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SCUTTLEBUTT 3725 - Monday, November 26, 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: Kaenon Polarized and Ultimate Sailing.
NEW AND IMPROVED WORLD RECORD
When Aussie-born Paul Larsen launched his Sailrocket project in 2002 to set
a new outright world speed record, the target then of 46.52 knots had stood
for nearly ten years. Sailrocket did not initially succeed in surpassing
the record, and during the past decade of Paul's determined pursuit to
refine his unique foiling craft, the windsurfers and kiteboarders
discovered the significance of flat shallow water.
The record set by American kiteboarder Rob Douglas of 55.65 knots had stood
since 2010. The outright record, which is based on a 500 meter course, is
the holy grail of speed sailing, and Larsen now owns it... big time.
Testing a new hydrofoil package on Walvis Bay, Namibia, Vestas Sailrocket 2
may have pushed the pace beyond what boards can safely reach.
Nov. 16: New 500 meter record of 59.23 knots
Nov. 18: New 500 meter record of 59.38 knots
Nov. 18: New one nautical mile record of 55.32 knots
Nov. 24: New 500 meter record of 65.45 knots
All records are not yet official. The observers from the World Sailing
Speed Record Council remain onsite through the end of November, after which
they will ratify the best runs.
Sailrocket website: http://www.sailrocket.com
FROM HUNTED TO HUNTER
American Rob Douglas has conceded he has most likely lost his speed title,
and he wants it back. "I knew the news of Sailrocket was coming," Douglas
said. "A record like mine doesn't stick around for very long, and the fact
that I had it for two years was pretty big."
The Vestas Sailrocket represents a radical design in the speed racing
world, with two foils shaped like ax heads, a hull and a sail, giving it
the appearance of a giant water bug. The Sailrocket was built in Britain at
a cost of more than $300,000 by a team led by Paul Larsen, an Australian
sailor who piloted the vehicle on its world-record effort. The Vestas team
had been aggressively pursuing the record for a decade.
To kiteboarders, though, the record merely raises the ante in a contest
that has ignited passions in the small but competitive world of speed
racing. "This is an opportunity for me to be the hunter again," Douglas
Douglas's comeback begins this week in Salin-de-Giraud, France, where the
swift, biting-cold mistral can reach 60 knots, perhaps strong enough to
allow a record. Douglas and Alex Caizergues, a kiteboarder and a former
world-record holder who designed the course, will race it for two weeks
"We're definitely in a position to fight back," Douglas said about his
effort to reclaim the record. "The new course has all the ingredients for
speed." -- NY Times, full report: http://nyti.ms/XLampb
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PREVIEW OF POSSIBLE DANGERS TO COME
The oceans have risen and fallen throughout Earth's history, following the
planet's natural temperature cycles. Twenty thousand years ago, what is now
New York City was at the edge of a giant ice sheet, and the sea was roughly
400 feet lower. But as the last ice age thawed, the sea rose to where it is
Now we are in a new warming phase, and the oceans are rising again after
thousands of years of stability. As scientists who study sea level change
and storm surge, we fear that Hurricane Sandy gave only a modest preview of
the dangers to come, as we continue to power our global economy by burning
fuels that pollute the air with heat-trapping gases.
This past summer, a disconcerting new scientific study by the climate
scientist Michiel Schaeffer and colleagues - published in the journal
Nature Climate Change - suggested that no matter how quickly we cut this
pollution, we are unlikely to keep the seas from climbing less than five
More than six million Americans live on land less than five feet above the
local high tide. (Searchable maps and analyses are available at
SurgingSeas.org for every low-lying coastal community in the contiguous
United States.) Worse, rising seas raise the launching pad for storm surge,
the thick wall of water that the wind can drive ahead of a storm.
In a world with oceans that are five feet higher, our calculations show
that New York City would average one flood as high as Hurricane Sandy's
about every 15 years, even without accounting for the stronger storms and
bigger surges that are likely to result from warming.
According to Dr. Schaeffer's study, immediate and extreme pollution cuts -
measures well beyond any discussion now under way - could limit sea level
rise to five feet over 300 years. If we stay on our current path, the
oceans could rise five feet by the first half of next century, then
continue rising even faster. -- NY Times, full report:
THREE WEEKS LATER: A sailing yacht has become something of a Hoboken, New
Jersey landmark perched high and dry on the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
since the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy dumped it there. No one has come
forward to claim the boat, with the words "Global warming is real" now
scrawled on its side and barnacles coating its hull. --
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
(November 25, 2012; Day 16) - Once the Vendee Globe leaders crossed the
equator last week and escaped the wrath of the doldrums, they took the time
honored course toward Brazil. The idea is to get west of the St Helena high
pressure system in the South Atlantic, and then bend east toward the
southern tip of Africa.
That was the plan for 2004-5 Vendee Globe winner Vincent Riou (FRA) when he
became the race's latest victim.
Approximately 300 nm from the South American continent, Riou collided with
an unmarked buoy early Saturday morning (Nov. 24). "I heard a big noise, a
huge 'crack'," Riou said. "I ran out immediately and knew that I had hit
something. I stopped the boat and saw the impact. It was a huge metal buoy,
something you find in a commercial port. Because it was almost submerged it
must have been at sea a long time. I think the buoy was half air and half
The hull suffered a one meter tear and significant delamination, three
metres from the bow. While Riou determined a fix for the bow, he then found
significant damage to the outrigger shroud that was too much to overcome.
"I was initially optimistic (about continuing in the race) because I hadn't
realized the outrigger shroud was damaged," Riou explained. "It didn't look
that bad. But then I looked closer and saw the fibres were also damaged
inside. Even though I had fixed the hull problem, the shroud was too much
of a problem."
Riou is headed west to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil to repair the outrigger
before sailing back to France. Riou became the seventh boat to retire,
following the exit by Zbigniew "Gutek" Gutkowski on Wednesday, November 21,
a result of electronic issues on Energa that affected its autopilot.
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Sunday 25 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 20020.7 nm Distance to Finish
2. François Gabart (FRA), Macif: 54.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 68.4 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 139.9 nm DTL
5. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 149.3 nm DTL
Full rankings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
ROLL CALL: The 2008-9 edition of the Vendee Globe saw 19 of the original 30
starters withdraw from the race. As of Nov. 25, 7 of the 20 starters in
this edition have withdrawn. Here is the damage roll call from both races:
PENALIZED: Following a protest from both HUGO BOSS and the Race Committee,
a jury decision found seven skippers to have entered the restricted
Finisterre Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). Penalized were Jean Le Cam,
Dominique Wavre, Javier Sanso, Tanguy De Lamotte, and Zbigniew Gutkowski
(2-hour penalty); Mike Golding (30-minute penalty); and Jean-Pierre Dick
(20-minute penalty). -- http://tinyurl.com/VG-112512
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) set a new race record by completing the course in 84 days. --
Spying is set to spark new battle lines in the America's Cup as tempers
fray on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. At odds are the 90m euro Italian team Luna
Rossa, backed by the Prada luxury goods house, and the San Francisco-based,
Lord knows how many millions Oracle team, holders of the cup and backed by
computer software billionaire Larry Ellison.
Spying has been going on forever as rival teams assess the performance of
their competitors - if Oracle is indeed spying on Luna Rossa it will also
be spying on Team New Zealand (TNZ) and if it is not it would be
But there are rules, one of which says that anyone using cameras or
performance measuring equipment should respect a 200-metre exclusion zone.
It is encroaching within 200 metres that is at the heart of the latest row.
Luna Rossa will not say of it has lodged an official protest, Oracle will
not say if it has been protested officially, but a source confirmed that an
official protest has been lodged with the international jury chaired by
Australian David Tillett. TNZ is maintaining silence with a wry smile.
In an amusing aside, a senior local observer said that, at times, the boat
being used by Oracle's men in the field was not fast enough to keep up with
Luna Rossa. It is assumed that the specification of the chase boat was not
based on the performance of the Oracle Cup boat. -- Stuart Alexander, The
Independent, read on: http://tinyurl.com/SAI-112512
NAUTI OR NICE: SAILORS LOVE ULTIMATE SAILING
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'30 Years of Ultimate Sailing' long-sleeve technical t-shirt ($28.95); and
top it off with a stylish navy or tan logo'd cap, with nifty built-in
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AND THE NOMINEES ARE...
Every year Sail Canada invites sailing enthusiasts to participate in
recognising Canada's top competitive and recreational sailors, coaches,
volunteers and events via the Sail Canada Annual Awards. The 2012 Sail
Canada Awards nomination period closed on November 15th with a record
number of nominations received!
The 2012 Sail Canada Awards will be presented at the Sail Canada Rolex
Sailor of the Year Awards on Saturday, January 19, 2013 in Toronto Nominees
for the 2012 Sail Canada Awards are...
Rolex Sailor of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year
Male Athlete of the Year
Full list: http://www.sailing.ca/features/and_the_nominees_are/
* Organizers from the Transpacific Yacht Club (TPYC) have announced the
starting dates for their 47th edition of this classic biennial race from
Los Angeles to Honolulu to be held in July 2013. The first start will be on
Monday, July 8th, 2013, with subsequent starts planned for Thursday, July
11th and Saturday, July 13th. -- Details:
* (November 20, 2012) - The first trials for the Red Bull Youth America's
Cup concluded on Tuesday in San Francisco with six teams battling for two
spots representing San Francisco and the United States. ORACLE TEAM USA has
been organizing the trials and is expected to announce the results in the
coming days. The youth sailors have been put through their paces under the
watchful eyes of team coaches Philippe Presti and Darren Bundock, who said
he was impressed with what he saw on and off the water. -- Full report:
* Despite of the decision by ISAF on November 10, 2012 to remove
kiteboarding as equipment for the 2016 Olympic Games, kiteboarding will
continue as a class at Sail Melbourne, the first event of the 2012-13 ISAF
Sailing World Cup season to be hosted in Australia at Sandringham Yacht
Club on December 2-8, 2012. More than 60 kiteboard entries are confirmed.
Event website: http://www.sailmelbourne.com.au
* Nineteen teams from the USA and Canada converged on Annapolis, Maryland
for the International 420 Atlantic Coast Championship. Eleven races were
held over two days, with 6-8 knots on Saturday and 12 knots on Sunday.
Casey Klingler/ Fiona Walsh led a sweep of the podium by the Long Island
Sound Youth Sailing Team, with members representing over half the fleet.
* (November 21, 2012) - In Sailing World's final national college rankings
of the fall season, Georgetown stays at the top of the coed rankings, while
Dartmouth moves up to first in the women's rankings. Sailing World's
college rankings, presented by Sperry Top-Sider, are determined by an open
coaches poll. Fifteen coaches voted in this poll: Boston University,
Bowdoin, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Eckerd, Fordham, Harvard, Hobart/Wm.
Smith, Miami (Fla.), MIT, Rhode Island, South Florida, Stanford, and
Washington College. Full rankings: http://tinyurl.com/SW-112512
* The all-female Team SCA, the first declared entrant in the 2014-2015
Volvo Ocean Race, has bought the Volvo Open 70 PUMA which came third in the
2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. The boat is now in the United Kingdom
undergoing a graphic makeover and being adjusted for team training to begin
in February. -- http://www.volvooceanrace.com
* Six sailing giants have assembled in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain) for
the start of the 2700nm 2012 Transatlantic Superyacht & Maxi Regatta. The
fifth edition of the race is scheduled to start on November 26, destined
for Virgin Gorda, BVI and the new winter base of the Yacht Club Costa
Smeralda. The races is limited to maxi yachts of 60+ feet and superyachts
of 80+ feet. The largest boat is the 180+foot three-masted schooner
Shenandoah of Sark, built in 1902 by Townsend and Downey Shipbuilding of
Shooters Island, New York, to a design by Theodore E Ferris. -- Full
* Newport NSW, Australia (November 25, 2012) - After four solid days of
racing, Dave Hazard from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has joined
James Spithill, Seve Jarvin and Michael Dunstan to become only the fourth
dual winner of the Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships,
hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Hazard, who will age out next
year, sailed with Scott Barnes, Rawiri Geddes, and Michael Boucher. 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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save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
* From Richard Jepsen, OCSC Sailing CEO:
Great lead in Scuttlebutt 3724...bravo to John Arndt and Summer Sailstice.
Please support it. It's the one thing you can do in sailing that is viewed
well by 100% of sailors. Sail, enjoy, and introduce others!
* From Jorge A. Suarez:
The ISAF's only purpose should be to establish and uphold the integrity of
sailing through the Racing Rules of Sailing. They should not be concerned
with anything else! Diversity and charisma will then take care of
themselves! Remember, the Olympics used to be the World Championship for
association football (ie, soccer) until they broke off in 1930 and began
their own championship...the World Cup. Doing so hasn't hurt that sport at
EDITOR'S NOTE: With the exception of the 1932 Games, men's soccer has been
in the Olympics since 1900. Since 1992, male competitors must be under 23
years old, with three over-23 players allowed per squad. Women's soccer was
introduced at the 1996 Games and has no age restriction.
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In 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26 as a
national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday
of November (revised in 1941 to be the fourth Thursday).
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
Kaenon Polarized - Ultimate Sailing - APS - Quantum Sails
Mount Gay Rum - North Sails - Point Loma Outfitting - Soft Deck
Ullman Sails - North U - Samson Rope - Team One Newport
Need stuff? Look here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers