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SCUTTLEBUTT 3274 - Tuesday, February 8, 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 Sails, North U, and Interlux.

By Charles P. Murphy, North Shore Yacht Club
Did you attend your yacht club’s annual awards dinner? I did. And although the food, the drink and the company at North Shore Yacht Club in Port Washington, NY were all delightful, I was somewhat disappointed with the speeches. With their narrow focus on an elite group, they seemed out of tune with the times. Essentially, they failed to appreciate the diversity of our sport. But rather than just carp, I would like to propose an alternative speech that I hope is more inclusive:

Tonight we are gathered here to honor the few, the proud, the winners. They have earned their laurel crowns with that invincible combination of competitive expertise and expensive gear. They have taken the gun as it loudly announced their victories. But there were others in those races, those who crossed the finish line in sad silence, sailors who heard no trumpet of triumph, and who mumbled their sail numbers as they sought a distant mooring. It is these sailors about whom I would like to say a word tonight. One might call it honorable mention.

The rulers of racing have recognized the diversity of these sailors. Rather than seeing them as an indistinguishable mass, Racing classifies them in easily identified acronyms. First are the DNSs - the Did Not Starts. They may have suffered a pre-race equipment failure or the treachery of the torn sail. In worse cases they have heard the dreaded call that the in-laws have arrived early and need to be picked up at the airport.

To balance the DNSs there are the DNFs, those who Did Not Finish. A mixed bag, this group often includes skippers whose misplaced sympathy for a whiny crew led them to turn on their engines. A small but more serious subset of DNF-ers, facing extended calm, suffers deep meteorological despair.

Also among the labeled losers are the DSQs, the Disqualified. It is beyond the scope of this short talk to recount the painful narratives of the DSQs. We all know those who have suffered the effects of DHNS, Directionally Handicapped Navigator Syndrome, which involves mistaking the port turning mark for starboard. DSQs have also endured the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in protest committee hearings.

Some losers defy labels. -- WindCheck, read on:

The newly launched Rozalia Project is coming to clean marine debris from the local waters of New England in 2011. Fifteen community sailing centers, yacht clubs, maritime museums and businesses from New York to Down East Maine have partnered with the Rozalia Project to get the local community involved in hands on clean up, and marine debris education programs.

Eighty percent of all marine debris, especially plastics, blows or washes from the land into our harbors and coastal waters. From harbors it migrates its way into the great gyres of the oceans, where it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles, poisoning the water, wildlife, sea bed, and food chain with toxins. The Rozalia Project is targeting marine debris, especially plastic, that is in our harbors and coastal waters. This marine debris is relatively young, having just been blown or washed into our waters and tends to still be whole or in big, collectable pieces.

The plan... to pick it up on land and in the water. The goal... to make a dent in the problem of marine debris by collecting plastic before it degrades into uncollectible microscopic pieces.

At each tour stop, Rozalia Project will run engaging and informative marine debris pick up and education programs dockside and onboard American Promise for people of all ages. Participants will have the opportunity to hunt for and pick up trash from the surface to the sea floor using nets as well as remotely operated vehicles (ROV) equipped with sonar and manipulators (to grab the trash). In addition, Rozalia Project will conduct side scan and ROV surveys of each harbor during trash pick up and education programs.

Rozalia Project was founded by Rachael Z. Miller and James Lyne in 2010. Buttheads may be familiar with Lyne as a member of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, who sails with Andy Horton in the Star event. -- Full report here:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Last summer my wife and I got Stand Up Paddleboards for exercise on San Diego Bay, and more than once did I think of bringing a bucket to collect the debris we would paddle by. This summer I will.

North Sails Gear is clearing out our outerwear section to make room for new spring clothing & accessories. For just a few days, we’re offering Scuttlebutt readers 20% OFF all jackets, vests, sweatshirts and more for both ladies & men! Write ‘SButtSave20’ in the comments box during check out and we’ll deduct 20% off all outerwear items purchased. Hurry, offers applies to existing inventory and expires on Sunday, February 13, 2011!

By Will Harris, Waterline Systems
This is the time of year when we hitch up the trailer and tow down to Florida. A thousand miles of rain and snow and slush and salt and truck soot leaves the whole show pretty bedraggled by the time we arrive.

Whenever possible, I try to find the closest truck wash to the regatta site. Usually for around 35 bucks you can drive the truck and boat right in, and enjoy a end of trip beverage of some sort.

Around the time your drink is done, the boat, truck and trailer are all clean. Worst case, you'll only find one of the coin-op pressure washer ones, but even that will save you a ton of time when you get to the club. --

(February 7, 2011; Day 10) - While the advance accumulated in the early days of Thomas Coville’s solo round the world record attempt has been lost to fickle winds, Coville remains full of hope. "When doing parallel edges with Francis (Joyon, current record holder), I can be faster than him, no matter the conditions," the skipper analysis. "But the difference is that with the fabulous weather he received, Francis realized the shortest route you can imagine on this same journey. From Brest to Good Hope, Idec (Joyon’s boat) is almost unbeatable, he was even faster last winter than Groupama 3 with 10 sailors aboard. His journey on this section was ideal. To give you an example, when we were 160 miles ahead in the North Atlantic, we had driven 130 miles more. However, once we get past the Cape, it will never be the same when we attack the Indian Ocean or Pacific.”

Current position as of February 7, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: -221.7 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 22.6 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 543.4 nm
Distance remaining: 20,090 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 7, 2011: Day 39) - For the moment, approaching the longitude of Australia’s Cape Leeuwin, Virbac-Paprec 3 are runaways, Jean Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron today extending their lead to the biggest margin yet of this Barcelona World Race. Despite the ice-gates several duos have reported that they are on the alert for reported ice.

“We have not seen icebergs but according to the report that we received yesterday (Sunday) have one in our course,” said Pepe Ribes on Estrella Damm Sailing Team. “Tomorrow (Tuesday) round dawn we will have an iceberg right in our path. We will have to keep a very close eye to the radar and the water temperature. Luckily we are at the latitude 47 south where there are only five hours of night and the rest is not fully dark so you can see well.”

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 14,235 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 781.7nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 801.7nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant/Sebastien Audigane (FRA/FRA), 909.6nm DTL
5. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1175.6nm 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:

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 or call 888-454-7015.

For the eager youth athlete, there are organized programs in the U.S. to engage their enthusiasm and skill. Here are three of them:

* April 14-17: Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach, CA The CISA Advanced Racing Clinic is the granddaddy of advanced youth training camps, and has set the standard that other programs follow. Elite coaches lead daily lectures and on-the-water drills with video support, and provide information on developing a successful Olympic campaign. Trainers emphasize physical fitness routines with nightly guest speakers engaging attendees on the avenues of sailing available to them. For sailors 13 years or older, it provides training for Laser, Radial, CFJ, C420, 29er. --

* June 9-13: Chicago Yacht Club, Belmont Harbor, Chicago, IL The first annual Neill Advanced Sailing Clinic sponsored by the Chicago Yacht Club Foundation is for the country’s most accomplished junior 420 sailors who are working hard to elevate their racing skills to the next level. For pre-college sailors that are at least 13 years old. This clinic is in memory of Tom Neill, an avid sailor and racer aboard his well known yacht Nitemare. --

* June 16-19: Sail Newport Sailing Center, Newport, RI This is the 10th year for the Brooke Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic. Laser Full Rig, Laser Radial, International 420's, and Club 420's will be used for sailors aged 14-18. Deemed a "must do" event for all sailors qualified for the US SAILNG Youth Championships that will be at the same location August 14 - 18, 2011. --

* (February 7, 2011; Day 3) - For the eighteen boats that enjoyed fast reaching conditions in Ft Lauderdale, FL at start of the 811 mile Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race on Saturday, they were soon replaced by light air beating that will should protect the current record of 2d, 10h, 24m, 42s. George David's Rambler 100 (ex Speedboat) leads the field, and has made the turn at the eastern end of Cuba and is holding a SW heading toward the finish at Montego Bay, Jamaica. --

* (February 7, 2011; Day 2) - Polish ocean racer Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski suffered the first setback of the VELUX 5 OCEANS third leg to Punta del Este in Uruguay when he hit a submerged tree. Gutek was forced to sail backwards to untangle the keel from the tree’s branches. Currently in second on the overall scoreboard, Gutek trails third leg leader Brad Van Liew (USA) by 28nm, with Derek Hatfield (CAN) in second. -- Full report:

* The third edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 has thus far attracted entrants representing fifteen nations for the February 21st start in Antigua of the 600-mile race. Two canting keel 100 foot maxis, Mike Slade’s Farr designed ICAP Leopard, who set the record for this race in 2009, and George David’s Juan Kouyoumdjian designed Rambler 100, will compete for line honors, while a number of Class 40s remain in the area after the Route de Rhum. Hot from winning 2011 Key West Race Week is Richard Oland’s Southern Cross 52, Vela Veloce and Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, also the RORC boat of the year. --

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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 Andy Kostanecki:
Well, regarding Morgan Reeser's perfectly reasonable plea (in Scuttlebutt 3273) about the inability of RCs to sight the line perfectly, of course there is an answer! It's not a new idea and it's not even out of the reach of the sailing industry. Anybody want to start a new business? At least fifteen years ago we were speculating on individual GPS transmitters located on every boat in a race, located at the bow, waterproof and transmitting discrete signals. Tricky? Yes. Beyond the ability to do so? No.

* From Ted Ritter, Fort Lauderdale, FL:
A long time ago I helped run major Laser regattas as North American Secretary of the class. In today's modern age of electronic lap timing (NASCAR, sports car racing & marathons) there could be transponder technology to ID OCS boat over early....transponders attached to the stem of each boat. Problem: a bit expensive and on the water. Videotaping has many flaws such as an early starter's sail near the committee boat blocking the camera, not to mention boats further down the line. Voice recording is even more dicey.

In my long gone days we had a simple solution after two General Recalls ....revert to the Rabbit or Gate start. The rabbit starts sailing on port tack at about 30 sec till start. Not a competitor, but a talented local. All racers are required to duck the rabbit's stern within a time limit. The result a beautifully line up fleet with zero OCS problems. Low tech maybe, but it worked. At the Laser World's at Cabo Frio, Brazil we had 103 boats in a perfect picket line and nobody was over early.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: When the 2009 SAP 505 World Championship was in San Francisco, an article titled ‘505 Class and the Gate Start’ in Scuttlebutt 2912 detailed the system used to flawlessly start the 97-boat fleet. Here is the link:

* From John N Edenbach:
Please stop publishing these hyper technical exploitations of the rules that Matt Knowles (in Scuttlebuttt 3272) seems to send you (the same may be said for Pete Levesque’s recent article in Scuttlebutt 3269). Both are capable sailors and committed to the sport and I commend them for that, but the fact that you are giving these exploitation strategies airtime is an astonishing lack of judgment on the part of the editor.

I’ve been reading for over 10 years and this seems to be a new development. Please revert to Dave Perry’s interpretations that illustrate both the spirit and the language of the rules.

* From Matt Knowles: (re, Third Party Protest -- Tack or Cross)
With all due respect I'm afraid John's comment (in Scuttlebutt 3273) looks past a subtlety of the situation. Certainly he is correct that, before she replies to P, S does not need to take action to avoid P. But once S has responded to P by telling her to cross, it is now necessary for S to alter course and duck P. Thus, there is a point in time when the condition specified by the rule is triggered.

Should S be allowed to choose to duck P? Of course. But as the rules are written, there is a problem here.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Matt started this topic on his rules blog, and to use a seasonal reference, it has snowballed. For additional comments, or to post your own, here is the link:

* From John Rumsey:
It might have been good fortune for the daggerboard on the 131-foot trimiran Banque Populaire V to be damaged at this time as it looked like there was going to be 3 or 4 days of light air in their area of the Southern Ocean and it seemed like the fronts that pushed Groupama 3 to Cape Horn last year had not developed yet. And remember last year Groupama went back for a second try after damage. I enjoy following the Virtual Race and hope they try again

* From Roving John - San Francisco:
Scott Ostler and his editors at the SF Comical (Chronicle) have persisted for years in parading their ignorance about anything that doesn't come from a wire service ready for printing. 'Reaching out' to educate them a bit has proven fruitless and frustrating. They will eventually sink in their own flawed futility, as Latitude 38 and the suburban papers have already pre-empted any position they may once have held in our sport. Heck, they still post most sailing coverage in the social section of that rag. Fuggedabout it!

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The Chronicle connected with Bay area sailor Paul V. Oliva in February 2009 to write an occasional sailing report, and Paul has already offered to take sports columnist Ostler and sports editor Al Saracevic for a sail. Hopefully it will happen in July when it’s nuking.

* From Stephen A Van Dyck:
I am always interested in constructive criticisms about how those of us who devote our time and cash to being US Sailing Race Officials can do a better job. But for those who are anxious to see the quality of Race Officiating and officiating techniques improve, how about publicly supporting an effort to require all racing participants be members of US Sailing? With another 20,000 members US Sailing would have roughly $1 million to add to our current talented but horribly overworked one man Race Administration activity at US Sailing.

And if people are unsatisfied with the techniques at the highest level regattas, what about the level of proficiency at lesser regattas? Maybe some leadership from our leading sailors to help improve things would help improve things. Why are we not spending as much at US Sailing to coach and train our race officials as we are to coach and train our Olympic Sailors? Why are our top sailors, many of whom make a living to some degree in our sport, not doing more to help us fund the effort that creates the race course, rules and officials? Indeed...why?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” - Woody Allen

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