SCUTTLEBUTT 3411 - Tuesday, August 23, 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: Hall Spars & Rigging, North Sails, and J/Boats.
HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES
Francis Joyon wasn't even close, getting to sail only 7 hours in to his
transatlantic record attempt from New York to the western tip of Cornwall
before he capsized his 30 meters long trimaran IDEC. The French sailing
legend did not get hurt in the incident and will most likely stay in the
inverted hull until a tug comes to tow him back.
Joyon passed the start line off the Ambrose Light at 00:08:10 GMT Monday
morning. At the time of capsize IDEC had been sailing in 25 knots form the
south when allegedly she was hit by a violent squall. Joyon was not injured
and has been in contact with his router Jean-Yves Bernot. This afternoon
from IDEC's upturned hull Joyon, calm as usual, explained what had
"I was in my seat to watch what was going on outside the boat. I was in the
process of extricating myself from a meteorologically disturbed area close
to the American coast. Since starting I had managed to sail about 90 miles
in very irregular and highly unstable wind, shifting in direction and
fluctuating between 10 and 30 knots. I went through some very intense
squalls, marked by violent gusts, but it was when I thought I was leaving
this area that I was hit by a massive gust that blew the boat on its side.
"At the time I was sailing under triple reefed mainsail and with the small
storm jib up. The violence of the squall was such that the sensor, and the
anti-capsize alarm did not have time to go off. I found myself under water
and beneath the nets. I tried to swim back to open air in the night and
chaos. Eventually, I made it to one of the floats. I'm not sure how I
reached the forward beam but I was able to climb up onto the platform. I
then got inside the boat through the escape hatch."
Joyon reports that the trimaran is in relatively good shape, and that he
managed to save all the electronics from the salt water. He spent the whole
night sitting on top of the upturned hull signaling to boats in the
shipping lane with a torch as he didn't want to get run over as well. As
soon as the tug arrives he will cut away the broken rig and try to get the
boat turned back again.
Joyon needed to make the trip in less than 5 days, 19 hours, 30 minutes and
40 seconds to break the record set three years ago by Thomas Coville aboard
Sodebo over the same distance estimated to be 2980 nautical miles.
SHORE TEAM - THE UNSUNG MARVELS
Having proved a dynamo in water, this week Azzam - the VO70 that will
compete in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race - will segue into dryness, a state
most uncommon for the ocean-going craft. Her caretakers will greet the
yacht's arrival on the Portuguese coast by giving it a welcome lift - out
of water, with a crane - and a tireless refitting as Azzam will abide once
more the expertise of one of the more unsung marvels in all of sport: the
Diligent, capable, creative and mighty, the Shore Team seemingly could
deconstruct and reassemble the entire world, and apparently would do so
willingly, without audience or plaudits. "Everybody sees the 10 sailors,"
said Mike Danks, the technical shore manager for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
"It's more than the 10 sailors by a long, long way . The guy who sweeps the
floor is just as important as the guy who steers the boat."
As Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's sailing crew savours their win in the monohull
division of the Fastnet race and aim in earnest toward the Volvo Ocean
Race, beginning on October 29, they will hand over the 70-foot Azzam to the
Shore Team at the marina in Cascais. A different bustle will ensue.
A tent village will reappear adjacent the water after the usual two to
three days of assembly. Tools and machines will rev up until the place
looks and sounds like some cross between a shop-class workshop and a
Formula One garage. All-nighters will beset some, and anyone happening by
the famous marina in the pretty resort town at midnight might see lights
burning and hear gadgets grinding.
An array of hardware will materialise with such breadth that at one point
Ian Walker, the skipper, pointed to an implement of some sort and joked, "I
thought it might make a nice table lamp for me after the race". At some
point, the sailing crew might take the Shore Team out gratefully for a
thank you evening, as it did on the last Thursday of July.
