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SCUTTLEBUTT 3770 - Wednesday, February 6, 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: Harken, Point Loma Outfitting, and Block Island Race Week.

(February 5, 2013) - Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad announced today that Newport, Rhode Island will host its first Volvo Ocean Race after winning a stop on the route of the 12th edition of sailing's premier round-the-world challenge in 2014-15. Newport was competing with Baltimore, MD for the stopover.

"We have made significant strategic land and marine infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams State Park, paving the way for a new era of racing in Rhode Island and setting the stage for the world-class events we continue to host," said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. "We had a positive experience with the America's Cup World Series last summer, and I look forward to welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race to Rhode Island. These large-scale sailing events draw impressive numbers of visitors to our state - visitors who make valuable contributions to our economy."

The Race will reach Newport, one of the world's sailing capitals, in April or May 2015 after a stop in Itajai, Brazil. Newport is the last stop before teams will sail across the Atlantic for the final legs around Europe. The Volvo Ocean Race has visited the U.S. in every edition since 1997-98, but despite Newport's great sailing heritage, it has never before had Host Port status.

"The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the premiere sailing events in the world. We look forward to welcoming the sailors, the sponsors and particularly the fans of this great race to our magnificent port," said Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. "With the race working its way around the world, it will build to a crescendo as it arrives in Newport, R.I. We can't wait."

The Race will finish in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. The remaining stopovers on the 2014-15 route will be revealed over the coming weeks. --

(February 5, 2013) - For a brief period in late January, Baltimore and state officials quietly rejoiced after receiving a letter from the Volvo Ocean Race congratulating the city for being picked to host the only U.S. stopover of the global race in spring 2015.

And then days later - before today's official announcement - race organizers yanked the prize away and gave it to Newport, R.I. The reason for the switch? Correspondence shows Baltimore refused to budge on a request from Volvo officials to move the Preakness Stakes from the week of May 11, 2015, or that Volvo be allowed to stage its event at the same time.

The Preakness Stakes is a prominent Thoroughbred horse race held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the second leg of the US Triple Crown, with the Kentucky Derby preceding it and the Belmont Stakes following it.

"We were shocked," said Robert Housman, executive director of Ocean Racing USA, the Baltimore bidder. "It would be discouraging to work hard on something and lose, but clearly they moved the finish line. We won on the merits of our bid and that's a fact." -- Baltimore Sun, read on:

COMMENT: Decisions regarding Volvo Ocean Race port locations are largely based on the commercial interests of the race and its sponsors, with less concern given to which site may draw larger fan support. This is how Miami beat out Newport in the 2008-9 edition, and it was Newport's concern again in this bid contest. No disrespect to the people of Baltimore, but there may not be any city in the U.S. that would draw the same foot traffic that we'll see in Newport. It should be nuts! - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

HARKEN NEWS - NEW WEBSITE, MIAMI BOAT SHOW has a totally new look and feel! The new site is easy to navigate and ready to get the spring pre-season off to a great start-information, spec-ing guides, and manuals are easier to find, and Facebook is on the front page. If you'd rather visit us in "meatspace" we'll also be at the Miami Boat Show on February 14-18. See you there!

The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami (Jan 28-Feb 2) was used as a test bed for potential formats being considered for the 2016 Olympic Games. Among the classes participating in the experiment was the Men's and Women's single person dinghy events (Laser and Laser Radial).

Both the Men and Women had a three day (six race) Qualifying Series, where they could discard their worst score. Their Qualifying Series ranking was carried over as a race score into a two day (five race) Final Series. From this Final Series they could discard any of their (now) six race scores, with the top ten sailors advancing to the Medal Stage. In the Medal Stage, there would be three non-discardable double-point races, with the scores from the Medal Stage added to the Final Series scores to determine the final ranking.

Gaining the bronze in the single person dinghy events were Charlie Buckingham (USA) and Isabella Bertold (CAN) who comment on the experience:

"I think there are some good ideas in the experimental format," noted Buckingham, "But it could use some fine tuning to continue the long standing tradition of awarding consistency in the long run in Olympic class racing. In the past, the winners of the Olympics and Olympic class World Championships have been strong in all conditions and consistent across a full series over a week. Separating the series into more distinct parts has the potential to take element of consistency away and I don't know if that's a good thing."

"I thought it was a better format for the Men because their Qualifying Series separated their fleet into Gold and Silver groups," observed Bertold, "But because the entire Women's fleet sailed together in both the Qualifying Series and Final Series it made the first few days of the event seem like they didn't matter for overall results as much as they usually do. As for the three double score medal races, it certainly added some extra stress but I can see why they would stick with it, and to be honest, that was some of the tightest and most fun racing I have ever participated in." (Note: Isabella posted a 4-7-1 in the medal races)

Here are Buckingham's three biggest thoughts on the format:

1) That the qualifying series score could be thrown out. That is a lot of racing put into one score that could potentially have very little impact on the rest of the regatta. I think the idea of separating the Qualifying and Final Series to put more emphasis on the Finals could be good, but there should still be a reward to sailing a good Qualifying Series.

2) That Qualifying was three days while the Final Series was two days. If they want to put more emphasis on gold fleet racing, maybe a two day Qualifying Series with 5 races and a non-discardable seeding score, and a three day Final Series with 6 races would make more sense.

3) I'm not sure about the three, double-point medal races. That is a lot of points on the table for one day of sailing that is usually dissimilar to the rest of the regatta. I guess you could say I'm a little biased given the outcome of my event (Note: Charlie posted a 9-4-7 in the medal races), but I don't think I speak for myself when I say it's troubling that a solid, consistent series can be turned on its head in one day.

Final Laser results:
Final Laser Radial results:
VIDEO: Here is the produced video (9:57 min) from the medal races for all events. The Laser and Laser Radial begin at 7:00 min: Click Here

An on-the-water jury at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami was empowered to penalize Rule 42 (propulsion) infractions according to Appendix P in the Racing Rules of Sailing. Here are some of the actions that earned penalties:

Body Pumping Body pumping without steering
Body movements upwind causing (sail) flicks
Repeated body movement causing boat to rock and sail to flick
Repeated body movement causing boat to rock unrelated to steering
Repeated body rocks during heading up repeatedly
Repeated body rocks
Main pumping
Pumping and rocking downwind
Pumping and rocking without steering
Pumping downwind without surfing
Rocking (incomplete tacks) propelling boat
Rocking downwind without steering
Rhythmic soft rocking by body movement
Sculling & offset sculling
Sheet pumping when already planning

Full list here:

Russell Coutts, CEO of America's Cup defender Oracle Team USA, doesn't expect to be confronting the Kiwis when the 34th Match is contested in September. "We haven't yet seen the second boat of Artemis and I wouldn't write Artemis off right now. It looks to me they will come out strong with the changes they recently made in their organisation. I, certainly, am not thinking we will be facing Team New Zealand." --

The weather may be cold outside, but Point Loma Outfitting is having their annual Winter Sale this month with lots of hot deals. Included items are Patagonia's 2012 Fall/Winter collection. Check it out while Patagonia may say their Spring/Summer collection starts January 1, I'm sure a lot of you can find functional clothing at up to 60% off. Besides Patagonia Point Loma Outfitting are also dealers for Musto, Slam, Atlantis, Gill, and soon Magic Marine.

(February 5, 2013; Day 88) - When Spanish skipper Javier Sanso of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered reported her capsize and his abandonment of the boat last Sunday, it was somewhat ironic that the one boat in the fleet which sought to protect the environment by using renewable and non-polluting sources of energy was now rubbish in the sea.

While the goal to power an Open 60 around the world exclusively by clean and non-fossil fuel energy - using solar, wind, and hydrodynamic sources - was near to fulfilling its mission, time will tell whether the boat can be recovered to reveal the cause of its sudden capsize.

"It all happened so quickly," shared Sanso. "It was around midday I was sailing upwind in around 20 knots and suddenly, when on deck and about to let out a reef, there was a sudden bang that made the boat the boat shake and the boat heeled over abruptly, which threw me in the water before I could react. From the water I saw how the boat continued to heel over fast and then roll. I was able to swim up to the transom and activate the life raft, which I got into. I remained in the raft all afternoon and well into the evening, but due to the strong swell, was unable to tie on to the boat so I quickly started to drift away from her.

"At 1800 (on Sunday) I spotted the Maritime Rescue aircraft that I did signal with a flare. The sighting of the aircraft greatly reassured me and gave me the confidence to know that everything was working and who was managing the emergency properly.

"About 2355 I heard again the sound of engines and watched a helicopter maneuvering near the boat, away from my position about two miles. The night was dark and for a moment I doubted that they had sighted me. After lighting my last flare the helicopter headed toward me, a rescue swimmer jumped into the water and I put in a harness for hoisting. In the helicopter a doctor examined me and found that I was in good physical condition.

"Now I am at the Lajes Air Base in Terceira, who I have to thank for their hospitality. I really wish to emphasize the heartfelt thanks for the care and hospitality of the Portuguese rescue teams and the treatment I am receiving here at the base. From now on, and after a needed break, it will be a matter of preparing the boat recovery operation with my team to then be able to assess with accuracy what happened." Tracking:

Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: Jan 27, 14:18:40 UTC, 78:02:16:40
2. Armel Le Cleac'h(FRA),Banque Populaire: Jan 27, 17:35:52UTC, 78:05:33:52
3. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: Jan 30, 07:25:43 UTC, 80:19:23:43
4. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA),Virbac Paprec 3: Feb 4, 15:05:40 UTC, 86:03:03:40
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), SynerCiel: 251.9 nm Distance to Finish
Full rankings:

ROLL CALL: The 2008-9 edition of the Vendee Globe saw 19 of the original 30 starters (63%) withdraw from the race. As of Feb 3, the current edition of the race has seen 9 of the 20 starters (45%) withdraw. Here is the damage roll call from both races:

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. --

"After a lull while I make my way around the Azores High, the wind is going to fill in from the north west and my Bay of Biscay crossing is going to be absolutely freezing and pretty brutal!" -- Dominique Wavre, Mirabaud, ranked 7th in Vendee Globe

* Dustin Durant (USA) and his team from Long Beach, California edged out Canada's Peter Wickwire in the ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final in Bridgetown, Bardados. The ISAF Nations Cup North American and Caribbean Grade 2 regatta qualified the team for the 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in Denmark in August 2013. -- Full report:

* Portugal's Olympic committee has banned a female windsurfer for life for concealing she was pregnant but attending the London Games anyway to see her husband. Carolina Borges travelled to Britain as part of the Portugal team but then sent an email during the Games in July saying she was quitting before her RS:X event had even started. Borges is married to U.S. sailor Mark Mendelblatt, who competed in London in the Star class in the sailing regatta off the south coast of England. -- Full report:

* Over 50 yachts representing 28 countries will be on the start line when the 5th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 commences on February 18. The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth's. The Royal Ocean Racing Club hosted 39 yachts in the 2012 edition. -- Full report:

* The 44th edition of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre (Mar 30-Apr 6), the first European stop of the 2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit, will include Kiteboarding as an invited class. Last year ISAF included Kiteboard in the Rio 2016 Olympic programme to replace the windsurfing, a decision that was revoked at the November Annual meeting. -- Full report:

Entries are pouring in for The Storm Trysail Club's 25th Block Island Race Week, 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 Handed, Cruising and Classic classes. Get your crew together, book your house, make your ferry reservations and enter now! Details on travel to Block Island, accommodations, marinas and Block Island Race Week and more at:

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 John Rumsey:
The idea of stadium racing is not new (Scuttlebutt 3769). While sailing in ocean races with Ted Turner in the early 70's, the crew was kept amused with Ted's ideas for stadium racing while on the night watches.

It started with a football field shaped pond with large fans mounted on both sides. The dinghies would race back and forth on the windward-leeward course while the fans would be turned on and off to make the wind very shifty. The idea of course was to make the less capable or unfortunate sailors capsize with the best going on to win the race.

Then Ted became very excited as he explained that the pond was full of Piranhas and the spectators would go wild as they do in car racing when a big wreck happens. This, of course, was going to be great for TV ratings on Ted's TBS network.

Actually, now that I think of it, isn't that where ISAF is headed? Seems like the trend is to get TV money with decreasing regard for quality racing.

* From George Morris:
Regarding the 'yachting/sailing/outdoor activity' debate (Scuttlebutt 37768), the very small club to which I belong rejoices in the name 'the Royal Findhorn Yacht Club'. It is widely believed that all members are 'posh' or 'toffee nosed'. Actually, only about ten percent of the active members own 'yachts' and the average length of these boats is about 24ft. The remainder sail mostly second-hand dinghies.

To widen its appeal the club tries to downplay the 'royal' and emphasizes that it is open to people from 'all walks of life'. It also emphasizes that you don't have to race or even sail - just take part, spend money in the bar, play golf or darts when invited and keep the place ticking over, particularly in the winter. This fulfils the fundamental purpose of keeping the club solvent but golfers, horse riders, kite surfers, canoeists and even cruiser owners do not swell the racing dinghy fleets, and it is an unavoidable fact that our principle organized activity is dinghy racing.

Other outdoor sports such as hill walking and cycling can take place with very little competitive activity. Of course much - perhaps most - 'yachting' is also non-competitive and as many as half our local boat owners are not members of the club, preferring to sail on their own and choosing not to mix with those dreadful snobs in the 'Royal' yacht club who charge around the bay shouting 'starboard' at each other. -- Forum, read on:

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