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SCUTTLEBUTT 3762 - Friday, January 25, 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: Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week and North U.

Key West, FL (January 24, 2013) - With four days of racing complete, even
the most veteran sailors have been amazed by the fact every day of the
regatta has brought spectacular conditions with warm temperatures and solid
breezes. Thursday was equally ideal as the breeze held steady between 14-18

“We’ve had an incredible string of great sailing days. I think that is
really the story,” said Jonathan McKee, tactician aboard the Farr 40
Struntje Light. “We keep waiting for a crappy day and it just hasn’t
happened. We’ve just been really lucky that each day has been spectacular.”

It’s been a knockdown, drag out fight in IRC 2 (52 Class) all week and the
winner probably won’t be decided until the last leg of the last race on the
last day. Azzurra and Ran are tied atop the standings with 21 points apiece
while Quantum Racing is just one point behind.

Helmsman Guillermo Parada and tactician Vasco Vascotto led the Italian entry
Azzurra to victory in Race 7 on Thursday while skipper Doug DeVos and
tactician Ed Baird led the American boat Quantum Racing to victory in Race
8. Ran, the Swedish program skippered by Niklas Zennstrom, also had a strong
day with a second and third.

The tight two-boat duel continues in the High Performance class between the
Carkeek 40 sister ships Spookie (Steve Benjamin, Norwalk, CT) and Decision
(Stephen Murray, New Orleans). Spookie rebounded to win both races on
Thursday, but Decision notched two seconds and maintains a narrow one-point
lead. Spookie beat Decision by just one second in Race 7, crossing the line
nine seconds behind and getting 10 seconds of time on handicap.

In the Swan 42 class, skipper Ken Colburn and the Apparition crew notched
results of third and first to beat James Madden and the Stark Raving Mad
team by one point. That effort earned Apparition The Marlow Trophy Boat of
the Day honor.

Bombarda, skippered by Andrea Pozzi, posted a second and third to remain
overall leader for the third straight day to hold a comfortable nine-point
lead over Japanese entry Swing (Keisuke Suzuki).

Full Throttle and Hedgehog are engaged in a heated battle in the Melges 24
class, second largest of the regatta with 23 boats. Full Throttle opened the
series with a seventh, but has been able to throw that out and have finished
no lower than third ever since. The Hedgehog crew had put up a steady string
of firsts and seconds before sailing their throw out on Thursday, an eighth
in Race 7, nonetheless Full Throttle won two races on Thursday and now leads
by four points. -- Full story:

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

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:

(January 24, 2013; Day 76) - Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) has decided
to wait until Sunday to make a decision as to what to do in his current
keel-less state. He’s still in the Azores high with just 12-13 knots in a
situation that’s not easy for a boat without a keel.

He said, “Sometimes I feel like I’m windsurfing, you need to completely
change the way you work on the boat. I can’t use large sails but the
ballasts are full to keep some stability. I’ll see if I can finish the race,
if the conditions allow, but I can’t take too much risk for myself, or
for the boat. I should sail off the Azores coast around the 27th, there
should be around 25 knots of westerly wind there and that will help me see
how the boat is doing when the sea and the wind are tougher.”

Meanwhile, François Gabart is expected to arrive in the Vendée port Les
Sables d'Olonne on Saturday night, and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire)
as it currently stands 6-7 hours later.

Mike Golding on Gamesa remains in sixth and faces one of the biggest
challenges of his solo racing career as he attempts to wrestle fifth place
from his long time rival, Jean Le Cam, "There is not much I can do against
Jean at the moment in the current conditions and sail configuration. He has
the more powerful boat. We are fast reaching now and he is just a little bit
quicker.” -- Full report:

Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Thursday, January 24, 2013, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 1013.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 101.7 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 675.2 nm DTL
4. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 728.0 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: 2204.3 nm DTL
Full rankings:

* ALEX DILEMMA: Shorthanded sailing advocate Joe Cooper discusses the
dilemma Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) faces as he approaches the keel-less
Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3). Should Alex stay to offer assistance,
even though none seems needed, and possibly sacrifice a chance at a third
place and a sub-80 day race? Or should Alex race on? Here’s the report:

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. --

By Elaine Bunting, Yachting World
Why do the Vendee Globe solo designs, the IMOCA 60s, keep having keel
failures? There have been two keel failures on this race: Safran and now
Paprec-Virbac 3, and the breakage of a keel ram on Maitre Coq.
If you look more broadly at the class, you're bound to reach the conclusion
that the flaws leading to these catastrophes have been endemic. There were
six keel failures in the race four years ago and 17 in total dating back to
the shocking images of Tony Bullimore's boat upside-down in 1997.
How can it be that these keep happening and what's the reason? How come
designers and engineers still cannot manage to ensure keels stay on for the
duration of a round the world race?
The subject is immensely complicated, but the simple place to start is that
no one - no designer, no engineer and certainly no sailor - wishes to take
big risks in this area.
While they are trying not to be handicapped in terms of performance, most
teams would be prepared to accept some compromise if it provided a
guaranteed solution and over the years many teams have swapped materials
back and forth several times in search of it.
The other issue is that keel fins are made out of one of a variety of
materials, so there is no one answer. (Safran's was from fabricated
titanium; JP Dick's of fabricated steel.) Each fin material has its pros and
cons, and the problem is that there have been failures in every material.
This table illustrates some of the choices and trade-offs… read on:

You’re on starboard, and a port tacker hails, “Tack or Cross?” Now what?
(Answer below)

San Francisco, CA (January 24, 2013) - Artemis Racing trained with its
second wing sail for the first time this week. Principal Designer Juan
Kouyoumojian calls the new wing an evolution from wing one. “The general
concept is much the same: I would define it as a refinement of the first
wing. It’s not fundamentally different,” he said.

Kouyoumojian continued, “Two years ago we were a brand new team, we didn’t
have people, we didn’t have facilities, we didn’t have people who had worked
together. We started building the first wing early because it was a good way
to kick-start the team. When you get down to the second boat having had the
experience of the first build and having people who have learned how to work
together, then things are a lot easier. The second wing became a much more
normal and much easier wing to build and set up. That’s why we’ve made it on
schedule and on weight, which is as it should be.”

Team CEO Paul Cayard was happy with the first sail on wing two, citing just
small adjustments that they will make.

“We operated the wing with all of its controls and it all functions well. We
had up to 16 knots of wind, which was a bit more than we needed for the
first sail, but everything was fine and it was a productive day. They take
many months to build and we were pretty on schedule. These things are such
custom items and there’s not a single thing that’s off the shelf here so I
think the guys did a fantastic job.” -- Details at:

* (January 24, 2013) - The Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac Committee
released the Notice and Conditions of Race (NOR) and the Mackinac Safety
Regulations (MSR) for the 105th Running of the annual event. The documents
are available on the Race’s website,, under
Race Documents. The 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by
Veuve Clicquot will start on July 13, 2013, and participation in the
333-mile race from Chicago Yacht Club to Mackinac Island, Mich. is by
invitation only.

* Portsmouth, R.I. (January 24, 2013) - US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Program
has named Grant "Fuzz" Spanhake (Annapolis, Md.) Technical Director of the
US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. Spanhake will work directly with High
Performance Director Charlie McKee to direct the performance program in the
Olympic and Paralympic classes. Spanhake brings top-level experience as sail
designer, trimmer and technical expert across six America’s Cup campaigns,
four Round the World races and two Olympic Games with Team GBR and one with
Team Greece. -- Story at:

* (January 24, 2013) - The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) has announced its
2013 VPP is ready for use by Rating Offices around the world. Use of the VPP
by owners, sailors, sailmakers and other industry members will also be
available to run test certificates in ORC International and ORC Club at the
Sailor Services feature on the ORC website. The 2013 ORC Rules for IMS, ORC
Rating Rules, Championship Event Rules, and the Sportboat and GP Class Rules
are also now available at

When you're on starboard and a port tacker hails “Tack or Cross?” you’re not
required to respond, and often the best response is to say nothing. Hail
“Cross” only if port could nearly cross you and you want to continue on
starboard. Learn more about this and dozens of other tactical scenarios at
North U Rules & Tactics Seminars and Webinars. The course includes Dave
Perry’s new Racing Rules & Tactics Workbook. US Sailing Memberships and
Discounts! Full details and registration: 800-347-2457,

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include superman, titans of industry, shipping, overloaded, choices, nearly
real, and nearly surreal. Here are this week's photos:

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

There must be a cadre of sailors who were sailing Hobie 16s or P Cats in the
70s that are now saying "I told you so". The early converters to multihull
sailing have long known about 'fast is fun'. Heck, even the Scuttlebutt
publisher chose the Tornado for an Olympic campaign in the 80s so that the
training "wouldn't suck".

The recent interest in multihull sailing is measureable. Anyone walking the
docks at the US Sailboat Show last fall in Annapolis noted the shift. The
platform for the 34th America's Cup has put the catamaran on display, and
there are now several options in production to feed this new need for speed.

In 2012 the popular races on the Southern California circuit often included
the ProSail 40 'Gladstone's Hydrogen II' (which, by the way, is for sale).
Morrelli & Melvin designer Erik Berzins produced a video from onboard the
catamaran, edited to music Sail by Awolnation. Click here for this week's

Bonus Videos:
* This week on America's Cup Discovered we hit the gym with Luna Rossa
Challenge as their training regime ramps up as we rapidly approach the Louis
Vuitton Cup. We check in with Jimmy Spithill as Oracle Team USA recovers
from their AC72 capsize last October, with plans to sail again on the
horizon. We also visit Lake Geneva to meet a young Swiss team who have
mountain high hopes of making it to San Francisco for the Red Bull Youth
America's Cup. Tune in on Saturday January 26 approx 0800 PST 1100 EST:

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

Peter Gibbons-Neff (67) was born in Bryn Mawr, PA. He attended The Haverford
School and graduated from The Gilman School in Baltimore. He was a 1968
graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Peter was a member of The Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia, the
Cruising Club of America, the Mill Dam Club, and St. David's Golf Club. A
Gibbons-Neff family tradition, sailing was Peter's life-long passion. His
love of sailing developed in Little Egg Harbor, NJ as well as on the Eastern
Shore of Maryland. Peter raced in the biannual Newport-to-Bermuda Race 12
times, the Annapolis-to-Newport Race 10 times, and raced trans-Atlantic from
Bermuda to Copenhagen. Additionally, he cruised waters stretching from the
Caribbean, to the Chesapeake, to Newfoundland.

He was a Commodore of The Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia and a Rear
Commodore of the Cruising Club of America, Chesapeake Station. Peter
conveyed a love of sailing to his entire family and to many young people
including, most recently, the members of the Villanova University sailing
team. --

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 Jack Gierhart, Executive Director, US Sailing:
To our valued members of US Sailing, we understand that while many of you
have received your copy of the new Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016, a good
number of you who confirmed your address and requested a copy, have not. We
want to let you know that your copy has shipped, and you should receive it
shortly. We apologize for the delay and any inconvenience, and appreciate
your patience as we implement a new distribution process. 
This is certainly not a reflection of our Racing Rules Committee and
dedicated volunteers who have worked diligently to continue improving the
rules of our game and create a great product. We are grateful for all they
contribute. If you have any questions, please contact us at (401) 683-0800
(8:30-5:00 EST), or email Lauren Cotta at For
those of you who have not yet confirmed your address to request a copy,
please visit Thank
you for your understanding, and continued support as members of US Sailing. 

* From Peter Rugg (re, Scuttlebutt 3761):
I would like to suggest one addition to Tommy Heausler's simplifies rules:
In the event of a protest, the jury shall determine the penalty. This
reduces the one-design-multiple-races-in-a-day bias of the rules, and
permits a jury to assess a reasonable time penalty against the overnight
PHRF racer who has one of his flares out of date and corrects the
bone-headed RRS provision that the only remedy is disqualification. 

* From Peter O. Allen, Sr., Rochester, New York:
Our sailing club (Newport Yacht Club, Rochester, NY) had a great clinic on
the new racing rules last weekend, so your item on the simplified racing
rules really resonated with me. Our clinic was fast-paced, so I held back,
but one of my personal, over-arching rules isn't in the books. That is, to
not waste the benefit of personal concentration on close situations.
For example in a close situation, take that port tacker's transom. Instead
of hailing "Starboard" at that port tacker, either tack on their lee bow, or
smoothly duck their transom. You won't be giving up much, and you'll be
moving faster than if you violently crash duck. Keep calm and sail fast.
Keep your head (and those of your crew) out of the boat; look for tactical
Look for ways to keep your cool. It's a nice day out there; enjoy it! Don't
let your mood get soured by some clod that refuses to cede to your
USSA-given rights. Unless you are fighting it out for a place on the podium,
sail a smooth, clean race and don't sweat the small stuff. An incidental
benefit may be that you'll be recognized by your competitors as a "good guy"
and may get your concession returned to you on the next race or the next
The "simplified" rules are a great step in the right direction for most of

“See first that the design is wise and just; that ascertained, pursue it
resolutely.” - Shakespeare

JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Dieball Sailing - North U - North Sails
Sail To Prevail - Southern Spars - APS - UK Sailmakers - Ullman Sails
New England Ropes - Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week

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