SCUTTLEBUTT 3676 - Friday, September 14, 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: North Sails and The Pirates Lair.
VESTAS SAILROCKET 2 - THE SEARCH FOR A BREAKTHROUGH
The Vestas Sailrocket 2 project will be returning to the waters of Walvis
Bay, Namibia this September with a new hydrofoil package which they hope
will bring them an Outright World Speed Sailing Record. The months of
September through to December typically provide the best winds for speed
sailing and the team has been keeping their powder dry in anticipation.
The team, which began the pursuit in 2002, will seek to topple the current
world record held by American kite surfer, Rob Douglas. It was set in
Luderitz, Namibia late in 2010 and stands at 55.65 knots (64 mph/103 kmh).
The kite surfers are expected to return to Namibia in October this year in
an effort to take the record even higher.
Vestas Sailrocket 2 is a bold step beyond their Mk1 boat which still holds
the 'B' class world record and hit peak speeds over 52 knots (60 mph) on a
number of occasions. The outright record eluded the Mk1 so the team focused
all their energy into Vestas Sailrocket 2 which was designed and built from
the outset to be a breakthrough boat with a view to overcoming the limiting
factors rather than just the current record itself.
Conventional high speed foils (i.e. rudders) begin to have 'issues' as they
reach high speed and these become unavoidable around 60 knots. Liquid water
turns to vapour due to the low pressure on one side of the foil. The
phenomenon is called cavitation and this causes a lot of drag and quite
often loss of stability with dramatic consequence. Vestas Sailrocket 2 is
designed to not only remain stable if the conventional foils fail at high
speed but be capable of employing special foils that will be immune to this
problem and take her beyond normal limits.
"From my perspective in the cockpit, this version of the boat is a delight
to sail," said pilot Paul Larsen. "It is much less traumatic than the first
boat. VSR2 is just ambling down the course at 50 knots in a very stable
manner. Hopefully these new foils we have designed will allow her to really
show her potential. I'm sure she won't feel so docile over 60 knots. I
think she's patiently waiting for us to gain the understanding to release
her from all the drag and give her free rein."
Full report: http://tinyurl.com/SR-091312
VIDEO: When things go bad, they go very bad. Three years ago, this video shows
Sailrocket going from boat to rocket with tragic results:
OH-SO-COOL 49ER EUROPEANS
With a new Olympic Quad already underway, it is interesting to see what is
the same and what is changing on the international circuit. While many
things are still up in the air as ISAF elects a new president in November,
closer to the water things are looking interesting.
The 49er class is looking to radically change its format to conform to a
TV/internet audience, and is using the European Championship (Sept. 10-15)
this week on Lake Garda in Italy to trial the schedule. Here is the
progression of races within the event to determine the champion:
Long distance race - 1 opening race
Qualifying races: 6 races to determine the Gold Fleet
Gold Fleet races: 9 races to determine the top 29 teams
Final races: 4 rounds, each with 7 to 8 teams, hold 3 races to advance the
top team. Ultimately 4 teams are left standing
Grand Final: 4 boats, 1 race, winner takes all (the European Champion),
with the rest taking silver, bronze, and leather medals.
Sailing Instructions: http://tinyurl.com/SI-091312
Event details: http://2012euros.49er.org/
Canadian Sailing Team: http://tinyurl.com/CST-091312
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QUALIFYING DONE, GAME TIME NOW
Long Beach, CA (September 13, 2012) - Take Olivier Backes' word for it:
Winning isn't everything. But it helps.
The French sailor and crew Matthieu Vandame from Marseille took over first
place from Switzerland's Billy Besson and Jeremie Laguarrigue Thursday in
the GLOBALTECH Formula 18 World Championship with a relatively modest
scoreline (1-3-(6)-6-3-2-1-3-4) but no finish worse than sixth, one of
which he discarded.
Backes, who won the F18 Worlds off his native shores in 2010, said, "Our
goal is to be consistent. Winning races is not our goal."
Still, they are one of only two entries among 118 from 16 countries in the
event hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club to win two races, along with Besson
and Laguarrigue, who dropped four points off the pace after finishing 24th
in the day's last race, a result they tossed to count a seventh place
The second throwout kicks in with the 11th race Friday.
Thursday's noon start was delayed a few minutes as competitors searched for
the course in a thick layer of fog off Seal Beach, but then the curtain
lifted to open a show of strenuous sailing marked by several capsizes in
the choppy seas of 4 to 5 feet churned up by two days of southwest winds to
It was a day to test the best multihull sailors on the globe. After two
days of six qualifying races, the fleet was divided evenly into Gold and
Silver groups for the final nine races through Saturday. -- Read on:
ALL IN THE FALL
Introduced in 1992 as the first modern day keelboat with bow sprit and
asymmetric spinnaker, the J/105 today is the most successful one-design
keelboat class over 30-feet in the USA. Twenty years later, the J/105 will
this fall be the platform for four major events in San Diego:
* October 13-14: The J/105 Southern California Championship regatta will
pit J/105 sailors from all over Southern California in a one-design regatta
sailed in the Coronado Roads ocean course, off of Coronado and Point Loma.
The 2012 edition of the SoCal Championship will also serve as an excellent
tune up for the following week's North American Championship sailed in the
* October 18-21: The annual North American Championship - hosted in San
Francisco, Chicago, and Marblehead in recent years - returns to one of the
nation's premier racing venues. Guaranteed to create interest is class
newcomer Dennis Conner, recently named America's Greatest Sailor by the
membership of US Sailing. Can DC add the NA trophy to a shelf that already
holds an Olympic medal, 28 Worlds titles, and four America's Cup victories?
* November 2-4: The International Masters Regatta, established in 1975 by
St. Francis Yacht Club Member Don Trask, consistently attracts the world's
greatest master sailors to compete in this prestigious international
sailing event on the San Francisco Bay. The event comes to San Diego for
the first time in 2012, with the likes of Malin Burnham, Hans Fogh, Ron
Holland, Rod Johnstone, Buddy Melges, Dick Stearns, and Ted Turner to fight
it out inside the bay alongside San Diego's gorgeous cityfront.
* November 9-11: Since the first regatta in 1903, the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup
remains the most prestigious and hotly contested challenge trophies among
Southern California clubs. The 98th edition of the event has stretched its
borders, welcoming New York YC, Southern YC, and San Francisco YC to join
nine Southern California yacht clubs.
HOW HARD COULD IT BE?
She's swapped her oars for sails and Australian Sarah Cook is banking on a
decade of rowing experience to help her make a successful transition into
the sport she hopes will land her an Olympic Games medal. Just a month
after rowing in London, Cook has made the switch to sailing and she will
begin her campaign for the Rio games in 2016 immediately.
In an attempt to breathe new life into her Olympic career, Cook will join
Beijing gold medallist Elise Rechichi next week to start her time on the
water as a sailor. They will compete in the 49er FX class, also known as
the women's high performance skiff, which will be added to the Olympic
program in Rio.
Cook, a two-time Olympian, feared she would be burnt out if she continued
in rowing beyond the London Games. And after initially being tempted to
change to cycling, a chance meeting with Rechichi at the airport convinced
jumping into sailing was the right move for her dream of winning a medal.
"I knew I wanted to go to Rio but I didn't know what sport and sailing was
an option after I spoke to the coaches two years ago," Cook said. "But I've
never done it [sailing] ... but with this new boat class it became an
option and I came across Elise at the airport in London. So we've come up
with a plan for the next six months to see if we can get me across and if
we can become a successful crew."
Rechichi won gold in Beijing in the 470 class, but could only manage
seventh in London. Instead of trying to reclaim her old title, Rechichi is
willing to take a risk on helping Cook make the transition. Cook hopes her
experience as an elite rower will make the switch easier. Read more:
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* San Francisco, CA (September 13, 2012) - The first day of racing at the
U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club,
saw the six teams finish the first round robin stage and the first flight
in the second round robin. Two-time U.S. Women's Match Racing Champion
Genny Tulloch won all six matches to claim the day's top performance, with
Nicole Breault's only loss coming against Tulloch. Conditions began at 14
knots and temperatures in the high 60s, building up to 20 knots with gusts
reaching 25. Racing begins at 10 am PDT on Friday through Sunday. -- Full
* Every three years, the Club Leaders Forum conducts a survey with the
General Managers of every club belonging to the Club Managers Association
of America (CMAA). The survey results are used to compile a list of the 235
most highly regarded private clubs (country clubs, residential communities,
golf clubs, dining clubs, athletic clubs, and yacht clubs) in the United
States. The Top 5 Yacht Clubs according to the survey, in order, are St.
Francis Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, San
Diego Yacht Club, and Annapolis Yacht Club. Details:
* The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association will present its first Anchor
Award to Rhode Island sailing brothers Ken and Brad Read, which recognizes
people who make a significant contribution to Rhode Island and its marine
trades. The Read brothers grew up sailing on Rhode Island waters and turned
their passion for boating into careers in the world of competitive sailing.
Through their activities, Ken and Brad Read draw worldwide attention to
their home state as a sailing destination and a capital of the global
marine industry. -- Soundings, full report: http://tinyurl.com/TOT-091312
* Hamilton, ONT (September 13, 2012) - The 33-boat Star North American
Championship completed two more races today, and with only one race
remaining for Friday, the focus has narrowed on who still has a chance at
the title. John MacCausland/ Guy Avelon now hold a four point lead over
Arthur Anosov/ David Ceasar, with George Szabo/ Craig Moss five points
further back in third. -- Full report:
* Twenty teams from eight countries will be lined up Friday to race for two
days in the Farr 40 Pre-Worlds, the opening act of next week's 2012 Rolex
Farr 40 World Championship (Sept 17-20) held at Chicago YC. And while the
Pre-Worlds marks the beginning of the Worlds, it also is the last two days
of racing in the five-event North American Circuit leading up to this final
showdown. Eleven teams entered this series, which started at Quantum Key
West in January, went to Miami in March, Annapolis in May, Newport in July
and now will finish in Chicago. -- Read on:
* On September 20-29, the International Melges 32 Class Association will
hold its fourth and largest World Championship ever, hosted by the New York
Yacht Club in Newport, RI. Thirty-four Melges 32s representing eight
countries have registered to compete for the class' most coveted title. As
expected, the final field of competitors is one of the strongest and most
talented laden including twenty-one teams from the United States, six from
Japan, four from Italy and one each from Bermuda, British Virgin Islands,
Turkey, Switzerland and Sweden. -- Full report:
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include remembrance, hiking, foiling, crazy foiling, heeling, winning,
glaring, and hauling. Here are this week's photos:
* The much anticipated release of the J/70 from J Boats was used as the
boat of choice for twelve top amateur yacht club teams last week to compete
for the Resolute Cup on Narragansett Bay in Newport, RI. Images:
* Photographer Carlo Borlenghi shares some of the best things in life:
Porto Cervo, Swan boats, and Rolex. Here are his images from the Rolex Swan
* They may not be practical, but they are cool... here is a list of the top
ten cool looking boats: http://tinyurl.com/Boats-Com-091312
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
The official film of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, which started in
Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during
early July 2012. This documentary tracks the six teams during their amazing
around the world journey where they compete on nine distance legs and ten
In-Port races. Catch all the drama and action as the teams sail a 39,000
nautical miles through the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu
Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajai-, Miami, Lisbon, and
Lorient. Click here for this week's video:
* To fly or not to fly? This week's Americas Cup Discovered focuses on the
latest technology as the hydro-foiling 72 foot wing-sailed catamarans
become a reality. The secrecy around all the teams and their boat design
has been rife, but we were there the moment Oracle Team USA's AC72 '17'
went on the water - including the instant it all went wrong - join us this
week for unseen footage of what has forced the team back to the drawing
board. Tune in on Saturday September 15 at approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
* The 48th annual Rolex Big Boat Series hosted eight classes on San
Francisco Bay, a race track famous for its strong wind and currents. Daily
highlight shows produced by T2P.tv tell the story of the 2012 edition:
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 Mark Jardine, Editor, Yachts and Yachting:
Reading Jerome Pels interview on Scuttlebutt 3675, I must say that ISAF did
many things very well (or as well as they could due to IOC restrictions)
during the London 2012 Olympics; the London 2012 microsite was excellent,
the results section was very quick and Daniel Smith, the ISAF Media
Co-ordinator, was great to work with.
However, one comment of Jerome's really stuck out at me: "As for the
negative consequences of sailing close to the shore, they didn't occur." If
Jerome really believes this, then the building of a glass dome over
Southampton's Town Quay office is very near completion.
* From Mike Fahle, Toledo, OH:
The complaint about SIs being too much bother to read or too complex, and
therefore a drag on participation, would be at least be a little bit
persuasive if accompanied by any supporting evidence. I think that reading
the two sets of SIs provided in Scuttlebutt 3674 only supports the need for
them as conditions varied between the types of boat, the sailing venues,
the equipment, and the goals or desires and issues of the sailors and
Especially for championship regattas, the items covered by the SIs in each
case were important and hardly taxing for involved racers. They were issues
that would have made it more difficult for the organizers if they had to
conform to arbitrary standards rather than determine FOR THAT PARTICULAR
EVENT how to handle each situation. The suggestion that simpler or
standardized SIs would have increased the attendance at either event seems
unlikely at best and possibly making complications for event organizers and
decreasing attendance (because important issues were not addressed) at
worst. -- Forum, read on:
EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional letters have been posted in the Forum thread
above, where additional comments can be posted.
* From Mike Brown, Chicago, IL:
In response to John McNeill's question (Scuttlebutt 3675), "What is good
seamanship?", my contention is its having multiple skills and knowledge of
the vessel, it's multiple systems, and your behavior while operating that
As a racer we see the word "seamanlike" in our rules, which refers to the
placement of your boat on the course and being fair and Corinthian which
then transfers to the sailor themselves, being fair and in control. If
you're unseamanlike, you get tossed,...as simple as that.
I would make the analogy with the word "waterman". What makes a good
waterman, and most surfers would agree with me on this, is the ability to
handle varying conditions while sliding down waves on different surf crafts
or just being in the water free diving, whichever it is, it's the ability,
skill, and knowledge to handle it all. I look at every experience on the
water and in the water as a learning experience and would never think that
I know it all, because an education like that is NEVER complete. It is a
work in progress.
If you do not like the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Southern Spars - US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider - North Sails
New England Boatworks - J Boats - Doyle Sails - IYRS - Pure Yachting
Gowrie Group - Ullman Sails - JK3 Nautical Enterprises - The Pirates Lair
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