SCUTTLEBUTT 3694 - Wednesday, October 10, 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, IYRS, and Allen Insurance and Financial.
WHAT'S UP, KENNY READ
With the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race put to bed and the tooling underway for
the VO65 to be used in the 2014-15 race, we checked in with 2-time race
veteran Ken Read for an update.
* Where is the VO70 'Mar Mostro' that your team used in the 2011-12 race?
KEN READ: The fine yacht is properly packed up outside the Berg Propulsion
Headquarters in Sweden. Waiting to be sold. With the new rules in place for
the next VOR, 'Mar Mostro' will have to be sold as a IRC race boat and a
record breaking option for the next owner. Good thing the boat has never
lost a IRC regatta before! The boat won both the New York Yacht Club Spring
Regatta (windward/leewards) and Transatlantic Race (offshore). Anyone with
interest go to http://www.pumavolvo70forsale.com
* What are your future plans?
KEN READ: For now I am doing quite a bit of corporate "Management and Team
Building" speeches all around the world which is taking up a large part of
my time. I really enjoy speaking and have a great story to tell using the
last race as extreme examples along with some custom videos and photos.
Quite fun and been pretty successful so far. Returning to North Sails is
certainly an option in the future. Another VOR? You never know.
* PUMA has been your sponsor for the 2008-9 and 2011-12 races. Will they be
returning for the 2014-15 race?
KEN READ: PUMA is looking into all of their sports right now and re
planning the future. I will be meeting soon with the CEO and CMO to
discuss. They are re-grouping a bit so it will be interesting to see what
direction they decide to go in with regard to sailing and outdoors.
* What course changes would you anticipate for the 2014-15 race?
KEN READ: No idea at this stage. Can the boats get in to the Persian Gulf
without having to go on a ship? Is Sanja a real Chinese alternative again?
Will the race finally go to Newport, RI after the amazing success of the AC
World Series? And will they cut down the amount or European stops to
shorten the race a touch? I think Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland, New
Zealand; and Itajai, Brazil are locks based on their locations and
fantastic experiences for the fleet and teams and families
* With the one design plan, where do you expect teams to gain an edge?
KEN READ: The advantages will come from experienced fast sailors who can
push the boat to the extreme, and be ahead of the rest in developing this
new one design classes. Like all one designs, some people will figure these
boats out better than others. Just because it is one design doesn't mean
they will all be going the same speed. A great helmsperson, for example, is
a knot faster than a good helmsperson when it gets windy. But does the
great helmsperson know how to keep the boat from going airborne and
breaking it. Just because these are one designs doesn't mean you won't be
able to break these boats.
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IT'S GOOD TO BE LOVED
Ever have a backstage pass for a concert? How about box seats for a
football game? Nothing beats preferential treatment, and occasionally the
pixie dust gets sprinkled on the lowly media. San Francisco Chronicle'
columnist Leah Garchik shares her privileged experience at the AC World
There I was, there we were, there you were, decked out in San Francisco's
finest weekend regalia: Giants orange shirt (baseball playoffs), tiny
America's Cup stickpin, Hardly Strictly (music festival) wristband.
It started Friday afternoon at Little Marina Green, where I picked up a
credential and stopped by, at the square plaza just east of Crissy Field,
to say hello to Art Hoppe's bench - an avid sailor and competitor, he
treasured that Golden Gate view and would have relished the America's Cup
contests - then headed for Club 45, a viewing area hosted by the race
Mark Buell and Kyri McClellan were presiding, Lucy Jewett, whose generosity
had made a lot of it all possible, was the honored guest, the sun was just
breaking through the overcast and it was warm. Experienced San Franciscans
had shown up ready for fog and bundled against the elements. But the
elements were friendly for what Buell called "dress rehearsals for the big
enchilada next summer."
In the lounge, Tom Ehman of the Golden Gate Yacht Club was explaining the
afternoon's series of races. In one corner of the room, a security guard
maintained a vigil over the monument-size cup; in another stood the Emmy
won by Stan Honey for graphics technology that makes the broadcast race
easier to follow than the real-life race.
Drat, the multicolored courses visible in broadcast graphics don't actually
appear in the water. I thought it best to keep my boneheaded disappointment
over that to myself, but when the action began, the most serious sailors
were inside, watching those screens. (The gang outside on the deck,
including the Giants' Stephen Revetria and Stacy Slaughter, were giggling
over the announcer's description of some sailing action as "cheeky
shenanigans," a phrase hardly ever used in baseball.
At the Oracle Lounge, the deck was just about deserted and virtually the
whole gang was glued to the screens inside. Grant Simmer, general manager
of Oracle Team USA, on whether he'd rather watch on screens or in real
life, said he'd "rather be on the water. I hate not being on those boats."
Looking fit and vigorous, he pronounced himself too old for this particular
form of racing, which is "bringing in young people." As to the challenges
of being a manager, "the trick," he said, "is to manage competitors and
still have them be one team."
When the last race was over, I walked to Lyon and Lombard to catch the bus,
and passed the lagoon outside the Palace of Fine Arts, where the swans were
preening and tourists were whipping out their cell phones to capture the
moment. Oh, San Francisco was really showing off.
BIGGER IS BETTER - A STORY ABOUT FOIL SIZE
By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
When the AC72 concept and rule was devised, American multihull Olympian and
designer Pete Melvin was in the middle of it. After it was agreed the AC72
would be the way forward for the 34th America's Cup, I immediately wondered
if defender CEO Russell Coutts would fasten a pair of golden handcuffs on
Pete to keep him from enlisting with any of the challengers.
But Pete remained a free agent, was promptly signed by challenger Emirates
Team New Zealand (ETNZ), and became a member of the design team that has
created the only AC72 that has yet to face adversity while also
demonstrating impressive performance. Way to go Pete!
Now I might be over-connecting the dots from this point forward, but at
least I am admitting it. And the latest story posted in Sail-World gives
some credibility to how Pete may have helped ETNZ out-trick the other teams
in reading the AC72 rule that he helped write.
The story is a bit complicated so I will summarize. Oracle Team USA and
Artemis Racing, the defender and challenger of record, interpreted the AC72
Rule one way. However, the International Jury has sided with how ETNZ
viewed the rule. The crux of the issue is the maximum daggerboard and foil
size allowed on the AC72.
New Zealand's AC72 has risen up on its foils quite easily, a result due
perhaps to how the Kiwis built larger foils than the other teams thought
were allowed. Waterfront scuttlebutt has it that the ETNZ AC72 has been
able to gybe while fully foiling at speeds of 40knots - which if true is
Said Oracle Team USA, "ETNZ have built boards whose volume is greater than
what is allowed ...". Artemis Racing claimed that the "Application was an
attempt by ETNZ to change the AC72 Class Rule to suit their own interest".
As they say on the playground..."too bad, so sad."
Had the decision gone against ETNZ, they would have been forced to discard
two of their daggerboards, believed to cost $400,000 each, and would have
wasted two of their count of 10 foils permitted under America's Cup Rules.
Oracle and Artemis are now in the situation where they have to consider the
value of going to bigger foils.
Read the complete Sail-World story here: http://tinyurl.com/SW-100912
GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR AIS
By Captain Bernie Weiss, WindCheck
No question about it, AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a wonderful
vessel positioning and tracking technology that, in real time, helps avoid
close encounters and collisions, especially in busy harbors, but also
during coastal and ocean voyages. AIS behaves like radar but is based
partly on radar and radio, partly on satellite technology, and partly on
lots of other magical systems and technologies that I don't fully
On your boat, you can now install a stand-alone, inexpensive independent
AIS system, or you can add an AIS accessory to your radar, your
chartplotter, your multi-function display, your computer, notebook and
laptop, even your smartphone or smartpad.
But there are issues with AIS...several issues, actually. And these issues
are not with the technology, but how the technology is employed. The issues
relate to the human factors aspect of seamanship, as well as operator error
and negligence in the hands of many cruising captains. For example... Read
IYRS, THROUGH THE EYES OF A FILMMAKER
Ever wonder what it's really like to go to school at IYRS, where students
come from all over the world to change their lives by developing new
skills? Documentary filmmaker Pam Rorke Levy, working with editor Norm
Levy, wanted to find out - so she spent time at the school in Rhode Island
and developed a series of short films. Check out her look behind the
workshop doors at IYRS, where students are transformed into craftsmen. Link
to the films at http://iyrs.org/AboutIYRS/IYRSVideos/tabid/837/Default.aspx
BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN
With more than 250,000 boats worldwide, the Laser is one of the most
popular single-handed dinghies in the world. But the International Laser
Class Association (ILCA) is dealing with internal issues, which its
leadership has sought to keep the details private. However, Ari Barshi,
founder of the Laser Training Center in Cabarete, Dominican Republic,
shares insider information that he has learned.
NEW SAIL/RIG: We do not know when the new full rig Radial cut Mylar sail
and carbon 'top mast' will be voted in, but history has shown that when
class president Tracy Usher is behind a change in boat parts, the change
The most interesting rumor regarding the new sail, is that it was
redesigned to be slow. The new sail was built to overcome the short life
span of the current Dacron sail which forces racers to buy sails regularly.
The first generation of the new full rig Radial sail were much faster than
the current Dacron sail.
The difference in speed forced the sail designers to depower the new sail,
ensuring that durability is its only advantage. Thus boats with the
different sails can compete equally. When the new style and old style sails
will both be on the market, the Dacron sails price is expected to drop to
around $450.00 from the current $650.00 price tag. We have no idea what
will be the price of the new Radial full rig sail.
The top carbon mast was made to have identical characteristics as the
current upper aluminum mast, but should stay straight even after use in
very strong winds, avoiding the constant bend the aluminum masts suffer
NAME CHANGE: The waiting game is probably almost over. Most sailors just
want class legal parts to be easily available around the world and don't
mind if things stay the way they are. Others want a new class that is open
to as many sail, boat and spar builders as possible. This they hope will
create price/quality competition to benefit the sailors. These builders
will have to pay an annual fee to the new class organization, and a royalty
for every boat, sail or mast built.
For the Laser to be relaunched under a new name and stay Olympic, it needs
ISAF's approval. ISAF's next ordinary conference is in Dublin, Ireland from
the 1st to 11th of November 2012. If a new name is asked for, and approved,
ILCA will have to immediately change its name to fit the new class name.
ILCA's world council representatives are expected to stay the same.
Of course there is no time limit nor occasion to change the name, but as
the IOC is considered to be a very rigid organization, changing the name of
an Olympic boat at a closer date to the Rio games will be extremely
difficult. We wish everyone involved in the process of a better future for
the Laser a lot of luck, and trust that their number one priority will
always be to serve the sailor's best interests.
Full report: http://ymlp.com/zLl0tK
* The 2012 Hobie 14, Hobie Wave, and Hobie 16 Women's North American
Championships were held in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on October 5-7. Event
winners were Matthew Bounds (H14), Jim Glanden (HW), and Annie Gardner/ Kat
Kulkoski (H16). -- Full results: http://tinyurl.com/Hobie-100912
* While the complete schedule for the 2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup has
not been released for the new Olympic quadrennial, the Notice of Race for
the first event is now available. Sail Melbourne in Australia will be held
December 2-8, and will include the complete line-up of ten events that will
be featured at the 2016 Olympic Games. Details here:
* Customers say a Florida boat transport company that filed for bankruptcy
continued to take thousands of dollars to transport boats it never moved.
That's according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times that said customers
around the country had been bilked out of thousands of dollars by
Lutz-based Able Boat Transport.Now customers tell the paper they can't
reach Able Boat, which filed last month for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The
company's phone is disconnected and its website is down. -- Soundings, full
* Three women found dead in a submerged car at a Rhode Island shipyard were
friends who worked on some of the world's finest yachts, according to a
business owner in the industry. The car was found Friday sticking out of
about four feet of water in Newport Harbor at the privately owned Newport
Shipyard, according to the Providence Journal. Police believe the driver
missed a turn in foggy conditions and that the car had been in the water
for at least several hours before it was discovered. -- Soundings, full
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* From Scott Mason:
I was on the water Sunday at the AC World Series. Perhaps 10% of spectator
boats left following the Blue Angels, but hundreds of spectator boats,
packed bleachers and StFYC deck and live commentary provided a "buzz" I
have never seen in our sport. It was very cool, and Jimmy added a NASCAR
feel with his dramatic capsize. Very good for the sport!
* From Stewart Hall, San Francisco:
As one of the many sailors on Saturday who took their boat out to watch the
races it was a mixed bag. The added boat traffic for the Air Show was a
pain but manageable - you knew what you were going to be faced with and
acted accordingly. The worse part, and why I will never watch from the
water again, was how far we were kept from the racing.
We were kept several hundred yards from the edge of the race course so you
really couldn't see that much. We ended up gong below deck to listen to the
commentary on VHF channel 20. Keeping spectator boats 150 feet or so from
the edge of the course is understandable but several hundred yards -
ridiculous and unnecessary. Not the spectator friendly racing as billed.
* From Donald Street:
Thanks for the update about the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) rule in
Scuttlebutt 3693. After 58 years of racing under the CCA, RORC, Swedish
Baltic, IOR, IRC, and other international rules, plus PHRF, Irish ECHO
handicap, and the CSA rule... thank god for the CSA rule!
The CSA rule is 50 years old, and has had its growing pains in the early
years that caused a lot of noisy static (a fair amount of it from myself),
but the rule works, As inadequacies and loopholes in the rule are
discovered, or created by new design trends or material used, the rule is
altered to try to fairly evaluate all boats. No rule is perfect, but the
CSA rule has stood the test of time.
It is superb in that a boat is measured in the water. There is no necessity
to go to the expense of hauling, weighing, or other requirements
necessitated by other rules. Paul Miller, who organizes the corrected time
results for all the major regattas in the Caribbean, cross checked results
of the boats that had both IRC and CSA ratings . He found that in most
cases, there was little difference in corrected times IRC vs CSA.
On that basis, club racing events should take a serious look at the CSA
rule and perhaps use the CSA rule rather than the IRC of PHRF rule.
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