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SCUTTLEBUTT 3519 - Thursday, February 2, 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.

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Today's sponsors: Ullman Sails and Power Plug-In.

GROWING CONCERNS IN CITY HALL
Demolition of an aging cruise ship terminal, needed to clear the way for construction of America's Cup facilities, began Tuesday during a ceremony in San Francisco that coincided with escalating concerns over the scale of the regatta and the financial benefits that it promises.

Doubts are growing about the number of spectators who will actually come to the city this year and next to watch the races of experimental catamarans. Preliminary (America's Cup World Series) races held in San Diego and elsewhere are failing to attract expected crowds or sponsors.

The race courses in San Francisco Bay originally were planned to begin along the city's waterfront and then loop around Alcatraz, viewable from shorelines around the Bay Area, but much of the racing is now expected to occur between Alcatraz and San Francisco's Marina neighborhood.

In late 2009, when San Francisco was vying to host the regatta, organizers forecast that as many as 600,000 people would watch the races from buildings, shorelines, hills and boats.

That estimate was revised down in July to 334,000 people for "super peak" weekend days when the sun is shining and interest in racing is high. The new calculations, which were published in the event's environmental impact report, anticipate as few as 50,000 spectators on typical race days next year.

The lower figures have not been adjusted to take account of the disappointing crowds at preliminary races in San Diego in November.

The number of spectator boats expected on the bay during racing next year was recently revised down to 800 vessels from an earlier prediction of 2,200.

The economic impacts of the falling numbers of anticipated spectators will be discussed in coming weeks by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which must approve an agreement related to long-term pier lease deals before the project can move forward.

Some city supervisors voiced concerns about the number of America's Cup spectators during a recent hearing about the event's environmental impact. Spectators are expected to provide increased sales tax and hotel tax revenues that San Francisco plans to use to pay for additional police, transit and other services, as well as to pay for projects that will protect air and water quality from waterfront construction, cruise ships and spectator vessels.

"No one is against having the America's Cup here in San Francisco," David Campos, one of the supervisors who had expressed concerns, said in an interview Tuesday. "We want to bring it here, but we want to make sure, in making it happen, that we don't give away the store. I do worry about the financial terms."

Full story on The Bay Citizen: http://s.tt/15upW

NOTE: Only three of the eight challengers - Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa and Artemis - have paid entry fees and begun building their boats. The other five teams have until June to commit to entering the event and begin building boats.

COMEBACK
American skipper Dennis Conner suffered a traumatic defeat losing the America's Cup in 1983, a trophy the New York Yacht Club had held for 132 years. Conner and his crew aboard Liberty faced a technologically superior boat named Australia II that featured an innovative winged keel. In a best of 7 race series, it came down to one final race. Liberty led for most of the race, but lost at the end.

Six months later Conner mounted a comeback to win the 26th America's Cup in Fremantle, Australia. But first he had to defeat 12 other teams to earn the right to be the challenger. After a grueling elimination series Conner prevailed, and faced the Australians in the 1987 America's Cup. Conner won in four straight, and became a national hero. ESPN covered the races live.

To relive the event, the 1987 America's Cup Retrospective will air February 4th on ESPN Classic. Hosted by Gary Jobson and Jim Kelly, Dennis Conner talks about his experience on the 25th year anniversary of his victory with Stars & Stripes. Air times are (EST) at 2:00am, 12:00pm, and 7:00pm

BUD CAM: This anniversary also marks what a watershed moment for broadcast coverage. This was the beginning of onboard cameras, but unlike now, there was no requirement that the teams had to allow them. Dennis's team voted against the camera at the beginning of the elimination series, as they were concerned the cameras might pick up something that would embarrass their sponsors. However, for the good of the event, they agreed later on to allow the cameras onboard.


READY TO GET AWAY?
It's time to get your offshore fix. Ullman Sails is proud to present the third annual Ullman Sails Offshore Championships in Southern California! The 2012 series has five different courses with one common requirement you must round a rock (whether it's Catalina, Anacapa or San Clemente Island). So mark your calendar for the Islands Race (quick...it starts February 17!), the Border Run, Cabrillo Beach to Dana Point Race, the Whitney Series #3 and Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race. Plus, the series is graciously hosted and organized by some of Southern California's top yacht clubs. It's time to head offshore. http://www.ullmansailswestcoast.com/usoffshorehome.html


BETTER THAN FLICKING THE MIDDLE FINGER
The racing rules of sailing provide structure to what is intended to be recreation. A world without rules would be great, but that train has left the station. Remember life before stoplights and speed limits? We didn't think so.

While we're limited to flicking the middle finger when we get cut off on the highway, flying the red flag on a boat is how wrongs get righted. But to fly the protest flag, you must have a protest flag.

This report from International Judge Jos M. Spijkerman comes from the 5P Department: Prior planning avoids piss poor performance:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 61.1(a), Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
Rule 63.5, Hearings: Validity of the Protest or Request for Redress

Facts and Decision of the Protest Committee
Near the windward mark, Leading Lady and Aliens Ate My Buick, two 40-foot boats, were involved in an incident. Leading Lady immediately hailed "Protest" and displayed a 2" by 8" strip of red cloth from her backstay. The protest committee concluded that the strip of red cloth was inadequate to qualify as a flag on a 40-foot boat, and therefore found the protest to be invalid and closed the hearing. Leading Lady appealed.

Decision of the Appeals Committee
The strip of red cloth qualified as a protest flag in the context of rule 61.1(a) because it was a red flag. However, rule 61.1(a) also requires a boat to "conspicuously display" the protest flag. This requirement is necessary to inform other boats in the race, as well as the boat to be protested, that a boat intends to protest.

The phrase "conspicuously display" must be interpreted in the context of the size of the boat displaying the flag. An object that is conspicuous is not merely visible; it "catches one's eye or attention" or is "obvious to the eye or mind" (dictionary references). -- Read on: http://rrsstudy.blogspot.com/2012/01/ltw-readers-q-58-red-flag.html

SKIFFS AND CATS FOR 2016
It was at the May 2011 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in St Petersburg, Russia when the ISAF council formally confirmed that following ten events for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition:

Men's Board and/or Kiteboard - RS:X / kiteboard evaluation
Women's Board and/or Kiteboard - RS:X / kiteboard evaluation
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's 2nd One Person Dinghy - Finn
Men's Skiff - 49er
Women's Skiff - Evaluation
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Evaluation

While details have not yet been revealed concerning the board evaluation process, ISAF has now announced the equipment that is being considered for the Women's Skiff and Mixed Mutlihull events.

Following the request for proposals, six Women's Skiff and seven Mixed Mutlihulls have been approved for the evaluation event in Santander, Spain in March.

The six skiff entries:
29erXX - Ovington Boats
ARUP Skiff - ARUP
AURA - Ovington Boats
Hartley Rebel - Hartley Boats
Mackay FX - Mackay Boats
RS900 - RS Sailing
Evaluation criteria: http://www.sailing.org/37603.php

The seven multihull entrants
Hobie 16 - Hobie Cat
Hobie Tiger - Hobie Cat
Nacra 17 - Nacra Sailing International
Nacra F16 - Nacra Sailing International
Spitfire S - Sirena Voile
Tornado - International Tornado Class Association
Viper - Australian High Performance Catamarans (AHPC)
Evaluation criteria: http://www.sailing.org/36974.php

Throughout the nine day evaluation, sailors nominated by their Member National Authorities will sail the boats and provide feedback. A report will then be produced at the 2012 ISAF Mid-year meeting in Stresa, Italy where ISAF Council will make the final selection.

Full report: http://www.sailing.org/37773.php

SPLITTING FROM THE FLEET
(February 1, 2012; Day 11) - By Wednesday night, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet was facing the predicted forecast of strong winds and steep waves, testing both the crews and their boats as they sailed upwind toward the Vietnam coast.

The story of the day was PUMA. While the leaders headed on starboard toward Vietnam, PUMA gave up their position in third to split from the fleet and head east.

