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SCUTTLEBUTT 3523 - Wednesday, February 8, 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: APS, North Sails, and Power Plug-In.

By Kenny Read, PUMA skipper
I have been reading with great interest the concern in Scuttlebutt sailing news with the fishing nets we encountered during Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race (UAE to China). Indeed, the nets were everywhere, in the Malacca Strait and all the way up the South China Sea to Sanya. And to make matters worse, there are absolutely no consistent markings used to protect them.

The nets are spread between small and medium sized fishing boats, bamboo stakes, unlit buoys, lit buoys, buoys with flags, tiny water wing type buoys... clearly whatever the fishermen can find to create a place to pull the net back to the surface. They are on-shore, off-shore, everywhere except specifically in a designated shipping highway. One thing is for sure; if nets were being "taken out" often you would guess that they would be marked better, so my guess is this isn't happening very much. Doesn't make it right, but certainly a simple reality.

A couple of U.S. example's of proper marking: As we leave the U.S. coast there are offshore lobster traps a hundred miles out. Those buoys have simple radar reflectors on them that light up like a Christmas tree on radar. There are also major fishing nets right off of Newport (RI) to the east. Large barrels at each end and radar reflectors mark those as well.

I know that Malaysian fishermen aren't necessarily in a position to go out and purchase large expensive radar reflectors, but wouldn't you think they could find something kicking around that is better than what is commonly used? Believe me, we talked about it all the time while sailing through there - the fact is that any sort of common sense would say to use anything to mark traps better. Anything!

Bottom line, there clearly isn't a lot of sailing or recreational boating of any kind in this part of the world so the fishermen aren't expecting a 4+ meter drafted boat to be in their area. Fishing nets would be marked much better if there was more recreational boating. But you can't blame the VOR authorities or the sailors for simply sailing through international waters and running into things.

A consistent method of marking nets would go a long way towards making this a much safer region for people to sail. And that is what we (Scuttlebutt readers) all are, sailors wanting to sail without restriction. If fishermen want to put nets up the west passage of Narragansett Bay and not mark them, should that be allowed and therefore boaters restricted from sailing up into the Bay?

For me, the far bigger issue is all the debris in the water. We were appalled at the lack of restriction on throwing stuff off of ships, which we witnessed when we had the chance to live aboard one for five days during the first leg to Cape Town. Many of these countries around here simply use the ocean and bays as a personal dump. It is very sad, and if people want to go on a crusade I would suggest starting there. That would help save the oceans for boaters and fishermen alike.

One more thing. The big net we hit and parked up in for a while is very much still in one piece. Might have a couple of holes, but for sure it is still in one piece.

SCHEDULE: The Sanya In-Port race is on February 18 and Leg 4 from Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL begins on February 19:

Overall leaderboard after Leg 3
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 6-1-1-1-5-1, 95 pts
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 3-2-2-2-3-3, 80 pts
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 5-3-5-4-2-2, 71 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2-DNF-3-3-4-4, 48 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1-DNF-4-5-1-5, 39 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 4-DNF-6-6-DNS-6, 16 pts

Video reports:

BROADCAST: Here is the television schedule for the U.S. in February:

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 sailing Volvo Open 70s 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. -

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Bob Willis knows what you are thinking about Olympic windsurfing. "The common misconception about windsurfers is we hang out on the beach all day," the 2012 Olympian said. "Our training is similar to triathletes."

The wind is only one part of what propels a windsurfer. To get the board moving in all but the heaviest air, the sailor works its boom constantly in a motion that resembles pumping a railroad handcar and pulling in a tug-o'-war while spinning a hula hoop.

That can last for an entire 30-to-45 minute race, and windsurfers race twice a day in major competitions. "In certain conditions, the harder, faster and more often you pump, the faster you go," he said.

The native Chicagoan and Francis W. Parker School alum understands what a charmed life he has led since getting a degree in economics from Connecticut College in December 2009. Traveling, training and racing in warm places all over the world hardly has been all work and no fun in the sun.

But it has taken hours of endurance and strength training work for Willis to become an Olympian instead of a character in a sailing version of The Endless Summer.

Willis earned his country's Olympic spot in men's windsurfing - known as RS:X class - by being the top U.S. finisher in two 2011 regattas: Sail for Gold at the 2012 Summer Games venue in Weymouth, England and the World Championships in Perth, Australia.

That's a long way from Wolf Lake, Ind., where Willis and older brother Jesse would go on late summer afternoons after fighting rush-hour traffic when they figured the conditions would be good for windsurfing.

Bob and Jesse Willis both took to the water after seeing how much fun older sister Elizabeth had after stumbling into the sailing program at Columbia Yacht Club. Neither their father, John, a partner in a private equity firm, nor mother, Mary, a retired elementary school teacher, are sailors. -- Chicago Tribune, read on:

Disaster stories about trailering small sailboats abound. Even the best race-coach has been known to drop an Opti on the highway. One sailor arrived at a regatta and realized the boat he was trailering had mysteriously fallen off somewhere on I-95, never to be found.

People think boat insurance is just to protect against losses on the water, but with small boats that are moved around on trailers and on top of cars, accidents happen just as much on land. You need to be sure to have the "right insurance" in place.

Key Characteristics to Look For:
1. Coverage for overland transit which is critical when trailering your boat
2. A marine insurance policy that does not exclude racing
3. Agreed value coverage on your boat so that you are not subject to depreciation
4. Third-party liability coverage of at least $300,000
5. Umbrella insurance that extends liability coverage over your home, autos, and boats

#1. Coverage for Overland Transit (Trailering).
Scenario: You pack up your boat trailer, load on all the gear, and head off to a regatta 1,000 miles from home. While passing a car on the highway, your trailer swerves and damages a car.

The damage to the other car will be covered by your auto policy, because liability follows the 'at fault' person's auto policy. Be sure you have adequate limits of liability on your auto policy. Physical damage to the trailer would be covered only if it was specifically added to either the boat policy or the auto policy. Some boat policies limit transit coverage (trailering) to 100 or 500 miles from your home, other policies include the continental US. If you are trailering make sure your boat policy's geographic limits match where you are traveling.

Read on:

By Ryck Lydecker, BoatU.S.
More than two decades ago, the U.S. outlawed toxic tributyltin (TBT) in antifouling bottom paint, and copper-based substitutes took over to control marine growth on the hull. Last year, Washington became the first state to ban copper paint on environmental grounds. Now the California legislature is taking up similar restrictions.

When it comes to painting the bottom of a recreational vessel's hull to discourage marine growth, boaters currently have a wide array of products from which to choose. And while the choices can be a bit bewildering, beginning January 1, 2020, boaters in the state of Washington can scratch off their lists any paints that contain more than 0.5 percent copper. That's because last year, in response to concerns about contamination in Washington waters, the state legislature outlawed copper-based antifouling paints. (Paints on the market today contain 20- to 70-percent copper.)

This ban applies only to private recreational boats 65-feet and under. That leaves commercial, government, research, and for-hire passenger vessels - not to mention large ocean-going ships that frequent Washington waters - free to discourage marine growth with paint that recreational boaters can't use. And the fine, if they do, is a maximum $10,000 per day.

Copper, the fouling control substance of choice for the past two centuries or so, first as sheet cladding for wooden ships in the days of "iron men" and in more recent times mixed in bottom coatings, could be headed the way of tributyltin (TBT). Two states away, the California Legislature came close to passing a similar copper-paint ban last year. The measure, now amended to allow use of low-leach-rate copper paints, is back for debate in Sacramento, and likely a vote, in this year's session.

Discouraging aquatic critters from taking up residence on a boat's bottom and on its submerged running gear is what antifouling paints are designed to do. So let's look at the problem with copper as the key ingredient in those paints. -- Read on:

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The America's Cup is not just any event, it is our event. It is the most recognizable event in our sport. Larry Ellison now holds it. Some say he bought it. Few industry titans are as wealthy or public as Ellison. He has a huge bat and is known to swing it. Layer on the bold format changes for the 34th Match and intense scrutiny follows. Here are two stories from Tuesday:
* You know how most people react when someone says something America's Cup in San Francisco. That's boats, right? In the Bay? Some kind of race? And it is going to happen in about five years or so?

We're not getting this yet. The America's Cup is coming. Quickly. There will be exhibition races in August, no more than eight months away. Construction and demolition has already begun on the extensive waterfront renovations that will be needed before the Cup races begin in San Francisco Bay in 2013.

The upgrade of the piers on the waterfront will be the biggest change in the San Francisco waterfront since the Embarcadero freeway came down and the Ferry Building was renovated. It should take the empty, crumbling piers along the water now and make them useful, modern, and wonderful.

And it should all happen just in time for the world's television cameras to turn to this beautiful city by the bay. It would be huge. Oh please, dear God don't let us screw this up. -- C.W. Nevius, SF Chronicle, read on:

* The plan was to have $12 million raised a week ago to help cover the city's costs for hosting the upcoming America's Cup regatta. It's not quite there.

A committee of philanthropic and community leaders raising donations to help offset San Francisco's projected costs for hosting the renowned sailing race so far has only $8.8 million raised to cover costs for the current fiscal year, and $8 million of that came from a single source: race organizers, according to a new memo from the city controller.

The fundraising group, the America's Cup Organizing Committee, does have written pledges or agreements totaling $12 million - the target amount listed in the initial agreement with race organizers to have on hand by Jan. 31, Controller Ben Rosenfield wrote.

But $3.2 million of that is pledged for 2012, 2013 or 2014, the memo indicates. The fundraising committee has only $800,000 cash on hand plus an $8 million agreement with the America's Cup Event Authority for expenses in the fiscal year that ends June 30, the memo says. -- SF Chronicle, read on:

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum allows companies to post their personnel, product and service updates. As a bonus, each week Scuttlebutt selects some of the updates to feature in the Thursday newsletter. Are you in the marine industry? Post your updates here:

* At the 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Awards Dinner, the U.S. Olympic Sailing Committee presented the "Charlie Awards" to the 2011 USSTAG athletes who achieved excellence in the following categories: Breakthrough Performance, Most Improved Fitness, Best Teammate, Best Individual Performance, Best Team Performance, Commercial Award, and Outstanding Service to the Team. The awards were presented Jan. 28 in Miami, Florida, following US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR, where USSTAG won five medals in SKUD-18, Finn, Laser Radial, Women's RS:X and Women's Match Racing. -- Read on:

* Three weeks into the entry process for the 48th Newport Bermuda Race, applications for entry for the 2012 race continue to roll in at a rapid rate for the 106-year-old biennial ocean-racing classic, with expectations of another large fleet. The Newport Bermuda Race is an invitational event, so skippers must submit an application and receive an invitation before completing the registration process. The 2010 race was the third largest ever, with 183 boats. The only bigger fleets were 264 in the 2006 Centennial Race and 198 in 2008. -- Full report:

* A nationwide fleet of 10 teams led by the winners of the first four Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regattas are lined up for the fifth edition of the West Coast's only intercollegiate big boat regatta March 9-11 at Los Angeles Harbor. All will sail Catalina 37 sloops chartered from the Long Beach Sailing Foundation---the same boats to be used in the 48th Congressional Cup match racing classic at Long Beach later in the month. -- Full report:

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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 Christopher J. Museler:
I believe it is important to recognize in your information about Bill Hardesty (in Scuttlebutt 3522) that while he finished school at Kings Point, he started at Old Dominion University. We had a great team while he was there and we all had a grand and successful time together.

It is fun to see the group now: Charlie Ogletree, Terry Hutchinson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Debbie Capozzi, Sally Barkow, Mike Martin, etc. Maybe the trivia question should have been what college program had both the U.S. Rolex Yachtsman AND Yachtswoman of the Year Award attend its school.

Go Monarchs!

* From Scott Barnard:
Here's a topic that needs little additional input, and I'm on the side of steering sailing back to the competitors, but a news wire report in the LA Times last weekend is a perfect illustration of why sailing, and sailing in the US especially, cannot hope to get the TV viewership.

Skiing is fast and sexy and American Lindsey Vonn has all the elements necessary to be a celebrity sports star. But skiing and Vonn are a footnote in sports news in the US, despite the news report that Vonn had just became only the third woman in the world to earn 50 World Cup victories. And Vonn, if you remember, was the first American woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in the downhill.

ISAF couldn't dream of sailing becoming as exciting to watch as ski racing, and skiing is still obscure. Any way you figure it, there is only a very minute portion of the population that is near a body of water or a snowy mountain. Maybe the carnage of 72-foot winged catamarans colliding would be news for a whole week, but then it'll be crickets for three years.

* From John Garth:
Thanks for including such a wonderful story about Paige's efforts in memory of Olivia and for bringing awareness to this topic (in Scuttlebutt 3522). I hope you don't mind if I share a little more about it for Guest Commentary.

My friends and neighbors Brian and Gerri Daneman almost lost their 9-year-old daughter Lily to Ewing's Sarcoma, a bone cancer that is often fatal (same disease that struck current Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich while in college at BC).

Childhood cancers are slightly different from adult cancers and cannot be treated with the same protocols as adult cancers, but they strike 1 in 320 children in the US and yet very little funding from the major cancer charities is dedicated to research for cures of these diseases.

An 11-year-old cancer victim named Malcolm formed the Make Some Noise For Kids foundation to do just that. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines is on its board. Please visit their website to learn more about this effort. The following is from the site:

The Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation was established by a child with cancer with one purpose in mind: to fund pediatric cancer research. To that end, the foundation serves as a vehicle to secure private funding to distribute to research facilities and promote awareness through its fund raising activities. The designation of funds to various research facilities is cancer specific and based on the foundation's annual evaluation of the latest research.

Thanks and please continue to share articles about the special things that special sailors like Paige are involved in.

If you do not know what you're doing, do it neatly.

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