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SCUTTLEBUTT 3772 - Friday, February 8, 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: APS and North U.

While the rest of us are planning for Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day (and Girls Scout cookies in the U.S.), here's what the America's Cup teams have planned for February:
Oracle Team USA (USA), Defender -
Oracle Team USA relaunched their AC72 on Feb. 4. The first two days were spent commissioning the repaired yacht and running it through various load tests out on the San Francisco Bay. "We treated today kind of like we had a new boat, so it was basically a sea trial," said tactician John Kostecki after the first day back.

The hulls and platform were repaired and modifications completed on schedule at the team base at Pier 80. The new wing was built in New Zealand at Core Builders Composites and assembled at the base in San Francisco. Among the modifications is a new steering system in place of a tiller. Also as General Manager Grant Simmer said, "You'll see the boat has different centerboards in it - that's an ongoing research project. We're not sure where we'll end up, but this is the next stage in our development."

Oracle Team USA plans to sail the AC72 several days each week. Work also continues on the build of the team's second AC72.

Watch the AC72 back on the Bay:
Artemis Racing (SWE), Challenger of Record -
Artemis Racing continues to chase as much AC72 sailing as possible. Sailing with our second wing since mid January, we are continually gathering data to improve performance. We anticipate lining up with Oracle during February, which will be very interesting. When not AC72 sailing, the team is match-racing its two AC 45s.

The Red Bull Youth America's Cup selection trials are happening Feb 9-24 here on San Francisco Bay. Björn Johansson, coach at the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, helmsman Charlie Ekberg and tactician Niclas Düring from Swedish Youth Challenge will be here to check out the competition.

As Artemis Racing is fielding a team in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup it does not need to participate in the selection trial to qualify. While in town, Björn, Charlie, and Niclas will spend some time with Artemis Racing around the facilities in Alameda, sail on the AC45's and watch the team train on the AC72.
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Challenger -
Five months from the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Emirates Team New Zealand's second AC72 is in the shed, for a few final tweaks from the engineers and systems experts before going sailing.

Boat 2 was blessed on February 4, a blustery, damp Monday. With a steady 25 knots at the top of the wing the boat was never going to be lifted into the water.

Thursday of this week was to have been the first sailing day but it's like a mill pond on the Hauraki Gulf. The team is now having four days off, starting Friday. As team boss Grant Dalton has said, the time off is small reward for a team that has worked crazy hours for the past few months.

With the pressure off, the team's schedule was revised to give shore crew time to tie down the loose ends now and lessen the risk of downtime when the testing and training programme gets underway early next week.

February will be a busy month. The sailing programme will be intense. The clock's ticking and the team is very mindful of the fact that it has to pack-up the base in April and move the entire operation to San Francisco while Artemis and Oracle's programmes continue.
Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 (ITA), Challenger -
Luna Rossa moves forward in its training program according to plan. In addition to technical and sports activities on the AC72, as well as testing sessions with the SL33, the crew is also race training on its two AC 45 catamarans.

Throughout February the team will be focused on testing and development projects; on Thursday, February 7th, the AC72 will stop sailing for a week to undergo modifications and upgrades to both the wing and the platform.

The on-water activities will start again on February 14th, with two days of sea trials aimed to ensure that all of the modifications function correctly.

The team Luna Rossa will then resume racing against Emirates Team New Zealand, who will be sailing its second and newly-launched AC 72 catamaran.
Scuttlebutt will be providing a monthly summary for each of the four America's Cup teams through to the Louis Vuitton Cup (July 7-Aug 31) and the 34th Match (Sept 7-23):

The two most established helm/tactician teams in the 34th America's Cup are Jimmy Spithill (AUS)/ John Kostecki (USA) for defender Oracle Team USA and Dean Barker (NZL)/ Ray Davies (NZL) for challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. Here's how these guys got paired up and what has made them a successful team:
Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA helm: "We tried to sail with each other before this but it never worked out. We're both really open and honest with each other and don't get offended - that's the key. We need to have a relationship where we can be critical or ask questions of one another and not take it personally. We both know the only reason we're questioning something is we want to get better, to learn. Plus we both want to win. We also have similar personal interests - we both enjoy sports, we have kids similar ages - which is also important, and helps makes it work."

John Kostecki, Oracle Team USA tactician: "After the 2007 Cup, we were both being recruited by Russell Coutts, and I contacted Jimmy to see where he was at and try to team up with him. We've been sailing together for quite some time now. And, we've also been working really hard on communication and teamwork. Jimmy is not only a great helmsman, but also a capable tactician. I come from a helmsman background, so I think we have a good relationship."
Ray Davies, Emirates Team New Zealand tactician: "We didn't actually start the helm-tactician team until after the 2007 America's Cup. We started with the Louis Vuitton World Series at Auckland. We came from being behind in the finals and came back to win the series so that was a great introduction and we've done a lot of regattas since then. We had sailed together a lot prior to that. During the last Cup I was the strategist, Dean on helm.

"The more you sail, the more you pick up - you keep learning about each other and its fantastic to have a few years under the belt because you do read the situations by the tone of their voice, picking up more than just a few words in the conversation. It's been very valuable to have that experience and time together now, and we keep learning each time we go out about the other operates. That has become very important with the AC72. Everything has to be running smoothly and right now it feels like it's all going well." -- Read on:

It's a whole new month of Rigging and Line deals at APS! The last Rigging Sale of the year has savings up to 15% on the performance upgrades and maintenance replacements that you need for this season. Whether you are aiming for that class championship or just want to maximized your time on the water this year new rigging and line can help get your there. Find out more:

There are six teams already guaranteed to be competing in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup regatta in September, with at least four more to advance from a selection series being held in San Francisco on February 9-24. So who looks to be the early favorite to win it all? Bet on the Kiwis.

Besides having the support of Emirates Team New Zealand, the New Zealand youth team has and some daunting experience on their roster.

Two-time Olympian and Olympic silver medallist Peter Burling will play a pivotal role heading up the team as Skipper and helm. The 22 year-old kiwi has already had a taste of the action having helmed the AC45 for Team Korea in the AC World Series this past September in San Francisco.

Burling's 2012 Olympic partner, 23 year old Blair Tuke is on the team as tactician. The Olympic silver medallist was recently crowned 2013 National Champion in the A-Class catamaran and sailed his first Sydney to Hobart Race in December.

Another three sailors are existing members of the NZL Sailing Team, New Zealand's top tier Olympic campaigners. Laser sailors Andy Maloney (22 years) and Sam Meech (21 years), along with Olympic 470 sailor Jason Saunders (22 years) have all been named on the team.

Andy Maloney not only delivered a Laser World Championship podium finish last year with a bronze medal, but additionally he brings multihull experience having raced recent international Extreme 40 events with the Oman Air team.

The youngest sailor named today Sam Meech has risen from gold at the Youth World Championships in 2009, while Jason Saunders was one half of the Men's 470 pair to represent New Zealand at the London 2012 Olympic Games, producing one of the less lauded yet very impressive results of the New Zealand team with a fifth place in the duo's debut Olympics.

Jono Spurdle (21 years) brings both strength as well as keelboat match racing nous to the team having campaigned with young New Zealand match racing team Full Metal Jacket over recent years. And Guy Endean (23 years) is another talented keelboat sailor who travelled as shore crew with New Zealand's Volvo Ocean Race entry CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand

"I'm really confident that we have a great group of guys together," says Burling.

The Red Bull Youth America's Cup is on September 1-4 in San Francisco featuring national teams of six sailors racing in AC45 catamarans. Eligible sailors must hold a national passport and be aged between 19 and 24 years. -- Full report:

COMMENT: In Scuttlebutt 3771, U.S. Olympic Sailing Managing Director Josh Adams outlined how young sailors with Olympic aspirations needed to seek out experience in high performance, technical-type boats. Given the age and accomplishments of these Kiwi sailors, it would appear that this is already happening in New Zealand. My guess is that these guys never spent much time in the institutional youth boats that are common in North America. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* Two ISAF Sea Survival courses will be held at San Francisco Yacht Club on March 16-17 and 23-24. Valid in the US and abroad for all Cat 2 and Cat 1 offshore races. This two day training includes four practical sessions in rig cutting, flare firing, in water liferaft and fire fighting. Complies with Appendix G of the Offshore Safety rules. Special speakers include Bryan Chong and members of the USCG and Tiburon Fire department. Sign up online at, contact Ashley Perrin for questions:

* The Property and Special Taxes Department of the State of California has recently issued an update for the depreciation factors to be used by county assessors in the mass appraisal of vessels when determining a value for property taxation purposes. This year's data indicates that sailboats are experiencing a greater decline in value due to a higher than usual inventory of used sailboats for sale in the marketplace, along with a lower volume of sales occurring for new sailboats. -- Full report:

* The American Sailing Association (ASA) is now celebrating its 30th year serving the national sailing community. ASA was established in 1983 in order to introduce uniform sailing standards to the U.S. and to unite the multitude of independent sailing schools across America which were then teaching their own diverse methods. The ASA is commemorating its "Pearl Anniversary" with a variety of festive, philanthropic and promotional activities throughout 2013. -- Details:

* It was recently announced that the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) would partner with SailSFBay for community outreach, especially events and programs that get more young sailors out on the water. SailSFBay was founded in 2008 to unite the San Francisco Bay Area sailing community to grow participation in sailing. -- Full report:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include the perfect trophy, sweet signage, February calendar, Puerto Rico racing, 5.5m Worlds, Mrs. Dean Barker, pretty in pink, rock hopping, and what goes well with Chinese food. Here are this week's photos:

Bonus Photos:
* Photographer Pierrick Contin takes us to Martinique in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean for the Martinique Cata Raid. Enjoy the master of multihull shooting:

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

For the 24th time in ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami history, excellence in Olympic and Paralympic class racing took place on the emerald waters of Biscayne Bay. With this being the start of the quadrennium, the event provided the opportunity for aspiring Olympic and Paralympic athletes to begin their campaign for Rio 2016.

This six-day regatta on Jan 28- Feb 2 hosted over 300 of the best sailors in the World representing 37 countries, with champions crowned in ten Olympic and two Paralympic class events. The regatta marked the second of four stops on the 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

Here's a recap of the event:

Bonus Videos:
* Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program encourages sailors and race organizers to reduce their environmental impact. The Ripple Effect is the impact of 14 regattas committing to eliminate single use water bottles at their events. Watch the ripple happen:

* Ten of the world's best windsurfers from eight countries competed in a demanding competition in Kerry, Ireland where they faced recorded storm-force gusts of up to 74 knots and fierce 20-ft waves. It was possibly the most radical day in windsurfing event history:

* This week on America's Cup Discovered the countdown continues to the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup Finals, and Oracle Team USA has implemented a safety training seminar for all its crew. Influenced not only by the dramatic capsize of their AC72 last October, but also by revelations from the seriousness of their AC45 capsize during the America's Cup World Series in San Francisco. The next generation of Cup sailors are gearing up to take their challenge to San Francisco to take part in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup Selection Series Feb 9-24. Tune in on Saturday February 9 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:

Dave Perry, Peter Isler and David Dellenbaugh are featured instructors at the 2013 US Sailing Racing Rules & Tactics Seminars, Rules & Tactics Webinars and Expedition Webinars. Presented by North U, the seminars and webinars will improve your racing. Top instructors. Great course materials. Check the schedule and sign up by visiting or by calling North U at 800-347-2457 or 203 245 0727.

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 Richard Feeny, Bristol, RI:
I agree with the advice of Josh Adams in Scuttlebutt 3771 (Re-Tooling the Olympic Path). If young sailors are interested in international competition and a shot at the Olympics, they should spend more time sailing high performance boats that are feeder classes to the Olympic classes.

The catamaran option was not mentioned so I write on behalf of multihull enthusiasts. The Formula 16 is the entry level double handed youth catamaran class for the Youth Worlds this year, and for the US Youth Champs this summer. Open F-16 nationals will be in Racine, Wisconsin on August 2-4, and the youth clinics mentioned (CISA and Gonzalez) are accepting catamarans for the first time ever!

We are fleet building in New England. There are several brands available, including an excellent domestic builder. We are bidding on the World Championship regatta in 2014. Details here:

Another option is to try the A-class catamaran. There are boats available for the same price as a used Laser or 420, and while you won't win nationals in such a vessel you can learn a tremendous amount in a year or two.

* From Juan Corradi:
On January 26, forty sailors gathered at the New York Yacht Club to discuss "prudent seamanship in the digital age." The symposium was organized by the Club's Seamanship Committee , introduced by Rear Commodore Philip Lotz for the Flag Officers, and moderated by myself.

Past Commodore Lawrence Huntington opened the event by addressing the desirable and undesirable characteristics of captains and crews in ocean racing. His presentation focused on the requisite qualities of leadership and teamwork, which he summed up with a phrase used by British sailors: OLQ (officer like qualities).

Peter Rugg, an experienced ocean sailor, followed with remarks on navigational changes in the past 25 years. He reviewed the variety of input feeds the modern navigator needs to: GPS, Radar, AIS, and Weather. The safe transition to new navigation technology is to never forget to check one's work and always back it up with more traditional routines.

The navigator is the key to linking the boat, afterguard, and crew to the existing conditions and possible changes ahead. Like Huntington, Rugg emphasized that there is no room for ambiguity or poor communication. Digital routing tools are of great help but they should never substitute for personal on-site judgment.

Gary Forster, who discussed recent mishaps aboard sailboats in races and deliveries, followed Rugg. His main point was that a chain of dangerous events and disasters almost always starts with small seemingly insignificant errors. Modern digital technologies often lead to a lapse in situational awareness, poor preparedness, and overconfidence.

An active discussion followed on the double-edged nature of technical advances in navigation, design, and materials. Participants drew a list of lessons learned on how to use digital enhancements and how to separate in them the good from the bad and the ugly.

* From Rob McNeal:
I've enjoyed the banter this week over use of the term "Yacht Club". I belong and am a past Commodore of the Bayshore Gardens YC located in Bradenton Florida. Bayshore Gardens is a 600 some home community located on the north end of Sarasota Bay, Florida. Our membership averages between 40 and 60. Of that- there are less than 10 sailboat owners and of them apx half have any interest in racing. There are about the same number of power boats. I have to be very careful when describing our operation to newbies...I can visibly see the interest wane when the YC words are used. Much like when using the phrase "meeting" rather than "social". We focus on the fun stuff here.

A theory is better than its explanation.

Marion Bermuda Race - Hall Spars & Rigging - North Sails - North U - J Boats -
Harken - Point Loma Outfitting - Block Island Race Week - Ullman Sails -
US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider - APS - North U -

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