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SCUTTLEBUTT 3759 - Tuesday, January 22, 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 U, North Sails, and Sail To Prevail.

Key West, FL, (January 21, 2013) - Key West gave its best today with a
glorious 71 degrees and sunny skies. Weather forecasts of light N/NE winds
of 4-8 kts building late in the afternoon to 8-13 kts from the NW meant the
fleet was going to be in for some unusual strategies going around the

In Division 1, in the High Performance Class (5 Farr 400s, 2 Carkeek 40s, 1
Ker 40 and 1 GP 42), which is being scored as an official class this year,
it was Spookie, HPR Carkeek 40, owned by Steve Benjamin of Norwalk, CT, who
took two bullets to lead in class.

The six TP 52s competing are being scored under IRC and also as One Design
for the new ongoing yearlong 52 SUPER SERIES. TP 52 Quantum Racing, with
owner Doug DeVos on the helm, emerged from the first day with the overall
lead thanks to a well-executed victory in the second of two windward-leeward
races sailed.

There was nothing much separating the fleet after two races. Quantum Racing
and Gladiator share the same five points aggregate whilst three boats
Azzurra, RAN and Interlodge, all have seven points.

Quantum Racing skipper-tactician Ed Baird (USA) commented: “We did not show
our best effort in the first, light air race. The second race Andy Horton
did a great job feeding me information what was happening medium term with
the breeze. And we were able to play to that from there.” Breezes are
expected to build for Tuesday and Wednesday at Quantum Key West 2013. --
Full story:

Results Day 1:

Tune into the Live Coverage at:

Event Website:

"Some of the most fun I've ever had sailing a Melges 24 comes from Key West.
Screaming downwind in 20 knots of breeze with warm water and 80 degree
temperatures is a blast." - Rob Britts, U.S. Class Vice President and owner
of Hot Mess

When nearly a third of the boats in Key West are competing in one class, and
when that class is a one-design boat that has yet to celebrate its first
birthday, the question that we ask is...WTF?

The class is the J/70, and the answer appears to be simple: right boat for
the right time. Already the magazines have heaped praise on the...

Sailing World - Boat of the Year
SAIL - Best Boat - Performance 30ft & under
Yachts & Yachting - Boat of the Year - Performance Boat under 30ft

"The Key West J/70 fleet will represent about 1/3 of U.S. built J70s to
date," explained J Boats' President Jeff Johnstone. "A Key West debut was a
natural. Several owners competing had expressed their interest early on that
it would be great to get 'back' to Key West in a smaller, more affordable
program. There's also a portion of the fleet that are experiencing the event
for the first time. This is all a bit of flashback when you consider that
Key West is where the J/24 kicked off its first class event back in 1978.
And in fact some familiar faces like Mark Ploch and Dave Ullman, who raced
in the first J/24 Midwinters, are competing in the J/70 class this week."

The extraordinary growth of the J/70 class is a testament to the marketing
ability of J Boats. "It's really exciting to see a class that has only been
around for four months become the largest one design class at Key West RW by
almost double,” said David Ullman, President of Ullman Sails International.
"I jumped at the opportunity to sail in the class because it'll be the
starting block for a new and potentially big one design class, which is
exciting to be a part of. Plus the popularity of the boat has attracted a
field of first rate competition."

What could be most interesting is not only who wins, but how did they win.

"Most of the one design sailmakers will be there to see how well they have
done with sail development and getting the most performance out of the
boat," noted Jud Smith of Doyle Sails. "It will be interesting to see which
teams and sail designs find themselves on the podium on Friday. The crew
weights will be different among many of the teams and that may turn out to
be a big factor depending on conditions during the week."

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(January 21, 2013; Day 73) - Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) continues
to close on Francois Gabart (MACIF) as they slow in the Azores high. If the
race continues as forecast Gabart will cross the line first - late on
January 26 or early January 27 - and could be as little as six hours ahead
of Le Cléac’h, which would be the closest finish in Vendée history, beating
the finish to the 2004-05 Vendée Globe when Vincent Riou beat Jean Le Cam by
6 hours 33 minutes.

