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SCUTTLEBUTT 3554 - Friday, March 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.
Today's sponsors: Hall Spars & Rigging and Harken.
PROVING TO BE INTIMIDATING
If you have seen the America's Cup teams race the AC45s in the AC World
Series, you have gotten a glimpse of what the 34th America's Cup will look
like. But after speaking with Artemis skipper Terry Hutchinson (USA), the
reality remains hard to imagine.
It's one thing to sit on your couch with a video game controller; sailing
the AC72s will be like living the game. Artemis Racing is getting an early
tease by mounting their AC72 wing on to their ORMA 60-foot trimaran. With
sail area nearly three times that of the AC45, it's proving to be
* What's it like having a wing that size?
TH: We have the AC72 wing (131-feet tall) on our trimaran and it's
unbelievably impressive from start from finish. From watching the shore
team execute getting the wing in the boat to getting the boat off the
mooring to going out sailing. The whole thing is on a magnitude of
something I don't think anybody really thought all the way through when the
thing was being written. It's going to be exciting times ahead of us. All
the teams are in for an eye opening experience. It's been awesome to be out
sailing with an element of the AC72 and to be the first ones doing it.
* Does it really feel that intimidating?
TH: Yes it does, without question. We sea trialed our trimaran about ten
days ago in about 20 knots of breeze and had the thing in the high 30s boat
speed wise with just soft sails. We went out on the first day with the wing
in relatively calm conditions and it gives you - for the lack of better
words - it gives you the sh#ts. But when you look at the thing, it's like,
"Oh man!" But that's the challenge of it, and I think, therein lays the
opportunity for Artemis. For sure we have a lot of challenges ahead of us
and that's one we all have to face.
* You've launched the wing earlier than you can launch the boat - is that
indication that Artemis feels the wing is where the advantage will lay?
TH: There are certain limitations within the rules we have to adhere to.
We're just getting as much out of it as we possibly can. We have to
overcome that we are a new team and operationally it's a big challenge to
get 100 people operating and functioning and doing all the things that you
need to do to be an efficient team when the boat goes out on the water.
What the wing presented to us was not only the opportunity to do something
full-scale but it was an opportunity to start working on the process of
developing the team. Those two points alone will be worth a lot down the
road when we get it to the 72. It also shows us where we're exposed in
areas - on the shore team, on the sailing team - certain aspects of the
St. Thomas, USVI (March 22, 2012) - Overcast skies and light showers cooled
things down today at St. Thomas Yacht Club in the USVI where hundreds of
sailors on 68 teams are preparing for the 39th International Rolex Regatta
(Mar. 23-25). The conditions, however, came with plenty of wind for
practicing and did nothing to dampen the excitement building for the next
three days of racing.
Right out of the box will be Stephen Murray, Jr.'s Carkeek 40 Decision,
which has been designed to the newly developed HPR (High Performance Rule)
and will headline in one of two CSA classes here that has no less than six
other 40-footers "raring to compare."
"There is no rating rule promoting the light (displacement) grand prix
racing boats as a continuum between 30 and 70 feet," said Sean Carkeek, the
South African designer who has been working for a year on the rule as part
of a technical committee developed specifically to fill this void.
According to Carkeek, the HPR will change all that when regattas eventually
adopt dual scoring under the widely used IRC rule and HPR in classes where
it needs to apply.
At the International Rolex Regatta, the likes of Michael Shlens' (Palos
Verdes Estates, Calif.,) Blade and Doug Baker's (Long Beach, Calif.)
Magnitude 400, both Farr 400s, are sure to spice up the competition among
the 40 footers. In addition, two Class 40 boats, which typically are
outfitted for short-handed offshore sailing, are competing with
accomplished skippers aboard. Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) will take
the helm of Icarus, while Berry Lewis (Mill Valley, Calif.) will steer 40
In IRC, it will be a trio of 52 footers -- Lord Irvine Laidlaw of
Rothiemay's (MON) Highland Fling XII, Ashley Wolfe's (Calgary, AB, CAN)
Mayhem, and Peter Cunningham's (Georgetown, Cay) PowerPlay -- and a Cookson
50, Ron O'Hanley's (Newport, R.I.) Privateer, that are likely to stand out,
while the reborn 65-foot Rosebud, now called Equation, will be out for a
first showing since bought by Bill Alcott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.).
Among the power names onboard these boats are America's Cup notables Peter
Holmberg, Mike Toppa, Tony Rey, and George Skuodas. As well, Great
Britain's Brian Thompson, who layed to waste previous around-the-world
speed records with his recent circumnavigation aboard the 130-foot trimaran
Banque Populaire V, will be skippering the Safe Passage company's Andrews
72 Safara, which is the largest boat competing here. -- Read on:
VIDEO: Before the start of 2012 St. Thomas International Rolex Regatta,
Leighton O'Connor took video from on and off Stephen Murray Jr.'s Carkeek
40 Decision, plus interviewed Murray and designer Shaun Carkeek. Here it
LEG 4 SUCCESS
Congratulations to Groupama, first into Auckland on Leg 4 of the Volvo
Ocean Race sailing with a Hall Spars boom, and to the Hall-rigged Puma,
which finished second. Hall is supplying innovative spars for the marquee
teams of 2012. The JV72 Bella Mente will step their Hall spar in the
spring, followed by the RP85 My Song, with a complete Hall spar package and
Hall SCR Airfoil rigging. That's not all - there's a lot more going on in
our three factories. Friend us on Facebook and visit our website for the
latest news. http://www.hallspars.com
SOUTHERN OCEAN COUNTS ITS FIRST CASUALTY
(March 22, 2012; Day 5) - Team Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson has been left
lost for words today after his Chinese team's starboard rudder bearing
snapped as they were leading the Volvo Ocean Race on Leg 5 from New Zealand
The breakage happened as Sanya was travelling at high speed and immediately
sent the boat into a crash gybe with water pouring into the aft
compartment. "The rudder snapped in between the boat and the deck, which is
just the worst thing that can happen because then it just leverages itself
off the boat and leaves a pretty messy trail," explained Sanderson.
"The thing is we had all the sails stacked aft on deck, we had the aft
ballast tank and the whole all the gear stacked downstairs in the back of
the boat," Sanderson said. "So as soon as we stopped of course water just
started rushing in. It is the second time we've heard water coming into
this boat at that sort of pace, so it's pretty scary."
Team Sanya is now heading back towards New Zealand, which they expect to
take between four and five days. The team continues to assess their options
in terms of how to get back in the race as quickly as possible.
As for the rest of the fleet, the depression is packing strong and very
cold winds from the deep south with the forecast to worsen. "We're still a
long way from the matter in hand and once we have 40-45 knots of breeze,
the sea state will be all important. We will then have two reefs in the
mainsail and the storm jib," Groupama skipper Franck Cammas said.
He added that the whole crew is tense, wondering how the boat will cope in
the very strong conditions expected between now and Saturday. The next five
days promise extreme conditions leading almost to survival mode for the
crews as they race towards the notorious Cape Horn. -- Event media
Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Thursday, 22 March 2012, 22:07:41 UTC
1. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 5253.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 4.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 17.2 nm DTL
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 20.7 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 430.1 DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Suspended racing
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
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
RATCHETING UP THE PROGRAM
Tarragona, Spain (March 22, 2012) - Chalk it up it to a tough economy or
the difficulty of making the grade, but the hard fact remains that only
five of the 79 skippers who participated in the 2011 La
Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 (AKA, the Mini Transat) advanced from
their Class Mini yachts to the faster Class 40 raceboats for the 2012
season. American Emma Creighton (27) - the third American female skipper to
have completed the Mini Transat- is thrilled to be amongst the fortunate
few. "I can't wait!" reported an ecstatic Creighton. "The chance to step
onto a bigger boat with a great teammate is huge."
This May, Creighton and co-skipper Jorge Madden (28; ESP) will race the
Class 40, Initiatives (GBR 30), in the 2012 Atlantic Cup (May 11 to 27).
The three-stage race includes a 645-nautical-mile distance leg from
Charleston, South Carolina to New York City, NY, where the fleet will also
participate in a fun-spirited "Pro-Am" race. Next up is the
260-nautical-mile sprint from the Big Apple to Newport, Rhode Island. The
event's grand finale is a weekend (May 26 & 27) of fully crewed,
around-the-buoy racing, which will be contested off of Newport.
"This year's race will be the first time that the European Class 40s will
be racing in the States with the U.S. fleet," said Creighton. "So this is
going to be a super exciting and competitive event." Creighton and Madden
may be long on enthusiasm, but they freely admit that their lack of
Class-40 experience is a weakness. While both skippers are fresh off big
2011 seasons that included the singlehanded, 4,200-nautical-mile Mini
Transat, this will be their first Class 40 event, and their first
partnership. Interestingly, Creighton and Madden are also the youngest team
entered the Atlantic Cup, and Creighton is the only American female skipper
- and one of only two women - competing. -- Read on:
* A new computer graphics and data technology that allows international
television viewers to see America's Cup racing with a closeness and
accuracy never before possible has been recognized with an Emmy nomination.
The backbone of the America's Cup television broadcasting, the
revolutionary LiveLine data and graphics system has been nominated for the
George Wensel Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, which recognizes
extraordinary technical innovation that enhances the broadcast for viewers.
-- Read on: http://media.americascup.com/pressreleases/?id=529
* Miami, FL (March 22, 2012) - Italian Giovanni Soldini leads a crew of
eight, including German Boris Hermann as Navigator, and American Brad Van
Liew and Spaniard David Vera as Watch Leaders, to establish a crewed
monohull reference time from Miami to New York. The team set out today
aboard the VOR70 to begin the quest. -- Full report:
* In the past three years, the BoatUS Foundation has helped 117 marinas
around the country tackle the problem of cigarette litter, and it is now
looking for more marinas to join its 2012 Cigarette Litter Prevention
Program. Marinas have until April 6 to apply, and if selected, they will
receive a $500 grant to cover the cost of ash receptacles and a supply of
portable ashtrays. Details at
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include hammock boats, Caribbean champs, college sailing, sponsorship, well
liked, table boats, bad day, and a classic Hiberna Iceboard jibe. Here are
this week's photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0323/
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
If things go right, come early August, members of the U.S. Sailing National
Team will remember visiting Colorado Spring in March. They'll remember how
they were pushed past their mental and physical limits, made to sprint,
swim, run and lift for hours on end, caked in mud and dirt. And, again, if
all goes to plan, it will be those memories propelling them to the gold
medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Think you know how to train? Think again... click here for this week's
* This week on Episode 31 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we are in Naples,
Italy with Mayor Luigi de Magistris to uncover the next stop on the
America's Cup World Series tour starting in just two weeks time. Then we
meet with former America's Cup designer, Jo Richards, to hear his insight
and insider secrets into what the new AC72 multihull monster could look
like. Then we take a trip around Europe with Challenger of Record, Artemis
Racing; visiting Chairman Torbjorn Tornqvist at his office in Switzerland,
checking in on the hull manufacturer in Sweden, followed up by a trip to
the design and sailing team office in Spain. Tune in on Saturday March 24
approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
* This week on the "World on Water" global boating video weekly news show
it has been a big "Volvo" week. We cover the Auckland In-Port Race, the
start of Leg 5 from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil and drama once
again for Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Racing's yacht Azzam. Also we report on
the mayhem in last week's 18 Foot skiffs' Alice Burton Trophy when most of
the fleet capsized, the 32nd St Maarten Heineken Regatta, the Australian
Melges 32 Championships and in our regular action segment "Fresh to
Frightening" we show the dramatic sequence when Melges 32 boat Red is
T-boned by Bronco in the 2010 World Championships. See it on
http://www.boatson.tv approx 1000 GMT, 0500 EDT.
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Roger Vaughan:
I've long been an admirer of John Kostecki. I have great respect for John's
amazing string of sailing accomplishments that range from one designs to
Volvo race boats. But when I read that line (in Scuttlebutt 3553) about him
more than making up for the absence of fellow countrymen on the Oracle
team, I about choked. That's ludicrous, and also embarrassing.
* From John Domagala:
I know that some time ago you put together a media tips packet for regatta
chairs. However, I can't find it on the Scuttlebutt site. Can you point me
in the right direction?
COMMENT: Here is the link: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/pr
* From Laurence Mead:
Dropping windsurfing from the Olympics would be the same crazy decision
making process as was dropping multihulls (for the 2012 Games). And we all
know how that worked out.
I know the (windsurfing) discipline has declined in popularity from its
heyday but it's still enjoyed by thousands and thousands of people on the
water every year and it's a very pure form of sailing (Paul Elvstrom said
it is what he would be doing were he 21 again) which should not be dropped.
If we have to, I would say drop another dinghy to make way for the kite
boarders. We really can't push the windsurfers out and maintain credibility
with the younger generation that correspondents on these pages are always
talking about wanting to enthuse.
* From Chris Bulger:
"What are am missing?" With all due respect to Bill Canfield (in
Scuttlebutt 3553), the long list of things missing from your analysis
includes the concepts that are central to the Olympic mission such as
speed, athleticism, youth and inclusion. I have to add that your argument
seems flawed on two additional fronts.
First, the number of women 29er sailors exceeds the match racers - so, if
this is about numbers - then the world is indeed crying out for skiffs.
Second, arguing that women don't want any athletic opportunity just because
they don't already have it has been disproven many times over.
You are certainly entitled to prefer match racing, but to suggest that the
call for women's skiffs is "silly," is like railing against the notion that
the world is round.
* From Louay Habib:
What Bill Canfield is missing (in Scuttlebutt 3553) is that women are
racing skiffs. There were over 130 29ers at the 2011 European
Championships, many of which are raced by women.
Match racing is a highly technical discipline and one that is worthy of an
Olympic Class but skiffs are far more exciting for competitors to watch.
I guess you are making your comments because you are pro-match racing and
not against women sailors. In my opinion, sailing as an Olympic event
should be mainly a mixed sport; sure there are few women that would make
the grade in the Finn or other highly physical disciplines but there are
many other classes where women can be as good as men, if not better. Why
not have a mixed Match Racing Class and lose the Laser Radial for a 29er
I am privileged to see data about viewing figures for sailing events. The
sport is not attracting women viewers; if we want our sport to grow and
commercial interest to increase we need to appeal in a better way to half
of the world's population.
Furthermore, I could say that watching fit, young athletic girls getting
wet would be a draw for male viewers but that would be sexist wouldn't it?
COMMENT: Louay covers a lot of ground, but I wanted to note how the value
of the Olympics for sailing varies from country to country. Louay sees the
growth of sailing as connected to the Olympics, and while this may be true
in some nations, it is not universal. However, some classes do thrive
because they are used in the Olympics (or Pan Am Games). This is due to the
funding provided to participants from sailing federations. Interestingly in
North America, the various types of racing thrive more so as a result of
their organization and participants, and not so much due to any Olympic
connection. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
If you cannot hope for order, withdraw with style from the chaos.
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