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SCUTTLEBUTT 3495 - Thursday, December 22, 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: Southern Spars and Ullman Sails.
CANDIDLY CAYARD, EYE ON THE PRIZE
By Michelle Slade, SailBlast
As CEO of a Swedish America's Cup team that's currently based in Valencia,
Spain, because that's where its critical mass of designers live along with
primary designer Juan K., Paul Cayard isn't spending too much time on his
home shores of San Francisco Bay. He cites having a team scattered around
the world as just one challenge of the next America's Cup, but probably
less so than the ultimate challenge - racing AC72s on San Francisco Bay:
"It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that the handle-ability of
this seriously over-powered boat which is under-crewed on an extremely
short course in the windiest venue in the world - you multiply all that
together and you have a sh#tfight on your hands."
Meanwhile, he's upbeat after the first of the America's Cup World Series
* What was your take home after these past three events?
"If you look at the skill level and the speed, Artemis Racing has it - they
just need to work on the consistency a little bit. What separates Oracle
and Team NZ right now is that they're a little more consistent with their
performances and we need to strive to attain that level of consistency.
To be fair to Terry and the guys, strategically as a team we decided to
rotate the crew and that's something ETNZ absolutely doesn't do and Oracle
hadn't much but for example, in San Diego when Darren Bundock steered -
he's a very accomplished multi hull sailor - and had trouble also. It's not
that easy to move people around. That maybe something we don't do as much
of next year. We do now have a second AC45, which is a different way to get
the crew the exposure so we can have 10 guys sailing without having to
rotate crew and we'll start doing that in January. But we now have eight
people with experience and in some ways we'll be a little wealthier for
(Artemis has 13 sailors on the Team, including new hire Chris Brittle who
came over from Team Korea. Cayard plans to steer their new AC45 for a bit
in February before turning it over to alternate helmsman Santiago Lange.
They're on schedule to launch an AC72 July 1, 2012, with molds built and
soon ready for lamination.)
* Has the investment in the World Series been worthwhile?
"The events are very useful for promoting the America's Cup. The teams need
a road show - what's the road to the America's Cup? Where are the teams?
What's the visibility? How do they get the sponsors? So, having a circuit
that's identified that the teams and sponsors can count on and that the
public can watch on the internet, on TV or in person, all that is part of
building the fan base and creating a bigger value in 2013.
"To walk into 2013 cold especially after the 33rd America's Cup which
wasn't particularly glorious in our history, I'm not sure spending any
amount of money on the finals would have done as good a job as the World
Series will do. It's a difficult time. The economy is what it is but the
America's Cup was handed over in a pretty difficult state between the
lawsuit and the boats racing two races - that was fairly pitiful - it was a
low point in our sport and this event. To build on that and to create a
product that can really win the fans back to sailing is a big challenge."
Read on: http://www.sailblast.blogspot.com/2011/12/candidly-cayard.html
CONTROLLING WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
The distance racing game has changed. The improved tools for navigation,
routing, and tracking allow for better decisions to be made. So while the
impact of fate has decreased, it hasn't completely gone away.
The 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart, which begins December 26th, is
among the highly contested offshore prizes. But when the overall corrected
time winner hoists the Tattersall's Cup next week, they must sheepishly
admit that luck had a hand in their victory.
The old Hobart adage is: 'to win the race you have to win your division',
and then hope that the particular weather patterns will favour your
division, because this is a marathon and different sized boats sail at
markedly different speeds. Each division will likely race in a weather
pattern that is completely different from the other divisions.
You win your division by sailing to your rating, to your boat's full
potential, for more of the race than your rivals, though even that may not
"A third of winning the race is pre-race preparation, a third is sailing
the boat well, and a third is weather," AFR Midnight Rambler's co-owner
Michael Bencsik explains: "The first two you can control. The rest is a
"AFR Midnight Rambler (Ker 40) is designed to go upwind okay, and really
take off when the wind shifts around to the beam or astern. She is a bit
faster upwind than Bruce Taylor's Chutzpah (IRC 40), but cannot match the
Victorian sled downwind." Bencsik is gambling on a race that will have
enough upwind time to cancel out Chutzpah's downwind advantage.
Sean Kirkjian has chosen a Beneteau 45 as the platform for a campaign to
win the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart that has been in the making for two years.
The Beneteau Victoire is good upwind, but will not see AFR Midnight Rambler
and Chutzpah for dust, or spray at least, when the wind blows from the
"It's a bit like the tortoise and the hare," Kirkjian says. "We're like the
tortoise. We lumber along and keep going at a certain speed all the time.
These guys tend to stay with us upwind and when the wind turns they take
off. But they are handicapped accordingly.
"Fronts come from the south and we are sailing into them, so you might hit
one or even two fronts in a typical Hobart. Sailing north is a different
On top of all this, navigators and tacticians have to make the right
choices. Sometimes the weather suits a straight line to Hobart, but
sometimes a longer route further out to sea turns out to be fastest. Make
the wrong choice and you can blow your race.
"With all the information about the weather you get these days, and the
yacht tracker (which shows where your competitors are in real time) it's
like a constantly moving chess game," says Crafoord. -- Full story:
SOUTHERN SPARS IN THE ROLEX SYDNEY TO HOBART: 6 WINS IN 6 YEARS
For the past six years Southern Spars rigs have claimed line honours
victory in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart; finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the
past two years and in 2005. Southern Spars have had a long affiliation with
the Sydney to Hobart and we are confident that this success will continue.
Southern Spars will be launching a new website in late January with many
new features like our victories timeline, team profiles, newsletter
downloads, latest Southern news, upcoming projects, Google maps and full
previous project profiles. Go to http://www.southernspars.com early in the
New Year to find out more...
CONFIDENCE + CAMMAS = TROUBLE
(December 21, 2011; Day 11) - Less than 400 miles from the stealth zone set
up by the Volvo Ocean Race organisers to avoid pirates, Groupama 4 has
consolidated her lead over her three most dangerous rivals, reaching over
the top to a position now ahead. There is no quirky trajectory in prospect:
the aim is simply to make headway North as far as the Doldrums in an easing
It's been three days that the whole fleet has been sailing along the edge
of the Mascareignes High, in an easterly breeze of just twenty knots or so,
which isn't always very stable either in strength or direction. "These
aren't easy conditions because we're beam onto the wind with a rather messy
sea state: the boat's very wet," notes skipper Franck Cammas. "Fortunately
the water and air temperatures are good: it's hot but we're all soaked. The
trimmers have their eyes more on the wake than up ahead because it's
impossible to keep your eyes open in the constant spray."
A little unsettled by the conservative attitude of his rivals (with the
exception of the Chinese boat), Franck Cammas has been able to back up his
sailing method by favouring major strategic options so as to play the wind
variations rather than going for small tactical coups targeted at gaining a
better position as regards the fleet. Their unfortunate experience of the
first leg has done nothing to dampen the vision of the crew of Groupama 4.
"I think that the other crews focus more on a short term strategy because
we couldn't understand why nobody followed us when we set off towards the
South-East for the third time," observed Cammas. "Now we're gradually going
to latch onto light airs and it's likely that the whole fleet will bunch up
again on crossing the equator. It's true that we're beginning to get a bit
of a complex by way of constantly doing our own thing. However, our
confidence has been boosted now as regards the way we're tackling the
strategy, and that's re-motivated the crew!" -- Read on:
FINISH: Due to piracy concerns, the fleet is aiming for a mid leg finish
location that is being kept secret. The fleet will be transported by ship
to a restart location for a sprint leg to Abu Dhabi. So where is the secret
finish location? Currently the fleet is aiming for the tip of India, which
could be a likely choice. The options to the left are toward the heart of
piracy, and the options to the right of India add miles and uncertain
weather to the leg. However, there is an even closer location between the
fleet and India... a 17-square-mile atoll called Diego Garcia:
MADAGASCAR: Following the discovery of their damaged shroud, Team Sanya
arrived safely in the island of Madagascar on Tuesday and removed their rig
on Wednesday: http://www.teamsanya.com/en/news/madagascar-day-two
Course details: http://tinyurl.com/Piracy-121111
Leg 2 - Cape Town, SA to Abu Dhabi, UAE
Standings as of Wednesday, 21 December 2011, 22:12:03 UTC
1. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA)
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 84.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 97.0 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 119.4 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 236.9 nm DTL
Suspended - Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL)
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Race Schedule: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-2011-12-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. -
THE RECORD BREAKING GAME
(December 21, 2011; Day 29 - 23:00:00 UTC) - If it was easy, anybody could
do it. That's the reality facing Loick Peyron (FRA) and his team on the
131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V in their quest to lower the
non-stop circumnavigation Jules Verne Trophy record (48 days 7 hours 44
minutes 52 seconds). They are still ahead of the record, though their lead
has shrunk now to 593.7 nm. Helmsman/trimmer Brian Thompson describes their
situation as they struggle eastward in the south Pacific toward Cape Horn:
When we were storming across the Indian Ocean 10 days ago, 2000 miles ahead
of the record, we had dreamed of being at Cape Horn today, but the large
detour around the ice zone, and then this roadblock of a ridge have
shattered that pleasant dream...
So back in reality, for the last 2 days we have been downwind sailing,
trying to find a way through this ridge that is moving east slowly. In the
middle of it there is no wind, we have so nearly gotten through it several
times, but the wind dies on us, the ridge moves on, and we are still left
on the west side, the door slammed in our face.
Fortunately this ridge of no wind will finally start to migrate north
tomorrow (Thursday), with westerly winds coming in below it. So we have
sailed far south, into the 'screaming' 60s latitudes, to be ready to go
through when the door finally lets us past.
You have to be an optimist in this record breaking game, so there is always
some good news. Today's good news is that there is currently no wind at the
Horn or going up the S. Atlantic, so we are not missing out on a fantastic
ride north. In fact, we are looking quite fortunate that a low is going to
hold off forming, till our delayed arrival, and then it should help us up
to 40S in the Atlantic.
So we have lost loads of miles on Groupama 3 lately, though we hope to be
still ahead at Cape Horn... now 900 nm ahead. -- Read on:
WISHING YOU A BREEZY HOLIDAY
The Ullman Sails group would like to wish you, your family and your crew a
very happy and safe holiday season. No matter where you are in the world,
our sail lofts work hard to deliver the best customer service and the
highest quality sails all year long. As we say goodbye to 2011 and look
towards a new year, we want to thank all of our customers for an excellent
year! We are lucky enough to share our passion with you and help you
maximize your enjoyment on the water. Happy holidays! Invest in your
U.S. TEAM ANNOUNCED
In nine of the ten Olympic sailing events, the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team -
Sailing has been selected, and will be officially nominated pending
approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee. The only event not yet selected
is the Women's Match Racing, which will host it second and final qualifying
event May 4-9 in Weymouth, England. The U.S. team representatives are:
- 49er (Men's Two Person Dinghy High Performance): Erik Storck (Huntington,
N.Y.) Trevor Moore (Pomfret, Vt./Naples, Fla.)
- Men's 470 (Men's Two Person Dinghy): Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass.) and
Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.)
- Women's 470 (Women's Two Person Dinghy): Amanda Clark (Shelter Island,
N.Y.) and Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
- Finn (Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy): Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
- Laser (Men's One Person Dinghy): Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.)
- Laser Radial (Women's One Person Dinghy): Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
- Men's RS:X (Men's Windsurfer): Bob Willis (Chicago, Ill.)
- Star (Men's Keelboat): Mark Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.), Brian Fatih
- Women's RS:X (Women's Windsurfer): Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) earned a
nomination in the women's windsurfer (RS:X), pending both US Olympic
Committee approval and qualification of the USA in the RS:X. As the USA did
not qualify at the ISAF Worlds, the final opportunity will be the 2012 RS:X
World Championship, March 20-29 in Cadiz, Spain.
The full US Olympic Team - Sailing will compete at the 2012 Olympic Games,
scheduled for July 27- August 12, 2012 in Weymouth/Portland, England.
Trials Tracker: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Games/Olympics/Track.htm
BRITAIN'S ATHLETES COULD CASH IN AFTER OLYMPIC GLORY
Britain's biggest stars stand to make 2 million pounds each or more in
endorsements if they strike gold at next summer's Olympic Games in London.
And with high-profile athletes on average signing four major sponsorship
deals each, TV commercials paying 100,000+ pounds and afterdinner speaking
engagements at 10,000+ pounds a time, the pot of gold awaiting our 2012
Olympic champions will be unprecedented.
There is a huge range of incomes for Olympic gold medallists, with those in
the lowest-profile events earning only 'handfuls of thousands' in
medal-related cash. But the household names can expect to cash in - and
others in that bracket include athletes Paula Radcliffe and Phillips Idowu,
cyclists Victoria Pendleton and Mark Cavendish, sailor Ben Ainslie and
teenage diving sensation Tom Daley.
Marketing expert Keith Impey, chief executive of sports communications
company Havas Sports, has negotiated confidential deals for several of
Britain's successful athletes from the Beijing Olympics, including Ben
Ainslie. "After Beijing, we found a wide range in demand from clients for
sports stars' services," he said.
"Demand and values are based on image, how recognisable they are, the sport
they play and their potential to generate press coverage. The core sports
stars will do better than those from the so-called secondary sports and can
command between 50,000- 150,000 pounds per endorsement, per year.
"On the other hand, Team GB won lots of sailing gold medals in Beijing, but
nobody would recognise the winners if they walked down the street. They may
have benefited financially from winning, but they can probably generate
only a few thousand pounds for each public appearance or endorsement.'
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/Bank-122111
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 26-30 - Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
Dec 30-31 - Vanguard 15 Midwinters (Fleet Racing) - Jensen Beach, FL, USA
Jan 1-3 - Vanguard 15 Team Race Midwinters - Jensen Beach, FL, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* Jeremy Wilmot Joins North Sails
* JK3 to represent Hanse Yachts
* Morris Yachts Welcomes Its First CEO
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
Nobody has ever come up with a great idea after a second bottle of water.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Team One Newport - Interlux - North Sails - New England Ropes
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics - US SAILING
Southern Spars - Ullman Sails
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers