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SCUTTLEBUTT 3260 - Wednesday, January 20, 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: Doyle Sails, Team One Newport, and US SAILING.
HOW THE OTHER HALF SAILS
By Michael Lovett
One of the perks of Key West Race Week is it affords everyday racers the
opportunity to mingle with the best in the sport. Today, I got to rub
shoulders with Russell Coutts, literally. I was the guest crewmember on the
RC 44 Oracle Racing, and my spot at the back of the boat put me right next
to Mr. Coutts. We shared the windward running backstay as a handhold - very
It was my first time aboard an RC 44, and my first time meeting Coutts and
his Oracle team. I was expecting to get a glimpse of a brand of sailing
wholly unfamiliar to me, to be dazzled by the secrets of the cutting edge. I
saw some of that - the boat is a carbon-fiber machine, right down to the
weed stick, and the crew performs complex boathandling maneuvers with a
nonchalance that makes it look easy - but, for the most part, the racing I
witnessed was surprisingly familiar.
The conversation between Coutts and Chris Museler - the sometime SW
contributor driving the boat this week - was no different than the exchanges
any tactician has with their skipper: "Watch out for that weed patch." "Down
a little; okay, slowly burn off some of that speed." "You're a little low
coming out of the tacks."
I was expecting the tactical discussions to fly way over my head, the way
calculus did in high school, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear the
Oracle gang making their decisions the same way we make them in
Tuesday-night J/22 racing: "Looks like there's a little more wind on the
right. Let's go there." "There's favorable current on the left. Let's take
advantage of that." "Man, we really shouldn't have tacked there. Now we'll
just have to hang in here and eat it." -- Full story:
Key West 2011 event website: http://www.premiere-racing.com/
Daily T2P videos: http://www.t2p.tv/guide/kw11.php
Sailing World: http://tinyurl.com/Sailing-World-KW
2011 470 CLASS NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS CONCLUDE
Fifty-three 470s hailing from fifteen different countries competed in the
470 Class North American Championships January 14-16, 2011, in Miami, FL,
hosted by the Coconut Gove Sailing Club.
US Sailing Team Alpha Graphics members Stu McNay and Graham Biehl (Beijing
2008) and USSTAG's Erin Maxwell sailing with Isabelle Kinsolving-Farrar
(Athens 2004) led for the first two days of the event, but were caught out
in the light air conditions of day three to be passed by Mathew
Belcher/Malcolm Paige AUS (1st Overall Men) and Camille Lecointre/Mathilde
Geron FRA (1st Overall Women).
Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) and Camille Lecointre/Mathilde Geron (FRA)
took the over the line title. Both the Australians and French put in
fantastic performances to secure victory at this world-class event. However,
as per the rules for a Continental Championship the official title goes to
the top placed teams from that continent, which sees the newly crowned 2011
North American Champions as Stu McNay and Graham Biehl (USA) in the men's
and Maxwell/Kinsolving-Farrar (USA) in the women's fleet.
After an opening day on Friday of superb conditions with 15-18 knots in
Miami, the next two days of racing presented lighter and more variable
conditions, with Saturday proving to be shifty whilst Sunday saw the wind
drop to testing light winds. Eight races were completed in the qualification
series, before a medal race for the top ten in each of the men and women's
Congratulations to McNay/Biehl (2nd Men) and Maxwell/Kinsolving-Farrar (3rd
Women), the top NA competitors and new 470 Class North American Champions.
-- Full story: http://www.470.org/content.asp?id=2377
WHAT DO 1, 2, AND 3 HAVE IN COMMON?
Doyle. Doyle sails dominated the 2011 Sid Doren Memorial, hosted by Etchells
Fleet 20 in Miami, Florida finishing 1-2-3. On Saturday, three races were
held in 10-20 knot winds. Consistency in Sunday's two lighter air races paid
off for Jud Smith, Moose McClintock, and Jim Porter. Sailing Gary Jobson's
boat, Jud's 1-2 finishes on Sunday were enough to shuffle Saturday's leader
board and result in the win of the 2011 Sid Doren Memorial. Doyle sails
powered Scott Piper to 2nd place and Buddy Cribb to 3rd. When one designs
come down to one, it's Doyle. http://www.doylesails.com/onedesign
FRUSTRATING WEATHER WINDOW FOR BARCELONA RACERS
(January 18, 2011: Day 19) - Enjoying the lead of the Barcelona World Race
since Friday afternoon, Estrella Damm duo Alex Pella (ESP) and Pepe Ribes
(ESP) are set for a long night and long day of frustration as they try to
find a way through over 250 miles of very unstable, asthmatic light winds.
This afternoon Pella and Ribes had 1,466 miles to sail to the key way-point
while Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) and François Gabart (FRA), barreling down the
Brazilian coast on Foncia, at the latitude of Rio de Janeiro, between four
and six knots quicker, had 1,788 miles to Gough Island, the lonely island
which will effectively act as watch-keeper for the Barcelona World Race
fleet before the gateway to the Southern Ocean.
Routing predictions still suggest there is little to choose between the
pathfinder's direct passage through the jungle of unstable weather of
Estrella Damm, and the fast route west down the Brazilian coast. The ETA for
the first boat has advanced to around Sunday morning as the Saint Helena
high-pressure system takes on an increasingly ordered shape.
The catch up on the leaders continues. Groupe Bel has moved to within 97
miles of Estrella Damm. Mirabaud remain the quickest of the top three with
their tidy slightly westerly routing. Dee Caffari (GBR) and Anna Corbella
(ESP) have had a good 36 hours on GAES Centros Auditivos, making up two
places to lie in seventh, just seven miles behind the Boris Herrmann (GER)
and Ryan Breymaier (USA) on Neutrogena. -- Full story:
Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 21,685 nm DTF
2. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant & Sebastien Audigane, 20,752 nm DTF
3. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret, 20,805 nm DTF
4. Mapfre, Iker Martinez & Xabi Fernandez, 20,851 nm DTF
5. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick & Loick Peyron, in ghost mode
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
HOW DID AC34 END UP IN MULTIHULLS?
Pete Melvin is a diehard multihull guy.
For that reason, he pretty much figured the pinnacle of sailing, the
America's Cup, was out of his reach. But an improbable Deed of Gift match
led to the chance of a lifetime, bringing Melvin and his team to the
forefront of plans to bring multihulls to the venerable Cup.
The team at Morelli & Melvin, the Huntington Beach, California, yacht design
firm who helped design the wing that took BMW Oracle Racing from America's
Cup challenger to defender in about the amount of time it takes to sail from
San Diego to San Francisco. But when America's Cup 33 ended last February,
Melvin celebrated the victory and thought his time with the Cup had come to
an end. However, a seed had been planted...
"During the Cup, I honestly don't think anyone was thinking that far ahead,"
Melvin says. "It was all new to most of the Oracle guys. I mean, you can
count the number of guys who had been involved with multihulls - especially
multihulls with wings - on two hands. It's a very small community. They
weren't sure how that was going to turn out, so no one was thinking about
how the next Cup was going to look." -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/4v77z2r
AC34 TOP PRIORTY FOR NEW MAYOR
By Michelle Slade, Sailing Journalist
After days of winter chilly San Francisco fog, this morning clouds gave way
to blue sunshine and even warmth as San Francisco's new Mayor Edwin Lee
conducted a press conference at the end of Pier 27, literally at the water's
edge, to discuss his administration's commitment and organization to deliver
AC 34. Fitting.
A long time Bay area resident, it was the first time I'd ventured out to the
end of this particular pier - I've sailed passed it often enough. It took
about a second to conceptualize what this whole thing is not only going to
look like but FEEL like. It's going to be amazing.
Lee was joined by City Supervisors Murakami and Lee, who have been 100%
behind the Cup coming to town, as well as Mark Buell representing both Park
and Rec, and the Americas Cup Organizing Committee (ACOC), and Craig
Thompson, CEO America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA). Many other Port staff
and city staff were also on-hand, including Jonathan Stern, the Port's
assistant deputy director of Waterfront Development.
Stern lead the group for a quick tour of Piers 23 and 27, to briefly show
Mayor Lee the areas that will be dedicated to the Cup. It's clear that the
Mayor is already enamored of the changes that the Cup is sure to bring to
the City under his authority. -- Read on:
* Not all San Francisco waterfront tenants who may be relocated due to AC34
have an issue with the proposed plans: http://tinyurl.com/4u8vdaw
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BRILLIANT MOVE BY AMERICA'S CUP RACE MANAGEMENT
By Kimball Livingston, Sailing Journalist
America's Cup Race Management just made one brilliant move.
They've hired John Craig to join them as Principal Race Officer for the
America's Cup World Series, Louis Vuitton Cup, and the 34th America's Cup.
For eleven years, John has been the race manager at St. Francis Yacht Club,
responsible for overseeing 120-130 days a year of racing, right where the
next Cup match will be sailed. He knows every nuance (and hammer blow) of
San Francisco Bay, and even better, he's long been talking to the Bar
Pilots, Vessel Traffic, fishermen, rowing and swimming clubs, Rec & Park,
and SFPD Marine.
This man knows the wind, the water and all the stakeholders.
It would take years for an outsider to match what he brings to the table.
ACRM has to get it right the first time.
Around the world, a small handful of veteran race managers operate at the
highest level, but no other could match this fit with San Francisco Bay.
I've watched as John has husbanded improved relations between sailors,
commerce, and the Coast Guard. He's helped open new dialogues and smooth
away old frictions. San Francisco Bar Pilots today know that ship movements
are tracked via AIS on St. Francis committee boats; that race starts can be
postponed until shipping is clear; that when a race under way crosses
mid-channel traffic, they can count on seeing a RIB ahead to port, and a RIB
ahead to starboard, policing their right of way.
The navigable portion of San Francisco Bay is really rather small,
especially that signature, spectacular body known as the West Bay, just
inside the Golden Gate. It gets the biggest breeze, the biggest tides, and
the most traffic. In eleven years on the case, John Craig has raised
everyone's game. -- Read on: http://kimballlivingston.com/
* John Craig's appointment has been widely heralded as a great move by ACRM,
especially by those who have worked for and with him during his race
management career. He's well considered an all-round great guy and excellent
at what he does. Sailing journalist Michelle Slade interviewed Craig
following his appointment. -- Read on:
NOTES FROM A VERY FORTUNATE HIGH SCHOOL SAILING COACH
By Jen Mitchell
Roy Williams is the varsity sailing coach at St. George's School in Newport,
Rhode Island. Roy grew up in North Wales in the United Kingdom, where he
lived just a couple hundred yards from the local sailing club. Although both
his parents were sailors, they did not pressure him to sail, but he did
naturally drift into it.
He participated in summer sailing and competed in high school level
regattas, such as the North Wales High School Championship. He grew up with
both fleet racing and team racing, and in the 1980's moved to the United
States. He has been coaching at St. George's for twenty-one years now, and
has developed one of the strongest high school sailing programs in the
He will openly admit and joke that the St. George's program, like Tabor,
Hotchkiss, and Portsmouth Abbey, is unique in the great resources there are
to work with. Being a private boarding school, St. George's is able to offer
some benefits that not every high school can, like a great fleet of boats
and excellent facilities. Taking into account Roy's coaching experience and
St. George's excellent sailing reputation I took advantage of a Skype chat
to learn more from him.
I asked Roy what he enjoys about coaching high school and what has kept him
at it for so long. Roy is also a calculus teacher at SG, and it is this
educating aspect that he takes the most pleasure in. Roy explains that he
"likes to see results, and with high school sailing there are big
improvements in a short amount of time." -- Read on:
US SAILING HIRING MOBILE COORDINATORS FOR SUMMER ROAD SHOW
Attention college sailors - Are you looking for a summer job experience that
you'll never forget? US SAILING is searching for organized and energetic
sailors to interact at events from New England to Annapolis running US
SAILING's 2011 Summer Road Show. For more information:
Complete details on US SAILING's 2011 Road Show coming soon!
In Scuttlebutt 3259, the story titled "An Alternative" was incorrectly
attributed to Valencialife.net. It was researched and written by Spanish
sailing columnist Alberto Mas. Here is the link to his story (albeit in
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:
* The following Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) 2011 rules are available for
download: the International Measurement System (IMS), the ORC Rating Rules
systems, and the ORC "Green Book" of Championship rules and ORC Class
guidelines. This latter book is composed of four sections, available for
download separately or combined: the ORC Championship Rules, the ORC
Standard Notice of Race, the ORC Standard Sailing Instructions, and
guidelines for the ORC level-rating Classes, which currently includes ORC
Maxis, ORC MiniMaxis and ORC Sportboats. -- Read on: http://www.orc.org/
* (January 18, 2011) - Veteran solo sailor Derek Hatfield today described
the second ocean sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS as the toughest sailing of his
life as he arrived in Wellington to clinch the final podium position. The
58-year-old Canadian sailed his Eco 60 yacht Active House across the finish
line at 3pm local time (0200 UTC), less than 60 hours behind leg two winner
and overall race leader Brad Van Liew (USA). Hatfield sailed more than 7,500
nautical miles through the Southern Ocean from Cape Town in South Africa in
32 days and 17 hours. -- Full story: www.velux5oceans.com
* Hundreds of sailors head to the Caribbean each year to compete in the St.
Thomas Yacht Club's International Rolex Regatta and this year, from March
25-27, the three-day event will prove once again - for the 38th time, that
its unique blend of island-style hospitality, competition and camaraderie is
the perfect formula for attracting new talent as well as die-hards devoted
to returning year after year. The event offers IRC and CSA handicap and
one-design racing in a strikingly beautiful setting, with courses that
thread through and around the cuts and cays of St. Thomas and St. John. --
Event website: http://www.rolexcupregatta.com/index2.php
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 Tim Gauthier (re, Scuttlebutt 3258):
We no longer are required to rent for 1 month or longer here in Truman
Annex. The minimum stay is 1 week, we won the law suit 4 years ago, please
pass this information on to anyone who may be interested as we would love to
have everyone come back that has not because of the minimum stay
* From David LaPier:
Scuttlebutt readers may enjoy Brian Phillip's blog, "The Billionaire Test"
It's about billionaire soccer team owners, but I think it's applicable to
America's Cup billionaires too.
Chaos. Panic. Disorder. My work here is done.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Camet - Samson Ropes - North U - North Sails - New England Boatworks
Doyle Sails - Team One Newport - US SAILING - The Pirates Lair
Ullman Sails - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Marion Bermuda Race
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers