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SCUTTLEBUTT 3264 - Tuesday, January 25, 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: West Marine, North U, and Southern Spars.

The recent recession began in the United States in December 2007, and by no
coincidence the sport of sailing has been suffering ever since. The
ultimate travel regatta in the U.S., Key West Race Week, has been hit
particularly hard. “You don’t need to a math major to see that when you
drop from 260 boats (in 2008 to 134 in 2011), and you are without a title
sponsor, there is trouble at the OK Corral,” noted event organizer Peter
Craig of Premiere Racing.

A year ago, with doubt permeating the southernmost town in the continental
U.S., Peter guaranteed that Key West Race Week would return in 2011. But he
is not willing to make that guarantee again. This time he needs everybody’s
help to assure this winter world class competition celebrates its 25th
edition in 2012. Here is the second half of Scuttlebutt’s exclusive
interview with Peter on the subject:

* Do you have a preliminary vision of 2012 Key West Race Week?

PETER CRAIG: I will give you one idea that I am thinking about. With
leisure time getting stretched, I am hearing that a five day regatta is now
too much. So you still have a ten race series but over a four day period.
Consider Saturday through Tuesday, with Monday still being the U.S.
national holiday. While it is only one day different, it would allow people
to work parts of both weeks while slightly stretching the three day weekend
in the middle. That’s huge. People would still get a great ten race series
that would have a lesser impact on their responsibilities at home and work,
plus there would be a day less of expenses at the event. So that is just
one idea we are working on.

We have also been talking with the housing people. The old issue about
Saturday to Saturday rentals doesn’t appear to be an issue anymore. Most of
the options say they will rent for the dates people need. So a blank sheet
of paper, thinking out of the box, looking for feedback from the industry,
talking to both the amateur and professional sailors on how to build fleet

But on the sponsor side, I don’t have an answer. Believe me, I have my ear
to the ground on the interest level. We continue to invest tremendous
resources into building our sponsorship base, and acquiring sponsors, but I
am just not seeing it out there, even for a major international event like
Key West.

* So if we took a snap shot of all the variables contributing to Key West
2011, could this event be duplicated in the exact same fashion for 2012?

PETER CRAIG: What you see right now…absolutely not. It cannot happen. I
cannot have 134 boat regatta without a title sponsor that takes five days,
at this venue or the previous venue. That’s why I say we must start with a
blank sheet of paper and some creativity. And it is not whether the economy
is going to change that much in the next year, the question is whether the
economy is going to change that much in the next seven months because that
is when people are going to decide to come to Key West Race Week.

* There must have been a lot of fence sitters these past few years that did
not come down.

PETER CRAIG: We hear from a TON of people like this. Believe it or not, I
have already gotten my first entry for 2012. It came from a guy who said,
“If I can enter, I want to enter right now.” He just had his first baby and
couldn’t come this year, but he wouldn’t miss for the world, said his class
would be there stronger than ever, and was ready to pay right then to help.
It was wonderful to see that support; I think it was a pep talk more than
anything else. But it is that type of support and enthusiasm that we need
for next year.

Read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: From the variety of classes, to the elite
competition, to the pure strangeness of southern Florida, there is no event
prepared to replace Key West Race Week. No venue offers the same laid back
vibe, and as Mini Maxi class winner Dan Myers noted following a day
spectacular sailing, “If you could sign a deal to have that type of weather
every day, you would not think twice.” With all the resources that exist
among sailing participants, and the importance of this event to the marine
industry for winter revenue, I have to believe there are people right now
leveraging their network for a sponsor or benefactor to help support the

Daily T2P videos:

Miami, FL (January 24, 2011) - There was plenty of action on opening day of
US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR, with all 13 Olympic and Paralympic classes
completing multiple races in 12-14 knot breezes. On seven different courses
on Biscayne Bay, 716 sailors from 53 countries worked as if there were no
tomorrow to get to the top of the scoreboard, but tomorrow, as well as the
following four days of racing (through Friday for Paralympic classes and
Saturday for Olympic classes) will determine if early leaders are meant to
be champions in the end.

Held on Biscayne Bay annually since 1990, the Rolex Miami OCR is the second
stop on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup
2010-2011 circuit and is a key regatta in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic
and Paralympic Games. For many, including the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
(USSTAG), it is a qualifier for positions on national teams.

In the 104-boat Laser class, the largest here, Olympian Michael Leigh (CAN)
made an early deposit, winning the first of two races today in Blue fleet,
then finishing sixth in race two to wind up fifth overall when scores were
merged with the class’s Yellow fleet. “I’ll be in the hunt,” he said,
explaining that the class is so large it must be split into two fleets,
which also splits some of the top players from each other, but reunites
them each day in a new mix. In today’s Yellow fleet, Clay Johnson (Toms
River, N.J., USA) finished 2-1 to secure his spot at the top of the overall
leader board and regatta favorite Paul Goodison (GBR), an Olympic Gold
medalist and the current leader in the world rankings, finished 1-2 to take
the second-place slot. (Argentina’s Julio Alsogaray, who also won one race
today, and Croatia’s Ivan Taritas are in third and fourth, respectively).

“The phases were quite long (for shifts to come back) and the pressure was
up and down,” Leigh explained about the conditions, adding that he is
nursing a bad back. “I haven’t raced since the Worlds in September, so I’m
here to get back in phase. I’m not targeting any one person to beat; there
are 10 good guys in each fleet who could win, so that’s a few too many to
watch.” -- Read on:

Live race updates:

OK, you do have to spend at least $300 to qualify, but for you lucky few
who are smart with the numbers, that's like 16.66666666666666% off. You
could also select one of the other two offers: $20 off $200 or $10 off
$100, but seriously, we want you to avoid buyer’s remorse and take
advantage of the better deal. Plus, you'll have that comfortable feeling of
smugness from getting a better deal than your friends. Use coupon code
MK17723 at checkout. Offer ends 1/31.

(January 24, 2011; Day 3) - After a second night at sea a little less
agitated, skipper Pascal Bidegorry and his 13 crew on the trimaran Banque
Populaire V continue to enjoy record breaking conditions in their attempt
at the Jules Verne Trophy, the crewed around the world record. But the wind
will gradually ease off, and by Wednesday the crew will have to negotiate a
difficult passage around Cape Verde.

“Out here we have been making astonishing progress, said crew Brian
Thompson (GBR). “It’s taken just over two days to the Canaries (from the
Ushant, France start), and it’s already getting hot. Boots are put away and
thermals being stored ready to use again in the South. We are all settling
into the watch system: 4 hours on standby, 4 hours on watch, and 4 hours
off watch.

“The next few days won’t be as fast as we are entering a parallel universe
with NW winds where the NE tradewinds should be. The first night (Saturday)
we had some big waves off Finisterre. Last night (Sunday) was great with
25-30 knots of wind and flatter seas and tonight (Monday) the seas are
going to be flatter again, though the winds will start to drop a little

“Driving this boat is a real privilege, like getting the keys to an F1 car,
you have to be hyper alert to get the best speed within what is safe for
the sea state. Today I touched 45 knots but that was not what I wanted to
do; it’s all about the average speed round the track, not the top speed on
the straight.”

Current position as of January 24, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: +170.2 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 26.0 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 624.8 nm

Team website:
Brian Thompson's blog:

BACKGROUND: The 131-foot trimaran Banque Populaire V is seeking to win the
Jules Verne Trophy, a fully crewed round the world record attempt under
sail. Skipper Pascal Bidegorry and his 13 crew began their attempt Jan.
22nd and must cross the finish line off Ushant, France before March 11,
2011 at 19:55:37 (Paris time) to break the record (48:7:44:52) set by
Franck Cammas and crew in 2010 on the 103-foot trimaran Groupama 3.

(January 24, 2011: Day 25) - The first boat in the Barcelona World Race to
approach the ‘Roaring Forties’ as the latitudes of usually strong westerly
winds south of 40° latitude are known, is Virbac Paprec 3. “There is always
more wind in the South, that is a given,” said co-skipper Jean-Pierre Dick
(FRA). “The weather is already chilly, we have fleece gear on, it’s not yet
the real cold, but I think that the temperature inside will be around 10 to
15 deg. It feels like spring or autumn in Brittany.”

Whilst their nearest rival, Foncia, remains in ghost mode for the next 24
hours, the duo on Virbac Paprec 3 will be unable to determine if they have
extended or lost their lead on the fleet. However, in third place on MAPFRE
are Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP), double Olympic medallists and
three time European and World champions in the 49er Class, who are
maintaining a steady margin at just over 520 miles back in third, and
sailing a similar average pace of 10-11 knots overnight

Iker Martinez (ESP) MAPFRE: “Finally we have left the calms of Santa Helena
(in the South Atlantic) behind us and already we are looking to the first
big storm of the South. We are already surfing like crazy people, but we
are fortunate to have the ice gates and so we miss out on being much more
to the South because there are forecasts of 50 knots and of those we do not
want. These boats reach their terminal velocities with 25 to 30 knots and
over that it gets difficult and serious problems can arise. So we try as
far as possible to avoid winds of 40 knots, although sometimes you can’t.”

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick & Loick Peyron, 19,054 nm DTF
2. Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux & Francois Gabart, ? nm DTL
3. Mapfre, Iker Martinez & Xabi Fernandez, 472.3 nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant & Sebastien Audigane, 646.4 nm DTL
5. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella & Pepe Ribes, 651.2 nm DTL
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:

Boat International presents the definitive list of the 100 largest
privately owned superyachts in the world. These are the toys of
billionaires, playthings of the world’s über rich, floating palaces of the
powerful. And they just keep on getting bigger. In the top spot this year
is Eclipse, a 162.5 metre motor yacht built in Germany under conditions of
great secrecy and launched at the end of 2010.

The statistics are staggering - if all 100 yachts were moored bow to stern
they would measure over 9.3 kilometres and their estimated combined
replacement value tots up to $10 billion - equivalent to the GDP of a small
country. The yachts on this list are somewhat like little states in their
own right. Their operation employs hundreds - Eclipse alone has facilities
for 92 crew and staff members, while number 3 in the list Al Saïd has 150
crew for 65 guests - and with their high calibre of design,
state-of-the-art technology and exquisite craftsmanship, their building,
maintenance and refit engages thousands in numerous industries and trades
around the world.

Many of the yachts come with their own fleets of tenders, submarines, water
toys and helicopters. Most have pools, spas, gyms and cinemas; some have
hospitals, concert halls, dance floors and even mosques. All have sumptuous
interiors with the finest fittings and finishes.

The 453-foot boat once owned by Oracle Racing team owner Larry Ellison,
Rising Sun, sits seventh on the list. Built at a reported cost of more than
$290 million, rumour has it that her length was extended by some 17m to
ensure she was larger than Octopus, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's
126.2m yacht (9th on the list), which launched while she was still under
construction. Ellison shared the ownership of Rising Sun with media mogul
David Geffen for almost four years, but Geffen became sole owner of her in
October 2010.

Full list:

Those are early stops in the 30 City North U Tactics Seminar Tour. Learn
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). Top instructors, multi-media curriculum, a
take-home CD for review and further study, US Sailing discounts, and a free
Tactics Tour Long-Sleeve T to the first 20 registrations at each location.
Learn more:

By Michelle Slade, SailBlast
When John Arndt (associate publisher Latitude 38), and myself organized a
meeting and AC34 celebration for the Bay Area sailing advocacy group,
Sailing Renaissance (SR), we asked the Golden Gate Yacht Club if they’d set
up seating for 30-40 people. This was to be a meeting for SR membership to
discuss their ideas, areas of interest and concerns for the local
recreational sailing and boating community with regard to the America’s

By Friday afternoon numbers had grown - just a little - with almost 200
crowding the upstairs grand room at GGYC. Tom Huston, COO of America’s Cup
Event Authority spoke on behalf of America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA). A
new face to me in this growing organization, Tom hails from a sports
marketing career where he worked closely with ACEA CEO Craig Thompson and
ACEA Chairman Richard Worth. Tom’s a Northern California native and pleased
that the opportunity to work in the Cup has brought him back to San
Francisco after 10 years in Europe. Tom is not a sailor but did a very nice
job of presenting what lies ahead of ACEA over the next few years.

I liked that Tom didn’t make any bones about not having intimate knowledge
of the sport of sailing or even the Cup, but rather that he and his group
want to do a better job than has been done previously of connecting with
the non-sailor, using sports marketing methodology & know-how not
previously applied to the sport of sailing at this level.

He did let a few things slip that were news to some of us closely connected
to what’s being going - namely that USA-17 is on its way to San Francisco
as we speak (plans for the monster tri are unknown at this point upon its
arrival to San Francisco), and that we won’t, after all, get to see the
much-talked about AC45 race on the Bay prior to AC34 due to scheduling and
demand for the AC45 at other international venues. -- Read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: This is a new blog just launched by Scuttlebutt
assistant editor Michelle Slade, who resides in the Bay Area and has been
professionally connected with the America’s Cup since 2002. If you are a
company looking to advertise on an insider blog, contact Michelle at

SAIL magazine annually presents their Pittman Innovation Awards to
recognize the most innovative products in the sailboat market. For 2011,
SAIL's editors selected 15 new sailing products they found to stand out.

The consumer website, which seeks to inform and educate
boaters about the latest and best boating products, has organized
information and reviews of most of the gear in question and has provided
their take on the products.

Yale Cordage's Ph.D Spectra Rope
PYI's four-blade spring-loaded Max-Prop Ecowind Propeller
Harken's Rewind Radial Electric Winch
Facnor's FlatDeck furling drum
Selden's Reversible Winch
Spinlock's XXCO812 Powerclutch
B&G Zeus Multifunction Displays
Matrix AIS GX2100
Garmin GHP 12 sailboat autopilot
ProMariner ProNauticP/Sterling ProCharge
The Dometic Marine SailVac
Sea Joule's Solar Bilge Pump
Groupe Beneteau ‘Dock & Go’ joystick

London, UK (January 24, 2011) - The lineup of Tour Card Holders for the
2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour has been unveiled and features an
exciting mix of former World Champions, established Olympic and America’s
Cup campaigners and some of the hottest young stars on the global match
racing circuit who will be competing for a record USD 1.75 million in event
prize money.

WMRT rules state that the winner of the previous season has the option of
taking up a Tour Card for free while the second and third place skippers
are guaranteed Cards in return for bids of USD10,000 and USD20,000
respectively. However, 2010 Champion Ben Ainslie had ruled himself out of
the full season, having committed to pursuing Olympic qualification in the
Finn Class.

Former Champions Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, Ian Williams (GBR) Team
GAC Pindar, and Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team head the list, with
France’s Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team returning after
finishing a close second in the 2010 Tour, along with Torvar Mirsky (AUS)
Mirsky Racing Team who finished third.

The Tour Card Holders, who represent 6 different countries, are guaranteed
entry to at least 6 of the Tour’s 9 events which get under way with Match
Race France in May and concludes with the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia in
November. In addition to individual event prize money, the top 9 teams will
be battling for a share of the USD 500,000 Tour Bonus Pool.

Full report:

When it’s strictly about winning, the bottom line is - you need the power
to perform at optimum in any weather condition thrown your way. Key West
2011 was no exception. Powered by the carbon force, Southern Spars
congratulates the Key West 2011 winners in the Melges 24’s, Melges 32’s;
and IRC Div 1 - Numbers, Shockwave, Bella Mente, all of which are rigged
with SS masts and EC6 rigging. In the end there can be only one winner. To
find out what goes into designing a world class performance rig, visit:

* It is confirmed that the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Parade of
Boats’ with the International Optimist Class Association has set a new
standard. The record took place on July 25, 2010 within the waters of
Weymouth and Portland - venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
sailing events - featuring over 300 young Optimist sailors. The attempt was
completed with a total of 318 Optimist sailors aged between 7 and 15 years.
-- Full report/photos:

* The U. S. Sailing Center of Martin County (FL) hosted the USODA Layline
Team Race Midwinter Championship on January 15-17. The three day regatta
had 85 competitors, with 41 competitors from out of state: 10 from New
York; 7 from Connecticut; 4 from New Jersey; 2 from Pennsylvania; 3 from
Virginia; 1 from Maryland; 1 from Ohio; 7 from Louisiana; 2 from
Mississippi; 1 from Arkansas; and 3 from Texas. Long Island’s LISOT team
won the top honors and Fort Lauderdale based teams took both second and
third place honors. Results:

* The Franco-German team, managed by Jochen Schumann, becomes “Audi Sailing
Team powered by ALL4ONE”, following a new three-year agreement reached with
title partner Audi. The team has confirmed the build of a new Judel/Vrolijk
designed TP52 at McConaghy in Sydney, Australia, with which they aim to
finish among the podium positions on both the Audi MedCup Circuit and at
TP52 World Championship. Schumann (GER) will be the skipper and Sebastien
Col (FRA) will act as tactician. -- Full report:

* US SAILING has partnered with the ocean conservation nonprofit
organization Sailors for the Sea to pledge that the 18 US SAILING National
Championships in 2011 are environmentally responsible and doing its utmost
to protect and restore the waters upon which people sail. -- Full report:

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 -
* Pair of Harken 53.2stc winches; almost new
* 31-foot Racing Trimaran

Now Hiring -
* Oakcliff Sailing Center Program Director
* North Sails Direct Manager

View/post ads here:

If things were left to chance, they would be better.

APS - New England Ropes - West Marine - North U
Southern Spars - Melges Performance Sailboats - North Sails
Interlux - Ullman Sails - Hall Spars & Rigging - Quantum Sails

Need stuff? Look here: