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SCUTTLEBUTT 3533 - Thursday, February 23, 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 APS.


BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE PROFESSIONAL CIRCUIT
The Extreme Sailing Series is entering its sixth season, with this year's eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and South America. This professional circuit uses the one design Extreme 40 catamaran, providing 'stadium' short-course racing for public viewing.

It is from the ESS that many of the feature have come which the 34th America's Cup hopes will help heighten its public appeal. With the ESS season to begin next week in Muscat, Oman (Feb 28-Mar 2), Scuttlebutt checked in with Mark Turner, Executive chairman of OC ThirdPole, the organizing company behind the series.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
* The ESS has clearly established itself as a sustainable model. Can you roughly describe your income structure?

MARK TURNER: When we started out in 2006/7 we built a product for our title partner at the time, iShares, so we were 100% dependant on sponsorship. Year by year, and in particular in 2010 when they were sold off and we lost the title partner income, we have worked hard to develop the other income streams. Whilst we still need to bring one or two main partners onboard (ie brands), for both financial and activation reasons, we have successfully made the sponsorship part of the income a minority of the total.

Host venues contribute around a third of the total budget. Hospitality, entry fees, the provision of spares and sails to the teams, boat charter and sales, public entertainment, all make up the total beyond the sponsorship income. It's now a good budget model, but it does still need that sponsorship income and presence to take it to the next level, something we're confident of achieving during 2012.

* You brought the ESS to the U.S. in 2011. Describe that experience, and explain why you chose not to do so in 2012?

MARK TURNER: When we gained investment support in August 2010, that enabled us to take the circuit global in 2011. We decided to target a USA event from a strategic point of view. Hard to call a circuit global without an event in the Americas - and we decided on the USA even though it's probably one of the tougher places to take professional sailing (the commercially funded part as opposed to private owners).

We had an existing relationship with Boston from The Transat Race. Plus we had an important contact with Joe Fallon, which along with his real estate project enabled us to get an event plan together in a short space of time. The event went fantastically well; we were delighted to see how much engagement we got from the public, non-sailing as well as sailing. Boston is a great stadium, superb city backdrop, and good from a sailing perspective too - an iconic city that fits our criteria well.

The difficulty in 2012 is that having invested in it in 2011, we needed to find a more sustainable model for 2012 and beyond, and in the absence of a title partner saying you must return to USA, we opted for a deal in South America (Brazil) instead where the city was ready to invest in the event like in our other venues. That model is a hard one to find in the USA, and with Boston whilst we got great support, there was no financial revenue for us and so it would have been hard to subsidise it for a second year. -- Read on: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/0221

Look for the second half of this interview on Friday.


TUNNICLIFFE, RAILEY SAIL TOWARDS REPEAT OLYMPIC SUCCESS
Sailing often tends to get lost in the smorgasbord of Olympic sports, often because the venue is so hard to find. Choosing a suitable sailing venue is so difficult that the competition is often held away from the main host city or sometimes even the host country. Even the sport itself used to be known in Olympic parlance as yachting rather than sailing.

The events this summer will be held not in London, but in Weymouth, which is southwest of London. Four years ago, sailing took place not in Beijing but in Qingdao. In the U.S., Olympic sailing competitions took place in Long Beach and Savannah, instead of Los Angeles and Atlanta. During the 1980 Moscow Games, sailing took place in what is now Estonia's capital city of Tallinn; if anyone ever asks if an Estonian city ever hosted the Olympics, well, you have your answer.

At the Olympics four years ago, two U.S. sailors brought home medals and their chances are strong to get back on the podium again this summer. Here is a look at both of them:

Anna Tunnicliffe
The accent is unmistakable -- Tunnicliffe will fit right in when she returns to her birth country to sail for another Olympic title in a new event. Yet she'll be quick to tell you it isn't the country of her heart. "I'm an American," she says. "These Olympics will be meaningful for me, but that would be true anywhere."

Zach Railey
Railey was a high-energy Florida kid whose parents needed an outlet for his restlessness; his dentist suggested that organized sailing might be a good choice. Railey was hooked. "I just loved being on the water," he says. "Even today, any activity having to do with water, fishing, water skiing, that's what I want to do." -- Read more: http://tinyurl.com/7nt9ese

* 29-year old Anna Tunnicliffe was honored as US SAILING’s 2011 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year today at the 32nd presentation of the awards at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. Shortlisted for the honor for the seventh consecutive year, she is the first woman in the award’s history to earn it in four consecutive years. In a moving speech, Tunnicliffe credited her team mates Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi, both present at the ceremony, for their significant part in her success. Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Calif.) was also honored, as US SAILING’s 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. - Michelle Slade, Scuttlebutt


A WEEKEND OF INSHORE & OFFSHORE WINS!
Ullman Sails customers kicked off their 2012 Southern California racing season at full steam, collecting hardware in offshore, one design and handicap racing last weekend! Congratulations to the crew on J/120 “Pole Dancer” who claimed 1st overall in the Islands Race - the first installment in the five-race Ullman Sails Offshore Series. Ullman Sails customers also won 10 classes in the SCYA Midwinter regattas, taking first place in the J/105, J/120, Sabot - Adult, Cal 25, Martin 242, Lido 14 and Viper 640 classes, as well as several PHRF divisions in Dana Point and Newport Beach. Invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com


VOLVO FLEET LEAVES LUZON STRAIT
(February 22, 2012; Day 3) - CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand led the fleet through the Luzon Strait, passing within a mile of the lighthouse marking the southern tip of Taiwan at 1830 UTC tonight, with Groupama 4 and Telefónica in pursuit. But, by 2200 UTC, Telefónica was back in their customary position as pack leader.

Progress through the Luzon Strait was slow but at least possible, not the total glass-off that the crews feared, and speeds have been building out in the Philippine Sea. For the past three hours, CAMPER has averaged 19.3 knots, while those further south have been sailing progressively slower.

The shake up on the leaderboard is due to decisions taken immediately after clearing the Luzon Strait. CAMPER chose the high road north, while Telefónica is 45 nautical miles to their south. Between the two is Groupama 4. PUMA’s Mar Mostro rounded the point in fourth place with Ian Walker and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing less than a mile behind. At the last position report Team Sanya still had four miles to go.

“The next part of the leg is about how far east you can get before you dive south towards the Equator,” explained Team Sanya’s skipper Mike Sanderson. “How much distance to the finish are you prepared to pay to sail east and how far does that take you?” -- Event report: http://tinyurl.com/7d8xvs5

Leg 4 - Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL (5,220 nm)
Standings as of Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 22:02:01 UTC
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 4671.8 nm Distance to Finish
2. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 7.10 nm Distance to Lead
3. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 16.6 nm DTL
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 18.3 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 19.1 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 21.5 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

GAMERS: For the Volvo Ocean Race, adversity has come in the form of piracy and boat breaking weather. And now adversity has stricken the gamers too. Following a technical problem that affected 80% of players on February 21st, the Volvo Ocean Race Game has been forced to abandon Leg 4 and have the players return to a starting point which will be as near as possible to the real boats. This position will be determined when the site re-opens at 18:00GMT on February 21st. The race will restart at 12.00 GMT/UTC (13.00 CET) on February 22nd. -- http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/games/VOR2011-12/

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


SAILING INDUSTRY THRIVES IN CHINESE REGATTA VENUE
Qingdao, China (February 22, 2012) - With the sport becoming more and more popular for local citizens, the sailing industry is thriving in Qingdao, east China, the sailing venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Thanks to the Olympic sailing events, there are already 28 sailing clubs, four training facilities and four manufacturers of sailboat now in Qingdao, said Lin Zhiwei, head of a local sports association. Sailing was strange for local citizens before 2008, but many of them began to learn it after the Olympics, and so clubs and manufacturers tried to meet the need, Lin said.

"Members of our club used to learn sailing by renting yachts, but three quarters of them purchased their own yachts after the Olympics," said Qu Chun, manager of the Qingdao International Marine Club.

To date, ten thousand youngsters have attended sailing training programs initiated by local government and 105 thousand adults have had sailing training in Qingdao.

"We have a club member increase of 10 percent per year after 2008, and the club managed to get two million yuan (316.7 thousand dollars) income last year, a five-time increase compared with 2007," Qu said. -- Full story: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/7736908.html


SAILING SHORTS
* Sydney, Australia (February 22, 2012) - Australian skipper Tom King and crew of Ivan Wheen, David Edwards and Owen McMahon have delivered consistent results in the first four races of the Etchells World Championship 2012, with a second, sixth, third and second to take the lead on day three of the competition being held offshore of Sydney Heads. In second is the Roulette team of USA skipper Jud Smith and Australian crew of Mark Johnson and Nik Burfoot, also with a tight scorecard of 3, 19, 1 and 3. Third overall is Australian Graeme Taylor with crew Steve Jarvin and Grant Simmer. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/84y2hm6

* Sydney, Australia (February 22, 2012) - In Race 4 of the 18ft Skiff Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbor, defending champions Steve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage in Gotta Love It 7 tightened their grip on the crown when they absolutely destroyed the fleet in an awesome performance on Sydney Harbour today, their third win from the four races sailed so far in the regatta. Their winning margin was an incredible 5m 2s in the 8-12 knot SE breeze. Mojo Wine finished second, 2m 14s ahead of third placed Smeg. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/75myw7z

* (February 22, 2012; Day 3) - In an elapsed time of 2 days 2 hours 39 minutes and 32 seconds, claiming Line Honours, the 214ft superyacht Hetairos skippered by Vincent Fauquenoy crossed the finish line in Antigua today, completing the RORC Caribbean 600. The monumental ketch was pushed hard all the way by George David's 90ft maxi, Rambler. The all star American team put in a fantastic performance but could not match the pace of an opponent over twice their size. Niklas Zennstrom's JV72, Rán was the next yacht home, less than an hour behind Rambler to claim the overall lead after time. - Reports at event website: http://caribbean600.rorc.org

*Chicago, IL (February 22, 2012) - For its fourth consecutive season of providing world-class Open match racing, the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) has announced its schedule of events for the upcoming 2012 season including the Miami Invitational which starts Friday with ten teams from five countries racing for Open Grade 2 points in Olympic Elliott 6Ms. Except the Miami Invitational, all events will be held monthly starting in May and ending in October at the CMRC's main venue at Belmont Harbor or at the Navy Pier in Chicago. -- Details: http://chicagomatchrace.com

* Regatta Copa Mexico will be having its Olympic Edition 2012, in which Olympic and World Champions will be participating March 2-18 at Bahia de Banderas, main tourist destination of Riviera Nayarit. During the 2012 Edition, it is expected to receive more than 1500 competitors from 25 countries, 30 % more entries than the First Edition in 2010. The seven classes participating are Offshore, J/24, Laser, Club 420, Kitesurf, Windsurf and Optimist. Details: http://tinyurl.com/7s4vohd


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. Here are some of the events listed on the calendar:

Feb 23-26 - J/22 Midwinters - Houston, TX, USA
Feb 23-26 - Mardi Gras Race Week - New Orleans, LA, USA
Mar 1-4 - St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - St.Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar


LIGHTEN UP
Old lines don’t just kink and feel rough to the touch. They’re packed with dust and oil; weighing you down. If it’s high time to upgrade your rigging, lighten your load, and minimize friction, call us. Whether you’re a master splicer and like to do things yourself or you prefer to pass the job over to APS experts - you’re going to save dollars with the 2012 APS February Rigging Sale. Save 15% on Rigging Services, 10% on in-house One Design Rigging Packages, and 10% on Cordage and Wire. Our number is 800-729-9767. Click here for details: http://bit.ly/RiggingSaleAPS


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 David Clark, Newport Beach, CA (re Scuttlebutt 3532):
I too applaud Kay Kilpatrick’s passion and efforts toward educating others on trying to leave the earth better than when we found it and I also agree with Rick Mallinson’s observation that Ms. Kilpatricks’s use of adjectives (dumped & horrifying) made the story a bit sensational. However, to her credit her consumption statistics, based on published consumption data (17 million barrels of crude are used to manufacture 28 billion plastic bottles) seem accurate.

Having said that, let's keep this all in perspective. Satistically it takes just 8 hours per year of the United States’ annual consumption of crude oil (18.6 billion barrels) to manufacture the 28 billion plastic bottles consumed annually, thus while saving every bottle does count, isn’t the real benefit of banning water bottles at regattas to avoid pollution caused by bottles washed overboard?

Lastly, if we're really going talk green, how much oil does it take to get 300, predominately out of state / country kids, plus their chaperones to the sailing venue, to go sail their 300 fiberglass (aka "plastic") boats, each with one, or perhaps three resin coated "plastic" sails, keeping dry in their plastic / rubber sailing gear? I'm all for conserving, recycling and re-using, but let's try and keep this all in perspective and admit that any of us that travel via car, plane or train to any event to sail plastic boats with plastic sails while wearing plastic gear really don’t deserve too many accolades for being green.

* From John Evans, Lymington, UK:
A recent note on the Potomac River Sailing Association reminds me of the early 1980s when I used to frostbite with a great group of guys every Sunday during the winter in my Laser. We always had a large full coffee urn shoreside and in turn we were delegated to buy a litre of hard liquor to add to the urn. Races were short and stops at the urn were frequent with racing becoming increasingly relaxed. I seem to remember a young Terry Hutchinson racing with us before he moved onwards and up in boat size.

* From Connie Sage:
In doing research for my book, "Frank Batten: the Untold Story of the Founder of the Weather Channel," I sent an alert via Scuttlebutt asking for input from those who may have participated in the ominous 1972 Newport Bermuda race. The response was nothing less than fantastic!

The authorized biography has been published by the University of Virginia Press, with a chapter about Batten's sailing career and the Newport Bermuda race.

Is it possible to let everyone know who was so kind to help me? Stephen Kasnet and Peter Willcox are quoted and others provided invaluable information. Additional news and information about the book can be found here: http://www.frankbattenbiography.com


CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so." - Gore Vidal, American author/playwright


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