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SCUTTLEBUTT 3259 - Tuesday, January 18, 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.

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Today's sponsors: North U, North Sails, and New England Boatworks.

PERFECT CONDITIONS WELCOME KEY WEST 2011
Key West, FL (January 17, 2011) - Good weather coupled with 12-14 knot southerly winds enabled organizers to complete two races on opening day of Key West 2011 presented by Nautica. It was a successful day on the water for the Melges 32 Goombay Smash. At 21 strong, the Melges 32 is one of the larger fleets racing this week.

Goombay Smash, skippered by William Douglass, a newcomer to the class, came out on top after two races today. Douglass got the gun in Race 2 to take a tiebreaker with skipper Alex Jackson's Leenabarca.

"We got off the line in good shape and had good enough boat speed to stay with the lead pack," said Annapolis-based professional Chris Larson calling tactics aboard Goombay. "I thought we had a good feel for the tactical situation of the day. We did a good job of changing gears in changing conditions."

Douglass (Stamford, CT) is only sailing his second Melges 32 regatta after debuting in the class at the world championships in September, where he placed an impressive seventh is showing he is a quick learner, earning Nautica Watches Boat of the Day.

"I'm not surprised we're doing well. Dougie is a strong helmsman and he's got a solid team," said Larson, noting that Douglass has extensive experience competing in the competitive Farr 40 class.

Blu Moon, owned by Franco Rossini of Switzerland, is the early leader in Melges 24 class, largest of the regatta with 22 boats. Helmsman Flavio Favini steered to first and second today, putting Blu Moon in good position with two strong starts. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/4d3kk22

Daily T2P videos: http://www.t2p.tv/guide/kw11.php Sailing World: http://tinyurl.com/Sailing-World-KW
SAIL: http://sailmagazine.com/best_around_the_buoys/

KITERS FIND THE WINDY WOW! FACTOR IN BAJA
(January 16, 2011) - Here in Los Barriles, Southern Baja, we just put the WOW! back into watersports. We just had a four day kiting and windsurfing event, the Lord of the Wind Showdown, with the wind holding at 25 to 30 kts for the duration.

Some of the best kiters and windsurfers in the world were here, including nine-time world windsurfing champion, Kevin Pritchard and the two world course racing kite champions, Sean Farley and Adam Koch.

Having read on Scuttlebutt all the talk about getting the audience back into events, we brought all races along the beach in front of the crowd. Talk about a crowd pleaser. It couldn't have been better. It reminded me of a slalom ski race in Europe. People were cheering as the sailors came downwind in front of them.

We ran a seven gate slalom down the beach, putting four kiters at a time on the course with the inside turns right outside the surf line and in front of the crowd. As far as we know, a kiter slalom has never been done before, at least not at this magnitude. After seventy nine heats we only had two tangles and they were in the amateur classes. The pros were sailing their legs at speeds in excess of thirty knots.

After two days of racing, Sean Farley, current Mexican National Champion, came out winner in the slalom.

For course racing we put a downwind mark just below the beach arena and an upwind mark just above the arena, with a downwind gate in the center, again bringing the sailors back in front of the crowd as they did laps around the course. This was another crowd pleaser. John Heineken, of San Francisco won this event. -- Full report at: http://tinyurl.com/4fnc8x2

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

ESTRELLA DAMM HOLDS LEAD IN BARCELONA WORLD RACE
(January 17, 2011: Day 18) - Positions remained unchanged today with current predictions having the fleet leaders reach Gough Island and just after it the first of the course's seven safety gates, next Monday evening.

Estrella Damm's relatively direct routing towards the waypoint has them fighting though the most disturbances as they open the course through the systems of the Saint Helena high pressure zone with no fewer than two high pressure systems and two low pressure systems, all exerting various influences on them.

The net result will be at least 36-48 hours of unsettled, changeable conditions to the point that they would be forgiven for simply adopting the approach of heading down the course and adjusting for each new change as it comes to them.

Alex Pella, Barcelona based co-skipper of Estrella Damm was still upbeat, "We have had a really mixed time, with showers, squalls, showers with and without wind, a little bit of everything. We have chosen the option to the SE, which we think is the best choice." -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/4jtyq89

Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.12)
1. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 20,831 nm DTF
2. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant & Sebastien Audigane, 20,969 nm DTF
3. Mapfre, Iker Martinez & Xabi Fernandez, 21,021 nm DTF
4. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret, 21,035 nm DTF
5. Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux & Francois Gabart, 21,122 nm DTF
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

20 KNOTS RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX
Auckland, New Zealand (January 17, 2011) - The buzz around the AC45' maiden voyage on the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland brought a number of internationally-renowned sailing aficionados to the dock where the high-tech wing-sailed catamaran returned after a short shakedown sail. With flat seas and 10 knots of breeze out of the northeast, the crew had near-perfect testing conditions. Here's what was heard from around the harbour:

Harold Bennett (PRO 33rd AC): "It's an awesome looking boat. I saw it sailing, flying a hull almost immediately and it was pretty impressive. It will be great to see more of them trialing together soon; I reckon the future of the America's Cup is looking good."

Peter Lester (America's Cup veteran and sailing TV commentator): "It's great to see the first one and it'll be fantastic when we get a few of them sailing out on the harbour. What also really impresses me is the way the team behind it have really thought about the detailing - and getting it in and out of water efficiently.

Andy Hindley (America's Cup Race Management, COO): "It was an unbelievable first sail. We were in 8-10 knots of breeze and we were sailing at more than double that speed, up to about 20 knots at one point. With a bit more breeze we could be going 28-30 knots. We were only sailing for a couple of minutes and flying the hull. It's a great start." -- Full story: http://www.americascup.com/blog/20-knots-right-out-of-the-box_46

AN ALTERNATIVE?
It would appear that the 34th America's Cup as imagined by Larry Ellison has some powerful detractors, some of who call it too radical, expensive and conceived without a consensus. Whilst the Californians continue to give form to the race in 2013, there is a group of syndicates that are working behind the scenes to create a new and ambitious competition that could be capable of throwing a shadow over the oldest trophy in sport.

According to information the people behind this new rebel fleet include Sir Keith Mills of Team Origin, Ernesto Bertarelli of Alinghi, Patricio Bertelli of Luna Rossa de Prada and Grant Dalton of Team New Zealand. Others hint that the man behind the project is Mr Bertarelli, but Alinghi has consistently denied this, stating that it is a group of people who are working on a personal project.

The idea is to create a new class of boat for a regatta circuit similar to the 32nd edition of the America's Cup, and the head of the design team is Rolf Vrolijk, the Dutch designer of the previous two Alinghi boats before BMW ORACLE/Golden Gate Yacht Club started their court action in New York, who has dusted off the designs of the AC90, the class originally chosen for the 33rd Cup.

Another powerful yachting figure behind the project is Grant Simmer, who has now joined Team Origin, and is coordinating the sports and technical aspects of this new event. The project is still in its embryo stages, seeking a concrete philosophy, and finding out if it could be viable commercially, or if private capital would be required from the heads of the syndicates involved. The main point now is to finance the event, starting on the basis that no regatta has the tradition and prestige of the America's Cup.

Several syndicates involved in the 32nd edition of the Cup have been consulted over whether they would participate on these AC90s in an effort to determine the size of the fleet. It may be envisaged that 2013 could see the birth of the new regatta, if it goes ahead, it will be in exactly the same year that the Americas Cup races take place in San Francisco. Source: The Valencia Life Network, http://www.valencialife.net

AMERICA'S CUP COULD FORCE BUSINESSES TO MOVE
(January 16, 2011) - We are now getting a better idea of the potential for negative impacts when the America's Cup yacht race comes to San Francisco Bay in 2013.

Race organizers will pay the city $55 million for the use of Piers 19 through 29. They will also lease Piers 30 and 32 for decades. Many businesses love the sound of this, but the number of businesses taking a hit continues to grow.

Up to 80 businesses now might have to relocate because of the event. At the earliest, some would have to move by the end of this year, at the latest, some by the end of next year. Even with the lengthy timeframe, there are many nervous business owners along the Embarcadero. From the pedi-cabs, to the soccer players in the parking lot of Piers 27 and 29, to Mr. Toad's vintage car tours, they are all included in the list of businesses along San Francisco's waterfront that are about to begin a wild ride.

While Larry Ellison's yacht race is expected to bring millions in revenue to San Francisco, some business owners say it will not be good for their bottom line. -- Read on: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/sports&id=7901492

OLYMPIC SAILING: 2016 PLANNING UPDATE
By Carol Cronin, Yachting Correspondent
While Olympic hopefuls are training for the 2012 Games in England, ISAF is already making decisions about 2016. Last October, I previewed the November International Sailing Federation meetings and what would (or would not) be voted in.

I'm pleased to report that the proposals for the 2016 events were passed (pending a final vote at the mid-year meeting in May), a significant step in its own right; it was the first time ISAF Council (the final arbiters) had adopted the recommendations of the Events Committee. And it's also a significant step toward establishing classes six years ahead of each Olympics.

Here's another look at the provisional list of events for 2016:
Men's and Women's Board or kite board - Evaluation
Men's one person dinghy - Laser
Women's one person dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's 2nd one person dinghy - Finn
Men's skiff - 49er
Women's skiff - Evaluation
Women's keelboat - Elliott 6m
Mixed multihull - Evaluation
Mixed two person dinghy (spinnaker) 470
(Events that have 'Evaluation' listed next to them will have a sail off between various classes to determine the best equipment.) -- Full story: http://www.boats.com/blog/2011/01/olympic-sailing-2016-planning-update/

HAVE YOU HAD YOUR SAILS WASHED & INSPECTED?
With the winter months upon us, now is a great time to take your sail(s) into your local North Sails loft (regardless of the sail brand) to have it washed and inspected before next season. North Sails' certified sail care experts recommend washing sails at least once per year to ensure maximum sail life. Instead of tumble washing, we will soak your sail in a proprietary solution giving you a cleaner, longer-lasting sail. For additional sail care tips and to find the North Sails sail care location closest to you, log on to: http://www.na.northsails.com/tabid/1929/Default.aspx

NICK THOMPSON WINS LASER MIDWINTER REGATTA
(January 16, 2011) - The 9th Caribbean Laser Midwinter Regatta, Cabarete, Dominican Republic, was held January 14th to 16th and raced under sunny blue skies, 14 to 16 knots, and the famous Cabarete swell for long surfing sessions down wind. The speed and water spray on the reach back to the beach will stay on sailors' minds for a long time. For sailors who are looking to practice for the Senior Worlds in Australia later this year, Cabarete proved to be the perfect training ground.

Last man standing, Nick Thompson, who won the event with one race to spare, left the final heat for Raul Aguayo (DOM), and Charlie Buckingham (USA) to sort out between them the second place position. Charlie finished 5th in the second to last race and had to finish first in the last race to secure his second place. He started well, and kept the lead for the entire course, not allowing anyone to come even close.

Former Sunfish world champion Sebastian Mera (DOM), won the Radial class with a race to spare, followed by Philipine Van Aanholt (AHO) in second, and Laser class legend 72 year old Peter Seidenberg (USA) in third place. Final results: http://www.midwinterregatta.com

EIGHT BELLS: Joyce Toscan
Joyce Toscan - Sandy to her sailing friends - passed away Friday, January 14th, 2011, after a long battle with cancer. She was a long time member of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club; chief scorer for sailing at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, involved in ABYC's Olympic Classes regatta for over forty years, and was the organizational administrator behind many of ABYC's larger events. She wrote or reviewed almost every set of SIs for Worlds, North Americans, Nationals and other major regattas held at ABYC, and was an integral part of the ABYC Race Management team. She was awarded the Andy Gram trophy for outstanding contribution to the Olympic Yachting Program. A celebration of her life will be held at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club on January 22nd at 3pm.

SAILING SHORTS
* Live today: http://www.oracleracing.com, ORACLE Racing's new website is live. Heavy on pictures and easy on the eyes, the new site is clutter free and simple to navigate. For the first time the team now has control of its own website. Previously it was run out of Munich by BMW. In the past the Team had to post news on a separate Blog. Now all channels are under one roof and will be developed going forward. Comments welcome to: feedback@oracleracing.com

* The BoatUS Foundation's Grassroots Grants Program which provides funding for local projects that educate boaters on boating safety and clean boating topics kicked off January 12, with some changes designed to identify new, innovative grant proposals. The program also now gives the public a vote in who receives funding. Traditional boating organizations as well as local groups, clubs, school and college nonprofit organizations are eligible for grants for up to $4,000. The application deadline is April 1. Details: http://smtp.boatus.net/dm?id=2C6E88BD0BED397E0A2D06281517D23C

NEB MINI MAXI'S DO BATTLE IN KEY WEST
New England Boatworks' Belle Mente and Titan are fighting it out at Key West. NEB-built veterans Zaraffa and Snow Lion are currently undergoing upgrades in preparation for the Transatlantic Race 2011, while construction continues on the VOLVO Open 70 PUMA. Contact NEB today to discuss new construction or race modifications: 401-683-4000, http://www.NEBoatworks.com

FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to buy and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. Here are recent ads:

For Sale -
* 31-foot Racing Trimaran
* Chris-Craft Corsair 25 for sale in NJ

Now Hiring -
* North Sails Direct Now Hiring Manager
* Mobile Coordinator Position Opening - US SAILING
* Charter Fleet Service Manager wanted

View/post ads here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/classified_ads

GUEST COMMENTARY
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.

Email: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com
Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum

* From Richard Green, Bowling Green, TX:
With regard to what appears to be a light turnout (quantity, not quality) for Key West Race Week this year, I have to wonder if part of it is attributable to the 30 day minimum rental requirement on rental housing and Condo's which was imposed awhile ago by the local powers.

I have done 6-8 KWRW in the past but the last one I did in 2004 was a real hassle for getting a place for the crew for just 8-10 days. And then we had to figure out what to do with it for the balance of the time we paid for it. Is that rule still in play? I quit going and haven't reconsidered since, primarily for that reason. I just helped some folks last week who wanted to vacation there in March and the costs quoted by the hotels were so outrageous, they elected to go to Aruba for less expense, including airfare.

* From Bruce Munro (re, Scuttlebutt 3258):
I know a little about John Craig since he was hired at St. Francis Yacht Club the year I was commodore. He has done an outstanding job for us over the past 11 years. It is no surprise to me that he was tapped for this very important job. The America's Cup will benefit greatly by his appointment and we wish him well. Unfortunately, his departure creates a very big hole in our racing program. Anyone interested in replacing him should contact the race office at the St. Francis YC.

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
If you aim for the stars but only make it to the moon, remember there are people who have not yet made it to the moon.

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

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