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SCUTTLEBUTT 3262 - Friday, January 21, 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: JK3 Nautical Enterprises and Marion Bermuda Race.

Miami, FL (January 20, 2011) - Nothing says elite-level competition like US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, which returns to Coconut Grove, Fla., for its 22nd time on Monday, January 24 through Saturday, January 29, bringing together the world's top sailing athletes for competition in the classes selected for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Held on Biscayne Bay, this prestigious event is the second stop on the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2010-2011 circuit, and as such has already registered over 800 sailors from 52 countries.

"Most athletes training for the 2012 Olympics or Paralympics will say they don't want to peak just yet," said US SAILING High Performance Director Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.), "but you can bet the sailors here will be very serious about being in the top five, if not winning, in their classes and accumulating points toward their standings in the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit, which affects their world rankings."

Andreasen added that no less than 30 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members are competing, while other U.S. sailors will be named to the team based on their finishes here. "From all over the world, there will be athletes who are either already on their national teams or aspiring to be named to them," said Andreasen, "and there will be dozens upon dozens of national team coaches and private coaches attending."

Not to mention a slew of Olympic and Paralympic medalists and world champions. Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS), sailing in the Men's 470 class, are 2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup and 470 class world champions who are ranked #1 in the world, with Page having crewed for an Olympic Gold medal (with Nathan Wilmot) in Beijing (2008). -- Full story:

Key West, FL (January 20, 2011) - It's down to the wire in most of the grand prix classes at Key West 2011, presented by Nautica. With as many as three races slated for the fifth and final day of the popular regatta, no lead is safe or insurmountable.

For instance, Jim Richardson and his team aboard Barking Mad, which would appear to hold a comfortable nine-point lead in Farr 30 class. "There's a lot that can happen in two or three races so we have to stay focused and not screw anything up," Richardson said. "Our crew work has been exceptional and we're going very fast so we feel confident. We just have to go out tomorrow and continue to sail the way we have been."

Things are much closer in several of the other professional-laden classes. A mere two points separate Warpath and Goombay Smash in Melges 32 after the discard was factored in following six races. Skipper Steve Howe (Portland, OR) and the Warpath team have 24 points, two better than William Douglass (Stamford, CT) and the Goombay Smash squad. Leenabarca, skippered by Alex Jackson (Riverside, CT) is just three points out of first place.

Things tightened up considerably in the Mini Maxi class on Thursday as Bill Koch (Palm Beach, FL) and the Titan team posted two good results to put pressure on Dan Meyers (Boston, MA) and Numbers boys. Titan, a Reichel-Pugh 72-footer that Koch is chartering for the week, placed third in Race 6 and second in Race 7. Numbers, a Judel/Vrolijk 66, finished fourth in Race 7 and now is just one point ahead of Titan.

There was a three-way tie for first place in the RC44 class after Thursday's initial race. Russell Coutts and the Oracle crew got the gun in Race 6 to briefly take the lead. However, the standings shook out a bit after Race 7 with Team Aqua using a second place result to retake the lead by one point over Mascalzone Latino (Vincenzo Onorato, Italy). -- Story & results:

Daily T2P videos:
Sailing World:

JK3 Nautical Enterprises has something for every boater with its display of 4 new boats for 2011 at the San Diego Sunroad Show, January 27-30. Bluewater sailors will enjoy the flagship Sabre 456 - a perfect blend of the classic and modern in performance, functionality, and aesthetics. If performance sailing is for you, come aboard the award winning J/111 to see what the buzz is all about. And if you're more interested in motor yachts, JK3 will have the Sabre 40 flybridge on display, featuring the innovative Zeus Pod Drive System, as well as the all new Back Cove 30 with her classic lobster boat styling and Maine built quality. Come by the show to step aboard these exciting new models:

By Jonathan McKee
(January 19, 2011) - One light-air race today. At least the water was a little smoother, and there were less weeds than previous days, so it was not so bad. Onboard our Melges 24 Uka Uka, we felt a little bit slow upwind yesterday. It's always hard to know how strongly to react in that situation. Historically, we have been pretty fast in those conditions, so there are a few possibilities:

1. Maybe we were not well positioned, and what seemed like bad speed was actually bad tactics. 2. Maybe the other guys have gotten faster.
3. Maybe some aspect of the rig set-up or trimming/weight technique was not right.

Often, the truth is some combination of all three, which was probably the case for us.

Anyways, we tried three different changes today: we used softer battens, which give a little more shape in the main; we used more jib Cunningham, to put more knuckle in the front of the jib; and we decreased rake a little. For whatever reason, we did feel a little faster today, and after a good start, we managed to win the race. -- Read on:

(January 18, 2011) - ORACLE Racing CEO Russell Coutts is in Florida sailing an RC 44 at Key West Race Week, which is where he found time to speak with respected American sailing journalist Stuart Streuli about the future of the America's Cup and the ORACLE Racing Team.

In the wide-ranging interview, Coutts speaks about how the team set up the independent America's Cup Race Management to run the racing for the 34th America's Cup following their win last February. And he says the changes that have been made for AC34 are designed to help ensure the long-term viability of the event.

"We've hired very good people who have run other big sports' properties before. We were firm believers that we needed professional management..." Coutts goes on to speak about the challenges ahead for ORACLE Racing in trying to defend the Cup, and about his sailing future.

"I'm going to get into the AC45s and start sailing... As a team our goal is to win; for me it doesn't matter who's on the boat... my job is to make sure we have the best team out there." -- Listen to the full interview:

(January 20, 2011: Day 21) - The all female duo aboard GAES Centros Auditivos have climbed four places in the rankings in four days with just 108 miles separating them from the current leaders, Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella on Estrella Damn. At the 1500hrs polling today Caffari and Corbella sat in fifth place, three miles ahead of closest race rivals Pachi Rivero & Antonio Piris on Renault Z.E.

Speaking earlier today, Caffari, said: "It's a little hot, a little sweaty, but very happy here! We've always kept an eye on Neutrogena after we let them get away in the North Atlantic and it's been really good for us to see that we're just doing the same speed if not a little bit faster."

Caffari and Corbella are anticipating tricky conditions ahead in the South Atlantic and although they have blue skies and high temperatures now, they know life in t-shirts will be brief. As they head towards the Southern Ocean they are keen to make sure the boat has been thoroughly checked over.

Caffari added, "The weather's really complex in the South Atlantic so it's going to be a really difficult week. This morning is lovely, the wind is decreasing, we've only got 8 knots and it's a little up and down, but we've got really flat water which means we can open the hatches and actually get some air flow in the boat which is really nice. It's blue sky and scorchio! We know the cold weather is coming but we can't even think about it at the moment." -- Full story:

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux & Francois Gabart, 20,397 nm DTF
2. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 20,401 nm DTF
3. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant & Sebastien Audigane, 20,430 nm DTF
4. Virbac-Paprec 3, Dick & Peyron, 20,452
5. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret, 20,506 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:

The Lauderdale Yacht Club's youth sailing program has developed a fleet of talented racers who have excelled at the highest levels of junior competition. But that success has come with a price.
It's one thing to sail in local events like the LYC's annual Boomerang Regatta, which is Saturday and Sunday. But LYC's top juniors also sail in regattas throughout the United States as well as abroad. Getting to those events is expensive.

That's why the Lauderdale Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation was created. As chairman Mark Smith explained, the goal of the foundation is to help fund the travel, as well as the training, of top sailors in South Florida. "We want to help youth sailors within the community," Smith said. "Help kids out that might not otherwise be able to participate in sailing. There's great character-building opportunity through competition."

The foundation got off to a rousing start at a fund-raising dinner at the club last month. Speakers recruited by Jeff Ecklund, a world-class Melges 32 sailor, included America's Cup winners Russell Coutts, Buddy Melges and Bill Koch. Also on hand were Olympic gold medalists Anna Tunnicliffe and Kevin Burnham. -- Full story:

Starting Line, Buzzards Bay (Marion, MA) - Marion Bermuda Race - June 17, 2011 - with finish off St. David's Head, Bermuda. The 645 mile race provides an opportunity for cruising yachts and amateur crews to participate in an ocean race and a rendezvous in Bermuda. To prepare, register now for the March 19, 2011 Safety at Sea Symposium, with a Practical Training Day on March 20 focused on Gulf Stream/Weather strategies, Medical Emergencies and half day pool session which will count towards half of the ISAF personal survival training course.

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include the Bird, the Dhow, the Island, the Fire, the Boat, and the Celebration. 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:

While time will tell whether the 'new and improved' America's Cup is both, it is certain that for the event to gain interest, the event must earn our interest. Audiences follow what they are interested in, so the event must create riveting profiles on the people and the game so that spark inside of us decides to cheer (again).

The good news is that the event appears capable of this, or at least in creating stimulating video content. Now while it is a big jump from YouTube to the home tube, it is a start, as you can see from this week's videos from San Francisco (USA) and the early testing in Auckland (NZL) of the prototype AC45 that is to be the platform for the America's Cup World Series events this year. Click here for this week's video:

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

* 12 boating people, projects and public policy measures made the cut to earn 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Awards. Winners run the gamut from changing state law and setting national priorities to building bricks-and-mortar boat ramp and dockage facilities. BoatUS created the award program in 2007 to highlight successes in protecting water access as boaters and communities were losing marina slips, service yards and boat launching areas. The goal is to draw national attention to innovative solutions and share success stories that can help others to solve their own local waterway access challenges. -- Read on:

* Ocean racer Brad Van Liew (USA) has picked up three bonus points for being the quickest of the VELUX 5 OCEANS skippers to pass between the ocean sprint two speed gates. Brad, who was awarded 12 points for winning the latest leg from Cape Town to Wellington, picks up three bonus points for sailing between longitudes 75E to 50E in three days, ten hours and 26 minutes. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is scored using a points system rather than elapsed time. Each of the five ocean sprints features a timed run between two gates set by the race management. The timed runs offer skippers a way to score extra points to add to the points awarded for final positions of each leg. -- Event website:

* The Offshore Racing Congress's (ORC) new Sailor Services section is now accessible to the public, where anyone may now access any ORC Club or ORC International certificate in the 2009 and 2010 databases for the nominal fee of €10 ($13.50). Certificate measurement data is also accessible through this service, and changes in some of these measurements can then be used to generate test certificates run using the 2011 ORC VPP, also for the nominal fee of €10 per test certificate. The service will be of value to anyone interested in viewing a boat's rating certificate under the new 2011 VPP, as well as to understand how changes in some parameters, such as rig and sail dimensions, will affect their 2011 ratings. -- 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 Blake Middleton (re, Scuttlebutt 3261):
Kudos to Mark Lammens re: Trophy winners vs. Regatta winners. Many years ago, I had the privilege of driving a friend's boat at the Fireball US Nationals. We finished 4th (if I recall correctly) behind three Canadian boats. To my shock and embarrassment, my name was engraved on the trophy.

I'll never take credit for a National Championship that I didn't win on the water, and would be quite pleased if the trophy was re-engraved to reflect the true regatta winners.

* From Andrew Sumpton (re, Scuttlebutt 3261):
In the International 470 Class a "Continental Championship", such as last weekend's NACs in Miami, is comprised of four overlapping events: The Open N.A. Championship for men and mixed crews, The Women's Open N.A. Championship for women crews, The N.A. Championship for men and mixed crews, and the Women's N.A. Championship for women crews. The Open N.A. championships are open to competitors from all nations; the N.A. Championship and Women's N.A. Championship are only open to competitors from North America.

At last weekend's event Mat Belcher and Malcolm Paige (AUS) won the Open N.A. Championship, Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) won the Women's Open N.A. Championship, Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl(USA) won the N.A. Championship and Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kingsolving (USA) won the Women's N.A. Championship. Every winning team received a trophy.

Competitors in the 470 class are happy with this arrangement as it allows sailors from all nations to compete against each other, and to be recognized for their accomplishments in the combined fleets, while also allowing the best North American 470 sailors to be recognized (or European, or Asian, or... depending on where the championships is held).

* From Jim Fulton (re, Scuttlebutt 3261):
The videos of the RC44 and the AC45 provide an interesting contrast. The AC45 was going faster but the RC44s were much more interesting to watch. Why? Because there was close competition. Sailing fast is exhilarating for the sailors whether there is anyone else around or not but watching one boat sail in relatively flat water is, frankly, not all that exciting. I think the jury is still out on the AC multihulls. If the competition is close, the America's Cup regatta will be a great success. If the races turn into parades, however, it will be another story.

* From Carl Schellbach, Jr (re, Scuttlebutt 3261):
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do!

The Mr. Bean Guide to Fun in an Elevator: Ask if you can push the button for other people, but push the wrong ones.

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

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