Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3485 - Thursday, December 8, 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: Point Loma Outfitting and Ullman Sails.

Twelve years ago, Vanguard Sailboats president Chip Johns made the
following comments in Scuttlebutt 457 (Dec. 9, 1999).
I am always curious why we think that sailing would make better TV when
other sports and activities that are easier to watch and cheaper to
televise are not there yet. If I were a TV entrepreneur I would be looking
for the no brainer success story. I am not sure that I would pick a sport
which was difficult to produce and was not very interesting to watch in

One of the reasons that other sports like golf and skiing have more
participants is that anyone in the US can decide today to learn how to golf
or ski, get in their car and find all that they need to learn the new
sport. These include retail shops which will sell or rent them equipment
and advice, facilities to do the sport (i.e. golf courses and ski areas),
and instructional programs all set up for the new participant.

We do not have these facilities in sailing. We have a very limited retail
shop base, public access facilities are very limited, and instructional
programs for the public are even fewer.

We should work on the fundamentals of our infrastructure with our limited
resources prior to trying to hit the long ball with TV. If we even get the
TV exposure then we don't really have the infrastructure to handle all of
responses! And I do know about the community sailing programs around the
country for all of you that will answer me! How many offer a 1-hr learn to
sail course and then a half day ticket?
While the broadcast of sailing events has somewhat progressed, has the
infrastructure? It is worth noting that at the America's Cup World Series
in San Diego, there was not one group on site to provide visitors with
information on how to get involved in sailing. Opportunity lost?

Cape Town, SA (December 7, 2011) - Team Sanya was the sixth and final boat
in the Volvo Ocean Race to return to the water today. Sanya had been forced
out of the first leg with hull damage sustained on the first night of
racing. Just moments earlier Abu Dhabi's rig came crashing down, a fate
also suffered by PUMA 15 days later.

Team Sanya has now joined their rivals PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG,
who hit the water this morning, and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, lifted in
yesterday, alongside Team Telefonica, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand
and Groupama sailing team dockside in the Cape Town race village.

"Today is a day of split feelings really - on the one hand I cannot praise
enough everyone that has been involved in the process of getting our boat
back into race mode again," skipper Mike Sanderson said prior to Sanya's
lift back into the water. "On the other hand, I do feel of sense of
nervousness before the leg start. There are four boats out training and
here we are with our keel going on and going into the water only tonight."

"For sure my apprehension has gone up probably also given a forecast of 35
knots on the nose at the start so not too much of a settling in period,"
Sanderson added. "The most important thing right now is to get out sailing
tomorrow (Thursday) and for sure a lot of those nervous feelings will go
once we are sailing again." -- Full report:

* 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

* 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:

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

Video reports:

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. -

Leave it SLAM to tell us they have a bunch of new stuff coming in this
spring! That's good for you because there is now a need to clear out some
of the older styles. Here's a chance to save up to 50% on some great gear,
while supplies last! Better yet it's just in time for the holiday season.
Foul weather gear, spray tops, shoes, etc. Visit to see all of these great deals,
and save bundles! If you want to get a sneak peek at some of the neat stuff
that SLAM is coming out with next spring, check out the video here:

Perth, Australia (December 7, 2011) - Predominantly blue skies, sunshine
and winds ranging from 11-20 knots among the courses greeted sailors on Day
5 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. The day's conditions
allowed for three races in all fleet classes - RS:X Women, 470 Men, Laser
Radial and Finn - and to catch up on the schedule for Group B's Women's
Match Racing. The fleet racing classes have completed qualifying and will
be split into "gold" and "silver" fleets.

Event Director John Longley today briefed competitors on recent shark
sightings. "We have informed Western Australian government authorities who
will ensure that the usual helicopter shark patrol will concentrate on
checking out the Fremantle course area. Our course boats and the Fremantle
Rescue Service will also be on extra alert after the reported sighting."
The racing rules had already been modified to not penalize sailors for
outside assistance during a capsize.

The Women's Match Race event continues with their first round robin series
which is used to reduce the 29 teams down to the 8 quarterfinalists. Both
American teams, Anna Tunnicliffe (6-1) and Genny Tulloch (5-2), remain in
contention. Leading the charge for North America in fleet racing are
Americans Paige Railey (5th-Laser Radial), Zach Railey (9th-Finn), and
Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl (9th-470 M).

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:

(December 7, 2011) - While all the athletes competing in the 2011 ISAF
Sailing World Championships would like to secure their class world title,
there is much more at stake. Other than Great Britain, each country must
qualify to attend the 2012 London Olympics, and a top score at the worlds
will secure the bid. Also, each country has its own criteria for selecting
its Olympic athletes, but most are using the Worlds as a measure. A good
result will likely earn the athletes vital funding as well.

Canada's first criteria for Olympic selection goes to any athlete finishing
in the top ten. And Nikola Girke, who has been ranked as high as 7th in the
world in women's windsurfing, was capable of securing that bid. But then
problems occurred... here are some notes from her first three days of
Day One: I didn't get hit by lightning, I didn't get attacked by a shark, I
still have all my limbs intact and I'm not injured, ...but my gear
unfortunately didn't hold up quite as well. One of my battens broke in the
first race, and then for the second race the cambered batten above the
broken batten came off my mast (which I can't put back). A sure guarantee
that I was going to be slow, not pointing high and unable to pump
effectively. Two tough and unlucky races for me...a 27-23 in the 34-boat
qualifying heats.

Day Two: This morning I woke up to heavy rain, sometimes hail - funny cause
"it's never like this" in Perth in December. The norm here in Fremantle is
that "The Fremantle Doctor" blows consistently between noon and 3pm, a
cooling afternoon sea breeze which occurs during the hot summer months.
Thunder and lightning kept us onshore all day, and at 2pm the race
organizers called off the day. I came home to check out the weather and
news...only to learn that: Storm-ravaged parts of the city have been
declared natural disaster zones. Qualifiers end tomorrow... it's quite
important for me to have 3 super solid races.

Day Three: I hadn't looked at the results until after sailing today, but I
knew that I really had to light it up on the race course today to have any
chance of making the Gold Fleet or the top half. Today was the last day to
qualify for this. Although I would've liked to have an even better day than
this, an 8th, 9th and a 3rd has moved me up to 18th overall and into the
Gold (up 34 places apparently from 52nd, which I was in this morning!). On
the last race, a port tack board fouled me on an upwind crossing, and their
sail cut open my back. Dripping blood around the race course is never a
good thing here, particularly since two Great White sharks had been seen
near/in/under our race course.
Nikola now has four more races to continue her climb up to the top ten. If
she is unable to complete the task, she will have another opportunity to
earn the Canadian Olympic bid at the 2012 World Championship in Cadiz,
Spain on March 20-29. --

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

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
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 8-10 - 2.4mR Pre-Worlds - Charlotte Harbor, FL, USA
Dec 8-11 - Melges 20 Gold Cup - Miami, FL, USA
Dec 9-11 - Extreme Sailing Series - Act 9 - Singapore
Dec 10-11 - Catalina 22 Florida State Championship - Cocoa, FL, USA
View all the events at

* Singapore (December 7, 2011) - The final showdown of the 2011 Extreme
Sailing Series begun today for the 10 Extreme 40s. Roman Hagara's team on
Red Bull Extreme Sailing bolted out of the gate by winning the first two
races and leads after five races, just ahead of Luna Rossa and Groupe
Edmond de Rothschild in second and third respectively, who are also locked
in a battle for the season overall championship. Dean Barker's Emirates
Team New Zealand is lying in 4th place, ahead of Oman Air skippered Chris
Draper who takes the helm for the Singapore event. -- Full report:

* (December 7, 2011; Day 16 - 23:00:00 UTC) - Loick Peyron (FRA) and his
team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V has seen average
speeds at 30+ knots for over a day, which has build a 1975.6 nm advantage
over 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. --

* Entries are closed for the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with the
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia confirming an international fleet of 89
yachts for the 628 nautical mile course from Sydney Harbour to the historic
port city of Hobart. --

The Ullman Sails FiberPath series combines the latest in production
technology and design expertise to deliver the lightest, strongest string
sails on the market. Our advanced design team understands how to address
the loads in your sail using fiber selection and layout. Paired with years
of experience designing fast, efficient sail shape, you get optimized
performance sails for racers and cruisers alike. So whether you're
rethinking your cruising inventory or preparing for the 2012 racing season,
Ullman Sails will build sails to match your goals. For more information on
FiberPath technology, contact a local Ullman Sails lofts and visit

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 Steve Palzy:
I have been reading about the trapeze harness conundrum. Let me get this
right. Youth sailing programs promote trapeze doublehanded boats, and the
standard trapeze harness is universally considered dangerous. But because
it is the best solution for racing, people look the other way. And the only
advice they can give these young people if tangled under the water is to
cut the lines or else you may die.

Did I also read that the harnesses with the detachable hooks are not
popular because you lose the hook when it is activated? Yea, better to risk
a life than to lose a hook. Are any parents of youth sailors concerned
right now?

* From Bruce Thompson:
We at the Chicago Corinthian YC Junior Fleet have continued our efforts to
ensure the safety of our 420 sailors.

First, we sealed and inserted foam into the mast (similar to the top
section of a Laser mast). Next we bought new mains with a laminated foam
top panel to provide flotation. Those actions are complete. We are now
approaching manufacturers to design and implement additional levels of

We have approached the manufacturer of the Water-buoy ( to
obtain a heavy duty version to use as an inflatable masthead float set to
auto-inflate in event of a capsize. We have also approached the
manufacturer of quick-disconnect fuel line fittings regarding obtaining an
analogous unit suitable for swaging into the trapeze wire above the handle
but within easy reach.

Our goal is to provide a four level "defense in depth" capability so that
the kids can immediately, and without outside intervention, ensure they can
get their head above water so as to not drown.

COMMENT: Very impressive. Now I am wondering if CCYC is in the majority or
minority in their efforts to ensure the safety of 420 sailors. - Craig
Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Rob Weiland, TP52 Class Manager:
In Scuttlebutt 3484, Audi states it gives up the role of name-giver and
sponsor of the MedCup regatta series and WSM says it "suspends" the 2012

Fact is there will be no 2012 Audi MedCup. Both the TP52 Class and Soto40
Class will decide the coming week on their 2012 racing schedules.

The TP52 Class intends to have their schedule in place not later than the
first week of January 2012, in time to present details and hand out IRC52
Invitations during Key West Race Week to those present at Key West. As well
as send out the schedule and invitations by email to all not present.

Given the short period to adapt to the new situation you may expect we will
work together with the leading Mediterranean yacht clubs to offer you a
choice from 5 to 6 top level events.

The intention is to follow the IRC52 Concept proposals as send out earlier.
There might be some fine tuning to adapt to the new situation, but again
Key West Race Week is the deadline.

At the meeting which TP52 Class representatives plan to have with
interested IRC52 owners and teams during Key West about the 2012 TP52 /
IRC52 Med Series we will take the time to go through the details with those

Also we will spend time to discuss with IRC52 owners and teams the new
situation. You may imagine that without the Audi MedCup the TP52 Class
members have more option to discuss their future regatta planning. This
could mean that for 2013 other options than racing in the Med, like 2013
Key West Race Week, will meet serious consideration.

* From John Tormey:
I am guessing the collapse of the MedCup (as reported in Scuttlebutt 3484)
likely affects less than 1 percent of sailors. But since these crew still
want to make money racing boats, they will now seek employment among the
recreational racers. So now the collapse of the MedCup is affecting a
significant percentage of sailors.

People wonder what are the ills that face the sport. How about an
increasing need to win at all costs? And the solution for people that own a
boat that is amid this trend is to move to another type of boat that is not
so affected? Wrong... people will just sell their boat and pick up another
form of recreation.

* From Tim Dick:
The grand prix hole the MedCup opens up is really in the middle of the
dollar game. The money to participate in the TP52 / MedCup grew to the
point of unaffordability for participants, but the seriously big money
Mini-Maxi and maxi circuits have never been healthier.

Perhaps we will see a return to a more affordable one-design format like
the new Farr 400 where second-tier sponsors such as sailmakers could have a
field day. It wasn't so long ago that the Farr 40 was THE top GP class (ex
maxis) with upwards of 40 boats on the line and far broader global
participation than the Europe-only TP52 circuit. There were world-class
fleets in Europe, Australasia, East and West Coast U.S.

Given the Farr 400 is designed to fit into a 40' container rack, such a
program could be more affordable than a Farr 40 where some owners had
multiple boats due to transport challenges. Maybe just the ticket in
today's economy.

On December 8, 1941, Bob Feller enlisted in the Navy, volunteering
immediately for combat service, becoming the first Major League Baseball
player to do so following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7. Said
Feller, "People have called me a hero for that, but I'll tell you this -
heroes don't come home. Survivors come home." Feller was inducted into the
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Ultimate Sailing - Summit Yachts - North Sails - North U
Morris Yachts - Atlantis WeatherGear - Melges Performance Sailboats
The Pirates Lair - Point Loma Outfitting - Ullman Sails - LaserPerformance
Team One Newport - JK3 Nautical Enterprises

Need stuff? Look here: