SCUTTLEBUTT 3300 - Thursday, March 17, 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: Ullman Sails and Team One Newport.
WILL THE 5O5 BE THE NEXT SPRIT CONVERT?
The 5O5, so named for its length of 5.05 meters, achieved international
status in 1955. The class is now preparing for its 2011 World Championship
next week in Hamilton Island, Australia, but it won't just be competition
for the nearly 90 entrants. As 2009 World Champion Mike Martin details
below, the class will be giving thought to a major change for its future:
The class is looking for ways to make the boat less expensive, simpler,
more versatile for crew. We looked at all sorts of things and determined
that converting the boat to a sprit pole and an asymmetric spinnaker would
accomplish these goals. The retrofit alone from the symmetric spinnaker and
current pole system to a sprit takes 40 fittings off the boat.
With the 5O5 being a two man symmetric spinnaker boat with the crew on
trapeze, the crew has their hands full with this very critical job of
gybing. I think with this change, the boat becomes easier to sail, makes
the boat less expensive, and easier to rig. And now that we have tested it
with the sprit that Larry Tuttle built and the asymmetric spinnaker from
Ethan Bixby, we have found that the boat sails great in this format.
Some may contend that we will lose tactical 'sit down sailing', but we
actually only sail deep downwind angles in a 3 knot zone (around 8 knots).
If it's light air, you're sailing tight angles. If it is windy enough to be
trapezing, you're sailing tight angles. And I contend that the tighter
angle sailing typical of asymmetrics is more tactical. You still need to
call shifts but you also are choosing sides, whereas deep running you might
be aiming close to the downwind mark the whole time.
Additionally, the class has long been committed to using reaching legs in
their championship course. The Worlds course is now windward, leeward,
windward, triangle, windward, leeward. The reaching legs are a lot of fun,
and while some people consider them less tactical, I have passed a lot of
people over the years on the reaches.
The primary system in the class for years had been a single pole on a
trolley. But when the class approved carbon spinnaker poles a couple years
ago, the weight savings allowed for a double trolley pole to be used. I was
opposed to the move to carbon because we had a boat handling advantage with
the single pole, but now the double pole has made gyping easier so that
more teams are proficient. So the development of the system has helped
equalize the fleet, but it also added a lot of complexity and cost to the
boat. -- Full report and photos, with comments from Andy Burdick of Melges
Performance Sailboats and Ethan Bixby of North Sails:
KIWIS QUIETLY CHALLENGE
The long-expected news that Team New Zealand have entered the 34th
America's Cup has been delivered in an unexpectedly low-key manner.
America's Cup entries would normally be accompanied with much fanfare, but
Team New Zealand's confirmation they had officially signed on with
America's Cup race management came yesterday (Wednesday) in the form of an
understated media release.
Nestled three-quarters of the way into the release announcing the continued
support of their premier sponsor Emirates, was the news Team New Zealand
had paid the fee to race management and taken possession of their new AC45
yacht. The team took their new wing-sailed catamaran out for its first spin
on the Waitemata Harbour yesterday (Wednesday).
If the fact they have a sparkling new AC45 in their shed didn't make it
blindingly obvious, the looming March 31 deadline for entry left Team New
Zealand with no choice but to confirm they've signed on for the next event.
However Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton was holding off making any firm
commitment while the country deals with the aftermath of the Christchurch
He said he was not willing to offer any guarantees that the team would be
on the startline in 2013. Although the news that Emirates and long-term
sponsors Omega and Toyota will back their next campaign is a positive
development, Dalton said there was a funding shortfall to be addressed.
"I don't think it is appropriate at this time to totally confirm we are
there yet," explained Dalton. "I think I've still got a bit more work to do
on that. I've always said we'll only do this thing if we can be absolutely
at the top of our game." Dalton said the team would make a further
announcement on its involvement in the 2013 America's Cup in a couple of
"In the meantime we are developing the sailing team; the design team is
working through concepts for the AC72 catamaran and we are continuing
meeting with several potential sponsors." The guarded nature of their
announcement suggests they still have a significant amount of cash to raise
- some of which they had been relying on the Government contributing. -- NZ
Herald, read on:
Team announcement: http://tinyurl.com/ETNZ-031611
FIELD'S MELGES 24 "WTF" POWERS THROUGH IN MIAMI
Congratulations to Alan Field's team "WTF" who took second place in the
highly competitive Melges 24 fleet last week at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week.
Powered by 100% Ullman Sails, the crew held their focus and intensity
through the seven-race series, culminating with a win in the final race.
"WTF" won a tie-breaker with Italian team "Audi" to secure 2nd place and
finished behind 2010 World Champions "Uka Uka Racing." Field's team of
Steve Hunt, Sarah Curran, Jeff Reynolds and Erik Shampain are gearing up
for the Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi this May. Invest in
your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
FACEBOOK GENERATION SAYS YES!
There is an opinion held by America's Cup insiders that the Argo Challenge,
which seeks to submit a challenge for the 34th Match with a crew of sailors
and athletes with physical disabilities, has no place in the America's Cup.
But when Scuttlebutt posted this question on its Facebook page, comments
were 100% in favor of their effort:
- DAVE HEIN: Go team Argo!
- ANGELA CAROLINE GRAY: Hell no I do not agree!!! Who was stupid enough to
say that?? We have disabled sailors sailing here in Cape Town & they are
more than competent! Ignorance...that is what that is!!! Russel, I do hope
you see this!
- CHARLES BROWN: Disabled is a term too broad to judge. Let their sailing
skills speak for themselves. Let them start! They may not win but they will
compete and add color to this ever changing competition.
- JOSHUA BONE: Lars Grael and Bert Foster could beat anyone on the planet.
- HUGH ELLIOT: Sailing is one of the few sports where people with
disabilities can compete against able bodied and WIN. Just look at Lars
Grael - and he is only one.
- EMILY L. FERGUSON: What a narrow minded and ungenerous thought.
- ZANDRA DIXON: Of course they have the right. South Africa's Russel
Vollmer has proved this over and over!
BUT BEING A FLINTSTONE IS NOT ALL BAD
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt editor
It was in the early seventies when Marina del Rey in Los Angeles was ground
zero for the Windsurfer One Design class. I clearly remember the boards
descending on the summer Thursday night series, racing amid the Lasers and
Sabots. The explosion was loud.
Among that early group of racers was Windsurfer inventor Hoyle Schweitzer
and his son's Matt and Teddy. At the time the boys were involved in the
junior sailing program out of California Yacht Club, but once the
windsurfer race circuit grew, they left the traditional sailing scene
behind and rode the Windsurfer wave.
Somewhere along the way, however, progress changed the landscape. Options
emerged, better gear became more expensive, sailing techniques became more
technical, growth splintered, and the Windsurfer One Design lost traction.
Longing for the old days, Teddy now publishes a blog titled 'Original
Windsurfer', sharing stories in how you can live in the present and still
experience the past. Here is a recent post:
"This event - Dino Windsurfer National Champs in Houston TX - is organized
by the "Dinos" and it's better than a time warp to the 80's. Why? Because
it's a fun venue to sharpen your windsurfing skills in a relaxed event. And
you can go as retro as you like; for instance I saw a chest harness (circa
late 70s) and many vintage shirts. I was sporting a neon Windsurfer shirt,
"Here's the deal: Bring a Stock Windsurfer One Design. If you don't have a
One Design or you're not able to bring it to Houston, you can sail one of
theirs. The Dino's have a fleet of Original Windsurfers! As the Notice of
Race states: We rig'em and you sail'em.
"The 2010 event saw nine races for the 28 entrants. The wind was light to
moderate and sailors of every skill level participated. But it's not all
racing racing racing...there's also a "party barge" near the windward mark
for hecklers, shade, lounging and refreshments! It's a great place to hang
out between races..... read on: http://tinyurl.com/OW-031611
OLYMPIC TICKETS: WORTH IT OR NOT?
By Elaine Bunting, Yachting World
Tickets to the 2012 Olympics are on sale for the next six weeks, but many
people are asking what you will get for your money if you go to Weymouth to
watch the sailing.
The tickets prices are from 35 to 55 pounds for medal races, but other than
stating that the spectator area is to be up on the Nothe (the park area
close to town), race areas and details for spectators have yet to be
finalised. So if you are interested you have to buy your ticket in good
Some clues are available, perhaps, in the courses set for the Sail for Gold
regattas. And if that sort of format is followed much of the racing will be
too far out to see in much detail.
Some wonder what the point is of paying money for a ticket when the same
action can be seen free and possibly just as well from areas such as
Ringstead or Osmington.
But I think that misses the point. Not every sport fits into a stadium, and
that doesn't necessarily matter. Much of the enjoyment of going to a big
sporting venue is simply being there, being part of a moment in history and
immersing yourself in an atmosphere of excitement. -- Read on:
SAVE SOME GREEN @ TEAM ONE NEWPORT
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HOPING FOR BETTER CARDS
(March 16, 2011; Day 47) - Before returning to the Northern Hemisphere,
there remains for Thomas Coville more or less three days of very uncertain
weather. With his lead now nearly gone, Coville is likely noting the near
perfect route that record holder Francis Joyon carried at this point going
forward. Joyon crossed the equator on the eve of his 48th day at sea, but
then slowed significantly the next day after breaking his mainsail halyard.
Joyon would soon make three ascents to the top of the spar for repairs.
Coville hopes his future holds different cards. --
Current position as of March 16, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: + 3.5 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 13.7 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 328.4 nm
Distance remaining: 4152 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.
AND THE ACCORDION PLAYS ON
(March 16, 2011, Day 74) - At the front of the fleet, MAPRE co-skippers
Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez have just started to feel their first
hints of their own Doldrums slowdown, but not before they have clawed back
137 miles on the race leaders Virbac-Paprec 3.
"In a way, we expected this accordion effect once again, but we have to
sail in the Doldrums also," said Fernandez (ESP). "I guess we will keep
gaining miles during the next few hours but then we will stop also, so we
will see how we can manage it. The important thing here is seeing where the
French pair is and also where we are immediately after the Doldrums because
maybe they are almost leaving the Doldrums now and we have not faced them
"We are trying to rest as much as possible since we are very tired, but
fine. Being able to sleep for a few hours is a godsend! Besides, we are
saving some food. But we are fine, looking forward to leave the Doldrums
behind us and see what happens then. Afterwards, we will have to sail
upwind like crazies! Being honest, we are very much looking forward to the
finish in Barcelona. At least the sun is shining now. We can even take some
consolation from that." -- Event website: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.com
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), 3305 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 308.1 nm DTL
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1235.4 nm DTL
4. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 1470.1 nm DTL
5. Estrella Damm Sailing Team,Alex Pella/Pepe Rives (ESP/ESP),1548.9 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:
* The 2011 Lightning Southern Circuit has just finished the second stop on
its tour, where they came, they sailed and they hoola hooped around the
pool at Miami's Coral Reef Yacht Club. Luckily the swirly winds managed to
allow four races for the 37 competing boats with Jody Lutz' and his crew
Jay Lutz and Derek Gauger capturing their second circuit victory. The
circus now travels to the Winter Championship at the St. Petersburg Yacht
Club in St. Petersburg, FL for racing on March 18-20. Full report:
* The first stop for the 2011 Snipe Winter Circuit was at the 73rd
Midwinter Championship hosted by the Clearwater Yacht Club, which is
celebrating their 100th anniversary. With OCS scores littered amid the
results for the 25-boat fleet, it was the consistency displayed by Augie
Diaz/ Kathleen Tocke and Ernesto Rodriguez/ Megan Place during the three
day, seven race event that saw these two teams decide the title in a last
race fight that carried them deep enough in the fleet for it to be their
drop race. Diaz/ Tocke won, and now the fleet is off to Phase 2 of the
Winter Circuit, the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami and the Don Q Rum
Regatta. It starts Friday afternoon and lasts thru Sunday with 5 races
scheduled. Full report:
* Eight ambitious young sailors from four countries will follow the rising
tide of match racing into town for Long Beach Yacht Club's annual Ficker
Cup Thursday through Saturday, competing for the sole remaining berth in
next week's 47th Congressional Cup. The five Americans among the entries
are Chris Nesbitt (121) of Balboa Yacht Club, Bob Hughes (326) of
Michigan's Macatawa Bay Yacht, Dustin Durant (373) of host LBYC, John
Horsch (392) of San Francisco's Treasure Island Sailing Center and Mike
Komar (834) of the Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, N.Y. -- Full
* Jester Communications announced that Beneteau USA is one of the first
customers to take advantage of its new "Personal Marketing Experience"
smart mobile device application for boatbuilders and their dealers. The
pre-loaded app includes information on boat models such as specifications,
video galleries, virtual tours, dealer information, company information and
a geo-based dealer locator. -- Soundings, read on:
* Registration is open for the 2011 CJ Buckley Team Race for the Club 420
Junior National Team Racing Championship. This year's event will be limited
to 36 teams, entered on a first-come first-served basis. Details at
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
Mar 18 - Newport to Cabo Race - Balboa, CA, USA
Mar 18-20 - Albacore Midwinters - Sarastoa, FL, USA
Mar 18-20 - San Diego Sperry Top-Sider NOOD - San Diego, CA, USA
Mar 20-26 - America's Landsailing Cup Regatta - Primm, NV, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* New Optimist fleets on three continents
* Tod Reynolds appointed Program Director of CMRC
* Sausalito Marine Services Center Named Facility of the Year
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 Rich Jeffries, Olympic Venue Manager, 1984 & 1996 Games
In the Sailing Shorts section of Scuttlebutt 3299, it stated that London
will be the first time tickets are being sold for sailing. Actually, the
first time tickets were sold was during the Atlanta 1996 Olympics in
Savannah. Ticket holders could board from Hilton Head, SC and downtown
Savannah, GA. In 1984 (Los Angeles) athletes could pick up free passes for
their family and friends the day before race day that allowed the holder to
get onto a limited number of spectator boats but no tickets were sold.
* From Bill Gibbs, Afterburner:
In Ventura harbor, a handful of boats left before the tsunami arrived to
avoid possible problems in the harbor. They intended to stay out a couple
of hours and return. Unfortunately, the multiple surges lasted over 48
hours. One raised the water level 4 feet in 17 minutes. After the surge
came in, the surge went out.
The boats that went out were more at risk trying to re-enter the harbor in
a 10 knot (?) surge current then the boats that stayed inside per the
harbor patrol's recommendations. Luckily I think everyone made it. My own
racing sailboat is too underpowered (7.5 knots max under power) to have
made it in or out against the surge currents, and the channel is too narrow
for a 52-foot catamaran to tack out under sail. I'm glad I stayed at dock.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when
you are in it.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Gowrie Group - New England Ropes - North Sails - North U
LaserPerformance - Mount Gay - Doyle Sails - US SAILING
Ullman Sails - Team One Newport - The Pirates Lair - Harken
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