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SCUTTLEBUTT 3510 - Friday, January 20, 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: Doyle Sailmakers and The Pirates Lair.

Key West, FL (January 19, 2012) - With eight races in the books and two
more still to be contested, the outcome of several marquee classes at
Quantum Key West 2012 remains in doubt.

To absolutely no one's surprise, the deep and talent-laden Melges 32 class
has come down to the wire with Samba Pa Ti holding a slim four-point lead
over Pisces. Skipper John Kilroy and the Los Angeles-based Samba team
posted a strong score line of 2-4-3 on Thursday and will look to protect
its advantage on Friday when two races are expected to be held.

"Like most good regattas, it comes down to the last day and probably the
last race," Kilroy said. "We just have to relax and minimize our mistakes.
We're going to go out there and sail the way we normally do."

It's a runaway in the 18-boat J/80 class as Glenn Darden has steered Le
Tigre to a steady stream of first, second and third place results. John
Gluek is serving as tactician on Le Tigre, which holds an 18-point lead
over second place Rocad Racing (Mikael Lindqvist, Sweden).

Le Tigre was named Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day for winning the class
which had the closest, most competitive racing for the day. The boat is
co-owned by Reese Hillard, who works the bow while Karl Anderson trims the
jib aboard the Forth Worth, Texas entry. They captured the class world
championship in 2006 and are seeking to three-peat at Key West.

Bora Gulari and the West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes team continue to
cruise along in Melges 24 class, counting all first place results after
being able to drop the sixth it took in Race 6. That gives the Detroit
entry a healthy 10-point lead over runner-up WTF (Alan Field, Los Angeles).

Racing concludes Friday. Full report:

Here are some links to help follow the event:
Event website:

Quantum Sails:
Sailing World:
T2P daily videos:

(January 19, 2012) - The six Volvo Ocean Race teams will go head to head
for the first time in more than a month when the Leg 3 Stage 2 race to
China starts on Sunday (January 22) at 0800 UTC.

The teams will have very little time to prepare for racing, with the ship
carrying five of the yachts expected to dock at the safe haven port on
Saturday. Team Sanya, which was seeking to complete the first stage of Leg
2 after their rigging failure in mid-December forced a detour to
Madagascar, finally finished today.

A mine-field of hazards await the fleet on the Leg 3 course to Sanya in
China, including monsoon winds, a collision course with hundreds of
merchant ships and a brutal week-long beat - sailing against the wind by
tacking - in rough seas.

The more than 3000 nautical mile course will steer the six teams from the
safe haven port through the Indian Ocean to the notorious Malacca Strait
and into the South China Sea.

Volvo meteorologist Gonzalo Infante explained that the course consists of
three distinct stages - - the first is a more than 1000 nautical mile
stretch in prime monsoon territory from the undisclosed port to the
northern tip of Sumatra.

The second phase of the leg may be the shortest - - a 500 nm passage from
the tip of Sumatra to the Singapore Strait - - where giant merchant vessels
in their hundreds are the more obvious risk in the Malacca Strait, with
small fishing boats, nets, pots and floating debris also likely to be

A long beat in the South China Sea is the easiest summary of the third and
final stage of Leg 3. The fleet will make a sharp left turn out of the
Singapore Strait, tending towards the coast of Vietnam where they can make
gains from coastal shifts, and head north to China.

The course is tipped to take the teams around two weeks to complete, with a
finish in Sanya in early February. -- Event website, full report:

Course details:
Video reports:
Race schedule:

BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012,
six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles of the world's
most treacherous seas 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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Whether running a national championship, or just the annual yacht club
regatta, you have your work cut out for you. If you don't want to reinvent
the wheel, there's a checklist and lots of expert information available -
from sponsorship to charter boat insurance to finding judges and safety
protocols, and much more.

The highly successful Buzzard's Bay Regatta, one of the largest events in
the U.S. with over 450 boats, is run by expert volunteers. Do you have an
Emergency Cancellation Plan? BBR does! How about job descriptions for each
of the key regatta committee people? Honed over many years, BBR organizers
share their tools and documents here:

US Sailing resources:
Event Management:
Race Management:

This is an installment by International Umpire/Judge Jos M. Spijkerman
(NED) in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with
amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF
committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or
Summary of the Facts

At the start of a race the visual individual recall signal required by rule
29.1 was correctly made, but the required sound signal was not. One of the
recalled boats, A, did not return and later requested redress on the
grounds that she started simultaneously with the starting signal and heard
no recall sound signal.

The protest committee found that A was not entirely on the pre-start side
of the starting line at the starting signal. It gave A a finishing position
as redress because of the absence of the sound signal. Another boat, B,
then asked for redress, claiming that her finishing position was affected
by what she believed to have been an improper decision to give a finishing
position to A. B was not given redress, and she appealed on the grounds
that rule 26 states: 'the absence of a sound signal shall be disregarded'.

Decision... read on:

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:

* Sparkman Stephens 30 Daysailor
* Wraceboats GP26 designed by Jim Donovan
* New J/70 Speedster Sails 2012
View updates here:

* The University of Texas Sailing Team and Austin Yacht Club will be
hosting the 2012 Intercollegiate Sailing Nationals on Lake Travis. The team
is currently fundraising to pay for a fleet of 18 new FJ's that will be
used for the championship. To help contribute, details here:

* The Royal Yachting Association has reviewed the report regarding the
incident which took place at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World
Championships involving British sailor Ben Ainslie from the International
Jury at the event. The RYA has decided that the case might warrant further
action, and have thus referred the matter to the RYA Tribunal in accordance
with its established procedures for further consideration. A hearing is
likely to take place in the next two months. Any additional sanctions could
affect Ainslie's ability to compete in the 2012 Olympics. -- RYA website:

* The six-day Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing
World Cup regattas, will be held January 23-28. The event features
elite-level competition in the classes selected for the Olympic and
Paralympic Games, with 359 entries representing 44 countries. Also
registered are 120 coaches. The event is being used by Canada as the final
selection series to determine their 2012 Olympic mens and womens
representative in the Laser and Radial events. Currently leading are Chris
Dold and Isabella Berthold. -- Event website:

* St. Thomas Yacht Club's 39th annual International Rolex Regatta in the US
Virgin Islands, the oldest regatta in Rolex's yachting portfolio, shows a
roster of entries with several hot new boats and first-time entries signed
up for the three-day event on March 23-25. Stephen Murray, Jr.'s New
Orleans entry, the recently launched Carkeek 40 Decision, will be one of
the many intriguing boats competing. The return of last year's respective
winners of class 1 and 2: Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah) with his IRC 52
Vesper and Willem Wester (Zeeland, The Netherlands) who will sail a Grand
Soleil 46 Antilope. -- Full report:

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Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include whales, desert sailing, youth sailing, Caribbean sailing, newbie
sailing, Arab sailing, wood sailing, and last year sailing. Here are this
week's photos:

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

During the 2011 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR), which
was held at the Larchmont Yacht Club (NY) over Columbus Day
weekend, each sailing team was given HD Flip video cameras to document as
much action as possible onboard their boats and dockside before and after
racing as well as during social events.

Villanova University, with sophomore Scott Barnhill (Baltimore, Md.)
serving as video editor, was declared the winner of the event's video
challenge and will receive a $1,500 donation made out to its sailing team.
Click here for their video:

BONUS: This week's 'America's Cup Uncovered' Episode 22 reviews the
standings in the America's Cup World Series and highlights victories from
the America's Cup World Series San Diego. Then we catch up with Energy
Team's Loick Peyron after he recently smashed the round the world record on
Banque Populaire in the Jules Verne Trophy. Next Ben Ainslie announces that
he will be joining the America's Cup after the Olympics this summer with
his UK team: Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR). Tune in on Saturday January 21
approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:

BONUS: The January 20 edition of the "World on Water" Global Sailing News
Show features the world's best A Class Catamaran sailors facing off in the
Australian Championships on Lake Macquarie, the start of Leg 3 Stage 1 of
the Volvo Ocean Race Abu Dhabi, UAE, British Olympian Ben Ainslie announce
that he's going to both challenge and defend the Americas Cup, London,
England, We preview next month's World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships
in St. Ignace, Michigan, USA, the VOR IN-Port race in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and
in "Fresh to Frightening" we review the fabulous 2010 St Francis Yacht Club
Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race in San Francisco which all pits all comers,
18 Foot Skiffs, Kite Boarders, Windsurfers and other foilers in a winner
takes all race. See it on at approx 1200 GMT, 0700

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

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 Jim Teeters
A brief clarification to Dobbs Davis' otherwise fine article in Scuttlebutt
3509 about offshore handicapping: the characterization that ORR has
"go-slow" features is misleading.

The rule is calibrated with extensive tank testing of boat models and wind
tunnel evaluations of sails. The speed predictions do predict that a
heavier boat has more drag and will be slower. Is that a "go-slow" feature?
The same can be said for boats with more wetted area, less draft, less
stability, less sail area, etc. Shorter boats are slower too!

To provide competitive fairness on the race course, the ORR VPP correctly
predicts performance differences due to these varying features. This is
what all measurement handicap rules try to do. OK, it must be admitted the
VPP does give credit to the distorted (read go-slow) hull shapes designed
to IOR.

HPR is a very promising concept that measures and handicaps only the most
fundamental features that drive performance. Like a box rule, HPR ignores
many design details freeing the designer to develop what is simply a fast
boat. Unlike a box rule, rating assessments are given for differences in
displacement, length, draft, sail area, etc. HOWEVER, a design can diverge
only so much from the HPR typeform before those assessments become
penalties. The result: all boats are required to have "go-fast" features.

* From Frederic Berg:
Regarding Mr. Davis' examination of a new rating paradigm (in Scuttlebutt
3509), I would suggest the premise that performance cannot be easily
predicted (alongside the bulk of the fleet sailing in more traditional
displacement boats) is false. We are blessed with very accurate velocity
prediction programs from today's designers. The problem we all face is the
willingness of fleets to use sophisticated handicapping systems based on
varying wind and sea conditions.

The use of sophisticated handicapping systems has lead in the past to
delays in producing standings at the end of the race day, lack of standings
between races during the day and the supposed secrecy of the rule which
only designers in the know seem to be capable of decoding.

There are two solutions; either we use a sophisticated handicapping system
that most sailors will never understand or continue to use less than
optimal handicapping and live with some boats winning in their optimal
conditions or.

The first solution is the right one for grand prix racing. This group has
the funds and technology to create and maintain a viable system based on
real time positioning which could provide real time on board standings. The
second is for the 99% who enjoy racing with their friends and occasionally
aspire to race in a national event.

In the real world the PHRF racer rarely races alongside the MC38's, Farr
400's, GP42's or TP52's, so why would we entertain yet another rating
system that will end up being exploited for what it cannot or does not do
in the name of transparency and simplicity?

* From Andrew Riem:
In the lead story 'Examining A New Rating Paradigm' in Scuttlebutt 3509, I
found the comment "IRC favors heavier displacement production boats in the
40-foot range" particularly amusing given I placed second in the IRC
Canadians a couple years back in a 1985 J/27 (27' psuedo ULDB). Granted I
lost out to Red Jacket...the breakthrough Bruckmann/C&C Custom that was the
first balsa cored fiberglass hull (light), won 11 of its 13 race series in
1967 and was SORC Champion 1968.

COMMENT: Esteemed IRC designer Mark Mills had described to me about the
40-foot sweet spot that had been identified in the IRC rule, which was in
part why the Summit 40 production boat was built to that length.
Interestingly, the IRC overall results in Key West this week, where the
boats span from 41 to 72 feet, have been dominated by Division 3 with boats
from 41 to 46 feet. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Gerard Koeppel:
There is a bridge between the difference of opinion expressed in
Scuttlebutt 3508 and 3509 over whether light air Southern California in
winter is the right venue for a Youth Worlds Qualifier. The bridge is the
expected conditions at the venue for the Youth Worlds.

If a given year's Youth Worlds will be in a light air venue, a light air
Qualifier venue would be best; if a given year's Youth Worlds will be in a
heavier air venue, a heavier air Qualifier venue would be best. It's my
understanding that the Qualifier venue rotates on a fixed three-year
schedule from Florida to Texas to California. It might make more sense--and
possibly generate a US Youth Worlds team best matched to the expected Youth
Worlds conditions--if the Qualifier venue was chosen based on the Worlds

ISAF has already announced the Youth World Championship venues through
2014, thus providing sufficient time for U.S. planning. With this flexible
approach, Florida might have been the better location for the 2012 Worlds
to be held in Ireland (i.e., heavier air). That said, having observed the
420/Laser course last weekend, I can say that the RC squeezed every race it
could out of light and shifting breezes, running eight good races in the
two days with adequate wind, only one fewer than the scheduled nine races
in three days.

COMMENT: I have received my share of grief for commenting about the choice
of Long Beach in January for the US Youth Qualifier. The reality is that no
US venue is ideal year round. That is why major events avoid the southeast
in the summer and avoid the west in the winter. But if I had to pick a
California site for the qualifier in January, I would pick Alamitos Bay
Yacht Club in Long Beach. Great facility, great volunteers, great race
course. Thread now closed. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

He who pulls the oars does not have time to rock the boat.

New York Yacht Club - New England Ropes - North U.
Dieball Sailing - J Boats - US Sailing - North Sails - Ullman Sails
JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Doyle Sailmakers - The Pirates Lair

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