SCUTTLEBUTT 3613 - Friday, June 15, 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: The Pirates Lair and Harken.
RECORDS AT RISK IN BERMUDA ROMP
Newport, RI (June 14, 2012) - On the eve of the 635 nm Newport to Bermuda
Race, skippers, navigators and crews are talking about breaking records.
Chris Branning, navigator of Mark Watson's Team Tiburon, said last evening,
"I think we'll break the record... but someone else will set the record."
Mark Watson joked, "Finishing so early will really hurt my bar tab at the
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Bar, but I'll be able to spend more time with my
family in Bermuda." Sunday is Father's Day.
This is setting up as a big boat race if conditions evolve as predicted.
Winds at the start on Friday are predicted to be 10-15 kts from the
northeast, maybe a spinnaker start for the first time since 2002. Winds
should build down the course and across the Gulf Stream then lighten around
Bermuda's "Happy Valley" on Sunday. The smaller, slower boats may have a
tough time clawing down the course as the breeze lightens and shifts to the
The Newport Bermuda Race has two records, one for Open Division boats at
48hr, 28min, 31sec set by Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory in 2004 and the
'official' record for traditional designs set by Roy Disney's 75 foot
Pyewacket is at 53hr, 39 min 22 sec.
Branning said they had run their race routing program Thursday afternoon
and Bermuda's Team Tiburon, a Reichel/Pugh 74 (former Bella Mente) should
finish around 0900 hrs on Sunday, covering the course in about 42 hours. He
guessed that George David's Rambler would be the pacesetter.
Rambler, a Reichel/Pugh 90 from Hartford CT, is the largest boat in the
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, water ballasted but grandfathered in before
movable ballast boats were moved into the Open Division. Branning said, "A
windy reach or a run are Rambler's points of sail. She will load the
ballast tanks and blast on to Bermuda."
"If the weather sets up as predicted, Rambler should beat us by three
hours." Branning estimated. That would put them at St. David's Lighthouse
at Bermuda around 0600 setting a new traditional record of close to 39
hours. -- Read on: http://www.covarimail.com/view.lasso?id1=1184&id2=755094
GEAR: This comes from Stuart Streuli at Sailing World: "If you've done a
few hundred nautical miles in the same pair of damp, crusty underwear - the
offshore sailor's version of walking a mile in his shoes - then you know
precisely why I was so excited when a non-sailing friend send me a link to
a story about a male grooming product called Fresh Balls (if you think
that's a little cheeky, the name of the company that produces it is Happy
Junk, LLC). -- Read on: http://www.sailingworld.com/racing/bermuda-bound
HPR TAKES HUGE STEP FORWARD
Newport, RI (June 14, 2012) - The High Performance Rule (HPR) announces
that by unanimous vote of its Board members, the Offshore Racing
Association (ORA) has agreed to take ownership of HPR. The move is an
important organizational milestone for HPR, a rating rule concept whose
development was first facilitated by the New York YC's Handicap Rules
Committee in 2010.
ORA's role becomes similar to what it does for the Offshore Rating Rule
(ORR), which is used in the major offshore races in the US: act as an
entity that gives rule and policy guidance through existing HPR technical
committees, form a new HPR steering committee (the HPR Advisory Board), and
manage relations with selected international authorities for its role as a
rule administrator and licensor. Currently US Sailing and the Offshore
Racing Congress (ORC) are the first rating authorities to be licensed to
govern administration of the rule.
"This move is a huge step forward in moving HPR from a rating rule
'concept' to a rating rule reality," said Steve Benjamin, the Chairman of
the NYYC Handicap Rules Committee and a fervent promoter of HPR. "While the
HPR technical staff is still fine-tuning the rule, it now gives us the
ability to formalize the process of issuing rules, creating measurement
standards, and issuing certificates through US Sailing and ORC."
For ORA the adoption of HPR means extending their reach more towards the
Grand Prix level of the offshore racing fleet. -- Read on:
WORLD FAMOUS 999 SALE NOW AT THE PIRATES LAIR!
Ok, so it's not that famous, but if you want great deals on regatta tees,
technical stuff, and Mount Gay Rum goodies... log on to
http://www.pirateslair.com/SFNT.html and help make the 999 sale world
GRIP IT AND RIP IT
(July 14, 2012; Day 5) - In an adrenaline-filled day in the North Atlantic,
Telefonica has dealt with damage to their starboard rudder that dropped
them to fourth place, only to later regain the lead, but the latest sked
indicates a significant drop in speed and position. No reports to explain
the situation were available at press time.
CAMPER had today logged the fastest 24 hour mark of the race - a distance
of 565.82 nm. "We're seriously on the edge," Camper navigator Will Oxley
said of the downwind conditions. "It's very hard work, everything's maximum
load, and we're just hanging on. We're still waiting for the low pressure,
the barometer has dropped about 20 millibars in 24 hours - which is a
pretty significant drop - and we are expecting tonight to be probably one
of the windiest nights of the race."
Franck Cammas and his crew on board Groupama are still struggling with the
mainsail headboard car, which jammed at the top of the mast Wednesday.
Bowman Brad Marsh managed to install another car so that the crew could
shorten sail to two reefs. "We will see how things go on Friday morning
when we try to shake a reef because right now, the profile of the mainsail
doesn't look great," said skipper Franck Cammas.
In full darkness, with the storm peaking near 50 knots, the teams made the
critical gybe that will take them into Lorient. With the finish now in
their headlights, there is little left to do but grip it and rip it. The
winner is expected to arrive on Friday at around 1000 GMT. -- Event media
Leg 8 - Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France (1,940 nm)
Standings as of Friday, 15 June 2012, 0:01:32 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 247.7 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 14.5 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 20.5 nm DTL
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 21.0 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 24.6 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 95.2 nm DTL
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
STOP TELLING US HOW GOOD YOU ARE
By George Morris, sailing enthusiast
I have just watched the latest episode of AC Uncovered. Now, I am a huge
fan of the AC World Series, and am prepared the give the AC72s a fair
chance, so why does the AC publicity team spend so much time shouting at
me, telling me how wonderful it all is?
The constant assurances that this is a 'young man's game' and represents
the new generation and requires super-athleticism ring a bit hollow as a
series of fifty year olds are paraded in front of the cameras. I'm sure
Loick and Russell are as hard as nails but young they are not. And the next
shot of half a dozen catamarans doing a lot less than half a knot in a
raft-up at the leeward mark was described as 'exciting'. Fascinating,
certainly, but 'exciting'?
And the constant assurances that thousands of people are enjoying the
spectacle. Well, perhaps, but while there were certainly a lot of people on
the promenade in Venice watching the boats, there were just as many in the
background wandering round a neighboring square not watching the boats. And
all those synthetic prize givings and meet-the-crews events attended only
by the press and families and shore crews. I know the bills have to be paid
but I think they should stop trying quite so hard.
The Volvo Miami non-event was counterproductive, and the WMRT event in
Korea with rows of inscrutable men in suits and dark glasses staring
uncomprehendingly at the proceedings summed up the gulf between sailing and
real spectator sports. And then there is Richard Simmons' commentary on the
Extreme 40s in which he regularly wets himself with excitement every time
one of the boats lifts a hull.
The community that watches AC Uncovered and the Volvo and the X40s and the
WMRT is quite small (look at the stats for number of hits) and we are quite
an intimate group. So to the producers of these events I would say this:
You have successfully created an atmosphere in which we feel we know you
quite well. Now stop telling us how good you are - let us be the judges of
that. You may be pleasantly surprised!
OLYMPIC RIVALS HAVE HEATED ARGUMENT IN PUB
What better way to create interest in the Olympic sailing events than to
share some unvarnished truths. In the Olympic singlehanded event,
competition among Laser sailors is as close to combat as sailing gets. And
behind the well scripted sound bites of athletes are people that get pissed
The Metro is reporting how Olympic sailing champion Paul Goodison had a
'heated argument in the pub' with world champion Tom Slingsby after the
Weymouth pre-Olympic regatta last week. Here may be an early taste of next
British Laser class champion Goodison, and Australian Slingsby, are major
contenders for medals at London 2012 and also fierce rivals.
Goodison missed out on a medal in Saturday's Skandia Sail for Gold event
over the Olympic course at Weymouth, and afterwards complained that
Slingsby's Australian team-mate Tom Burton had deliberately blocked him - a
move which saw Goodison finish outside the medals - adding 'he won't have
his mates out there to help him next time'.
'We met each other in the pub and had a quite heated argument on the
evening after the medal race,' confirmed Goodison, who admitted that the
pair used to be good friends but as the Games approached, their
relationship had 'slid'.
'We were both there, and I guess it needed to be said between us.
'It was good to get thoughts out in the open and to have it out. We both
understand each other are big threats at the Games.'
Goodison admitted his own mistakes had contributed to his failure to win a
medal, and that 'covering', as the manouevre is known, was not against the
rules, but he still felt annoyed about what had happened.
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/Metro-061412
ON THE OLYMPIC TRAIL - AMANDA CLARK
US Olympic 470 skipper Amanda Clark shares her thoughts on coaching, her
transition to doublehanded sailing, and the future of the 470. Check out
this latest addition to the Harken/McLube interview series with the US
Olympic Sailing Team at
* American Yacht Club in Rye, NY hosted 48 women at the first annual
Women's Invitational Team Race Regatta (WITR`12). Eight clubs fielded teams
of six women from St. Francis Yacht Club, Southern Yacht Club, St.
Petersburg Yacht Club, Eastern Yacht Club, Seawanhaka Yacht Club, New York
Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and American Yacht Club. The two day event
on June 9-10, held in Ideal 18s, is believed to be the first open
all-women's Team Race event in the U.S. -- Full report:
* Dartmouth, England (June 14, 2012) - The four races completed today for
the 76 competing teams at The MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 World Championship
Powered by SLAM, the penultimate day of the regatta, were sailed in lumpy
seas and building breeze which topped out at 20 knots. Spaniard Jose Maria
van der Ploeg remains in the lead but Rayco Tabares of the Canary Islands,
who won the J/80 World Championship in 2010, has pushed through to second
place just 5 points behind. The two final races are scheduled for Friday.
-- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/J80-061412
* The housing market is showing signs of revival, a Harvard research center
says, and that could be good news for the boating industry because some
experts say it will take a housing rebound to kick-start a more robust
recovery in luxury sectors such as boats. -- Soundings Trade Only, read on:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include rainbows, high elevation, aiming upwind, hiking hard, monuments,
toasting, and a big rig. Here are this week's photos:
* In 1845, nine yachts gathered off the New York Yacht Club's first
clubhouse in Hoboken, New Jersey to compete in the first running of what
then became the Annual Regatta. The oldest and longest running regatta in
America, New York Yacht Club's Annual Regatta presented by Rolex was held
for the 158th time on June 8-10 in Newport, Rhode Island. Photos courtesy
of Billy Black: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0614/
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
In 1845, nine yachts gathered off the New York Yacht Club's first clubhouse
in Hoboken, New Jersey to compete in the first running of what then became
the Annual Regatta. The oldest and longest running regatta in America, New
York Yacht Club's Annual Regatta presented by Rolex was held for the 158th
time on June 8-10 in Newport, Rhode Island.
T2PTV produced a music video of the best shots from this year's event -
shot from power boat, onboard, on shore and via Go Pro. To view this video
and all the daily highlights:
* This week on America's Cup Uncovered Episode 43, we travel to the
historic, deep water seaport of Newport, RI, which for 53 years was the
home of the America's Cup. The legendary J Class raced three Cups there in
the 1930s. After World War II, the 12 meters raced eight Cup matches there
until Australia II ended America's 132-year winning streak in 1983.
Excellent archival footage of both the Js and the 12s brilliantly documents
the boats and the characters - the romance and intense competition - of
that bygone era. With Newport closing out the first season of the AC World
Series on June 28-July 1, the show reviews the eight AC45 teams competing
for the title. Tune in on June 16 at approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST;
* In the June 15 "World on Water" Global Sailing News Report Ben and Robert
each win Silver in the Skandia Sail for Gold, Weymouth, UK, the Giraglia
Rolex Cup Starts in Saint Tropez, France, The Samui Regatta, Thailand, Act
3 Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul, Turkey, Volvo Ocean Race Lisbon In-Port
Race and Leg 8 Start, Portugal and in our "Action" segment, "Fresh to
Frightening", see Ben take a swim, the Kiwi's crash on the finish line,
Lucy have a close shave and Ian crash into Roman in Istanbul. See it on
http://www.boatson.tv or download the "boatsontv" app and view it on your
"smart" phone/tablet anywhere anytime.
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 Alex Arnold:
Reading Andrew Hurst's piece (in Scuttlebutt 3612) reminds me of Mark
Twain's quote "The secret of success is to make your vocation your
* From Eric Sorensen:
As a deputized 4th estater, I put forth my declaration that I would be
happy to sail on an AC72 in San Diego or Seattle, but would quail at the
thought of leaving St Francis YC after noon any day.
More competition in the AC is a good thing as Kimball Livingston suggested
(in Scuttlebutt 3612). However, having a bunch of old dudes out on a danger
machine like this batch of upcoming hotrods (can you say AC72 and not
tremble?) on the water is like having my dog drive my wife's sports car at
the race track with another bunch of Ferraris going full tilt.
* From Ed Crouch:
As skippers and sailors prepare for the start of the Bermuda Race on
Friday, this Marine Accident Investigation Branch report on the Man
Overboard drowning of the skipper of Lion during the 2011 Morgan Cup Race
may be a worthwhile read. In light of the several tragedies experienced in
ocean racing recently, the report is another example of how things can go
sideways, and it explores some safety gear and procedures that probably
warrant further review by each person who is involved in sailing.
I'm no Monday morning quarterback, however, in my humble view there is at
least one additional element that could reasonably be added to the MAIB's
conclusions. Given the conditions, another crew member could/should have
remained on deck, forward with the skipper, until he returned to a safer
place. While it is unknowable whether this could have prevented the MOB or
the outcome, it is certainly possible that the MOB could have been
instantly communicated to the driver and trimmer(s), and those few moments
could have been the difference.
The report can be read here:
* From Bruce Thompson:
I reviewed the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report regarding
a fatal Man Overboard (MOB) accident, where at 0036 on 18 June 2011 the
skipper of a 38-foot yacht fell overboard and drowned while still attached
to the yacht by means of a tether connected to his lifejacket.
It seems the man involved fell overboard while the boat was on starboard
tack, presumably heeling a great deal in 25-30 knot winds. He was dragged
through the water for 16 minutes before the crew was able to get him back
aboard. The crew was admittedly poorly trained in dealing with an MOB
situation and it was the skipper who went over. So those left aboard were
unprepared for the situation they faced.
This could happen here, so my advice to anyone who finds himself in a
similar situation is to not just slow the boat, but to TACK. What had been
the leeward side will then become the windward side and the MOB will be
pulled back out of the water by the thether. That will ensure he does not
drown and will assist in getting him back aboard as much of his body weight
will be supported by the boat's topsides.
"Never go to bed angry... stay up late and plot your revenge." - Maxine
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