SCUTTLEBUTT 3750 - Wednesday, January 9, 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: North Sails, Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week and
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE AC WORLD SERIES?
(January 8, 2013) - The America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) announced
today that it will no longer host the America's Cup World Series (ACWS)
events contemplated for late May/ early June in New York. The only ACWS
event remaining on the schedule will be in Naples, Italy on April 16-21,
after which the teams will focus solely on preparing for the Louis Vuitton
Cup (July 4-Aug 30) and the America's Cup Match (Sept 7-21).
The schedule change was primarily due to the desires of the challenging
teams to concentrate on their AC72 training. It was hoped that the New York
events would help to grow interest in the America's Cup, but the high
administrative costs and the likelihood of the Cup teams needing to send
reserves negated the event benefits. The affects of Hurricane Sandy did not
factor into the decision.
"We went into New York knowing it was going to cost us a lot of money, but
the reasons for going there were too strong to ignore," explained ACEA
chief executive officer, Stephen Barclay. "The city offers the biggest
sporting audience in the U.S. and would have been a superb fit for our
partners. But in the last month or two in our discussions with the Louis
Vuitton Cup teams, they have made a strong point that there is only one
month before the challenger series starts. We also recognized our own
planning, and the last thing we wanted to do was compromise the build up
toward the racing in San Francisco."
So will Italy be the end of the AC World Series?
"There have been lots of discussions for continuing the series," shared
Barclay. "I think it is fair to say that the sailors have a head of steam
regarding this. There are a couple of the sailors that are communicating
with the rest of the sailors and driving a desire for the AC Event
Authority to look to confirming other AC World Series events immediately
after this America's Cup. That desire is shared by the sponsors and most of
the teams. So yes, there has been a lot of discussion about the future." --
Forum, read on:
COMMENT: The 34th America's Cup has had more changes than a baby's diaper.
I have been critical at times, but I give Stephan Barclay high marks today
for hosting a media call to explain the latest circumstance. A step in the
right direction. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
NORTH CLIENT SERVICES (NCS) ONSITE AT KEY WEST RACE WEEK 2013
North Sails will have support teams on-the-water and after racing in Key
West providing North Client Services (NCS) complimentary to all sailors to
help you get the most out of your sails and boat while racing! Andreas
Josenhans and Chuck Allen will be taking photos on the race course and
hosting post-race debriefs (location TBD) to give tips on better sail trim
and how your boat set-up can be optimized to make your team go faster. You
don't want to miss taking advantage of this awesome service, our experts
are here for you! Be sure to also visit
http://na.northsails.com/weather.aspx to sign up for our free daily weather
forecasts written by Sailing Weather Service.
RECORD FASTNET - WHY?
It took just 24 hours to sell out all 300 places for this year's Rolex
Fastnet Race - a new record before the 608-nm race has even started. But
this is no flash in the pan, the last race in 2011 was so popular that
additional places were made available and saw a record 314 starters.
"We were pretty impressed in 2011 when we sold out in 10 days after opening
entries, but this has just blown us away," said RORC racing manager Nick
The sell out is certainly impressive and flies in the face of a common
mis-perception, particularly in the professional world, that yacht racing
is in crisis. Sure, events from the Volvo, to the America's Cup and even
the Vendee Globe are struggling to hit their target fleet sizes, but this
should not be confused with the general sailing fraternity's desire to go
Having said that, some of the popular regattas are suffering and a long way
off their previous best. This year's Sydney Hobart saw just 76 starters,
down on the previous race in 2011 and a long way off its biggest ever entry
of 371 starters for the 50th anniversary race in 1994. Cork Week and Key
West are also facing significantly smaller fleet sizes than in their
So why is the Fastnet race, with its notorious reputation and its time
consuming regulations on crew qualifications, so successful when other
events and regattas around the world are struggling to maintain their fleet
sizes? -- Matthew Sheahan, Yachting World, read on:
There are a lot of things that go south in the winter: birds, seniors, and
sailors. Nobody said you had to abstain from your sport until spring. Over
200 hundred years of one design class history was on display last weekend
in Miami on Biscayne Bay, and each of these classes has epic hospitality in
South Florida for the traveling sailor.
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH
Here's an IRC update from the RORC because you can't always believe what
you hear in the bar...
* When is power rated as 'stored power'?
With reference to IRC Rule 15 Manual Power, we sometimes get queries from
owners who are not sure whether their system constitutes 'stored power' or
not, for instance when the backstay tension can be pumped up by hand. As a
simple rule of thumb:
If you use a manual pump to produce the power, it is NOT stored power. If
you press a button to produce the power, it IS stored power and must be
declared. Remember that IRC distinguishes between stored power for the
backstay only or for other running rigging such as sail sheeting.
Stored power used only for mainsail halyards, or the reefing or furling of
sails is excluded and need not be declared. Other halyards that use stored
power must be declared as 'running rigging'
* Spreader sweepback
We often get application forms where spreader sweepback has been
incorrectly completed. The application form now gives two options: Less
than 5 degrees (essentially in-line with the mast), or more than 5 degrees
As a general rule, a rig with no extra support in the form of running
backstays or checkstays is likely to have more than 5 degrees sweepback on
the spreaders; while a more adjustable rig with runners and/or checkstays
might have in-line spreaders.
More here: http://tinyurl.com/IRC-010813
STORM TRYSAIL BLOCK ISLAND RACE WEEK, JUNE 23-28, 2013
The Storm Trysail Club plans a bang-up race week celebrating the 25th
running of the East Coast's premier five day race week. Compete for the
Rolex in the 'Round Block Island Race; North American Championships in IRC,
HPR and J80's; East Coast Championships in PHRF and J109's. Swan 42 New
England and Beneteau 36.7 Northeast Championships. Navigator-style courses
for Double Handers, Cruising and Classic classes. Don't miss out! Get your
crew together, book your house, make your ferry reservations and enter now.
Details on Block Island travel, accommodations, marinas and Block Island
Race Week at: http://blockislandraceweek.com
MANY PITFALLS YET TO COME
(January 8, 2013; Day 60) - The two boats at the front of the Vendee Globe
fleet have been duelling closed hauled for the last 48 hours in tiring
north westerly winds as they made long, slow arduous progress upwind. The
wind, however, has picked up for Francois Gabart (MACIF) who has managed to
extend his lead as it dropped off for Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire)
slowing him down.
"I'm quite fine, I keep on going. I am sailing faster now," said Gabart. "I
don't have incredible speed but it's getting better. The journey is still
long, so I try to rest as much as I can. I'll try to catch the South East
trade winds in a few days. Sometimes I think about the arrival in Les
Sables. I think about my family. It's a source of motivation. Now we are
closing in on the finish. I hope my fight with Armel will keep on going."
There now lies a 100 miles between the leaders, the greatest distance since
the start. It's not insurmountable, with many pitfalls to overcome; their
crossing of the St Helene High, the passage of the doldrums and the climb
up the North Atlantic. There are still 5,000 miles to overcome in the
ultimate fight for Vendee Globe victory.
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 5219.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 100.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 457.9 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 630.2 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: 1670.4 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/
IT HAPPENED AT THE HORN
Of the 20 starters in the Vendee Globe, Dominique Wavre (SUI) is among the
lucky 13 who continue on. Currently running in seventh position, Dominique
is less than 200 nm from rounding Cape Horn. Here he shares some details of
this historic landmark at the tip of South America:
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago
of southern Chile and is located on the small Hornos Island. Francis Drake
discovered the cape in 1578 on board Golden Hind, but it owes its name to
the Dutchman Van Schouten who rounded it in 1616. He named it Horn after
At 600 metres, Cape Horn towers over the ocean, but the dark, jagged rocks
- the result of erosion from pounding waves and massive westerly gales -
are hard for sailors to spot as they sail past.
Cape Horn's discovery was a result of economic pressure. By 1520, Magellan
had already discovered the Straits that are named after him, but
Spanish/Portuguese dominance was coming head to head with a new ambitious
maritime power: the Dutch.
With such stakes at play, the contenders needed a ship that could withstand
the extreme conditions and which could also sail upwind. By the time such a
ship was crafted, staggering numbers of men had been lost at sea: four
attempts at rounding, four entire crews lost.
It happened at the Horn...
* The Montcalm, a French flagged ship from Nantes, battled wind and tide to
round the Cape (from the east) for two months before the conditions got the
better of the captain and he altered course to run before the weather. He
rounded the Cape of Good Hope and south Australia before at last reaching
his final destination: San Francisco.
* Up until the 18th century, sailors navigated using a mariner's astrolabe,
which was an inclinometer used to determine the latitude of a ship at sea
by measuring the sun's noon altitude (declination) or the meridian altitude
of a star of known declination. With this information the captain of a ship
could sail due west or due east depending on his mission with a margin of
error of approximately 100 nautical miles.
* Magellan was the first to discover the Patagonians, the indigenous people
of the Tierra del Fuego. In his logbook, he described them as "naked ugly
giants with enormous women". He added: "they became angry when put in
* Britain's first private navy in almost two centuries is being created by
a group of businessmen to take on the Somali pirates who are terrorising a
2.5m square mile expanse of the Indian Ocean. Its armed vessels - including
a 10,000-ton mother ship and high-speed armoured patrol boats - will be led
by a former Royal Navy commodore. He is recruiting 240 former marines and
other sailors for the force. It will escort its first convoy of oil
tankers, bulk carriers - and possibly an occasional yacht - along the east
coast of Africa in late March or April. -- Read on:
* Richmond, CA (January 6, 2013) - Still popular events after 5 decades,
Richmond Yacht Club hosted the Small Boat Midwinters which is held on the
first Sunday from December through March. With three starting lines for 23
different varieties of one designs, over 140 dinghies raced in the 6 knot
and under winds with the usual oddball currents. The wind was consistent,
just not consistently from the same direction. Full report:
* The Sail Canada Marvin McDill Memorial Award, established to honour the
man who returned Canada to the America's Cup competition in 1983, is
presented annually to the athlete or crew with the best results at their
first Open World Championship as a member of the Canadian Sailing Team.
This year's recipient is Tom Ramshaw from Toronto, Ontario who trains
full-time in hopes to qualify to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympics in
Rio de Janeiro. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/SC-010813
* The 2013 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods is now available as an
iPhone application. The World Anti Doping Agency is responsible for
updating the List every year and the 2013 version has been in effect since
January 1. The 2013 List can also be accessed using other mobile devices
via a mobile site, which can be accessed here:
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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 Andrew Burton:
So I learn in Scuttlebutt 3749 that we have a new rule: RRS 55 Trash
Disposal - "A competitor shall not intentionally put trash in the water."
Really? Is this what our sport has come to? How is this rule remotely
connected to sailing? As a rule of good citizenship, yes, fine. But this
ridiculous rule has no place in the RRS.
Don't get me wrong, I hate garbage going into the water, and I was one of
the first in my area to bring multiple serving beverage containers and
reusable cups on my boat (when Heineken started making mini kegs), but we
don't need to address either problem in the Racing Rules of Sailing. I
thought rule-makers were trying to reduce the number of rules for
What's next; an admonition to parents of Opti sailors not to provide their
offspring with sugary carbonated beverages?
* From Fredrick Roswold:
The challenge is not for the America's Cup to maintain its "brand" while
transforming to seek mass market consumption (Scuttlebutt 3749). That is
only the self-imposed challenge that Coutts and Ellison have set for
themselves and, by the way, those two attributes are mutually exclusive.
This challenge cannot be achieved, because if the Cup is to become
attractive to the mass market, the "brand" will have been lost. It will not
be, and in fact is already not, the America's Cup that Morgan chased, and
that we all loved. The Cup, in its current form may be spectacular, but
pandering to the roller derby mentality doesn't make it the pinnacle of
* From Neil Fraser:
Two comments on Issue 3749 -- The America's Cup story seems to indicate
that Harold "Mike" Vanderbilt was a two time winner of the Cup. This is
correct but incomplete; Mike Vanderbilt won the Cup three times: Enterprise
1930, Rainbow 1934 (with a huge assist by Sherman Hoyt) and Ranger 1937
(Stephens brothers in the afterguard). There are many great stories about
how Vanderbilt ran his program (He'd have the crew take off the main every
day after racing so that no one was tempted to "just go what we have on"
the next day, etc.). I always think of him as the forerunner to Mosbacher
and Conner in the way he managed a campaign.
About David Redfern's story regarding AC "spying" in 1983 -- In the lead up
to the 1992 AC, America Cubed had a power boat named "Guzzini" which was
similarly outfitted with antennas, etc. Bill Koch revealed just after
America Cubed cross the finish line in the last race that all of the
antennas on "Guzzini" were not operational and the whole incident was to
unnerve the competition rather than to gather any information.
* From John Harwood-Bee:
In my first rant of 2013 - and yes I can be accused of being pedantic
(especially about the Jules Verne TROPHY) - Tim Zimmermann refers in
Scuttlebutt 3749 that among The Big Three Records is the Jules Verne Trophy
as the Round The World Non-Stop Record. It is NOT.
The Jules Verne USED to be the record before the disastrous decision in
2004 to award the trophy to a vessel that had only beaten the previous JV
time and NOT the ratified world record time achieved by Steve Fossett that
year. Once the trophy had been awarded to Olivier De Kersauson and
'Geronimo' for a time FIVE DAYS slower than Fossetts, it lost its prestige
and ability to be the defining RTW competition.
Until such time as the Jules Verne 'committee' issue a declaration that the
trophy will in future only ever be awarded to the GENUINE fastest vessel
around the planet (a little late now I believe), it will remain nothing
more than a prize for beating the previous JV time. That it happens to be
for a record breaking trip will remain coincidental.
The actual round the world record is monitored and approved by the World
Sailing Speed Record Council and awarded regardless of whether the vessel
had registered for the JV trophy or not.
* From Georges Bonello DuPuis, past Commodore, Royal Malta Yacht Club:
You could also add the Rolex Middle Sea Race to the trivia question in
Scuttlebutt 3749. Hosted by Royal Malta Yacht Club, it too is over 600
miles and starts in Valletta's majestic Grand Harbour with thousands of
people in attendance. In fact, we might have something better since we
start and finish in the same place.
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