SCUTTLEBUTT 3749 - Tuesday, January 8, 2013
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: Atlantis WeatherGear, Team One Newport, and J Boats.
DOMAIN OF THE EXTREME
Ted Turner quipped that there are only two ways to gain worldwide, immortal
fame: become President of the United States or win the America's Cup.
Turner, founder of CNN and TNT, and a Time magazine Man of the Year, chose
the latter, winning America's Cup 23 in 1977 with his yacht Courageous at
the age of 38. Harold Vanderbilt called winning America's Cup, "the
ambition of a lifetime," as he prepared for his own two-time wins.
America's Cup racing has always been the domain of the world's wealthiest,
most flamboyant, competitive, and ambitious men. At the 1927 christening of
his 343- foot private yacht, Corsair IV, when asked how much it costs to
"operate" such a boat, two-time A-Cup winner J. Pierpont Morgan uttered his
famous one-liner, "Sir, if you have to ask that question, you can't afford
The super-yacht was Morgan's fourth, built from scratch to his
specifications - bigger, faster, and more luxurious than the first three
Corsairs. The largest yacht built in the U.S. at that time, Corsair cost
$2.5 million, the equivalent of about $107 million in 2012 dollars.
By comparison, 2013 A-Cup defender Larry Ellison's latest personal super
yacht, the 288-foot Musashi (named for a great Samurai warrior) is
estimated by various yachting media to have cost at least $125 million.
Presumably, that includes the yacht's sauna and spa, electronics, flat
screens, and other toys not available in 1927.
During Morgan's tenure as commodore of the New York Yacht Club, 1897-1899,
his first Corsair served as flagship of the Club's mega fleet. (A flagship
is the yacht owned by the current commodore of a yacht club.) The
commodore's first Corsair was 218-feet in length; not the largest NYYC
yacht. Four other members' yachts exceeded 300 feet, including W. K.
Vanderbilt's 332-foot Valiant. With Corsair IV, Morgan finally boasted the
largest yacht in the NYYC fleet at the time.
In addition to his personal yachts, his legendary lifestyle, and two
America's Cup campaigns, Commodore Morgan controlled more than 5,000 miles
of railroads and was particularly adept at mergers and acquisitions. He
arranged the merger that formed General Electric and the merger that
created U.S. Steel, the first billion-dollar corporation.
There was no Central Bank in Morgan's era. In 1895, when the Federal
Treasury was strapped for cash, they turned to the famous financier, who,
in league with the Rothschilds, anteed up $72 million in gold to the
Treasury. Again, in the financial crisis of 1907, when numerous banks went
"rupt," Morgan shored up the U.S. banking system with his own personal
funds. -- Sandra J. Swanson, Nob Hill Gazette, read on:
COMMENT: The America's Cup is the America's Cup due to the rarefied
individuals it attracts, and the extreme nature of the boats that are
sailed. The challenge now is for the America's Cup to maintain its "brand"
while transforming to seek mass market consumption. - Craig Leweck,
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CAREFUL WITH YOUR TRASH...
On January 1, 2013, the new edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing will go
into effect. These rules are locked in through 2016, the year of the next
Summer Olympic Games. Rules authority Dave Perry helps explain some of the
Dave is chairman of the US Sailing Appeals Committee, Rules Advisor to the
US Olympic Sailing Team and Artemis Racing, the Challenger for the
America's Cup, co-author of the North U Rules & Tactics seminar, and author
of two books on the subject. Here Dave discusses the new 'Trash' rule:
A new Basic Principle has been added called "Environmental Responsibility"
which reads, "Participants are encouraged to minimize any adverse
environmental impact of the sport of sailing." This is supported by new
rule 55, Trash Disposal, which reads, "A competitor shall not intentionally
put trash in the water." Rule 55 applies at all times when boats are on the
water and subject to The Racing Rules of Sailing (see the preamble to Part
4 of the RRS).
This rule was often put in the sailing instructions, and usually boats were
not allowed to protest under it, and often the penalty was at the
discretion of the protest committee. Now it is a rule in the book, so
sailors need to be even more careful with their trash. Note that this rule
applies even between races; and rule 64.1, Penalties and Exoneration, says,
"If a boat has broken a rule when not racing, her penalty shall apply to
the race sailed nearest in time to that of the incident."
For more on the rules, get Dave Perry's two books Understanding the Racing
Rules of Sailing through 2016 (which includes the complete rule book) and
Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes available at US Sailing, 800 US
SAIL-1, or http://www.ussailing.org
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
(January 7, 2013) - Never have the words 'highly anticipated' applied so
accurately as to the 608-nautical mile Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on
August 11. Today, at midday, the REMUS entry system went online with the
2013 RORC race season, and what happened next is an astounding tribute to
the status of the race.
Between 12:00 and 12:01, 20 boats had entered with the first to enter only
7 seconds after entries opened. Within 10 minutes there were a total of 121
Rolex Fastnet Race entrants, and by 16:30 there were 235 boats.
To place these numbers in context one must look back to 2011 when the limit
of 300 boats was reached after 10 days of the entry system opening. This
year it looks like the limit will be reached much earlier than in previous
The biennial race is open to both monohull and multihull sailing yachts.
The fleet starts from the renowned Royal Yacht Squadron off Cowes in the
United Kingdom, races out of The Solent and westward down the English
Channel before crossing the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, and then
returning on a reciprocal course to the finish off Plymouth. --
What does the Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and
Newport Bermuda Race have in common?
MASERATI'S CLASSIC PASSAGE
By Tim Zimmermann, Sailing World
Ocean passage record setting is all about the big three: the Jules Verne
(around the world, non-stop), the West-East Transatlantic (from Ambrose
Light to the Lizard), and the 24-hour distance record. I have no argument
with that. Those are intense, risky, and sometimes brutal sailing
challenges. And it is fascinating to watch skill and technology inexorably
raise the bar.
You would have been laughed out of the bar if 15 years ago you had
suggested that a Jules Verne passage of 45 days and 13 hours was possible,
or that the North Atlantic could be conquered in 3 days and 15 hours, or
that a sailboat could traverse 908 miles of ocean in 24 hours.
But there are lots of record routes beyond the Big Three that are well
worth our attention. Marseilles-Carthage. Newport-Bermuda. Cadiz-San
Salvador (one of my favorites because, for a brief time, courtesy of Steve
Fossett and PlayStation, I was part of a crew which held the record).
One of the most interesting, for both historical and sailing reasons, is
New York-San Francisco, the great clipper ship Gold Rush route. This was
arguably the most intensely competitive clipper ship passage of the
mid-19th century, as ships raced supplies and people back and forth between
the East Coast and the California gold fields. The 89-day record set by
Flying Cloud in 1854, which stood for more than a century, was one of the
most famous sailing records of all time (and a precursor of our modern
It is a very long and difficult passage, some 13,000-plus miles which take
a boat through multiple weather zones, from the Doldrums (twice) to the
westerly gales of Cape Horn. So it is perhaps not surprising that Flying
Cloud's record lasted until 1989, when Thursday's Child made the passage in
80 days. Since then, the monohull record has been reduced to 62 days, and
then, in 1998, to 57 days 3 hours by Yves Parlier on Aquitaine Innovations.
[The outright record is 43 days, set by Lionel Lemonchois on the multihull
Gitana 13 in 2008.]
Now there is a new bid underway on the New York-San Francisco record,
courtesy of Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini, and a crew of eight, sailing
aboard a VO70 called Maserati (ex-Ericsson 3). Maserati is a little over a
week into the bid, and approaching the Equator after blasting south at high
speed on the strong winds of a cold front (which helped them get about 800
miles ahead of Aquitaine Innovations' pace). -- Read on:
DARE TO WIN: IN BUSINESS, IN SAILING, IN LIFE
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highest levels of Grand Prix racing. Get your copy today @ Team One
Newport. http://tinyurl.com/tonkialoa or 401-847-4327
IF IT WAS EASY...
(January 7, 2013; Day 59) - It's tough at the top for the duelling duo of
Francois Gabart (MACIF) and Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire). With only
a quarter of the race left to complete it looks like their journey up the
South Atlantic is going to be long, arduous and exhausting as they battle
upwind in northerly winds gusting up to 30 knots expected to last for the
next three to four days. "Sailing up the Atlantic is not the greatest part
of the Vendee Globe," admitted Armel.
After a week where third place Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) had steadily reduced
his deficit on the leaders by 230 nm, his game of 'Chutes and Ladders' saw
him lose 127 nm in the past 24 hours. This loss occurred when the strop (a
soft shackle) which attached the forstay to the deck had broken. At the
time of the incident, Jean Pierre was sailing upwind in 30 knots of wind,
with two reefs in mainsail and the staysail up. The breakage forced an
immediate turn downwind to affect a repair.
It appears the race is soon to end for Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm whose
damaged hydrogenerators have left him short of fuel. Sitting in eighth
position and 500 nm from Cape Horn, it is believed he will pick up
additional fuel soon after rounding the cape. Per the Notice of Race,
"during the event a competitor cannot have any material contact with any
other ship or aircraft. A competitor cannot be provided with any supplies
in any way possible."
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Monday, January 7, 2013, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 5503.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 57.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 365.3 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 581.8 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: 1693.1 nm DTL
Full rankings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers began 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.
Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) set the course record of 84 days in the 2008-9
edition. -- http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"When you listen to Armel, you can feel he is very tired. It's authentic.
When you see the videos sent by the skippers, they try to appear happy,
with a lot of energy. Sometimes I think it's great to see them tired
because it shows how hard a Vendee can be." - Sidney Gavignet, French
* Long Beach, CA (January 6, 2013) - Brisk temperatures and winds of 3-11
knots marked the 28th annual Rose Bowl Regatta (Jan. 5-6), which had
attracted 30 collegiate teams from throughout the U.S. and 60 California
high school teams. Stanford University came from behind to steal the
championship from College of Charleston, while Point Loma High School (San
Diego) dominated the field to garner their seventh consecutive title in the
event. -- Full report:
* Miami, FL (January 7, 2013) - The third stop of the inaugural five-event
Star Winter Series attracted 20 teams from 5 nations for the Levin Memorial
Regatta this past weekend on Biscayne Bay. Augie Diaz and Arnis Baltins put
on a clinic, never finishing worse than 5th in this no drop regatta. In 2nd
place and 10 points behind was former Star World champion George Szabo
sailing with 2000 Gold medalist Magnus Lijedahl. In 3rd place was event
organizer Stuart Hebb sailing with Mike Wolfs. The Star Winter Series is
currently led by Arthur Anosov. -- Full report:
* Miami, FL (January 6, 2013) - Eckerd College Coach Kevin Reali and Ashley
Reali were proclaimed the winners of the 2nd Annual Miami Snipe
Invitational (Jan. 5-6, an event for sailors 30 years and under. The award
for the highest placing new team went to Canadian National Development Team
member Rob Davis and his crew Natalya Doris. The top placing junior team
was 2012 Smythe winner Addison Hackstaff with Alex Voce, and the top
women's team prize went to Charlie Bess and Kristen Walker, who recently
represented the USA at the 2012 Women's Snipe Worlds in Spain. -- Full
* The 10th anniversary of the Megabyte class Midwinter Championship will be
celebrated February 15-17 as part of the 2013 St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta
in Florida. Competitors from as far as the Northeast and Canada are
expected to attend. Enjoying a revival, the Megabyte is a fast yet stable
boat sailed with two crew or raced singlehanded, and was designed by Bruce
Farr and selected as Boat of the Year by Sailing World in 2000. Details:
J/111 ACTION IN 2013
The J/111 has been lighting up race courses around the world. This 36'
easy-to-sail speedster, uncompromised by rating rules, has brought the fun
back into sailing larger keelboats. Even better, the J/111 class is ISAF
approved, and the 2013 calendar includes a European Tour and the inaugural
North American Championship. http://www.jboats.com/j111
If you guessed that the Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,
and Newport Bermuda Race are all 600 nm races, you would be right but all
three races also start in a harbor with crowds lining the headlands. These
three prominent races heighten interest in their event, and in the sport of
sailing, by presenting their start to the public.
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 David Redfern:
Regarding the espionage story in Scuttlebutt 3748, I believe the first
America's Cup rule to limit the access of 'spy' boats was in the 1983
America's Cup when the Britain's Peter de Savary 'Victory '83' team
engineered a campaign to spook the New York Yacht Club's Liberty team,
which was skippered by Dennis Conner.
It was the British team's belief that the U.S. defender was superior in
team confidence, and that an effort was needed to break that down - a bit
of spying (harassment?) was in order. A powerboat followed Liberty wherever
they sailed with what looked to be a satellite dish transmitting data back
to shore. Remember, these were very early days of such communications.
Mobile phones then were the infamous brick if you had $3000 per phone to
Dennis ultimately protested, and we were told to back off at least 100
yards. Our satellite dish was a hand held trashcan lid. It was all a spoof.
* From George Morris:
To disqualify or not? Vendee Globe skipper Bernard Stamm seems to have the
world on his side while the rich Australian in the Sydney Hobart Race does
not. In most team sports a team is not disqualified except in the most
extreme circumstances and individual players are 'sent off' only
infrequently. There is an assumption that while breaking the rules must
have consequences; we do not want to stop play. Athletics and swimming do
have stringent starting penalties because false starts jeopardize other
In sailing, in a one design fleet on a short course getting ahead at the
start is so important that OCS has to be penalised and discouraged, but
does it have to be a disqualification? I would say not if there is a
practical alternative. I don't think someone who has jumped the start
should be allowed to continue to race until he has sailed behind the rest
of the fleet at some point, either by returning to the start or waiting at
the first mark, but in a handicap race of some 600 miles the start is
surely not very important.
As for Bernard - one has the same sympathy for him as one has for the half
dozen or so other contestants who are out of the race because something has
broken. If your keel falls off you are out, if the mast falls down you are
out, if you hit a floating object you are out and if none of your
hydrogenerators are working you are probably out. If you try and anchor and
it drags it is your problem. Only if it can be demonstrated that it was
only the presence of the Russian ship that made dragging a problem and that
he had no opportunity to anchor safely after its arrival is he off the hook
(so to speak). -- Forum, read on:
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When in doubt, mumble. When in trouble, delegate. When in charge, ponder.
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