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SCUTTLEBUTT 3257 - Friday, January 14, 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: North U and Mount Gay Rum.
I WON THE GOLDEN TICKET
By Martin Kullman, Sailing World
There really is something to making friends in your college years, when the
top criteria for hanging out is if the other person is 1) your age, 2) likes
to do the same stuff, and 3) gets you into trouble. Add water and boats into
the mix, and you have the perfect storm - friends for life. I'm fortunate
that some of my college pals have gone on to sailing greatness.
As for me, after college, I decided to go out and get a job (What was I
thinking?). But I still sail - as much as my career will allow. I'm sure
most of you can relate.
This fall, I got the call all Corinthian sailors dream of. Terry Hutchinson
invited me to race with Jim Richardson's Barking Mad team on the Farr 30 in
Key West. I'd raced with Barking Mad, as one of those non-pro guys that fill
the positions the professionals haven't taken. Positions with nicknames like
"string puller, puck holder, pitman, floater," Yes, none of these tags are
glamorous, but they still meant I was on the boat!
Now, in full disclosure, Terry is one of those friends I mentioned in the
beginning. We've stayed friends over the years. When he tapped me for the
regatta, my first thought was that it was going to be hard to convince my
wife that (yet again) I wanted to take a week off work and go sailing.
Before that thought made its way to words, Terry said, "I need you to call
At that moment, I think I knew how Charlie felt when he opened the chocolate
bar and found the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. I've
been given the opportunity to battle it out with the big boys. The Weekend
Warrior has risen to the top! My response to Terry was along the lines of,
"Put me in, Coach. I'm ready to play." I'd been in the pit, and I'd served
as floater, but I'd never called tactics for Barking Mad. -- Read on:
INSIDER TRADING: Sailing Weather Service will be providing six free weather
forecasts for Key West Race Week 2011 from January 17-21, 2011. The week's
weather overview will be distributed on Sunday, January 16 mid-day. Daily
forecasts will be emailed to all subscribers by 0730 daily during Race Week
and hard copies will be available at the Premiere Racing Race Headquarters.
Sponsored by North Sails and Southern Spars. Here is the link to sign up:
JUST IN TIME
Senior SAIL Editor Adam Cort reports from Boston, where a recent blizzard
dumped two feet of snow in parts of the state. In fact, earlier this week,
there was snow falling in every state in the nation...except Florida. It's
no wonder that Cort and the Best Around the Buoys Team contest winner (who
hail from chilly Cleveland) are anxious to get down to Florida to
participate in Key West Race Week.
By winning SAIL's Best Around the Buoys contest, Cleveland skipper Jim
Sminchak's team earned regatta entry, housing, dockage, and a new, race
ready J/111 to race in PHRF 1. Regarding his chances, Sminchak said he is
cautiously optimistic. "Being such a new boat and all, it will take some
time to figure it out," he said. "We want to do well, but first and foremost
we want to have fun."
The team begins sailing on Saturday and will have two days to work up the
brand-new J/111. Joining Sminchak will be Tod Sackett trimming main, Nick
Turney trimming headsails, Doug Moose in the pit, Jeff Haase on bow, and
Mindy Sminchak and Harriot Uhlir trading off in the middle position. There
will be 136 boats toeing the line when racing begins January 17, with teams
from 15 countries and 24 different states. --
TACTICS SEMINAR 2011 TOUR
What will you learn at a 2011 North U Tactics Seminar? How to predict shifts
and plan a strategy AND what to do when you can't predict the next shift (as
if that ever happens), how to protect and extend your lead tactically AND
how to catch up when behind (just in case you don't lead all your races all
the time). Top instructors, multi-media curriculum, a take-home CD for
review and further study, plus a free Tactics Tour Long Sleeve T to the
first 20 registrations at each location. Learn more: http://www.northu.com
ABSOLUTE CARNAGE EVERYWHERE
Belmont, NSW, Australia (January 13, 2011) - It's the battle of the breeze
as the steady 24 knot East-Northeasterly tore down the racecourse of the
2011 Zhik Moth World Championship, with max gusts touching 30. "It's like
the Gorge [2009 Moth Worlds]," said Lindsay Bergan, "I leave just enough
time for one wipeout on the way to the start line." Her teammates agreed -
you don't want to be out there longer than you have to. And at the leeward
mark, noted Rescue Rib Driver John Fullerton, it was "Absolute carnage
Nathan Outteridge (AUS) goes into the final races on Friday with a
comfortable 11-point lead (although what's considered "comfortable" in a
Moth Fleet is debatable.) Second place on down is anybody's guess. Even with
Bora Gulari's (USA) OCS in the day's final race, he was able to climb back
to 13th, which is currently his drop for a score just 7 points back from Joe
Turner (AUS) in second. Big wind is forecasted again for Friday.
Brad Funk (USA) comments on the day:
"So again we learn what to do and what not do in gusts of up to 33 knots.
Downwind I was OK most of the time. But flipping on the run at 27 knots and
pulling my shorts back up and burbing up salt water, I realized I was not
ready for these conditions. I have never worked so hard on a boat in my
life, and I have a new found respect for sailors who sail high performance
boats. The sailors take a beating and the boats do too; everything is
structurally tested to the extreme, and lines get destroyed."
Brad Funk: http://www.funksailing.com/
Matt Knowles: http://knowlesmoth.blogspot.com/
Simon Payne: http://sipayne.blogspot.com/
Chris Rast: http://fasterandhigher.blogspot.com/
GETTING CROWDED IN PIT ROW
(January 13, 2011: Day 14) While the morning for the Barcelona World Race
leaders Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron was marked by an equator crossing,
their afternoon was notable for something less positive on Virbac-Paprec 3.
"The mainsheet exploded," said Jean-Pierre. "The screws in the carbon
failed. We have made a sort of running repair with two ropes to hold the
sheet to. It happened in the conditions which were bizarrely benign. There
was a little choppy, 14-15 knots, nothing exceptional. There was not even
great pressure on the track; we were under full mainsail and Solent. I don't
really know exactly what happened. We will head for Recife to repair it. It
is better to have it happen now than in the South!"
The duo is expecting to arrive in the Brasilian port by Saturday where their
technical team will be waiting for them. "We need to have new bolts made,
three of our guys working for 12 hours would be very optimistic," said
Jean-Pierre. "Brazil is not the best place; there are bits to get and we
might need to wait for bits. It might take 12 hours in port; 12-24 hours
would be a good result."
As reported earlier, Foncia will also be stopping to repair their crash box,
the sacrificial section of the bow. "We should arrive in Recife during the
night of the 14th to the 15th," said Michel Desjoyeaux. "The shore team is
already there and is seeing what the best place will be. Either it will be
Recife or Suave where we have some French contacts who could help with the
job. At the moment the foam is still there with some small holes on either
side. Part of the laminate is still there on the port side. We will take the
advantage because there is waiting time while the resin hardens."
Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20:01:07)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick & Loick Peyron, 21,628 nm DTF
2. Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux & Francois Gabart, 52.5 nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 81.7 nm DTL
4. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret, 135.0 DTL
5. Mapfre, Iker Martinez & Xabi Fernandez, 143.5 nm 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
For professional sailing to grow, events must seek out areas that can
provide commercial support. Chief among these regions is the United Arab
Emirates, which nearly hosted the 33rd America's Cup, currently hosts the
RC44 class, and will host the second stop of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.
But the region is not without problems, and for the VOR leg 2 from Cape Town
to Abu Dhabi, getting there safely is chief among them.
The Somalia coast, which borders the Indian Ocean that Leg 2 will transit,
continues to be a hot bed for piracy. In both numbers of incidents, and in
their distance offshore, this area is unarguably unsafe. While VOR
organizers are determined to design course restrictions to protect the fleet
from this threat, there is only so much they can do if the western side of
the course is favored.
It was only one day following the start of the doublehanded Barcelona World
Race when co-skippers Dominque Wavre (SUI) and Michele Paret (FRA) reported
that their IMOCA Open 60 Mirabaud had been boarded by Moroccan customs
officials. Mirabaud was approximately 48 miles east of the entrance to the
Straits of Gibraltar and 30 miles off the Moroccan coast when the boarding
happened. The officials searched the boat over a period of around 35
minutes, opening many of the couple's vacuum sealed bags of food and
equipment, and then left without any further explanation.
The latest piracy report from the Arabian Sea occurred last weekend when an
Indian dhow MSV Al-Musa sailing from Dubai, UAE to Salalah, Oman was
attacked off the coast of Oman. About 14 Indians have been taken hostage in
the incident that occurred about 50 miles off Oman and about 800 nautical
miles from the Somali coast. While Oman is to the west, there has also been
an increase in the piracy related incidents in the central and eastern
But perhaps technology will intercede. Viewers of Whale Wars on the Animal
Planet will remember the Japanese whaling fleet using high-frequency noise
from long range acoustic devices against the Sea Shepherd. And now the
London-based BAE Systems says it has successfully demonstrated a non-lethal
prototype device that sends a laser beam capable of providing a visual
warning to pirates at distances greater than 2km, and of disorientating
attackers sufficiently at lesser distances so that weapons cannot be
For mainstream sailing, let's hope the trickle down of this type of
technology doesn't need to trickle too far.
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PACKING TIP - CAUTION AND COMMON SENSE
Scuttlebutt was curious about the elite racing venues in the U.S., and in
2004 polled a panel of experts as to what sailing venues provided the best
racing conditions. The answer that came back for this time of year was
southern Florida, specifically Miami. "Best in the winter for the warm
air/water," said frequent visitor and three-time Olympic medalist Mark
Reynolds. "Normally breeze-on but also just a good assortment of wind and
water conditions as well."
But on land in Miami, it's a different story, with idyllic sailing
conditions replaced by caution and concern. Noted USSTAG member Farrah Hall
(Women's Windsurfing), "Although we have a free place to store gear and
train at the US Sailing Center here, the parking lot has been targeted by
thieves for many years. It's tempting to leave your life locked in the car,
but the car is the most unsafe place for computers, wallets, and sailing
gear. (Last December), before I moved into my new place, thieves broke two
windows of my van and stole a gym bag with wallet, cash, toiletries and
clothes. Although my car was the target (along with two other vehicles) ...,
my feelings were validated by some experiences related to me by one of the
women's 470 teams, who had their vehicles broken into three times."
It's this time of year when Miami is most impacted by non-local sailors in
town to attend the Rolex Miami OCR, Midwinter Championships, etc. A
heightened level of common sense is an important part of the travel kit,
plus maybe some Lebron or Dwyane shwag.
Sailing venues: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/04/racingsites-us
Farrah Hall: http://farrahhall.blogspot.com/
So. Fla. schedule: http://tinyurl.com/MH-011311
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: I am looking forward to next week, as I will be
checking in at Key West Race Week for a few days, and then heading north to
the Miami OCR to visit this Olympic ISAF Sailing WorldCup event. And I am
packing my 'caution and common sense'.
* (January 13, 2011; Day 29) - The grass is getting greener for VELUX 5
OCEANS leader Brad Van Liew (USA), as he is both nearing the finish of Leg 2
and widening his gap on the fleet. With just 294 nm to the finish in
Wellington, New Zealand, Van Liew holds a lead of 414 nm over second placed
Zbigniew Gutkowski (POL). -- http://www.velux5oceans.com/
* The prototype AC45 catamaran hulls were moved Thursday from the Warkworth
manufacturing facility in New Zealand down to Auckland's Viaduct Basin for
assembly. The launching is tentatively for Monday with christening
celebration scheduled for February 8th. In 2011, teams entered in the
America's Cup will be racing on the AC45 in the America's Cup World Series.
* The Southern California Yachting Association will hold its 22nd Annual
Women's Sailing Convention on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the Bahia
Corinthian Yacht Club, Corona del Mar. The event is open to all women
interested in sailing from novice to expert, with multiple workshops that
cover the complete range of boating. Details:
=> CORRECTION: If you had trouble with the link for the story in Scuttlebutt
3256 by Michelle Slade titled 'Golden Gate Yacht Club Holds Course as AC
Host', here it is again: http://tinyurl.com/MIJ-011311
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include wing sailing, wall sailing, small sailing, new sailing, smile
sailing, distance sailing, and AC45 sailing. Here are this week's photos:
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Over 100 boats came to Belmont, NSW, Australia to compete in the 2011 Zhik
Moth World Championship. Not only has the racing in this foiling class been
taken to its highest level yet, so has the quality of the video. Way higher.
This week's segment provides daily highlights from the racing, plus a link
to the event channel where countless interviews are hosted. Click here for
this week's videos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/11/0114/
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM LEWECK
When Scuttlebutt founder Tom Leweck launched this publication in 1997, he
was a spry man in his mid-sixties, hell bent on turning the distribution of
sailing news on its ear. This Friday, January 14th, he will be a little less
spry, and while the duties at Scuttlebutt World Headquarters have been
handed off to the next generation, he remains healthy and as active as ever.
He will also be turning 80 years old. Here are a couple ways to send him a
"Laugh in the face of adversity. A good sense of humour is a great asset.
Things go wrong. If you can introduce some humour to the situation you
dilute it. It hasn't gone away but the attitude is different. We might all
be in danger but if you can introduce some levity you help people cope, you
lift their spirits." -- Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (GBR), who in 1969 was the
first to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe,
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