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SCUTTLEBUTT 3279 - Tuesday, February 15, 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.

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Today's sponsors: North Sails, West Marine, and Lewmar/Navtec.

LIFE AND TIMES OF A ROCKSTAR
American Ed Baird is one of the good guys, on and off the water. Since he is not one to boast, we will do it for him. He has twice won the America's Cup (1995, 2007), was Laser and J/24 World Champion, three times Match Racing World Champion (1995, 2003, 2004), ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year (2007) and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (1995). And now he is an Optimist parent. Here he provides an update with the Clever Pig website:

* How and when did you start sailing?

ED BAIRD: My folks started me in boats when I was very young. By the time I was 7, I was going fishing with my buddies from school in a little jon-boat with a 5 HP Johnson. We'd load the thing in the back of Mom's station wagon and head to the boat ramp. Very fun. I started sailing when I was 9 and did my first race on Thanksgiving weekend after taking learn to sail courses in the summer. We had no coach; just a bunch of supportive parents who were happy to send us out in the bay for hours on our own. It allowed us great independence.

* How did you transition from a young aspiring sailor to a world-renowned top-level professional?

ED BAIRD: I did my first three Olympic Trials when I was 18, 22 and 26. Each of these campaigns taught me a lot, and along the way I managed to win the Laser and J/24 Worlds and enjoy successes in other classes at a national level. I needed a job, though, so I began working for a company that managed large real estate ventures. They had me managing a large marina complex they were building. One day, as I prepared for a world championship trip, my boss said to me, "In real estate there's a saying that one drops everything for a deal. But you seem to drop everything for a race. Are you sure you're in the right profession?"

He meant it nicely and as a bit of a joke. He was right, but our sport was all amateur and I didn't see myself as a boatbuilder or sailmaker, which were the only options for making a living from the sport. So I resigned myself to doing what I did and sailing when I could. But then the rules changed and allowed sponsorship and payment for racing skills. My wife and I looked at each other one day and said, "Let's go for it!" I left my job, accepted with great appreciation my wife's sacrifices through many years of living very frugally, worked very hard and eventually we came out where we are today.

Fortunately, with the help of countless supporters, sponsors, owners and team mates, I was able to find enough success to make a living at what I love... being on the water. I've coached, written articles, delivered boats, trimmed sails, steered and done tactics. I've raced in big boats and small, short races and long, monohulls and cats. I've hoisted the America's Cup, and had my boat break in half underneath me. I've had sponsors pull out, owners change their minds and events fail to pay prize money. But I've also sailed some amazing boats, met some fantastic people and avoided rush hour for the majority of my lifetime. There's more to come, but it's been a really great experience so far.

Complete interview: http://tinyurl.com/CP-021411

START SYSTEMS - FACTORING IN PHILOSOPHY AND SPEED
Markus Schwendtner, Executive Secretary for the International Kiteboarding Class, provides input on how this newly emerging sector of the sport is handling their starts:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Interestingly, in traditional sailing we usually see the P flag flying on the first start attempts, unless the race committee loses patience with all the skippers that are too aggressive on the line. Reading the comments about “being 6 inches over” and the corresponding calculation regarding which time before the GPS start time this would be, we clearly have to note that this starting system might be good for boats approaching the start line comparably slow.

Bruno de Wannemaeker, PRO for the windsurfing courses at the 2008 Olympics, made a very true comment on this procedure and the fact, that in windsurfing races almost all the times the race committee goes with the I Flag from the very first start (forget about the Z Flag I would say, hardly ever saw someone using it). The main reason is - why let some aggressive skippers mess up the start for the remaining 99% of the fleet with a good chance of not getting caught in the upcoming General Recall. Why create all that trouble for the ones that behaved, plus the race committee and jury without penalizing the ones that didn’t?

As the only pure planning class that kiteboarding surely is, we tend to go even further. Our “rules of the game” generally see Black Flag starts from the very first moment - something that is appreciated by the skippers as well as by the race committee.

As kiteboards approach the start line at a minimum speed of 10 knots even in marginal conditions (5 knots windspeed), and in proper conditions the boards are flying along the line with 20-30 knots of boardspeed, it doesn’t really matter if you are 10 inches below or over the line, but the Black Flag keeps everybody far enough away from the line to give all racers a good and fair start. It shifts the question about who is winning the race to the actual racing - after the start - and not to the minutes before to fight for the best position on the line, barge in between committee boat and other racers in the last second, etc.

We hardly have any Recalls in kiteboarding races - no individual ones by default, and hardly any General Recalls. And if so, the penalty for those trying is so high, that they surely not try again next time. For our class - and we believe for several of the other “high performance boat classes” as well - this is what we consider to be fair to the vast majority of the racers. We are not punishing the majority of the fleet for the sake of giving a few the chance “to try to fool the race committee”. -- Read on: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=11288#11288


CONGRATS MONTEGO BAY RACE WINNERS
Congratulations to the North Sails-powered boat ‘Genuine Risk,’ chartered by Hugo Stenbeck for winning the coveted Pineapple Cup Trophy and the Silver Seahorse Trophy in the 30th Biennial Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race. North-powered ‘Donnybrook,’ owned by James P. Muldoon of Washington DC, won the Arawak Trophy for the PHRF division and the Navigator’s Trophy for best overall navigator. ‘Rambler 100,’ owned by George David and also powered by 100% North sails, took line honors in the 811-mile race from Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Jamaica. When performance counts, the choice is clear: http://na.northsails.com


A CORINTHIAN CLASSIC RETURNS TO NEWPORT
It took the Corinthian sailing world by storm in 2009, and its impact promises to be even greater when it returns again to the shores of Newport, R.I. this September 10-17. The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will host 19 yacht club teams representing 13 nations from six different continents in the ultimate sailing contest among amateur competitors proudly representing their homelands.

The event will again be sailed in NYYC Swan 42s on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay, with the headquarters being the NYYC’s Harbour Court clubhouse overlooking Newport Harbor.

“There are many returning as well as new entries,” said Event Chair John Mendez, “and they are coming from as far away as South Africa, Portugal and Argentina. Just like in the halcyon days of the America’s Cup, competitors must be non-professional (Corinthian) sailors and members of the yacht clubs they represent; they must also be nationals of their countries.”

Mendez explained that the top-five finishers from the 2009 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup received automatic berths for the 2011 event, and all have accepted. They are (in order of finish) the New York Yacht Club (USA); Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN); Japan Sailing Federation (JAP); Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN) and Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL).

New entries include the Yacht Club Argentino (ARG); Cruising Yacht Club of Australia; Yacht Club Capri (ITA), Yacht Club Punta Ala (ITA), Clube Naval de Cascais (POR); Royal Cape Yacht Club (SA) and Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR).

Also returning from 2009 are the Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR); Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (BER); Yacht Club Italiano (ITA) and Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (ESP).

Rounding out the fleet will be three additional U.S. teams that were determined by the outcome of a 24-club U.S. Qualifying Series held at the NYYC in September 2010: Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); Annapolis Yacht Club (Annapolis, Md.) and Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.). -- Full report: http://nyyc.org/2011InvitationalCup/article_975/

PHOTOS AND SSC RECOGNITION
* Two members of the Melges family of boats were on Biscayne Bay for the 2011 Miami Winter Regatta this past weekend. Hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 23 Audi Melges 20s and 11 Melges 24s avoided winter for the two day, six race event. Scuttlebutt Sailing Club recognizes the DFL honorees: David Pollock (CAN) in the Audi Melges 20 and Scott Foxman (USA) in the Melges 24. Photos (and results) of both classes here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/11/0213/

* Twenty-nine Star teams were at the 2011 Zagarino Masters Regatta in Miami, Florida, where cool and overcast conditions prevailed on Saturday but bright sun on Sunday with north winds 14-16 both days. Great competition and camaraderie among the many class legends, with the regatta in memory of Frank Zagarino, a long time Star sailor and Coral Reef Yacht Club member who was known for his generosity as well as winning the 1969 Bacardi Cup. Earning the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club mid-fleet award goes to Guy Brierre and Bill Culberson of New Orleans, LA. Photos and results here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/11/0214/

* Scuttlebutt Sailing Club not only provides random recognition in its photo galleries, but SSC also satisfies the racing requirement for membership to a club recognized by a national sailing authority. And just like the Scuttlebutt newsletter, membership to SSC is free. Here is the link for details: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/

LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD ON SAN FRANCISCO BAY
By Michelle Slade, SailBlast
Dr. Newell “Toby” Garfield is Director and Professor of Oceanography at the Romberg Tiburon Center, San Francisco State University (part of the California State University System). His organization has some assets that he’d like to offer to the organizers of the next America’s Cup.

Garfield’s team has developed technology to measure surface currents using shore-based radio Doppler remote sensors to map surface currents over a large area with sufficiently high temporal and spatial resolution.

For sailors, this means RTC can measure the whole area that America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) has designated for the AC34 racecourse and provide current data at half hour intervals with a spatial resolution of 400 meters. With a few more antennae established at pivotal locations around the Bay, RTC hopes to bring that spatial resolution down to about 200 meters for even tighter near-time current measurement.

According to Garfield, in prior America’s Cup competition spatial variation of the currents did not play a significant role; in the open ocean like Valencia and Auckland the currents were spatially relatively constant. We know that on San Francisco Bay surface currents, waves and wind will likely be highly variable over the racecourse area during racing.

Currents near the Golden Gate can reach speeds of nearly 3 m/s (6 knots) while to the east the currents don’t usually exceed 1 m/s. During the tidal cycle strong current fronts migrate across the region, accompanied by changes in the waves, always posing significant challenge for sailors racing on the Bay.

“For the America’s Cup and for all sailors on the Bay, the goal is to compute the currents with minimal lag time and then develop projections for “real time” and short term forecasts,” Garfield said. “For someone not familiar with the Bay, it levels the playing field on what the current variability is across the Bay and will start showing people where these things are on an hourly basis right through the tidal cycle.”

Garfield doubts that anyone else has this kind of data to offer. Read on: http://tinyurl.com/SB-021411


THE 2011 WEST MARINE ANNUAL CATALOG IS HERE!
Our new annual catalog has just landed and is packed full of great new products in every department. What's equally exciting is that you can start browsing the “big book” right now by using our online version. It’s loaded with tons of new features like Sticky Notes, ability to download to PDF, improved printing options, shortcuts, and much, much more. To start browsing the 2011 Annual Catalog, go to catalogs.westmarine.com. Or, if you wish to watch a video demonstration of the new features, visit http://bit.ly/CatalogDemo


BALANCING SPEED AND SAFETY
(February 14, 2011; Day 17) - As he prepares to enter the Indian Ocean, strong winds and seas has forced skipper Thomas Coville (FRA) to slow down Sodebo to keep from damaging both boat and skipper. This has not helped his advance on the solo round the world record, and his routers are now looking hard at the shorter southern trajectory to Cape Horn, as this option can save miles but increases the risk of encountering ice.

Current position as of February 14, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: -1113.6 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 23.3 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 560.2 nm
Distance remaining: 17,505 nm
Tracking: http://sodebo-voile.geovoile.com/tourdumonde/2011/

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.

WILL THE DECK GET SHUFFLED?
(February 14, 2011: Day 46) - It’s decision-making time for the boats at the front of the Barcelona World Race fleet. With the Indian Ocean safely navigated for the front-runners, the Cook Strait (between the north and south islands of New Zealand) could prove more than just a spectacular backdrop to the next waypoint, but an opportunity for further position changes. Race leader Virbac-Paprec 3 is expected to reach Cook Strait by Wednesday mid-morning. Groupe Bel will use this opportunity of the course to incur a 48-hour pit-stop penalty to repair sail damage and carry out additional maintenance.

Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.08)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 11,791 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 498.2nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 684.5nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant/Sebastien Audigane (FRA/FRA), 882.7nm DTL
5. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1413.9nm 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: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org

FREE CLASSIFIED ADS
The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to buy and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. Here is a recent job ad:

The 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race introduced the media crew member position to ensure that there was a person on each boat that was dedicated to providing onboard content during the race. While many of the teams have filled this role for the 2010-11 edition of the race, there are a few positions remaining. If you are interested, details are posted in the Scuttlebutt classifieds: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=11282#11282

View/post ads here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/classified_ads

EIGHT BELLS
After a long fight with pancreatic cancer, Sheldon J. Hillman passed away quietly at home on February 12 at 12:35 AM. Shel was introduced to sailing when he was in his forties, but that did not keep him from making an impact. He embraced the sport with a passion and made a huge difference in the lives of the young people who sailed with him.

When Dave Nicoll told Shel that he was planning to race his Morgan 24 around the Delmarva Peninsula in the Mid Atlantic, Shel used his training as a pharmacist to create a seasickness remedy. The potion had such a positive impact on crew moral that he earned the nickname “Dr. Feelgood.” The moniker stuck and “Papa Doc” named his series of successful IOR boats in the 1980’s Dr. Feelgood.

These bright red yachts with the fuzzy pills and capsules for a logo were highly successful on the Chesapeake Bay. Perhaps the highlight of the campaign for the group of youngsters (with little to no offshore experience) that made up his team was the 1985 Annapolis to Newport Race, when, with the youngest average age in the fleet, Dr. Feelgood finished second in class and second in fleet.

A memorial service will be held at 8225 IBIS Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida on February 20, 2011 at 4 PM.


ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS AT MIAMI BOAT SHOW
Unsure which deck equipment to install during your refit? Come visit Lewmar and Navtec at Miami International Boat Show on Feb. 17-21. With a complete Range that includes windlasses, EVO winches, and Navtec hydraulic control panels, the Team will be on hand at Stand T 62 to give the very best advice. http://www.lewmar.com


GUEST COMMENTARY
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.

Email: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com
Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum

* From Peter Johnstone, Gunboat:
Great reading about Greg Fisher joining the College of Charleston's sailing leadership (in Scuttlebutt 3278). Greg is one of the real heroes in sailing. He is always selflessly sharing knowledge. I think the jump from being one of the top one design sailmakers of the last 30 years to college sailing is inspired and refreshing. College sailing today is really impressive across the board. It keeps getting better and better.

* From Bruce Thompson:
I have an idea to float past Greg Fisher, who is the perfect guy to try it. Use some of the college's title IX money to buy two Lightnings, a class he has sailed all his life. Create a reduced power sail plan more attuned to the weight of three coeds then the class sail plan is now. He'll know what I mean when I say something similar in power to the original Olin Stephens design, pre-decksweeper jibs and adjustable backstays. Now you've got the means to run triplehanded women's match racing without the expense of buying Elliot 6Ms.

Add the standard class sails and you've got a sloop racer around which to build a BYOB travel regatta circuit within MAISA/SEISA. And during the week, you've got a stable, durable, roomy boat for community sailing classes. Bring more women into the sport now, as they will control 60% of family disposable spending in the future!

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The stepping stones from youth sailing, to high school sailing, and then to college sailing seem to be well placed. But for steps beyond this highly structured path, not so much. Given the Lightning classes strength across the U.S., perhaps Bruce’s idea can provide this bridge for post grads to walk on.

* From Mike Leneman, Multi Marine:
My experience relating to the controversy of mono. vs. multi. for the America's Cup seems to be different from a number of other letter writers. My friends (about 20 sailors) and I are excited.

We will all go up to San Francisco and watch the races. and none of us would have gone if the race were being done on ACC monohulls. We are actively discussing what kind of boat we can bring to watch the races. I have a power cat that everyone was voting for, but I don't think it will be fast enough. We will probably use it for the morning "look see" and then find a good bar that has a big screen, but we will be there.

Additionally, I am following wing development very closely because I plan to use a wing on my new kayak trimaran. Does it bother me that a lot of the monohull community doesn't support the AC 72? Honestly, yes. But my attitude is "don't knock it until you've tried it" and me and my friends can't wait 'cause we never thought we'd see the day.

* From Steve Schupak: (re, kids letter in Scuttlebutt 3278)
Let's not forget the brother/sister team of Mark and Sarah Ryan of Long Beach, CA whom have been sailing together for years in the Lido 14 class. This past summer sailing at Huntington Lake, they came away with their first national championship victory topping a very competitive fleet of past national champions. They're also the first team to beat either Stu Robertson or Mark Gaudio in the last 9 years! They're always out having fun sailing together or apart with other crews and are seen as ambassadors of the class. You can always tell where they are in the fleet by their interesting and animated hats.

CURMUDGEON’S OBSERVATION
Country song title: “I Liked You Better Before I Got to Know You So Well.”

SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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