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SCUTTLEBUTT 3271 - Thursday, February 3, 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: Team One Newport and Ullman Sails.

By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt editor
American Paige Railey was the first North American to win the women’s ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award, and she did it in 2006 when only 19 years old. I have interviewed Paige several times by email or phone, and finally got the chance to meet her in person prior to the Rolex Miami OCR. Each time we chat, I tease about her propensity for OCS and Rule 42 (propulsion) penalties, but commended her this time on how that seemed to be behind her.

But when I made the comment, I forgot to knock on wood. And of course, after the first day of the Rolex Miami OCR, Paige had a 1-OCS. I felt horrible, and apologized by email about jinxing her. She quickly wrote back that night: “LOL! It’s really okay. I tried to prevent it. It was purely a mistake, not like before where it was just pure stupidity! Now I'm focusing on one of my biggest goals: Performing while having to be conservative.”

What happened next was, from my seat in the stands, very impressive. Paige competed for five more days, and nine more races, never finishing below 6th in the 58-boat world caliber fleet, and ended up winning by 23 points. After the regatta I wrote to her, “So glad that my jinx did not derail your regatta. Can you explain how your approach allowed you to be both conservative and successful? I mean, being both decisive and conservative can be odd bedfellows.” Here is Paige’s reply:

“Being conservative and successful is very difficult. I had to choose my moments on when to take risk and when not to. One area that I had to play it safe was on the starting line and yellow flags (for Rule 42 violations). I was not allowed to get anymore DSQ's. This means that if I have to have a less than ideal start or let a boat pass me on the downwind, then I must let it happen.

“I had many starts that were not very good, but it forced me to rely heavily on other aspects of my sailing such as tactics and strategy on the upwind legs. I had to out-think the other sailors by being smart, not by being risky and banging a corner.

“After my OCS I told myself that I had to drop the thought of being first to a windward mark or having amazing starts. I instead was going to have average starts and windward mark roundings, but was going to have to fight my way around the whole course to pass boats by being smarter than them...not faster because I could push my boat kinetically harder. This was a great learning experience for me because it really forced me to open up my mind to many different tactical situations on where I had to make crucial decisions. It also taught me to hold back on intense moments where I would usually react.

“For example, in the medal race I was winning, but I let a boat pass me because I was not going to push too hard on the downwind. A second example deals with the many starts that I was about a boat length back from the fleet. It taught me how to keep my height, but foot at the correct moments so I wouldn't be rolled. The last situation where I noticed a difference dealt with the tactics on the upwind. There were many times when I knew a side would pay, but instead of banging it with the rest of the fleet, I would tack in a bit earlier than the others just to make sure I could make the cross back to the middle of the course.

“There were many times where I rounded 8th rather than 1st because I made more conservative decisions, but never giving up around the course enabled me to win.”

Video profile of Paige Railey here:

After their inaugural event in the US in Miami at the end of the 2010 season and an outing at Key West Race Week, the highly professional RC44 class is now heading west to make its debut at the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego on March 2-6. Eleven RC44 teams representing nine nations are gearing up for this first event in the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour.

The RC44 class was conceived and co-designed by four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts. With a 50:50 split between amateurs and professionals in the crew line-up, the class attracts some of the world’s leading business minds as their owner-drivers along with many of the world’s top sailors.

Racing will take place directly in front of the magnificent new, spectator friendly Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier in the downtown city region, giving fans the chance to see the racing taking place inside the harbor. The event will span five days, with four days’ of fleet racing where the boats can only be driven by their owner, and one day of match racing when the pro sailors can get their chance to shine at the helm.

Among the top sailors set to compete on the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour are class designer Russell Coutts (NZL), American yachting legend Paul Cayard and San Diego native son Rod Davis, Audi MedCup winners Morgan Larson (USA) and Jose Maria Ponce (ESP). Some of the world’s top match racing talent will also be there, including Cameron Appleton (NZL) and two-time World Match Racing champion Ian Williams (GBR).

The 2011 RC44 Championship Tour takes in six venues, including in Austria, France, Sweden, and Spain, before coming to a close with the 2011 RC44 World Championships in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands in November. -- Full report:

The 2011 Musto product is here and it works great and looks sharp! So take advantage of a 30% discount off discontinued product only at Team One Newport. Team One Newport has been selling Musto for 26 years and they continue to bring you the latest and best gear for your sailing needs. Their crew uniform department is the best and they outfitted numerous teams at Key West Race Week. They are known around the world for their expertise, service and selection! Visit or call 800-VIP-GEAR for more information.

By Michelle Slade,
Mark Buell has one of the tallest order jobs going in the America’s Cup and he doesn’t get paid for it. Is the man crazy? Not yet, but I’ll check back with him in September 2013. Buell is Chairman of the America’s Cup Organizing Committee (ACOC). Through the auspices of the ACOC, a San Francisco-based not for profit group established after Larry Ellison and ORACLE Racing won the 33rd America’s Cup almost a year ago, Buell and his team uphold a crucial part of the infrastructure upon which the success of the next Cup event is dependent

So, just what is ACOC’s charge?

According to Buell ACOC’s responsibility is to carry out all those items in the agreement with the City, known as the Host City Agreement, to host AC34 in San Francisco.

ACOC has to raise about $32 million to do the environmental documents on the improvements to the Port, for the security that’s going to be needed - the extra police, the extra transportation, the placement and permitting of bleachers along the waterfront, coordinating with the Golden Gate National Park, and the State over at Angel Island and the City to make sure everything is in place for the race.

ACOC will also assist the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) in their fundraising (ACEA needs to raise approximately $270 million to build out the physical infrastructure for the event in the City) and with tasks like helping people working in the event relocate to the City as well the permitting that will be involved to develop the infrastructure.

“Some 2000 people will move to the city for at least a year, like the crews of the boats competing - we’ll have to help those people get housing, help their kids into school, get them settled - there’s just a myriad of responsibilities that have to happen,” Buell explained.

Key dates are beginning to slide by that are crucial to sponsors who will be looking for as much value for their big sponsorship dollars as possible. Per the Protocol, format, schedule, scoring and venues were to be announced on January 31 for the new World Series beginning this year in the AC45 catamaran, but already that announcement has been delayed a few weeks according to ACEA. -- Read on:

San Francisco Port official Jonathan Stern talks as fast as he walks, and pocket-size Mayor Ed Lee struggled to keep up both verbally and physically. During a media show-and-tell late last month, Stern played the role of supercharged Realtor, explaining to the new mayor how a series of functional - at best - Port facilities will soon be transformed into the glistening center of the 34th America's Cup by 2013. Two phrases passed Stern's lips with regularity: "Our current vision" and "tear this down."

Lee was enthused. It'd be impossible not to be; a crisper and more beautiful morning to showcase San Francisco's northern waterfront could not be conceived. When it came to hosting the Cup, "not only did San Francisco make the right decision," said Lee, with the bay as his glistening backdrop, "the world made the right decision."

Former District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly was not among the scrum of elected officials and politicos assembled at Pier 27 to politely applaud Lee's words. It'd be unthinkable for the caustic former supervisor to be there. And yet, without him, no one else would be there, either. It's hard to find anybody in this city with a neutral position on Daly. He is loved or he is hated: Were he to praise the use of water, a good portion of San Franciscans would reconsider bathing. -- Read on:

(February 2, 2011; Day 12) - British yachtsman Brian Thompson (48), crewman onboard 131-foot trimiran Banque Populaire V during their Jules Verne Trophy Record attempt, provides an update on their progress:
Incredible what a difference 24 hours can make when you are doing 700 miles a day!

From shorts and no t-shirt at night, to looking for that second layer of thermals in the daytime. From flying fish to albatross. From teasing out every .25 of a knot of speed to get 20 knots in flat water, to sailing in defensive mode, de-tuning the boat and driving cautiously to keep the speed below 38 knots!

It’s now in the early 30 knots of windspeed and we are broad reaching with 3 reefs and the staysail, still with plenty of power to do a steady 35 knots of boatspeed.

We are on the Southern Ocean Express, though unfortunately there are engineering works ahead with a high pressure in our route. We are going to have to find a way around that barrier and Pascal, Juan and Marcel on the shore are working on the options, as the weather forecasts evolve. But right now its full steam ahead and it’s a nice bonus, if perhaps a temporary one, to be getting ahead of Groupama's position again.

Current position as of February 2, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: +284.0 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 32.9 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 788.5 nm
Distance remaining: 18,912 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. Tracking:

Ullman Sails is excited to announce the addition of Ryan Malmgren and his loft in Madison, Wisconsin. Joining us as a full service loft, Ullman Sails Madison will serve as another major point of sails and service in the Great Lakes region. Ryan brings over 20 years of sailmaking experience, including eight years as owner of his own production loft - Mad Sails. On the water, Ryan grew up sailing dinghies and has won two world titles in the Thunderbird class. We’re proud to have Ryan onboard to continue a tradition of exceptional customer service and high standard of sailmaking.

(February 2, 2011; Day 5) - Conditions continue to push hard Thomas Coville (FRA) and the 105-foot trimaran Sodebo, but it is a pace that has allowed them to further widen their lead on the solo round the world record title that they pursue. Now south of Cape Verde islands at 14 degrees north latitude, northeasterly winds will direct Coville toward the Brazilian coastline to steer to the west of St. Helena High in the South Atlantic.

Current position as of February 2, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: +120.7 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 24.0 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 575.4 nm
Distance remaining: 22,187 nm

Team website:

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.

(February 2, 2011: Day 34) - Olympic champions Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) on Mapfre seem to sound a warning to the leading French duo in the Barcelona World Race that they will not be regulating their speed too much in pursuit of Virbac Paprec 3. This afternoon Mapfre recorded the fastest one hour ‘speed gun’ of the race so far, 26.8 knots.

“What they have done so far is quite amazing. And I think the whole Olympic sailing community is just riveted by their performance. Nobody really quite knew how they would get on, least of all them, but they are going so well,” said Double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson (GBR) in Barcelona today just after speaking to Fernandez by live video link for the CNN Mainsail TV programme which she fronts.

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 16,265 DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 446.6nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 593.3nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant/Sebastien Audigane (FRA/FRA), 593.3nm DTL
5. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 759.7nm 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:

* The International Maxi Association (IMA) has organized the Rolex 2011 IMA Championship to consist of four events reserved to supermaxis, maxis and mini maxis. The first event of the championship is the PalmaVela (Palma de Mallorca, Spain: April 20 -24), followed by the new Rolex Volcano Race (Gaeta-Aeolian Islands-Capri, Italy: May 24-28), Giraglia Rolex Cup (offshore, Italy: June 19-25), the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Mini Maxi World Championship (Porto Cervo, Italy: September 5-11). -- Details at

* With all eyes now focused on the College spring season and the season-ending national championships, the Sailing World college rankings has published where each team is positioned in each of the seven Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association conferences. --

* In the ISAF rankings released February 2, 2011, Claire Leroy (FRA) has jumped ahead of Nicky Souter (AUS) in the ISAF world match race women's rankings. Leroy won the gold medal in the Grade 1 women's match racing competition at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven stops of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Anna Tunnicliffe in fourth leads an American that holds three of the top ten positions. In the open match racing rankings Ben Ainslie (GBR) maintains his position at the top with no change in the top eight. -- Full report:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free, self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this weekend:

Feb 3-6 - Charlotte Harbor Regatta - Charlotte Harbor, FL, USA
Feb 5-6 - Jaguar Cup Series - Florida State Championship - Miami, FL, USA
Feb 5 - Montego Bay Race - Pineapple Cup - Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

View all the events at

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of recent postings:

* Custom Sailing Shirts for your crew
* New Rhode Island Yacht Management Company Formed
* SailLaser St. Petersburg to Open this Winter
* Colin Archer Cutter

View and/or post Industry News updates here:

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 Chris Ericksen:
I am just a simple yacht-club PRO and not an internationally renowned sailor like Pete Levesque, but I was a little offended by the tone of his commentary on starting under a black flag ('Butt 3269). I was particularly so when comparing his comments to the Curmudgeon’s about the PRO doing his (or her) job by which "an atmosphere of 'competitor vs. race committee' can be avoided." On that point I can absolutely agree.

I am in no way in the same league as Ken Legler, but I have used the radio occasionally--and my voice often--to tell the sailors what is happening on the RC Signal Boat, or the race course, in the water (currents) or whatever. Yet Mister Levesque seems to be encouraging an atmosphere of "competitor versus the race committee" by telling sailors how to game the system. I fear the basis of this is his presumption that he and the rest of the sailors on the water are smarter than those of us on the RC Signal Boat. Very sad, indeed.

* From Dave Perry:
I want to piggyback on "Match Racing on the Rise" (Scuttlebutt 3270). In addition to the continental United States and Canada, there is tremendous match racing interest and activity nearby in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bermuda. The U.S. Virgin Islands hosts their annual Carlos Aguilar Match Race event which is a Grade 1 for women and a Grade 2 for Open sailors, plus many other match racing events in their IC24's (J/24's with the deck removed and fitted with an open cockpit). And Bermuda hosts its annual Argo Group Gold Cup event, a stop on the World Match Racing Tour. Match Racing is truly on the rise all throughout the North American region.

* From Markus Schwendtner, Intl. Kiteboarding Assn: (re, Scuttlebutt 3270)
It should have become a demonstration of what kiteboarding has to offer to Sailing in the Olympic Games - but if there is no wind, there is no wind. Some of the fastest kite racers in the world came to Miami to participate in the kiteboarding demonstration for the Olympic Racing Classes Regatta on the final weekend of the Regatta.

The Regatta included over 700 sailors representing 58 countries. The kiters headed out to do the demonstration in an amazingly light wind forecast. Winds were around 2 to 10 kts., averaging around 2 to 8 kts. with extended lulls in the actual race area.

As there was no chance to get permission to launch from Hobie Beach, competitors where shuttled to a nearby spoil island to get on the water which proved to be a first demonstration of usability. It turned out to be possible to load competitors that would represent a full medal race fleet into one boat and bring them to the designated race area.

As winds were really light, with extended lulls of almost nothing (less than 2 knots), it was clear that trying to run a kiteboard race would be anything than easy, however the race committee in agreement with the competitors decided to give it a try and to showcase what kiteboarding could be to the ISAF race officials at the OCR event.

It should be noted that ISAFs race management policies require a stable 6 knots breeze in the racing area for boards which surely was not given in the area the kiteboard race was meant to take place. Apart from the lulls the average wind strength would never have been considered to be suitable to start a valid race, but for a demonstration event it was at least worth trying. -- Full report/photos:

Virginity is like a soap bubble; one prick and it is gone.

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