And every sailor, if asked, or sometimes without being asked, will extol
the crucial nature of the Shore Team. "The guys on shore are just as
important as the guy sailing the boat," Justin Slatter, the bowman, said.
"All the preparation work we do now, it's 80 to 90 per cent of the battle.
If you can prepare well and have a really nice shore structure, you
increase your chances of making sure everything's right on the boat." --
The National, read on: http://tinyurl.com/The-Nationals-082211
HALL SCR PRODUCT LINE EXPANDS
Hall SCR carbon rigging is up to 70% lighter than metal rod rigging.
Upgrading to Hall SCR is the best way to improve performance, and one of
the easiest. Hall is introducing an SCR retrofit package to replace
conventional stainless rod rigging simply and easily. The system is "plug
and play" with no mast or spreader work required. The SCR retrofit package
will be on display at the Monaco, Genoa, and METS boat shows. Not traveling
to Europe? Watch this space for links to our news. Also coming soon: SCR
Airfoil continuous rigging. http://www.hallspars.com
WALL OF WEALTH TO BLOCK VIEWS
San Francisco has an awkward relationship with extreme wealth. City
politics tilt to the left end of the spectrum, yet such civic treasures as
the Giants' ballpark and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass exist because of private
largesse. The challenge is to accept the benefits but also know when to say
no - as is now the case with the most blatantly elitist aspect of the
America's Cup scheduled for 2013.
If Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison and organizers of the high-profile
regatta get their way, the Embarcadero's widest stretch of open water would
be turned into a parking lot for two dozen spectator yachts at least 100
feet long. The rich and famous would have access to this watery perch not
for a matter of days or weeks, but for the months leading up to and
including the storied regatta.
Nor does the imposition end there. If the basin alongside Rincon Park
requires dredging to accommodate a class of ships where size most
emphatically matters, regatta organizers have the option to turn the basin
into a commercial marina. Today's wide-open views might never return.
America's Cup boosters say spectacle is a big part of the show, and they're
right. But no short-term private event is worth the long-term loss of
irreplaceable portions of our public realm. Read more:
COMMENT: My guess is there are more beloved billionaires in the world than
Larry Ellison. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
THE NEW REALITY THAT IS AC 34
By Kevin Hall, Artemis Racing
Artemis Racing has just finished being a part of a watershed two weeks in
the history of sailboat racing, at the first America's Cup World Series
event in Cascais. I was once-in-a-lifetime fortunate to have a front row
seat at the event, racing on the AC45 in the Camber position. Here are a
few thoughts about what makes this different to everything we've ever done
in our sport, and why I'm thrilled that this is the future of sailing.
I was terrible at ball sports as a kid. Pretty much the last one picked
unless it was the County Science Fair team. So I never got to be a part of
a basketball starting five. Which means I have less experience picking
myself up after bouncing a bad pass or missing a catch in the endzone than
most athletes. But picking yourself up off the tramp, or supporting a
teammate who is running late to get over the spine and under the wing to
the windward daggerboard is exactly what you better be able to do if you
want to succeed in America's Cup World Series racing.
Sure, I've called too much time to kill in a semi-final in a Version 5 boat
and gone on to sail a good race, and I've overstood a few laylines in the
TP52, and sat myself down that night with my notes to figure out what I
missed and how to increase my percentages next time. But none of that was
meanwhile exerting at at 100% of max heart rate, with an average HR over 20
minutes of over 90% of max. And in those races, one little mistake - a half
step shy of a perfect race - is about all you got if you wanted to win.
There was plenty of time to plan ahead and not make them.
The AC45 feels onboard like the last 2 minutes of a basketball game that
has had no subs, with the court bucking under your feet, everyone on the
other team taller than you, and sometimes even the fans themselves between
you and the hoop. There's grease on the ball, the backboard is changing
from spongy to hard and back again, and don't forget the noise of three
helicopters making the oxygen-starved space between your ears feel like the
director's cut of Apocalypse Now. -- Read on:
KEY CONSIDERATIONS FOR LEEWARD GATES
By Steve Hunt, Sailing World magazine
Having followed our advice of last month's installment in this Fundamentals
series ("A Low-Risk Run"), you should be sailing downwind in clear air and
on the headed jibe, approaching the leeward mark with a plan for the next
leg. Now it's time to get around the leeward mark with minimal drama. As
boats converge on the mark, traffic is inevitable, and it's here where you
can make immediate gains or leave a lot of points on the table if you don't
have a clean rounding. It's critical to make a few smart decisions before
you hit traffic.
If the rounding is through a leeward gate, the decision-making process
starts with selecting the gate mark that will allow you to execute your
game plan for the next leg. As you approach the bottom of the run, ask
yourself the following questions: Which side of the course is best for the
next upwind leg? Which gate is closer? And what traffic issues, if any,
will come into play?
The first two questions help you determine which gate is best in the
absence of other boats. The third question considers how the presence of
other boats will affect your ability to execute a nice rounding. Regardless
of which gate is favored, it's often best to avoid congestion and go for
the fastest rounding.
First, pick a side
During the run you should think about where you want to go after the
rounding. I usually consider what happened on the previous beat and how the
run is currently playing out, trying to identify the conditions of the day
and which side will most likely pay. I stick to the basics, mostly
identifying where the most wind is, and which tack will be the long tack
after rounding. I also factor in any influential racecourse features.
Assuming the gate marks are square to the wind, round the mark that sends
you the way you want to go. If you want to go left upwind, for example, you
should round the right-hand gate (looking downwind), and, if you want to go
right upwind, you should round the left-hand gate. If you're unsure which
way to go on the next leg, round the best available gate based on which one
is favored (if they're not perfectly square) or has the least amount of
traffic. Once you've rounded, look at your compass to figure out the lifted
long tack, and get on it. - Read on:
COMMENT: Steve regularly 'walks the walk', this summer as winning tactician
for Bill Hardesty at the 2011 Etchells World Championship.
BLUE IS GREEN! ONLY 12 DAYS LEFT TO SAVE ON A NEW NORTH SAIL
Recycle your old sail and SAVE. From July 1st-September 3, 2011, you can
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sail and download our 'Blue is Green' trade-in voucher*. Present this
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savings. Once your old sail is received, we will also send you a free
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elevate your sailing, now is the time to buy a new North sail and save 20%!
http://www.na.northsails.com/tabid/14313/Default.aspx *Some restrictions
Two Somali men were sentenced Monday to spend the rest of their lives in a
U.S. prison for their roles in the pirating of a yacht that ultimately
resulted in the death of two American couples.
Ali Abdi Mohamed, 30, and Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf, 31, were sentenced to
the life prison terms in federal court in Norfolk after they pleaded guilty
earlier this year to piracy of the S/V Quest vessel off the Somali coast.
"Today's sentences send a message to all those who participate in piracy
that armed attacks on the high seas carry lifelong consequences," U.S.
Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement.
A group of Somali and Yemeni pirates seized the yacht on February 18, and
two went aboard the U.S. guided-missile warship USS Sterett to negotiate a
possible ransom. But shooting broke out on the private yacht and the four
Americans were killed.
The pirates were captured by U.S. military forces and brought to Norfolk
for prosecution. -- Reuters, read on:
IN SUPPORT OF DISABLED SAILING
Newport, RI (August 22, 2011) - Conditions were wet and wild on
Narragansett Bay as the second day of racing got underway at the C. Thomas
Clagett Jr. Memorial Regatta . The ninth edition of the premiere event for
sailors with disabilities has attracted over 60 competitors racing in four
classes of boats: the three-person Sonar, the two-person SKUD-18, the
singlehanded 2.4 Metre and the four-person J/22.
The J/22s wrapped up their series today with a total of nine races to
determine the Sail Newport Blind U.S. National Sailing Championship. The
seven teams, coming from as far away as Texas and California, sail with two
sighted guides assisting the two blind sailors.
The Texas team of Karen Penrose (Shore Acres) and James O'Laughlin (Clear
Lake), with sighted guides David Atkinson and Scott Tuma (both Shore Acres)
are not only at The Clagett for the first time but also taking home the
championship title after a solid effort.
"It's pretty overwhelming since I am a rookie to sailing," said Penrose of
the championship win before explaining that the team only had a few months
to prepare. After making a last-minute decision to enter the regatta, they
were fortunate to arrange to practice in a friend's J/22. "I've only been
sailing for the last couple of years and I was amazed, very happily, that
we ended up doing so well."
Racing for the Paralympic classes concludes tomorrow, Tuesday, August 23,
followed by the awards presentation. -- Full report:
* (August 22, 2011) - A series of environmental circumstances over the past
several days has led to a major algae bloom of the coast of New Jersey.
Satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) show a large bloom of algae stretching much of the 127-mile length
of New Jersey's coastline. The bloom is noted to be nearly 50 miles wide in
some locations and is particularly dense between Barnegat Inlet and Cape
May. Warm water, which the Jersey Shore has experienced for most of the summer,
provides algae with ideal conditions to bloom. -- Full report:
* The first hurricane of the Atlantic season is forecast to begin affecting
South Florida late Thursday night into Friday morning, according to the
National Hurricane Center. The center of Irene will continue to move away
from the north coast of Puerto Rico this morning and approach the northern
coast of the Dominican Republic this afternoon and tonight, according to
the hurricane center. -- Soundings, full story:
* Sailing teams from Australia, Japan, United States, Thailand, Italy,
Spain and Ireland will converge on Schull, Ireland next week to contest the
World Team Racing Championships at both open and youth level. This is the
first World Sailing Event to be hosted by the Fastnet Marine and Outdoor
Education Centre located on the campus of Schull Community College at the
edge of Schull Harbour. -- Details:
* CORRECTION: In the Nantucket Race Week Celebrity Invitational, the third
place Celebrity Tactician was Dee Smith, not Karl Anderson as originally
reported. Karl's team finished sixth. --
J/111 HIT PARADE GOES ON
Designed for speed before ratings, the J/111 is proving slippery on all
courses. In the last month J/111s have won Chicago-Mac (KASHMIR in ORR-3),
Bayview-Mac (NO SURPRISE in IRC-3), and Cowes Week (SHMOKIN JOE in IRC-2).
WICKED even notched 20.5 kts in her last-race win at Buzzards Bay Regatta.
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* From Blue Robinson:
Australian yachting mourns a good mate. Farewell to Australian chopper
pilot Gary Ticehurst, who regularly covered the Sydney-Hobart race race for
the ABC and played a significant role in the rescue of 14 crew members from
stricken yacht Business Post Naiad during the 1998 race. Ticehurst and two
other colleagues were killed when the helicopter they were flying in
crashed near Lake Eyre in South Australia.
In almost 40 years as a chopper pilot, Ticehurst logged more than 16,000
hours of flying time and played a vital role in the search and rescue in
the 1998 race, where he was out spotting boats and relaying their position.
Stephanie Hagger, from marine search and rescue met Ticehurst after the
1998 Hobart and summed up how Gary calmly did his job "I know the cameraman
in the back of the helicopter was getting the shots, but Gary was creating
the shots through the way that he would fly the helicopter, coming in low
over the top of masts, twirling around them, sometimes in high seas even
hovering the helicopter beneath the crest of a wave and then revealing the
yacht behind it when the wave went down."
Gary will be sadly missed by all who knew him. A good fella, with a big
From Scuttlebutt 3410:
Now that the National Football League is back on the field, I've been
wondering about the team names. If the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as
the 'Jags' and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the 'Bucs,' what does
that make the Tennessee Titans?
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