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SCUTTLEBUTT 3467 - Thursday, November 10, 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: Ultimate Sailing and Ullman Sails.
2011 ISAF ROLEX WORLD SAILORS OF THE YEAR
The highly anticipated announcement of the recipients of the ISAF Rolex
World Sailor of the Year Awards was made Tuesday 8 November, in a ceremony
in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The winners, selected from an impressive and
star-studded gathering of nominees, were Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), who
claimed the female award for the second time, and the two-man crew of Iker
Martinez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP), awarded the male prize.
Second success for Tunnicliffe
Anna Tunnicliffe has become only the third female nominee in the 18-year
history of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards to be awarded the
honour for a second time, following in the footsteps of Ellen MacArthur
(GBR) in 2001 and 2005 as well as Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
in 2002 and 2004. Tunnicliffe's triumph arrives on the back of another year
of achievement in which she became the ISAF Sailing World Cup champion in
Women's Match Racing.
It marks only the third time an American female has won the Award since its
inception in 1994, although each victory has come in the past six years,
marking a significant shift following a period of dominance by European
athletes. Tunnicliffe claimed the honour for the first time two years ago
in Busan, South Korea, following in the footsteps of her great rival Paige
Railey, the first United States female to receive the Award back in 2006.
Joy at last for Spanish pair
It is a case of third time lucky for Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez.
The world's greatest sailing duo have twice been nominated for the ISAF
Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. In 2002, they missed out to
three-time winner Ben Ainslie, before Brazilian Robert Scheidt took the
plaudits in 2004. Eleven years on from their first nomination, these
sailing legends may now, deservedly, see their name inscribed in the list
of the sport's greats. It is the second time a Spanish crew has won the
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award following Tornado World Champions
Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz back in 2005.
The Spanish duo were unable to attend the Award ceremony as, fittingly,
they are currently at sea competing for Team Telefonica in the first leg of
the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.
Through a video feed recorded on the Team Telefonica boat, the pair
confirmed that they will be celebrating this prestigious achievement
despite the immediate distractions of an ocean race, commenting, "The Award
is recognition for all the sacrifices and hard work not only throughout the
last 12 months, but also during the last 12 years. It's a prize for our
families, who have been suffering because of our absences for such a long
time without complaining. This is for them."
Full report: http://www.sailing.org/worldsailor/37372.php
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ON THE RACETRACK
(November 9, 2011; Day 5) - It is clear that this is not your usual first
leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. In fact, Stu Bannatyne (NZL) co-skipper of
CAMPER says, "The traditional first half of the first leg of this race is
nothing like we are experiencing now." Having done this race five times
previously, Bannatyne would have a good idea of what 'normal' is, and it
seems that the weather the fleet is contending with is anything but.
Still alone offshore of Agadir, Groupama 4 is benefiting from a gentle
downwind breeze of barely ten knots trickling down from the North. However,
the situation is set to improve the further down the coast of Morocco they
get, becoming more favourable once they reach the Canaries, at around noon
on Thursday if all goes to plan. To the North of Madeira, their three
rivals are upwind sailing at quite a lick but they're at 60 degrees to the
direct route towards the equator.
On the one side then, you have a French yacht, heading down the Moroccan
coast all alone. On the other, you have three VO 70s sailing in contact
with each other to the North of Madeira. The upshot of this is a lateral
separation stretching some 350 miles!
A veritable gulf has opened up between them then after just four days at
sea and 750 miles on the clock since setting out from Alicante last
Saturday. Most significantly of all though, conditions are radically
different, as the one boat is sailing in light downwind airs whilst the
group are contending with steadier headwinds. So what's happened?
On exiting the Strait of Gibraltar, a ridge of high pressure has filled in
the `void' left between the depression which shook the VO 70s up in the
Alboran Sea, and a vast disturbed zone which is stagnating off Ireland and
is set to be reactivated by a secondary depression to the North of the
Azores. As such a long yet narrow band of high pressure is making the
transition between these two weather systems, stretching virtually right
the way across from Sicily to the area surrounding the West Indies!
Franck Cammas and his men decided very early on to slip along the Moroccan
coast and crawl down the length of the southern edge of this ridge of high
pressure, whilst the other three competitors opted to link onto the fronts
associated with the Atlantic low by trucking down the northern edge of this
band of high pressure. Between the two, in the area to the North of the
Canaries, calm reigns.
Though it's unusual in an event like the Volvo Ocean Race to break away
from the bulk of the fleet (especially from the second day out!), Franck
Cammas and his crew are certainly stamping their cultural differences on
the racetrack. Indeed, on a round the world, and particularly so on this
Atlantic stage which the French are very familiar with (Transat Jacques
Vabre, Jules Verne Trophy...), tactics are always secondary to strategy! --
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/Groupama-110911
Standings as of Wednesday, 09 November 2011, 22:01:48 UTC
1. Groupama Sailing Team, 5652.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Telefonica, 21.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG, 22.2 nm DTL
4. CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ, 105.0 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, ? DTL
6. Team Sanya - Retired, hull damage
Video report: http://youtu.be/R51Sg6Nq2xA
PIT ROW: Here are updates from November 9th:
* After breaking their mast just six hours after the start on November 5th,
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing departed Alicante tonight, sailing cautiously to the
location of her dismasting where she will resume racing. With the hull
repair completed, the team stepped their replacement spar after they
conducted a final ultrasound test to ensure the mast was safe. Abu Dhabi
has a chance to close the gap as the fleet is sailing in unusually light
winds since entering the Atlantic. -- Full report:
* After enduring hull damage within the first day of racing, Team Sanya has
confirmed that their VO 70 will board a Maersk Line ship in Gibraltar and
depart on Sunday evening or Monday morning for Cape Town. The boat is
expected to arrive in Cape Town around November 27 or 28 where a newly
constructed replacement bow section will be fitted in a rebuild operation
that will take place around the clock. The team will have to achieve what
is typically a two to three week rebuilt in just one week in order to meet
the leg start deadline. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/TS-110911
BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012,
six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles of the world's
most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around
Cape Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient. Teams accumulate points
through nine distance legs and ten In-Port races. -
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YES AND NO
The million dollar question leading up to the America's Cup World Series in
San Diego has been whether the races can be watched by spectator boats. The
answer, according to the information titled 'Course Marshal Instructions
for Spectator Boats', is clearly yes and no.
Jeff Brown, director with the event host Sailing Events Association San
Diego, shares that people are welcome to join and watch the racing from the
water, but the extreme nature of the AC45 catamarans requires speed limits
and exclusion zones. And given the layout of the bay, at times these zones
include the entire bay.
In reality the entire area will never be used and the length and location
of the race course depends on wind direction and strength. Once the Race
Committee feels confident in wind direction and course configuration the
Stake Boats will move in closer to actual race course. That will be the
green light for spectator boats to move in as well, but expect a buffer
between the edge of the course and the edge of the spectator limit.
Full details here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/1109/
UPDATE: A hot tip for spectators will be to tune into the live streaming
broadcast on their iOS mobile devices. Other hot tips here:
ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP
Melbourne, Australia (November 9, 2011) - Heavy winds have brought day
three of Sail Melbourne, the opening round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup,
to a premature end, with gusts above 30 knots recorded on Port Phillip Bay.
After light winds kept sailors on shore for much of Tuesday it was the
complete opposite on Wednesday, with the conditions testing those crews
that did go racing. The 470 classes, along with the Paralympic crews
managed to complete one race while the RS:X got in two before the breeze
Top North Americans from the USA are Stu McNay/ Graham Biehl (2nd - Mens
470) and Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan (3rd - Womens 470) and Canadians Zac
Plavsic (1st - RS:X Men) and Lee Parkhill (4th - Laser Men). Day three may
test the crews even further if the threatened thunderstorms and 20 to 30
knot winds eventuate. -- Full report:
COLLEGE BIG BOAT NATIONALS
Eight midshipmen from the Naval Academy's Varsity Offshore Sailing Team won
the prestigious John F. Kennedy Cup Regatta, a national sailing
championship that took place Nov. 4-6 in Annapolis, Md.
The Kennedy Cup is a three day, 10-race series regatta against the best
intercollegiate big boat squads in the nation. This year's competitors
included Navy, the University of Michigan, the California Maritime Academy,
SUNY Maritime, the Coast Guard Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the
Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, St. Mary's College, Maine Maritime
Academy and the U.S. Military Academy.
The Midshipmen crew included skipper/tactician Dillon Rossiter, helmsman
Chris Paulson, main trim Eric More, upwind trim Ben Rowe, downwind trim
Phil Reynolds, pit Jon Driesslein, mast Schyler Widman and bow Adam
Albrecht. The event qualified Navy to represent the USA in next year's
Student Yachting World Cup, an event endorsed by ISAF title as the Student
Yachting World Championship. -- Full report:
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INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* Glow in the dark rope
* Coastal Wreaths Help Restore The Oceans
* Mackay Boats now building the International 420
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
* Ft. Walton Beach, FL (November 9, 2011) - Very light winds combined with
large waves created challenging sailing for the third day of the Hobie 16 &
Hobie 20 North American Championships. Three races were completed.
Francisco Figueroa/Jolliam Berrios (PUR) dominated in these conditions with
three bullets in the Hobie 16 class, while Kevin Smith/Rundell Curtis (USA)
continues to lead in the Hobie 20 class. A strong cold front is expected to
cross the area tonight dropping temperatures and strong winds are forecast
for Thursday. Racing continues through Friday. Full Results
* A wet and windy forecast will greet the 78 sailors who are competing in
the 2011 Optimist Bermuda Open and National Championships on November
11-13. The effects of Tropical Storm Sean could deliver southerly winds in
excess of 30 knots on Friday. Thirty-eight visiting sailors from the USA,
Canada, Dominican Republic and Europe will be joining the local sailors to
create the record fleet. Included in the entry list is the US Team Trial
Champion along with the National Champions from Finland and the Dominican
Republic. -- Full report:
* Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi (TX) suspended five searches in October
suspected of being hoaxes. Under federal law, knowingly and willfully
making a false distress call is a felony. Even if a child makes the
distress call, the parents are ultimately responsible. The maximum penalty
for making hoax distress calls is five to 10 years in prison, a $5,000
civil fine, a $250,000 criminal fine and reimbursement to the Coast Guard
for the costs incurred responding to the false call. -- Full report:
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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 Caleb Paine, USTAG team member:
If you do not have the good fortune to be born wealthy (as most of us are
so situated), and you are obsessed with an Olympic dream, you need support
from the sailing community. This past Tuesday night at a fundraiser at
Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego, I was privileged to see how
supportive the community can be.
John Craig (PRO for all of the Americas Cup events) and Terry Hutchinson
(Skipper of the AC45 Artemis) surely have a good many things to do as they
prepare for the racing later this week, but both were amazing and gave
their valuable time to make presentations at the event, and Artemis Racing
contributed a once in a lifetime chance to be the 6th man for Sunday's
Bill and Jackie Kreysler made the event possible and Jana Odou promoted and
looked after the details. Many businesses, yacht clubs, and members of the
media were willing to promote the event. Sailors from all levels (Catalina
22's to AC45's) and from a multitude of yacht clubs attended. I wanted to
take a moment to reflect on the kindness and support that exists on all
levels in our 'village' of sailing, and to express my gratitude to all
those who allow me to be a part of it.
It does take a village, and sailing has some pretty cool villagers.
* From Craig K Yandow:
Concerning the criticism of the two boats being damaged so early in the
Volvo Ocean Race, sailors have been going around the world in fragile
vessels for centuries. Making it there and back isn't about having a boat
that can't be broken. It is about exercising good judgment to keep the boat
you are sailing sound.
Every vessel has limits. I recall following the CO and Engineering Officer
around the deck of a Destroyer in a typhoon as they measured the ships flex
and then watching them back off the throttles to stay within the design
limits. We had already turned into the seas after the roll got too close to
*From Bruce Thompson:
Amongst all the bloviating about the WingNuts report, I'd like to interject
a few facts. Below I include a link to the 1997 LMSRF Area III
Modifications to the 1996-97 O.R.C. Special Regulations. Pay particular
attention to the two issues at the bottom of the page, Man-Overboard and
Vangs, Preventers and Topping Lifts!
At the time I was the Safety Committee Chairman of the LMSRF Area III Race
Management Committee and wrote that page. These are the variations adopted
to localize the ORC Regs to the Chicago/Great Lakes for a racing series
that was mostly held in daylight, near shore (i.e. Category 4).
We modified the regs so as to preculde the possibility that any owner
making a good faith effort to comply could be protested out of a race by a
competitor on some chickenbleep issue, such as having his store bought
heaving line being 2 feet too short (48 feet instead of 50 feet) and 3/16"
in diameter instead of 1/4".
These modifications stood me in good stead on the day I was PRO when a
non-conforming competitor fell overboard and subsequently died, although we
were successful in rescuing his fellow crew member who jumped overboard in
2-4 foot seas to save him.
* From Ken Katz:
I write to not merely defend Cory Friedman's piece in Scuttlebutt 3465 on
principle. When I went to the web to find a picture (of the Bethwaite
Trapeze Harness that Cory described), I found the motivation for Julian
Bethwaite's innovation haunting in the truest sense of that word. Here are
Julian's words from 2002:
"Five years ago, I flew into Helsinki, Finland for a meeting which
coincided with the running of the 49er European Championship. On my arrival
at the airport, I was met by an utterly distraught young woman named Lotta.
We drove straight to the hospital to find my friend, Magnus, on oxygen.
Miraculously, he was OK given the ordeal he had just been through.
"Lotta and Magnus had been sailing my boat in the European's; the wind was
very fluky but they were having fun. One particular gust seemed to
disappear but then hit them unexpectedly. After almost rolling to windward
and re-gaining their footing, they capsized to leeward. Lotta was thrown
beyond the jib and Magnus found himself lying across the shrouds.
Apparently they laughed a bit about it as the boat did what most boats do
when there is a large weight on the shrouds and started to 'turn turtle'.
This was nothing out of the ordinary but what neither of them knew was that
Magnus's hook was around the shrouds and as the boat rolled very slowly,
the hook slid down the wire until it was too late. Magnus could not get
un-hooked and was pulled under the water." -- Read on:
COMMENT: I spoke with Julian Bethwaite on Tuesday as he attended the ISAF
Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico. As a former champion in the 18-footer class,
and the skiff designer of the 49er, 29er and 29erXX, Julian had many
enlightening observations about harnesses. Look for his comments soon in
Scuttlebutt. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
New Old Sayings: You can't teach a new mouse old clicks.
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