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SCUTTLEBUTT 3649 - Tuesday, August 7, 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: Vineyard Race, North Sails, and J Boats.

Weymouth and Portland, U.K. (August 6, 2012; Day 9) - The 2012 Olympic
Sailing Regatta completed two more events today, with the Laser event
offering redemption for one sailor while the Laser Radial event concluded
what could be the closest of all ten sailing events.

Tom Slingsby (AUS), the five-time Laser world champion, laid to rest the
ghosts of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where he also started as the
favourite, but had a disastrous regatta and did not even make the Medal
Race, finishing 22nd.

Pavlos Kontides (CYP), finishing with the silver, became Cyprus's first
ever Olympic medallist since they first competed as an NOC in their own
right at Moscow 1980. Slingsby, 27, won gold by holding onto his lead going
into the Medal Race, being 14 points ahead of the Cypriot at the start.

"Who would be feeling better in the world right now? No-one," said
Slingsby. "I've worked for 12 years to get there. I put everything I had
into it and I've done it. I couldn't be happier. I think going to watch the
Stars and the Finns yesterday (Sunday) was a very smart idea in the end. I
saw how easily it can slip through your fingers and today I was pretty
brutal, but I had to be. I knew Pavlos couldn't lose second so I didn't
want to give him an inch all day."

Laser Results - Top 5 of 49
1. Tom Slingsby (AUS) - 43pts
2. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) - 59pts
3. Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) - 72pts
4. Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) - 77pts
5. Andrew Murdoch (NZL) - 87pts

China's Lijia Xu sailed her way to the Laser Radial gold medal by taking
the bullet in a winner takes all Medal Race. Just one point had separated
the top four Laser Radial sailors entering the medal race, with Xu and
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) level on 33 points each and Annalise Murphy (IRE)
and Evi Van Acker (BEL) tied on 34.

Murphy led around the first mark, but Xu overtook her before being given
the penalty turns by on-the-water umpires for illegal propulsion.
Remarkably though, the Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Xu then regained the
lead before the end of the second leg and was never challenged from then

"I just give it my all," Xu said immediately after racing. "I really
enjoyed today's race. I gave it my best for my country China. So long as I
kept calm and did my best the end result would not be bad. Everybody was
nervous; it just depends on who has the best mental side.

Bouwmeester, who had dominated the class throughout the last two years, was
less than impressed with second place, "The gold is always the main goal,"
said Bouwmeester. "If you ask me tomorrow I will be fine; today I'm a bit

Laser Radial Results - Top 5 of 41
1. Lijia Xu (CHN) - 35pts
2. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) - 37pts
3. Evi Van Acker (BEL) - 40pts
4. Annalise Murphy (IRL) - 44pts
5. Alison Young (GBR) - 60pts

On Monday, the 49er completed their final two qualifying races, with Nathan
Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) having won the gold prior to the Medal
Race on Wednesday, whilst Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) clinched
silver. The Men's 470 had two races as well, with Mathew Belcher/ Malcolm
Page (AUS) and Luke Patience/ Stuart Bithell (GBR) now only a point apart,
distancing themselves from the field, with two more races on Tuesday before
their Medal Race on Thursday. Women's 470 and Match Race, and Men's and
Women's RS:X had a layday.

NORTH AMERICA: The 49-boat Laser event concluded with David Wright (CAN) in
23rd, Cy Thompson (ISV) in 25th, Rob Crane (USA) in 29th, and Ricardo
Montemayor (MEX) in 38th, while the 41-boat Laser Radial event saw Paige
Railey (USA) finish in 8th, Tania Elias Calles (MEX) in 10th, Danielle Dube
(CAN) in 27th, and Mayumi Roller (ISV) in 40th.

TUESDAY: Qualifying races continue for the Men's and Women's 470, the
Women's Match Race begin the Quarter Finals, with the Medal Race to be held
for the Men's and Women's RS:X. Southwest winds of 12 to 16 knots are

CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 3648, incorrectly listed Zach Railey (USA) as
8th in the Finn. Railey finished 12th overall.

ISAF news:
Canada report:
USA report:


Canada broadcast:
USA broadcast:

Take part in an East Coast classic. Three courses; huge awards party;
cruising division; multihull division; race tracking; Corinthian challenge;
NORT qualifier and much more. Join Bruce Nelson at our skippers' meeting.
Start date: August 31. Register today: Follow us

British journalist Mark Chisnell, in his commentary for Sail-World, offered
his thoughts on the Medal Race. Or specifically, the Medal Race venue. Here
is an excerpt...
"Ask any group of sailors whether the medal race concept is a good idea and
there will be marmite responses - people either love it, or hate it. Put
the medal race very close to a shoreline, tucked into a corner with land on
two sides and the marmite effect is amplified ten-fold.

"On the pro-side, the 10,000 or so people who watched from the shoreline
got a great show, as did anyone watching on television. Two medal races
with the prizes changing hands in the last couple of hundred metres. On the
anti-side, these intense, short races with big shifts of breeze are a lot
more random than almost everything that goes before it. Should it really
all come down to this?"
Mark goes on to describe the drama, the ups and downs which occurred during
the Medal Race on Sunday for the Finn and Star, and then closes with this
"It would be hard to write a more dramatic script. It was an extraordinary
way to end a great story, and it will be told over and over again.
Nevertheless, I'm not sure I'd stake four years, never mind the twenty it's
taken (Ben) Ainslie to rack up his medal tally, and all the money, time and
energy that goes with it on a race like that - but then, maybe I'm just
getting old."

Full story:

"'It can be cruel; it feels that way at the moment. That's the problem when
you end up racing in ridiculous conditions, but we'll have to take it on
the chin." - Iain Percy (GBR), after losing the Star gold medal on Sunday,
concerning the Medal Race venue. -- Sail-World,

Sometimes, when the Games are held in great coastal cities - a Barcelona, a
Sydney, an Athens - sailboat events can occur near the center of the
action. Other times, at an Atlanta or a Beijing, the racing takes place an
inconvenient distance from the running and swimming and fighting.

Weymouth (the site of the sailing events) is 136 miles south of London, a
three-hour train ride to what is known as the Jurassic Coast, a fossil-rich
World Heritage site on the English Channel. For the Olympics, it has been
primped with fresh paint, newly planted flowers, carnival rides and a
174-foot-tall revolving tower. This high perch offers magnificent views
while a narrator encapsulates 185 million years of geological history into
a succinct 15 minutes.

The main esplanade, which extends along a fetching stretch of beach, is
fronted by stately Georgian buildings with iron terraces that look like
eyebrows over the ground floor. Gulls swoop through the sky. The air is a
mixed scent of sea breeze and fish and chips. The sand is soft and clean.

August is a busy month here, with one bus after another dropping off
families and retirees. The climax ordinarily comes on Carnival Day, the
third Wednesday of the month. The Olympics were supposed to fill the town
with a record number of visitors: a two-week-long Carnival Day!

"Well, you had to be a fool to believe that one, didn't you?" said Andrew
Bryan, a merchant in a souvenir shop, who numbers himself among the fools.

Many of the hoteliers on the esplanade believed it. They saluted the coming
Games by doubling their rates, a move predicated on presumptions of high
demand. Instead, many front windows now display hastily posted "vacancy"
signs. Rooms are offered at a discount.

"I've never seen this place so quiet, never, never, never," Janet Polden,
the desk clerk at the Russell Hotel, said. "This ought to be our busiest
time of the year. The schools are on holiday."

Zara, the "renowned" palm reader and clairvoyant with a hut on the beach,
spent her days in the past week talking on her mobile phone instead of
peering into the future. "They hyped this Olympics way too much," she said.
-- NY Times, full story:

Congratulations to Ben Ainslie and Jonas Hogh-Christensen for winning Gold
and Silver respectively in the Finn Class at the 2012 Olympic Games in
London. Both powered by North sails, Ainslie and Christensen sailed an
exciting 10-race series and both finished with a total of 46 net points. A
special congratulations to Christensen who is the son of North Sails
director Jens Christensen in Denmark. "It was simply a fantastic event and
I believe a lot more now understand how physical the Finn class is," Jens
said after Jonas earned his Silver Medal. When performance counts, the
choice is clear:

By Bruce Kirby
The yachting press, like most of the Fourth Estate, loves the superlative
and the all- encompassing assertion of infallibility. So we have Ben
Ainslie, who squeaked into his fourth Gold Medal, largely because a
competitor who was well ahead of him in the Medal Race made a dumb mistake
and had to do his circles.

So Ben is now - particularly in the British press - "the greatest sailor
who ever lived." He has four Gold Medals and a Silver. He is certainly the
'Greatest Gatherer of Olympic Sailing Medals' in the History of the Sport.
But surely not the 'Greatest Racing Sailor Who Ever Lived'.

The man who probably will always deserve that title lives in Copenhagen,
he's 84 years old, he suffers from early stage Parkinson's disease, and he
has recently become a widower.

We all know that along the way he won four Olympic Gold Medals. As he grew
older he competed in four other Olympics, finishing well in all but one of
those, but not mounting the podium. But there is so much more...

- He has won the World Championship of the Finn, the 505, Snipe, Soling,
Star, Flying Dutchman, 5.5 and Tornado.
- He taught us all how to hike our small boats so we could sit out far
longer than we ever thought we could.
- He designed us a bailer that really worked.
- He wrote four books to make us better sailors.
- He made great sails and a host of superior sailing equipment.
- He helped us understand the rules.
- He pointed out ways to improve our courses - such as upwind and downwind
- He was named Danish Sportsman of the Century.
- He smiled a great deal, and probably still does, and he was the
consummate gentleman, on and off the water.

So let's put the question to Ben Ainslie: "Who is the greatest sailor who
ever lived?" I'll bet Ben will say Paul Elvstrom.

Portsmouth, RI (August 6, 2012) - A US Sailing independent review panel has
released the report on its investigation of the sailing accident that
occurred on April 14, 2012 during the Full Crew Farallones Race out of San
Francisco, Calif. The accident resulted in the deaths of five sailors from
the sailboat, Low Speed Chase.

The crew of eight aboard Low Speed Chase encountered larger than average
breaking waves when rounding Maintop Island, the northwest point of
Southeast Farallon Island. These waves capsized the vessel, a Sydney 38,
and drove it onto the rocky shore. Seven of the eight crew members were
thrown from the boat into the water. Only two of those sailors in the water
made it to shore and survived.

As a result of the panel's research and analysis, they determined that the
primary cause of the capsizing was due to the course sailed by Low Speed
Chase, which took them across a shoal area where breaking waves could be
expected. During the course of the analysis, multiple track lines from
other racers that day were obtained and are provided in the report. It is
noted that the Low Speed Chase was not the only vessel which crossed or
sailed very near this shoal area.

Although the course sailed was the direct cause of the accident, there were
additional safety issues that came to light during the investigation. --
Read on:

* The lines and sail plan of the AC72 launched by Emirates Team New Zealand
on July 21 have been posted online by Jacques Taglang, along with a
comparison of the Kiwi wing to the rig that had been tested by Artemis
Racing on their modified trimaran prior to its destruction in May. Details

* A 47-year-old man from Nassau County, N.Y., was arrested Sunday and
accused of operating a 22-foot boat while intoxicated with 16 minors
aboard. Charles Miller, 47, of Manhasset, was charged with boating while
intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child and reckless operation of a
vessel, according to The Suffolk Times newspaper. -- Soundings Trade Only,
read on:

* The man accused of causing last month's deadly boat accident on Georgia's
Lake Lanier was charged with homicide in the deaths of the two brothers who
were killed. A 13-count indictment showed that Paul Bennett, 44, of
Cumming, Ga., was charged with homicide by vessel in the first degree,
according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He could face three to 15
years in prison if convicted of that charge. -- Soundings Trade Only, read

In just the last 10 days, 25 J/111s were racing between J-Cup (UK), Rolex
NYYC (Newport) and Harbor Springs. In Chicago-Mac, J/111s took 6 of the top
9 spots (out of 121) for the Mackinac Cup. Whether sprinting around the
buoys or daysailing with friends, the J/111 is all about sailing fast with
less effort.

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
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* From Don Bedford, International Snipe Class Commodore:
The Snipe class recently learned the Pan American Sailing Federation
decided that for the 2015 Pan Am Games to be held in Toronto Canada, the
Snipe has been replaced by the 49er. This change would br a major blow to
the Snipe sailors in the Western Hemisphere, and to a class which has been
in every Pan Am Games.

Since the initial announcement, the outcry has been significant, and last
week I received a letter from Scott Perry, President of the Pan American
Sailing Federation, stating that they've received an "overwhelming
reaction" to their decision and will be reconsidering the matter after the
Olympic Games conclude.

This is good news, though change will only occur if interested parties
continue to express to their national authorities how the Snipe benefits
their country at the highest levels of sailing as well as in building the
base of the sport.

To that note, the 2012 Snipe North American Championships will be sailed at
the venue of the 2015 Pan American Games (in Toronto Canada on September
14) and I ask that all who can sail to please support the class by showing
how great our participation can be. Support by Canada and the US will
certainly be important for the Snipe to remain in the Pan Am games. Oh, and
the regatta will be a fantastic time as well!

NOTE: The events announced for the 2015 Pan Am Games are:
RS:X Men
RS:X Women
Laser Standard Men
Laser Radial Women
49er Men
Sunfish Open
Lightning Mixed
Hobie 16 Mixed
J24 Open

* From Kimball Livingston,
I hope that Pacific Cup organizers will rethink their proscription against
accessing tracking data when they write their next NOR (as reported in
Scuttlebutt 3648). Delayed reporting of tracking keeps a long race
strategic rather than tactical, while allowing family, friends, and fans to
keep up. Given sufficient delay, navigators cannot use positions to cover
or copy opponents. There is no need to forbid access.

Pac Cup now has now done the necessary. The rule against accessing tracking
was clear, and the crew of Double Trouble -- the apparent race winners, and
then not -- admit they did exactly that.

Second guessing the jury's penalty is beyond my pay grade, but no one who
knows anything thinks that Double Trouble intended to seize an unfair
advantage. They are not cheaters. They sailed a terrific race. To see it
swept away from them -- this was a comeback after being put out of the 2011
Transpac by a mechanical -- is heartbreaking, and that's how I see it.
That's how they see it, too. But, I will also state the obvious: Dang,
guys, you f'd up. Did I mention they sailed a great race?

And while I'm on the soapbox, I'll say that I find it regrettable that
clueless newspaper stories (SF Chronicle in Scuttlebutt 3648) alleging a
down-spiraling America's Cup are presented to a sailing readership as if
that's what we need to know. I went to the same press conference, and I
have a theory. The America's Cup is going to be fine.

* From Pat Healy
I know it's tough when a reporter doesn't have media accreditation to an
Olympic sport's venue, but is anyone else disappointed with the NY Times
coverage of Olympic Sailing? First it was a report of a sausage seller
having to change his interlocking wurst logo, and then today (Monday),
there is a half page on Weymouth B&Bs being forced to discount their
inflated room rates.

Now that four of the classes are complete, perhaps the US team could
arrange for the NY Times reporter, Campbell Robertson, to meet some of our
sailors in a Weymouth pub to talk their Olympic experience. He might even
buy the pints and our athletes might get some coverage of their Olympic

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