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SCUTTLEBUTT 3559 - Friday, March 30, 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: New England Ropes and Summit Yachts.

IN THE CARIBBEAN... LIKE A VIRGIN
By Michelle Slade, SailBlast
As the saying goes, there's a first time for everything. However, it blows
me away to be in the British Virgin Islands with the likes of Dee Smith and
Eric Arndt, two well known American sailors who have raced all over the
world, to find out that neither of them have EVER been here before.

If Smith's wife Jocelyn has her way, it won't be the last. "I was talking
to a bunch of the guys and we're like, 'why have we not done this
before'?!!", she said.

A very relaxed-looking Smith concurs, "It's beautiful here..."

He's working with a new Farr 400 program - Blade - chartered by Michael and
Marlene Schlens (Los Angeles). They're just off the St Thomas Rolex Regatta
where they placed fourth. Smith's working with Schlen and his mostly local
Los Angeles, CA. amateur crew, helping get them up to speed on the 400.

"We were pretty happy with that result and the racing was fantastic," Smith
said. "We had a nice match race with the other 400 - Magnitude (chartered
by Doug Baker also from Los Angeles) - they could have won easily except
they made a mistake on the last finish line."

The BVI is proving an ideal environment for Smith and Co., to work Blade
through its paces. Nonetheless, I had to ask the question, "Why do you
think sailors keep coming back here?"

Simultaneous crack up around the table.

"Well duh! Just look around! What do you think - gee - there's wind, the
water is warm, it's clear, you don't have to wear anything ... it's like
... beautiful!" Smith laughed.

Racing got underway for the BVI Sailing Festival on Wednesday, with a
26-mile race around the island of Virgin Gorda - a perfect combo of
downwind and upwind racing, with some challenging tactics involved (reef,
rocks...). The Blade team took 3rd overall on Wednesday and look good for
the BVI Spring regatta 3-day festival starting Friday.

While it's hard to imagine anyone working up a competitive sweat racing in
Paradise, Smith countered,

"It's always competitive when the competitive people go sailing. Doug Baker
and his guys are all very competitive boys - they're a bit above where we
are so they beat us pretty hard. The 52s that sail these (Caribbean) races
charge pretty hard - they're race boats, they don't know how to stop them.
Even some of the charter cruising boats are being sailed by some pretty
good people. It's just the performance. Our boat is really performance
oriented and it goes really well in these conditions - it gets up and
planes." -- Read on: http://sailblast.blogspot.com/2012/03/like-virgin.html

* Tortola, British Virgin Islands (March 29, 2012) - Big breeze and ocean
swell were on tap for the Nanny Cay Cup, a 22-mile blast reach from Virgin
Gorda to Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola. In the Racing Class, the Farr 400s
led the way, with Michael Shlens Blade and Doug Baker's Magnitude finishing
1-2. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/BVI-032912

Schedule of Events
March 27-28 - BVI Sailing Festival
March 28-29 - GILL BVI National Match Racing Championships!
March 29-April 1 - BVI Spring Regatta
Details: http://www.bvispringregatta.org/bvi/SCHEDULE/Events.aspx

THE FUTURE OF YACHT RACING
The 3rd International Yacht Forum in Hamburg, Germany on March 24-25 was
presented by moderator Dobbs Davis, sailing expert and editor of the
Seahorse Magazine, who was joined by 13 international specialists to
discuss "The Future of Yacht Racing". Here is an excerpt...
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Most noticeable was the growing importance of computers in all areas of the
sailing sport. Nick White, developer of the powerful navigation software
Expedition, impressively demonstrated the immense advantages of navigation
and tactics software. If courses are evaluated, taking weather and flow
data as Grib files and performance data of the yacht into account, chances
of winning are significantly bigger. Weather expert Meeno Schrader later
pointed out the influence of the data quality for the planning.

In general, there is an - international - trend to boats providing more fun
sailing and not mainly fit well into a rating rule. More fun comes along
with less weight, more ballast and a bigger sail area - all of that being
punished in the rating rules. Today you can easily build a boat of 12m with
a total weight of less than 4t without suffering seaworthiness. But the
popular boats in Northern Europe weigh 6t - 8t or more. Even a brand new
XP38 of X-Yachts' Performance Series weighs 6.4t at a length of 11.58m.

Yacht designer Jason Ker showed a diagram illustrating the trend for the
weight of racing yachts, in case a new rating rule for high performance
yachts would be developed: 3.5t to 4t for a 12m yacht, less than 6t for a
15m yacht. The sailing performance of these boats would be remarkable - a
reason for some sailors, designers and measurers in the USA to develop a
rating rule for forceful racing yachts, without concern for the cruiser
racers.

All speakers agreed on one point: the new light yachts would be extremely
demanding for the crew. Everyone must be aware, that you need a lot of
practice to manage such a high performance racer to win a race on corrected
time.

Full report: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/0329/

THE ROBSHIP HAS LANDED!
New England Ropes has expanded its product offerings to include Robship, a
product line consisting of rope bags, sleeves, and covers that protect your
boat and its rigging from the elements as well as provide convenient
storage options for personal belongings! Like our cordage products, Robship
products are comprised of the highest quality materials that are
meticulously inspected and equipped with extra weather protection. Robship
is now exclusively available at West Marine! Come see Robship for yourself
at the New England Ropes booth #410 at Strictly Sail Pacific or online at
either http://www.neropes.com or http://www.westmarine.com

ARE THE OLYMPICS READY FOR KITEBOARDING?
The International Kiteboarding Class Association (IKA) is eager to prove
that kiteboarding is ready for the Olympics 2016, and they got their chance
last week to showcase who and what they are in front of an ISAF evaluation
panel. ISAF has already confirmed that there will be a 'Board' event at the
2016 Games, and the IKA would like it to be kiteboards. Here is the IKA
report...
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The ISAF kiteboarding format trials wrapped up last Sunday in Santander,
Spain, which will be host to the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship. The
original task - finding a racing and event format that shows kiteboarding
at its best - was completed quickly with a great outcome that will give the
sport another boost. The new format is made for fleets of any size, but
adds spectacular elements and a medal race series in elimination, which
will add all the drama that other sports have - this is the way how heroes
are made.

The even more important task - to showcase that kiteboarding is mature and
ready for the 2016 games - was also handled with bravery. The ISAF
evaluation panel as well as ISAF president Goran Petersson and vice
president Teresa Lara were impressed by performance and professionalism -
and well noticed the excitement that kiteboarding is able to create to
bring a completely new audience into the sailing family.

This is especially true for all the kids in the emerging nations -
kiteboarding equipment is the most affordable one of all Olympic classes
equipment, it can be bought in every shop on every beach in the world, and
it does not require expensive infrastructure, neither harbors nor in terms
of travelling as it can be taken as normal luggage on any plane.

The ISAF equipment committee representatives had a detailed look at the
equipment and class rules - many boards were measured and weighted, and it
was definitely a surprise that such high performance can be achieved with
equipment that has a total weight of slightly more than 10 kilogram - ready
to sail, including board, kite, fins, bars, and wetsuit. -- Read on:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/12/0329a/

WILL THE LEADERS MAKE IT UNSCATHED?
(March 29, 2012; Day 12) - As Volvo Ocean Race leaders Groupama and PUMA
were closing on Cape Horn, it will be touch and go as to whether they both
escape the punchy weather still due in the region of Cape Horn on Friday
when the leading pair will be in the vicinity.

The teams will not be sorry to leave the Southern Ocean behind. Cammas said
that it was only yesterday that the waves dropped below seven metres, and
admitted to broaching Groupama twice during the heaviest of conditions. "We
haven't been really frightened at any point, but it was stressful for a
long time," he said.

Groupama is expected to enter Drake's Passage, the expanse of water that
separates Cape Horn from the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica,
tomorrow. Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of Drake's Passage, the
area notorious for shipwrecks and known as the 'sailor's graveyard'.

"It's not a deciding factor that we will still be leading on exiting
Drake's Passage," Cammas explained. "However, it is not a deciding factor
to be leader. What matters is to make it back into the Atlantic with a boat
in her absolute prime and with a crew which is great shape."

Other than the leading pair, the only team to seem healthy was Abu Dhabi,
with media crew Nick Dana reporting a new top speed of 41.5 knots. "It was
not really our intention to be hitting speeds like this, we have at least
another four days of this weather and we certainly do not want to damage
the boat or people right now," said helm Rob Greenhalgh.

Unfortunately, a report that followed announced that Abu Dhabi had slowed
down to give themselves an opportunity to assess some delamination to the
hull. No further update was provided at press time. -- Event media

INFIRMARY: Team Sanya has arrived in New Zealand to repair their rudder,
and will rejoin the fleet in Miami. Camper is bound for Puerto Montt in
Chile to repair bow damage, and then continue to Itajai. Team Telefonica
will make a stop at the Argentine port of Ushuaia to repair bow damage and
then continue to Itajai.

Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Friday, 30 March 2012, 1:02:41 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 2121.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 23.5 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 317.9 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 1273.1 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1546.6 DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Retired

Tracking/Standings: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/racetracker/rdc.html
Schedule: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-2011-12-schedule
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

SAILING SHORTS
* Long Beach, CA (March 29, 2012) - The third day of the ISAF Grade 1 48th
Congressional Cup match racing championship rolled through four flights
today, which saw defending champion Ian Williams (GBR) go undefeated and
come within one win of the lead that four-tme winner Gavin Brady (NZL) has
held since day one. Currently holding third is Taylor Canfield of the USVI.
The ten teams need to complete four more flights to determine the top four
teams that will advance to the semi-finals and finals on Saturday. -- Event
website: http://www.thecongressionalcup.com

* The lead boat in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race and its
nine competitors are near completion of their race leg from Qingdao, China
to San Francisco Bay, with the lead boat tracking to arrive at Jack London
Square in Oakland sometime on Saturday, March 31. The fleet will be joining
the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show, also at Jack London Square, with show
dates on April 12-15. Activities for show attendees include the awards
ceremony on April 12, climbing onboard the boats on April 12-13, and the
race re-start on April 14. -- Details:
http://www.strictlysailpacific.com/shows/clipper-round-the-world.asp

* Live announcers, on the water umpiring, Kattack GPS tracking devices and
a large audience are planned for the 2012 Baldwin Cup Team Race in Newport,
Beach, CA. Hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club on March 30-April 1, 11
teams from across the U.S. will compete in this 4 on 4 event sailed in
Harbor 20s. Competition will be held off the NHYC Main Dock for prime
spectator viewing, with 25 beer served all weekend. -- Details:
http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=13519

* Cascais, Portugal (March 29, 2012) - A full on day of fleet racing saw
four different winners from four races and a very compact 15-boat fleet
competing at the Cascais RC44 Cup 2012. Igor Lah (SLO) along with tactician
Michele Ivaldi (ITA) and the team of CEEREF were the most consistent to
lead after day one. Katusha (RUS) helmed this week by Steve Howe (USA) with
Russell Coutts (NZL) calling the shots is one point off the lead with a
3,7,1,4 score-line. Racing concludes on 1st April. -- Full report:
http://www.rc44.com/news/view/compact_racing_for_the_rc44_fleet

* The Sail1Design College Sailing Team Race Rankings as of March 29th
considers Georgetown as the best team with Charleston, Hobart and Smith
College, Boston College, and Stanford following in that order. -- Full
rankings: http://www.sail1design.com/rankings/icsa-rankings

* CORRECTION: Carol Cronin, who authored 'My Family of Snipe' in
Scuttlebutt 3558, was listed as a 2008 Olympian. In fact, Carol skippered
for the U.S. in the women's keelboat event at the 2004 Games.

NEWEST SUMMIT 35 SHIPS OUT
The latest Summit 35 to be built has just been shipped to Germany; the
first of our 35's to go to that part of the world. The new owner is
enthusiastic about racing what is considered the ultimate racer/cruiser in
its class. Mark Mills has designed this as well as the other models in the
Summit Lineup to rate well in IRC, ORC as well as PHRF. Check out the
Summit 35, and Summit 40 Racer/Cruisers and the all-new Summit 45 carbon
Racer at http://www.summit-yachts.com

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include guard dog, Midwest bound, before and after, sweet ride, bagpipe, J
boats, tacking, and hot tub boats. Here are this week's photos:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0330/

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
mailto:editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com

VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The growth of kitesailing appears limitless as course world champion Johnny
Heineken (USA) enjoys his rig on the water and the snow while his sister
Erika provides video of the outings.

Erika Heineken presents play-by-play insight during The Lord of the Wind
Showdown in Los Barriles, Baja Mexico, and then produces footage from a
snowkiting adventure at Skyline Ridge in Utah.

Click here for this week's video:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/12/0330/

Bonus Videos:
* This week on Episode 32 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we are undercover in
the Land of the Dragon, revealing China Team's new recruits as two
world-class sailors, Fred Le Peutrec and Phil Robertson, go head to head
competing for the vacant skipper position. Back in San Francisco we catch
up with ORACLE Racing design team to chat about the AC72 timeline. Then we
head to Naples, Italy where four-time America's Cup Challenger Lars
Borgstrom talks about the passion the Italians have for the sport of
sailing, and reliable wind conditions that the teams should see during the
AC World Series races in Naples April 11-15. Tune in on Saturday March 31
approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
http://www.youtube.com/americascup#p/c/915CDC8233C7B14E

* In the March 30 "World on Water" Global Boating Weekly News Report we
feature the magnificent yachts in the 2012 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta &
Rendezvous at the new YCCS Virgin Gorda facility, the Volvo "bad day"
moments for Abu Dhabi Racing and Telefonica in "Fresh to Frightening", the
Finn Europeans in Scarlino, the UIM Class One Pearl Qatar Grand Prix Race
1, the RS:X Worlds in Cadiz and the 2012 International Rolex Regatta in St
Thomas. See it on http://www.boatson.tv at approx 1000 GMT, 0500 EDT.

* The "crown jewel" of Caribbean yacht racing is the International ROLEX
Regatta with three days of world-class racing on the warm, clear waters
surrounding St. Thomas Yacht Club USVI. Daily reports by T2P.tv:
http://www.t2p.tv/guide/irr12.php

* Long Beach Yacht Club presents the Congressional Cup, the most famous
match race regatta in the United States with an international list of
renowned skippers and crews battling it out to see who will wear the
crimson blazer. Daily reports by T2P.tv: http://www.t2p.tv/guide/cc12.php

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com

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 Paul Newell, Isle of Wight:
I read with great interest the article which basically states that some
owners and crews don't want to do these bloody awful sausage courses any
more (in Scuttlebutt 3558).

I did the Half Ton Cup in Cowes last year and, apart from three races, we
did the upwind/downwind courses. Boring!!

After the event (I should have raised the objection at the first briefing),
I spoke to several of the owners who all said more or less the same thing
"We came to Cowes to sail Cowes" i.e. there are a huge number of both
racing and navigation marks in the Solent which could have, and should
have, been used to create some really interesting courses.

And the shape of the Solent lends itself to interesting courses in its own
right too. The navigational skills of the crew can be exercised. It's not
just about catching the wind shifts, there is so much more to racing than
boring sausage courses.

But no, we sailed in the tidal slack spot day after day on courses that
were too short and as a result no real challenge to boat or crew apart from
making the windward and leeward turning marks a bunched up and dangerous
place to be.

I have felt this way for many years now but I also feel that I am a very
small minority pushing against a very large immovable rock. I wonder how
many more owners and crew out there feel the same as me.

* From Bob Johnstone:
No question that pursuit races bring out the numbers of all sizes and types
of boats and participants, including those who hardly race at all and never
had PHRF certificates.

Over the past 7 years at the Northeast Harbor Fleet and Boston Harbor
Islands Regatta, a Sailing Instruction solved the only problem a pursuit
race has ...the wind dies and race is shortened, causing a "recalculate"
demand.

Start time intervals are usually based on time-on-distance PHRF ratings.
But, since the crossover point between TOD and the PHRF time-on-time (TOT)
conversion is about 3 hours in a 12 mile race (14 miles is a bit long), the
SI's stated that the race stood (without recalculation of times) if
shortened after 3 hours from the start of the slowest boat. That
calculation could be made for a pursuit race of any length ... and more
post race parties enjoyed.

* From Steve Gregory:
The debate about the prevalence of windward-leeward courses is a worthy
topic. There should be no question that this race course is the best for
elite events - nationals, worlds, continentals, etc.

But the overwhelming majority of sailors are in it for the recreation and
not competing for the Holy Grail. They want some fun.

What if a golfer was to play a round of 18, but used only two holes, and
went back and forth 18 times? A round of golf would be an utter bore. A
golf course has 18 different holes for a reason... diversity! For the same
reason, sailing courses should be diverse too.

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
If you cannot get your work done in a 24-hour day, then work nights!

SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Dieball Sailing - Camet - New York Yacht Club - North U
North Sails - Soft Deck - US Sailing - Doyle Sailmakers - Henri Lloyd
Point Loma Outfitters - Ullman Sails - New England Ropes - Summit Yachts

Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers