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SCUTTLEBUTT 3475 - Tuesday, November 22, 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: Interlux, North Sails, and J Boats.
PUMA DISMASTED IN SOUTH ATLANTIC
(November 21, 2011, Day 17) - PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG has
suffered a broken mast on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12,
which began 17 days ago from Alicante, Spain. The crew is unhurt.
The rig onboard PUMA's Mar Mostro failed at around 1500 UTC in the southern
Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa.
The team was able to recover all three pieces of the mast and all sails
from the water. They did not immediately retire, but after considering
their options, they chose that to be the best decision.
"This is about earning points in this race," explained skipper Ken Read.
"We think by sacrificing points on this first leg, it gives us a chance to
actually earn points for the second leg and the In-Port Race. So, that's
"We have [the mast] jury rigged. We have about 15 feet of mast left. We
have our trysail and storm jib awkwardly set. We're supplementing that with
really low revs of the engine just to make forward progress." The team is
currently headed towards the small island of Tristan da Cunha, less than
700 nautical miles away.
PUMA's mast broke when she was in second position trailing race leader Team
Telefonica by just 31nm. The cause of the dismasting is not known at this
stage. The rig is of a different origin and manufacture to that of Abu
Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam which suffered a failure earlier during Leg 1.
"We were sailing on a port tack," Read described, "beam reaching in 22-23
knots of breeze, heading east northeast with eight to 10 foot waves when
the mast failed. There were no warning signs.
"This is the saddest and most disappointed 11 people on earth. We were in a
comfortable second position, traveling south to get into the final front
and head across the southern Atlantic towards Cape Town. We were planning
to be there in five days." -- Race media
Standings as of Tuesday, 22 November 2011, 1:02:08 UTC
1. Team Telefonica, 2063.80 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ, 92.80 nm Distance to Lead
3. Groupama, 272.00 nm DTL
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - Retired from Leg 1
PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG - Retired from Leg 1
Team Sanya - Retired from Leg 1
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
SCORING: If the three boats still racing complete this leg, 1st place
receives 30 points, 2nd place receives 25 points, and 3rd place will
receive 20 points. The three retired boats will score no points for Leg 1.
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. -
APPLES AND ORANGES
The move to multihulls for the 34th America's Cup has seen growth in the
Extreme Sailing Series (ESS), an event schedule raced in Extreme 40
catamarans which visited nine international venues in 2011.
Both Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing are fielding teams in the
ESS to sharpen their multihull skills, while the America's Cup World Series
(ACWS) event in San Diego has ESS helmsmen Pierre Pennec (FRA) and Yann
Guichard (FRA) join the Aleph and Energy teams, respectively, for the first
So will the ESS prove to be the gateway toward the America's Cup? According
to Kiwi skipper Dean Barker, comparing the two events is still a bit like
comparing apples and oranges. While similar, they do have differences.
"What the Extreme Sailing Series provides is that you tune up and then get
in something like 30 and 40 races in five days. You just can't duplicate
racing when you are trying to learn the maneuverability and the technical
situations for different scenarios. The Extreme Sailing Series is raced in
very confined spaces which lead to a lot of interaction between the boats.
You are forced to learn things very quickly. It has been a fantastic
environment for us."
But since the winner of the America's Cup is typically the team with the
fastest boat, that remains a vital area to gain knowledge. And the ESS
fails there. "The series doesn't teach you a lot about boat speed and
developing speed. The emphasis is entirely boat handling, whereas with the
ACWS there is still an element of boat speed required. There are multiple
sail configurations to design and develop with the AC45."
Until the America's Cup teams make the transition from the AC45s to the
AC72s, they will continue to be racing in the short course venues of the
ACWS. And while some of these skills might not transfer to the larger venue
that San Francisco Bay will provide, for the less funded teams, it is vital
to be doing well now. Their existence may depend on it. -- Craig Leweck,
TRAINING: For the final Act of the nine event 2011 Extreme Sailing Series
in Singapore on December 7-11, five of the eight America's Cup challenging
teams have declared their participation in this Extreme 40 catamaran event.
Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 will compete along
with helms from Aleph, Energy Team, and Team Korea (Chris Draper). Artemis
Racing, which had competed in six events this season, will not be racing in
Singapore. -- http://www.extremesailingseries.com/venues/view/singapore
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JUST WIN, BABY
Growing the America's Cup to gain broadcast appeal and commercial revenue
has everything to do with creating interest in the event, the teams, and
the people. While the event has remodeled itself to be of greater interest,
the race amongst the teams is as much on land as it is on the water. It
takes money to win the America's Cup, and the teams with the larger fan
base will win the sponsorship spoils.
Scuttlebutt polled its readers to see which teams were liked (or sort of
liked) during the America's Cup World Series event in San Diego (Nov.
16-20), and the rankings on the water appeared to influence the poll
Prior to San Diego, neither of the French teams had seen much success on
the water. But as the Energy Team posted top scores during the event, they
evidently scored points on land as well. Here is the poll result:
21.64% - Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL)
19.01% - Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson (USA)
17.54% - Oracle Racing (USA), Jimmy Spithill/Darren Bundock (AUS)
15.20% - Energy Team (FRA), Yann Guichard (FRA)
14.04% - China Team (CHN), Charlie Ogletree (USA)
06.14% - Team Korea (ROK), Chris Draper (GBR)
02.92% - Green Comm Racing (ESP), Vasilij Zbogar (SLO)
01.75% - Aleph (FRA), Pierre Pennec (FRA)
01.75% - Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 (ITA), Max Sirena (ITA)
CANADA TO REWARD MEDALLISTS' COACH
(November 21, 2011) - The Canadian Olympic Committee announced that it has
created a coach reward program for Olympic podium performances, financially
rewarding the coaches of Olympic medal winners.
Beginning with the London 2012 Olympic Games, the coach of Olympic
medallists will receive $10,000 per gold medal, $7,500 per silver medal and
$5,000 per bronze medal, per sport discipline.
This represents half of the amount awarded to Olympic medal-winning
athletes through the Athlete Excellence Fund: $20,000 for gold, $15,000 for
silver and $10,000 for bronze.
"Coaches are the backbone of our athletes' planning, preparation and
performances," said COC President Marcel Aubut. "From the time a child
takes their first steps onto the field, the track, or the ice, the coach is
the key. We need to keep our coaches in Canada. We need to reward them at
the level they so rightly deserve." -- Read on:
CREW POSITION - CASE 36
This is an installment by International Umpire/Judge Jos M. Spijkerman
(NED) in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with
amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF
committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or
A boat in an offshore class, while close-hauled, had a crew member
positioned, for several minutes on two occasions, next to the shrouds with
his feet on the deck and his legs inside but touching the lifelines. While
his torso was substantially upright, part of it was outboard of an
imaginary line projected vertically from the top of the lifelines. The boat
was disqualified under rule 49.2 and appealed, which was later dismissed.
To clarify the rule, this drawing shows possible crew positions:
Rule 49 - Crew Position
49.1 Competitors shall use no device designed to position their bodies
outboard, other than hiking straps and stiffeners worn under the thighs.
49.2 When lifelines are required by the class rules or the sailing
instructions they shall be taut, and competitors shall not position any
part of their torsos outside them, except briefly to perform a necessary
task. On boats equipped with upper and lower lifelines of wire, a
competitor sitting on the deck facing outboard with his waist inside the
lower lifeline may have the upper part of his body outside the upper
lifeline. -- ISAF RRS:
Rule 86.1(c) allows class rules to change Rule 49 if desired.
RRS 2009-2012: http://tinyurl.com/ISAF-112111
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shipping within the USA only). This is a great time to check a few items
off your holiday shopping list! www.NorthSailsGear.com
* The Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) has named its 2011
All-Academic Sailing Team. The 2011 All-Academic Sailing Team recognizes
collegiate sailors who have achieved excellence in national and
inter-conference competition as well as excelling at the highest academic
level for the 2010/2011 academic year. A nominated sailor must have a
minimum of a 3.5 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale), junior or senior academic
standing and they must be a key starter or reserve on a school's sailing
team. Each school is allowed three nominations. --
* SAIL magazine has published their 2012 Best Boats Award winners. Among
the honorees are a cat with two cockpits, another cat with two tillers, a
variable-displacement daysailer and a pair of red-hot raceboats. -- Full
* In 1962, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club donated the Onion Patch Trophy.
Now, 50 years later, the Onion Patch Series is being sailed for the 25th
time. Considered the triathlon of sailboat racing, the 2012 Onion Patch
Series is sailed every other year during three consecutive weeks in June.
The events that comprise the series are the New York Yacht Club Annual
Regatta, The Newport Bermuda Race, and The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
Anniversary Regatta. -- Details:
* Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy will serve as honorary chairman of
OpSail2012CT, a four-day event that will draw majestic tall ships from
around the world to the New London area next summer for an expansive
waterfront festival expected to be the largest tourism event in Connecticut
in 2012. OpSail2012CT, which will take place July 6-9, is part of a
national maritime celebration that will travel to six U.S. cities and
Puerto Rico to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812 and the
writing of the The Star-Spangled Banner. -- Full report:
ARE YOU IN THE MARINE INDUSTRY?
The Marine Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides
companies with guaranteed online exposure of their personnel, product and
service updates. Are you in the marine industry? Post your updates here:
W. Richard Boehmer, age 68, of West Bridgewater, MA died on Nov. 17, 2011.
I first came to know Richard in a project for building a 45' Dick
Newick-designed trimaran that Bill Doelger of Boston was trying to put into
production. Richard did speed analysis, and I did hull engineering. That
project did not get off the ground, but later on Richard and I worked on a
few other projects, one involving the design and wind tunnel testing of a
wingmast rig I designed for a 45' monohull, for which we sought the advice
and guidance of C.A. (Tony) Marchaj, the author of "Sailing Performance -
Theory and Practice", and "Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing". We tested that
rig at the wind tunnel at the Wolfson Unit, University of Southampton in
Richard was an author of a number of interesting articles on speed sailing
and sailing records. He was also the keeper of the sailing records for the
Guinness Book of World Records for a time. He was the developer of the
concept of "Base Speed", first for multihulls, and also applicable for
monohulls, the final version of which was published in Multihull
International in April 1989. -- Eric W. Sponberg, Naval Architect
2012 J/80 WINTER TOUR - USA
Join the J/80 Class for its 2012 Winter Tour featuring the Midwinters in
Key West, three weekends in Miami (including Bacardi Race Week) and the
finale at Charleston. The top guns in the class are coming and a few new
boats are still available for a fun winter of southern sailing!
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 Bill Reilly:
It's a shame to hear about Puma's dismasting during the first leg of the
Volvo Ocean Race, and I feel sorry for them (and the other 2 boats that
have had to retire), but it's the fault of the VOR organisers.
Ever since they switched over to the points system there has been a high
rate of breakages because the crews know they don't have to finish every
leg. That in itself is just asking for trouble. Back in the old days of the
Whitbread/Volvo, when they raced under elapsed time, the rule was very
clear: If you don't finish a leg you can't win the race - period. It made
the teams really look at their gear a bit more seriously and try to make
the boats as bullet-proof as they could without sacrificing too much
Now they build the boats and the gear too close to the bleeding edge, and
common sense and seamanship are getting tossed aside to save a few kilos.
With 50% of the fleet now out of the first leg it's turning into a big
joke, and the joke is on the VOR organisers. Knut Frostad has done this
race enough times to know exactly what I'm talking about, and I'm sure he's
starting to feel a bit stupid at this stage for letting it happen.
If they change the race back to an elapsed-time race then I'm sure you'll
see boats and teams that are better prepared to handle the conditions,
which makes for better competition and better return for the sponsors. The
VOR is going the same way as the America's Cup, who sold out to the
sponsors and the quest for more viewers and higher TV ratings at the
expense of the sailing. And guess what, it isn't working.
* From Adrian Morgan:
America's Cup Healthy Ocean campaign? Give me a break. Carbon fibre, jet
skis, support boats, helicopters, container ships, gasoline, air miles...
This has to be one of the most cynical marketing ploys in sport.
* From George Morris (re America's Cup World Series):
Believe it or not stadium racing is not new. Anyone who sails on a lake or
a reservoir or a river, probably with a fixed land-based starting line,
does 'stadium racing'. That is probably most of us. As a spectator sport it
is more interesting than steady wind sailing. As we saw Friday, in steady
wind the guys who won the start won the race but when it went fluky passing
lanes opened up. And when the 'wrong' guy won, we had an abandonment and a
resail which was very similar. A bit like a safety car?
The nationality thing is difficult. The Americans lead Chinese and Swedish
teams, the Korean team is British, the U.S. teams have Aussie and Kiwi
leaders. Thankfully teams from New Zealand and France are more or less as
flagged. It would be more honest to stick with the club names as in
football (Manchester United is largely staffed by foreign players).
* From Robert Johnston, New York City:
After four days on the spectator pier at (America's Cup World Series in San
Diego), I can offer a couple of comments from the spectators' point of
First off, clearly extraordinary sailing and excellent commentary with
tremendous popular accessibility. But if you're going to have a stadium,
why not a scoreboard? For all the high tech in the racing, the only
leaderboard around is decidedly low tech, essentially an ordinary (print)
bulletin board back in the village, tended by a gofer on foot with paste-on
labels and updated well after the close of racing. I would think
well-designed real-time scoreboards could be positioned all over the
village and viewing areas for instant reporting of progress in each race
(mainly timings at marks), results and standings.
Second, the much bemoaned dilution of the nationality rules and takeover of
corporate interests to the point of making the boats floating (or flying!)
billboards, may be here to stay, but this is still nominally a friendly
competition among nations, isn't it? You'd never know that as most of the
boat names have become increasingly opaque. The boats still carry national
flags but most spectators can't make them out (virtual TV coverage adds
them on top of each top) and commentary doesn't usually mention them unless
they are part of the boat name. Why not require that they should be? Some
boats still do, and Emirates Team New Zealand has certainly established
itself with solid brand recognition for both corporate sponsor and country.
For most casual spectators, how do they know who to root for, or against?
Why is all the wisdom in the bottom half of the bottle?
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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North Sails - West Marine - Ullman Sails - J Boats
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