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SCUTTLEBUTT 2176 - September 8, 2006

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions,
features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is
distributed each weekday, with America’s Cup coverage provided by UBS

(It’s been 10 years since the 49er won a trial to become the new Olympic
skiff. Here are some excerpts from an interview by Andy Rice with the 49er’s
designer from Sydney, Australia, Julian Bethwaite.)

When you consider that he has been responsible for some of the most radical
dinghy designs of the past 20 years, perhaps it isn’t so surprising that
Julian Bethwaite holds radical views on almost any topic you care to
mention. The Sydney-based designer has been a thorn in the side of the
sailing establishment ever since the 49er won an ISAF trial in Lake Garda to
select a high-performance skiff for the Olympic Games.

Love him or loathe him, it’s hard to ignore Bethwaite or his boats. The
‘Niner’ family of 49er, 29er, 59er and the recently launched 29erXX are all
lean, mean racing machines, and they have redefined the high-performance
small-boat racing scene. The 49er was already gathering momentum as a class
before it got its big break at Garda. There it was pitched against many
contenders for the new Olympic skiff slot, including the Laser 5000 which
was already well established in Europe.

But Bethwaite had pulled together a strong team to show the 49er in the best
possible light, and it included Flying Dutchman Olympic Champion Jonathan
McKee and his wife Libby, an accomplished 470 crew. “We went into the trials
extremely confident,” says Bethwaite. “We went there with a marketing
strategy, we worked out three months in advance what we were going to do,
and we sent every member of the ISAF Council a copy of dad’s book [Frank
Bethwaite’s High Performance Sailing] and this little blurb about the boat
and the concept of sailing faster than windspeed. So by the time the trials
came around they’d already been primed about the 49er and what it was.”

The 49er lobby team even included a ‘nocturnal mole’, who would sleep by day
and get up at 7pm to hang out the bars and listen to the gossip around
Garda. - Read on for the complete story:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

Newport, R.I., USA (September 7, 2006) – Light and shifting winds brought
massive changes to the leader board on day two of the Rolex Farr 40 World
Championship. Mascalzone Latino put together the best scores for the day,
coming fourth place in the first race and second in the next, and earned the
Boat of the Day, sponsored by Trade Partners New England Boatworks, Hall
Spar, and New England Ropes. That scoreline put Vincenzo Onorato’s
(Portoferrio, Italy) team at the top of the scoreboard, four points ahead of
Jim Richardson’s (Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.) similarly consistent team on
Barking Mad. Flash Gordon suffered a difficult day after making bad starts
off the line, although Helmut Jahn’s (Chicago, Ill.) two victories the
previous day are sufficient to keep him in third overall.

Russell Coutts, the tactician on board Mascalzone Latino, explained the thin
line between success and failure in this hard-fought 38-boat fleet. “Today
we had some breaks, some good starts, and if you can get off the line
cleanly it puts you in the top 15,” he said. “From there it’s a battle. We
didn’t make any big mistakes, whereas yesterday I didn’t manage that second
race very well. I allowed myself to get pinned out to the left and we
rounded fourth to last. In a fleet this size you just can’t afford to get
pinned out to the wrong side.” - Complete report:

Results (after Day Two; top ten of thirty-eight):
1. Mascalzone Latino, Vincenzo Onorato, Portoferrio, Italy, 2-26-4-2, 34
2. Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, Boston, Mass/Newport, RI, USA, 10-14-6-8, 38
3. Flash Gordon, Helmet Jahn, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1-1-26-15, 43
4. Nerone, Mezzaroma/Migliori, Rome, ITA, 3-16-21-5, 43
5. Fresh Guidance, Simon Williams, Greenwich, Conn., USA, 24-9-7-6, 46
6. Ichi Ban, Matt Allen, Sydney, AUS, 4-22-17-4, 47
7. Norwegian Steam, Eivind Astrup, Oslo, Norway, 9-21-19-1, 50
8. Opus One, Wolfgang Stolz, Franfurt, Germany, 20-2-3-25, 50
9. Le Renard, Steve Phillips, Annapolis, Md., USA, 6-33-11-3, 53
10. Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, Valencia, ESP, 5-3-30-17, 55

Complete results:

(The following excerpts are from an article that originally appeared in the
September issue of SpinSheet Magazine, and is part of a monthly series where
they profile noteworthy Chesapeake Bay sailors.)

Annapolis sailor Jim Capron is running unopposed for a one-year term as the
US Sailing President. Capron, a lifelong sailor, is currently Vice President
on the transitional Board of Directors. An engineer by trade, Jim Capron is
the founder and president of Capron Company, Inc., a facility automation
design and contracting firm located in Rockville, MD.

An active racer and cruiser, Capron lives in the Eastport section of
Annapolis and is a member of the Annapolis YC. He is a certified US Sailing
Judge and Umpire, an ISAF International Judge and International Umpire, and
a member of the ISAF International Judges Subcommittee. As an official, he
has served as a judge and/or umpire at many international events, including
the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia, the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup in New
Zealand, Whitbread/ Volvo Ocean Races, and the ISAF World Sailing Games. At
US Sailing, Jim has been chairman of the Judges and Race Administration
Committees and has served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors
since 2001.

SpinSheet: How did you get involved in sailing?
Jim Capron: When I was in my early teens, a friend of mine took me sailing
in his family’s Penguin. We didn’t race, but we used the boat to explore the
South River near Annapolis. I raced a Daysailer occasionally in high school
at Severn SA with one of my teachers but then swapped sailboats for
whitewater canoes. I got back to sailing in my late 20s, when I bought a
Lightning and began racing in earnest.

For the complete interview:

When the boats are the same and only the sails are different, one sailmaker
stands out. This summer, Beneteau 36.7s powered by Doyle’s new Stratis
load-path sails won the North Americans, four NOOD Regattas, the Chicago
Verve Cup, and the Chicago-Mackinac Race. If you sail an offshore
one-design, you should be flying Doyle sails. Now is the time to call your
local Doyle loft. And start winning. 1-800-94-DOYLE;

Olin Stephens II again wowed the crowd at the Museum of Yachting's 27th
Annual Best Life Classic Yacht Regatta, held in Newport this past weekend.
With the legendary 1929 built Dorade making her triumphant return to the
East Coast at this event (she had been restored and lying in the Med for the
past several years), Olin was asked to present her new owner, Edgar Cato,
with the prize for second in class, and best overall performance for an S &
S designed yacht, and Olin, of course, delivered a remarkably honest and
humble perspective as only he can do. When asked about seeing one of his
masterpiece's, Dorade, racing again in the U.S., he responded...
(paraphrased) "Well it's a good boat, but I've done better..." He went on to
say that the 1905 N.G. Herreshoff designed NY-30's were, in fact, his all
time favorite design, a nod to Amorita, NY-30 #9 as the winning boat that
bested Dorade's time. -

The sport of sailing continues to open up to sailors with disabilities. This
week’s video provides a sample of what it's like to compete as a sailor who
is totally blind. Incidentally, the 2006 World Blind Sailing Championships
will be held this month in Newport, RI from September 20-27. Also, if you
have a video you like, please send us your suggestions for next week’s Video
of the Week. Click here for this week’s video:

Columbia Yachts, sailing sloops originally designed and built in Costa Mesa,
once ruled Orange County's waterfront. Company founder Richard Valdes
pioneered the swift but solid Fiberglas hulls, starting in 1960 with
24-footers and eventually building 50-footers, dozens of which still ply the
California coast. "It was the biggest sailboat company in the world, with
manufacturing facilities in eight countries," said Vince Valdes, son of
Richard. Columbia Yachts was sold in 1970 and, after the company changed
hands a few more times, the brand faded into manufacturing history. Now
Columbia Yachts has made a comeback in a new form, reviving the mid-century
red-and-blue logo. Vince Valdes makes the Columbia 30 at a factory he opened
in 2005 in Santa Ana. - by John Gittelsohn, The Orange County Register, full

