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SCUTTLEBUTT 3489 - Wednesday, December 14, 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: Atlantis WeatherGear, North Sails, and Harken.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) conducted research into the numbers and contributing factors of entrapments under capsized dinghies. During their study period of 2003-2004, 44 incidents were logged.

The RYA also looked at ways of preventing entrapments by examining boat design and developing and testing rescue techniques. In addition, air gap tests were conducted under a range of boats and discussions took place with the major dinghy manufacturers.

Despite the low statistical risk, there was a sufficient range of incidents to suggest it is worth making sailors aware of the problem. Of the incidents reported, only a small proportion required medical treatment, but over one third were serious i.e. potential threat to life.

The biggest risk results from complete inversion of the boat with the sailor tangled or stuck underneath. The probability of an incident seems unaffected very much by the conditions, since a number of incidents were recorded in light winds.

Here are some of the findings from the report 'RYA Research into Dinghy Entrapments March 2005':

* The most common cause of entrapment was 30% getting ropes tangled around the body or limbs, 30% getting caught on other control lines and straps and 30% involved some part of the trapeze harness.
* The most effective rescue of a trapped sailor is to right the boat as rapidly as possible.
* Sealed masts and masthead buoyancy to have some effect in reducing the speed and likelihood of inversion.
* Modern designs with raised cockpit floor to enable self-draining have less or no air void for sailors trapped in the cockpit when inverted.
* Consideration should be given for trapeze harnesses other than the fixed hook type.
* Keep control lines short and tidy and maintain elastic so it does its job.
* Carry a very sharp, easily accessible, preferably serrated knife.

Full report:

Perth, Australia (December 13, 2011) - With a set of significant thunderstorms rolling through overnight, conditions on the course saw rain along with shifty offshore winds increase to 20 knots. With the exception of the Star, the fleet events continued their qualifying series while the Women's Match Race event reduced its field of 29 teams to 8 quarterfinalists.

* After a hard day of dramatically fluctuating winds and more than 10 capsizes in the racing, Denmark's Peter Kruger Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell are the overall leaders at the end of the second day of competition for the 49ers at the ISAF Worlds. Americans Erik Storck and Trevor Moore rolled a 1-3-3 to move up to 2nd position.

* Spain's Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos have wrapped up the second day of competition in Women's 470 with wins in races three and four to claim top position overall. Americans Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan are in 7th position.

* Israel's Nimrod Mashich heads the leader board after four races in the Men's RS:X event with two top ranked Polish sailors, including the world number one, just four points behind. Canadian Zachary Plavsic's scored a 1-11 to move up to 10th position.

* Laser world champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) has set himself apart from the rest of the fleet with three wins out of four races in competition at the ISAF Worlds in Perth. Canadian Chris Dold is in 23rd position.

* British Olympic Champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson fell from the lead when Percy's back pains from Monday were too much to bear, and the team has dropped out of the series. After six races, 2008 silver medallists Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) move into first position overall. Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) and Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) trail the Brazilians by only one point.

* The repechage round of the Women's Match Race event was completed to determine the final four teams to advance to the quarterfinal knockout stage. Great Britain's Lucy Macgregor won this round while American Genny Tulloch's team finished 9th and was eliminated. American Anna Tunnicliffe will face Nicky Souter (AUS) in the quarterfinals that begin Wednesday.

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 on December 3-18 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:

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American Paige Railey had dreamed of competing at the 2008 Olympic Games alongside her brother Zach. But Paige's dream ended when Anna Tunnicliffe beat her in the Laser Radial trials, and went on to win the Gold Medal at the 2008 Games.

Determined to come back as a better sailor and a better person, last week Paige completed her climb to the top and, along with her brother Zach, was nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. Here's Paige's report...
We did it!!!!!! Zach and I have qualified for the 2012 US Olympic Team! How exciting is this?! My brother and I representing our country, sponsors, family, team, and yacht club together at the same venue! This has been a long time coming for us two.....

So, let's go back about a month. I headed off to Colorado Springs and trained at our Olympic Training Center for over two weeks. The gym training was extremely demanding, but I had hopes of being physically prepared for a breezy event in Perth. I gained some weight, increased my strength and improved my endurance. I wanted to be in a mindset for the month of November of doing all that I could to have a good worlds.

The training turned out to be amazing and as it looks right now, I will be spending a few weeks there in the upcoming year. I had a great time with the trainers and being around like minded people. I arrived in Australia in the best shape of my life and mentally ready to take on anything.

Luther (coach Luther Carpenter) and I have discussed certain goals that he wanted me to try out at the event. I had one of the strongest qualifying series that I have ever opened an event in. I was fifth going into the Gold Series. I had a strong opening series in the Gold Fleet when we were on the outer course...then we changed areas. I unfortunately struggled with our new course area.

I was not able to figure out the proper tactics and strategy around a rock jetty that was in the area. Our last two races of the Gold Series and Medal Race were on this course. SO, I never got the hang of this area, but my scores from the previous racing were so strong that it enabled me to finish third overall.

Now I am in Sydney, Australia with my family. We are all on Cloud 9 because of the qualification for my brother and I. Our plan is to tour around the city then head off to the Barrier Reef. We thought that we should take the opportunity to see the country!

It's time for a much needed break and....yippeeee, I'm so excited for it! --

(December 13, 2011; Day 3) - After another day of tip toeing though the minefield of wind holes and adverse current close to the shoreline, an improving forecast for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is in sight.

CAMPER navigator Will Oxley admits the route the fleet is taking so far on this leg is unknown territory for him but says the benign conditions of the first two days could soon come to an end in the next 24 hours as the fleet face the opposing forces of strong westerly winds and the notorious Agulhas Current.

"It's pretty unusual to be tacking down this South African coast. I have certainly never done it,'' he said. "There is a whole series of lows around Africa right now and we are expecting one to come off the land and out on to the water.

"If you are on the back of it you have a south westerly wind which could be 30 to 35 knots. Then you have a current that is opposing it and that could mean six metre waves, which would be pretty unpleasant."

The fleet is expected to start to feel the first Agulhas effects on Wednesday, before which the skippers and navigators will have hoped to work out the narrowest crossing point to avoid sailing in these potentially boat-breaking conditions any longer than necessary.

Once safely through the Agulhas the fleet could be in for some high speed sailing as two low pressure systems merge south-east of Africa creating a 35 to 40 knot westerly wind high-speed superhighway across the Indian Ocean.

Any tail enders will have to fight hard to close down the leaders as they head towards the powerful low, or run the risk being left behind. -- Event media

Course details:

Standings as of Wednesday, 14 December 2011, 1:00:47 UTC
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR)
2. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 5.80 nm Distance to Lead
3. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 13.80 nm DTL
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 16.40 nm DTL
5. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 18.00 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 26.60 nm DTL

Video reports:
Race Schedule:

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. -

After the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series season was decided at its final event last weekend in Singapore, the award-winning Stadium Sailing event has confirmed its 2012 circuit. The same award-winning format, but two new countries and three new venues will accompany five proven Host Cities from the highly-charged 2011 edition.

The 'ISAF Special Event' circuit continues its 9-month globe-trotting tour as it enters its sixth year of competition, with 8 events spanning 3 continents. The host venues represent a mix of iconic cities, established sailing venues, and new markets where professional sailing remains in its infancy.

The costs for a competitive team will be reduced in 2012 yet the return is expected to increase for their sponsors. A core objective of the circuit remains to be the most commercially sound way for brands and host venues to benefit from the great offer that professional sailing can present. This philosophy has been at the heart of the product since its inception in 2006, with the majority of teams since 2007 being sponsorship funded.

2012 Calendar & Host Venues:
Act 1: Muscat, Oman - 28th February-2nd March
Act 2: Qingdao, China - 19th-22nd April
Act 3: Istanbul, Turkey - 7th-10th June
Act 4: Porto, Portugal - 5th-8th July
Act 5: UK - August
Act 6: Trapani, Italy - 13th-16th September
Act 7: Nice, France - 18th-21st October
Act 8: Brazil - 29th November-2nd December

Full report:

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The Marine Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides companies with guaranteed online exposure of their personnel, product and service updates. Plus each week the Scuttlebutt newsletter selects a sampling of updates to feature in the Thursday edition. Are you in the marine industry? Post your updates here:

* (December 13, 2011; Day 21 - 23:45:00 UTC) - Loick Peyron (FRA) and his team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V have passed under New Zealand and have entered the Pacific Ocean with a 2058.7 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 11127 nm to the finish. --

* Charlotte Harbor, FL (December 10, 2011) - Great Britain's Helena Lucas won the 2011 U.S. 2.4mR Class Association Pre-Worlds over Canada's Paul Tingley and Bruce Millar, who tied for second place. Tingley, who led the regatta on the strength of two wins on Day One, managed only two eighth-place finishes, one a throw-out, on Saturday. Millar posted two fifths Saturday to catch Tingley after starting the day three points back. -- Full report:

* The Stamford Yacht Club has been cited by the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound for its work in revitalizing the Vineyard Race. The 2011 Vineyard Race marked the 77th year that this annual challenge was held. In the past four years participation in the event has gone from 55 boats to almost 100. Stamford YC was chosen over three other nominated clubs. -- Full report:

* (December 13, 2011) - The White Tiger Challenge's America's Cup campaign announced today that skipper Chris Draper and Team Korea have agreed to part ways. Presently ranked equal 4th overall in the America's Cup World Series, the team has enjoyed tremendous success through an eventful period from its start up earlier this year. Team Korea CEO Kim Dong-Young said that a new skipper would be announced shortly. -- Full report:

Saturday night: no matter where you live, you'll run into pressure to make the most of it. So you hit the club. You take in the concert. You do the afterparty. You drink the booze, you drink the booze, you drink the booze.

And Sunday morning? Pure head-pounding, stomach-churning, closethefrickindrapeswouldjamisery. The hangover: your body's not-so-kind thank you for a night of abuse. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Worldwide, hangover cures run the gamut from the salty to the spicy to the sour to the wet, but depending on what country you live in, the hangover remedy you reach for might vary. Here, a compilation of hangover foods around the world. Just in case. -- Read on:

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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 Brad Dellenbaugh:
I have a great deal of respect for the sailing abilities of Ben Ainslie. Clearly one of the best ever and often compared to the legendary Paul Elvstrom. It's unfortunate that the incident (at the Worlds) with the camera boat in Perth occurred and I'm not sure of all the details that might determine any further disciplinary action by ISAF. But let's not lose track of what actually happened...

ISAF is pushing to increase television coverage. ISAF didn't control their camera boat. ISAF shouldn't have been testing new TV techniques at the Worlds. The driver didn't understand his poor positioning and the effects of his wake in the WORLD championship! Boat shouldn't have been there. OK, got it.

But at the time of the incident, Ainslie was in second place behind Postma. And he finished the race in second. Sure, he may have had a chance to pass Postma and win the race, but he didn't lose boats. Sure, be pissed that the guy was all in your way…sail by and give them a piece of your mind…but despite all the pressure and tension, you don't jump into the boat and physically or verbally confront the driver and cameraman.

Perhaps having lost focus, or maybe just jumped the gun, Ainslie then gets black-flagged in the final race. With the black flag as his discard, Ainslie would have gone into the Medal Race with an 8-point lead over Scott and 10-point lead over Postma. The Worlds was his to win! Except...

Read on:

* From Philippe Herve:
In previous Olympic events, Sailing was the most followed up sport on the internet. The reason is simple - many of us are passionate about sailing and sailing in the Olympic used to be the best one could achieve.

Unfortunately, to please the media, the Olympic races have now nothing to do with the races most of us enjoy on our week-ends. A race lasts 20 minutes in the Olympics to please the media. Choosing a course that privileges viewing but transforms the race in a vast lottery seems to be the goal. The media may be happy but as a past member of my national team, I don't see what sailing at the Olympic level in today's format has to do with the purity and pleasure of sailing competitively.

I understand Ben Ainslie frustration. Thank you Ben for loudly saying what everybody else was thinking. Hopefully ISAF will listen and correct the destructive path on which they have engaged.

* From Philip Gage:
The ISAF worlds have a sailing instruction 15.2 that prevents competitors seeking redress for the actions of any of the official boats. There are many who view such sailing instructions as being liable to bring the sport into disrepute.

There is no mention of this change to the rules in the Notice of Race as required by Appendix J1.2(1), so it is hard to see how this the sailing instruction complies with the Racing Rules. One wonders why the International Jury have not seen this flaw and had the instruction stricken out. At this stage there is no change to the wording of the Instruction that could possibly bring it to comply with the racing rules.

MORE: Additional letters concerning the 'Ainslie Incident' are posted in the Forum:

Two hats were hanging on the hallway hat rack. One hat said to the other: "You stay here; I'll go on a head."

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