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SCUTTLEBUTT 3258 - Monday, January 17, 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: Camet and Samson.

Key West, FL (January 16, 2011) - One of the world's hottest new one-design racing sailboats will compete for the first time at Key West 2011, which begins Monday and runs through Friday on the azure waters off the southernmost tip of Florida.

The RC 44 class, which was conceived and co-designed by four-time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts, has five boats entered in the 24th edition of the renowned mid-winter regatta. Coutts, who is currently CEO and skipper of reigning America's Cup champion Oracle Racing, will be aboard his own entry in the class.

"It is great to be back in Key West,"¯ said Coutts. "The European owners really wanted to race in Key West. I supported the decision. The main reason is to have fun. The whole atmosphere is very laid back, and it is a great regatta to show the boat. The racing is always great, and very challenging."¯

This marks only the second competitive outing in North America for the RC 44, a high-performance racer that has attracted some of the world's finest professional sailors. Among the notable owners entered in Key West is Vincenzo Onorato, whose Mascalzone Latino syndicate is the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup. One of the top entries figures to be Team Aqua, which is led by highly-regarded tactician Cameron Appleton. Team Aqua is racing a 2007 build, which is the oldest RC 44 in the fleet.

A total of 134 boats in 13 classes will compete on three separate courses in Key West 2011, presented by Nautica, including competitive teams from 15 countries and 24 American states. One of the most exciting classes will once again be the Melges 32, which has 21 professional-laden teams on the scratch sheet, as well as the revitalized Farr 30, the international Melges 24 and the always competitive J/105 and J/80. -- Read on:

Daily T2P videos:
Sailing World:

Belmont, NSW, Australia (January 14, 2011) - When Nathan Outteridge (AUS) finished sixth in the next to last race of the 109-boat 2011 Zhik Moth World Championships, it was all he needed to take the title he justly deserved. Outteridge did not need to sail the final race, but did, continuing a week of domination that saw his 6th as the only time he slipped outside of the top five. In fact, Outteridge swept through the Australian Nationals (pre-worlds) by winning four of the five races, swept through the Worlds qualifying series by winning eight of the nine races, and then sailed an exceedingly steady Worlds series in the 55 boat championship fleet.

The final day gave the fleet a reprieve with more manageable winds, courtesy of an earlier schedule that got the fleet started before the wind gods woke up. But this also meant for marginal foiling. "Four to twelve knots made for a rather connect-the-dots frenzy (the dots being the puffs of wind),"¯ shared Brad Funk (USA). "Foil. Stop. Foil again. Stop again. The whole situation made for some laughing and cussing all at the same time. And movement up and back through the fleet. (In one race) I went from 2nd to 25th to 10th to 15th all in three minutes."¯

For the American contingent, their campaign was initially marked by a focus on wing sail development, but ultimately was a demonstration of what is now needed to compete at the World level in what proved to be a very long and windy event. While Samantha England (AUS) beat out American Lindsay Bergan by one point for the title of leading lady at 47th and 48th place, Bora Gulari led overall in 6th place. Gulari's time in the boat remains his advantage, but the edge that helped him win the 2009 Worlds in Cascade Locks, Oregon has been consumed by the classā€™ continued growth in competition.

Thierry Martinez photos:
Brad Funk (USA):

Tagged as the ultimate do-it-all design, the Camet Agility short is ideal for any seasonal outing with an aerobic component. In addition to the shorts breathable and versatile function, the two-tone shell features side pockets placed high for easy access when sailing. Along with a low profile cargo pockets to reduce snagging. Built with Cametflex - a nylon double weave with three way mechanical stretch. The resulting fabric has great stretch and no propensity to hold moisture. Fabric has minimal wrinkling and easy care. Read more @

San Francisco, Calif. (Jan 15, 2011) - John Craig (USA) has been appointed Principal Race Officer of the 34th America's Cup by America's Cup Race Management (ACRM). A native Californian, and a resident of San Francisco, Craig will be responsible for conducting the races of the America's Cup World Series, the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup Finals.

"I've always wanted to be involved in the America's Cup," Craig said. "I've lived in the Bay Area with my wife and children for 11 years and to have this opportunity come to my doorstep is very fortunate."

A board member of US Sailing, Craig has been the race manager at San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club for over 10 years, running everything from Optimist regattas to World Championships for the Star and Melges 32 class. In doing so, he has worked closely with many of the top sailors in the world. -- Full story:

Auckland, New Zealand (January 17, 2011) - Aucklandā€™s Viaduct Harbour showcased a glimpse into the future of the America's Cup with today's debut of the wing-sailed AC45 catamaran. The forerunner to the next generation of America's Cup boats, the AC45 made its maiden voyage, the first of many sea trials planned over the coming weeks.

Said ORACLE RACING skipper James Spithill, "The biggest challenge with multihulls is learning how much to anticipate. With the AC45 being a big, powerful multihull capable of tripling the wind speed, your reactions and skills are accelerated. It's all about being ahead of the cycle. I think the AC45 will enable all teams to advance to hard-core race mentality very quickly."¯

The AC45 was designed by the ORACLE RACING design and engineering team, which developed the catamaran on behalf of the America's Cup community. At task was designing a boat that would not only meet the racing criteria, but could also fit inside a 40-foot container, which is the shipping vessel for the America's Cup World Series. -- Full story:

Newport, RI (January 15, 2011) - Gov. Lincoln Chafee says the state will help pay for infrastructure improvements needed so Newport can host sailing races that lead up to the America's Cup finals. The "pre-regattas" are planned for Newport and locations around the world before the final races in 2013 in San Francisco.

In Newport, Oracle Racing is planning races in the east passage of Narragansett Bay this year between Sept. 17- 25. On Friday, Chafee toured Fort Adams State Park and told The Newport Daily News, the state "will do our part" to pay for upgrades needed to host the races there.
"I'm big on creating infrastructure," he said. "It's the role of government."

Chafee said improvements at Fort Adams would pay for themselves by making future events possible there, and also by giving the park more visibility. "Everyone who comes to Fort Adams, Rhode Island residents and those from outside the state, says how beautiful it is," the governor said. "Anything that can open up this historic asset to more people is a big plus."

Among the improvements needed: new docks along the waterfront, two cranes to hoist the catamarans in and out of the water, a barge for additional docking space and a long pier to protect the docking areas. -- Read on:

(January 16, 2011: Day 17) - The accordion effect, which had previously drawn the Barcelona World Race fleet closer together, from a deficit of nearly 700 miles four days ago to just under 450 miles last night, appears to be beginning to expand once again. Estrella Damm sits in first place while in second, Groupe Bel, who with each of Sunday's updates steadily gained a couple of miles on the Spanish front-runners. Nearest rival Mapfre's position remains unknown as they stay 'off screen' in stealth mode until Monday evening.

From Sunday morning's 0900hrs (UTC) rankings Mapfre became the first team ever to use 'Ghost Mode' in the Barcelona World Race. This allows the duo to have their positions not published through any six consecutive full rankings. The Ghost Mode is a stealth mode used by a competitor to race during a limited period. This mode allows competitor to 'disappear'¯ from all tracking screens and to hide his tactics and strategy from his opponents.

Barcelona World Race Management, for safety reasons, will remain the one to get all information from a 'ghosted'¯ vessel every 30mn. The Ghost Mode meets a geographical distribution, modeling this geographical split with the Ocean Trophies of the Barcelona World Race 2010-11, ie, it can be used once in each ocean, but not north of the Canaries outbound or inbound). It is interesting timing for the Spanish Olympic medalists who have been on the most westerly routing and were lying third before their position was hidden from the world. -- Full story:

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.12)
1. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 21,075 nm DTF
2. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant & Sebastien Audigane, 21,209 nm DTF
3. Mapfre, Iker Martinez & Xabi Fernandez, n/a
4. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret, 21,263 nm DTF
5. Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux & Francois Gabart, 21,302 nm DTF
Full rankings:

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:

Last weekend, NBC Sports reporter Harry Cicma was on Lake Sunapee, interviewing and shooting action footage of wing and kite sailors that had gathered from Maine to Michigan to support Dan Hill, the new North American distributor for the Kitewing, according to a report by Will Tuthill from Rhode Island who was also on the lake last weekend.

Tuthill, president of the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA), and other winter sailors are regulars on Lake Sunapee. Tuthill says Sunapee is an extraordinary venue for the sport and organizers from WISSA are looking at Sunapee as a possible site for a world championship event.

"The WISSA World Championships is the longest running international competition in the sports of windsurfing (ironic given that windsurfing is a water sport), wing sailing, and kite racing. This year's event is in Finland, and the possibility that the event may one day come to Sunapee will be directly related to the level of community support. In the meantime, Sunapee will be a great venue for wing and kite sailors from around the region,"¯ says Tuthill. -- Story at:

After winning both the first and second legs of the Velux 5 Oceans race, Brad Van Liew has seen the benefit of his preparation. Particularly his selection of cordage. "The Samson ropes onboard this huge rig are remarkable," observed Van Liew. "We have some custom control lines and runner tails with Flavored Ice covers. They're amazing. Their qualities of heat resistance and abrasion control are unbeatable. Samson's AS-90 product has proven to be as strong and reliable as expected. We're using it all over the boat." --

EIGHT BELLS: Nina Ann Nielsen
Nina Ann Nielsen (56) passed away on January 15 at her home in Balboa, California, of natural causes. Friends say she leaves volumes of sailing stories untold. She graduated form Princeton University, where she helped put the Princeton Sailing Team on the map, in 1976. Nielsen was a life long member of The Newport Harbor Yacht Club and the first woman regular member. Her spirit in the Naples Sabot set the stage for young girls in the sport to compete. Always looking for a regatta, Nina got the Etchells bug in her boat "Down Under" (USA-573), from the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. She rolled her sails up and traveled to Bermuda, Hong Kong, and Brisbane with a steady crew of George Twist in the middle. Check with, as to when services will be held.

Events listed at

* (January 15, 2011; Day 31) - American solo ocean racer Brad Van Liew today made it two wins from two ocean sprints as he sailed into Wellington, New Zealand, to claim victory in second sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race. During the leg, the second of five that make up the VELUX 5 OCEANS, Brad sailed 7,682 nautical miles in 30 days, nine hours and 49 minutes at an average speed of 10.53 knots. His win places him firmly at the top of the leaderboard after two ocean sprints. -- Full story:

* Melbourne, Australia (January 15, 2011) - Taking out the overall win at the 2011 International Dragon World Championship by the narrowest of margins at around just a few metres was the British boat Alfie and crew Lawrie Smith, Tim Tavinor and Ossie Stewart. The Championship was held at Port Phillip, Melbourne. Second place went to Markus Wieser (UKR) and crew aboard Bunker Queen. -- Full story:

* (January 16, 2011) - In provisional standings from the 2011 ISAF Youth World Qualifier underway at the Houston Yacht Club Jan 15-17, Mitchell Kiss (Lauderdale YC/Macatawa Bay YC) sits in first in the Combined Laser Radial. In the Combined I420, Reinier Eenkema van Dijk/Spencer McDonough (Lisot LYC/Indian Harbor YC) are in first, and in the Open 29er, Antoine Screve/Mac Agnese (SFYC/Lauderdale YC) also sit in first. -- Provisional results:

* Geelong, Australia (Jaunary 15, 2011) - Reigning world Etchells champions John Bertrand and Andrew Palfrey, along with new crew member Grant Simmer of America's Cup fame, today won the Rex Gortell Prestige Etchells Australian Championship 2011, held on Geelong's Corio Bay. -- Read on:

* Cape Town, South Africa (January 16, 2011) - Saturday saw the start to the Heineken Cape to Rio race and as predicted, Cape Town's south-easterly was mercifully absent, instead lighter winds encouraged a huge fleet of nearly a hundred spectator boats of all sizes and shapes out to see the 40th edition of this iconic race to celebrate the event's return after 8 years. -- Read on:

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 Leweck (re, Happy Birthday):
This has been such a wonderful birthday, and the blog has been the frosting on a very special birthday cake. Thanks to Craig for creating it, and to all of you who were nice enough to send your thoughts to me. I treasure them.

* From Eric Woodman, New England Rep. to the USSCA:
As you may have heard, Edgewood Yacht Club ( in Cranston, RI lost their clubhouse in a massive fire during last Wednesday's blizzard. While no people were injured, the property loss was massive.

Edgewood YC is home to an active Sunfish fleet, which races all year - including during the winter. However, roughly a dozen sets of spars, sails, boards and rudders burned in the fire. Their hulls were not damaged, as they were stored outside. The club is hoping to resume frostbite racing but needs help. See the note from former EYC Staff Commodore Bill Plum:

"Edgewood has been a vibrant sailing, family orientated club for over hundred years. Part of our sailing program has been our frostbiting sunfish fleet for over 35 years. It races every Sunday afternoon. This year, we have 10 sailors most Sundays.

"As a member of the club my entire life of 66 years, I am writing to ask for assistance in replacing or loaning this equipment so that EYC can continue to be the wonderful club that it is and the frostbiting sailing can continue. Any donations could be tax deductible through the Edgewood Sailing School. I can be reached at 401-785-2188 at my home. I thank you in advance for any assistance."

*From George Sechrist (re, Scuttlebutt 3257):
30 years ago, my friends at Bacardi Cup also had vehicles broken into while sailing, some more than once. I guess some things never change. The solution was: Don't ever leave anything of any value in your car or van (if you don't have a hotel room, take your stuff to a friend, or several can rent a storage unit), and then leave the vehicle unlocked so the thieves can open the door and search. At least all your windows are intact and you can drive home.

I won't rise to the occasion, but I'll slide over to it.

Camet, Samson, North U, New England Boatworks
North Sails, Team One Newport, Doyle Sails
US Sailing, Pirates Lair, Ullman

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