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SCUTTLEBUTT 3627 - Friday, July 6, 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: JK3 Nautical Enterprises and PUMA Ocean Racing.

Scuttlebutt contributor Leighton O'Connor is in Galway, Ireland to catch the conclusion of the Volvo Ocean Race. In the 2008-9 edition of the race, the city of Galway in Ireland was a stopover port, and after they provided such strong support, it was a natural for the current edition to conclude there.

But why are the locals so crazed about this race? Leighton sought out to find why. Here is his report...
The Race Village is very, very busy for just a Monday afternoon. I'm getting fatter just walking by all the food vendors. Camper, Groupama, Puma and Telefonica are suppose to finish Leg 9 at around 2AM, so I figure it will be a few press folks, family and a hundred or so spectators to watch the early morning events.

At around midnight, it's time to get on a RIB and photograph the boats finishing in pitch black. There are about thirty press folks going out and about ten RIBs. We get out of Galway Bay and sit in darkness for a bit waiting for the arrivals. Lots of boats out on the water waiting for the finishers. Why are so many people out her in the middle of the night? Camper is the first to cross the finish line and there are about two dozen boats by her side. Quite a scene and lots of near misses with other media boats and pleasure boaters. It starts to rain a bit but we are still not alone. Many spectator boats on the water waiting for the other three teams to finish.

We catch the other boats finishing and make our way back to harbor. The four Volvo 70's wait outside the harbor channel to be presented one by one in a parade. We cruise inside the channel to find thousands and thousands of people along the jetties and sea walls waiting for the Volvo boats and teams. Fireworks, spot lights, lasers, red flares, horns, music and Hannah White's voice fill the air. I can't believe my eyes or ears. I have never seen anything like it...and it's 2:30 in the morning! The crowd stayed for the prize giving at 3:30 and many stayed to watch Team Sanya and Abu Dhabi come into the docks around 5AM.

In May I covered the Miami stopover of the race, and the turnout was a little light to say the least. This incredible turnout here in Galway got me pondering. Why is Galway so excited about the Volvo Ocean Race? I decide to interview Volvo Ocean Race Communications Director Jon Bramley and interview some folks in Race Village to get the scoop.

Most of the people I spoke with didn't even sail or boat at all, but had a huge connection to the sea. People had traveled hours by car and train. A Nun from Dingle said she came because she "Likes the sea and likes to travel." The best answer I got was from a rather inebriated twenty-something cute blond who proclaimed to me Tuesday morning at 3AM by the docks...."Look at all the yachts...It's like fricken Greece...except for the weather". That pretty much summed it up for me...I just wish I had my camera and another drink for her.
Leighton produced a video of his search for answers... here is the link:

The battle to determine which of the Volvo Ocean Race teams will win the overall In-Port Race Trophy will be decided this Saturday. After nine inshore buoy races in the host ports along the route, four teams are still in the hunt when the fleet takes to the water on Galway Bay for the final race.

CAMPER and PUMA are currently tied at the top of the leaderboard.

The In-Port races have proven to be a huge physical test for the teams, with only 10 crew to manage a boat that would normally carry up to 18 sailors in similar sailing events. The challenge was increased for the 2011-12 edition, as the 2008-09 race allowed teams to bring in extra grinding muscle and inshore strategists for the In-Port races.

"Early on we decided that consistency would be the best policy for this," explained PUMA skipper Ken Read, "And for a while we kind of departed from this and we paid for it when we had a couple of red flags and penalties. If we end up winning this in-port series, consistency will prove that key."

The Discover Ireland In-Port Race, the final scoring opportunity of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, will start at 1200 UTC (0800 EDT) on Saturday. The race will be streamed live at

Full story:

Overall In-Port standings
1. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 39 points
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 39 points
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 38 points
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), 35 points
5. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 23 points
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 15 points

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. -

What Olympic gold medalist nearly got the title stripped away after the final race? (Answer below)

A community event in San Diego celebrating Shelter Island's rich maritime culture.
- Date: August 3 4-5
- Location: Nielsen Beaumont Yachtworks, 2420 Shelter Island Drive
- Schedule: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., admission is free
Come witness the workmanship of skilled master woodworkers and builders, riggers, engineers, carpenters, and mechanics. Step abroad beautiful yachts on display from brokers in the Shelter Island and Southern California area, experience brief sailing lessons, industry expert discussions and more. Along with the festival's head-turning yachts, enjoy the sound of local musicians, mouthwatering food, sailboat rides. For more information, contact us at, 619-224-6200, or visit

Marstrand, Sweden (July 5, 2012) - Kiwi Phil Robertson got on a roll at the end of the qualifying round of the STENA Match Cup Sweden to finish top and get the first pick of opposition in the Quarter Final of the event as he looks to continue his fantastic early season form through the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team may have gone under the radar of some of his fellow skippers, having taken two of his three qualifying losses in the first day of sailing before winning seven from eight to secure the early advantage. A win in the final flight of the day saw him beat Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing in a match that was set to decide first position. Robertson, said: "When we started the Gilmour match, we didn't realise on board that it could allow us to top qualifying.

The Quarter Finals start Friday from 0900 CET, with the Semi Final and Final on Saturday. Live streaming will be available from 1400 - 1600 on Friday and Saturday at

Quarter Final Draw:
Phil Robertson (NZL) vs Reuben Corbett (NZL)
Peter Gilmour (AUS) vs Keith Swinton (AUS)
Ian Williams (GBR) vs Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) vs Johnie Berntsson (SWE)

Full report:

BACKGROUND: The eight event World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional sailing series, and is sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with "Special Event" status. Prize money is awarded for each event, with event points culminating in the crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World Champion". --

* The 2012 Laser Radial Youth World Championship held June 29 - July 4 in Brisbane, Australia was hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and sailed on Moreton Bay. The world's best youth Laser Radial sailors - 105 sailors from 19 countries - competed in the boys and girls divisions this week in a mixture of weather conditions. Winning the boys division was Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) with Mitchell Kiss (USA) finishing third. Winning the girls division was Maxime Jonker (NED) with Lindsey Baab (USA) in 13th. -- Full report:

* Carcans, France (July 5, 2012) - The final race on Friday will decide who will take the Finn Junior World Championship title. Canadian Martin Robitaille and current World Champion Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) are on equal points, European Junior Champion Michal Jodlowski (POL) is one point behind in third and early Worlds leader Lennard Luttkus (GER) is five points behind in fourth position. Event website:

* (July 5, 2012; Day 6) - Despite the wind strength being either all or nothing for the 23 competitors in the Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race fleet, Alex Mehran's Open 50 'Truth' continues to stretch away, building a lead of over 400 nmwith 878.6 nm remaining to the finish in Kauai, Hawaii. Each boat is fitted with a tracker that can be viewed here:

* Newport, RI (July 5, 2012) - Light winds on the second day of the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship saw day one leader Charisma stub their toe with a 9-6, dropping down to fourth and opening the door for Wolfgang Schaefer's Struntje Light (GER) to take the lead with a 1-2. Rossi Alberto's Enfant Terrible (ITA) posted a 6-1 to maintain their position as second overall. Racing continues through July 7. -- Event website:

* Porto, Portugal (July 5, 2012) - The Extreme Sailing Series, Act 4 Porto opened in spectacular fashion today with big sea swells and strong winds creating some thrilling racing. Leading after day one with seven races sailed is 2012 circuit leader Leigh McMillan (GBR) in The Wave - Muscat alongside a familiar top three including Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Red Bull Sailing Team. Live video stream on Friday from 1745 CEST (1645 local time). -- Full report:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include kid skills, meet Paige, doesn't suck to be Ben, resourceful, 1000 words, bird has landed, MOD70s, crowds, and blistering across the Pacific. 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:

The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race will be known for providing the closest racing in its 39 year history, but also for the amazing video content that came off the boats. To understand the race, you must see the Volvo Open 70s and their crews slamming through some of the roughest, most terrifying, and dangerous conditions on the planet.

This week we will see this footage, along with highlights of Groupama's victorious 2011-12 campaign, starting in Alicante and ending with their triumphant arrival in Galway after nine grueling legs through the world's toughest and most inhospitable seas.Click here for this week's videos:

Bonus Videos:
* Keith Magnussen brings us onboard the Viper 640 Team 'FNG' at Long Beach Race Week:

* Carl Williams provides footage from onboard the mighty Rambler 90 USA 25555 during the Newport to Bermuda Race 2012. It was a record breaking run as the team sent the boat through the Gulf Stream and down into Bermuda:

* This week on America's Cup Uncovered Episode 46, we get down amongst the crowds to get the backstory from America's Cup World Series Newport. The Red Bull Air Force get a unique view of the event as they drop into town. Take a close up look at Russell Coutts' helmet and compare it to the rest of the teams. Find out who Cinderella takes to the ball. Will Loick Peyron find the financing his team is still looking for and check your America's Cup general knowledge in our latest AC trivia quiz challenge. It's all happening this week - on and off the water on America's Cup Uncovered. Tune in on Saturday July 7 at approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:

* The AC goes home in the June 6 "World on Water" global sailing news show. See the AWCS in Newport, Rhode Island, the Royal Southern Yacht Club's 175 Regatta, The MOD70's tune up for the KRYS Transat, the Volvo goes one design like the Vendee but with 8 crew, Leg 1 of the Le Solitaire du Figaro finish and finally the Volvo Ocean Race has the Lorient In-Port race, the start and finish of Leg 9 and thus the end of the 2011-12 VOR. See it on or download our app and have it on your smart phone or tablet to watch anywhere anytime.

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

It was New Zealand's Russell Coutts that nearly lost his gold medal at the 1984 Olympics due to disqualification after the final race in his Finn event. Coutts' clothing was less than half a kilogram over the 20kg allowance. Coutts called for another weigh-in ... and another. During the third, he carefully arranged his drying garments and came in under weight, thus confirming the gold he had won on the water. Full story:

Puma's Mar Mostro, competing now in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, is on the market. "Mar Mostro is an amazing yacht, whether sailing around the world or on an IRC race track," Ken Read, Mar Mostro skipper. "We were very pleasantly surprised when we won the only two IRC events we sailed in! Around the buoys and in the Transatlantic Race, both against very stiff IRC competition, Mar Mostro was fast and reliable in all conditions. Whoever buys this boat will share the wild ride PUMA Ocean Racing has been on during our epic and exciting around-the-world race!" For boat specs and details, visit

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 Malin Burnham:
While the final votes are not yet in for the "Greatest American Sailor," they are in for the "Most Competitive American Yacht Club." San Diego Yacht Club is looking strong.

- Of the original 64 nominees, 7 are from SDYC (11%)
- Of the final 8 nominees, 3 are from SDYC (38%)
- Of the final 4 nominees, 2 are from SDYC (50%)

EDITOR'S NOTE: The "Greatest American Sailor" Tournament is in the semifinal round, where it appears that Buddy Melges, Jr and Dennis Conner will advance to the Final round in a massive test of accomplishments and popularity. Voting for the Finals begins July 9 at noon EDT:

* From Tony Johnson:
In regard to the recent comment by Stephen Watson concerning the play-by-play on these telecasts (in Scuttlebutt 3625), I am very sorry to say that I concur with Mr. Watson, but find even more areas for improvement.

I was just watching the Tour de France and could not refrain from wistfully comparing the comments of the narrators to those on the AC World Series races. Visually, the two events are not as far apart as one might think. A bunch of guys are riding bikes on roads. Little happens save the occasional crash and the last five minutes of drama. Yet during the slow moments the commentators kept up a fascinating mix of anecdotes, racing strategy, history, and local lore that did a good job of holding our attention for a three hour period. When the finish line approached, their voices perfectly rendered the excitement and tension of the moment.

By comparison, the World Series commentators offered no tales of past races, characters in the history of the sport, tactical subtleties, legendary battles, personal bios of the participants, behind-the-scenes gossip, or technical details about the new boats. They hardly said anything that you couldn't have observed with the sound turned off. At the very least, as Mr. Watson indicates, one would have hoped for a somewhat more sophisticated look at the races than just observing that a boat was way behind or that they hadn't reached the lay line yet. -- Read on:

* From David Shulman:
NBC watches a week of sailing and we got to see only glimpses of the exciting parts during the opening and closing credits, which sandwiched two somewhat dull last day events. No analysis, no instant replays, just watching grass grow. If this was meant to stimulate interest, the only interest I felt was in raiding the fridge. Real sorry!

* From John Rumsey:
Regarding the lost rudder problem, I think it was in the 1974 Mazatlan race when I was sailing with Herb Johnson aboard Vector, a New Zealand built Spencer, fin keel, spade rudder, 44' sloop which was a very fast light displacement boat.

We were doing well in the race as we rounded Cabo San Lucas and came out from the lee, into what is known as the jet stream, on the East side of Baja. The wind was North about 25 knots and we were rail down on a Genoa reach toward the finish.

About two in the morning (why do these things always happen at night?) we rounded up into the wind and the helmsman said he had it hard over. We dropped the sails and discovered the rudder was gone. It was later discovered that the stainless shaft had crystallized where it came through the hull and broke off cleanly there.

We had an emergency steering arrangement but it was clumsy so we tried a various assortment of sail plans. We finally found that with a double reefed main, a storm jib set on the fore stay and a #3 winged out on the pole, we could steer by adjusting the pole back or forward. To head down ease the pole which made the sail pull the bow down; to head up pull back on the pole.

It took a while to get the trim right but we sailed the last 140 miles or so to the finish with a reasonable speed. Probably works on a reaching course best. Might be a good idea to practice some sail combos for such an occasion.

* From William Sandberg:
The people of Newport will be justifiably steamed for being left off Yachting readers' "Best Yachting Town" list (in Scuttlebutt 3626). They should take a closer look at who is doing the voting. Yachting has been a powerboat magazine for over 25 years. Stinkpotters wouldn't have a clue.

COMMENT: Either that, or the Newport locals have wisely kept quiet in fear of increasing the already epic popularity of their town and sailing region. Oh, and by the way, go San Diego! - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

"Most stress is caused by three things: money, family, and family with no money." - Maxine

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