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SCUTTLEBUTT 3617 - Thursday, June 21, 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: Southern Spars and Ullman Sails.

By Darrell Nicholson, Practical Sailor
If you recently bought a SPOT Connect for its distress calling capability,
or are looking at similar satellite messaging devices such as the SPOT
Messenger, DeLorme InReach, or Briartek Cerberus, you'll want to read our
upcoming report on the tragic April 28 accident involving the Hunter 376
Aegean during the Newport to Ensenada Race.

When we first reviewed the SPOT Messenger (Sept. 2008), we raised concerns
about introducing a private distress monitoring service into the
search-and-rescue equation. Unlike a 406 EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon
(PLB), the SPOT "SOS" distress signal is not part of the Global Maritime
Distress Safety System (GMDSS) that relays distress signals directly to
search-and-rescue agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard. The SPOT signal
goes to GEOS Alliance, a monitoring service based in Houston, Texas, which
follows its own response protocol.

According to the SPOT website, if a distress call is made using the SOS
function on a SPOT device, GEOS Alliance's Emergency Response Center
"notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location
and personal information." In case the SPOT cannot acquire its location
from the GPS network, "it will still attempt to send a distress signal -
without exact location - to GEOS, which will still notify your contacts of
the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages."

While reading about the Aegean accident, in which four sailors died when
their boat reportedly sailed into rocky Coronado Island sometime around
1:30 a.m. on April 28, I began to wonder: What would happen if a SPOT
distress alert had no position, but the SPOT's approximate location was
known through tracking data? And what would happen if the SPOT's track
clearly indicated danger - say, a sailboat plowing into rocky island off
the coast of Mexico?

Would that then merit a call to the Coast Guard?

Apparently not.

Sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, the SPOT device owned by Theo
Mavromatis, the registered skipper of the Aegean, sent out a distress
signal that was received by GEOS Alliance. According to one person I spoke
with who is familiar with the incident, "there is no question that this was
a distress signal sent by a person."

Although the distress signal had no position data, Mavromatis had
programmed the device to report his position every 10 minutes so that
family could track the boat. Shortly after the distress signal went out,
Mavromatis' wife, Loren, received a phone call from GEOS Alliance. She was
asleep, so the report of the distress signal from her husband's SPOT went
to voicemail. For several hours after that, it appears that there was no
effort made by the monitoring agency to contact the U.S. Coast Guard or to
confirm the distress alert, even though boat's track clearly indicated
trouble. -- Read on:

There was double reason for the crew aboard the 90ft maxi Rambler to
celebrate after obliterating the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race record.

Just hours after shaving 14 hours off the previous fastest time recorded in
the 635 mile race, Rambler's owner George David tied the knot with the
boat's cook Wendy Touton. The couple was married aboard Rambler that is
currently moored at Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC).

In 2010 Mr David and his bride-to-be were plucked to safety after their
yacht, Rambler 100, capsized off the Irish coast during the Fastnet Race.
The mishap occurred just months after the 100ft maxi was the first boat to
finish the biennial Newport Bermuda Race. -- The Royal Gazette, read on:

Race website:

Newport Bermuda race, Giraglia Rolex Cup, and the Loro Piana Superyacht
regatta; all in June and all won by yachts sporting Southern Spars rigs.
George David's Southern Spars rigged Rambler smashed the Newport-Bermuda
race record by over 14 hours and Southern Spars rigged Esimit Europa
(ex-Alfa Romeo II) took out the Giraglia Rolex cup, breaking the previous
record by over 3 hours. Southern Spars rigged yachts also stood out in the
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta after Highland Fling took out the maxi
division and Ganesha the cruising division. To view the impressive list of
Southern Spars 2012 results please visit

Nine months of intense racing around the world's oceans has not only taken
its toll on the Volvo Ocean Race sailors physically, but also emotionally,
particularly for those who leave girlfriends, wives and children on the

We spoke to three of the skippers during the Lorient stopover to find out
how they and their families had dealt with the pain of separation during
the current edition of the race.

