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SCUTTLEBUTT 3565 - Monday, April 9, 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: Kaenon Polarized and Point Loma Outfitting.

PLANNING TO RACE AT YOUR LEISURE
Along the lines of growing the sport, Richard Hazelton shares his editorial
from the April edition of 48 degrees North Sailing Magazine. As he notes,
the local Seattle fun races are focusing on getting people out on the water
"racing" and having a good time on their boats. These are the events that
are growing stronger each year and bringing people back to the sport, as
well as introducing new blood into the sport; not so much the "real" races.
Read on...
----------------------------------------------------------------------
You can tell summer is coming by the surge of information we get to pass
along about upcoming events; rendezvous, cruises, and especially races. One
of the races caught my eye as they had a Leisure Class. Now, I've seen
Cruising Class, Performance Class, even Cruise-a-Home Class, but I'd never
seen Leisure Class, before. I have to say I rather like that. After all,
isn't sailing a leisure time activity?

No matter what they're called, the classes above are meant to get the
non-racer, his/her boat and friends out on the water. Often times they are
but one group of boats amidst a much larger "real" race to get more folks
from the yacht club involved, which is great. But many events like the Duck
Dodge, The Downtown Series, the SailFest at Shilshole and others, make no
bones about not being a competition.

The only resemblance to a real race is that everyone is following a set
course - usually at their own pace, and at various states of seriousness,
with the "post race" gathering even more added enjoyment. And, like the
famous saying goes, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play
the game." Okay, I know that's more to do with sportsmanship, but it takes
on even more meaning if you make "play" the operative term.

Another nice thing is that they are planned events. In other words, that's
what you're doing that day or evening of the week, you're going sailing.
Anything that moves fun up on the "things you have to do" list is a good
thing.

So, grab some friends, I mean your crew, and plan to have fun at least one
time a week on your boat. Now, where did I put that leisure suit?

Magazine link: http://www.48north.com/

FINALLY, DONE
(April 6, 2012; Day 20) - PUMA held firm in the face of a relentless attack
from Telefonica to clinch an epic Leg 5 victory on Friday, crossing the
finish line in Itajai, Brazil with a slim winning margin (12m,38s) after
the Spanish team had threatened to complete one of the greatest sporting
comebacks.

After more then 7,500 nautical miles of racing from Auckland, starting with
a first-night battering as bad as any in the race's history and on through
brutal conditions in the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn, both PUMA and
Telefonica received heroes' welcomes with an armada of spectator boats up
to a hundred strong escorting them for the final 10 miles to the finish.

It was clear by Friday morning that Telefonica were going to give PUMA a
real run for their money. A deficit that had stood at hundreds of nautical
miles came all the way down to 10, then two and at one stage just 0.7 -- a
little over a kilometre -- as Telefonica consistently enjoyed better
breeze.

But crucially, while the breeze was light, it remained relatively stable
and PUMA were able to avoid the sort of wind hole that cost them so dearly
on the first stage of leg 4 from Sanya to Auckland. -- Full report,
http://tinyurl.com/VOR-040612

GROUPAMA: The team resumed racing under jury rig at 0500 UTC on Saturday,
April 7. The team returned to the location 50 nautical miles from the coast
of Uruguay where their mast broke at 1542 UTC on April 4. The team
fashioned a make-shift rig using the top section of the mast, which will
allow Groupama 4 to have a mainsail with three reefs and a fore staysail.
The team will complete the remaining 650 nautical miles to Itajai without
helmsmen/trimmers Phil Harmer, Laurent Pages, Thomas Coville and navigator
Jean Luc Nelias.

CAMPER: Six days after they suspended racing to repair structural damage to
the boat's bow, Camper left Puerto Montt in Chile at 0600 GMT on Saturday
(April 7) to transit the 160 nm to the point where they would resume
racing. The team officially resumed racing at 0441 UTC on Sunday (April 8),
and it is expect to take them at least 10 days to complete the 2,800 nm
voyage around Cape Horn before the finish in Brazil.

ABU DHABI: Bad weather has delayed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's shipping
schedule by two days. The team was scheduled to start the nine day transit
from the Chilean port of Puerto Montt, around Cape Horn, to Itajai, Brazil
on Saturday, but the likely departure date was now Monday. The team
continues to state their plan is to compete in the Itajai In-Port Race on
April 21, but as their hull repair must be done in Itajai, they may only
have two days to fix the delaminated panel.

SCHEDULE: Racing will commence in Itajai with the Pro-Am Race on April 20,
the In-Port Race on April 21, and the start of the 4800 nm Leg 6 to Miami
on April 22. -- http://tinyurl.com/VOR-2011-12-schedule

Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Sunday, 08 April 2012, 22:01:20 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), Apr 6, 019d 18h 09m 50s
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), Apr 6, 019d 18h 22m 28s
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 242.2 nm Distance to Finish
4. Camper (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 2354.6 nm Distance to Lead
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), Retired
- Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Retired

Tracking/Standings: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/racetracker/rdc.html
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

LET'S PLAY!
Spring time means play time. At Kaenon Polarized, we live for play time!
Check out who's in our play pen this month and their favorite toys. Anna,
Debbie and Molly win Gold in Palma wearing Soft Kore and Kore. Iker and
Xabi just miss the impossible win wearing Kore and Klay. Kostecki, T-Hutch,
Ashby, Davies, Guichard are all in Naples wearing Hard Kore. And this week,
Kaenon Polarized welcomes the very best kids in the country to the CISA
Advanced Racing play pen in Long Beach. Play hard, have fun and see what
others don't. Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically. http://www.kaenon.com

SKIPPER COMMENTARY - AN EPIC LEG
By Ken Read, PUMA skipper
(April 6, 2012) - I don't remember when I wrote my last blog. I don't
really remember when I slept last. We started rationing food days ago and
had our last meal this am. And I am really, really happy.

This has been an epic leg. Like nothing any of us in the sailing world has
ever seen. It seems like every leg we come in and say, "This was the
toughest leg ever." But, this time we mean it. This was the toughest leg
ever.

Going around Cape Horn was amazing. Our duel with the incredibly unlucky
Groupama. The remarkable fortune of Telefonica to get the weather window
they did in order to eat up a 450 mile gap in the last 2,000 miles. And to
be able to hold them of not once, but twice drifting to the finish when
they closed the gap to within 100 yards. Just unreal.

I am very proud of the boat building team, the shore team and all the
engineers and designers that put this boat together. Your boat made it
folks. It is in great shape and lord only knows we put her through the
ringer. The sailing team salutes you all.

And to the sailing team who hung in there through thick and thin, amazing
work. As safe as we can be. All in great spirits. And we get to do it all
over again in two weeks.

This is a leg and a trip that I will remember forever. Probably my last
foray into the Southern Ocean. An adventure within an adventure you might
call it. Glad this one is behind us and the "friendly" confines of the
Atlantic Ocean await. -- http://www.puma.com/sailing/news/an-epic-leg

SCUTTLEBUTT POLL: SHOULD THE RULES HAVE TIERED PENALTIES?
In the April 2012 edition of Sailing World, columnist and rules expert Dick
Rose discusses whether penalties in the racing rules of sailing should be
more commensurate with the rule that was violated. With few exceptions, the
current rules disqualify a boat regardless of the infraction.

Last week Scuttlebutt asked the question too. Here are the poll results
when asked "Should the penalty phase of the rules allow a protest committee
to use discretion?"

Yes - 57.14%
No - 42.86%

Voter comments...
* There are many times when the competitors make that judgment on their
own. Mainsheet touching another crew member; Chute being doused in tight
mark rounding brushing a backstay, two boats with incidental contact in
drifting conditions. The competitors do not consider it a violation because
of the circumstances. If it is protest committee discretion, there will be
a lot more cases in the room and we do not want that. Set up classes of
infraction for the competitors to decide. DSQ for an unfettered t-bone, 720
for right of way issues without damage, 1 turn for marks and other minor
screw ups, and let a competitor voluntarily give up a finish place for an
incidental touch of a main sheet.

* Penalties should be stricter. Fewer broken rules and fewer trips to the
room.

* As a National & Club judge, I see a wide variety of levels of
infringement. For very minor ones, especially where the protesting party
almost as much at fault, it seems unfair to DSQ the infringer. In fact
there is a temptation to find no infringement, when the fairest penalty
would be a small loss of places or an addition to the time.

* No, it will make the sport to complicated and the line must be drawn
somewhere. In a tennis match would you penalize a person more if they hit
the ball a few meters out of the court vs. if they only hit it a couple of
millimeters out? The scope of 69 should cover behavior that is deliberately
destructive and malicious. Otherwise let's just get on with having fun on
the water.

Read all comments here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/polls/12/0404/

ROUGH OUTING FOR THE CONTINENT
The 2012 Olympic Games in Great Britain are 109 days away. Athletes will
march in the Opening Ceremony on July 27th. For the medal favorites, what
occurs in these final days will impact their dream. They need not win every
event leading up to the Games, but they should be competitive.

Given the results in Palma, Spain at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia (April 2-7),
third event on the Sailing World Cup circuit, the North American contingent
better hope whatever was missing last week can be found in the next 109
days. In short, it was a rough outing for the continent.

The American podium appearances came from Anna Tunnicliffe and Zach Railey,
both medalists from the 2008 Olympics. Anna, who won Gold in the Women's
Singlehanded event at the Qingdao games, is now competing in Women's Match
Racing, winning in Palma. For Zach, he remains in the shadow of Britain's
Ben Ainslie, as they finished 1-2 in the Men's Singlehanded-Heavy event,
just as they did nearly four years ago in China.

Canadian Christopher Cook won the only other medal, earning bronze in the
Men's Singlehanded-Heavy event. The team of Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn,
favorites in the Men's Keelboat event, finished ninth.

Among the eight Olympic events in Palma (Men's and Women's Boards did not
compete), the only other North American in the top ten, who will be
representing their country this summer at the Olympics, was Mexico's Tania
Elias Calles Wolf in the Women's Singlehanded event.

As for what lies ahead, the eight Olympic events in Palma have their World
Championships in May (Boards were in March). Additionally, here are the
remaining 2012 World Cup events:

April 20-27 - Semaine Olympique Francaise - Hyeres, FRA
May 22-26 - Delta Lloyd Regatta - Medemblik, NED
June 4-9 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta - Weymouth, GBR
June 16-20 - Kieler Woche - Kiel, GER

Trofeo Princesa Sofia: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/
World Cup: http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/

COMMENT: The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are officially known as the Games of
the 30th Olympiad, though the 'official official' name uses the Roman
numeral for thirty. But if you know spam filters like we know spam filters,
you won't be seeing those three X's in Scuttlebutt (wink!).

MORE FORCE FROM SLAM, INTRODUCING THE FORCE 4 GEAR
Point Loma Outfitting is excited to be able to offer the new SLAM Force 4
foul weather gear. This inshore gear is to replace the well-received Racing
Evolution and RC series. The Force 4 collection is made up of a jacket,
spray top and salopettes. This three-layer gear is lightweight, yet very
waterproof, and breathable. The jacket and spray top both have neck seals,
and cuffs, as well as a pocket to insert X-Pads in the elbow to absorb and
disburse shock. The salopettes also have pockets in the knees for these
pads as well. Check these out at
http://www.pointlomaoutfitting.com/scuttlebutt.html

SAILING SHORTS
* The U.S. Coast Guard has released new images showing the sinking of the
164-foot Ryou-Un Maru, a Japanese ship dislodged and set adrift after the
tsunami that sent millions of tons of debris into the ocean on a probable
course for U.S. and Canadian shores. The Coast guard cutter unleashed
cannon fire on the abandoned 'ghost ship' on Thursday (April 5), which sank
into waters more than 6,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Alaska, about 180
miles west of the southeast Alaska coast, the Coast Guard said. Read more:
http://tinyurl.com/Seattle-040612

* (April 7, 2012) - No one said racing in paradise was easy, and on
Saturday, the final race day at Les Voiles de St. Barth, crews were again
tested with light and variable winds. Tacticians and navigators found it
challenging - as did helmsman and trimmers who were looking for any
advantage in the changeable conditions. Les Voiles de St. Barth Race
Committee sent the fleet on an initial upwind beat and then around the
western islands including Ile Fourchue. Though after several hours, with
the breeze lightning even more and with much of the fleet only halfway
around, the race committee elected to shorten the course. -- Full report:
http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=13550#13550

* Its closure time for the 18 entrants that competed last week in the 800nm
Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race. As Chick Hearn
would say, "The game's in the refrigerator, the door's closed, the light's
out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard, and the jello's
jiggling." -- Final results:
http://cdmtocabo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/CABO2012_finalv1.pdf

* The fourth regatta in the 2011/12 America's Cup World Series is in
Naples, Italy, with racing on April 11-15. The event will feature nine
boats from seven countries, including: Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy) with
two boats, Artemis Racing (Sweden), China Team (China), Emirates Team New
Zealand (New Zealand), Energy Team (France), ORACLE Racing (USA) with two
boats, and Team Korea (Korea). Races can be viewed on the America's Cup
YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/AmericasCup), either live or replay. Here
is the race schedule: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-040612

SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar

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 David Redfern:
Thank goodness Ross Field has spoken out (in Scuttlebutt 3564). The Volvo
Ocean Race has become a farce except that it's not a funny one for the
crews.

* From Andrew Troup:
Ross Field makes a powerful point (in Scuttlebutt 3564). There are lots of
perverse unintended consequences filed under "Risk Aversion leads to
Increased Risk". Often insurance companies are behind this, as when they
tried to force dirt mile motorcycles to install brakes.

These guys race on an oval with loose clay surface, where the fast guys are
doing over 130mph, wheel to wheel, when they reach the end of the straight,
and go sideways to gently scrub off speed, and to make the turn. They have
a steel shoe on the left foot in case they have to dab the ground, which
can be painful given the number of bone fractures which tend go with the
territory.

Perversely, brakes would only make this event more dangerous. Reason: A
bunch of riders entering the turn at close quarters, broad-sliding in
unison, look as though someone had choreographed them. This is because they
can see exactly what others are doing, and when.

It's like tailgating a skier or snowboarder: it's evident when they're
about to slow down; mirror their actions and you won't hit them. On the
other hand, throw brakes into the dirtbike mix and you've got a lethal
cocktail: you can no longer read your future.

Insurance companies are just an extreme form - a satire, if you like - of
society's unhealthy preoccupation with superficial, perceived risk, and it
seems the Volvo might be another example.

* From Fred Roswold:
Old IOR boats can definitely still race, with or without dodgers, and the
ratings they are given under PHRF, IRC, or other rules don't seem to be any
more penalizing than those given to other boats. In Scuttlebutt 3564, Eric
Sorensen is right that most of the older race boats are sold cheap and some
go cruising, but all over the world old IOR boats are still successfully
racing. Occasionally, they may do both, cruise and race, and fast is
relative.

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
You're getting old when your spouse gave up sex for Lent and you forgot
about it until just now.

SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Kaenon Polarized - Point Loma Outfitting - North U - Atlantis WeatherGear
Pure Yachting - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - USSTAG - North Sails
Ullman Sails - Doyle Sailmakers - Mount Gay Rum

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