* If you considering a trip to Valencia, Spain for America’s Cup activities,
the Washington Post and the Toledo Times have articles that includes many of
the town’s other points of interest that have some value during the
non-sailing days: and

* The International Superyacht Society has released its lists of finalists
for the 2006 International Design Awards. If you have wondered where some of
the top naval architects have gone from the heyday of IOR, it appears that
they have followed the money toward mega cruisers. Amongst the list of
finalists includes German Frers, Doug Peterson, Philippe Briand, and Ed

* Sail trials for the new Wally 143 megayacht have begun, with the team from
Hall Spars & Rigging there to handle the rig. There is a brief report on the
Scuttlebutt website providing details on the boat and rig:

* The Scuttlebutt website has recently posted numerous images and video of
the foiling Moth, which have thus far been the only means to see this
amazing boat within North America. However, that will change this fall as
the 2005 Moth World Champion Rohan Veal will be attending the US Boat Show
in October, and will be displaying his new production Moth. For details,
contact Scot West at Ronstan ( or Rohan Veal

* Fifty competitors were helped to safety after their boats got into
difficulties last weekend off a North Wales during the last day of the 2006
Laser SB3 UK National Championship. The rescue operation was launched after
17 yachts of the 59 entries were caught out by rough seas and winds gusting
to 65 knots.

SailFlow, the leader in real-time and forecasted marine weather, announces
the completion of a new website. By collecting all public weather data
(buoys, forecasts, warnings, satellite/radar, etc), SailFlow's new free
service eliminates your need for multiple weather bookmarks by giving you
everything in one convenient location. Plus SailFlow operates a network of
proprietary weather stations placed right where you sail and uses their own
computer model to forecast conditions. A recent addition is a revolutionary
weather graph that scrolls between current, past, and forecasted conditions
without having to reload the page. --

Curmudgeon’s Comment: has just installed a new weather station
at end of the breakwater that extends out into Long Island Sound from
Larchmont Harbor (the base station is hosted by the Larchmont Yacht Club).
The data is current to within 5 minutes, with details available at

Also, if you are racing in the Lands' End Larchmont NOOD this weekend, has provided an overview of what to expect from the wind on the
Sailing World website:

Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name, and may be
edited for clarity or space (letters shall be no longer than 250 words). You
only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot, don't whine if
others disagree, and please save your bashing and personal attacks for
elsewhere. As an alternative, you can post your comments on the Scuttlebutt
Forums, wherein we may include your submission in the newsletter.

-- Scuttlebutt Letters:
-- Scuttlebutt Forums:

* From Richard du Moulin, Commodore, Storm Trysail Club: Our crew on the
Express 37 Lora Ann thank Ed Cesare for his compliments on our finishing the
Vineyard Race thru the gale last weekend. It was a very uncomfortable but
exhilarating experience. We also thank the Stamford Yacht Club for starting
the race and allowing each competitor to make their own decision to
withdraw, retire during the race, or sail the course. All three finishers
happen to be members of the Storm Trysail Club -- we love ocean racing and
have boats fitted out and crew trained for heavy weather. Sure we can get in
trouble, but we have done our best to be prepared. Our seven man/ one woman
crew had more than 10 Transatlantic and 75 Bermuda races, plus a few much
longer passages. Much of this was sailing together. Actually sailing in such
conditions is the only way to gain experience, and the Vineyard Race offered
a great offshore opportunity because we were never more than about 20 miles
from a downwind port of refuge. The yachts that withdrew did the right thing
for themselves and no one should ever second-guess them. But too many race
committees cancel in strong winds, which only encourages yachts to depend on
"committee protection." This protection is no longer available once you are
offshore, and in the long run increases the risk when yachts go offshore.
Even in junior sailing there is a tendency to shelter the kids from heavy
air, rather than training them to deal with breeze and enjoy the ride. That
is one reason Storm Trysail Club initiated its series of Junior Safety at
Sea Seminars and our Intercollegiate Offshore Championship.

