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SCUTTLEBUTT 3272 - Friday, February 4, 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: Atlantis WeatherGear and North U.

Vincenzo Onorato is the President of Mascalzone Latino, a sailing team he founded in 1993. After his team had taken part in the last two editions of the America's Cup, Onorato joined with the Club Nautico di Roma (CNR) to be the Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup.

Here are some comments that Vincenzo shared with Scuttlebutt:

* What role has the CNR played in developing the format for AC34?

VINCENZO ONORATO: Basically the role of CNR has always been: first to try to keep the Defender (which is a very rich team) sensitive to the problems of the others teams in search of sponsor and consequently to keep the costs low; second to build the most spectacular America's Cup ever and here comes the Catamaran!

* There have many changes to the event format for AC34. Some of the changes, such as the multihull format and estimated costs, have discouraged certain teams from entering. Other changes, such as the delay to learn the AC34 venue and the location and schedule of the 2011 AC World Series, have hampered other teams efforts to raise funds. Is there concern now that the new event format for AC34 may have been too much for the sport?

VINCENZO ONORATO: The Cup needed an important change and, one more time, I would like to underline that multihulls mean saving money. It doesn't seem to me that this has been given the right attention that the Cup will start with 45 ft One-Design boats and that will keep down the costs and will give time to the teams for the fund raising.

The delay to announce the venues is due to the fact that in such a difficult economic worldwide crisis, more time has been necessary for the negotiations with the locations. We, Mascalzone Latino, are working hard to take some AC World Series events in Italy. We are in the same position of the others teams: without dates and venues, it is much harder to manage sponsor negotiations.

* It has been said that CNR is not sufficiently funded, that there are no sailors on contract, and very little technical design work is occurring. Is this true? Have the changes to the event format for AC34 hampered the ability of CNR to participate in AC34?

VINCENZO ONORATO: It is partially true. We have an agreement with some sailors and a solution for the design team, but it's also true that at the moment we haven't got any sponsors. In the last multi-challenger edition, the 32nd America's Cup, Mascalzone Latino was a very well funded team. I personally have no interest at all to be just involved in the Cup if I'll not be competitive. If, in the next few months, I won't be able to find the economic resources to make my team competitive, then I'll quit.

I wish to remind that Mascalzone Latino means Italy in the Cup. Any time we race in the USA, whether it is in Key West, Miami, Newport or San Francisco, there is a great Italian community cheering for us. We want them to be proud of us and obviously not forgetting our many fans in Italy that devotedly follow our progress.


More than a month after San Francisco and America’s Cup officials hashed out an agreement behind closed doors to hold the sailing regatta on San Francisco Bay, city taxpayers could soon find out how much it will cost their city to host the event.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi on Tuesday directed the Board of Supervisors’ budget analysts to review the host city agreement, which was finalized and signed Dec. 31, and compare it with the bid that was approved by city lawmakers two weeks earlier.

Waterfront neighbors whose lives and property values will be most dramatically affected by the catamaran races counted more than 100 last-minute revisions to the city’s bid that they say could increase taxpayer costs by millions of dollars. -- Read on:

“What's this America's Cup thing? San Francisco devoted much official money and energy to luring this event to San Francisco in 2013, but what is it? We know it's stupendously rich fellows racing sailboats, but we can see that every day by looking out any window. The organizers say they hope to turn an elitist event into a popular spectator sport in San Francisco. And if they pull it off, who knows, the Bay Area could land franchises in professional polo and fox hunting. Tally ho, bro!” - Scott Ostler, SF Chronicle columnist,

We here at Atlantis HQ in Marblehead followed the action at US SAILING’s 2011 Rolex Miami OCR closely, and we want to congratulate all of the members of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics on the work they’re doing to make sure that they’re playing our song at the medal ceremony in Weymouth next Summer. As a proud sponsor and Official Apparel Provider, we also want to thank them for the support they’ve shown the Atlantis brand, and we’re looking forward to doing what we can to help support the team in the coming months as they push toward the ultimate goal.

By Matthew Knowles, Unruly blog
Here is one that I've been asked about by two people separately in the last
few months:

Three small keelboats, S, P, and X, are going upwind in light air. S(tarboard) and P(ort) are on a collision course. X is a few boatlengths away. P hails to S "Tack or Cross?".

S decides that she wants to continue towards the left side of the course, and realizes that if P leebows her she will have to tack away onto port, so she responds "Cross!", and bears down and ducks P, allowing P to cross. Had S not altered course, she would have hit P.

X then yells "Protest P and S!" and files a protest against both. You are on the jury. What is your decision? ANSWER BELOW.

(February 3, 2011; Day 13) - At 2:00 am (Paris time), while sailing at a speed of 37 knots south of the 40th parallel, the 131-foot trimiran Banque Populaire V hit an unidentified floating object during their Jules Verne Trophy Record attempt. Under the shock, part of the crash box drift - part fuse protecting the immersed part - was broken, requiring Pascal Bidegorry and his crew to heave to for an hour to go account of the damage.

"Tonight, we immediately felt the shock but the Maxi Banque Populaire V did not stop,” said Bidegorry. “However, we made the decision to halt the progress of the boat and ride the sails. But in the dark night, it was not easy to realize the damage.”

Further confirmation of the damage has not been available. The immediate plan for the crew was to limit their speed to 25 knots and seek out a calm region so that they can better review the situation in daylight. The team is currently at the 45 degree south latitude, southwest of the African continent.

Current position as of February 3, 2011 (23:45 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: +371.7 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 26.3 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 631.7 nm
Distance remaining: 18,270 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:

(February 3, 2011; Day 6) - The approach to the equator has slowed the progress for Thomas Coville (FRA) and the 105-foot trimaran Sodebo, but the rains and lighter winds have allowed for both rest and housekeeping. “It worried me because I could not sleep for two days,” said Coville. “But today I feel great.” Coville is currently 300 nm north of the equator.

Current position as of February 3, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: +101.2 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 21.9 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 526.2 nm
Distance remaining: 21,659 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 3, 2011: Day 35) - The fast reach east continues for the front-runners of the Barcelona World Race, with first-placed Virbac Paprec 3 holding steady 17 knot speeds for the past 24 hours as they lead the fleet. Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron (FRA) dipped down to around 43 degrees South after they passed the Crozet gate two days ago, and are now steadily climbing back north to the next precautionary waypoint, reaching in northerly winds.

By contrast, second-placed MAPFRE have kept their track well to the north of the ice gates, and continue to make good speeds - topping 20 knots this evening at the 2000hrs update - as they begin to cross the front which has divided them from the first IMOCA 60. They have further erroded Virbac Paprec 3’s advantage, taking 30 miles from the leader in the past 24 hours.

Dominique Wavre (SUI) Mirabaud comments on the conditions: “The first month of food is finished and so we could move some bags and now have space on another bunk and so we are sleeping better. We are not suffering from the cold, but the boat is well insulated and we have good clothing. It is a bit cold on the hands in manoeuvres, but the temperatures are about right. In the next 24-36 hours the conditions will not improve. The wind will drop as the anticyclone catches us but surely not the waves. With the position of the gates I just don’t know when we will be able to surf and have downwind conditions.”

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 15,857 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 416.3nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 560.2nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant/Sebastien Audigane (FRA/FRA), 565.8nm DTL
5. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 774.6nm 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:

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The situation in question - a starboard tack boat agreeing to duck a port tack boat on an upwind leg - happens all the time on the race course. But the rules are not as understanding. Here are two opinions:

* From Jos M Spijkerman, International Umpire/Judge:
Rule 60.1 states that a boat may protest another for an alleged breach of a rule in part 2 if she sees the incident (or was involved). So X has the right to protest. She protests both boats, because she wants to have both stories, and - more importantly - both to become "party" in a protest.

The PC cannot do anything else then conclude that P did not keep clear. The fact that she had to ask for the crossing alone would already mean that S might need to take avoiding action. And that is already not keeping clear.

The fact found that S also ducked and otherwise would have hit P only reinforces that. But even if S did not have to duck, P did not keep clear according the definition. Rule 64.1 dictates that any boat that was a party to a protest is found to have broken a rule SHALL be disqualified!

I understand this might be perceived as "Why the F is X interfering" and "Leave well enough alone", but the basic principle is not only to follow the rules, but also to ENFORCE!

* From Matt Knowles, US SAILING Racing Rules Committee:
Jos makes a very articulate argument and I agree with him. I think in this case the rules force an unfortunate outcome. One boat "keeps clear" of another when "the other can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action." Without doubt S had to take avoiding action. Therefore P broke rule 10, and must be disqualified per rule 64.1

Now, you can hedge and say "her course" was to duck, but you would have to face the reality that it is only because of P's presence that she is required to duck. S's desired "course" is to keep sailing upwind!

I don't think this scenario is unrealistic either. In my mind the way this is most likely to come up is if, late in a series, P were fighting for a top spot with X, and X saw the incident and decided to press an aggressive 3rd party protest. In fact, I'd be quite surprised if this has never come up before.

More comments here:

* With approximately five weeks remaining until the February 28 deadline, entries are approaching 25 yachts for this summer’s Transatlantic Race 2011 (TR2011), hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club. Covering 2,975 miles from Newport, R.I., to the Lizard in England, the fleet will include IRC Racing, IRC Racer/Cruiser, Classic and Open divisions with a minimum length overall (LOA) of 40 feet. The TR2011 is one of seven races that form the inaugural Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. -- Details:

* With the growth surrounding match racing in North America, the US SAILING Match Racing Committee has created a guide to provide Youth Sailors (target range 16-22) with some of the information and events that are available to them. Details here:

* In what officials said they believe to be the first federal criminal prosecution in Florida for striking and killing a manatee with a boat, a Merritt Island man was sentenced Wednesday for killing a sea cow while zipping through a manatee slow zone. Joseph Miata Jr., 62, who had been cited repeatedly for speeding through manatee zones, had to forfeit his $5,500, 20-foot boat to the federal government and pay a $600 donation to a wildlife conservation group. -- Read on:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include IC Midwinters, San Francisco Bay, February computer calendar, what USA 17 equals, Nirvana and Kialoa V, Jessica Watson on a wire, and Paul Cayard without his moustache. 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:

From January 24-29, 2011, US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR returned to the waters of Biscayne Bay, bringing together the world's top Olympic and Paralympic class competitors. Marking the 21st running of the event, US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR is a mainstay on the winter circuit for sailors who are campaigning for the next Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event is part of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, a world-class annual series for Olympic sailing.

Competing during the week were all ten Olympic events and all three Paralympic events. This week's videos provide brief updates from each day, narrated by Gary Jobson and edited with cameras onboard the boats, in the air, and from the water. Click here for this week’s video:

BONUS: As they say, "if you don't like the weather, just wait 15 minutes." In this video from the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-9 onboard Ericsson 4 during Leg 3 between Cochin and Singapore last Race, a rapidly developing weather situation caused by a dramatic cloud circles the boat as the crew sails towards the Northern tip of Sumatra and the entrance to the Strait of Malacca. Watch leader and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Brad Jackson tells the crew to change down to a smaller No. 4 jib. View here:

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

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 Bob Keim: (re, lead story in Scuttlebutt 3271)
Paige Railey is learning one of the most important aspects of racing, IMHO. When I was younger and racing motorcycles, we used to say, "Slow down to go fast."

* From Mike Walbolt: (re, Black Flag usage)
I was on the 'signal' boat in Key West for Race Week, on Division 3. After a general recall, our PRO immediately raised BOTH the I and Z flag. That solved the problem without the need for the Black Flag. I thought it was a neat decision.

* From Ted Beier, Rules Committee Chair, Chief Judge:
In regard to the editor's comment in SB 3269, the following works just as good as, if not better than a Black with less aggression, is to use the I flag for a prep signal and begin hailing at the one minute signal via VHF radio. This gives the remainder of the fleet a benchmark on the location of the line, clears out the bad actors early, and does not threaten the competitors who are trying to "do it right" as a Black Flag might.

Some purists will say that this gives an advantage to those that are informed early, but this is a lesser evil than repeated general recalls and the threat of a Black Flag, and allows the PRO to take definite charge of the start line. The E Scow class has used this technique at our National regattas with fleets of 70+ boats with great success and the great majority of the competitors like it. We are considering making this technique standard practice in our class SIs for all starts.

The Mr. Bean Guide to Fun in an Elevator: Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile and go back for more.

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