SCUTTLEBUTT 3573 - Thursday, April 19, 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: Ullman Sails and Southern Spars
WHAT WILL MIAMI BE LIKE?
By Ken Read, PUMA skipper
It is amazing how the sport of sailing is treated differently in every part
of the world.
The Volvo Ocean Race is a nine-month, 39,000 mile race that takes the fleet
to 10 different ports around the world.
What is fascinating is the reception at each port. Some places sailing is
huge, and others it is treated as a small market sport.
Examples? First of all there's Alicante, Spain, the starting port for this
year's race. Sailing in Spain is a major sport. Walking down the streets
being asked for autographs is both ego boosting and a bit annoying. You can
see where the major sports stars in the U.S. want their peace and quiet
from time to time. But, all in all it is pretty cool seeing our sport
treated so highly and the people being so knowledgeable. Spain, and Europe
in general, treats sailors like celebrities.
On to Cape Town, Abu Dhabi and Sanya, China. Abu Dhabi and Sanya are
newcomers to the competitive sailing world. Huge spectator turnouts to the
stopover race villages and to watch the In-Port Races and leg starts. But
they not as knowledgeable about sailing and who the players are. They are
big crowds that need to be told when to cheer. I think most come down to
the ports to see the spectacle. Cape Town on the other hand had smaller
crowds but they were extremely educated. The port was a bit spread out,
which isn't perfect, but the surroundings (Table Mountain in the
background) are absolutely spectacular.
Then to Auckland. When we came in, there were more people than I had ever
seen waiting along the city coastline and in the viaduct basin. Auckland
isn't called the "City of Sails" for nothing. Auckland is really the
perfect size city for a Volvo Ocean Race stopover port as well - large
enough to be cosmopolitan and small enough not to drown out the event with
other major activities in town. You really feel good about yourself and the
sport when you are there.
Itajai, Brazil, was a stop that we had zero expectations about. None of us
had ever been here. The reception we got when we won the leg here was
beyond any we had ever seen. Tens of thousands of people lined the
waterfront, breakwaters and race village. A human chain of people was
needed to keep the fans from stopping our progress once we left the boat.
Photos, autographs, cheering fans everywhere. Itajai, like Auckland, fits
into that small city category where the Volvo is the biggest event in town
and a must-see for all. I was just shocked how educated everyone was on the
race and who we were. Talk about a boost to the ego.
And finally, we are off to the next stop Miami. Read on:
CHANGES: Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg announced that Shannon Falcone
will join the team for Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Itajai,
Brazil, to Miami, Florida, USA. Falcone, who was with Puma for the 2008-9
edition, takes the place of bowman Casey Smith who injured his back during
the last leg of the race from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajai. Helmsman
Kelvin Harrap, who missed Leg 5 due to carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms
as well as bursitis in his elbow, has returned to the sailing team.
ABU DHABI UPDATE: Since leaving Puerto Montt, Chile by ship on Apr 10, the
team's original arrival estimate of the evening of April 18 has been pushed
now to the morning of Apr 19. Once in Itajai, the team needs to repair
areas of hull delamination, but have now reduced their repair estimate from
72 hours to 55 hours. For the shore team, completing the repair in time for
the In-Port Race on April 21 could be more brutal than anything the sailing
team saw that caused the failure.
PROTEST UPDATE: The International Jury has moved up their hearing this week
from Thursday to Wednesday (2100 UTC) to review a report from the head of
the Measurement Group over the sails carried by Team Telefonica during Leg
4 from Sanya to Auckland. The protest concerns an alleged breach of the
Notice of Race 5.2.2, which specifies the sail requirements and limitations
while racing. PUMA skipper Ken Read discusses the issue on Sailing World:
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
Overall Points (after 5 legs)
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 147 pts
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 127
3. Camper (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 119
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 113
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 55
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 25
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
SURVIVOR'S REFLECTION ON FARALLONES TRAGEDY
Bryan Chong, 38, of Tiburon (CA) was one of three sailors who survived
Saturday's tragedy at the Farallon Islands. He made this public statement
"I am absolutely devastated at the sudden and tragic boat accident on
Saturday afternoon during the Full Crew Farallones Race. I'm in shock at
the loss of my five sailing companions Alan Cahill, Marc Kasanin, Jordan
Fromm, Alexis Busch, and Elmer Morrissey. Alan and Marc were dear friends
and longtime sailing mates, both true watermen when measured by practice
"The ocean is powerful and lacks the compassion that has been so generously
bestowed by friends, family, neighbors and the sailing community. We'll
spend years looking back on this weekend, asking questions that may never
have answers. Sailboat racing is about making the best decision with the
information at hand. Organizers strive to create the best routes and race
environment. Captains and crew strive to get around the race course as
quickly and safely as possible.
"The entire crew of wet smiles that went sailing toward the Farallon
Islands on the Low Speed Chase would not want this tragedy to overshadow
the rewards of sailboat racing." -- Latitude 38, read on:
BUILT ON A TRADITION OF ONE DESIGN
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reality, this distinction is the reason why we are the ideal sailmaker for
both racing and cruising sails. After years of racing and testing sails in
one design fleets, our designers and sailmakers use the same development
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sailmakers also follow a "one design" standard, closely monitoring the
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Invest in your performance. http://www.ullmansails.com
AMERICAN TEAM MOVING DOWN UNDER
Marsden Point, the Northland port renowned for its oil refinery (in New
Zealand), is about to gain fame for refining the skills of America's Cup
defender Oracle Racing in the build-up to the 2013 Cup defence in San
Sir Russell Coutts' campaign has announced it will run its 2013 training
programme out of Northport, the new deep-water port facility near
The American-based syndicate will bring its two AC72 monster catamarans to
Northport next January and train through to the end of April, ready for the
America's Cup match to be sailed on San Francisco Harbour in September.
Oracle's decision to bring the yet-to-be-built boats to Marsden Point for
trials was influenced by its close proximity to Core Builders Composites in
Warkworth - an hour's drive south - where many of the key components for
the wingsail catamarans are being built.
Under the new rules of the America's Cup to contain costs, Oracle will be
able to sail their first AC72, likely to be launched in July, for only 30
days through to January 31, 2013. Much of that sailing will be done from
the team's base at Pier 80 in San Francisco.
When their second AC72 is launched, Oracle will be allowed to sail each
yacht for 45 days through until April 31. -- Boating NZ, full story:
COMMENT: Since there is only one American on the sailing team, this move
appears like another example of the American defender not acting very
American. However, the sailing conditions during the winter in San
Francisco are not very conducive to quality training, nor is any venue in
California. Given the training limitations, they needed to move somewhere,
and being near their builder eliminated that relocation need. - Craig
GREEN COMM: While it was announced this week that the Spanish team
representing Club Nautico de Valencia had withdrawn its challenge to
compete in the 34th America's Cup, we now learn this may have come just
before they were disqualified. The team was liable for costs of nearly
89,000 euros stemming from a collision in the AC World Series last
September, and was past due on paying the bill. Here is the jury notice:
COUNT DOWN TO THE OLYMPICS
With the 2012 Olympic Games just over three months away, the Canadian
Sailing Team has completed their team qualifiers in six of the ten events.
While they failed to qualify as a nation for the Women's Match Race, they
have confirmed their candidates in the following events:
Laser Radial - Danielle Dube
Laser - David Wright
Star - Richard Clarke/Tyler Bjorn
RS:X Men - Zachary Plavsic
RS:X Women - Nikola Girke
The representatives for the remaining four events will be determined at
each of the class world championships in May: 49er (Qualification and
Selection), Men's and Women's 470 (Qualification and Selection), and Finn
In the events where qualification must occur, this means that Canada has
not yet earned a berth in the event. Being the best team in Canada isn't
good enough if the country is not among the best in the World.
In December 2011 at the ISAF Perth Worlds, 15 nations qualified for the
2012 London Olympics in the 49er event, leaving the remaining five spots up
for grabs at the 2012 49er Worlds in Croatia in May 5-12. Shockingly,
Canada did not qualify in Perth, meaning that Canadian 49er sailors still
need to battle it out for the last five Olympic spots.
The annual Trofeo Princessa Sofia in Palma, Spain (April 2-7) was among the
last tune up events before the big show in Croatia where so many dreams
will be made and shattered, especially for the Canadian 49er teams. It is
certain that at least two teams, with thousands of hours and dollars spent
campaigning, will be packing up and heading home with their dreams
unfulfilled. Canada presently has three 49er teams with an approximately
equal chance of qualifying for the Games. -- Read on:
* (April 18, 2012) - American Matt Rutherford today became the first person
to solo, nonstop circumnavigate both North America and South America.
Sailing a 27-foot Albin-Vega, Mark crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
(MD) at 10:48 eastern time this morning to complete his challenge in just
over 309 days. He began the journey on June 13, 2011. --
* Qingdao, China (April 18, 2012) - The nine teams competing in Act 2 of
the Extreme Sailing Series went into stadium sailing mode today, with
plenty of close calls, contact between the boats, penalties and an
incredible 11 false starts from the 8 races. Austrian skipper Roman Hagara
of Red Bull Sailing Team retains the lead, with Brit Leigh McMillan and The
Wave, Muscat (OMA) in second with American Morgan Larson and Oman Air (OMA)
in third. America's Cup challenger China Team, with skipper Phil Robertson
(NZL) competing for the first time, is in ninth place. -- Full report:
* The state of Connecticut has declared the 2013-2014 academic year the
"Year of the Charles W. Morgan". The Charles W. Morgan, originally launched
in 1841, is the last remaining wooden whaleship in the world and the oldest
American commercial ship still afloat. -- Full report:
CONGRATULATIONS CAMPER - SOUTHERN SPARS
Southern Spars would like to congratulate Southern' rigged CAMPER with
Emirates Team New Zealand for an outstanding effort of human endurance,
during Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The CAMPER crew have sailed almost
2500 nautical miles further than any of their competitors and have taken
over ten days longer. This crew of 11 have had it tough over the last
couple of months and that's certainly not going to stop. With only two days
to recover in Itajai, Brazil, the team will be out racing again on Sunday,
bound for Miami. Please visit http://www.southernspars.com
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 19-23 - Charleston Race Week - Charleston, SC, USA
Apr 21 - North U. Racing Trim Seminar - Coos Bay, OR, USA
Apr 22-27 - Bermuda Race Week - St Georges, Bermuda
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
* Steve and Linda Dashew Books for sale
* New Owner at Colie Sails
* Kristen Berry returns to J World in Annapolis
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
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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 Brown, Chicago:
Mother Nature again reeks havoc upon another sailboat and their crew. I am
truly sorry for the families and friends of the lost sailors. It seems as
we move forward with our sailing endeavors, we can be prepared, skilled,
and competent...but that can be thrown out the window when nature and it's
fury decide to challenge us and put us in a life or death situation.
Many will be asking, "Did they round the island group too close? Did they
not notice the sea state and current and take that into consideration while
passing the Farallon Islands?" I am confident in saying that these
experienced sailors knew the risk and felt safe up to the point that the
catastrophe happened. They basically never saw it coming, and like what
transpired in the Race to Mackinac 2011 when two lives were lost when a
freakish storm blew up in the northern part of Lake Michigan, people die
and the all the experience in the world will not save anyone.
My thoughts go out to them all, especially Nick Vos. Could not imagine
losing someone so dear, so quickly. Keep sailing Nick and dedicate your
endeavors to Alexis....
NOTE: Nick, along with James Bradford and Brian Chong, survived the
accident that took the life of Marc Kasanin. Four others remain missing:
Alexis Busch, Alan Cahill, Jordan Fromm, and Elmer Morrissey.
* From Jeremy Pape:
I take issue with the Palmer's assumption of the lack of interest in NASCAR
by sailors. (Butt 3572) As a past Seattleite who is now almost a southern
redneck, I can attest to being skeptical at first. But please Palmers,
don't judge til you've walked in another man's (cowboy) boots. NASCAR is
fun to watch! Take a poll!
I love layin on the couch recuperating after a hard weekend of sailboat
racing, watching them do what they do, go round and round, mostly left
turns, crashes, spinouts, flips, wipeouts, beer, pretty women, big
sponsors, sometimes just complete carnage. It's awesome. Hey wait, that was
the Americas Cup World Series I watched this weekend!
* From Captain Paul Warren:
To Norris & Karen (SButt 3572): FYI, the America's Cup has ALWAYS been
about technology. And, the technology DOES filter down to the average
sailor: witness the "invention" of the Cunningham ("sly pig") sail control;
the development of Dacron sails, Spectra lines, winged keels and
asymmetrical spinnakers. All sailors benefit from the tech advances that
come out of the America's Cup. Stay tuned.... there's more to come in
To Peter Brown (SButt 3572): I couldn't agree more! Larry Ellison has made
a substantial contribution to the overall AC stage. The new boats are
exciting. The AC72s even more so. The athleticism of the video racing
documentation is exciting and comparable to soccer/football and/or Formula
1 Racing. As sailors, we need to get behind this effort and push our
non-sailing friends to check out the action.
* From Eric Sorensen:
Peter Brown said it well in 'Butt 3572! Thank YOU Larry Ellison et all.
During the San Diego ACWS, China Team had a spirit ceremony to bless their
team and boat. I happened to be standing next to Russell Coutts during the
event. It was quite a choreographed show. Near the end, I leaned over and
said to him "What is Oracle going to do to top this?"
After reflection over the course of two days, I was able to run into
Russell again and apologize as I realized that Larry E had put on the
greater show of the ACWS. It really doesn't get slicker than this. It
translates to the non-sailing public too which Russell said was the goal.
So far so good!
The 72s will be breath taking and on the edge. Good luck to all involved
with AC34! It will be hard to beat the spectacle of AC33 with the 90 x 90
multihulled spaceship like rocket boats but this format and presentation
will be watched by WAY more audience than any previous Cup!
* From Tim Dick:
This week, let's commit to being on the water in the spirit of Low Speed
To do what they loved, what we love. Turn out for your beer can race - make
it the biggest ever, or a Saturday sail. Bring everyone you love. Stay for
the party, hug everyone who is there.
This week, instead of awards for 1, 2, 3, just raise a glass: to Low Speed
Chase and all who sailed aboard her.
"If you need a shoulder to cry on, pull off to the side of the road." -
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Team One Newport - Harken - Gowrie Group - North U - Soft Deck
North Sails - Hall Spars & Rigging - Ocean Racing - Ullman Sails
Southern Spars - The Pirates Lair - New England Boatworks
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