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SCUTTLEBUTT 3269 - Tuesday, February 1, 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, Melges Performance Sailboats, and Lewmar.
BLACK FLAG - BEHIND THE SCENES
By Pete Levesque, Sail1Design
Typically, when a race committee displays the black flag, sailors will
automatically lower their expectations for the next start knowing that they
will have to be conservative in the next sequence. In the following
article, I'm going to tell you about what is happening on the race
committee boat during a black flag sequence so that you can use it to your
advantage and have some of your best starts in black flag sequences.
Let's start with what is causing the black flag. Normally a race committee
will display the black flag only when they are convinced that an "I" flag
start is not working well enough to keep the fleet behind the line. That
means there are too many boats over the line at go for the race committee
to keep track of and write them all down. So to keep the number of
offending boats down, the race committee raises the penalty for being over.
There is no penalty for being over during an "I" flag start that results in
a general recall. However, there is a huge penalty for being over during a
black flag start whether it results in a general recall or not. Sometimes
race committees will run black flag starts and recall them until they have
eliminated all aggressive or stupid boats from the start and the rest of
the fleet can start civilly.
It is important to know what is happening on the race committee boat during
a penalty flag (I, Z or Black) start. At major regattas, race committee
boats will be well staffed. There will typically be a PRO who is
responsible for overseeing all others onboard. They are the CEO of the race
committee and don't typically have a detail job. There is often a scribe,
sometimes two. The job of the scribe is to write down boats that are called
over, boats that file protests, boats that have been called clear and boats
that have finished. Next you have a person whose job it is to sight the
line. They will call the order in which boats finish, and call which boats
are over the line under 1 minute. This person will typically talk into a
recording device that is used to cross check finish order and boats over
early or with what the scribes have written down. At regattas with large
fleets there may be two people sighting the line, one or both of which will
have binoculars to see sail or bow numbers of far away boats.
Knowing how the person sighting the line does his job is critical to black
flag start success. This person has a difficult job to do perfectly because
at 1 minute to go there is just a little bit of action close to the line.
Just a handful of boats are close to the line and those numbers are
probably visible. But, as time ticks down to zero, there are more and more
boats closer to the line and numbers become hidden. So the line sight
person keeps a running dialogue going into the recording device and the
scribes write down numbers they hear. A typical start sequence passage
might sound like this... read on: http://tinyurl.com/S1D-013111
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Hopefully the use of Starting Penalties (RRS 30)
by a PRO follows their attempt to determine the symptom(s) of the problem
and efforts to correct it. Perhaps the start line or race course needs to
be adjusted, or as PRO Ken Legler found at Key West Race Week 2011, a
reminder to the fleet (via VHF radio) that the current had changed proved
helpful. As long as the PRO does their job, an atmosphere of 'competitor
vs. race committee' can be avoided. Anybody else want to comment?
PROGRESS, SORT OF
Here are some updates surrounding the 34th America's Cup:
* TESTING: The Hauraki Gulf (Auckland, NZL) on Monday allowed the AC45 test
crew to put the boat through its paces in the strongest breeze to date.
Sailing in 25-30 knots of wind speed, the boat received only some minor
damage to the trailing edge of the wing in its first gybe out of the
Viaduct Harbour but nothing that would prove to hamper their 30-mile test
sail. "We put the bow in a couple of times at 30 knots and loaded
everything up," said Matt Mason. "We were on our toes the whole time and it
was great for the boat and the crew to come out of it relatively
unscathed." The AC45s, which will be delivered to teams beginning in
mid-March, will be used by all America's Cup entrants in the 2011 AC World
Series. -- http://www.americascup.com/blog/pushing-the-limit_62
* REVEALED: As stated in the Protocol Governing the 34th America's Cup
(Article 24.3), the racing area at the regatta venue (San Francisco Bay)
was to be revealed by January 31st. A diagram of the racing area is now
posted here: http://tinyurl.com/AC34-013111
* NOT REVEALED: As stated in the Protocol Governing the 34th America's Cup
(Article 22.1), the format, schedule, scoring and Venues for the 2011 AC
World Series was to be published by January 31st. However, these details
are not yet finalized, and may not be published until mid February. The
first event is expected to be in July. Information regarding the Protocol
is posted here:
* CANADA: A possible challenge for the America's Cup from Canada still
exists but has not been formally entered. The group, which includes the
Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, is hopeful
that their funding will improve once the 2011 AC World Series schedule is
confirmed. The entry deadline is March 31, 2011 for the 2013 Match.
1 DOWN, 29 TO GO
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FOR THE RECORD - CREWED
(January 31, 2011; Day 10) - British yachtsman Brian Thompson (48), crewman
onboard 131-foot trimiran Banque Populaire V during their Jules Verne
Trophy Record attempt, provides insight into sailing the boat:
The boat, designed by VPLP in Vannes, is relatively longer and narrower
than a ORMA 60 foot trimaran so that it handles bigger seas without nose
diving. The long slender bows pierce the waves and give enormous fore and
aft stability. That is a godsend in strong downwind conditions as a strong
nose dive can lead to an almost instant forward cartwheel as you often see
in the Extreme 40 classes. We can see speeds of 45 knots downwind, and as a
wave might be travelling at 20 knots, there is a closing velocity of 25
knots. Its fast powerboat speeds in seas that no powerboat would be out in.
Being relatively narrow for the length and weight of the boat means that we
can fly the main hull quite easily, so although pitchpoling is cleverly
designed out of the picture, a leeward capsize is a possibility, and we are
always attentive to that. There are a minimum of 4 on deck at any time, one
steering; one holding the traveller; one holding the headsail sheet and one
the mainsheet, all those 3 trimmers are watching the instruments; the heel
angle of the boat and listening for warnings from the helm. Day and night
we are trying to keep the boat just touching the main hull in the water,
fully powered up, balancing the weight of the boat against the pressure in
the sails. -- Yachting World, http://tinyurl.com/YW-013111
Current position as of January 31, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: -340.0 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 15.0 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 360.7 nm
Distance remaining: 20,090 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.
FOR THE RECORD - SOLO
(January 31, 2011; Day 3) - Thomas Coville, skipper of 105-foot trimaran
Sodebo, has now passed the latitude of Gibraltar in his attempt to beat
Francis Joyon's solo round the world record, and is sailing offwind on a
near south course down the African continent. "In this first phase of the
journey, you distill the emotions of departure," said Coville. "I have
flashbacks, I see faces in Brest, and then I will not see a single face for
57 days. Despite everything, from love to devoting myself to a single
passion, it's a beautiful symbol of freedom."
Current position as of January 21, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: +7.3 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 21.8 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 523.9 nm
Distance remaining: 23,335 nm
Team website: http://www.sodebo-voile.com
BACKGROUND: Thomas Coville (FRA) and the 105-foot trimaran Sodebo is
seeking to set a new solo round the world record under sail. Coville began
the attempt Jan. 29th and must cross the finish line off Ushant, France by
March 28, 2011 at 00:40:34 (UTC) to break the record (57:13:34:06) set by
Francis Joyon in 2008 on the 97-foot trimaran IDEC.
NOT WHAT THE TRAVEL AGENT PROMISED
(January 31, 2011: Day 32) - It is not usually like this. Certainly the
blocking high pressure which has developed down over the Kerguelen Islands
is firmly in place and the Roaring 40's are neither producing the
consistent fast downwind conditions, nor in many places are they roaring.
"Let's put a reality check on this," said Dee Caffari (GBR) on GAES Centros
Auditivos. "We are in the Southern Ocean going upwind, it is just
ridiculous. But we can't stay miserable and we have to try remain positive
because we have got like three days of this, and it would actually be
easier to stop in South Africa and have a party and then go again when the
weather is nice, so we really are looking for positives from this. But it
sucks, I went the other way around the world and went upwind, now I am
going this way and am upwind. Everyone promised it should be downwind.
Something is seriously wrong. This not what we signed up for in the
brochure for the Barcelona World Race."
Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 16,806nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 599.1nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 720.3nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant/Sebastien Audigane (FRA/FRA), 739.8nm DTL
5. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 890.5nm 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:
AUDI MELGES 20 ACTION IN MIAMI
Event 2 of the Audi Melges 20 Winter Series takes place next week (Feb.
11-13) with 30 + boats racing for the championship. In just two short
seasons. the racing has taken off to a new level! For updates stay close to
melges.com and the new melges20.com which is coming online soon. --
STATE OF THE UNION: AMERICAN OLYMPIC SAILING
By Dean Brenner, U.S. Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman
Well, it's over, boats are packed up, the (Rolex Miami OCR) regatta is shut
down and it's time to go home. And it's also time to take a little stock on
where we are.
We set high goals for our team. We want to compete for medals at the Games
in as many places as possible, in both the Olympic and Paralympic classes.
And as I sit here on the airplane, heading home, and think about the last
week, I think we are on pace in a number of places and we still have work
to do in others.
We clearly have the top match racing program on the Olympic circuit. Three
great teams, great coaching, great resources. We clearly have one of the
top radial sailors (with a proven coach) in the world. And we are clearly
in the hunt in the Finn. I also love what I see from our men's 470 and star
programs. I think we are doing great things in both of those classes as
well. We're not quite where we need to be, but we're doing all the right
things and are close to being consistently in the top group at the big
After that, I think we can be very competitive in women's 470. We have some
real talent, and I think we can do great things there. But as of this
moment, we definitely have some work to do.
And in 49er and Laser, two classes where one year ago I questioned if we
could compete, I think our sailors are also making big progress, doing the
correct things, getting closer. In boards, we clearly are a few steps off
So after the match racing, radial and Finn classes, we have varying amounts
of work to do. But in all cases, our athletes are working hard, and I think
we can be competitive at the Games in several events.
On the Paralympic side of things... read on:
PHOTOS: Scuttlebutt is hosting a photo gallery of the Rolex Miami OCR from
photographers Amory Ross, John Payne, and Ingrid Abery:
STANDINGS: Rolex Miami OCR finished with Great Britain taking 14 medals to
lead the country count. The regatta was the second of seven stops on the
ISAF Sailing World Cup, with Great Britain now pulling seven gold, six
silver and six bronze medals for a total of 19 after the first two events.
Australia is second with nine medals including three gold, while France
also has three gold medals and are in third with a total of five medals.
The individual athlete accumulated ISAF Sailing World Cup scores are posted
FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to
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* The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association now has another ranking system.
While Sailing World has long been the custodian of a ranking system for
college teams through all their events in the fall and spring seasons,
Sail1Design will now manage a ranking system focused on how college teams
solely perform in team racing events. Team race panelists include Ken
Legler (Tufts), Bill Healy (Yale), John Vandemoer (Stanford), Ward Cromwell
(Charleston), and Brendan Healy (Navy). -- Details:
* The countdown has begun for the February 6th restart of the VELUX 5
OCEANS round the world yacht race, which will take the four remaining solo
ECO 60 skippers on the 7,000 nautical mile third leg from Wellington, New
Zealand, to Punta del Este in Uruguay. While course restrictions should
prevent the fleet from encountering ice, the biggest challenge will be Cape
Horn, where shallow waters, fierce winds and strong currents combine to
create huge and dangerous waves. American Brad Van Liew on Le Pingouin is
the current race leader after claiming all the first place points on the
first two legs. -- http://www.velux5oceans.com
* Beneteau, the world's biggest sailboat builder, has announced plans to
double its boat-building by 2015. The French group, which also operates the
Jeanneau and Lagoon brands, made the revelations, as it confirmed its 2011
forecasts at its annual financial meeting in Paris. Emerging markets, such
as Brazil and the Far East, are the areas where Beneteau expects the
majority of the growth to come from and it has already purchased a new
production facility in the South American country. -- Full report:
SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR SAILING NEEDS
Preparing for a new sailing season is always exciting! The Lewmar Team have
some great racing to watch in 2011, including the new Farr 400 and Soto 40.
With a control solution for any requirement or budget, why not speak to
Lewmar for advice on enhancing your race performance? Click on
http://www.lewmar.com for your nearest Lewmar Dealer.
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 David Pedrick, President, Pedrick Yacht Designs: (re, Eight Bells)
Marvin Green set the tone for a boatload of competent people who enjoyed
each other's company. There was a spirit of camaraderie aboard Nirvana that
started many friendships that continue today. This was in no small way
through Marvin's trust in Michael Keyworth as his captain from construction
through the following years of racing and cruising.
When Marvin commissioned the design of Nirvana, coming from an older Swan
65, he said he wanted to race "occasionally." Once we established that it
meant against the likes of Kialoa and Boomerang, Pedrick Yacht Designs
engineered a thoroughbred, cruiser/racer maxi that carried a full teak
deck, teak interior, tiled galley, clothes washer/ dryer and bathtub
successfully against her stripped-out competitors.
Marvin originally planned to race for three years; he had such a good time
of it, though, that he stretched it to five, and then moved on to other
things. Marvin set a high standard of amateur racing in the Grand Prix
arena, and, wow, did he have fun with it! As did we who were his shipmates.
Wherever you are, Marvin, keep on laughing.
* From Tyler Carder:
Those of us who grew up around Western Long Island Sound and in particular,
Stamford Connecticut and the Stamford Yacht Club, remember Marvin Green and
NIRVANA with great admiration, respect and pride. After all, NIRVANA was
one of the most famous racing yachts to ever come out flying the SYC burgee
(in addition to all the other yacht clubs of which Mr. Green was a member,
he never forgot the good ol' SYC.)
And in the BN world, there were few more fun days on the docks at Yacht
Haven West as when you had NIRVANA and BOOMERANG both in town and at their
places of honor at the ends of adjoining piers....
It's a hard pick between those two, a couple of the most beautiful maxis
ever built; but to a lot of eyes NIRVANA was always the prettiest- and a
HELL of a lot more comfortable!. RIP Marvin Green.
When in doubt, mumble.
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Summit Yachts - Doyle Sails - North U
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