SCUTTLEBUTT 3589 - Friday, May 11, 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: Beneteau Yachts and The Pirates Lair.
LESSONS IN WINNING FANS
In case you were wondering what non-sailors thought about the sport, or
what they may be reading, here's an article in a non-sailing
publication.... about sailing:
The infrequent Volvo Ocean Race features unfamiliar athletes with skills
you won't understand on expensive boats in the middle of nowhere. You won't
be able to look away. Seriously.
The Volvo Ocean Race practically dares you to give a damn.
It involves the niche-est of niche sports (round-the-world yacht racing)
where the majority of the action takes place in the middle of nowhere (the
middle of the ocean), carried out by athletes you've never heard of (quick,
name another world-class sailor other than Dennis Conner), on a handful of
multi-million-dollar boats ($10 million or so to build), competing in a
single race that's longer than most sports seasons (nine months) and occurs
almost as infrequently as the Olympic Games (every three years). Sounds as
irresistible as Christopher Cross.
And yet the Volvo Ocean Race, which arrived Wednesday in Miami for a 10-day
stopover, is using technology cleverly to outmaneuver those shortcomings.
Its website is focused on bridging the distance--physical and
otherwise--between spectators and the action in ways that other sports
could learn from.
Start with the breathtaking on-board video, like the clip below of a wave
engulfing the Telefonica boat. The clip went viral (nearly 500,000 views)
after fans shared and embedded it everywhere. Unlike sports leagues that
are restricted by various broadcast contracts and often wary of rocking the
corporate boat, this nautical marathon embraces social media as much as any
In addition to the 11-person sailing crew, each boat has a media crew
member. He shoots photos and video and records audio dispatches,
chronicling the grueling work of sailing 24 hours a day: the four-hour
shifts on deck; the extreme weather, from snow storms near South Africa to
brutal heat during multiple equatorial crossings; the three or so weeks at
sea on each of the nine legs, during which sailors consume around 5,000
calories a day and still lose 20 or so pounds. "I don't think another sport
puts a journalist at the heart of the sporting action," says Kevin Fylan,
who covered sports for Reuters and works as editorial chief for the race
site. "They're there to tell the story." -- Read on:
CAN PUMA MAINTAIN THEIR MOJO?
(May 10, 2012) - The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is now in Miami, the boats are
in their cradles, and the race organizers are having their prayers
answered. With three more offshore legs and four more in-port races to be
sailed before the race finishes in Galway in Ireland this July, the top
four all still have a credible chance of lifting the overall trophy.
"The last couple days were so stressful," noted PUMA skipper Ken Read.
"CAMPER was relentlessly breathing down our necks right to the very end -
and they are a complete pain in the ass!!!!! And also please understand
that I say that as a compliment with the highest regard for how they sailed
"There are legs that are physically grueling. This was not one of those
legs. But it certainly made up for it in the mentally grueling category.
Tom Addis (navigator) was really on top of his game this leg. I think he
and I are working better together each leg, and it shows with confident
placement on the race track, and certainly there's faith in the team and
the boat to win a type of race that is such a grind.
"We are home for a bit. Back in the USA. It is meaningful to finish in to
our home country in first. A short flight home now for a few days to watch
my daughter play tennis, and actually be a dad, a husband and a friend to a
shedding golden retriever. Then back at it next week with a renewed energy
and a hopeful focus that we can keep this momentum rolling and make this
race closer by the minute."
While Ken Read and his Juan K designed PUMA are clearly on the upswing, Ian
Walker is openly admitting that a lack of raw boat speed has made it
difficult for his Farr designed Abu Dhabi to be competitive.
"This is not what any one of us is here for," explained Walker, "but we
know how tough this fleet is and we just don't seem to have the legs at the
moment to hang with the other boats and that's making life very difficult
for us. It's just been a tale of bleeding miles. The fleet spent a lot of
time in similar wind, sailing the trade winds, sailing a very similar
strategy and for whatever reason we weren't sailing as fast as the other
"Day in, day out, those miles add up. It puts a lot of pressure on Jules
(navigator Jules Salter) and myself to try and pull a rabbit out of a hat
and find something extra and make up for that. It puts a lot of pressure on
us just to stay in touch with everyone let alone to try and make any
"As the leg went on we took more and more risk to try and get a bit of
leverage to try and get back to Groupama," Walker said. "That didn't work
out for us in the end. The only other option was to just follow in their
wake and just lose more miles, so that makes it a very difficult place for
us. I think anybody following the race would see we have a speed issue and
it's an issue that we see pretty much on all points of sail, some more than
The Pro-Am Race is on May 18, the In-Port Race is on May 19, and the 3590
nm Leg 7 from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal begins on May 20. -- Event media
Final Standings - Leg 6 - Itajai, Brazil to Miami, USA (4,800 nm)
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), May 9, 017d 01h 13m 59s
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), May 9, 017d 02h 21m 24s
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), May 10, 017d 07h 29m 03s
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), May 10, 017d 08h 06m 38s
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), May 10, 017d 15h 57m 37s
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Did not start
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 164 pts
2. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 153 pts
3. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 149 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 147 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 68 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 25 pts
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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WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
By Chris Museler
"Ok, so you're by yourself most of the time, you don't bathe, you sleep in
your wet clothes on the floor, you poop in a bucket and pee outside, and
all you eat is candy and Ramen Noodles. For a week. That sounds horrible!"
That was what the woman sitting next to me on my flight home said after I
told her about sailing the Class 40 Dragon some 800 miles out of sight of
land for five days on a non-stop delivery from Mystic, Ct., to Charleston,
Maybe I'd been avoiding the reality of sailing doublehanded in a small,
speedy sailboat in the open ocean. My seatmate's comments made it clear
that this discipline is a lot more challenging than heading out in a big,
heavy, fully-crewed boat. Hard times offshore usually are forgotten,
leaving only glorious memories that keep us coming back. But now I admit
that doing it in a Class 40 can be downright miserable, with occasional
As I prepare for the Newport Bermuda Race aboard Dragon, I'm finding that
doublehanded sailing is much more than a simple sailing experience. It's
more like graduate school, getting your master's in a tough subject. It
demands doubling-up on preparations, precision in maintenance, and patience
In a series of columns, I'll describe the preparations and sailing of a
Class 40 and its crew of two. Rob Windsor was my co-skipper for the
delivery, and Michael Hennessy is my co-skipper for the Atlantic Cup and
the Bermuda Race.
I'll start with our delivery to Charleston, where the boat will race in the
Atlantic Cup before returning north to Newport at the end of May. Whatever
your impressions of the freaky community of shorthanded sailors, I hope my
experiences will reveal how complete and grounded these sailors are. Dragon
sailed more than 10,000 miles last year. Many 40s do a circumnavigation's
worth of miles annually.
Along the way, we'll learn some mental and technical tips that will help us
all better enjoy sailing in the open sea.
First, let's get Dragon down the East Coast to Charleston. What could
possibly go wrong?
Diary #1: http://tinyurl.com/CM-Diary-1
Diary #2: http://tinyurl.com/CM-Diary-2
Diary #3: http://tinyurl.com/CM-Diary-3
BACKGROUND: The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is the United
States' premier Class40 sailing race. The 2012 race will kick off in
Charleston, South Carolina May 11th. From Charleston, 15 teams will race
double-handed to New York City. There will be approximately a 4-5 day
stop-over in New York before the race restarts and competitors sprint to
Newport, Rhode Island. Once in Newport, skippers will race an inshore grand
prix with a crew of six. -- http://atlanticcup.org/race/
* The Border Run International Sailing Event has grown to become the
largest point-to-point ocean race on the West Coast for the last two years.
This summer, Border Run organizers will introduce a new event for Southern
California sailors: the inaugural Border Run2, to be held on one of the
longest days of the year -- June 29. The race is scheduled the week after
Long Beach Race Week, June 22-24, starting from Long Beach and finishing at
three different destinations: Newport Beach, Dana Point, and San Diego.
* Quantum Key West 2013 will take place in Key West, Florida on January
20-25, 2013. Kicking off the New Year is North America's first major
regatta of the winter season. Now in its 26th year, this spectacular event
offers five full race days and world class competition. Details on invited
classes, information on logistics and planning will be posted on:
* Annapolis, Md. (May 10, 2012) - This weekend, May 12-13, the U.S. Naval
Academy will host the Intercollegiate Sailing Association's (ICSA) National
Championship Western and Eastern Semi-Finals at the Robert Crown Center.
Thirty-six college teams, representing the seven ICSA districts, have
advanced to compete in C420s and CFJs Two semi-finals of 18 teams will vie
for the top nine slots in each group to advance to the 2012 ICSA/GILL
Dinghy National Championship in Austin, Texas on June 6-8. --
* Boltenhagen, Germany (May 10, 2012) - Going into today's races Tom
Slingsby (AUS) had a comfortable 20 point lead on Croatian Tonci Stipanovic
in second place and 14 to 18 knots of wind were ideal conditions for the
defending World Champion. Finishing ten places ahead of Stipanovic meant
that there was no need for Slingsby to compete in the last race, this
winning his fifth Laser World Championship title. Stipanovic has also
already secured second overall. Canadian David Wright is the top North
America in 15th position. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/Laser-051012
* Hyeres, France (May 10, 2012) - One more day with extremely light winds
at the Zhik Star World Championship. It was a day of ups and downs with
Robert Scheidt/Bruno Prada (BRA) scoring a 5th while Iain Percy/Andrew
Simpson (GBR) came 17th. After five races, the British duo hold a five
point lead over the Brazilians, with the final race six scheduled for
Friday. Canadians Richard Clarke/Tyler Bjorn are the top North American
team in 19th position. -- http://www.starworlds2012.com/
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include awkward moments, 6000 feet, being ballast, May calendar, good
story, Miami, ground zero, and four in row. Here are this week's photos:
* The Snipe class is so serious about their motto, "Serious Sailing,
Serious Fun", that they registered it. Here is some of their recent fun in
Ft Lauderdale: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0508/
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
If you were to bet on which event in the 2012 Olympics would most likely
bring home a medal for the US Sailing Team, all arrows point toward Women's
Match Racing. In no other event was the U.S. nearly as strong, or as deep.
The team had narrowed the candidates down to four crews, which then saw the
two strongest teams face off in a "first-to-six-wins" final match-up. Would
it be Anna Tunnicliffe and her Team Maclaren or Sally Barkow and her Team 7
Match Race? Click here to see the highlight video:
* This week on America's Cup Uncovered Episode 38, we look back at the AC
World Series Match Race Final in Naples. After an intense elimination
series Sweden's Artemis Racing battles Italy's Luna Rossa Piranha for the
title of Match Race Champions. Commentators Gary Jobson, Mitch Booth and
John Rawlings give us a detailed analysis of the race from Naples. We also
profile Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson, from his four Cup
campaigns, to sailing in home waters in Annapolis, Maryland. Tune in on
Saturday May 12 at approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
* The May 11, Week 19, "World on Water" Global Boating Video News Show
reports on the Antigua Sailing Week, the Grand Prix Guyader, France, GOR
finish in Charleston, Virginia,the Star Worlds Hyeres, France, PWA Surf
World Cup, Podersdorf, Austria, and the huge crash in the F2 Grimstad
Powerboat Show. See it on http://www.boatson.tv 1000BST, 0500 EDT.
* Chalk Talk, Episode 9: The regular college sailing season is winding to a
close, with the last few districts finalizing their Nationals spots. This
weekend we begin the post season with the ICSA Semifinals in Annapolis.
Chris and Jane give an in-depth look at this regatta and point out the
teams to watch this weekend for the 18 spots to ICSA / Gill Dinghy
Nationals in June. View here:
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
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 Bill Bennett:
After reading his article about racing with his son (in Scuttlebutt 3588),
I am very proud to say that Chris Lanza is a friend of mine.
* From D. B. Tanner:
Send Chris Lanza a coffee cup - with all the bad news we've had to read
recently, this one put a big smile on my face. Best story so far this year!
* From Deb Schoenherr, Sailing Mom, Senior Judge, International Umpire:
The story by Chris Lanza... absolutely fabulous! Those are the sailing
experiences that remain with us forever, and I am sure will be well
remembered as one of your best races ever. It is amazing if we take the
time to sail with our children...how much they know and how content that
can make us feel. Revel! And that shot of the moon: Fabulous!
* From Brad Avery, Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship:
In Scuttlebutt 3588, Scott Kaufman's question "how does the average sailor
get enough experience to be safe at sea?" is a loaded one.
We are never safe at sea, whether we are professionals or amateurs. We are
always one bad decision away from disaster. My goal is to sail error-free
on each cruise or race, but I know this is impossible to achieve. The quest
for a voyage free of mistakes goes on.
Time on the water, training, humility, and constant vigilance are the keys
to being "safer." Knowing you're never safe also helps.
* From Luke Cragin, President, University of Texas Sailing Team:
We are trying to gauge interest in the 2012 ICSA Afterguard Regatta. Please
pass this along to any alumni who might be interested or take a minute to
read it if you are an ICSA alumni and might attend.
The Afterguard Regatta would be held on Tuesday May 29th at the Austin
Yacht Club. It would consist of racing in FJs throughout the day followed
by awards and a meal at AYC. Please note that the ICSA Annual meeting will
be happening at the same time, so attending both wouldn't be possible. We
want to do this but only if there is enough interest, so please take one
minute to take this survey to indicate how likely you are to come:
The survey will close Sunday, May 13th, and if there is enough interest,
the NOR will be sent out on Monday the 14th.
* From Zvi Ziblat, Israel:
In response to the "Pope of Sailing" Paul Henderson (in Scuttlebutt 3587),
to whom I rarely disagree, I have to now. Paul tells us that when we put on
the scales the legacy sailing leaves behind, especially marina
facilities,against big cost, maybe he overlooked the genius ISAF Council
that cleverly made a list of classes that don't need a marina.
In Brazil, ISAF should decide on all classes "beach start" with heats of 8
boats per heat with a knockout format and we can wrap up the entire event
in 5 days. No need for judges - on the water pumping will be allowed. No
expensive race committee boats for "beach start" and finish. Marks would be
deployed from the beach with het bikes.
And so sailing will be the least expensive sport not to mention the most
televised bearing in mind it will be run from the "Copa Cabana" beach with
all the thong bikinis in the foreground. Let's have fun.
* From Barry McSherry:
We are having a ridiculously hard time trying to get out on the water to
view the VOR Miami In-Port Race (on May 19). There were a couple of Groupon
deals on offer, but these were very short on details, very expensive
($350ea), and were available for only a short period (now withdrawn). We've
tried contacting the Miami stopover organisers and Groupon without
success...have you heard of anyone else having the same complaints? Thanks
for a great newsletter.
COMMENT: I haven't heard much of anything from the Miami stopover
organizers. However, if they want to send Scuttlebutt an update, we will do
our best to publish it. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
All mothers are working mothers. Happy Mother's Day!
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
BIC Sport North America - New York Yacht Club
US Sailing - North Sails - Pure Yachting - Doyle Sails
Summit Yachts - Soft Deck - US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
Ullman Sails - Beneteau Yachts - The Pirates Lair
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