SCUTTLEBUTT 3479 - Wednesday, November 30, 2011
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WHEN THE SH*T HITS THE FAN
By Kimo Worthington, PUMA team manager
It's been one week since we learned the mast broke on PUMA's Mar Mostro.
We've checked a few things off the list, and we still have a lot to take
care of... all with the goal of getting ready to race again.
When I got word the rig was down, first on the list was to notify the
families. Next, I called Hall Spars to organize the replacement mast. And
then, the calls just kept coming and going... that's how I operate - on the
phone. At one point, I was also receiving around 40 emails per hour, so I
spent the whole night just making phone calls and working through those
emails. Priority was to take care of the sailors and their families, make
sure they were all ok, make sure they could reach each other by email.
Since only three people with the shore team are allowed to even email the
boat, there's a lot to manage.
We looked at the option of trying to finish, and if we ended fourth we'd
get those points. The problem was it was going to take too long and there
wasn't enough time between legs. That's when we made the decision to retire
from the leg and get to Tristan island as fast as possible. It was the
Then, there was how to get fuel to the boat, how do they get to Tristan,
how do we get the boat? From towing, to calling the Brazilian Navy and a
state senator...we looked at a lot of options.
As of Tuesday morning, a ship was booked to go pick them up - and the
original ship was a really good plan. It was going to meet them at Tristan,
timed to meet within about a day of the team arriving there. And the mast
was scheduled for flights to Cape Town.
The next day, the ship got cancelled. We had to start a new list all over
By end of the day on Wednesday, we had a new ship secured...but it wasn't
in Cape Town and had to come from Durban, South Africa - about a two-day
trip away. But, it's on the way to Tristan now.
Looking at where we're at what's been checked off the list and what is
still left to do... read on: http://www.puma.com/sailing/news/to-do-lists
Video Update: http://www.puma.com/sailing/media/boatfeed-november-27
MELGES GOLD CUPS
Melges has some fantastic sailing coming up. First, the Melges 32 Gold Cup
this week at the Lauderdale Yacht Club. Then the Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup
the following week out of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club - an event that
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and pure speed... check out http://www.melges.com
GLASS HALF FULL FOR CAMMAS
(November 29, 2011; Day 25) - Finally, after more than 48 hours of light
airs, Groupama 4 was able to sail along smoothly this afternoon (Tuesday)
towards South Africa to complete this first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. It
took quite some time to cross the St Helena high, which blocked the route
for Groupama 4, while her two predecessors were able to take advantage of a
steady southerly air stream right up to the finish.
While three competitors were forced out of the dramatic opening leg with
serious damage, Groupama 4 skipper Franck Cammas was pleased to have
finished with no major issues. "The fleet has been devastated so it's a
strong point that we are coming back with a boat in very good condition, at
100 per cent of her potential,'' he said.
A post race report distributed by the Groupama team notes their areas of
optimism going forward:
* Goupama 4 is more or less like her sistership, Telefonica, which won this
leg, so there are no worries about the design choices.
* Franck Cammas and his crew showed they were not simply going to follow
others, but were willing to take strategic initiatives and they stuck with
them. While with hindsight, the option on leaving the Straits of Gibraltar
did not pay off in the end, Groupama 4 did manage to lead the fleet for
three days (with a lead of up to 241 miles).
* The Juan Kouyoumdjian designed boats (Telefonica, Groupama 4, and Puma)
were deemed slightly faster than the Marcelino Botin designed Camper in all
downwind conditions (between 60 and 110 degrees apparent wind) and it seems
that Groupama 4 has an advantage over her sisterships (Telefonica, Puma)
when the breeze is above 18 knots. -- Full report:
Leg 1 - Final positions
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), Finished Nov. 26, 21:05:14:25 GMT
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), Finished Nov. 27, 21:21:48:04 GMT
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), Finished Nov. 29, 24:04:28:31 GMT
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR) - Retired from Leg 1
PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA) - Retired from Leg 1
Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL) - Retired from Leg 1
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 31 pts
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 29
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 22
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 6
5. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 5
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 3
REPAIRS: Team Sanya and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing both expect their boats to
arrive in Cape Town on Wednesday after Leg 1 offered them hull damage and a
dismasting, respectively. Both teams have set themselves seven-day
deadlines to get their boats ready to sail again once they arrive in Cape
Town. PUMA Ocean Racing remains in Tristan da Cunha waiting for a cargo
ship that left Cape Town on Monday. They hope to arrive in Cape Town on
December 6, leaving little margin for error as they get their new mast
stepped in time for the start of the In-Port race on December 10.
MEDIA: The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race has captured the attention of a
record-breaking audience around the world, latest figures show. Online
media with a cumulative audience of more than four billion have featured
the event between the opening of the Alicante Race Village and the Leg 1
start (October 14-November 5), according to third party monitoring sources.
That's three times the figure achieved at the same period of the 2008-09
race with double the number of online sites featuring news from the event.
-- Full report: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/vor1129/
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. -
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TO BE DETERMINED AT WORLDS
It all comes down to one regatta for American athletes looking to clinch a
U.S. Olympic Team spot. The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing
World Championships, set to take place Dec. 3-18, 2011 in Perth, Australia,
will serve as the second and final U.S. Olympic Team Selection Event in the
nine Olympic fleet racing events. It is also the country qualification
regatta where USA will look to secure an Olympic berth in all 10 Olympic
"The Olympic Sailing Committee structured the U.S. Olympic Team selection
process to align with our primary mission of fielding a team that gives the
U.S. the best possible chances of success at the Games," explained Olympic
Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner. "And international competition at
the highest level is what will best prepare America's athletes for the
Olympic Games. At the conclusion of this regatta, America will know 13 of
the 16 U.S. Olympic Team members."
American athletes will earn a nomination to the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team
by posting the overall low score when their result from this regatta is
combined with their result from the 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold (June 5-11,
2011). While some of the teams have already nearly assured nomination,
other events such as the Women's Two Person Dinghy, Men's One Person
Dinghy, and the Men's Keelboat remain too close to call.
MAY SHE REST IN PEACE
Following the report about Leading Lady published in Latitude 38 and
Scuttlebutt 3478, St. Francis Yacht Club staff commodore Bruce Munro
offered another story about this old war horse. Good times!
I owned Leading Lady from 1980 to 1982 when I sold my interest to Bob
Klein. In her day she was quite the boat and hard to beat. She was a Doug
Peterson custom two tonner during the heyday of the IOR. We won Big Boat
Series, Danforth Series and our YRA division in those days. But perhaps her
biggest win was when we took her to San Diego in 1980 to challenge the San
Diego Yacht Club for the San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup.
This venerable Cup had been held by SDYC for the previous 5 years and they
were determined to hold on to it. We put together an All-Star team of Tom
Blackaller as skipper and Steve Taft, Doug Holm, John Ravizza, Tad Lacey,
Skip Stevely, Mark Mamar, Ken Gardner, my boat partner Stan Reisch and
myself as crew. SDYC brought two boats to the starting line for this match
race. One boat was Forte, their heavy weather choice skippered by Malin
Burnham, while the other boat was Dust'em, their light air boat skippered
by Robbie Haines.
Just before the warning signal they chose their light air boat Dust'em
(this is San Diego after all), but this was a mistake. The wind came up
after the start and blew between 13 and 18 knots most of the race. As I
recall, we even shifted down to our number 2 jib for the last leg. Of
course, Leading Lady was optimized for San Francisco Bay conditions and she
just loved the stronger than usual winds in San Diego. We were higher and
faster and led the entire race. The final margin was over 2 minutes.
On the way back to the SDYC for the celebration, we ran into a boat full of
PSA flight attendants having a bachelorette party for one of their group
who was getting married. They were all in bikinis and looking for some male
company. We happily obliged and about two thirds of our crewed jumped ship
and got on the girls' boat. Those of us who had wives waiting for us at the
dock thought better of that idea and we brought the boat in. One of the
girls got on Leading Lady and Steve Taft promptly tied her to the rigging.
We were quite the sight when the two boats arrived at the San Diego YC
ready to celebrate our victory. I have photos, but they are not digital.
Remember this was 1980.
Leading Lady was a great IOR boat, but that was as far as it went. Once the
IOR rule faded into history, so did Leading Lady. She had the typical IOR
look of a bumped out beam and a pinched in stern. This made her fast to the
rule but a beast downwind. Even the great Blackaller had trouble
controlling her downwind. I remember one windy race on the bay when Tom did
such a hard round-down that it bent the top spreader of our three spreader
I have many fond memories of my racing days on Leading Lady. May she rest
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JULES VERNE DELIVERS SOUTHERN-OCEAN SPEED FIX
By Tim Zimmermann, Sailing World
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has arrived in Cape Town - or at least the half
of the fleet that managed to stay in one piece has. In years past, this
would be a time of Southern Ocean anticipation, with crews and sailing
junkies preparing for the dramatic sleigh ride to New Zealand, with boats
surfing down the monster, storm-driven waves rolling eastward around the
bottom of the Indian Ocean. But with Volvo's marketing interests drawing
the fleet toward the Middle East, that spectacle is not to be - at least
not until the fleet heads around Cape Horn. Bummer.
But for anyone needing a Southern Ocean fix, the 131-foot trimaran Banque
Populaire is currently speeding toward that legendary sailing arena. Banque
Pop, which set off last week on a Jules Verne record bid, has been flying a
bit under the radar on this side of the Atlantic, thanks in part to the
Gallic aversion to publishing sailing websites in English. Of course, we
don't publish websites in French, so fair is fair. Besides, you don't need
words to appreciate the drama of a full-on, round-the-world, speed-sailing
Sailing doesn't get any more pure than the Jules Verne. No real rules, no
limits. Just racing non-stop, as fast as possible, on a full
circumnavigation of the globe. Naturally, since multihulls and adventure -
not to mention the French science-fiction author - are involved, the French
are passionate about the Jules Verne, and French sailors dominate the
disciple. Since Bruno Peyron first managed a sub-80 day circumnavigation in
1993, Robin Knox-Johnston and Peter Blake have been the only Anglos to
interrupt the French record parade. Steve Fossett completed a record
circumnavigation in 2004 but was denied the JV trophy because he refused to
pay the entry fee. In the last two decades, the record time has dropped by
40 percent. -- Videos and full story: http://tinyurl.com/SW-112911
UPDATE: (November 29, 2011; Day 8 - 23:45:00 UTC) - After a 24 hour run of
710.8 nm, Loick Peyron (FRA) and his team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran
Banque Populaire V are now 221.10 nm ahead of the current record of 48 days
7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds set by Franck Cammas on the 103-foot Groupama
3 in 2010. -- http://tinyurl.com/BP-112911
* (November 29, 2011) - At 12:00 GMT (14:00 local) on Tuesday, the six,
double-handed Class40s in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) crossed the
start line of Leg 2 from Cape Town to Wellington, New Zealand. Ahead of the
fleet are approximately 7,000 miles and around one month of racing through
the high latitudes of the Indian Ocean with a finish line ETA shortly after
Christmas. -- Read on:
* The first of a new twelve-strong fleet of Clipper 70s has been released
from its mould in Qingdao, China. This is the first of an order for twelve
identical new Castro-designed yachts, with an option on four more, to be
used for the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race and continue
operating until 2020. -- MySailng, full story:
* The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends Wednesday, having
produced 19 tropical storms, of which seven became hurricanes, including
three major hurricanes. The level of activity matched the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration's predictions and continues the trend of
active hurricane seasons that began in 1995, NOAA said in a statement. The
19 tropical storms represent the third-highest total (tied with 1887, 1995,
and 2010) since records began in 1851 and are well above the average of 11.
However, the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes is only slightly
above the average of six and two, respectively. -- Trade Only Today, read
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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 Ken Legler:
Perhaps George Cane was on to something. Regarding ISAF Case 35 in
Scuttlebutt 3478 (Rule 20 Room to Tack), I recall an incident back in '68
when George was starboard windward in his 9' Dyer Dhow "Chicanery" racing
in Mamaroneck Frostbiting.
Being a windy day we were squeezed into the inner harbor with much land
nearby. A starboard leeward boat hailed to George for room to tack, to
which George SCREAMED back "I'm on starboard dammit, you can tack and dip
Back then the hailed yacht that replied "You Tack," was obligated to keep
clear of the tacking yacht [1965 IYRU rule 43.2 (b)(ii)] as opposed to
today where the hailed boat simply needs to give the hailing boat room to
tack and avoid her but, nobody was going to argue with George Cane.
* From Charlie Legeman:
In addition to Ian Williams winning all three of his WMRT regattas with
five man crews in the larger boats, he also won this year's 47th annual
Congressional Cup in the six man Catalina 37.
* From Michael C. Schaumburg:
About the story in Scuttlebutt 3478, if I remember correctly, the Peterson
40 Leading Lady was campaigned vigorously with Tom Blackhaller as the
tactician/skipper. Coming in from the ocean one night, creeping along
Baker's beach avoiding the ebb, LL's wheel came off the pedestal with
Blackhaller driving. All you could hear in the dark was Blackhaller yelling
that he had the wheel (literally) in his hands holding it up in the air.
There was much laughter and uncontrollable comments from the boats close
by. LL's misfortune relieved much of the tension of sailing back under the
Golden Gate Bridge to the finish with no wind, in an ebb, in the dark.
* From Mark Chisnell:
I love the idea of red and green sides of the race course for TV
coverage/commentary. We thought blue and yellow (the entry sides) might
work better for the pure match racing of the WMRT, but didn't have the time
to make it happen for Monsoon Cup. A great idea for the future though, and
I hope someone picks it up and runs with it!
* From Lloyd Causey:
In Butt 3478, Mr. Gregory Scott says "As I listen to yet another lead up to
a climate condition meeting" and goes on to belabor the ills of the Volvo
Ocean Race. Maybe he should quit listening to propaganda from people with
political agendas instead of science and enjoy sailing. The VOR will have a
much smaller carbon footprint in its entirety than will the "climate
condition meeting", and will actually provide more benefit for mankind than
the politicians (make no mistake that everyone going to Durban has a
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