Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3575 - Monday, April 23, 2012

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: NYYC and APS.

Within minutes of his placing his first bare, calloused foot on dry land,
they whisked Matt Rutherford away from his joyful family and led him to a
makeshift stage in the center of Annapolis's City Dock, where, clad in a
crusty floppy hat, a pungent pair of black mesh shorts and the same vintage
Popeye T-shirt he had worn at his departure 10 months earlier, he took a
seat next to the governor and his wife and gazed out at the hundreds of
faces suddenly staring at him.

The incongruity of it all was not lost on him. For 10 months, as he
completed a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas aboard a 27-foot
sailboat - a feat certified as unprecedented by the U.S. Sailing Hall of
Fame - Rutherford had scarcely had any human contact.

But now, on a gorgeous, breezy Saturday, at the end of a spirited ceremony
replete with a Dixieland jazz band, a drum and bugle corps, a bagpiper and
speeches by Gov. Martin O'Malley and a half-dozen others, someone was
handing him a microphone and - as the crowd roared for the man one speaker
called "our hero" - asking him to say a few words.

"Long time, no see," Rutherford, 31, said into the mike, with the same
familiar combination of awkwardness and comedic timing that those who know
him best had missed these last 309 days. He was still barefoot, his
toenails brown and gnarled, and thick shocks of dark orange hair spilled
out below his hat.

"Being here is like a dream," he said. "Any minute I'm going to wake up and
be in the middle of the ocean."

Some 40 feet to his right, tied off to a dock for the first time since June
11, 2011, and looking every bit as tired and weathered as her captain, sat
the 36-year-old, Swedish-built Albin Vega sailboat - christened the St.
Brendan in honor of a 6th-century explorer - that had carried Rutherford
across the fabled Northwest Passage, through the Bering Sea, around Cape
Horn and up the Atlantic Coast. Barnacles covered her stern, and a
greenish-brown slime coated the entire hull.

"When you've been out there alone as long as I was," Rutherford said, "even
a barnacle can be nice to hang out with." -- Washington Post, read on:

Events listed at

(April 22, 2012; Day 1) - PUMA have wasted no time in stamping their
intentions to win the Leg 6 race to their home country, leading the fleet
out of Itajai on Sunday and into the first few crucial days of the 4,800
nautical mile course to Miami.

After a six-leg inshore course off Itajai's coast in winds of 15-20 knots
from the south, Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG were followed around the
final mark by Team Telefonica, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, Abu
Dhabi Ocean Racing and Groupama sailing team.

The five teams are in hot-pursuit of the maximum 30 points, which could
prove vital as overall leaders Telefonica hold just a 16-point lead over
second-placed Groupama with four legs to go.

The fleet will face more moderate conditions than those encountered in
previous leg starts, with 14 knots from the southeast creating perfect
reaching conditions for the opening hours.

The conditions are likely to favour Groupama, who have proven time and time
again that they are the team to beat on a reaching racetrack.

"We can enjoy this leg a lot, it has a lot of good conditions, a lot of
reaching conditions," Groupama skipper Franck Cammas said. "It's good for
the crew, it's good for the boat, and I think we can manage this Volvo Open
70 very well in these conditions." -- Read on:

(April 21, 2012) - Groupama sailing team claimed their first inshore
victory on Saturday to close to within striking distance of overall race
leaders Team Telefonica, who sailed the wrong course while leading the DHL
Itajai In-Port Race. Franck Cammas and his Groupama team are now within 16
points of Telefonica on the overall leaderboard. CAMPER claimed second
place, just ahead of PUMA who clawed their way back after being forced to
make a penalty turn at the start of the race. Abu Dhabi finished ahead of
Telefonica, which dropped from first to last when they rounded the wrong
mark. Team Sanya did not start and will rejoin the race in Miami. -- Full

FINALLY: "I don't want to jinx the fleet right now, but it looks like we
could have really nice sailing. This is potentially the first leg of this
race that anybody can say that. We might have some downwind sailing out of
here; it looks like we might have some nice trade wind sailing, maybe some
consistent wave patterns. I've probably just completely ruined it." - Ken
Read, Puma skipper

REPAIRED: While unable to determine the cause of the hull delamination, the
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was able to complete the repairs for the In-Port
Race after their shore crew worked flat out on both sides of their Volvo
Open 70. The repair required them to cut away the honeycomb Nomex core and
inner skin in the damaged area and replace it with new sections of solid
foam pre-shaped to match the hull shape. With the arrival of the boat on
Thursday, the team was not able to complete their customary three day
systems check, some of which must be completed on Leg 6.

DENIED: The International Jury has rejected a claim for redress from CAMPER
in a case related to the recent Telefonica sails protest. CAMPER with
Emirates Team New Zealand asked the Jury to award them extra points,
arguing that the sails used by Telefonica had materially affected the
results of Leg 4, in which CAMPER finished just 1 minutes 33 seconds behind
Telefonica. -- Full report:

Leg 6 - Itajai, Brazil to Miami, USA (4,800 nm)
Standings as of Sunday, 22 April 2012, 22:02:55 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 4677.8 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 5.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 6.0 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 8.0 nm DTL
5. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 8.2 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Retired

Video reports:

BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain (Oct. 29) and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early
July 2012, six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles
around the world via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape
Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient. Teams accumulate points through
nine distance legs and ten In-Port races. -

New York Yacht Club Race Week presented by Rolex, to be held July 14-22 in
the spectacular waters off Newport, RI, has something to offer all levels
of interest. Part I, the Classics Weekend on July 14-15, includes Classics,
12 Metres, 6 Metres and Herreshoff 'S' Class racing. Part II, the
Around-the-Island Race on Wednesday, July 18, is open to all yachts with no
additional entry fee. Part III includes IRC and One-Designs on July 19-22,
with PHRF and J105s on the weekend. The NOR and Entry Form are now posted
at Open to all qualified
boats. For more information:

* Charleston, SC (April 22, 2012) - The heavy weather forecast for
Charleston failed to materialize on Sunday, and unsettled conditions
lingered for the third and final day of the Sperry Top-Sider Charleston
Race Week 2012. Within a 10-mile radius, the 248 boats on the offshore and
inshore racing classes sailed between 0 and 3 races for the final, deciding
day of the country's largest keelboat regatta. -- Read on:

* St. Petersburg, FL (April 22, 2012) - The Contender Open Regatta served
as practice for the class world championship on April 2-28. The weather did
not cooperate, with storms crashing onto the beach launching area at
Tradewinds Beach Resort on the Gulf of Mexico. Winds were around ten knots
on Friday, however, so three good races were sailed. Joachim Harpprecht of
Germany had two wins and a second in the 31 boat fleet to best Luca Benezzi
of Italy. Local sailor Ethan Bixby was fourth. -- Full report:

* Qingdao, China (April 20, 2012) - An ecstatic Leigh McMillan and his crew
on board The Wave, Muscat won Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series with a
race to spare, a feat rarely achieved on the circuit, and move into the
lead for the overall Series. But, after 29 races watched by over 55,000
spectators, it came down to the final double points decider, with early
leader Roman Hagara's Red Bull Sailing Team salvaging second while
pre-season favorite Pierre Pennec and the all-French Groupe Edmond de
Rothschild move up to third. Next step of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series
is Act 3 in Istanbul on June 7-10. -- Full report:

* Hamilton, Bermuda (April 22, 2012) - Bermuda Etchells sailor Tim Patton,
with Peter Martin and Hal Kempe as crew, had a top-notch performance in the
first day of racing in Bacardi's Bermuda International Invitational Race
Week Sunday. Patton who has been representing Bermuda in international
world-class competition took three firsts and a second. Two-time world
champion John Burnham representing Fisher's Island in New York won the A
series for the International One Design Class (IOD). The committee got in
four races in front of delaying the next racing until Tuesday because of
expected wet and windy weather. Burnham had finishes of 1-2-1-2. -- Full

* The latest Sailing World's College Rankings finds Yale hanging on to the
lead in the coed rankings, while Georgetown and Roger Williams make moves
into the top three. In the women's rankings, Georgetown and Brown tie up at
the top with Stanford close on their heels. -- Details:

* The Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association has released the 2012
calendar for the Great Lakes Championship Series. The third season starts
in June with the Queen's Cup Race presented by the South Shore Yacht Club
in Milwaukee, WI and concludes September 15 with the Bayview Long Distance
Race in Detroit, MI. A total of 6 Great Lakes races will be a part of this
year's Championship Series. -- Details:

* With the discontinuation of the TP52 MedCup Series, Doug DeVos, Niklas
Zennstrom and Alberto Roemmers established a new regatta series - based on
an innovative stakeholder concept. Returning to the roots of sailing, the
52 Super Series will cooperate with some of the world's most prestigious
yacht clubs and sailing regattas. The 52 Super Series strives to achieve
the highest level of competition through a maximum number of boats. --

* (April 22, 2012) - The 3,700-mile Los Angeles to Tahiti race will match
Karl Kwok's Farr 80 "Beau Geste" and Steve Rander's Wylie 70 "Rage". The
two teams got off the startline on Friday, vying for the elapsed time
record of 11 days, 10 hours set in 2008 by Doug Baker's Magnitude 80. As of
Sunday morning, Beau Geste had opened a 69nm lead. -- Details:

* Hyeres, France (April 22, 2012) - The first day of the Semaine Olympique
Franšaise, fourth event on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit, started in
high gear with a strong South-Westerly and athletic racing conditions. Only
the Star is absent among the 10 Olympic events, with only the Sonar absent
among the three Paralympic events. This is the final training event prior
to the U.S. trials for Women's Match Race (May 4-9), with all four finalist
competing. Americans Anna Tunnicliffe and Sally Barkow are undefeated,
while other Genny Tulloch is 1-2 and Stephanie Roble is 0-2. -- Event

* Following the 2016 Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull Equipment
Evaluations in Santander, Spain from 17-25 March, ISAF have released the
Evaluation Panel Reports and Recommendations. This information, which will
be used to determine the equipment for the 2016 Olympic Games, will now go
forward to the Equipment Committee and Events Committee at the 2012 ISAF
Mid-Year Meeting in Stresa, Italy from 3-6 May. The ISAF Council will make
the final decision taking into consideration any recommendation from the
Committees. Read reports here:

* Following the 2016 Kiteboarding Format Evaluations in Santander, Spain
from 21-25 March, ISAF has released their Evaluation and Technical reports.
This information, which will be used to determine the board event for the
2016 Olympic Games (kites and/or sailboard), will now go forward to the
Equipment Committee and Events Committee at the 2012 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting
in Stresa, Italy from 3-6 May. The ISAF Council will make the final
decision taking into consideration any recommendation from the Committees.
Read reports here:

Look forward to the new 2012 Annapolis Performance Sailing catalog to be in
your mailbox as early this week. Filled with tons of new items, this year's
catalog features over 160 pages of the hard to find gear you need. From a
doniker for your Lightning to a GORE-TEX dry suit the APS catalog has you
covered. Don't get a copy? Feel left out? Fill out our request form here
and we'll have one to you within a week!
APS - the world leader in outfitting performance sailors.

Bobby Connell, 71, of Wakefield, RI and Key Biscayne, FL, has set his last
storm trysail, dying on April 17 in Miami, FL.Sailing his lightning Blue
Cloud in Port Washington in the 1950's with his brother Andy, Bobby said
"Andy, if you yell at me one more time, I am jumping over." Andy yelled,
Bobby jumped, and that was that.

If he wasn't having fun, he did not want to do it. Bobby sailed in a big
boat for the first time with Bizzy Monte-Sano on Bizzy's father Vinnie's 36
foot Alden in a junior overnight race. With Bobby sitting on the foredeck,
Vinnie approached and asked him if he needed anything. Bobby replied, "I
could use a cushion and a beer."

With a little time away from sailing for school in Long Island and college
at Villanova, he was always at the front end of the fleet, and by 1960 was
sailing 12 metres with Bus Mosbacher on Easterner. After sailing on
Columbia with Glit Shields in 1962, he won the America's Cup with Bob
Bavier on Constellation in '64 and again in '67, on Intrepid, with Bus.

After time in Vietnam and with Bertram Yachts, he was asked back to the
defender trials on Independence by Ted Hood in 1977 because he was well
known as the "calm organized guy who could make the middle of the boat work
right." From 1977 to 1986, with Andy MacGowan, he ran Newport Offshore,
quietly dispensing his leadership, knowledge, and friendship to customers
and workers alike. There they built 4 more America's Cup 12 metres:
Clipper, Spirit of America, Defender, and Liberty. He spent his later years
as a marine surveyor, but continued racing 12 metres right through last
year, an amazing 51 year run in the class. -- Peter Rugg, read on:

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 Skip Ely:
In regard to the Slow Speed Chase tragedy, in my opinion one of the most
important pieces of safety gear (probably second only to PFD) that should
be on the person of every offshore sailor (especially in frigid waters) is
a small submersible VHF. In a MOB situation, assuming the swimmer is
conscious (otherwise odds go way down) the ability to communicate with
rescuers, whether airborne or seaborne, is critical. A swimmer who may be
invisible to a surface craft or even a helicopter may well be able to
direct the rescuers to their location. It is unclear whether this might
have saved those lost in this tragedy, we may never know.

* From Mario Sampaio:
Why is it every time there is an accident, the tendency is to make more
rules and try to create more obstacles, as if competitors in such events
were totally irresponsible idiots?

Anybody who takes a boat offshore in Force 5/6 weather to round a rock and
gets too close to it, allowing their boat to be in water that is simply too
shallow and will therefore, under the conditions, create strong, fierce
braking waves... is going to be subject to the same type of risk of
accident, as the crew of the 38' boat that was thrusted against the rocks,

There is simply no way that society can prevent this type of accident from
happening, and creating more stringent rules that try to substitute for an
individual's judgment, or lack of it, will not only not work, it will
discourage people from being solely responsible for the outcome of their

Sailing's first rule is to be self sufficient. Why don't we focus on
illustrating exactly what that means instead of trying to create rules that
distract people from actually thinking and analyzing the repercussions of
their own decisions.

I express my condolences to the families and friends of the four missing

Did You Know... Thomas Edison, light bulb inventor, was afraid of the dark.

NYYC - APS - North Sails - US Sailing - Sailors Night Vision Cap
Point Loma Outfitting - Doyle Sails - Pure Yachting - Summit Yachts
Ullman Sails - BIC Sport North America - Melges Performance Sailboats

Need stuff? Look here: