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SCUTTLEBUTT 3394 - Friday, July 29, 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: Interlux and APS.
SPANISH CASTLE TO WHITE NIGHT
Spanish Castle to White Night is Mark Chisnell's account of the Volvo Ocean
Race 2008-09. This extract of the book tells what happened when the leaders
rounded the northern tip of Taiwan, in the horrific leg four battle to get
Meanwhile, those at the front of the fleet, several hundred miles further
north, reached lighter winds off the east coast of Taiwan. But it wasn't
over yet; the Dragon Kings had one final test before they would let them
escape the Kuroshio. A heaving swell was the clue. There was breeze
somewhere, and it turned out that it was just around the corner from the
northern tip of Taiwan.
Telefonica Blue hit it first, and Jonathan Swain could only reflect
afterwards on how fortunate they had been that it was daylight and they
could see the change coming. Within minutes they were sailing under just
the storm jib again, with the mainsail lashed to the boom.
Behind them in second place, Ericsson 3 wasn't quite so fortunate. They had
already had to repair their mainsail once, and when this second storm hit,
the sail split again. All hands were called on deck to take it down and get
it below to where the sailmakers were setting up the sewing machine.
Bowman Martin Krite was sitting on the boom to wrestle the sail free of the
mast when the word came up from below, "We're taking on water." Those are
words no one ever wants to hear on a yacht, but particularly a yacht
already hard pressed in a storm. Immediately, they turned downwind and
while the others secured the mainsail, the watch captain, New Zealand
veteran Richard Mason, went below to have a look.
When he opened the door to the forward watertight compartment, a grim tide
spilled out. Ten days of rubbish had been stored in the bow in plastic
trash bags that had now burst. A filthy, knee-deep morass of food
wrappings, baby wipes and other human detritus flowed aft. Mason and the
boat captain, Jens Dolmer, pushed their way into the pitch-black stink of
the forward compartment to try and locate the hull fissure. Disgusting as
they were, the smell and the instant squalor weren't the problem. The rest
of the crew had to bale the water out, but there was no chance of the pumps
working for more than a few seconds at a time, because all the rubbish
swilling around would have instantly clogged the filters.
Martin Krite and his mates set to with the buckets, but it was a losing
battle. The water came in a lot faster than they could bale it out. The
emergency grab-bags were hauled out of the lockers, along with the survival
suits. Then, inspiration: they tore the plastic mesh holdall that the
kitchen utensils were stored in off the bulkhead and put the pump inside
it. It worked; safe from the trash, the pumps started to help the men with
buckets hold back the sea, until finally they found the hole.
It looked to have been punched upwards from the outside, as though they had
crashed into something hard floating in the water. Mason stuck his boot
into the gap and slowed the flow right down, while Krite and the others
kept baling. Eventually, the water came under control. The lid was cut off
the engine box and, when the water was almost gone, a section was stuck
over the hole with waterproof glue.
But a short examination told them they weren't safe yet. A large area of
the carbon-fibre hull panel was cracked, and had separated from the layer
underneath. The hull was flexing about 15 centimetres as they surged over
The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race begins October 29th. To relive the last
edition of the race, 'Spanish Castle to White Night' is now available in an
eBook - available at all good eBook retailers, and for the Kindle at
ADD THIS PROGRAM TO YOUR QUEUE
A new weekly (video) magazine program 'America's Cup Uncovered' is designed
to connect viewers with the people, places and stories that are the
backbone of the America's Cup.
Featuring behind-the-scenes sneak-peeks, athlete profiles and up-close
action on and off the water, 'America's Cup Uncovered' will take an
in-depth look at the 34th edition over the next two years, offering an
exclusive window into one of the most prestigious events in sport.
With more than 90 weekly programs planned, the first episode will feature a
variety of segments that will set the stage for future 'America's Cup
- The show begins with a focus on the complete reinvention of the America's
Cup, as the sport drives towards the future.
- Viewers will be introduced to the new home of the America's Cup - San
Francisco - and how the natural amphitheater of the San Francisco Bay is
setting the stage for the Cup's transformation.
- Up close and personal with James Spithill (Australia) of ORACLE Racing,
the youngest skipper to ever win the Cup, and what a typical "day at the
office" entails, with eyes always set on defending his team's win.
- A preview of Cascais, the site of the inaugural America's Cup World
Series, which is the new professional circuit bringing the America's Cup
experience to port cities around the globe.
- And finally, a visit to the past, with a visit to Auckland, New Zealand,
where locals recall their Cup experience and how the oldest trophy in
international sport helped rebuild and modernize their city's waterfront.
Each episode is 30-minutes in duration, and available from 08:00 PDT /
11:00 EDT / 15:00 GMT on Saturdays, each week. Each episode is available
online for seven days, until the next episode is aired each Saturday, and
from select international broadcasters, including... read on:
MORE: Streaming video of the America's Cup World Series events in Cascais,
Portugal (Aug. 6-14), Plymouth, UK (Sept 10-18) and San Diego, USA (Nov
12-20) will be available online at the America's Cup website. Exact times
for the Cascais event to be announced next week. --
INTERLUX ON YOUTUBE
For yacht paint product info and application how-to's, tune into the
Interlux Yacht Paint Channel on YouTube:
DATA USAGE MAY DETERMINE WINNER
As a former Volvo Ocean Race navigator, Marcel van Triest knows that
getting the weather wrong means blowing your chances of victory. The
Dutchman will supply a smarter, more streamlined system for the teams
during the 2011-12 edition, when weather data analysis could provide the
best hope of a competitive edge.
The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race is shaping up to be an almighty tussle, with
the key challengers prepared to battle it out with top-tier crews in
latest-generation Volvo Open 70s. If the race is as close as most observers
expect, it will only put more pressure on the navigators to get the most
out of the weather data being made available.
In 2008-09, race organisers sent all competitors the same GRIB file every
six hours. This was both a heavy file to download and a package too big to
be used in its entirety.
This time around, Van Triest is offering the Volvo Ocean Race a different
weather solution. An experienced sailor - he took part in the race five
times - he has developed a way for the navigators to access and download
GRIB files that will give teams forecasts where they actually want them,
the way they want them.
"What we provide is an interface between the end user and the data so that
it's easy and reliable to get access to those large data sets," he
"That's why we're here now, supplying that in a closed environment to the
competitors. They all have access to the same data but they can decide how
much they want, one week, three days, I want this area, that area...
"As far as the data availability is concerned, the competitive edge is not
really there any more. So the competitive edge is now found in the way
people use the data and interpret it."
So why is the data so important to the Volvo Ocean Race?
"Racing is a continuous quest to find the next bit of wind, which we need
to move the boats," Van Triest explains.
"The most stressful moment for a navigator is not when the conditions are
strong and the adrenaline is going. The most stressful time is when there
is no wind and you don't know where the other guys are. You'll be
completely paranoid that they have found a bit of wind and it will be hard
to get back."
With the race gearing up to be so tight, Van Triest expects a cautious
approach from the leading challengers at the start of the race, with more
aggressive tactics to come later on. If the boats remain on equal terms,
with no significant breakages and with equally competitive crews, it will
be all about the best use of the data. -- Read on:
ADMIT IT...WE'VE ALL DONE IT!
Once upon a time there was a famous sea captain. This captain was very
successful at what he did; for years he guided merchant ships all over the
Never did stormy seas or pirates get the best of him. He was admired by his
crew and fellow captains. However, there was one thing different about this
captain. Every morning he went through a strange ritual. He would lock
himself in his captain's quarters and open a small safe.
In the safe was an envelope with a piece of paper inside. He would stare at
the paper for a minute, and then lock it back up. After, he would go about
his daily duties.
For years this went on, and his crew became very curious. Was it a treasure
map? Was it a letter from a long lost love? Everyone speculated about the
contents of the strange envelope.
One day the captain died at sea. After laying the captain's body to rest,
the first mate led the entire crew into the captains' quarters. He opened
the safe, got the envelope, opened it and. The first mate turned pale and
showed the paper to the others. Four words were on the paper, two on two
Port Left, Starboard Right
Courtesy of Boats on TV:
Since 1998, every Scuttlebutt newsletter has been archived on the
Scuttlebutt website. If you missed an issue, or are looking for an old news
item, you can find it in the Scuttlebutt Archives. A Google search tool on
the website is there to assist. Here is the link:
A WORLD TITLE - A PINK STICKER
Buzios, Brazil (July 28, 2011) - The Chilean team of Tito Gonzalez sailing
with his son, Diego and Cristian Herman mathematically clinched the 2011
International Lightning Class Association (ILCA) World Championship today
with a day to spare. In winds building from 14 to 20 knots, Team Gonzalez
rolled through the 30 boat fleet with two bullets, capping a series with
seven out of eight top three finishes.
With the Championship to conclude Friday with one final race, the focus now
turns toward second place with three team in contention. The Brazilian team
of Claus Biekarck, Gunner Ficker and Marcelo Batista da Silva currently sit
in second with 22 points, Americans David Starck with his wife Jody and Ian
Jones are in third with 24 points and Thomas Sumner, Felipe Brito and
Fillipe Gil from Brazil are in 4th with 25 points.
The past two weeks, teams from eight different counties have been competing
in the ILCA South American, International Masters' and World Championships.
Many of the teams have chosen to bear a small pink sticker on their
transom. This gesture is in remembrance of Olivia Constants, a talented
young lady who lost her life a few weeks ago in a tragic sailing accident
in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. -- Full story:
#1 HANDS ON RULE TO MAXIMIZE YOUR GAME
Wear gloves that fit. Measure the circumference of your hand to pick your
size. Folks with long fingers, you might have to cut the fingertips off. Do
it. Your life will be so much better when your grip is as good as Gold when
you tail line, hoist that sail, bring the spinnaker over in a gybe - if
there's extra room in the palm, you'll feel the line give. APS favorites
include Gill's Pro Gloves and Atlas Grip Gloves. You'll find size charts
for these and more at APS, The World Leader in Outfitting Performance
Sailors. Get a Grip! -- http://bit.ly/APSgloves
FINDINGS ANNOUNCED FOR FATAL ACCIDENT
(July 27, 2011) - A police investigation into a sailboat accident that
killed a 73-year-old man and his middle-aged son last spring during a group
outing on San Diego Bay concluded that the vessel capsized because it was
overloaded and improperly maintained and equipped, authorities reported
The safe occupancy limit of the 26-foot 1988 MacGregor-model boat was
exceeded by the 10 people aboard when it tipped over on the evening of
March 27, according to the San Diego Harbor Police Department.
All the passengers, some of them with disabilities, wound up in the water.
Passing boaters helped pull the other victims, including three children,
from the 55-degree water. Seven were injured, at least one seriously.
The pilot of the sailboat during the ill-fated outing was George Saidah,
founder of Heart of Sailing, a Bloomington, Ind.-based nonprofit agency
that offers boating experiences to special-needs children and adults as
education and recreational therapy. -- KUSI, full story:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include blatant favoritism, retro fashion, good old days, international
affairs, technology, and daysailing. Here are this week's photos:
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
One of sailing's best spectator events have returned! On August 3-4, 2011,
St. Francis Yacht Club will once again host the Laser Heavy Weather Slalom.
The course is short, two parallel rows, four buoys each, starting in front
of the club and heading upwind along the shoreline for only about 200
In short, all the action is easily seen, with 32 elite Laser sailors
competing in a double elimination series for the honor of joining the small
pantheon of luminaries who can say they have won this event. And because
it's in San Francisco, the wind will blow, so disaster is certain to be on
This week we have two classic videos from past events, and this year's
event is being videotaped for a future Video of the Week. Click here for
this week's video: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/11/0729/
BONUS: This week's "World on Water" Global Sailing News Report includes the
Audi MedCup TP 52's Sardinia Cup in Cagliari Italy, Abu Dhabi's "Azzam"
their 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, Farr Volvo Open 70, the Six Senses Phuket
Raceweek in Thailand, 2011 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series from Malcesine,
Italy, 2011 Panerai British Classic Week from Cowes, Isle Of Wight,
England. Join Sarah McAvenna for this week's sailing report on
http://www.boatson.tv from 1200 BST Friday July 29.11
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Michael Martin, America's Cup Project Director:
There were a number of errors in the Bay Citizen story titled 'Defending
Against The Spread Of The Scourge' that was carried in Scuttlebutt 3393.
Contrary to the content and tone of that article, planning and the
environmental review process for the 34th America's Cup are proceeding
normally, and as planned. Below is a point-by-point summary of the
1) AC is not "stalled" -- it is proceeding per plan and on time.
2) Regulators have not refused to issue permits.
3) The RWQCB permit application was not rejected.
4) The incomplete application letter asked for four items to be submitted
to consider the application complete. The four items are:
a) the address of the ACEA,
b) indication of the type of 404 permit being sought and a copy of the 404
federal permit application,
c) additional information on compensatory mitigation measures
d) a check for $817. No additional information regarding invasive species
was requested by the RWQCB to consider the application complete.
BACKGROUND: Michael works for the Office of Economic and Workforce
Development for the City and County of San Francisco, and is the project
director for the City on AC34.
* From John Yeigh:
I mistakenly thought it was your April Fools issue when reading that a
regulator (in Scuttlebutt 3393) is requiring additional risk mitigations
from spectator boats potentially spreading seaweed. Maybe the additional
risk mitigation should include locking up all the local sea creatures in
jail so that they also do not contribute to the spread of undesired seaweed
organisms. No wonder governments cannot balance budgets.
* From John Sweeney:
Regarding the thread on 'RRS 32 - Abandoning After The Start' as pertains
to Mr Overton's original point, I have had multiple levels of experience
which I consider relevant to the topic (experience with contract law, as a
certified PRO who needed to abandon a race for RC error, and as a sole
finisher having been on the losing end of a decision to abandon). I offer
32.1(c) should, in lieu of extenuating circumstance (space ships, poor
sportsmanship, etc.), supersede 32.1(e). Which is to say, if conditions
might allow or have allowed one or more boats to finish a race then it has
been fairly sailed and results should stand. Reacting to weather and luck
are parts of the game and participation comes with accepting each.
* From Tom Donlan:
The idea that a jury cannot decide to hold a hearing even though a protest
flag was not flown is the real problem in his tale. The jury should be
empowered to search for justice (or the closest thing possible) in any
situation that comes to its attention.
The intent of flying a flag is to notify protested yachts that they may
have broken a rule, not to create an arbitrary hurdle for protesting
yachts. The boats that would have been protested for sailing the wrong
course were not any worse off because the protesting boats did not fly
flags. If a race officer can abandon a whole race--apparently without a
hearing in this case--surely a jury should be empowered to dispense with
procedural requirements to hold a hearing. -- Forum:
The first 90 percent of the task takes 90 percent of the time. The last 10
percent takes the other 90 percent.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Harken - Hall Spars & Rigging - North Sails
Melges Performance Sailboats - Southern Spars - The Pirates Lair
Quantum Sails - J Boats - New England Ropes - Ullman Sails - Interlux - APS
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers