SCUTTLEBUTT 3610 - Tuesday, June 12, 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: Atlantis WeatherGear, Gowrie Group, and Pure Yachting.
FOILING ACROSS AN OCEAN: IT’S TIME
By Kimball Livingston, Blue Planet Times
“Five corsairs on a dream boat” is Alain Thebault’s description of himself
and crew as they prepare for the first-ever transoceanic sailing record
attempt on foils.
Their giant trimaran (59-feet), L’Hydroptere DCNS, has never before been far
from France, but this flagship of all foilers worldwide holds the absolute
speed record over one nautical mile - 50.17 knots, 57.7 mph - and for a time
it took the 500 meter record away from the kites. There’s nothing else quite
The mojo: L’Hydroptere’s in-water foils are angled at 45 degrees, and they
lift the boat when it reaches a speed of 10 knots. The hulls rise about 15
feet, and speeds can jump to 25 knots in 10 seconds or less…
The team’s engineers estimate the foils take more pressure than the wings of
a jet fighter. Somewhere around 50 knots, the foils begin to cavitate, and
the beast becomes, shall we say, temperamental…
Thebault and his team have put in plenty of miles in the Med and the English
Channel, but undertaking an open-ocean crossing of 2225 miles is
unprecedented in the world of foil-born sailing craft. L’Hydroptere has been
long in development, and if she proves up to the open ocean, she’s a threat
and then some to the existing record of 4 days, 19 hours, 31 minutes held by
Olivier de Kersauson and the maxi (111-foot) trimaran Geronimo. Can you say
The starting point was Thebault in 1985, abetted by Eric Tabarly, testing a
foil-borne model in a pond at Versailles. In 1987 he sailed a one-third
model, and in 1994 he launched the real deal. Then, for the next eleven
years, it was a learning curve all the way.
The headlines were all oopsies and almosts and Baby Fall Down Go Boom until
the Channel crossing record of 2005 and, in 2008, the first outright speed
record over 500 meters, 51.37 knots, raising the bar from kite sailor
Alexandre Caizergue’s 50.26. In 2009, L’Hydroptere claimed the nautical mile
record at 41.69 knots (video), raising windsurfer Björn Dunkerbeck’s
previous mark of 41.14. -- Read on: http://blueplanettimes.com/?p=8904
(June 11, 2012) - Telefonica's bid for redemption and the return of their
overall lead was well underway on Monday with the Spanish team leading the
Leg 8 race to Lorient, France, with current race frontrunners Groupama on
At 1300 UTC Iker Martinez and his men, who won the first three offshore legs
but have since slipped, held a narrow 1.1 nautical mile lead over Groupama
following the first 24 hours' racing towards the turning mark of São Miguel
island in the Azores.
Telefonica trimmer and Olympic gold medalist Xabi Fernandez said the team
were reveling in their return to a position at the front of the pack after a
difficult run, but were under no illusion about the battle to come to remain
"We are still second overall and everything is still in our hands,'' said
Fernandez.”The only thing we can think about is to keep pushing, try to do a
very nice leg and get back in the lead as soon as possible."
Adding to the pressure is the knowledge that the fleet will compress as it
nears Sao Miguel, which is situated in a notoriously windless area in the
middle of the Azores High.
"You are always nervous when you go into a zone with no wind,'' Fernandez
said. “We will have a very hard 24 hours maybe tomorrow or the next day.
It's clear that the first one going out of the light air is going to be the
winner, or have a lot of chances, so we have to fight hard in the light air
conditions." -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/7rsc9n4
Leg 8 - Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France (1,940 nm)
Standings as of Monday, 11 June 2012, 22:03:08 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 1430.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 0.10 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 4.10 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 11.30 nm DTL
5. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 15.50 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 34.20 nm DTL
* Note that the Monday VOR story was published earlier than the most recent
standings, hence the lead change in standings vs story above.
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
DISCOVER: A COOL WAY TO SHOW YOUR COLORS
For the past four years, Atlantis has been the official sailing apparel
provider to the US Sailing Team. You’ve probably seen pictures of the team
members in their hot red Microburst jackets, and if you’ve wanted one of
your own, now’s your chance to get it. You can even have the name of your
favorite sailor or team embroidered on the piece, so you can really wear
your allegiance on your sleeve! Visit the US Sailing Team apparel store on
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AtlantisWeatherGear/app_135607783795.
Discover your patriotic streak. Discover your Atlantis.
BUTANOL: THE NEXT GREAT BIOFUEL FOR BOATS?
The E10 ethanol experience soured many boaters on biofuel and the prospect
of E15 entering your fuel system is down-right scary, but butanol could turn
out to be a far better biofuel - at least, the experts are hoping so, and to
find out if they’re right, a cooperative effort has been launched by BRP,
Indmar, Volvo-Penta, the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association),
Argonne Laboratory, and the US Department of Energy. They’re running butanol
through a variety of marine powerplants right now, to see how emissions,
performance, and reliability are affected. And according to our insider
contacts, the prospects look good.
“We already know E15 can destroy engines,” said John McKnight, the NMMA
director of environmental and safety compliance. “The higher five-percent
oxygen content leads to more heat in the combustion chamber, burned valves
and rings, and failing gaskets. But at a 16.1-percent mix, butanol has a
three-percent oxygen content, just like traditional fuel. Plus, it’s not
water soluble and it has a higher BTU value. This is very promising stuff.”
Jeff Wasil, an engineering tech expert from BRP, manufacturer of Evinrude
outboards, agrees. “Isobutanol represents a unique opportunity for BRP and
the entire industry,” he said. “We wanted to be proactive, and look at the
available fuel options for the future. And so far, the results we’re seeing
from butanol look very promising.”
At the trials in Annapolis, they’re running butanol through both inboard and
stern drives. Most of the outboard testing is done in the lab, since it’s
practical to run an outboard on dry land with a water supply. As they record
emissions and efficiency data, they’ll also be testing the mechanical
effects of butanol on these marine powerplants. -- Read more:
IRC IN CANADA
IRC racing in Canada is going from strength to strength. Last year’s IRC
North American Championships, hosted by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club,
attracted 57 entries, mainly from Ontario but also from the United States.
Most of the events are open to visitors from overseas and Lake Ontario is
located right next to the city of Toronto.
Kevin Brown was the co-chair of last year’s IRC North American Championships
and has been racing in Ontario for many years. The International IRC Owners
Association helps organize a wide variety of events and IRC racing in Canada
is very much on the increase, as Kevin explains:
* Why do you think that the IRC fleet in Canada is growing?
"The Toronto IRC fleet was the first active IRC fleet in North America with
the first races held in the spring of 1994. One of the reasons for the
success of the IRC rule on Lake Ontario, and the continued growth of the
fleet, is that we have very few purpose-built custom boats. The IRC rating
system offers a better means of rating our broad cross-section of boats than
any other rule that has been used to date on Lake Ontario. The IRC fleet has
grown tremendously in recent years, IRC has gained the confidence of all
that have been exposed to it with the realization that it is a rule that
does a very good job of fairly rating a very wide cross-section of boats and
contains no local/regional bias."
Read on: http://www.ircrating.org/en/concentric-circles/385-irc-in-canada
FROM AWARENESS TO INVOLVEMENT
The marine industry association in the U.S. that is charged with growing the
sailing market is Sail America. Along with providing direct services to its
industry members, Sail America seeks to increase participation through its
work with Boat Shows and its Discover Sailing program.
With the anticipated growth of interest in sailing that will be the result
of the 34th America's Cup, Sail America is already thinking how they can
help convert the awareness of sailing among non-participants to involvement.
"There has been some discussion at the Board level about how the sailing
industry and the America's Cup could (and should) work together to help the
America's Cup reach a broader sailing market and attract new people to
sailing," said Sail America Executive Director Jonathan Banks.
"While there is a large gap between a person's awareness and their actual
involvement, I'm hopeful that the America's Cup will help raise the profile
and image of sailing, and ultimately increase participation and help sell
more sailing gear and boats. The opportunity certainly exists to expose the
America's Cup audience to other forms and types of sailing.
Over the past two years, Sail America has developed a strong partnership
with the America's Cup Event Authority and ORACLE Racing, with the America's
Cup being featured prominently at our Strictly Sail Pacific show on the West
Coast. Discussions are underway on how to leverage, or even combine, these
two great sailing events in 2013," Banks said.
Sail America: http://www.sailamerica.com
MY YACHT INSURANCE IS FINE... I THINK?
Most boaters don't really know the terms and conditions of their insurance
coverage, until it's too late. The boat insurance landscape is changing:
premiums change, carriers change, boat values change. You are changing: your
boat usage changes, your thresholds change, your assets change, your
lifestyle evolves. Act Now! Get boat insurance that's in sync with how you
live today. Request a quote online from Gowrie Group, the leading marine
insurance experts, at http://www.gowrie.com/yachtquote (code: Scuttlebutt).
* Newport, RI (June 10, 2012) - Onion Patch Series results are in for the
two races of the 158th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, which includes
yachts entered in the whole series. Of the boats doing the whole series -
racing in Newport, doing the Newport Bermuda Race and the Royal Bermuda YC
Anniversary Regatta - the TP52 'Invictus' from the US Naval Academy leads
the pack going into Friday's ocean race. The Bermuda leg is weighted 1.25
and is a critical factor in the final results. 'Stark Raving Mad', Jim
Madden's Swan 601, is in second place followed by Lawrence Dickie's Ker 43
'Ptarmigan'. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/7pfrtv8
* The International Sailing Federation is now accepting nominations for
membership of Committees, Sub-Committees and Commissions of the
International Sailing Federation for 2013-2016. ISAF holds its quadrennial
General Assembly on Saturday 10 November 2012 in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland (at
the end of the ISAF Annual Conference). On this occasion the ISAF Officers
(President and Vice-Presidents), members of the ISAF Council and all other
ISAF Committee, Sub-Committee and Commission members automatically retire
and are eligible for re-nomination or new candidates can be nominated. --
Read on: http://www.sailing.org/38725.php
* A new portion of the Virginia Boating Education Law will take effect soon.
Beginning July 1, all personal watercraft operators must have completed a
boating safety class, according to BoatUS. It’s just one element of a law
the Virginia legislature passed in 2007 that is being phased in for
different age groups during a period of eight years. The requirement
currently applies to people 50 years old and younger. -- Soundings Trade
Only, read on: http://tinyurl.com/84spqqp
PREFER YESTERYEAR’S OLDSMO-BUICK OR CITROEN?
We thought not. A lot of RIB designs are really old. PURE YACHTING offers
all new custom RIB’s built in the USA. Multi-purpose YC RIBs. Coach boats
for all programs. SuperYacht Tenders. Harbormasters. Police & Fire. Call RIB
legend Whitey Russell now at 401-338-7457. Info at
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 Nick Imperato:
In answer to Craig's inquiry (in Scuttlebutt 3609) regarding "spousal YC
membership", at Toms River Yacht Club in NJ we faced a similar situation
under our historical By-Laws first written in the 1800's whereby only a man
could be a member, and his spouse had no rights. As amended, we now offer
membership equally to men, women, and couples. The only difference is in
voting rights, where the couple is awarded only a single vote exercisable by
either person. In the event of divorce, the membership is conveyed to both,
and subsequently granted as well to any future partners. In the event of
death the membership continues with the survivor. We think this is a fair
and equitable solution.
* From Jeff Riedle:
My wife and I were just talking about the issue of spousal membership, last
week. We are thinking of joining a club in our area, and found out last week
that our friend can't represent their club because his wife is the member.
It makes more sense, to me, to have a family membership so he can represent
the club in some events, and his wife can in others. That may not help clubs
grow membership, but would help with the logistics of active sailing
In many classes you can see families sailing together, but also on separate
teams. In the lightning class, for example, there are several generations of
families all over the fleet. Spouses each entering a boat, parents crewing
for their kids, junior teams racing right alongside multiple generations. So
many classes are great examples of how family membership would strengthen
I am also happy to see clubs creating more "special event sailing" for
adults. Match racing and team racing is offered for juniors, but not adults,
at many clubs. Recently I've seen some adult versus junior match racing, and
it was good to see the integration of generations. I think these sorts of
events will bring more membership, and hold younger members that fade away
after junior sailing ends for them. If the whole family can take part, I
think, membership will be stronger for generations, and through the whole
EDITOR'S NOTE: We can't recall the last time a subject had prompted so many
'not for publication' letters. But for those who were willing to speak out
loud, they are posted in the forum:
* From Jim Mattingly Jamestown, RI:
Forty one years ago....history repeats itself! I thought I lost it when I
started reading your lead article in Scuttlebutt 3608: Half Ton, All Race,
dated August 16, 1971, by Hugh Whall, Sports Illustrated.
As skipper of the Half Tonner "RAIDER", the article renewed many fond
memories of that competitive regatta. Looking back, Ton Class boats sailed
in racing/ cruising configurations on an even non-handicap, all-amateur
basis was certainly a yachting window in a remarkable era.
Look where we are today with one design/ even racing: The "J's", Melges,
NYYC 42, TP52, 12 Meter, Farr 40s, Maxi's, etc. Distance racing is great,
however, a further anomaly is that in races of more than just a few miles,
large and small yachts may be sailing in different wind, sea and tidal
conditions due to speed differentials. All of these features make victories
Today, one design/ even racing is the perfect opportunity for anyone
interested in participating at any level, skill-wise or financially to get
involved. It's a GREAT sport. Does anyone know the whereabouts of the
original Sopranio trophy?
* From Fred Roswold:
Are quarter, half, three-quarter and one tonners "the ugliest, most
difficult to sail and the slowest bloody vessels ever"? That is a bit
extreme. We think our old IOR boat is a good, all around, sailing boat. Just
this weekend we sailed in a regatta in the Caribbean, shorthanded, and did
quite well, thank you, and several people came up to us afterwards and
complimented us on our "beautiful boat".
And many people will fondly remember years racing in the fun, competitive,
level rating regattas that the large numbers of these boats produced. Many
of the old ton boats are still out there sailing PHRF or IRC, they are not
the miserable boats that, with each ongoing year, the myth increasingly
makes them out to be.
Yeah, newer boats are faster; they always have been. And I'd love to have a
nice IMS/IRC 50 footer, or whatever the newest thing is, so I could plane
off downwind at 20 knots, but I don't and my old live-aboard two-tonner,
going seven knots, is just fine. Quit knocking it.
ADVERTISING. FREE ADVERTISING
The Scuttlebutt website provides a marketplace for private parties to buy
and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. For free. As a bonus, each
week the Scuttlebutt newsletter includes some of the recent ad postings.
Have an ad? Post it in the Classified Ad section of the Forum.
People who know the least are the people who argue the most.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
BIC Sport North America - Team One Newport - Atlantis WeatherGear
Gowrie Group - Pure Yachting - APS - North Sails - Soft Deck
Ullman Sails - The Pirates Lair - Harken
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers