SCUTTLEBUTT 3540 - Monday, March 5, 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: APS and Gowrie Group.
DON'T LET LIFE'S TROUBLES KEEP YOU FROM SAILING
By Chris Caswell, SAILING magazine
I have been writing about sailing for more than four decades now, and I was
just reminded afresh how the written word can touch people. As a
journalist, my work goes into print (or onto the blue screen) and there is
usually no direct connection to the reader.
Oh, sure, there are the letters telling me that I'm an idiot for
criticizing mommy boats or helicopter parents or for picking on people who
want to sail around the world in 10-footers. But those are just snipers.
Musicians and actors who perform live have a direct relationship with their
audience: They can see in it the eyes of their audience when the
performance connects. Unlike them, when I find out later that I have
reached people, it is immensely satisfying.
Before continuing this thought, I have to say that this has been one of
those months when, though the summer heat is upon us, there has been the
melancholy of autumn in my heart and mind. It is as though the leaves are
already falling, and several of those leaves were friends and acquaintances
that passed away unexpectedly.
I suddenly know how my father felt when he decided to stop attending the
reunions of his World War II squadron because fewer and fewer were at the
It has been a time of loss in sailing as well, with two sailors on the
Chicago-Mackinac race and a teenager off Annapolis, Maryland. And, if not
for a large dose of both luck and preparation, not to mention England's
superb Royal National Lifeboat Institution, there might well have been a
crew of 21 lost on the Fastnet Race.
In the midst of this, an e-mail from a man in San Francisco restored the
wind in my sails and the joy in my heart. Several years ago, I did a column
(you can still find it on the SAILING Magazine website) about Hal, a fellow
who was preparing his boat to go cruising. His wife had passed away, his
kids were grown, his business had been sold, and he was planning The Grand
Adventure. And then, one day, there was a For Sale sign on his boat. He had
been diagnosed with The Big C - cancer. He had about a year and the end
wouldn't be fun. He gave up his dream.
I urged him to go anyway and, one day, he took my advice, cast off the
docklines and headed for the South Pacific. I got a postcard from him,
saying it was the best decision he'd made. The title of my column was Carpe
Seize the day....read on: http://tinyurl.com/Sailing-030412
GOOD TO BE YOUNG
When the format for the 34th America's Cup was announced on September 13,
2010, among the plans announced was for there to be a separate event
dedicated to youth sailors - the Youth America's Cup. Initially intended to
commence in 2012, this appears now to have been too optimistic at the time.
But it is still very much on for 2013.
Here is an update on the youth event provided by Regatta Director Iain
Murray last week:
We are planning to race the Youth America's Cup in the AC45s, between the
Louis Vuitton Cup (July 1-Sept. 4) and the America's Cup (Sept. 7-22).
There are still a number of factors that take it from pencil to ink, but
that is what we are working on.
There are a lot of varied definitions of what 'youth' are around the world
throughout the various different sports. Sailing currently has defined
youth by ISAF as being under the age of 19 years during the year of an
event. We are intending to sail in the AC45s, so I am thinking the age
could be possibly under 23 years.
If you look at the teams that we have (entered in the 34th America's Cup),
there are very people that are under the age of 23. One of our objectives
is to create a pathway and provide exposure for young guys to come and be
seen by the teams. One of the things we are looking at is for the sailors
being purely nationals of the country they are representing. If we can make
it happen on the 45s, I am anticipating that we would sail with six crew as
opposed to five.
So these are some of the things that we are thinking about. In terms of
training and availability, we need to work through these details. We would
be looking to work with ISAF and US Sailing to make sure we do this in a
way to insure they are fully onboard. Like most things we do, we want to do
GEAR UP FOR SPRING
Time to switch gears - we're talking shiny, brand new, ready-to-go winches,
blocks, cleats and more. All through March, APS is going to hook you up.
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over $100.00. Had your eye on a cool document case, roll-top dry bag, or
Transition back pack? We're tossing them in with your orders. Now is the
time to benefit in more ways than one while updating your hardware.
NATIONAL TELEVISION COVERAGE BEGINS IN 2012
In just four months time, the America's Cup will be back on national
television in the United States after a 20-year hiatus. On July 1, the
final day of the AC World Series Newport will be broadcast live on NBC,
coast to coast, featuring the winner-take-all race that not only determines
the event champion but also the outright overall winner of the inaugural
six-event America's Cup World Series.
Currently after three events, Emirates Team New Zealand sits on top of the
leaderboard with 55 points, while the American team on ORACLE Racing
Spithill is nipping at their heels with 54 points and Sweden's Artemis
Racing in third with 40 points.
The final three events of the 2011-12 AC World Series are in Naples (April
7-15) and Venice (May 12-20) in Italy before getting to the series closer
in Newport (June 23-July 1).
Following the conclusion of the first AC World Series in Newport, the
2012-13 season begins with at least two further Cup events planned for the
United States this year, including racing in the host city of the America's
Cup, San Francisco.
First, in August 18-26, the second season of the AC World Series opens in
San Francisco or New York, with the venue announcement coming shortly. The
final day of racing will be broadcast live on NBC on August 26.
Then, in the first half of October (dates not confirmed), the focus of the
Cup world will be on San Francisco and the 'Bay Arena'. With the race
course squeezed between Alcatraz and the San Francisco Cityfront, shoreside
viewers will have a front row seat for what is sure to be the fastest and
most exhilarating racing the Bay has ever seen. And here too, television
viewers will be able to tune in live on NBC to the final day of racing.
"As we build to our pinnacle events in 2013, we are thrilled to have live
coverage of all three of our American stops on NBC this year," said Richard
Worth, Chairman and CEO, ACEA. "We are focused on creating a broadcast
product that will excite current fans and draw in new ones, and working
with a broadcaster like NBC will help us to fulfill that vision in the
DETAILS: Stephen Barclay, the chief operating officer of the America's Cup
Event Authority, explained to SF Weekly that NBC is getting the rights to
the Cup for free, plus race organizers must buy airtime. "We're investing
for the future," said Barclay. "The reason the NBC deal is so important is,
for 20 years, [the America's Cup] hasn't been on national broadcast TV in
America. Anyone can watch the races now." -- SF Weekly, full story:
OUT OF BUSINESS
American Brad Van Liew's racing yacht is on its way to France for a new
race with a new owner, and his 15-year-old sailing company is out of
On Thursday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court closed the book on Van Liew Ventures,
ending one chapter in the life of the only American to race solo around the
world three times.
Van Liew said it basically came down to bad timing and bad luck.
He signed on to race in the 2010-11 Velux 5 Oceans race (formerly known as
the Around Alone) just as the economy went south. His campaign aboard Le
Pingouin never landed a title sponsor to pay the bills. In his previous
races, he secured sponsorship from Balance Bar and Tommy Hilfiger,
respectively. A title sponsor generally pays the bills in a campaign in
exchange for the publicity that comes with winning.
And even though Van Liew was winning, without corporate backing in the
Velux, he was barely able to keep the $1 million campaign afloat.
"The saddest thing is that this was the first race where there was ever
prize money, and we had to use that money just to keep us going," he said
The Velux 5 Oceans paid prize money for winning each of its five legs, and
Van Liew won all five. But it was not nearly enough. He secured just enough
sponsorship from local and state businesses, including the State Ports
Authority, to keep his racing crew following him as he circumnavigated the
"Some of those local sponsors got us to the finish line," he said.
Van Liew's Le Pingouin was repossessed in December and sold at auction to
one of the boat's creditors in January. It has since been resold to a
French team, which plans to run the boat in the Vendee Globe, a non-stop
race around the world. -- The Post and Courier, read on:
EAST OR WEST?
(March 4, 2012; Day 14) - The Volvo Ocean Race fleet crossed the equator by
Friday morning, and the worrisome doldrums had been brief but eventful as
teams weaved through the squalls and clouds. Whilst the tradewinds have
softened in this descent towards Auckland, the attention has been on the
best path through the islands of the south pacific.
As a result of how the teams exited the China Sea, two groups formed - east
and west. And with each group, a separate set of options existed in their
approach to the Melanesian archipelagos. The three boats furthest West
(Telefonica, Camper, Sanya) were forced to traverse the Solomon Islands
whilst the three crews furthest East (Groupama, Puma, Abu Dhabi) were able
to clear the chain's windward side.
While an option for the eastern pack appeared to split Vanuata and New
Caledonia, both groups now appear to be pointing to the west of the later
300 nm land mass. With the east-southeast trades of 10 to 15 knots in the
Coral Sea soon freshening and turn southeast, the advantage arrow could
point to Groupama's group which has beam on winds while their western foes
face tighter angles.
The final stretch should be upwind for all teams to the finish in Auckland
with the leaders expected to arrive on or around March 10.
Leg 4 - Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL (5,220 nm)
Standings as of Monday, 05 March 2012, 1:03:30 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 1459.7 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 75.3 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 124.0 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 168.6 nm DTL
5. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 170.2 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 249.8 nm DTL
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 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
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A GAME OF WAIT AND SEE
By Ken Read, PUMA skipper
I can't remember a race that I have been so unsure of the outcome. The huge
east-west split (on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race) opens up room for the
three boats to leeward to sweep around the high possibly better than us.
But, we do have a lot of leverage in a port tack race south. I don't know
what is going to happen. It is strange because usually we have a pretty
good idea how things are going to work out in the big game of chess long
before it actually does happen. Or at least I hope we usually know.
As for now, we are past the "doldrums" which were pretty uneventful. We
just passed the Solomons with a set of final solid squalls just to wish us
goodbye. Only about 20 minutes of drifting right at the southern tip of the
Islands and then we were off. Whew. Don't need to give the rest of the
group more of a head start. We did that already off the starting line in
Now comes the tough part. How much of our gauge do we give up in order to
gain bearing? Will they (western boats) always have a better angle than us
on the outside of the high? Who will have the better pressure, as the two
GRIB files are contradicting themselves right now.
So, we keep pushing and wait and see. It looks like it will be a complete
fight at the end anyway as all the models have us hitting a wall a couple
hundred miles from New Zealand and drifting in at this stage. But these
forecasts are changing every time they come in. Some complex weather stuff
happening down there and it is too far out to really have a firm grasp on
the situation. -- Full report:
NEWBIE TEAM CRASHES THE PARTY
Muscat, Oman (March 2, 2012) - Going into the first Act of the Extreme
Sailing Series 2012, the all-French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild led
by Pierre Pennec were favourites on paper and few would have predicted the
final outcome that saw Morgan Larson's team on Oman Air triumph in their
debut here in Muscat, Oman.
Four teams were in contention for the podium going into the final
double-points race - the new Danish entry, Team Trifork, won the race, but
Oman Air did enough to secure victory after an intense battle with the
favourites. Leigh McMillan's team on The Wave, Muscat muscled their way
into the two-way fight and raced brilliantly on the final day to finish 2nd
overall ahead of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with Austria's Roman Hagara
(Red Bull) in fourth, having been just one point behind the French going
into the final race.
Morgan Larson, skipper, Oman Air: "It's an amazing feeling! It was a
challenging week and obviously our learning curve was quite steep. But this
was really hard racing and any team could have won going into those last
couple of races and we were just lucky they went well for us. I'm sure
there was a bit of beginner's luck to this one and we just dug in and
focused hard but I know it's going to be a challenging season and we'll get
tougher conditions thrown at us and for sure we're going to have to eat a
few of them and we're just need to keep enjoying the sailing as I think
that was the key to our success working together. We knew if we held our
position things would be good but in these boats you never know what can
happen so you just have to keep on pushing all the way to the finish."
Morgan Larson's team includes four-time Olympian Charlie Ogletree and Max
Bulger from the States, Britain's Will Howden and Omani Nasser Al Mashari
competing in his second Extreme 40 season. Act 2 on the circuit is April
17-20 in Qingdao, China.
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/ESS-030412
Live Race Console: http://www.extremesailingseries.com/console
BACKGROUND: The Extreme Sailing Season is in its sixth season, with this
year's eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and South America.
The platform used is the one design Extreme 40 catamaran, with the format
for event including both ocean and 'stadium' short-course racing in front
of the public. Interest in the ESS has grown in part due to the multihull
format planned for the 34th America's Cup in 2013. --
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 Hobson, MyBoatsGear.com Editor:
To help people in mark boats and race committees I would recommend looking
into a GPS coupled with a DSC enabled VHF.
With this combination you can use what is called, "Position Request",
"Position Polling", or "Buddy Tracking".
If all the mark boats have a set up with GPS and VHF, the race committee
can do a "position request" and have all the marks come up on the race
committee's chartplotter. All the race committee does is enter the MMSI
number of the VHF in the mark boat, and ask for position request. The mark
boat is now seen on the committee's chartplotter with distance and bearing.
No need for Lat & Lons to be called on the radio
We did an article on it - check out the ICOM video for a good understanding
of how to use Position Polling:
This feature is widely used in fishing circles/tournaments. They can see
where their friends are without giving up their position or calling on a
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"I offer my opponents a bargain: If they will stop telling lies about us, I
will stop telling the truth about them." - Adlai Stevenson, US politician,
1952 campaign speech
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