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SCUTTLEBUTT 3555 - Monday, March 26, 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: Dieball Sailing, Camet, and NYYC.

By C.W. Nevius, SF Chronicle
The America's Cup came to San Francisco with a trumpet fanfare and soaring

The Embarcadero waterfront would be transformed and finally developed. Up
to 10 sailing teams would skim across the bay for the right to challenge
for the Cup. Hundreds of thousands of people would attend an event that
would create jobs, stimulate the local economy, and cost the city virtually

OK, that was fun. Now here's the reality.

The waterfront will get a bit of a sprucing up, and the black hole known as
Piers 30-32 will be shored up to extend their useful life another 15 to 20
years. There will be more like five sailing teams. And not only is the Cup
not yet generating thousands of jobs, the America's Cup Event Authority is
cutting staff to save money. And frankly, we're not sure how many
spectators will show up, but the current thinking is to revise the numbers

Stephen Barclay, interim CEO of the event authority, says 28 employees were
laid off Friday, but that only makes sense as we transition to America's
Cup Lite.

"We now know the deal," he said. "It means we have a reduced footprint and
we will pay more but earn less. It therefore gives us the opportunity to
organize ourselves accordingly."

Quite frankly, that's just fine.

This may be a downsize from the original extravaganza, but it will still be
an awesome event in the perfect spot. I continue to think that even people
who don't know a spinnaker from an anchor will find these races
unexpectedly compelling. It will be a showcase for the city and the bay,
and I will be extremely surprised if it isn't a killer event.

There will be inevitable doomsayers as the expectations are downsized, but
other than learning a good lesson about promising too much too soon, I
don't see this as a problem. -- Read on:

Staffing announcement:

COMMENT: I don't see it as a problem either. And better yet, the organizers
are now embracing their immediate audience - sailing enthusiasts - rather
than stepping over them. What is most important now for Oracle Racing is to
re-boot with realistic event goals, and then focus on defending. Everything
from this point forward must be achievable. Especially defending. - Craig
Leweck, Scuttlebutt

Being a Sailmaker in the Midwest, we are often asked if we are getting
busy. The warm spring has everyone jumping early on the season and we are
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and services to help make sailing easier. That is what we do and how it
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season is here!!

St. Thomas, USVI (March 25, 2012) - It came down to the wire on the last
day for winners in three of six classes at the International Rolex Regatta,
which began Friday and hosted 68 boats and over 500 sailors representing
the U.S., Great Britain, Puerto Rico, Canada, The Netherlands, Russia,
Italy, Sweden, Monaco and multiple Caribbean islands. The event, in its
39th year and hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club in the USVI, is the oldest
regatta in Rolex's portfolio of global sailing events, and is considered
the "Crown Jewel" of Caribbean regattas.

Today's tactically demanding Pillsbury Sound races, with courses that wound
through the cays of St. Thomas and St. John, decided winners in one IRC and
three CSA classes as well as a Beach Cat class, while one-design IC 24s
completed six short-course races in Jersey Bay to determine that class's
victor. The races were sailed in picture-perfect conditions, which included
plenty of sunshine and 15-knot breezes, which made the overcast skies and
intermittent rain showers that prevailed over the last two days but a
distant memory.

Peter Cunningham's (George Town, CAY) 52-foot PowerPlay took overall
victory in IRC, where nine boats were competing, and won a Rolex Oyster
Perpetual Submariner Chronometer as a prize for its excellent performance.
The team's main competition was Willem Wester's (Breskens, Zeeland, NED)
Grand Soleil 46 Antilope (steered by Belgian Olympian Philippe Bergmans)
and Ashley Wolfe's (Alberta, Canada) IRC 52 Mayhem, which finished second
and third, respectively. -- Read on:



(March 25, 2012; Day 8) - After Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 leader Team Sanya
was forced on Thursday to return to New Zealand after their starboard
rudder bearing snapped, it was soon Camper that took over the position...
but with reservation. Said skipper Chris Nicholson, "I don't feel
comfortable talking about being in the lead right now because one slight
problem it will evaporate in no time."

And sure enough, on Saturday Camper reported that bow damage had been
sustained after falling heavily off a wave and delaminating a forward
structural beam. Plan A was to pull the hand break and start on repairs,
but a day later Nicholson said that the team would divert to Puerto Montt
on the west coast of Chile to repair bow damage.

"We are running out of spare materials to effect repairs at sea and the
repairs are struggling to be effective so we had to slow the boat down
immediately and assess the situation," said Nicholson. "We estimate it will
be three days of repairs and then we will be on our way to Itajai. So we
will suspend racing once we get closer to Puerto Montt, do our repairs and
get back in the race."

At the front of the fleet are the three Juan K boats, and for the third
edition of the race, this design is proving most suitable in the hard
running conditions. In short, the Juan K bow lifts up better than the
others. But even on leader Groupama, there is no calm on even the best
designed boat.

"The closer we get to South America, generally speaking, the more difficult
and confused the conditions can get,'' Groupama helmsman/trimmer Damian
Foxall said. "Once we get to Cape Horn everyone will breathe a mental sigh
of relief, but then you have to go up wind for another couple of thousand
miles and there's some heavy reaching, so there's an awful lot of banging
and smashing yet."

While the wind had calmed from gusting in excess of 60 knots to the high
twenties, Foxall said there was still an unmistakable sense of Southern
Ocean sailing on board. "We're not that far south, but you certainly feel
the cold,'' he said. "We had snow and a mix of hail yesterday in a
thunderstorm. A bit of snow on deck always gives you the ambience of the

Abu Dhabi is fighting to get back into the race after being forced to
return to Auckland just five and a half hours into the race to repair a
bulkhead in the bow which secures the heavy weather J4 headsail that had
ripped clean out. But for skipper Ian Walker, his men lie becalmed in the
'roaring forties'. "We cannot help but look at the position and wind
reports of the boats ahead to even wonder if we aren't in the best place,"
mused the skipper. -- Event media

Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Sunday, 25 March 2012, 22:04:32 UTC
1. Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), 3867.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 45.5 nm Distance to Lead
3. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 164.7 nm DTL
4. CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), 384.1 nm DTL
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), 1081.1 DTL
6. Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Suspended racing

Video reports:

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. -

It may have been the sea gods of the Southern Ocean that first said, "If it
was easy, anybody could do it." For the Volvo Ocean Race fleet now
traversing this stretch of water, nothing has been easy. Here are reports
from onboard Puma...

Ken Read, skipper:
"This is the leg that just keeps on giving. First a storm right out of the
gates. Now, relentless wind pressure is bringing cold but still not frigid
winds from the South. The waves are both impressive and intimidating in
this part of this world. The massive swells are...who knows...30, 40, 50
feet tall. Ask anyone on any of the boats and I am sure you would find a
different but still very large number. It's the waves within the waves that
get you. They seem to go every which way. Oh, and the fact that we are
about as far away from land as you can get. Also, it is blowing between
30-50 knots the last few days. Sound like fun?"

Amory Ross, media crew:
"I don't know how it happened, but on a boat laden with fancy doodads,
gizmos, and thingamabobs, somebody forgot to put on a thermometer.
Consequently, the only way to tangibly see the temperature is through the
rigidity of our chocolate. The current batch of 11 Mars bars - one for each
of us - is frozen solid, so it must be cold (this, in stark contrast to the
last two legs, where chocolate was more or less liquefied in high heat),
and we can now all see our breath in the air. The water temperature is
showing 11-degrees Celsius (that's 50-degrees Fahrenheit), and I'd put the
air below that, maybe around 40? 35? Doing the dishes is chillingly
painful, and it takes a ton of soap just to get anything off the
silverware. Today I saw Ryan come down, light a burner, and hold his
glove-covered hands over it for a minute or two."

Puma video:

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If you're an ambitious sailor who wants to make it big in match racing, you
couldn't find a better place to start than Long Beach.

It's worked for several of the competitors in the Long Beach Yacht Club's
48th Congressional Cup running Tuesday through Saturday, including past
winners Ian Williams of the UK (now ranked No. 1 in the world), Johnie
Berntsson of Sweden and four-time winner Gavin Brady of New Zealand and
Annapolis, Md. All built successful professional careers on the foundation
of the game's granddaddy event.

Simone Ferrarese plans to follow that path. The young Italian was a
23-year-old unknown until he wangled an invitation to last year's Ficker
Cup qualifying event and won his way into the Congressional Cup, where he
finished an impressive sixth in the 10-team field.

From there he jumped onto the World Match Racing Tour, where he has raised
his world ranking to 17 with a steady stream of successes in Grade 1 and 2
events---good enough to secure a Tour Card for automatic entry on this
season's Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Ferrarese, Williams, Berntsson
(No. 7) and Laurie Jury of New Zealand (No. 11) are among only nine WMRT
card holders with automatic entry to the series' 2012 events.

Others competing here are Staffan Lindberg, Finland (14); Eric Monnin,
Switzerland, (15); Will Tiller, New Zealand (19), and Taylor Canfield, U.S.
Virgin Islands (27).

Ferrarese can almost make a decent living at it now---and is well aware
that this $60,000 purse, with $15,000 to the winner, would help. -- Read

In Scuttlebutt 3456, Chris Luppens asked why there was a great lack of
scoring programs and other useful apps for iPads and Androids. Not sure
ourselves, we gave a shout out to see what scoring programs can work on the
iOS and Android platforms. The information is now posted on the Forum...
here are some of the info:

* Simon: "SailRacer has developed a tablet based scoring app. This has been
successfully used by the Extreme Sailing Series (ESS), where finishing
positions are quickly recorded by simply clicking on the appropriate team
image. These are automatically published to various web pages, including
progressive analysis and direct push to Social Media such as Twitter. In
this fast and furious environment, the speed of operation and results
publication has bought many benefits."

* Claude Nix: "At the end of this month, I'll be launching a product called
JibeSet that seeks to greatly improve the racing experience for everyone
involved. It provides a streamlined set of tools for Race Committees to
more efficiently manage their events and engage their competitors. For
racers and crews, it provides a social experience that has been absent from
the racing world thus far. Here's a short list of features..."

* Mike Ludtke: "Regarding scoring programs for your smart phone, I couldn't
find any general apps, so I wrote my own. It's pretty simple and my first
javascript. Since it's web based, it works on the iPhone and Android."

* Hugh Elliot: "One useful app for Android, iOS and Windows phone would be
for those of us who have to take finishes for handicap (PHRF, IRC etc.)
Classes. The line sighter needs three eyes for this: one to look at the
watch, one to look at the bow of the boat and one to look for the
[frequently lengthy] sail number. The essential feature of the app would be
the ability to tap the screen for each finisher and generate a list of
finish times that could be downloaded and matched up with the one design
style order of finish."

Full report:

Events listed at

* Miami, FL (March 25, 2012) - Thirty-seven teams competed in the 2012
Etchells U.S. National Championship, hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club. After
gaining a Z flag penalty in the first race, Jeffrey Siegal and his team of
Jeff Madrigali, William Van Waay, and Sarah Callahan took the lead by
mid-regatta and remained in control through the eight race series. Second
overall was James McHugh/ Andy Beadsworth/ Pete McCormick with Dirk
Kneulman/ Anatole Masfen/ Phillip Carlson in third. -- Photos and results:

* Long Beach, CA (March 24, 2012) - Local Dustin Durant won his way into
this coming week's 48th Congressional Cup with a victory in Long Beach
Yacht Club's Ficker Cup. The 24-year-old LBYC member succeeded today in
dispatching his nearest rival, Nevin Snow, 18, of San Diego by sweeping the
day 3-0 and finishing with 12 wins and 2 losses in the three-day, double
round robin. Snow ended 11-3. Durant's crew included tactician Scott
Dickson, Brandon Folkman, trimmer; Shane Young, main trimmer and pit; Max
Moosman, downwind trimmer; Ben Wheatley, bow. Andy Witham subbed Saturday
for Young, who was unavailable. -- Full story:

* (March 25, 2012) - The International Lightning Class Association's Boat
Grant program begins its 6th season by announcing the 2012 grant
recipients. The successful applicants are Tyler Braun (24) and his team of
Jerrett Scherrer and Dustin Stauffer are from Lancaster, PA and James
Simmons (22) of South Dartmouth, MA and his team of Caroline Hall of Brick,
NJ and Jeremy Henry of Groton, MA of the University of Rhode Island's
varsity sailing team. -- Full report:

The 158th edition of the NYYC Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, to be held
June 8-10 in Newport, RI, has something exciting to offer all levels of
interest.Classic yachts to sport boats, novice racers to Grand Prix
sailors.competitors will have a unique racing experience on the beautiful,
historic waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, combined with
spectacular social events at the Club's Harbour Court clubhouse. Four
separate race circles are planned, including "Navigator" races for PHRF and
IRC-NS. The NOR and Entry Form are now posted at Open to all qualified
boats. For more information:

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 Frank Pong:
Anyone who had done even a little bit of offshore sailing would appreciate
the way the Volvo Open 70 crew getting completely soaked and buffeted,
causing the crew to succumb to fatigue much more so than the rough seas and
strong winds.

Rather than passively building a pilothouse, it would be better to shape
the boats to be less susceptible to get so wet, and we are not talking
about the occasional waves splashing the people sitting on the windward
rail, but 2 to 3 cubic meters of water burying the whole length of the

It may appear to be good exciting stuff on videos, but it is wrong. As a
spectator, I feel it is irresponsible of people behind the scene and ashore
to allow this to happen. Boats meant to be raced hard in rough seas and
cold weather should be made to protect the crew from this kind of constant

COMMENT: If you haven't seen how a VO70 and crew can get fully pancaked by
the ocean, this video may leave you hugging your pillow:

* From Peter O. Allen, Sr., Rochester, New York:
Living on Lake Ontario, we know that we will always have to travel to see
any America's Cup action, even when it's in the United States. Thus I
eagerly follow the machinations of the City Council of San Francisco, as
they consider accommodations for spectators to the impending AC-related

It appears that the City will get its act together and by pressing on, will
complete improvements to their waterfront in anticipation of the America's
Cup. I expect the completion of those improvements to come about by the end
2015, as most members of that City's legislature appear to have little or
no understanding of (or concern for) the needs and deadlines of other
bodies. Unfortunately, that's pretty typical of government.

Thanks for sharing the interview with John Kostecki in yesterday's issue
(Scuttlebutt 3553).

"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm
beginning to believe it." - Clarence Darrow

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