Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3552 - Wednesday, March 21, 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: North Sails and APS.

Racing in Mexico is a well kept secret. Think Caribbean, but to the west.
Warm temps, cold beverages, epic hospitality. Last week was MEXORC on March

Following the 1000nm San Diego to Puerto Vallarta race, MEXORC hosted
keelboats from the United States and Mexico, using ORR for five days of
racing on the beautiful waters of Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta.

The sailors have now returned home with their stories. Scuttlebutt has
gathered the daily reports from Ullman Sails... below is an excerpt:
Skipper-owner Wayne Zittel from JWorld Hula Girl said it perfectly,
"Seriously. I don't get it. For the life of me, I can't fathom why this
isn't the most popular regatta in the world. I absolutely love MEXORC!"
Every sailor who was at this year's regatta will say the same statement, it
was an amazing week of racing with races being decided by only seconds
after hours of racing, and it was very competitive, fun and exciting.

To start the week off, I think the first amazing story is Manouch
Moshayedi's TP-52 RIO only missed race #1 and was on the water racing on
day#2. This is amazing because only days earlier, RIO had completely
sheared their bulb from the bottom of their keel after hitting shallow
water on final approach to finish the SD-PV race. The bulb was under water
and no longer with the boat! Team RIO worked several days with local help
to recover the bulb and amazingly bolt it back on the boat and with
confidence made it to the race course to start racing on the windiest day
of the regatta and won a race! Truly a great job to Manouch and Team RIO!

Each class throughout the week had amazingly tight races with several boats
only being separated by seconds to determine who beat who. There was no
chance for a bad start and recover; there was no chance for bad tactics or
sail and boat handling expecting to keep a front spot. The time on time
scoring from US Sailing really works! For example, the last couple of years
in the Las Caleta's race that is a pursuit start with the order of
finishing determine your result; the first 5 boats have all been from
different classes! This means the time on time scoring is not favoring
large or small boats, the guys at US Sailing, Jim Teeters and Dan Nowlan
work real hard to have the handicapping give each boat their maximum
potential. Nice going guys!

At the mid week point, I know all the crews were ready for the lay day and
relax. In such a beautiful area of Mexico, it is nice to slow down and take
a deep breath taking in the scenery, the local culture and a beer of
course! I think I can speak for all the racers that they felt and were 100%
safe here in Mexico. There were absolutely no problems that you have read
or heard about in the news. Many sailors went fishing and caught yellow fin
tuna while others spent some time at the pools at the Marival Resort and

Full report:

The classic 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race, with its exciting Gulf Stream
crossing, is referred to as the 'Thrash to the Onion Patch'. But have you
ever wondered about the history behind the 'Onion Patch' name? When asked
on Facebook, here were some of the replies:

Paul Brown...
We all know that the term comes from the Race to the home of the Bermuda
Onions; but maybe the question is actually who first said it?

Paul Warren...
Name comes from Bermuda's "native" crop, Bermuda Onion, grown here and
exported to the world.

Glenn Uhler...
The so-called Bermuda onion is a moist onion that grows in warm climates
like Florida and Bermuda. Don't know for sure, but there could have been an
onion patch behind the yacht club, or an onion placed on top of the trophy.

Harry Powell...
Bermuda grows the best onions in the world, big export crop years ago
(1800s-early 1900s) prompting the nickname for Bermuda, the "Onion Patch."
Bermudians are known to some as "Onions." This all predates the first
Bermuda race, in fact big onion crops were in their twilight before the
first race but the nickname stuck and race has long been known as the race
to the "Onion Patch."

Colin McGowan...
Well after the British brought onions from England to Bermuda, the people
of Bermuda started being called Onions, and their island home, The Onion
Patch. Perfect name for a series of races to and in beautiful Bermuda.


If you are a North Sails customer who finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd at any
regatta in North America during 2011, we want to congratulate you by
sending you a free North Sails hat! We have collected over 750 names so far
and the list continues to grow...! This offer ends on April 1, 2012 so
please visit our Web site to find your name (or request we add it) and RSVP
for your free North Hat. When performance (and results) count, the choice
is clear:

Following the ISAF trials event in Santander, Gael Pawson provides a quick
look at the six contenders for the Women's Olympic Skiff spot.

The sport is crying out for a women's Olympic skiff. I have had so many
conversations with young female sailors over the last few years, especially
after the Europe was dropped in favor of the Laser Radial. Quite simply
none of the women's boats are particularly fun to sail.

The men on the other hand have had the 49er and they still have the Finn.
While we can understand the reasoning of moving the women's singlehander to
the Radial, it is a boat designed for the full rig and it is way, way less
enjoyable to sail than the Europe.

Finally it seems ISAF are set to decide on a women's skiff class for 2016 -
mind you we have been here before, and many of the manufacturers put in a
lot of time and effort into the last women's skiff trials in 2007, before
the possibility of the event for 2012 was dropped in favor of Women's Match
Racing. But this time it looks like the move will happen.

A women's skiff class would bring a sense of logic to the line-up for 2016
- with men's and women's singlehanders (Laser/Radial), doublehanders (470),
skiffs (49er/TBD), wind or kitesurfing (TBD), and a mixed class (the
multihull) - with just the Finn remaining as a bit of an anomaly as an
extra men's singlehander.

The trials for both the women's skiff and the mixed multihull kick off on
March 17 in Santander. so which boats are in contention for the skiff slot?

(March 20, 2012; Day 3) - In a complete turnaround from the atrocious
conditions the six-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet has been forced to endure
since the start of Leg 5 last Sunday, the famous Roaring Forties have been
reduced to a 'simpering' six knots as the leading five boats pick their way
carefully across a ridge of high-pressure.

It's likely to be only a brief reprieve of 18 hours, but it is a timely
time out. "I can't believe I actually told people on the dock I was excited
for this," said Puma's media crew Amory Ross. "Naivety, in a nutshell.
Sleep has been elusive, eating has been undesirable, and most everything is
already wet. We've been in windier, we've been in wetter, and we've been in
rougher, but it's the combination of it all that makes doing anything
effectively hopeless."

The calming conditions will allow the M.A.S.H. unit onboard Puma to assist
two crew injuries that almost resulted in detouring 500 nm to the Chatham
Islands for an emergency evacuation. Helmsman Thomas Johanson dislocated
his shoulder after being washed across the boat's cockpit by a wave and
bowman Casey Smith was confined to his bunk by a reoccurrence of a
pre-existing back injury during a routine sail change.

Happily, after taking medical advice from race and team doctors back
ashore, Puma onboard medic Jono Swain successfully re-located Johanson's
shoulder. "Jono just slowly popped his shoulder back in place and all of a
sudden you saw his eyes open up," skipper Ken Read said. "It was
instantaneous relief. He was back on deck today having a drive, so he's
recuperating quite quickly."

However, Read said Smith's back injury was a trickier scenario which they
were treating with pain medication and could still require him to be taken
off the boat at Cape Horn. "He's a tough guy, he's a team guy, so
essentially we said let's at least get to Cape Horn and if there's no
improvement by then, we'll figure out a way to get rid of him. But up until
then there's not a whole lot of options. Right now he's still in pain,''
Read said. -- Event media

Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Tuesday, 20 March 2012, 22:05:03 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 6040.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 1.1 nm Distance to Lead
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 1.5 nm DTL
4. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 11.6 nm DTL
5. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 16.0 nm DTL
6. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 364.5 DTL

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. -

* The 2012 edition of the International Rolex Regatta will prove to be the
most diverse ever, with entries from the USA, Russia, Sweden, The
Netherlands, Monaco and beyond. The three-day event, scheduled for March
23-25, is hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club. The International Rolex Regatta
is one of only two in a line-up of several springtime Caribbean regattas to
host dedicated racing under the internationally recognized IRC handicap
system. Currently, the St Thomas Yacht Club anticipate dividing the fleet
into two IRC classes, four classes for CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association)
handicap racing and one each for IC-24s and Beach Cats. -- Full report:

* The Volvo Ocean Race will be making its only North American stopover in
Miami, with the fleet estimated to arrive by May 6th. During the two weeks
that the fleet is in Miami, the event village will host sailing and extreme
water sports activities, educational programs for children of all ages,
interactive pavilions, food, drinks, and more. If you are interested in
volunteering please email or go to

* (March 20, 2012) - The America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) announced
today that chairman Richard Worth will now head America's Cup World Series
Development, allowing him to focus exclusively on finding new America's Cup
World Series venues and generating increased broadcast revenues from the
circuit. In the interim, the CEO's role will be filled by Stephen Barclay,
a Board Member of ACEA. Additionally, Gary Lovejoy (Director of Media
Production) will revert to a consultancy role before leaving the Event
Authority in September. Denis Harvey will take on more responsibility in
his role as Production Executive of America's Cup Television. -- Full

Don't let those wimpy blocks and crusty cleats keep you off the water this
spring. With 10% off all winches, blocks, cleats & more, this month is the
time to upgrade. Need a little more to rock your boat? We're including a
free gift on all orders over $100. From Document Cases to Transition Back
Packs, you're benefitting in more ways than one this March. Get the scoop

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 Stu Johnstone:
Fascinating reading the latest Yachting Australia Sailing survey (in
Scuttlebutt 3548). I believe many of the "top six insights" are a recipe
for what has been done by our family over the course of time -- how to grow
sailing as a recreation first to include family and friends, then worry
about evolving interests like cruising and racing later.

It's a universal challenge to attract and keep people involved in the "joy"
of sailing - that's what attracted me to sailing in the first place. Few
recreational pursuits allow the participant to simply be one with nature --
listening, feeling, seeing nature in all its quietness and magnificence.
Perhaps hiking in remote mountains, listening to the breeze rustle trees
and taking in the magnificent vistas or cross-country skiing through the
deep woods listening to snow falling off trees and the skis crunching the
snow underneath, are just some examples.

