SCUTTLEBUTT 3313 - Tuesday, April 5, 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: Morris Yachts, Atlantis WeatherGear, and North U.
BRING BACK THE RANDOM LEG
By Stuart Streuli, Sailing World
Forrest Gump’s catch phrase about life being a box of chocolates is more
than a bit overplayed at this stage. But there really isn’t a better way to
describe the appeal of random-leg racing, which has always been a staple of
the International Rolex Regatta, hosted each year in late March out of the
St. Thomas YC in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
I was working on an intro comparing random-leg racing to the 1970s
phenomenon of Key Parties, but while it sounded so witty while basking in
the glow of a spectacular Caribbean sunset (and of a few rum punches), it
didn’t quite have the same allure when I returned to the office and started
to compile this piece. So I figured I’d leave that one on the bench and go
with old reliable.
In our unfettered desire to produce courses and classes that most
consistently reward the “best” sailors, random-leg racing has taken a hit.
Many sailors view a leg that isn’t dead upwind or dead downwind as
something other than a pure test of skill. A few years ago, in the interest
of streamlining the management of a late-season portion of a summer
one-design series in Newport, I suggested we fix the start at the harbor
mouth and run random leg races as opposed to the normal windward-leeward
courses. I was quickly shot down. “If you want that,” they said, with a
sneer, “go sail with the local PHRF fleet.”
I think the sport should revisit random-leg races. They make the most sense
for handicap racing, but even for one-design competition, random legs force
everyone to view something with which they have become very familiar -
racing a sailboat - in a new, usually invigorating, light. Occasionally,
they also provide a lesson or two that just isn’t available when sailing
the normal sausage-shaped course.
It all starts with the mystery, just like the proverbial box of chocolates.
Instead of worrying about whether the piece you chose is full of that toxic
cherry liquor, or the mushy peanut paste, sailors must obsess over the true
wind angle for each leg, the best sail combination for each point of sail,
the fastest route to the next mark, or, in the case of handicap racing,
whether their boat will be faster or slower than the key competition, and
how to take advantage of that differential. -- Read on:
DITTO: My guess is the click thru rate on the above link will have a lot to
do with your current opinion on the idea. But I am with Stuart on this
topic. We have done such a good job of evolving our race courses, sailing
skills, boat preparation, etc. that I sense we have squeezed people right
out of the sport. While I agree the windward-leeward course may be best for
championship events, there are plenty of other races during the season that
could stand for a bit of variety. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt editor
SELECTING A BOTTOM PAINT
By John Bauby, WindCheck
The bottom of a boat is possibly one of its most important and yet
overlooked areas. Every sailor knows that a clean bottom will provide a
more efficient, faster and responsive boat, yet so many are either
ill-informed or unaware as to how to prepare and then maintain their
bottoms for a season of sailing. This includes both your choice of paint
and your seasonal servicing for the type of sailing you do and the harbor
in which you keep your boat.
In my 25 years of working in the diving industry, I have had the
opportunity to work in a wide variety of ports along the East Coast. I have
witnessed first-hand the wide variety of marine growth that inhabits the
water, and their interaction with every bottom paint on the market. Being
on the front line of the “war on growth” has given me valuable experience
and insight to keeping growth at bay. Understanding the major factors that
affect the performance of your boat, such as marine growth and the way it
interacts with your antifouling paint, will help you select the antifouling
paint that is best suited for your boat and type of sailing you do.
“My paint is brand new this season, why isn’t it working?” If I had a
nickel for every time I have been asked that question I’d be writing this
article from my villa in France, as nearly everyone has asked it at one
point or another. This simple question comes with a very complex response
that involves not only the paint but its relationship with the environment
and the marine life that wants to colonize your boat’s bottom.
There are several types of antifouling paints on the market, the three
major categories of which are hard matrix, ablative or selfpolishing and
finally a category of specialty products for whites, aluminum and so-called
racing paints. Each of these paints has its own unique approach to keeping
the growth at bay, as well as their benefits and downfalls. In my
experience, there really is no one paint that will be ideal in every
situation, so taking a moment to seriously consider what you need from your
bottom prep and maintenance will pay off. -- Read on:
CALIFORNIA, HERE WE COME!
