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SCUTTLEBUTT 3717 - Monday, November 12, 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 Melges Performance Sailboats.

Dun Laoghaire, Ireland (November 10, 2012) - The ISAF Annual Conference drew to a close today as the final decisions affecting the sport moving forward were made.

A significant focus of the Annual Conference was on the 2016 Olympic Events and Equipment, specifically the Equipment used for the Board Event. At the ISAF Mid Year meeting in May, the ISAF Council chose kiteboarding for the Event. This decision caught both the windsurfing and kiteboarding communities by surprise, with the former leading a concerted effort to have the Council re-open the discussion.

For the decision of the Council to be re-opened, three-fourths of the Council must agree to do so. When the Council failed to reach that percentage, it was assumed that kiteboarding would be the Equipment used for the Board Event at the Games in Rio de Janeiro. However, following the Council meeting, there was a procedural move by the ISAF General Assembly that upset the apple cart.

Part of the ISAF General Assembly's business for the 106 Member National Authorities (MNAs) who were present was to review any ISAF Regulations made or amended in any substantive way by Council since the last Ordinary Meeting which was in November 2011.

In November 2011, the Regulations specified RS:X Equipment as the Board Event. But the ISAF Mid Year meeting in May changed the Equipment for the Board Event to Kiteboarding, and that apparently qualified as a "substantive" change.

All the General Assembly needed was a simple majority of votes, and after a lengthy debate the MNAs approved the first proposal which reinstated Men's and Women's Boards - RS:X.

ISAF Regulation 23.1.4, which lists the 2016 Olympic Events and Equipment, now reads:
Men's Board - RS:X
Women's Board - RS:X
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's 2nd One Person Dinghy - Finn
Men's Skiff - 49er
Women's Skiff - 49erFX
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Nacra 17

Also approved were four core Events and their Equipment for the 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser, Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial, Men's Skiff - 49er and Women's Skiff - 49erFX. This is the first time Events and Equipment have been guaranteed for two Olympic Games.

Other updates
* ISAF Council approved a new ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship to become part of the ISAF family of events.

* ISAF Class status was awarded to the J/111, Melges 20, RS100 and Swan 60 subject to them signing the ISAF Class agreement and satisfactory building specification. This allows these classes to host World Championships if desired.

* The 2013 ISAF Annual Conference will head to Muscat, Oman from 7-16 November.

Full report:
ISAF Regulations:

(November 10, 2012) - The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced the new members of the ISAF Council, the final decision-making body of ISAF, at the ISAF General Assembly in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.

The Council is chaired by the ISAF President, seven Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer (non-voting), 28 representatives of ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) and one representative each from the athletes' commission, ISAF Classes, Offshore sailing and Women's sailing. The new Council members will serve a four-year term up until the ISAF General Assembly in November 2016. The new members of the ISAF Council are:

President and Chairman -
Carlo Croce (ITA)

Vice-Presidents -
George Andreadis (GRE)
Chris Atkins (GBR)
Adrienne Greenwood (NZL)
Nazli Imre (TUR)
Gary Jobson (USA)
Quanhai Li (CHN)
W Scott Perry (URU)

It is the responsibility of the ISAF Council to manage the business of the International Sailing Federation. Ultimately, policy decisions within ISAF, including any amendments to the ISAF Regulations, are subject to the approval of the Council. -- Full report:

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The 20 skippers entered for the seventh edition of the Vendee Globe solo race around the world took the start line of the 24,048 miles, three months circumnavigation race at 1302hrs local time off Les Sables d'Olonne, France on Saturday, November 10.

Starting in 12-14kts of westerly wind under grey skies with rain threatening, five skippers jumped the start gun and had to restart: Poland's Zbigniew Gutkowski on Energa and French favourites PRB (Vincent Riou), Macif (François Gabart) Groupe Bel (Kito de Pavant) and Armel le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire).

A small collision with skipper Bertrand de Broc (FRA) support team's rigid inflatable boat required the skipper to return to port even before the start to make a repair to a small puncture in the hull of his IMOCA Open 60 Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets. He was able to start early Sunday morning.

A race famous for attrition, the first casualty struck at 1745 hrs CET on Saturday when Marc Guillemot (FRA) reported that an incident 50 miles into the race caused his boat to suddenly heel over, and that he would return to port. Once in port, his shore team immediately found the keel had broken off under the waterline. Guillemot, who had finished third in the 2008-9 Vendee Globe, did not have a spare keel, becoming the race's first retiree.

"I still don't know at this time if I hit something or not," said Guillemot on Sunday. "If it was not a collision it might be a case of metal fatigue, a design thing or calculation thing it is hard to know. The keel had done between 23,000 and 25,000 miles. I left with confidence and no competitor would consider leaving without a lot of confidence in your keel."


Top 5 of 20 - Rankings as of Sunday 11 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)
1. Francois Gabart (FRA), Macif: 23598.9 nm Distance to Finish
2. Vincent Riou (FRA), PRB: 10.4 nm Distance to Lead
3. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA), Banque Populaire: 11.5 nm DTL
4. Bernard Stamm (SUI), Cheminees Poujoulat: 28.4 nm DTL
5. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac Paprec 3: 33.4 nm DTL
Full rankings:

TITANIUM: Apparently Marc Guillemot's Open 60 design was unique in one feature - it was the first Open 60 keel to be made of Titanium. While it is not known yet if this is why it broke, John Curtis of Wind Athletes Canada provides some insight into the history of canting keels and why this may have been a road not worth taking:

COMMERCIALIZATION: The IMOCA 60 class has signed over all their commercial rights to multimillionaire British businessman Sir Keith Mills and his newly established Open Sports. Fom next year on, Open Sports Management will take over the marketing and planning of a matrix of events designed to revive the declining class and boost its value to sponsors. "This need to be a lot more economically viable," says Mills. "What companies are looking for is consistency and payback and we need to find a way to make ocean racing more accessible." -- Yachting World, read on:

BACKGROUND: Twenty skippers will compete in the 7th edition of 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. In the 2008-9 edition, Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) smashed the race record by completing the race in 84 days. --

By Bruce Gain, Sailing World
I would not describe it as NBA-style trash talking, but some past and present Vendee Globe sailors have very opinionated ideas about who will most likely win the Everest of offshore solo races.

Most agree on the obvious conclusion that one of the more experienced sailors with a technologically advanced boat (and who is also very lucky) will be the first to arrive back to port at Les Sables d'Olonne after surviving the Vendee Globe's around-the-world route. The general assumption is also that only about half of the fleet will even finish the race. But there is a lot of debate about who the most talented sailors in the fleet are and which boats are both the fastest and the most able to withstand the extreme punishment of circumventing the globe non-stop.

Already, for several months, the French press has often touted two-time Barcelona World Race winner Jean Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec) as a likely favorite to win. While speaking with Dick a few days ago in Paris, Dick agreed that he stood a good chance of winning the race and also offered a short list of competitors who he said would probably win.

Besides himself, he said, his favorites to win are newcomer François Gabart (Macif), Vincent Riou (PRB), and Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire). These sailors are also sailing on the newest and lightest boats compared to the rest of the fleet. However, he emphasized that the sailors' seamanship skills will make the difference. "When you are in the middle of the ocean, some sailors' mental faculties may suffer, and as a result, the boat's technology and speed difference does not matter much when you can't take advantage of them," Dick told me.

The technical advantages of the newer boats are also not that significant, Dick said, which means other talented sailors sailing older but slightly less fast boats stand a chance of winning. These sailors include Marc Guillemot (Safran), Jean Le Cam (Synerciel) and Jeremie Beyou (Maître Coq), Dick said. -- Read on:

The rule change for 2013 (from Jan. 1 in northern hemi and June 1 for southern hemi) which most people will worry about is the addition of HUW (headsail upper 7/8 width) and removal of HHB (headsail top width). We would like to assure owners and sailmakers that in the majority of cases this will not mean measurement of existing sails or adverse effect on rating.

You can find the reasoning behind the rule change in the IRC Congress minute (link below). The salient points are:

* HHB will no longer be used, or need to be measured.
* For all new sails HUW will need to be measured, by an approved measurer if the certificate is Endorsed.

For revalidation, we do not want everyone to have to go out and get their existing headsail measured! A default HUW figure will be set as a percentage of HTW (the % may vary depending on the overlap of the headsail) based on analysis of actual sail data. The default figure for your boat will be printed on the revalidation form, and unless you think that the actual measurement is larger than this, you will not need to have your headsail measured.

It will generally only be non‐overlapping jibs that may have an HUW larger than the default %, and owners/sailmakers are likely to know when this will apply. Where the actual HUW is larger than default, then of course this must be declared.

"But, surely if my sail's HUW is smaller than the default, I will be paying for sail area I don't have?"

We have looked at the effect on TCC of variation in HUW, and the effect on TCC for a typical percentage smaller than default would be less than 0.0005, ie. less than half a point of rating. It is therefore considered that for existing sails the great majority of owners will NOT need to get their headsail measured, and will not be penalised for this.

"If the difference is so small, why are you bothering?"

Because the effect on TCC is dramatically magnified if in parallel with increasing HUW, LL is also shortened. That is the 'loophole' we are fixing.

Full report:

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* Long Beach, CA (November 11, 2012) - The top 36 singlehanded high school sailors from around the U.S. competed in the 2012 High School Singlehanded National Championship, competing in Laser Standard and Radial rigs. Mitchell Kiss, last year's Radial Fleet Championship winner, won the Laser Standard fleet with a margin of 23 points. He represents Black River High School in Holland, MI. Malcolm Lamphere of Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest, IL won the Radial division by 11 points. Ten races on Saturday were in 10-18 mph while Sunday had eight races in 5-8 mpg. Full report:

* Pensacola, FL (November 11, 2012) - Marcus and Andrew Eagan triumphed at the inaugural VX ONE North American Championship, with the Louisiana-based team beating out 15 others to earn the victory with 16 points over the nine races. They notched all top three tallies, after dropping an 8 in race 6. Sean Fidler and Hayden Bennett claimed second place (23 points), and Skip Dieball and Jeff Eiber placed third (28 points). Full report:

* San Diego, CA (November 11, 2012) - The 98th edition of the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup Regatta hosted ten California yacht club teams along with New York YC (Newport, RI) and Southern YC (New Orleans, LA). The round-robin J/105 format completed 11 races during the three day event, with winds in the teens to low twenties providing grueling short-course conditions inside San Diego Bay. After beginning the event with an 11th, Bob Little's California Yacht Club team of Doug McLean, Whit Batchelor, Dave Kurt, Ben Mitchell, and Drew Freides took the lead on the final day and held on for the title. Results:

* A federal judge Wednesday ordered that an Elmont, N.Y., boat owner can reclaim his 38-foot powerboat, tossed by Hurricane Sandy from its Lindenhurst, N.Y., dry dock into a nearby homeowner's swimming pool, despite the homeowner's objections, according to court papers. In apparently one of the first federal lawsuits growing out of the damage caused by the storm, Andres Medina and his insurance company said the storm's high winds lifted his boat from its dry dock at the Anchorage Yacht Club in Lindenhurst and flung it across the narrow waters of Neguntatogue Creek and into the pool. -- Soundings, read on:

* CLARIFICATION: We have learned that the photo attributed to Seaside Heights (in Scuttlebutt 3716, 'Helping Recovery Efforts'), is actually a photo of the Ortley Beach section of Toms River Township. The shorefront buildings would include the Surf Club and surrounding buildings.

Events listed at

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 Dan Meyers, Newport RI
And here we go again. Ben Ainslie wins his fifth Olympic medal. Then goes straight into the America's Cup World Series and right off the bat has a spectacular performance in the fleet racing, with virtually no multi-hull or fixed wing multi-hull experience. So winning the ISAF World Sailor of the Year is cause for congratulations, not condemnation.

Can't this sport, which historically has been the vocation and avocation of principled women and men get past the politics of envy? Past the ridiculous libel and slander and nonsense about in-laws and all manners of absurdity? Let's not forget that the young ones that are following in our wake are watching intently. Put your jealousy away; it's a bad look.

So to Ben, well done and fair winds in the future.

* From Fritz Mueller, Tufts '77:
I am so happy for Ken, and the legacy of Tufts sailing, that a new boathouse is finally in the works (Scuttlebutt 3716)! Mystic Lake in Winchester is really magical as a training venue, and yes, it is mystical! Having sailed there under coach Joe Duplin, it was amazing. This is a great step for Tufts sailing, and a "great on you!" for all supporters that could make it happen.

* From David Greening:
It greatly saddens me to read ISAF President Goran Pettersson's Address (in Scuttlebutt 3716). His report of the Olympics focuses on Ticket Sales, TV Production and how ISAF Race Officials "blended in with local organisers". Surely ISAF should be more competitor-focused?

Weymouth should and could have been a great Olympic venue; since the sixties it was proposed as the preferred UK venue, because it could run multiple big Olympic courses with good wind and even tide away from the shore. Instead, in order to satisfy spectators and TV companies, the most critical races took less than 30 minutes and were raced with the windward mark right under the Nothe!

This Mickey Mouse racing was borne out with some pretty flucky outcomes, particularly in the Star Class and in the Women's Match Racing. No self-respecting One Design National Championship organizer would permit racing in the conditions that ISAF has allowed the pinnacle of sailing to denigrate to.

* From Dave Hollom, Bradford, England:
Paul Elvstrom was indeed a great sailor but it is wrong to attribute the invention of the kicking strap or vang to him. As with many other innovations in both yacht design and equipment it was almost definitely first used in model racing yachts.

The first reference historians have come up with was in 1913 when Bill Daniels, a leading model yacht designer of the day, used it to control a particularly high and narrow sail. Examination of pictures of racing model yachts from the twenties and later clearly show kicking straps holding the boom down. They also show separate fins and rudders some 50 years before they were used on "Intrepid".

Nearer the present day, you will find that bulb keels became predominant on model racing yachts in the early sixties, some thirty years before they became de rigueur on full size yachts, and prognathous keels (T keels to you) were being experimented with in the late sixties and were in common use by the early seventies.

Of course, nothing is totally new for bulb keels with separate fin and rudder, as they were the flavour of the day in both model and full size boats designed to the rater rules at the turn of the last but one century.

Scuttlebutt provides a limited amount of text ad slots in each newsletter, and we are now taking ad reservations for 2013. Most of these ad slots will be booked by November 30, so if you are interested in advertising, contact us for details: 619-299-5678 or

I'm retired. I was tired yesterday, and I'm tired again today.

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