SCUTTLEBUTT 3563 - Thursday, April 5, 2012
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providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors: Ullman Sails and Atlantis WeatherGear.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
(April 4, 2012; Day 18) - It is the hallmark region of the Volvo Ocean
Race, the Southern Ocean. Desolate and unforgiving. An arctic train of
offwind sailing. Boat designs compromise upwind performance so they can
blaze along the latitudes of the Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties and
But an axiom of any distance race is you can't win if you don't finish, and
now with two-thirds of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race fleet broken, another
axiom is you don't have much of a race if boats break. Here's an update
from pit row...
* With 677 nautical miles to go to the finish line, Groupama dismasted 60
nm south of Punta del Este, Uruguay. The team held a narrow lead of about
2.2 nm over PUMA at the time and was sailing close-hauled on port tack,
when the rig broke, level with the first spreader, about 10 metres above
the deck. The team is considering either continuing under jury rig to the
finish or making for Punta del Este where they could step a replacement
mast. The team's spare rig is currently in a warehouse in the Netherlands.
-- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-040412a
* Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing arrived today in Puerto Montt, Chile where they
will load the boat on to a container ship, likely on Saturday April 7,
before starting the nine day trip around Cape Horn to Itajai in Brazil.
After incurring hull delamination on March 29, they determined the forecast
of 50-knot winds and 10-metre seas at Cape Horn would be unsafe for their
passage. The team is currently stating they can repair their hull in time
for the Itajai In-Port Race on April 21. -- Full report:
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, who competed in the race four times
himself, said it was not acceptable to have so many incidents of boats
failing in a Volvo Ocean Race. "It's too early to conclude exactly why this
has happened but we are obviously concerned about seeing so many incidents
of damage to our boats both in this leg and in the race as a whole."
Frostad said race organisers would continue to do everything possible to
get the boats not currently sailing back in the race as soon as possible.
-- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/VOR-040412c
* Team Sanya retired from Leg 5 and returned to New Zealand after
sustaining damage. The yacht is being shipped to Savannah for repairs and
then will sail to Miami, where they will rejoin the race.
* CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ suspended racing at 0130UTC on 3 April and
has arrived in Puerto Montt on the west coast of Chile to repair bow damage
suffered in the Southern Ocean. The team intends to finish the leg in
Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Wednesday, 04 April 2012, 22:02:00 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 543.2 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 40.2 nm Distance to Lead
- Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), Suspended racing
- CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), Retired
- 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
SCUTTLEBUTT POLL: SHOULD THE RULES HAVE TIERED PENALTIES?
In the April 2012 edition of Sailing World, columnist and rules expert Dick
Rose discusses whether a protest committee should have discretion in the
penalty they award when a boat is found to have broken a rule.
Should a thief receive the same penalty as a murderer? Not in most courts.
But when a windward boat's mainsheet brushes the arm of the leeward boat's
crew, they get the same penalty as a port tack boat that collides into the
line-up on the starboard tack weather mark layline.
The penalties within the rules have evolved over the years. Prior to the
introduction of the 720 rule, every violation earned a disqualification.
Hitting marks have changed from a DSQ to a two-turn penalty to now a
It would seem indisputable that some fouls are more egregious than others.
There already are some instances in the rules that provide discretionary
penalties, but further guidelines would be needed for a protest committee
to issue consistent decisions.
So what do you think... should the penalty be more commensurate with the
rule that was violated, or continue to disqualify a boat regardless of the
Vote/ post comments here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/polls/12/0404/
GET OUT CRUISING!
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Sadly, the crusty Caribbean salt's washed off, the sunburn's beginning to
peel, and the rum's done for sailors who raced this year's BVI Spring
Regatta held off Nanny Cay last week. More than 100+ boats competed in the
41st edition of the regatta, with as many new faces as repeat players,
including Bill Alcott from Michigan who celebrated his 15th event - this
year on his newest boat Equation, the TP65 formerly known as Rosebud.
Equation took first place in Class 1, a particularly sweet prize, as it's
been a while since the racing beauty's enjoyed the taste of success. The
boat was designed by Bruce Farr and built in 2007 at Westerly Marine, Santa
Ana, Calif. Originally owned by Roger Sturgeon, she won the 2007 Sydney
Hobart among other international prestigious races. She dismasted in heavy
weather during the Middle Sea Race off Malta in October 2009, and shortly
thereafter was purchased by Australian Ray Roberts in early 2010.
Roberts fixed her up, including a new mast, and sailed a Newport regatta
with the intention of taking her back to Australia later that year. But he
Instead, the sleek 65, one of three including Money Penny and Luna Rossa
built to the Rule, was purchased in spring 2011 by the American partnership
of Bill Alcott, Ed Palm and Tom Anderson, aka 'TA', all from Michigan. They
renamed her Equation.
Alcott says that the partnership was looking for a boat to race on the
Great Lakes in summer, and also be ocean competitive for winter racing in
the Caribbean. He said, "Rosebud was very successful when Roger owned her
and we thought that maybe we could learn to do the same thing."
Alcott, who has owned some 14 boats, says Equation's a very technical boat
and a step up for the boys. "We're more traditional boaters and when it
came to adapting to a boat with hydraulics, we had to rethink how we were
going to do things and it's been a slow learn, I think, for us. We
intentionally looked for guys who had sailed her when she was Rosebud as
they know the boat and that's been an immense help."
Guys like Matt Smith...who has a long career in the America's Cup behind
him and is currently involved in the Bella Mente Racing program, managed
pit on Equation for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival.
It was a kind of homecoming for Smith, one of the original crew on Rosebud.
He was involved in her build and raced on her for the three years
following. -- SailBlast, read on:
Regatta website: http://www.bvispringregatta.org/bvi/HOME.aspx
BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE
Among the medal favorites at the 2012 Olympics this summer are Canadians
Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn in the men's keelboat event. But not every
day is a payday, as Richard describes below from the ISAF Sailing World Cup
Palma, Spain (April 4, 2012) - Conditions off Palma (at the 43 Trofeo
Princesa Sofia) continued to be light and lumpy today with variable winds
making the racing very tricky. Today is one of those days where it pains me
to relive it again but I guess that's the price of being accountable. Like
I said in a previous post, "if it was easy then everyone would have a gold
Biggest area we struggled with today was starting, we pushed the pin and in
both races started beside the Germans who had it slightly more dialed in
than us. In each race they had the perfect start and we struggled to keep
our position of them after the gun. Its never a good feeling having to look
over my shoulder for a place to tack less than a minute after the start.
Bad starts at the pin are a double negative as when you eventually tack you
have to pass behind most of the fleet. To make matters even worse the right
also paid early in the race meaning we had it completely backwards today.
In the first race we battled back to 11th which was reasonably respectable
but in the second race we could do no better than 18th. We are currently
sitting in 10th but only 8 point out of 3rd. Time to put today behind us,
we've been sailing well and will take today as simply a bump in the road.
* Palma, Spain (April 4, 2012) - The third day of racing at the 43 Trofeo
Princesa Sofia in Palma ended the qualification stage for the classes
sailing in groups. The Lasers, 470 and 49ers will be split on Thursday in
Gold and Silver fleets with a Bronze fleet only for Lasers and 49ers. The
Women's Match Racing has finalized their quarter-finalist, which includes
American teams led by Anna Tunnicliffe and Sally Barkow. Other North
Americans in medal position are Americans Zach Railey (Finn, 3rd) and
Charlie Buckingham (Laser, 3rd). -- Full report:
FLUNKING A SURVEY
Some months as many as 50% of our brokerage deals crash because of survey
findings... almost always these are older boats. Many could have been
avoided if the owners had paid even modest attention to their boats over
The most common problems are water-related damage to the deck, hull (if it
is cored), or interior woodwork. If you catch a water leak early it is
always much easier and cheaper to fix. Have a look at your deck hardware
and see if it is loosening up or the caulk has squished out. Watch for
water drips on the bottom of bolts or around ports. Look for water stains.
You can often attend to these leaks yourself if you catch them in the early
stages, and if you have a yard do the repair it will be cheaper if done
sooner, obviously. Use polysulfide, not silicone caulk. On the other hand
too many buyers walk away from problems that are not as bad as they seem.
Keep in mind there is no free lunch, and no perfect older used boat. Look
at what you are getting for what you are paying. -- Don Finkle, RCR Yachts,
DISCOVER: THE BEST GEAR IN THE BEST STORES
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* (April 4, 2012) - The blender noise is roaring as nearly all the entrants
have now finished the 800nm Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas International
Yacht Race. Division winners in both ORR and PHRF are John MacLaurin's
Davidson 70 Pendragon 6 (A) and James McDowell's SC70 Grand Illusion (B),
while Jay Spalding's SC52 Medusa won ORR C and Tom Garnier's J125 Reinrag
won PHRF C. Leading both ORR and PHRF D division is Ross Pearlman's SunOD
52.5 Between the Sheets, which should finish in time for huevos rancheros.
* (April 4, 2012) - Better breeze was on tap today for the 67-boat Les
Voiles de St. Barth fleet with a variable 8-12 knot easterly which offered
all classes a proper chance to perform. For the second day of the event,
the race committee chose well again - reaching into their bag of 25+
courses and selecting a picture postcard worthy courses around the
northwestern end of the island and neighboring islets: 20-nautical mile for
the Maxi and IRC 52 classes, and 17 miles for all of the other classes. --
* The Sailing World College Rankings as of April 4, 2012 finds Yale holding
the lead in the coed rankings, while Stanford and Brown round out the top
three. Georgetown retains the top spot in the women's rankings, but
Dartmouth and Yale aren't far behind. -- Full report:
* Floating wreckage and oil spilled from the wrecked container ship MV
Rena, has forced the cancellation of the Auckland to Tauranga Race, less
than 24 hours before the race was due to start on Thursday 5 April. Given
the forecast for continuing south-easterly winds any wreckage is likely to
be scattered through the area that the racing yachts will be sailing
through during the latter part of the Race. The forecast for continued
strong easterly quarter gales and heavy seas was also a factor in the
decision. -- Sail World, photos/ full story: http://tinyurl.com/SW-040412a
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free,
self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and
sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this
06/Apr - America's Cup Presentation by Tom Ehman Jr. - Pinckney, MI, USA
06/Apr-07/Apr - Easter Regatta - Charleston, SC, USA
07/Apr-08/Apr - Easter Laser Regatta - Austin, TX, USA
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* Driscoll's of San Diego Announce New Marina
* Eisenberg to resign as West Marine president/CEO
* Karver: Top Down Spinnaker Furler
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
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 Eric Hall:
Reading the dispatches from the Volvo and following the America's Cup,
especially the anticipation of sailing the upcoming AC 72's, one glaring
fact shines through: never has physical and mental toughness meant so much
These guys play at a fitness level that matches anything in sport. And on
top of that, they are delivering excitement. If I were a kid again I know
where I'd be setting my sights. Hats off to them all.
* From Jamie Leopold:
Skip Lissiman (a great mate) hits the nail squarely on the head with his
comments about nationality in the America's Cup (in Scuttlebutt 3561). Who/
what are we really supporting when an "American" team (or any other team)
has maybe one or two citizens of the country it represents on the team?
U.S. sailors successfully defended the AC for about 130 years, and how many
of them are on the only U.S. team in the competition? How many Swiss
nationals were on the Alinghi team that won and later defended the AC? This
is sad at best.
If you want to know what 'butt heads" really think about AC nationality,
try reading the June 2007 Scuttlebutt poll in which 82.49% of respondents
voted to reinstate nationality rules for the 33rd AC,
There is no doubt that the Facebook generation has much to learn from the
Flintstones (those who don't learn from history are doomed...). Good on you
* From Bruce Kirby:
This quote, "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the
future", used to lead off my article on The Future of Sailing in SButt No.
3562, has frequently been attributed to Yogi Berra, but apparently it goes
back much further.
Some have given credit to Nils Bohr, the famous Danish physicist, but he
used it and denied authorship back in the 30s, and said he didn't know
where it had originated. But Donna Wotton (in SButt 3562) got it right, it
is a classic. I admit to having picked it up quite recently from sailmaker
Andreas Josenhans in Halifax.
* From Ken Legler:
Fascinated by the Bruce Kirby piece on the future of sailing. Very
reminiscent of the answer Paul Elvstrom gave when asked about the future at
the 1979 Snow and Satisfaction Regatta at Yale..."The materials will always
be evolving but the tactics will always remain the same."
* From Gail M. Turluck:
To Paul Newell in Scuttlebutt 3559, there are zillions of skippers who want
to do away with the sausage. I'm another one.
Big boats--let's go somewhere! It's what the boats are designed for.
Little boats--variety is the spice of life.
Leave the micromanaged perfection to the Olympians. The rest of us wanna
* From Vincent Delany, Dublin, Ireland:
Regarding the tiller extension, it is easy to forget that in the first half
of the 20th century, the dinghy helmsman was the skilled person who used
his brain and his tactical skill. It was he and nobody else who was
credited with the win. The crew was the athletic brute who knew nothing
about anything, but knew how to do what he was told, including hiking.
Under these circumstances, who needs a tiller extension?
"The ISAF rule makers must have a good sense of humor to make Rule 69
'gross misconduct'." - #sailorproblems
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