SCUTTLEBUTT 3267 - Friday, January 28, 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: North U and Quantum Sails.
FRONT ROW SEATS
From the snake charmer on the sidewalk to the competition on the race
course, with a fleet ranging from J/24s to Reichel/Pugh 72s, there are few
events as diverse as Key West Race Week 2011. Division 1 PRO Ken Legler was
privileged to have front row seats to watch the Mini Maxi fleet last week.
Here is his story:
The bow of the committee boat is a great place to watch races, especially
with good binoculars. Even better is watching a class that doesn't require
binoculars when two miles away. The Mini Maxi is that class as each boat is
both distinct in appearance and really big. The biggest at Key West 2011
was Titan at 75'. She is almost all red but fades to black near the stern
to enhance an already really cool looking boat. Shockwave is nearly as big
but all white (hull and chute). Bella Mente is the next largest and is pure
dark blue. She won here last year. Numbers, the smallest but not by much at
66' has wavy graphics on the hull and funny words on the spinnaker.
For these boats, upwind legs of only two miles means short course racing.
So the tactics with other boats are dynamic. A bad start and there could be
limited breathing room for much of the leg. But they start really well. On
Sunday before the first race, our race committee practice just happened to
be at the same time as, and right next to, their last practice session.
They did many starts that day, two of which went to a short windward mark
and back while the other starts were quick turnarounds.
That practice session seemed to have paid as these stallions lined up for
us really well with about ten knots of boat speed in only ten knots of
wind. I'll describe the third race. All four were on the line with
Shockwave near the pin, so close she almost gets called over early but no
boat was more than a few feet behind. Titan is the only boat with a
problem. She starts at the committee boat end just to windward of Numbers,
and even though Numbers is the smallest Mini Maxi, she points the highest.
-- Full story/photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0127
ISAF SAILING WORLDCUP - ROLEX MIAMI OCR
Miami, FL (January 27, 2011) - Sailors in three Paralympic classes have
only one day of racing left at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR while those in
10 Olympic classes still have Friday to make critical moves for securing
spots in the final medal races on Saturday. The racing formats used for
this event, which began Monday and counts as the second of seven stops on
the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit,
replicate those that will be used in the Olympic and Paralympic sailing
events of 2012, and 716 sailors from 53 nations have come to test them on
Biscayne Bay, where the regatta has returned annually since 1990.
The one-on-one pairing today of the world's top-ranked Elliott 6m teams
demonstrated all of the beauty and intrigue of match racing, which will
make its Olympic debut in 2012: a delicate dance in the dial-up before the
start, aggressive challenges for position and expert boat and sail handling
on short legs to the marks, with protests decided instantly by on-water
Though winds were painstakingly light, the Women's Match Racing Gold and
Repechage Groups completed their matches to determine who will meet whom in
tomorrow's quarterfinals. The rankings and pairings are:
1. Lucy Macgregor/ Mary Rook/ Kate Macgregor (GBR)
8. Stephanie Hazard/ Susannah Pyatt/ Jenna Hansen (NZL)
2. Ekaterina Skudina/ Elena Syuzeva/ Irina Lotsmanova (RUS)
7. Sally Barkow/ Alana O'Reilly/ Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (USA)
3. Nicky Souter/ Jessica Eastwell/ Olivia Price (AUS)
6. Claire Leroy/ Elodie Bertrand/ Marie Riou (FRA)
4. Silja Lehtinen/ Silja Kanerva/ Mikaela Wulff (FIN)
5. Anna Tunnicliffe/ Molly Vandemoer/ Debbie Capozzi (USA)
Depending on conditions, the pairing for the quarterfinals, semifinals,
petit final and finals will sail a best of five series.
"This has been one of the most competitive of the World Cup women's match
racing events," said Liz Baylis (San Rafael, Calif.), Executive Director of
the Women's International Match Racing Association, who has been serving as
Assistant PRO (Principal Race Officer) for the match racing. "We have 14 of
the top 15 ranked teams competing, and there are plenty of names you'd
expect to be moving on (in the rounds) who are not moving on."
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/RMOCR-012711
Live race updates: http://rmocr.ussailing.org/live.htm
Enrollment is limited to 40 at the eleventh annual North U Performance Race
Week to be held with Offshore Sailing School in Captiva, Florida, April
3-9. Six days of on-the-water racing. A coach on each boat. Great fun and a
great education. Just ask the 40 sailors who were lucky enough to attend
last year! Visit http://tinyurl.com/RaceWeekXI or call 888-454-7015.
CANADIAN ROLEX SAILOR OF THE YEAR
The Board of Directors of the Canadian Yachting Association proudly
declares that Frederik Eaton, of Toronto, ON is the winner of the 2010
Canadian Rolex Sailor of the Year Award.
Fred Eaton was selected from Canadian sailors who were nominated for their
outstanding sailing performances during 2010. His crowning achievement was
the retention of the International C Class Catamaran Championship in
Newport, Rhode Island in August, partnering with Magnus Clarke.
2010 America's Cup winning helm James Spithill (AUS), runner-up at the
ICCCC, said in a letter supporting Fred's nomination: "Glenn Ashby and I
were fortunate enough to have Fred offer his winning C Class Catamaran for
the C Class Championship in Newport. He could have easily not chartered it
out, but Fred did, and gave it to a couple of guys who were at that time on
the top of their game. This to me shows how much of a competitor Fred is
and that he wanted to win by beating the best and winning on the water."
Additional CYA awards winners are
- CYA Male Athlete of the Year: Paul Tingley, Nova Scotia
- Volunteer of the Year: Mike Helseltine, Saskatchewan
- Gerry Roufs Trophy: Richard Oland, New Brunswick
- Bill Burke Youth Elite Memorial Award: Erin Berry and Jessica Round,
British Columbia (Female); Alexander Heinzemann, British Columbia (Male)
- Marvin McDill Award: Greg Douglas, Ontario
- Nathan R. Cowan Memorial Award: Tyler Meyrick, Ontario
- City of Kingston Regatta of the Year Award: Sturgeon Lake SC, Ontario for
the 2010 Canadian Laser Masters Championships
- Coach of the Year Award: Rob Douglas, British Columbia
- William Abbott Sr. Trophy: BC Sailing Mobile Optimist Sailing School
FOR THE RECORD
(January 27, 2011; Day 6) - The good times for skipper Pascal Bidegorry and
his 13 crew on the 131-foot trimaran Banque Populaire V could not last
forever, and for the first time they are now behind the pace of Groupama 3,
current holder of the fully crewed round the world record. In short, the
doldrums are dishing up a heaping serving of misery.
"Crossing the doldrums now, lots of rain clouds this morning and very light
and shifty winds from every compass direction," noted crew Brian Thompson
(GBR). "Hot and humid work changing the sails, the position of the gear,
daggerboard and mast canting all the time for max speed."
Just north of the equator, the team hopes to enter the southern hemisphere
by Friday. "There is growing pot near the minimum of wind," explained
navigator Juan Vila. "There is enthusiasm to take advantage of lower wind
shifts to advance a little in the South. According to satellite photos, we
still have a band of clouds passing and a hundred miles to get out."
Current position as of January 27, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: -8.8 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 16.5 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 369.9 nm
Team website: http://www.voile.banquepopulaire.fr/
Brian Thompson's blog: http://www.brianthompsonsailing.blogspot.com/
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.
DAMAGE ROLL CALL CONTINUES
(January 27, 2011: Day 28) - It is not just the IMOCA Open 60 masts that
are taking a beating in the Barcelona World Race, as it was revealed today
that Kito De Pavant on Groupe Bel has been nursing two cracked ribs for the
last two weeks and only now is he getting back to full working capacity.
"We were stacking (moving) the ton of equipment in the boat," explained De
Pavant. "It was hot and wet and I slipped in the sail locker. I fell on my
back and it was very painful." So incapacitating and painful was the injury
that he revealed today that it was considered whether he should get off and
swap with substitute Yannick Bestaven. The relatively benign conditions in
the south Atlantic, slowed by the Saint Helena anticyclone, has proven to
be a blessing.
"To have my two cracked ribs has been physically hard. It stopped me from
working and helping Seb (Audigane). The last two or three days it has
improved a lot and now I can turn the handles. So Seb has had a lot of work
on the deck. I was quite anxious that I would have to stop but for me it's
in the past now."
Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.10)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 18,075 DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 582.9nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 740.2nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant/Sebastien Audigane (FRA/FRA), 789.8nm DTL
5. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 872.9nm DTL
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:
Q SAILS TAKE A STAND IN KEY WEST
Quantum's presence was keenly felt at Key West with lots of Q sails on the
water and the results board. In the IRC 1 class, Vela Veloce turned on the
heat to win by three. The Farr30 class had mostly Quantum sails flying with
Barking Mad winning with blazing speed. Team Warpath came in second, just
two points shy of a win, in the ultra-competitive Melges32 class. In PHRF1,
Team Rush grabbed second, while You Bad Girl placed first in PHRF3.
Congratulations to these teams and all the others who scored well in this
year's challenging conditions. Built for speed: http://www.QuantumSails.com
YOUTH OFFSHORE SAILING INITIATIVE
A newly launched initiative youth driven effort hopes to create seaworthy,
high-performance, offshore training opportunities for the next generation
of American ocean racing leaders. United States Merchant Marine Academy
Sailing Foundation President and Offshore Sailing Coach Ralf Steitz'
long-time vision for the 'All American Offshore Team', which is to support
American sailors under 25 years of age, has been endorsed by Oakcliff
Sailing Center, Storm Trysail Club, and the NYYC Trans-Atlantic Race
"Roy Disney empowered the core of this team (in the Morning Light film
project) and now we are honoring his memory by stepping up and taking a
leadership role and helping create new ocean racing opportunities for other
youth sailors"... Furthermore, "the merits of such a program are widely
documented to provide an unmatched character building experience for the
future sailors, leaders and citizens of the world," explained Steitz.
The initial event will be a no-excuses campaign aboard the STP 65 Vanquish
for the 2011 Trans-Atlantic Race (Newport to the Lizard). Moving forward,
the ambition is to generate the necessary funding to support a future
racing schedule and provide continuing opportunities for young people to
race on this team. The core team has been formed and is actively soliciting
resumes from young sailors and just as importantly seeking supporters to
endow the program for today and into the future. -- Full report:
A PREVIEW OF AMERICA'S CUP ON BAY
By C.W. Nevius, SF Chronicle
You've heard the promises about the America's Cup in San Francisco. It will
reinvent the waterfront, pour a billion dollars into the economy, and cure
world hunger. And sure, it will probably be a real game changer for the
But this is San Francisco, a city that never met a project it couldn't
smother in red tape. The qualifying races could be here as soon as 2012.
The amount of prep work is staggering, from relocating 77 port tenants (and
you know some of them are going to fight), meeting state environmental
regulations, and (oh yeah) making infrastructure improvements that will run
to the tens of millions of dollars.
So it is no surprise that in the next few months Larry Ellison's Oracle
Racing is going to throw USA-17, the ginormous trimaran that won the 33rd
America's Cup, into the bay. USA-17 is on a freighter right now, headed for
the Panama Canal and then San Francisco. When it arrives, around March 1,
it will be assembled and then will probably sail through the bay.
It will be like nothing you've ever seen in your life.
Picture the Bay Bridge. Now picture the top of the mast of USA-17 crashing
into the span. It's that tall. The carbon fiber mast (think of a 747 wing
but bigger) USA-17 used to win the Cup is 223 feet. The vertical clearance
for the west side of the Bay Bridge is 220 feet. For the east it is just
191 feet. They will need to use a smaller mast to fit it under the bridge.
Talk about a battleship in a bathtub. Every spin around the bay will be a
traffic-stopper. The idea is to fire up enthusiasm for the event just as
the really hard work begins. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/SFC-012711
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Hopefully it will sail, but the immediate plans
are for USA-17 to go into storage on Pier 80 when it arrives at the end of
February/early March. However, if it does splash, the wing will be modified
so it can fit under both bridges. To help encourage the team, post your
comments on the Oracle Racing Facebook page here:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include women, kids, education, curiosity, parades, winter, and the
obvious. 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:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Harry C. 'Buddy' Melges, Jr. is considered to be among the greatest sailors
ever to compete in the sport of sailing. A native of Lake Geneva,
Wisconsin, Buddy was the son of Melges Boat Works' founder Harry Sr., and
grew up being involved in the family boat-building business. Over time,
Buddy won more than 60 major national and international sailing
championships - from Scows to Ice Boats to Maxi boats - along with two
Buddy's sailing career also included the America's Cup. In 1987 he
represented the Chicago Yacht Club at the helm of Heart of America in the
challenger series, coming up short against eventual Cup winner Dennis
Conner and his Stars & Stripes team. But in 1992, Buddy Melges captured the
America's Cup on America3 alongside Bill Koch. Prior to this year's victory
by Oracle Racing, their campaign was the last successful defense of the Cup
by an American team.
Buddy enjoyed his 81st birthday on January 26th, and for this week's video
Buddy sits down with Harken USA CEO Bill Goggins to reveal some of his
wizardry. Click here for this week's video:
BONUS 1: Lisa Blackaller shares this video of her dad Tom - sailing
industry icon, world champion, and two-time America's Cup helm - prior to
his untimely death in 1989. The 46-second clip includes shots of Formula 40
catamarans on San Francisco Bay, and a brief interview with Tom in which he
recounts a conversation with 1983 Cup winner Alan Bond (AUS) about what
kind of boats the Cup should be raced in. "Two of these big cats racing
together.with the pedal to the metal, flying hulls with the big sails up
could be extremely exciting..," Tom says. "I'd be back in the America's Cup
in a minute if it were held in big, fast boats on San Francisco Bay." View
BONUS 2: Photographer Leighton O'Connor was at Key West 2011 last week, and
one day rode on the back the Oracle Racing RC44. To capture the action on
this Russell Coutts led ride from all angles, Leighton strapped his HD
camera to a long pole to give us onboard, side, and elevated angles. Now if
only he had captured Russell's face when he showed up with the pole. View
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
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 Wilder Lewis, Quebec, Canada:
After reading "The sublime pleasures of frostbiting" (in Scuttlebutt 3266),
I feel better this morning. One class fleets may be in decline but we have
become a generation of fun loving sailors who write wonderful prose as a
second career. Thank you Scuttlebutt!
* From Roger Vaughan:
As Tim Zimmermann notes (in Scuttlebutt 3266), winter sailing is great fun.
I still have fond memories of frostbiting in Sunfish in Barrington, Rhode
Island in the 70s. We'd have a minimum of 15 boats out every Sunday. They
were good boats too, because unlike summers, the best sailors were around.
We all used to brag that we hadn't seen an NFL game in years. Our wind
speed/ temperature rule was the same as the Washington, DC Laser fleet's.
But we'd often drag the boats across a flat of shore ice to get into open
Veins in our teeth. Floating floes could be a tactical hazard. Room? I
don't think so. One of us was assigned to bring enough stew for the fleet
every week, and that made for a cheery, apres sail gathering while we shook
off the chills. Somehow we never got that cold racing. Adrenalin I guess.
But around 4PM when we were putting the boats away and the sun was on the
wane, we froze our butts. That was then. Here in Oxford, Maryland, our
Lasers are radio controlled, and on a good winter Sunday (30 degrees, 10
knots, sunny) we'll get six boats out. It's still great fun, if not quite
* From Steve Orlebeke, Harken Yacht Equipment:
I enjoyed the article on January 27th about frostbiting Lasers. I used to
be foolish enough to frostbite my Laser out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin on Lake
Michigan until I discovered the DN iceboat. I soon realized that there was
no comparison. You stay dry. Your sheet doesn't freeze up. Even if you are
losing the race you are still going 60mph downwind with a perma-grin on
your face. And if the wind dies, you just get out and walk home! It's by
far the most fun I have on the water. Give it a try, you will be hooked.
The DN class World and North American Championships start Sunday near
Menominee, MI on Green Bay. Go Packers! Details here:
*From Linda Edwards, "Rhumb Punch":
Warm sunny days, azure waters, good breeze, and very professional regatta
management are the foundation of Key West Race Week year after year. Nine
Farr 30 boats competed on the Division 1 course for the Farr 30 Mid-Winters
Championship. The other classes on the course included mini-maxis, IRC 1 &
2 as well as RC 44s. The elite level of sailing attracted spectator boats
and helicopters overhead. Finally some good exposure for the class! Those
who were not able to attend missed out on perfect racing conditions as well
shore side activities.
* From Deneen B. Demourkas:
From a personal perspective, my husband John and I have been sailing Key
West Race Week for eleven straight years now and we have enjoyed every
minute of it. Peter Craig and Premiere Racing do an exceptional job of race
management as well as to provide very nice shoreside "entertainment". Key
West, where the "weird go pro", I couldn't imagine a January without it.
From a Class perspective (Farr 30), Peter and Premiere have been very
supportive and extremely helpful to us. They have provided a steady flow of
communication and information to our owners, set up a fleet page for us on
their website, helped to facilitate foreign charters, provided free press
for us and assisted our One Design Class on an administrative level when
they didn't have to. Thank you Peter and company! The Farr 30 fleet is
committed to this event and we will see you next January!
The Mr. Bean Guide to Fun in an Elevator: When there's only one other
person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it isn't
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers