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SCUTTLEBUTT 3624 - Monday, July 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: Doyle Sails and Soft Deck.

By Rich Roberts, journalist
The posts regarding Paul Elvstrom in Scuttlebutt 3622 and 3623 reminded me of my visit with him fifteen years ago at his home in Denmark north of Copenhagen. I left impressed that he was not only the best racing sailor the world had known but, even more so, the wisest. Recent events have only strengthened the latter opinion. These transcribed comments are from three of several subjects he discussed that have become relevant today:

* Leeward gates, etc.: "When I get an idea, 20 years later it comes . . . and I'm sure one day we are allowed to touch the mark without penalty. If you just make a little touch to a mark, you aren't doing it to gain anything ... as long as you go on the [correct] side and don't touch it with your hands, and as long as you don't take the anchor chain from the mark."

* Olympic Games boats: "The Olympics [are] for young sports people. You must have classes. The Star is not for young people. It's for old boys -- and the Soling, too. I have the same opinion I had in 1948: that in the Olympics there should only be dinghies, [although] nobody was thinking of catamaran at that time. A keelboat is for elderly people. It should never be in the Olympics. The choice of the 49er is the right direction. Now when we speak about the Olympic classes, I think there are too many. I would choose one sailboard, one single-handed dinghy, one single-handed catamaran, a two-man dinghy, one two-man catamaran. Five [each] for men, five for women. Very important."

* America's Cup: "I'm sorry to say, but when I saw the Australian boat sink [in 1995] I said, 'Stupid! Completely stupid.' [To not have it] one-design is stupid. With one-design, you can have the right dimension so the boat won't sink, it won't break. You can have everything so you can be sure everything is strong enough. At the same time it's fair racing. I was laughing, because it is so stupid."

Obviously, even way back in 1997, Elvstrom was far ahead of those who would rule sailing in 2012.

Newport, RI (July 1, 2012) - This week proved to be a statement event for the US defender of the America's Cup as Oracle Team USA was prominent in all areas of the AC World Series event. Jimmy Spithill's team claimed the overall 2011-12 season title with a strong second place finishes in both the match racing and fleet racing in Newport. Spithill also claimed the overall season Fleet Racing Championship while Sweden's Artemis Racing won the inaugural season's Match Racing Championship.

His veteran stable-mate very nearly stole the day in front of a capacity crowd of spectators at Fort Adams. Russell Coutts won the Newport Match Racing Championship over Spithill and almost took out the fleet race as well, but was denied that honor by Chris Draper's Luna Rossa Piranha team, who took advantage of a penalty to the Coutts team to grab a lead they would extend to the finish, to grab the Newport Fleet Racing Championship. Coutts was under intense pressure in the latter stages of the race from the Italian Swordfish team, but just held on for second place.

The Newport event marks the end of the first season of AC World Series racing and follows previous events in Cascais (POR), Plymouth (UK), San Diego (USA), Naples and Venice (ITA). Racing will start anew next month with the 2012-13 AC World Series in San Francisco from August 21-26. The new Ben Ainslie Racing will join the circuit as it comes to the host city of the 34th America's Cup.

Complete report:

Competitors - Team (Country), Helm (Citizenship)
Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson (USA)
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL)
Energy Team (FRA), Loick Peyron (FRA)
Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA), Chris Draper (GBR)
Luna Rossa Swordfish (ITA), Paul Campbell-James (GBR)
Oracle Team USA Coutts (USA), Russell Coutts (NZL)
Oracle Team USA Spithill (USA), Jimmy Spithill (AUS)
Team Korea (ROK), Nathan Outteridge (AUS)

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The America's Cup Hall of Fame induction gala held during the America's Cup World Series in Newport, RI (on June 29) was a night of both celebration and tribute not only to the three inductees, Patrizio Bertelli, Gerard Lambert and Jonathan Wright, but also to Louis Vuitton's long time involvement in the America's Cup.

It was in September 1983, in Newport, that Louis Vuitton awarded the Louis Vuitton Cup to the best challenger for the first time - to Australia II, the first Challenger to ever win the America's Cup. Marble House, the former Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, was the site where Australia II accepted the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the site for this year's Hall of Fame gala hosted by Louis Vuitton and the Herreshoff Marine Museum.

"The America's Cup Hall of Fame is something we have enjoyed supporting over the years," Yves Carcelle, President and CEO of Louis Vuitton said. "It is wonderful to see so many friends and champions who have contributed to the Challenger movement and the America's Cup be recognized through this important institution." -- Read on:

Lorient, France (July 1, 2012) - It was a decisive weekend for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, with the completion of the penultimate In-Port race and the start of the final offshore leg. Here is a recap:

* (June 30, 2012) - Hometown heroes Groupama completed a come from behind win in the 9.2nm Bretagne In-Port Race in Lorient on Saturday to nearly lock up the overall victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. After Camper controlled rival PUMA off the start line, the two pinned their hopes on the left side of the weather leg while the Franck Cammas' skippered Groupama took to the right. Camper led Groupama around the weather mark, with Kenny Read's PUMA team trailing in third. PUMA passed Groupama on the run, but a poor spinnaker douse at the leeward mark allowed the French team to regain second position. The three teams held position until Groupama usurped long-term leaders CAMPER from the top spot and held on to take the win by just 13 seconds. Remaining finish order was Telefonica, Abu Dhabi, and Sanya. -- Full report:

* (July 1, 2012) - Groupama begins the 550 nm leg to Galway Ireland with a significant 25-point buffer at the top of the leaderboard, and opted for a conservative start at the back of the pack, safe in the knowledge that the next 48 hours hold fast conditions that suit their boat perfectly. "The conditions are not so bad for our boat for sure, but the routing is very easy, it's almost straight, and in these conditions all the boats are very fast," Groupama skipper Franck Cammas said. The course route presents some detours, but by late morning on Monday the fleet should be rounding Fastnet Rock, the most southerly tip of Ireland. From there it's a straight run up to the Aran Islands, a set of three islands marking the entrance to Galway Bay. With only six points separating PUMA, Camper, and Telefonica, this leg will prove decisive on remaining positions on the podium. The current ETA for the fleet is 0000 UTC on Tuesday. -- Event media

Leg 9 - Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland (550 nm)
Standings as of Monday, 02 July 2012, 1:01:28 UTC
1. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 303.4 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 0.6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 0.6 nm DTL
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 1.0 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 8.30 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 9.4 nm DTL

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 day after the Newport Bermuda Race prizegiving in Bermuda (on June 23), race organizers learned an error occurred in the ISAF classification of a crewmember on the winner of the St. David's Lighthouse Trophy, awarded to the corrected time leader of the entire amateur division of the race.

When Rives Potts, skipper of McCurdy and Rhodes 48-foot 'Carina', learned of the mistake regarding his crew Kit Will, he immediately returned the Corinthian Trophy to the race organizers and apologized for the incorrect listing and the confusion about the trophy.

"The 'All-Amateur' trophy was awarded to Carina on the basis of submitted crew information," explained race chairman Dr. John Osmond, Chairman. "Because there was an ISAF Category 3 professional sailor onboard, the boat was not eligible for that prize. The trophy will be presented to the proper boat in due course." --

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Gothenburg, Sweden (June 30, 2012) - After the disappointment of the 2011 Women's Match Racing Worlds in Perth, Australia that saw Silja Lehtinen (FIN) finish 14th, she turned it around at the 2012 Worlds to defeat top ranked Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) 3-0 in the final.

"Obviously we wanted to win the regatta and are a little disappointed with the small mistakes we made that cost us in our races," admitted Tunnicliffe. "Tomorrow it is back to Weymouth (UK) for more training." Tunnicliffe's team was among 10 crews at the Worlds who will be competing in the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Lehtinen beat Claire Leroy (FRA) 3-0 in the semifinals, while Tunnicliffe took on compatriot Sally Barkow in four very tight and intense matches with the Tunnicliffe advancing to the finals. Leroy and Barkow faced off in the Petit Final, with Barkow taking the win and the bronze medal. -- Full report:

* Deephaven, MN (June 29, 2012) - Light winds dominated the third and final day of the 2012 US Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship, preventing the completion of further racing. Based on the six races on Wednesday and Thursday, Allyson Donahue (Brigantine, NJ) and Maddie Widmeier (Pipersville, PA) were crowned 2012 champs after finishing second last year. In second place, only one point back, was Carolyn Smith (Newport Beach, CA) and Bayley Davidson (Costa Mesa, CA). -- Full report:

* A bruising heat wave did not dampen the wind or spirits at the 2012 Flying Scot North American Championships held June 25-29 at Lake Carlyle, in Carlyle, Illinois. Although winds were predicted to be light as the week heated up, the event had steady wind all four days. In order to avoid some of the worst heat, organizers squeezed all five races of the finals into two days, instead of the proscribed three days. Jeff and Amy Linton of Davis Island Yacht Club won the Championship Division and Frank and Marianne Gerry of Lake Delavan won the Challenger Division. Details:

* With a dominating nine first-place tallies in 11 races, Jean Queveau of France won the 2012 J/22 World Championship at Crouesty Arzon Yacht Club in Brittany, France. Held from June 26-29, team Julie discarded a 14 and kept a sixth for a total of just 15 overall points. Racing with Queveau were Pierre Laouenan, Damien Iehl and Pierre Le Clainche. Two Netherlands teams followed in second and third - Wouter Kollmann with 33 points and Ivo Kok with 35. -- Full report:

* The biennial Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race began in San Francisco Bay on June 30 for 23 starters, taking on the 2,120 nm course to Hanalei Bay in Kauai, Hawaii. Each boat is fitted with a tracker that can be viewed here:

* As the Farr 40 class members prepare for their World Championship in Chicago on September 17-20, twelve teams will be in Newport, RI this week for their 2012 Rolex North American Championship on July 4-7. This will mark the first time the Farr 40s have raced on Narragansett Bay since the 2006 world championship. -- Full report:

* Thirty-two teams competed at the J/24 US National Championship in Dillon, CO on June 28-30 in conditions that ran the full gamut from sun and 80 degrees to hail and 55 degrees. Eight races were completed, but John Mollicone only needed the first seven of them, building a 21-point lead to lock up the title. Pat Toole was second with Chris Snow in third. Results:

* CORRECTION: It was listed in the Event Calendar that the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race would start on June 28. However, the race website now reports that four entries in the cruising division are scheduled to start on July 5, with ten entries in the racing division to start on July 7. --

* It is with great sadness that the sailing community is advised of the sudden and tragic passing of Darren Dunkley-Smith, a passionate and tireless contributor to the development of our sport. Although not an elite sailor himself, Darren became deeply involved in the sailing scene while supporting his wife Addy Bucek in her two Olympic representations for Australia in the International 470 class with her sailing partner Jeni Lidgett.

For many years Darren was the President and driving force of the 470 Class Association in Australia. His drive and enthusiasm for the sport then saw Darren elected as Vice President and subsequently President of the International Class Association. Darren served as President from Nov 2002 until 2005, when ill health prevented him from continuing in the role he loved so much. -- Read on:

* It is with great sadness that we wish to relay the passing of our friend Stephen D. Kroepel. Steve is survived by his children John and Michael, and his beloved Ann. Steve was proud to work at the Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit, MI) as a bartender for over 30 years. He was the happiest when he could make other people happy and put them at ease; not only did he meet Ann there, but he deeply cared about the friends he made and treasured his many years there. Steve was a free spirit who had a lifelong love of music. In his 20's he was a "roadie" for area musicians, most notably Bob Seger. He was a huge fan of the Grateful Dead (the night that Jerry Garcia came to Bayview was very exciting!), Jimi Hendrix, jazz and many other genres. Steve particularly enjoyed customizing playlists for members of the yacht club. Steve left this world unaware of his own magic, never really knowing the impact he had on other's lives. -- Full eulogy:

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* From Bill Canfield:
Wow! Who would have thought? St Thomas Yacht Club (St. Thomas, USVI) members voted to watch the European Soccer finals on Sunday rather than the live network coverage of the AC World Series from Newport. Sad to say the vote was not close. Curious to know how other club's votes went.

I guess it does not really surprise me because, as one who has watched every and all America's Cup coverage that has been available for past Cups, I have stayed strangely away from the excellent broadcast coverage of this one. I did try, but it just has not caught my interest for more than a few minutes. Give me the monohulls crashing through waves in Fremantle and I will be back. For now it's Spain vs Italy in the Euro Cup.

* From Bill Tripp:
Referring to Scuttlebutt 3632 and Don Street's comments about abandoning vs steering with broken rudder, it is possible to sail a modern boat without a rudder as well. I had the 'bonding' experience on a Jamaica Race recently.

We lost the rudder on a 60-foot sloop going across the Bahamas in a 25 knot northerly, 60 miles north of Nassau. After spinning enough circles to focus the mind, we settled on a drogue triangulated aft, no main, and a staysail. The drogue kept the stern behind the bow, which was a decent starting point, and we got the boat to dead run in 2 meter and short steep waves, (surfing each briefly), steering the bow by the trim of the staysail. It took a few hours to get the feel down, and then we ran downwind at 5 knots managing to split the middle between the breakwaters into Nassau.

We called the Bahamian Coastguard for assistance into the harbor, but they never showed (it was a Sunday) so we sailed in with a line to the bow of an assisting local center console to make sure we didn't do a broach in the inlet's breaking waves and land on the bricks.

While we started with the triangulating drogue to steer, the response in the waves was too often out of phase, and we'd end up doing 90 degree turns. With the staysail two people could steer the boat reliably down the steep waves, flicking the staysail back and forth across the foretriangle, eventually finding a 300 meter wide entrance from 60 miles, and 12 hours, out.

* From Bill Frank:
Interesting choice of design firms for the new Volvo Ocean Race boat (in Scuttlebutt 3623). Was it put out for bid and then based on cost? Is Farr in Knute's pocket? Did Juan K decline to play? With a chance that the three boats on the final podium for the current 2011-12 race being of Juan K's designs, I am a bit confused and disappointed.

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