SCUTTLEBUTT 3299 - Wednesday, March 16, 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: Mount Gay, Doyle Sails, and US SAILING.
SETTING A NEW STANDARD
Try harder, get better. This reality pervades all sports. For sailing, the
standard is often attributed to Dennis Conner's successful Freedom defense
of the 1980 America's Cup. But Dennis was merely refining the standard he
observed from fellow San Diego Yacht Club member Gerry Driscoll, who died
this past weekend. Here is an excerpt from a story by Bill Center from the
San Diego Union-Tribune:
As a competitive skipper, Driscoll is best remembered for mounting and
skippering the 1973-74 Intrepid America's Cup defense campaign out of San
Diego -- an effort that altered the way future America's Cup campaigns were
Driscoll first became involved in the America's Cup in 1964 as the skipper
of the defense trial horse Vim. Three years later, Driscoll was project
manager and skipper of Columbia, the first West Coast America's Cup effort.
In 1970, Driscoll served as Bob McCullough's tactician on the unsuccessful
defense candidate Valiant.
But it was for the 1974 America's Cup that Driscoll changed the face of the
Through 1970, America's Cup defense and challenge candidates were built the
winter before the event and began crew training and racing only four to
five months before the actual defense.
With the America's Cup going to aluminum boats for the 1974 event, Driscoll
purchased the two-time successful defender Intrepid. He brought the wooden
sloop to his Shelter Island yard in 1972 and with the help of famed naval
architect Olin Stephens completely rebuilt the boat for a third defense run
"The aluminum boats were going to be much lighter than Intrepid," Driscoll
said years later. "Not only did we make significant modifications to the
basic design, we sanded a lot of weight off the old girl. "Our workers
created something that most believed impossible."
Then, as his rivals were dry-docked over the winter, Driscoll drilled
Intrepid and his crew throughout the winter off San Diego. When Intrepid
started the defender trials off Newport, R.I., in the summer of 1974, she
out-distanced Ted Turner's Mariner and Ted Hood's Courageous in the early
The trials came down to a final race. Aboard Courageous was Conner as
tactician and starting helmsman. But the race was close until Intrepid
snapped the port running backstay midway through the race. "Crushing," said
Driscoll. "There was nothing we could do to win. But gear and breakdowns
are part of racing."
Driscoll's year-round campaign became the model for future America's Cup
efforts on both sides of the equation. North ran a year-round effort in
1977. And Conner refined the formula with the successful Freedom defense of
1980 and the winning Stars & Stripes challenge in Australia in 1986-87. --
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/GD-031511
ALL CYLINDERS IN MOTION
While there are seven teams that have thus far submitted their challenge to
enter the 34th America's Cup, only one of them has all cylinders in motion
- the Swedish team Artemis Racing. Scuttlebutt colleague Michelle Slade of
SailBlast caught up with team CEO Paul Cayard:
* Will you helm at all in the next Cup?
PAUL CAYARD: No, I'm not thinking of steering at all. Terry Hutchinson's
going to be the helmsman and I'm the CEO. We're all trying to be utilized
in our highest and best use. With my experience, I think I'm in the right
spot being the CEO and leader of the team. Terry's a very accomplished
sailor and in his prime, he'll do a great job of being helmsman. I will
sail some because I also plan to have a pretty active role in helping to
develop the boats because that's the experience I have.
We have excellent people - we've hired Iain Percy for example, who is a
double gold medalist in the Star and the Finn, we have Santiago Lange who
is a double silver medalist in the Tornado - we have some very good
athletes on the Team and that's their job to concentrate 100% on being good
sailors. If I'm doing my job well as CEO for the team I don't have time to
put that much time into sailing. There comes a time when you have to let
certain parts go and concentrate on what you do and what you bring to the
team and being a CEO is what I'm doing this time.
* What's the Team's near term priority?
PAUL CAYARD: We now have our AC45, which is getting rigged up and will be
launched about March 19 in New Zealand. We'll spend a month there training
and getting used to the boat. We're beginning the construction phases of
our AC72, however, it won't be launched until early next year. We have a
huge R&D project going on - our design offices are based in Spain. There's
a big body of work going on over there with about 40 people.
We have 65 people on the team now so we're a truly operating team. It's
been a big job gluing the team together with the management, communications
and all the administrative functions that you have to have to run a company
like this. We were a virtual start up so we have a lot of legal things - we
have Melinda Erkelens on board as legal counsel who was previously with
ORACLE, Chris Perkins as CFO who was with America One and ORACLE, and Bob
Billingham, COO who was also with America One and ORACLE.
We have an experienced management team but still it's a start up and
interesting issues this time with the World Series being sailed in
different parts of the world. As a team we operate in different
jurisdictions with a big part of the team in Spain but eventually we'll be
racing in the US.you get the picture. Administratively and managerially
coordinating the group and contractually having things buttoned up is a big
amount of work unto itself. That's the body of work that nobody watching
the race ever thinks about.
Complete interview: http://tinyurl.com/SB-031511
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ADMIRED AND RESPECTED
By Fried Elliott, Star class
As the Star Class enters its Centennial Year, it is difficult to count all
of the America's Cup skippers, crews, coaches, designers and boat builders
who have contributed to the America's Cup. Bill Ficker, Dennis Conner, Paul
Cayard, Tom Blackaller, Iain Murray, Buddy Melges are just a few of the
Star skippers who have made America's Cup history.
It should come as no surprise then, that another Star sailor, Lars Grael
will be joining their ranks as skipper of the Argo Challenge for the
America's Cup. In addition, many of the top Star sailors in the world,
including Christian Giannini, have expressed interest in joining the Argo
Challenge as sailors on the America's Cup team. We even have Class member,
Iain Murray, managing the field of play involving America's Cup Operations.
While we will be rooting for all of the Star sailors on all of the
America's Cup teams, the effort by Lars and Argo Challenge deserves special
From Bill Allen, President of the International Star Class Yacht Racing
Association: "Lars Grael has demonstrated time and again all of the
qualities of a legendary and exemplary athlete, ambassador and family
member. Despite his physical disability, Lars has had the best overall
record of any skipper in the 2009 and 2010 Star World Championships. His
thoughtfulness has contributed to guiding the Class in many matters. There
are few men with his tenacity. Lars is admired by all and commands respect
where ever he goes." -- Read on:
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: It should be noted that while the Argo Challenge
has not yet submitted a challenge for the 34th America's Cup, the team
continues to plan and fundraise toward that goal. Considering that the
premise of the team is to demonstrate that a crew of sailors and athletes
with physical disabilities can compete in the event, I hope they achieve
their goal. Publicizing the sailors is going to be a HUGE aspect of this
next Cup, and the Argo Challenge presents a very human story that is
engaging. Here is more info on the team:
ROAD MAP TOWARD SUCCESS
Professional sailor Chris Rast just finished the three event Audi Melges 20
Winter Series, sailing with Michael and Mitchell Kiss of Holland, MI. With
his team's second place finish last weekend in the 26-boat fleet at the
Bacardi Miami Race Week, they secured the series title. In this report,
Chris provides the philosophy that he believes has provided their road map
When Michael Kiss got me on board his Audi Melges 20 Bacio back for
Charleston Race Week last year, we immediately got along. We are both quite
technically inclined and enjoy bouncing ideas back and forth.
I consider the AM 20 one of the best sailing training platforms out there.
Apart from offering great racing on the water, the owners are a pretty
tight knit group that enjoy the social aspects of the class as much as the
For me as a Pro-Sailor, my main objective is to help my owner improve his
own personal sailing game. I believe it is way more satisfying for the
owner to keep taking more and more responsibility on the boat than having a
Pro-Sailor baby him around the course.
With this in mind, Michael and I set up a pretty intense schedule that
would allow us to do exactly that. For every regatta we set attainable
goals which aren't based on results but primarily on certain parts of
racing. I keep pushing responsibility back in the boat (I do bow) and we
talk about our mistakes openly after each race.
At times this can be frustrating but long-term I'm convinced it's the way
to go. Full report:
LITTLE RHODY IN FULL GEAR FOR PUMA
By Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing
The amount of activity surrounding PUMA Ocean Racing in the little state of
Rhode Island, USA is astounding. We're very fortunate to be building our
boat near Newport. Not only is this where I call home, but Newport has a
long tradition of expert boat building.
Our hull and deck are now one piece. I'm sure New England Boat Works is
happy we're being contained in one bay now. Next steps are to complete the
deck details and to build the inside of our new racing machine. Hall Spars
is up the road in Bristol, working on our mast. And while our sails were
built out in Nevada, they will be completed one state away at North Sails
in Milford, Connecticut.
Another massive project that is currently underway is the graphics. For
reasons I can not explain, our general manager Kimo Worthington has, once
again, taken it on to personally oversee the graphics. To tell you the
true, it's better him doing it than me because if I were in charge, we'd
have a pretty plain-looking boat in order to save on weight. But the
graphics on this new boat are amazing and you'll all see them soon enough.
Kimo is surrounded by some incredibly creative and talented graphic
designers from GBH in London. The paint is being put on by air-brush artist
Dean Loucks. It is a huge project and Kimo and the gang are going to have a
lot of sleepless nights up to launch day!
While it's a huge relief that we have a structure resembling a boat now,
it's an even bigger relief to have our full sailing team announced. We
spent a lot of time and brain power on our final crew selection. I'm
confident the two new members are the right fit for our team. -- Read on:
SPRING IS JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY
Now is the time to start planning for spring sailing! If you want order a
new sail, now is the time to call and ensure that your sails are ready when
you are. If you haven't had your sails washed and inspected, bring your
sails to your local Doyle loft to extend their life and performance.
Looking to make your sailing easier and more enjoyable without breaking the
bank? Add a Doyle StackPack. StackPacks can be added to any main - doesn't
have to be new, doesn't have to be Doyle. To find your local Doyle loft,
GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS
(March 15, 2011; Day 46, 22:00 UTC) - While the northerly progress for
Thomas Coville along the South American continent has been fruitful, it is
not without concern. And the recent depression off Brazil has thrown
gasoline on the fire.
"Thomas has been rising since Monday afternoon in a sea with a particularly
short cross," explains his router Thierry Douillard. "Having already sailed
on Sodebo and Oman Air, the sister ship, under difficult conditions, I can
tell you that upwind in this type of sea is just hellish. The storm system
circumvented by Tom on Monday and this night has long remained stationary
at the Cabo Frio and this has raised the sea of Northwest meeting today a
swell of North-East particularly short," explains Douillard.
The good news is this storm now allows a very nice VMG angle due to the
rotation of the wind northwest. The bad news is that this will be needed as
Francis Joyon at the same stage of the circumnavigation made two good days
with around 500 miles. -- http://www.sodebo-voile.com/
Current position as of March 15, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: 184.1 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 16.3 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 390.1 nm
Distance remaining: 4380 nm
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.
HUNGRY FOR MILES AND FOOD
(March 15, 2011, Day 73) - Second placed Iker Martinez on MAPFRE admitted
today that the Doldrums passage represents their best chance to drawing
back to a tenable deficit behind Dick and Peyron, who have held the overall
lead in the race since 23rd January, even with their 48-hours stop in
Wellington. "We have been looking at the Doldrums and the ascent of the
Atlantic you can take certain risks given that we have a distance to those
who are behind us," said Martinez.
The Spanish Olympic champion said he has been happy with the way they have
sailed their boat, but one small mistake which might cause them some
discomfort could be running low on food. "We have to have another ten days
of eating very little," observed Martinez. "We had food for 90 days and so
with the food we have left we have to do some rationing. This has been a
bit of a mistake on our part, the security gates slowed us all, such things
are small mistakes we put down to experience." -- Event website:
Race Tracker: http://tracking.barcelonaworldrace.org
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20:01:03)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 3370 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 435.6 nm DTL
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1534.3 nm DTL
4. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 1749.2 nm DTL
5. Estrella Damm Sailing Team,Alex Pella/Pepe Rives (ESP/ESP),1845.9 nm 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:
* Applications for London 2012 Olympic Games tickets opened today and will
be accepted until 26 April 2011. The Olympic Sailing Competition will be
ticketed for the first time with the crowds given a unique opportunity to
watch the action close up. Sailing starts 29 July at Weymouth and Portland,
Dorset and will run until 11 August. -- Details:
* Damage from Friday's tsunami is in the tens of millions of dollars and is
expected to climb, according to officials in California, Hawaii and Oregon.
A California official on Monday estimated that statewide damage from last
week's surge exceeds $40 million. Mike Dayton, acting secretary of the
state's Emergency Management Agency, gave the estimate after touring Santa
Cruz Harbor, where 18 vessels sank, about 100 were damaged and another 12
remained unaccounted for, according to media reports. The damage in Santa
Cruz Harbor alone is estimated at $17 million. -- Soundings, read on:
* U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced $1,450,000 in federal
funding for boating infrastructure projects in Rochester (NY) through the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Boating Infrastructure Grant program. The
funding is among more than $13.5 million in competitive grants that were
awarded to 11 states for 16 boating infrastructure projects. The funds will
be used in Rochester to create a deep-draft safe harbor, create an access
point for the city of Rochester, add 64 transient slips with dockside
utilities and provide boater services and education on Lake Ontario. --
Penfield Post, read on: http://tinyurl.com/PP-031511
* The SailRocket Team, which last week launched its second-generation speed
sailing boat in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, has now shipped the craft
to Namibia for its speed trials on Walvis Bay. The newly launched Vestas
SailRocket 2 is designed to be significantly faster than its predecessor,
with the ultimate aim of breaking the 'Outright World Speed Sailing
Record'. -- Full report: http://www.sailrocket.com/node/306
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP YET?
Over 300 people and 140 clubs have registered for US SAILING's Yacht Club
Summit in Chicago on April 2-3. Make sure your club is represented at this
signature event. The Summit has something for all yacht clubs and community
sailing centers. Registration closes on Friday, March 18.
=> Curmudgeon's Comment: For a first time event, bringing 140 clubs to the
table is pretty impressive. I'm now feeling badly that Scuttlebutt Sailing
Club hadn't planned to attend. I will pay the $185 registration fee... who
would like to represent SSC? Post on Facebook why you should be selected:
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* From Charlie Arms, Director of Sailing, California Maritime Academy:
I'm afraid I was misquoted in the story carried in Scuttlebutt 3298 about
the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational
Intercollegiate Regatta on March 11-13. When the event reporter (not from
Scuttlebutt) asked if any of them members of my winning team would turn pro
sailor, the story quoted me as saying "You don't go to a maritime school to
sail [sailboats] the rest of your life." What I actually said was that
"they all have lucrative careers ahead of them in the maritime industry;
you don't go to a maritime academy to try to be a pro sailor."
* From Skip Ely, Santa Cruz, CA: (re Mr. Cushing's letter in Scuttlebutt
Our Santa Cruz 52 Elyxir survived the tsunami, in Santa Cruz Harbor (as did
most of the boats) and would have been fine, probably better, offshore. The
same cannot be said for most of the boats in Santa Cruz, especially the
smaller day sailors and powerboats that suffered the brunt of the damage in
the much protected (from the weather) upper harbor.
I have heard that Sarasota, FL has the occasional hurricane, and I doubt
any boats there try to ride them out at sea. Santa Cruz has hurricane force
winds on the ocean regularly in March.
On Friday morning the area weather forecast was for rain beginning on
Saturday evening or Sunday with seas building to 10 to 15 feet (the buoys
right now are showing over 10 foot seas). Although we are not experiencing
high winds, the forecast could have meant winds greater than 30 knots
(happens all the time in March). The Central California coast can be a very
ugly lee shore in March.
Finally the Coast Guard and harbor police were warning people not to leave
the harbor, even those in very seaworthy boats with provisions for days at
sea. The decision to leave harbor in Santa Cruz when a Tsunami could close
the three harbors of refuge (Santa Cruz, Monterey and Moss Landing) within
reach should not be taken lightly. Running south for Santa Barbara (200
miles away) or beating north to San Francisco (70 miles) might be the only
With all that said, if this happens again Elyxir will head for the horizon,
I hope we don't have to make that decision again. Checkout this video; most
of the boats were as prepared as possible:
* From Ned Hall:
Concerning the story in Scuttlebutt 3298 about the definition Mark-Room,
Dick Rose also covers this ruling with an example in his excellent column
in the latest Sailing World magazine.
My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
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