"It's a case of make or break really," said PUMA helmsman Jonathan Swain. "We've seen an opportunity which we can possibly capitalise on so we decided to take it. We were in line with the two leading boats but we decided to take an opportunity and try to win this thing. Looking at the scoreboard right now we had to do something, and here's the opportunity to do it."

Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante says based on the latest data, PUMA now stands a better than average chance of getting themselves right back in the fight to win the second stage of Leg 3.

"They are beginning to look strong," Infante said. "But there is risk as well. Their position to the east of the fleet means they will benefit from the expected right shift in the wind and they will avoid the worst of the adverse current along the Vietnamese coast.

"However, they will have to pass through an area called 'Dangerous Ground' with uncharted rocks and other obstacles to negotiate. It's risk and reward but it could pay off for them."

Latest weather forecasts suggest the strong winds forecast for tonight may only reach 25 rather than 35 knots, but with waves up to four metres Infante says the teams will still have their hands full to slow their boats down and avoid any major damage.

"The crews start depowering the boats in 17 knots of breeze and anything more does not make them go any faster and increases the risk of damage," he said. -- Full report: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/4976

Leg 3 (4,600nm) - Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China
Standings as of Thursday, 02 February 2012, 1:04:29 UTC
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 514.8 nm Distance to Finish
2. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 9.7 nm Distance to Lead
3. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 43.9 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 86.0 nm DTL
5. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 119.2 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 273.3 nm DTL

Tracking/Standings: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/racetracker/rdc.html
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 (Oct. 29) and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012, six professional teams sailing Volvo Open 70s 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

QUESTION: This is the second edition of the Volvo Ocean Race which has included Asia. This route takes the fleet through the fishing grounds of these countries, where it has proven impossible to avoid their nets and equipment. Damage to fishing gear has been the result, and while this is certainly a pain for the racers, should the race organizers be causing this conflict? I'm curious if others feel this way, or if I am just becoming too sensitive in my 'old' age. Please email me your comments. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


AUTHOR CELEBRATES SAILING & ENERGY IN A NEW BOOK
Sailor turned author, Gordon Ettie's new book, Power Plug-In uses his sailing stories to identify both current energy sources and the best energy investments for individuals and organizations. Email Gordon at powerpluginbook@gmail.com. Available in both hard cover and eBook wherever books are sold or buy the book on http://www.powerplug-in.com


SAILING SHORTS
* With racing scheduled to take place from 29 July to 11 August at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the International Sailing Federation has launched their Olympic website. The website will be the home of Olympic Sailing during London 2012 with all the information, stories, results and multimedia that teams and spectators will need. Details: http://www.sailing.org/37788.php

* The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 1 February 2012 have been released. The next release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be on 11 April 2012 and will include the RS:X World Championships and the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE in Spain. Details: http://www.sailing.org/37779.php

* The Sail America Board of Directors has elected Josh Adams, Publisher of SAIL Magazine, to serve as President of Sail America, the sailing industry trade association. Josh has served on the Sail America board since 2007 and has been active on various committees throughout his tenure. Most recently, he was Vice President of Association (2009-11). -- http://www.sailamerica.com

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 weekend:
Feb 2-5 - Charlotte Harbor Regatta - Charlotte Harbor, FL, USA
Feb 11-12 - Melges 20 Miami Winter Regatta -Miami, FL, USA
Feb 17-19 - Dead President's Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
Feb 17-19 - St. Petersburg Sperry Top-Sider NOOD - St. Petersburg, 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 recent postings:
* FARR 400 One Design Class at 2012 Quantum Key West
* United Yacht Sales exclusive dealer for Tartan and C&C Yachts in SE U.S.
* Sparkman Stephens 30 Daysailor
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news

EIGHT BELLS
It is with profound sadness that I report that Ryan Berndt Mahoney passed away on Sunday, January 29th, after a courageous battle with, and complications from, Hodgkin's disease. Ryan was 31 and lived in New York City.

Ryan was a former commodore of the Junior American Yacht Club (JAYC), Rye, NY sailing program. He won the JAYC Commodore's Award, the Sportsmanship Trophy, the Shrimper Trophy, the Caprice Trophy and the Flash Trophy. He competed on the Dartmouth Sailing Team.

Ryan qualified three times to represent the United States in the International 420 class world championships in Australia, Belgium, and Newport. He qualified for the U.S. Sailing Youth Championships in San Francisco, St. Louis, and Hyannis, and placed second in the 1996 Bemis Finals of U.S. Sailing/Rolex Junior Championship in the 420 class.

Ryan was passionate about sailing and wrote "Sailing has taught me self-reliance and self-confidence, and it has given me strength of character. It has taught me to respect my environment and to remind other people to do so as well. Most importantly, sailing has given me the understanding that nothing of value comes without superior effort and without taking calculated risks."

Ryan is survived by his wife, the former Alisha Weishaar, and a son, Shaylon Daniel; his parents, Daniel and Susan Mahoney; and siblings, Melissa Wirth and Derek Mahoney.

A wake will be held on Thursday, February 2nd from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home at 1076 Madison Avenue in New York City. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 3rd at Central Presbyterian Church at 593 Park Avenue in New York City.

GUEST COMMENTARY
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.

Email: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com
Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum

* From Brooks Magruder:
Here's a way to look at the Ainslie situation: If one behaves unsportsmanlike DURING a race, then punish them as a sportsman according to the event's regulations. Anything occurring BEFORE or AFTER the race should be handled as a criminal or civil issue. Assault can be a serious criminal crime - let the criminal courts decide the punishment. Otherwise where do you draw the line? Protest committees ruling on parking violations, littering, or in bedrooms...

* From Rich Hayes:
The Rules under which the sailors were sailing - their contract if you like - made it clear that the ISAF press boat could do what it damn well liked. The same applies to the contract being forced on the competitors for the Olympics this year. Ashore in the UK we have legislation like the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 to restrict parties in a position of power from imposing their will on the little guy who has no negotiating leverage.

Any normal person with a working brain cell could see that these contracts are unreasonable and biased. Ashore, the lawyer's advice to his client would be "you can't accept this". Well, the competitors don't have to accept it either. If, worldwide, they refused to sail, the ISAF, RYA and IOC would have a problem and, in spite of the opinion of Rod Carr as reported in Scuttlebutt 3518, if there are no competitors, there is no competition. The problem is for the sailors to organise themselves with one voice.

* From Brian Morris:
Well said Rodney Pattisson concerning the medal race (in Scuttlebutt 3516). This concept is a disaster.

For those of you with some memory, the ISAF World Sailing Championship in 2006 was held in Austria, and there was a Women's Multihull event which was raced in light disastrous conditions. The local race officer wanted to delay the medal race one hour for the wind to increase, but the ISAF representative apparently said the race had to be run at the scheduled time.

The result was only one team finished as the breeze died. The rest of the teams all scored double points in the non-discardable race. The leaders didn't win the gold medal and ISAF patted themselves on the back. The women cried. Who is there to speak up for our sport?

Here are the results: http://tinyurl.com/ISAF-020112

* From Art Weekley:
Hmmm.......let's see. We change the America's Cup rule about racing on the open sea, we throw out traditional monohulls, we select a venue surrounded by hills with the resultant unpredictable winds, and all this is to get public interest up and the racing visible. Then we make plans to have a 44-foot long jumbotron set up so people can actually see the racing. What's wrong with this picture?

If I had enough interest left to actually watch this sham, I'd be on my sofa with a cold beer watching on my own television rather than on theirs. I think the organizers are suffering from having their head up their, uh, you know what I mean

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
At a cocktail party, one woman said to another, "Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?" To which she replied, "Yes, I am. I married the wrong man."

SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Camet - Summit Yachts - North Sails - North U. - Z Blok - USSTAG
Doyle Sails - Power Plug-In - Ullman Sails - Ribcraft - Dieball Sailing

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