SCUTTLEBUTT 3686 - Friday, September 28, 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: Henri Lloyd and Hall Spars & Rigging.
THE RULES - SIMPLICITY PROVIDES CERTAINTY
Emirates Team New Zealand's rules advisor Russell Green blogs on the
America's Cup rules of sailing and a recent rugby result...
I've just got off a Skype call with the "enemy" - Richard Slater, rules
advisor for Oracle Team USA who, like their skipper, is Australian.
The reason for the call wasn't his country's abysmal performance in the
recent Bledisloe (Rugby) Cup, but it was mentioned of course. The topic was
the on-the-water racing rules, known officially as the "ISAF Racing Rules
of Sailing America's Cup Edition".
Past America's Cup regattas have been governed by the ISAF Racing Rules
with limited changes needed for America's Cup yachts. Fast catamarans with
completely different handling characteristics racing on short courses
needed a new approach. A simplified set of rules to suit the cats evolved;
they have been trialled at the AC 45 events with progressive improvements
and amendments after each event.
A majority of the competitors must approve an amendment, achieved by
discussions and negotiations amongst teams' rules advisors. The process is
cooperative rather than adversarial, with everyone aiming to achieve the
same goal - a practical set of rules giving the sailors simplicity and
certainty in situations on the race course which often become complex very
Sailors have to know their rights and obligations instantly. The job of a
rules advisor is to ensure there are no gaps in that knowledge, the more
complicated and uncertain the rules are, the more difficult this is.
In some respects, such as at the windward mark, the AC rules are radically
different from the standard ISAF rules. The sailors have embraced them and
they are working well. Many of the changes could well be incorporated in to
future ISAF versions of the racing rules.
The big change at the windward mark is that the first boat to reach the
three-length zone "owns" the rights to that mark even if the yachts are on
opposite tacks. If a yacht is at that point either clear ahead or
overlapped on an outside yacht it is entitled to room to round the mark
including the room to tack. These rights are lost only if it leaves the
Basic rules such as a port yacht keeping clear of starboard, the clear
astern yacht keeping clear, and the windward yacht keeping clear of a
leeward yacht remain the same.
Rule 17, prohibiting a yacht which establishes an overlap from clear astern
from sailing above its proper course, has been deleted. In match racing
this rule has always created arguments about "what is" a proper course,
sailors were often in doubt about who was the obligated yacht, and it
required difficult subjective calls by umpires. Many contentious decisions
resulted. Different tactics apply but the change provides certainty and
Having certainty in the wording of the rules is only part of the story.
Like all sports there is a need for consistency of interpretation and
application of the rules by the umpires. The penalty system and umpiring in
this edition of the America's Cup is also radically different from previous
events, but that is a subject for another day. --
COMMENT: As Russell speaks above about the "need for consistency of
interpretation and application of the rules by the umpires", it is hard not
to consider the recent struggles in the National Football League. Will
questionable umpire calls affect the 34th America's Cup? Will skippers be
fined if they criticize the officials? Is controversy needed to elevate the
America's Cup to primetime? - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
LEGAL BATTLE: As if organizing the 34th America's Cup and being the CEO of
the team seeking to defend it isn't enough, the leader of Oracle Team USA
is also amid a battle of a non-sailing variety. Russell Coutts is in the
Kiwi courts to recover nearly $1.9 million after his insurance coverage
proved to be inadequate to compensate him for the loss of his home that was
destroyed three years ago in a fire. -- Full story:
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"You could hardly find a better track for a television spectacular and you
could hardly find a worse track if California lawyers ever have the chance
to sink their teeth into some injury compensation claims." -- Quote by an
insurance expert regarding the restricted shore side America's Cup race
track on San Francisco Bay. Full story: http://tinyurl.com/IND-092712
When people think of California, the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and
San Francisco first come to mind. And while San Francisco has the smallest
population of the three cities (805,000), it ranks first in the state and
third in the U.S. in what important category?
That's the good news, but even a City so adept at utilizing public transit
will be tested next week when a perfect storm of events are scheduled.
The Municipal Transportation Agency, which usually gets to relax a bit on
weekends, is struggling to figure out how to handle more than a million
visitors expected to pour into San Francisco to listen to bluegrass music
(Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival), see the Blue Angels (Fleet Week), the
49ers (NFL), America's Cup World Series and possibly the Giants (MLB
playoffs), and participate in a panoply of parades and festivals (Columbus
Day) during the first weekend in October.
The challenge is not just in planning how to get people to and from the
various events but how to do so without breaking the MTA's overtime limits,
which are being strictly enforced this budget year, and have already led to
an increase in the number of buses that don't make their scheduled runs.
"We'll have to provide more overtime than normal," said Paul Rose, an
agency spokesman, "but we're going to have to use it judiciously to provide
the extra service needed."
Figures on the number of extra buses, streetcars and light-rail vehicles
and hours of overtime to handle the weekend crowds were not yet available,
Muni plans to handle the throngs headed to the northern waterfront to see
Fleet Week activities, including the air show, and the America's Cup Worlds
Series races mainly by pumping up service on existing routes. Read more:
ACWS event details: http://tinyurl.com/ACWS-092712
STOP BY AND SEE HENRI LLOYD AT THE ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW
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TIGHT AT THE TOP - MELGES 32 WORLDS
Newport, RI (September 27, 2012) - PRO Hank Stuart fired off three more
races at the 2012 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the New York
Yacht Club (NYYC). With two more days left to race, the pressure to do well
is extremely intense as the top five teams are separated by only three
Unlike the two previous days, lighter winds prevailed today, with John
Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti team winning two of them, further raising their rank
after stumbling on the opening day. The drop race was initiated today,
which dropped Wednesday's leader, Alec Cutler's Hedgehog team, down to
fifth despite being the only team with all top 7 scores.
Defending Melges 32 World Champion William Douglass on Goombay Smash showed
up on the course today with the most unusual of sailing attire - complete
head-to-toe, day-glow orange, skin-tight body suits (with matching shoes
nonetheless). Two more races, with the option for a third, are scheduled
for Friday, September 28 with a start of 11.00. -- Full report:
Current results - top 10 of 33 (Skipper/Tactician)
1. Andre Pozzi/Gabriele Benussi, Bombarda (ITA); 1-6-9-3-2-, 21
2. John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti (USA); -8-1-12-1-1, 23
3. Benjamin Schwartz/Chris Rast, Pisces (USA); 4-1--2-4-13, 24
4. Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath (USA); 2--4-7-8-3, 24
5. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog (BER); 5--2-4-7-6, 24
6. William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash (USA); 3-3-12--9-9, 36
7. Pieter Taselaar/Nick Thompson, Bliksem (USA); 7--6-11-5-11, 40
8. Andy Lovell/Steve Benjamin, Rougarou (USA); 14-5--13-6-4, 42
9. Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone (ITA); 8-4-3-6--22, 43
10. R. Tomasini Grinover/V. Vascotto, Robertissima(ITA);6--5-20-3-14,48
Complete results: http://tinyurl.com/M32-Worlds-2012
BACK TO THE FUTURE
The Rolex Big Boat Series, now in its 48th year, remains one of the
cornerstone events in the sport. From the glory days of SORC, IOR and IMS
to today's Grand Prix and One Design classes, this San Francisco Bay
showcase has continued to be the West Coast's premier regatta where the
best of the best meet for four days of challenging racing.
But like most events, the Big Boat Series has seen a declining
participation. No shortage of tinkering has occurred, with event organizers
being on the front end of emerging rating rules in hopes of striking gold.
But John Clauser and Bobbi Tosse, 2012 participants, are wondering out loud
if 'new and improved' needs to be replaced with something more familiar.
Here is their report:
Recently, discontent with the IRC rating rule has spawned the HPR rating
rule. Dual scoring under both HPR and IRC of a very small subset of the
2012 Rolex Big Boat Series (Div C, with only four boat types) was offered
as a possible test of the new rule. The results were reported recently in
Scuttlebutt by Dobbs Davis. He noted a "dramatic compression (20 - 25%) of
the corrected time deltas in HPR compared to IRC". He also reports a "less
dramatic compression of the corrected time deltas" for "four HPR-style
boats in the IRC A class".
It should be noted that the NorCal PHRF system was used prior to 2000 for
handicapping the StFYC Big Boat Series. It was therein rebranded as the
StFYC Handicap System (to allow minor adjustments to it by StFYC).
Following a squabble between US Sailing and RORC over IRC, IRM and IMS
usage for international events and the Admiral's Cup, the StFYC Handicap
System was replaced by IRC for BBS handicapping, and has been used
Sadly, the popularity of IRC on the Bay has significantly and continuously
declined since then, as has the number of BBS handicap entries. Moreover,
the StFYC is the only club on San Francisco Bay to offer IRC handicapped
regattas. In 2012, it offered 3 IRC events -- the Rolex BBS drew 24 IRC
boats, the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta drew 8 IRC boats, and the
Aldo Allesio Regatta drew only 3 IRC entries whereupon its IRC class was
canceled for lack of interest.
On the other hand, PHRF events thrive on the Bay. For example, the
2011-2012 Corinthian YC's 4-race mid-winter series drew at least 35
BBS-qualified entries. The authors' limited survey of the owners of a few
boats who eschewed entering the 2012 BBS revealed that they felt that IRC
gave them grossly unfair handicaps, whereupon they believed that entering
With the declining popularity of IRC in mind (with respect to NorCal PHRF),
it is perhaps worthwhile to consider what the results of the 2012 Rolex BBS
would have been, had it been instead scored using NorCal PHRF (i.e. the old
StFYC Handicap System), and to compare the corrected time deltas for IRC,
PHRF and HPR. -- Read on:
* Marseille, France (September 27, 2012) - After his progression through
Qualifying at Match Race France went down to the wire, Ian Williams (GBR)
GAC Pindar put in a dominating performance in the Quarter Finals to beat
the reigning 2011 event Champion, Damien Iehl (FRA) Wind 2 Win in three
straight matches. Also advancing to the Semi Finals was William Tiller
(NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing, Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match and Keith
Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing. The four teams will begin the Semi Finals
on Friday at Match Race France, the sixth stage of the Alpari World Match
Racing Tour. -- Full story: http://tinyurl.com/WMRT-092712
* (September 27, 2012) - In the second college rankings of the Fall 2012
season, Georgetown edges out Yale at the top of the coed rankings.
Meanwhile, Yale leads the women's rankings, followed by Navy and Boston
College. Full rankings here: http://tinyurl.com/SW-092712
* The International Kiteboarding Association has created, with the help of
ISAFs Racing Rules Subcommittee, the 2013-2016 edition of the Kiteboard
Course Racing Rulebook. The rules in it are identical to the corresponding
rules in the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013-2016. However, each rule in
Appendix F has been moved into the appropriate rule in Parts 1-7 and each
definition that is changed in Appendix F is shown in red. Complete rules:
* (September 27, 2012) - Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI) returns to the top of
the rankings for U.S. Open match racers with third place finishes in two
Grade 2 events, the Knickerbocker Cup and the Chicago Match Cup Qualifier.
Don Wilson (Chicago, IL), founder of the Chicago Match Race Center, is at
number two, winning the Grade 3 Chicago Spring Invitational and finishing
6th in the Grade 2 Chicago Match Cup Qualifier. Moving into the top five
for the first time is Dustin Durant (Long Beach, CA), winning the Grade 3
Ficker Cup and finishing 5th in the Grade 2 Chicago Match Cup Qualifier. --
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include yellow men, October calendar, FDs, to be a kid again, sword fight,
hooligans, perpetual overload, and the reason why. Here are this week's
* Trivia question... what 3-time Olympic medalist crewed on the winning
boat at the 2012 PC National Championship? Answer and photos by Bob
Betancourt here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0927/
* A fortuitous occasion when a prominent event lands into the backyard of a
prominent photographer. Here are photos from the U.S. Match Racing
Championship by Leighton O'Connor:
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
Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz snatched the lead on day one of the 2012
Quantum Loop Solutions J/24 World Championship and never looked back. The
team stacked up a 42-point advantage heading into Friday's final race and
was able to stay ashore and let the others duke it out for the remaining
podium spots among the 96-boat fleet.
Hosted by Rochester Yacht Club in Rochester, NY on September 13-21, no one
expected such a runaway performance. In a fleet so large, at a venue so
varied, how did the Bruschetta team achieve this remarkably consistent
performance of seven top-ten tallies, a 13 and 19 in the ten-race series
(including one discard)?
This week's video details how it was done, courtesy of H2OOverdriveHydrate:
* This week on America's Cup Discovered features all things America's Cup
World Series in advance of racing in San Francisco October 2-7. We review
the teams, personalities, tactics, training...and of course the ever
exciting capsizes, and celebrity racers. We review AC72 sea trials and
testing....just how fast are the big cats? Tune in on Friday, September 28:
* Chalk Talk Presented by US Sailing, the first, best and only college
sailing video news show on the internet is back for its 7th season,
premiering Thursday, September 27, 2012. Hosts Jane Macky and Chris Love
along with Erik Storck discuss recent results and events:
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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 John Sangmeister:
I first met John Grant (Eight Bells, 'Butt 3685) at the Commissioning of
Stars & Stripes '85. He barked, "Arrive in shape" and then walked off with
a broad smile. A veteran of three tours of duty in Vietnam, Rambo survived
being shot down twice in a helicopter and then decided he'd rather fly
jets. John graduated from flight school an A4 fighter pilot.
Headstrong and forthright, John led by example and from his heart. I will
remember his tremendous work ethic, his true Gung Ho attitude and a certain
mischievous sense of humor. He was generous in spirit and in action. You
were in a good place knowing Rambo had your back. Stewart Silvestri wrote,
"We are all better, harder working people for having known John Grant, for
that I will always be grateful." Henry Childers added, "It wouldn't have
been the same without Rambo.
What a character. He was a significant part of the collective achievement.
Many, many good memories. He will be missed! Indeed John Grant will be
missed. Semper Fi!
* From Chris Oliver ('14):
The University of Michigan Sailing Team is looking to connect with alumni
and former team members! Please let us know you're out there by filling out
the Alumni Contact Form on our website and stopping by our Facebook page.
Feel free to tell us a story or give us your thoughts! Be sure to check out
our upcoming alumni events and check the schedule to see when the team will
be in your local area. Contact:
Facebook: Michigan Sailing Team
Men socialize by insulting each other, but they don't really mean it. Women
socialize by complimenting each other, and they don't really mean it
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
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