SCUTTLEBUTT 3547 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
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Today's sponsors: North Sails, Mount Gay Rum, and J Boats.
HOPING FOR SOME OFFSHORE LOVE
As one of Britain's most successful sailors, double Olympic medalist Ian
Walker is not feeling much offshore love these days. In his first Volvo
Ocean Race experience as skipper of Green Dragon in 2008-09, the design
program lacked sufficient time, which saddled Walker with a slow ride
around the world.
But prior to this edition of the race, Walker had reason to believe that
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing would be a contender. But that is, as they say, why
we play the game. As the only Farr designed boat in the contest, she has
proven suitable for the In-Port races, but not so much offshore. The team
currently sits fifth overall.
Yet according to 43-year-old Walker, he sees the pendulum as ready to swing
their way. "We are optimistic ahead of the next leg; we under no illusions
that it will be extremely difficult but it is also downwind, and that is
where our strengths hopefully lie," said Walker.
"We've still not really gone downwind, let's face it. Telefonica look like
the gun boat but everyone's going to have their weaknesses at different
times. We've got to hope. We've done six weeks sailing in this race so far
and I think four and a half have been upwind. We have to get the spinnakers
up and maybe it will be a different story. You just have to keep believing,
keep trying your best and good things will happen."
Featuring the classic Southern Ocean high speed sleigh-ride sailing for
which the Volvo Ocean Race is renowned, Leg 5 - which starts from Auckland,
New Zealand on 18th March - is the longest passage in the race and throws
up a new set of challenges for the six-strong fleet including sub-zero
temperatures, the threat of yacht-crippling icebergs and howling arctic
The course initially takes the fleet from Auckland northwest across the
Southern Ocean to the tip of South America at Cape Horn. From there the
boats must cross the South Atlantic, avoiding the Falkland Islands on the
way to the finish in Brazil.
"The next leg is already on everybody's mind. You have to keep your wits
about you, it can be very dangerous but exhilarating at the same time, it
really is classic Volvo Ocean Race. It's just a shame we didn't have longer
in Auckland for the stopover, it is very short so we don't have enough time
to get up to full strength but it's the same for everyone, we're all in the
same boat," added Walker. -- http://tinyurl.com/VOR-031312
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
SCHEDULE: After the weekend finish of Leg 4 from China, racing begins again
on Friday for the Pro-Am, the In-Port on Saturday, and the start for Leg 5
to Itajai, Brazil on Sunday. 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
CAN SINN FEIN MATCH FINISTERRE'S BERMUDA RECORD?
Newport Bermuda Race Historian John Rousmaniere notes that only one skipper
has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three
in a row in 1956-58-60. And Mitchell won those three races all with
Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls.
In 2010, Peter Rebovich was poised to repeat the feat in Sinn Fein, his
classic 47-year-old Cal 40, but a sterling performance by Rives Potts and
Carina swept away his chance for three St. David's Lighthouse Trophies in a
row. The first three boats in Class 1 were all Cal 40's. Carina has won the
Lighthouse twice, 1970 and 2010, but under different owners.
Sinn Fein has sailed six Newport Bermuda Races, winning her class in 2002
and 2004 and then taking the first place St. David's Lighthouse Trophy in
2006 and in 2008. She took second in class and seventh in her division in
Rebovich still has a chance to match Mitchell with three wins in the same
boat and with the same skipper, just not three in a row. He'll be on the
starting line June 15th in Newport, RI trying to do just that. He has been
ocean racing on Sinn Fein almost forever and has honed his boat and regular
crew into an efficient sailing machine. -- Read on:
NORTH SAILS OPEN HOUSE ON MARCH 31st!
North Sails is having an open house on Saturday, March 31st from 11am-3pm
at our Stevensville, MD loft located at 534 Thompson Creek Road. Join us
for a day of exhibits, discussion, discovery and fun! And, when you RSVP
online, you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win 50% OFF a
new North sail (winner must be present at the time of the drawing and some
restrictions apply). To RSVP, visit:
The two Asian teams entered in the America's Cup - Team Korea and China
Team - have been fairly quiet since the AC World Series event in San Diego
last November. But with the next competition now less than a month away in
Naples, Italy, both teams are ramping up their programs to get ready. Here
is an update from both teams...
TEAM KOREA: Scuttlebutt colleague Michelle Slade interviewed their newly
appointed skipper Nathan Outteridge this week... here are some excerpts
from their conversation:
What do you think of the opportunity?
Outteridge: I'm really excited - we had our really first big Skype meeting
last night with the whole crew. It was insightful to find out where they're
out, how their progression has been and what their plans are for Naples and
the events past that. It's very different to what I've been doing. I've
done a bit of A-class sailing now but I'll be sailing with more people,
furling gennakers, using different types of sailing procedures etc.
Have you sailed the AC45 yet?
Outteridge: Never been on the boat. I get to Naples on April 1 and might
get 4-5 days in the boat if all goes well. I'm very excited about it as
it's finally about to happen - the boats look amazing. I've been spending
every spare minute I have at home watching the footage to work out what to
do as I think it's going to be a very steep learning curve for me.
What's your training schedule with Team Korea look like?
Outteridge: The plan is to finish out this season in the AC45. It depends
on how things pan out and how things are going with the build of the 72 but
once the (Olympic) Games are over, the intention is to fly straight into
full-time on TK. The team will be a bit behind the main 3 or 4 teams but
they sounded very confident last night that the 72's going to happen.
They're trying to shift focus a bit to get that prepared so when it comes
to the Louis Vuitton they'll be ready to go.
Full interview: http://tinyurl.com/SB-031312
CHINA TEAM: The team will be training on Ventilo M2 catamarans in Sanya
from March 14-29 after having replaced two skippers and a helm from the
2011 events. Among the eight crew members are two skippers now vying for
Fred Le Peutrec is a sailing veteran and one of the most experienced
multihull skippers in the world. Fred has accumulated a number of world
records, including the "Jules Verne Trophy" (previously called "The Race"
around the world) three times (with Loick Peyron (2012), Franck Cammas
(2010), Grant Dalton (2001)); he has been winner of the ORMA (trimaran)
championships and has been in the top 3 on numerous occasions for World
Championships and various multihull categories.
The second skipper is a China Team member already since 2011, Phil
Robertson. At only 25 years old, Phil fronts WAKA Racing, a tight team of
top young sailors, and has already won many major regattas. He is currently
placed 8th worldwide in the World Match Racing Tour, and is aiming for
number 1. In addition to this, Phil has placed in the top 3 in over 20
races in the past 2 years as skipper.
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-031312
WEBSITE TO REVEAL THE HISTORY OF BLACK MARINERS
On April 1st, a new website: www.ADMsailing.com will officially come on
line to showcase the extraordinary but unheralded history of Black mariners
and one man's vision to field a new crew in the upcoming America's Cup
Charles M. Kithcart, Executive Director of African Diaspora Maritime (ADM),
a North Carolina based non-profit organization, says the website is
intended not only to close the gap for those unaware of the many African
and African American descendents who served on the high seas, but also to
reveal how today's racing industry can create educational and work
opportunities for African-Americans.
The site will track ADM's progress in getting an actual competition racing
boat designed, constructed and crew assembled for a Defender Selection
Series in 2013. A number of inquiries have already come from professional
racers, yacht clubs, Olympic sailors as well as individuals and
organizations who've expressed a strong interest in supporting this
"We're in court now to challenge the denial by The Golden Gate Yacht Club
to allow us to sail a predominantly African-American team," says Kithcart,
who has crewed on several racing and non-racing vessels throughout his
"But just as important, the races themselves are connected to an incredible
industry of professional designers, engineers, craftsmen and technicians
who are constantly creating products and services. That door opens to jobs
and careers we haven't tapped." -- Read on:
COMMENT: Cory Friedman, who provided commentary for Scuttlebutt during the
America's Cup recent detour through the New York Supreme Court, is tracking
this case and will provide an update when appropriate. As for more
immediate analysis, I found April Fool's Day to be an amusing choice for
this group to launch their website. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
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* California International Sailing Association (CISA), which is best known
for its annual advanced youth racing clinic each spring in Long Beach, CA,
has announced their involvement with a new clinic in San Francisco, CA. The
NorCal CISA Clinic, which will be held June 20-22 at St Francis Yacht Club,
will be exclusively for windsurfing. The clinic will be open to sailors
13-19 years of age interested in advancing or learning more about
* Miami, FL (March 13, 2012) - The second stop on the Lightning Southern
Circuit provided a high value day sailing on Biscayne Bay. Forty boats
traveled to the Lightning Midwinter Championship, where the Coral Reef
Yacht Club Race Committee hosted four races on the first day. Greg Fisher,
sailing with his wife Jo Ann and Jeff Eiber, finished the day with a
9-3-7-3 to lead by one point over David Starck, his wife Jody and Bill
Faude. Racing concludes in Miami on Wednesday, with the fleet moving to St.
Petersburg for the final leg of the circuit. -- Full report:
* This was the 50th year that the combination of tropical sailing and
Bacardi rum has been occurring in Miami for the Star class, and the third
year that the event - BACARDI Miami Sailing Week - has expanded to include
additional classes. Thanks to photographers John Payne and Joy Dunigan for
providing images from the Star, Melges 20 and 24 fleets:
* Brisbane, Australia (March 13, 2012) - Queensland turned on the sunshine
for day 3 of the 2012 Laser World Masters Championships, with winds
reaching 20 knots for the 233 sailors from 19 countries. German sailor
Wolfgang Gerz leads the Laser Standard Grand Master Division after 1,2
results and is now six points clear of second placed Tracy Usher from the
USA. Usher moved up the leader board today with a win in race 6 of the
series and is ahead of Martinie Andre (DOM) on count back. Wednesday is a
lay day for the eight divisions, with racing to re-commence Thursday and
conclude Saturday. -- Full story:
* Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the
sailing and boating community, announces the start of its 7th Clean
Regattas season. As of March 2012, 60 regattas will seek Sailors for the
Sea Clean Regattas certification this year, and four programs have
committed their entire 2012 sailing season to Clean Regattas certification.
Clean Regattas certification provides independent, third-party verification
that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally
responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect the waters upon which
people sail. -- Read on:
GARY JOBSON IS ONBOARD WITH SAILING SPOKEN HERE.
Whether you are still sailing in a warm breeze or awaiting the
spring/summer sailing season, you can stay connected with your fellow
sailors at Mount Gay Rum's Sailing Spoken Here. With tens of thousands
world-wide members today, sailors are able to discuss their challenges,
share their most treasured sailing photos, debate their past regatta
scenarios, and find their favorite sailing bars. Also, we now have Gary
Jobson on board to feed us with instrumental sailing content, which is
reason in itself to get started. So, if you haven't already jumped into the
conversation, luckily today's a new day. See you out there:
Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community.
Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted
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* From Bill Reilly:
When I read in the Copa De Mexico story (in Scuttlebutt 3546) where it said
that Banderas Bay is the largest bay in the world, I had my doubts so I
investigated. In reality, Banderas Bay (1,600 km2) is only the third
largest bay in Mexico, behind Campeche Bay (16,000 km2) and Chetumal Bay
The largest bay in the world is the Bay of Bengal (2,172,000 km2) followed
by Hudson Bay (1,230,000 km2). Banderas Bay isn't even close...
It must have been the tequila...
* From Richard Jepsen, OCSC Sailing CEO:
Regarding the story of the Tsunami damage (in Scuttlebutt 3546), I was
struck by your data on its relative size in history and the sizes of waves
upon the Japan shoreline. Yikes!
Even inside San Francisco Bay in the Berkeley Marina, the tentacles of the
Tsunami reached to wreak a small amount of havoc. While we didn't see
visible waves like Santa Cruz, we had five knot currents alternately in and
out of the marina, taking out some pilings and damaging some floating
docks. This went on, in a slowly diminishing speed and energy level, for
What surprised me was that the tsunami had this much force remaining AFTER
entering through the narrow Golden Gate and traveling (with refraction)
several nautical miles eastward to the Berkeley Marina; it would appear
that we were feeling a tiny fraction of the energy that reached the
California Coast and still we had a wild ride.
Intuitively, I expected much less energy and much less time. Anyone able to
explain the science to me?
* From Frederic Berg:
Charlie Dole (Eight Bells, Sbutt 3545) was a fellow crew member,
competitor, coach, mentor, friend and gentleman to all of us in Hawaii.
Charlie (along with Joe Cochran) taught me offshore sailing when we shared
a watch aboard the Newport 41 "Ricochet" in the "Around the State Race"
when I was 15. Later he would heed the call to coach the University of
Hawaii Sailing Team in my last years on the team. Next we competed against
each other in J-24 State Championships through the '80s.
Charlie was a natural and always competitive. He didn't need to raise his
voice or make a big deal about winning - it came naturally. I think my
mother summed him up best, "I always see Charlie with a beer in his hand."
Charlie, thanks for the many lessons and sorry about speeding in the team
rental on our way to Notre Dame. We know you are in a better place now.
You've earned your eternal Budweiser. We'll miss you.
* From J. Dwight LeBlanc, Jr:
Charley Dole was a true sportsman and he will be missed.
* From Scott Murphy:
With the increasing emphasis on fitness for the US Olympic team (in
Scuttlebutt 3546), I was trying to remember back to the first example that
'fit is fast'.
I am sure there are many, but my vote goes to American Allison Jolly, who
along with Lynne Jewell won the Women's 470 Gold medal at the 1988 Olympics
in Seoul, South Korea.
This was the first Olympics for the event, and this Olympics was windy.
Prior to the Games, Allison was the buffest female sailor I had ever seen;
she must have been a man among boys on the course.
What were some of the other early examples?
J/111 ACTION IN 2012
The J/111 has established a remarkable record in the past twelve months.
This 36' easy-to-sail speedster, uncompromised by rating rules, has brought
the fun back into sailing larger keelboats. Even better, enough are sailing
(65+ in 8 countries) for one-design action in some of the world's greatest
sailing areas - Annapolis, Cowes, La Trinite, Newport, Lake Michigan, San
Good friends are like stars; you don't always see them, but you know they
are always there.
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Doyle Sailmakers - Summit Yachts - North U
Atlantis WeatherGear - Ribcraft - North Sails - Mount Gay Rum
J Boats - Ullman Sails - Southern Spars - New England Boatworks
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