SCUTTLEBUTT 3509 - Thursday, January 19, 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: Ullman Sails and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.
EXAMINING A NEW RATING PARADIGM
By Dobbs Davis, Seahorse
High performance sailing is at a crossroads: Some of the most popular
one-designs raced in the last decade are getting a little long in the tooth
and have a chance for being upstaged by some exciting new designs just
entering the scene. These range from MC38's, to Farr 400's, to GP42's and
up to TP52's, all of which are racing at Quantum Key West 2012 this week.
These high-speed, offshore-capable designs have always been problematic for
the US rating rules, as their greater performance including planing offwind
cannot be easily predicted alongside the bulk of the fleet sailing in more
traditional displacement boats. Ideally the planing boats can be grouped
together to enjoy good racing, but this is not always possible, and there
are still critical rating differences that can arise based on the vagaries
of whatever system is used.
For example, the PHRF approach of using empirical data and declared
dimensions to support the rating is one approach, but it can take years of
data to finally hone in on a reasonable number after applying plenty of
other un-measured filters (weather conditions, crew quality, etc).
The ORR and IRC approach of using detailed measurements plugged into a
secret rating rule might work for some, but no one likes secrecy too much,
where ORR protects its fleet with 'go-slow' features, and IRC favors
heavier displacement production boats in the 40-foot range. ORC racing
systems are public and show promise for these boat types, but is not
currently used in the US.
In 2010, a group formed to examine how a new rating paradigm could be
devised to work for modern planing boats, with the following features:
fully-measured, completely public, simple to apply, expressed on a
spreadsheet, and intentionally typeforming towards high-speed offshore
designs. The group called this concept HPR, for High Performance Rule.
But who are the owners and crews interested in this? And does the world
really need yet another rating rule?
Listening to people this week at Quantum Key West 2012 who are racing these
newest generation boats (Farr 400's, MC38's, GP42's, even some TP52's), the
answer seems to be 'Yes'. Anticipating this, Premiere Racing has offered an
HPR class to try out the nascent version of the rule, which for the moment
has been assembled from ORR and beta version HPR VPP's from Jim Teeters,
combined with some PHRF factors from Bruce Bingham.
After the racing on Thursday in Key West, I will be moderating a
Seahorse-sponsored panel discussion from 5:00-6:00 PM EST to explain how
the HP Rule works, what if any conclusions can be made from the racing to
date, and what's next in the future of HPR. The panelists include: Steve
Benjamin, North Sails; Marty Kullman, Quantum Sails; Dee Smith, Farr 400
Class; Wolfgang Schaefer,/ Farr 40 Class and ORC; and Rob Weiland, TP52
The discussion will be streamed live online at
LACK OF WIND SKUNKS SCHEDULE
(January 18, 2012) - Light, fickle winds promoted organizers with Premiere
Racing to cancel competition at Key West Race Week on Wednesday with hope
that better breezes would allow for three starts on Thursday when winds are
forecast to be 7 to 12 knots.
Event director Peter Craig, after consulting with the principal race
officers from all three courses, called for a postponement and held the
112-boat fleet at the dock in the morning. Craig postponed again at noon
for an hour before deciding to call off racing entirely.
"While forecasts would suggest an early abandonment was the right move,
there was a chance the northerly would develop in time to get in a fair
race around mid to late afternoon," Craig said. "However, it became
apparent from looking at updated weather models and actual wind observation
out on the water that the best course of action was to not go out today and
try our best to get in three races on Thursday."
In 19 years of directing the annual race week off Key West, Craig said this
marked only the fourth lost day of competition for the five-day regatta.
"No racing is certainly a real rarity for this event," he said. -- Full
Here are some links to help follow the event:
Event website: http://tinyurl.com/KWRW-2012
Quantum Sails: http://tinyurl.com/Quantum-KWRW-2012
Sailing World: http://www.sailingworld.com/racing/quantum-key-west-2012
GET FACE TIME WITH YOUR ULLMAN SAILMAKER
Thinking about optimizing your sail inventory this season?! Don't miss the
opportunity to talk sails with Ullman Sails experts at boat shows across
the country. We're in Cleveland this week (the show ends Sunday!) and we'll
be manning booths at San Diego Boat Show (Jan 26-29) and Seattle Boat Show
(Jan 27-Feb 5). Our sail consultants will be available to answer questions,
discuss the latest technology, and help determine the best fit for your
needs AND your budget. And if you're in Seattle, don't miss our free
seminar for cruisers on opening night about sail selection, trim and
* Dave Ullman, Greg Koski, Erik Shampain, and Chuck Skewes from Ullman
Sails will present the seminar 'Unlocking the Racecourse' in Richmond, VA
on February 15, 2012. Details:
AMERICA'S CUP JURY KEPT BUSY BY KIWI QUESTIONS
By Grant Dalton, Managing Director, Emirates Team New Zealand
(January 18, 2012) - We have been back at work formally a week now after
the Christmas break. Summer looks like it has finally decided to make an
appearance and Emirates Team New Zealand is a good place to be right now.
Over the break a number of important developments occurred. There were
three jury decisions. The first was on the question we asked about the
ability of ACRM/Oracle and the Challenger of Record to influence voting on
rule changes related to the America's Cup itself by manoeuvring the vote
with the small teams which had not paid the Cup entry fee.
Prior to a vote in San Diego, which made this obvious to us, I was told by
one team "well we don't agree with the amendment that is being proposed
here in San Diego but we have to vote with Oracle. Without their support
(read supply of their AC45) we would be stuffed."
The Jury found that unless a team had paid the fees to be in the Cup
itself they couldn't vote - the correct decision.
The second was simply an interpretive question we asked on our SL33s and
how they should be measured to make sure they comply with the surrogate
rule which prohibits the sailing of catamarans longer than 10 metres after
the 1st of January except for the AC45s and later on the AC 72s. The Jury
and everyone else for that matter agreed with us so our SL33s are now in
the clear and not considered surrogate yachts.
The third was our agreement with Luna Rossa which had been raised by a
series of interpretive questions from Oracle to the Jury. There has been
some commentary about that but we are comfortable. Prior to the decision we
anticipated they may stop telemetry testing between our 72s so it wasn't a
surprise. -- ETNZ blog, read on: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-011812
MOST CONCERNING LEG IN THE RACE
All six boats in the Volvo Ocean Race will be rendezvousing at the safe
haven port in the Indian Ocean later this week for the start of the second
stage of Leg 3 on January 22. Here reports Camper skipper Chris Nicholson
from their second place position in the overall rankings:
Part A of Leg 3 is now a few days behind us and CAMPER is currently in
transit on a ship bound for a secret safehaven in the Indian Ocean where
the race to Sanya will resume. The sailing team are in Dubai and we'll
spend the next few days going through a pretty intensive series of
briefings on the weather and navigational challenges we can expect to face
in the 4000 odd mile slog up to China.
It's fair to say that our performance in the first part of the leg was not
good enough and not what any of us were looking for. It hurt and we know
we're capable of much better. We were left wanting for speed while reaching
and the other guys were simply quicker than us in those conditions. End of
story. We had made some changes to the boat and by our numbers we were
actually going better than what we were on the race into Abu Dhabi from
Sharjah but clearly still not enough to hang onto the others.
We now need to go back to the drawing board and see what else we can do to
improve our reaching speed. We're also working with the Emirates Team New
Zealand coaches on improving crew techniques and eliminating some of the
little mistakes that have been costing us.
It's important to keep things in context though. The two sprints up and
down the UAE coast have been dominated by reaching conditions and the
courses meant that we were limited to essentially the one heading that
several of the other guys are strong on. The next stage of the leg should
present plenty more opportunities for us. Firstly, there should be a lot
more windward work which we believe CAMPER is a lot stronger in, and
secondly it won't be a pure boat speed race but rather a leg which will be
won by being smart and keeping the boat in one piece and going the right
So the challenge is on us to deliver an improved performance and one that
puts us at the top of the leaderboard. This won't be easy. If I could
describe the conditions for the leg in one word it would be "worrying".
This is by far the most concerning leg for me in the race.
Getting to the Malacca Straits shouldn't be too bad but we then have to
deal with countless unlit fishing boats, nets, floating debri and the risk
of piracy. An encounter with just one of these obstacles could seriously
set back your leg. If we make it through the Straits in one piece and in
good shape we then have to face the China Sea where we're likely to
encounter boat breaking type conditions of 30 to 40 knots with wind against
tide. -- ETNZ blog, read on:
Course details: http://tinyurl.com/Piracy-121111
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. -
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
By Gary Jobson
From the America's Cup to Fastnet to casual sails with my family and
friends, I've had the opportunity to be a part of a variety of sailing
experiences. In terms of personal accomplishments, my participation in the
Leukemia Cup Regatta as its national chairman since 1993 has been among the
most gratifying of my life. The sailors, patients and family members I've
met along the way have only deepened my resolve to stop blood cancers from
taking more lives. As a lymphoma survivor, I appreciate the support of the
sailing community all the more!
The 2012 Leukemia Cup Regatta schedule has just been released and we have
another exciting sailing campaign ahead, with a record 48 events on our
calendar. I invite you to register and start fundraising now for a Leukemia
Cup in your area or in a favorite sailing location, so that you can get a
head-start on joining me at our Fantasy Sail December 7-9, 2012 at the
Southern YC in New Orleans, the third-oldest yacht club in the country.
If you have attended a Fantasy Sail in the past, you already know about
this great weekend which provides an opportunity for the top fundraising
Leukemia Cup Regatta participants to celebrate their success. By raising
$8,500 or more by November 1, 2012, you can join us in New Orleans and
enjoy a great weekend of sailing and social activities with a group of
dedicated people who have provided exceptional support for The Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society's efforts to discover new therapies and cures for blood
Register now and raise funds to help us support cancer research. I am a
blood cancer survivor thanks to people like you supporting The Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society's funding of the most promising blood cancer research
anywhere. Details here: http://www.leukemiacup.org
NEW MODELS FROM JK3 YACHTS AT SAN DIEGO SUNROAD BOAT SHOW
JK3 will be showcasing an exciting lineup of brand new boats and new models
at the upcoming San Diego Boat Show on January 26-29. Come by the show to
see the entire lineup from Back Cove - the stylish new 30, new 34 and the
classic and elegant 37 flagship. If you prefer sail, the new model Sabre
426 MK II is making its West coast debut at the show. Also on display will
be the new model J/V design Hanse 385. Stop by JK3 to see the J/95 and for
info on the new J/70 - the latest hotrod from J/Boats. For more info
contact JK3 619-224-6200, http://www.jk3yachts.com
* The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) announced today that the new J/70 (image
above) will be featured at the 2012 NYYC Invitational Cup U.S. Qualifying
Series (USQS). The J/70 will join the NYYC's fleet of Sonars when 24 of the
nation's most competitive yacht clubs compete in the NYYC Invitational Cup
USQS off Newport, RI from September 4 to 8, 2012. The top three finishers
will earn the right to compete in the 2013 NYYC Invitational Cup presented
by Rolex. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/NYYC-011812
* US Sailing has awarded an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of
Mosquito, a Farr 395, for rescuing the life of a fellow crewmember who fell
overboard during the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. The medal
was awarded to the sailors at the Milwaukee Yacht Club's annual awards
banquet on Saturday, January 14 in Milwaukee, Wis. -- Read on:
* The 2011 Community Sailing Awards were announced at US Sailing's 2012
National Sailing Program Symposium at the Hilton Long Beach (Calif.) last
weekend. Here is the list of the fourteen award winners:
* CORRECTION: As reported in Scuttlebutt 3508, the Tradewinds event was won
by Sarah Newberry and Matthew Whitehead. However, the top eligible youth
team which will represent the U.S. at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds was Jeremy
Herrin and Sam Armington from Sarasota, FL who finished 7th overall.
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
Jan 21 - 3rd Annual Good Old Boat Regatta - St. Petersburg, FL, USA
Jan 21 - Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Bridgetown, Barbados
Jan 23-28 - US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR - Miami, FL, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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 Mark Gaudio:
I wanted to add my two cents after I saw the comment in Scuttlebutt 3508
about the US Youth World Qualifier in Long Beach last weekend. I am a
lifelong resident of Southern California, and was a coach at the qualifier,
and I too questioned why it was held at this venue in January. The
conditions were crummy yet typical for this time of year. I totally agree
that it was too important of a regatta to be hosted during the winter on
the West Coast. I went to Florida two years ago to coach the same teams and
the conditions in Clearwater were awesome...8-12 ish.
* From Scott Mason:
In Scuttlebutt 3508, you made a somewhat negative comment on the decision
to hold the US Team Qualifiers for the ISAF Youth World's in Southern
California this past weekend. By way of comparison, the Multihull team
qualifier was held in Florida the same weekend. They were also shut out on
As PRO of the 29er and Techno 293 course, we were able to complete 5 races
for 29ers and 4 for Techno in 2-7 knots of wind Sunday. Monday brought
better Long Beach conditions, starting in 13 knots and "dying" to 6-7 by
days end. We completed 4 additional races for each class, and the winners
are all deserving to represent the US in Ireland this July.
January is a pretty busy time for high school students, with Final's and
getting the last college applications in. The regatta rotates to prevent a
burden on one geographic region of the country. Somewhere between 35-40% of
the competitors are from SoCal or NorCal, thus a west coast swing. Given
that ABYC has lost one day sailing in the three years they have been host,
and there have been quality sailable conditions the other days, I think
your comments were unfair.
COMMENT: First, my comment was in no way to disrespect the Long Beach
event's race management. The personnel and host club involved are elite,
period. The point of my comment was to question why an event of this
magnitude would be held at a venue during the time of year when quality
sailing conditions were least likely. I can appreciate all the factors that
go toward planning such an event, but this was the U.S. qualifier for the
most important youth championship in the world. I just thought it deserved
better. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
* From Paul Warren Redington Beach, FL:
Regarding the Jahn Tihansky story in Scuttlebutt 3506, I spent eight years
as a volunteer sailing coach with the Naval Academy's Offshore Sailing
Team. It was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done in my life. I
definitely got to sail in some exciting places, such as Block Island, Long
Island Sound, DelMarVa, Bermuda, and Newport. But, the best part of the
experience was the people involved in the program, especially the
I can tell you that it's really fulfilling to be part of the summer sailing
program on campus, teaching the plebes (incoming freshmen) basic sailing in
24'-26' keelboats. Then, some get so excited with sailing that they try out
for one of the sailing team -- most of these kids have never sailed before
they got to the Academy or, maybe, at best, they played around on a Sunfish
on a lake back home.
The Offshore Team races the Academy's 44-foot training sloops, plus several
donated custom racers; the Intercollegiate Team races in 420s, FJs and
J-24s (or at least, they did when I was involved.) More than 200 'mids'
participate in both mid-week practices and weekend regattas. Very
The 'big boat' team, especially, get hands-on training and experience in
distance navigation, leadership, teamwork, seamanship, engineering (i.e.,
maintenance), strategy and "combat" (aka racing competition.) These are the
same types of skills and knowledge they'll need to be naval officers,
commanding our Navy's ships-of-war in real life conflicts.
I can highly recommend this experience to any experienced sailors in the
Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis area; when I was involved, you didn't need
to be directly affiliated with the Academy to volunteer. Also, I'd expect
that other large sailing programs (USCGA, USMMA, SUNY-Maritime, and others)
offer similar volunteer opportunities. Check it out.
Congratulations to Jahn Tihansky and the USNA sailing community for a
continuing "job well done." As the saying goes, "Thank you for your
I have run out of sick leave, so I'm now calling in dead.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
New York Yacht Club - New England Ropes - North U.
Dieball Sailing - J Boats - US Sailing - North Sails - Ullman Sails
JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Doyle Sailmakers - The Pirates Lair
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers