SCUTTLEBUTT 3560 - Monday, April 2, 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 IYRS.
THE ZEN OF SAILING IS IN SAVORING THE QUIET MOMENTS
By Chris Caswell, Sailing magazine
I sailed with a friend on his Something-or-Other 40 recently and it was an
altogether pleasant day on the water. We weren't going anywhere in
particular, tacked when the mood took us, talked when we felt like it, and
kept our silence when it seemed right.
But when we returned to the dock, he turned into the Energizer bunny.
Coiling lines, stashing cushions, getting the hose aboard to rinse away the
salt water, all within minutes of hitting the dock.
"Hey," I said. "What's the hurry?"
"Oh, no hurry, really," he answered. "But what's the point of just sitting
around on the boat?"
And I realized that is exactly the point.
It's about savoring an event just as you might linger over the last bite of
a hot fudge sundae.
Another of my bad habits besides boats is cars, and many, many years ago as
a car-crazy youngster, I happened to ride my bicycle past a house with a
bright red Ferrari in the driveway. I stopped and tiptoed up to get a
closer look at this fabulous creature just as the owner came out to clean
the windshield. I froze but he saw my interest and casually said, "Hey,
wanna go for a quick spin before I put her away?"
We zoomed up a narrow canyon and, to this day, I remember the ripping sound
of the exhaust, the wind in my face, and the surge of the car under fierce
When we pulled back into his driveway, I started to get out but the man
said to wait.
"Just sit here for a bit," he said. "This is almost the best time,
remembering the drive, thinking about how you might have taken a curve
differently, and just enjoying the moment."
He was right, and it was almost a Zen-like peacefulness as I felt the
supple leather, examined the chrome windshield trim and truly savored my
It was good advice that has been repeated by equally wise men other times
in my life as well. When I was first taking flying lessons and after
greasing an early attempt at landing, I was ready to jump out of the
cockpit and, I don't know, perhaps roll on the grass in ecstasy. But my
flying instructor said essentially the same thing as the Ferrari owner:
"Hey, stay and savor the moment."
And so I did, sitting in the quiet cockpit while the engine pinged and
popped as it cooled. I pulled my logbook from the flight bag, carefully
noted the hours and made a brief notation that included the word "greased,"
and handed it over for him to initial. He smiled at my notation, now that I
had actually landed an airplane a half dozen times. He held it for a moment
as we sat in the gentle sun, and I had another Zen moment, appreciating the
typical cockpit aromas of hot oil and vinyl and perhaps a little sweat from
that greased landing.
I later moved into soaring and sailplanes, but now I was wiser and, after
landing a single-seat glider, I would tilt my head back against the
headrest, feel the soft breeze from the open canopy, smell the freshly mown
grass of the field and, yes, that's right, savor the moment.
And that's the way it is, or should be, with sailing.... read on:
1000 MILE MATCH RACE
(April 1, 2012; Day 15) - Even though there's no break in the Volvo Ocean
Race work week, rounding Cape Horn last Friday for Groupama and Puma
provided a rewarding TGIF kind of celebration.
"As we approached (Cape Horn)," explained Puma media crew Amory Ross,
"sailing past snow-capped mountains and a brilliant red sunrise, I began to
realize that the Horn's spectacle is not in its beauty but its
significance. This is Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America, and
the southernmost point of land on earth. It is cold, dark, and raw, and the
living is tough. And as impressive as the rock stood, it stands for so much
more: it represents total challenge and rewards those who accept it
But as these two teams continued up the Argentinean coast, the casualty
count astern was stretching the imagination of shore crews to remain in the
While rounding Cape Horn, Telefonica suspended racing on Saturday for 12
hours to repair structural damage at Martial Creek, a cove in Herschel
Island in the Cabo de Hornos National Park. They were met there by team
members who came by boat from Ushuaia with supplies and support for the
repair, and left with bowman Antonio Cuervas-Mons who had incurred a lower
back injury affecting his sciatic nerve. The team will sail a man short for
the final 2000nm.
While Camper is continuing on to Chile for repairs, Abu Dhabi has not yet
revealed their intentions. While they appear to be trailing in Camper's
path, they did reveal that the hull delamination which occurred on Thursday
prompted them on Friday to bolt an exterior patch to the hull to stabilize
the area. -- Event media
Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Sunday, 01 April 2012, 22:03:03 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 23.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 1.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 274.5 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 1535.8 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1762.6 DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Retired
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
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WILLIAMS WINS CONGRESSIONAL CUP THRILLER
Long Beach, CA (March 31, 2012) - Drama? Suspense? Intensity? The Long
Beach Yacht Club's ISAF Grade 1 48th Congressional Cup had it all on the
final day when Ian Williams of Great Britain pulled off a memorable win
over Gavin Brady of New Zealand in the decisive race as the sun set into a
murky cloud bank Saturday.
After Williams, the defending champion, had won the first race of their
championship final by 9 seconds and four-time winner Brady claimed the
second by 8 seconds, the Brit's Team GAC Pindar led all the way in the
third, but he had a problem: a pre-start penalty that he had to erase
before the finish.
"We had to do that penalty [turn]," he said---but was he far enough in
front to execute a 270-degree semi-circle without Brady taking the lead?
At the dock Williams recalled, with an ironic smile, that "our team was
discussing just this morning how we'd never seen anybody win with a
penalty. The rule of thumb is when you can do it and come out still ahead.
Gavin pressed really hard."
The key moment came about halfway up the second windward leg. Williams, who
led Brady by 15 seconds at the leeward mark, was crossing him on port tack
when, instead of tacking to starboard, he turned down across his onrushing
foe and came up still in front on starboard tack---a 270-degree turn that
absolved him of his penalty.
Brady said, "We knew it was coming. It was probably the right place to do
it. We were just too far behind to do anything about it."
But it wasn't over yet. The move cost Williams most of his lead, and they
rounded the last mark stern to bow. But Williams didn't give another inch
before crossing the finish line 9 seconds in front---his 16th win in his
last 17 races, after Brady stopped his 15-match winning streak.
Sailing with Williams was Bill Hardesty, Gerry Mitchell, Mal Parker, Mark
Callahan, and Nick Blackman. -- Full story:
COUTTS CALLS FOR MULLIGAN
Maybe Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts should have focused on smaller
changes to the America's Cup. Once his team won the 33rd match, maybe he
should have focused more on defending it than reshaping it. But his vision
of popularizing the America's Cup has been a long held dream, and with the
backing of Larry Ellison, he would finally get to fulfill it.
Despite the 34th America's Cup proving now to be a smaller event in 2013
than forecasted, Russell could easily remain focused on the positives. The
stadium of San Francisco will be fantastic. The boats are expected to be
extraordinary. The broadcast is already groundbreaking. But Russell is
already owning up to some of the mistakes too.
Here are excerpts from two recent interviews:
* COST: A four-time America's Cup winner, Coutts admits in hindsight more
could have been done to attract a larger fleet. "Maybe [the boat] should
have been a one-design, or the AC72 could have been smaller. It could have
been a 50 foot boat -Tom Schnackenberg suggested that in the early days,"
he says. "One of the problems teams have is that they are trying to build
their brands. Do we have all the right answers this time? Absolutely not.
But these problems have been around for more than two decades now." --
Boating NZ, full story: http://tinyurl.com/Stuff-040112
* NATIONALISM: Russell Coutts - the man who infamously defected from Team
New Zealand to Alinghi in 2000 - is calling for the America's Cup to have a
nationality component among the crews. "If I was doing it again, I'd have
the nationality rule, absolutely," Coutts says. "I tried to push it in this
time. At least I think I was gunning for 50 per cent. Then I said, 'No, no,
maybe we'll do 20 per cent.' After talking to the teams, the teams didn't
really want it. It was going to make it too hard for teams such as China
"Personally, I think it'd be a better event if you had a nationality
component in the crews. But all of the teams, I think except Team New
Zealand, voted against it. I think it'd be better because it'd give fans
more to engage with, which I think would be good, and I also think it'd be
better for the development of sailing. If we were forced to use Americans,
we would be forced to develop those sailors." -- NZ Herald, full story:
Oakland, Calif. (April 1, 2012) - The iconic Golden Gate Bridge marked the
finish line of the 6,000 mile stage from China to the U.S. for the Clipper
11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. The first boat to cross the finish line
on Friday, March 30, at 7:16 p.m. was Gold Coast Australia which is
currently in first place overall.
While the rest of the fleet will arrive over the next three days, a brutal
low pressure system whipped up the ocean and a huge wave crashed over the
back of Geraldton Western Australia on March 31, wiping out their steering
column and injuring four crew members.
The US Coast Guard dispatched a vessel with a deck helipad to rendezvous
with Geraldton Western Australia on April 1. Weather permitting, they plan
to transfer an on board paramedic to the yacht in order to assess the
injuries before deciding whether to airlift them to the Coast Guard vessel
and then to shore for medical treatment. Earlier a C-130 aircraft dropped
additional medical supplies to the yacht, including oxygen for one of the
"We were racing along in 40-60 knot gusts," described skipper Juan Coetzer.
"The sea was alive with rage. We were making good speed, sailing with the
third reef in the main, surfing at 15-20 knots. Then at our watch change,
just before the sun came up, a monstrous foaming swell broke over our
stern. Mark Burkes was on the helm at the time. The water had so much force
in it that it pushed Mark into the helm, snapping the pedestal clean off.
We had no steering and crew were falling all over the boat.
Jane Hitchens, 50, a doctor from Kent, UK, has suspected broken ribs and is
being treated with oxygen. Nik Brbora, 29, a software engineer who lives in
London, has a suspected pelvic strain, and Max Wilson, 62, a farmer from
Queensland, Australia, also has suspected broken ribs. Burkes, 47,
sustained a back injury but is not on the casualty list.
Geraldton Western Australia is continuing under emergency steering towards
San Francisco Bay and is now approximately 300 miles from port.
* The fleet will be joining the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show at Jack
London Square 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:
BACKGROUND: The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race started on July
31st from Southampton on the UK's south coast and will return to the Solent
in July 2012 after 40,000 miles of ocean racing - the world's longest ocean
race. Over 500 people representing more than 40 nations plan to compete
among the 10 equally matched 68-foot long masthead cutters designed by Ed
Dubois. They can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more of
eight legs. http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/
FINANCIAL AID 101
An IYRS Open House on April 3 will not only showcase the school's
educational programs: it will also include an in-depth seminar on how to
pay for them. At this event on the Bristol campus, IYRS Manager of Student
Affairs Debra Huntington will talk about financial-aid strategies and the
funding sources that help students get on a fast track to promising
careers. The Open House takes place 4 to 7 pm; the seminar begins at 5:30
pm. The IYRS Marine Systems and Composites Technology programs located at
Bristol now follow a shorter, six-month curriculum. For more information:
* For the ranks of high school sailors who are seeking to continue their
scholastic sailing in college, the number of schools competing in each of
the seven districts determines the number of national championship berths
that are allocated to that district. Here are the allocations for the
spring and fall 2012 college national championships:
* (April 1, 2012) - Staggered starts on Friday and Saturday saw 18 yachts
begin the 800nm Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race.
Jay Spalding's SC50 is the current overall elapsed and ORC C leader. --
* The third of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, the Trofeo S.A.R.
Princess Sofia MAPFRE, will see competition on April 2- 7 April in Palma,
Spain. As teams begin to step up their preparations for the London 2012
Olympic Sailing Competition the regatta will be key for sailors preparing
for the Olympic Games, as well as those still aiming to qualify their
nation at their respective upcoming World Championships. -- Event website:
* Cascais, Portugal (April 1, 2012) - The fifteen competing teams at the
Cascais RC44 Cup endured the full weather range, with the Russian flagged
Katusha helmed by Steve Howe (USA) and tactician Russell Coutts (NZL) that
proved most adept to win after 11 races. This is the second of five season
events, with Chris Bake's Team Aqua retaining the overall ranking. The next
stop on the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour is the RC44 Austria Cup on Lake
Traunsee from May 30-June 2. -- http://www.rc44.com
* Due the unavoidable delay in arrival of the Global Ocean Race (GOR) 40ft
shipping container carrying spare sails and vital supplies for the
double-handed Class40 teams, the Leg 4 start from Punta del Este, Uruguay,
to Charleston, USA, has been postponed by one day to Monday 2nd April at
1500hrs. The race, which started in Palma, Mallorca on September 25, stops
in Cape Town, South Africa; Wellington, New Zealand; Punta del Este,
Uruguay and Charleston, USA before its expected finish in Mallorca by May
2012. -- http://globaloceanrace.com
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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 Urwin, joint Chairman IRC Technical Committee.
I note with interest the comments about the overwhelming use of
windward/leeward courses (in Scuttlebutt 3558-9). We have been saying for
years that in handicap racing, this course is inappropriate and will
inevitably lead to a predominance of winners from one section of the fleet.
If designers know that boats will usually only beat and run, then that is
what they will design for! The IRC Yearbook contains comment and advice on
the subject. The IRC Yearbook is available on-line at:
http://digital.edition-on.net/links/4428_irc_year_book_2012.asp. See page
James Dadd, RORC Rating Office Chief Measurer, also comments on this in his
piece in the May 2012 issue of Seahorse. Quite apart from the design
issues, James discusses the increased range of skills that a crew needs on
courses including reaches. Not to mention the greater interest! IRC
certificate holders have direct access to the on-line edition of Seahorse
using the password code on their IRC certificates.
We were saddened to see April 1st on the weekend this year, spoiling our
annual parody edition. As a result, this newsletter - Scuttlebutt 3560 - is
all beef and no bull.
"Why can't the tiller extension have its own name?" - #sailorproblems
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