SCUTTLEBUTT 3469 - Monday, November 14, 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 and APS.
TEAMS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TRIAL RUN
(November 13, 2011) -The nine teams that came to compete in the America's
Cup World Series - San Diego got their first taste of the Southern
California venue this weekend during the opening fleet races of the Port
Cities Challenge. And they learned how different two days can be.
Rain marked the first day, with the surprisingly strong storm's accumulation
in one day amounting to over an inch more than the region averages in the
month of November. With fickle winds drifting off the downtown skyline,
success was a test of patience and persistence. Emirates Team New Zealand
and Artemis Racing led the day after two races.
Chamber of Commerce conditions saved the series on Sunday, with 6-10 knot
westerlies and bright sunny skies providing a fair test for four races. The
Dean Barker led Kiwi team continued to pace the field, only slipping out of
the top two once on day two to take the title. America's Cup winning skipper
Jimmy Spithill rallied his Oracle Racing team with all top five scores to
pull up to second overall.
With the exception of America's Cup defender Oracle Racing, which has two
AC45s in San Francisco for practice, the rest of the field can only gain
training time in these wing-sailed catamarans during ACWS events. With no
racing scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, teams are desperate to catch up on
Racing for the ACWS begins Wednesday with the San Diego Match Racing
Championship, where three seeding fleet races are scheduled, followed by two
Speed Trial runs.
Final Results: http://www.americascup.com/en/Results/
ACWS Schedule: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-111311
Spectating tips: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-SD-tips
WELCOME TO THE AMERICA'S CUP 2.0
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
The forecast was for big wind, or at least big for San Diego, for my 'ride
along' on the Artemis Racing AC45. But instead it was one of those "it's
never like this days". If it was a local regatta, nobody would have left the
couch. But this was the America's Cup World Series, where people are paid to
perform. And I had the only front row seat to the show.
"So who was it that thought San Diego was going to be a great idea?"
Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson was having one of those moments. We
had begun the race strong, chasing only Oracle Racing's Jimmy Spithill for
most of the race. But then came a leeward gate where we zigged instead of
zagged, bleeding further along the upwind leg, and then were greeted with
complete calm at the weather mark. We were now second to last when
Hutchinson made his comment.
San Diego was having one of those moments too. A hovering front had brought
steady rain and an easterly breeze. Both are not common, but it was November
. the gateway for random winter winds. And the winds, not much by any
standard, were streaming straight from downtown. The weather mark we sat
beside was under the spectator pier. Fan friendly yes, but not wind
friendly. Welcome to stadium sailing.
While f-bombs would have littered the language from most of us, Hutchinson
offered something else. Either prophetic or completely delusional, he
announced to the crew, "Guys, we're on the verge of a huge comeback." I
thought it was just something you told the troops when you knew you were
screwed, but didn't want them to give in yet. The fleet was sailing on, and
we were sculling around the mark.
I saw very little to feel good about, but the team carried on. Like firemen
losing ground on the flames, their persistence was the mark of
professionals. And anyway, we were sailing the AC45, where a few knots of
wind difference creates big differences in speed. These boats can provide
hope to the hopeless.
Our suffering was nearing the end, with the final upwind leg ahead. The
fleet was lined up like ducks, assuming their place. But rather than get in
the line, aiming near the mark, we pointed elsewhere. Ahead I saw the Louis
Vuitton VIP boat and the patrons of the Island Prime restaurant. At the time
I would have preferred either to my perch, but tactician Iain Percy saw
something better.the kind of puff only an Olympic gold medalist can see. And
then it came.
I have heard that bad luck happens only to bad teams. Perhaps the opposite
is true too. We tacked in the puff, and rode the elevator straight to the
penthouse. Now rounding the same mark where Hutchinson had just moments
earlier questioned the venue selection, he was laughing out loud. A short
sprint later we finished first with the checkered flag flying.
It was the kind of rally that would have commentators screaming. Welcome to
the America's Cup 2.0, where no lead is safe and comebacks are just one
random puff away.
IT'S ALL HAPPENING AT HALL
As the Hall-rigged Puma powers toward Cape Town in the Volvo Race, the team
at Hall is cheering them on while we create innovative spars for the marquee
teams of 2012. The IRC52 Interlodge, with its Hall spar and SCR Continuous
Airfoil rigging, will compete at Key West; the JV72 Bella Mente will step
their Hall spar in the spring. The Wally 164 mast at 67.5m is dominating the
shop floor. And there's a lot more going on in our three factories; friend
us on Facebook and visit our website for more news. http://www.hallspars.com
PUMA IN CONTROL APPROACHING DOLDRUMS
(November 13, 2011; Day 9) - After continuing their charge south in good
winds and at high speeds, Ken Read's crew on PUMA Ocean Racing powered by
BERG have taken the lead in the 6,500 nautical mile first leg of the Volvo
Ocean Race 2011-12 to Cape Town, South Africa.
The tables finally began to turn on Saturday after five days of watching
helplessly as Groupama extended its lead. At its largest, the distance
between Groupama and the chasing fleet was almost 700 nautical miles. But,
finally able to sail a straight line towards the Leg 1 turning mark at
Fernando de Noronha off the Brazilian coast, the teams were yesterday
hitting speeds of up to 25 knots to finally start to claw back miles.
Averaging around 22 -knots in the fresh conditions, PUMA blew past Franck
Cammas' Groupama sailing team last night. Groupama held on to third place
for a while, but with the French crew drifting along at less than five-knots
for long periods, they were soon overtaken by Chris Nicholson's CAMPER with
Emirates Team New Zealand who had been averaging over 15-knots.
PUMA Media Crew Member Amory Ross remained cautious about leading the fleet
into the capricious Doldrums, "It's a dangerous game being the lead dog as
we're the ones to encounter new weather first. Unfortunately in this case
that new weather is what we all call the Doldrums and it's a land of fickle
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing retired from Leg 1 on Friday having
returned to racing early on Thursday following their dismasting on the first
night. The team is sailing to Lisbon, Portugal, where Azzam will then be
shipped to Cape Town to arrive around November 28. The decision will give
the team suitable time to ensure the boat and the team are 100 percent ready
for the Cape Town In-Port Race on December 10.-- Sources: Race media
Standings as of Sunday, November 13, 2011, 22.08.06 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG, 4475.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Telefonica, 11.80 nm Distance to Lead
3. CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ, 146.20 nm DTL
4. Groupama, 249.60 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - Retired from Leg 1
6. Team Sanya - Retired from Leg 1
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. - http://www.volvooceanrace.com
ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP
Melbourne, Australia (November 12, 2011) - Australians dominated the medal
races at Sail Melbourne, finishing with four gold medals and winning six of
the medal races in perfect conditions at the end of the first round of the
ISAF World Cup for 2011/12. Although the winds were light when the first
medal race got underway shortly after noon, it built steadily during the
afternoon to provide exciting racing.
Top North Americans from the USA are Stu McNay/ Graham Biehl who took gold
in the Mens 470. World champions Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page knew they had
a lot of work to do, going into the medal round in third place and needing
to put five places between themselves and the leading Americans.
From the first beat to windward, it was obvious that the champions meant
business, streaking to an early lead and extending on every run. Early in
the race McNay and Biehl looked to be in some trouble, rounding in 4th place
and with the Japanese boat right on their tails. But in a bold move, instead
of following Belcher and Page up the left -hand side in the final work, they
took a risk and went right - and it paid off. They crossed in second place,
to take gold comfortably.
"Stu saw a lot of chop and bad air from the motor boats out to the left, so
we tacked out and got clear air," Graham Biehl explained.
Americans Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan finished 3rd - Womens 470, Canadians Zac
Plavsic 3rd - RS:X Men and Lee Parkhill 4th - Laser Men. Although many of
the world's best missed this year's Sail Melbourne because they were
travelling directly to Perth, there were still quality fields in all events.
-- Full story: http://www.sailing.org/37386.php
BARKOW TAKES US WOMEN'S MATCH RACING CHAMPIONSHIP
New Orleans, LA. (November 13, 2011) - The 2011 edition of the U.S. Women's
Match Racing Championship, hosted by Southern Yacht Club, came down to a
thrilling finish in Sunday's final series. In a rematch of last year's
Championship round, skipper Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) defeated defending
two-time Champion Genny Tulloch (Sausalito, Calif./Houston, Texas) in the
fifth and final race for a 3-2 win and her third Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy,
second as a skipper. Teams raced in J/22 boats this week on Lake
Tulloch had a lead at the start of the decisive fifth match. However, they
incorrectly rounded the first upwind windward mark and never recovered.
Tulloch came from behind in the final series twice after trailing 1-0 and
"We had a great final series with Genny in tough conditions and really
shifty winds," said Barkow. "We like having great matches with her team.
Unfortunately, she didn't see the change of course at the entry."
Barkow, the #3 ISAF ranked women's match racer in the world, was 19-3
overall this week. Tulloch, ranked #11 by ISAF, was 16-6. -- Full story:
BACIO WINS AUDI MELGES 20 NATIONALS FOR SECOND TIME
Miami, FL (November 13, 2011) - The eight-race 2011 U.S. National
Championship, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club, has completed leaving
Michael Kiss on Bacio, along with crew tactician Chris Rast and Jamie
Kimball as winners. Kiss' score line included an impressive four bullets and
a race to spare. "I really didn't think we'd be able to do it," said Kiss.
"But, we did. It was really great and a lot of fun." This win makes Kiss a
back-to-back U.S. National Champion.
In second overall was Marcus Eagan on Cajun Underwriting with an incredible
performance on his first time out in the fleet, beating third place finisher
Travis Weisleder on Layline.com/Gill Race Team by 15 points.
Sunday, the final day of racing rounded out three days of the same
spectacular conditions as days past. A nice, pleasant breeze fluctuating
from 12-18 knots under gorgeous sunshine was the perfect complement to
Biscayne Bay's flat water. The final two races went to Chuck Holzman on
Flyer, who hammered the fleet with speed as his next closest contention was
Eagan, placing second in both races. Nathan Hollerbach on FU had an amazing
last race finishing third. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/7tmx6kc
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SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
* (November 10, 2011) - The Chicago Yacht Club appointed Lou Sandoval to be
chairman of the 104th and 105th Chicago Yacht Club Races to Mackinac. In
keeping with tradition, the announcement of the changeover was made at the
Awards Ceremony on November 5. Sandoval previously served as vice-chairman
of the 103rd running of the race. He is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club,
has served on the committee for the past seven years and has completed in
twelve races with great success on his boat Karma, winning his section six
out of the eight past years. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/7wbve3u
* Weather Flow, a leader in precision wind information, is providing
precision meteorologist forecasts for the America's Cup World Series races
in San Diego. Weather Flow's newest wind product, Wind Alert precision
forecasts as well as Weather Flow's high resolution WRAMS 250m forecast
model, are available to the public for free. For additional interface
features including premium weather station data, nautical charts, high
resolution radar, Sea Surface Temperatures, and more visit:
* Charlotte Harbor, FL (November 11, 2011) - Following a $50,000 grant from
the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners, Michael Simmons, an
Indiana philanthropist who winters in Punta Gordo, donated $10,000 toward
the construction of floating docks, for use in and crucial to the success of
the upcoming 2012 International Association for Disabled Sailing World
Championships, set for Jan. 7-15, 2012 on Charlotte Harbor, Florida. -- Full
* Ft. Walton Beach, FL (November 12, 2011) - The 2011 Hobies 16 and Hobies
20 North American Championships concluded with three races sailed in light
and shifty conditions. The sailors were clearly eager after the missed day
and multiple general recalls were signaled with each start. The black flag
made an appearance on each of the starts. Francisco Figueroa/Jillian Barrios
(PUR) are the 2011 Hobies 16 class champions followed by Mike Montague
(USA)/Kathy Ward (USA). In the Hobies 20 class Kevin Smith/Rendell Curtis
(USA) won followed by Phil Collins/Bev Collins (USA). -- Results:
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 Steve Taylor:
I was delighted to read of Ding's winning the Bopped Croce Trophy in
Scuttlebutt 3468, and it made me wish I'd seen more of him in recent years.
Although I gave up racing for cruising shortly after Jimmy Carter's boycott
of the 1980 Olympics (a campaign in which Dave Penfield and I were seeking
to represent the US in the FD class just after we had won the '79 505
Worlds), I will never forget Ding's generosity in giving our FD campaign a
$5K boost after little more than a phone call from the late W. Van Alan
Clark, Jr., who had done the same. Neither of those guys knew us well
personally; they just knew that we were dedicated young sailors with a shot
to do well and who needed help at the time.
This was a nice award for a guy whose dedication to the sport has more than
surpassed the test of time! (And I'm sure there are a great many with better
stories than mine). Congratulations Ding.
* From Tyler Carder, Largo, FL (re, Scuttlebutt 3468):
The story on Puma's fancy, no doubt brutally expensive new techno-gizmo for
getting accurate Speedo readings by using a sonar system that is embedded in
the keel bulb and shoots sonar beams out in four directions makes me wonder
what that boat must sound like to a whale or dolphin- they can probably hear
the boat coming for miles, beeping its way around the world.
Maybe it'll help avoid collisions between boat and sea mammals, by scaring
the startled, possibly deafened creatures away, and too bad it won't work on
* From Casey Nickerson:
Sitting at the kitchen counter here in New Hampshire watching the Volvo
Ocean Race tracker looking at live positions of the yachts and going back
and forth to Passage Weather to see who will be enjoying the wind in the
next few hours, days, week, what a blast!
It's a different time from being in a Blue Jay in the 60's, thanks for the
You know times are tough when Bill and Hillary Clinton must now share a room
when they travel together.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Hall Spars & Rigging - APS - North Sails - North U
Ultimate Sailing - Point Loma Outfitting - Quantum Sails - US Sailing
Ullman Sails - Mount Gay Rum - International Rolex Regatta - Doyle Sails
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