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SCUTTLEBUTT 3535 - Monday, February 27, 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: Quantum Sail Design Group and Samson Rope.

The sailing accomplishments of Bill Hardesty and Anna Tunnicliffe were celebrated last week at US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards in San Francisco. The honorees were joined by family, friends, sailing dignitaries, fellow sailors and members of the media at the St. Francis Yacht Club to receive their watches and speak about the honor. Here is an excerpt from each winner:

BILL HARDESTY, 2011 US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year:
"After winning the Bemis Trophy (in 1990), I was honored by being named to the Rolex Junior Sailing Team. There was a group of us, but we didn't know what that meant. I was fifteen years old at the time. All we knew was that we were on this extraordinary team. It was sponsored by Rolex. And we thought, wow, we are probably going to get watches. This is going to be so exciting.

"So a couple of weeks later we went to the Rolex Junior Sailing Symposium. All the Olympic class boats were there, and all the Olympians were there, and we got to go sailing with them. And we all got these really cool red team jackets. I wore that jacket until it didn't fit anymore.

"So I came home after the symposium, and it had kind of been the joke at the house whether we would be getting Rolexes. Well, obviously we didn't get a Rolex. And when I saw my dad, he said, "Okay, let's make a deal. You can go to whatever sailing events you want, but when you win a Rolex, you have to give it to me." So I thought, okay, seemed like a fair deal.

"(Bill looks out to his dad). So dad, why don't you come on up and get your Rolex."

ANNA TUNNICLIFFE, 2011 US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year:
"Team Maclaren has had a great year, and this award is a great recognition of all that we accomplished in 2011.... We are a team in every sense of the word. We need each other, and if we are going to achieve our goal this year in bringing home a gold medal, it will be because we competed, and succeeded, as a team. I love the people on this team, and am so proud to be a part of this team.

"I have one final thought that is specifically for Molly and Debbie (Team Maclaren members Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi). Over the past several years, I have enjoyed numerous accolades that have been given to me individually like this award. I am sure it has not been easy for you two because we all work so hard together, and we all contribute equally to our success.

"But I wanted to take the final moments of my comments to tell you publically that I could not have won this award this year, or last year, without you two. In my mind, this award belongs to you guys as much it does to me. I love you guys, and you guys are the best teammates I could ever hope for."

Video highlights:
Full report:

COMMENT: The excerpts above were 'you had to be there' moments. A son fulfilling a 20+ year old deal with his dad, and a skipper offering a tearful thank you to her crew. It was a glorious day outside too, with the upstairs dining room at St. Francis Yacht Club looking out at Oracle Racing's two AC45s train on the Bay. One can only imagine how electric that room will be during the races next year. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

It was announced on New Year's Eve - December 31, 2010 - that the America's Cup was coming to San Francisco in 2013. While this was the home of defender Oracle Racing and Golden Gate Yacht Club, the announcement was preceded by an international search of cities and aggressive rounds of negotiating.

So there was relief when the venue for the 34th Match became official, and a hope that the attention could turn back toward the competition, toward the sailing.

So why then, over a year later, have the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) and the City returned to the negotiation table? It turns out that there remains one huge hurdle... on Tuesday, February 28th. Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck spoke with Oracle Racing COO Stephen Barclay to get an update:
STEPHEN BARCLAY: The host and venue agreement is a document that had been signed by three parties (in Dec. 2010) that describers the terms upon which the Cup was awarded to San Francisco. However, a couple of sections within that document refer to a piece of work that needed to take place in 2011 to turn what effectively was a Heads of Agreement into long term leases, short term venue leases, development rights... all those sorts of things on the piers that we will spend money to upgrade.

We are going to spend $55 million - latest count is now $80+ million - before the Cup starts on upgrading Piers 30-32 to bring them to a state where they can host the Cup on them. And in return, the City and Port cannot go into its general fund and write out a check. What they have to do is give us rental streams off those piers to pay back the money over time. The government is unable to legally gift away anything, in other words, the amount of money we spend on the piers has to equal the amount of money we get back. So that is, in a nutshell, what happened and what the deal is.

* So if you have an agreement with the city, why has there been so much resistance in the local press?

STEPHEN BARCLAY: In the last month or six weeks, all the noise has been around an 11-person Board of Supervisors that is basically getting a second chance at sanctioning the deal when they meet on February 28th. Some of these people come from one side of the political spectrum and some come from the other side, which translates to one group supporting what is trying to be achieved, and the other group is not. And various different publications have captured the point of view that they want to put forward. So all this noise has gotten louder and louder as we have approached the final vote this Tuesday.

* Why has there been so much focus on the negotiations with the City? This is supposed to be, after all, a sailing competition.

Read on:

UH OH: A suit was filed by a group calling itself Waterfront Watch on February 23rd to halt preparation work for the America's Cup regatta, alleging state environmental requirements have not been followed. The suit seeks a preliminary court order barring the city and race organizers from making any physical changes along the waterfront from proceeding until the case is resolved. -- SF Chronicle:

LOCALS ONLY: At 11:00 am on Monday, Feb 27, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee will host a roundtable discussion on the benefits of hosting the 34th America's Cup at the screamingly unpretentious local landmark - Red's Java House at The Embarcadero & Bryant Street.

COMMENT: If you are wondering about the certainty that the America's Cup will be hosted in San Francisco, keep wondering. The fat lady hasn't sung yet. More on this in the Tuesday edition of Scuttlebutt. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

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The podium places in the Etchells World Championship 2012 went to three Australian teams after an intense nine-race battle among the 74-boat fleet on the offshore courses of Sydney, Australia (Feb 20-25).

The clear winner was the Iron Lotus team led by Olympic gold medalist Tom King, assisted by two other Olympians, David Edwards and Owen McMahon and fourth man Ivan Wheen, who built a 14 point margin to take the title. They were followed in second by Graeme Taylor, Grant Simmer and Steve Jarvin, with 2010 World Champion John Bertrand, Tom Slingsby and David Giles in third.

But with every championship, there is also the race within the race, and for more than 10 years that would be the race for good wine. That is how long Bermudan skipper, Tim Patton, a veteran of 24 world championships, and his close friend and veteran of 21 Worlds, Bill Steele, have been betting on their individual race results. The bet was a bottle of wine. The loser then became responsible for providing "a very nice bottle of wine".

"As the regatta goes on," explains Patton, "they do not cancel each other out. After the last day of racing we go shopping and buy only very good wine and then put them on the table for the prize giving dinner. And it's not just red wine. We also include a little bit of white wine and the occasional bottle of champagne.

"There is also an incredibly tacky red hat that has Wine Warrior emblazoned on the front. The leader of the wine bet must wear that during the race. We used to have another hat, but one chap that was in the wine bet, lost it and it cost him a case of wine. The hat changes heads during the regatta and on a double race day, it can change during the course of the day."

The two Wine Warriors are identifiable on the World Championship downwind legs as they their spinnakers, with the two half-full glasses of wine, flies proudly among the Etchells fleet.


(February 26, 2012; Day 7) - As brutalizing the China Sea had been for the Volvo Ocean Race teams, life in the Pacific Ocean hasn't been a vacation either. Or at least not yet.

The distance listed in the race program from Sanya to Auckland is 5,220 nm, but after 7 days the pack is at about 4100 nm from home. The problem? They can't get to the finish line if they won't aim at the finish line.

And until they start aiming at the finish line, you can ignore the Distance to Finish measurements. They are based on a SSW course toward New Zealand, and the weather conditions have the fleet heading east. Heck, PUMA has even been pushing north, as media crew Amory Ross explains:

"The decision to stick to the high road was never built around short-term profit; it was a long-term plan that would unravel over the next week or so. Being north meant getting further east, and getting further east meant a delayed turn south with better angles to Auckland. So our game plan is simple: keep the boat going fast and the bow pointed east. Eventually the time will come to start a gradual turn south, but that's entirely dependent on the wind."

When will this detour end? Here's an update from Groupama 4:

"The benefit of this easterly course is that the fleet will have a more favourable angle for targeting Vanuatu by going around the equatorial Doldrums, which are holding sway offshore of New Britain and the Solomon islands. In the meantime it's very hard to make out who will be the first to come out the other side of the Mariana archipelago: Groupama 4 seems to be in a good position to limit Puma's comeback via the North whilst controlling Camper further to the South. We await the answer from noon on Monday, once the NNE'ly air flow, linked to a depression rolling down from Japan, causes the monsoon further South to re-establish."

Leg 4 - Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL (5,220 nm)
Standings as of Monday, 27 February 2012, 1:17:11 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 4161.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 22.6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 35.1 nm DTL
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 46.7 nm DTL
5. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 50.1 nm DTL
6. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 50.3 nm DTL

Video reports:
Race 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. -

Events listed at

* Miami, FL (February 26, 2012) - The Etchells Midwinter Regatta wrapped up over the weekend on Biscayne Bay. The three-day regatta serves as not only the class midwinter championship, but also the final event of the four-event Jaguar Cup Series. And interestingly, the order of the top three was the same for both. Winning the weekend and the series was George Andriadas/ Tony Rey. Tom Lihan was bridesmaid for both, with Jeffrey Siegal holding the final step on the podium. -- Full report:

* Shoreacres, TX, (February, 26, 2012) - Chris Doyle of Kenmore, NY won the J/22 Midwinter Championship in a tie-breaker over local Terry Flynn. The two teams battled during all four races on Sunday, both ending the regatta with 12 points. Doyle, sailing with Will Harris and Jason Suitor, won the championship thanks to two bullets on day one. Travis Odenbach rounds out the top three with 18 points. Thirty-five teams competed in the six-race event. -- Full report:

* Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) wins the 2012 Miami Invitational (ISAF Open Grade 2) hosted by Chicago Match Race Center and Sail Sheboygan. Tunnicliffe defeated Reuben Corbett (NZL) 2-0 in the Final. Mandy Mulder (NED) defeated Sally Barkow (USA) 2-0 in the petit-finals to take third. More details:

* West Marine chose three products this year for its "Green Product of the Year," with epoxy made from bio-diesel waste as well as electric and propane outboards taking home the honors. This year's winners include Entropy's Super Sap epoxy, Torqeedo's Travel 1003 Electric Outboard and Lehr Propane Powered Outboard motors, which will all share the product of the year honor and the $10,000 prize. -- Boating Industry, read on:

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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 Mike Brown, Zihuatanejo, MX:
Green sailing and green living seem to go hand and hand with me, but from the looks of our oceans and lakes, our shorelines are being destroyed slowly by bio-undegradable products such as plastics and petrochemicals, and a heck of a lot of cigarette butts!

For the sole reason I got to use the word butt(s), this response needs to be published in the next edition of Scuttlebutt.

I have just returned from the beaches of south Pacific Mexico and there is evidence even on these remote shorelines of pollution and basic disregard for our environment. I just don't get it! I do not see where anywhere along your upbringing, whether you are from a jungle or bustling city, you were told that just pitching waste into the open is acceptable and has no consequence.

A lot of people need to sign up for a science class. Even in third world countries, they attempt to at least burn most of the garbage, but those places in the world do not abuse plastic bottles and containers at the rate Americans do. The number of plastic bottles grew from 3.3 billion in 1997 to 15 billion in 2002. Geez that's a lot of plastic.

My forum for trying to remedy the problem is to address formerly all the people I sail with. Most of the surfers I surf with GET IT already and take various actions to help clean up beaches or recycle trash. But many of my sailing friends do not and it is time to remind them. The cigarette smokers that I race with need to be reminded to discard the butt in a an ash tray but easier. It can be sealed and kept aboard until you hit the docks.

Seems like a simple solution and I am hoping some of my fellow sailors will listen to me.

* From Seymour Dodds:
Commodore Baldrige's comment (in Scuttlebutt 3534) - "Apparently the sailing is much less important than the politics in San Francisco" - kind of rankles. How can anyone be shocked there's politics in the America's Cup?

Every host city sees the AC as a pot of gold. These municipalities aren't naive enough to think it is just about yacht racing. Since day one Larry's thrown financial brush back pitches about long term leases on some nicely valuable waterfront property. I don't think San Francisco voters want to get taken to the cleaners by anyone.

If the true interest was about the purity of sailing for the 100 guinea cup, they could have leased a South of Market pier (for peanuts), set up camp and gotten on with the racing.

As to how important is sailing on San Francisco Bay? In a word "Very!" In January and February 2012 over 60 different yacht racing series were run on SF Bay.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails." - Mark Twain

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