SCUTTLEBUTT 2214 – November 1, 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 in Scuttlebutt brought
to you by UBS (http://www.ubs.com/sailing).
MONDAY MORNING TACTICIAN
(American Andrew Campbell is the top ranked Laser sailor in the US, and was
the 2006 College Sailor of the Year. Below is an excerpt from Andrew’s blog,
where he provides his analysis of the final race of the Pan Am Trials in
* Situation: Final Race of the Pan Am Trials off Third Beach, RI (Oct 2006):
Going into the final race of the ten-race series at the PanAm trials, I was
leading the regatta. I had 16 points and the second place boat had 20. We
had the same discard (6th), and I would win any tie-breaker because I had
scored more 2nd place finishes over the course of the series. Essentially,
my opponent had to win the race and force me to finish worse than my discard
(worse than 6th) in order for him to take the event. All I had to do was
prevent him from winning the race.
* Possible Strategies:
1) I could sail my own race, and try as best I could to avoid my opponent
and trust that he couldn’t win the race or that in racing at full-speed, I
would ensure better than a 6th place finish.
2) I could attack my opponent pre-start and attempt to disrupt his start as
much as possible and then return to sail my own race as discussed in option
3) Same as option #2 and build on that by covering my opponent the entire
race, dragging us both back far enough in the fleet to ensure that he would
not win the race. This option would ensure that both of us sailed another
discard race, therefore making us add 6 points to each of our scores and
ensure my victory.
-- Read on for what actually happened: http://www.campbellsailing.com
(Here is an excerpt from Scuttleblog, where the Scuttlebutt publisher shares
some comments on the US Olympic sailing effort after having coffee with its
The title, ‘Olympic Revolution’, is likely too strong, but you sense change
and revitalization for the US Olympic effort in sailing if you spend anytime
with Dean Brenner, who is the Chairman of the US Olympic Sailing Committee.
I had breakfast with Dean last week while he was in California, where his
trip coincided with the Pre-Trials that were occurring. He was checking in
with the sailors, and continuing to spread the word not just about the
committee's goals, but also how they are being achieved.
The reoccurring theme in the conversation was how the US effort has been
able to get more funds than in the past (as of now, the US has three times
more money), and in how the US is better directing the money to the elite
athletes. The 2004-08 committee slashed out all the fluff, including their
own legitimate reimbursements. They are lean, and have even reduced the US
Sailing Team from five members in each class to three for 2007, which will
allow for the disbursement of funds to get to those teams that have clawed
their way up to that level. - Full story: http://tinyurl.com/uhz78
A GATHERING OF OYSTERS
The recent Montpelier Oyster Regatta in Palma, Mallorca, on October 18-22,
2006 pertains to the ongoing discussion about growing the sport of sailing.
This was the 16th regatta Oyster Marine has hosted for its owners in five
years, and the evolution of these meetings is worth noting.
Oyster owners demand comfort; safety and reliability; and performance from
their boats - in that order. The result is an elegant, heavy boat replete
with amenities and built for easy handling while cruising offshore or making
passages. At last count approximately 40 Oyster owners have circumnavigated
the globe. When the Oyster regattas started they reflected that relaxed,
cruising style. The parties and dinners ashore ranked slightly ahead of the
“racing.” Over the years, things have changed a bit.
One reason for the increased interest in performance is Oyster founder and
CEO Richard Matthews, a successful racing helmsman. His latest personal
Oyster 72-footer, designed by a team led by Rob Humphreys, is as
turbo-charged as a live-aboard boat can get. It has brought home some
handsome silverware. Another reason is the patience with which Matthews and
his second in command, Alan Brook (a former Admiral’s Cup helmsman), have
schooled their owners, acquainting them with the rules and educating them
about tactics while stressing safety and fun.
It all came together this year in Palma. For three of the four days a smokey
sou’wester blew dogs off proverbial chains. For many fleets, at least one of
the days would have been a cancellation. For the Oyster owners, there was no
such thought. Off they went for a day of racing around the cans, followed by
three point-to-point races. - Roger Vaughan, full report:
MAN VS. MACHINE -- WHO WINS?
When you buy a sail, you buy technology. But you also make an investment in
people -- that's why you need real sailmakers, not boat-hopping salesmen.
Every Doyle loft is staffed by sailmakers with more skill and sailmaking
knowledge than other brands (Doyle loft managers have been at it, on
average, for 35 years). Technology alone won't make you win -- if your
sailmaker won't invest the time to get to know you, your boat, and local
conditions, you lose. Ready for a real sailmaker? Call us at 1-800-94-DOYLE;
Just got back from Malta, covering the Rolex Middle Sea Race. What a
fantastic place. Not much wind for the race - at least not until the big
boats had finished, and then it started blowing a beautiful Force 4. Still,
entries were at a record 68 and people seem to want to come back for more. I
flew in the helicopter with legend photographer Carlo Borlenghi and
legend-in-his-own-lunchtime cameraman Matt Conner and watched Alfa Romeo
tearing through the fleet at a phenomenal rate (the smaller boats started
first). The ability to make your wind - eg 5 knots boatspeed in 2 knots true
wind - is pretty useful when the breeze is in short supply, but it wasn't
enough to break Zephyrus IV's course record set in 2000. It's incredible the
record has stood so long in the face of such massive advances in technology,
but even SuperMaxis need a good breeze to get them really motoring. - Andy
Rice, full report: http://tinyurl.com/yyvekd
Curmudgeon’s Comment: Here are some of Carlo’s images from the event:
STU BANNATYNE: THE GENTLE GIANT
The first thing you notice about Stu Bannatyne is that he is a very big guy;
about 6’5” with a back as wide as a dining table and massive hands. He looks
like he could be very much at home in the thick of the action on a rugby
field in his home town of Auckland, New Zealand, but sailing is Bannatyne’s
chosen sport. However if you thought that he was just useful in the muscles
department, you would be very wrong; a degree in mechanical engineering and
years of experience working with some of the best in the business means that
Bannatyne is an expert in sail and rig design.
He has raced everything from Lasers to the colossal 145ft monohull Mari Cha
IV, but it is round the world racing where Bannatyne has excelled. Stu
Bannatyne was back again for his fourth circumnavigation, again as watch
leader in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race. However movistar was beset by
problems and did not complete the race, the team were forced to abandon ship
in the North Atlantic, but that has not put Stu off. He is as keen as
mustard to go round again in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09.
Louay Habib (editor of www.bangthecorner.com) had a quiet beer with Stu
Bannatyne to find out bit more about the gentle giant from Auckland.
Q: I am very good at?
A: Keeping a level head in any situation, as long as it doesn’t involve any
of my three daughters!
Q: What was it like the first time you went out on movistar in big breeze?
A: Exhilarating. It hammered home everything we had thought about the new
Volvo 70s. Fast, powerful boats that needed respect and rewarded good
trimming and driving.
Q: Which is the easier afternoon for you: A watch on a Volvo 70 in the
Southern Ocean or your daughter’s birthday party with 20 kids?
A: A birthday party with 20 kids will always be an easier option than a
Southern Ocean watch on a Volvo 70. There are times when the Volvo 70 will
be as much fun but it will always be much harder work. There are plenty of
parallels though like avoiding destruction of equipment, avoiding injuries
and rationing the food!
-- Read on for the full interview: http://tinyurl.com/y6fwce
(The following observations were posted on the popular blog ‘Proper Course’,
where the mantra of author Tillerman is “Cheat the nursing home. Die on your
(Monday, October 30, 2006) Yesterday...I spent ninety minutes driving to the
yacht club. I waited around for an hour until the PRO
decided that it was too windy for us to race. It was blowing 20 to 25 knots,
gusting to 35 knots, with an offshore wind and an incoming tide. I phoned my
son and learned that his Laser fleet in Boston had also cancelled racing. I
spent ninety minutes driving home from the yacht club. I had a beer for
I went for a walk with Tillerwoman on the trails in the woods above our town
and pondered the fact that a woman had been killed doing exactly this,
exactly here, a year or so ago on a similarly windy day when a branch from a
tree fell on her head, and pondered the fact that going for a walk in the
woods with my wife is statistically more dangerous than sailing a Laser in
I pondered the fact that I had been out sailing a Laser in Menorca a couple
of weeks ago in exactly similar conditions and had had a blast. I pondered
the fact that the Aussie Laser sailors go out and sail in these conditions
and pondered that this might be one reason they do much better than American
Laser sailors at international regattas especially when it's windy. -
Tillerman, link: http://propercourse.blogspot.com/2006/10/pondering.html
JOHNSTONE NEW OFFSHORE CHAMPION
Virgin Gorda, BVI -- Early on, it was obvious that Rod Johnstone and the
crew of his Freedom 30 were reveling in the fresh Caribbean trade winds that
greeted the fleet of the Bitter End Yacht Club’s annual Defiance Day
Regatta – an event that also served as the fifth annual Scuttlebutt Sailing
Club Offshore Championship. Sailing with guests of the BEYC as his crew,
Johnstone won the event in convincing style, besting the defending champion
(and second place finisher) Keith Musto from the UK on both legs of a course
that took the fleet from the BVI’s North Sound to “The Baths,” and return.
The fresh conditions also made it possible for Dr. Robin Tattersall’s
beautifully restored 10 Square Meter ‘Diva’ to set a new course record of
one hour and seven minutes for the first leg.
Earlier in the week, the preliminary rounds of the Musto-sponsored
Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship Regatta were conducted in three
classes. The top two boats in each class now advance to the finals on
Friday, which will be sailed in equally matched Hunter 216s. The qualifiers
are: Laser Class - James George (UK), Fredrik Svenson; Hobie Wave - Nadine
Francyk (San Francisco, CA), Charles McNeil (Palm Springs, CA); Hunter 216 -
Jim Durden, (Marina del Rey, CA), Chris Fretz.
The SSC Championship is being held in connection with the BEYC’s 20th
Anniversary Pro-Am regatta, in which BEYC guests crew for the ten invited
skippers in an event that combines fleet and match racing. This year’s
Pro-Am skippers are: Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Ken Read, Dawn Riley, Dave
Perry, Charles ‘Butch’ Ulmer, Rod Johnstone, Keith Musto, Lowell North and
Bruce Kirby. -- http://www.beyc.com
B&G LAUNCHES DECKMAN v8 SOFTWARE
B&G announces the launch of its Version 8 Deckman for Windows software,
packed with more advanced functions and features to give competitive sailors
the winning edge. New functionalities now in Deckman v8 include GRIB editing
and routing, speed testing with polar overlay, strip charts with superior
analysis tools, C-MAP MAX electronic chart compatibility and support for
Ocens and Sail Docs. With Volvo Ocean Race winning routing, interface with
all instruments, improved functional start screens and a significantly
lower, all-inclusive price, B&G has a real winner on its hands. To learn
more about Deckman v8 or other B&G systems, contact http://www.bandg.com
* A reminder that the Laser class in North America had their website address
hijacked, and have had to move their site contents to a new domain. If you
know of any websites that provide links to the Laser class site, it would
help the class to inform them that the new website address is
* L. Dennis Kozlowski, the imprisoned former Tyco International Ltd. chief
executive officer, found a buyer for his historic 130-foot sailing yacht,
the Endeavour. Sempervirens Ltd. agreed to pay $13.1 million for the
British-built yacht, according to court papers filed in New York. The
original asking price was more than $17 million. The sale will help
Kozlowski, 59, pay $167 million in court-ordered restitution and fines as he
serves a sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years for looting Tyco. - Wall Street
Folly, full story: http://tinyurl.com/rb73n
* Informational presentations are scheduled for those interested in
participating in the 2007 Marion Bermuda Race. The race will be scored under
ORR (formerly AMERICAP II) and IRC. There is no charge to attend and the
presentations are open to all interested sailors. The two dates are on
November 9th in Stamford, CT (Stamford YC, 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, 203-323-3161)
and December 7th in Oyster Bay, NY (Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, 7:30 pm to
8:30 pm, Tom Foley, 516-922-6200 Ext. 108). - Full details at
* (October 31, 2006) Top headlines on the College sailing website include
announcements and details for: 2006-2007 ICSA Sloop National Championship,
2006-2007 ICSA Singlehanded Championships, Tentative 2007 Spring Schedule,
Latest Procedural Rules as of 9/06, and Collegiate Dinghy Class Rules. Links
for these headlines are at http://www.collegesailing.org
* Bridgeport, CT (October 31, 2006) WindCheck, the monthly magazine
dedicated to Long Island Sound sailing, will publish its 50th issue in
November, marking the publication’s first major milestone since its launch
four years ago, announced Publisher Anne Hannan of Bridgeport-based Maritime
Publications, LLC. WindCheck has a circulation of 30,000, and is available
for free at more than 650 locations in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and
Rhode Island. For more information about WindCheck, log onto
RACES IN PROGRESS
* Velux 5 Oceans, a 30,000-mile race exclusively for the Grand Prix IMOCA
Open 60 and Open 50 classes, is now in its second week. The race begins and
ends in Bilbao, Spain with just two stops - in Perth, Western Australia and
Norfolk, Virginia on the east coast of the USA. -
* Route du Rhum race, the 3,500-mile solo race for multi-hulls and monohulls
from France to Guadeloupe began last weekend, and already is reporting drama
amid the fleet. - http://www.routedurhum.org
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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 save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
As an alternative, there are no word or frequency limits on comments sent to
the Scuttlebutt Forums.
-- Scuttlebutt Letters: email@example.com
-- Scuttlebutt Forums: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum
* From Stuart Hebb: (regarding the US-IRC announcement in Issue 2213) On
behalf of handicap boat owners who can't or don't want to spend the money on
a Swan 45 at a minimum, I have the following complaint. I own an Aerodyne
38, which is apparently not big enough for the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series or
Miami Race Week. I am planning to do races that will satisfy Groups 1,2 and
4. However, Group 3 states that you need to do two events: Key West Race
Week or Miami Race Week or selected events in the Caribbean. Being a
Miami-based boat, I am forced to the Caribbean if I want to complete the
series. How ironic that the former SORC is shutting out all the
Florida-based handicap boats and now the Gulf Stream Series seems to be
giving little thought to boats of this size as well. Any other ideas on how
to grow the sport?
* From Red Webb: (regarding Cam Lewis’ commentary in Issue 2213) Just as I
woulda thought from that man. The note to Scuttlebutt from Cam Lewis is
great writing and shows all his obvious passion. Over time, and following
some smiles, ya get to remember the beautiful people you are fortunate to
have met; and for me, Mr Lewis is one of them. To the Lewis family and
friends on the ice...have a magical winter up there, and thanks for your
part in winning AC 88.
* From John Rumsey: (regarding the story ‘Under The Spotlight’ in Issue
2213) Wasn't that 32% increase for women’s sailing in the Olympics a
reduction for men’s participation? Trading a woman's 3-person boat for a
men's 3-person boat. Is this progress?
Everybody repeat after me...we are all individuals.
Today’s Scuttlebutt newsletter provided by Doyle Sails and B&G Instruments.
America’s Cup coverage in Scuttlebutt is brought to you by UBS.