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SCUTTLEBUTT 3511 - Monday, January 23, 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: Soft Deck and Quantum Sails.

Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck provided the following commentary when he
spoke recently at the US Sailing 2012 National Sailing Program Symposium:
When I really think about what sailing is, I break it down into two parts.
They may even be equal parts. The first part is the sailing. It gives us
something to do, often with other people. The other part is when we're done
sailing, we gather somewhere and talk about it. We share stories, maybe
tell a few lies. Certainly have a drink.

Whether racing or cruising, sailing provides for these deep bonding
experiences. If we sail often enough, it soon defines who we are. Some
people are 'golfers'. Some people are 'runners'. We are 'sailors'. And near
as I can tell, the only way we can really screw things up is when we take
it too seriously.

Sailing is recreation. Sure, there are some people making a living at it,
and a lot more trying. But most people are in it for the fun, and once any
of us loses the love for it, we're screwed. Taking it too seriously, making
it too competitive, requiring us to work too hard at it, is the path toward

After I won a class championship, one of the class stalwarts pulled me
aside to share some advice. He said, "Craig, you're doing great things, and
I'm certain there is more ahead for you. But I want you to know, the
challenge isn't the climb up the mountain. The challenge is the climb

I had no idea what he was talking about, but I never forgot it. Over time,
I got used to a certain level of success in the sport. Expectations were
created by me, and by those around me. But success was a result of hard
work. And when my growing family required more of my time, the time for
training and preparation got less of it.

Soon it became hard to play the game at the level I was used to playing it.
The game became less fun, and as a result, I became less active. And then I
remember the advice I was given. Without realizing it, I was "climbing down
the mountain."

I have helped myself by sailing different types of boats, and appreciating
more of what I can do than what I can't. But it has made me think about how
so many areas in our sport have heightened the competitive component. For
those who want that, it's great. But for those that are not fully willing
to keep up, how we may just be evolving ourselves into extinction.

So keep it fun, share it with others, don't measure it, and remember to
tell a few lies afterwards.

Key West, FL (January 20, 2012) - It was a frantic finish at Quantum Key
West 2012 as several boats snatched victory with strong performances on the
fifth and final day.

Barking Mad pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in the 25-year history
of the regatta, winning the Farr 40 class despite suffering a dreaded DNF.
Barking Mad, skippered by Jim Richardson of Newport, R.I., did not finish
Race 2 after a scary man overboard incident.

That type of result usually proves fatal in a no-throwout series, but the
Barking Mad team kept plugging away - winning three of the final five races
to pull out an improbable one-point victory.

"I wasn't too optimistic that we could win the regatta after what happened
in that second race, but we just had to keep sailing with the understanding
that every point was crucial," Richardson said. "We got better as the week
went along and everything just sort of fell into place at the end."

Skipper John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team held off a stiff challenge
from Pisces to capture the talent-laden Melges 32 class. Pisces, skippered
by Benjamin Schwartz, briefly took the lead by posting a pair of bullets on
Tuesday, but Samba responded by placing fourth or better in five of the
last six races to win by 12 points.

Samba Pa Ti was selected as Quantum Boat of the Week for winning the
closest, most competitive class at the 25th anniversary regatta.

"It is always great to win in a high-caliber fleet like this," Kilroy said.
"What I like about this 32 class is that there are so many great sailors
and so many well-prepared boats. You have really got to be on top of your
game to win any regatta in this class, much less one as competitive as Key

It was the second Key West victory in Melges 32 class for Kilroy, a Los
Angeles native who also earned Boat of the Week honors in 2010. Italian pro
Lorenzo Bressani called tactics while countryman and close friend Federico
Michetti trimmed the jib and spinnaker. Harry Melges, whose Wisconsin-based
family builds the boats, trimmed main while Justin Smart (pit), Max Bulger
(bow), Lucas Tomasetti (mast) and Martino Tortorolo (all-around) completed
the crew.

Full report:

Photos courtesy of Sharon Green, John Payne, Ingrid Abery, Leighton
O'Connor and

Blogs and Video:
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(January 22, 2012; Day 1) - It was a relief for the six Volvo Ocean Race
teams to get back in the groove on the 3,051 nautical mile leg three to
Sanya after the stop-start nature of the past weeks. Following the 106nm
first stage from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah, the fleet began the second stage to
China at 0800 GMT today from the safe haven port of Male in the Maldives.

"Another strange start," said Media Crew Member Amory Ross, as the fleet
began in 8-10 knots of breeze. "The line was between one flag on one shore
and a radio tower on another; there were virtually no spectators, tons of
ferries, fishing boats, and more obstacles to dodge leading up to the gun.
But we're now back to ocean racing, something we haven't been able to say
in almost a month."

"It certainly feels good to be sailing again and hopefully we have now put
all the piracy and shipping logistics behind us," Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
skipper Ian Walker said after five hours of the race. "I guess it is no
secret now that the boats were loaded and unloaded in the Maldives. This
sounds very exotic but the reality in Male was somewhat different to

The leg will certainly throw in some curve balls in the shape of uncharted
atolls, shallows, shipping and ocean debris, but for the first night the
fleet could enjoy relatively straightforward conditions, on a port tack
stretch across to Pulau We, an island on the northwest tip of Sumatra,

All six boats were south of the rhum line in order to avoid the effects of
a wind shadow from the Sri Lankan coast. Mike Sanderson took Sanya the
furthest south, while PUMA's Mar Mostro was 4.21 nm to weather of the

Team Telefonica lost some valuable miles earlier in the day when a fitting
on their code zero headsail failed, leaving the sail flogging. The crew was
working on repairs on Sunday night after doing well to limit the damage,
with the team well in touch in fourth place. -- Event media

Leg 3 - Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China
Standings as of Monday, 23 January 2012, 1:02:15 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2815.0 nm Distance to Finish
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 2.0 nm Distance to Lead
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 2.1 nm DTL
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 3.2 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 5.0 nm DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 5.6 nm DTL

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. -

Philipsburg, St. Maarten (January 21, 2012) - Laura Dekker set a steady
foot aboard a dock in St. Maarten on Saturday, ending a yearlong voyage
aboard a sailboat named "Guppy" that apparently made her the youngest
person ever to sail alone around the globe, though her trip was interrupted
at several points.

Dozens of people jumped and cheered as Decker waved, wept and then walked
across the dock accompanied by her mother, father, sister and grandparents,
who had greeted her at sea earlier.

Dekker arrived in St. Maarten after struggling against high seas and heavy
winds on a final leg from Cape Town, South Africa,

Dekker claims she is the youngest sailor to complete a round-the-world
voyage, but Guinness World Records and the World Sailing Speed Record
Council did not verify the claim, saying they no longer recognize records
for youngest sailors to discourage dangerous attempts. -- USA Today, full

Events listed at

* Following a series of meetings held during 2012 Quantum Key West Race
Week, members of the TP52 class are forming a management group owned and
controlled by members that will be responsible for event management, event
marketing, sponsor and media coordination as well as recruiting new teams
to join 52 racing. Details for their 2012 regatta schedule:

* (January 20, 2012) - A coroner has recorded a narrative verdict on an
11-year-old Nottinghamshire girl who drowned after becoming trapped under a
catamaran during a sailing holiday in Greece. The Nottinghamshire Coroner,
Mairin Casey, heard that Laura Morgan died in July 2003 after being unable
to detach herself from a harness after being submerged when the catamaran
capsized. -- Read on:

* (January 19, 2012) - The 2011 John F. Kennedy Cup, known as the
Intercollegiate Big Boat National Championship, was held at the U.S. Naval
Academy on November 4-6, 2011. Cal Maritime, which finished second in the
event, has declared they sailed the event with an ineligible crew member
and has withdrawn from all races. Navy had won the event, and now NY
Maritime moves up to second and Coast Guard moves up to third. Results:

* Sixty-three people have been named to the race administration for the
2012 London Olympic Games Sailing Competition. Listed here:

* With the sixth edition of the Extreme Sailing Series kicking off in just
five weeks in Muscat, Oman, the entry list includes new skippers Ernesto
Bertarelli (SUI) and Morgan Larson (USA). -- Full report:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council have ratified a new Outright
Around the World record by Loick Peyron (FRA) and a crew of 13 onboard the
131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V. Sailing from 22nd November 2011
to the 6th January 2012, the new record is 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes and
53 seconds, covering a distance of 21600 nm at an average speed of 19.75
kts. The previous record was by Franck Cammas (FRA) on Groupama 3 of 48d 7h
44m 52s in 2010. --

It was a fabulous week at Quantum Key West Race Week. Congratulations to
the 14 Quantum-equipped boats with podium finishes including first place
winners Groovederci (Farr 30), Carbonado (High Performance), Barking Mad
(Farr 40) and Quantum Racing (52 Class). Kudos also to the Quantum teams
earning Boat of the Day awards: Rush (J/109), Groovederci (Farr 40) and
Quantum Racing (TP52). We salute the Premiere Racing team on a superbly run
regatta. Quantum is proud to have played a supporting role and we thank all
the teams for their participation and commitment to this outstanding event.
For all the Quantum results visit:

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 Scott Kaufman:
Is it just me or has the Volvo Ocean Race become too complicated and lost
its way? As someone who would get up in the middle of the night to check on
progress, I now find the course and current routing way too complicated and
it's lost me as a loyal follower.

I think the organizers desire to include the new world in the stopovers has
not been beneficial. I'm not saying that the traditional route was the only
way but the Indian Ocean and the need to load the yachts on a ship just has
lost the normal momentum of the Volvo. I wish they were heading for
Freemantle or somewhere in the southern ocean.

COMMENT: It is my understanding that the route through Asia has provided
port funding and supported the commercial interests of the sponsors, but as
a race fan I'm not thrilled with the change either. The 2008-9 edition
dealt with ridiculous weather and commercial traffic, and the boats caused
havoc to fishing gear near the finish in China. And this edition, well, any
route that must be constantly explained has fault. - Craig Leweck,

* From Paul Newell, Isle of Wight:
Regarding the news report in Scuttlebutt 3510, I hope that the RYA, when
they have this enquiry into Ben's conduct, also haul the race organisers,
the photographers and the boat skipper up before them too.

I have had my own troubling experiences with press and jury boats, and thus
have every sympathy with the way Ben reacted, especially as he had already
remonstrated with the offending photography boat on another earlier

My own opinion of the RYA is that it is run by a bunch of people who have
risen to the height of their own incompetence and I expect them to make the
wrong decision, that is to penalise Ben some more for a situation that
should NEVER have arisen had the race authorities had any authority.

It seems to me that although sailors en-mass try to abide by the rules put
upon them, there are a few on the water who don't think these rules apply
to them and when someone challenges them the wronged party gets the blame.
It happen every where else in life and I unfortunately expect this to
happen here too.

The best of luck with this one Ben but I fear the politically correct
brigade will, at the very least, haul you over some very hot coals.

COMMENT: This has been a huge wake up call for everyone. ISAF wants the
media, and sailors seeking to further their professional careers want it
too. The sailors are obligated (through the Sis) to cooperate with the
media, but defining how close is too close is still being determined.

Interestingly, what has not been stated is whether there was evidence that
the media boat sufficiently impeded Ben's effort to pass the boat ahead of
him, or if Ben's place in the race would not have changed regardless of the
media boat's interference. Should this matter? I think if we are judging
Ben's actions, I think it matters immensely. Perhaps that is why the video
has not been released. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Dobbs Davis:
Following-up on the thread that began in Scuttlebutt 3509, the issue of
acceptance of sophisticated VPP-rating systems is separate and apart from
any complications arising from scoring: ratings can be expressed in simple
forms yet still have a sophisticated VPP behind it.

For example, in the ORC Club and ORC International systems, handicaps can
be expressed as single-number time-on-time or time-on-distance numbers for
inshore or offshore courses (as used in Australia); as triple-number
time-on-time ratings for low, medium, and high wind strengths (as used in
Holland); or as a complex matrix of values built to windward-leeward,
offshore, or other customized course models (as used in the Mediterranean
and the Baltic).

Each culture thus chooses what they want to use, and race organizers will
try to group boat types together of the same style, but all the variations
still have the power of the ORC VPP behind them for accuracy.

Most other rating systems do not offer this range in flexibility.

* From Laurence Mead:
The best racing is one-design. Period. However the IRC rule has been
delivering some great racing for many years across boats 25 to 55 feet long
with the TP52's being the only anomaly with their ability to plane in a
breeze. In 40 footers, that lighter displacement type hasn't been
competitive but the IRC powers-that-be have already announced they are
going to tweak the rule slowly to make lighter weight 40 footers more
competitive over the coming years, so I would encourage people to get out
in whatever they can and race.

The Hong Kong guys are about to attend their 4th Commodores Cup in the UK
(5,999 mile from home) and it's great racing. The rule works very well and
seconds make the difference. Ever get the feeling there is too much talk
and not enough sailing? July 17th to 27th, IRC handicap racing under
Nationality rules. Fabulous! (I am sure we would all love to see a USA team

He who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints.

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