Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3738 - Thursday, December 13, 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: Ullman Sails and Southern Spars.

(December 12, 2012) - Emirates Team New Zealand completed the permitted 30
days of testing and training in its first AC72 catamaran, and now will put
the boat out to pasture. Rules for the 34th America's Cup allowed only 30
sailing days for the first boat between July 2012 and the end of January

The shore crew will start on Thursday to decommission the yacht while the
team concentrates on finishing Boat 2. Winch drums and some hardware will
be removed from the yacht and fitted to second boat, while the first boat
is refitted in the near future and held in reserve, to be commissioned
quickly in the event it's needed.

Components for the new boat are being built at Auckland companies Cookson
Boats and Southern Spars. The second wing is being assembled now at the
team's Viaduct Harbour base. Hulls, beams and other parts of the platform
will be delivered to the base early in January for a launch in early

On why the team will not train with both boats, Managing director Grant
Dalton explained that it was not possible. "We never considered sailing
both boats together because of the logistics and cost involved.

"It takes 35 people 1½ hours to launch the AC72. Three hours out of morning
to launch two 72s and three hours at the other end of the day to retrieve
them is out of the question. The only solution would to have two separate
operations to launch, retrieve, maintain and improve two AC72s and that is
not a realistic prospect for Emirates Team New Zealand."

Dalton said the team would gain many of the benefits by racing with another
boat through the arrangement with Luna Rossa. --

Emirates Team New Zealand have become the first, and probably only team,
that will use its allocated 30 days for the first phase of sailing AC72's.
The rules for the 34th America's Cup allowed only 30 sailing days for the
first boat between July 2012 and the end of January 2013.

According to the virtual Official Noticeboard the team has a zero alongside
its name in terms of sailing days left. Luna Rossa has 18, Artemis Racing
23 and Oracle Team USA 22 days. Many pundits see that as a measure of the
current state of play in the 34th America's Cup. In reality it is hard to
argue against, but Emirates Team NZ's Managing Director Grant Dalton seemed
to be more focused on what lay ahead, rather than the margin the team may
have on the rest of the field. In fact it never came up.

Looking back on the five months that have elapsed since their first AC72
was launched, and the gains that have been achieved. "I know that the boat
we have now is significantly quicker than the one we launched in July. It
is a percentage thing. If you gain one or two percent in an area, it
becomes a big number because of the speed we are sailing. If the gains all
added up to 10 percent and we are sailing at 40kts downwind, then suddenly
it is doing 44kts, in crude terms.

"All teams will be experiencing this, you just make gains so quickly.

"The sail-ability of the boat and being able to push or lean on the boat,
is I think very, very important," he added.

A veteran of America's Cup, Volvo and Whitbread and Jules Verne Trophy
racing, Dalton says the focus in the Emirates Team NZ program will now
shift from speed to reliability. "We have to start getting the thing around
the track day after day without breakage. We can potentially lose our
campaign by having a breakage."

"At the point we are now at, we have to move from a technical base to a
reliability base. By the time we leave NZ we have to have a package, that
in theory can get around the track without any issues." -- Sail-World, read

Ullman Sails has been dedicated to building performance sails for over 45
years. Our group is a strong collection of international lofts that
specialize in serving their local markets. With a rich combination of
experienced designers and skilled sailmakers worldwide, we ensure every
Ullman Sails customer benefits from our international collaboration. No
matter your sailing goals, we can answer your questions and customize a
plan to fit your budget. So whether you're contemplating an addition to
next season's race wardrobe or need the most durable cruising inventory for
your upcoming voyage - invest in your performance. Visit us at

Gothenburg, Sweden (December 12, 2012) - The fifth edition of the World
Yacht Racing Forum and Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium
concluded today with four time Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie as the
key speaker of the day.

Talking about Olympic sailing, Ainslie insisted on the fact that "the
integrity of racing must be preserved despite the increase of commercial
needs. The medal races, for example, tend to compromise the fairness of
racing." Ainslie also criticised ISAF's lack of consistency. "How can
windsurfers be told to go and buy kitesurfs one day, only to be reinstated
two months later. In addition, a Class shouldn't be selected for just one
Olympic cycle; it is wrong. Those are examples that make our sport look
weak. The problem lies in the decision process."

The sport of sailing is changing fast, and debates focusing on yacht clubs
and venues were a good illustration of the evolution the sport is going
through. "We started going to Asia in 2008," remembers Knut Frostad, CEO,
Volvo Ocean Race. "Today, there are races everywhere in Asia, and in a
consistent way."

Debates focusing on the use of social media, and the new broadcast
technologies used by the America's Cup also highlighted the changes the
sport is going through. "François Gabart, who leads the Vendee Globe, is
only 29 years old and he sends three times more media than all his
competitors," observed Mark Turner, Executive Chairman, OC Sport. "It
doesn't stop him from being competitive. The others will have to learn!" --
Full report:

The debut of the one design class in 2014-15 will make the Volvo Ocean Race
more competitive and tougher to win than ever before, skipper Ian Walker
told the World Yacht Racing Forum in Gothenburg.

The British twice-Olympic silver medallist told a packed conference that
the Volvo Ocean 65 made the Race more attractive than ever for elite
sailors like himself who wish to compete at the cutting edge of offshore

The development put the focus of the Race firmly back on the seamanship of
the competitors, he explained.

"From what I hear the boat will be quicker downwind than the old Volvo Open
70s and that excites me - it will be enticing people to sail the boats,"
said Walker, 42, who guided Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the 2011-12 Race
after making his debut as Green Dragon skipper three years earlier.

Walker said the switch to one design had given him renewed enthusiasm to
compete in the Race after struggling at times to match the pace of rival
boats in his two previous appearances.

"I want to do the Race with a level playing field," Walker said. "For me
it's ignited a whole new interest in the Race. It will still be brutal. The
sailors will have it harder physically. There will be less sleeping and
more time out on the rails competing. -- Read on:

COMMENT: Considering that Ian built new boats for the last two editions of
the race, and they were both slow, his above comments would seem expected.
I would also expect the winners of the last two races - Torben Grael and
Franck Cammas - to disagree with Ian. However, what matters most is if
marketable sailors return to the new format. If a bunch of unknowns are in
leading roles, the relevance of the race could be tested. - Craig Leweck,

Newport, RI (December 12, 2012) - North Sails announced today that Volvo
Ocean Race skipper and veteran sailmaker Ken Read will return to North
Sails in the role of president in early January 2013. Read will take over
for current president Gary Weisman, who has served at the helm of the
world's largest sailmaker for 16 years, and who plans to retire within the
next 4 months.

"This is an important and exciting time in the world of sailing, sailmaking
and in the history of North Sails," said North Technology Group CEO Tom
Whidden. "We are absolutely thrilled to have Kenny back in the mix
transitioning into the role of North's president."

"Gary has done an absolutely fantastic job and he will be missed dearly by
not only me, but all North Sails employees who have gotten to know him so
well during his 39-year career at North," Whidden continued. "Gary plans to
stay involved with the company in the short-term and he and Kenny will work
closely to make the transition as seamless as possible."

Read started working for North Sails in 1996, yet has taken four
sabbaticals to participate in some of sailing's elite events. He was the
CEO of PUMA Ocean Racing and skippered PUMA's Mar Mostro during the 2011-12
Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) and il mostro in the 2008-09 edition of what is
known as the "world's toughest sailboat race." Prior to the Volvo Race,
Read skippered two America's Cup teams for Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes
in 2000 and 2003. -- Read on:

As the 2012/13 Vendee Globe fleet head into the Southern Ocean, a third
have been forced to retire. Five of the current top eight yachts in the
race are sporting full or partial EC6 carbon continuous rigging packages
supplied by Southern Spars and from all reports their rigging has been 100%
reliable. EC6 cables are constructed from a bundle of small diameter
pultruded carbon rods - even if "a single twig breaks, the bundle of twigs
will stay strong". Vendee Globe competitors with EC6 rigging: Paprec Virbac
3, Mirabaud, Cheminees Poujoulat, Gamesa and Synerciel. For more
information on EC6 rigging please visit or
email for a quote.

(December 12, 2012; Day 33) - For the next 14000 miles, the Vendee Globe
could prove to be more of a match race than the America's Cup. The top duo
of François Gabart and Armel Le Cleac'h have near identical boats, with the
frequent ice gates limiting leverage. They can track each other, and cover
each other. In a race where performance is balanced against preservation, a
new standard of risk could be established in this edition.

Their next waypoint - the West Australia Gate - is 400+ nm ahead off the SW
corner of Australia. While the routing of the top three is aiming at the
gate, behind this group there seems to be the increasing likelihood that
the enduring relationship of the 'Front Five' may be breaking up.

After having to make time consuming repairs to his rudder on Monday, Alex
Thomson has now lost out on the ride south east on the low pressure system
which has been so beneficial for the leaders. The Hugo Boss skipper has had
no choice but to head east, seeking to hook into a small, active low
pressure system - formerly known as cyclone Claudia - which should offer
him a fast pursuit of the leaders. The question of whether fourth placed
Bernard Stamm will manage to hang on to the coat tails of the depression
remains in the balance.


Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 14481.7 nm Distance to Finish
2. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 12.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 82.6 nm DTL
4. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 191.0 nm DTL
5. Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss: 238.1 nm DTL
Full rankings:

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. --

* The fourth edition of the Wight Vodka's 2012 Favourite Yachting Bar
Competition is now accepting nominations. In addition to being recognized
by the world's yachting community, the winning bar receives a trophy and
prized bottle of Wight Vodka to celebrate their win. Past winners include
Peter Cafe Sport in the Azores (2009), the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke in
the BVI (2010), and IYAC in Newport, Rhode Island (2011). Details:

* The Induction ceremony for next year's National Sailing Hall of Fame will
be held on October 26-27, 2013 in Annapolis, Maryland. Plans were to hold
the 2013 ceremony at Bay Head Yacht Club in New Jersey, but the destruction
left by Hurricane Sandy in the Bay Head area required a change of venue.
The Induction ceremony is open to the public, and will take place at 1:00
pm on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at Annapolis City Dock, the site of the
National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame adjacent to the U.S. Naval Academy.

* US Sailing and America's Cup organizers have entered a new partnership,
offering members with exclusive race viewing privileges while working
collectively on efforts to provide awareness for those interested in
learning to sail and information on how sailors can further their
opportunities to go sailing. Details:

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:

* Dubarry of Ireland helping to give breast cancer the boot
* Samson Appoints VP of Sales and Marketing
* Karma Yacht Sales Celebrates their Ten Year Anniversary
* Newport Shipyard to get new 500 Metric Ton Marine Travelift
* Lewmar to supply steering systems to Beneteau
View updates here:

Barry A. Berkus, a Santa Barbara icon and award-winning architect whose
work has been recognized both locally and abroad, died Nov. 30 in Santa
Barbara, CA. He was 77.

The founder and president of B3 Architects and Berkus Design Studio, Berkus
and his firms have been involved in a diversity of projects over several
decades, ranging from residential designs to commercial and institutional
buildings and master-planned communities.

"I sold him many boats to Barry while becoming his sailing friend," said
marine industry icon Roy Cundiff. "First a Cal 20 for him to learn sailing,
and the same day he ordered a Cal 36 as he wanted to do the Transpac Race.
The 1967 race was a really light year and we managed to win Class D and 3rd
overall with mostly a crew of his novice friends on the Cal 36 'Intrepid'.
Other boats that Barry owned and raced were the Cal 20 'Manta Rey', the Cal
37 'Intrepid II', the Ericson 46 'Warlock', the Eva Hollman 50 'Sunset
Blvd', the Choate ULDB 68-foot 'Saga', and the J/24 'Watermelon'."

Berkus was a man of immense generosity, and was exceedingly active in the
community of Santa Barbara. His parting advice: "Go where life takes you
and run hard. Passion is what's going to take you to the other end."

A Memorial is scheduled for Jan 26, 2013 in Santa Barbara. Contact Pat
Moser at B3 Berkus Design Studio for details: 805-966-1547

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 Julian Hatherell:
All comments aside on the boat design differences between the Open 60 and
the Volvo Ocean Race boats (VO 70 and VO 65), perhaps the bigger question
is what race is more compelling:
1) Solo sailors going 545 nm per day in the Southern Ocean, or
2) Half a dozen VOR boats sitting on a cargo ship going to Dubai and back
for a month, and then drifting through garbage in the Straits of Malacca.

COMMENT: Amen! I understand why the Volvo Ocean Race has sought to maximize
its commercial potential, but in doing so it's lost some of its soul. I
hope, through the changes for the 2014-15 edition, the VOR can remain a
compelling story, but I always worry when a game gets revised not for the
sake of the game, but for the sake of commercial interests. - Craig Leweck,

* From Fin Beven:
Keeping in mind that I am more than 30 years younger than Fred Smales (8
Bells, SB 3736) when I first knew him I was just a kid, but I've been
around for a while, so I remember Fred when he brought Escapade up to race
in the LAYC midwinter regattas in the early 60s (when the only Mid-Winter
Regatta was at LAYC). I remember Fred when he was rebuilding Escapade in
the shed at South Coast Marine in Newport Beach. I remember the
Fleur-de-lis, green-and-white spinnaker that Connie designed for him, first
used for one of the Lipton Cup races in San Diego when the Cal-32s were the
dominant boat. I remember when he sailed Guinevere to Hawaii in '71, as he
finished shortly after us. Nice arrival party. In all of that time, Fred
was always a gentleman, and Fred was always the gentleman-sailor.

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. But don't stop there. If your event is listed below, please send us
your race reports too:
Dec 26-Jan 1 - Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - Sydney / Hobart, AUS
Dec 27-30 - Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
Jan 5-6 - 2012-13 Jaguar Cup Series - Sid Doren Regatta - Miami, FL, USA
View all the events at

A Christmas Carol for the Narcissistic: "Hark the Herald Angels Sing About

Hall Spars & Rigging - Kaenon Polarized - North Sails - APS
J Boats - US Sailing - Ultimate Sailing - Point Loma Outfitting
Ullman Sails - Southern Spars - North U - Henri Lloyd

Need stuff? Look here: