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SCUTTLEBUTT 3470 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011
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DAY-LONG DRAG RACE FOR VOR LEADERS
(November 14, 2011; Day 10) - Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG
and Iker Martínez’s Team Telefonica have been engaged in a day-long drag
race for the lead, as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet rapidly approach the
tactical nightmare of the Doldrums.
Remarkably, after nine days and approaching 2,000 nautical miles of racing,
there was virtually nothing between the two leading boats. Read had held a
tenuous three-mile advantage at the 1000 UTC position report today, a margin
which as the breeze ramped up steadily from 15 to 20 knots during the day,
Martínez steadily ground down to zero.
By the 1300 UTC report, Team Telefonica were ahead but by just half a
nautical mile. Unwilling to be broken by the Spanish charge, Read urged his
American crew into a fight back with the 1600 UTC showing that in the
previous three hours PUMA had matched Telefonica almost identically
The PUMA skipper acknowledged that it was looking increasingly likely that
the Spaniards position would give them the lead into the Doldrums.
“Telefonica have a little better angle coming in right now,” Read said.
“Over the last few days they have eaten away at our lead and I wouldn’t be
surprised if they were actually first into the Doldrums. We’re a little
frustrated because we really liked our line and Telefonica’s line is proving
to be a little better right now.” -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/76tv66b
Standings as of Monday, November 14, 2011, 22.01.47 UTC
1. Team Telefonica, 4029.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG, 2.80 nm Distance to Lead
3. CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ, 169.80 nm DTL
4. Groupama, 356 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
THE WING IS THE THING
When the BMW Oracle Racing team’s USA 17 - aka their Deed of Gift
challenging 90-foot trimaran - relocated from its initial trialing location
in Anacortes, WA to San Diego, CA in October 2008, the team drew high
interest from the local sailing enthusiasts. But when they raised their
enormous wing sail a year later, they captured the interest of the entire
The fascination with wing sail remains strong today. The fleet of AC45
catamarans are in San Diego this week for the third event of the 2011-12
America's Cup World Series (Nov. 12-20), and the wing feature has proven to
be the big attraction for the crowd filtering through the event village this
The wings are large, they're inventive, they're artistic. Five of the boats
are always kept on moorings, and the wings are up day and night. If the
AC45s had soft sails, the teams wouldn't raise them until they got towed to
the course. But with the wing, strolling spectators could see these
aerodynamic foils up close. And everyone who came to see the boats, had to
have their picture taken with the wings in the background.
Teams alternate hauling their boats, and it is a huge production when the
wings are lowered. Orange vests, hard hats, a tall crane delivering the wing
to earth. Fans line the guard rail to watch. What is hard, is interesting,
and the event village leverages this show.
When defender Oracle Racing announced in September 2010 that wing-sailed
boats would be used for the 34th America's Cup, it was seen as a ploy to
maximize their significant advantage with the rig. And maybe it was. But a
year later, it is clear that the winner in this decision is also the sport.
-- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
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BEHIND THE SCENES DRAMA
Iain Murray was clearly frustrated. As regatta director for the America’s
Cup Race Management, he is charged with organizing the races for the
America’s Cup World Series and the 34th America’s Cup. And for this
Australian, the U.S. laws were getting in his way.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is a United States Federal statute that
regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. And
Section 27, better known as the Jones Act, limits the commerce of foreign
built boats on U.S. waters. This created a problem since the America’s Cup
events have a lot of foreign built boats arguably used for commerce.
When a bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress to seek exemptions to the
law, it looked like smooth sailing until some members of the legislature got
greedy and tried to tack on specials provisions of their own. That put the
skids on everything, and immensely complicated Murray’s event in San Diego.
“The Jones Act is not new,” explained Murray. “We have long been aware of
its conditions. It has been a requirement of the host city agreement that
San Francisco would seek exemptions, so it has been on since the city was
nominated. So this was not a last minute occurrence. Unfortunately it has
proven to be a complex matter, and because of it, we have had to spend a lot
of money on sourcing boats for the appropriate use so to satisfy the people
who have guests. It has been a huge waste of money, and the boats we have
sourced aren’t as good as our boats. They are less fuel efficient, they are
environmentally irresponsible, but we need to abide by the rules. We had
planned all along for this possibility.”
Significant ‘behind the scenes’ provisions have allowed the show to go on in
San Diego without any evidence of this drama. Will Miami be next to face
this same hurdle when the Volvo Ocean Race comes to port May? - Craig
* Read more on the subject posted at IBI Plus: http://tinyurl.com/7nbdtwd
AMERICA’S CUP SIXTH MAN IS AS CLOSE AS ONE CAN GET
The sixth man in the America's Cup World Series will never shoot a
three-pointer, make a critical steal or holler support from the stands like
a collegiate Sixth Man club. This sixth man ideally stays on the bench and
watches silently, like a gagged spectator.
For almost 20 years now, America's Cup races have invited a guest rider to
hunker down in the stern of each boat, letting non-competitors experience
elite sailing from a seat unlike any other in sports. The invitation list
typically includes sponsors, potential sponsors, leaders of local sailing
organizations, elected officials, team owners, members of the media, winners
of charity auctions and, occasionally, a musical legend or Super Bowl
For those with sailing backgrounds, the trip enhances the connection to the
sport. For everyone else, it explains and promotes sailing, which hopes to
jettison its stuffy image. Picture Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead drummer,
climbing aboard and then raving about the thrill in front of a video camera.
How could the audience not grow?
Even though they do virtually nothing except perhaps shift their weight to
accommodate the crew's needs, the guests can expect an adventure, especially
in the new wing-sail catamarans.
"I've never worn a helmet while I was sailing before," John Laun said
Saturday after exiting the Spanish boat. Laun co-founded SEA San Diego,
which works to promote sailing and attract regattas to San Diego. He had
been a guest rider in the '90s, when San Diego hosted the America's Cup in
traditional, slower mono-hulls and crews of 16.
"It started really as a way for the owners to ride in their boats," said Bob
Fisher, author of the two-volume "An Absorbing Interest: The America's Cup -
A History 1851-2003." -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/7zm3eq6
2011 ISAF ANNUAL CONFERENCE CONCLUDES
(November 12, 2011) - Last week the world of sailing gathered in San Juan,
Puerto Rico at the 2011 ISAF Annual Conference. Some of the highlights
determined at the close of three days of meetings include:
* Kiteboarding trials will be held early next year to evaluate the possible
inclusion into the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition and future ISAF
* ISAF Council agreed to run the new single ISAF Sailing World Rankings for
sailors competing in Olympic class events, based on a 12 month period,
alongside existing rankings to give time for testing before going live after
the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
* The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships will head to a new territory in
2015 after ISAF Council voted in favor of Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia, subject
to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements. Busan,
Korea was also approved to host the 2013 ISAF Women's Match Racing World
Championship subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual
* Kiteboarding development will continue to move along after Council voted
in favor of including the discipline in the ISAF Learn to Sail Training
Programme Document and to recognise National Kiteboard Training programmes
through the ISAF Recognised Training accreditation inspections. -- Full
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INTO THE CARIBBEAN TONIGHT
(November 14, 2011) - As the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet head into the
Caribbean, with 150 miles to go at 1600hrs, Jean-Pierre Dick and Jérémie
Beyou on Virbac Paprec 3 have a lead of just over 60 miles ahead of Hugo
Boss as they anticipate passing into the Caribbean later this evening or
overnight. The Caribbean trade winds are forecast to start off brisk before
becoming less organised and well defined, but with over 190 miles of margin,
the chasing pack are still not posing any threat to the leading two boats.
Multi 50 leader Yves Le Blevec and Sam Manuard on Actual passed their
milestone at the edge of the the Caribbean when they took their right turn,
skirting St Barts, headed SE towards Barbados, while in Class 40
Aquarelle.com holds the lead of some 140 miles over Hannah Jenner and Jesse
Naimark-Rowse on 40 Degrees currently in second. -- Full story --
* The Transat Jacques Vabre is a 4,730nm double-handed race from Le Havre,
France to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica with 35 competitors entered for the 2011
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* RC44 Tour champions Team Aqua (GBR) will be looking to end their season on
the perfect note by adding the RC44 World Championship to their 2011 trophy
haul in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote from 16-20 November. Chris Blake’s Team
Aqua team wrapped up the RC44 Tour title with an event to spare thanks to
victory - their third of the season - in Croatia last month. ORACLE Racing
(USA) won’t be in Puerto Calero due to America’s Cup World Series
commitments so the race for the remaining two podium places in the final
Tour standings will be hotly-contested. -- Full story:
* (November 14, 2011) - Francesco Bruni stands on the brink of becoming the
first Italian to capture the ISAF Match Racing World Championship at this
month’s Monsoon Cup which takes place November 22-27, in Kuala Terengganu,
Malaysia. Should he win the title, the 1994 Laser World Champion, Olympic
and America’s Cup campaigner says it will be a career defining achievement.
In the ISAF rankings he holds World No. 1 position, and in the Tour
Championship he sits just six points behind 2-time Match Racing World
Champion Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar. -- Full interview:
* The 2011 Bermuda Open and National Optimist Championships got underway on
Saturday, a day later than planned due to high winds from Tropical Storm
Sean which slid by the island on Friday. The event was hosted by the Sandy’s
Boat Club (SBC), run in conjunction with the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy
Association (BODA). Will Logue from Riverside Yacht Club in Connecticut, USA
clinched the Championship by a narrow 3 point margin on Sunday. Logue was in
a heated battle for the top spot all weekend with top female sailor, Justina
Pacheco, sailing in the 54 boat Championship Fleet. -- Read on:
* US SAILING awarded an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of
Sociable for their rescue of six sailors from WingNuts, a capsized yacht on
Lake Michigan during a storm in the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to
Mackinac. The award was made on Saturday, November 5 to Sociable’s skipper,
Robert Arzbaecher (Brookfield Wis.) and his crew at the race’s awards dinner
at the Chicago Yacht Club. Sociable’s crew included Brian Nagle, Matt
Younkle, Greg Adams, David Patrick, Pete Duecker, Adam Flanders, Chris
Miotke and Max Riesing. -- Read on:
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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 Paul Henderson:
"Ding" Schoonmaker stood shoulder to shoulder with me for 35 years, first at
IYRU and then ISAF. Ding was the "Patron Saint of International Classes". He
ensured that the Classes were properly served as they transcend national
boundaries and are important to blunt the complete focus on nationalism. It
is this great legacy that ISAF must ensure continues. Nobody deserves the
Beppe Croce Trophy more than Ding. It is the highest honor ISAF can bestow
and it is in memory of Beppe Croce who led the IYRU as President 1969-1986
and was equally as strident for the Classes.
* From Jeff E. Rubin, Past Chair US Sailing Center (Miami, FL):
I concur with Steve Taylor’s comments about James “Ding” Schoonmaker. He is
very deserving of the Beppe Croce Trophy and many more recognizing his
contributions to sailors around the world. The U.S. Sailing Center in Miami,
Florida would not exist without the vision and generosity of Ding
Schoonmaker. The Sailing Center has been the Mecca for local, national and
international sailors thanks to Ding. The Center became a reality on January
27, 2003, when it was completed on a small piece of land near Biscayne Bay.
So to our friend, my friend and sailors around the world, we say thank you,
* From Mike Borga, Point Pleasant, NJ:
Re America’s Cup World Series - San Diego - "with 6-10 knot westerlies and
bright sunny skies providing a fair test for four races."
I am always surprised to see statements like this when talking about
sailboat racing. Is there some reason that fluky winds and unpredictable
gusts and shifts do not challenge the sailors racing at the same time and on
the same course more than predictable steady winds from the same direction?
Is making a boat "go" in calm conditions not more difficult than when the
wind is perfect?
* From Beau Vrolyk:
Since when is light shifty wind not a "fair test"? I've always objected to
moaning about light and changeable winds being unfair, and then discovered
you'd provided great support for my position in the next note in your email
regarding the AC 2.0. As you rode along with the Artemis team you proved the
point. Great sailors never give up when behind and that determination is
both what make them great and brings home the win.
Far too often race committees and competitors believe that variable
conditions are somehow "unfair", yet as we all see over and over again the
top sailors seem to win anyway. We need to avoid trying to simplify racing
by demanding predictable and relatively trivial conditions. The talent will
win out. When the wind is shifty and light it's not un-fair, just
The more trivial your research, the more people will read it and agree.
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