PUMA skipper Ken Read said from a family point of view the 2011-12 race had
been a very different experience than the previous one for him.

"In the last race I had a 12 year old daughter looking at the world with
wide eyes," Read said. "We took her out of school and she and my wife
travelled the planet for a whole year. I think they saw 17 different
countries during that tour.

"This time my daughter is at a boarding school, which we decided to put her
in because we were doing the race again. That has proved to be a great
experience for her, but it means she has been more like a student following
her dad around the world from time to time.

"Also that means my wife has been a little more on her own this time
around. My experience has been very different to when you have a little
partner in crime going round the world with you and when you don't."

Read said the race was undeniably tough on the sailors' children,
particularly when they are old enough to comprehend the dangers.

"The day that my daughter realised that dad had a dangerous job was when
she was a little kid and Hans Horrevoets got washed over the side," he
said. "Before that, in her world, daddy went travelling and sailing, but
nobody had told her that there was a possibility that daddy wouldn't come
home. The next time I left the dock I had that little kid holding on to my
leg tighter than anything you have ever seen. That's hard for her and it is
tough on everyone concerned."

Read said the advent of email communications between the sailors and their
families and the multimedia output from the Media Crew Members, could at
times be a double edged sword.

"It can be good and bad for the families," he said. "In one way you know
what is going on, but then you also now see what your husband or father is
going through. There are way more emails to the boat when they expect the
weather to be bad. Mostly that is about making contact rather than actually
asking if you are OK. They really just want to get a short email back
saying thanks for getting in touch." - Read on:

Video reports:

FOR SALE: Puma's Mar Mostro, competing now in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12,
is on the market. "Mar Mostro is an amazing yacht, whether sailing around
the world or on an IRC race track," Ken Read, Mar Mostro skipper. "We were
very pleasantly surprised when we won the only two IRC events we sailed in!
Around the buoys and in the Transatlantic Race, both against very stiff IRC
competition, Mar Mostro was fast and reliable in all conditions. Whoever
buys this boat will share the wild ride PUMA Ocean Racing has been on
during our epic and exciting around-the-world race!" For boat specs and
details, visit

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. -

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Is your event listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar? This free,
self-serve tool is the easiest way to communicate to both sailors and
sailing media. These are some of the events listed on the calendar for this
* Jun 22-24 - Farr 30 Great Lakes Championship - Cleveland, OH, USA
* Jun 24-30 - J/24 US Nationals - Dillon, CO, USA
* Jun 25-29 - Flying Scot North American Championships - Carlyle, IL, USA
* Jun 26-29 - J/22 World Championship - Brittany, France
* Jun 28-Jul 26 - Vic-Maui International Yacht Race - Vancouver, BC, CAN
View all the events at

"In college racing, everything happens at a much quicker pace (than in high
school). One must have an extremely high level of boat handling and boat
speed in order to compete with the best. I think the toughest part was that
I could not rely on my relative speed and boat handling advantage to put me
in front. I have become much more confident and aggressive in my tactics
and strategy on the race course." -- Georgetown's Chris Barnard ('13),
winner of the 2012 Everett B. Morris Trophy, awarded annually to the
College Sailor of the Year,

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:
* NautiCloud: Onboard Wifi, Only Better!
* Motion sickness remedy
* Chartis introduces loss prevention services for yacht insurance clients
* New sailing sponsorship website
View updates here:

* Miami, FL (June 20, 2012) - The third day of the U.S. Snipe National
Championship kept the 44-boat fleet ashore as the leading edge of a
tropical storm over Cuba brought gushes of rain, wind, and waves to
Biscayne Bay. After two days of racing, Bruno Bethlem de Amorim and Daniel
Seixas Claro hold an eight point lead over Ernesto Rodriguez and Cate
Gundlach. Racing continues through Friday. -- Results:

* After the conclusion of Kieler-Woche in Germany, the seventh and final
ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta, the World Cup Standings have been decided.
The Americans led their continent by winning the Finn (Caleb Paine),
Women's 470 (Amanda Clark/ Sarah Lihan), Women's Match Race (Anna
Tunnicliffe/ Molly Vandemoer/ Debbie Capozzi), and were second in the Laser
(Charlie Buckingham). -- Full report:

* Gothenburg, Sweden will host the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds June
26-30 in what will be the last big test for the Women's Olympic teams ahead
of London 2012. Sixteen of the world's top 25 teams will compete, with the
12 teams selected to compete at the 2012 Games amid the field. The 16 teams
will also fight for a share of the 400,000SEK (approx. 28,704.49 USD) prize
money on offer. Among the favorites is 2011 World Champion Anna Tunnicliffe
(USA) who has held the top spot in the international rankings since
September 7, 2011. -- Full report:

* A field of eight entrants representing six teams will be competing at the
AC World Series in Newport, with China Team not among the group. Having
participated in all previous ACWS events, China Team has struggled to
sustain a quality crew, and their absence in Newport may be an indication
they are unable to meet a budget necessary to continue with their challenge
for the 34th America's Cup. Racing will be June 28-July 1, with the Event
Village opening to the public from June 23. Details:

* Lake Minnetonka Sailing School (Deephaven, Minn.) is hosting the 2012
U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship on June 27-29. Thirty-eight
teams will race Club 420s, with top contenders Allyson Donahue/ Maddie
Widmeier, Holly Tullo/ Cally Tullo, and Paris Henken/ Kaitlin Driscoll
vying for the title. -- Full report:

* Hamilton, Bermuda (June 20, 2012) - Although the Carkeek 40 'Decision'
owned by Steve Murray (New Orleans LA) was the top Onion Patch boat in the
Newport Bermuda Race, the United States Naval Academy (USNA) TP52
'Invictus' maintains first place in the 2012 Onion Patch Series for
individual entries with a second in the 23-boat fleet. 'Invictus' had a
first in the NYYC Annual Regatta June 9-10 in Newport. -- Read on:

* San Francisco, CA (June 20, 2012) - Fire crews in San Francisco are
battling a fire at a building under construction at Pier 29, which will be
the site of the 34th America's Cup Event Village. The fire was initially
reported around 1:50 p.m. and a total of four alarms were called.
Firefighters were eventually ordered to leave the building due to the
intensity of the fire. -- Read on:

Congratulations to Brack Duker and team on Santa Cruz 70 "Holua" who
convincingly won first in class and claimed first overall in the 2012
Coastal Cup last weekend! Earning the Coastal Cup and Line Honors Perpetual
trophies, "Holua" placed first overall corrected by 9 hours, 35 minutes.
Their class win was equally solid, finishing almost 17 hours corrected
ahead of second place. In the downhill race from San Francisco to Santa
Barbara, where competitors saw up to 35 knots through the night, "Holua"
competed with an inventory of Ullman Sails Red Line spinnakers onboard,
including a brand new 6A.

Bud Tretter loved the sea and boats from the day he was born. As a toddler,
Tretter lived with his mother aboard a 45-foot sailboat built by his
stepfather, Lou Hearle.

This early love of the water led Tretter into a life filled with boats that
took him to many places, including Hollywood, the Korean War, the Transpac
Yacht Race to Hawaii and, finally, ownership of the landmark Marina
Shipyard in Long Beach, CA.

Tretter, 80, died last Thursday at his home in Lomita (CA) after fighting
diabetes and kidney failure, according to his son, Jerry, the
third-generation owner of the shipyard.

After the war, Bud spent several years as a marine surveyor before joining
his family in running the Marina Shipyard in 1978.

A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Bud also worked with Vicki Lawrence, a
Long Beach resident who played Mama on "The Carol Burnett Show" and "Mama's
Family." Bud also captained the PT boat seen in the opening scenes of
another TV show, "McHale's Navy."

When the 1995 Congressional Cup was struggling to get the top skippers due
to the conflict with the America's Cup in San Diego, it was Tretter's idea
to stage a Masters Congressional Cup instead. "Bud brought in a bunch of
past winners, including Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, and Harold Cudmore who
won it," noted journalist Rich Roberts. "This was a big success."

Full story:

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 John Cole:
In the Pacific Northwest, there have been over 400 reported debris
sightings in the last weeks (from the Japanese tsunami). We are just
starting to get the buildings. It's going to cost $85,000 (ridiculous) to
get a floating dock off the beach in Oregon. Somebody's going to make a lot
of money on the cleanup. Recent story here:

* From Barbara Lloyd:
Despite the relatively "grainy" footage taken by Channel 10 on the 1983
America's Cup race course, the station supported an Emmy-award winning film
from that series with the backing of Lipton Tea.

As a former yachting writer for The New York Times, I wrote the script and
Sprague Theobald produced the film, which the last I knew, was being sold
by Mystic Seaport. It's worth a viewing...still.

* From Steve Gregory:
Regarding the spousal membership thread, for those Yacht Clubs that remain
in the dark ages when it comes to membership rules, they are supporting a
pretty screwed up scenario: a member can compete for the club while their
spouse cannot. How eager will the spouse be to volunteer when they can't
even write down the club's name on their entry form? Worse yet, how many
people are cheating in the sport without even realizing it?

* From Sam Williams:
The report by Craig in Scuttlebutt 3615 brought back memories of a dinghy
class (that will remain nameless) that had a horrible mainsail girth
measurement rule. To get the measurement point on the leech, you would fold
it in half and quarter. That was easy enough. But the rule required you to
do the same at the luff, and with all the tension on the luff rope, the
measurement points could be easily manipulated.

If you pulled all the luff tension toward the tack, it artificially moved
the luff marks toward the head, which would make for a smaller girth
measurement. Doing this, the sailmaker could build a sail that was too big,
but would measure legally. The class finally woke up and changed the rule
so the girth was measured from the leech toward the closest point on the
luff rather than seeking out specific luff girth marks.

* From Chris Ericksen:
In 'Butt 3616, Kate Solomon mentioned the Etchells class sail-acquisition
rules. Later in the same sentence she mentions her wish for "some controls
to keep the minority from outspending and ultimately pushing out the people
that don't want to play that game."

I could be the poster boy within the Etchells class for that. When I first
became involved with the Etchells class, back in the mid-Eighties, the
class touted itself as a class for "a man of modest means." In those days
an owner could buy four sails a year--two jibs, a main and a kite--or three
sets in the first two years of ownership if a boat's sail inventory was
especially deficient. Sail-measurement rules changed to increase minimum
cloth weights to move sailmakers to make heavier sails with longer lives
(and possibly in response to the DC issue that you mentioned in 'Butt

More well-heeled sailors began buying older boats with no intention of ever
sailing them; they only wanted another sail card so that they could buy
more sails. They'd use the sails from the older boat during the season and
then have a fresh set available for the championship season. Both the class
and regatta organizers winked at this and did not require observation of
class rules that restrict use of sails not on a boat's sail card. And then,
in the end, the class bowed to the inevitable and voted to increase the
number of sails that could be acquired in any year to six, and in any

The Etchells class seems to be thriving, with its large sail allocation,
expensive boats and professional crews. So the class members are evidently
getting what they want, and I gladly bow to the will of the majority. But
this "man of modest means" definitely got priced out of the game.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Is this an example of what the masses may want, or an
example of how the top sailors may influence the rules to help separate
themselves from the pack? Comments welcome.

May your life someday be as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook.

New England Boatworks - Kaenon Polarized - North Sails - Gowrie Group
SailFast - Mount Gay Rum - Point Loma Outfitting - Gladstone's Long Beach
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