SCUTTLEBUTT 3568 - Thursday, April 12, 2012
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PUTTING THE FUN BACK INTO SAILING
By Bill Sandberg, WindCheck
One of the best-known acronyms - keep it simple, stupid - should be used
more in sailing.
This past winter I had the opportunity to serve as PRO [Principal Race
Officer] several times for frostbiting at American Yacht Club, Rye, NY. It
was such a joy, helped in part by the mild weather. But what makes
frostbiting the most fun is the simplicity of it. There is no Notice of
Race, nor is there a six-page set of sailing instructions written by a
lawyer. Results are not prepared by an online scoring system, and there
isn't a code flag to be seen.
The signal boat is staffed by a PRO and two others who handle scoring,
check boats in and run the automatic horn timing system. There are two
support boats that set marks and act as safety patrol when a competitor has
a breakdown or decides they want to spend a few minutes swimming beside
their overturned boat.
In fact, it is so informal that the competitors want the boat at the pin
end, which is not anchored, to call boats over early. Of course one
competitor did complain when I went to change the starting line, yelling,
"This is frostbiting, keep it going." I didn't bother to point out to him
that if I didn't reset the line, nobody would be able to cross on port. He
probably wouldn't have listened anyway.
What does the fleet get for their efforts? Well the first time I was PRO,
we had nine races and the next time we had six. That's the beauty of
frostbiting: you get a chance to hone every aspect of your game each time
you go out.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the fleet sails in boats that are
virtually maintenance free and can be purchased used for less than $1,000.
Better yet, when sailors go to sell them, they'll get most of their money
And best of all, protests are a non-occurrence. In fact, I can't remember
the last time we had one, nor did I hear any screaming matches among
competitors on starting lines and at mark roundings. If I didn't know
better, I'd swear they were having too much fun to bother with those
niceties. Having fun in a sailboat. Gee, what a novel idea.
But what's the point? Much has been written by other writers that
children's sports have been overdone to the point where they would not even
consider throwing a football unless the field was lined, they had the best
equipment on and there was an electric scoreboard. How about adults? --
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/WC-041112
Naples, Italy (April 11, 2012) - The AC World Series - Naples opened in
spectacular fashion on Wednesday as winds up to 25 knots and lumpy waves
provided harrowing conditions for the two fleet races. The AC45 catamarans,
powered by their powerful wing sails, were leaping out of the water,
launched into the air by the heavy sea state.
"It's cool, the sailing is pretty awesome, you can't complain when you're
sailing in conditions like that," said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper
Dean Barker, who sits at the top of the leaderboard after two fleet races.
"But it's very challenging for the boats and very taxing for the crew. The
goal was to get back to the dock in one piece, which we did - it's nice to
be back in good shape."
Not surprisingly in the difficult conditions, there were teams who finished
the day less content. Terry Hutchinson was leading his Artemis Racing team
to a solid second place in the first race when both bows buried in
impressive fashion as he rounded the top mark. The front of the boat kept
going down, the wind pushing the wing over, until they capsized.
"It was a balance between racing the boat hard and not putting ourselves in
a position of risk," Hutchinson explained. "I don't really feel like we put
ourselves at risk but still we ended up on our side. It's just very
frustrating... Luckily no one's injured, but the wing is absolutely
broken... It's a real bummer, the boat was so well prepared and sorted for
the regatta, and we've been going well in training, so all in all a pretty
The program for Thursday starts with Match Racing, the pairings determined
by today's results, followed by two Fleet Races. Racing begins at 1330 CEST
Provisional Standings after Day One:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (Skipper: Dean Barker)
2. ORACLE Racing - Spithill (Skipper: James Spithill)
3. Team Korea (Skipper: Nathan Outteridge)
4. Energy Team (Skipper: Yann Guichard)
5. Luna Rossa - Swordfish (Helmsman: Paul Campbell-James)
6. Luna Rossa - Piranha (Helmsman: Chris Draper)
7. ORACLE Racing - Bundock (Skipper: Darren Bundock)
8. Artemis Racing (Skipper: Terry Hutchinson)
9. China Team (Skipper: Fred Le Peutrec)
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-041112A
Race schedule: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-040612
Sailing instructions: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-041112B
Online viewing: http://www.youtube.com/americascup
Television viewing: http://www.americascup.com/en/Discover/AC-On-TV/
DISCOVER: A GREAT WAY TO MAKE APRIL FEEL LIKE JUNE
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QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"They have a saying just about everywhere in the world: 'It's not normally
like this.' The wind studies for Naples, done in the months before the
regatta, said it would blow over 18 knots only 7% of the time. Well, we
found the 7% on the first day." - Rod Davis, coach, Emirates Team New
FORECAST: According to PredictWind.com, winds will be significantly lighter
on Thursday, possibly single digits in the afternoon. However, strong winds
are expected to return Friday and remain through Sunday. --
WHAT WE SAW
It was 0500 on Wednesday when Scuttlebutt World Headquarters logged on to
the America's Cup YouTube channel. With hot coffee poured, we sat down to
watch the fleet racing planned for the first day of the AC World Series in
Naples, Italy. Here's what we saw:
BREEZE: With winds up to 25 knots and big waves, there were casualties on
the course. Of the nine teams, two dropped out during the first race with
only six able to start the second race. One hull was damaged by the upwind
pounding. One wing was destroyed by an offwind capsize. One crew was
replaced between races due to injury.
COMMENTATORS: ACTV continues to rotate the personnel, with Mitch Booth,
Gary Jobson, and John Rawling on the microphones. Among the best team yet,
though the riveting visuals made their job easier.
EXCITABLE: Few skippers are as animated (read: loud) as Artemis Racing's
Terry Hutchinson, who is without his tactician from the last two events:
Iain Percy. While his audio can be entertaining, Terry is gaining notoriety
for a lesser trait: capsizing when it's windy.
EXPERIENCE: A proven record in multihull sailing is no guarantee for
success in the AC45. Darren Bundock continues to struggle for Oracle Racing
despite significant training, while Yann Guichard did well for Energy Team
with no practice. But the star of the day was Nathan Outteridge, who has no
experience in similarly sized multihulls, and first stepped on the AC45
less than a week ago.
TANDEMS: Oracle Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand continue to shine in
large part due to their afterguard stability. These teams are quiet and
poised - a result of the significant history between helm and tactician:
Jimmy Spithill/John Kostecki (OR) and Dean Barker/Ray Davies (ETNZ).
TACKING: Match racing requires maneuvering, never a strength with a
multihull. However, the AC45 has surprised the naysayers, proving to be
quite nimble in the turns... until today. Tacking in the big waves was not
SUSTAINABILITY: After the beating the AC45s took on Wednesday, the
engineering on the AC72 might need reviewing. San Francisco on a summer ebb
tide can be brutal too, and having carbon bits littered in the Bay might
put a damper on the America's Cup Healthy Ocean Project.
CHINA TEAM: The personnel on this team have been retooled so many times,
yet they continue to underperform. At what point does the solution become
less about the sailors and more about the program?
BOTTOM LINE: It was entertaining. Strong winds help, and while Thursday
looks to be lighter, the forecast shows stronger winds for Friday through
(April 11, 2012; Day 25) CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand rounded Cape
Horn under the cover of darkness this morning, marking a major milestone on
their mission to complete Leg 5 to Itajai, Brazil.
"We didn't do much (to mark the occasion) because by that stage we were in
to 25 to 30 knots, beam reaching, so it was fire-hose weather on deck,''
Navigator Will Oxley said.
"Unfortunately when we rounded it was dark, no moon to even lighten it for
a slight sighting,'' Media Crew Member Hamish Hooper said.
Since the rounding CAMPER have been battered by gusts in excess of 60 knots
and are racing with a reefed mainsail and storm jib, Oxley said. "We have
our arrival (in Itajai) some time around the 15th, but there are plenty of
landmines between now and then." -- Full report:
ABU DHABI: The boat left Puerto Montt, Chile by ship on Tuesday and is now
en route to Itajai with an ETA of April 17. Upon arrival, the team
estimates it will take 72 hours to complete the repairs. The team needs to
chop out 4m x 1m sections on each side of the boat, which will be replaced
by new core foam pieces. The team is confident they will be ready for the
Itajai In-Port Race on April 21 and the start of Leg 6. -- Full report:
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 Wednesday, 11 April 2012, 22:02:53 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), Apr 10, 023d 12h 58m 44s
4. Camper (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 1611.0 nm Distance to Finish
- 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
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AN INTENTIONAL MANIPULATION OF THE TRUTH
By Juan Kouyoumdjian, Juan Yacht Design
With our 3 boats safely in Brazil and under the risk of sounding arrogant,
I'll break away from my golden rule of not speaking until the end of the
Volvo Ocean Race to put the record straight since I believe we are
presented with an intentional manipulation of the truth.
There is a common, spread notion that ALL the participants of this VOR have
structural problems, that the situation is unacceptable and that something
needs to be done for the future. A fundamental distinction needs to be done
between the mast breakages and the rest, and whilst I think it is very
important to understand what caused so many mast failures, it is a travesty
of the truth to put ALL designs in the same basket when it comes down to
the "other" structural issues.
This generalization might suit a specific Team, or person to push any
agenda he might have for the future, but out of respect of the hard and
serious work done with my Team I need to speak up.
In the first edition of the VO70s, we had 2 triumphs to celebrate that as
designers we are very proud of. One is obviously that our design was driven
to victory by a very good crew and the other one is that our 2 boats [both
ABN AMRO] were the only ones that completed the full circumnavigation
without major structural problems. This celebration was faded by the public
generalization that because one boat sunk and others had structural
failures, then ALL of the boats had problems and the rules had to be
changed. Which in fact they did, for the worse!
I didn't say anything publicly then and moved on. However, seeing the same
generalization occurring now, I'd like to stick to the facts and so allow
for conclusions to be made without generalizations. -- Read on:
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
Apr 13-15 - Texoma Lakefest Regatta - Denison, TX, USA
Apr 14-15 - Around Santa Barbara Island Race - Los Angeles , CA, USA
Apr 14 - Safety at Sea Seminar - Throggs Neck, NY, USA
Apr 19-24 - Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, WI
View all the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
* Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck will be at the Strictly Sail Pacific boat
show this Friday (Oakland, CA on April 12-15). Scuttlebutt readers save
$5.00 by purchasing tickets here: http://tinyurl.com/SSP-2012-Tickets
* (April 11, 2012) - The Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America's Cup
Hall of Fame today announced the identity of the next three inductees to
the America's Cup Hall of Fame. The first person to be inducted this year,
posthumously, is Gerard B. Lambert, Sr. (USA) - who was active in the
periods 1930 to 1937, the second, Jonathan Wright (USA) - was active
between 1974 and 1987 and the third, Patrizio Bertelli (ITA) - has been
active continuously since 1997. The America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction
Ceremony will take place on June 29. -- Full report:
* Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire recently signed a bill that eases the
pilotage requirements for foreign-flagged vessels. Under the law, which
takes effect on June 7, foreign-flagged boats weighing as much as 750 gross
tons and under 200 feet can apply for a pilotage exemption. The previous
legislation capped the exemption at 500 gross tons and 200 feet. --
Soundings Trade Only, read on: http://tinyurl.com/STO-041112
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
* Zim Sailing now building the Byte CII
* Joe Richter Joins Quantum Newport
* British Marine Electronic Association Launch New Website
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
John William King, Jr., fondly known as Jack, died on March 24, 2012, with
his family and close friends by his side. He is survived by his wife
Carole, his children Karin (Glen Cox) and William (Sheryl), and his brother
Those close to him knew him as a crusty barnacle with a heart as big as a
basketball. His infectious, hearty laugh and bright blue eyes would warm up
a room as he re-told skits of his favorite comedian Mel Brooks or shared
the many adventures he enjoyed though out his life. He had a unique flair
with words; his favorites were "phooey" and "humbug." He loved solving
crossword puzzles from the Wall Street Journal.
He left a legacy as a masterful storyteller, and a long and illustrious
career as a world-renowned blue-water sailboat racer, with six boats all
named Merrythought. -- Read on:
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 Michael Schulz:
The sailing community lost one of our own last week, a common denominator
to all of us blessed with a love for pressure in the sails. With her sister
and family embraced, Catherine Connolly (1969 - 2012) succumbed to cancer
the evening of April 5th and our loss drew tears around the world. To all
that were honored to know you, and on behalf of the thousands that never
met you but in whom your sprit will last forever, fair winds,
* From Paul Gingras:
I disagree with Grant Dalton, (State of the Volvo Race, #3566). Drama in
sport, whether it be Formula 1 auto racing or Volvo Ocean Racing, comes
from watching individual competitors and manufacturers display their
skills. Watching a car or boat break down provides no drama, only
disappointment. There have been few competitive moments in this edition of
the Volvo Ocean Race and far too many disappointments.
If you cannot measure output, then you measure input.
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