The low-pressure system, bringing 25-30 knot westerlies looks stable from
the Bay of Biscay to the finish, but Gabart may well decide to stay close
and mark Le Cléac’h rather than simply take the fastest route.

Behind them Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) says he can’t see how he can catch
third-placed Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) or how Dick can catch the
front two. Thomson said, “I don’t really see any big opportunities ahead for
me to catch Jean-Pierre and I don’t see any big opportunities for him to
catch the two in front.”

Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Monday, January 21, 2013, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 1786.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 109.5 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 418.0 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 676.4 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: 2303.9 nm DTL
Full rankings:

BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers began the 24,000-nm 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. --

(January 21, 2013) - Nearly 21 days have passed since their departure from
New York on December 31, 2012 and Italian Giovanni Soldini and his crew on
Maserati is more than 6,700 miles into their voyage. The VOR70 is now
grappling with one of the most delicate steps of the historical Golden
Route: the passage of the legendary Cape Horn against the prevailing winds
and currents.

Maserati is currently sailing towards the Strait of Le Maire at a speed of
14 knots with winds from the east and only 160 miles away from Cape Horn.
The team is expecting difficult conditions due to the arrival of a
challenging front.

“All day tomorrow we will have a strong westerly wind, with gusts up to 40
knots,” Soldini said. “We also know that there are 7 or 8 icebergs between
Le Maire and Cape Horn, so we will sail very close to the coast with our
radar switched on.” -- Full story:

* Italian Giovanni Soldini and his eight crew on the VO70 Maserati began on
December 31 an attempt to establish a 13,225 nm New York to San Francisco
record. There is no current monohull record, but a benchmark was set in 1998
by skipper Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations of 57 days, 3 hours and
2 minutes.

(January 21, 2013) - The top of the leader boards at the 470, 49er and
49erFX North American Championships held in Miami over the weekend saw
Austrian crews take the 470 Men's and Women's title and Brazilian crews pick
up the skiff honors.

Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstadter (AUT) put in a dominant display
winning three of seven races ahead of Adam Roberts and Erik Storck (USA) in
the 470. Andre Fonseca, sailing with Francisco Andrada (BRA) took the 49er
North American title.

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Lara Vadlau, sailing with
Solanta Goar (AUT), took the Women's 470, winning four of seven races.

Brazil's Martine Grael, making the switchover from the 470 to 49erFX, took
seven top two finishes for the top podium spot. Canada's Erin Berry and
Danielle Boyd finished third whilst the highest placed Americans were
Kristen Lane and Molly Carple. -- Full story:

North Sails has 29 representatives in Key West providing Client Services all
week. Andreas Josenhans and Chuck Allen are taking photos on the water
everyday and doing post-race debriefs at Turtle Kraals. North has an
overnight sail care loft at 2928 N. Roosevelt Blvd with pick-up and drop-off
services at 201 William Street. Free daily weather forecasts for everyone
are available via our Web site. For full details, log on to

* (January 21, 2013) - Sail Canada announced that Oskar Johannson is the
2012 Rolex Sailor of the Year. Annual awards were also distributed at a
celebration event in Toronto on Saturday night to youth and senior sailors
at all levels across the Canadian Sailing spectrum. -- Details at:

* The Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco Bay kicks off its 2013
season with the Three Bridge Fiasco skippers meeting on Wednesday, January
23, at OYC in Alameda. Wednesday's also the deadline to register for the
infamous race on January 26. To date 237 boats have signed up. New this
year: separate overall scoring and perpetual trophies for multihulls. For
more info and to sign up:

* (January 21, 2013) - Winds of up to 24 knots and Cabarete winter waves
challenged sailors from eight nations for three days in the 11th Caribbean
Laser Midwinter Regatta, held in Cabarete, Dominican Republic and hosted by
the Laser Training Center. For the first time in eight years a team of Cuban
Laser sailors participated in an international event thanks to a new effort
in Cuba to reestablish their sailing culture. In the Radial Peter Seidenberg
(USA) took first, and in the Laser Standard first place went to Raul Aguayo

* (January 17, 2013) - The U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
has denied a rehearing on the decision that allows the EPA to put E15 on the
market. The marine industry has been particularly vocal about the issue,
with groups including NMMA and MRAA joining efforts to keep E15 - a fuel
blend containing 15 percent ethanol - off the market because of fears it
will damage marine engines if boat owners unwittingly use it to fuel their
vessels. -- Full story:

* Rock legend Pete Townshend, on behalf of rock band The Who, this week
presented six brand new Laser Pico sailing dinghies to representatives of
Antigua’s National Sailing Academy (‘NSA’). President of the NSA Elizabeth
Jordan, Chief Sailing Instructor Karl James and five National Sailing
Academy students accepted the generous donation. The fully rigged dinghies
feature sails branded with The Who logo. Townsend stated that as a sailor
himself, the National Sailing Academy is a perfect fit with his charitable
goals. -- Full story:

Sail To Prevail will push off the dock for over 1,000 disabled children and
Veterans in Newport, RI and Nantucket, MA this summer. Please pass the word
about our progressive therapeutic sailing program, and share in our
effective, quantitative outcomes in overcoming adversity. Please contact, or visit

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* From Jim Champ (re ‘Butt 3757):
I'm not sure that these types of comparisons between different types of
boats are really very useful, but it seems to me that if you consider the
Bernard Smith/Sailrocket concept then it is really much more like a big
kitesurfer than a big windsurfer - or rather the other way round, since
Bernard Smith's concept and models predate kite surfers by decades.

Like a kite surfer you have the lateral resistance in the water way to
windward of the rig, and like a kite surfer there is no conventional mast,
instead the rig is attached in tension from each end to the foil in the
water. It’s just that in this case one of the kite strings is solid, and
there are various extra floats and things hanging off to get the craft up to
speed. A windsurfer, on the other hand, does have heeling moment, which is
balanced by weight, it’s just that it doesn't reach the hull because there's
a universal joint in the way.

Frank Bethwaite, who also built craft of the Bernard Smith style a good
number of years ago, described it as a "captive kite" rig, and I certainly
don't propose to dispute with that authority.

* From Gregory Scott, Gananoque, Canada:
Some time ago, when I read about US Sailing's challenging agenda to
encourage Americans to support sailing, I began my likely lifetime task to
ask Canadian's to do the same. To me it’s simple - tell yacht club members
to go into their membership offices and ask for their OSA (or equivalent
provincial association) and CYA membership cards.

If every member at every club does that, they may find there are fewer cards
than there are members! This is because clubs have in the past,
"under-reported" the number of actual "sailing members" as I wrote about in
a previous article ( It
would be ideal if Sail Canada (CYA) could strive to get every boater to pay,
but first they need to get every sailor to pay.

So, please, if you are a yacht club member in Canada, ask your club for your
OSA and Sail Canada membership card. Some clubs in Canada still under report
so ask your club to make membership fees/dues a line item on your bill so
you can see that the fees are paid. If we do this, then our sport will begin
to move into this millennium. If you don't, sailing will remain behind snow
shoeing ...

* From Mike Brown, Chicago:
I concur with G. McCarthy in his article “Race Committee Radio announcements
(‘Butt 3758) that having a personality behind the mic on the RC boat is a
great way to gather attention and get a few laughs.

I have sailed in quite a few smaller communities and yacht clubs over the
years and I always remember the RC spokesman/mic holder at this one national
event. He would never give the appropriate course, tell you we are waiting
for the wind to fill in when it is blowing 15 kts, and finish early so
sailors could get their first drink before the sun sets. My kind of RC.
Note: he would always state after the end of his comedic flashes on the mic,
“…but don’t believe me and I hope you read the SI’s or the course board” …
just in case some sailors participating were confused!

* From Carol Newman Cronin:
Re: Light hearted race committee broadcasts: Two words for you: Hank Stuart.

* From Zvi Ziblat, Israel:
I couldn't agree more that maybe it's time that race officers understand
that dialogue and not monologue is the only way to communicate with
competitors - in dinghy racing as well and particularly these days when the
SI’s for multiple classes or groups are for more than one per course and
demand ALL boats to pass by the RC stern to find out will it be inner or
outer and how many laps.

Won’t it ease the tension and make life better if RC will communicate its
intentions by voice and not only by signs?

“What the mind can conceive and believe, and the heart desire, you can
achieve.” - Norman Vincent Peale

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