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SCUTTLEBUTT 3283 - Tuesday, February 22, 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: Melges Performance Sailboats, North Sails, and New England Boatworks.

AND THE SEASON BEGINS
Muscat, Oman (February 21, 2011) - The nine event Extreme Sailing Series 2011 season commenced this past weekend for the 11 international teams competing in the Extreme 40 catamaran. With the America’s Cup moving to multihulls, the ESS has attracted America’s Cup skippers Terry Hutchinson (USA) Artemis Racing and Dean Barker (NZL) Team New Zealand, along with top World Match Racing Tour skippers Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and Ian Williams (GBR).

Paul Campbell-James (GBR), who last season helmed The Wave, Muscat to the 2010 title, is seeking a repeat performance with his new Luna Rossa team.

The fleet has enjoyed some fantastic sailing conditions over the past two days on the open-water courses, where the all-French crew onboard Groupe Edmond de Rothschild skippered by Pierre Pennec has won 5 of the 11 races. The final three days are ‘stadium format’ racing, described by Artemis Sailing Team Coach Andrew Palfrey as having the racing “held right up by the shore and the course constructed more for the spectators' benefit than the sailors.”

“The venue is an interesting one,” Palfrey adds. “We are based out of a temporary building in the middle of a construction site that covers a few square miles. Heaps of investment and effort is being put into sailing here in Oman. It has been selected as a national sport for school kids and as a way to promote the country internationally.”

Top 5 of 11 (team name, helm, points)
1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, Pierre Pennec (FRA), 101 points
2. Alinghi, Tanguy Cariou (FRA), 91 points
3. The Wave, Muscat, Torvar Mirsky (AUS), 89 points
4. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, Roman Hagara (AUT), 80 points
5. Artemis Racing, Terry Hutchinson (USA), 76 points

Daily report: http://tinyurl.com/ESS-022111

AMERICANS HIJACKED NEAR OMAN
Four Americans on board the S/V Quest, a Davidson 58 Pilot House Sloop, were hijacked by Somali pirates. The incident occurred last Friday off the coast of Oman, but the yacht is now in the waters between Yemen and northern Somalia, and was reported to be moving closer to the Somali coast.

Owners Jean and Scott Adam and two other people on board, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, had been traveling with yachts participating in the Blue Water Rally since their departure from Phuket, Thailand, but they broke off on February 15 after leaving Mumbai, India. The Blue Water Rally had planned to sail together for safety reasons, as it headed from Mumbai to the Gulf of Aden on its way to the Suez Canal. But the Adams chose to break off from the group and head alone for Salalah in Oman. They were easy pickings, boarded by pirates 275 miles off the coast.

The hijacked yacht is now reported to be shadowed by the U.S. Navy. It may be trying to do what it did in the rescue two years ago of the commercial vessel, the Maersk Alabama - slow the captured vessel down and try to negotiate with the pirates in the hope they give up or allow an opportunity for a rescue by other means. -- Full story: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/20/eveningnews/main20034233.shtml


MELGES WINTER SAILING
The final Melges Winter Series events will be coming up over the next few weeks. Kicking off is the Melges 32 Miami Championship where more than 25 Melges 32's are expected. Then the Melges 24 and Audi Melges 20 wrap up their series at the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week where there will be big numbers for these classes. Spring is close, get a Melges today! Check out our brand new Melges20.com website too. -- http://www.melges.com


BUMPY ROAD
Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing team is well known for their success in the Transpac 52 and RC44 Classes, having won the TP52 MedCup Circuit and TP52 World Championships in 2007. They are now entered as a challenger for the 34th America’s Cup, and working hard to learn the catamaran game. And that road can be bumpy.

On Monday, Artemis Racing became the first team to capsize the prototype AC45 that will be used in the 2011-2012 AC World Series. While taking a break during their training session to repair the roller furler, the boat got hit with a gust from about 10 degrees off to one side and slowly rolled over. “There is very little structural damage to the wing but a lot of the ‘skin’ of the wing came off,” described team CEO Paul Cayard. Repairs are expected to be completed this week.

The Artemis Racing team is also competing this week in the Extreme Sailing Series, which is known for its committed effort to capture video of the racing. And as Artemis crew Morgan Trubovich explains, there is plenty of excitement as long as the camera stays onboard: “The company responsible for capturing the onboard video gave me a 10 minute lesson this morning on how to turn on and operate the camera that is mounted on a carbon fibre post on the transom of the port hull. They made it clear that it was critical for me to turn the camera on for all the racing and treat the camera like gold.

"Approaching the top mark of Race 4 today (Monday), Team "NiceForYou" misjudged their distance when trying to go behind us. The spinnaker prod on these boats extends well beyond the bows of the hulls. As they came hurtling towards us, I saw Terry (Hutchinson) duck at the last second as this huge carbon prod went flying over his head! It was a well timed duck, as I think his head would have rolled off if he hadn't! Then the prod continued its path across our trampoline. It miraculously did not damage any part of our boat, or crew, but as it left the back of our boat it smashed that camera right off its post. I just saw this little device flying into the ocean, never to be seen again. I thought to myself: ‘What a waste of time that whole on/off thing was!’” -- http://www.artemisracing.com

WORLD SERIES DATES REVEALED
With final venue bids under review, the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) released the inaugural America’s Cup World Series (AC World Series) dates for the 2011-2012 season. The AC World Series is a regular circuit of eight regattas that will bring America’s Cup-level racing and the America’s Cup experience to top international venues. Televised to expose millions more fans to the sport of high-performance sailing, the AC World Series will feature both fleet and match racing at each event.

The 2011-2012 AC World Series will be sailed in the AC45, the forerunner to the next generation of America’s Cup boats. The 2012-2013 season will be sailed in the larger and faster America’s Cup boats, the AC72, and its champion will be crowned just prior to the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup (America’s Cup Challenger Series) in July 2013.

2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series Schedule (dates subject to change)
Event One: July 16-24
Event Two: August 13-21
Event Three: September 17-25
Event Four: October 15-23
Event Five: December 10-18
Event Six: February 17-25, 2012
Event Seven: April 14-22, 2012
Event Eight: May 19-27, 2012

Additional details: http://tinyurl.com/AC-022111

NOTE: It is mandatory that all America’s Cup entrants participate in the ACWS or risk financial penalty.

STOPPING NOT AN OPTION
(February 21, 2011: Day 53) - As second placed MAPFRE passed Wellington on Saturday, the first of the Barcelona World Race fleet to pass through the Cook Straits without stopping, the decision by the Spanish 2004 Olympic champions was as much philosophical as it was strategic.

“We did not set out to sail round the world and stop,” said co-skipper Iker Martinez. “We feel that opportunities to sail non-stop around the world might not come again, I don’t know if we will have another so we have to take advantage of this opportunity, now. It is like the Olympics. You don’t know if you will be back again, so take every opportunity when it comes and give it everything.”

Groupe Bel and Estrella Damm, which had been ranked third and fourth as they approached Cook Straits, have stopped in Wellington to repair a mainsail and forestay, respectively. They will be allowed to restart following a 48-hour time penalty. Neutrogena, with lone American Ryan Breymaier onboard, were the latest boat to sail through Cook Strait without stopping, passing Wellington today at 1845hrs

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), 10,698 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 86.6nm DTL
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 735.9nm DTL
4. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 830.5nm DTL
5. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 835.4nm 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


CONGRATULATIONS TO NORTH SAILS-POWERED BOATS AT ST PETE NOOD
Congratulations to the following teams for winning their classes at the Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta: Todd Fedyszyn and crew on ‘Spoony Tactics’* (J/24); Tom Reese and team on ‘Flight Simulator’ (Corsair Trimaran); and Ethan Bixby and crew on his Sonar. North-powered boats also finished 2nd and 3rd in the J/24 and Sonar classes and 3rd in the Corsair and Melges 24 classes. “It’s great to see many of our customers sail well and finish at the top of some competitive fleets,” said Ethan Bixby of North’s Tampa, FL area loft. When performance counts, the choice is clear: http://www.na.northsails.com. * - Indicates partial North Sails inventory.


ICEBOARDING ACCIDENT
Littleton, CO (February 20, 2011) - Park rangers are saying a helmet saved a 53-year old woman's life after an iceboarding incident Sunday morning at Chatfield State Park. The woman was ice sailing when her rear skate got caught in a hole that an ice fisherman had carved. The woman was ejected from the board and hit her head on the ice.

"Usually, it's not a problem. This was a hole it was about a foot across. Most ice fishing holes are smaller. You can go right across them and it's not a problem," said Chuck Mawhinney, a frequent Chatfield ice sailor.

The woman was airlifted to Swedish Medical Center. There is no information on her exact injuries, but park rangers say they think she will recover. The woman's name has not been released. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/Iceboarding-022111

ICEBOARDING: Scuttlebutt profiled iceboarding last Friday in the Video of the Week. Here it is again: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/11/0218/

WORLDS: The 2011 Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships will be in Oravi, Finland on Feb. 25-Mar. 6, where competition for kites, sails and wings on snow or ice, slalom and course racing, will occur for the 31st time. -- http://www.wissa2011.org/wissa2011/

SPOTLIGHT ON SYDNEY
This week’s Rolex Farr 40 World Championship will pit the world’s best sailing strategists against each other with a standout talent line-up among the owners, many of them former world champions, and their tacticians.

James Spithill, John Kostecki, Tom Slingsby, Adrian Stead, Grant Simmer, Hamish Pepper and Tom King are among the headline acts as tacticians for the four-day championship hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli from February 23-26. Twenty teams representing five countries will vie for the title, including defending champions, Italian Massimo Mezzaroma’s Nerone.

Thirty-one year old Spithill, who will join William Douglass’ Goombay Smash (USA), hasn’t sailed off Sydney Heads for a decade, but he well remembers the effects of the north easterly swell slapping against the sandstone cliffs that guard the entrance to the harbour. “It’s a challenging place to sail and usually has a confused seaway, depending on how close the course is to the Heads.”

“You need to take every place at every mark for four days, that’s what gives you the final result,” said Adrian Stead, tactician for Lang Walker’s Kokomo. “The Italians have certainly nailed their colours to the mast but when you look through the crew list there are so many past champions who know the fleet well. Sydney is a testing venue and the eventual winner will have been a total team performance from the owner right up to the bowman.”-- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/Farr-40-Worlds-022111

TUNE-UP: Massimo Mezzaroma’s Italian team Nerone won the 2011 Farr 40 Australian Championship ON February 20th after three days of racing in Sydney, Australia. Nerone, who are the defending Rolex Farr 40 World Champions, recorded a seven point margin over second place James Richardson’s team on Barking Mad (USA). Nerone tactician was Vasco Vascotto (ITA). -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/Farr-40-AUS-022111

BACKGROUND: Australian Richard Perini won the 2005 Worlds when it was last held in his country, with 5 of the top 11 teams hailing from the home land. The 2011 Worlds comes at the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer, which should come as an advantage for the 13 teams that hail from either Australia or New Zealand. Tactician for Perini in 2005 was Kiwi Hamish Pepper, who this time is sailing for James Richardson on Barking Mad. -- http://www.farr40.org/

SAILING SHORTS
* Ft. Lauderdale, FL (February 20, 2011) - The Laser Radial North American Championship and Finn Midwinters were hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club this past weekend. Twenty-two women raced 8 races in warm temperatures and 6-12 knots. USSTAG member Paige Railey rallied late to overcome ISAF top ranked Marit Bouwmeester (NED), match racing Marit in the final race to secure the win. The Finn class saw a much lower turnout than usual with just three boats. Ed Wright won the regatta, besting Canadians Greg Douglas and Paul Birkis. -- Photos and results: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/11/0221/

* (February 21, 2011; Day 16) - American ocean racer Brad Van Liew, the leading skipper in the third sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, has passed Cape Horn. The 43-year-old becomes the first American ever to race singlehanded around Cape Horn three times. Van Liew rounded the world famous landmark at around 2230 UTC this evening. His previous roundings were during the Around Alone, forerunner to the VELUX 5 OCEANS, in 1998 and 2002. Van Liew leads second place Zbigniew Gutkowski (POL) by 403 nm with 1355 nm remaining to the leg 3 finish in Punta del Este, Uruguay. -- http://www.velux5oceans.com

* US SAILING and the Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) have announced the members of the new 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG), the national sailing team comprised of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. The 2011 USSTAG includes at least the top two boats in each event selected for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions in Weymouth/Portland, England. The team includes twelve Olympians and five Paralympians with five medals earned from the 2008 Games. Five athletes have been promoted to the USSTAG from the US Sailing Development Team (USSDT), and 15 athletes are brand new to the team this year. -- Details: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-022111

* Amanda Clark, who skippered the U.S. Women’s 470 in the 2008 Olympics, has teamed with a new Sarah. With Clark’s teammate from the Games, Sarah Chin, recently leaving the 2012 campaign, Sarah Lihan will now take her place. Lihan of Ft. Lauderdale, FL had already been a US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics team member in the single-handed Laser Radial class where she finished third in 2007 U.S. Olympic Trials. -- http://www.teamgosail.org/

* Miami, FL (February 20, 2011) - On the strength of an impressive 14-2 win-loss record, Anna Tunnicliffe and her Team Tunnicliffe (Debbie Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer) have won the 2011 Miami Invitational. Hosted by the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) and Sail Sheboygan, this was the first Open match racing event sailed in the Elliott 6M, the boats to be used for the Women's Match Racing discipline in the 2012 Olympic Games. Full results: http://chicagomatchrace.com/regatta/info.asp?id=10081

* St. Petersburg, FL (February 20, 2011) - Todd and Genoa Fedyszyn edged out Mike Ingham's Fawn Liebowitz and Travis Odenbach's waterlinesystems to win the 20-boat J/24 division at Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD. The Fedyszyn’s also earned overall honors over the 86 boat, 9 class event, which includes an invitation to compete in the Sperry Top-Sider Caribbean NOOD Championship, raced in Sunsail 39s in the British Virgin Islands this November. -- Full report/results: http://www.sailingworld.com/nood-regattas/st-petersburg/

* (February 21, 2011) - Twenty-eight boats started the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua, with the course to take the fleet through 11 Caribbean islands. One of the expected starters was Hugo Stenbeck's Dubois 90 Genuine Risk, but inside the 10 minute gun they heard a sickening crack as the vang pulled clean out of its deck mounting, forcing the team to retire before the start. -- Event website: http://caribbean600.rorc.org

* (February 21, 2011; Day 24, 23:00 UTC) - The quest by Thomas Coville (FRA) and the 105-foot trimaran Sodebo to set a new solo round the world record under sail continues to struggle in the Indian Ocean, where he remains 1269.8 nm behind the current record pace set by Francis Joyon in 2008 on the 97-foot trimaran IDEC. Sodebo expects to reach Australia’s Cape Leeuwin by Wednesday. -- Team website: http://www.sodebo-voile.com


DO YOU EXPECT TO HAVE A WINNING SEASON IN 2011...
…Or do you already have that sinking feeling? Still dragging around that sorry excuse for a rudder? Have carbon wheel and sprit envy, bottom acne, or unattended issues? While New England Boatworks cannot guarantee success, we definitely know how to help. Call NEB today to discuss modifications, upgrades, and race prep services: 401-683-4000 or http://www.NEBoatworks.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 Adrian Morgan:
I have huge admiration for the Barcelona World Race crew, but when does a 48-hour emergency stop become a stopover, and the race cease to be an iconic "round the world without help, and no stops" into just another stop/start sprint (albeit a long legged one). I am aware that Robin K-J stopped for repairs, but he did not go ashore and anchored off, which is fair enough. Safety is paramount, of course. But if the pit stop became accepted practice, boats might be tempted to treat the race as two sprints, and design to the limits in the knowledge that repairs and new gear were on hand at the half way stage. If they all lost 48 hours, no one would lose out.

* From John Folting:
I absolutely could not agree more regarding Matt Bounds’ comments in Scuttlebutt 3281 about how the vast majority of general recalls are the PRO's fault and not the competitors'. I was fortunate to learn all of this in 1987 when I had a wonderful week of trying to keep the Star North Americans together.

I tried and tried, but it always came up a General Recall. A judge, Cy Gillette, who had heard about my struggles met with me in Hawaii to prep for the Olympic Trials for Stars and Solings. He imparted a world of ideas, most of which I thought about a great deal, and at 3am it finally dawned on me that everything he said was exactly correct. I never have had a General Recall in 22 years after that, which included the Olympic Trials for 1987 and 1988 for which I was fortunate enough to win the St. Petersburg. Life on the water just became a lot easier and a lot more fun.

The only thing that was left out was that at some time the fleet, all of them, is going to crowd the line no matter what you do. That is the time for a General Recall. Anything else and it is the PRO that has done something wrong as stated by Mr. Bounds. Try going through all of the scenarios like short line and what it does to you and you will come to the same conclusion.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I content the ‘us versus them’ atmosphere is generated due to poor start line management, which then leads to General Recalls, which then leads to Starting Penalties. Competitors know when the start line is flawed, and get frustrated when they’re the ones penalized for it.

CURMUDGEON’S OBSERVATION
Never get into fights with ugly people; they have nothing to lose.

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