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SCUTTLEBUTT 3778 - Tuesday, February 19, 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 Sails, Atlantis WeatherGear, and Gunboat.

Held annually on Sydney Harbour in Australia, the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship is considered the World Championship of the 18ft Skiff class. The 64th edition has 31 of the world's best teams competing this week for the title.

For the first time ever there is not one, but two all-girl teams competing. Even rarer is that one of the teams hails from San Francisco: Katie Love, Christine Neville, and C.C. Childers on Southern Engineering Services. Scuttlebutt caught up with Katie on the layday after race two:

* Your sailing roots are in San Diego. How did you get involved in 18s?

I got involved in 18 sailing in San Francisco because I needed to get on a skiff. I recently graduated from the California Maritime Academy (Vallejo, CA), but college sailing was not that exciting for me because I was highly involved in skiff sailing before moving to the bay area. Fortunately, a friend of mine introduced me to all the local SF 'skiffies' and soon after they became family. One day of messing around on an 18 four years ago has turned into a serious addiction! The boat is fast and there is a good fleet of 18's in SF.

* Quite a feat to take your program to the JJ. How did this come about?

I figured that after four years of local competition, I needed to step my game up! There is only one local event each year that brings the elite Aussie's to San Francisco and that is the 18 Foot Skiff International Regatta hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club. One five-day regatta each year was not enough to suffice. Coming to OZ for the JJ's is not only a life-long dream but it is a huge learning experience. I may not come home now!

Another huge part of coming to the JJ's is that there has never been an all-women's team, EVER! I have been part of many all-women's teams and love conquering the unthinkable! I had an all-women's 18 team in SF in 2009 and now again this year. It is great to be role-models for women sailors world-wide. I cannot tell you how many women have come up to me at this event and have told me how cool it is that I am sailing 18's. I think we have made an impact!

* What's it like taking on the boys?

Taking on the boys is difficult. We are 200 kg together as a team and most boys teams are about 270 or more kg. The boat is much harder for a smaller team than a bigger team (though a team like C-Tech is proving the weight theory wrong). It is also difficult because the boys certainly don't like getting beat by the girls. Sometimes you will over hear a negative comment about 'the girls' and how we beat a boy's team, and how embarrassing it is for the boys. But to me it is a huge success when we do beat them!

I think it is great to introduce women to the fleet because there are multiple masts and adjustments that you can make to sail the boat just as efficiently as the boys. The boys here in Australia are extremely helpful, and make sure my boat is set up just right for the day. The help is much appreciated! -- Read on:

Event details:

North Sails–powered boats performed at the Sperry Top-Sider St Petersburg NOOD. Robby Brown and crew on USA-799 won the 15-boat J/24 fleet followed by David Ogden (Clear Air) and Travis Odenbach (Honey Badger). Brown had 7 bullets in 11 races and won the best in all classes award as well. In the J/70s, Joel Ronning (Catapult) finished 1st followed by Will Welles (Rascal). Congratulations also to Andrew Fisher (Bandit) who bested Paul Tingley (CAN-829*) by one point to win the Sonar Midwinters. Rick Doerr (Valiant) took 3rd in the Sonars. When performance counts, the choice is clear: (*=majority NS inventory)

New Zealand Herald reporter Dana Johannsen hitches a ride on Team NZ's new AC72 as it tests on the Hauraki Gulf.
It wasn't being made to sign a waiver before I hopped on board Team New Zealand's new AC72 that made me nervous - apparently the team's legal department are kept busy enough as it is.

Nor was it being handed a helmet and an oxygen bottle to strap around my waist in case the super-sized racing machine should capsize and I get trapped under water.

It was hearing skipper Dean Barker briefing on the on-board comms before the start of the day's testing that he hoped to push the boat upwards of 40 knots - around 75km/h - on just its third day on the water and second proper sailing day.

Looking at the faces of the design team on the chase boat, they too were a bit uneasy about the skipper's plans.

But with the big event in San Francisco on the horizon, the sense of urgency in the Team New Zealand camp has been ratcheted up several notches since the launch of their second boat, New Zealand Aotearoa.

So as I gingerly climb aboard NZL05, I knew this was going to be no pleasure cruise around the Hauraki Gulf.

Moving around the boat takes some getting used to. As I stagger about on the netting like a new-born foal, clambering from one side to the other whenever a tack is performed, the crew sprint past me, easily traversing the distance between the two hulls in a couple of bounds.

I'm seated in the driest spot on the boat, right in the centre, but that does not save me from the odd dousing.

It is the windward crew that are most in the firing line, though, with Richard Meachem, the team's bowman, hunkering down to avoid the massive shower of spray as the windward foil kisses the water.

Today is considered a calm day, with a flat sea and moderate winds, but full wet-weather gear is a must.

The real ride begins when they head downwind.

During the testing of their first boat late last year, I watched in awe from a chase boat as the giant catamaran with the same dimensions as a tennis court (well, 3m wider, to be exact) flew above the water. It is quite another thing to be on board experiencing lift-off for the first time. -- Read on:

Sportswear firm Puma said it is pulling out of the sailing market to concentrate on other sports such as soccer and running to rebuild its flagging business, leaving an America's Cup team seeking a new sponsor.

The German company, which on Thursday reported a 70 percent drop in its annual profit, is going through its biggest reorganisation in 20 years to restore the business and get its products back in fashion in the United States, Europe and China.

The company has already said it wants to focus more on soccer and running and will now stop sponsoring the Oracle sailing team, current holder of the America's Cup, after the 2013 season. The team wear race gear supplied by Puma and the company's jumping cat logo can be seen on the sails.

Puma had also entered a team twice in the Volvo Ocean Race, ending in third place in the final in July 2012, but will not be entering another team.

Brands pay upwards of 10 million euros ($13 million) a year to sponsor the major sailing teams, according to sports market research company Repucom. -

"The title of this clinic is 'Rules: Yes They Apply to You.' This is a change from the original title 'Rules: Not a Figment of Other Skipper's Imagination.' You should know something about Rules because not only are you probably breaking several of them at every mark and crossing, but your opponents probably are too." - Lido 14 Fleet Six rules clinic promotion

We try to head south whenever we can, especially when it's snowing and gusting 50 here in Marblehead. But when we have to satisfy our sailing jones by jumping into a boat on a Sunday for a bit of frostbiting, we don't leave the dock without the new Challenger jacket. Waterproof, windproof, breathable and cozy with 120 grams of lofted polyester insulation and a super soft tricot lining - and on sale this week for $179 (regularly $280) at We'll even ship it for free!

Discover the best gear for winter sailing. Discover your Atlantis.

The new edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing went into effect on January 1, 2013. These rules are locked in through 2016, the year of the next Summer Olympic Games. Rules authority Dave Perry helps explain some of the significant changes.

Dave is chairman of the US Sailing Appeals Committee, Rules Advisor to the US Olympic Sailing Team and Artemis Racing, the Challenger for the America's Cup, co-author of the North U Rules & Tactics seminar, and author of two books on the subject.
The definition Mark-Room has been changed to remove the "to" / "at" convention from the previous definition. Under the previous definition, an inside boat without right-of-way was entitled to just enough room to sail "to" the mark in a seamanlike way; and then while she was "at" the mark, she was entitled to room to sail her proper course until she was no longer "at" the mark. Arguments raged over when a boat was "at" and no longer "at" a mark. The new definition eliminates the argument by removing the right of an inside keep-clear boat to sail her proper course while she is "at" the mark.

Under the new definition Mark-Room, an inside boat without right-of-way is only entitled to just enough room to sail to and around the mark and onto the next leg in a "seamanlike way" (which is the way it was before the 2009-2012 rule change).

Note two things:
(1) Because mark-room no longer includes room to sail a "proper course," a boat that is clear ahead of another boat while rounding a windward or offset mark onto a run is not entitled to room to gybe anymore. "Mark-room" is only enough room to begin sailing the leg. So if she does not need to gybe to begin sailing the leg, a boat that gybes onto port tack near the mark must keep clear of starboard-tack boats behind her. And...

(2) If a boat's proper course does not bring her close to a mark (say within a length), then she is not entitled to room to sail "to" that mark. This will come up at the finishing line where a boat's proper course may be to pass two lengths away from the finishing mark (in which case she does not need room from another boat to leave the mark on the required side). In that case, keep-clear boats must keep clear of right-of-way boats even in the zone. Though the language for this is built into the new definition Mark-Room, this is not a game change from the previous rules.

Mark-Room: Room for a boat to leave a mark on the required side. Also,
(a) room to sail to the mark when her proper course is to sail close to it, and
(b) room to round the mark as necessary to sail the course.

However, mark-room for a boat does not include room to tack unless she is overlapped inside and to windward of the boat required to give mark-room and she would be fetching the mark after her tack.
For more on the rules, get Dave Perry's two books Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2016 (which includes the complete rule book) and Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes available at US Sailing, 800 US SAIL-1, or; and attend a North U Rules & Tactics Seminar led by Dave and others (go to

* St. Petersburg, FL (February 17, 2013) - One of the oldest boats, in one of the most storied classes, took home overall winner honors at the 2013 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta. Local Robby Brown dominated the 15-boat J/24 class winning seven of 11 races. By virtue of the impressive win over some top competition, Brown, whose boat USA 799 first touched water 35 years ago, was selected as the overall winner for the regatta. The biggest class was the fledgling J/70 class, with 20 entries. Joel Ronning, of Minneapolis, Minn., won that competition by 20 points. -- Full report:

* Montego Bay, Jamaica (February 18, 2013) - After a relatively mellow light-air start, George Sakellaris's 72' Reichel Pugh Shockwave eventually enjoyed double-digit reaching conditions to become first-to-finish, first in IRC division and first overall at the 31st biennial Pineapple Cup-Montego Bay Race Presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum. The annual ocean race of 811 nautical miles started on February 8 at Florida's Port Everglades with IRC and PHRF divisions. Shockwave finished on February 10 (02:11:23:02), just short of the race record set in 2005 by Titan 12. -- Full report:

* (February 16, 2013) Italian Giovanni Soldini and his eight crew on the VO70 crossed the finish line under San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge at 18:31:59 GMT, establishing a new record time reference (47:00:42:29) of the Golden Route, in the monohull category, from New York to San Francisco crossing Cape Horn (yet to be ratified). The team had left New York on December 31, 2012 at 17:49:30 GMT. The previous time reference in the monohull category was set by Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations in 1998: 57 days and 3 hours. --

* Jensen Beach, FL (February 18, 2013) - Seventy-six teams competed in the Club 420 Midwinter Championship, hosted by the US Sailing Center of Martin County on February 16-18, 2013. After posting a 43rd in the 11th race, Scott Sinks/ Patrick Snow closed strong with a bullet in the 12th and final race to take the title by four points over Jack Parkin/ Florian Eenkema van Dijk. -- Full results:

* The 5th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 got underway today in Antigua with 25 knots of trade winds, gusting close to 30, providing feisty conditions for the 53 yachts. The international fleet, with crews from 31 nations, set off for the 600-mile race threading through 11 stunning Caribbean islands, with a forecast of strong winds ahead. The 100-foot maxi Liara was an early casualty, losing their mast soon after the start. The crew, all safe and well, motored Liara back to the dock. -- Read on:

* America's Cup challenger Team Luna Rossa has announced that for their AC72 crew, Chris Draper has been chosen as helmsman and Francesco Bruni will be the tactician. At the upcoming America’s Cup World Series event in Naples, Italy in April, Draper will helm one of the Luna Rossa AC45s, with Bruni driving the other. -- Full story:

* America's Cup World Series team, Energy Team France, announced that it has confidentially resolved its legal dispute over the salvage of its AC45 America's Cup racing vessel. In January, the Court in San Francisco ordered that Energy Team's boat be released from arrest and returned back to its owners. The parties' dismissal of the lawsuit now requires that the Court clerk also return all of the team's cash security. --

* Held biennially, the International Women's Keelboat Championship (IWKC) will be hosted by the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass on September 2 - 7, 2013. The 15th edition of this Championship will be raced in the International J/22 class keelboat. -- Details:

* (February 18, 2013) - It was announced that Abu Dhabi will be a stopover port for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race and will sponsor a team skippered by Britain's twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker. After the start in Alicante and the Leg 1 finish line in Recife in northeast Brazil, the second leg will extend to Abu Dhabi. The Race will finish in Gothenburg, Sweden, with the remaining ports to be unveiled over the coming weeks before a final announcement including leg distances and timings. -- Full report:

* Tanguy de Lamotte crossed the Vendee Globe finish line on Sunday, finishing in 10th place with a race time of 98:21:56:10. Of the 20 starters in Les Sables d'Olonne, France on November 10, Alessandro Di Benedetto is the final racer on the course, with 640 nm remaining. --

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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 Jepsen, US Sailing Chair, Training Committee:
Kudos to Tom Hubbell and thanks for sharing the interview with him (in Scuttlebutt 3777). It could be seen as a tough act to follow to succeed Gary Jobson as US Sailing President. But, Tom is the right guy for the job. He is committed to US Sailing's legacy in the competitive side and also sees the critical importance of democratizing the sport at the entry level.

Community Sailing has blossomed in the past 30 years - every year, more programs and more new people introduced to sailing - while overall participation in sailing is struggling in several areas. Tom sees that Community Sailing is a critical long term solution to declining numbers of participants, especially sailboat buyers. He and Community Sailing deserve our support.

* From Bee Anderson:
The memories last week regarding Johnson Boat Works bring to mind a certain 73 year old Johnson C Scow.

In 1940, my dad Jimmy Friend bought me the BEST C boat I owned from Skip Johnson. I was 18, lived on Pine Lake in southern Wisconsin, one of the original 10 ILYA lakes. My dad helped create the first Class E scow, with Iver Johnson, so he was an ardent Johnson Boat Works customer.

"Carousel" was built with White Oak planks running full length of the hull. She won several seasons on Pine Lake and regattas on nearby ILYA lakes too, plus 1 "Journal Regatta" on Lake Michigan. My husband, Don Anderson, crewed for me after 1946.

This boat is still sailing, although I am not, for pleasure now (2013). She is owned by my son, Jim Anderson. All the old treasures still belong---heavy side bilge boards, back stays, double side stays, and cotton sail!

Sailing still runs my family. I have an Olympic Granddaughter, Sally Barkow, her brother Augie Barkow is ILYA Champion in the C and E Scow fleets, and there are at least six more talented grandchildren on the water.

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