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SCUTTLEBUTT 3285 - Thursday, February 24, 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: Hall Spars and Ullman Sails.

By David Fuller,
When I launched in 2008, I had been working in sports marketing for a number of years, worked with some incredibly professional people and learnt a few things about how sport can be used to inspire. But more importantly, I learned about the commercial value of sport. Having seen the best practice employed by organizations like NASCAR, Manchester United and MotoGP, I turned to a sport that I had grown up with as a kid.

Sailing is more mass-market in Australia. In Melbourne, I grew up next to the sea and I remember watching sailing on free-to-air television, from the annual Sydney Hobart Yacht Race to 18ft skiffs during the lunch-break of the cricket to the historic morning my dad got me out of bed to watch Australia II win the America’s Cup in 1983.

The blog I started in 2008 then was intended to bring great sports marketing practice and professionalism to the sport of sailing. I love the sport and believe that I have done a lot to promote it over the last couple of years, which is why I am disappointed when I see amateurish behavior at the highest level.

It’s even more disappointing when that amateurish behavior centers on Australia and the America’s Cup.

Spokesmen for the new America’s Cup, like Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill, keep reading out the line that the event is the pinnacle of the sport. The new deal is supposed to usher in a new era of professionalism that allows sailing to be pitched as a platform worthy to deliver a return on an investment over $50 million.

How then, can the America’s Cup organizers officially announce the entry of a team that can’t name a team principal, sailors, a challenging yacht club or have a live website? In the year 2011, for a professional international sports team to not have a functioning website at the time of such an announcement just looks like amateur hour.

Speaking to some of Australia’s top sailors over the last few days - people who would be 1 & 2 on my speed dial had I the investment to launch an entry - I find that they haven’t heard anything about the campaign. Haven’t even had a phone call.

I hope that my fears about this campaign are unfounded. I hope that Australia can mount a challenge for the America’s Cup that brings to bear all the talent that the country has to offer - from world beating sailors to globally recognized boat design and technology to some of the savviest sports marketing people on the planet.

If Australia is going to enter the America’s Cup after 10 years it has to be a proper go. Being the underdog is okay, and mounting the resources to take on Oracle Racing, even with an Australian dollar that is parity with the greenback, is going to be tough. But there is underdog and there is amateur and we’ve moved on. Haven’t we? -- Scuttlebutt Forum,

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Since the team was announced last week, their website ( is now working, though it lacks detailed information. Among the vitals missing is their challenging club, though I have learned they plan to partner with the Multihull Yacht Club of Queensland. The last Australian team to challenge for the America’s Cup was when a young Jimmy Spithill skippered a team for Syd Fischer in the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup.

(February 23, 2011; Day 1) Martin and Lisa Hill and their youthful Estate Master crew, which includes some of Australia’s finest sailing talent, hold top honours after the opening day of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship following today’s 1,8,1 results.

A pleased Martin Hill commented, “Our philosophy is about process, building and consistency. Today we tried to minimise mistakes. We finished better than expected, we have to ignore that and start again from square one tomorrow.

Tactician for Estate Master is Australian Sailing Team member Tom Slingsby (2010 ISAF Sailor of the Year), in addition to Nathan Outteridge (2011 Moth World champ) and Malcolm Page (2008 Olympic 470 gold medalist), plus Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones and Abby Ehler on the bow adding plenty of flair to the potent mix.

Racing took place off Sydney Heads in a significant swell and building breeze that ranged between 8 and 15 knots from the south-east. Defending Italian champions Nerone showed a crack in their recent cloak of invincibility; a premature start in the day’s third race blotted an otherwise impressive scorecard of 2,1,10 leaving them in third. -- Full report:

Top 5 of 20
1. Estate Master, AUS, Lisa & Martin Hill, 1-8-1, 10
2. Transfusion, AUS, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, 4-4-2, 10
3. Nerone, ITA, Antonio Sodo Migliori & Massimo Mezzaroma, 2-1-10, 13
4. Struntje Light, GER, Wolfgang & Angela Schaefer, 3-13-3, 19
5. Flash Gordon, USA, Helmut & Evan Jahn, 11-2-9, 22

Crew list:
Live reporting:

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By Jen Vandemoer Mitchell, Airwaves
Being a sailor, living in Minnesota is not the easiest thing to do. Sailing season is pretty short here as the water is frozen from December to April (not to mention the air is pretty icy too), however snowkiting, offers a new alternative to frostbite sailing.

There are a lot of iceboats around, but because they require perfect ice it is more challenging to find an opportunity to get out on the lakes. You could say the kiteboarding season is year round in Minnesota; you just have to substitute your gear. It is a way to get a taste for sailing when you cannot be on unfrozen water.

I know, kiting is not for everyone, but when I saw snowkiters all over the lakes in the Minneapolis area, I had to ask around about it. I have seen kiteboarders surfing waves in Hawaii and screaming around Hood River in Oregon, but I had not seen them on frozen lakes until I moved here. One thing Minnesotans all know is that you have to just embrace the cold weather because there is nothing you can do about it, so why not get outside and enjoy it? So I bundled up and headed west of Minneapolis to Lake Minnetonka to get the scoop on snowkiting.

Lake Minnetonka offers snowkiters a wide-open space to glide across the snow. It was 15 degrees F and a pretty steady 17 mph southwest breeze. In Minnesota this makes it feel like 4 degrees F, which definitely makes for a cold outing. Bundled up I met Eric Oppen, who sailed for Hobart College and the University of Hawaii. His time in Hawaii got him surfing a lot, and although he admired all the kiters, he did not start kiting until he moved back to Minnesota.

Eric was able to teach me a bit about kiting; the equipment, and the kinds of events snowkiters participate in. This was the equipment he had with him: two kites (a smaller kite for big breeze and a larger one for light breeze), harness, warm clothes, downhill skis and ski boots, helmet, goggles, iPod, and most critical a face mask. In snowkiting you can use a snowboard or downhill skis; Eric was on his skis because he said you could move a little faster upwind with them.

Eric explained to me that snowkiting it is a little easier for beginners versus kiteboarding because you are not combating sinking in water or navigating waves. This also means that you can get started in less wind. Eric had a water kite with him that is partially inflatable and has some structure to it making it more manageable in water. Typically, snowkiters use a “foil” kite that resembles a parachute; it has less structure than its water counterpart and is a little more high performance. -- Read on:

Muscat, Oman (February 23, 2011) - On the penultimate day of racing at Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, both Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Team New Zealand were the top performers in a day that saw eight ‘stadium’ races with six different teams claiming at least one race win.

Dean Barker and the boys on Team New Zealand scored two firsts to boost them from 7th to 4th in the rankings. “It was a day where in a lot of ways we had a little bit of luck, which seems to be an important ingredient here. We might have started the regatta slow but each day it feels like we have improved a little bit and if we can carry on improving then we’ll be satisfied.”

The event will close on Thursday with the inshore ‘stadium’ race course, and with 11 points for a win and 22 points on the final race tomorrow, it’s wide open in the top half of the leaderboard. Seven of the 11 teams could still win Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series with multiple races to come and double-points up for grabs in the final race.

Day 4 Results after 25 races; Top 5 of 11 (team name, helm, points)
1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, Pierre Pennec (FRA), 194 points
2. Artemis Racing, Terry Hutchinson (USA), 187 points
3. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, Roman Hagara (AUT), 183 points
4. Team New Zealand, Dean Barker (NZL), 176 points
5. The Wave, Muscat, Torvar Mirsky (AUS), 165 points

Daily report:
Full results:

BACKGROUND: Now in its fifth season, the nine event 2011 Extreme Sailing Series has 11 international teams that will be 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). The 2011 ESS will travel to three continents, with its North American stop in Boston, USA on June 30-July 4. --

Long Beach, a.k.a. The International City, will need more flag poles than ever next month to properly present Long Beach Yacht Club's 47th Congressional Cup March 22-26. Several of the world's top-ranked sailors from eight countries and one U.S. territory will compete for the iconic prize in the United States' only open Grade 1 match racing event.

The list is headed by 2007 winner Mathieu Richard of France, ranked No. 3 in the world, and also includes Ian Williams of Great Britain, No. 5; 2010 winner Francesco Bruni of Italy, No. 8; Evgeny Neugodnikov of Russia, No. 9; Phil Robertson of New Zealand, No. 10; 2009 winner Johnie Berntsson of Sweden, No. 17; Staffan Lindberg of Finland, No. 19; Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands, No. 29, and Dave Perry of the U.S., No. 36.

Canfield qualified automatically by winning last summer's Grade 2 Trifecta Events series at Chicago, Detroit and Manhasset Bay, N.Y., one of the first qualifying events leading to the Congressional Cup.

The 10th competitor will be determined by the Grade 2 Ficker Cup March 17-19. Then the winner will have two days to recharge for his (or her) jump to the big leagues. Sally Barkow won the Ficker last year, but that competition has since been upgraded from Grade 3 to 2.

This year, with the rapid growth of match racing in the world for both men and women, there's a new door to the Ficker Cup: the California Dreamin' Series of events at San Francisco this weekend, at Long Beach (the Butler Cup) March 5-6 and at San Diego March 12-13.

Theoretically, an ambitious skipper and crew could be racing five consecutive weeks for a chance to win the Congressional Cup's coveted Crimson Blazer. -- Read on:

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(February 23, 2011: Day 55) - Mapfre’s challenge for the leadership of the Barcelona World Race continues this evening, with Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) just 31 miles behind Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron (FRA) on Virbac-Paprec 3.

Fast reaching conditions have turned this stage of the track into a speed trial between the two as they head on a parallel north-easterly course, with the Spanish duo averaging a full knot faster than their rivals during the afternoon. “We are now in the same waters with the same wind,” said Mapre co-skipper Xabi Fernandez. “I'm not sure if they don't have a problem to be honest. It's almost as if they are sailing with a smaller jib...”

He added: “We should have another couple of days downwind with 25 knots or so. We'll see, but the good thing is that since we are so close it won't be a case of them catching different breeze to us and getting away.”

The 2007 Bruce Farr designed Mapfre may be best known for when Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) sailed the boat as Foncia in the 2008 Vendee Globe, overcoming a 670 nm deficit to take the lead in the Indian Ocean and go on to win the race over the 30 boat fleet.

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.08)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 9,970 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 31.7nm DTL
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 854.6nm DTL
4. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 982.3nm DTL
5. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre & Michele Paret (FRA/SUI), 1099.2nm DTF

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:

* (February 23, 2011; Day 3) - George David’s Juan Kouyoumdjian designed Rambler 100 crossed the RORC Caribbean 600 finish line in Antigua in the early hours of Wednesday morning in an elapsed time of 1 day 16 hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds. Subject to official confirmation, Rambler 100 has broken the monohull race record set by race rival, Mike Slade’s Farr 100 ICAP Leopard, by nearly four hours. The Rambler crew contained the entire compliment of the PUMA Ocean Racing team which will be competing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. --

* (February 23, 2011; Day 18) - VELUX 5 OCEANS solo skipper Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski (POL) is today facing a nervous rounding of Cape Horn after discovering movement at the top of his keel blade. The problem may be related to an incident after the start in Wellington, NZL where Gutek hit a submerged tree. At 19 years old, his boat is the oldest yacht in the fleet and has been round the world three times previously. Gutek is in second place, trailing race leader Brad Van Liew (USA) by 220 nm. Van Liew is 1087 nm from the leg 3 finish in Punta del Este, Uruguay. --

* (February 23, 2011; Day 26, 22:00 UTC) - Thomas Coville (FRA) on the 105-foot trimaran Sodebo today crossed the longitude of Australia’s Cape Leeuwin at 2:08 p.m. (HF) in his attempt to set a new solo round the world record, decreasing the deficit by 52 nm in the past 24 hours to now lag 1195 nm behind the current record by Francis Joyon set in 2008 on the 97-foot trimaran IDEC. --

* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 3284, there was a mistake regarding the Laser and Radial North American event dates. The championships will be held at the Brant Beach Yacht Club ( in New Jersey on July 12-15.

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 24-26 - J 22 Midwinter Championship Tampa, FL, USA
Feb 25-27 - 2011 Jaguar Cup Series - Mid-Winters Regatta Miami, FL, USA
Mar 1 - Budget Marine Match Racing Cup St.Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Mar 2-6 - RC 44 San Diego Cup San Diego, CA, 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:

* SailingPerformance software package
* New inner forestay lever by Johnson
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 Ken Legler:
I have retyped the "race management guidelines" that was in the back of the 1993 rule book. It was subsequently removed to shorten the 1997 book, which was the complete overhaul. It’s removal back than was a shame as it was an excellent guide to start races without problems. Here it is for anybody interested:

* From Ray Tostado, San Pedro, CA:
It is good that the rules and race committee protocol are topical, and that the racers are interested in a fair playing field and parity with the rules. But let me take a moment and remind them of what they seem to be overlooking in their discourse; why we do it. Race sailboats.

Of course I can only speak for myself, but underneath all the verbal input there is a longing for the view. The sense of being a part of a fleet of 64 spinnakers winding their way downwind, some desperately reaching for better speed while others patiently working their way DDW to the leeward mark.

Reaching a weather mark and holding one’s breath as four boats vie for room and position at the break out. Or staring intently while on a port tack hoping for room to cross a starboard tack competitor.

And the full exhaust of breath as one crosses the finish line, almost indifferent to what the finish position is. The having been there and competed with other silent staring crews is what we really seek. It is a deep and unspoken fellowship that brings fleets to the starting area.

And once we realize this, the rules will just be rules, and not barriers to our enjoyment of the sport.

* From btrotta: (re, lifesaving incident in Scuttlebutt 3284)
Nice job by everyone involved. That last point is the most important one of all. CPR saves lives. You can have all the doctors and medical equipment in the world, but if CPR isn't started immediately, and performed correctly, there is almost always only one outcome.

Everyone who sails should take a CPR class. Skippers, get your crew together on a weekend before the season starts and take the class together. It's a great team building exercise. Then go out and have some beers and trade old stories and talk about your plans for the upcoming season.

It's only 8 hours out of your life. But it could extend someone else's life (or even your own) by many years. That's an investment worth making. -- Fourm,

"Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized." - Albert Einstein

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