SCUTTLEBUTT 3578 - Thursday, April 26, 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: Summit Yachts and Ullman Sails.
AT THE PINNACLE OF SAILING (OR, WHO'S BRINGING THE PBJS TO AC-34?)
By Nick Hayes, Saving Sailing author
I'm interested in the America's Cup in the same way that I am interested in
a mission to Mars: It seems pretty cool. I'm aware that it's happening, and
if I happen upon an attractive headline, I'll scan the article. Like many,
I'm intrigued by the science and technology and I'm impressed by the speeds
that the new boats are achieving.
Sure, there might be some eventual technology trickle down, and that's
something to look forward to. But frankly, the opportunity to buy something
pales in comparison with the opportunity to experience something, and like
nearly everyone else on the planet, I face the reality that I won't
experience anything like it in my lifetime. Ever.
Yes, the Cup is rich with lore on a mythical scale. A decades-long string
of U.S. wins until 1983 came to symbolize America's rise to power. History
books tell us that its people and personalities are larger than life; some
of the races epitomize the battle for global dominance; and its backstories
offer glimpses into how politics and money really work.
However, claims of its vast public relations reach and influence are
Statistically, today's AC sailors touch and inspire fewer folks than any
other sporting pinnacle players, including the stars in Cricket and
spelunking. The actual spectacle isn't suited to spectating, so it won't go
viral, much less receive much media attention, except in "and now for
something completely different" newsreels, and by a small group of fervent
writers and readers of all things sailing. When the break-away animation is
more popular than the actual film footage, you know you have a problem. And
the Cup itself is perhaps the most out of reach amateur prize in all of
sport: only two dozen humans among 6.5 billion on this planet have the
means to seek it. These are the same folks who can pay for private space
flight, bless 'em.
Frankly, I don't lose much sleep over this, because in fact, sailing is
well within reach for most Americans. And most sailors know that sailing
isn't a spectator sport like NASCAR. It's time spent with friends. -- Read
COMMENT: As much as I'm looking forward to the 34th America's Cup, I do
question how this new format will grow the sport. No doubt, the changes
will increase the awareness of sailing among non-participants, but it's
still a 5 iron from awareness to involvement. People don't buy sailing in
the sporting goods store; what will it take to convert the dreamers to
daysailors? -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
PERFECT FISHING CONDITIONS
(April 25, 2012; Day 4) - The next day could heavily influence Leg 6 to
Miami as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet seeks the best course through the light
winds of the cold front. What lies beyond are the trades, and the team that
taps into that first will hold a huge advantage over their rivals as they
rocket north at speeds of more than 20 knots.
Current leader PUMA is enjoying the company on this leg of Antiguan Shannon
Falcone, who was with the team for the 2008-9 edition, and is taking the
place of injured bowman Casey Smith. Shannon posted this recent report of
@2:12am - you know something is wrong when you come off watch feeling
pleased that the you handed the boat over doing 2.5kts...everything is
@6:30am - who forgot the wasabi and soy sauce? Perfect fishing conditions
out here...shame we're trying to have a yacht race.
@7:30am - stretching and yoga on the foredeck with Michi. One thing sailing
these boats doesn't make you is flexible, so when conditions are light and
the call is weight forward, might as well make use of the opportunity!
@12:34pm - Fat Freddy's Drop helping the siesta.
@2:30pm - with fish being a hot topic today, would you rather have: a)
wahoo ceviche b) seared mahi mahi or c) tuna sashimi?
@ 5:55pm - in a full lather...but always prefer doing a sail change just
before going off watch as can then relax knowing you've changed 'gears',
rather than going through the process of getting wet weather gear off,
trying to fall asleep knowing it will happen imminently, only to be woken
up just as you've finally managed to doze off!
@8:35pm - got to love the false wake-up! Mad rush to jump out your bunk,
get the wet gear back on and get on deck asap for a sail change...which is
@8:55pm - now the challenge of trying to get that last hour of shut eye
before being back on watch, knowing that we're on the limit of the sail we
@9:20pm - HAHA...Rome and I totally called it!! So much for that last hour
@11:05pm - mellow watch with Jono, Michi and Tony. Can't beat screaming
along on rails at 20kts with clear starry skies above when it's warm on a
Leg 6 - Itajai, Brazil to Miami, USA (4,800 nm)
Standings as of Wednesday, 25 April 2012, 22:02:13 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 3989.2 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 19.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 19.4 nm DTL
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 36.2 nm DTL
5. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 52.0 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Did not start
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
WORLD WIDE WINS
Early spring racing has started, and Summit Yachts continues to dominate
race courses throughout the world. Runaway winner in IRC in the RORC Easter
Challenge in Cowes was the Summit 40 "Tokoloshe", owned by Mike
Bartholomew. They commanded a 15 boat class filled with Commodores Cup
contenders including two Ker 40's, and the custom Ker design "Tonnerre". In
Australia, "L'Altra Donna", Andrew Kearnan's Summit 35 won the Rolex Trophy
Series in Sydney. Check out the Summit 35, 40 and the newest of the Summit
Line, the Summit 45 at http://www.summit-yachts.com
Built with pride in the USA.
WEARING A BOSTON BRUINS JERSEY
The Volvo Ocean Race is currently on a 4,800 nm leg from Itajai, Brazil to
Miami, USA. What will their arrival be like, currently estimated to be May
6th? Maybe the Latin culture of Miami will emit the emotion the U.S. tends
to lack toward sailing events. According to PUMA skipper Ken Read, it may
take all that and more to match their departure experience...
Brazil and the city of Itajai were incredibly good to us. It was a shame to
have to leave, really. The number of fans there was crazy. I tried to go
down to Mar Mostro about an hour prior to leaving to bring my gear bag on
board and couldn't get through the crowds. There were too many people
requesting photos and autographs. That's something that sailors rarely say
or have to deal with, by the way. It may be common for an NBA team or
something, but not typical for a sailboat racer.
The departure ceremony was also incredible. Tens of thousands of people in
the Race Village and all around the harbor front ... stacked 10 deep all
the way out the breakwater on both sides of the channel. It was quite
overwhelming to be honest. We aren't really great at handling or knowing
what to do with big crowds so we awkwardly wave. The highlight was one guy
that stuck out among the thousands wearing a Boston Bruins jersey and
waving an American flag out the breakwater. Whatever it takes to get
noticed I guess.
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/KC-042512
Every spring amateur sailors watch the world's best professionals match
racing on the Catalina 37s in the Congressional Cup and try to imagine
themselves on board the boats.
It's not just a fantasy for Chuck Clay, who has no illusions of winning a
Crimson Blazer, a la Ian Williams or Gavin Brady, but on June 22-24 will be
sailing a C/37 in quest of his third win and fifth overall class title in
Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week, hosted and organized by the Alamitos Bay
and Long Beach Yacht Clubs.
The Long Beach Sailing Foundation has a limited number of the sturdy sloops
available for charter to qualified skippers for $1,055. Split seven or
eight ways among a customary crew, that's a bargain rate for a three-day
weekend of racing on a world-class boat in the West Coast's largest
"Last month's Congressional Cup was great to watch from the [Belmont
Veterans Memorial] pier," Clay said. "The pros really make it look easy
with six crew members. Add in the fact that they take off the life lines
makes it that much more difficult, and you can really see the talent and
professionalism with the pro teams." -- Full report:
San Francisco - As this city gears up for the 34th America's Cup next year,
a race of a different kind has already begun: one to snag the best views of
the sailing regatta.
Peter Jacobsen, a semiretired dentist from Yountville, Calif., isn't taking
any chances when it comes to ensuring a view of the America's Cup
racecourse on San Francisco Bay. Dr. Jacobsen and his wife, Gwendolyn, last
year paid $158,000 for a fractional interest in a one-bedroom unit at a
ritzy condo development right by San Francisco's waterfront.
The deal guarantees just 35 nights a year at the property - but
importantly, a Bay-view unit for two weeks during the America's Cup finals
scheduled for September 2013.
The Jacobsens shelled out the six-figure sum even though they already own
another fractional interest at the property that they bought for $182,000
in 2009. But that unit doesn't have a guaranteed view, and with the regatta
approaching, "we needed more time and it was an opportunity to lock in the
perfect view," says Dr. Jacobsen, 67 years old.
More than a year before the event, sailing fans are scouting out prime
vistas for the America's Cup. The chase for best perch has inspired a
real-estate scramble, with some agents setting up shop specifically to
locate rooms with a view for elite clients.
Other people are scoping out places closer to the action.
Rental prices for the America's Cup are already soaring. Landlords are
dangling options such as a $60,000-a-month rent for a home in the posh
Pacific Heights neighborhood during the race. Although results remain to be
seen, agents say prices could go as high as $100,000 a week during the
"It will be a real land-grab for the good stuff," says Rick Teed of
Sotheby's International Realty. -- Wall Street Journal, read on:
KINGS OF MEXORC
Taking advantage of excellent sailing conditions on Mexico's coast, Ullman
Sails customers claimed the coveted trophies at MEXORC last month! Top
regatta honors were awarded to Per Petersen and his crew on Andrews 68
"Alchemy". The team's steady stream of first and second place finishes in
class A earned them first overall in the regatta and exclusive rights to
hoist the Regatta Copa Mexico trophy at week's end. Other top finishes
included the 1D48 "Trigarante" who won class B, and Jorge Ripstein's TP52
"Patches" finished second in class A, sealing third overall at the event.
Invest in your performance - http://www.UllmanSails.com
* Hyeres, France (April 25, 2012) - It was a long day as light winds at
Semaine Olympique Française (4th event on ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit)
kept sailors on the water upwards of 12 hours. Canadians Richard Clarke/
Tyler Bjorn slipped to second overall after posting a 6-6-4, while
Americans Anna Tunnicliffe/ Molly Vandemoer/ Debbie Capozzi remain
undefeated at 13-0 in the Women's Match Race event. The forecast for the
fifth day of racing is calling for big waves and strong winds. Racing
concludes Friday. -- Event website: http://sof.ffvoile.fr/
* Hamilton, Bermuda (April 25, 2012) - Two-time IOD World Champion John
Burnham took the helm again today at Bacardi's Bermuda International
Invitational Race Week and drove the Burnham/Rugg IOD team to a comfortable
third-place finish in what was the last race of the seven-race IOD 'A'
Series to take home the series silver. In the Etchells, Will Thompson,
Somers Kempe and Adam Barboza hold a slim lead, with racing concluding
Thursday. The annual event organized by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club will
conclude Friday April 27. -- Full report:
* The dates of the 2012 Luderitz Speed Challenge have been confirmed as
November 5 - December 2. This is the event where American Rob Douglas set
the current outright world speed record of 55.65 knots in 2010. The past
two years have been spent constructing a new course in Namibia, built 300
meters further inland from the original course. The new speed run is said
to have cleaner wind and be set at a better angle to the prevailing wind.
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 27-29 - Newport to Ensenada Intl. Yacht Race - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Apr 29-May 4 - Antigua Sailing Week - Falmouth, Antigua
May 4-6 - Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta - Annapolis, MD, 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
* T2Ptv Launches New Video Website
* Karver wooden blocks
* Kos Pictures acquires historic archive of yachting images
* 75 year history of the International One Design Class
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 Tim Dick:
Bryan Chong has (beautifully) written an exceptional and important account
(in Scuttlebutt 3577) of this tragedy, with many lessons learned for all of
us. First of all, thank you to Bryan for his courage to share.
The one phrase that caught me was "I estimate we're inside of 10 boat
lengths which is 128 yards on a Sydney 38 - from the beginning of the
break zone. Our distance looks safe and no one on the boat comments." That
zone does not take into account fairly frequent "big sets", "sneaker waves"
or whatever you want to call them that are often double the height of
average waves - and consequently break far outside the average surf line.
Surfers may know this better because they sit in "the lineup" waiting for
these waves. Go watch a surf line some time for at least half an hour.
Watch the "big sets" (typically 2-3 waves) come in and break way outside
the "surfline." Perhaps those of us in Hawaii are more conscious of this
phenomenon, so give such shores a very wide berth. Something to consider.
* From Patrick Blaney:
Thank you for that heart wrenching letter from Bryan Chong; it's a
refreshingly honest and thoughtful account of what happened and happens
when things go wrong, as they will in any adventure sport where the limits
are tested. I share your hopes for him and the other survivors, and my
heart goes out to the families of those who have been lost, including 2
I read recent reports which I think were issued by US Sailing on prior
tragedies in the Chicago Mackinac Race and with Rambler in the Fastnet.
Do you know where I can get those reports (online if possible), they were
also refreshingly factual and contained excellent recommendations. I hope
that the same (report) is done here, we can all learn from the experiences
of others. I want to send the 2 original reports to some of my sailing
friends - Safety is an Attitude of Mind as much as anything else!
EDITOR NOTE: In October 2011, US Sailing released three independent panel
reports on accidents that occurred in 2011 involving U.S. participants: the
2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac accident involving WingNuts, the
youth sailing 420 tragedy on Severn River, and the Rambler 100 incident.
Here are direct links to the reports:
Youth death: http://media.ussailing.org/AssetFactory.aspx?vid=16941
Rambler 100: http://media.ussailing.org/AssetFactory.aspx?vid=16942
* From Jamie Leopold:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Doug Fredericks comments about his former crew
mate Bob Connell, and looking at the Constellation photo album (in
Scuttlebutt 3577). It helped refresh my memories about the now "good old
days" of the Auld Mug and the Corinthian spirit that ruled the friendly
competition among nations. Too bad clocks don't run in reverse!
* From Glenn Uhler:
The Curmudgeon's observation (in Scuttlebutt 3577) was quite correct about
the rope support network under the Shakespearean-era mattress. There was
almost certainly a second phrase in use at that time along with "Good
night, sleep tight". It was "Don't let the bedbugs bite!"
Bedbugs were quite common in Shakespeare's day and loved to live in the
straw used to stuff mattresses at that time. Bedbugs were then, and still
are quite "human-centric", preferring humans over all other hosts for the
blood meals necessary for their maturation and reproduction. They were also
quite common aboard ship; anywhere there were human hosts in concentrated
numbers. They were not eradicated until the days of DDT.
"Sure, marriage can be fun some of the time. Trouble is, you're married all
the time." - Maxine
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
NYYC - APS - BIC Sport North America - US Sailing - Sailors Night Vision
Point Loma Outfitting - Doyle Sails - Pure Yachting - Summit Yachts
Ullman Sails - North Sails - Melges Performance Sailboats
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers