SCUTTLEBUTT 3733 - Thursday, December 6, 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: Point Loma Outfitting and Ullman Sails.
The international financial crisis of the 1930's and the Second World War
(1939-1945), conspired to eventually bring about a 21-year hiatus in
competition for the 'Auld Mug'.
Competition for the America's Cup became an increasingly distant memory
following the final clash of two of the mighty J Class in 1937, when The
Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR) challenger 'Endeavour II' was beaten four-nil by
the New York Yacht Club (USA) defender, 'Ranger'.
The world in general was struggling to gain financial momentum during the
ten years following the end of W.W.II, but sport is never to be denied and
talk in the social rooms and on the dockside of the Royal Yacht Squadron
and the New York Yacht Club was increasingly directed to the subject of
Returning to the J Class for that competition was completely impractical.
Money was still very scarce, with nation re-building the priority, so
building new or renovating old J boats was briefly considered but quickly
Eventually, consensus decided that the twelve meter class, which had
flourished through the 1930's and in the 1950's and was still fairly well
represented in both England and the US, would fit the bill as the yacht for
the America's Cup. The necessary changes to the America's Cup deed of gift
was sought by the New York Yacht Club and the Supreme Court of New York
duly legalized the use of the smaller yacht.
Following that decision, a challenge was issued in the name of the Royal
Yacht Squadron and accepted by the New York Yacht Club, that a first to
four wins series for the America's Cup, would be sailed of Rhode Island, in
the late summer of 1958 and so, on the 20th of September 1958, the
America's Cup 12 meter era began.
During the following week, the British challenger 'Sceptre', helmed by
successful dinghy sailor Peter Scott and a very average crew, was given a
sailing lesson in four straight races that they would never forget!
The successful American defender 'Columbia', helmed by Briggs Cunningham
and crewed by a very efficient team of experienced sailors, sailed
'Columbia' to winning margins ranging from 6 minute52 seconds to 11
minute-42 seconds. Nothing much had changed and the American's had made it
very clear that they were still ahead in the America's Cup game and they
intended to stay ahead!
The British team went home to heal their damaged pride, but never known for
giving up, the Royal Yacht Squadron decided to launch another challenge for
the America's Cup, with a date in 1962 in mind.
But then, the unthinkable wake-up! The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS)
had already posted a challenge, the very first from Australia, a
commonwealth country that would, in the future' become very much a part of
the 'Cup's glorious history. -- A Brush with Sail, read on:
WILL (HIGH) PRESSURE AFFECT THE FLEET?
(December 5, 2012; Day 26) - The 'front five' of the Vendee Globe are
placing extra pressure on themselves to maximize their speed over what
might prove a key section of the three month race. As they extend east of
the Cape of Good Hope, high pressure systems are encroaching from the west
and also possibly from the north east and threatening to stall their
otherwise rapid passage east.
Armel Le Cleac'h on Banque Populaire leads the charge towards the Crozet
ice gate, taking the more northerly direct course that closely skirts the
high. "The seas are a little calmer, but the anticyclone is pushing from
behind so we cannot afford to hang around at all," explains Le Cleac'h." We
have to pass the gate before it (the high) gets to us."
The stresses and strains of pushing so hard these past 36 hours in
difficult sea conditions has not been easy. "It is windy with big seas,"
shared Jean-Pierre Dick." The swell is not just big but the wave directions
are quite crossed and so when the waves pass the bow and pushes it, the
boat just stops. There is a lot of noise and it is very uncomfortable."
Hugo Boss' Alex Thomson, who is 200 nm south of Le Clιac'h, has been
seeking a route around the high. "It has been fast the last 32 hours or so
and a bit scary at times, particularly Tuesday when we had a top speed of
over 30 knots and I was just trying to keep the boat under control and not
break it." Thomson summarized. "I can't really call it (being south) an
option per se as the high is spreading across the course so I have to get
to the south and then skirt around the high pressure and make my way up to
the eastern end of the ice gate."
The only problem with Thomson's plan could be the ice field that lies
directly in his path.
Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 17028.3 nm Distance to Finish
2. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 13.3 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 42.7 nm DTL
4. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 44.3 nm DTL
5. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 161.1 nm DTL
Full rankings: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking.html
BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers began the Vendee Globe, a solo, non-stop around
the world race in the IMOCA Open 60 class. Starting in Les Sables d'Olonne,
France on November 10, the west to east course passes the three major capes
of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn before returning to Les Sables d'Olonne.
Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) set the course record of 84 days in the 2008-9
edition. -- http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/
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WILLIAMS ROARS OUT OF THE GATE
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia (December 5, 2012) - Defending World Match
Racing Tour champion Ian Williams (GBR) returned to action in commanding
style, posting an unbeaten scoreline (5-0) on the second day of the Monsoon
Cup. Light winds kept Williams' team off the water on day one, but are now
positioned alone atop the overall rankings.
"We were behind in three of our races today in conditions where it was
difficult to read the breeze and current," remarked Williams. "If you keep
the pressure on then they can makes mistakes and we managed to do that. We
had a bit of luck too - the one that was abandoned [against Pierre Antoine
Morvan] was a bit lucky as we were behind."
"We improved during the day which showed in the last race which we
controlled a lot better. If we continue to improve we have a great chance
of winning the Monsoon Cup and the Alpari World Match Racing Tour."
The standings are far from locked as Williams has yet to face the three
teams sitting on four wins - Keith Swinton (AUS), Taylor Canfield (ISV),
and Peter Gilmour (AUS). Additionally, Williams and current tour leader
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) have yet to meet.
Competing in the Foundation 36, the twelve teams will continue with the
single round robin before advancing the top eight teams to the quarterfinal
round. -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/WMRT-120512
Racing is available to watch online at http://www.wmrt.com/live.html
DONE: Record four-time ISAF Match Racing World Champion and multiple
America's Cup campaigner, Peter Gilmour announced his retirement from the
Alpari World Match Racing Tour and professional match racing. Gilmour will
bow out after the Monsoon Cup concludes December 8.
BACKGROUND: The eight event World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading
professional sailing series, and is sanctioned by the International Sailing
Federation (ISAF). Prize money is awarded for each event, with event points
culminating in the crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World Champion". --
IRISH OLYMPIC SAILOR DODGES BETTING BAN
Irish sailor Peter O'Leary has been let off with a warning after betting on
a direct competitor to win at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The affair, which broke just before O'Leary competed at the 2012 London
Olympic Games earlier this year, made headlines and prompted an IOC
O'Leary placed two bets worth a total of 300 euros on the British team of
Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson to capture the gold medal in the Star class
at odds of 12-1, and won 3,600 euros. The Brits won the gold in 2008,
whereas O'Leary failed to qualify for the medal race on which he had bet,
finishing 13th overall.
"There was no proof of any match-fixing," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told
reporters. "The athlete was unaware he could not bet on Olympic events."
The IOC bars athletes from betting on Olympic events but the organisation's
ethics commission said competitors in 2008 may not have been as familiar
with the regulations as they are now. The IOC has been eager to tackle
illegal gambling and corruption by monitoring betting patterns during the
Games and informing athletes of what they can and cannot do.
O'Leary and team mate David Burrows competed again in the Star competition
in London, finishing 10th overall. -- http://tinyurl.com/ES-120512
COMMENT: While it would seem obvious that athletes shouldn't bet on their
fellow competitor, O'Leary does get kudos for his winning wager. The Brits
were trailing the Swedes going into the 2008 medal race, but given the
windier conditions, perhaps O'Leary knew the Brits would have an edge. Good
thing O'Leary kept his money in his pocket at the 2012 Games. The Brits had
a 12-point lead going into the medal race, but stumbled hard in the fickle
conditions and dropped to silver. Ironically, the Swedes won the medal race
to win the gold. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
MAYBE THIS WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTION
Ever wonder why the prominent events in your area don't get reported in
Scuttlebutt? Maybe it's because we don't know about them. Posting your
event information on the free, self-serve Scuttlebutt Event Calendar tool
is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and sailing media.
View/post the events at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
* (December 5, 2012) - Every Canadian athlete eligible to compete in the
Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will be fully supported, thanks to a record
funding injection to National Sport Federations (NSFs), the Canadian
Olympic Committee announced today. The one-time $2.6 million boost will be
divided between all summer NSFs with sports included in the Pan American
Games program. The Pan Am Games will be held from July 10 to 26, 2015. --
Read on: http://tinyurl.com/CST-120512
* Miami, FL (December 5, 2012) - The first stop of the three event 2012-13
Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series begins at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club
(Dec. 7-9) as 42-teams assemble for the three-day competition. Teams from
Italy, BVI and Canada join a U.S. contingent representing 15 states and
Washington, DC. Details:
* (December 5, 2012) - For the 11th ISAF Match Race Rankings Release in a
row, Ian Williams (GBR) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) hold top spot in the
Open and Women's Match Race Rankings. -- Full report:
* Melbourne, Australia (December 5, 2012) - Conditions remained strong for
the third day of Sail Melbourne, with cold temperatures and solid 20 knot
winds from the Southerly quadrant blowing in across the top of the 2m
waves. The conditions were deemed too extreme for the skiffs but most of
the other events competed. Racing at Sail Melbourne, the first event of the
2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup, continues through December 8. --
* The final Act of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series begins December 6 in Rio
de Janeiro, Brasil, with online streaming race coverage on December 7-9.
The nine teams will race in stadium mode in front of the world famous
Flamengo Beach, with live streaming available from 1500-1700 local time
(CET -3) daily. Details: http://www.extremesailingseries.com/
ULLMAN SAILS J/70 SAILS UNDEFEATED IN HOT RUM
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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 Bill Gage, Point Richmond, CA:
Regarding Glenn McCarthy's comments on Perfection vs. fun in racing (SB
3730), this struck a significant note with me, having noted the discussion
over months/years of the declining participation in sailboat racing.
As an instructor for US Sailing's race management seminars, I can relate
directly to the fact that the US Sailing curriculum is focused on improving
race management as it pertains to serious racing. However, what Glenn
states is correct; there isn't really any focus on less serious, "fun
The thought occurs to me that perhaps we might assign categories to events
to promote "fun racing". For example, Category S for serious racing;
Category F for fun racing. The category could be specified in the Notice of
Race. It would set the expectation for what a sailor would experience.
