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SCUTTLEBUTT 3538 - Thursday, March 1, 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 and Ullman Sails.

(February 29, 2012; Day 10) - The fleet's adrenaline fueled dash through the Pacific in winds up to 34 knots has seen some near record breaking performances but has also taken its toll on the boats with several teams reporting equipment damage. Chris Nicholson's CAMPER suffered the biggest breakdown last night when they tore their vital J2 headsail in two pieces after the line fixing it to the bow snapped under load.

"It took about 20 hours to get the sail back up," explained CAMPER navigator Will Oxley. "It was a massive task. They had to get it below, dry it, find where the rip was and come up with a plan for the repair. Sometimes I'm not sure how they do it. The sail is so big and the boat is so small that putting it back together is very impressive."

PUMA sailed 525 nautical miles at an average speed of 21.8 knots in a 24 period, approaching the current race record of 554 nautical miles set by CAMPER during the first leg."It feels good to be going fast, psychologically at least," said PUMA MCM Amory Ross. "Sailing this way is fun, and it's what everyone thinks about when they sign up to sail around the world."

Groupama watch captain Thomas Coville said the conditions were really aggressive for the crew and the driver in particular. "It's very wet on board," Coville said. "We're sailing 90 degrees from the wind and 90 degrees from the waves. We all have burning eyes at the moment from the salt. These conditions are for sure very extreme but it's a lot of fun going 25 knots."

"When you're close reaching like this going over 20 knots the seas are coming over the side are pretty brutal," said Oxley. "You can't steer without a helmet and you can't look into the wind otherwise you quickly get blinded. If you imagine sticking your head out of a car window at 60 kilometres an hour into driving rain. That might give you an indication of what it's like." -- Full report:

LEVERAGE: While the Distance to Lead deltas are an important reference, so is the leverage among the fleet. PUMA is in the high lane and Telefonica is in the low lane, with over 200 nm between them. That's a lot of leverage.

Leg 4 - Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL (5,220 nm)
Standings as of Thursday, 01 March 2012, 1:04:22 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 2871.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 82.8 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 89.7 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 104.2 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 112.3 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 157.5 nm DTL

Video reports:
Race schedule:

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. -

Now that there is a plan in place for the City of San Francisco to host the 34th America's Cup, our attention returns to the water. The next big event question will be how many of the nine challenging teams will find the funds to compete in the Louis Vuitton elimination event next year. Some of the teams look a bit more certain than others, but the final answer may not come until June 1st when an entry payment is to be made.

Among the entered challengers, the following teams are certain to contend:
Artemis Racing, Kungliga Svenska Segal Sallskapet (SWE)
Emirates Team New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (NZL)
Luna Rossa Challenge 2013, Circolo della Vela Sicilia (ITA)

As for the other six teams, here is the update they provided Scuttlebutt:

ALEPH, Aleph Yacht Club (FRA)
Marcus Hutchinson, press officer: "Aleph is still working hard at securing funding for the 2012 ACWS season. As you know the first event of 2012 is less than 2 months away now. We still have not secured the funding we require for 2012 but we are cautiously optimistic that we will. As you know things are somewhat challenging in Europe at the moment. With regard to the June 1st deadline for the bond and to be considered for the LV Cup with an AC 72, Aleph will not be going down that path, hoping instead that there will be an AC 45 series In parallel in San Francisco during the 2013 summer season that we could compete in, that will help us raise and maintain profile for the 35th AC, a bit like Ben Ainslie Racing."

Ben Ainslie Racing, Royal Cornwall Yacht Club (GBR)
Will not contend. Will focus solely on the 2012-13 America's Cup World Series.

China Team, Mei Fan Yacht Club (CHN)
Thierry Barot, CEO: "As you can imagine all the team is very busy working at fund raising, sport preparation and other area to prepare the future. A full presentation of our future program will be announced in early March."

Energy Team, Yacht Club de France (FRA)
Bruno Peyron, CEO: "We will be determining our competitive position up to the June 1 deadline to decide if we will proceed with the AC72 for the 34th America's Cup. We acknowledge that our program has started very late, but are pleased with our success thus far in the America's Cup World Series with the AC45. We have secured sponsorship to complete the first ACWS season this year and through the second season in 2012-13, so that much we will definitely do. As for the America's Cup, our real deadline is to be in San Francisco with an AC72 and an ideal race team is July 2013. We would need between six and six and a half months to build the boat, and would begin training in San Francisco by April 2013. So our real deadline then becomes September 2012 to begin the construction of the AC72, though we may build the molds before that date. If by June we have a strong feeling that we can compete, than we will go for it."

Green Comm Racing, Real Club Nautico de Valencia (ESP)
Pierre Orphanidis, press officer: "It's obviously very hard to switch from one boat to another. An AC45 boat is completely different from a Finn, and the main focus of our Finn sailors - and all the Olympic sailors - is obviously the Olympics. So for the next 6-8 months their main focus will be the Olympics, and the proper America's Cup campaign will kick off after the Olympics. There has been speculation whether Green Comm Racing will have an AC72 yacht. I can tell you that not only will we have an AC72 yacht, we are fully committed to that, we are not involved just for fun or to play. So Grant Dalton beware, and Dean Barker beware (both of Emirates Team New Zealand), on the waters in San Francisco, 13 months from now, it won't be that easy."

Team Korea, Sail Korea Yacht Club (ROK)
Cliff Webb, press officer: "Mr. Kim and Team Korea have every intention of competing in the Louis Vuitton Cup and are focused on quietly working away with plans to fulfill this commitment. The three America's Cup World Series events last year were a tremendous boost for the team, showing people back home the potential that exists to promote the country internationally. However, it would not be appropriate to go into any further detail presently!"

* America's Cup deal change is lost opportunity:

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The IRC handicap system was originally founded in 1984 as the Channel Handicap System in Great Britain as a club level racing rule alongside IOR. Once the rule gained international use, it was rebranded with its current name in 1999. Here is the distribution of boats holding valid IRC 2011 certificates.

Country/Continent - % of total
Great Britain - 24%
S. Europe - 24%
France - 14%
Other N. Europe/Scandinavia - 11%
Asia - 9%
Australasia - 7%
USA/Canada - 7%
South America - 2%
South Africa - 1%
Worldwide travelers (eg. superyachts) - 1%


(February 29, 2012) - On the second day of the 2012 season's inaugural event, Oman Air's new skipper Morgan Larson (USA) continued his impressive form to keep the pressure fully on 2011 season runner-up Pierre Pennec's team all-French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. Oman Air won the first race of day, the French team the next two, then another Oman Air victory - as the two teams traded places at the top of the Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard, now only separated by 1 point. Overall, there were five different race winners out of 8 races today.

"We did a really nice job on the more traditional windward/leewards," said Larson after racing. "Then when the reaching starts came into play I didn't really have the timing to well and made a few errors that cost us a couple of points. But all in all the guys are doing a great job, we would be really happy with a podium finish and that's our goal." The 8-boat Extreme 40 fleet raced in stadium mode inside the breakwater.

Oman Air had three different skippers last year including Olympic legend Ben Ainslie, before finishing the season off with past Extreme Sailing Series winner Chris Draper. This season Larson will be joined by 2004 Olympic Tornado silver medallist Charlie Ogletree (USA) along with old Extreme 40 hands Britain's Will Howden and Omani sailor Nasser Al Mashari. Also onboard for this event is fifth crew Max Bulger (USA)

Full report:
Live Race Console:

BACKGROUND: The Extreme Sailing Season is in its sixth season, with this year's eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and South America. The platform used is the one design Extreme 40 catamaran, with the format for event including both ocean and 'stadium' short-course racing in front of the public. Interest in the ESS has grown in part due to the multihull format planned for the 34th America's Cup in 2013. --

By David Fuller, CEO of Pilote Media
As well as publishing this website and a couple of others, we run a sports marketing agency which receives a lot of sponsorship proposals. Despite an increasing professionalism in the sport of sailing and yacht racing, many sailing rights holders' presentations are inferior to those we get from 20 year old motor-racing drivers .

After a few tough years, sponsorship is showing signs of growing, especially for properties that can prove their value to brands who are looking for ways to engage disparate audiences. At the top end of the sport of sailing, rights holders who have been working incredibly hard to educate brands about their value are expected to announce big deals in coming weeks, which will be good news for sailing.

But having just read another fairly lazy attempt at soliciting funds for what is fundamentally an interesting sailing campaign, I thought I would share some of the things that bug me about many of the pitches that come onto my desk.

Sponsorship Proposal Tip 1 - Your Cost is not the Price!
Just because a can of Red Bull costs a few pennies to manufacture does not mean that the brand sells you it for pennies. Instead, the sugar and carbonated water and mystery energy ingredients give you wings and a reflected sense of cool. You pay a couple of bucks for that product because its value to you is much higher than the cost to the manufacturer.

Similarly, the price for your sailing campaign should not be the amount that it will cost you to deliver it. The price, or the amount you ask for, should be a valuation of the benefit that the sponsor will derive from being involved.

Bear in mind that the sponsor is looking for a return on the amount invested that is a multiple of the outlay - if they spend $100,000 then they are looking to get $300,000 or $400,000 worth of value in return.

There may be a time in the negotiation where a sponsor will want to know how the money will be allocated, but showing the equipment and team running costs doesn't highlight the value of the investment.

Read on:

No matter the season, where you are or what sailing you do, Ullman Sails lofts are providing the best sails and service possible all over the world. Last weekend customers hit the racecourse in New Orleans for Mardi Gras Race Week, placing 2nd and 3rd in the Viper 640 class. South of the equator, the J.J. Giltinan Championships for 18 foot skiffs just concluded in Sydney with Ullman Sails powering multiple teams in the 30-boat fleet. And in Denmark the ice has melted, so we're going sailing (regardless of the temperature)! Ullman Sails worldwide. Invest in your performance.

* A new community-oriented sailing and watersport program - Sail Cape Cod - is coming to Barnstable, and the broader Cape Cod region, this year. Based in Hyannis, the mission of Sail Cape Cod is to increase on-water access to the bays, beaches and ocean around the Cape for persons of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and physical and developmental abilities, including youngsters and teens, seniors, disabled individuals, and returning veterans. Sail Cape Cod will offer instruction in recreational sailing and other eco-friendly watersports, educational opportunities in seamanship, water safety, marine science, and navigation. -- Details:

* Robert E. Derecktor Inc., located in Mamaroneck, NY, announced this week on Tuesday that it is seeking protection under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization laws. A protracted legal battle with the State of Alaska regarding vendor-related issues unconnected to the yard's workmanship on a project completed in 2005, together with the depressed economy, has put a significant strain on the company's finances. This action is unrelated to recent events involving Derecktor Shipyard Conn. LLC, located in Bridgeport, CT. -- Read on:

* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 3537, a story reported that there 246 sailors competing in the Laser Midwinter's East Championship. There were actually 153 sailors at the event.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free, self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this weekend:
Mar 1-4 - St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - St.Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Mar 2-10 - Regatta Copa Mexico - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mar 3-11 - WaterTribe Everglades Challenge - St Petersburg, FL, USA
Mar 5-12 - BACARDI Miami Sailing Week - Miami, FL, USA
View all the events at

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of recent postings:

* Carbon Ocean Yachts join Front Street Shipyard
* SEA-TV adds new DVD titles to web site
* Newport RI, Crew Accommodation
View updates 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 Guy Brierre:
Concerning the story in Scuttlebutt 3537 about Nelson Roltsch, I also sailed in the "200 mile race" that year on a 37' Heritage One Ton. The race started inside the Mississippi sound off Gulfport, out through Ship Island pass staying east of the Chandeleur Islands to a sea buoy off the mouth of the Mississippi River then east to Mobile (AL) Sea buoy then back to Ship Island Pass and to Gulfport (actually 180 nm but we rounded up).

I can confirm just how bad the weather was; about every third wave went completely over the boat. We tacked around the "jibe" mark at Mobile and even that took two tries as the seas were so large. After breaking our forestay we were motoring toward a pass between the barrier islands and were turned upside down by a wave breaking over the spreaders. A Soverel 30 was flipped 360 twice. A N/M 68 was washed up onto the beach of a barrier island. Not mentioned in the above post, the owners of the J/29 were two former Olympians so they were very goood sailors, it was just a very nasty storm.

Back in those days no one (or at least very few) wore harnesses and/or PFD's. If there is a lasting legacy to Nelson it is that his tragedy began a concerted effort toward better safety offshore in the Gulf Yachting Association. I watched the search plane go back and forth all day the next day looking for Nelson, hoping he had made it safely to one of the islands. It was a sight I'd prefer not to see again. -- Forum, read on:

* From Scott Keck:
Hey, looking for suggestions for a good handheld GPS for use on mark boats, etc., when doing race committee on SF bay. Doesn't have to be particularly cheap, as I believe you get what you pay for. But doesn't need to be a $500 unit that might fall overboard, either. -- Facebook:

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river." - Nikita Khrushchev, former Soviet leader

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