In other words, "relaxation is consistently the most important reason for
participation in sailing". I'm not surprised, it's the best way to escape
the pressure of day-to-day living and enjoy the beauty of nature, the sea,
the wind and waves at your fingertips -- and even better to share with a
loved one or friends. -- Forum, read on:

* From Christopher Princing:
Dawn Riley makes some great points (in Scuttlebutt 3551) and she and her
organization are certainly at the top of this effort to move kids into
sailing. We live in a different world now. When I was a kid 25 years ago,
we played school sports and then come summertime we spent the summer
hanging out with our family. I was lucky as that meant I got to go sailing
on a Sunfish every weekend along with my twin brother Matt.

Today, the kids all play on travel sports teams, and the culture is you
play year round. If you decide not to play, you risk being left out of the
cool kid group and being "drafted" in the next season by a team you don't
want to be on. These travel teams put incredible pressure on the parents to
sign their kids up for the whole year - sometimes in multiple leagues and
the parents end up in hotel rooms, at out of town venues every other
weekend for 12 months of the year. It is no wonder our sport is getting
smaller; how can these parents be expected to introduce their children to
sailing or afford it. -- Forum, read on:

* From Marc Jacobi:
Regarding junior sailing, I'm amazed at the institutionalized
stratification between adult and junior sailors at clubs here on Long
Island Sound. Separate clubhouses, separate events, no juniors in the main
clubhouse--it's as if they're second class citizens.

I've suggested to my club that, for our Wednesday night big boat series,
each boat be required to have at least one junior (18 or younger) sailor on
board. Imagine how valued youngsters would then be to the big boat skippers
who so desire winning this "fun" series, and the opportunities juniors
would have!

Everyone benefits when generations interact. Kids learn new skills and get
valuable access to/mentoring from adults who aren't parents (so important
during the peak junior-sailing years); adults get energetic, enthusiastic
(and loyal) crew. Win-Win, and it feels good too.

* From Sue Caverty:
After I read the 'Busy Week' story in Scuttlebutt 3551, I nearly coughed up
a fur ball. For the event authority to schedule their AC World Series event
at the same time and location as Fleet Week in San Francisco is highly

It is absolutely, unequivocally impossible to park anywhere in the city on
the Fleet Week weekend. Impossible, especially along the coveted waterfront
areas. Has anyone from the AC event authority actually been to a Fleet

I just don't think it's possible to run anything on the water during Fleet
week and for the few days before the big shows on the weekend. I just don't
see it. The Bay is PACKED Fri-Sun (October 6, 7, 8) with spectator boats
and there's no way you could stop that, not even Larry Ellison. Not to
mention the small airside conflict with a few fast planes flying around -
can't see this as being heli friendly!

COMMENT: The first week of October in SF is also heavily impacted by the
Oracle OpenWorld trade show, while that same week attracts the kings of the
marine industry to Annapolis for the US Sailboat Show. Busy. Very busy. -
Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Moose McClintock:
As a side note to Gavin's winning the Ficker Cup and then the Congressional
Cup (as reported in Scuttlebutt 3551), the way this is presented makes it
sound like Gavin was the first to do this. In fact, Terry Hutchinson, just
out of college, won the Ficker Cup and then the Congressional Cup in 1992.
Also interesting is that Terry had no match racing experience at the time
so for anyone who dreams about completing this rare double, it's been done,
you can do it, too.

* From Jenny Howells, Technical Manager, RORC Rating Office:
Regarding the Onion Patch Series, for readers wondering what type of rating
certificate they need to take part in the series, it is scored using the
IRC rating system. Therefore any boat worldwide that holds a valid 2012 IRC
certificate can take part (although the Newport-Bermuda Race also requires
ORR measurement). For those not familiar with the IRC rating system, owners
in the US can talk to the Offshore Office at US Sailing or see their
webpage, or visit for an overview of the Rule and contacts in other

* From Georg Boldt:
This may be somewhat of a shot in the dark, but I am trying to get in touch
with the previous owner of a yacht I am looking to buy. I have been unable
to find a number or email address to him but maybe someone can help.

His name is Gerhard Kistemaker and he wrote a small piece on the Bol d'Or
Mirabaud for Scuttlebutt 1351 (June 16, 2003). Does anyone know how I may
be able to get in contact?

Scuttlebutt is not just about sailing news. There is more...
* Scuttlebutt Sailing Club: The official club of the Scuttlebutt
newsletter, officially sanctioned by US Sailing since 2001, and officially
available to all Scuttlebutt readers. Membership card and window decal

* Scuttlebutt Store: Accessorize with club coffee mugs and burgees, plus
T-Shirts with one of the Curmudgeon's famous observations. T-shirts support
breast cancer research.

* Classified ads: A free marketplace for private parties to buy and sell,
and for businesses to post job openings.

* Event calendar: This self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate
event information to both sailors and sailing media.

All at Scuttlebutt:

If you cannot fix it, feature it.

Doyle Sailmakers - Summit Yachts - North U
Atlantis WeatherGear - Ribcraft - North Sails - Mount Gay Rum
J Boats - Ullman Sails - Southern Spars - New England Boatworks

Need stuff? Look here: