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SCUTTLEBUTT 3623 - Friday, June 29, 2012

Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
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Today's sponsors: Pure Yachting and Henri Lloyd.

By Justin Long
On a warm Thursday afternoon this past spring, the Captain and I set on our way out of Miami, hindered only slightly by the releasing of a Marlins game. We were off to race his boat in St. Thomas' Carnival Regatta.

The US Virgin Islands greets us with free rum and an island Jeep equipped with a dog. The Jeep, rich with character, is owned by the other partner in the boat. Complete with a 2x4 keeping the front seats from folding back, rust holes in all floors, and an overwhelming stench of gasoline wafting up from beneath, she is our chariot for the weekend.

The Captain throws caution to the wind, lights a smoke as we proceed down the road. Arriving at a bar in Red Hook, I am confronted with more rum choices than I have ever had before. No ginger beer leads to a Rum and Ting, followed by many more of similar consistency. On a bumpy Jeep ride home to our bungalow, we discuss the condition of the boat where the status was claimed to be it "looks good".

Two days until the regatta...

After half an hour of dinghy repairs, I get to see what "looks good" means to Captain. Two hundred plus gallons of water slosh in the bilge from eight months of accumulated rain. The floorboards had sequestered into mud, emitting the stench of low tide, with both the 3DL jib and spinnakers immersed in this brine. A friendly passer-by joked they had cut the anchor line weeks ago, but the bottom growth had held her in place.

We assess the situation and decide to head to shore for supplies. After a trip to Kmart we return with the essentials: gallon of bleach, brillo pads, paint scraper, 6 pack, bucket, and an extra helper. The distressed J/29 known as Matador got her interior bleach bathed and bailed dry. The bottom got scraped clean. The sails got tied to the life line and thrown overboard to let the tide work some of the grime off. By 5pm we were ready for a drink. We had her looking and smelling substantially better, and had our list of chores set for the following day.

One day until the regatta...

Read on:

Newport, RI (June 28, 2012) - It was a frenetic opening day of racing at the AC World Series in Newport, the sixth and final stop on the global international circuit.

Conditions were tricky to start the day, with the forecast sea breeze not having filled in by race time at noon. With the sea breeze then beginning to build ahead of the match racing, anticipation was high for an action-packed afternoon. The thousands of fans lining the shoreline at Fort Adams and crowding the race course boundaries with spectator boats on Narragansett Bay were not disappointed.

The schedule started with one fleet race, which was used to seed the eight teams for the quarterfinal match race pairings.

The results from Thursday find overall World Series leader, Oracle Team USA's Jimmy Spithill, having extended his lead, while his nearest rival, Kiwi team skipper Dean Barker, saw his season championship hopes diminish with a dramatic and unexpected capsize (photos:

Friday's program has the one race Match Racing Semifinals, followed by a single fleet race. Racing starts at 14:36 EDT and is live on -- Full story:

Competitors: Team (Country), Helm (Citizenship)
Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson (USA)
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL)
Energy Team (FRA), Loick Peyron (FRA)
Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA), Chris Draper (GBR)
Luna Rossa Swordfish (ITA), Paul Campbell-James (GBR)
Oracle Team USA Coutts (USA), Russell Coutts (NZL)
Oracle Team USA Spithill (USA), Jimmy Spithill (AUS)
Team Korea (ROK), Nathan Outteridge (AUS)

Match Racing Quarterfinal Results
Artemis Racing defeated Energy Team
Luna Rossa Piranha defeated Emirates Team New Zealand
Oracle Team USA Coutts defeated Luna Rossa Swordfish
Oracle Team USA Spithill defeated Team Korea

Match Racing Semifinal Pairings for Friday
Artemis Racing versus Oracle Team USA Spithill
Luna Rossa Piranha versus Oracle Team USA Coutts

Broadcast details:

COMMENT: A few observations from the Thursday broadcast. This was the only day that would not be a live show, and given that we live in a Twitter age, this did not work so well. Twitter blew up on the Kiwi capsize, yet it was finally shown at the end of the broadcast... barely. And while the boats are exciting, match racing is still not that exciting when the boats are not close. Perhaps the quarterfinal races need to be kept short so as to end the misery sooner. And lastly, I dream the day will come when the commentators don't feel the need to repeat again and again how the "crew are working hard". What other sport reminds us of this? Yes, we can see it. Next observation please. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

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With just three scoring opportunities remaining for the Volvo Ocean Race, the action this weekend in Lorient may prove decisive. The French Groupama team, participating in the race for the first time, now hold a 23 point lead, and for any other team to now win, they will need the French to take a serious tumble.

The first opportunity for this to occur will be Saturday at the In-Port race. PUMA, which is closest in the standings to Groupama, must score a knock out to heighten the pressure on the French. But with minimal points awarded in the buoy races, the only significant scoring opportunity that exists is the final distance leg from Lorient to Galway, Ireland.

For PUMA to win the Volvo Ocean Race, they must first win this 485nm sprint, with Groupama finishing no better than fourth. What will make this leg intriguing is its distance. Estimated to take no more than two days, any team that gets left behind at the start may find little opportunity to recover.

"We'll be doing a lot of downwind sailing, according to the weather forecast," explained Telefonica crew Jordi Calafat. "It's a short leg, a final sprint that we can do in less than two days. They will be two very tough and demanding days with no sleep because it will be a high speed dash to Galway."

"Once we all start sailing, we'll all be very close to one another, so the fastest boat is going to have an enormous advantage," said Telefonica skipper Iker Martinez. "I imagine that it's unlikely that we'll see huge differences between the boats, so we'll have to try to push the boat to full speed the whole time, to maintain our concentration, to push hard. I think that the key lies in being faster than the rest. In the end whoever manages to go that bit faster on such a short leg is going to enjoy a big advantage."

Depending on the scores of Leg 9, the final In-Port race in Galway on July 7 will either be a champagne celebration for winner Groupama, or an all-out battle to decide who wins this nine month around the world race. -- Scuttlebutt, Team Telefonica

BROADCAST: The Bretagne In-Port Race (Saturday at 12:45 Local/03:45 PDT) and Leg 9 start (Sunday at 12:45 Local/03:45 PDT) will be streamed live and viewable here:

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. -

(June 28, 2012) - The Volvo Ocean Race has unveiled details of the high-performance new boat that will be used for the next two editions of the Race.

The intentions of this new plan is to significantly reduce the cost of mounting a competitive campaign and are designed to bring the size of the fleet to 8-10 boats in future editions. The next race is scheduled for 2014-15.

The 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yacht will be strictly one-design. It will be designed by the Farr Yacht Design and constructed by a consortium of leading boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland. The first boat is to be completed by June 2013.

Despite being five feet (1.5 metres) shorter, the new boat will be almost as fast as the Volvo Open 70s that are contesting the current race.

The boat will be designed and built with the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the work being done in the unique Media Crew Member programme that has been in place since the 2008-09 race.

The "ready to sail" cost of the boats, including sails for the pre-Race period and the Race itself, will be around 4.5 million euros, while further significant cost savings will be made possible by the pooling of resources. CEO Knut Frostad said a complete campaign would be possible for less than 15 million euros.

"Our clear goal throughout the planning process for the next race has been to make it easier and less costly to mount a campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race," Frostad said. "This is a big step towards that goal. This new one-design is fantastic looking and will be ultra-reliable and great to race. We're heading into a new era of this great race with a future that it's more exciting and more secure." -- Full report:

New boat design details:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include umbrellas, dental plan, wheelies, July, record setter, testing, crashing, popular, and the next Volvo Ocean Race boat. 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:

* Gothenburg, Sweden (June 28, 2012) - The 2012 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds today saw the Silver Group compete to determine 9th through 16th position. The top eight teams in the Gold group, led by Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Silja Lehtinen (FIN), will now compete for the World title. Racing continues with the Finals on Saturday. Current standings:

* Deephaven, MN (June 28, 2012) - After two days of competition at the U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship, the final day on Friday will be a shootout between east coasters Allyson Donahue/Maddie Widmeier and west coasters Carolyn Smith/Bayley Davidson. Only one point separates the top two teams, with Holly and Cally Tullo 12 points back in third. Current results:

* With heightened interest in the America's Cup racing coming to San Francisco, it is being reported by the Latitude 38 publication that the Coast Guard is issuing a public advisory about illegal passenger vessels that are plying Bay waters. The fines can be up to $32,500, with nearly $2,500 worth of fines being issued since early May. -- Full story:

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The Great Texas 300 is a 4 Leg, 300 mile beach catamaran race from the remote South Padre Island to Galveston along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The GT is currently the only distance beach cat race in the country, and this year 10 boats competed.

This grueling race tests the mettle of sailor and boat, with conditions on all points of sail ranging from a benign 5 knots of breeze, to howling, lumpy conditions. One consistent danger of each leg is the through-the-surf, beach launch and the ever present risk of pitch poling. And we have disastrous incidents of both in this week's videos:

Bonus Videos:
* This week on America's Cup Uncovered Episode 45, we look back at the 2011-2012 America's Cup World Series: Cascais, Plymouth, San Diego, Naples, Venice and this week in Newport. We preview the history of results over the past year, and ask the biggest question this week: who is going to be crowned the America's Cup World Series Champion? Plenty at stake, who is your money on? Tune in on Saturday June 30 at approx 1100 EDT 1600 BST:

* On the June 29 Week 26 "World on Water" Global Sailing News Show, we check in with the New York Yacht Club's Annual Regatta, the America's Cup Pier 29 fire, the arrival of Oracle's AC72 Wing Mast and preparations for the AC45's in the traditional home of the Americas Cup, Newport, Rhode Island, the PWA Catalunya Costa Brava Windsurf World Cup, Brit Chris Brooks Round Britain Challenge in a 18 foot Beach Catamaran, the start of the Solitaire du Figaro 1432 mile solo yacht race from France and hang on as the Trimaran la Hydroptere thunders across the ocean at a staggering 95 kilometres per hour. Watch it all on

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

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* From Paul Henderson:
It was Paul Elvstrom who made those great suggestions so many years ago (as noted in Scuttlebutt 3622). He also said it is easier to design a new boat than build a sustainable class organization. It begs the question why are there to be 40% of the events to be new untried boat designs in the RIO2016 Olympics?

* From Peter Huston:
After running the Schock 35 US Nationals with a 30+ boat fleet (all rounding very close to each other, especially the leaders) in either '88 or '89 (can't remember which), and hearing nothing but screaming at the leeward mark, the Race Committee Chairman, Tom Wilson, mused that perhaps there was a better way to do this. So on the back of a cocktail napkin a couple of diagrams were drawn as to possible scenarios.

The next week was the Snipe PCC's, so the Snipes were asked if they could try the leeward gate. They liked the idea. I was aboard the RC boat that day, and having set the gates above the RC boat, it was amazing to watch what happened to the fleet as they rounded the gates for the first time - in relative silence, and with the lead changing hands several times.

Later on former Snipe world champ Jeff Lenhart says that he remembered sailing around gates in Mission Bay (inside), where it was especially easy to set them because of the shallow water.

A week or so later, Dave Ullman said he recalled sailing around leeward gates, and I think he also said weather gates, in big 470 regattas in Europe, which would have meant the late 70's and early 80's given his time in that class.

But for sure it was all Elvstrom's idea.

* From John Rumsey:
Phil Botsolas, a long time IYRU judge, promoted the leeward gate in the 80s for the Star and 5.5 meter classes.

* From Donald Street:
Regarding the loss of rudder and abandoning ship that was reported in Scuttlebutt 3622, it was in the 1953 Fastnet Race, right after rounding Fastnet Rock, that the Dutch yacht Oliver van Noort lost her rudder. They secured the spinnaker pole across the boat, streamed a drogue on two lines rigged through the ends of the poles, and then to winches. To turn starboard, they would take in on the starboard line. Opposite to turn port.

They were able to sail Oliver from Fastnet rock back to Plymouth, only taking a tow to Mashords to dry out on the tide and have a new rudder built. Oliver was a 53-foot cutter Deveres Lentch designed and built, very similar to Stormy Weather.

Doug Petersen told me the system would work even on a modern short fin keeled boat. He was on a boat that lost its rudder half way to Hawaii. She was a fat beamy IOR boat. They streamed a drogue, rigged lines thru blocks secured to the rail cap at the greatest beam then to winches. They successfully sailed her to Hawaii.

In the light of the above two stories, why do sailors abandon boats as soon as they lose their rudders?

* From Matt Cohen Co-Head Sailing Coach MIT:
In response to JJ Fetter's inquiry about leeward mark gates (in Scuttlebutt 3622), at MIT, and Fran Charles (the MIT Sailing Master) in particular, has introduced numerous unique courses in Interconference regattas (the Marchiando Team Race, Toni Deutsch Women's Regatta, Hatch Brown regatta, to name a few), especially from 2005-2010.

Some nuances include: windward gates in fleet racing; mid-beat upwind gates in fleet racing to eliminate getting a lucky shift on an inland venue, as well as adding another tactical area where boats are forced to come together; downwind starts and upside down "N's" in team racing (adds more downwind tactics, new starting strategies); "C" and "U" shaped courses for team racing; etc.

These courses often upset some competitors and many coaches, and are now used extremely rarely, especially when MIT's own sailors suggested after events that these new challenges presented something that "aren't used at other venues" and thus, they were not gearing up better for other college sailing events: (60% FJs, 30% 420s, 10 %Lasers, match race, keelboats, Larks, Techs, others; sailed in Windward/Leewards with offsets and leeward gates; upwind-only starts; and collegiate N's for team racing).

EDITOR'S NOTE: We were intrigued to learn that the 5-day Cork Week regatta next month, which is hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club in Ireland, has each fleet sail a different type of race course on each of the five days: Trapezoid Course, Olympic Course, Slalom Course, Windward/Leeward Course, and Harbour Course. Event website:

The Mr. Bean Guide to Fun in an Elevator: Move your desk in to the elevator and whenever someone gets on, ask if they have an appointment.

Quantum Sails - Melges Performance Sailboats - North Sails US Sailing - Allen Insurance and Financial - IYRS - Summit Yachts KO Sailing - Ullman Sails - APS - Pure Yachting - Henri Lloyd

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