SCUTTLEBUTT 3498 - Wednesday, January 4, 2012
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, North Sails, and Amazon.com.
SOLO AROUND THE AMERICA'S
Matt Rutherford is a dreamer. His current plan began with his intent to
sail single-handed East To West through the Northwest Passage. That was
last summer, and he said if he made it, he would continue to sail around
the Americas. His boat for the adventure is a 27-foot Albin-Vega.
Matt also possesses the compassionate heart of a good man, having spent
time in Annapolis working with Chesapeake Regional Accessible Boating
(CRAB), helping persons with disabilities get out and enjoy the water. His
voyage is aimed at raising money for CRAB.
The voyage began in the Chesapeake, and as they say, so far so good. He is
now nearing Cape Horn, with this report on his blog posted December 26th:
I hope this Christmas finds everyone in good health and high spirits. It's
not very festive down here but I did put some things aside for the
holidays. I have a can of ham (my Christmas ham). I have half a bottle of
15 year old Highland Park scotch and a cigar. So it's a good Christmas.
I got a bit dinged up about a week and a half ago. It was blowing 30-35kts
and these squally rain showers were consistently passing by producing 40kt
winds. If there's too much wind my wind generator disconnects (somehow)
from my batteries and without that load it starts spinning out of control.
You can tell when this happens because the sound that the wind generator
makes changes drastically. So I went outside to tie off the blades and stop
the generator from spinning.
It sits on an eight foot pole, and because of the 40kt winds my boat was
heeled over something awful. I had very little sail up so there was nothing
I could do about that. Anyway, it's a precarious job but I managed to tie
off the wind generator. In order to get from the back of my cockpit to the
companionway I have to step over the lines that run from my wind vane to my
tiller. I've done this 1,000 times and could do it blindfolded. The problem
was that it was 2 or 3am and the thick clouds blocked out the moonlight so
I was sailing in pitch black darkness.
As I went to step over the line a wave came out of the darkness, hitting me
with a solid wall of water. I had one foot in the air so it easily threw me
across the cockpit. I came down hard on a winch right in the ribs and I
must have hit several other things as I was dinged up in a half dozen
places. I was alright after a few days but it hurt to take a deep breath
for a while. The point is, when things go wrong on a sail boat it happens
very quickly. One moment I'm sleeping peacefully in my sleeping bag, a few
minutes later I'm sprawled out in the bottom of my cockpit with the wind
knocked out of me, covered in water, trying to figure out what just
Well, all in all, all is good. I'm happy to be down here. It's an exciting
place with an infamous history. I'm 1,240 miles from the Horn and right on
schedule. The winds will pick up as I get closer to the Horn. It looks like
I might have a gale in the next few days. So happy holidays, drink some
eggnog for me and have a good new year. -- Blog:
BEING WARM CAN BE SO COOL
In the winter of 2009 SLAM introduced a comprehensive line of skiff
clothing. This gear was designed from the influence of Bethwaite Design,
and Jack Young, former 18 skiff champion. Their goal was to produce skiff
gear for the warmer climes, but in addition was more ergonomic in design
and production than anything else on the market (at that time). This gear
has been worn by guys like Tom Slingsby, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page,
current World Champions in the Laser and 470. Was it the gear, not likely,
but it certainly helped? http://www.slam-shops.com/slam-skiffs.php
SIX HOUR SPRINT
(January 3, 2012) - The Volvo Ocean race commences on Wednesday (Tuesday in
the U.S.) with the second stage of the Leg 2, which will be a 98 nautical
mile sprint in the Persian Gulf from the Sharjah coastline into Abu Dhabi.
And with strong winds forecast for race day, PUMA skipper Ken Read believes
the sprint is anyone's to win.
"If you lined up the five crews and said there's a running race to that
black Volvo car down at the end of the street it would be a death match,"
Read said."You won't see anyone letting up and you'll see everyone pulling
out all the stops. It could be a pretty breezy reach down the coast, not to
mention a lee shore the whole way down with big waves bouncing off the
shore. It could be fairly action packed."
Team Telefonica and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand will be worth
watching as they contest the overall victory in a leg split into two parts
because of the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
The other Leg 2 finishing positions are also up for grabs, with 20 percent
of the points still available after a first stage, raced from Cape Town to
an undisclosed Safe Haven that ended with a knife-edge victory for
Telefonica over CAMPER.
Racing is scheduled to start at 0930 local / 0530 UTC (NOTE: Tuesday at
9:30 pm PST), with the fleet expected to complete the course in less than
six hours. Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad says the tracker, which will
update position data every 60 seconds, is the best way for race fans around
the world to keep tabs on exactly what is going on out on the racecourse.
"This is the first time we have used the fast updating tracker on a leg of
the race," Frostad said. "The tracker will update the boats' positions
every minute and the tracker software buffers the data so that the users
see a smooth track on the screen." - Race media
Viewing details: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-010312
Course details: http://tinyurl.com/Piracy-121111
Current overall standings
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 6-1-1-1**, 61 pts
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 3-2-2-2**, 54 pts
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 5-3-5-4**, 36 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2-DNF-3-3**, 25 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1-DNF-4-5**, 17 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 4-DNF-6-6-SUS***, 4 pts
** Finish position scored on first section of Leg 2; due to piracy issues,
fleet will restart leg with short sprint into Abu Dhabi
*** Suspended Racing
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Original 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 END GAME IS TIGHT ACTION
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Change happens. Like when a local developer got my neighborhood to approve
some renderings, and then built something different. Things that are said
are not always done. Over the years, you pay attention, and you see enough
of it. It's not hard to be a skeptic.
Last week, when I saw the race course announcement for the 2013 America's
Cup, the skeptic in me sat upright. Hmm, I questioned, bait and switch? It
was a year ago, New Year's Eve to be exact, when San Francisco was
confirmed as the venue for the 34th Match. And a month later, the vision
for the race course was provided. A much different vision than what was
presented last week.
Last year, what better way to get all the surrounding communities of San
Francisco Bay to embrace this event than to present a race course that
skirted their shores? A tour of the bay. A view from all surrounding
headlands. A short distance from every marina. That was the early vision.
Maybe this is innocent enough. Perhaps too much initial enthusiasm. I mean,
we have all occasionally let our alligator mouth get ahead of our
hummingbird ass. Whatever the reason, the official race course is now, save
for a couple wrinkles used in the America's Cup World Series, the same
windward-leeward we are all familiar with.
I haven't seen where they plan to put the course, but in a typical breeze
direction, the prescribed three mile leg length is about the same as the
famed City Front area. Their start could be off of the touristy Fisherman's
Wharf, and their course corridor could have the city's shoreline as one
The width of the course corridor wasn't announced. This might still be up
for debate. If I have a faster boat, I would want a wider corridor.
Remember the race management is independent of the defender. The conspiracy
theorists might get ready for this issue.
While having the race course tour the bay might be better for local
politics and broaden the onboard tactical challenges, it isn't the end
game. The end game is tight action, a better television package. What's
better for the fans isn't necessarily better for the racers. And this will
be better for the fans.
Here's the recent course announcement:
Here are two stories from a year ago:
The crew at Wight Vodka and Scuttlebutt Europe teamed up yet again to
determine the yachting fraternity's favourite bar the world over, and are
thrilled to announce that Wight Vodka's 2011 'First in Class' prize is
awarded to IYAC in Newport, Rhode Island!
IYAC came out on top due to the massive volume of votes received by their
faithful patrons and their passionate submissions in the early rounds. It
is fantastic to welcome them alongside the Soggy Dollar in the BVI who won
2010's contest, and the Peter Cafe Sport in the Azores who claimed the
podium in 2009.
This year's contest was tight between the winner and the runners-up,
including the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club
in Pattaya, Thailand, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Salty Mike's in
Charleston, South Carolina, the King & Queen in Hamble, England and the
Pier View in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the Dog Watch in Stonington,
Connecticut, the Clubhouse Yacht Club in Breskens, Holland, and Nippers in
Great Guana Cay in the Abacos. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/SE-010312
700 N.A. NORTH SAILS VICTORIES IN 2011 & COUNTING...
If you are a North Sails customer who finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd at any
regatta in North America during 2011, we want to congratulate you by
sending you a free North Sails hat! We have collected over 700 names so far
and the list continues to grow...! Please visit our Web site to find your
name (or request we add it) and RSVP for your free North Hat. When
performance (and results) count, the choice is clear:
* The Canadian Yachting Association and Rolex Canada announced that the
Canadian Rolex Sailor of the Year event will take place on Saturday,
February 4th, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario. The Canadian Rolex Sailor of the
Year event is the premier opportunity for Canadians to recognize the
achievements and successes of Canadian sailors. -- Details:
* Napier, New Zealand (January 3, 2012) - Light winds on day three at the
Optimist World Championship shuffled the standings for the 209 competitors.
Only one race was completed, boosting Ryan Lo of Singapore from fourth to
first overall. American Wade Waddell rolled a 44th, which dropped him from
second to fourth overall. The schedule continues on Wednesday and Thursday
with national team racing, then a spare day on Friday before the fleet
championship resumes on Saturday and concludes on Monday. -- Event website:
* (January 3, 2012; Day 42 - 23:00:00 UTC) - After circling to the west to
avoid a big, windless High Pressure area in the north Atlantic, Loick
Peyron (FRA) and his team on the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V
continue on course to lower the non-stop circumnavigation Jules Verne
Trophy record (48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds). They are now aiming
toward the finish, and are ahead of the record by 867.2 nm with 2,088 nm
remaining. Tracking: http://tinyurl.com/BP-JV-Tracking-2011-12
* US Sailing Center/Martin County (Jensen Beach, FL) hosted 30 sailing
teams from across the country for the Vanguard 15 Midwinter Fleet
Championship (Dec 30-31, 2011) and Team Racing Championships (Jan. 1-3,
2012). Austen Anderson and crew Christopher Klevan from the Long Island
Sound area took home fleet honors, winning a tiebreaker over the second
place team of Ben Greenfield and Holly Huffine. The Bristol Pistols team
from Rhode Island won the team even. -- Full report/results:
* Twenty-five people, ranging in age from 14 to 81, were killed last year
in boating accidents. The victims were sailors and watermen, sportsmen and
pleasure boaters. Only one - the youngest - was female, the Baltimore Sun
reported. Maryland boating deaths peaked in 1979 at 37, and during the last
decade the state has averaged a dozen deaths a year. By mid-2011, it was
obvious to state officials that it might be an above-average year. On June
23, the 11th death was recorded, compared with just four by that point the
previous year. -- Trade Only Today, full story:
* The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published the 2012-13
edition of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations. The regulations are used
by race organisers to provide uniform minimum equipment, accommodation and
training standards for monohull and multihull yachts racing offshore. A
number of changes made at the recent ISAF Annual Conference affect the new
2012-13 edition of the Special Regs. Unless otherwise specified the
amendments are effective 1 January 2012. -- Details:
* CORRECTION: Our return from holiday break was not without a couple
hiccups. After dating the e-newsletter 2011 instead of 2012, we messed up
the Volvo Ocean Race results for the first stage of Leg 2. As described in
the story, Camper was second and Groupama was fourth. Whew!
ARE YOU IN THE MARINE INDUSTRY?
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:
THE WORST DISASTER IN MODERN RACING
Remember THE PROVING GROUND, G. Bruce Knecht's bestselling book about the
1998 Sydney to Hobart Race? Walter Cronkite called it "a sailing
masterpiece" and William F. Buckley Jr. said it was "the most marvelous
sailing documentary I have ever read." A tenth anniversary edition of the
book was recently published, and it is now available as an e-book -which
just hit the Wall Street Journal's Top 10 list! This edition also includes
a new Afterword that catches up with all of THE PROVING GROUND'S major
characters - and it describes how Larry Ellison's experience in the Hobart
led to his decision to pursue the America's Cup. Start reading now:
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 Jan Visser:
Commenting on Chris Caswell's column in Scuttlebutt 3497, I do agree that
it is hard for some kids to get the opportunity to sail/compete, however,
for the past 20 + years I have had, as you might say, the keys to the
For 15 years I had my own organization and many a time I have encountered a
wistful looking child peering out at Opti's, Lasers, Lido's or 420's on our
little bay. Being the talkative sort, I always managed to ask if the child
had interest. Well, that was usually the dumbest question I could ask; just
the look on the face told it all, but it gave me a foot in the door. So
many times over the years kids could not afford it, dad or mom was between
jobs, I would simply hand my business card to the parent and tell them what
time class started each Monday and to be there, no questions, just be
After moving my boats to the local yacht club due to marina reconstruction,
and until they take me out in a body bag or fire me (how do you fire unpaid
volunteers?) I can still do it; the opportunities are just as plentiful to
let that youngster blossom. I am not wealthy by any stretch, single mom
raised 2 youngsters, one went on to become a two time National Champ.
There are several organizations/clubs within 100 miles that have their own
silent way of bringing kids in to their programs and yes, encourage
competition and boat use is always available. You would be surprised how
much a youngster, bitten by the competition bug, can dream up ways to earn
the funds for their very own boat. Our local dinghy dealer is also
extremely helpful in this endeavor. So dreams do live on in some parts of
the country and probably more around the country than some folks realize.
* From Paul Warren:
For whatever it's worth, I started "giving back" to my sport 30 years ago
by becoming a sailing instructor. Over the years, I've taught CEOs and
housewives and all manner of persons in between. It's been VERY rewarding
to me, as I've gained some lifelong friends and associates - and even my
WIFE - as a result.
I encourage any sailor who wants to feel they're helping to grow our sport
to become an instructor ... even if it's just taking the neighbor kid for
his/her first sail.
* From Edward Long:
In Scuttlebutt 3497, I found the explanation of the rule quiz (the
overboard man affair) lacking on two counts.
First, the explanation that the boat is out because of outside agency fails
to explain how the 2 boats should have resolved the matter. The text
implies but does not state that the boat in question returns to the scene
of the accident thereby giving up any advantage gained. What should they
Second, the notion that the boat is out because the man in the water was
not hurt itself fails on 2 counts.
First, his physical condition cannot be determined by either boat prior to
rescue. Is the rescue boat supposed to say, sorry old boy, you don't look
so bad, swim around a bit? Mind that 50 footer bearing down on you.
Second, by definition, being a man in the water near boats large enough to
fly spinnakers puts the man in grave peril thereby activating the onus of
every boat in the vicinity to come to his aid. He could have got dead real
For future such quizzes, please explain what should have been done.
* From Karin J. Olsen Campia:
I have a comment to share about the rule infraction in Scuttlebutt 3497. It
seems to me that the crew member who fell overboard, after rounding a jibe
(reaching) mark and assuming it was blowing hard, WAS in danger of being
hit by other boats rounding the same mark and that Boat T saved the crew
member from suffering any injury by picking him/her up.
Should he/she be left in the water to be hit by another boat before being
rescued? How does Boat T determine whether or not the crew member was
injured in falling off the boat (especially in windy conditions) unless the
crew member is pulled aboard and examined? Upon making a determination that
the crew member was not hurt, should the person be thrown back into the
water to wait to be picked up by Boat Z?
Boat Z had no control over Boat T's good Samaritan rescue of their crew
member so Boat Z did not willingly break Rule 41 and should not be
penalized. Boat T did not pick up a piece of equipment but a person to
return to Boat Z.
To me, this situation is more about commonsense in dealing with a human
life and so the Man Overboard rule should supersede Rule 41. Also, Boat T's
good sportsmanship should be rewarded by averaging all its finishes for
taking the time to rescue a fellow competitor. This would be my decision.
New Year Resolutions for 2012: I will try to figure out why I really need
five e-mail addresses.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Morris Yachts - Doyle Sails - Soft Deck
Point Loma Outfitting - North Sails - Amazon.com
Ullman Sails - Team One Newport - Summit Yachts - North U
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