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SCUTTLEBUTT 3761 - Thursday, January 24, 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: Ullman Sails and New England Ropes.

Key West, FL, (January 23, 2013) - Wednesday has always been critical at
this annual race week off the Florida Keys. By the time Wednesday is
complete, the racing is usually more than half over, earning it the moniker
of “moving day, amd so it was.

Lead changes were the order for many classes as they dealt with heavy air
and what is predicted to be the strongest winds of the five-day regatta,
challenging crews to really ramp up their performance. There were some sail
and gear failures in the big breeze, which held steady between 18 and 22

Several teams made major moves but none more dramatic than that pulled by
Decision in the High Performance Class.

Spookie, skippered by North Sails professional Steve Benjamin, opened the
regatta with four straight victories however, Decision, skippered by Stephen
Murray of New Orleans, turned the tables big-time today by winning both
races while Spookie finished last in Race 6, shredding its spinnaker on the
last downwind leg.

Decision now holds a three-point lead over Spookie with two days and four
races remaining. “We certainly feel better about our chances now, but there
is still a lot of racing to be done. With no throwouts, you’re one bad race
away from going from the penthouse to the outhouse,” Murray said.

Bombarda, with owner Andrea Pozzi driving and past world champion Lorenzo
Bressani calling tactics, remained atop the 11-boat Melges 32 class for the
second straight day thanks to a first and second on Wednesday. Bombarda
leads fellow Italian entry Mascalzone Latino (Vincenzo Onorato) by three

Arethusa moved from third to first in Swan 42 class, with skipper Philip
Lotz (Newport, RI) steering Arethusa to a first and a fifth to now lead the
seven-boat fleet by virtue of a tiebreaker over Stark Raving Mad VI (James
Madden, Fort Lauderdale, FL). -- Full story:

Full Results:
Tune into the Live Coverage at:
Event Website:

The Swan 42 Class has been very active since its inception in 2007,
including fleets racing at Key West and Sardinia. However with the onset of
the financial crisis, the class has concentrated on the east coast centered
in Newport, where it has had strong close racing at its Nationals with
almost 20 boats and two exceptional NYYC Invitational Cups raced in Swan

Among the top teams is Jim Madden, who has his Swan 42 Stark Raving Mad VI
at Key West for the first time. "We believe we have the best Corinthian big
boat racing bar none, but when we spoke to other potential owners and
sailors not often in Newport, they thought the class had waned,” said
Madden. “We all also noticed that the press for Key West is exceptional as
its a showcase for top classes. So a few of us registered and invited others
to join in. We are excited to have now seven of our top teams in Key West.”

"All the credit should go to a few folks who really promoted the event,"
continued Madden. "Phil Lotz (active class member, owner of "Arethusa") and
John Hele (Class President, and owner of "Daring") took the initiative, and
Class Marketing Director Diane McConnell did a great job letting the owners
know, and promoting the event. This is my third Key West, but first on the
42. If there's any serious breeze, there will also be some good photo opps."

Completing the Swan 42 fleet at Key West this year are: Apparition (owner
Ken Colburn), Bandit (Andrew & Melissa Fisher), Hoss (Glenn Darden & Philip
Williamson, and Vitesse (Jon Halbert).

After Key West, Phil Lotz plans to take Arethusa to the Caribbean where he
can race competitively under IRC, while others are heading up to Charleston
for their spring race week as another class event. -- Craig Leweck,

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Charlie Buckingham came up short in his quest to represent the U.S. at the
2012 Olympic Games, but he may now be one of the team's strongest sailors
going forward. Since graduating from Georgetown University in the Spring of
2011, where he was twice named College Sailor of the Year, Charlie is
finally now able to go all in and focus on just one thing… an Olympic medal.

With the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami to begin next week (Jan 28-Feb 2),
Charlie shares his thoughts on campaigning and the singlehanded event:
SB: What past lessons are you eager to apply to this quad?

CB: A lot of my big lessons came from a campaign management standpoint.
There are a lot of variables affecting the success of an Olympic sailing
campaign; competition, on the water training, off the water training, time
off, travel, boat logistics, good training partners (to name a few), and it
simply takes time and experience to figure out how to manage these things
efficiently and in a way that works best for you as an individual, while
also improving your chances for success. It can be tricky connecting the
dots, but I felt like I learned a lot about how I can make my program more
efficient in this coming year, at least compared to last year.

SB: Did you always hold Olympic aspirations?

CB: I always knew an Olympic Campaign was something I could do with my
sailing, but I didn’t become truly motivated to push myself further in the
sport until I became a student athlete at Georgetown University. Before
Georgetown, my junior sailing training was more informal, but I loved
sailing and competing. When I got to Georgetown, it was the first time I was
involved in a structured training program for sailing and it was fulfilling
to see the training pay off at regattas. I sailed Lasers when time permitted
during college, but never had the luxury of training full time so by the
time graduation came I was pretty motivated to see where I could take my
Laser sailing.

SB: The Laser is a highly established class in the U.S., yet the country's
performance has lagged on the international circuit. To what do you
attribute the status of the U.S. in the Laser?

CB: From my observations in the year I’ve been doing it full time… read on:

You can follow Charlie at…

(January 23, 2013; Day 75) - After losing a keel two days ago, Jean-Pierre
Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) has delayed his decision whether he will abandon the
race, or to try and make it back to Les Sables d’Olonne until after the
Azores. He is currently talking with his architects (Guillaume Verdier and
VPLP) and considering whether or not he can use the water ballast system
effectively to provide greater stability to his boat.

Dick is currently making fair progress down the track and although Alex
Thomson (Hugo Boss) is slowly picking off the miles, on some level Dick is
also keeping him at bay. Meanwhile the estimated times of arrival for
François Gabart (MACIF) and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) are becoming
more refined.

Le Cléac’h is currently behind by 89 miles, in other words, ten hours of
navigation. The weather situation is not complicated and will automatically
benefit Gabart who gybed this morning and headed straight towards the
stronger breeze, whose generous west southwesterly winds will advance him
with unstoppable force. It’s looking like the winner will smash the record
of around 77, or 78 days! --

Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 1334.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 94.5 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 569.4 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 690.4 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: 2231.8 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. --

"The attraction of solo and doublehanded sailing is the self-reliance
required of the individual participants, which as far as I can tell, is a
diminishing value in all walks of life these days. In that sense sailing
your own boat around Long Island Sound, out to Catalina Island, trans-ocean
or round the world is one of the last remaining activities on the planet
where one person can get to terms with himself and is faced with the
consequences of his actions in a big way." -- Joe "Coop" Cooper, sailing

Bora Gulari and team are launched and ready. This year, their Melges 24 is
really “pimped out” with the latest products from the New England Ropes
design team. With Bora on the race course, New England Ropes is on-site in
Key West to see the newest designs and technologies along with partners:
West Marine Rigging, Annapolis Rigging, Sail 22, and Florida Rigging and
Hydraulics. From our world-renowned STS-12 and Endura Braid to our
best-selling cover Polytec, the team at New England Ropes will have all your
application needs covered. Follow us on Facebook for updates:

By Tommy Heausler
I am a lifelong racer and have taught rules seminars to juniors and adults
who are new to sailing. I find that most people are overwhelmed and
intimidated by the complexity of the rules, which I believe is a barrier to
the growth of the sport. Additionally, seasoned sailors know that, due to
complexity of the rules, a protest may surprisingly or inadvertently occur,
and chances in the protest room sometimes appear to be 50-50.

As a means to expedite the learning process, and to eliminate or minimize
ambiguous or difficult to interpret terms and concepts, I have developed a
set of simplified rules. While these proposed simplified rules eliminate
many provisions, I don't expect the behavior on most racing events to look
much different than with today's rules.

Below is a 10 rule simplified version of the Racing Rules of Sailing:

1. Port-tack boat shall keep clear of starboard-tack boat.
2. Windward boat shall keep clear of leeward boat.
3. Boat clear astern shall keep clear of boat clear ahead (both boats on
same tack).
4. A boat tacking shall keep clear of all other boats.
5. A boat shall endeavor to avoid contact even when having right-of-way.
6. When a boat acquires right-of-way or changes course, she shall initially
give other boats room to keep clear.
7. After the starting signal, a leeward boat shall not sail above close
hauled if her bow is behind the windward boat's bow.
8. At marks (other than start marks) and obstructions, when an inside boat's
bow is closer to the mark or obstruction than the outside boat's stern, the
outside boat shall give room. This rule takes precedent over rules 1 through
9. If a boat uses rules 1 through 4 to force the give-way boat to pass on
the wrong side of a mark or to a given side of an obstruction, then the
right-of-way boat shall also pass on that same side of the mark or
10. If a boat knowingly breaks a rule or has been found to have broken a
rule by another boat hailing "protest", then the boat may exonerate herself
by performing two turns (i.e. two tacks and two jibes) or one turn if the
infraction is contacting a mark.

COMMENT: I like the idea of simplified rules, but the current RRS exist in
their present state because of the loopholes that exist in simplified rules.
However, if people agree to keep it simple, then simple is good. - Craig
Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* The 2013 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship are set to be held
in Busan, Korea on June 4-9. Organized by the Busan Sailing Federation in
conjunction with the Korean Sailing Federation and ISAF, the regatta will
welcome the world's top female match racers as they battle it out to claim
the title and a share of the $100,000 prize fund. Using 9metre Match Racing
Yachts with a crew of five, invitations to skippers will be sent based on
the 6 February ISAF Match Race Rankings release. -- Details:

* The 2013 Progressive Insurance Strictly Sail Chicago show will be held at
Navy Pier, Chicago, January 24-27. In addition to more than 100 boats on
display and an array of marine accessories, there are top-notch attractions
for all ages including a summer playground with hundreds of free educational
seminars from the world’s elite sailors, a sailing simulator, remote control
sailboat pond, dozens of product debuts and more. -- Details at:

* New York, NY (January 22, 2013) - A New York judge dismissed a lawsuit
against the Golden Gate Yacht Club brought by African Diaspora, an
African-American sailing group that sought to compete for a chance to
represent the United States at this year's America's Cup. African Diaspora
had claimed the yacht club breached its duty to review its application in
good faith, sued for $1 million in damages and sought an order directing the
yacht club to accept its application. -- Full story:

* Staten Island, NY (January 23, 2013) - In a stunning reversal of a
decision made shortly after Hurricane Sandy devastated Nichols Great Kills
Park Marina on New York’s Staten Island, the National Park Service has
agreed to extend the marina operator’s permit for three years, the maximum
allowable under the law. The 350-slip marina, located on the grounds of the
Gateway National Recreation Area, lost all of its docks in the storm and was
to be shuttered by April 15, 2013, with the Park Service formerly
maintaining that services for 2013 were “not possible.” -- Full story:

Posting your event information on the free, self-serve Scuttlebutt Event
Calendar tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and sailing
media. But don't stop there. If your event is listed below, please send us
your race reports too:

* Jan 28-Feb 1 - ISAF Sailing World Cup - Miami, FL, USA
* Jan 31-Feb 4 - Charlotte Harbor Regatta - Charlotte Harbor, FL, USA
* Jan 31-Feb 5 - Grenada Sailing Week - St. George's, West Indies, Grenada
View all the events at

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of recent

* New custom aluminum boat trailers from 15-45 ft
* US Watercraft Rendezvous at new Warren, RI location
* VanTol Insurance Group expands Marine Division
View updates here:

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 Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss (posted on his blog):
I am shocked and gutted at the news that JP Dick has lost his keel. JP has
sailed an awesome race and does not deserve this to happen to him. He has
worked so hard and maintained his third position despite having to climb the
mast countless times. I am thankful that it has happened here and not in the
south although JP will have to go through some significant weather to get to
the Azores, potentially up to 40 knots on the 26 January.

I never thought we would see a keel failure on this race. IMOCA has of
course a history with keel failures but I really thought all those problems
were behind us. It will be interesting to review the failures of Virbac and
Safran, both penned from the same designer to see exactly why these failures
have happened.

When I joined the class in 2003 I was a little surprised that I had to
change the keel on my first boat because it had exceeded its mileage of
80,000 miles. Since then people have been building keels that last only one
round the world race to save a few kilos of weight. I came from the world
that a keel lasted for the life of the boat and that is where we need to get
to. In 2009 IMOCA brought in some regulations to make keels safer but it
obviously has not been enough.

Enough is enough, the keels need to be made of solid steel and last the life
of the boat, before someone gets hurt. -- Read at:

Blessed is the end user who expects nothing, for he/she will not be

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