Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3480 - Thursday, December 1, 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: Ullman Sails and Point Loma Outfitting.

By Kimball Livingston, SAIL
Wanna have some fun? Set Paul Cayard loose on the subject of America's Cup
34, some re-imagined and surprising wing-control mechanisms, and the
terrors of San Francisco Bay in full cry. The custom AC72 catamarans of
2013, he says, will be 30 percent more powerful but "much less stable" than
the AC45s that sailed three events this year on the America's Cup World
Series circuit.

And occasionally failed to maintain verticality.

Cayard's home waters, where the Cup will be sailed, are known to be a windy
spot, and when the ebb tide works against the seabreeze - one sixth of all
the water in San Francisco Bay goes out, and in, twice a day - then she be
lumpy, mon. Sea state, even more than wind strength, is something to fear
once the breeze is up, funneling through the Golden Gate and peaking on
many days at 18-22 knots. Unless it peaks at 30, and shucks, that's just
home for the home folks. But what does it mean to racing an AC72 with 38
hydraulic cylinders in the wing?

Until the first AC72s are launched in July, 2012, it's all theory, but, "If
you're making 25 knots upwind and 40 knots downwind, tacking on someone and
gassing them just isn't happening," Cayard says. "In seriously-overpowered
boats, the match will be about who can actually get the boat around the
course and figure out how to avoid that extra gybe that costs you maybe 20
seconds, maybe 250 meters."

As CEO of the Swedish challenger, Artemis Racing, Cayard is not shy about
telling you that his Challenger of Record team has gone its own course in
engineering an AC72 wing. The box rule governing the AC72 is one big
sandbox, so the engineers get to play. Oracle Racing Team Coordinator Ian
Burns explains: "I was involved in writing the rule for the AC72s, and when
we addressed the wing, we started with a complicated rule, to limit what a
designer could do. We added more and more pieces as we thought of more and
more outcomes, and we came to a point where it was so complicated - and it
was still going to be hard to control, because the more rules you write the
more loopholes you create - that we reverted to a simple principle. Limit
the area very accurately, and make it a game of efficiency."

The Artemis approach to efficiency, Cayard says, uses a three-element,
two-slot wing. No surprise. Any wing is much more efficient than a mast and
soft sail - for many reasons, not the least of which is that mid-leech
tension becomes a non-issue - and C Class catamarans long ago demonstrated
that three elements, two slots, are faster than two elements, one slot. I
expect every AC72 to have a three-element wing.

Unless, or until, someone develops a fully-warpable single-element wing,
but that's for another day . . . read on:

The race within a race stepped up a gear on Wednesday as Abu Dhabi Ocean
Racing and Team Sanya both welcomed their boats safely to Cape Town.

The two teams were forced to retire from the first leg and shipped their
boats from, respectively, Portugal and Spain. They hope to be back ready to
sail on December 6, in time for the in-port race in Cape Town on December

Abu Dhabi's striking black racing yacht Azzam, dismasted on the first
night, arrived by container ship at Cape Town's commercial port first thing
on Wednesday. Cocooned among containers on the ship, she came in safe and
sound and was lifted by crane straight off the ship and into the water.
From there, she motored round to the Abu Dhabi base and the sailors and
shore crew set to work unloading a boat that lost her rig on the first leg.

"It's great, even though it isn't quite how we wanted to arrive in Cape
Town," said skipper Ian Walker before joining in with the unloading. "It's
taken a lot of work to get organised and get her here safely.

"There is one more stage to go -- to cure the new rigging. It's another
step on the journey. We're really in the hands of Future Fibres. It will
take five days to cure the new set of rigging and it should be ready by
December 6, to be back in the water by December 7.

"It's really one long chapter. We're taking it quite positively. Things
could have been a lot worse as we've seen with what happened to PUMA and
the terrible things they have had to deal with. Every team is going to have
setbacks in this race and it's all about how well you deal with them. So
far we've dealt with this one well."

Team Sanya, who suffered damage to the boat's hull inside the first 24
hours, got their second-generation Volvo Open 70 back in Cape Town at 1300
local, around seven hours after Abu Dhabi. At 1800 on Wednesday, the boat
was lifted off the barge and onto the dock at the team base, much to the
delight of the watching crowd.

There will be no let up in the work schedule from there, with the repair
team due to start cutting out the damaged area of the boat this evening.

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG are still waiting on Tristan da Cunha,
with a container ship on the way to meet them and take them back to Cape
Town, with an ETA of December 6. -- Photos/Video:

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

Overall Standings
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

Video reports:

PROTEST: Groupama sailing team have lodged a protest with the International
Jury against CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand over the forestay and
rigging on their boat during Leg 1. The French team had previously
protested the forestay set-up on CAMPER after finishing the Iberdrola
In-Port Race, but the protest was rejected by the International Jury. Abu
Dhabi Ocean Racing, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, and Team Telefonica
had also contested CAMPER's forestay set-up. -- Full report:

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. -

Ullman Sails has this year's perfect gift for junior sailors - an Opti
sail! When our new Optimist Series debuted this summer, they were FAST
straight off the start line. Our Optimini design scored 2nd overall in the
2011 UK Opti Nationals Regatta division in August and the new line-up has
been impressing racers and coaches ever since. Choose from three different
high performance race designs, designed and tested to meet the demands of a
top racer, but easy for a beginner to trim. Ullman Sails will get you the
smiles you're looking for!
Find out more at

After years of training, elite athletes with Olympic rings in their dreams
are assembled this week in Perth, Australia to compete in the 2011 ISAF
Sailing World Championships. Over 1,100 sailors from 78 nations will be
seeking to both qualify their nations for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing
Competition, and to prove to their countries that they deserve to be its
representative at the Games.

In short, it's all on. Few events decide so much. The highs and lows will
be clear, for some, painfully clear. With so much on the line, and before
the racing begins this weekend, local publication sought to
find a more palatable angle. And thus, they have compiled the top sailors
in the style stakes who will call Perth home for the next 16 days. Here is
their list of the top 10 hottest sailing competitors:

ISAF Worlds website:

(November 30, 2011; Day 9 - 22:45:00 UTC) - After a 24 hour run of 669.9
nm, Loick Peyron (FRA) and his team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque
Populaire V are now 389.8 nm ahead of the current Jules Verne Trophy - the
non-stop circumnavigation record - of 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
set by Franck Cammas on the 103-foot Groupama 3 in 2010.

BP V has crossed the equator and is descending the south Atlantic... at a
27.9 knot average over the past 24 hours. Brian Thompson, helmsman/trimmer,
describes the challenges that lie ahead:
Heading down the endless coast of Brasil today, going fast in good
conditions, though with occasional squalls. Not yet heading towards the
direction of the Cape of Good Hope, as we still have the St Helena high to
pass to the west of. If we took the direct route we would be stuck in light

The analogy would be of choosing to take the M25 motorway around London
over sitting in traffic in the centre of the city - in the end we will get
there much quicker. It does seem odd when looking at our route on the map
though, and we are all itching to head SE.

After the doldrums we started sailing nearly upwind at 55TWA but the wind
has progressively shifted left as we have sailed southwards, so we are now
sailing at 120TWA, with one reef in the mainsail and either the Solent or
staysail at the front. Perfect sailing, with low stress on the boat, and
relatively high and consistent speeds..

It's always a pleasure to steer this boat, but in conditions like this Yvon
and I call it 'driving a Cadillac Eldorado '78' down the highway - straight
and smooth.

There is still max concentration at these high speeds from the driver and
the trimmers, but the boat just wants to run - we just have to gently guide
it down that straight highway in the desert. --


* (November 30, 2011; Day 2) - After 14 hours of racing in Leg 2 of the
double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR), the Dutch
father-and-son team of Nico and Frans Budel dismasted shortly before
rounding the Cape of Good Hope and entering the Indian Ocean. Both the
Budels are uninjured and have returned to Cape Town unassisted with their
Class40 Sec. Hayai while plans are already in place to rejoin the GOR. The
remaining five Class40s rounded the Cape of Good Hope at midnight and
continue on to the finish in Wellington, New Zealand. -- Full report:

* Virgin Gorda, BVI (November 30, 2011) - The 2011-launched, 66 metre
Baltic Yachts ketch Hetairos was the first superyacht to complete the
Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta - Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup 2011 at
00.03 a.m. GMT on 30th November. After 8 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes and 30
seconds of navigation, the yacht crossed the finish line located off Saba
Rock. Hetairos, launched in July of this year and featuring design and
engineering by Dykstra & Partners & Reichel Pugh Yacht Design, covered the
3069 mile trip from Santa Cruz in Tenerife at an average speed of 15.12
knots. -- Read on:

* The 30th biennial San Diego - Puerto Vallarta race will be held March
1-10, 2012. The biennial event is hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club,
taking racers 1000nm to the finish line off Punta Mita in Banderas Bay,
Mexico. Racers arrive in time for the 22nd edition of the Mexican Ocean
Racing Circuit (MEXORC) regatta and the "Regatta Copa Mexico" which takes
place on Banderas Bay beginning on March 11th. -- Contact: Laura Neale at or MEXORC website

Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free,
self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and
sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this

Dec 2 - Wirth Munroe Ft. Lauderdale to Palm Beach Race - Palm Beach, FL,
Dec 8-10 - 2.4mR Pre-Worlds - Charlotte Harbor, Florida, USA
Dec 8-11 - Melges 20 Gold Cup - Miami, FL, USA
View all the events at

This is the time of year when most of us have put the boats away and start
thinking about winter activities. This Fall Patagonia has come out with a
whole new line of ski/snowboarding gear constructed of GoreTex! The
combination of these two great brands has produced a line of gear that is
without a doubt some of the best out there. Check it out at:
Don't forget that while we normally offer free shipping within the
continental USA for all orders over $150; we now offer it for all orders
over $100.00 during this holiday season.

PARTY: If you are in San Diego on Thursday, come by the Point Loma
Outfitting holiday party for the eats and drinks at 6:00pm. Location:

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 Bruce Munro:
Unfortunately, Michael Schaumburg's story (in Scuttlebutt 3479) about
Leading Lady is not credible. Leading Lady always had a tiller and not a
wheel, so the story about Tom Blackaller holding up a wheel that came off
cannot be true. Also, during the years that I owned LL, Tom sailed with us
around the buoys in San Francisco Bay a few times, but he never did any of
our off shore racing. I think Mr. Schaumburg must be thinking about some
other boat.

* From Frank Lawson, Port Ludlow WA:
There seems to be strong evidence that the Volvo fleet is not well enough
designed, engineered, race around the world. Let's
call the whole thing off, tighten up the scantlings to which the boats are
designed and built to and try again in 2-3 years with real tigers as
opposed to the 2011 paper tigers that have demonstrated a distinct
propensity to dissolve in seawater.

BACKGROUND: The 2005-6 edition was the first year for the VO70, where a
similar call to halt the event followed a number of keel failures on the
first leg. The keel problem was resolved during the 2008-9 race, but hull
construction problems affected a few of the entries in that edition. Team
Sanya is the only boat from the last edition, so perhaps her hull problem
is a result of being built to that rule. The dominant problem thus far for
the 2010-11 race has been rigs, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and PUMA
breaking their masts and CAMPER nearly losing their rig just prior to the
finish. When loads increase, they tend to find the weakest link.

* From Chris Upton:
Mr. Gregory's concern for the environmental impact of sailing is misguided.
The problem is not the VOR transportation footprint, but the aggregate foot
print of sailing as a sport. Carbon fiber requires a great deal of
chemistry and furnaces to fabricate. Sail cloth, cordage and all other
aspects of boat building are not environmentally friendly. Sailing looks
good because the engines are off. But in reality, there is a significant
impact. Just look at the regulations that are put on local boatyards.

By comparison, this past season my owner spent $10,000 on fuel for his
powerboat. We used the boat 4-5 days a week. I know many sailors with
smaller boats that spend much more than that on sails each year. Sailors
pay up front while power boaters pay on an ongoing basis. Is the
environmental impact any different?

COMMENT: It's safe to say there are few recreations that 'leave only
footprints, take only memories'. It is also safe to say that discussion on
global warming, carbon footprints, etc. are best held outside of the
Scuttlebutt newsletter. This thread is now closed.

Scuttlebutt provides a limited amount of text ad slots in each newsletter,
and these are often sold out well in advance. Most of these ad slots for
2012 will be booked in the next two weeks, so if you are interested in
advertising, contact us for details: 619-299-5678 or

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have
known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons." - James Thurber,
American author/cartoonist

Kaenon Polarized - West Marine - APS - North Sails
North U - Melges Performance Sailboats - Ultimate Sailing
LaserPerformance - Ullman Sails - Point Loma Outfitting
J Boats - Doyle Sails - Quantum Sails

Need stuff? Look here: