers, so the wing designs have been fairly simple as a
result. It will be interesting to see what features prevail in the design of
the AC72 wings in an environment of high budgets, extensive CFD, and large
Although I think that aerodynamically and hydrodynamically BMWO does not
have any real advantage over a good challenging team, I do concede that BMWO
has a significant advantage in the structural design of the wing and
platform. The combination of the load data collected from sailing the
trimaran with the knowledge and experience of former Alinghi structural
designer Dirk Kramers will be difficult to match. Combine this with the
experience of the BMWO build team and it will be hard for other teams to
match the structural integrity and quality of the BMWO boats.
Full interview: http://tinyurl.com/CupInfo-011111
COUNTDOWN: The platform and wingsail for the prototype for the new AC45 is
proceeding at Core Composites (Warkworth, Auckland), readying for its launch
next week. The AC45 is a forerunner to the AC72 design to be used in the
34th America's Cup in San Francisco in September 2013. The AC45 is a one
design which will be sailed in the initial rounds of the America's Cup World
Series. Once the ACWS shifts to the AC72, the AC45 will become a youth boat.
-- Sail-World, see photos: http://tinyurl.com/SW-011111
Belmont, NSW, Australia (January 11, 2011) - Twenty-four knot gusts pumped
down the race course for a full day of racing at the 2011 Zhik Moth Worlds'
first day of the Final Series. Rarely dropping below a healthy 18 knot East
by Northeasterly, sailors across the fleet had their share of stacks,
crashes and comebacks that has opened up the scorecard.
Looking at the score board, Nathan Outteridge (AUS) continues to dominate,
but got a minuscule chip in his armor when he showed his second
"none-bullet" by finishing 4th in the last race. Out of twelve races he has
won 10 so far. Despite his dominance, however, he holds only a six point
margin over Aussie Joe Turner in second.
While 2009 World Champ Bora Gulari (USA) had a very decent day with a 4, 3,
7 to now sits in 5th overall, and Linsdsay Bergan (USA) is tied for the lead
of top women, others on the American squad will be using Wednesday's lay day
to rebuild. Brad Funk's rudder system exploded, Charlie McKee's wing
exploded, and Dalton Bergan's mast exploded. While Chris Rast's boat did not
explode, he nearly did until he realized his speed woes were the result of a
major leak in the hull.
The day ended with the Moth Class Annual General Meeting, which showed a bit
of tension as the future of the wings was discussed. "There were a couple of
sailors (and mast makers) that want to downright ban any development of
wings, which I find absolutely absurd in a development class," observed
Rast. "We haven't even yet really started and they already want to ban it? I
can just see the headlines on the sailing websites: Moth Class bans Wings!
Right next to the other headline: The next AC to be sailed with wings!"
Racing will commence on Thursday and conclude on Friday.
To best grasp what Moth racing is like in near-nuke conditions, check out
the videos on the Worlds website and the reports from Brad, Matt, and Chris
on their blogs:
Brad Funk: http://www.funksailing.com/
Matt Knowles: http://knowlesmoth.blogspot.com/
Chris Rast: http://fasterandhigher.blogspot.com/
SEE WHERE MOTHS ARE BUILT
Moth dinghies may seem otherworldly, but they are indeed built on Earth. One
of those places is IYRS in Rhode Island. Composites Technology students will
build a fleet of Moths this term that will become part of the Sail Newport
fleet. See the school's Composites and Marine Systems facility in Bristol
during a January 19 Open House that runs from 4-7 pm (rescheduled from
January 12). You will also see Systems students' projects, some involving
alternative energy sources such as wind generators and solar power. Go to
http://www.iyrs.org to learn more.
STRONG WINDS TAKING ITS TOLL
(January 11, 2011: Day 12) The strong trade winds and high speeds south from
the Canary Islands have taken a toll on the Barcelona World Race. On Monday
it was reported that Jean Le Cam and Bruno Dubois lost the mast of their
IMOCA Open 60 President, and now today Foncia co-skipper Michel Desjoyeaux
reports that the crash box on the bow is damaged, the victim of a shock with
a floating object.
The crash box is a sacrificial section of the bow which is designed to
absorb such impacts and help protect the hull itself. While the boat and
sailors remain safe, the team is preparing to make a technical stop in
Brasil, probably in Recife to repair or replace the sacrificial section
which served its purpose, preventing damage to the hull. Such a technical
stop is not penalized under the race rules until after Australia when a
mandatory 48 hours stop must be taken.
Speeds have dropped now for the leaders who keep pressing hard down towards
the Doldrums, but who will be taking the chance to re-group, to recharge
their energies after three seemingly endless days and nights of on-the-edge
sailing. For the leading duo the passage across the Doldrums looks to be
relatively straightforward, and they will start to feel the effects of the
convergence zone this evening. Leader Virbac-Paprec 3 might even expect to
be sliding into the southern hemisphere, across the Equator by Wednesday
evening around 1800-1900hrs.
Commenting on their dismasting, Le Cam noted that it was not an
extraordinary event. "It happened at about 1900 hrs, so it wasn't yet dark,"
said Le Cam. "There were 20-25 knots of wind and we slammed into a wave. We
were under gennaker, but it was nothing exceptional. How and why it
happened, I've no idea. It wasn't really as if we were digging into a wave.
We just slammed into it. It had already happened twenty times before. As we
hit the wave, we heard a cracking sound. It was all over in two seconds. You
start to look up and it's already over. I've no idea what really happened."
President should arrive at the island of San Antao overnight.
KABOOM: "We were sailing full on by 25 knots of wind when suddenly the sail
fell in the water," said Dominique Wavre from Mirabaud. "It took us two
hours to get it back onboard." Wavre hopes their light spinnaker will last
until they reach the doldrums in two days. "If the wind drops as planned, it
will give us the opportunity to repair the sail, host it and roll it again.
Estrella Damm and Mapfre passed quite close to us, but unfortunately we
didn't have any visual contact with them. Our only view is the horizon.it
seems so close, yet there is an eternity of ocean around us."
Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20:01:04)
1. Virbac-Paprec, Jean Pierre Dick & Loick Peyron, 22,042 nm DTF
2. Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux & Francois Gabart, 65.6 nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 192.3 nm DTL
4. Mapfre, Iker Martinez & Xabi Fernandez, 232.7 nm DTL
5. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret, 247.8 DTL
Full rankings: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/ranking
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: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org
THUNDER DOWN UNDER
One of the classes that will miss Key West Race Week next week is the Farr
40, as their focus this winter is in Australia for the 14th Rolex Farr 40
World Championship (Feb. 23-26). Twenty boats have entered to date,
representing five countries, and include defending champions Massimo
Mezzaroma's Nerone, from Italy.
Martin Hill, the Farr 40 Australian Class President, reports, "Excitement is
growing for the Worlds: the Sydney waterfront is already abuzz with news of
professional calibre teams, and top-gun tacticians that include America's
Cup and Olympic stars such as James Spithill, Tom Slingsby, Hamish Pepper,
Grant Simmer, Michael Coxon, Adrian Stead, Chris Larson, and Vasco
The last time the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds were held in Sydney, in 2005, local
sailor Richard Perini, on Evolution, won a hard-fought championship decided
on the final race of the series. The racing is expected to be no less tight
this time around. Several past World Champions will be on hand to contest
this year's title including: Jim Richardson (USA) on three-time winner
Barking Mad (1998, 2004, 2009); Steve Phillips (USA) on Le Renard (2002),
John Calvert-Jones (AUS) on Southern Star (2000), and Nerone (2003, 2010).
Steve Phillips, from Annapolis, Maryland, on Le Renard, have not competed at
the Worlds since Copenhagen in 2006, but prior to that they were on a roll,
starting with the 2002 Worlds in Nassau, Bahamas which they won, and then
racing in the 2003, 2004, and 2006 events. Phillips' will have local North
Sails rep Michael Coxon onboard as tactician, who helped guide the
second-placed boat at the 2005 Worlds.
Absent from the World's fleet for the past five years, Le Renard's crew is
taking their event preparation seriously. Said Phillips, "I intend to arrive
early and practice in the very difficult Sydney 'seaway', with the opposing
tides versus wind direction. These conditions will present a challenge for
me, since I am used to sailing in the mild Chesapeake Bay with light winds
and minimum wave action. I need some 'tiller time' to be competitive against
the other very talented helmsmen who are more used to a seaway, or as we say
in America, some 'chop'!"
SOUTHBOUND, AND LOVING IT
by Stuart Streuli, Sailing World
Last Sunday was, as someone else put it, a day of "true frostbiting" for
Newport's Laser Fleet 413. The temperature hovered around the freezing
point, the westerly wind gusted up to 20 knots, and the newly fallen snow
blanketed the harborside. But the sun shone brightly, the breeze abated
slightly as the day progressed, and 21 sailors showed up to brush the snow
from their boats and brave the conditions, which more than vindicated my
decision (as one of the fleet captains) not to cancel in the face of a
rather ominous forecast (20 to 25 with gusts over 30, was the prediction two
I had a decidedly poor day. I kept dropping my mainsheet, flipped over a few
times, missed most every shift, and then had a fist-sized hole punched in
the starboard quarter of my boat (a windward-leeward incident) before the
start of the fifth race. Nonetheless, the whole day put a smile on my face.
Frostbiting always seems to have this effect, no matter the result. I was
also smiling because I kept thinking how this coming weekend I'll be in Key
West, bashing through 75-degree water, complaining that 65 is a "little
cool," and worrying whether it's time to re-apply the sunblock. -- Read on:
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: This is the second edition in a row with a Key West
Race Week teaser. Does it hurt yet?
DISCOVER: THE PERFECT GEAR FOR WINTER SAILING IN FLORIDA
Sure, South Florida can be an idyllic place for a winter regatta, but it can
also serve up some truly bone-chilling conditions as well. A year ago, the
Etchells sailors in the Jaguar Series experienced a wind chill factor of
22F, and just a couple of weeks ago, the Orange Bowl Regatta saw a
finger-numbing 29F. So if you're headed to Florida to sail this winter, make
sure you're ready for anything with the Atlantis line of versatile and
innovative sailing gear. Visit http://www.AtlantisWeatherGear.com or call us
at (877) 333-SAIL (7245). We're here to help you figure out what you need.
Discover Your Atlantis
A consumer-oriented website aimed at boat buyers, www.seedealercost.com, has
sent shock waves through the US dealer network. The website, which will
"soon" go live according to a statement, said it will provide consumers with
detailed information about boats, personal watercraft and other powersports
products. The information will include the manufacturer's suggested retail
price and "invoice" pricing on specific boat models which the dealer pays to
"Site users will be able to configure products (choose options) and save
configurations in their account, or print them out by requesting a PDF of
the configuration from See Dealer Cost," said the statement. "In addition to
product and pricing information, site users will have access to articles, a
dealer search, request a quote (from participating manufacturers and their
dealers), and pre-owned values, and in the near future more information will
The website is expected to be similar to Edmunds.com, which provides pricing
and dealer invoice information on cars in the US market. "Today's buyer
requires high value, technologically advanced products, great service, ease
of doing business and the best deal possible," said the See Dealer Cost
website. "The problem is customers don't know what the best deal possible
is. The auto industry, however, reports a higher closing rate when the
customer is better informed."-- IBI News, read on:
A COVER STORY
So far it is the year of the cover! This week we have had a few customers
come in and inquire what all this difference about covers for lines is. So,
we thought we would take some time to post a brief synopsis of the
differences that are out there in cover material:
- Technora blend
Apart from the Polyester cover, most of these are used in more Grand-Prix
and "Big Boat" applications; however they all have uses throughout the
yachting industry, from small one-design to the very highest level of
Grand-Prix. West Marine Rigging - Newport provides a report on each cover
and its applications:
* (January 11, 2011; Day 27) - With 906 nm remaining to the finish for the
VELUX 5 OCEANS leader Brad Van Liew (USA), he faces the tough decision of
which route to take to the finish in Wellington: west through the
notoriously fickle Tasman Sea and the Cook Strait or east round the bottom
of the New Zealand's South Island. With a 259 nm lead on second placed
Zbigniew Gutkowski (POL), Van Liew might be forced to make this decision
without knowing which way the fleet will go. -- http://www.velux5oceans.com/
* SAILING, America's oldest and largest-page-size sailing magazine, is
rolling out a new look for 2011, its 45th anniversary year. Starting with
the March issue, SAILING's pages will measure 9 by 11-7/8 inches, more
compact and easier to read, but still the biggest pages of any American
sailing magazine, similar to some of the respected oversize yachting
magazines in the UK and Europe. A special 45th anniversary issue will be
published in September. -- Full details: http://tinyurl.com/Sailing-011111
* (January 11, 2011) - West Marine today reported a 3.3 percent increase in
net revenues for the fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 1, and a 5.8 percent
increase in net revenues for 2010. Fourth-quarter net revenues were $107.3
million, compared with $103.9 million in the year-earlier period.
Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter increased 1.6 percent, or $1.3
million. -- Soundings, read on:
VACANCY FULLTIME TALENTCOACH LASER - THE NETHERLANDS
Purpose of the position: The coach has a solid and clear vision on Talent
development and is responsible for the program, team, individuals, results
and for talent- and coach development in youth classes within the Royal
Netherlands Yachting Union (Watersportverbond) Talentplan.
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum encourages companies to
post their new hirings, product and service updates. Scuttlebutt editors
will select Industry update each week to include in the Thursday edition of
the Scuttlebutt newsletter. Here is the link to post Industry News updates:
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 Tom Baffico:
I read Matthew's article in Scuttlebutt 3254 on putting the fun and family
back into sailing. As a young teenager I had a great time sailing small
boats with my father and friends. But as an adult I raced keel boats,
primarily an Express 27, and we raced to win. Sailed with a great crew but
it was away from my kids. The Express is absolutely a wonderful boat but my
80 lb son couldn't trim the sails and it was a bit too much for my daughter.
While we went on the occasional sail, I was always a little worried about
the kid's fingers and winches and travellers.
So last year I decided to move not all the way back to dinghies, but to one
of the new sport boats that are becoming popular here in San Francisco, an
Open 5.70. I can either race the boat hard with my "pro" crew or double hand
with my son. My daughter likes to tell her (non-sailing) friends about the
summer day we blasted across the central bay with spray flying everywhere.
This Sunday four of us went for a sail (one of those friends came along).
Turned out to be a nice SF winter day, light air and sunny. We set the chute
near the Bay Bridge and headed back to Alameda with my daughter trimming. My
daughter explained to her friend how to trim the spinnaker and her friend
took over the spinnaker trimming duties. Since she was doing a great job at
that I thought it was time for her to learn to drive. So I explained why you
shouldn't sail too deep or too high downwind, and by the end of the day my
daughter's friend was driving the boat through the gybes while my daughter
How great is that!
"I have a paraplegic friend, Geoff Holt. He says sailing is the thing that
makes him the equal of someone who is able-bodied. On a boat you're
responsible for yourself, you make the decisions. No bureaucrat is telling
you what to do - and people like telling you what to do these days. We are
developing too much of a Big Brother society." -- Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
(GBR), who in 1969 was the first to complete a non-stop solo
circumnavigation of the globe, http://tinyurl.com/RKJ-CO
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Quantum Sails - APS - North Sails - West Marine - Lewmar
Atlantis WeatherGear - IYRS - Ullman Sails
Morris Yachts - North U - Mount Gay Rum
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers