SCUTTLEBUTT 3513 - Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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CAPTURE THE GOOD STUFF
Peter Isler, who last week was navigating the R/P 72 Shockwave at Key West
Race Week, files this report for Sailing World:
I met plenty of folks at the event party headquarters that clearly did not
come down to Race Week with the expectation of winning. They loved the
sailing, but they were also enjoying the shoreside part of the regatta.
Expectations before a regatta come in all sizes and shapes. But it occurs
to me that the test of a team's success in a regatta, beyond the final
scoreboard, is how much the crew learned/improved, and a lot of that does
have to do with the expectations you had going into the regatta.
Coaches and sports-performance experts talk about setting goals -
reasonable, achievable goals before a competition. And now, on the back end
of a regatta, is a time for racers to assess their achievements and to try
to make sure that they bank all the learning that occurred out on the
racecourse. Now is a great time to try to capture the good stuff that came
out of a week of sailing amongst top-notch competition.
Everybody scatters pretty quickly at the end of an event like Key West. I'm
a good example - on an airplane heading homewards only a few hours after
the last finish. But if you could get everybody on the crew to write down a
short regatta report/critique, it could be invaluable.
Now is a good time, too, to refine the "playbook" for each position on the
boat. After a week in Key West, even the most uncommon maneuvers have been
performed a few times at least. What better time to build a
position-by-position playbook than right now?
The same exact crew may not be aboard at the next regatta. Plus, the
newbies will benefit from past experience. And even if the same crewmembers
return, they will have forgotten some of the nuances of their position and
will benefit from a re-read of their regatta notes. And now is a good time
as well to consider the pre race goals, and assess if they were truly
So we bid Key West adieu, at least for another year. Fingers are crossed
that Peter Craig and team can find a way to keep the event going despite
these challenging economic times. They have a great venue for wintertime
racing and a great race-management team. Thanks to all of them for 25 great
years of racing in Key West.
Sailing World KWRW blog:
JANUARY + MIAMI = QUALITY CONDITIONS
Miami, FL (January 24, 2012) - Today's 8-11 knot breeze on Biscayne Bay
allowed three of the Rolex Miami OCR's 10 Olympic classes to catch up on
the races they lost due to dying winds yesterday afternoon, and 529 sailors
from 41 countries now have two days behind them in this important ISAF
Sailing World Cup event. Three Paralympic classes also are competing here,
adding to a total of 354 boats scattered across four racing circles plus a
separate arena for women's match racing.
"It was way better than yesterday (Monday), and the Finns got the best of
it because the wind was building all day," said Zach Railey (Clearwater,
Fla.), adding that his class started racing an hour earlier (12:30) than
scheduled to add three races to yesterday's single race. The leader going
into today, Railey could do nothing wrong as he methodically picked off his
competition - most notably Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif., USA) and Jonas
Hogh Christensen (DEN)--to quadruple the victories in his score line today.
"In the first race, I was in a great battle with Caleb," said Railey. "We
were two boat lengths apart from each other and on the last leg back and
forth the whole time. In the second race, it was a battle up the second
windward leg with Jonas, but he got separated by two boats that were on his
heels--he had to concentrate on them."
Railey said that even if he keeps doing well over five days of fleet
racing, it will come down to the ten-boat medal race on Saturday to
determine who takes home gold here, since only the top ten boats on the
scoreboard at the end of Friday move on to that race, which counts double
in the scoring. "Even going in with the lowest points, you could gain 18
points on that day," he said, adding that it replicates the format of the
Olympics, to which he will go this summer as the USA's Finn representative.
"Everything will be very much like here, even the 26- boat fleet." -- Read
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ON PORT TACK AND LITTLE ELSE
(January 24, 2012; Day 3) - Ever get off the start line, and find the
weather leg to be one-sided? The skewed course has you on one tack for a
long time, and soon, your body aches for change. We've all been there. But
have we all been there for three days?
Welcome to Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, where the route east across the
upper Indian Ocean requires good speed on port tack and little else. Watch
leader on Groupama 4 Damian Foxall reports:
"We're sailing upwind with sheets slightly eased making good speed, though
the wind is fluctuating somewhat. The differences in speed are minimal and
everyone's sailing under full mainsail and genoa, making around a dozen
knots of boat speed. There's hasn't really been a transition phase, other
than Monday's squall, and there are no changes of tack scheduled within the
next day and a half, once we close on the Straits of Malacca.
"When we begin to tackle the Straits of Malacca, it could involve a
bunching of the fleet, like the kind you get in the Doldrums, or you might
be able to make a getaway thanks to some thermal breezes. The monsoon will
subside on the mountains of Sumatra which begs the question: will it be
better to hug the coast to benefit from the thermal effects or instead,
distance ourselves from land to avoid any light spells? There will be some
of these for a good two days, before we can escape this tunnel. It's only
on exiting Singapore that some more radical tactical options can be taken
in the upwind sprint to China." -- Event media
Leg 3 - Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China
Standings as of Tuesday, 24 January 2012, 22:02:40 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2288.0 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 3.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 4.4 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 15.5 nm DTL
5. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 16.9 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 24.1 nm DTL
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
Race schedule: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-2011-12-schedule
MEDIA STATISTICS: The Volvo Ocean Race has published its media coverage
statistics (Nov. 6- Dec. 12) for the first leg from Alicante, Spain to Cape
Town, South Africa. Notable is that the online coverage of the Leg 1 period
rose by 96 percent from the 2008-09 race. Since the race started there have
been more than 10 million visits to the event website with more than 35
million page views. Full details here:
BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain (Oct. 29) and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early
July 2012, six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles
around the world 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. - http://www.volvooceanrace.com
FRIENDS, ROMANS, SUPERVISORS, LEND ME YOUR EARS
Yachting scribe Keith Taylor submitted this missive to San Francisco City
Hall in advance of Tuesday's hearing before the Board of Supervisors - the
hearing to decide the fate of an appeal to the America's Cup Environmental
Impact Review. Thanks to fellow writer Kimball Livingston for sharing it
Supervisors . . .
I urge you to hew to the greater good when considering the challenges to
the America's Cup Environmental Impact Report. Yes, you should respect the
environment, but that's not a mandate to block progress.
My first-hand perspective on the America's Cup stretches over 45 years. As
a marine writer and editor I've covered every America's Cup defense since
Newport, RI, in 1967, with the exception of the two Cup defenses in
In 1986-87, and subsequently, I witnessed first hand the transformation of
Fremantle, Western Australia and the broad benefits that accrued to Perth
and Fremantle from the America's Cup there. In Auckland, New Zealand where
I now live, I walked the rotting quaysides, explored derelict industrial
buildings and watched the dredges as they began the transformation of the
dirty and defunct Lighter Basin to the current Viaduct Basin, home to
pleasure boats, a fishing fleet, excursion boats and megayachts. Today it's
the most vibrant part of the city. It's a powerful case study for San
Francisco as it comes to grips with its America's Cup moment.
I was also on hand to see how San Diego failed to marshall the political
will to do justice to its America's Cup opportunities in '92 and '95.
The plan for the 34th America's Cup offers San Francisco an unparalleled
opportunity. We're talking here about change that will last for lifetimes,
balanced against temporary increased noise, congestion or blocked
sightlines. From the perspective of this American citizen your duty is
clear. . . Keith Taylor, Auckland, NZ -- http://blueplanettimes.com/?p=8223
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"Regardless of whether there are three boats starting or 30 or 130, the
only two boats that really matter to you right off the starting line are
the boats just to windward and to leeward of you. I call these boats my
neighbors. Therefore, one of the secrets to getting a good start is picking
your neighbors wisely." - Dave Perry,
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AN OFF RAMP FROM THE YOUTH SAILING SUPERHIGHWAY
Ever since Club FJs and 420s became the established classes for youth
doublehanders in the U.S., existing one design classes have struggled to
maintain their numbers. For classes like the Snipe, attracting the young
sailor now means competing with the youth schedule.
However, as in life, it's not what you know but who you know. And for John
Fretwell, who is both the San Diego Yacht Club Junior Director and local
Snipe Fleet Captain, he is finding that with a little effort one can
facilitate an off ramp from the youth sailing superhighway. Here John
"For decades, the Snipe class has represented top-quality international
dinghy competition and a great atmosphere off the water, hence the class
motto, 'Serious Sailing, Serious Fun!' These are also critical elements of
scholastic sailing, so it's no surprise that local high school, collegiate,
and post-collegiate athletes are turning out to try the Snipe.
"This weekend, a regatta hosted by the Snipe fleet in San Diego attracted
22 competitive teams including five students from Bishop High School, four
from Cathedral Catholic HS, a few top Sabot sailors, two high school
coaches, two junior directors, sailmakers, and college all-Americans!
"With acceptable team weights ranging from 250-330 lbs., the Snipe is a
great boat for teams of all sizes and ages, with women, juniors, and
masters sailors all very competitive."
Regatta results: http://tinyurl.com/Snipe-012412
* (January 24, 2012) - Europe's best in the boating industry were
recognized when they were awarded with "European Yacht of the year 2012" at
the biggest boat show in the world, BOOT Dusseldorf in Germany. European
Yacht of the Year awards were won by the Pogo 12.50 for Performance
Cruiser, the Oceanis 45 (Beneteau) European won for Family Cruiser, the
Oyster 625 (Oyster Marine) won for Luxury Cruiser, and the Esse 750 (Josef
Schuchters Sportboot AG) won for Special Yachts. -- Full report:
* Derecktor Shipyards, just four months after exiting bankruptcy, submitted
a new Chapter 11 filing as it tries to find an investor or sell its
Bridgeport, Conn., operation. The boatbuilder, which filed in federal
Bankruptcy Court in Bridgeport last week, has more than 200 creditors and
liabilities ranging between $1 million and $10 million. The second-largest
creditor listed by the company is its landlord, the Bridgeport Port
Authority, which Derecktor says it owes almost $387,000, the Connecticut
Post reported. -- Trade Only Today, read on: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-012412
* CLARIFICATION: When Sam Rogers commented about Key West Race Week in
Scuttlebutt 3512 that "this event never fails to disappoint", we assume
everyone knew what he meant. But just in case, Sam was saying how Key West
never fails to provide great fun on the water and in town. And we agree.
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save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
* From John Roberson:
Concerning the comment in Scuttlebutt 3511, I was watching the race in
which the Ben Ainslie incident happened. The only reason that it became the
"Ainslie incident" was because Ben what the only sailor who had suffered at
the hands of the TELEVISION boat, who did anything about it. I'm surprised
that three of four sailors in that race didn't remonstrate with the
There is no doubt in my mind that Ben's efforts to win the race were
impeded by the errant boat.
It has been said before, but obviously needs repeating, that it was not a
general media boat, because they were kept well outside the course area. It
was a boat used by the television team hired by ISAF, and the particular
organisation concerned had started making a nuisance of themselves right
from the time they arrived in town, with the accreditation team complaining
about their bad manners.
I'm reminded of the words of the late, great Tony Fairchild, when he was
yachting correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph, who always referred to
the television teams as "the hells angels of the media". Nothing has
Watching the offending boat and camera person on that day, I can only say
that he showed a total lack of creative talent. It seemed the only thing on
his mind was "get as close as possible, and then closer". There were some
great opportunities for some stunning footage, completely ignored.
The decision of the jury at the event prevented Ben, a professional sailor,
from doing his job which is winning races. Though in their facts found they
noted that there were faults on both sides, they imposed no such penalty on
the camera person.
COMMENTS: As John said, the camera person was an employee, so I'm not sure
what penalties might have been imposed. Maybe employment was terminated,
but unlike Ben, the camera person broke no laws. - Craig Leweck,
* From Antonio Sanpere:
Regarding rating systems (in Scuttlebutt 3509), has anyone looked into the
Caribbean Sailing Association's rating system? It has been around since the
mid 1960's, making it the oldest system ever.
The Caribbean competitors have been racing with it very successfully,
though IRC has been making inroads because many European and American boats
want to come down and race IRC only. CSA has a very simple formula and like
IRC has done, the keel, hull, and rudder shapes are given a number to use
in the equation. It penalizes carbon, PBO, exotic sails, canting keels,
mast rake, sheeting angle, etc.
A boat can be measured in the water and have a rating 2-3 hours later. It
is not expensive and very fair. It also has a sweet spot at 40-feet but can
be corrected by assigning a higher hull factor. You can read the rules and
look at boat ratings by going to the web site caribbean-sailing.com.
* From Howard Lapsley:
I enjoyed reading Sam Roger's piece about Key West (in Scuttlebutt 3512).
As a veteran of more than a dozen KWRW, I know what a great time it is both
on and off the water. One thing I have never understood is why anyone would
"sit out" the last race of a regatta when they have sewed up the win,
especially at Key West. I know all the arguments - but to come to Key West
and stay on the sidelines at such a great venue after having traveled such
a long way - seems like a waste.
COMMENT: Scuttlebutt asked Bora about this... here was his reply:
"Going into the last day, we were well aware that if we had a good first
race the regatta was going to be sewed up. We also had a discussion on what
we should do. As our place was sewn up, I offered the helm to one of my
crew who was excited to give it a go with the specific instructions to keep
it clean and not get involved with other boats racing each other. We
started, stayed out of people's way, got to the top mark, set and then
"My team had worked extremely hard all week long, had a ton of fun, but the
regatta isn't really over until the boat is packed up and on the trailer.
If you've never experienced the pull out at Truman Annex, it's usually the
most chaotic time during the whole regatta. Getting there early was a huge
luxury that couldn't be passed up.
"I was able to use the crane and keep my trailer a salt water virgin. We
had a quick and painless de rig, and were able to lend our van to Blu Moon.
The reward of having our boat packed away and drinking beers during the
organized chaos of the Annex was a luxury I was happy to afford my crew. In
another situation we probably would have raced but not on that day."
The worst thing to be without................... Hope.
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