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SCUTTLEBUTT 3468 - Friday, November 11, 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: New England Ropes and The Pirates Lair.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The America's Cup circus is now in San Diego for the third event of the
America's Cup World Series. Cranes and containers, support boats and
stages, and tents...lots of tents, have filled the downtown region for this
high profile entertainment event.
Nine teams will be competing, with some of the established teams looking to
fine tune their program while newer teams seek significant advancement to
ensure their survival. Here is a guide of what to expect from each team:
Team: Artemis Racing (SWE)
This well-funded challenger has rapidly risen to the top of the fleet, but
with new crew onboard in Plymouth, they failed to close out during the late
rounds. This team needs a win, and recent training will insure they are
better prepared for San Diego. If the typically steady winds of San Diego
occur, look for the venue to be a good fit for this hall of fame cast.
Team: Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
The Kiwis return to the site of their America's Cup win in 1995. After two
ACWS events, they lead the overall standings in both fleet and match
racing, but the team stumbled hard in two training events since Plymouth.
Can they find their mojo again in San Diego?
Team: Oracle Racing Coutts (USA)
Four-time America's Cup winner Russel Coutts is stepping off the boat in
San Diego, turning over the helm to double Olympic medalist Darren Bundock
(AUS). Also onboard for his first event is 2010 World Sailor of the Year
Tom Slingsby (AUS) as tactician. Recent AC 45 training in San Francisco
should help this team gel, but they will be tested in San Diego to find
Team: Oracle Racing Spithill (USA)
This event marks a return to where Oracle Racing trained for nearly 13
months in advance of winning the 33rd America's Cup. With significant
experience from that campaign, this team was expected to dominate this
season. They haven't, but with their consistent crew and recent AC45
training in San Francisco, they could have an edge for this homecoming.
Team: Team Korea (KOR)
As the only country with no previous America's Cup experience, Team Korea
has been the absolute spoiler of the season. Led by the youngest skipper in
the field, Chris Draper has pushed aside the seasoned teams with his
refreshing candor on land and his quick study on the race course.
Team: Aleph - Equipe de France (FRA)
Aleph is among the newer teams, and their veteran leadership has helped
them remain competitive during the first two events. But the field is
improving fast, and San Diego will be vital to show they are progressing
too, particularly in the match racing segment. New team members Pierre
Pennec, Christophe Espagnon, and Thierry Fouchier of Group Edmond de
Rothschild, who are second overall in the Extreme Sailing Series, are
joining Aleph in San Diego.
Team: China Team (CHN)
After replacing their skipper following the first event, they come to San
Diego with more stability but without any training since Plymouth. As long
as the wind is not too strong, this team can be push the leaders but may
struggle with consistency. Newly added Kiwis Phil Robertson and Garth
Ellingham of Waka Racing, who as a team is now ranked 9th in the world for
match racing, are joining China Team for San Diego.
Team: Energy Team (FRA)
This new team has shown marked improvement this season, but they arrive
without their veteran skipper Loick Peyron. Alternate helm Yann Guichard
has only one day of competition with the team, but his recent domination of
a training regatta in Spain may allow for 'plug 'n play' success in San
Team: Green Comm Racing (ESP)
Green Comm Racing is long on proven champions but short on catamaran course
racing. This was exemplified in Plymouth when they caused a multi-boat
collision in the strong winds. Look for more bedlam if it's windy, but this
team should scare the favorites if the winds stay steady and moderate.
Here are tips for spectating: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-SD-tips
RIG IS OUT... NOW WHAT?
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WILL CLASSIC COURSE SURVIVE THE WEEKEND?
(November 10, 2011; Day 6) - Will Groupama's coastal gamble pay off? The
next 24 hours will tell, as the French team and the huge lead they have
accumulated close to the west African shore come under threat from a new
weather system and three rivals (Telefonica, PUMA, and Camper) sick of
taking losses in the windless west.
A bold move from skipper Franck Cammas? The Frenchman says not, he was
expecting the other boats to go the same way when he made his call inside
the first two days of Leg 1. But whatever the motivation - and a team
choosing Highway to Hell as their anthem might be expected to take a few
risks - the only significant question now is whether it was a wise one.
"Ours is a classic course in terms of trajectory," explained Cammas,
"because hunting down the tradewinds isn't usually a risky move, unless
they disappear or fade, which seems to be the case at the moment. For the
time being, we've had a good crack at what we wanted to do because we're
ahead of our routing, though we do have a doubt about tomorrow, Friday, and
the arrival of a front which could snuff out the tradewinds. We're going to
have to try to make headway to the West by finding a vein of air to slip
While it's a case of so far so good for Cammas, leading the first French
entry in the race for 18 years, weather forecasts point to a new low
pressure weather system that could come in to destroy the trade winds to
The nightmare scenario for Groupama is to see their three main rivals to
the west starting to exploit the new system from Friday afternoon. By the
following day, the trio could be hitting boat speeds of 18 knots in the
pure trade winds, eating into the lead of a French team whose current speed
is around 14 knots.
"It was not our choice to go alone," Cammas said. "Of course the
Anglo-Saxons would say that the French boat went for the lonely path, but
really that wasn't our choice.
Ian Walker's team resumed Leg 1 officially at 0216 UTC on Thursday after
returning to the point to the point where they were forced to suspend
racing when their mast snapped in horrific conditions on Saturday, just six
hours into the race. Sailing with a new mast, and with no more replacements
in the locker, means the team will take a cautious approach.
"It is not normal practice to step a new mast and set off in the dark and
straight offshore - new masts can sometimes take days to tune up but we
don't have that time," Walker said. "Right now we are taking it one step at
a time. We will not sail fully loaded tonight until we can check everything
in daylight. Just like falling off a horse it takes time to regain your
confidence but you simply have to get back on it as soon as you can." --
Sources: Race media and Groupama
Standings as of Thursday, 10 November 2011, 22:06:00 UTC
1. Groupama Sailing Team, 5392.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Telefonica, 182.20 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG, 185.40 nm DTL
4. CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ, 245.10 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 932.50 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya - Retired, hull damage
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
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. -
PUMA UNVEILS NEW SPEEDO
Until this summer, the crew of Puma's Volvo Open 70 Mar Mostro measured its
boat speed the same way every other craft in the Volvo Ocean Race still
does: poorly. With no engine to tap for output data, crews have had to rely
on a paddle wheel, an underwater device that yields approximate velocity
through the water based on the force of the water flow. The technology is
rudimentary, and the results it produces are accordingly unreliable.
Since speed information is vital to accurately navigate and adjust to
weather conditions, it's understandable that teams wanted a more precise
alternative. As it revealed this week, Puma Ocean Racing has one: the
Doppler Velocity Log, a sonar-based system that effectively slaps a
precision speedometer on their figurative dashboard.
It's almost incomprehensible that in a sport with as many big money
practitioners as yacht racing, something as critical as a trustworthy speed
gauge remained elusive for so long. "The paddle wheel did produce a boat
speed, but it wasn't precise," explains DLV project manager Robert Hopkins.
"Readings were affected by the distorted flow of water as it came off the
boat's submerged appendages, and at times part of the boat is out of the
water and the speed doesn't register at all. We came away with a lot of bad
The paddle wheel also couldn't help measure leeway, or the sideways force
acting on a boat as it moves forward. The Volvo Open 70 class of yacht has
a system of underwater daggerboards and keels that allow for compensation
against unintended drift, but to maximize efficiency a crew needs to know
how much adjustment is needed.
"When there's not a lot of side force motion, we can reduce drag by pulling
out appendages," says Puma skipper Ken Read. "But there was never a way to
properly determine that." During the Ocean Race's ten sprint-like in-port
competitions, fine tweaks don't have much impact. But when sailing 6,500
miles, an accumulation of small gains can translate into crucial wins.
Puma partnered with Norwegian-based oceanographic lab Nortek to create the
new instrument. After eighteen months of development and four prototypes,
they came away with the DLV, a sleek, circular device embedded in the keel
bulb meters beneath the boat. It emits four beams, one in each direction,
that bounce off matter in the water - Nortek designed it to reflect off
plankton - and, based on positional change, accurately depict the path and
rate of the boat's movement. -- Wired, full report:
ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP
Melbourne, Australia (November 10, 2011) - After most racing was cancelled
Wednesday because of strong winds, the competitors at the ISAF Sailing
World Cup at Sail Melbourne were pleased to see more moderate westerlies
blowing onto the shore at Sandringham Yacht Club Thursday morning. Although
the breeze fluctuated in strength and direction, the race committee was
able to sail additional heats to be almost back on schedule by the evening.
Top North Americans from the USA are Stu McNay/ Graham Biehl (1st - Mens
470) and Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan (3rd - Womens 470) and Canadians Zac
Plavsic (1st - RS:X Men) and Lee Parkhill (4th - Laser Men). The wind
forecast for Friday is for a return to very light winds, with the
possibility of racing unknown in the 4-5 knots that are predicted to
prevail. -- Full report: http://www.sailing.org/37379.php
BECAUSE EMAIL IS JUST TOO SLOW!
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* Ft. Walton Beach, FL (November 10, 2011) - Racing at the 2011 Hobie 16 &
Hobie 20 North American Championships was cancelled today due to cold
temperatures and high winds. Conditions are expected to moderate Friday for
the final day of the competition. Full Results:
* (November 10, 2011) - James 'Ding' Schoonmaker (USA) today received the
2011 ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy - which honours an individual for their
outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing. ISAF President Goran
Petersson presented the trophy, which was first awarded in 1988 in memory
of Beppe Croce, the ISAF President from 1969-1986, to Schoomaker at the
2011 ISAF Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. -- Read on:
* San Juan, Puerto Rico (November 10, 2011) - ISAF President Goran
Petersson delivered the President's Report earlier to the ISAF Council
members during their first day of meetings at the 2011 ISAF Annual
Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Read the full transcript of the
President's Report here: http://www.sailing.org/37380.php
* The twenty-fifth edition of Key West Race Week is already showing strong
international programs and top-tier competition for Quantum Key West 2012
(Jan. 15-20). New designs include an R/P IRC 52, a J/V IRC 52, the Farr
400, a McConaghy 38 and a Carkeek HPR 40. The IRC 52 class has critical
mass, and the Melges 24 and 32, J/80, and Farr 30 one design classes are
building a strong foundation. The J/111, a new design that won PHRF 1 in
2011, has four entered in the J/Boat handicap class - a new feature for
2012. -- Full report:
* In Sailing World's College Rankings as of November 10, 201, Yale retains
the top spot in both the coed and women's rankings. Charleston and
Georgetown round out the coed top three while Rhode Island moves up to
third behind Connecticut College in the women's rankings. -- Full rankings:
* Strictly Sail Pacific returns to Jack London Square, Oakland, CA from
April 12-15, 2012. The Show will have an improved show layout, a new
exhibit hall, more special events, an expanded seminar program, and
attractions and special events leading up to the America's Cup. Details
DON'T LET 11-11-11 FREAK YOU OUT
Scuttlebutt friends on Facebook will see that 11-11-11 can be a good thing.
Some might even call it the 'Deal of the Decade'. So here's the question...
What Scuttlebutt advertiser is celebrating their first decade of existence,
and will be marking down every product on November 11th for one day only?
Be a friend of Scuttlebutt on Facebook and find out on Friday:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include summer memories, San Diego circus tricks, photo magic, snow capped
sailing, short handed surfing, and college keelboat racing. Here are this
week's photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/11/1111/
BONUS: Esteemed photographer Daniel Forster shares with us the imagery of
Asia from the 2011 China Cup International Regatta:
BONUS: The best sailing in the U.S. in the winter is in southern Florida,
and it is no coincidence that some of the best youth sailors are coming
from there too. Local shooter John Payne provides photos and report from
the Lauderdale Yacht Club Trophy, where seventy-nine of the top Opti
sailors from all over the country took part in this team race event. -
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
As a vocal advocate of teaching kids how to sail, Kame Richards, owner of
Pineapple Sails in the San Francisco Bay area, knows that many children
aren't able to take advantage of learn to sail programs, even if they're
free. Transportation to and from the venue is just one obstacle, but most
such programs also require the kids to know how to swim - and many
low-income kids have never had the opportunity to learn.
So instead of forcing the kids to come to the boats, Kame and his cohort in
creativity, Brent Drainey, have devised a way to take the boats to the
kids. Kame and Brent developed this prototype using an old El Toro pram and
converting it into a 'land sailer'. Check out this video by Vince Casalaina
of Brent's son Jeff testing out the prototype:
BONUS: This week on Episode 16 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we meet the
America's Cup design agency, Designwerk, who is responsible for the look
and feel of the America's Cup on TV. The agency was tasked with capturing
the new extreme sports look on screen, as well as creating the opening
title sequence for use in live TV events, including AC Uncovered. If San
Francisco Bay provides the perfect conditions for sailing on the edge, the
city's infamous streets offer the ideal combination of gradient and gravity
for Freeboarding, which is like snowboarding on city streets for adrenaline
Extreme sports are a part of the culture in San Francisco. Bay Area
resident and newly crowned Kiteboard World Champion Johnny Heineken
recently had the chance to ride side by side with ORACLE Racing while they
were training off the shores of the city front. Then we get the latest crew
news from each of the America's Cup teams as they prep for racing to start
at the America's Cup World Series San Diego. Tune in on Saturday 12
November approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
BONUS: World on Water Week 45, Nov 11.11 features reports on the decimated
fleet in the Transat Jacques Vabre, the carnage on a third of the Volvo
Ocean Race fleet, the start of Leg 5 of the Clipper Race from Geraldton
Australia to Tauranga, New Zealand, the announcement of the Australian
Sailor of the year, the action at the 22nd Marmaris International Raceweek
in Turkey and in our regular "action" segment "Fresh to Frightening"
there's P1 Powerboat action. See this week's show Friday on www.boatson.tv
approx 1200 GMT, 0700 EST.
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 Kitty Eaton:
Jeanne Raaphorst of Ft. Lauderdale died last week in France of lung cancer.
She was a guiding force in the crew placement industry in the 90's, being
the best part of Crew Finders until 1990, when she joined Hassel Free Inc.
She remained at Hassel Free through the change of ownership in 1996, until
just before the doors closed on the business in 2000. Because of Jeanne's
fluency in French and strong background in sailing and travel she was a
boon to captains and crew alike. I relied on her diligence and enthusiasm
to keep Hassel Free functioning steadily year 'round. Jeanne's sister is
planning a memorial gathering in January in Ft. Lauderdale.
* From Wes Oliver:
Congratulations to Navy for their convincing win in the Kennedy Cup.
Congratulations, too, to University of Michigan for their showing. The only
non-coached club team in the regatta and one of only three non Maritime
Service Academies in the regatta. GO BLUE!
* From Tim Patterson:
I hope that I am one of many who found Cory's words (in Scuttlebutt 3465)
to be very helpful in the past to understand the machinations of the legal
world. Knowing Scuttlebutt's dedication to the sailing community not only
in the USA but around the world, I read everything with an eye toward
learning. I try not to insert my bias when reading, but often I am unable
to do that as well as you are able to present so many different views with
The Mr. Bean Guide to Fun in an Elevator: Drop a pen and wait until someone
reaches to help pick it up, then scream, "That's mine!"
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Doyle Sails - Team One Newport - Harken - Summit Yachts - North Sails
New England Ropes - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - LaserPerformance
Ultimate Sailing - Ullman Sails - Camet - The Pirates Lair
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers