SCUTTLEBUTT 3365 - Friday, June 17, 2011
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providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors: US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and Harken.
SANDERSON TO LEAD CHINESE TEAM
(June 17, 2011) - China launched its first ever sole entry in the Volvo
Ocean Race today and announced that one of the world's leading sailors
would helm its Team Sanya for the gruelling nine-month, 39,270 mile
challenge beginning in October.
Despite its huge technical and financial resources, the world's most
populous nation has never won a round-the-globe sailing competition but
intends to make the breakthrough with the recruitment of New Zealander Mike
Sanderson as skipper.
Sanderson, 40, is a twice-winner of the Volvo Ocean Race and will chase a
hat-trick of triumphs with a crew mixing experienced sailors with
relatively raw Chinese members. It is the seventh world-class contender to
join this year's race with Sanderson going head-to-head with some of the
sailing's biggest names including American Ken Read (PUMA) and France's
Franck Cammas (Groupama).
"This is a fantastic opportunity to race under the flag of such a great
country and culture," said Sanderson today at the Team Sanya launch in
central Beijing. "We are building up a strong team and are ready to take on
this exciting challenge. Our approach will be one of compelling intent,
working fast and smart, representing this great country and team with
ambition, dynamism and colourful energy."
China, as is the case in many sports, has incredible potential within
sailing and a win in the 38-year-old Volvo Ocean Race, previously
established as The Whitbread Round the World Race from 1973, would be a
huge boost to its ambitions.
The race is regarded as sailing's leading test for monohull yachts. It runs
from 29 October in Alicante, Spain to 8 July next year in Galway, Ireland,
the longest, continuous sporting event. -- Read on:
With the announcement that China has launched its first ever sole entry in
the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, we spoke with skipper Mike Sanderson -
twice-winner of the Volvo Ocean Race - who will be leading the team along
the gruelling nine-month, 39,270 mile challenge beginning in October.
* What is the objective of the team?
MIKE SANDERSON: The objective is that China is seen as an ocean-racing
nation. When I was asked if I was prepared to do this, I obviously had to
look at the big picture, and decide what the challenges were. And the
challenge for me is doing better with a team of people nobody else thought
could do it.
This is about developing awareness in China, and for the Chinese to get the
wave of momentum behind the Volvo Ocean Race.
I am not held back when I speak to people: it's also in the hope that this
is a stepping stone for another campaign in the next race, with a rotation
of Chinese sailors onboard and on the shore crew to grow the sailing
culture amongst the Chinese.
A careful budget fits the objectives we have for his race; it's all about
dipping the nations toe in water. We will be trying to overachieve in this
one and hope to encourage bigger things in the generations to come.
* Which boat will you use?
MIKE SANDERSON: I wish I could say. We are still in the process and it has
been an interesting debate. We looked at every boat that was in the race
We thought Ericsson 4 was our target, but then we quickly had to see what
we wanted to achieve out of this race. One of the options was getting the
winner from the last race and as many points as possible. And the other one
was getting a boat that could get us onto the podium in all conditions.
We are in the process of looking at all of the boats and there's one that's
a candidate. We will announce it in about ten days.
Read on: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0617a/
US SAILING TEAM ALPHAGRAPHICS THANKS ITS SPONSORS!
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics would like to thank all of our sponsors
for their on-site support this past week in Weymouth, England at the Sail
for Gold Regatta, our first of two Selection Events for the U.S. Olympic
Team. We were especially thrilled that 24 representatives from our title
sponsor AlphaGraphics joined us in the U.K. and helped cheer on women's
match racing where "Team Maclaren" (Tunnicliffe) won the gold medal and
Team 7 Match Race (Barkow) the bronze. We are lucky to have such great,
supporting sponsors! http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/
I don't admit to knowing Dennis Conner very well. But every time I see him
at San Diego Yacht Club, I welcome the opportunity to interact with him. I
am not convinced he feels the same way, as he often refers to me as the
evil media that has haunted him over the years. He does challenge me to be
We had this exchange again last week at the Etchells World Championship,
where he warned a group of people to watch what they say in my presence. I
didn't take his comment seriously, and in private I scolded him about it.
He admitted that I have always been fair to him, but speaking freely in the
media has gotten him in trouble in the past.
He sees it as trouble, but with today's world of homogenized pro sailors,
spewing happy talk that will please their owners and sponsors, I miss the
unexpected comments from the Dennis Conners, the Ted Turners, and the Tom
Blackallers. Our sport today could use some raw personalities.
Competing against Dennis last week at the Etchells Worlds was an absolute
treat. He is not as healthy as he should be, but he was as wiley as ever,
and his sixth place finish shows that he remains a remarkable talent. A six
day, nine race series is not easy, much less so at 69 years.
I have received a lot of comments about the success of our team's win at
the Etchells Worlds, many directed at how we passed six boats on the final
downwind leg to clinch the title with a race to spare. The truth is our
light air downwind speed was not a strength until we noted how Dennis
sailed his boat in those conditions. That leg was the first time we copied
his technique. Thanks Dennis! -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
HEROES IN SAILING
While working at a local medical clinic in the greater San Diego area last
week, I picked up a chart with the name "North" on it. As I entered the
room, I read the first name "Lowell". After a double take, I immediately
recognized the patient to be indeed THE "Lowell North", as in North Sails.
It was hard to concentrate on my doctoring as I had a wonderful interaction
with Lowell and his kind wife Bea.
They must have been embarrassed as I was gushing over how long I had been
following his career and what a great fan I was. Talk about a brush with
fame for a lowly PHRF racer turned cruiser secondary to a growing family
and job responsibilities.
The nurses looked at me as if I was nuts. I kept explaining to them..."5 x
world champion, 2 x Olympic Medals, America's Cup, etc." The landlubbers
just didn't get it.
After a couple of hours in my care, while we were chatting about the
Etchells World Championship, which I was keeping up to date on by reading
Scuttlebutt, he was finally ready to be discharged home. When he got up, he
kindly thanked me for my care. He then proceeded to pull out his North
Sails belt right out of his pants and handed it to me as a memento of the
I was speechless. What a class act. Thanks Lowell and Bea North for the
greatest shift of my career. -- Dr. Johannes Neuendorf
OVERCOMING THE FUEL DILEMMA
One of the perennial, round-the-world, offshore dilemmas is the quantity of
fuel carried on board a racing yacht. Calculating the optimum volume of
diesel is a complicated equation: enough must be carried to complete the
voyage and continuously charge the batteries to run the communications
systems; autopilots; ballast pumps; navigation lights; radar and - if
installed - a heater, while a fuel reserve to allow the boat to motor out
of trouble must also be factored-in. Underestimating the required amount,
or carrying too little fuel in an attempt to save weight and increase
performance, can have a negative and disastrous result.
Conversely, carrying too much fuel and additional weight will affect
sailing performance over long distances, although the constant
power-budgeting becomes less of a burden. In addition, marine wind turbines
tend to lose power generating ability as the apparent wind decreases on a
high-powered, reaching racing yacht, while solar panels tend to be
inefficient in the high-latitudes of the Southern Ocean where increased
cloud cover and the acute angle of the sun degrades generating potential.
Until relatively recently, transom-mounted hydro-generator turbines were
generally bulky, unreliable, inefficient, created an immense amount of drag
through the water and were never considered appropriate for a competitive
racing yacht. However, in 2007, French offshore sailor, Yannick Bestaven,
successfully trialled his retractable hydro-generator on board the IMOCA
Open 60 Cervin racing in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre with
co-skipper Ronan Guerin, before returning to Europe sailing solo on Cervin
in the BtoB Race. During this period, Bestaven recorded that his
hydro-generator was twice as efficient as a standard wind turbine. -- Read
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QUOTE / UNQUOTE
SailBlast editor Michelle Slade describing her AC45 ride this week on San
Francisco Bay: "The breeze settled in around 20 knots, it was warm and
sunny and 'Coutts 5' was skimming along like nothing I've ever been on -
it's hard to come up with a suitable analogy simply because I've never been
on the water on anything as fast. In some respects the speed element for me
was the feeling of speed I got while getting launched learning to kite surf
- that torpedo effect from the water through the air but without the
subsequent pain - and kind of like windsurfing more than a being on a
sailboat, where you feel the speed more because of your physical proximity
to the water. And although it's incredibly fast, it's different to being on
a powerboat because it's not a powerboat! It's just a friggin' fast
sailboat. There's got to be a huge temptation to play these boats to their
edge because the speed is highly addictive." -- Full report:
NAME FIASCO SLOWS AUSTRALIAN CHALLENGE
The Team Yachting Australia (TYA) syndicate insist their challenge for the
2013 America's Cup is alive, despite them not being named among the latest
lineup of competitors. The list of challengers announced at a press
conference in the host city of San Francisco included two teams from France
plus representatives from China, Italy, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden
and the United States.
But TYA spokesperson Peter Baker, who was in San Francisco, was adamant
their America's Cup campaign would proceed. Baker said TYA had not by last
Friday received an endorsement from Yachting Australia (YA; national
sailing authority) which they required in order to get a number from the
Australian Sports Foundation, that would allow donors to their campaign to
claim tax deductibility.
Without that in place, TYA didn't put a deposit on a new AC45 boat, which
they will need to contest the inaugural America's Cup World Series, the
first part of the leadup to the 2013 America's Cup. Baker felt YA had not
responded quickly enough to their request for endorsement and they had
insufficient time to prepare new documents after being asked by YA to
change the name of the syndicate.
YA directors expressed some concern about the TYA name, believing it was
too similar to their own organisation. YA chief executive officer Phil
Jones said his organisation hadn't been aware the syndicate was operating
under the Team Yachting Australia name until a media release containing it
went out on May 28 and that their first meeting with Baker was not until
Both parties were adamant TYA America's Cup campaign could still continue.
Baker said he hoped to get the outstanding issues resolved within a
fortnight and purchase a new AC45 in time for the third leg of the World
Series in San Diego in November. -- Read on:
* Newport, RI (June 16, 2011) - The first event in the J-Class Global
calendar is being staged this week in the fabled waters of the America's
Cup on Narragansett Bay between the 140-foot Ranger and Velsheeda. After
two days of racing, Ranger remains undefeated. Full report:
* Tuscany, Italy (June 16, 2011) - Lighter winds on day four at the Finn
World Masters brought a lot of new faces to the front. Defending World
Masters Champion Michael Maier (CZE) won his sixth race to take a points
lead for the first time - though it is only by one point. Only one race was
sailed, however, it was a day for the Italians with heat wins for Marco
Buglielli (ITA) and Francesco Fragiani (ITA). The fourth heat was won by
Uli Breuer (GER) to lift him up to second overall, with Allen Burrell (GBR)
in third on countback. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/Finn-061611
* Marseille, France (June 16, 2011) - The TP52 world champions Quantum
Racing had the ultimate rollercoaster day at the Marseille Trophy, but
remain in the lead at the second stop of the five event TP52 Audi MedCup
Circuit. After an assured win in the first race, they finished last in the
second when they started late and ended up on the unfavoured side of the
first beat. Russia's Synergy, who are now just one point behind the
American crew, had a 7,2 for the day, while the best scoring boat for the
day, Niklas Zennstrom's RAN (SWE) scored a second and a fourth. -- Full
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include inland Star sailing, windy J/80 sailing, extensive money spending,
time for paint before sailing, duck sailing, helmet sailing, and crew gear
sailing. Here are this week's photos:
BONUS: With 135 boats competing, the New York Yacht Club's 157th Annual
Regatta presented by Rolex, held June 10-12, broke all of its past
attendance records, and with winds whipping into the high teens for buoy
racing over the weekend, it certainly is in line for being the most
memorable Annual Regatta in recent history. Here are some photos from
BONUS: The J Class has returned this week to Narragansett Bay in Newport,
RI for the dance of the lead-bottomed money gobblers. The 140 foot Ranger
and Valsheda are hosting the crews for the first of a four-regatta series
culminating in a race around the Isle of Wight in July of 2012 for the
finale regatta, which will be for the newly-minted Hundred Guinea Cup.
Photographer George Bekris shares images from Newport:
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Being a compulsive shooter, Leighton O'Connor strapped his GoPro video
camera onto his chest for an outing on a 21-foot Viper 640 in Marblehead,
MA. It was cloudy, rainy, 50-something degrees, and 10-14 knots. In other
"I got to race on a Viper 640 for the first time," said Leighton. "What a
hooooooot! Very fun boat. A little wet but I finally got to wear my new
dinghy boots that have been kickin' around in my car for a year. We cooked
along for most of the day at 8-10 knots."
Click here for this week's video:
BONUS: Join Greg Gendell as he goes up the mast of the Quantum Racing TP52
for a rig check in Marseille, France. The intricacies of the carbon spar,
when combined with the height and stunning backdrop, make this video very
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
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 Antonio Sanpere: (re, Eight Bells in SBUTT 3364)
I first started sailing in St. Thomas in 1970 and had the opportunity to
sail with and against Walter Fischer. At that time he owned a Pearson 39
but was usually aboard Caviar, a Carter 1 tonner, owned by Lee Kelbert the
president of Little Switzerland. I raced in the first Rolex International
regatta and have won many of the time pieces. He was always a gentleman and
fair competitor. He will be greatly missed.
* From Tim Smith: (re, letter in Scuttlebutt 3364)
I couldn't disagree more with John Schimert comments regarding your
articles in SBUTT 3363. I thought using your win in the Etchells worlds
(CONGRATULATIONS by the way, to the whole team) as a reminder of the value
of getting our kids more involved in sailing at all levels was worthwhile
and a nice twist. Your other article was really just an intro to Stuart's
article and doesn't even mention the win (which I would surely have done.),
so hubris seems a little harsh to me, how about congratulations instead?
* From Scott Mason:
As a competitor at a highly competitive championship that Craig's team
thoroughly dominated, I can understand a slip in humility. That said, Craig
and I spoke for hours about parenting and mentoring. His move to inspire a
young sailor left a lump in my throat. Good on ya Craig, you do youth and
sport a service.
COMMENT: John has since apologized, and thanks to all the other supportive
letter I received, and the flood of complimentary comments on Facebook. I
was worried that my report of the young girl would focus too much on my act
rather than her reaction. It was the later I wanted to highlight, and to
hopefully encourage more interaction between today's young sailors and
adults. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
To maintain a healthy level of insanity, whenever you go out to eat order a
diet water with a serious face.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Quantum Sails - BIC Sport - North Sails - Gowrie Group
LaserPerformance - APS - Morris Yachts - US SAILING
Ullman Sails - IYRS - Gladstone's Long Beach - USSTAG - Harken
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