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SCUTTLEBUTT 3484 - Wednesday, December 7, 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.

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Today's sponsors: Atlantis WeatherGear, Melges Performance Sailboats, and
The Pirates Lair.

PROFESSIONAL CIRCUIT COLLAPSES
The Audi MedCup Circuit and the TP52 class had grown to become the world's
leading regatta circuit. Launched in 2005, professional sailors, designers
and builders would annually meet in this high octane arena, pushing the
competitive bar higher and higher each season. In 2011, five European
venues hosted events.

But the increasing commitment to be competitive and the struggling economy
has not been kind to the circuit. From a high of 24 boats in 2007, only 8
competed this season. Noted Ed Reynolds of the 2011 season champion Quantum
Racing: "A racing program is able to attend all of the Audi MedCup events
for around 850,000 euro. But to go with an expectation to win, it costs
more like 1.7 to 2.0 million euro."

And now with the announcement that Audi won't be back for 2012, which had
been the title sponsor of the MedCup since the 2008 season, the house of
cards has finally collapsed. Today the circuit organizer World Sailing
Management (WSM) announced that it will suspend the 2012 season. Here is
what they said:
----------------------------
This difficult business decision was taken for the following reasons, all
of them related to the economic and financial crisis affecting the whole
world and Europe in particular:

1. Serious uncertainty regarding the number of boats, mainly in the 52
Series (TP 52 class), willing to commit to compete in all of the events
comprising the circuit with the risk of an insufficient number of
competitors to ensure the competitive level reached by the circuit in
previous seasons.

2. The lack of financial resources available to local authorities in their
bid to become potential venues for the events of the circuit, which limited
the ability to address their usual obligations and maintain the circuit's
level of quality.

3. Together with the abovementioned factors, a decrease in the support
needed from AUDI AG, which has been the circuit's title sponsor, has led
WSM to terminate, early and peacefully, the sponsorship deal linking both
companies.
----------------------------
WSM announcement: http://www.medcup.org/news/?id=5452
AUDI announcement: http://tinyurl.com/Audi-120611

HAVES AND HAVE NOTS
Cape Town, SA (December 6, 2011) - The activity in the Volvo Ocean Race
village is a picture of extremes. It was on November 26th when skipper Iker
Martinez (ESP) guided Team Telefonica to a win on Leg 1 from Alicante,
Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. While the crew departed for some R & R,
their shore team proceeded with scheduled maintenance to ready for the
December 10th In-Port race and the start of the Leg 2 a day later. But the
reality for the three teams that retired from Leg 1 has been much
different.

* Ken Read and his PUMA team arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday night, 15 days
after breaking their mast, and 31 days since starting Leg 1. They now have
less than four days to get the replacement mast stepped and the boat in
condition to take part in Saturday's In-Port Race, with Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi
starting 24 hours later. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/PUMA-120611

* Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam is back in the water, her new rig is in
place and skipper Ian Walker had plans for sailing on Tuesday. Azzam
arrived by ship to Cape Town on November 30, and now, with major work
pretty much complete, it is all about fine-tuning. Azzam lost her rig on
the first night of Leg 1 just over one month ago. The team resumed racing
after stepping their replacement mast, but decided to retire and tune-up
the new rig at Cape Town. -- Full report:
http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/4294_Azzam-set-to-rise-again.html

* Salthouse Boatbuilders reported on Tuesday that the repair to the damaged
hull of Team Sanya is near complete. In less than 7 days the boat has gone
from having eight men standing with their heads inside a gaping hole in the
hull, to having a glistening new bow section awaiting her final spray of
paint. -- Photo: http://tinyurl.com/SB-120611

* The International Jury will hear in full the protest of Groupama sailing
team against CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand after deciding it was
valid. Groupama lodged the protest, which is once again related to the
forestay and rigging set-up on CAMPER, at the end of Leg 1. -- Full report:
http://tinyurl.com/VOR-120611

* Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 began with one of the most dramatic
first nights in the race's 38-year history and continued in epic mode on
the way to the finish in Cape Town. A 52-minute video documentary and
written review provide a recap of the first leg:
http://tinyurl.com/VOR-120411

* Live coverage of the Cape Town In-Port Race on Saturday, December 10 is
at 1300 GMT and the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi is the following day at the
same time. Follow the action at http://new.livestream.com/volvooceanrace

Overall Standings (In-Port 1 and Leg 1)
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 31 points
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

Tracking/Standings: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/racetracker/rdc.html
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

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STORMS HALT RACING AT WORLDS
Perth, Australia (December 6, 2011) - After a morning of loud thunder,
lightning and sometimes heavy rain, the Race Committee on day four at the
ISAF Sailing World Championships made the decision to abandon racing today
for the four fleet events. The forecast was for electrical storms and
possible wind gusts up to 54 knots continuing through to evening.

Despite looming dark skies, Women's Match Racing kicked off on Fremantle's
inner harbour at 1000 local time. Easterlies gusting up to 17 knots greeted
Group B, which were able to complete four matches before racing was called
off at 11:20 local time due to approaching lightning.

Among the matches was a one second loss by Genny Tulloch (USA-2) to Olivia
Price (AUS-2). "We were behind at one point because we got a penalty on the
second windward leg," explained Tulloch. "But we burned it on the third
upwind and lead around the top mark. We had a nice lead downwind, but she
was able to roll us and pass us. It was a tough loss."

Tulloch, who is now 1-1, is eager to go racing. "We were meant to be
through 10 races personally by now, so with only two sailed we are way
behind schedule for Group B. The regatta has been marked by some crazy
stuff each day, first the fire on a boat in the harbour Sunday morning,
then the mark boat sinking on the Finn course Monday, and the storms
today."

"Safety was the ultimate concern today," Competition Manager Skip Lissiman
said. "The electrical storms posed too big a danger to sailors on the
water." Lissiman hopes that an improving weather forecast will help get the
racing back on schedule.

After racing began for fleet events on Monday, leading the charge for North
America are Americans Zach Railey (3rd-Finn), Paige Railey (4th-Laser
Radial), and Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl (13th-470 M). The forecast is
expected to improve through the week. Here is the racing schedule:

Women's Match Racing (Elliott 6m), December 3-16
Women's Windsurfer (RS:X W), December 5-11
Women's One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial), December 5-11
Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy (Finn), December 5-11
Men's Two Person Dinghy (470 M), December 5-11
Men's Keelboat (Star), December 11-17
Men's Windsurfer (RS:X W), December 12-18
Men's One Person Dinghy (Laser), December 12-18
Women's Two Person Dinghy (470 W), December 12-18
Men's Skiff (49er), December 12-18

BACKGROUND: The ISAF Sailing World Championships are held every four years,
bringing together the Olympic class organization to host their most
prestigious event. The 2011 edition will see over 1,100 sailors from 78
nations coming to Perth, Australia to compete in their class World titles
and to qualify their nations for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing
Competition. -- Event website: http://www.perth2011.com

WHERE THE GLOBE GETS SMALLER
(December 6, 2011; Day 15 - 23:00:00 UTC) - After a 24 hour run of 786.7
nm, Loick Peyron (FRA) and his team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque
Populaire V are now 1891.7 nm ahead of the non-stop circumnavigation Jules
Verne Trophy record of 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds set by Franck
Cammas on the 103-foot Groupama 3 in 2010.

Averaging 32.8 knots over the past 24 hours, the team is now 14,982 nm from
the finish. Brian Thompson, helmsman/trimmer, provides this onboard update:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
We are down below 50 degrees south now so the globe is getting smaller here
in a horizontal plane, so every 38.5 miles we sail east we are making a
degree of longitude - we would have to do 60 miles on the equator to gain
that same degree of longitude. So we are saving time by sailing at these
latitudes, though it does mean we are keeping a careful eye on the radar.
This area has been thoroughly scanned for icebergs by satellite and none
have been detected, but better safe than sorry.

Have mentioned our watch system before but thought would explain it better.
We have 14 crew in total. Loick Peyron, who is the conductor of our
orchestra, grabs catnaps, and Juan Vila, navigating, hardly sleeps at all.
One or more usually both of them are up on deck for all maneuvers. They
sleep in 2 bunks aft of the nav station, which is below the cockpit.

The remaining 12 are divided into 3 watches of 4, each led by a watch
captain. We stay on GMT right around the world and do not alter the watch
times for the local time. It could not be easier really. For instance, on
our watch we are on deck from 8 to 12, off watch and in our bunks 12 to 4,
and on standby mode 4 till 8, then on deck again. So twice a day we are on
watch, off watch and on standby.

Every 4 hours everyone is up and changing modes. One group is coming off
the deck to get undressed for bed. Another group is getting out of bed and
getting dressed for standby and the 3rd group is going on deck from their
standby. As you can imagine, in a confined space that is constantly moving,
there is an elaborate choreography to this, rather like ants moving inside
an anthill.

Somehow it all happens, with no friction. You need a certain amount of
purpose to get done what you need to do, and a good awareness, respect and
tolerance for what everyone else is trying to get done too. Somehow it all
works, and the boat never stops moving, with at least 4 on deck at all
times. For manouvers it's usually 9 or 10 people on deck, or 14 if it's
near a watch change. --
http://brianthompsonsailing.blogspot.com/2011/12/day-14-almost.html

Tracking: http://tinyurl.com/PB-Tracking-2011-12
Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/VoileBanquePop

SCUTTLEBUTT ADVERTISING IN 2012
Scuttlebutt provides a limited amount of text ad slots in each newsletter,
and most of these ad slots for 2012 will be assigned this Friday. If you
are interested in advertising, contact us for details: 619-299-5678 or
advertising@sailingscuttlebutt.com

FROM THE BOSS
Iain Murray, Regatta Director and CEO of the America's Cup Race Management
(ACRM) organization, is in charge of independent conduct of the regattas.
Here is some information he shared during his weekly conference call:

* The cost of operating the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) events needs
to get in line with revenue received. The events have thus far been too
expensive, and while a balanced budget may not be realistic, it needs to
get closer.

* The next ACWS event, which is April 7-15 in Naples, Italy, will have more
boats than the previous ACWS events (which have had eight teams and nine
boats). Included in this would be the Luna Rossa team, but Murray implied
that additional teams would be there. Fifteen AC45s have been claimed, with
Artemis Racing now having two boats.

* The 2012 ACWS events in San Francisco, which will be in AC45s on Aug.
11-19 and Aug. 27-Sept 2, will have shoreside spectating in front of Golden
Gate Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club. The course location will span
from Crissy Field to Fort Mason. The team bases will be based at Pier 80,
which is some distance away, but consideration is being given to having
overnight moorings near the race area.

* A Youth America's Cup World Series for 2012 is not confirmed. This
corrects information in Scuttlebutt 3482 which said a 2012 event was
scheduled. If a 2012 event is held, it would be between the ACWS events in
San Francisco. No additional details are available. A Youth America's Cup
World Series in 2013 will be held, but no details are available.

Additional info: http://tinyurl.com/SailBlast-120611

AUDI MELGES 20 GOLD CUP
Over 40 boats are signed up for the 2011 Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup in Miami,
Florida. The Audi Melges 20 continues to flourish due in part to the fun
and exciting Winter Series activity put together by Melges and the Audi
Melges 20 Class Organization. Stay tuned to melges20.com for event photos
on and off the water! See the excitement - better yet - join the excitement
as there are still more Winter Melges Events planned! --
http://www.melges20.com

GUEST COMMENTARY
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.

Email: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com
Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum

* From Charles Aucreman:
I heartily agree with Julian regarding the dangers of harness hooks (in
Scuttlebutt 2482). I sailed P-Cats and Hobie 16's and 18's for many years
starting in 1967. Most of those years were in the 18's. I too became
concerned about the standard hook-up. Somewhere along the line, probably in
the mid-70's, someone started producing a harness exactly what Julian
describes.

My crew and I used those ball & socket rigs for many years, at least till
the late 90's. I could never figure out why everyone didn't. Safety,
obvious, but there were tactical advantages. We never had an unwanted
release. When coming into a tack, we would pull up slightly on the trap
handle, releasing the ball, and swing onto the deck in one easy motion. The
pulling on the handle helped create a nice roll tack. We also never got
zinged in the teeth by the metal ring, because it wasn't there.

As Julian say's, Spectra has changed things, floating and all that. I
haven't used Spectra on a small boat much. Question: Can you cut it before
you drown? That's assuming you know which one(s) to cut, and don't panic.

Julian, good luck with your project. Stand up and shout it from the
rooftops. It will save lives, which is more important than everything else
we do.

COMMENT: Near as I can tell, the fixed hook trapeze harness system is the
most popular and most dangerous system, and that carrying a knife may help
in the event of entrapment under water. While these risks might be
manageable by an adult, I wonder how much of a concern this is for young
sailors. I'm also wondering if there are more young sailors on trapeze
boats than in the past. Considering the growth of the C420 and 29er fleets
in the U.S., it would seem to be so. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Terry Harper, US Sailing Executive Director (1994-2001):
The US Sailing Junior Olympics program was created to address several
issues (re, story in Scuttlebutt 3483). Young men and women were dropping
out of sailing in their mid-teens. In many parts of the country, there was
a need for good clinics at which kids could learn the basics that would
improve their skills, and refinements that would make them more
competitive. And in conversations I had with some Olympians in other
sports, they had been inspired while they were growing up by the idea that
they were participating in the "Junior Olympics."

So we thought that the name "Junior Olympics" would be a draw, and the idea
was to try to attract those who were dropping out back into the sport, and
to convince more to stay in the sport. The events were supposed to provide
top quality clinics, so that the participants could apply what they were
learning to what they trying to do on the race course.

US Sailing organized 6 events the first year, with a target of 20 annually
within 5 years. We learned from a few mistakes and adapted the format, and
we began to see greater participation in what had been pre-existing
regattas, and more clubs who wanted to provide the "Junior Olympics"
experience to their local young sailors. So in the sport of sailing it was
always a "grass roots" effort, adaptable to local interests. It's great
that some clubs are trying newer boats that may be more attractive to young
sailors, since it will keep them participating, and maybe even attract a
few friends.

Other sports had more elite JO programs, but the United States Olympic
Committee was amenable to either format. It also turned out, however, that
over time the US Sailing format showed that it could serve as something of
a talent ID tool, as well. But as has been said many times on your pages,
if the kids are having fun, they will stay in the sport.

* From Nevin Sayre:
Thanks for your report (in Scuttlebutt 3483) on the Junior Olympics and the
inclusion of the O'Pen BIC and Techno 293 classes. You are absolutely spot
on that there is a growing recognition that not every kid fits the
Opti/Sabot-420/FJ conventional mold.

In the same way that snowboarding brought thousands of new participants to
snow sports, these modern alternatives are starting to bring new kids to
sailing. It's working in other countries. If you allow kids to pursue their
own passion within sailing (not just their parents' passion), they will
stay with sailing as a life sport.

* From Matt Bounds, US Sailing Judge / National Race Officer
While the MOB call was a joke (in Scuttlebutt 3483), it falls into the same
category as yelling "FIRE!" in a movie theater or joking to a TSA agent
that you've got a bomb in your underwear. They all have unpleasant
consequences.

Whether it was intended to be a distraction or not - it was. If this went
to a protest hearing, I suspect that the Captain would be taught a harsh
lesson about false MOB calls - and the offending crew member would need to
find another ride for the next race.

As to whether the RC has an obligation to protest, the short answer is no.

RRS 60.2(a) says, "A race committee "may protest a boat . . . " "May" is
permissive, whereas "shall" is obligatory.

The only time an RC has an obligation to protest a boat is under the last
sentence of 60.2 ( . . . when the race committee receives a report required
by rule 43.1(c) [crew clothing weight] or 78.3 [measurement issues], it
shall protest the boat).

Forum: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=12958

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