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SCUTTLEBUTT 3719 - Wednesday, November 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: Point Loma Outfitting, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, and US
WAY BEYOND THE CONCEPT NOW
It is not difficult to become Curmudgeonly in this job. Scuttlebutt
receives a lot of fluff purporting to be news; so many press release
proclamations that don't ever mature. Too often the cart isn't just before
the horse; there is no horse.
Recently, the communications team for the SpeedDream project has been in
high gear, which once again has us seeking to separate the wheat from the
chaff. Their self-stated mission is to not only design and build the
fastest monohull on the planet, but the fastest boat of all types.
They are confident their innovative design concept will result in a
super-fast monohull capable of beating catamarans and trimarans in their
own game and establish a string of speed records, from sailing faster than
50 knots in the open ocean to circling the globe in less time than any
Their recent launch of a 27-foot prototype, which seeks to verify their
radical design concepts, has advanced the project from dialogue to
demonstration. Scuttlebutt checked in with a couple of the team members to
SpeedDream skipper Cam Lewis (USA) gives the project credibility. His
career began with winning the Finn and 505 World Championships, and then
was furthered by the successful 1988 America's Cup catamaran defense, and
the crewing on Commodore Explorer, the catamaran that in 1993 broke the
mythical 80-day around the world record to become the first holder of the
coveted Trophee Jules Verne.
"SpeedDream is not unlike other innovative projects," explained Cam. "It
has taken some cash and resources to build, and it will take more cash to
perfect it, test further and continue to improve the performance of the
boat. I have experienced a dedicated group of boatbuilders and designers,
industry partners and sponsors during the process, all great, talented and
"SpeedDream is the bleeding edge of technology, similar to the AC72s in
pushing some big limits in use of materials and brain power. Every year we
take a lap around the sun, and the world always change with each one of
these laps. Before this project is completed, it will contribute to
changing a small part of the world."
SpeedDream design coordinator is Vlad Murnikovwas, who was the creative
force behind FAZISI, the first ever Russian entry that competed in the
1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race (nee, Volvo Ocean Race). One
of his most notable designs was the early-1990s revolutionary MX-Ray
single-handed high performance skiff.
"I'm not a fan of meaningless hype, but a healthy dose of hype is necessary
if you want to accomplish something," explained Vlad. "After all, only the
lofty goals attract attention, enthusiasm and support. I agree that in most
cases there's not much behind the hype, but we do have a horse in front of
cart indeed, a beautiful stallion!
"I'm not new to doubts and disbelief. When I started FAZISI project back in
Soviet Union twenty years ago, everybody told me it's crazy, plain
impossible. Yet FAZISI proved one of the most interesting boats of her
time. When in early 1990s I came up with the idea of MX-Ray, a
single-handed skiff with asymmetric spinnaker and brought it to
Laser/Vanguard, they too told me I'm crazy, that it cannot be done. Look at
them now, after I proved it - they are building similar boats along with
most other dinghy manufactures!
"With SpeedDream we are way beyond the concept now. As Cam says, 'We still
have a lot to prove, but this is a frigging cool boat!'"
Project website: http://www.speeddream.org
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A DAY WITHOUT ATTRITION
(November 13, 2012; Day 4) - With two of the twenty Vendee Globe entrants
already on the sidelines, there was relief today among the field that the
conversation has finally turned toward weather tactics and away from fleet
At the front of the 18 boat fleet, the advance of leader François Gabart
(FRA) continued against the expectations of his rivals, with Gabart still
eking out speeds of 10-11kts in the relatively light breezes. His position
as the most southern of the top group was expected to see him slow into the
unpredictable soft breezes of the high pressure ridge but so far Gabart
seems immune from the slowdown.
Otherwise the pace of the fleet is right down to very low single figures.
The biggest fall was from 2008-9 race winner Vincent Riou (FRA), who has
descended from second rank now down to tenth. Riou's strategy of a westerly
course has cost miles down the track, but is seen by routing experts as a
shortcut through the high pressure ridge.
However, when Riou breaks out into the strengthening breezes of the low
pressure system, he will be confronted with strong upwind conditions, with
building seas, rain and gusts of up to 40kts of wind which will prudence
through this transition phase before he should be first to get to the fast
reaching conditions on the other side.
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Tuesday 13 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. François Gabart (FRA), Macif: 23059.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 51.7 nm Distance to Lead
3. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 79.1 nm DTL
4. Mike Golding (GBR), Gamesa: 81.1 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: 82.9 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. --
PENTHOUSE TO THE OUTHOUSE
When the keel on Marc Guillemot's Safran snapped after only 50 nm of the
Vendee Globe, his descent from the penthouse to the outhouse may be
Initially, he said he'd had a collision with a submerged object. Then later
at a press conference he said he wasn't so sure. "I still don't know at
this time if I hit something or not. If it was not a collision it might be
a case of metal fatigue," Guillemot commented.
In terms of the race it makes no odds. But for him and his team there could
be a big difference. One is a probably a straightforward insurance pay-out
under the terms of 'force majeure'; the other is wear and tear, and may be
a harder thing for which to claim.
I really do feel sorry for Guillemot. He's gone from the very possible
prospect of a race win or podium position to the probability of an
insurance wrangle and possible money worries (teams are often on a sliding
scale of payment with more for finishing, more again for winning, plus
And then there's the arrest warrant out for him in the UK for not turning
up to a prosecution by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, all those
expensive laywers' fees and the likelihood that when he does face trial
he'll cop a whopping big fine plus costs.
Guillemot faced prosecution for ignoring ship traffic separation schemes
through the Dover Strait during an attempt to break the Round Britain
record in June. The warrant was issued in October after he failed to turn
up in court to face charges in the UK.
Elaine Bunting, Yachting World, full report:
TOWER TRAPEZING OUTLAWED
At the 2012 49er European Championships, the Danish Bronze medallist team
Alan Norregard and Anders Thompsen found themselves somewhat under their
optimal weight. Faced with that disadvantage, they reached back to a
technique Alan had practiced in the past but had never used in
On the doublehanded, double trapezed 49er, the Dane skipper would hand the
helm to the crew, and then climb onto his shoulders. The technique, called
Tower Trapezing, turned the team into one very long person on the wire,
adding more than 20% righting moment. And now the technique has been
At the ISAF Annual Conference last week in Ireland, the technique has been
deemed illegal for several reasons... read on:
J/70 DEMO DAY
JK3 welcomes an exciting new member of the J Boat family, the J/70! Whether
you're a veteran racer or daysailor the J/70 is the boat for you. Stable,
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Annapolis fleet has 23 J/70s, and 18 boats have already signed up for Key
West! Our goal is to build a strong J/70 class on the West Coast! Join us
with our friends from Ullman, Quantum, and North Sails in San Diego Sunday,
November 18th , after the Hot Rum race for J/70 Demo Day! There will be
beer, drinks, food, and a chance to test drive a J/70 with your favorite
sailmaker. To RSVP please go to http://ja6248.wix.com/socalj70
AND THE WINNER IS...
Amsterdam, NED (November 13, 2012) - The DAME Award Winner and Category
Winners for 2012 were announced today at the Marine Equipment Trade Show
(METS), the world's largest trade exhibition for the international marine
leisure industry (Nov. 13-15).
The DAME Jury had inspected 115 products from 25 countries and then
nominated 39 products to advance to the second round of judging. Only
products that made it to the second round were considered for the DAME
Award. In determining the winners in seven categories, as well as the
Overall Winner, the Jury took into account a number of factors, including
design, styling, quality of construction, overall impact on the marine
industry, suitability for its intended purpose, level of innovation, cost
effectiveness, and favourable environmental impact.
The Overall Winner of the DAME Award 2012 was Torqeedo for the deep blue
electric outboard. The Jury found the new DEEP BLUE large electric outboard
from Torqeedo GmbH to be an exceptional example of groundbreaking research
and development - one which will bring great benefits to both the users and
builders of marine craft.
Additional award winners were:
Marine equipment & related software: SonarCharts by Navionics
Clothing & crew accessories: Fibercon G2 & Elysse G2 by Chatham Marine
Life saving & safety equipment: inReach by DeLorme
Deck equipment, sails & rigging: T25 Organiser by Spinlock Ltd.
Marine equipment & related software: NavNet TZ touch by Furuno France
Clothing & crew accessories: ZhikGrip 2 Boot and Straps by Zhik Pty
Life saving & safety equipment: AQ40 by Ocean Safety Ltd.
Clothing & crew accessories: adipower hiking by Terrathree GmbH
* San Francisco, CA (November 13, 2012) - A decision came today from the
U.S. District Court regarding the salvage claim by Todd Tholke who had
rescued the French AC45 catamaran after it snapped its mooring line on
September 30 and drifted onto the rocks at Treasure Island. The boat, which
the courts have held, can be released to the Energy Team by a $50,000 bond,
with a final salvage award of $30-40,000 expected.
* The 2012 Bermuda Open and National Optimist Championships on November
10-12 was hosted by Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, with 38 entrants competing in
the 15 race series. After Benn Smith opened the championship with a drop
race, he avoided any further mistakes through the midway point and then
raised his game further in second half to take the overall title. Ceci
Wollmann won the First Female award while claiming 6th overall. 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, confirmed their run
on Monday set a personal best speed of 61.92 knots and a 500 meter average
of 54.08 knots. The team is now preparing for Friday and Saturday, which
are forecasted to receive sufficiently strong winds. The team will continue
to seek the record through the end of November. --
* American Kite Surfer Rob Douglas, current holder of the outright world
speed sailing record, is enroute to Salin Du Giraud, France to improve on
his 500 meter average of 55.65 knots. The event is organized by Alex
Caizergues (FRA), himself a past holder of the record, and will be held in
a newly constructed trench on November 17-December 10. The conditions,
which could produce 55+ knots of cold dense wind, could prove to be
superior to the winds in Luderitz, Namibia where Douglas set the record in
2010. Full report: http://tinyurl.com/TBP-111312
* (November 13, 2012) - As Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup,
Artemis Racing took its first sail on their AC72. Winds remained in single
digits on San Francisco Bay. Photos and report on Pressure Drop:
* C-Class Catamaran enthusiasts from six countries met at Rhode Island's
Bristol Yacht Club on November 10-11 in hopes of growing a class best known
as the platform for the "Little America's Cup". An early indication of how
successful all the proposed builds have been will be revealed at events in
France and USA this May. The 2013 International C-Class Catamaran
Championship in Falmouth, England is scheduled for September 23-29. Full
WHO WERE THE BEST AMERICAN SAILORS OF 2012?
Help shape history and submit your nominations for US Sailing's 2012 Rolex
Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. These prestigious awards
recognize one male sailor and one female sailor for their outstanding
achievements within the calendar year and are viewed as the nation's top
sailing honors. We urge you to submit nomination(s) for sailors you believe
should be a Finalist. US Sailing members can submit nominations for these
Make your nominations at http://about.ussailing.org/Awards.htm
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 Paul Henderson, past ISAF President:
Regarding the uproar about changes among the Olympic Events and Equipment,
anyone who had lived with the machinations of ISAF would have told sailors
that until the ISAF Annual General Meeting, with a simple majority vote,
had confirmed the Council decisions, do not sell your boats.
If you'd asked Ding, Jack Caldwell, John Tinker or myself, the old
ISAFgeysers, we would have told you the lay of the ISAF Olympic land. The
problem is that never in ISAF history has the AGM exercised their veto. But
it was there and some of us knew it could happen.
Having said that ISAF, the AGM is still not the final word on any changes
of the Olympic Events. The IOC Program Commission must still confirm all
Event changes and Rio 2016 has influence on that decision... and then the
IOC Members must confirm the final decisions.
The Program Commission has rejected other International Sport proposals
previously, but never any of ISAF's recommendations. The final decision
deadline is three years before the Olympic Games - September 2013.
Will there be changes or additions now? Your guess is as good as mine.
* From Andy Green:
Concerning David Greening comments in Scuttlebutt 3717 about the Olympic
Spectator Venue in Weymouth, when I'm racing I want the conditions shifty
when I'm behind and steady when I'm ahead. But when I'm a spectator it is
very different; I want to be entertained. I want to see sport and theatre
unfold in front of me.
In Weymouth, I'm sorry for the sailors who lost out because the wind was
too light, too shifty, or too whatever but I am happy for thousands of
people who got to watch live sailing drama at its very best.
For those who were there on Super Sunday for the Finns and the Star medal
races, the tension was electric. Sailor or non-sailor, everyone knew what
was at stake, and it was big. We saw the heady highs of victory and the
crushing lows of defeat. The crowd cheered, they cried and by the end of
the day were emotionally exhausted. If you were there, you knew you'd seen
something special and shared it with thousands, shoulder to shoulder,
watching right there with you.
I'm not the judge of how 'fair' racecourses or venues should be (Qingdao
anyone?) but I can tell you that by having sailing accessible to the public
from on shore and simple to understand, the sport is engaging sometimes
cynical current fans, building new fans, moving our sport into the 21st
century, and ensuring its place in the future of the Olympics.
* From Danny Greene, St. George's, Bermuda:
I made many passages between New England and the Caribbean in the 70's,
80's and 90's, and absolutely agree with Donald Street's recommendation (in
Sbutt 3718) about sailing from New England to Bermuda in September with a
good forecast, and then on to the Caribbean in December. My only
disagreement is with his comment about leaving your boat there for those
three months. Spend that time in Bermuda yourself. You might get lucky, as
I did, and meet a wife there and get to stay indefinitely.
* From Peter Allen:
Don Street's report in 'Butt #3718 reminds me of a theory to which there is
no proof and raises a question to which there isn't much of an answer: We
really don't know how many boats voyage offshore and then simply disappear.
Are they off on another daysail? A weekend cruise? Sailing around the
world? The boating community includes many "independent" people; folks who
leave few footprints, have no close family or friends, or who feel no
obligation to inform family or friends of their activities. I suspect we
simply don't know how many of these folks leave our ports without filing
any float plan, either formal or informal.
How often, when we stop hearing from someone, do we make any sort of
investigation? Unless they were very close to us, I suspect the answer is
"few to none". How many of those folks own a boat, decide to go offshore,
and then disappear? Did they sink? Did they tuck into a port? Who knows?
Don Street's recommendations in Scuttlebutt make sense, but only to
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