Morris Yachts returns to Strictly Sail Pacific April 14-17. Come see M36
Yare and M36 Rigadoon in slips 93 and 93a. Team Morris is really looking
forward to attending this show and catching up with our West Coast owners
and friends we haven’t seen in the past couple of years. We move south on
May 13-15 for a private event at the Balboa Bay Club and Resort in Newport
Beach. The M29, M36, M42 and Morris 48 will all be on view. For both of
these events, those ready for a test sail should call or email for an
appointment. 207-244-5509 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM WHENCE THEY CAME
Barcelona, Spain (April 4, 2011, Day 93) - Breaking the finish line this
Monday morning at 10hrs 20mins 36 seconds (UTC), France’s Jean-Pierre Dick
(45) and Loick Peyron (51) have won the second edition of the Barcelona
World Race on Virbac-Paprec 3, completing the 25,200 miles round the world
race in 93 days, 22 hours, 20 mins and 36 seconds at an average speed of
For Jean-Pierre Dick, the victory repeats his 2007-08 triumph in the
inaugural edition of the round the world race for crews of two, when he won
with Irish co-skipper Damian Foxall (in 92 days, 09 hours, 49 minutes, 49
secs). Today’s win also adds an elusive round the world victory to Peyron’s
two previous podium finishes, each ten years apart - second in 1989-90 in
the inaugural Vendée Globe solo round the world race, and second in The
Race in 2000, for fully crewed giant multihulls.
The French duo highlighted their drive and pace when they set a new 24-hour
speed record for IMOCA Open 60-footers of 506.33 miles on January 22nd
(average speed 21.1kts)
Though they made two technical stops for repairs, amounting to a time-out
total of 63 hours in Brazil and Wellington, New Zealand, the Virbac-Paprec
3 pair stayed the course to fulfill their ranking as one of the pre-race
favourites. Of the 14 IMOCA Open 60s which started off Barcelona on 31st
December, four of which were otherwise considered potential winners or
podium contenders, President, Foncia, Groupe Bel and Mirabuad all retired
with mast or keel failures.
Jean-Pierre Dick is pleased to see the growth of the event for its second
edition. “The race is larger at all levels,” observed Jean-Pierre. “At a
sporting level, this time we had 14 different boats (compared with nine
starters, 5 finishers in 2007-08), it was a very international competition
and that was something very attractive for me. The Spanish teams, which
were very good, excelled. Among our friends and sponsors, particularly in
France, this race is very popular and the media have really focused on this
second edition which will become part of maritime history.”--
Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 23:01:04)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 93:22:20:36
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 88 nm DTF
3. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 560 nm DTF
4. Estrella Damm Sailing Team,Alex Pella/Pepe Rives (ESP/ESP),777 nm DTF
5. Neutrogena, Boris Herrmann/Ryan Breymaier (GER/USA), 1188 nm DTF
BACKGROUND: The Barcelona World Race is the only double-handed race around
the world. Fourteen teams competing on Open 60s started December 31st, with
the 25,000 nautical mile course extending from Barcelona to Barcelona via
three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, Cook Strait, putting Antarctica
ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP
Palma de Mallorca, Spain (April 4, 2011) - The 42 Trofeo Princesa Sofia
MAPFRE, third event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup, started on Monday amid
sunny skies with a thousand sailors filling the bay of Palma in all ten
Olympic events along with the 2.4mR Paralympic singlehander.
After early arrivals trained in mild winds prior to the event, 18-26 knots
greeted the sailors on day one, making the beach launching area look like
desert storm as one was as likely to get sand blasted as want to rig their
crafts. Carnage would soon cover the eight race areas for the 673 entrants.
But despite the conditions, clearly there was evidence across the Bay that
some people came ready. After two races in the ten fleet racing events,
nine of the events are being led by straight firsts.
It was not the best day for the North American contingent, with many teams
currently below the fold. Best performances were by singlehander Paige
Railey (USA) in fourth and keelboater Andrew Campbell/ Ian Coleman (USA) in
sixth. In the match racing, teams led by Sally Barkow (USA) and Anna
Tunnicliffe (USA) are undefeated midway through their opening round robin
Racing concludes with the medal race on Saturday, April 9 in nine of the 10
Olympic Classes. The final matches for the Women’s Match Racing are
scheduled on Saturday, April 9. -- Full report:
Canadian team report: http://tinyurl.com/CAN-Team-040411
US team report: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-040411
When the 64th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race begins April 15,
off the Balboa Pier in Southern California, among the fleet will be Dennis
St. Onge's Da-Woody, a miniature 12-foot floating replica of a wood-paneled
40s Ford station wagon. Normally based in San Diego, Da-Woody is what
Dennis uses for his sailing photography, and it’s been the pace car of
sailing since the mid-90s when it putt-putted onto the scene.
"I noticed it sitting in a yard behind Sea World and the Sports Arena in
San Diego," St. Onge said. "Sea World had built it in 1965 and used it in
shows. It was in disrepair in a red color and didn't look very pretty. I
thought it was a real car. I asked if they were going to sell it. [A Sea
World worker] said, 'I'll have to check,' and he came back and said,
Sold. It had no motor and needed a ton of TLC, "So I put it in my driveway
wondering what to do with it, and a couple of neighbors came by and said,
'This is incredible!'" St. Onge said. Soon he started to sense that
Da-Woody had possibilities. He replaced the airbrush headlights with real
ones, bought a 30-horsepower motor and gave it a bright yellow paint job.
"Then I took it out to Lake Havasu for the Jet Ski world finals," he said.
"I didn't even know if it floated." He also had doubts about how the funky
Da-Woody would be received by the recreational boating community, but he
was pleasantly surprised. Even the sheriff's patrol boat was friendly. As
for a practical purpose, Dennis hadn't figured that out yet. "I thought I'd
water ski with it [at Havasu], but it barely made it up the canal against
Later, he got a bigger motor that got the speed up to "just over 25 mph.
The  America's Cup was coming up and that was going to be the next
time I took it out. I was taken into the open arms of the America's Cup
people. I wound up being on the front pages of newspapers around the world.
I was in the ESPN coverage."
Any doubts about how seaworthy it was were resolved. Returning into the bay
after the last day of racing he was running close to a large trimaran when
both were swamped by a following surge. The tri took on so much water that
it stopped dead, while Da-Woody resurfaced and bobbed along, as it has
Soon the legend spread and Da-Woody became part of the N2E adventure.
Later, after New Zealand won the America's Cup at San Diego in 1995, Dennis
took Da-Woody to Auckland for the next AC in 1999-2000. He was treated like
a celebrity and granted a special AC "super yacht" clearance, as were the
visiting 100-foot luxury boats. "So I had America's Cup super yacht
clearance for my Woody---at 12 feet long! I thought, 'How cool is this?'"
Dennis, 59, is usually seen perched through the sunroof, shooting pictures
and video for his website (da-woody.com). -- Full story:
OBSTACLE: Rumors that Da-Woody is getting turbo-charged to keep up with the
AC45s at the America’s Cup World Series later this year in San Diego have
not been confirmed. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt editor
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designed by sailors? If all that were true, you’d be wearing the new 2011
Aegis gear from Atlantis. Visit http://www.atlantisweathergear.com/aegis to
see the gear in action and to find an Aegis dealer near you.
Discover life on the water. Discover your Atlantis
* (April 4, 2011; Day 9; 18:13 UTC) - It has been a weekend of dramas in
the VELUX 5 OCEANS as the fleet continue to race north through the South
Atlantic in ocean sprint four to Charleston. Over the last 72 hours each of
the four solo skippers have had to contend with an array of problems on
their Eco 60 yachts, now starting to tire having sailed more than 22,000
miles through the world’s oceans in the last six months. Brad Van Liew
(USA) continues to lead the fleet, with his Eco 60 Le Pingouin now 3,779 nm
from the finish and 58nm in front of second place Derek Hatfield (CAN). --
* With over 25 crews from the US and Canada expected, the third annual
Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta on May 20-22 will continue as the largest
disabled sailing event in one class in the U.S. New this year will be the
Robie Pierce Women’s Invitational on May 19. Believed to be the first all
women disabled regatta in the world, the inaugural event is expected to
draw 10-15 teams from the US and Canada. The event was created at the
request of women who had previously sailed in the Robie to help grow
participation by women in disabled sailing. Details:
* St Barths, French W.I. (April 4, 2011) - The second edition of the Les
Voiles de St. Barth has seen entries rise from 23 boats last year to 53
entrant this year representing 17 countries. Racing begins Tuesday for the
five classes: Maxi, Racing, Racing/Cruising, Classic, and Multihull. There
is no shortage of star gazing, with the Maxi class including the 115-foot
Farr designed ketch, Sojana, Rambler 100 (US), the Swan 112 Highland Breeze
(NED), the Dubois 97’ Genuine Risk and the 86-foot CNB sloop, Spiip. --
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/SB-040411
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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 Lincoln White:
Gary Jobson and US Sailing "knocked it out of the park" with this weekend’s
Yacht Club Summit in Chicago. Two hundred clubs, 300+ people and a dream
team of truly world class speakers. What a great event! US Sailing has
really set the bar for future YC summits.
* From Brad Dellenbaugh: (re, letter in Scuttlebutt 3312)
At AC32 in 2007 in Valencia, the umpires would occasionally tune in to the
radio commentary (of which Andy was part) on the VHF radio when the race
they were following got a bit dull (with the boats a distance apart). I can
remember on more than one occasion listening to Andy describe a really
exciting race that was nip and tuck only to realize he was describing the
race I was following! Andy does a great job and has the knack to make even
the most boring sailboat race exciting.
* From John Harwood-Bee:
The latest debate over the rights to produce ‘Laser’ sailboats seems to
have thrown up some interesting points. Whilst it may not be possible to
register a patent on a yacht it is most certainly possible to register and
protect the DESIGN of the vessel under the design and patents laws. It is
also possible to protect specific items of the construction with patents.
In addition, Intellectual Property Rights will have vested with the
original designer of the Laser and only he would have the authority to
licence those rights.
There has been speculation that the original owner was declared insolvent
and that a liquidator may have ‘sold off’ certain trademark usage around
the world. In this case, dependent on the coverage of the original ‘Laser’
trademark, this SHOULD have been a licensing deal with renewal periods with
the benefits accruing for the creditors of the original company.
What appears to be happening here is that Bruce Kirby, acknowledged owner
of the design rights, has, sensibly at his age, sold his interest to Global
Sailing. For two years they have collected the fees from other builders.
Now one of those builders has stopped paying and is seeking to dispute
Global’s rights to the fees. This seems to be a classic case for litigation
and definitely not the place for the ILCA to interfere in an attempt to
bulldoze through a very suspect change to the rules.
I would respectfully suggest that ILCA take a long look at the lawyer who
informed them that ‘patents have expired’. They should check the long-term
renewable contracts mentioned by Bruce Kirby before they spend any more
money on legal fees. In the meantime, ILCA should ‘butt out’ until the
matter is settled.
* From Denis Toothe:
I find it odd that there is no U.S. defense entry other than Oracle, which
means absolutely no "Defender Series." The more this goes on, the more it
appears to be exactly the same as the last "challenge." The only difference
seems to be that SNG is not available to be vilified or sued, while Oracle
goes down the exact same path laid out by Alinghi, other than Coutts
blathering which make no sense or difference.
* From Matthew Fortune Reid:
Francis Joyon's comments (in Scuttlebutt 3312) about fuel, using renewable
energy and the like seem so obvious and intuitive. I fear that man's
current need of the material world is rushing us towards a precipice faster
than we thought possible.
The burgeoning needs of the newly arisen countries like India and China
(and our own insatiable appetite for everything) have created an
incalculable pressure on the planet and her environment. Can we, the human
race, come to terms with all of this? The small minded quest for more
stuff, more meat, more, more more of everything leaves no room for a shift
in our paradigm.
At some point, we will either kill ourselves off, or become the caretakers
of the only place we have, trying to preserve and protect our tiny little
ball in space.
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