* From J. Joseph Bainton: (edited to our 250 word limit) Huzza for Stamford
YC AND Kurt M. Lowman. Mr. Lowman (in Issue 2175) criticizes the decision of
the Stamford YC Race Committee to start the 2006 Vineyard Race (a 240-mile
ocean race) in conditions that apparently were beyond the mettle of the
unnamed boat on which he was sailing and its crew. Exercising the prudence
demanded by Rule 4 (and common sense), they chose not to compete. Others
(albeit embarrassingly few in number) were up to the conditions and had a
memorable race. In the spring of 2005, Nassau YC raced Stars in the ocean in
eight-foot seas and 30+ knots of breeze. Not a mast came down, and very
broad smiles were observed at the bar that evening. There was no hint of
criticism of the NYC Race Committee for starting these races.

The SYC Race Committee similarly did absolutely the right thing by not
denying those competitors up to challenging conditions the opportunity to
compete in them. Think of the frustration that would have been felt by those
who prepared their boats and honed their skills for such conditions if they
had been denied the chance to compete in them -- particularly after having
paid their dues by drifting on Long Island Sound during other years when
such preparation and skills were of little, if any, utility. Those who were
not up to the challenging conditions unquestionably did the right thing by
choosing not to compete, but perhaps the question should be why so few were
up to the task?

* From Anne T. Converse: I read the article of Brad Nichols-Skier turned
sailor (in Issue 2175) and really enjoyed it. I have known many sailors who
are skiers and visa versa. An English friend of mine who sailed Merlin
rockets in England took up skiing in his 40s and loved it. Being a skier and
sailor, I think it is the buzz of being on the edge - sailing and skiing -
with Mother Nature knocking at your door! Wheeee! Enjoy!

* From Jim Gurley: I see the decline of participation in sailing as a result
of the evolution of the sport. The keelboat has become this expensive high
tech platform that costs a bundle, requires extensive, often professional,
crew, and the owner has to practically devote full time to the venture.
Twenty years ago, a businessman could spend $50K, get some friends together,
and campaign his two tonner on weekends. I remember racing on a 45 footer
where the owner groaned when we blew out a chute - today there's a tender
with spares.

The dinghy has followed a similar route. To compete at the highest level,
sailors need to be independently wealthy (or at least sponsored) and
prepared to spend a fortune in time and money. I don't see a decline in
college level dinghy sailing, which still resembles the old paradigm. I
campaigned a J24 for 15 years before San Diego got too crowded for me. After
moving and a ten-year hiatus, I've got a Ranger 33, which I club race at
every opportunity. Our yacht club is only four years old and is growing
fast, with not a single boat built since 1980.

* From Donald B Shaw: In reference to your blog (in Issue 2174), one can not
judge NASCAR by that race. The current way that they are doing the standings
has all of the most competitive drivers cruising and collecting--cruising
around in circles and collecting their pay. They are simply afraid to make a
mistake that takes them out of the 'play-offs' of NASCAR. Only the top ten
in points get to compete for the championship over the course of the last
ten races.

I have followed NASCAR since before I knew what a sailboat was, and
currently NASCAR is all and only about marketing It is a sad state of
affairs. Personally, between the design of the California Speedway, and they
way that I knew that the drivers were going to race that race, I didn't even
watch it. Personally, I hope that the sailing community doesn't follow in
NASCAR's footsteps.

* From Bill Sloger: (re:Guy Dorans letter in Issue 2175 on the NASCAR
thread) I recall that Ed Baird did end up on his “tosh” after a Laser race
here at Charleston, SC when he made an unsportsmanlike maneuver against a
local sailor and bragged about it after the race.

* From Chris Boome: (re, ‘29er Us Nationals: A Family Affair’ story in Issue
2175) Good on you Paul I bet that brought back memories of all your wins in
the 505 sailing with Dennis Surtees!

Never invest in anything that eats.

This issue of Scuttlebutt presented by Doyle Sails and

America’s Cup coverage in Scuttlebutt brought to you by UBS.