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SCUTTLEBUTT 3487 - Monday, December 12, 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: Kaenon Polarized and APS.

Perth, Australia (December 11, 2011) - Four new world champions took to the
podium as dusk fell over Perth and marked the end of a full day of medal
racing. It was a day enjoyed by sailors and public alike, with spectators
lining the beach and filling the grandstand at Bather's Bay to see who
would win gold in the Finn, Laser Radial, Men's 470 and Women's RS:X
classes on Sunday.

A day earlier on Saturday was the final open fleet races to determine the
top ten in each event to advance to the Medal Race. The day was marred by
an incident involving Great Britain's Ben Ainslie (GBR) who was pursuing
his sixth world championship. Ainslie had a confrontation with a television
boat driver that led to Ainslie's disqualification from the two races of
the day (full report below).

* Giles Scott won a game of cat and mouse on the water to secure the title
of Finn world champion and the Finn Gold Cup, beating Pieter-Jan Postma
(NED) by just one point in a tense final day of racing. American Zach
Railey finished 9th.

* World number one Marit Bouwmeester (NED) held off a determined Evi van
Acker (BEL) to claim her first world championship title. American Paige
Railey finished third.

* With an 18-point lead going into the Medal Race, Australia's Mathew
Belcher and Malcolm Page sailed a smooth safe race to claim the men's 470
world title. Americans Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl finished 13th.

* It was a battle of three of the best and a race between three good
friends in the women's RS:X Medal Race with Israel's Lee Korzits taking
gold over "sisters" Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) and Marina Alabau (ESP).
Canadian Nikola Girke finished 15th.

* The Women's Match Race event continues its elimination series schedule to
advance the top 8 teams for the quarterfinal round. Already confirmed are
Claire Leroy (FRA), Mandy Mulder (NED), Ekaterina Skudina (RUS), and Anna
Tunnicliffe (USA). The remaining four quarterfinalists will advance from a
16-team repechage series, where American Genny Tulloch is currently in 8th

* Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson lead in the overall
standings after the opening day of racing in the Star class on Sunday, with
Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen (GER) in second, Ireland's Peter O'Leary
and David Burrows third after two races. Americans Mark Mendelblatt/ Brian
Fatih are in fourth.

Racing in the Men's RS:X, Laser, Women's 470 and 49er events begin Tuesday.

NOMINATED: The U.S. and Canada are using the Worlds to nominate their 2012
Olympic representatives. While none of the Canadian sailors finished well
enough in the Finn, Laser Radial, Men's 470 or RS:X to be confirmed, there
will be additional opportunities in 2012. For the U.S., Zach Railey (Finn),
Paige Railey (Laser Radial), Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl (Men's 470) will be
nominated for the U.S. Olympic team. In the RS:X, American Farrah Hall
finished well enough to earn the nomination, but not well enough to qualify
the U.S. for that Olympic event. Hall will have another chance to qualify
her country at the at the 2012 RS:X World Championship in Cadiz, Spain on
March 20-29.

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:

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie of Britain was disqualified
under RRS 69 from two races at the world sailing championships after a
confrontation with a cameraman on a media boat on Saturday. Here is the
decision of the International Jury...

Facts Found:
As the first two boats in Finn Race 9 rounded the gate for the second beat
and headed towards the shore, a media boat followed close to leeward of the
leader. This caused wash for GBR 3 (Ben Ainslie), who attempted to wave the
media boat off.

When the leaders passed through the gate and headed towards the finishing
line, the same media boat followed the leader to the finishing line leaving
a large wake, which again affected GBR 3's race.

The media boat crossed the finishing line and then stopped in front of GBR
3 after GBR 3 finished. As GBR 3 came alongside, the skipper jumped aboard
the media boat.

The skipper (Ainslie) grabbed and shook the boat driver, shouting "You have
no respect!" He then walked towards another member of the media boat's
crew, but made no contact with him. He then jumped into the water, swam to
his boat and sailed away.

On coming ashore, the skipper of GBR 3 wrote a letter of apology and
delivered it to the media boat driver. The media boat driver accepted that
apology and apologised in a letter for disturbance during the race.

The action of jumping on a media boat with anger and grabbing the driver
constitutes physical aggression. Such behaviour is never an acceptable
response. Such behaviour not only constitutes a gross breach of good
manners but also, coming from a top athlete at a world championship, brings
the sport of sailing into disrepute.

However, the repeated nature of the media boats interference over multiple
legs is a mitigating circumstance, as is the prompt and unsolicited written
apology given to the boat driver.

GBR 3 is to be scored DGM (disqualification non-excludable for gross
misconduct) for Races 9 and 10. Source:

Ben Ainslie, who was positioned to gain his sixth world championship, was
dropped out of contention. However, more could come. Because the penalty
came under 69.1, a report automatically goes to the sailor's national
authority and the International Sailing Federation which can take further
action. Here is the list of sailors currently suspended from the sport:

A sequence of photos from the incident are posted online:

Ben Ainslie and British team officials have made statements that the
incident has been overblown and the penalty was excessive:

If additional punishment was to be considered, there are a couple factors
that may complicate the process. Previous to the Worlds, Ben Ainslie had
been selected to be Britain's representative in the Men's One Person Dinghy
Heavy (Finn) at the 2012 Olympic Games. If Ainslie were to add to his medal
collection of three golds and one silver at the 2012 Games, it would make
him the most decorated sailing athlete of all time. Additionally, the
International Sailing Federation's Secretary General is Jerome Pels,
Ainslie's brother-in-law.

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wear Kaenon Polarized? When seeing every detail matters, the best use the
best. That's why Anna Tunnicliffe sails in Kaenon's Soft Kore with SR-91
polarized lenses, and no coincidence that Iker and Xabi have been wearing
the award winning Kore since day 1 - whether inshore or offshore. The World
Sailors of the Year demand Kaenon Polarized. Whether Match racing, Olympic
racing or Ocean racing, the best do demand the best. Congratulations Anna,
Iker and Xabi!
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Happy Holidays!

Cape Town, SA (December 11, 2011) - Volvo Ocean Race skipper Iain Walker
directed the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team through the inshore course at the
start of Leg 2 to take an early lead in the race from Cape Town to Abu

After a slow motion start with a light breeze in the shadow of Table
Mountain, Abu Dhabi gained pace to take the lead by the first mark. By the
final mark of the inshore course, Abu Dhabi had a lead of 92 seconds over
second placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand. PUMA Ocean Racing
powered by BERG, who also lost their mast during Leg 1, were third round
the last mark followed by Groupama sailing team, Team Sanya and Team

The fleet then headed out into the open ocean, where expectations were for
the first 20 hours to provide 25 to 30 knots coupled with a three to four
metre sea for the 35-mile trek to the Cape of Good Hope. However, the first
night at sea instead has been spent inching along the coast, just four nm
from the shoreline, in little or no breeze. Once clear of the Cape, the
teams should be able to crack sheets and enjoy some quicker reaching
conditions, although the Wind Gods will be testing the fleet with a complex
set of weather and currents.

Because of the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean, Leg 2 is divided in
two parts, where the boats will be carried by ship through a danger zone.
The locations where the boats will finish the first stage and start the
second stage are not being disclosed. The first stage is expected to take
14-16 days, with a second stage sprint for the fleet to arrive in Abu Dhabi
around New Year's Day. -- Event media

Course details:

Standings as of Sunday, 11 December 2011, 22:03:52 UTC
1. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS)
2. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 0.40 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 2.10 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 5.30 nm DTL
5. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 8.00 nm DTL
6. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 8.30 nm DTL

Video reports:

IN-PORT: Cape Town (December 10, 2011) - Team Telefonica, which finished
last in the first in-port race in Alicante, surged to victory in Saturday's
Cape Town V&A Waterfront In-Port Race to strengthen their overall lead.
PUMA, who only arrived in Cape Town midweek after becoming the third team
forced to retire from Leg 1, held an early lead but dropped to third when
they tore their spinnaker, allowing Telefonica and CAMPER with Emirates
Team New Zealand to pass. Finishing in fourth was Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing,
Groupama in fifth and Team Sanya in sixth. -- Full report:

PROTEST: The International Jury dismissed on Friday (Dec. 9) the protest of
Groupama sailing team against CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.
Groupama lodged the protest, once again related to the forestay and rigging
set-up on CAMPER, at the end of Leg 1. -- 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. -

Miami, FL (December 11, 2011) - It was a dramatic end to the 2011 Audi
Melges 20 Gold Cup Championship with Alessandro Rombelli's STIG, tactician
Jonathan McKee and crew member Giorgio Tortarolo coming from behind to win
the event. It came down to the last leg, of the last race when Rombelli
raced across the finish line two positions ahead of Luca Lalli on

"We never imagined on the way out to the race course today that we would
win. With Lorenzo Bressani and Federico Michetti onboard with Luca, we knew
that would be a very tough combination to beat." said Rombelli. "I think
consistency was very important for us and we were very fast downwind. There
was some great match racing between us on that last run."

"It was a classic last race," said McKee. "The deciding point was at that
last top mark. When we rounded, literally, we were right on their stern. We
knew that was the whole regatta. It was all about who was going to beat
who. And, with the conditions like they were, it was all about how you
approached the finish line. At this event, that counted for a lot of points
and position."

"There are a couple of great stories here at this event." continued McKee.
"Alessandro had never sailed until only four years ago. His success today
is a direct reflection on how far he has come as a sailor. The other story
can be told just by looking at this fleet of 40 boats. This is amazing and
certainly a tell-tale sign that this class is really a terrific fleet to be
a part of and obviously, it's a great boat. Very competitive."

Final Results (Top 5 of 40)
1. Alessandro Rombelli, STIG; 4-[9]-6-1-7-7-1-2-4-8 = 40
2. Luca Lalli, B-Lin; 2-1-[41/DSQ]-2-4-6-2-3-11-10 = 41
3. Russell Lucas, Shimmer; [12]-2-5-5-3-1-5-11-18-5 = 45
4. Paul Reilly, Red Sky; [22]-7-4-7-9-3-13-4-6-4 = 57
5. Michael Kiss, Bacio; 17-[18]-3-4-13-2-14-9-1-1 = 64

Full report:

Events listed at

* Miami, FL (December 11, 2011) - The 2011-12 Etchells Jaguar Cup Series kicked off
its four event series with the Piana Cup, where perfect greeted the 48-boat
fleet for five races over the two days. Tom Lihan, sailing with Moose
McClintock and Barr Batzer, won the regatta, narrowly edging Judd Smith,
Henry Frazer and Judd's daughter Darby, by 2 points. Rounding out the top
five were Mike Dressel and Ernie Pomerleau with crew Chris Morgan and
Monica Trejo; Jeffrey Siegal with crew Jeff Madrigali, Willem Van Way, and
Sarah Callahan; and Marvin Beckman with crew Kurt Etking and Mac. -- Full

* Singapore (December 11, 2011) - The Italian team Luna Rossa has won the
final Act of 2011 in emphatic style and crowned the Overall Champions of
the Extreme Sailing Series 2011. Max Sirena, Paul Campbell-James, Alister
Richardson and Manuel Modena, who have raced together on the Extreme 40 all
season, hardly put a foot wrong over the 35 races here in Singapore. The
2012 calendar of events will be announced on Tuesday, 13th December on the
opening day of the World Yacht Racing Forum in Estoril. -- Full report:

* (December 11, 2011; Day 19 - 23:00:00 UTC) - Loick Peyron (FRA) and his
team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V have built a 2034.1
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. They now have 12389 nm to the finish. --

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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 Mike Walbolt:
Watching your Video of the Week with sailboats in TV ads, I was reminded of
how in the 1960's Frank Levinson, one of the Levinson brothers well known
in the Snipe class, decided to attempt a Flying Dutchman bid for the
Olympics. He spent a lot of time in that effort, and he and his boat
appeared briefly in an Ad that appeared on TV. He was disqualified
immediately for future Olympic consideration under the then advertising
rules of the sport.

* From Adrian Morgan:
Oh please....leave words like "hero" and "glory" and "awesome" out of the
sailing lexicon. As in "...a look back to Plymouth where we witnessed
stadium sailing in all its glory..."

I'm with John Riise (in Scuttlebutt 3486) when he writes that sailing is
"...self regulating and there's nothing wrong with that. It will never be
golf and be thankful for that. "

And trying to ramp it up, jazz it up, hype it up or dare I say sex it up
won't get more into a sport that has a natural mass. And calling it
"glorious" may get a few more butts on couches, but will not get more butts
on boats.

* From George Morris
When we say 'sailing' is in decline we mean 'yacht racing' is in decline -
or at least participation in organized events. Skiing has a high
participation level but almost nobody races or joins a club. On the other
hand it is hard to play golf without competing with someone else or being a
member of an organization of some sort. Is golf thriving? Dunno - I don't
play. Bridge is rather similar - there was a time when everyone played
Bridge or Whist, now Bridge clubs are populated almost exclusively by the
retired and the infirm.

One way to partially sidestep the reluctance of many people to 'compete' is
to run 'fun' races where you get a start sequence and a finishing gun but
do not publish results. In a handicap fleet there is thus less stigma
attached to coming last. But the fact remains that people who compete all
the time are pretty wearing (I find Terry Hutchinson, Dean Barker et al
pretty unattractive at their pre- and post-race TV interviews).

I think that as a population fewer of us are interested in competitive
sport where in any one race one person will win and everyone else will
lose. If the alternative is to go for a 'nice sail' with a drink at an
up-river pub and an alcoholic drift back to the mooring on the ebb tide,
why would anyone want to race?

COMMENT: I think the marine industry can make a case that all sailing is in
the decline, not just yacht racing. However, no doubt racing at all levels
is struggling - a victim in part with the rising effort to compete. When
the effort exceeds the enjoyment, people stop participating. Do people that
stop racing become daysailors? Maybe, but if they don't, they probably
become boat sellers. And they probably drop out of their club membership
too. Falling dominoes. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Paul Warren Redington Beach, FL:
I totally concur that the America's Cup management missed a golden
opportunity at the America's Cup World Series event in San Diego to both
build an interested audience for the America's Cup AND to attract potential
new sailors to the sport of sailing.

During my numerous and extended visits to the ACWS viewing areas in San
Diego, I experienced many "ordinary folks" (non-sailors) who were
interested in what all the commotion was about. However, there were no
incentives (e.g., live TV, running commentary, knowledgeable "official
guides") to keep these people "in the stadium" and, potentially, turning
them on to sailing.

As it was, there was no real reason for most folks (except us hard-core
sailors/racers) to stick around since the on-the-water action was away from
the piers for much of the racing time. This was an opportunity to turn
hundreds, if not thousands, on to the joys of sailing. They absolutely blew
it in San Diego.

COMMENT: Though Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts had been involved in the
genesis of the ACWS, San Diego was his first opportunity to observe the
event rather than compete in it. I heard he wasn't too happy. Hopefully
these next five months before the ACWS resumes in Italy will provide the
organization a reality check, and the opportunity to deliver a great
spectating experience for the events in Newport (June 2012) and San
Francisco (Aug/Sept 2012). - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers.
Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire ...and
so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

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