Category S is well understood. Category F might suggest: Longer courses,
not windward-leeward, fixed marks, simple SIs, simpler rules (somehow?),
whatever else the organizer wanted it to be. Serious racers would hopefully
still enter, but they would understand the format as "fun".
I have noted that when F-type events have been run, the serious racers want
to move them toward serious race formats, which they excel in. Because they
are the well-regarded and successful racers, often organizers respond to
what they want, but these changes diminish the "F" aspects.
If an organizer wants to run a fun event, they could designate a race or
regatta as Category F right in the NOR and in publicity, then it might
attract the less serious sailor. Some fleets might routinely prefer
Category F events. If US Sailing supported the concept, with standard
approach and terminology, it could be powerful. One Day Seminars for Club
Race Officers could be adapted to include standards for fun racing.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Eager for feedback. Does this idea have legs?
* From Brian Morris:
I nearly fell of my chair with laughter with the comments by former ISAF
president Paul Henderson regarding ISAF and the classes (in Scuttlebutt
It is a fact that ISAF Council has 40 votes and 36 votes are MNA. The
classes get one vote on ISAF Council. The ISAF Classes pay more money to
ISAF (combined class fess and class plaques) than all the MNAs year
Under Paul Henderson Presidency ISAF approved the RS-X as an Olympic
Equipment yet there were only a handful of RS-X in the world at the time.
ISAF recently approved the Nacra as the Olympic Class with only two boats
in the world. Difficult to have a class association with two boats.
Why does ISAF not support the classes or give them any votes on ISAF
Council? It is clear the MNAs want to keep the power base. A International
class represent sailors from all around the world. A Council member
represents their Group at most their MNA or themselves at the least.
ISAF Council, president and executive will always back the MNA as they are
the ones that vote to put them in power.
I am sure if this is published the sanctimonious council members, former
council members and those appointed by council will justify that ISAF
Council is great and the classes are evil. Fact, if the classes left ISAF
all you would be left with politicians and no sailors.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As a follow-up to Brian's letter above, we reached out to
Paul Henderson for clarification. Here was Paul's reply:
'The Olympics supplies 60% of all ISAF's revenue as is the case with many
Olympic sports. The classes and the MNA's split the rest with about 10%
left for sponsors.
"The boardsailing scene is a little different than traditional classes as
it has become an evolving development discipline of Sailing and requires a
change in equipment after a few Games. In choosing the new board to be used
at the 2008 Olympics, ISAF had a very intense trials with the sailors
testing the equipment. Interesting that Rory Ramsden switched from running
the Mistral One Design Class (the previous Olympic board) to running the
RS-X, so the management of the new class had experience in the Olympic
"With regard to the seats on Council, yes, the Classes Committee has only
one seat but US Sailing sent Ding Schoonmaker who was 150% for the classes
and their major champion. Spain had past Snipe World Champion Arturo
Delgado, Australia's David Kellett has sailed in over 30 Sydney to Hobart
Races, Italy's Carlo Croce was a top level FD sailor, Canada's Peter Hall
is top level Lightning and Etchells sailor, New Zealand's Ralph Roberts is
experienced with the Int. 14, FD, and Finn, and Greece's George Andreadis
has raced every class possible, and on and on. None of them would be
controlled by the self interest of their MNA over what was good for the
classes and especially the sailors.
"Who appoints them is not the criteria but how they act is, and in my day
75% of the Executive Committee were Olympic sailors who knew the sport. By
the way, I was an Int 14, FD, Finn, Soling sailor plus a few others all at
the World level. I never held any position in the Canadian Yachting
Association but they sent me any way."
* From John Sweeney:
In response to Dave's tip (SB 3732), this is good tactical advise but is
also a prime example of how unnecessarily complex the RRS are, and in this
case perhaps contradictory.
My question is, which has precedence, Rule 20 as Dave points to, which
gives the leeward boat Room to Tack at an Obstruction, or Rule 19.2 which
gives the inside boat (assuming the boats are overlapped) room to pass the
obstruction on either side?
While I disagree with the premise that the starboard tack boat is an
obstruction, the rules allow the windward boat to force the leeward boat to
bear away, providing enough space for both to duck the starboard tacker -
essentially turning off Rule 11.
As the Rules stand, it appears that the first port tack boat to hail gets
to invoke their preferred rule and dictate the action. But what happens in
Dave's scenario if the windward boat believes that Rule 19 prevails and
thinks she isn't obligated to respond to Rule 20 and insists on room to
Seems like a recipe for disaster on the water, and a lengthy deliberation
in the protest room. But isn't this precisely what the RRS should prevent?
INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES
The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides an opportunity
for companies to announce new products and services. Here are some of
* Mark Rudiger Sailing Family Fund announces first emergency grant
* Handmade Nautical Dog Leashes and Collars
* 2013 Rick Tomlinson Calendars
View updates here: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum/industry_news
"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts
can do that." - Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author
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