SCUTTLEBUTT 3702 - Monday, October 22, 2012
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WILL ANYONE CATCH THE KIWIS?
It is clear that if the America's Cup was to be sailed now or even early
next year, Emirates Team New Zealand would be hot favourites. Team NZ has
the competition worried, even though Oracle Team USA cleaned up in the
recent AC World Series sailed in San Francisco and are perceived as having
far more multi-hull experience than anyone else racing the giant AC72,
72-foot catamarans round.
The AC45s are a completely different game to the giant AC72s, as evidenced
by the crack Oracle outfit capsizing their US$10m AC72. The key to Team
NZ's design advantage is hydrofoiling, or foiling for short - where the big
cats lift their hulls out of the water with only their underwater foils
connecting the craft to the sea. It eliminates drag so effectively that it
translates into pure speed downwind as the catamaran bullets down to the
bottom mark, able to gybe while travelling at 40 knots-plus, a fearsome
However, stability is no easy matter. It is all too easy to attempt to foil
but to bunny-hop on the waves, like a learner driver jerks and stops a car.
Crashing is more than possible. Foiling imperfectly is uncomfortable and
puts enormous stresses on the multimillion-dollar boat - as Oracle and
Swedish syndicate Artemis have discovered.
Artemis originally thought they had stolen a march on the other syndicates,
getting round the Cup practice rules by testing the AC72 wingsail on a
trimaran platform. But they damaged the wingsail during a training session.
They have since fallen well behind and have not yet managed to get their
AC72 in the water. Oracle are also not foiling anywhere near as well as
Team NZ-they previously broke a centreboard while testing before this
week's crash - and they have not managed to match the Kiwis' consistent
ability to foil quickly and stably. Right now, neither even have a boat in
Having said all that, there is almost a year to go and this is the
America's Cup - anything can happen, large advances can be quickly made and
the intrigue and the in-fighting has barely begun.
The major reason for Team NZ's foiling skills is the dagger boards, the
blades or foils which protrude into the water from the hulls, enabling the
hydrofoil effect. The Team NZ design - whatever advantage the designers
have managed to conjure up - is clearly helping with the lift and the
stability of the boat while foiling.
Their advantage has come from lessons learned on Emirates' Team NZ's
33-foot catamarans, yachts created to see if they could point to areas
where ETNZ could improve performance, particularly areas like hulls,
wingsails and foils which can be permitted some variables. The tactic
worked and Team NZ boss Grant Dalton says they "stumbled on" foil design to
enhance performance. -- NZ Herald, full report:
BAD NEWS/BAD NEWS: While there may be enough time for challenger Artemis
Racing and defender Oracle Team USA to catch up to the Kiwis, their
situation is challenged as both teams are training this winter in San
Francisco. The winds during this time of year are far from ideal, often
delivering either no wind or storm-powered winds that could prove
dangerous. Daytime winter temperatures are in the mid-50s, with the
greatest rain period between January and March. Compare that to Emirates
Team New Zealand and Luna Rosa, where the teams are now training in
Auckland, New Zealand and will benefit from the Southern Hemisphere seasons
until they relocate to San Francisco next year.
POST MORTEM: THE AC 72 RECOVERY CHALLENGE
The capsizing by Oracle Team USA of their AC 72 last week demonstrated that
whatever precautions were in place, they proved to be insufficient. The
extensive damage and the lengthy recovery period (10 hours) were in part
due to the team's inability to handle the situation. Photojournalist Erik
Simonson replays the event.
Tuesdays events on the San Francisco Bay involving Oracle Racing's AC 72 "
US 17" may have been a whole lot worse if it weren't for some quick action
and little luck. It just so happened that AC Race Management PRO John Craig
was enjoying some time away from the demands of the job and watching the
"Big Sail" from the deck at the St Francis and witnessed the capsize of 17
as well as bundle of others enjoying the afternoon.
After a couple minutes John realize things were really going south and
boarded a RIB out to offer some supervision while the boat was still in the
Bay, then switched to a more stable Protector after US 17 passed out the
Gate. Outside the Gate as the big cat began to turtle and the mast finally
gave way, it became very clear that the RIBS on hand were not going to be
sufficient, even without the mast attached. Divers were on scene to cut way
the shrouds and stays and any parts which would weigh down the salvage
effort or provide too much resistance. Flotation, already part of the
crisis plan were in place to keep the hulls from sinking.
By 6:00 PM the call was made to bring in the primary signal boat,
"Regardless" to assist. The mother ship of all things AC World Series, the
Regardless was in Point Richmond getting ready for service at KKMI and had
not yet been pulled. After a mad rush, with 2 crewmembers and a skipper,
she arrived on the scene at 20:30, 4 miles off shore. According to John,
the sea state was still "lumpy" and winds in the 15 knot range and it was
dark. Using Regardless's torque they began the slow process of dragging the
stricken cat back towards the Gate. The slow ride back to Pier 80 took 5
hours before the boat was tied off at 01:30 AM.
In the aftermath, the obvious question was how better to protect from these
things getting out of hand. "It was pretty obvious the smaller support RIBs
just did not have the torque needed to pull the 72' against the current or
upright her," John indicated "We are working with the teams to facilitate
that." Whether that means the teams pooling together funds and spending
additional monies to purchase or lease a vessel big enough or strong enough
to be at the ready during practices to render assistance is in the thought
train. When in town, the options might be for the Regardless to be at the
ready. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/PD-102112
40th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL ROLEX REGATTA - MARCH 21-24, 2013
What makes this event so special? Simple, we are not a traveling road show
as everything happens at St. Thomas Yacht Club in Cowpet Bay St. Thomas. We
are the "friendly Caribbean regatta! Housing can be found at condos near
club, drop a hook in Cowpet Bay, free launch service 0700 -2400, pick up
crew lunches each morning with free continental crew breakfast daily. Email
Bill Canfield with any questions you may have at email@example.com Visit
http://www.rolexcupregatta.com for registration and other information about
the event. See you in March!
FAILED TO DELIVER
It was the goal of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) for the
sailing events at the 2012 Olympic Games to be spectator-friendly. And
while the close proximity to land of the Medal race course did achieve this
(at, arguably, the expense of quality sailing conditions), it appears the
investment to attract spectators to the region proved to be a loser for
The Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said there may have been 75,000
fewer visitors compared with the same period last year. The 15,000-strong
spectator area in the seaside town sold out, but predictions of 60,000-plus
visitors a day never materialised. Some local businesses at the resort
hoping for a boom during the Games were disappointed at the lack of people.
Numbers were so low at the start of the events that the Bayside Festival on
the pier featuring music, events and stalls closed after a week with rarely
more than 1,000 people visiting at one time.
Chris Reay benefited from the Games, with a full guesthouse in Weymouth."We
pitched our prices at a similar level to any other summer," he said. "I
think the days of special events where prices could be raised are gone.
People are much more savvy, they're much more likely to shop around."
Businesses hope they will see more international tourists next season after
the beach resort's television coverage.
San Diego, CA (October 21, 2012) - Chris Perkins led his Masquerade team to
victory at the J/105 North American Championship. Hosted by the San Diego
Yacht Club, the San Francisco-based boat led from race 1 through race 9
with a remarkably consistent line of 1,2,2,1,3,2,4,4,4 for 23 total points.
The Masquerade team consisted of Perkins, Steve Marsh, Tom Purdy, Mark
Chandler, Larry Swift and Rose Eberhard. This triumph marks the boat
Masquerade's third North American Championship, after winning in 2006 and
2007 with Tom Coates. Perkins, Marsh and Chandler were part of those crews.
Perkins praised Masquerade, veteran hull #17, and the team's familiarity
with it. "We know this boat intimately. It's well prepared in its set-up
with a nice new set of sails," he stated. He also applauded his crew for
their flawless efforts, saying "There were no crew mistakes, despite the
fact that we're all very busy and we had little practice. That's where luck
comes in sometimes."
It was easy to notice that Masquerade quickly launched to the front of the
25-boat fleet at the starts. "We had consistent starts where we got the
nose out and didn't have to play ping pong," Perkins explained. "Some
regattas go your way, and this one did for us. We were in the right place
for the shifts."
Gary Mozer's Current Obsession 2 finished as runner-up with 37 points, and
new J/105 owner Dennis Connor placed third on DC's Pholly with 45 points.
FORMER BULLDOGS TAKE TEAM TITLE
Larchmont, NY (October 21, 2012) - The US Team Racing Championship invited
12 elite teams to Larchmont harbor where they competed in Vanguard 15s for
the Hinman Trophy. After two round robin stages, the top six teams advanced
to the Gold Round Robin Finals where points were doubled. In the end, it
was Team Extreme winning their second title.
Team Extreme includes skippers Zachary Brown (San Diego, CA), Thomas
Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI), Stuart McNay (Chestnut Hill, MA), and crew
Emmet Smith (New Haven, CT), Marla Menninger (New York, NY), and Michael
Hession (Chicago, IL).
Team Extreme, who won their first US Team Racing Championship in 2009,
finished the second Round Robin stage as the number one seed with 20
points. The 2010 US Team Racing Champions and five time winners of the
Hinman, Silver Panda was the number two seed with 18 points. The upstarts
from the home team, the Larchmont Yacht Club was third with 15 points. The
Rhode Island Pistols were fourth (11 pts.); The Woonsocket Rockets (11
pts.) were fifth; and the West Kirby Hawks (11 pts.) were sixth.
Team Extreme was a perfect 5-0 in the Final Gold Round Robin stage to seal
the title with 30 points. Larchmont Yacht Club had a strong round to edge
Silver Panda by a point for second place and 23 points. Larchmont was 4-1,
including a win over Silver Panda who was 2-3.
Team Extreme, who is comprised of former Yale varsity sailing team members,
was runner-up in 2011. This win qualifies the team to be the United States
representative at the 2013 ISAF Team Racing World Championship.
"I was really impressed with how the team adapted so quickly after not
competing together since last year's Hinman," said McNay. "I thought we
were able to come from behind in some situations and we sailed well with
the lead too. There were no easy races."
The second place team from Larchmont featured skippers Danny Pletsch
(Greenwich, CT), Clay Bischoff (New York, NY), and Michael Menninger (San
Francisco, CA), and crews Jennifer Watkins (New Orleans, LA), Kendra
Emhiser (New York, NY), and Meredith Powlison (Newport, RI).
The third place Silver Panda team featured skippers Colin Merrick
(Portsmouth, RI), Peter Levesque (Tiverton, RI), and Trevor Moore (Naples,
FL) and crews Andrew Schneider (Marblehead, MA), Carrie Amarante (Rye, NY),
and Caroline Levesque (Tiverton, RI).
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* St. Petersburg, FL (October 19, 2012) - The final day of the 5-day
Sunfish World Championship offered sufficient winds to complete three races
for the 74-boat fleet. Closing strong to take the title was last year's
runner-up Alexander Zimmerman from Peru. Second place went to Andrey
Quintero (COL) and third place to local sailor and regatta president David
Mendelblatt. Winners of the subgroups were: Female - Amanda Callahan (USA);
Junior - Jean Paul de Trazegnies (PER); Grand Masters - Ronald McHenry
(USA); and Masters - David Mendelblatt (USA). Full results here:
* As many as 118 boats will be on the start line together when the A-Class
Catamaran World Championship begins Monday in Islamorada, FL, making it the
largest event in class history. Current World Champion Steve Brewin is
expected to be pressed from all sides with Australia's Jack Benson, Andrew
Landenberger and Brad Collet all fresh from top five finishes in 2011 along
with current European Champion Chris Fields of Great Britain. -- Full
* (October 21, 2012) - The Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) has
named its 2012 All-Academic Sailing Team. The 2012 All-Academic Sailing
Team recognizes collegiate sailors who have achieved excellence in national
and inter-conference competition as well as excelling at the highest
academic level for the 2011 - 2012 academic year. A nominated sailor must
have a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale), junior or senior
academic standing and they must be a key starter or reserve on a school's
sailing team. Each school is allowed three nominations. -- Full report:
* Nice, France (October 21, 2012) - Spurred on by the cheers of support
from an estimated 27,000 strong local crowd over the three days of racing,
Pierre Pennec led the French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild to an
impressive four race wins on the final day to win Act 7 of the Extreme
Sailing Series. Pennec has secured third place on the overall Series
leaderboard, with the two Oman teams led by Leigh McMillan (GBR) and Morgan
Larson (USA) holding down the top two positions. The Extreme 40 fleet now
heads to the 2012 season finale in Rio de Janeiro on December 6-9. -- Full
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CALENDAR
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community.
Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted
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* From Linda Frederick:
I know, I know -- we all chuckle and grouse every time this happens. But
really! I must comment on this report in Scuttlebutt 3701:
" ... Excessive conditions cancelled the first day's racing at the
penultimate Act of the Extreme Sailing Series. ... "
So was there at least a Cat-1 hurricane, or a modest tsunami warning for
the Riviera yesterday? Well, not quite. Folks, you might think about
renaming your event, or get used to lots of ridicule.
EDITOR'S NOTE: American Anna Tunnicliffe, who is competing at the event
onboard GAC Pindar, provided some background: " Unfortunately, the weather
did not cooperate and after several failed attempts to set a course and get
marks to hold in the deep water, big waves and an increasing breeze that
produced gusts of 30+kts, teams were sent ashore under postponement before
racing was cancelled for the day shortly after 4:30pm."
* From Jim Champ:
The following was provided by Gregory Scott in Scuttlebutt 3701:
"A look at Great Britain's Royal Yachting Association website
(www.rya.org.uk) shows that "Yachting" includes both power and sail. And
power includes power boat racing. Funding is based on numbers, and as
sailing numbers drop, we need to find solutions."
There definitely seem to be advantages to the RYA being a single National
body covering power and sail. In the political sphere I understand it gives
the organisation much greater power in lobbying the government and so on. I
must also leads to the organisation having to resolve internally things
like power boater/sailboater conflict and the like, which must cause as
many headaches as it solves.
But one thing it doesn't do is affect the Olympic budget. Money spent on
Olympics is strictly ring fenced: the power boat club fees do not subsidise
the Olympic sailors in any shape or form. That's all from the "tax on the
poor and foolish", aka the National Lottery, and money from that is related
to success, not the number of members of your organisation. An upcoming
challenge is that other UK sports seem to have upped their game, so the
sailing team did not deliver so high a percentage of the GBR medal count at
Weymouth as it did in previous games.
So GBR Olympic sailing team funding is not based on numbers. Whether it
will continue to be as well funded: well, lots of other sports now have
results and can claim the cash. As the economic crisis continues and as
revenue from North Sea oil reduces I bet there will also be a temptation
for politicians to dip into the Lottery money for other purposes.
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