SCUTTLEBUTT 3718 - Tuesday, November 13, 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, North U, and Ultimate Sailing.
FALL MIGRATION TO THE CARIBBEAN
D. M. Street Jr is a very opinionated 82 year old WOPF (well preserved old
fart) that is still writing, racing a 74-year old Dragon and drinking
Heineken. He is also passionate about seamanship, particularly navigating
between the U.S. and the Caribbean, and he hopes his advice saves lives.
Reflecting on the loss of the Bounty, and given the fact that the fall
migration to the Caribbean is about to start, a migration that I have
followed in print and in bar room conversations for sixty years, I feel
compelled to bring to everyone's attention the first article I ever wrote,
Going South, Yachting September 1964.
If sailors had followed the advice written in that article there would be a
lot more sailors alive today and following the advice would have saved the
underwriters many millions of dollars. That original article has been
updated, re-written and republished about six times in Cruising World and
Sail. In some cases the editors editing of my re-write did not properly
express my views.
The re-writes are a result of my personal experience of almost 40 trips
between the states and the Caribbean or the reverse in the period 1960 to
1980, plus reading everything published about going south and many hours in
various bars hearing of trips south, trips that varied from being
excellent, good, bad to disastrous. Added to all this was the information
gathered in 49 years in the marine insurance business.
Some years no boats are lost, other years one, sometimes two, and once in a
while three boats are lost in a single year. On a long term average I would
estimate, over the last 60 years, one boat a year has been lost. Many lives
have been lost. About 1980 I stopped counting when my 30th friend or
acquaintance was lost on this route. Because of the improvements in life
raft design, ELT/EPIRBS, the magnificent work of the USCG search and rescue
helicopters, and the spectacular work of the swimmers that drop from the
helicopters to help sailors into the basket, in the last 20 years
relatively few sailors are lost, but sailors are still lost, one last
The following is a condensation of my seven articles on going south and
what I have learned about going south in the last 60 years. -- Read on:
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CLUBS
It first began with regattas mandating environmental awareness such as
requiring the use of reusable water bottles and recycling of trash. But
does your sailing club promote this approach as an operational standard?
Here are ten easy things, distributed to the membership of Miami Yacht Club
(Florida), which can be done to reduce the 'plastic footprint' and help
keep plastics out of the marine environment:
1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth
bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great
2. Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other
'disposable' plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or
car to use at BBQ's, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
3. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by
replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
4. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or
restaurants that let you use them. A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups
and/or plastic-lined cups.
5. Go digital! No need for plastic CDS, DVDS and jewel cases when you can
buy your music and videos online.
6. Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
7. Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE),
which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and
polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup. Surfrider Foundation Chapters often hold
cleanups monthly or more frequently.
9. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling
10. Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is
important to Rise Above Plastics!
NORTH-POWERED BOATS WIN IN J/70 & J/80 - SAVE NOW ON NEW SAILS
Congratulations to Tate Russack, winner of the J/70 Fall Brawl Regatta and
to Brian Keane for winning the J/80 North Americans. North's fast
one-design sails can help you move toward your championship goals and now
through November 26th you can save 10% or more on new One Design sails and
get a FREE 6-month subscription to "Speed & Smarts"! Promotion valid for
sails delivered in North America only. Restrictions apply. Go to
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(November 12, 2012; Day 3) - "I am cursed. The Vendee Globe is not for me."
That was the conclusion of the bitterly disappointed Kito de Pavant this
Monday afternoon, despairing at the harsh reality that his challenge to
complete the Vendee Globe is, again, very prematurely over. For the second
successive edition of the race, De Pavant is forced to withdraw.
His Groupe Bel suffered serious damage when he was hit by a fishing trawler
whilst racing in 11th place, around 45 miles off the Portuguese coast about
75 miles NW of Cascais at around 1000hrs CET this morning.
De Pavant described it as a 'stupid accident' grabbing some minutes of
sleep when he was awoken by a bang. With damage to Groupe Bel's outrigger -
the deck spreader which supports the rig - losing his bowsprit and
sustaining a hole in the hull and deck he announced his retirement this
afternoon. De Pavant's withdrawal follows the retirement of Marc Guillemot
(FRA), whose keel broke off only 50 miles into the race.
The Groupe Bel skipper's second attempt at the Vendee Globe effectively
ended a little more than 68 hours after the start, a cruel reprise after he
lost his mast within 24 hours of the start of the 2008-9 race. He is unhurt
and arrived today in Cascais by early evening.
"All of that energy spent over months and years to prepare, all this is
terrible. There is no bowsprit, there is a hole in the front of the hull
but the boat itself is safe. To leave the Vendee Globe again, after just
two days of racing, is not even possible, not even possible," responded De
For the top ten, already spread out by a hundred miles, the early gains
appear to be inshore along the Portuguese coast. But light winds are ahead,
and the next test will be whether leader François Gabart (FRA), who is
nearing the Strait of Gibraltar latitude, can defend against the offshore
position Vincent Riou (FRA) took today.
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Monday 12 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. François Gabart (FRA), Macif: 23260.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 14.5 nm Distance to Lead
3. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 24.2 nm DTL
4. Vincent Riou (FRA), PRB: 26.1 nm DTL
5. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 36.9 nm DTL
Full rankings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers began the 7th edition of the Vendee Globe, a
solo, non-stop around the world race in the IMOCA Open 60 class. Starting
in Les Sables d'Olonne, France on November 10, the west to east course
passes the three major capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn before
returning to Les Sables d'Olonne. In the 2008-9 edition, Michel Desjoyeaux
(FRA) smashed the race record by completing the race in 84 days. --
SO MUCH FOR THE GONDOLA RIDE
It was the late great humorist Mark Twain that once asserted, "If you don't
like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes." It would seem
the same can be said for the America's Cup.
The 2013 schedule for the America's Cup World Series had planned to have
two events in Italy: Venice (April 16-21) and Naples (May 14-19). However,
an announcement today indicates that the road show will only be in Naples,
Italy on April 16-21.
"We are very happy to be returning to Naples for our only event in Europe
in 2013," said Stephen Barclay, the CEO of the 34th America's Cup. So much
for the gondola ride.
The tease in the announcement is that the 2012-13 America's Cup World
Series will culminate with two events in the USA (May 28-30 and May 31-June
2). The location is not yet confirmed, though a report last month indicated
the AC World Series was hoping to get to the city that doesn't sleep.
Sing it Frank: "I'll make a brand new start of it - in old New York. If I
can make it there, I'll make it anywhere. It's up to you - New York, New
Full report: http://media.americascup.com/pressreleases/?id=1015
TEN FANTASTIC FOILING BOATS
Images and video footage of foiling boats in action always carries a
special wow factor. See the boats in person, or even better try sailing
one, and the experience is quite simply amazing.
At its most basic you might describe a hydrofoil as a wing that enables a
boat to 'fly' above the water - the foils below the hull work much like an
aeroplane wing does in the air to lift the boat's hull up above the water
when traveling fast, so reducing drag and increasing speed. We tend to
think of them as cutting edge - and the resulting flying boat is pretty
spectacular, but they have been around since the late 1880s!
3. International Moth
4. Mirabaud LX
5. SYZ & Co
6. Foiling Optimist
8. AC72 foiling giants
9. Foiling Radio Controlled yacht
10. New Zealand 'R' Class skiff
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RULES: EIGHT WAYS THE GAME HAS CHANGED
By Dick Rose, Sailing World
From establishing the zone at the mark to enforcing common rules worldwide,
eight rule changes have reshaped the sport of sailing over the past 50
years, for better or worse.
Back in 1962, when the first issue of One Design Yachtsman hit newsstands,
the U.S. rulebook was a 34-page pamphlet issued by the North American Yacht
Racing Union. The size of the pages has not changed, but now there are 154
pages. However, 104 of today's pages are devoted to special-purpose
appendices and the introduction, index, and protest form, whereas in 1962,
just one page was devoted to a single appendix.
So, over the last 50 years, the number of pages devoted to the rules for a
fleet race has grown from 33 to 40. That's not so bad - especially if you
compare it to the increased complexity of the laws and regulations we
confront in everyday life. Not surprisingly, half of those seven added
pages contain rules recommended by lawyers (see Rules 3, 68, and 69).
Throughout those 50 years, the basic right-of-way rules, as developed by
Harold S. Vanderbilt between 1936 and 1947, have not changed. However,
eight important game changes have been made since 1962. I'll discuss each
in turn. In my opinion, six were steps forward, and two were not.
1. Common Rules Worldwide
2. On-the-Water Penalties
3. The Zone at a Mark
4. The Propulsion Rule
6. Avoiding Contact
7. Elimination of Recall Signals that Identify OCS Boats
8. The Black Flag Rule
Read on for a full description of these eight important game changers:
MOVING KEY WEST FORWARD
Excitement is building for Quantum Key West 2013 as the scratch sheet
continues to grow. With still a month and a half before the first entry
deadline, top competitors from more than 12 countries and 20 states have
submitted their official entries.
Farley Fontenot, Executive Vice President of Title Sponsor Quantum Sail
Design Group says, "It is exciting to watch the entries come in, with
everything from the new J/70 class, to the return of highly competitive
fleets like the NYYC Swan 42 Class. Quantum is committed to helping bring
great racing and a wonderful sailing experience to everyone who
participates in Quantum Key West Race Week. We're looking forward to
another great event in 2013."
Swan 42s will again grace the starting line, with seven boats registered to
date. Most of these elegant racers hail from the northeast. Close
competition and friendly rivalries will be renewed in the warm waters of
the Florida Keys.
The IRC 52s US Super Series begins with a Key West prelude to their March
World Championship in Miami. Doug DeVos's Quantum Racing (Ada, MI) will
defend his 2012 Key West title against custom thoroughbreds from as far
away as Argentina, the UK and the West Coast.
Featured one design competition will again center on Melges mania with the
Melges 24 and 32 classes producing some of the world's very top sailors.
World and European ranking Champion Riccardo Simoneschi (Milano, Italy)
challenges a Melges 24 fleet that has many other ranked sailors including
last year's Key West Champion Bora Gulari (Detroit, MI) and Bruce Ayres
(Costa Mesa, CA). -- Full report:
* Twenty-nine teams competed in the 2012 U.S. Formula 16 National
Championship (Nov. 9-11), hosted by St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club in Panama
City, FL. Mixed teams dominated the event, with Sarah Newberry and John
Casey (USA) narrowly edging Puerto Ricans Enrique Figueroa and Carla
Malatrasi for the title. Full results:
* Walvis Bay, Namibia (November 12, 2012) - The VESTAS Sailrocket 2
project, seeking to increase the outright world speed sailing record of
55.65 knots held by American Kite Surfer Rob Douglas, set a personal best
today by reaching a peak speed of approximately 61 knots. Their record
pace, which averages speed over a 500 meter course, was anticipated to be
approximately 54 knots. Complete data was not available at press time. The
team, led by pilot Paul Larson (AUS), has been improving their craft since
initiating the project in 2002. They will continue to seek the record
through November. -- http://www.sailrocket.com/blogs
* All fifteen boats that competed in the 79th Anniversary Nassau Cup Ocean
Race successfully completed the 179 nm course from Miami to Nassau. Ron
O'Hanley's Privateer (Cookson 50) was first to finish, winning the IRC
division and breaking the previous elapsed time record of Boomerang with a
time of 13 hours, 31 minutes and 30 seconds. Frank Atkinson's Different
Drummer (Cape Bay Fast 40) was first to finish in the PHRF class, winning
Class 1 and overall. David Caso's Silhouette (Cherubini 44) won PHRF Class
2. Full details:
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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 Steve Pyatt:
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the RS:X Olympic windsurfing
decision, I wonder why ISAF would announce one day that:
"With 38 possible votes, the 75% requirement was not achieved on either
proposal so the events and equipment as approved in May 2012 remain for Rio
And then the very next day have to rescind that announcement. Why didn't
they wait until the final decision before making such a misleading or
I won't go into the amount of money that their indecision has cost sailors,
but consider all those who sold RS:X gear at rock bottom prices and now
need it back, or those who bought kites as well as the MNA's that bought
Elliots that are no longer required!
COMMENT: I wonder how familiar ISAF is with their own procedures. When I
inquired in May with a senior ISAF administrator (who I won't name to save
embarrassment) regarding the process for the Board event to be changed,
here was the reply:
"The decision made by the ISAF Council at the Mid-Year Meetings in Stresa,
Italy to select kiteboarding for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition
was completed in accordance with the ISAF Regulations and the defined
decision making process. Decisions of the ISAF Council on sailing matters
are final and therefore ISAF cannot comment on any suggestion that the
decision could be changed and is now working towards the implementation of
the decision and the introduction of kiteboarding to ISAF Events. There are
regulations in place to ensure that decisions on Olympic Equipment cannot
be overturned just like that, the next time a meeting is held, so there are
rules that this cannot happen with a simple majority, but it needs a
special majority, which I think is 2/3rds."
As we now know (in Scuttlebutt 3717), it is a three-fourths majority for
the Council to re-open discussion, but the General Assembly only needed a
simple majority to revert the Board Event from kiteboarding to windsurfing.
- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
SCUTTLEBUTT ADVERTISING IN 2013
Scuttlebutt provides a limited amount of text ad slots in each newsletter,
and we are now taking ad reservations for 2013. Most of these ad slots will
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When I was younger, all I wanted was a nice BMW. Now, I don't care about
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Southern Spars - Melges Performance Sailboats - North Sails - North U
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US Sailing - Ullman Sails - APS - Henri Lloyd - Hall Spars & Rigging
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