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SCUTTLEBUTT 3522 - Tuesday, February 7, 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: North U, Team One Newport, and J Boats.

There's a lot of talk about sexy new equipment and boats in the sport, but there's something pretty sexy about time-honored one design classes that deliver on both the local and national level. Since its launch in 1945, the Thistle is one of the most established classes in the U.S., and has succeeded in blending top teams with family campaigners.

The class held their MidWinters West Championship this past week in San Diego, CA, and with their 2012 Nationals to return on July 28 - Aug 3, a competitive 37-boat fleet got an early look at the venue. And just like Super Bowl XLVI, the final score wasn't known until time expired.

Here's a report from sailmaker Skip Dieball of Dieball Sailing:
---------------------------------------------------------------------- the stage is set. Mike Ingham's team (from North Sails) has a one point advantage and owned the tie-breaker, so we needed one boat between. We wanted to start in the same area, to stay in touch. We determined that at this point in the day, the wind would be going slightly to the left as it had the previous few days. This was a bit of a gamble as the right side had seemed to pay much of the day.

Our approach to the start was pretty much the same....port approach, taking into position and watching above and below for traffic. In this start, we were excited with how it was mapping out. No one immediately to windward and only a few to leeward, but enough room for everyone to get a good start. At the gun, we start next to Kevin Arrow's team (they were at the pin) and a few on our hip. The fleet tacks and when we tack to port, we are lifted and the entire fleet is in our window. Better yet, Mike's team appeared to have a tougher start and we had a handful of boats between up the first beat.

At the top mark, Mike Gillum's all-family team is ahead by A LOT! They made the right work, but they were the only team that could. We were very excited rounding 2nd and then watching Mike's team round 5 or 6 behind us. All week we had been quick downwind, so we cut into Mike G's lead and extended on the group behind. Mike I's team positioned for a right hand turn and caught a few boats, but had a bad take-down and ultimately lost a few boats as a result.

We sped away and slowly chiseled into Mike G's lead. We get to within 10 seconds of Mike G's team at the finish, but just can't jump them. They sailed great! We cross 2nd and Mike I's team is several back. Jeff and Abby (my crew) worked really hard all week and we were very proud of our performance and speed all week. Jeff hid a couple of beers on board for the ride in, which made it the trip in great.

Once in, we get congratulated and slowly pack the boat up for the day. Then the bomb drops. We were called OCS in the last race. We had no indication and we seriously had no reason to believe we were over. We consult with those around us and they confirm that we were clean and that there was no indication we were over, so we file for redress. -- Read on:

When American Paige Railey guides her Laser Radial around the Weymouth and Portland sailing venue at the London 2012 Olympic Games, she will look like a solo artist, a 25-year-old sailing star clad in the red, white and blue and maneuvering her craft toward a potential medal.

In fact, Railey is never alone on the water. Every time the Clearwater, Fla., native sails, she thinks of her late friend, Olivia Ceraolo, and the many other cancer-stricken children who face situations so much more severe than a shifting wind.

Olivia and Paige became friends as children when they met through sailing, a passion for both. Olivia's life came to a tragic end at the age of 16 after she lost a battle with bone cancer in 2004. However, her spirit persists through the indelible impression she left on Railey and so many more, particularly in those final months when her attitude was, Railey says, so much more positive than all of those around her.

"Olivia was an amazing person," Railey said. "She was incredibly strong and selfless and at her moment of being most sick, she was so strong for everybody else. She was helping everyone else. It was really teaching us the value of life and what it means to be healthy and how important it is to help other people.

"The fact that I'm sailing with her name on my boat and a part of her is still being remembered by other people, it's like she's still living in all of our hearts." -- Read on:

The North U Seminar Tour is on the road, and the first twenty to register at each location get a Free North U Long Sleeve T along with the full day seminar and Seminar Disc that is included with the course! Or sit home, and attend an on-line Webinar. Topics range from Racing Trim, Cruising, and Weather to Performance Software. Seminars in over 30 cities, and Webinars streaming to your desktop! Crew, Student and US Sailing member discounts. Learn More. Visit

The RS:X class was launched as a result of a successful bid by NeilPryde Windsurfing to supply one design windsurfing equipment for the 2008 Olympic Games in China. The equipment was renewed for the 2012 Games, but the future beyond this summer is less certain.

After the ISAF Council selected that the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition would continue to have a board event, they agreed to host an evaluation event to determine the viability of kiteboarding as the equipment. This evaluation event will be held in Santander, Spain this March 21-25 where both kite equipment and various race formats will be considered (Details:

But now NeilPryde Windsurfing has announced sponsorship of a prize fund of US$45,000 to be awarded to the top 10 men and top 10 women in the final results of the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships, which will take place in Cadiz, Spain this March 20-29.

"This is an important first step in our ambitions to ensure that prize money becomes the norm at major Olympic Windsurfing events in the future." said Mike Dempsey [GBR] RS:X Class President. "NeilPryde not only provide exemplary support for Olympic sailing in terms of equipment but also go the extra mile, too. Something no other brand does in such style."

Mr. Neil Pryde commented: "I have been amazed and tremendously impressed by the level of dedication that RS:X sailors have shown in their preparation and training for competitions and I felt that in today's world of professional sport, we should recognise the sacrifice made and open up the possibility for athletes to be rewarded with prize money in their quest for Gold at the London Olympics."

And perhaps too, Mr. Pryde might be seeking support from the sailors for his RS:X windsurfer to be the chosen equipment at the 2016 Games. "It is my view that Kitesurfing has not yet developed the rules of competition and disciplines that must be demonstrated to qualify Kitesurfing as an Olympic Event," said Pryde.


Sanya, China (February 6, 2012) - Shore teams are launching major operations to optimise and overhaul their yachts after surveying the damage caused by racing through some of the world's most hazardous waters. Having crashed into trees, snagged fishing nets and even impaled nails head first, the six Volvo Open 70s each have extensive work lists.

Fortunately for the shore crews the Sanya stopover affords one of the longest periods of time for work and, more importantly, time for improvements. "In the last two or three races this would have been considered a short stopover," said Telefonica's Stew Gray. "But with shorter stopovers this race, this is now quite a long time, but we'll still be working flat out until the day of the start."

At PUMA Ocean Racing Powered by BERG's site the Volvo's "oldest nipper" shore crew member Murray McDonnell, 61, has been busy repairing the team's keel and dagger boards which were damaged by a tree and net in Malacca Strait.

Surprisingly, the steel keel has sustained more damage than the carbon dagger boards explained McDonnell. The front edge of the keel's fin has three gauges out of it, likely caused by a rope or cable on a fishing net. "We've got to clean it out, grind it down, put on some undercoat anti-rust primer, then some epoxy putty and paint,'' he said.

Full story:

SCHEDULE: The Sanya In-Port race is on February 18 and Leg 4 from Sanya, China to Auckland, NZL begins on February 19:

Overall leaderboard after Leg 3
1. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 6-1-1-1-5-1, 95 pts
2. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 3-2-2-2-3-3, 80 pts
3. Groupama (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 5-3-5-4-2-2, 71 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 2-DNF-3-3-4-4, 48 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1-DNF-4-5-1-5, 39 pts
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), 4-DNF-6-6-DNS-6, 16 pts

Video reports:

BROADCAST: Here is the television schedule for the U.S. in February:

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 sailing Volvo Open 70s 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. -

American Brad Van Liew, who won the solo 2010-11 VELUX 5 Oceans race on his Open 60 Le Pingouin, is amongst an eight man crew onboard a Volvo Open 70 to establish a monohull reference time for this distance from Cadiz (Spain) to San Salvador (Bahamas). Here he reports:
We departed Cadiz, Spain aboard Maserati with a great weather window for our first record (on Feb. 2). I say first record because in this case we are setting a benchmark monohull record for what is known as the Discovery Route, or more commonly understood as Columbus's route to the Americas. With the benchmark as our goal, we want to lay down a serious time to beat for a couple of reasons.

First, we want to set a mark for our abilities and that of the boat. Second, we need to push hard and train together as a crew aboard Maserati in preparation for the other records on the horizon. An added bonus is that we want this record to stick for a while and hopefully stand up to the test as other boats and crews take a whack at it. The good news is that we have knocked off roughly 1200 miles in three days which is a pretty good (and wet) clip. The modifications made to the Volvo 70 (previously Ericsson III) to turn her into Maserati seem to be working out great and she is quite capable. -- Read on:

These boats win the award for the best dressed crews at Quantum's Key West Race Week 2012: Arethusa, Dark N'Stormy, Esmerelda, Kalevala II, Mojo, Powerplay, Robertissima, Samba Pa Ti, Shockwave, Swing, Bella Mente, Vesper, Vitesse, & Wicked 2.0. Do you want to get recognized at the next regatta? Let Team One Newport's experts dress your team in the best gear available. Many thanks to the teams that did just that and have won this prestigious award. Need a new logo? Our art department is the best in the business! or 800-VIP-GEAR (401-847-4327). World Renowned Service, Selection & Expertise since 1985. --

* A Celebration of Life is planned for yachting journalist Rob Moore for February 12th from 2 to 5 pm at Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, CA. Rob died Jan. 6, 2012 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Details:

* Sandusky Sailing Club in Sandusky, Ohio has been selected to host the 2012 United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) National Championship regatta. The event, scheduled for July 22-29, will include hundreds of young sailors from all over North America. The 2012 Opti Nationals will feature a three-day Team Racing event and a one-day Girls Championship, followed by the four-day Open Championship. Details:

* With its ability to attract moisture and clog fuel filters, it's no wonder America's boaters have not been thrilled with ethanol in gasoline. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) suggests that butanol, an alcohol with a characteristic banana-like odor typically made from corn and beet byproducts, may be an answer. -- Full story:

Who was the first winner of the U.S. Rolex Yachtsman or Yachtswoman of the Year Award to have also won the U.S. Youth Championship? (Answer below)

The Scuttlebutt Classified Ads provide a marketplace for private parties to buy and sell, or for businesses to post job openings. Here are recent ads:

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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 Gary Bruner, Portland, OR:
Quite a story on the companies being fined 1.2 million for dumping trash in the oceans (in Scuttlebutt 3521). Couple that with the sunglasses ad that claims they help avoid trash in the water. It's for these reasons and more that we need 'regulations', folks, even though they may be nasty annoyances to businesses. When people start to live by the Golden Rule, then talk to me about those terrible regulations. It's unfortunate, and sometimes a pain, but we need them.

* From William H Gammell:
I would think it best that the people who are so outraged over the Volvo's interactions with the local fishing population to take a step back and think about what they are saying. Yes the VO70s have gotten caught in a net or two, yes they may have destroyed them. It is not in the best interest of the racers to do so and I believe that they try as hard as they can to avoid these nets.

When a tradesman makes no attempt to protect his tools, in this case a lack of any lighting or proper flags, then whose fault is it when the tools are damaged? Furthermore we hear about these limited incidents due to the self reporting from the MCMs onboard. How many commercial freighters ply this 'busiest waterway in the world' and pay little heed to how many nets they run over.

This matter has been blown completely out of proportion and a little perspective can go a long way. Who knows, some people may look at it as a good thing; I am sure the fish are happy that there is one less drift net catching everything in its path.

COMMENT: I have wondered about this too. Perhaps there is a shipping channel that the fishermen avoid, and perhaps the VO70s avoided it too, which then created the conflict. And perhaps the flags used, though small, are well understood by the locals. However, like William said, clearly the racers need to be doing more to avoid these problems if this route is to be repeated for the next race. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Scott Truesdell:
In Scuttlebutt 3521, Damian Christie said, "It's a national disgrace that the crop of Australians working for Oracle may never sail for Australia in the America's Cup."

The inverse is equally true: "It is a national disgrace that the American team is staffed by people from other countries." Is our talent pool really that low? I miss the days when nationalism was part of the game.

* From Robert Bausch:
I really enjoyed the article "Living in a Vacuum" on the 1987 America's Cup, "The Cup Down Under", in Scuttlebutt 3520, and it brought back memories from those days.

Our 14 year old son Geoffrey had passed away in August 1986 from cancer, and the Cup was a tremendous way for me to focus on something else. Being on the West coast, I had to stay up, and I did!

I recorded a bunch of the Louis Vuitton Challenger races, and all of the Cup races. Unfortunately, they were all on Sony BETA tapes, and while I still have the tapes and equipment, and can hook it up again, it resides in the garage, and I am not likely to. But I remember.

The way ESPN presented the racing back then surely must still be a model for how to do this right. And the narration by Gary Jobson and Jim Kelly was perfect. I hope I can get the retrospective on ESPN Classic this Saturday.

I must say, for myself, the new "yachts" of the AC45, AC72 or whatever, just don't look like yachts, and don't have the same beauty and presence as a 12 meter. Speed is not everything, but it seems to have everyone in its grip these days.

UPDATE: If you missed the 1987 America's Cup Retrospective on ESPN Classic, Scuttlebutt has learned it will be available soon on DVD. Updates to follow.

The first winner of the U.S. Rolex Yachtsman or Yachtswoman of the Year Award to have also won the U.S. Youth Championship is Bill Hardesty, who was named as the 2011 recipient of the Rolex award. Bill was a three time winner at the U.S. Youth Championship (originating in 1973), taking the doublehanded division in 1992 with John Meade crewing, and then winning the singlehanded division in 1933 and 1994. Bill was also recognized as the College Sailor of the Year in 1998. Bill attended the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The J/80 Class kicked off its 2012 Winter Tour with a big fleet at Key West (up 20% over 2011), and is now headed to Miami for three events, then Charleston Race Week. Whether you're a snowbird or just looking to enjoy great racing close to home, check out the J/80!

"Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him?" - Calvin and Hobbes

JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Kaenon Polarized - North U - Team One Newport
J Boats - APS - North Sails - Power Plug-In - Ullman Sails
Point Loma Outfitting - New York Yacht Club

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