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SCUTTLEBUTT 3530 - Friday, February 17, 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: The Pirates Lair and Melges Performance Sailboats.

By James Keane, Sailing World
When I was watching "Sesame Street" as a member of the program's target demographic back in the '70s, one of the central messages I took from Grover, Gordon, et al. was "Don't Litter." Now, when I watch "Sesame Street" with my kids, I notice that recycling has replaced littering as the primary emphasis for proper waste disposal. The good folks at the Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children's Television Workshop) are well aware that kids have the power to lead cultural change.

Many of the sailors I know hold the "greenness" of our sport as a sort of moral superiority. In the Tartan Ten class, we brag about our ability to go an entire summer on one tank of diesel, in stark opposition to the unsophisticated, powerboat masses whose wakes we curse. Most of us wouldn't dare throw a beer can in the trash at home; they go in the recycling bin. But in my experience, we don't do a lot of recycling on raceboats, and we seem to make a moral exception for the fossil fuels our coaching and support boats consume.

As I've become involved with planning the 2012 United States Optimist Dinghy Association National Championship, which starts July 22 in Sandusky, Ohio, I've noticed that the Opti kids are leading a cultural change in our sport. For last summer's Opti Nationals in Houston, the class outlawed disposable water bottles. [The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association has done the same. -Ed.] Organizers provided reusable bottles for every competitor and used a device known as the WaterMonster to refill them. They deployed recycling containers around the venue, as well.

For this year's event, Sandusky Sailing Club is partnering with Sailors for the Sea and registering as a Clean Regatta. Beyond the water-bottle initiative, organizers have taken steps to reduce the impact of the gas-guzzling spectator fleet.

"The idea of a grandstand barge started as a joke," says regatta chairman Mike Austin. "But then we looked at the possibilities and said, 'Wow, that would be a first.' Before we knew it, the plan was in the works. From this came the idea of using two retired World War Two landing craft that have been moored unused at a local dock for several years. -- Read on:

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Antigua Yacht Club, the RORC Caribbean 600 is establishing itself as one of the 'must do' offshore yacht races of the international racing calendar. Now in its fourth year, the start on February 20th will see 40 entries taking on a course that weaves through 11 Caribbean islands.

After a highly successful inshore regatta at Key West, winning eight straight races, Niklas Zennstrom's JV 72 Ran will be among the field. On arrival in Antigua, the shore crew began preparing for the race, with a focus on food included. Shore team manager, Brendan Darrer, who also does the pit and the cooking onboard Ran, explains.

"I don't generally suffer from sea sickness and with 21 crew there are a lot of mouths to feed, we will be taking over 60 meals, which would add up to a mountain of food and weight but all of Ran's meals are freeze dried. An onboard desalination unit provides water and the galley has been specially designed to make feeding time as efficient and easy as possible. The galley consists of two kettles and a purpose built serving pan - in goes the freeze-dried followed by the hot water and meal for 21 is ready to go. We have a water tank, which is always kept fully topped up, as each crew will need between 3 to 4 litres of water a day.

"We back that up with some snacks and power gels, the bow crew and the grinders will need a lot of calories during this race. Sail changes take a lot of effort and Ran has no electric winches on board, all of the hydraulic power is generated by manpower at the pedestals, the only reason we run our engines is to charge the batteries. Some people may perceive the RORC Caribbean 600 as being an easier race than say the Rolex Fastnet. Sure, offshore in the Caribbean is a heavenly experience but the heat can have a big effect on the crew's performance, we are expecting a tough race."

Troy Kennedy is the man in charge of the Ran workshop, Ran travels with two 40' containers and one is fully fitted out as a workshop, complete with lathes and an Aladdin's cave of power tools and spares. -- Read on:

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We've been tracking man-overboard beacons, flags, and lights for more than 30 years now, most recently with a series of tests of electronic beacons that allow crew to "self-rescue" overboard crew members. One of the biggest shortcomings of many of these electronic devices was the inability to track people in the water.

Most of the more modestly priced beacons acted simply as alarms telling the crew that someone had fallen overboard. If you wanted to try to use any kind of electronic tracking system to relocate lost crew, the gear became more complicated and prices skyrocketed.

This is about to change as the relatively inexpensive technology behind the Automated Identification System (AIS) and Digital Selective Calling (DSC) are going to be officially incorporated into man-overboard tracking. This has been in the works for a long time, but because of the red tape involved, progress has been slow.

However, this month, we got news that the U.S.-based Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) has just completed a new standard for Man Overboard (MOB) beacons using Digital Selective Calling and/or the Automatic Identification System. Although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hasn't yet give its OK, the FCC generally abides by the RTCM's recommendations. -- Practical Sailor, read on:

Fierce conditions and the potential for more breakages will be on the minds of all six Volvo Ocean Race teams as they gear up for a return to competitive action with the Sanya Haitang Bay In-Port Race on February 18 and the start of Leg 4 to Auckland, New Zealand the next day.

Saturday's in-port starts at 1400 local time (Fri. 1000 PST) with near perfect winds and flat seas forecast for the 60 minute inshore course.

The predicted conditions for Sunday's Leg 4 start at 1400 local time (Sat. 1000 PST) are in stark contrast with fierce monsoon winds kicking up a punishing sea state likely to give the fleet its toughest test to date as they funnel their way between Taiwan and the Philippine island of Luzon on the way to New Zealand.

Both the In-Port Race and Leg 4 start can be watched live online:

Race leaders Team Telefonica opted to miss Thursday's practice race to swap out their rigging after a routine check revealed a problem. The Spanish team's decision ultimately cost them little in lost training time when light winds forced the abandonment of the practice race.

Telefonica skipper Iker Martinez said the team were being cautious because of the forecast of strong winds and the fact that two boats lost their masts during Leg 1.

"We want to be super safe," he said. "We found something that we didn't like much so we've decided to replace the rigging for the next leg, and we have a spare rig here that we've used already and we're very confident with."

Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante is forecasting a monsoon to develop to the north of Taiwan resulting in north easterly winds of between 35 and 40 knots across the South China Sea over the weekend.

Infante says Sanya Bay's protection from the north east monsoon by mountains should mean conditions for the in-port race will be perfect with moderate winds and flat seas. Offshore it will be a very different story when the fleet sets off for Auckland the following day, potentially requiring the teams to resort to survival techniques to protect their boats from the huge waves.

"Now only a very small area in the centre of the South China Sea is affected by big waves - from six to eight metres," he said. "However, as we get closer to the start date, the affected area will grow until by Saturday the whole South China Sea will be affected by this sea state." -- Read on:


FLASHBACK: John Kostecki and German backed entry Illbruck Challenge won the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02, defeating a field that included skippers Knut Frostad, Grant Dalton, Gunnar Krantz, Jez Fanstone, Neal McDonald, Roy Heiner, Ross Field and Lisa McDonald. Here is the official race video:

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. -

The Extreme Sailing Season is entering its sixth season, with this year's eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and South America. The platform used is the one design Extreme 40 catamaran, with the format including both ocean and 'stadium' short-course racing in front of the public.

Interest in the ESS has grown in part due to the multihull format planned for the 34th America's Cup in 2013. And now with less than two weeks to go until the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, Oman (Feb 25-Mar 2), the Act 1 team line-ups have been confirmed, revealing a stellar cast of top professional sailors.

Key Crew Stats:
21 Olympians
4 Gold Medalists + 1 Silver
50 Trans-Atlantics
36 America's Cup campaigns
47 World Championships
28 European Championships
11 records
7 round the world circumnavigations

Some of the familiar names on the circuit this year are Loick Peyron (FRA), Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), Ian Williams (GBR), Mark Ivey (USA), Morgan Larson (USA), Charlie Ogletree (USA), Max Bulger (USA), Roman Hagara (AUT), and Pierre Pennec (FRA).

Seven of the teams on the start line in Muscat are returning teams - Alinghi, Oman Air, The Wave Muscat, Red Bull Sailing Team, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, ZouLou and GAC Pindar have competed in one or more seasons already.

"It is a very positive indication of the sporting integrity and commercial value of the circuit to see so many of the highly competitive and high-profile teams sign-up again for 2012," said Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC ThirdPole, the organising company and creators of the Extreme Sailing Series. --

COMMENT: It is interesting to note how the ESS has blazed the trail that the America's Cup is now riding on. I spoke with Mark Turner about this... look for his comments next week. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

Hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club and presented by Melges USA in Miami, Florida, the 29er XX and 29er fleets reveled in the warm winter weather. Congratulations to Kiwis Alex Malony and Molly Meech as these two aspiring lady sailors won the 2012 Seiko Winter Challenge on two levels this past weekend - 29er XX overall and womens team division. In the super competitive and youthful 29er division, Lauderdale Yacht Club's Christopher Williford and Kai Friesecke took home the top prize after delivering an impressive stretch of first place finishes. Melges Performance Sailboats, licensed builder for North America. Learn more here:

* (February 16, 2012) - The final version of the America's Cup Event Authority's (ACEA) Sustainability Plan published today, all 51 pages. It's just one of the eleven implementation plans that are part of the Host City Agreement with the City and County of San Francisco. Like most everything else AC34, it's aggressive but one that looks certain to leave a positive legacy for San Francisco, as well as for sporting events in general. -- SailBlast, read on:

* Enthusiastic sailors and boaters around the San Francisco Bay Area have finally been able to get their feet - and more - wet with the America's Cup, as a group of yacht club volunteers take on specific training that will certify them to become on-water volunteer marshals for the 2012-2013 events. This weekend is the second training course for Cup volunteers from Bay Area yacht clubs to take a US Sailing safe power boat handling course and get recognized by the US Coast Guard and certified by NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators), a license that volunteers maybe required to have to marshal on the water for AC34 events. -- SailBlast, read on:

* Maclaren the pre-eminent lifestyle brand for parenting, is now the exclusive global sponsor for LaserPerformance athletes, events and products from 2012 to 2016. Maclaren, which is part of the same business group as LaserPerformance, will accept applications on a rolling basis with a 90-day processing time. Sponsorship funding will support boat purchase or charter, fleet finance, entertainment services, logistical support and press and media support. -- Details:

We hope you will 'like' and 'follow' Scuttlebutt on Facebook and Twitter. To reciprocate we are emptying the Scuttlebutt store of the remaining adult medium 'Scuttlebutt University' t-shirts and sweatshirts this Friday. For free. A notice will be posted Friday at 11am PST on Facebook and Twitter. Must respond to the notice to qualify.


Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt include riding the pulpit, dirty jobs, popular name, under a cloak of darkness, bow guys, artistry on ice, kiting, classic, and really classic. Here are this week's photos:

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

The World Ice and Snow Sailing Championship 2012 will run from February 20-26 in St. Ignace, Michigan, USA. What is this? This year's event WISSA is the ONLY world event where wings, kites and sails all compete together on snow or ice, slalom and course. This event, which is the oldest event its type, is being hosted in the USA for the first time in over 17 years!

The World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA) event is the longest running international competition in the history of windsurfing. It's also the most prestigious winter sailing event in the world. Held every year since 1980, the event location alternates annually between Europe and North America. This year it will be held in the 3rd oldest city in the U.S., St. Ignace, MI which was established in 1671.

This video provides a brief tease for what happens when you combine kites and skiis...

* This week on Episode 26 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we're in Auckland where Luna Rossa Challenge and Emirates Team New Zealand went head to head for the first time. We have reactions to the testing sessions for the wing extensions, designed to increase the speed of the AC45s in lighter breeze. Then, we in San Francisco to uncover Save the Bay - partner of the America's Cup Healthy Ocean Project. Plus crew news among the teams. Tune in on Saturday February 18 approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:

* In this week's Feb 17, Week 6 "World on Water" we look at the Tour of Arabia race which started in Bahrain and finishes in Qatar, RC44 Puerto Calero Cup in Lanzarote, the President's Trophy 18 Footers on Sydney Harbour, Australia, the small Mission Bay San Diego Snipe 495 fleet's Las Vegas Regatta, the 2012 Chicago Match Race Center "Strictly Sail Chicago" indoor All-Sail Boat Show and in "Fresh to Frightening" a RC44 crewman hiking out doesn't get his feet under the lines and does a back flip, without pike, into the briny. See how he gets back on-board on 1200 GMT, 0700 EST.

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

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 Thomas F. O'Brien, SIOR:
With a smile I read Andrew Campbell's Star post (in Scuttlebutt 3528). Sailing is indeed about the fun. When I was sailing with Andrew's dad at Navy, we loved the competition. Sometimes we won, sometimes we didn't (Billy won more!). But we always had fun. Three America's Cup campaigns, a bunch of Bermuda's, 9 Con Cups, etc. later, it is still about the fun. How many sports can offer to let the players 40 years later go compete with their pals and "hated opponents" from college sailing, team racing against each other all over the country? Is this a great, great sport or what?

* From Mike Borga, Point Pleasant, NJ:
David Risch makes a great point (in Scuttlebutt 3529) and maybe Scuttlebutt should ask the current President of US Sailing, Gary Jobson, and the current holder of the 1st place Grand Master's trophy for skippers 60 and older in the Zag Star Masters, William (Bill) Campbell, what the racing boat of choice was for them when they were competing on the Toms River back in the 1950-60's.

Could it possibly have been the lowly Sunfish? Like the Laser, a boat that is easily righted after capsizing. Congratulations to Bill and his son Andrew on being able to sail and compete together. The trophy is just a bonus.

* From Rob McNeal:
Seeing the list of top ten boat names in Scuttlebutt 3528, I could not resist passing along my favorite unique boat name experience. A friend of mine put a name on his Hobie 18 and I liked the style of the graphics so much that I asked him to make me one too - his was named " Blow Me"...and he came up with "Blow Me Too".

Although this was unexpected, I grew to enjoy it from the reactions we received - especially when hauling the two Hobie 18's double stacked on one trailer all over Florida for regattas. It was amazing how people either thought it was hilarious or were totally offended.

But my absolute favorite experience came when staging for a mixed class (beer can series) start on a Thursday night at Davis island YC Tampa Florida. I'm luffing up, stalling, waiting for time to go, looking forward when I hear a voice on a nearby passing boat say something like "I can't believe what some people name their boats" so I turn around to see who this person might be and about fell off my Hobie laughing - the name of the boat behind me? "Cunning Stunts"!

Americans may not go on month-long holidays like some European countries, but we do get an occasional three day holiday weekend. This weekend is one of them, so there will be no Scuttlebutt on Monday. We will resume distribution on Tuesday, February 21st.

Last night my wife and I decided to go out to some place expensive, so we went to a gas station.

Summit Yachts - Hall Spars & Rigging - Doyle Sails - North U
Gladstone's Long Beach - North Sails - US Sailing - Soft Deck
Harken - Ullman Sails - The Pirates Lair - Melges Performance Sailing

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