SCUTTLEBUTT 3502 - Tuesday, January 10, 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: North Sails and Harken.
THE STRANGE STORY OF THE JULES VERNE TROPHY
By Elaine Bunting, Yachting World
Reading the French newspapers over the weekend, you would never think that
the record for the fastest yacht to sail non-stop round the world had once
gone to a US yacht and skipper.
American adventurer Steve Fossett has effectively been written out of
Indeed the outright record Fossett and his crew set in 2004 in the maxi
catamaran Cheyenne (still better remembered as PlayStation) has not been
mentioned in France. It has been supplanted by Frenchman Olivier de
Kersauson's circumnavigation in the trimaran Geronimo the same year - even
though de Kersauson was more than five days slower.
It's as if Cheyenne's time never existed and the reason behind it is a
particularly petty piece of sailing politics. Well, OK, not just politics.
As the saying goes, follow the money.
To explain, the round the world non-stop record is a beast with two heads.
There is the officially certified time, and then there is the trophy. The
French media have been concentrating on the trophy - which is exactly how
it was originally intended to be.
Outright sailing records are monitored and ratified by the World Speed
Sailing Record Council (WSSRC). To be eligible you pay an administration
fee to cover scrutineers' time.
The prize, on the other hand, is the Jules Verne Trophy, a clever media
concept dreamt up some 20 years ago by a group including top French sailors
Florence Arthaud, Olivier de Kersauson and Titouan Lamazou.
You had to pay to be eligible for that club as well. And back in 2004,
Fossett objected to the sum asked. According to Fossett, the Jules Verne
Trophy organisation had got greedy.
"It was botched up when Ellen MacArthur came on the scene with big
sponsorship money," Fossett told me at the time.
"The Jules Verne Trophy organisation set a new high fee to take advantage
of this and they asked me to pay Euros 30,000, whereas my competitors,
Olivier de Kersauson and Bruno Peyron were only paying Euros 11,000.
"I thought that was inequitable and I offered to pay the same as my
They refused to take the same amount, and I believe Fossett was also asked
to pay upfront, whereas the others only needed to pay if they won the
trophy. The rest is history...or, in the late Fossett's and Cheyenne's
case, not history. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/Yachting-World-010912
NOTE: On January 6, 2012, Loick Peyron and thirteen crew members on the
131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V set a new reference time for the
Jules Verne Trophy of 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds. Complete
ONLY FOUR LEGITIMATE AMERICA'S CUP TEAMS
By Richard Gladwell, Sail-World
On 20th December the New Zealand based team which has been competing in the
America's Cup for the past 25 years, questioned whether all nine teams that
had entered in the America's Cup World Series, sailed in AC45's could also
vote on matters governing the America's Cup Series itself.
The team argued that only four of the teams entered - Oracle Racing,
Artemis Racing, Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa - had paid the USD$200,000
fee for the America's Cup Regatta (includes the Louis Vuitton Cup or
Challenger Selection Series) and therefore they should only be allowed to
vote on matters affecting that Regatta. Those who had not physically
entered and paid their fees, even though they may have had the intention of
entering, were not eligible to vote.
Although it didn't accept the whole of Emirates Team NZ's argument, the
Jury, in a decision just published, substantially agreed with the position
proffered by the New Zealand team. In other words, a team has to be a
properly paid up entry before it can vote on matters affecting the
America's Cup or AC72 class issues.
At the heart of the matter is the so-called 'Dalton Amendment', or the
introduction of a Code of Conduct governing the 34th America's Cup sailed
in AC72's (and America's Cup World Series sailed in smaller AC45's). While
still in the draft process, the Code is believed to give what seems like
quite draconian powers of complaint and penalty if a competitor or
individual associated with the team makes public comment, that is
interpreted as being a negative comment about the regatta, or event
structure. An exception is made about genuinely held opinion.
The head of Team New Zealand, Grant Dalton, has always been a very straight
shooter in terms of public comment, and has made frequent references to the
cost of the America's Cup which are at variance with those views put out by
Event Organisers, who claim costs have been reduced.
"What has happened is that there is nine team racing AC45's ultimately,
when we get to the big boats (AC72's) there will be a lot less than nine
teams," Dalton said. "The process of voting things is being more influenced
by the small teams than the big teams.
"You have the big two, Oracle and Artemis who will tend to vote aligned
because of the relationship between Coutts and Cayard. You have us and
Prada who are aligned - so we will lock up the vote 2-2 on any issue. By
design or necessity most of those teams, I believe, are in the event by
virtue of a sweetheart deal, and they are unable to vote against something
that the Defender of Challenger put up."
Read on for complete Dalton interview: http://tinyurl.com/Sail-World-010912
RUMOR ALERT: Rumors are rampant that Britain's triple Olympic gold
medallist Ben Ainslie will be joining the America's Cup event, possibly
associated with Oracle Racing. Whatever Ben is doing, it is sufficient for
him to host a press conference to be live streamed on the internet.
Depending on your time zone or sleep habits, it will be on Tuesday January
10th at 10:00am GMT (5:00am EST). View it here:
KEY WEST SAIL REPAIR & COMPLIMENTARY WEATHER FROM NORTH SAILS
North Sails will be onsite at Key West Race Week this year offering expert
overnight sail repair at 201 William Street, Suite 202 (2nd floor, adjacent
to the waterfront). To organize sail repair during Race Week, call Yana
Meerson, 631-805-4949 or 954-663-4556. North Sails and Southern Spars have
partnered with Sailing Weather Service to provide free weather forecasts
during racing starting with a race week overview on Sunday, January 15. To
sign up, visit http://na.northsails.com. See you on the water!
Among the prominent Great Lakes events each year are the Chicago-Mackinac
Race and the Bayview Mackinac Race. It was during Chicago's race in 2011
when tragedy struck, where a huge storm overturned the boat of an
experienced crew, leading to the death of two of its crew.
After review of the incident, it was determined that the unique design of
the boat (with extended hiking wings) contributed to the accident. It was
also determined that the measurement numbers of the boat did not draw
attention to it. On paper the boat looked fine. It was only on inspection
when its design features were revealed.
Seeking to insure a safe race in 2012, Commodore Greg Thomas, chairman of
the 88th Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, has outlined some safety
features in his announcement for the July 14th race. They are....
* Please note that we did run into problems last year trying to accommodate
competitors that submitted applications and/or supporting documents well
after established deadlines. The result was truly unfortunate, and it has
been determined that the only fair solution is to strictly enforce the
deadlines set forth in the Notice of Race. We expect the Notice of Race to
be published soon, and I suggest you study it and calendar appropriate
dates right away.
* The publication of revised Safety Requirements will made soon, and you
should not expect any major changes. While subject to change, we will
likely recommend but not require that each vessel have a GPIRB or Personal
Locater Beacon. We will likely require that each crew member have a tether
equipped with a quick-release shackle (i.e. releases under load) at the
crew member's end of the tether. Each crew member will also be required to
carry a personal safety knife, capable of being opened with one hand, or, a
non-folding sheath knife. Man-overboard poles will also be required to be
"quick release". Life rafts will be required for the Cove Island Course and
optional for the Shore Course.
* We will have a committee responsible for reviewing the applications of
each competitor for compliance with the requirements of the Notice of Race,
including crew experience and boat stability. Because PHRF does not have a
readily available stability index, and because we have determined that
available stability indexes are difficult to obtain and of questionable
reliability, the committee will review each applicant for stability
consideration. In event that an applicant is selected for further
consideration, a full review will be performed by a group of experienced
racing veterans and professionals.
Race website: http://www.bycmack.com/
MORE: Another change in the race is it will use the PHRF rating system for
all classes. Using PHRF is a nod to popular demand, said Thomas. The
problem with newer rating systems is that initially they work well, but
eventually boat designers and builders start to figure out the type of boat
that will receive a more favorable rating and build to the system, Thomas
said. The newest rating systems were supposed to change as that happened.
But the reality was they didn't change.
"The high-end grand prix sailors, they've got all the money in the world,
they like that kind of rating system," Thomas said. "But our bread and
butter in this race is the guy who's been doing it for 42 years with his
grandfather and grandson. We put a lot of thought into it, and in the final
analysis, we needed to play to our constituency." -- Detroit Free Press,
full story: http://tinyurl.com/DFP-010812
COMMERCIALIZING THE COMPETITION
(January 9, 2012) - The latest edition of the Volvo Ocean Race takes a very
different route around the world from its early days - a change that
reflects the race's determination to be a truly global event that can grow
and leave a legacy despite the challenging economic climate.
The race's inevitable path towards commercialisation began when it was
still known as the Whitbread with the advent of professionally crewed teams
supported by brands like Steinlager, Rothmans and Fisher & Paykel, who were
happy to fund those campaigns for a return on their marketing dollars.
Volvo's acquisition of the race has only seen the rate of change quicken.
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet in 2011-12 is backed by major companies and
brands such as PUMA, Groupama, CAMPER and Telefonica, and by the tourism
authorities of destination venues Abu Dhabi and Sanya.
The importance of the business side of the race is certainly not lost on
the sailors. Ken Read, who skippers PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, is
crystal clear about the significance of the race visiting emerging
"I get a kick out of it every time people ask or I read why doesn't the
Volvo Ocean Race still do the traditional route around the world, that the
Whitbread race did," Read said. "The fact is we live in a new world. The
commercialisation of every sport is real. I do know for a fact that PUMA
never would have gotten into the last race if we weren't going to China."
"I'm in the business of winning a sailboat race and selling clothes,
sneakers and propellers," said Read. "The best way to do that is to do well
in this race. The fact is that we're in the Middle East, that we go to
China, that we go to these different places around the world, otherwise all
of our sponsors wouldn't be here.
"This is huge for BERG coming to the Middle East. It's real. The old days
are gone, the new days are here. As sailors we have to adapt and I think
the race itself has adapted very well." -- Read on:
COMMENT: While it is great for the companies and sailors to be exposed to
these new territories, I would like to think that a significant component
of this race is still the fans. And to the race fan, it needs to be a race
and not a trunk show. The Asian legs in the 2008-9 edition had a litany of
distracting issues, and this edition does too. While promotions people can
get the port communities excited, what happens when the world wide sailing
fans no longer care? - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Overall leaderboard after Leg 2
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 6-1-1-1, 66 pts
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 3-2-2-2, 58 pts
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 5-3-5-4, 42 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2-DNF-3-3, 28 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1-DNF-4-5, 19 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 4-DNF-6-6-0**, 4 pts
** Still racing. If Team Sanya finishes the first stage of Leg 2 under
racing conditions, they will collect four points for sixth place for the
first stage of Leg 2 and then automatically add one more under race rules
for the second stage and a further two points for the Abu Dhabi In-Port
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Course details: http://tinyurl.com/Piracy-121111
RACE SCHEDULE: The five teams are in Abu Dhabi now preparing for the Pro-Am
Race on Thursday (Jan. 12), the In-Port Race on Friday (Jan. 13), and the
start of Leg 3 to Sanya, China on Saturday (Jan. 14). As in Leg 2, Leg 3
will be similar with a Stage 1 short sprint to meet the ship which will
transport the five boats to the safe haven port. If all goes to plan, Team
Sanya will join the fleet there, and all six boats will compete in Stage 2
to Sanya. - 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. -
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* Napier, New Zealand (January 9, 2012) - After protest decisions from
Sunday changed the provisional results at the Optimist World Championship,
the 210 competitors went out on the final day to get caught up with the 15
races that were scheduled. But with winds too light today to make progress
against the strong current, the event was called after 11 races, making
Kimberly Lim from Singapore the 2011 World Champion. Singapore had also won
the team racing title held earlier in the championship. Top North American
was Wade Waddell (USA) in seventh. -- Event website:
* Long Beach, CA (January 8, 2012) - The 27th Rose Bowl, hosted by the USC
Sailing Team and organized by the US Sailing Center of Long Beach,
attracted 29 college teams and 59 high school teams. Navy stretched its
thin day one lead to take the college title, while perennial powerhouse
Point Loma High School from San Diego won the high school event. -- Full
* A scientific presentation given by the University of San Diego and Space
and Naval Warfare Systems Command at a recent Society of Environmental
Toxicology and Chemistry conference "raises serious questions about the
facts upon which regional and statewide actions are being taken that
restrict the use of copper-based antifouling surfaces on boat hulls,"
according to the Recreational Boaters of California. -- Trade Only Today,
read on: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-010912
ATTENTION: FREE LUNCH
Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? The Scuttlebutt Classified
Ads is a free service that provides a marketplace for private parties to
buy and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. Here are recent ads:
* America's Cup WS @ Newport, RI - Charter a Zodiac Pro 28' RIB
* Hiring Junior Sailing Director - Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club
* Chicago Match Race Center Summer Internship
* 2010 Starkel 54 for sale
View/post ads here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/classified_ads
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 Peter Moss:
I am broken hearted to learn of the passing of dear Rob Moore (in
Scuttlebutt 3501). I have drifted out of the sailing scene in the last few
years and it is devastating, unexpected news to me. I have raced with Rob
(introduced to me by Tom Leweck) on my own boat here in California and
Antigua and on other boats in Sardinia and in Cowes. Modest but
knowledgeable. Passionate but polite. A fierce competitor, but he never
seemed to lose that sense of innocent wonder at the beauty of our sport.
* From John Jourdane:
Rob was a dear friend. We would finish a race, and see Rob's smiling face,
then sit with him over a beer, and enjoy telling him our stories, as he
wrote in his notebook. He was a consummate journalist, always an optimist,
a great sailor and a friend to everyone in the yachting community. We have
lost one of the really good ones. Sail on in peace Rob.
* From Molly Suzanne Cole:
I met Rob when I was 16 and he was covering the HaHa with Richard for
Latitude 38. I was living in Mexico on a boat with my parents, and years
later, he was an integral part of my introduction into the elite sailing
circle in San Francisco. I moved to California on a whim at 19 years
knowing only a handful of people and Rob was one of them. He gave me advice
and made introductions that turned into friendships that have lasted years.
What a wonderful, kind, selfless man. Rest peacefully my friend.
* From Dobbs Davis, Seahorse International Sailing:
Rob was always respected by us in the word-smith trade for his entertaining
mix of facts and acerbic insight that helped make Latitude 38 such a great
But for me I will always be grateful to him being the editor of my first
published sailing story some 20 years ago, and how his relaxed yet
persistent coaching style helped put me at ease and not make a complete
hash of it. Sail on, Rob, we'll miss you.
* From Terry Hutchinson:
It was with great sadness when I read from Rob's blog about his passing.
Can't really say anymore then what has already been said as Rob was just a
good guy. He will be missed! All of our thoughts and prayers go out to Rob
and his family.
NOTE: Rob Moore's wife, Leslie Richter, sent Scuttlebutt a note to share
how exceedingly thankful and totally overwhelmed she was by the outpouring
of love, and she knows Rob would be too. Leslie also sent a memorial
written in Rob's honor. It is now in the Forum where additional notes to
Rob can be posted:
Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb at.
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