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SCUTTLEBUTT 3582 - Wednesday, May 2, 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: Team One Newport, North Sails, and JK3 Nautical

The US Coast Guard has requested that US Sailing, the National Governing
Body for the sport of sailing, conduct an independent review of the sailing
accident that occurred during the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race in San
Francisco, CA that resulted in the deaths of five sailors.

US Sailing has appointed an Independent Review Panel for the 2012
Farallones Race, who are responsible for researching the factors involved
in the accident, determining what lessons can be learned, and making
recommendations for future consideration.

"All of us at US Sailing are shocked and saddened by the recent tragedies
that occurred during the Farallones and Newport to Ensenada Races," said
Gary Jobson, President, US Sailing. "These accidents represent an
extraordinary set of events in the sport of sailing, which historically has
a very strong track record of safety. Like everyone, we are very concerned
about the safety of sailors.

"At the request of the US Coast Guard in San Francisco, we have assembled a
panel of offshore sailing, safety and medical experts to lead a review that
will help identify what occurred during the Farallones Race and more
importantly how to insure we avoid these tragedies in the future. US
Sailing is involved not only to lend our expertise in safety and offshore
racing but to insure that the perspective of offshore racers is being
brought to the table.

"We have identified a similar review panel for the Ensenada accident and
are working with the US Coast Guard in San Diego to outline that review."
Competing in the Newport to Ensenada Race, four people died this past
weekend off the coast of the USA and Mexico border.

The members of the Independent Review Panel focused on the Farallones
incident are Sally Honey (Chairwoman, Palo Alto, CA), John Craig (San
Rafael, CA), Jim Corenman (Friday Harbor, WA) and Bartz Schneider (Crystal
Bay, NV). Offshore Special Regulations Consultant on the panel is Evans
Starzinger (Milford, CT). The Safety at Sea Committee Chair and Review
Panel Liaison is Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, CA). Medical Advisors are Dr.
Michael Jacobs and Dr. Kent Benedict. Jim Wildey (Annapolis, MD) will
advise on investigation procedures and formats.

Full report:

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Tracking devices have gained acceptance in the sport, providing online
updates for competing boats in a race. These trackers are often provided by the
race organizer, but the option of tracking exists for personal use too.
From backpackers to offroad enthusiasts, pilots to snowmobilers, the safety
of carrying a tracking device is available for purchase from most
electronic retailers.

Sorting through the tragic incident involving a 37-foot Hunter 376 Aegean
during the Newport to Ensenada Race, it was learned they were carrying a
personal SPOT tracker. The final moments of their race clearly show on
Google Maps their path sent them directly into North Coronado Island, one
of four islands 8 miles off the northwest coast of the Mexican state of
Baja California.

Aegean was entered in the cruising division which allowed motoring. Their
progress, presumably under sail, had slowed by Friday evening. Just before
10pm, their progress increased, presumably now under power, and remained
steady until the tracker stopped at the Coronados at 1:36am on Saturday.

"From their SPOT position reports," explained San Diego navigator Artie
Means, "I was able to plot their coordinates and determine their speed.
Looking at this track, it appears they drove right into North Coronado.
Pretty consistent course and velocity (+/- 7 knots), and definitely in one
piece under motor until it stopped."

While that would seemingly end the mystery, and dispute the theory that
Aegean collided with a large ship, questions remain about the condition of
the boat and bodies. Eric Lamb, Master Captain for Vessel Assist, was the
first to find the wreckage Saturday morning, describing how it looked as if
the boat had "gone through a blender" - too small to suggest a collision
with rocks.

The San Diego County medical examiner said Monday night that Kevin Eric
Rudolph, 53, of Manhattan Beach, died of blunt force injuries to his head
and neck; William Reed Johnson Jr., 57, of Torrance, Calif., died of
multiple blunt force injuries; and Joseph Lester Stewart, 64, of Bradenton,
Fla., drowned. The boat's skipper was missing.

So the question remains...with winds under five knots, could a collision
with the island cause such a significant result?

Artie's plots:

(May 1, 2012; Day 10) - Just when PUMA pads its lead on Leg 6, the plot
reels them back in. If Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad was major network
executive, he'd be accused of influencing the outcome to spike viewership.
Just like when mere minutes separated the top two boats at the finish of
Leg 5 in Brazil. Drama, baby, drama.

"We hate clouds, and even the pretty ones too," shared PUMA media crew
Amory Ross. "They ruin our days and plague our nights, and they've just
done it again. One massive, unavoidable green glob on the radar and an
ominously dark splotch of horizon indicate imminent doom, but nothing can
prepare you for the gut wrenching conclusion once it's run its course and
stolen your wind, hopes, and in this case, your hard fought lead."

With the wind in the teens, just behind the beam, there is 13 miles of
lateral separation among the leaders. PUMA is to windward with Telefonica
manning the low lane, and all bows are aimed at the Leeward Islands of the

CAMPER's bowman Mike Pammenter said the tight racing was adding weight to
the theory that the Leg 6 victory would come down to the final 100 miles.
"It's been well advertised that we don't seem to be the fastest boat in
pressure reaching, but in the light breeze reaching we've been doing well
so we've been pleasantly surprised about that,'' he said.

"We're most of the way around the world but we're very much still learning
about the boats and our competitors. It's been an interesting ride. The
last couple of hundred, it's looking like light VMG and light reaching, so
you never know. As long as we're in touch anything can happen." -- Event

Leg 6 - Itajai, Brazil to Miami, USA (4,800 nm)
Standings as of Tuesday, 01 May 2012, 22:02:48 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2218.2 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 2.2 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 5.8 nm DTL
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 76.0 nm DTL
5. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 83.1 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Did not start

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 beer can racing schedule is upon us. Start planning your early work
exits, and focus on the reason for the season... camaraderie. Here's a good
template for getting your team on the same page:
This Wednesday is the premier start of the 2012 season. Boat Call is at
5:00 PM, with dock departure at 5:30 and racing at 6:00ish. Boat is at Slip
#___ at __________ Marina.

Come on along and have some fun. If you do not know the 6 Ws (When, Where,
Why, What, Who, and How), send a reply. Bring a friend, no worries. IF you
have your own PFD, that might be good to bring too if we have casts of
thousands. No need to reply to this unless you are looking for an answer
from me.

Typically, we get back to the dock around 8-8:30. There are burgers for $3
at the yacht club after or we can just party on at the dock. Snacks are
always good, BYOB.

I will see you at the boat.
Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends. Life is
too short and friends are too few.

Summer is here! Get your new one-design sails in time for Memorial Day and
North will pay for the shipping and sales tax! Promotion valid for
one-design sails ordered and delivered in the continental US only. CSD
classes not included. Must order your sails online at by May 15, 2012.

What will the ten sailing events for the 2016 Olympic Games look like?
While the event types have been confirmed, the equipment to be used in
three of the events - Women's Skiff event, the Mixed Multihull event, and
the Board event - has not yet been decided.

To review the options, ISAF hosted an evaluation event March 17-25 in
Santander, Spain. It was there that six skiff entries, seven multihull
entries, and elite kiteboard sailors were on hand to impress the review

ISAF has since released the Evaluation Panel Reports and Recommendations,
which will be used to provide guidance for the ISAF Council to make the
equipment decisions at the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Stresa, Italy on May

The process has not gone smoothly, at least not for the skiff and
multihull. There have been questions concerning the methods used to
evaluate the equipment, and the bias held by committee members. One
variable, cost of equipment, is not included in the reports.

Evaluation reports:
Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull:

Meeting details:

With the meeting to begin this week, here are recent comments that question
the process:

Kristen Lane (USA), 29erXX class...
As a skiff sailor, I would like to ask ISAF to:
Be realistic about the optimal racing weight for the FX and RS. Be precise
about what the ideal team weight is that you are aiming for. Understand
that any discussion of a weight limit is proof of a heavier ideal racing
weight and will exclude normal sized women's teams. Be accurate about what
skills the selected skiff will reward: Finesse? Strength & Weight?
Acknowledge that an equipment cost of $30,000 will have a chilling effect
on the entry of sailors from emerging nations.

Darren Bundock (AUS), Viper class...
I understand from a number of people you have your minds made up about the
Nacra 17 and I can respect that, but I cannot accept incorrect comments in
the report. I hope you have not been sold just on a flash paint job and
curved boards.

1. Curved boards cater for a wider crew weight range? Can you explain how
this works? I have run this by a number of designers in Oracle Racing and
they are a bit bewildered by this comment as the righting moment, sail plan
(power) of the boat is not changed by the curved boards. In fact the
comment was if anything it will reduce the weight range as the wetted
surface area of the boat downwind will be reduced and removing the
advantage for lighter teams downwind. So it will be an advantage to be
heavier upwind for increased righting moment with no penalty downwind. As
you wrote it in the report, can you please provide me with a clarification?

Read more from Kristen and Darren here:

* (May 1, 2012) - The Kiwi-Australian duo of Conrad Colman and Scott
Cavanough took first place in Global Ocean Race (GOR) Leg 4 from Punta del
Este, Uruguay, to South Carolina with Akilaria RC2 Class40 Cessna Citation,
crossing the finish line off Charleston at 05:45:00 GMT (01:54:00 local) on
Tuesday morning. Colman and Cavanough took 28 days 11 hours and 45 minutes
to complete the 5,700 miles from Uruguay to Charleston. The final GOR leg
from the USA to Les Sables d'Olonne, France starts May 20th. --

* Falmouth Harbour, Antigua (May 1, 2012) - After two days of big breeze,
day three of Antigua Sailing Week saw similar conditions for the
competitors. However the Ocean mark laid for today's big boats was a new
addition. It took over 300 feet of line to lay the mark four miles off the
leeward coast of Antigua. The sizeable yachts in CSA 1 were an awesome
sight today, smashing through the start line to windward through the
Caribbean surf and after coming off the wind at the Ocean mark, the yachts
speared off downwind, bow up, accelerating off big waves to surf at speeds
of 20 knots plus. -- Read on:

* America's Cup groundbreaking use of Liveline, the technology that makes
competitive sailing accessible to home viewers worldwide, has been awarded
an Emmy for extraordinary technical innovation. LiveLine technology, which
is used for American football and NASCAR car racing broadcasts, is being
recognized for making the sport welcoming to new fans and providing precise
data for race management. The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award
from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was presented on
Monday, April 30, 2012 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Lincoln Center
in New York City. -- Full report:

* The USA's top Olympic hopefuls in Women's Match Racing will begin
competition this week in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, in
Weymouth, England. Organized by US Sailing, the event is scheduled for May
4-9 at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, site of the 2012
Olympic Sailing Regatta. The event will determine the women's match racing
representatives for the 2012 Olympic Team. Competing skippers are Anna
Tunnicliffe (Plantation, FL), Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI), Genny Tulloch
(Sausalito, CA), and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, WI). -- Full report:

* The Nominating Committee of the Canadian Yachting Association is calling
for nominations from interested individuals who are prepared to help shape
the future of the sport of Sailing in Canada. Candidates for election to
the Board must be at least 18 and be a member in good standing of a member
club, class or other member organization. -- Read on:

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See listings here:

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 Ian Lineberger, St. Petersburg, Florida;
Regarding your Sport and Marriage story (in Scuttlebutt 3581), I would like
to add another couple who have both qualified for the Olympics: Mark and
Carolina Mendelblatt. Mark, along with crew Brian Fatih, will represent the
USA in Star boats while Mark's wife, Carolina, will represent Portugal in
RSX Women's Windsurfing.

They have been very supportive of each other's campaigns. After coaching
both of them last year, I had an insight on the dynamics of running two
campaigns out of one household. In Perth for the 2011 ISAF Worlds, the
schedule allowed me to coach Carolina first and then Mark and Brian the
next week for the final of the US Olympic Trials. What I didn't know was
Mark's plan to have Carolina in the coach boat with me.

I wasn't keen on the idea at first due to my "no riders" policy but agreed
to give it a try. As it turned out my fears were unfounded as Carolina was
a huge help in keeping them in their shoes when things didn't go our way.
It is a testament to the strength of their relationship to not let emotions
get in the way of clear thinking. Mark has since coached his wife to an
Olympic berth in Cadiz and I am honored that they have asked me to work
with her at the Games.

* From Tink Chambers, Farr 40 Class Secretary:
As you may or may not know, John Thomson is having a rough go of it with
ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). John is well known for his long support,
participation and success in racing sailboats and was one of the original
Farr 40 owners (# 4 Solution and # 135 Infinity), winning the first two
North American Championships in 1998 and 1999. We plan to honor John's
contributions to the sport and the Farr 40 Class by making him honorary
Chairman of the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship and have him
present the trophies.

The following is from his daughter Victoria:

"Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do for him as at this point
there is no cure. So my brothers & I have put together a team to do "The
Walk to Cure ALS" in his honor in New York this coming weekend. We have
been recruiting family & friends to help in this endeavour & while I
wouldn't have taken it upon myself to contact the Farr 40 Association to
get the word out, he asked me this weekend if I would go ahead & get in
touch with you.

"It's kind of funny, he's such a private person and really tends not to
tell anyone what has been going on with him, so we weren't sure how he
would feel about us doing this. So we put the team together & quietly got
to work on it. When we took the opportunity to mention it to him, he was so
touched it brought him to tears." -- Read on (and donate):

The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to
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several job openings, here are recent for sale ads:
* Formula windsurfing rig complete & race ready
* Custom 33' Carbon Ultra-Performance Catamaran
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Take my advice. I'm not using it.

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