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SCUTTLEBUTT 3628 - Monday, July 9, 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: Kaenon Polarized and Vineyard Race.

Nikola Girke, 34, of Vancouver is competing in her third Olympics and second in women's windsurfing. With the Olympic Games later this month, here she replies to questions posted to her by the Vancouver Sun...
* The International Sailing Federation's decision to drop windsurfing from the 2016 Olympics was a huge shock. It was a ridiculous decision ... We [windsurfers] aren't against kiteboarding being added. We're upset about the way it was done.

* This may not be my last Olympics because I've already been asked to sail on both the 49er FX [a two-person skiff] and the Nacra 17, the new boat in the mixed, double-handed category [for the 2016 Games].

* Realistically, my goal at Weymouth, where the Olympic regatta is being held, is a medal. But the stars have to align ... Weymouth is a great sailing location and the only world-class races that I've won have been at the Olympic venue. So, that gives me confidence. Plus, I've been training there quite a bit.

* In Qingdao [the 2008 sailing venue], there were a whole lot of unknowns. Everybody said there would be no wind, strong currents and crazy swells. And there was a whole lot of craziness there with the algae bloom, the heat and the humidity.

* From my experience of finishing 17th at the 2008 Olympics, I learned never to give up and that hard work and a bit of luck beats talent every time. Beijing taught me that I can do it.

* The reason I won't switch to kiteboarding is I tried it once when it was in its infancy when I was living in Maui and surfing. I was at the body-dragging stage and it was like I was tea-bagging as shark bait. I'm still hesitant about it and its dangers scare me. Now, that it's an Olympic sport, there are going to be a bunch of beginners and I'd be a beginner out of control with all of these others out of control. In a boat, I might be learning and out-of-control, but I don't think I'll pose a danger to someone else.

Read more:

BACKGROUND: The opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games is July 27, with racing for the ten sailing events on July 29 - August 12. The sailing events are held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset, Great Britain. Three hundred eighty sailors will be representing 63 nations. --

Galway, Ireland (July 7, 2012) - The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team closed out the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 on a high note, winning the Discover Ireland In-Port Race. With the win, PUMA also captures the overall In-Port Race Series.

"We wanted to go out with a bang," said skipper Ken Read. "We took a little risk off the starting line and it paid off for us. It was such a short first run that starboard tack was going to have a huge advantage if everything was equal.

"Winning anything is fun, whether it's an In-Port Race or a game of checkers. And, it's fun to compete against the best sailors in the world," Read said. "We definitely waited pretty long for an In-Port win, but consistency paid off. We're really pleased, and I'm happy for the whole program - it's a great way to finish."

The win marked PUMA's first trip to the top of the podium for an In-Port Race in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. PUMA finished on the podium in nine of the 10 In-Port Races, collecting 45 total points to win the overall In-Port Race Series. The crew was tied with CAMPER going into today's final race and won the series by one point.

Camper, which finished second in the In-Port Race, concluded as the bridesmaid in both the overall race and the In-Port Race Series. The remaining finishing order of the day's race was Telefonica, Groupama, Abu Dhabi, and Team Sanya.

While off the podium, clearly the big winner was Franck Cammas' crew on Groupama 4, the overall winner of the Volvo Ocean Race. "For sure it is a big dream - it's a great feeling for everyone," Cammas said. "We did not expect it so it's a big surprise, but it's a good one.

"I think the secret was that we were outsiders at the beginning and we were forced to learn all the time. We had to learn to race against the best crews in the world and eventually it got easier. We made mistakes at the start but all the time we tried to get better, right until the finish in Galway." -- Full story:

Final - Overall Standings
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 253 points
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 231 points
3. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 226 points
4. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 213 points
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), 131 points
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 51 points

Final - In-Port Series
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 45 points
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 44 points
3. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 41 points
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), 37 points
5. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 27 points
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 16 points

Video reports:

NEXT RACE: The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race started in Alicante, Spain (Oct. 29) and concluded in Galway, Ireland (July 7). Six teams competed on VO70's for over 39,000 nautical miles around the world via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient, scoring points through nine distance legs and ten In-Port races. The next edition of the race, which starts in 2014, hopes to have at least eight teams and will be raced in 65ft one-design boats. -

Terry Hutchinson is old-school…with a relentless need to win. So what does a traditional-styled Cup racer do in today's hi-tech, hi-speed times of Wings and Hydrofoils? He adapts...with gusto! That might explain why T-Hutch served as our inspiration for our newest sunglass, HUTCH. Old-school classic design, fused with new school performance features, and of course, superior SR-91 polarized lenses, only available from Kaenon Polarized. The result is a mirror of our inspiration – low key, casual, friendly appearance with superior fit and performance that will deliver results. Hutch, from Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically. Available in prescription.

Carcans, France (July 6, 2012) - By winning the last race of the Finn Silver Cup, Martin Robitaille didn't leave any doubt that he truly deserves the Finn Junior World title. Despite a difficult start with an OCS, a penalty from the jury and one from the measurer, the Canadian was able to bounce back, winning four races and the title.

Competition was tough with strong opponents like the current European Champion Michal Jodlowski (POL) second overall, 2011 Junior World Champion Arkadiy Kistanov who takes the bronze, or early leader Lennart Luttkus (GER) in fourth overall.

The title was up for grabs until the last race. Robitaille, Jodlowski and Kistanov played cat and mouse at the front, with each of them taking the lead at times, but the Canadian came back on the last run taking the race and the title.

"It was a tight event and I am happy that I was able to stay focussed. Results were up and down for most sailors, but I gained confidence and sailed well." said Martin Robitaille.

This is the first Finn title for the Canadian who has already his mind set on the future. "I would like to reach the top 16 in the rankings within two years and qualify for the next Olympic Games in Rio!"

A lot of the Junior Finn sailors are sharing the same objective for the 2016 Olympic Games and given the standard seen this week, many among them will be there to represent their country. Until then the road will be paved with more Finn challenges. -- Full report:

Hoping to add more silver to his trophy case is Texan Glenn Darden (Fort Worth), who will skipper Hoss in the 2012 Swan 42 National Championship (July 19-22), which is being held concurrently with New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex (July 14-22).

Over two weekends and the week days in between, teams sailing classics as well as one-design and grand prix boats will battle it out on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, using the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court clubhouse as a base for social events each evening. Separating the two sessions, on Wednesday, July 18, is a separately scored 19-mile Around the (Conanicut) Island Race, always a favorite for its consistent offerings of beautiful vistas and challenging current and wind conditions.

"We bought the Swan in 2007 and have had a lot of fun racing it over the last several years," said Darden, who with Hoss's co-owner Philip Williamson is a two-time J/105 North American champion. "We have an excellent team aboard and expect to be in the hunt for the championship; I would have to say the defending champion Apparition (Ken Colburn, Dover, Mass.) and Arethusa (Phil Lotz, Newport, R.I.) are the favorites, but it is always tight racing in this class, and we a have lots of good racers in the fleet."

Darden noted that the class chose to add a distance race into the scoring mix for this year's racing and will count that race plus three days of windward/leeward buoy racing in determining the 2012 Swan 42 National Champion. -- Full report:

Marstrand, Sweden (July 7, 2012) - Swedish number one Bjorn Hansen saw off a spirited challenge from Tour legend and four-time World Champion Peter Gilmour to lift the STENA Match Cup Sweden trophy, win 34,000 USD and retain his lead at the top of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour leaderboard.

"We have a little bit less pressure for the rest of the season now," Hansen, said. "We already have two wins from three events and now the other guys have to get points on the leaderboard to catch up. There might be a few more eyes on us in the upcoming regattas but we'd definitely prefer to be in our position going into the second half of the season."

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team finished the final day unbeaten, having started the session by seeing out the remainder of his Semi Final battle against Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar. He won both remaining matches and booked his place in the STENA Match Cup Sweden Final with a 3-1 victory, much to the delight of the attending home fans.

In the Petit Final, Robertson locked horns with 2011 Tour Champion Ian Williams with the additional Tour points and prize money still to play for. The teams tied at 1-1 in the best of three contest before Williams was able to close out the third.

The next event on the tour is the Chicago Match Cup on July 10-15. Video replay from STENA Match Cup Sweden:

Full report:
Final results:

BACKGROUND: The eight event World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the leading professional sailing series, and is sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with "Special Event" status. Prize money is awarded for each event, with event points culminating in the crowning of the "ISAF Match Racing World Champion". --

Events listed at

* After stumbling out of the blocks on day one, Jim Richardson's Barking Mad team would ultimately overcome their sixth place ranking to take the title at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship (July 4-7) in Newport, RI. After taking the lead following day three, Richardson needed only the first of the two races on the final day to secure the win. Crewing for Richardson were Eric Aakhus, Dave Armitage, Lindsay Bartel, Skip Baxter, David Chapman, Zac Hurst, Martin Kullman, Linda Lindquist-Bishop, and Matt Mcdonough. -- Reports/video:

* (July 8, 2012) - Following a light air start in the Hudson River on Saturday for the five MOD70 teams, the 2950nm KRYS OCEAN RACE from New York to France marks the first ever trans-oceanic race for the exciting new one design multihull class. Steve Ravussin's Swiss flagged team on Race for Water experienced the first casualty as their daggerboard sustained damage Sunday morning after hitting a partially submerged container whilst leading the race. A repair has the board back in the trunk but not fully immersed and powered up. Better winds finds the fleet now at a 600nm + per day pace. -- Full report:

* (July 8, 2012; Day 9) - With nearly a 700 nm lead on the Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race fleet, elapsed leader Alex Mehran's Open 50 'Truth' is aiming at the finish line in Kauai, Hawaii with a Sunday night ETA. Significant diversity among the fleet has the competitors spread across the Pacific Ocean, with Derk Wolmuth's 30-foot Vindo 40 at the tail of the race, over 1200 nm from the finish. Each boat is fitted with a tracker that can be viewed here:

* (July 8, 2012) - Twenty-seven crews from Canada, US and France today began the Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Ocean Race, this 350-nautical mile race from Halifax to the French island of Saint-Pierre. The early elapsed leader is Canadian Jean Trottier's Farr 40 Defiant. Each boat is fitted with a tracker that can be viewed here:

* Porto, Portugal (July 8, 2012) - An estimated 66,000 spectators witnessed the competition at Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series, with Leigh McMillan (GBR) and his The Wave, Muscat (OMA) team putting on a dominating performance for the win. McMillan's Omani team won 10 of the 32 races over the four day event, capping their third straight win on the eight event circuit. Teams led by Roman Hagara (AUT) and Morgan Larson (USA) finished second and third respectively. Next stop is the Welsh capital of Cardiff for Act 5 on August 30-September 2. -- Full report:

* The 2012 US Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship will be held July 9-11 on Lake Michigan. Hosted by Chicago Yacht Club, a fleet of 50 sailors will race Laser Radials for the prestigious Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy. Lindsey Baab (Saratoga, CA) returns from the Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Australia, where she finished 13th overall, and was the top American. Maddie Widmeier (Pipersville, PA), coming off her victory at the US Women's Doublehanded Championship, has also entered the field. -- Full report:

Take part in an East Coast classic. Three courses; huge awards party; cruising division; multihull division; race tracking; Corinthian challenge; NORT qualifier and much more. Join Bruce Nelson at our skippers' meeting. Start date: August 31. Register today: Follow us @vineyardrace

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* From Tom Ehman:
Concerning the trivia question in Scuttlebutt 3627, I was the jury secretary at the 1984 Olympics, and was at Russell Coutts's post-race clothing weigh-in. I remember well his repeated, and careful, redistribution of his clothing on the hanger, hung from a scale, which lifted the clothes out of the drum full of water and then let them drip dry for a minute. The weight was taken at the end of that minute -- so you can understand how the distribution of the clothing on the hanger could affect how quickly they shed water.

* From Jeff Dusek:
I am the US Formula 18 Eastern Area Representative, and our fleet was incredibly fortunate enough to run a demo event during the AC World Series in Newport. Before the AC45 racing would start, we had 18 Formula 18s racing on an extremely tight course directly in front of the spectators at Ft. Adams.

Overall, the weekend was an event few of us will soon forget. Six races were completed each day, with an average length of fifteen minutes. With the leeward mark mere yards from the shore, the sounds of screaming fans accompanied every rounding and spinnaker douse.

Packing up the boats after racing, I received incredible feedback from people who arrived early for the AC events and enjoyed watching us racing. While multihull sailing might not be for everyone, I hope we showed that the F18 Class is THE place to be for performance small boat sailing on the US East Coast.

Here is a complete report of the event:

* From Ron Homa, Boston:
At 48 years, I have been racing now for 37 years in most of the boats and in most of the events available in the US. As a kid growing up sailing, there was nothing bigger than the America's Cup. The 1983 Match seemed like the end of the earth and 1987 felt like redemption. And while age and maturity have tempered many things, my passion for the sport still burns brightly...even when pushing through the pain of aging knees during a weekend of team racing against kids half my age.

Newport is a quick trip from my home north of Boston and I have done more than one round trip drive for a race day there or to watch my children race or just to walk the beach. Yet there was nothing compelling me to make the trip for this AC World Series event. I did watch Sunday on TV while channel hopping to the Euro Cup (a sport for which I have no passion)...and why?

The ACWS broadcast was flat, the teams convoluted (mixed nationalities), and the personalities of the racers largely absent (helmets don't help...that's why the NFL has names on jerseys). I felt like I was watching some odd exhibition best called "Cirque Du Soleil du mer" as the crews bounced around on the netting. To an experienced racer endlessly listening to explanations of basic rules was mind numbing. Some real tactical observations would have been more enjoyable.

So after the thrill of the boats' speed wore off, there wasn't much of interest to watch. At that point it was more interesting watching the Euro Cup despite the clear domination of the Spanish...and no they are not just Spanish in name. The passion of the fans was palpable, the personalities larger than life, and the broadcast team did not dumb down the call. I was left to figure it out and I did ...which is more than I can say for the AC World Series Newport.

COMMENTARY: When watching any sport, you are wondering about the next move, the next play, and then judging the execution of that move. I have found the most interesting aspects of the AC broadcast to be the video/graphics and the onboard audio. If the use of the onboard audio is increased, and the commentators augment that with tactical insight of what to anticipate, perhaps their goal of creating a new group of expert viewers can be fulfilled. This thread is now closed in the newsletter, with all the comments posted in the Forum, where more can be added. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


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