SCUTTLEBUTT 3392 - Wednesday, July 27, 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: The Pirates Lair, Quantum Sails, and J Boats.
WHAT WILL WE SEE IN CASCAIS?
When the inaugural event of the America's Cup World Series commences August
6-14 in Cascais, Portugal, it will be an event the sport has never seen
before. Professional teams, wing-powered one design AC45s, stadium setting,
specially designed race formats...this is what's possible when you combine
the intrigue of an iconic trophy with money.
The foundation of all ideas surrounding the America's Cup is to create an
event worth watching. So what will we see? Scuttlebutt asked this question
of John Craig (USA), who as Principal Race Officer of the 34th America's
Cup, is also responsible for conducting the races of the America's Cup
* What do you expect the first fleet race to look like?
JOHN CRAIG: We are anticipating a reaching start towards the marina, about
.6 nm from the start to the reach mark. Once around the reach mark it's a
run to the leeward gate (about 1.8 nm) then back to the old reach mark,
which is now one of two windward marks creating a windward gate. After that
they'll run back to the leeward gate and then back up to finish at the
windward gate. Couple the small course with the virtual boundary to keep
the boats in the arena and you'll see the racing will be tight and visible
*Explain the course layout and why it was chosen.
JOHN CRAIG: We had the opportunity to test a variety of course
configurations in Auckland and San Francisco -16 in fact. We are leaning on
the course design described above, in hopes of maximizing the amount of
time the teams stay together and to bring that critical first mark as close
to shore as we can.
* How do you expect the teams to approach the line?
JOHN CRAIG: For match racing, at two minutes to start we will have the
teams enter to windward of a box that will be defined by the virtual
boundary and marshal boats. At the start they will exit the box on a reach
towards Mark 1 (the course diagram in the Sailing Instructions will give
you a better picture - http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-1-SI).
For fleet racing, teams will enter the box as well but can enter it from
any direction; they just need to be inside at two minutes.
* How will the localized conditions affect the racing?
JOHN CRAIG: The breeze is predominately out of the North here in Cascais,
and for the last week has been pretty San Francisco and Gorge in
nature.WINDY! The course proximity to shore makes it puffy and shifty, but
on the positive side the water is flat. Bearing an AC45 off at the reach
mark in breeze is a challenge in it of itself, so the gusts and shifts are
going to further complicate the maneuver. There should be plenty of passing
lanes upwind and downwind with the virtual boundaries pushing the boats
back into spaces that may not be the optimal place for a tack or gybe.
Look for Part 2 in Scuttlebutt 3393.
Online race coverage: http://www.americascup.com
Additional details: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-1-BTSI
NOT SO SIMPLE
An interesting juxtaposition in the latest news round-up by ORACLE Racing.
Rather than back away from the 'Facebook Generation' statement, Russell
Coutts has brought it out again and once again said that the rules and
format of the new America's Cup are designed to make the event simpler and
easier to understand. In the very next news item, ORACLE Racing introduces
the new, simplified format that features 3 different disciplines, 4
different events and new courses.
Organisers have also released the 'rules' relating to spectator craft and
the way in which the Facebook generation can watch the action from the
water. Those with superyachts will get to park them along two sides of the
course. Others will have to park their jet-ski's, ribs, canoes and hobie
cats 300 metres from the race-course.
Anyone who has attended an Extreme Sailing Series event will know that such
measures are essential to stop accidents from happening at very high
speeds, but some new fans who have been wooed to attend an event might not
want to stay in one place or adhere to a 5 knot speed limit within a half
mile of the course once racing has started.
More interesting is the rules relating to photography, video and
advertising. Social Media has been highlighted as one of the way in which
this Cup will be different from others, but the rules relating to photos
and video seem to be written by the Flintstone generation of media rights
people. It will be interesting to see how the ACEA police a piece of public
space in relation to people filming the event with 'home-type' HD video
cameras and posting it on YouTube. -- YachtSponsorship.com, full report:
PROTECH TECH SHIRTS GO HUGE AT RACE WEEKS
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AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR THE TOOL BOX
A report in Scuttlebutt 3391 by International Umpire Rob Overton suggested
RRS 32.1, which allows a race committee to abandon a race for several
specific reasons, should be changed to allow for races to be abandoned for
reasons of safety only and not for reasons of fairness [as specified in
32.1(e)]. Tom Duggan, International Race Officer, disagrees. Here is his
Rule 32.1(e) is little used, but it is an important tool to have in a race
manager's tool box. Sometimes something unforeseen happens in a race,
making a race unfair that cannot be solved by any other means. I have had
to employ that rule for non-safety reasons. Here's one example:
The wind had shifted in a multi-fleet race. Two weather marks had been
employed; both were moved to different bearings in response to the
increasing wind shift. As a fleet of 19 one design boats approached the
leeward gate, they were properly signaled by visual signals and by radio on
the fleet channel several times. Bbut for some reason the 11th, 12th, and
13th boats through the gate sailed to the old weather mark and then back to
the finish, finishing first, second, and third.
Since the mark boats were busy setting and resetting marks, they did not
see it happen. Since we had four fleets approaching the finish from two
different places, we on the signal boat didn't see it either. Two boats
from the fleet saw it happen and called on the radio after the race to
express their intent to protest. BUT - although both saw the incident-
neither flew a protest flag. The race committee was unable to protest,
because we did not see it happen. Then, later on shore, although the rest
of the fleet saw the results posted, no one filed for redress within the
time limit because they assumed the filed protests would solve the problem.
The international jury was obligated to find the protests invalid because
no protest flags were flown. A flurry of redress submissions were then
filed the next morning- but were invalid as they were not timely as regards
to the posting of the original results. Learning that a protest committee
acted properly by ruling a protest invalid does not open the door to
redress. The 11th, 12th, and 13th place competitors declined to retire from
the race as they insisted they had done nothing wrong and had not been
properly notified of the change so a rule 2 protest didn't seem proper.
Somehow, despite everyone's best efforts, we had a misunderstanding that
led us all into a corner. Without the opportunity for the jury to
intervene, grant redress or abandon the race, we were stuck with a race
result that was obviously unfair. The two winning boats, whatever the
reason, had sailed a different, shorter course than the rest of the fleet.
After a lot of thought, and a discussion with the jury and the organizing
authority, I abandoned the race under 32.1(e). Abandoning the race was no
magic fix, as some boats with legitimate good results in that race lost
those results- but, in the end, it was the least unfair result available.
But without 32.1(e), we would have been obligated to allow the result and
the scrambled standings. -- Read on:
JUAN K - THREE METHODS FOR THREE PROJECTS
Argentina's Juan Kouyoumdjian designed three Volvo Open 70s for 2011-12.
Three boats, three teams, three nationalities - and three different
approaches, as he explains.
Juan K, as he is known to just about everyone in the sailing world,
designed the winners of the last two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. This
time around, Groupama 4, PUMA Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro and Telefonica are
all Juan K boats.
"We worked for three teams," he said in an interview with the Groupama
team. "How did we organise that? In the first research stages, the same
people worked for the three teams. Then we reached a point where we had to
start building things. We left theory for reality and we started working
within three different departments.
"When looking at the three boats, it seems quite obvious. Deck plans,
interior arrangements and various parameters are very different."
Groupama 4, PUMA's Mar Mostro and Telefonica: for Juan K, the design
process reflected the different methods of the teams.
"The different nationalities of our customers are immediately
recognisable," he said. "The Anglo Saxon team do not ask that many
questions. They somehow let us do our own thing. On the contrary, the Latin
projects, and especially Groupama, ask for explanations about everything. A
lot of energy is devoted to presenting and explaining everything we do.
These efforts could be concentrated elsewhere.
"Franck is very involved in the project. He wants to know and to understand
everything. I think it's a very good thing. New ideas eventually emerge
from such discussions.
"Groupama Sailing Team's method differs from what we are used to but it's a
method which has been successful for them so far! They have no reason to
change it. France has a culture for research anyway."
Whatever his client's nationality, however, Juan K believes in the
importance of good communication between the designers and the sailors.
"For me, winning a race is combining a design with a team. It's absolutely
pointless to have a very good design team on one side and a very good
sailing team on the other side. It leads nowhere!" -- Watch video:
UPDATE: The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race begins October 29 in Alicante, Spain:
It is fair to say that while San Diego Yacht Club may be the premier
sailing facility in San Diego, the premiere sailing venue in town belongs
to neighbor Coronado Yacht Club and the South Bay race course. While the
sailing area is a bit tight for keelboats, it's ideal for one design
dinghies looking for fresh wind and flat water.
So is there a better location than Coronado to inspire the next generation
of youth sailors? Apparently not, and as CYC Head Sailing Coach Jon Rogers
explains, the more the merrier. "Last week the event calendar was stacked
up for us, but with Mother Nature providing sun, temperatures in the 70's
with an amazingly steady 9-13 knots of wind, Race Management was made
easier as the buoys were rarely moved.
"The excitement at the club began Tuesday with the San Diego area "11 and
Under" Sabot Regatta and day one of the 29er Nationals Prep Clinic. The
club soon welcomed the SDAYC Summer Laser "Co-op" to begin their week of
intense training. The end of the week brought the start of the 21-boat 29er
National Championship, 170 sailors for the Sabot Dutch Shoe Marathon and
another regatta for Sabots, Laser Radials, FJ's and 420 with just over 100
"I remember the day when my club asked if I thought doing all of this in
one week was a good idea. As it turns out, it absolutely was. The mix of
sailors provided great exposure to the different classes, and the CYC team
has the recipe for making regattas fun." -- Full report:
QUANTUM SAILS CLAIM J/80 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP... AGAIN!
For the fifth consecutive year, Quantum sails powered the J/80 World
Champion. Congratulations to Ignacio Camino of Spain who finished ten
points in the lead for great regatta. One of the key factors in Camino's
win was the evolutionary change made to the Class Jib making it a little
fuller up high and slightly more open in the upper leech to improve
light-to-medium wind performance. Quantum's J/80 sails are in stock and
ready for immediate delivery, which means you could be sailing faster for
the J/80 North American Championships in September. Learn more at
* Buzios, Brazil (July 26, 2011) - The third day of the International
Lightning Class Association World Championship was dominated by the
Brazilian Team of Thomas Sumner, Felipe Brito and Fillipe Gil who won both
races today. Seas were relatively flat with winds from the East/Northeast
at 9-11 kts, building to 12-14 kts. Claus Biekarck, Gunner Ficker and
Marcelo Batista da Silva (BRA) are tied for first with the Chilean Team of
Tito Gonzalez, his son Diego and Cristian Herman. The USA team of David
Starck, his wife Jody and Ian Jones are in 3rd overall. -- Full report:
* The 29th Annual Whidbey Island Race Week in Oak Harbor, WA on July 17-22
attracted 109 keelboats, with 12 races conducted in 8-22 knot breezes
during one of the last true week-long regattas. Six nights of parties with
different live bands and Mount Gay Rum pouring filled the evenings up with
excitement. Attendance was up roughly 10% over last year, with 70% of the
fleet in PHRF along with starts for the Melges 24, J-105, J-80, and Santa
Cruz 27. -- Full report:
* The Buffalo Canoe Club in Ridgeway, Ontario hosted the 2011 Club 420
North Americans on July 21-24. Twelve races were completed over the four
days in varied conditions. Malcolm Lamphere and Riley Legault topped the
fleet with 30 points, followed by Alex Curtiss and Jackie Capellini with 37
points, and Max Simmons and Nick Barta with 45 points. Top female team was
Holly Tullo and Haley Fox in 5th place overall. -- Results:
* The IRC Technical Committee has distributed an advisory that they are
considering changes to the IRC treatment of different fin materials
including but not limited to iron, solid steel, hollow steel and
composites. While no firm and final decisions have yet been taken, it is
likely that in future the difference in IRC TCC for the use of different
fin keel materials for keel types 10, 11 and 12 will vary less than at
present. -- Details:
* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 3391, it was reported that the J/145 'Bad Pak'
won Division 4 of the Transpac Race with North sails. After further review,
'Bad Pak' also had an Ullman A3 spinnaker onboard.
POST YOUR INDUSTRY UPDATES HERE
The Marine Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum was created so
companies could get guaranteed exposure by posting their own personnel,
product and service updates online. In addition to website traffic,
Scuttlebutt editors randomly select updates each week to include in the
Thursday edition of the Scuttlebutt newsletter. Here is the link to post
Industry News updates:
HORSES FOR COURSES: J/111'S WIN-PLACE-SHOW ANYWHERE
Designed for speed without compromise for ratings, the J/111 is proving
slippery on all race-tracks. Three drivers on IMPULSE pegged 18 knots in
19-23 TWS in the fast Chicago-Mac Race, with KASHMIR winning ORR III. And,
NO SURPRISE won IRC III in the lighter air Bayview-Mac Race. Check out
J/111 results at http://www.jboats.com/j111
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 Frank Kern:
Regarding the use of IRC in the Bayview Mackinac Race (as reported in
Scuttlebutt 3391), there has been many boats that have chosen to do the 204
nm Shore course (which uses PHRF) or not race at all because of the
exclusive use of the IRC rule (in the 254 nm Cove Island).
If one looks at the numbers, 49 boats sailed under IRC vs. 100 under PHRF.
Even the GL70s use ORR to score in their class in spite of officially being
scored under IRC. The CYC Race to Mackinac has successfully used the ORR
rule and managed to fully fill their available entries spots.
Many sailors have been very resentful that that top finishes in the Bayview
race are usually won by larger boats built less than 10 years ago. Are
those crews much better sailors than the others? I think not. It makes more
sense for events in the Great Lakes to use one rule, ORR.
* From Chris Ericksen
Denis Toothe was generally correct in imagining that professional sailors
dominated the America's Cup up to the 12 Metre era ('Butt 3391). However,
in "The America's Cup Races" by Herbert L. Stone (the 1930 "New Revised
Edition"), we are told that, for the match of 1920, the skippers were the
American amateur Charles Francis Adams and English amateur William P.
"As yacht racing in America had grown from a sport largely in the hands of
professional sailors to a strictly amateur sport," Stone wrote, "it was
most fitting that the two Cup yachts should be handled by amateur
skippers." Note the phrase "amateur skippers:" while Stone is silent on the
subject, I imagine the crew of both yachts were paid hands, and that it was
not until the 12 Metre era that unpaid amateurs made up the crews of
America's Cup yachts.
Mister Toothe is also right about the "squareheads" on the crew: Stone
tells us that, in 1901, professional skipper Charley Barr "picked a
Scandinavian crew which he trained into a perfect machine" to handle
"Columbia." Barr himself was a Scots-born naturalized citizen, the
selection of whom was criticized back in 1899 when he was chosen to command
that successful defense, also in "Columbia."
Funny how success seems to make the issue of country of birth somewhat
irrelevant in America's Cup competition.
I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time.
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